July 22, 2011

News India Times

2 California Students Among 125 Edison Scholars
By a Staff Writer wo Indian-American students are among 125 Edison Scholars who will receive scholarships from Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Mission Group. Nandeet Mehta and Sahithi Rani, both of California, will receive up to $10,000 in scholarships, beginning with a $2,500 college scholarship that is renewable for three more years, the company website said. The 125 scholarships reflect the company’s landmark 125th anniversary this year. Mehta, 17, who graduated from Hemet High School in Hemet, Calif., on June 3, will be attending Villanova University in Pennsylvania, majoring in comprehensive science, his bio data on the website said. A recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and Scholar Athlete Award, Mehta was on his school’s tennis and swim teams. He volunteers at a senior care facility and a local hospital. In


The 125 scholarships reflect the company’s landmark 125th anniversary this year.

website. The scholars were selected from among more than 900 public and private high school seniors in 14 states. This year, for the first time, the number of awardees was expanded to include students in states where the company owns and operates facilities. Also, requirements were changed so recipients can attend any accredited United States university.

Nandeet Mehta

Sahithi Rani

2010, he volunteered at medical clinics and orphanage schools in Mumbai, teaching children to read and write. He was part of the California Scholarship Federation Club, the Key Club and was section leader for the school’s symphonic and marching bands. According to the website, Rani graduated from Upland High School in Upland, Calif., on June 9. The 17-year-old will be attending University of California at Berkeley with a major in biomedical engineering. Rani, who was born in southern India and

came to California as a child, is a National Merit Scholar, a silver medal winner at the County Science Fair, an AP scholar with honors and is on the principal’s honor roll. Her hobbies include singing, cooking, tennis, reading mystery novels and celebrating her Indian culture. “These students are among the best and brightest students in the country, and we are proud to support them as they embark on their future,” Theodore F . Craver Jr., chairman and CEO of Edison International, was quoted in the release on the company’s

Indian Team Ranks 10th in Vehicle Design Contest

South Asian Spelling Bee Goes to Chicago, Atlanta
By a Staff Writer


he 2011 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee continued its 10-city tour with events in the Chicago and Atlanta areas July 9 and 10. Turnout in was encouraging and the bee attracted some top talent as well as young and new spellers, organizers said in a press release. “This event is being recognized as the essential platform

to get your first experience and also meet and interact with veteran spellers,” Rahul Walia, founder of the contest, was quoted as saying. In Chicago, Mahati Vavilala from Novi, Mich., was declared the regional champ, while Taarak Shah from Plainfield, Ill., and Yasir Hasnain from Forsyth, Ill., were the first and second runners-up, respectively. In Atlanta, an addition to the list of contest sites, Stuti Mishra from West Melbourne, Fla., was

the regional champ and Vaidya Govindarajan from Miami, Fla., was first runner-up while Nilai Sarda from Marietta, Ga., was second runner-up. The winners received cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200, respectively, the release said. The top two winners plus a parent each will be given an allexpenses paid trip to New Jersey for the Aug. 12 finals. The contest will be telecast globally on Sony Entertainment Television-Asia.

By a Staff Writer team from Bangalore’s M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology came in 10th in a prestigious engineering design contest hosted June 8-11 by Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. The 19th annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition attracted 54 participants from all over the world; Team Moksha was the only team from India, according to a press release from Ramaiah Institute. The competition was conducted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and is one of the most prestigious outdoor unmanned ground vehicle competitions held across the world, the release said. Students were tasked with creating an autonomous vehicle capable of lane detection and following while avoiding obstacles in its path and reaching specified GPS coordinates without any


Winners of the South Asian Spelling Bee regionals in Chicago, from left, First Runner Up Taarak Shah of Plainfield, IL; Regional Champ Mahati Vavilala of Novi, Mich., and Second Runner Up Yasir Hasnain of Forsyth, IL with Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee.

obstruction. According to the release, students used sensors such as digital camera, sonar and GPS receivers in their design; data obtained from the sensors was sent to an on-board laptop where a C++ program was used to process it and provide instructions to guide the vehicle. The vehicle was powered by a 12 volt battery and had solar panels for self-charging. Students came up with several innovations, the release added, including the use of a new algorithm for image processing and a unique splitframe technology for the chassis. The overall cost for the project was $500,000 and was sponsored by MSRIT, Department of Technical Education, Government of Karnataka, and Ostrich Mobility Instruments Pvt. Ltd. According to the release, the project has various applications in military mobility, intelligent transportation systems and industrial manufacturing.

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