10 Books One Must Read At Least Once in their Life

Reading is a great way to keep your mind active. It gives you thousands of reasons to sit back and think about numerous things. It also helps you escape reality and travel to a different world.
 

Reading fills you with little pieces of knowledge that stay with you for a long time. You never know when something might come handy. You come across new words and they start slipping in your vocabulary. It makes you well-articulated and well-spoken. You read something and it gets stored in your brain. Thus it also helps to improve your memory.

There are countless benefits of reading and there are thousands of books to read. But some books are “evergreen”. They are written by some of the greatest literary minds of all times and are known as “classics”. You can pick them any day and they give you the same fresh feeling as it gave you the first time.

A list of 10 books that you must read at least once in a lifetime:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee:

This book was published in 1960 and appears in almost all the lists of the best books. It explores human behaviour and the collective conscience of the Deep South in the early 20th century. It also revolves around the themes of prejudice, hatred, hypocrisy, love and innocence. And is delicately woven with humour. Anyone who has read it counts it as one of their favourites. 

  1. Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling:

Those who have read the Harry Potter books or have even watched the movie are still waiting for their Hogwarts letter, including me. J.K. Rowling takes you on an amazing journey filled with magic and mystery. She introduces you to the world you will never want to leave. You grow up with Harry in this 7 books series.

  1. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkein:

Another series that takes you into the world of hobbits, dragons, monsters and gods. This book allows you to escape from reality and go on unimaginable adventures. The book revolves around the themes of fantasy, evil and innocence. This series comprises three books in total. 

  1. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen:

Jane Austen is said to be one of the most famous writers in English Literature and Pride and Prejudice is one of her best works. It is a story of the courtship of two opposite characters in a world where manners and courtesy are of utmost importance. The book leaves you with the message that “love knows no barriers and finds its way”.

  1. The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank:

Almost everyone is aware of the story of Anne Frank during the German Holocaust. The Diary of a Young Girl is a raw account of her life as she hides from the Nazis. She teaches the readers a valuable lesson that we should keep believing that people are good at heart and situations to change. She wishes to change her life too. The book is spin-chilling and tear-jerking as it reveals how the Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

  1. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak:

The book is set in Germany during 1939 when the Nazis were ruling Germany and the Jews were being brutally killed. It revolves around a girl named Liesel and how she rescues books from the wrath of Nazi rule. The story also features an unusual friendship that is formed in the most unusual situation. Like The Diary of a Young Girl, this book also gives you a view of the cruel Nazi rule.

  1. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Another fantasy fiction by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit was originally written as a short storybook for children. Later it was made into a long series of movies. It features the story of Bilbo Baggins and his journey to the Middle East to challenge a dragon. The book gives a strong message of bravery and takes you into a fantasy world just like the Lord of the Rings.

  1. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott:

The story of four sisters, set in 19th century New England. Each sister has their own significant personality trait. The book gives you an account of their struggles and their flaws and how they turn into strong young women. The book is a pure joy to read.

  1. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte:

Jane Eyre is the first prose fiction to focus on its protagonist’s moral and spiritual development. Jane Eyre is one of the strongest fictional heroines of all time. It is a story of a girl who fights social criticism in a society with a strong sense of Christian morality at its core. It depicts a strong, unbroken woman despite her troubled childhood. 

  1. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini:

The story revolves around Amir and his journey to find his one true friend. He has to abandon him due to ethic and religious differences that existed in Kabul, Afghanistan. It also highlights the theme of guilt and redemption. It is a story of true friendship and atonement. The book has been awarded as the New York bestseller for two times in a row. 

These were some of the books which one should definitely read once in their life. These books never lose their essence and will surely blow your mind with their brilliant storylines.

Happy Reading!

Desalination : Maharashtra new mantra to solve water scarcity.

Desalination is seen as one possible answer to the problem of water scarcity. Recently, Maharashtra government has announced setting up of desalination plant in Mumbai, becoming fourth state to do. So, what is desalination process and what is its feasibility ?

What are desalination plant ?

A desalination plant convert salt water generally seawater into drinking water. The most common  used technology used for the process is reverse osmosis where an external pressure is applied to push solvents from an area of high-solute concentration to an area of low-solute concentration through a membrane. The microscopic pores in the membranes allow water molecules through but leave salt and most other impurities behind, releasing clean water from the other side. These plants are mostly set up in areas that have access to sea water.

How widely is this technology used in India?

Desalination has largely been limited to affluent countries in the Middle East and has recently started making inroads in parts of the United States and Australia. In India, Tamil Nadu has been the pioneer in using this technology, setting up two desalination plants near Chennai in 2010 and then 2013. The two plants supply 100 million liters a day (MLD) each to Chennai. Two more plants are expected to be set up in Chennai. The other states that have proposed these plants are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh

What is the need to set up a desalination plant in Mumbai?

According to the BMC’s projection, the population of Mumbai is anticipated to touch 1.72 crore by 2041. In 2007, a state government-appointed high-level committee had suggested setting up desalination plants in Mumbai, however, over the years the authorities have avoided building the project claiming that the cost is enormous. However, with the city’s water problems on the rise owing to burgeoning population, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Monday has given the BMC the go ahead for project. It will take about two and a half to three years to complete.

Is it ecologically safe?

The high cost of setting up and running a desalination plant is one reason why the Maharashtra government has over the last decade been hesitant in building such a plant. Desalination is an expensive way of generating drinking water as it requires a high amount of energy. The other problem is the disposal of the byproduct highly concentrated brine ( very high concentration of salt water) of the desalination process. While in most places brine is pumped back into the sea, there have been rising complaints that it ends up severely damaging the local ecology around the plant

Earth’s atmosphere is full of microbes. Could they help us find life on other worlds?

If you’re feeling lonely, take solace in remembering that there are countless tiny living things floating tens of thousands of feet above your head.

And as scientists have come to learn more and more about this high-flying life and how it interacts with Earth’s surface, they are beginning to question just how implausible it is to wonder whether similar life could theoretically hide out in the clouds of Venus or still more exotic worlds.

“We humans really are bottom-dwellers underneath an ocean of atmosphere above our head, and we really don’t know where Earth’s biosphere boundary stops at extreme altitudes,” David Smith, who studies life in the atmosphere at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, said at a roundtable event held on Dec. 14 at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held virtually this month. “It seems just about anywhere we sample with NASA aircraft and balloons, we find signatures of microbial life.”

So far, life in Earth’s atmosphere seems to be strictly microbial and a temporary affair, intimately connected to life on Earth’s surface rather than an independent ecosystem. Tiny, hardy organisms are swept up from the thin transition where Earth’s atmosphere meets the planet and carried into the lower layers of the atmosphere on an epic detour.

“Based on what we know, the things are just moving through the atmosphere,” Kevin Dillon, a Ph.D. candidate in microbiology at Rutgers University, said during the panel. “Microbes travel and use the atmosphere almost like a highway, and specifically can hitch a ride in clouds.”

Microbes end up in two layers of the atmosphere. In the lower troposphere, microbes mostly have to contend with the risk of drying out, Diana Gentry, a research scientist at Ames, said during the panel. Hence the appeal of clouds.

“If you are picked up and suspended in the atmosphere, you’re in danger of losing all of your water pretty quickly,” Gentry said. “So clouds in the lower level are great — they’re like these mobile water hotspots that can help keep you wet as you’re picked up and transported around.” In the troposphere, some microbes may survive pretty normally, even.

Life in solar system

Of course, for as many uncertainties as there are when it comes to life in Earth’s atmosphere, they only multiply in atmospheres beyond Earth’s.

One key constraint is that while we know full well Earth’s surface is a paradise from which microbes can take their grand adventure, other planetary surfaces in the solar system are either certainly or likely more hostile to life as we know it, although they may well have been plenty habitable in the distant past. The appeal of someplace like Venus, for example, as a destination in the search for life is in its atmosphere, where some scientists have argued that liquid droplets about 30 to 37 miles (48 to 60 kilometers) up could act as a haven in the acidic, hot environment for which Venus is famous.

And beyond

Just as Earth serves as a template for considering other solar system worlds, our neighborhood offers archetypes to consider for worlds beyond our star — with another step down in how much we know about them, of course. Where Earth is our daily backdrop and the planets are destinations for sophisticated spacecraft, exoplanets are mostly blemishes silhouetted against their stars in astronomical observations.

And it turns out, spotting atmospheric life is tricky, even here on Earth. “Every time we fly through clouds and make cloud water collections, we have this really strong signal of Earth life. And yet, we can’t measure it remotely,” Smith said. “We know life is in those clouds, but we don’t have any instruments that are sensitive enough to detect that without actually collecting the cloud water.”

Kisan Kalyan Mission- to double the income of the farmers

     Uttar Pradesh government is going to launch a special program called  ‘Kisan Kalyan Mission’ to double the profits of the farmers on January 6, 2021. The program will cover all the assembly constituencies of the state. Farmers will be given benefits under the various schemes of the agriculture department during these events. Under the Kisan Kalyan mission, many departments of state government like agriculture marketing Mandi Parishad, Horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, sugarcane food and supply, and Panchayati Raj will work together and various programs will be organized across the state.

What happens under the Kisan Kalyan Mission:

  • Under this mission, various programs will be organized, Exhibition of Agriculture and the associate sectors will be organized which will be including the products of livelihood missions and MSME sector units.
  • Under the program, farmer meetings will be organized in which scientists, progressive farmers, and the workers associated with the Agriculture Department will be explaining scientific farming. They will also be providing information about the schemes of the government.
  • During the events organized under the program, farmers will also be benefitted from various schemes of the agriculture department.

The UP government under the program is also likely to felicitate 100 ‘progressive farmers’ in each district of the state. According to the Chief Secretary of the state, 100 progressive farmers in each district will be chosen as role models and will be congratulated. The government will also prepare their databases.

The farmer will also be coached in terms of the latest farming guidelines. It will help the farmers in getting benefit from the various schemes of the center such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Kisan Credit Cards, and PM Fasal Bima Yojana.

MUSIC

ABOUT MUSIC :

Music is vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. It is a form of art. Music is a part of all of our lives, from when we’re growing up to when we’re old. Music is the sound that is pleasing to the human ear. Music is loved by most of the people. Music also makes us excited. Music is a thing that we all enjoy in the course of our lives. Music makes us joy and listening to a favorite song may help to uplift your mood. Music has the ability to convey all sorts of emotions to people. Music can match and manipulate our moods and emotions. Music is not only created by humans but also from the nature such as birds chirping, the whistle in the wind, the sound of rain, etc…. Music can be performed with a wide variety of vocal techniques and instruments. There are different elements of music such as structure, form, articulation, expression, dynamics, color or timber, voice allocation, style, texture, harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, pulse, or beat and pitch. A person who sings a song is known as a singer. Anyone who composes conducts, or performs music may be referred to as a musician. The other words for the musician are composer, performer, soloist, symphonist, virtuoso, player, entertainer, etc…. There are different kinds of instruments such as percussion, string, brass, woodwind, and piano/keyboard.

TYPES OF MUSIC GENRES:

There are different types of music genres there. Some of them are,

  • POP MUSIC
  • ROCK
  • HIP HOP MUSIC
  • CLASSIC MUSIC
  • FOLK MUSIC
  • BLUES
  • RHYTHM AND BLUES
  • PUNK ROCK
  • COUNTRY MUSIC
  • INDIE ROCK

IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC:

Music has the great qualities of healing a person emotionally and mentally. Music is one of the most calming and soothing things. Music can also make a person calm and relaxed. It has the power to cure diseases such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. Music can also make excitement. There is one language that we all can understand is the language of music. Music is also an important part of our life because it is a way of expressing our feelings as well as emotions. Music may also reduce stress, depression, etc….Music may also help us to enhance the ability to do a work. Music also entertains us. Music improves our minds. Music is also helps us to develop the memorizing capability.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MUSIC:

  • The Japanese word ‘Karaoke’ comes from a phrase meaning ‘Empty Orchestra’
  • Music is one of the few activities in our life that utilizes the entire brain
  • The world’s longest concert by multiple artists took place from March 17 to April 5, 2017
  • Listening to music while working out measurably improves the physical performance
  • When you listen to music, your body releases dopamine, the same hormone released in the brain when you do exciting or pleasurable activities.
  • The most expensive instrument is a Stradivarius violin called Lady Blunt, which was made in 1741 and sold in 2011 for $15.9 million

How did the Students Learn in Ancient India?

The pupils in ancient India were also taught by teachers, but quite differently. This ancient indian education system is very impressive and we should learn about it.

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Majorly there were two education systems in ancient India – Vedic and Buddhist. The Vedic system revolved around the Vedas, Vedangas and Upanishads and they were taught in sanskrit, while the Buddhist system preached the thoughts of the major Buddhist schools and they were taught in Pali. 

Education in ancient India was very different from the rest of the world back then. A child would leave his home to get an education, a child had to leave home and live with a teacher in a gurukul for the entire duration of his studies. No fee was charged for education; in fact, the teacher took care of everything, including food, clothing and housing. According to this system,  even if a child was interested in acquiring philosophical knowledge, he would still have to do some manual work every day along with debates and discussions.

Education for women was quite important in ancient India. Women were trained in housekeeping, as well as in dancing and music. Girls also had to conduct the Upanayana ceremony. Vedas and Vedangas were taught to women, too, but were limited to religious songs and poems necessary for rituals. Some notable Vedic and Upanishad women scholars were Apala, Lopamudra, Gargi and Maitreyi.

The teacher used to ask some students to sit in groups and then they would recite the Vedas  for hours. Same verses were also taught in different tones so that it would be easier for the students to learn it. Teachers or gurus also taught separately based on the ability and the capability of the student. 

According to ancient education, there were 3 processes of learning – Sravana (listening to the truths that the guru speaks), Manana (Interpreting the meaning of the words spoken by the guru in your own words so that you can remember it for a long time.) and Nididhyasana (The complete comprehension of the truth so that he may live to it and not just remember it as a theory) To them knowledge was the realization of truth and this truth must be passed on to the next generations.

There were very popular educational institutions in India during the ancient times as well. Four of these institutions were quite prominent and known for different specializations. The University of Nalanda was famous for its Catholic and cosmopolitan character and its department of logic. It was located in the east of India. Takshashila University, in an area what is now modern-day Pakistan, was well-known across the world for its medical school and was the chief learning center in 6th century BC. Vallabhi was a very well known university in west India. It was also a famous study center that had specialized in subjects like law, medicine and economics, and had students attending from all parts of the country. Vikramshila was yet another esteemed institution, best known for Tantric Buddhism.

The ancient Indian system of education focused on the training of the mind and process of thinking. But the British rule erased this system and erected an education system that had written examinations and had scheduled classes. India has now introduced a new education policy for the betterment of students.

ISRO is working on environment-friendly fuels for its rockets

Besides greenhouse gas pollution, kerosene-fueled rockets transport large amounts of black carbon, also known as soot, into the upper layers of the atmosphere. There, it remains for a long time, creating an umbrella that may add to global warming. Besides greenhouse gas pollution, kerosene-fueled rockets transport large amounts of black carbon, also known as soot, into the upper layers of the atmosphere. There, it remains for a long time, creating an umbrella that may add to global warming. Ross estimates that rocket launches around the world inject 10 gigagrams, or 11,000 tons, of soot and alumina particles into the atmosphere each year.

     Rockets emit a variety of substances depending on their propellant. Some, like liquid hydrogen and oxygen (H2/O2) are very clean, emitting mainly water (H2O) and some nitric oxide (NO), which is produced by the heat of combustion. Others, like aluminum/ammonium perchlorate (or “Solid Rocket Motors”, SRMs) release hydrochloric acid (HCl) and alumina (Al2O3) particles. Rockets that use hydrazine (N2H4) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) (sometimes called “hypergolic”, because these chemicals spontaneously ignite on contact) produce large quantities of nitrogen oxides, which can further react with water vapor and sulfate in the atmosphere to form small particles containing nitric acid. Kerosene rockets (essentially “aircraft fuel”) produce CO2 and black carbon (“soot”), which are climate-active gases (meaning that they absorb infrared or visible light, heating the surrounding air).

There is a new type of propellant called “hybrid” that is being used by some private companies. Hybrids are a mixture of a liquid oxidizer, nitrous oxide (N2O), and solid synthetic rubber (butadiene) that, when burned in the oxygen-poor environment of the upper atmosphere produce CO2 and large amounts of soot and probably large amounts of nitric oxides (although there are no measurements in these plumes to verify the presence of NOx).

     The Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, K. Shivan has informed that the Indian space rockets are ready to go green as the space agency has been working to replace its existing hazardous fuels for its satellites and rockets.

     ISRO Chief also informed that the space agency has been looking at green propulsion through hydrogen peroxide in its rocket propulsion through hydrogen peroxide in its rocket that will take Indians into space under its ambitious ‘Gaganyan’ mission. He further added that since humans will be inside the rocket, there should only be non-hazardous fuel to power the human space mission’s rocket.

     The space agency has also been looking at the rocket engines that are powered by hydrogen peroxide as a bi-propellant or as a mono-propellant along with ethanol. It has also been developing another green fuel- LOX/Methane-where liquid oxygen will work as oxidizer and methane as fuel.

     This propellent also has advantages in terms of storability, specific impulse, cost, and low toxicity. As per the ISRO Chief, the space agency has also been looking to replace its existing liquid engine fuels with environment-friendly fuel-powered ones. ISROSENE has been developed by the space agency which is a rocket-grade version of Kerosene. It will be an alternative to the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel.

     While talking about powering the satellites, ISRO Chief informed that the space agency has been working towards lightweight electrical propulsion in place of the chemical fuel.

     Currently, ISRO can put into orbit communication satellites that weigh up to four tonnes with its rockets. Satellites over four tonnes are being orbited using Ariane rocket of Arianespace, a European Space Agency.