The Bentley Systems, a leading company dedicated to provide comprehensive and innovative software solutions for infrastructure, together with the Union Ministry of Science & Technology, declared Manava Bharti India International School, Panchsheel,as the winner of the 2008-09 Future Cities India 2020 competition held in Delhi recently, reports Jeet Singh.

Announcing the winner amidst standing ovation from the audience and participants alike, the Global Director BE Careers, Scott Lofgren, said the contest, which is in its third year, is an amazing venture among multiple bodies including government, universities, and business community to encourage and inspire young minds to opt for careers in infrastructure designing and engineering professions. It inspires students and budding engineers to utilize their mental capabilities and designing skills together with Bentley’s software to help prepare India’s cities for the year 2020, a time when country’s over 50 percent population is expected to live in country’s largest urban clusters.

He said adding that the current year’s challenge focused on the Indian Railways’ plan to reshape and rehabilitate the country’s decades old railway stations into world-class facilities. Student teams submitted their conceptual designs for the modernization of the New Delhi railway station, the first among 22 stations which are currently on the country’s redevelopment roadmap schedule.

Bentley's Future Cities India 2020 Contest
Speaking to NBM&CW on the sidelines of the ceremony, Scott Lofgren admitted that Future Cities India 2020 contest proved a very successful venture as we have been able to engage the finest, young and budding engineering minds in designing models and projects of world class infrastructure to improve the quality of life in our cities. The competition has inculcated and encouraged students to develop, design and integrate the functionality of their ideas while focusing interest in mathematics, science, engineering, architecture and facility planning using real world data to develop conceptual solution to real world problems.

“For the third year in a row the student participants in the Future Cities India 2020 competition have demonstrated an unmatched, unfailing and unwavering desire to concentrate on task and delivered quality projects aimed at sustaining India’s cities. We are delighted to be a part of this wonderful program,” Scott claimed.

Not just in India, the program has a world-wide focus with Bentley personnel promoting over 50 software titles ranging from architecture, civil geospatial, plant, water and structural engineering disciplines at the university and school level in over 40 countries. Our focus is to pay back to society, by helping future engineers with their development in the engineering fields, is in line with the Bentley’s declared aim and image of extending service to others, he said.

About the impact of global financial crisis on his company’s India plan, he clarified that the prevailing credit crunch has impacted every business across sectors, particularly those engaged in infrastructure and construction, including Bentley system. But it is a temporary phase and we have taken initiatives to minimize its impact. Moreover, such trying times provide opportunities to reinvent ourselves and explore new avenues to boost business and that the recent financial stimulus offered by the Indian government will go a long way to boost construction and infrastructure industries, which were finding it tough to raise funds to complete their pending projects.

The Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Kapil Sibal, in his message to the participants said “We had a number of stunning submissions this year that married provocative design with pragmatic functionality to better serve the city’s burgeoning population. As has been the case for the past two Future Cities competitions, choosing a winner was extremely difficult. In the end, the judges chose Manava Bharti India International School, Panchsheel, and I congratulate the team members. They have shown an extreme foresight in their design and have proven that they fully understand the pressing need for more sustainable, high performing infrastructure to improve the lives of our citizens.”

”By exposing young minds to engineering and designing, we are grooming the next generation of infrastructure professionals, and giving them an opportunity to contribute to our society now” he added.

Senior vice-president, Bentley Software, Bhupinder Singh, in a statement said that the participating students in the competition have once again demonstrated remarkable acumen, insight and imagination in developing conceptual infrastructure designs that effectively addressed real world problems that people of India currently confronting. Their maturity and resolve in tackling tough challenges beyond their years have set an example for all of us to imbibe.

Commenting on the winning team’s experience during the five-month competition, team leader Shwetank Chaudhry, said, “It is an honor to contribute to the future of our country through this exciting and difficult competition. We faced the challenge, but all the students gave their best in designing their projects, as such, no team had an advantage over the other. This makes winning more wonderful giving life time experience to all the talented competitors.”

Bentley's Future Cities India 2020 Contest
The Future Cities India 2020 competition consisted of 15 student teams representing 14 high schools. Teachers and industry mentors guided each team in designing a project to rehabilitate the New Delhi railway station. Using Bentley software, students designed a world-class railway station to accommodate the country’s growing number of commuters, while keeping in mind the concerns of the surrounding infrastructure and all environmental sustainability issues.

A distinguished panel of experts from India’s infrastructure community judged the project presentations based on three requirements: using the existing land and infrastructure to the best advantage, accommodating internal access zones, with separate parking lots at Paharganj and Ajmeri Gate terminals, and using environmentally responsible materials.

Bentley, through its Be Careers Network program, provided software products and solutions to the students and trained them, with the assistance of the industry mentors, in their use. It helps students to graduate with the technological skills needed for the current infrastructure professions, including civil engineering and architectures. It also motivates students, teachers and schools by making available free and discounted software licenses, training, curriculum counseling and scholarships.
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