Bring A Difference Challenge 2019 is encouraging students to solve problems in their own backyard

BADC 2018 saw 250 participants who came up with 30 projects
Rishav, a student, has worked on a process to combine plastic waste and fly ash to develop the construction material like paver block and bricks | (Pic: CUTM)
Rishav, a student, has worked on a process to combine plastic waste and fly ash to develop the construction material like paver block and bricks | (Pic: CUTM)

Giving back to the community is something that every academic institution, be it a school or college, strives to inculcate in their students. Through the Community Action Learning (CAL) programme, Centurion University of Technology and Management has been teaching their students to give back to their community for a while now. The pioneer of this programme, Dr Amiya Singh, Dean of the School of Vocational Training, and team thought to themselves, why restrict this programme, which encourages students to go out to the community, find a problem and develop a solution for it with the help of Centurion faculty, to their university alone? Thus, with the second edition of Bring A Difference Challenge (BADC) 2019, Centurion has opened their doors and arms to every student who would like to do something for the greater good too.

Let's fix it: Every Saturday, Diploma (Electrical) students visit different homes and offer to fix their electrical appliances | (Pic: CUTM)

BADC 2019 is inviting students from all over India to participate. The aim is to identify a problem and apply with a solution by January 30. Upon selection, the students will travel to Centurion’s campus in Bhubaneswar in May and will be mentored by the faculty on how to go about solving the problem. “We are looking for problems that have scalability and a global context,” says Singh. He also recommends that students develop clarity in the form of a blueprint or a prototype of the solution. “The mindset of a competition is to find the first, second and third best ideas. But we want to take the ideas further and help them go back to the community,” he says. It’s all about applying knowledge to make something tangible that brings happiness not only to self, but the people around as well. But identifying problems itself is a problem. “Adults usually adjust to every environment.

There can be three students and one teacher in one team. Every participant will be given a consolation innovation kit  

So my advice would be, if you want to know what the problem is, ask a child,” says Singh. Students can participate in two categories. There is the junior category for students of class IX and X and the senior category is for students of class XI and XII. The best team can win funding of up to Rs 1 lakh and expert guidance for implementation. And there are other awards and opportunities to be won as well. “This could open up a world of opportunities for students” says Singh, adding that students can receive scholarships from Centurion.

Play time: Students developed environment enrichment for bears in a nearby zoo for their physical and mental exercise | (Pic: CUTM)

“My simple vision is that schools must be problem-solving centres for their own surroundings,” says Singh and this is their ultimate aim. In fact, he is recording the outcomes so that he can appeal to senior government officials to include this in all curricula so that students learn to do something for their own community.

Achievements of BADC 2018 - 
- Machine for making pens and pencils from waste paper
- Floor tiles and paver blocks from waste plastic
- Mushroom plastic from agriculture waste
- Environment enrichment for zoo animals 
- Bio-packing solutions from paddy straws

For more on them, click on

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