A diploma in school days !

Dear friends

I would like to share my experience at Sirius center, Sochi, Russia where I had attended a first-of-its-kind diploma program on deep technologies from Nov 28 – Dec 8,  2019. This opportunity of having a training in Sochi, Sirius Russia came my way only after I participated in ATL marathon 2018 and was shortlisted among the top 100 project teams. Honestly neither me nor my parents or even my teachers had dreamt of this opportunity when I participated in ATL marathon. My project, cAquaculture for Indian aqua farmers was a very complex one compared to all the other entries in the marathon. It is also mainly aligning to 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations.

It was indeed a proud moment for my parents, my school and me when I was selected to be a part of a pan-India 25 member student delegation to Russia on a first-of-its-kind collaborative educational program. This was soon after I completed my internship in IBM, it was indeed a bonanza for me.

I was one of the two from Telangana to get selected into the delegation. The selection was by an online interview by the AIM officials.

Even though it was a tiring journey via Delhi and Moscow, the novelty made it a pleasure. I made many new friends and some of them were from the IBM internship team as well.

What I liked about Russia that it is a very disciplined country, with a small population and they are technologically very advanced. We were assigned mentors from within Sirius’s  team as well as lead technical heads from other Russian institutes such as BioCAD and Skoltech.

I had selected the Drones and Robotics category from the 5 focus areas of training. As a part of our final project, we devised a way to automate processes at  tea plantation with the help of robots and image classification.

The cherry on the top of the ice-cream, at Sirius was that, we had an opportunity to meet the president of Russia, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. I feel proud that ours was one of the two projects he visited to understand more about it. He congratulated all of us and wished us good luck in all our future endeavors.

At Sirius campus, We were put up in the student dormitory and were treated to fruit juices, bread and salads every 3 hours. It was a very well planned training as we always looked forward to our next activity daily. My longing for Indian food was not sustained for long as we were busy with new activities in the lab or in the field.

Now I have an experience of how working abroad feels like with the immigration clearance procedures, language translation work around and the disciplined attitude one must have. I felt good about their teaching style which is more practical oriented and prompts us to think more and learn by ourselves.

Throughout the 10 days, the only problem we faced was that nobody but a handful in the Sirius team spoke English! We had a mentor who would help us in understanding things there, however we made good use of software translators and made work around.

The last day of our trip was reserved for sightseeing. We went to the snow capped mountain peaks and visited few important destinations like the Kremlin Palace and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. I would have clicked close to 2000 photos during our entire trip.

This time I got a chance to make Russian friends and we presented mementos to our mentors before we left. All in all it was an amazing learning experience for me. Participating in the Atal Tinkering Innovation Marathon 2018 has been a good kick start to my career goals.

I would like to request all parents to not kill their children’s innate creativity by pushing them to be what he/she is not interested in. I wish that many more young minds should be allowed to unleash their creativity and they should think of ideas to better the humanity and the world.

Innovation must go on because,  “You can’t use up creativity” and creativity is the basis of innovation!



Follow me on Instagram @abhinavudupi to view few of the photos from the trip