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“PERMANENT PASSENGERS” – Can Self-Driving Cars Realize the Concept?

Imagine you need to reach somewhere, you get into your car and either type in or speak up the location’s detail and your car drives you to it, all on its own while you rest, read, sleep; watch a movie in the backseat, etc. Self-Driving Vehicle (cars, buses, trucks, etc. which operates autonomously without human intervention while following each and every traffic rule safely and efficiently) is clearly an elusive concept till today. In spite of so many claims by the world’s leading Giants in the automotive field, we are yet to experience driverless transportation at the public level around us. Guardian predicted in 2015 that we will be “Permanent Backseat Drivers” by 2020. Many declarations were made, indicating the introduction of millions of driverless cars by 2020. These predictions were backed by Automotive Giants like General Motors, Tesla, Honda, Toyota, Google’s Waymo, etc. but we still don’t see anything revolutionary improvement happening in this direction….or Do we? This article will discuss briefly Self driving Cars: Leading developers, concept, technology, reality, and future.

Shoshana Zuboff, an American author, scholar and former Professor at Harvard Business School, claimed almost three decades ago that:

“Everything that can be automated will be automated”

It is only now that we came to see how precisely she predicted future technology. With everything being automated how can the automobile sector have fallen behind? With the introduction of the concept: Autonomous navigation- as early as in 1920, some practical projects were presented in the 1980s that were judged to be very promising. Since then, almost every automotive Megacorp has been working with utmost dedication to realize the concept of “Self-Driving Vehicles”. Google’s WAYMO division and General Motors’ CRUISE division are two names that are much more serious than others like Tesla, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Uber, Volvo, Ford, Nuro, Zoox, Argo, Jaguar, etc. , in the field of Autonomous public vehicles. According to an article by Kelsey Piper titled “It’s 2020. Where are our self-driving cars?”, WAYMO drove around 1.2 million miles in 2018 alone with a total distance traveled is more than 20 million miles of the driverless journey. CRUISE also competes closely with around half a million miles driven per year and improving. Though we have not yet achieved a concrete breakthrough in this field Engineering teams are putting in extraordinary efforts to fulfill their vision of Autonomous Navigation.

Read Also: Mechanical Engineering: Why and How?

Now let us delve more into the technology and concept of driverless navigation. Essentially, general automobile designs incorporate sensors and soft wares based on Artificial Intelligence and computer numerical control to navigate, control, and drive the vehicle safely on roads. These vehicles are capable of generating a personal map of their surroundings by using sensors or an array of sensors based on RADAR technology, LASER beam technology, high powered cameras, SONARS, etc. The inputs obtained through these sensors are then fed to the controlling software that plots the actual path for the vehicle and provides commands to different actuators. Actuators are the Electro-Mechanical elements that control different vehicle operations like breaking, accelerating, steering, etc. Algorithms or Rule base dealing with Target acquisition, obstacle avoidance, predictive modeling, and ‘Smart’ object discrimination helps the vehicle to navigate safely through the traffic. Another feature of ‘Connected’ vehicles is quite famous nowadays in this era of ‘Internet of Things’ in which one vehicle is able to communicate with other vehicles/s. Mechatronics plays an important role there. B. Tech in Mechanical engineering with specialization in Mechatronics and Machine learning is required for the clarification of the concept of self-driving cars.

At this juncture, we need to know the levels of Autonomy present and our achieved level. Engineering Researchers and data researches have given 6 levels on which Autonomy is described. Level ‘0’ indicates manual driving and no automation at all. Level ‘1’ highlights a single function being controlled at a time like automatic breaking or Cruise control along with the presence of a human for safe driving. Level ‘2’ also needs a human for most of the driving but with at least 2 functions being controlled at a time like acceleration and steering. Level ‘3’ autonomous vehicles drive by themselves for a certain period but it’s required for a human to take over under critical situations. Level ‘4’ vehicles will drive completely on their own in certain pre-defined driving scenarios. At last, level ‘5’ indicates the apex of Autonomy in which the vehicle is completely capable of driving under every possible situation. As of now, we are freely using level ‘3’ vehicles with great success, level ‘4’ vehicles are under testing phase and engineers are facing legal and safety issues and it is being foretold that they will be released for public use soon. Level ‘5’ vehicles are still a concept only and a lot more years are required for mechanical and computer science engineers to roll on the roads.

There are many levels at which this technology will impact our society. Innovation and creativity are required for the wellbeing and upliftment of society. It all comes through practice and SGT University organizes SYNERGY Techfest every year to promote technical skills and creativity through multidisciplinary projects. Safety, help to elderly or differently-abled people, efficient use of fuel and less wear and tear of automotive parts, cheaper options for people who don’t own cars, etc. are some pros of Self-Driven cars. But there are always risks involved with any new technology that embarks. In this case, the main concerns are replacing human drivers (unemployment), safety from hackers, an increase in consumption of fuels due to an increase in miles driven, legal and federal laws formulation to govern the working of Autonomous vehicles, etc. Nowadays AIML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) is the required track with all the branches of engineering. SGT University offers B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering with mechatronics and machine learning. After a critical analysis of the merits and demerits, we can come to a general solution that any new technology comes with its dangers but we always work out ways to refine it and mold it to our benefit. At last, it will be unjust not to mention that Artificial Intelligence technology is the most important factor on which the Self-Driven cars rely upon. With the recent advancements in AI, we are getting closer and closer to our goal of fully automating everything around us (Whatever benefits us). Due to the fact that driving on our roads with high reliability is still a tedious and complex task for present AI tools, many of us have developed skeptical thinking towards the success or applicability of this technology. But recent advancements in AI technology have promised a slow but steady pace of improvement in the Autonomous navigation arena. Therefore in spite of many skeptics doubting the success of this technology, one thing is clear that technology will always find a way to improve, impact, and change our way of living.

Monika Deshwal
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department
SGT University

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Role of Physiotherapy in Cardiopulmonary Conditions

When someone talks about the rehabilitation of cardiopulmonary conditions, the specialists which come forward are the cardiopulmonary physical therapist. Cardiopulmonary physiotherapy is an area of physiotherapy that specializes in the prevention, rehabilitation, and restoration of patients with diseases of lungs and heart.

The patient having cardiopulmonary diseases suffer from breathlessness, increased sputum production, a decrease in gas exchanges, reduced exercise capacity and increased fatigue, chest pain, etc.  The Cardiopulmonary therapist helps the patients to overcome the physical and functional impairment, activity limitations, and participation restrictions due to the impairments of structures and functions of the cardiovascular and pulmonary system. They also play a significant role in the management of various conditions such as Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and many more.

The core component of cardiopulmonary physiotherapy interventions is exercise prescriptions. There are various methods and techniques which are used in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation viz. deep breathing exercises, breathing facilitation exercises, percussions and vibrations, coughing, mobility assistance, and individually tailored exercises, etc. Through these techniques a cardiopulmonary physical therapist can help patients to reduce breathlessness, increase functional capacity, reduce the exacerbations of conditions and thereby reduce the number of hospital admissions; it also enhances mental wellbeing and improves the quality of life.

There are various settings where the cardiopulmonary physical therapist are helpful for the patients to improve quality of life such as ICU, indoor and outdoor patient department, home care, clinics and rehabilitation  In intensive care unit (ICU) where some patients are on a ventilator, there are chances of accumulations of secretions in lungs, decrease oxygenation. In this setting, the physical therapist helps to improve ventilation, facilitate removal of secretions, and improve management of shortness of breath for better function. The patient education and interventions related to corrections of breathing patterns are done through various breathing techniques and manual therapy such as chest percussion and vibrations to mobilize secretions.

In outpatients and rehabilitation clinics individualized education related to the patient’s condition, how to respond in case of increased symptoms, and graded exercise training in form of endurance, resistance, and respiratory muscle training is provided to maximize the patient’s functional level.

During this pandemic COVID-19, the cardiopulmonary therapist has a significant role, as the person with COVID -19 presents with respiratory symptoms like pneumonia and breathlessness and fever. The therapist provides breathing retraining and helps to remove secretions and reduces acute respiratory distress like symptoms.

Dr. Sonia Pawaria
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Physiotherapy
SGT University

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Thank God Corona is Here

India as a nation when jolted with Corona, was not the sweet healthy wholesome creamy bowl of milk that got inadvertently curdled by accidental add of a cup of lemon juice. Although this was an incident that made a roaring entry into the pages of history, for the world, definitely with disastrous consequences, Indians may finally remember and presently treat it is as one of the troubles in the long list, few of the constituents of which are exclusive for us.

At least Corona is not one of them, it was shared between all, in the world, irrespective of being the third world (third class?), developing (forever), brown or whatever prejudices, we as a nation have become accustomed to. This Virus actually has opened a new world of realization for us as a nation, a society, a family, and an individual.

As a nation, we have created an image of ourselves so low and substandard that even our goals to progress would be to become like one of our western neighbours. Have you ever heard of – the newly developed suburbs of Gurugram is so good that it looks almost like Europe!! Why such reluctance to give credit to ourselves. This is an era to shorten the gap. All the money, infrastructure, and manufacturing capacities were found lacking, with the realization that probably there is nothing forever.

How surprising is the ubiquitous presence of the single objective of parents, Indian education system, and society at large for their children, which is – to make them learned enough to finally get different citizenship, even at a cost of not seeing them ever again! One of my friends will repeatedly introduce the youngest son being so “useless” that he could nor go and work abroad, of course not giving any credit for being with the oldies at times of sickness and calamities like, say… COVID! What made them move back, during the pandemic in such large numbers? Wasn’t one of the reasons for them being there was the better capacity of their preferred nation to fight such rough patches. The virus has made people realize why earlier or maybe still in a few places people prefer to live in joint families and what is the importance of the institution of Marriage. The real difference between “globalization” and being “self-reliant”. Does globalization always have an element of loss of self-reliance? There is a difference between “Need” and “Creation of market.”

Is the word Marketing, all about the ability to sell a product to someone who actually doesn’t need it? If this is untrue how is the world’s economy going into catastrophe while all individuals are still consuming their necessities? Is the word “Development” actually an ethical coat for “How to extract more from nature to fulfill the created needs”. Many predict the future world will have lesser trades and movements between different parts of the world, so we should try to become self-sufficient for our needs (basic- right). Does that only mean, to produce all that you need by yourself or there is some element of the concept that you never required “That Thing” from the other end of the world, so stop considering it as your need? And to clear up those doubts here is a trial of survival with lockdown, thanks to Corona.

Wasn’t “Happiness” was misquoted as “Development” which was further defined by all “Created needs”. Isn’t COVID era is the time to realize the actual happiness is probably having more of family life, the payback time for the oldies, perusing all that you couldn’t due to lack of time, spend time for your fitness and spiritual health, work from home – which actually never required to travel 3 hours a day to reach a hired space, to be able to help someone in need, to talk to friends and relatives with all the time in hand. That is to find the contentment and peace of mind as a perfect recipe for happiness rather than an increase in salary that we longed for. How else but the presence of Corona would have made us realize this, maybe this is the way Mother Nature teaches us a lesson. Thank God Corona is here…

Dr. Supriya Gupta
Assistant  Professor
Department of Shalya Tantra
Faculty of Indian Medical System
SGT University

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Imparting Legal Education by Conventional Vs. Virtual Classroom Method

The current pandemic brought numerous jurisdictions observed lockdown (partial or complete), has advanced people to switch to technology. This has culminated in the need for digitalization and the promotion of virtual means. The education sector is not aloof to this trend. Perhaps, this sector has been forthcoming in using virtual means to teach, educate people, more so connected to masses.

The virtual classroom may be understood with Plato’s proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. The imperative need to adopt and function classrooms virtually has been felt lately. It can be opined that unprecedented pandemic has triggered the necessity to work with virtual or digital technology.

In so far as continuing with virtual classroom education in times of this unprecedented pandemic, it raises profound issues of digital illiteracy, limited resources, privacy, or IPR issues. Nonetheless, besides these obstacles, one essential aspect of the virtual learning-education system is the absence of non-verbal communication. Conventional classroom education has a major contribution from nonverbal communication i.e. non-linguistic means. It includes kinesthetic, paralanguage, haptics, olfactory, chronemics forms of expression that not supplement verbal communication but enrich the whole learning process.

A vital question proliferates, as a consequence of the unprecedented situation, whether conventional classroom education is replaced by non-conventional or the virtual classroom. Even more pertinent contention is the significance of nonverbal education imparted to law students. Can advocacy skills be imparted through nonconventional or the virtual classroom?

Distinctly, the black letter law can be taught by a virtual classroom. Black letter law refers to the basic principles of law, generally known and are devoid of dispute or doubt.

There is a plethora of e-books, articles, literature, lectures, videos, webinars, etc. accessible online that facilitates the teaching of the black letter law.

However, the core concern of imparting and inculcating advocacy skills through virtual classrooms exists. Legal education is an amalgamation of black letter law, personality development, practical and clinical learning that results in incumbent law professionals. Their learning is guided and supported by one’s advocacy skills, which is indeed very personal and individualistic. Albeit, this skill is built, developed, and nurtured in the course of every law programme. There are moot courts that build and brush the advocacy skills of a law student.

It may be noted that under the Bar Council of India, Rules on Legal Education, moot court exercise is of mammoth part of legal education. The Rules delineates the need and functioning of moot court exercise in law programmes.

The unprecedented pandemic has impelled academia to devise mechanisms to conduct classroom education and practical or pilot study virtually.

Moreover, an endeavor has been made by many varsities to conduct moot court competitions online. However, it takes one back to the point that does legal education rely on conventional education which in turn involves building advocacy skills in law students, in so far as nonverbal communication is inseparable.

The author is of the view that the seeds of advocacy skills can be sowed by the conventional classroom method because they include inter alia nonverbal communication.

A cursory perusal of qualities that an advocate ought to possess, suggested by Judge Edward Abbott Parry in his book The Seven Lamps of Advocacy (1923) resonates with the aforementioned view. One of the seven lamps of advocacy is the skill or the quality of eloquence. Justice E. Abbott Parry prescribed eloquence as one of the qualities of an Advocate because advocacy skill involves the skillful use of language, effective communication to convince the Bench. Even though the other qualities which are honesty, courage, wit, judgment, fellowship, and industry stand at the same level that of eloquence. The term eloquence does not restrict to way and fluency of speaking or the language used, it is more than that. It can be understood as expressing and communicating lucidly and effectively, be it drafting or oral arguments or submissions. The tone and tenor, the body language, the gestures, the expression of an advocate can be game-changer. Ergo, the conventional mode of legal education cannot be replaced or even substantiated by virtual education completely.

The new-age virtual teaching methodology will supplement conventional classroom training and education. Legal experts across jurisdictions can deliberate and disseminate their proficient knowledge to law students or professionals at the click of a button.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that virtual mode will play an assertive role in the overall educational system. It has emerged a new way of virtual education that will progress to the use of artificial intelligence that is devoid of emotional intelligence.

This virtual system might be the need of the hour however, it will not be able to replace the human interface in terms of their personal touch, sensitivity, emotions, tackling, convincing, negotiating, etc. It can, therefore, be concluded that conventional education systems are not inconsequential for professional courses like law and perhaps for the medical field.

Anchal Mittal
Faculty of Law
SGT University

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Role of Physiotherapy in Women Health Care

Did you understand that there are Physiotherapists who focus on women’s health care? Sadly it’s a nicely kept secret and plenty of women only find out approximately these professional offerings after problems start occurring, after childbirth or after a referral from their doctors.

According to research statistics Indian consensus, almost 48.5% of the total population is females, with 48.1% stays in urban and 48.6% in rural areas. Due to current lifestyle or work-related issues illnesses are increasing in female population leading to a range of complex health issues like Knee arthritis, Back pain, Pregnancy-related complications, Pelvic floor dysfunction, Obesity, PCOD, Injury, Trauma or illness and the most important of all the lifestyle changes associated with the normal physiological process- middle and old age, Menstruation, Menopause, Osteoporosis significantly affects the women’s body at alarming hormonal changes. Most of the women assume that this is a normal process and they should adapt themselves accordingly and continue with their routines as very little can be done. In many instances, that is not the case. Many Government and private organizations have now become active in providing the women health by many awareness programs to rural as well as urban areas.

Physiotherapy defined as a treatment method that focuses on the science of movement and helps people to restore, maintain, and maximize their physical strength, function, motion, and overall well being by addressing various physical issues. Keeping women’s health care in mind Physiotherapy has added another horizon of achievement in its branches by playing a vital role in women’s health care.  It has increased its role in health care concerns with females across their life spans and has shown great results in all age groups showing benefits from the various rehabilitation programs.

Women’s Health Care Physiotherapy aims at the assessment and planned therapeutic treatment specific to various health problems affecting women of all age groups, with complete knowledge of the physiological differences and the impact of hormonal changes on their well being. Considering the various health concerns of women are as widespread as the role of women themselves in all phases of life and can include everyone from young athletes to postmenopausal women. Most women can attest that we are just built differently than men. From differences in hormones to the unique stresses from pregnancy, our bodies go through a lot in a lifetime.  A physiotherapist understands this and many will be surprised that a physio works with many female related disorders these are;

  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Mensuration related disorders
  • Pre and Post pregnancy physiotherapy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • PCOD
  • Obesity-related ailments like back pain or knee pain
  • Frequent Urination
  • Loss of bladder /bowel control when laughing or sneezing
  • Weakened core strength

A thorough assessment and well-designed exercise program by a physiotherapist is required to prevent these health issues in women across the life span. Numerous exercises and techniques to treat conditions specific to women like muscle training -improving muscle patterns and Strengthening weak pelvic floor muscles, Exercise therapy helping improve endurance, flexibility strength and mobility, Manual therapy focuses on soft tissue and joints mobility and Electrotherapy modalities like electrical stimulation, Therapeutic ultrasound, etc to reduce pain and stiffness.

Women Physiotherapy Health Care empowers women to recognize how their bodies work and take charge of their well being.”

Dr. Priyanka Rishi
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Physiotherapy
SGT University

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Current Concept of Public Health Optometry

Public Health Optometry is an art and science of preventing visual impairment and promoting visual health through organized efforts and informed choices of society.

The objective of public health optometry is based on the principles of reaching out to those in need and providing them help, making use of local resources, and providing services to the areas which may or may not have regular access to services.

allied health science image

The public health optometry program not only provides access to eye care but also addresses social and economic barriers that prevent these groups of patients from accessing services. It is also an opportunity to educate the community on eye care and address conditions such as cataract, refractive errors, and diabetic eye diseases. So outreach visits need to be planned, to respond to the need of the local area, and may have a particular focus e.g. identification of cataract cases, screening of refractive error and refraction, and provision of spectacles.

As we know the prevalence of visual impairment is increasing across the globe, with more burdens on the developing world. Research has shown that the prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are increasing day by day in developing countries and the need for public health optometrist is huge for early detection of ocular complications for these conditions.

Despite considerable efforts in many developing countries, through National Blindness Prevention Programmes, the global number of blind and visually impaired seems to be growing, mainly as an effect of population increase and aging.

A large number of visually impaired people in a country denote poor socio-economic development and an inefficient eye care service in the country. About 80-90% of the blindness is either curable or preventable. The planning and implementation of appropriate eye care services in a country need evidence generated from the population.

Cataract stands out as the first priority among the major causes of visual impairments. Thus there is a need to drastically increase the number of cataract surgeries in the developing world. Refractive errors and Low vision constitute another priority in terms of visual impairment. There is an enormous need globally for spectacles and low vision devices. Emphasis on the public health optometry coverage by covering diseases other than cataracts like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, corneal opacity, and childhood blindness, etc. needs immediate attention to eliminate avoidable blindness.

The global initiative is still in its planning phase, but there is clearly recognized a need for a global awareness campaign to sensitize decision-makers and health care providers as to the rationale and great benefit of prevention of visual impairment. That is why a strong partnership between all those working for the prevention of visual impairments is essential for optimal utilization of resources available today and in the future.

Together Let us empower and enable the visually impaired.

Surender Bondwal
Lecturer Optometry
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences

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Impact of Covid on Education System

Coronavirus Infectious diseases 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory syndrome first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and since then has spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic all across the globe. the common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste; The virus is primarily spread between the people during close contacts. As of May 16, 2020, more than 4.56 million cases have been reported across 188 countries and territories&more than 3,08,000 deaths; Although the Recovery rate is more than 1.64 million people.

With the huge spread of disease, in the second week of March, state governments across the country began shutting down all the public places where there are chances of gathering and possibility of spread of the virus. These places include schools, colleges, offices, spiritual places, restaurants, cafes, gyms, and many other social gatherings places. Only the places that provide necessary services are allowed to stay open such as grocery stores, hospitals, medical stores, etc. The imposed shutdown is temporarily measured to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus& now it is close to a few months now and there is no certainty when the lockdown will be lifted. It is quite a crucial time for all the sectors as it is not only affecting the health of the people but also triggers the nervous system in the human body and adversely affects the economy of the country.

Read Also: Future of Education System Amidst Covid 19

One of the great impacts of Covid-19 is on the education sector of the country. Board examinations, nursery school admissions, entrance tests of various universities and competitive examinations, others, are being held during this period. As the days are passing by with no immediate solution to stop this outbreak, the closure of school and university is hugely affecting the learning across the country. The structure of the education system i.e. learning methodology, teaching techniques &assessment methodologies, are quite affected and result in a shift to online education with most focus on virtual education to accomplish the set aims and objectives. But only a handful of schools and universities could adopt such methods and the low-income private and government school are quite inefficient to adopt the same, thus resulting in a shutdown. Not only the school, but the pandemic has also significantly disrupted the higher education sector as well, which is a critical determinant of a country’s economic future.

Also, the employment rate had a huge fall due to the spreading disease. Recent graduates in India are fearing the withdrawal of job offers for cooperates because of the current ongoing economic crises. The centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s estimates on unemployment shot up from 8.4% in mid-March to 23% in April and the urban unemployment rate to 30.9%. The pandemic has transformed the centuries of old teaching methods, chalk-talk teaching model to one driven by technology. To overcome the increasing interruption in the education system during Covid-19, some possible alternatives or solutions can be used which includes the help of power supply, digital skills of teachers and students, internet connectivity, it is necessary to explore digital learning, distance learning program can be included, provide support for digitalization to teachers and students.  This disruption in the delivery of education is pushing policymakers to figure out how to drive engagement at the teaching level while ensuring inclusive e-learning solutions and tackling the digital divide. Therefore, it is impossible to ignore that technology plays a crucial role in the educational system and the demand for the current situation. In this time of crisis, a well-rounded and effective educational practice is what is needed for the capacity-building of young minds. It will develop skills, which will lead to their employability, productivity, health, and well-being in the decades to come, and ensure the overall progress of the student as well as of India.

Ms. Ruby Yadav
Asst. Professor
Faculty of Education

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