Leveraging his love for STEM helped him solve contemporary problems

Shantanu loves science and technology, and believes that engineering is as much about imagining the future as it is about solving societal problems. This is reflected in the projects he has pursued over the last couple of years, and is also highlighted in his university applications.

He learned Java and Python through online courses. His interest in electronics led him to develop a gesture-based controller for a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV). Shantanu created an inexpensive system to estimate various pollutants in canals and made the data accessible through an app for local villagers in Punjab, to build awareness of fertiliser usage. An agriculture intensive state, Punjab faced a cancer health threat from excessive use of chemical fertilisers.

At age 15, Shantanu also started a social initiative with the aim of providing underprivileged children opportunities for holistic development. Growing up in different air force bases shaped Shantanu’s thoughts and ambitions. Living in big cities and small towns across India and abroad made him question the hierarchy that existed between children of air force staff and civilian workers. Unhappy with the discrimination and disparity in opportunities to socialise and learn, he started “Sparsh” – organising games, talent shows and producing short films. Sparsh grew into a community with rural women artisans using an e-commerce portal to generate income for themselves.

Shantanu is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at NYU-Abu Dhabi, which he feels is a great melting pot of culture and diversity. He is looking forward to new experiences and is passionate about learning photonics and optoelectronics to improve modern devices and change the way we communicate.

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