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From A Beginner To A Pro At Embedded Systems – My Tryst With Core Electronics

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In December 2017, the head of the Electronics Department at my university forwarded an email to the students which stated that eTrans Solutions Private Limited was looking for an intern to work on its new NVR project. The organisation has a full-fledged embedded systems lab in Kolkata, where it designs GPS units and customises RF and ePOS technologies. It was the perfect opportunity for me to grab my first technical internship, so I requested the HOD to forward my resume.

Akansha Rai, a student of Jadavpur University, narrates her experience as an intern at eTrans Solutions Private Limited.

Once the initial screening was completed, a face-to-face interview was scheduled with the heads of the Research and Development, and the Software and Firmware departments. There were moments during the interview when my nervousness kicked up, and I felt as if I was in an ancient Greek amphitheatre, not knowing which side the attacks would come from! They asked me all sorts of questions ranging from hardware to coding problems. They asked me which domain I would be interested to work in, and I expressed my interest in embedded programming. They inquired about my knowledge of C and C++ programming and asked me to write a few short pieces of code. They also asked questions related to analogue and digital electronics along with electromagnetic theory.

The interview went quite well, but a blow landed when they informed me that they wanted interns to join immediately. I was dejected because I was looking for a summer internship and thought that I’d have to search for another internship even though I had my heart set on this. I was certain that my dream of doing an industrial technical internship would have to be put on hold, however, two days later, I got an email from the Human Resources saying that I’d been selected for their summer internship and I would be working on ‘Sensor Integration’ in NVR. I waited eagerly for my semester to end; I was dying to be able to say, “I will be late for the office! Gotta go!” Finally, it was my first day, and I was experiencing a whole range of emotions by the time I reached the office. With mixed feelings of nervousness, excitement, and fear, I started my day with a PIC microcontroller that needed to be programmed. I drew a blank; I was just a second-year student who couldn’t even tell the difference between a microcontroller and microprocessor. I asked my manager for help and studied the concepts of microcontrollers the entire day. I tried to glean all the necessary information I could from the internet, and by the end of the day, I successfully programmed PIC for LED blinking.

I was the youngest person at work, and initially, I felt slightly awkward but everyone there was extremely warm and welcoming, so I settled in easily. During my internship, I was a part of several projects and had a concrete hands-on learning experience with the opportunities that the field of electronics offers. I worked on the GPS-IoT platform primarily and integrated the host of sensors (like temperature, humidity, infrared, pressure, etc.) to collect different parameters, concerned with assets in various forms, to improve and control the assets’ life cycles. I also tested a soil sensor which calculated the percentage of moisture in the soil. My final project was about interfacing a GPS Module with ARM Cortex. This internship made me proficient in working with PIC microcontrollers, ARM Cortex-M3, GPS Quectel L80 module, and smart cards. I gained a lot of knowledge about embedded programming and improved my skills as a C programmer. In fact, by the end of the two months of my internship, I was able to find the latitude and longitude of a place and track a person accurately.

The work culture at eTrans was simply amazing. There was no work pressure and everyone was eager to help one another. I remember an instance when I couldn’t properly parse the GPS data on my ARM Cortex and I was working on a deadline. Seeing me struggle with this, the head of the IT Department helped me find the error in my code. The final week of my internship was incredibly emotional for me; I wasn’t willing to leave that environment but all good things do come to an end, and so did my internship. On my last day, the managing director offered me a PPO.

About the author: Akansha Rai, a student of Jadavpur University, shares with us her exciting venture into the world of microcontrollers. This article was first published on Internshala, an internship and training platform.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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