Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meri Jaan

Meri Jaan…

Great music…wonderful friends… laughter and goodwill…

When you just look around and wonder if it gets any better.

And then it does.

A wave of memories, a twinge of sadness…and a whole lot of pride…

A whole year in XLRI and I could never figure out why my seniors swayed to this one song with such abandon. I mean, it’s a song.

It’s also a legacy. It caught me unawares. But I sang with all my heart, meaning every word, cherishing every beat, holding on to the others, entranced like me. But it’s more than that. How many Xlers in the past connected over the same song? How many memories could a few notes evoke, differing in time but identical in spirit?

Such passion, such zest for an institution, for everything it stands for, for the times spent here and the times to come. Such respect for everyone I have known here and for all that they did and they are doing to give back, to make things that much better for the next lot.

So cheers to us…Each and every one of the faculty, batchmates, my seniors, my juniors and XLers all over. A toast to the good times, the not so good times, the friends, the learning and the unlearning. To XL!

Meri jaan…meri jaan…

- Harsha Khubchandani, BM '09

Friday, July 25, 2008

XLRI GMP students visit Uranium mines at Narwapahar

As a part of industry-institute interaction, the one year General Management Program at XLRI visited the Uranium mines of UCIL at Narwapahar, some 28 km from Jamshedpur on July 11, 2008. The session started with a brief introduction about UCIL, how the organization is at the forefront of Indian Nuclear program and how the safety of the miners is given a top priority.

It was followed by a half an hour video on how Narwapahan mines is at the forefront of technology. It is one of the most modern trackless mine in the country with a decline (7 degrees) to underground and ramp accesses to the slopes. The use of large diesel powered underground equipment results in high productivity, eliminating fatigue of workmen and provide good working environment. Respirators, ear-muffs, safety goggles are used by workers as protection against harmful exposures. Rubber aprons, gloves, helmets and gumboots are used by persons handling toxic materials and final product. Noise levels of different machinery are reduced by many engineering control measures. The presence of students who had significant work experience (greater than 5 years) at Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited made the discussion livelier. It was however sad to note that India is not blessed with sufficient Uranium and that the percentage of Uranium in the ore is only 0.065% approximately compared to close to 16% in mines of France and Canada.

This video session was followed by a visit to the Uranium mines. The visitors were given adequate protective gears which included knee-high rubber shoes, helmets and battery operated torches. They were led by an instructor who answered the numerous questions raised by the students. After descending down with the help of a cage, the first destination was at 295 m below the surface of the earth. The students were fascinated to see the tunnels and the illumination and the safety features present in the mines. There were heavy vehicles carrying ores and debris from one part of the mine to another. The instructor explained how the ore is transported for refinement from one point to another.

The next point was at 350 m below the surface. At this point, there were unmanned conveyor belts collecting the ore and transporting it to the crushing unit. After three stages of crushing, the ore undergoes two stages of wet grinding. The slurry thus obtained in then leached for dissolution of Uranium. The leached slurry is filtered to obtain liquid Uranium. The liquid is then precipitated from the concentrated liquor to form Magnesium Di-Uranate or “Yellow Cake”. This is the final product of Narwapahar mines. The students were awestruck by the fact that most of the operations were automated and that all these runs smoothly many meters below the surface of the earth.

The questions still followed. They ranged from Supply Chain Management, process control, maintaining high morale among the miners, Corporate Social Responsibility, safety of miners and the people who live in the nearby villages from radioactivity and so on. The students left the UCIL campus with a feeling that India would become a self reliant Nuclear power some day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Virtual Tour through XL Campus

While much is written about XL culture, bonding, activities, achievements, placements, rankings, etc, nothing much is online about the XL Campus...

A big gap, since XL Campus has changed over last 10 - no, 5- no,actually even last 1 year or so...

To fill up this gap, here is a Virtual Tour through XLRI Campus
(Note: you can manage the slide transition by taking the curser to the bottom of the photo)