A Report

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National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering (NICEE) at IIT Kanpur has conducted an inter school quiz competition on Earthquake Tips, the final round of which was conducted on 26 Jan 2011 at Outreach Auditorium, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur. This date also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the fateful Bhuj Earthquake which caused a colossal  damage to life and property in 2001.

A need has been felt for long to include school children, who are the future builders of the country, in the activity of furthering the cause seismic safety towards ensuring an earthquake resistant built environment in the country, which is also the mandate of NICEE. There has been overwhelming response from the schools for registering for the quiz. The 62 registering schools from Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gorakhpur, Gurgaon, Kanpur, Lucknow, Noida, Panipat and Rampur, were given 50 copies of “Earthquake Tips” by Dr. CVR Murty, to be used for selecting a team of four participants from each school from Class VIII to Class XI.

The preliminary rounds were held in Kanpur on 16 August 2010, in Lucknow on 27 August 2010, in Gorakhpur on 03 September 2010, in Rampur on 29 October 2010, in Allahabad on 02 November 2010, in Delhi during November 8-11, 2010, in Chandigarh on 12 November 2010 and in Agra on 29 November 2010. The winners of preliminary rounds viz. - PCVN Kanpur; Army Public School, Gorakhpur; Army School, Allahabad; City Montessori School, Station Road Branch, Lucknow; DAV Public School Dwarka, Delhi; Blue Bells International School, Delhi; The Frank Anthony Public School, Delhi; Summer Field School, Gurgaon; Mount Carmel School, Chandigarh; Delhi Public School, Bareilly and Delhi Public School, Agra participated in the final quiz held on 26 January 2011.

The quiz had four rounds viz. Round Robin, Picture Round, Rapid Fire Round and Lucky number Round. The questions were mostly from the publication “Earthquake Tips” by Dr. CVR Murty and some questions were based on earthquakes which have occurred in India and in other countries. The winning team of Mount Carmel School, Chandigrah was represented by Ms. Pradipti Dash, Ms. Mansimar Kaur, Mr. Sukhtaran Singh Bath and Mr. Robin Singh Sidhu. The winning team scored 97 points. The team of Army School, Allahabad represented by Mr. Himanshu Yadav, Mr. Bharat, Mr. Himanshu Singh and Mr. Ashish Kumar Tomer came second scoring 87 points while the team of MLK DAV Public School, Dwarka, Delhi represented by Mr. Anil Kumar Shahi, Mr. Ajay Yadav, Mr. Ashish Thakur and Mr. Tarun Kumar scored 81 points to bag the third position. The quiz was conducted by Cdr Suresh Ailawadi, Retd.

A cash prize of Rs. 1000/- was given to each of the participants of the winning team, while Rs. 750/- was given to each participant of team which came second and Rs. 500/- cash prize was given to each participant of team which came third, along with the merit certificates. Participation certificates were given to all participating teams. The certificate and prizes were distributed by Prof. Durgesh C. Rai, Coordinator of NICEE who was also the Chief Guest of the function.

Prof. Rai welcomed the participants and thanked the principals and management of the schools who participated in the quiz during the preliminary rounds and the final round. He said that a small candle which has been kindled in these young minds will surely grow into a major fire and will make the community at large aware about the damages due to an earthquake and the methods which can be used to mitigate the damages. The participants were given a brief insight into the inception and working methodology of NICEE prior to the commencement of the quiz. Giving a briefing about the functioning of NICEE, Prof. Rai said that the aim of NICEE is to start new projects, hand them over to appropriate authorities after their efficacy has been proved and move on to take up new projects. He also said that NICEE would be very happy to hand over the conduct of this quiz on EQ Tips to a consortium of schools or any other sponsor who is willing to take it forward to more and more schools in several cities, year after year. NICEE will provide all technical support as and when required.

Dr. KK Bajpai of IIT Kanpur while expressing his satisfaction over the professional manner in which the quiz was conducted by the NICEE team consisting of Cdr. Suresh Ailawadi, Retd., Ms. Anamika Dikshit, Ms. Tanusri Mondal, Ms. Sandhya Sharma, Ms. Seema Kushwaha, Mr. Moti Lal and Mr. Malikhan Singh for making the event a success and an excellent organisation of the event. Dr. Bajpai also highlighted the support being provided by the Structure Lab and the students of civil engineering to activities of NICEE.

Expressing his appreciation for the participants of final and preliminary rounds along with their teachers, principals and parents, Cdr Ailawadi also thanked the authorities of IIT Kanpur, Department of Civil Engineering, Visitors Hostel and Outreach Auditorium for extending their whole hearted support in the successful conduct of the event. Cdr Ailawadi also thanked Mr. Ravi Shukla, of IIT Kanpur for his unstinted support to all activities of NICEE.

The publications of NICEE were also displayed for the benefit of participants.

Further, it is proposed to make this an annual event with the final round of quiz being held on 26 January every year to memorialize the devastating Bhuj Earthquake of 2001. It will be our endeavour to include more and more cities of Uttar Pradesh during the forthcoming years. The invite for the quiz of 2011-12 will be sent to schools during February-March 2011. For further details and queries, if any, please contact, Suresh Ailawadi, Consultant, NICEE at 9450162502 or e-mail at asuresh@iitk.ac.in.