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Child scientist Mustafa Ahmed brings laurels
Pankaj Borthakur
 JORHAT, Jan 1 - In an encouragement news for the State, a Class viii student of the Cinnamora Higher Secondary School of Jorhat has been placed among the top 16 extraordinary child-scientists of the nation, after his innovative project of scientific seed storage system was selected as having ‘extraordinary merit project’ along with 15 other projects at the national level competition of the 23rd National Children Science Congress (NCSC) at Chandigarh.

Though 25 child-scientists of the State were selected for participation at the national-level science project competition, only Mustafa Ahmed’s project was listed among the top 16 projects at the NCSC, 2015 which concluded on the Chandigarh University premises on Thursday.

“My project will provide safe storage of various kinds of seeds as no moth can damage them if preserved in it. Scientists at the NCSC asked several questions which I answered properly,” said the 13 year-old Mustafa Ahmed.

He said that more than 600 child scientists from various States participated in the competition at the NCSC, which was held from December 27 to 31 at the Chandigarh University.

In a telephonic interaction with this correspondent, he said that biology and physics are two subjects in which he is most interested and which he wanted to study extensively, along with practical experiments in school and laboratories.

Asked about the uniqueness of his project, Mustafa said that his innovative technique of using bamboo, straw, chalk, knotgrass in the storage system of seeds proved to be a unique organic mechanism which can store any kind of seeds of rice and pulses. “No moth can damage the seeds if stored inside the device. I think the farmers of our State will be immensely benefited from it,” he said.

Narrating the help of his project-guide, Bhagaban Barua, Mustafa said that he was deeply motivated by the simple but innovative techniques of his guide, who had provided necessary suggestions to several child-scientists at Jorhat in the past few years. It is pertinent to mention that along with Barua and many other teachers and officials, the district coordinator of the Children’s Science Congress, Budhin Dutta also inspired him immensely.

The State director of the Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC), Dr Arup Kumar Misra said that Mustafa’s talent and success will inspire the young talents of the State in future.

“His innovative project has been selected among the 16 extraordinary merit projects. He is the only child-scientist of the State to achieve this kind of great success in this year’s NCSC,” said Dr Misra.

He said that the Department of Science and Technology of the Central Government would provide facilities for further research and development to Mustafa and 15 other child-scientists at prestigious institutes like the IITs as their innovative projects were selected as projects of extraordinary merit in the national-level competition of NCSC, 2015.

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