Wednesday, July 25, 2012

NCC Air Wing Admission at St. Albert's College

NCC Air wing Enrollment day 
Enrollment to the NCC Air wing was on 25th July 2012 at Archbishop Bernard Hall (College Seminar Hall). Dr. Sabu Chacko organised the selection camp at 11.30am. The students were personally interviewed by Junior Warrant Officer Sha accompanied by Sergent Sharma from 3 Kerala Air Squadron. 50 students of 1st year degree students of St. Albert's College, Ernakulam were selected during the interview. 
Indian Air Force officials interviewing the candidates
Selected candidates filling the Admission form
Selected candidates filling the Admission form
Indian Air Force officials interviewing the candidates

Air Wing 
The main objective of the Air Wing training is to create interest among the youth of the nation in aviation activities. In the Flying Sqns, besides normal trg, cdts will be imparted trg in gliding / microlite flying activities.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Department of Aquaculture and Conservation Research Group (CRG) researchers discover four new fish species

Department of Aquaculture and Conservation Research Group (CRG) researchers discover four new fish species 

Collaborative research between researchers at the Department of Aquaculture and the Conservation Research Group (CRG), St. Albert’s College,  and the British Museum of Natural History, London has led to the discovery of four new fish species to science. The four new  fish species  have been named,  Puntius madhusoodani,  Pristolepis rubripinnis, Dario urops  and Pangio ammophila. While P. madhusoodani was described from the Manimala River, P. rubripinnis was described from the Pampa and Chalakudy rivers. The  remaining two species, D. urops and P. ammophila were discovered from the Barapole stream in Coorg, and Kumaradhara stream in Subramanya, both in Karnataka State. The researchers involved were Benno Pereira, Rajeev Raghavan, K. Krishna Kumar, Anvar Ali, Fibin Baby and Siby Philip from St. Albert’s College and Ralf Britz from the Natural History Museum, London. 
The field work and research that led to these discoveries were carried out when Dr. Ralf Britz, Fish Research Leader of the Natural History Museum, London visited St. Albert’s College in early 2012.  

Pangio ammophila [Ralf Britz, Anvar Ali & Rajeev Raghavan 2012] 
Dario urops [Ralf Britz, Anvar Ali & Siby Philip 2012] 
Pristolepis rubripinnis [Ralf Britz, K. Krishna Kumar & Fibin Baby 2012] 
Puntius madhusoodani [K. Krishna Kumar, Benno Pereira & K.V. Radhakrishnan 2012] 

For more information and complete species descriptions please refer to: 

  • Britz, R., Ali, A. & Raghavan, R. (2012). Pangio ammophila, a new species of eel-loach from Karnataka, southern India (Teleostei: Cypriniformes: Cobitidae).  Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 23: 45-50. 
  • Britz, R., Ali, A. & Philip, S. (2012). Dario urops, a new species of badid fish from the Western Ghats, southern India (Teleostei: Percomorpha: Badidae). Zootaxa, 3348: 63-68. 
  • Britz, R., Kumar, K. & Baby, F. (2012). Pristolepis rubripinnis, a new species of fish from southern India (Teleostei: Percomorpha: Pristolepididae). Zootaxa, 3345: 59-68. 
  • Kumar, K., Benno Pereira, F.G. & Radhakrishnan, K.V. (2012): Puntius madhusoodani (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), a new species of barb from Manimala River, Kerala, South India. Biosystematica, 5 (2):

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

St Albert’s College Researchers found a new species of fish

Scientists have found a new ornamental fish in South Karnataka, raising the possibility of discovery of many more new species in the Western Ghats.

A new eel loach species named Pangio ammophila was found in Kumaradhara river in Subramanya in the Dakshina Kannada district. They were collected from the sandy areas in the river’s shallow by an Indo-British team of researchers. The fish is 25-30 mm long. The discovery was reported in the journal ‘Icthyological Explorations of Freshwater’ on Sunday.
This is only the fourth species of Pangio found in India and one of the two that occurred in the streams of the Western Ghats; the other being Pangio goaensis. Other two fishes from the same genus were found in the North East. 
“Karnataka is the least explored Ghat state as most of the studies were conducted in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This was found outside the protected area, highlighting the need to explore not only protected areas but also areas outside the boundary of protected areas,” Rajeev Raghavan, one of the team members at St Albert’s College, Kochi reported. The team included scientists from the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Kent. Incidentally, the spot where the species was found was originally discovered by three Bangalore-based aquarium hobbyists.
The discovery comes within a month of finding another new species of freshwater fish known as Dario urops. Nearly 300 species of freshwater fish are currently known from the Western Ghats. But Raghavan said the number might be an underestimation as five species were discovered in the region in 2012 alone.
However, freshwater aquatic habitats and fish fauna in the Western Ghats are threatened by habitat loss, overfishing and invasive alien species. Even the habitat in Subramanya is under severe threat from sand mining.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Prof. Harry Cleetus

delivering the Presidential

Department of Economics in association with Cochin Stock Exchange Ltd. organised Investor Awareness Programme on Basics of Stock Market on 13th July 2012 at 11: 30 at Archbishop Bernard Hall (Seminar Hall), St. Albert's College, Ernakulam.
CA PS Menon, Chirman, Cochin Stock Brokers Ltd. deliveref the Key-note address on Basics of Stock Market. 
Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery, Manager, St. Albert's College inaugurated the programme. Prof. Harry Cleetus, Principal St. Albert's College, Ernakulam presided the meeting. Dr. Cyriac Mathew, Vice Principal and Prof. Robins Jacob H.O.D, Dept. of Economics addressed the gathering. 
Prof. Robbins Jacob, Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery
CA PS Menon, Prof. Harry Cleetus, Dr. Cyriac Mathew
Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery inaugurating 
Investor Awareness Programme on 
Basics of Stock Market
Prof. Robbins Jacob, CA PS Menon,
Prof. Harry Cleetus, Dr. Cyriac Mathew (near by)

Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery
delivering the inaugural address 

Dr. Cyriac Mathew addressing the gathering

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Investor Awareness Programme on Basics of Stock Market

Investor Awareness Programme on Basics of Stock Market conducted by Cochin Stock Exchange Ltd. in association with the Department of Economics, St. Albert's College on 13th July 2012 at 11: 30 at Archbishop Bernard Hall (Seminar Hall), St. Albert's College, Ernakulam.

CA PS Menon, Chirman, Cochin Stock Brokers Ltd. will deliver the Key-note address on Basics of Stock Market. 

Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery, Manager, St. Albert's College will inaugurate the programme. Prof. Harry Cleetus, Principal St. Albert's College, Ernakulam will preside the meeting. Dr. Cyriac Mathew, Vice Principal and Prof. Robins Jacob H.O.D, Dept. of Economics will address the gathering. 
Heart welcome to all...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Schola Brevis 2012

Schola Brevis 2012

Principal Prof. Harry Cleetus welcomes
Very Rev. Msgr. Alex Vadakumathala 
Vicar General, Archdiocese of Verapoly

Chief Guest Very Rev. Msgr. Alex Vadakumathala 
 and other dignitaries in the Principal Chamber

Very Rev. Msgr. Alex Vadakumathala 
Vicar General, Archdiocese of Verapoly

Procession for the Holy Mass
Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery
Very Rev. Alex Vadakumathala
Rev. Fr. Capistan Lopez 
Youth Choir

Schola Brevis 2012 
Academic Year Inauguration

Very Rev. Msgr. Alex Vadakumathala inaugurating 
Schola Brevis 2012, Prof. Harry Cleetus (Principal),
Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery (Manager), 
Dr. Edward Edezhath near by.

Lighting the Lamp: Prof. Harry Cleetus - Principal 

Lighting the Lamp: Dr. Cyriac Mathew - Vice Principal 

Lighting the Lamp: 1st Year Male Student Representative 

Lighting the Lamp: 1st Year Female Student Representative 

Prof. Harry Cleetus - Principal 
addressing the Schola Brevis 2012

Prof. Harry Cleetus - Lighting the Candle

NCC Cadets - Pledge

Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery (Manager) 
giving student prayer and pledge

Student Prayer & Pledge 

Dr. Edward Edezhath addressing 
the Schola Brevis

World Environment Day Celebration

Prof. Harry Cleetus - Principal, St. Albert's
College flags off Environmental Day Rally
World Environment Day was celebrated on 5th June 2012 to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action. The importance of day came as the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5–16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The first World Environment Day was in 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5 June. The Theme for this year was Green Economy: Does it include you?

Prof. Harry Cleetus - Principal,
St. Albert's
 College with NCC Cadets on
Environmental Day Awareness Campaign 

Talk on "The Elusive Particle"

Discovery of Higg's Boson - A breakthrough for the Science World
Prof. Harry Cleetus - Principal, St. Albert's
College during his inaugural address
Prof. Lawrel Gregor, Head,
Dept. of Physics,
Dr. N Shaji, Maharajas College,
Dr. Cyriac Mathew -Vice Principal,
St. Albert's College can seen in the photo
Asterix - the Astro Club of St. Albert's College, Ernakulam arranged a talk on "The Elusive Particle" by Dr. N Shaji, Maharajas College, Ernakulam. The talk was inaugurated by Prof. Harry Cleetus - Principal St. Albert's College, Dr. Cyriac Mathew - Vice Principal, Prof. Lawrel Gregory - Head Dept. of Physics, Prof. Shaji Joseph - Astro Club Coordinator also addressed the gathering.

"The Elusive Particle"
Scientists had discovered a new particle whose characteristics match those of the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in physics, which could help unlock some of the universe's deepest secrets. 
Rolf Heuer, the director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which has been carrying out experiments in search of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator said:
"We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature, the discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle's properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe" 
The particle has been so difficult to pin down that the physicist Leon Lederman reportedly wanted to call his book "The Goddamn Particle" But he truncated that epithet to "The God Particle," which may have helped elevate the particle's allure in popular culture.Announcements by scientists about their analysis of data generated by trillions of particle collisions in the LHC, which is located beneath the Alps, drew avid applause at an eagerly awaited seminar in Geneva, Switzerland.
Finding the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass, one of the open questions in physicists' current understanding of the way the universe works. "A more complete picture of today's observations will emerge later this year (2012) after the LHC provides the experiments with more data," the nuclear research organization, known as CERN, said in its statement. But despite the words of caution, the scientists' mood and many of their comments were brimming with enthusiasm about the potential scope of what they had discovered.
They had crept closer to proving the existence of the Higgs boson but had been unable to reach a definitive conclusion. The U.S.-based scientists outlined their final analysis based on more than 10 years of research and 500 trillion particle collisions using the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab Tevatron collider near Batavia, Illinois, whose budgetary woes shut it down last year. 
They passed the baton onto their counterparts using the LHC, which is much more powerful than the Tevatron. Located 328 feet underneath the border of France and Switzerland, the LHC cost $10 billion and has been sending particles smashing together in 17-mile tunnel for the past 18 months. High speed proton collisions generate a range of even smaller particles that scientists have been sifting through in search of a signal in the data suggesting the existence of the Higgs boson.The elusive particle is part of a theory first proposed by physicist Peter Higgs and others in the 1960s to explain how particles obtain mass.The theory proposes that a so-called Higgs energy field exists everywhere in the universe. As particles zoom around in this field, they interact with and attract Higgs bosons, which cluster around the particles in varying numbers.

Imagine the universe like a party. Relatively unknown guests at the party can pass quickly through the room unnoticed; more popular guests will attract groups of people (the Higgs bosons) who will then slow their movement through the room. The speed of particles moving through the Higgs field works much in the same way. Certain particles will attract larger clusters of Higgs bosons -- and the more Higgs bosons a particle attracts, the greater its mass will be. 

Why is finding the Higgs boson so important?
While finding the Higgs boson won't tell us everything we need to know about how the universe works, it will fill in a huge hole in the Standard Model that has existed for more than 50 years, according to experts. The Higgs boson is the last missing piece of our current understanding of the most fundamental nature of the universe. Only now with the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] are we able to really tick that box off and say 'This is how the universe works, or at least we think it does'. It's not the be all and end all -- but in terms of what can we say practically about the world and how the world is, it actually tells us a lot.
Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, said that the finding evidence of the Higgs boson would be a "very wonderful success of science and of people for four centuries." 

Physicist Martin Archer said "Higgs boson is the last missing piece of our current understanding of the most fundamental nature of the universe".

Report of International Internship

Report of international internship
Workshop on 
“Aquaponics – Water Conserving Agriculture”
The completed Mural inside the
Wet Lab of the Aquaculture Department
The Internship on “Empowerment on Aquaponics” was offered to the students of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA at the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of St.Albert’s College, Ernakulam. The students were accompanied by the Director of International Studies Maj H. Fishcher, two representatives of Sweet Water Foundation, Milwaukee,USA, Chaya Nayak and Jason AXT and one representative of Mahattil International llC, educators and consultants having offices in Milwaukee and India responsible for the Welfare and Logistics of the team in India. The Manager Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery, Principal Prof. Harry Cleetus and Vice principal Dr. Cyriac Mathew provided adequate resources and moral support for the smooth conduct of the internship programme. Dr. Ajith Thomas John, Associate Professor in Aquaculture was the Coordinator of the internship at St. Albert’s College. 
Internship team members near the completed system
Aquaponics is an integration of aquaculture and hytdroponics. The internship involved the wisconsin team setting up of a functional aquaponics system in the wet lab & hatchery complex of the aquaculture department. The month long internship of eight students from the university of wisconsin ended on june 30th on a successful note. To assist the team from the us in its activities an aquaponics club was formed in april 2012 represented by students of the degree programmes in aquaculture and industrial fish and fisheries and the pg programme in applied fisheries and aquaculture. The club members met several times under the leadership of the coordinator and planned and worked very hard to prepare the wet lab for the team visit. 
The plants being planted in the grow beds

A mural being drawn by the Wisconsin Team Members
and the Aquaponics Club Members
Extensive planning and execution was involved in the realization of the internship. At the beginning of the internship a one day workshop was organized on “Wisconsin – Kerala Aquaponics Connection”. In this workshop the concept was explained to the hosts by the representatives of Sweet Water Foundation, Ms. Chaya Nayak and Mr. Jason AXT. The plan of activity for the month was conveyed by Mr. Shajan M. John of Mahattil international llC, the coordinator of the team. The students from wisconsin introduced themselves and explained how each one will contribute to the internship activity. During the internship the students (Travis Blomberg, Kimberly Hunt Mayer, Kelly Schweich, Douglas Johnson, Rita Argus, Sowmya Adibhatla, Lauren Stinson and Wally Graeber) from the University of Wisconsin worked along side the Aquaponics Club members from St. Albert’s College to set up the system. Two groups were formed integrating the club members and the team. The enterprise group was responsible for formulating the questionnaire and conducting surveys among the students, the public, educational institutions, self help groups, fish farmers etc. This group also planned towards organizing the workshop. The design group was mainly responsible for designing the system to suite the measurements in the wet lab, sourcing the materials, budgeting, fabricating the components, integrating the components, installing the system and planning towards monitoring the functioning of the system.
The Internship Team Members by the
side of the Aquaponics System
The main components of the system installed include the fish tank, the filter unit, deep water unit, grow bed unit, siphoning systems and sump tank. In the fish tank our state fish pearl spot(karimeen) has been introduced. The plants planted in the deep water unit include long beans and brahmi while in the grow bed brinjal, long beans and tomato has been planted. Every alternate day the water parameters like nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, ph and dissolved oxygen are monitored to ensure efficiency of functioning of the system.

Aquaponics Workshop - “Aquaponics – Water Conserving Agriculture”

Aquaponics Workshop - “Aquaponics – Water Conserving Agriculture” on 2012 June 28th.
The International Internship students of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA and the Aquaponics Club members of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, St. Albert’s College, organized a workshop on “Aquaponics – Water Conserving Agriculture” as a culmination of the month long internship by the Wisconsin students, papali hall, st.albert’s college on the 28th of june. The programme commenced at with Dr. Ajith Thomas John, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Internship giving an overview of the workshop.  Mr. Shajan M. John of Mahattil International llC, welcomed the guests. Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery, Manager St.albert’s College, addressed the gathering and spoke at length about the necessity of technological improvements to solve problems relating to the agriculture sector. Prof. Harry Cleetus, Principal, spoke on the need for student involvement in such intersnhip that generate better awareness of new technological developments in the field of Aquaculture. 
Rev. Dr. Clement Valluvassery, 
Manager St. Albert’s College Addressing the gathering, 
Vice Principal Dr. Cyriac Mathew, Principal Prof. Harry Cleetus
Head, Dept. of Aquaculture Dr. Benno Pereira near by 
Mr. Shivdas B. Menon, MD of Sterling Group of Companies, dealers in agro products, spoke about the research and development opportunities on the concept of aquaponics and the necessity for experimenting different plant species to grow more food. Dr. Sunny George, Consultant Limnologist Associating with KIDS, Kottappuram, spoke at length on the necessity to make available the technical know-how of aquaponics to the lower statas of society with the assistance of self-help groups. Dr. L. Jose, Head, Department of Botany, spoke on the inter-disciplinary nature of the concept and need to adapt the concept to the local availability and needs of the vegetable markets. 
Participants for  workshop on
“Aquaponics – Water Conserving Agriculture” 
Dr. Benno Pereira, Head, Department of Aquaculture, appreciated the team on the sincerity with which they worked and the interaction opportunity that was created between the students of the two countries. Mr. Vikas PA, subject matter specialist, KVK, Ernakulam, spoke on the immense opportunities that the concept holds for the students of Aquaculture and Industrial Fisheries. Chaya Nayak of Sweet Water Foundation, US, which is the organization transfering the technology to Kerala, proposed the vote of thanks.
The workshop was attended by faculty, students and research scholars from neighbouring institutions like the school of Industrial Fisheries, CUSAT, St. Teresas College and the Albertian Institute of Management studies.