Runoff: Surface and Overland Water Runoff

When rain falls onto the earth, it just doesn’t sit there, it starts moving according to the laws of gravity. A portion of the precipitation seeps into the ground to replenish Earth’s groundwater. Most of it flows downhill as runoff. Runoff is extremely important in that not only does it keep rivers and lakes full of water, but it also changes the landscape by the action of erosion. Flowing water has tremendous power it can move boulders and carve out canyons; check out the Grand Canyon!

Runoff of course occurs during storms, and much more water flows in rivers (and as runoff) during storms. For example, in 2001 during a major storm at Peachtree Creek in Atlanta, Georgia, the amount of water that flowed in the river in one day was 7 percent of all the streamflow for the year.

Some definitions of runoff:.                               

1. That part of the precipitation, snow melt, or irrigation water that appears in uncontrolled (not regulated by a dam upstream) surface streams, rivers, drains or sewers. Runoff may be classified according to speed of appearance after rainfall or melting snow as direct runoff or base runoff, and according to source as surface runoff, storm interflow, or groundwater runoff.

2. The sum of total discharges described in (1), above, during a specified period of time.

3. The depth to which a watershed (drainage area) would be covered if all of the runoff for a given period of time were uniformly distributed over it.

Meteorological factors affecting runoff:

Type of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc.)
* Rainfall intensity
* Rainfall amount
* Rainfall duration
* Distribution of rainfall over the watersheds
* Direction of storm movement
Antecedent precipitation and resulting soil moisture
*Other meteorological and climatic conditions that affect evapotranspiration, such as temperature, wind, relative humidity, and season.


Physical characteristics affecting runoff:

* Land use
* Vegetation
* Soil type
* Drainage area
* Basin shape
* Elevation
* Slope
* Topography
* Direction of orientation
* Drainage network patterns
* Ponds, lakes, reservoirs, sinks, etc. in the basin, which prevent or alter runoff from continuing downstream


Runoff and water quality :

A significant portion of rainfall in forested watersheds is absorbed into soils (infiltration), is stored as groundwater, and is slowly discharged to streams through seeps and springs. Flooding is less significant in these more natural conditions because some of the runoff during a storm is absorbed into the ground, thus lessening the amount of runoff into a stream during the storm.

As watersheds are urbanized, much of the vegetation is replaced by impervious surfaces, thus reducing the area where infiltration to groundwater can occur. Thus, more stormwater runoff occurs—runoff that must be collected by extensive drainage systems that combine curbs, storm sewers (as shown in this picture), and ditches to carry stormwater runoff directly to streams. More simply, in a developed watershed, much more water arrives into a stream much more quickly, resulting in an increased likelihood of more frequent and more severe flooding.

What if the street you live on had only a curb built around it, with no stormwater intake such as the one pictured here. Any low points in your street would collect water when it rained. And if your street was surrounded by houses with yards sloping uphill, then all the runoff from those yards and driveways would collect in a lake at the bottom of the street.

A storm sewer intake such as the one in this picture is a common site on almost all streets. Rainfall runoff, and sometimes small kids’ toys left out in the rain, are collected by these drains and the water is delivered via the street curb or drainage ditch alongside the street to the storm-sewer drain to pipes that help to move runoff to nearby creeks and streams. ; storm sewers help to prevent flooding on neighborhood streets.

Drainage ditches to carry stormwater runoff to storage ponds are often built to hold runoff and collect excess sediment in order to keep it out of streams.

Runoff from agricultural land (and even our own yards) can carry excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus into streams, lakes, and groundwater supplies. These excess nutrients have the potential to degrade water quality.

Why might stormwater runoff be a problem?

As it flows over the land surface, stormwater picks up potential pollutants that may include sediment, nutrients (from lawn fertilizers), bacteria (from animal and human waste), pesticides (from lawn and garden chemicals), metals (from rooftops and roadways), and petroleum by-products (from leaking vehicles). Pollution originating over a large land area without a single point of origin and generally carried by stormwater is considered non-point pollution. In contrast, point sources of pollution originate from a single point, such as a municipal or industrial discharge pipe. Polluted stormwater runoff can be harmful to plants, animals, and people.

Runoff can carry a lot of sediment

When storms hit and streamflows increase, the sediment moved into the river by runoff can end up being seen from hundreds of miles up by satellites. The right-side pictures shows the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in Florida in October 1999. Sediment-filled rivers are dumping tremendous amounts of suspended sediment into the Atlantic Ocean. The sediment being dumped into the oceans has an effect on the ecology of the oceans, both in a good and bad way. And, this is one of the ways that the oceans have become what they are: salty.

Florida, Oct. 14, 1999. When Hurricane Irene passed over Florida in 1999, the heavy rainfall over land caused extensive amounts of runoff that first entered Florida’s rivers which then dumped the runoff water, containing lots of sediment, into the Atlantic Ocean.

Florida, Dec. 16, 2002. The east coast of Florida is mostly clear of sediment from runoff. The shallow coastal waters to the west of Florida are very turbid (sediment-filled), perhaps from a storm that passed over a few days earlier.

The end.….

CHANDRAYAAN-1India’s First Lunar Exploration Mission. Moon Mineralogy Mapper observations point to possibility of water on the Moon!

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon. The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.



After the successful completion of all the major mission objectives, the orbit has been raised to 200 km during May 2009. The satellite made more than 3400 orbits around the moon and the mission was concluded when the communication with the spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009.

The idea of undertaking an Indian scientific mission to Moon was initially mooted in a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1999 that was followed up by discussions in the Astronautical Society of India in 2000.

Based on the recommendations made by the learned members of these forums, a National Lunar Mission Task Force was constituted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Leading Indian scientists and technologists participated in the deliberations of the Task Force that provided an assessment on the feasibility of an Indian Mission to the Moon as well as dwelt on the focus of such a mission and its possible configuration.

After detailed discussions, it was unanimously recommended that India should undertake the Mission to Moon, particularly in view of the renewed international interest in moon with several exciting missions planned for the new millennium. In addition, such a mission could provide the needed thrust to basic science and engineering research in the country including new challenges to ISRO to go beyond the Geostationary Orbit. Further, such a project could also help bringing in young talents to the arena of fundamental research. The academia would also find participation in such a project intellectually rewarding.

Subsequently, Government of India approved ISRO’s proposal for the first Indian Moon Mission, called Chandrayaan-1 in November 2003.

The Chandrayaan-1 mission performed high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared (NIR), low energy X-rays and high-energy X-ray regions. One of the objectives was to prepare a three-dimensional atlas (with high spatial and altitude resolution) of both near and far side of the moon. It aimed at conducting chemical and mineralogical mapping of the entire lunar surface for distribution of mineral and chemical elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and Titanium as well as high atomic number elements such as Radon, Uranium & Thorium with high spatial resolution.

Various mission planning and management objectives were also met. The mission goal of harnessing the science payloads, lunar craft and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support systems including Deep Space Network (DSN) station were realised, which were helpful for future explorations like the Mars Orbiter Mission. Mission goals like spacecraft integration and testing, launching and achieving lunar polar orbit of about 100 km, in-orbit operation of experiments, communication/ telecommand, telemetry data reception, quick look data and archival for scientific utilisation by scientists were also met.

PSLV-C11
PSLV-C11, chosen to launch Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, was an updated version of ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle standard configuration. Weighing 320 tonne at lift-off, the vehicle used larger strap-on motors (PSOM-XL) to achieve higher payload capability.

PSLV is the trusted workhorse launch Vehicle of ISRO. During September 1993- April 2008 period, PSLV had twelve consecutively successful launches carrying satellites to Sun Synchronous, Low Earth and Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits. On October 22, 2008, its fourteenth flight launched Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

By mid 2008, PSLV had repeatedly proved its reliability and versatility by launching 29 satellites into a variety of orbits. Of these, ten remote sensing satellites of India, an Indian satellite for amateur radio communications, a recoverable Space Capsule (SRE-1) and fourteen satellites from abroad were put into polar Sun Synchronous Orbits (SSO) of 550-820 km heights. Besides, PSLV has launched two satellites from abroad into Low Earth Orbits of low or medium inclinations. This apart, PSLV has launched KALPANA-1, a weather satellite of India, into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

PSLV was initially designed by ISRO to place 1,000 kg class Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into 900 km polar SunSynchronous Orbits. Since the first successful flight in October 1994, the capability of PSLV was successively enhanced from 850 kg to 1,600 kg. In its ninth flight on May 5, 2005 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP), PSLV launched ISRO’s remote sensing satellite,1,560 kg CARTOSAT-1 and the 42 kg Amateur Radio satellite, HAMSAT, into a 620 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit. The improvement in the capability over successive flights has been achieved through several means. They include increased propellant loading in the stage motors, employing composite material for the satellite mounting structure and changing the sequence of firing of the strap-on motors.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, designed and developed PSLV-C11. ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) at Thiruvananthapuram developed the inertial systems for the vehicle. Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), also at Thiruvananthapuram, developed the liquid propulsion stages for the second and fourth stages of PSLV-C11 as well as reaction control systems. SDSC SHAR processed the solid motors and carries out launch operations. ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) provide telemetry, tracking and command support during PSLV-C11’s flight

Who can submit a Proposal?

Proposals could be submitted by individuals or a group of scientists and academicians belonging to recognized institutions, universities, planetaria and government organisations of India. Only those having at least a minimum remaining service of four years before superannuation are eligible to lead the project as PI/Co-PI. The proposals must be forwarded through the Head of the Institution, with appropriate assurance for providing necessary facilities for carrying out the projects under this AO programme. The end….

LUNAR ECLIPSE

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow.This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned (in syzygy) with Earth between the other two, and only on the night of a full moon. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon’s proximity to either node of its orbit.

Totality during the lunar eclipse of 21 January 2019. Direct sunlight is being blocked by the Earth, and the only light reaching it is sunlight refracted by Earth’s atmosphere, producing a reddish color.

Latter phases of the partial lunar eclipse on 17 July 2019 taken from GloucestershireUnited Kingdom.

A totally eclipsed Moon is sometimes called a blood moon for its reddish color, which is caused by Earth completely blocking direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth’s atmosphere. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does: the Rayleigh scattering of bluer light.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth. A total lunar eclipse can last up to nearly 2 hours, while a total solar eclipse lasts only up to a few minutes at any given place, because the Moon’s shadow is smaller. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.

Types of Lunar Eclipse:

A schematic diagram of the shadow cast by Earth. Within the umbra, the central region, the planet totally shields direct sunlight. In contrast, within the penumbra, the outer portion, the sunlight is only partially blocked. (Neither the Sun, Moon, and Earth sizes nor the distances between the bodies are to scale.)

A total penumbral lunar eclipse dims the Moon in direct proportion to the area of the Sun’s disk covered by Earth. This comparison of the Moon (within the southern part of Earth’s shadow) during the penumbral lunar eclipse of January 1999 (left) and the Moon outside the shadow (right) shows this slight darkening.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

This occurs when the Moon passes through Earth’s penumbra. The penumbra causes a subtle dimming of the lunar surface, which is only visible to the naked eye when about 70% of the Moon’s diameter has immersed into Earth’s penumbra.A special type of penumbral eclipse is a total penumbral lunar eclipse, during which the Moon lies exclusively within Earth’s penumbra. Total penumbral eclipses are rare, and when these occur, the portion of the Moon closest to the umbra may appear slightly darker than the rest of the lunar disk.

Partial lunar eclipse

This occurs when only a portion of the Moon enters Earth’s umbra, while a total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire Moon enters the planet’s umbra. The Moon’s average orbital speed is about 1.03 km/s (2,300 mph), or a little more than its diameter per hour, so totality may last up to nearly 107 minutes. Nevertheless, the total time between the first and the last contacts of the Moon’s limb with Earth’s shadow is much longer and could last up to 236 minutes.

Total lunar eclipse

This occurs when the moon falls entirely within the earth’s umbra. Just prior to complete entry, the brightness of the lunar limb– the curved edge of the moon still being hit by direct sunlight– will cause the rest of the moon to appear comparatively dim. The moment the moon enters a complete eclipse, the entire surface will become more or less uniformly bright. Later, as the moon’s opposite limb is struck by sunlight, the overall disk will again become obscured.

This is because as viewed from the Earth, the brightness of a lunar limb is generally greater than that of the rest of the surface due to reflections from the many surface irregularities within the limb: sunlight striking these irregularities is always reflected back in greater quantities than that striking more central parts, and is why the edges of full moons generally appear brighter than the rest of the lunar surface.

Central lunar eclipse

This is a total lunar eclipse during which the Moon passes through the centre of Earth’s shadow, contacting the antisolar point. This type of lunar eclipse is relatively rare.

The relative distance of the Moon from Earth at the time of an eclipse can affect the eclipse’s duration. In particular, when the Moon is near apogee, the farthest point from Earth in its orbit, its orbital speed is the slowest. The diameter of Earth’s umbra does not decrease appreciably within the changes in the Moon’s orbital distance. Thus, the concurrence of a totally eclipsed Moon near apogee will lengthen the duration of totality.

Selenelion

A selenelion or selenehelion, also called a horizontal eclipse, occurs where and when both the Sun and an eclipsed Moon can be observed at the same time. The event can only be observed just before sunset or just after sunrise, when both bodies will appear just above opposite horizons at nearly opposite points in the sky. A selenelion occurs during every total lunar eclipse it is an experience of the observer, not a planetary event separate from the lunar eclipse itself. Typically, observers on Earth located on high mountain ridges undergoing false sunrise or false sunset at the same moment of a total lunar eclipse will be able to experience it. Although during selenelion the Moon is completely within the Earth’s umbra, both it and the Sun can be observed in the sky because atmospheric refraction causes each body to appear higher (i.e., more central) in the sky than its true geometric planetary position.

Timing

The timing of total lunar eclipses is determined by what are known as its “contacts” (moments of contact with Earth’s shadow)

P1 (First contact): Beginning of the penumbral eclipse. Earth’s penumbra touches the Moon’s outer limb.
U1 (Second contact): Beginning of the partial eclipse. Earth’s umbra touches the Moon’s outer limb.
U2 (Third contact): Beginning of the total eclipse. The Moon’s surface is entirely within Earth’s umbra.
Greatest eclipse: The peak stage of the total eclipse. The Moon is at its closest to the center of Earth’s umbra.
U3 (Fourth contact): End of the total eclipse. The Moon’s outer limb exits Earth’s umbra.
U4 (Fifth contact): End of the partial eclipse. Earth’s umbra leaves the Moon’s surface.
P4 (Sixth contact): End of the penumbral eclipse. Earth’s penumbra no longer makes contact with the Moon.

Danjon scale:

L = 0: Very dark eclipse. Moon almost invisible, especially at mid-totality.
L = 1: Dark eclipse, gray or brownish in coloration. Details distinguishable only with difficulty.
L = 2: Deep red or rust-colored eclipse. Very dark central shadow, while outer edge of umbra is relatively bright.
L = 3: Brick-red eclipse. Umbral shadow usually has a bright or yellow rim.
L = 4: Very bright copper-red or orange eclipse. Umbral shadow is bluish and has a very bright rim.

CHANDRAYAAN -2

Chandrayaan2 is India’s second lunar probe, and its first attempt to make a soft landing on the Moon. It has an Orbiter, which will go around the Moon for a year in an orbit of 100 km from the surface, and a Lander and a Rover that will land on the Moon. Once there, the Rover will separate from the Lander, and will move around on the lunar surface. Both the Lander and the Rover are expected to be active for one month.

CHANDRAYAAN BEGUN ITS JOURNEY: Chandrayaan-2 satellite had begun its journey towards the moon leaving the earth’s orbit in the dark hours on August 14, after a crucial maneuver called Trans Lunar Insertion (TLI) that was carried out by Isro to place the spacecraft on “Lunar Transfer Trajectory”

India’s Moon mission: Chandrayaan-2 will be a ground-breaking mission to the south pole of the moon and should land on a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, which are around 70° south.

India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 had successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the earth’s orbit on July 22.

In a major milestone for India’s second Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft had successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver. On August 22, Isro released the first image of the moon captured by Chandrayaan-2. On September 2,Vikram’ successfully separated from the orbiter, following which two de-orbiting manoeuvres were performed to bring the lander closer to the Moon.

Vikram’ and ‘Pragyan’

As India attempted a soft landing on the lunar surface on September 7, all eyes were on the lander ‘Vikram’ and rover ‘Pragyan’.

The 1,471-kg ‘Vikram‘, named after Vikram Sarabhai, father of the Indian space programme, was designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface, and to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 earth days.

Chandrayaan, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, exemplifies the resurgence of international interest in space. The US, China and private corporations are among those racing to explore everything from resource mining to extraterrestrial colonies on the moon and even Mars.

LAUNCHED IN: India’s second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 was launched on 22nd July 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota. The Orbiter which was injected into a lunar orbit on 2nd Sept 2019, carries 8 experiments to address many open questions on lunar science.

India’s ambitious mission to land on the Moon failed. The Vikram lander, of the Chandrayaan 2 mission, crashed on the lunar surface on September 7, 2019, but it was only in December that scientists found it. Why did it take so long to find the lander?

There are quite a few technical reasons for that. Let’s start with a quick recap of what happened on the landing day.

who said three days after the landing day that they had spotted the lander. ISRO failed to show any pictures or provide location coordinates to the public despite the claims.

The statement is in fact only the third and the last time ISRO publicly spoke of the lander’s condition. However, it didn’t stop ISRO from coming out of the slumber and boasting that they found the lander first, i.e. before NASA did with help from Subramanian.

Going by the publicly available evidence, NASA found the Vikram lander on the Moon’s surface, not ISRO. And what does Chandrayaan 2’s landing failure mean for ISRO? Go back to the launch pad.

The end ..

Poverty in India

Poverty is the state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person basic needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and under resourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.

There are several definitions of poverty, and scholars disagree as to which definition is appropriate for India. Inside India, both income-based poverty definition and consumption-based poverty statistics are in use. Outside India, the World Bank and institutions of the United Nations use a broader definition to compare poverty among nations, including India, based on purchasing power parity (PPP), as well as a nominal relative basis. Each state in India has its poverty threshold to determine how many people are below its poverty line and to reflect regional economic conditions. These differences in definitions yield a complex and conflicting picture about poverty in India, both internally and when compared to other developing countries of the world. 

More than 800 million people in India are considered poor. Most of them live in the countryside and keep afloat with odd jobs. The lack of employment which provides a livable wage in rural areas is driving many Indians into rapidly growing metropolitan areas such as Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore or Calcutta. There, most of them expect a life of poverty and despair in the mega-slums, made up of millions of corrugated ironworks, without sufficient drinking water supply, without garbage disposal and in many cases without electricity. Poor hygiene conditions cause diseases such as cholera, typhus and dysentery, which affects children more. 

Poverty in India impacts children, families and individuals in a variety of different ways through:

  • High infant mortality
  • Malnutrition
  • Child labour
  • Lack of education
  • Child marriage
  • HIV / AIDS

Since the 1950s, the Indian government and non-governmental organisations have initiated several programs to alleviate poverty, including subsidising food and other necessities, increased access to loans, improving agricultural techniques and price supports, promoting education and family planning. These measures have helped eliminate famines, cut absolute poverty levels by more than half, and reduce illiteracy and malnutrition.

Around 75 million more people in India fell into poverty last year because of the pandemic-induced economic recession, compared with what it would have been without the outbreak, an analysis by Pew Research Center showed on Thursday. That number in India accounts for nearly 60% of the global increase in poverty in 2020, the analysis showed. It defined the poor as people who live on $2 or less daily.

India has achieved annual growth exceeding 7 per cent over the last 15 years and continues to pull millions of people out of poverty, according to the World Bank. The country has halved its poverty rate over the past three decades and has seen strong improvements in most human development outcomes, a report by the international financial institution has found. Growth is expected to continue and, the elimination of extreme poverty in the next decade is within reach, said the bank, which warned that the country’s development trajectory faces considerable challenges. 

Rail Transport in India

Rail transport is the most commonly used mode of long-distance transportation in India. Indian Railways (IR) is the primary operator of rail operations throughout the country, a state-owned organization of the Ministry of Railways, which historically had its government budget. The rail network traverses the length and width of the country, covering a total of 63,140 km (39,200 miles).

It is one of the world’s largest and busiest rail networks, transporting over 5 billion passengers and over 350 million tonnes of freight annually. Its operations cover 28 states and 3 Union territories and link the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In March 2020, the national rail network comprised 126,366 km (78,520 mi) of track over a route of 67,368 km (41,861 mi) and 7,325 stations. It is the fourth-largest national railway network in the world (after those of the United States, Russia, and China).

Indian Railways is headed by a Four-member Railway Board whose chairman reports to the Ministry of Railways. The Railway Board also acts as the Ministry of Railways. The officers manning the office of Railway Board are mostly from organised Group A Railway Services and Railway Board Secretariat Service. IR is divided into 18 zones, headed by general managers who report to the Railway Board. The zones are further subdivided into 71 operating divisions headed by divisional railways managers (DRM).

A plan for a rail system in India was first put forward in 1832, but no further steps were taken for more than a decade. In 1844, the Governor-General of India Lord Hardinge allowed private entrepreneurs to set up a rail system in India. Two new railway companies were created and the East India Company was asked to assist them. Interest from a lot of investors in the UK led to the rapid creation of a rail system over the next few years.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853, and by 1947, the year of India’s independence, they had grown to forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit to become one of the largest networks in the world. India’s first passenger train, operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and hauled by three steam locomotives (SahibSindh and Sultan), ran for 34 kilometres (21 mi) with 400 people in 14 carriages on 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge track between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane on 16 April 1853.

It was as late as 1895 that India saw the birth of its first locomotive. The locomotive, an F class 0-6-0 metre gauge numbered F-734, was built at Ajmer for the Rajputana Malwa Railway. It weighed 38 tonnes. The locomotive, to be used for hauling mixed trains, was built at a cost of Rs 15,869. This locomotive has outside connecting rods and side rods. It was also used on the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) network. Today, the locomotive has been stored as one of the outdoor exhibits at the National Railway Museum, New Delhi.

In June 1950, the Railway Board put forward a plan to divide the railways in India into six zones to get things organized. However, after some formalities, the actual plan was implemented a year later, by April 1951.

On April 14, 1951, the Southern Railway was formed by merging the Madras Railway, the South Marhatta Railway, the South Indian Railway and the Mysore Railway. On November 5, 1951, the Central Railway was constituted by bringing together the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR), the Nizam Railway, the ScindiaRailway and the Dholpur Railway.

On the same day, the Western Railway was constituted by merging the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI), the Sourashtra Railway, the Rajasthan Railway and Jaipur Railway. The merger of Eastern Punjab Railway, the Jodhpur Railway, the Bikaner Railway and some upper divisions of the East India Railway led to the formation of the Northern Railway on April 14, 1952.  Oudh Railway, Tirhut Railway and the Assam Railway formed the North Eastern Railway and the remaining divisions of the East India Railway and the Bengal Nagpur Railway constituted the Eastern Railway on the same day. These were the first six zones of Indian Railways.

On March 31, 1978, the railways were split into nine zones. The Northern zone with its headquarters at Delhi (Delhi junction), the North Eastern zone with its headquarters at Gorakhpur, the North East Frontier with its headquarters at Maligaon (Guwahati), the eastern zone with its headquarters at Kolkatta (Howrah junction), the south eastern zone with its headquarters at Kolkatta again (Howrah junction), the south central zone with its head offices at Secunderabad, the southern zone at Chennai (Chennai Central) and the Central and Western Railways with their administrative headquarters at CST and Churchgate respectively.

In 1977, the country’s first railway museum was set up at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The first of its kind in the country, this unique museum covers a land area of over 10 acres, comprising an elegantly designed octagonal building housing nine display galleries and a large open area laid out to simulate a Railway Yard. With constant emphasis on improvements and additions, the museum can now boast of being one of the finest rail museums in the world and a very popular tourist attraction of the country’s capital. On an average, this museum has around 1,000 visitors daily.

What is Employment Screening and How to Do Employment Screening

Employment screening enables you to verify the skills, experience and qualifications of a candidate to assist you in making your hiring and recruitment decisions. This provides you with all of the available information about a candidate to make the most accurate decision and safeguard your hiring process. Employment screening also helps to protect your company’s reputation and ensure that your financial and people risk is minimised.

Photo by Edmond Dantu00e8s on Pexels.com

Many employers will conduct pre-employment screenings before they send you a job offer. Potential employers will typically perform a screening sometime during the interview process to assist in their hiring decision. There are a variety of screenings potential employers can use to get a thorough understanding of your background. In this article, we will explain what pre-employment screening is and how you can prepare for it.

What is pre-employment screening?

Also sometimes called a “background check,” a pre-employment screening is a verification of your information and background. Employers can use screenings to determine if you can handle sensitive or confidential information and to assess skills that are relevant to the position.

Depending on the job, employers can conduct one or more of these common pre-employment screens:

  • Social security number (SSN) tracing is used to find all of the names, date of birth and addresses associated with that SSN. This trace makes it possible for employers to find areas to search for additional records.

  • Criminal history screenings check records in various local, state, national, federal and even international databases. Some criminal history screenings may require you to submit your fingerprints. Criminal record checks will often include a combination of records derived from multiple sources. They can be done at county, state, federal, or even international levels. Companies can commonly access this data from just online databases.
  • Using those databases to check criminal records is referred to as screen-scraping. This process can sometimes turn up charges against job applicants that are very old or have been dismissed.
  • The general consensus is that the most effective method of getting an accurate picture of a job candidate is to have real people looking through hard copies of records, in order to ensure that they are getting information about the correct person and the true outcome of all criminal cases.
  • Pre-employment screening services are offered by government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Transportation to employers who want information about driving or criminal records.
  • It’s possible that checking criminal records will protect a company in any negligent hiring lawsuits. However, there are laws in many states which specify just how information from these criminal records can be used when evaluating job candidates.
  • Criminal background checks will often include the following:
  • FBI Fingerprint Database Search – Submitting fingerprints to the FBI database will not necessarily result in a comprehensive picture of a job candidate’s criminal history. That is because the database depends upon local jurisdictions to provide information regarding arrests and their final dispositions. A great deal of information may be missing. This search should comprise only one small part of any pre-employment screening.
  • National Criminal Record Search (NCRD) – This database is constructed from information in the repositories at the municipal, circuit, district, and superior court levels, plus the FBI, Department of Corrections, U.S. Customs, DEA, U.S. Marshal, Department of Justice and Secret Service. It identifies criminal offenses not only where the job candidate has worked or lived, but from all over the country. The national database allows instant access to hundreds of millions of records, including the National Sex Offender Registry.
  • Federal Criminal Records Search – Bank robbery, embezzlement, interstate drug trafficking are just some examples of the type of federal offenses that won’t show up on state and county level searches because they fall under federal jurisdiction. That is why a search of federal crime records is suggested for a thorough pre-employment screening.
  • Statewide Criminal Records Search – Records of felonies and misdemeanors are usually found in the central repositories of each state. The information is provided by courts, corrections, and law enforcement agencies all over the state. However, the quality of these searches can vary widely from state to state, since each one gets to decide how data is imported and who is allowed access to it. The information is not always accurate, or up to date. Depending on the state, the records may not even cover all levels of its court system.
  • County Criminal Record Search – Local county and municipal records will be available through this search.

  • Public records screenings can search motor vehicle records, driving history, credit history, bankruptcy records, workers’ compensation records, civil records and sometimes medical records.

  • Verifications and credentials screenings check the accuracy of your education or degree received, previous employment, professional certifications or licenses, professional references and military service records. Particularly for entry-level employees, employers like to verify a job applicant’s degree, academic performance or major. The Family Right to Privacy Act requires that schools obtain consent from the former student before they release any type of academic records.
  • These reports will verify the dates students attended the academic institution, which fields were studied, the degree earned, grade point averages, and the date of graduation. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) covers all of the background checks included in an education verification screening.

  • Controlled substance screenings are conducted by a health care provider to ensure your employment complies with company-wide policies on illicit substances.

  • Lie detector or polygraph tests can only be required by companies that provide security services or manufacture or distribute controlled substances. Most private companies are not allowed to use lie detector tests as a form of pre-employment screening. However, certain types of businesses are exempt from this prohibition, such as alarm, guard or armored car services, as well as those who dispense, distribute, or manufacture pharmaceuticals.

  • Pre-employment assessments are tests your potential employer may ask you to take to determine your abilities as they relate to the role.

Drug Testing

Drug testing is probably one of the most common screenings that employers use to ensure that job candidates will be productive employees and as a preventative measure against injuries in the workplace.

Drug tests identify illegal substances potential employees may have ingested or been exposed to. It must be done in strict compliance with laws of the state where the business is located.

Worker’s Compensation Claims History

Screening for worker’s compensation claims that a job applicant has filed in the past is not available in all states. Furthermore, in those states where it is available, it must be conducted in strict compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Credit History Screening

Pre-employment screening of the credit history of job candidates is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers are not only required to obtain the consent of all applicants to perform such a search, they must also provide the applicant with access to the results.

Still, many employers consider such a screening to be helpful as an indicator of irresponsible behavior if the search turns up financial problems. On the other hand, it is also considered evidence of trustworthiness and reliability if the applicant has a positive report.

Sex Offender Registry Screening

Employers may conduct searches through registries at both the state and Federal level to find out if job applicants are on sex offender lists. This type of pre-employment screening allows them to avoid endangering their staff or tarnishing their reputation by removing sex offenders from their pool of prospective employees.

Motor Vehicle Records Screening

This information comes from a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is usually immediately available. Records of license suspensions, accidents, convictions, violation or any disciplinary actions are included in the results from DMV. Companies whose employees operate motor vehicles in the course of their work, such as trucking, delivery or sales, are most likely to require this type of pre-employment screening.

Employment Verification

Employers verify previous employment listed on resumes and job applications using this type of pre-employment screening. It is also used to check the accuracy of dates of employment, job title, and other related details. However, some of the employers which job candidates list on their resume or application may have policies which limit what type of information they will provide about a former employee.

Another important screening element is to verify that a job applicant is eligible to work in this country. All workers in the United States are required to complete an I-9 Employment Verification Form in order to prove their identity and eligibility.

Supervisor/Reference Interviews

Employers will sometimes want to interview references or former supervisors, in order to evaluate the ability of a candidate to perform the job in question. In these cases, the employers will usually be required to provide written permission from the applicant before anyone will speak with them.

This pre-employment screening will provide information regarding the possibility that a job applicant might prove to be a threat to the economy or national security foreign policy of the United Sates.

A county based search of civil records is commonly used by employers as a guide to a job candidate’s character. This pre-employment screening will reveal lawsuits which are based on the applicant’s failure to fulfill the terms of a contract, it will also reveal all civil lawsuits which have been filed against the potential employee.

A civil records search will also make it easy to see whether a job candidate makes a habit of filing lawsuits. It can be a useful tool for determining whether a potential employee is reliable or not.

Licensing and Professional Certification Verification

Companies will always want to verify that their employees have any licenses that are required for their work. This would include attorneys, medical personnel, engineers, accountants, real estate agents, and more.

The pre-employment screening will reveal whether a license is valid, the expiration date, and whether the applicant has been the subject of any type of disciplinary action.

Military Service Records

Records available on veterans will show the dates served, the type of discharge, and the rank held at time of discharge.

Bankruptcy Records

It’s easy to verify whether a job applicant has filed for bankruptcy. However, employers are prohibited from using that information against the applicant.

Medical Records Verification

Companies are not allowed to check a job candidate’s medical records under any circumstances. They are not even allowed to ask specific questions about a candidate’s medical history.

Applicants may be asked whether they can perform all of the responsibilities of a job. If the answer is yes, an employer has no choice but to accept it as the truth.

One exception is when companies make medical exams a requirement of that job, and all similar ones, so that everyone in those positions are required to undergo an exam. In other words, they can’t require a person who is limping to have a medical exam unless all other applicants are also required to undergo an exam as a requisite of employment.

Marine Pollution

INTRODUCTION

Pollution in ocean is a major problem that is affecting the ocean and the rest of the Earth, too.Pollution in the ocean directly affects ocean organisms and indirectly affects human health and resources.Oil spills, toxic wastes, and dumping of other harmful materials are all major sources of pollution in the ocean.

Marine Pollution:

Marine pollution is a combination of chemicals and trash,most of which comes from land sources and is washed
or blown into the ocean.

CAUSES:

Some of the main causes for the marine pollution is as follows

• Ocean dumping

Land runoff

• Oil spills

• Littering

• Ocean mining

• Noise pollution

Ocean dumping:

Deliberate disposal of hazardous wastes at sea from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other human-made structures.

Land runoff:

Eighty percent of marine pollution comes from land run off.

Oil spills:

Contamination of seawater due to an oil pour, as a result of an accident or human error, is termed an oil spill.

Littering:

Marine litter is not only ugly it can harm ocean ecosystems wildlife, and humans. It can gure coral reels and bottom dwelling species and entangle or drown ocean wildlife. Some marine animals ingest smaller plastic particles and choke or starve

Ocean Mining (Deep Sea Mining):

Mining under the ocean for gold, silver, copper, cobalt,etc is another source for ocean pollution.Deep sea mining could even make climate change worse. The disruption caused by the machines may release carbon stored in deep sea sediments.

Noise Pollution in the ocean:

Ocean noise refers to sounds made by human activities that can interfere with or obscure the ability of marine animals to hear natural sounds in the ocean.

Devastating Effects of Ocean Pollution:

1. Effect of Toxic Wastes on Marine Animals:

The oil spilled in the ocean could get on to the gills and feathers of marine animals, which makes it difficult for them to move or fly properly or feed their children.

2. Disruption to the Cycle of Coral

Reefs:

Oil spill floats on the surface of the water and prevents sunlight from reaching to marine plants and affects the process of photosynthesis.

3. Depletes Oxygen Content in Water:

When oxygen levels go down, the chances of survival of marine animals like whales, turtles, sharks, dolphins, penguins for a long time also goes down.

4. Failure in the Reproductive System of Sea Animals

Chemicals from pesticides can accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals, leading to failure in their reproductive system.

5. Effect on Food Chain:

Chemicals used in industries are ingested into small animals in the ocean and are later eaten by large animals, which then affects the whole food chain.

6. Affects Human Health:

Animals from impacted food chain are then eaten by humans, which affects their health as toxins from these contaminated animals get deposited in the tissues of people and can lead to cancer, birth defects or long term health problems.

Solutions to Ocean Pollution:

1. Reducing the Use of Plastic Products

2. Use Reusable Bottles and Cutlery

3. Recycle Whatever You Can

REDUCE DISCHARGE OF SEWA IN THE OCEAN

4. Stop Littering the Beach, and Start

Cleaning It

5. Reducing the Use of Chemical Fertilize

6. Reducing the Energy Use

Conclusion

• We must help to stop ocean pollution, by recycling, using decomposable materials instead of plastic or glass to decrease our accumulating waste. Marine animals are suffering due to our actions, and if we do not put a halt to pollution soon, we too will suffer the consequences.

Code of Ethics

A code of ethics sets out an organization’s ethical guidelines and best practices to follow for honesty, integrity, and professionalism. It is a document that outlines the core values and ethics of business that professionals must follow. The codes of ethics are determined by the professional body, company management or the association. The main types of codes of ethics include a compliance-based code of ethics, a value-based code of ethics, and a code of ethics among professionals.

A code of ethics will start by setting out the values that underpin the code and will describe an organization’s obligation to its stakeholders. The code is publicly available and addressed to anyone with an interest in that organization’s activities and the way it operates. It will include details of how the organization plans to implement its values and vision, as well as guidance to staff on ethical standards and how to achieve them.

Types of Codes of Ethics

A code of ethics can take a variety of forms, but the general goal is to ensure that a business and its employees are following state and federal laws, conducting themselves with an idea that can be exemplary, and ensuring that the business being conducted is beneficial for all stakeholders. The following are three types of codes of ethics found in the business.

Compliance-Based Code of Ethics

For all businesses, laws regulate issues such as hiring and safety standards. Compliance-based codes of ethics not only set guidelines for conduct but also determine penalties for violations. In some industries, including banking, specific laws govern business conduct. These industries formulate compliance-based codes of ethics to enforce laws and regulations. Employees usually undergo formal training to learn the rules of conduct. Because noncompliance can create legal issues for the company as a whole, individual workers within a firm may face penalties for failing to follow guidelines.

To ensure that the aims and principles of the code of ethics are followed, some companies appoint a compliance officer. This individual is tasked with keeping up to date on changes in regulation codes and monitoring employee conduct to encourage conformity.

This type of code of ethics is based on clear-cut rules and well-defined consequences rather than individual monitoring of personal behaviour. Despite strict adherence to the law, some compliance-based codes of conduct do not thus promote a climate of moral responsibility within the company.

Value-Based Code of Ethics

A value-based code of ethics addresses a company’s core value system. It may outline standards of responsible conduct as they relate to the larger public good and the environment. Value-based ethical codes may require a greater degree of self-regulation than compliance-based codes.

Some codes of conduct contain language that addresses both compliance and values. For example, a grocery store chain might create a code of conduct that espouses the company’s commitment to health and safety regulations above financial gain. That grocery chain might also include a statement about refusing to contract with suppliers that feed hormones to livestock or raise animals in inhumane living conditions.

Code of Ethics Among Professionals

Financial advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state regulator are bound by a code of ethics known as a fiduciary duty. This is a legal requirement and also a code of loyalty that requires them to act in the best interest of their clients.

Certified public accountants, who are not typically considered fiduciaries to their clients, still are expected to follow similar ethical standards, such as integrity, objectivity, truthfulness, and avoidance of conflicts of interest, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

E-Technology in Agriculture

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

E-Agriculture is a new area of knowledge emerging out of the convergence of IT and farming techniques. It enhances the agricultural value chain through the application of the Internet and related technologies. IT helps farmers to have better access to information which increases productivity. It also enables him to get better prices through the information of changes in price in different markets.

The information related to policies and programs of the government, schemes for farmers, institutions through which these schemes are implemented, innovations in agriculture, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Institutions providing new agricultural inputs(high yielding seeds, new fertilizers etc) and training in new techniques are disseminated to farmers through the use of Information technology to ensure inclusiveness and to avoid digital divide.

The advantages of E-Agriculture are –

  1. Better and spontaneous agricultural practices.
  2. Better marketing exposure and pricing.
  3. Lessening of agricultural risks and enhanced incomes.
  4. Better awareness and information.
  5. Enhanced networking and communication.
  6. Facility of online trading and e-commerce.
  7. Better representation at various forums, authorities and platform.
  8. E-agriculture can play vital role in the increased food production and productivity in India.

Access to price information, access to agriculture information, access to national and international markets, increasing production efficiency and creating a ‘conducive policy environment’ are the beneficial outcomes of e-Agriculture which enhances the quality of life of farmers.

Soil Management, Water Management, Seed Management, Fertilizer Management, Pest Management, Harvest Management and Post-Harvest Management are the important components of e-Agriculture where technology aids farmers with better information and alternatives. It uses a host of technologies like Remote Sensing, Computer Simulation, Assessment of speed and direction of Wind, Soil quality assays, Crop Yield predictions and Marketing using IT.

In India, there have been several initiatives by State and Central Governments to meet the various challenges facing the agriculture sector in the country. The E-Agriculture is part of the Mission Mode Project, which has been included in NeGP (under National E-governance Plan) to consolidate the various learnings from the past, integrate all the diverse and disparate efforts currently underway, and upscale them to cover the entire country.

In the framework of agriculture, the impact of information technology can be evaluated broadly under two categories. First, Information technology is a tool for direct contribution to agricultural productivity and secondly, it is an indirect tool for empowering agriculturalists to make informed and quality decisions that will have a positive impact on the agriculture and allied activities conducted. Precision agriculture which is popular in developed countries broadly uses information technology to make a direct contribution to agricultural efficiency.

It is well recognized that E-Agriculture is a developing field focusing on the augmentation of agricultural and rural development through better information and communication processes. More precisely, e-Agriculture involves the conceptualization, design, development, evaluation and application of innovative ways to use information and communication technologies in the rural area, with a primary focus on agriculture.

Information technology can aid Indian farmers to get significant information regarding agro-inputs, crop production technologies, agro-processing, market support, agro-finance and management of farm agri-business. The agricultural extension tool is becoming dependent on Information technology to provide appropriate and location-specific technologies for the farmers to provide timely and proficient advice to the farmers. Information technology can be the best means not only to develop agricultural extension but also to expand agriculture research and education system.

Information and communication technologies can enhance the agricultural sector in developing countries by functioning as pioneering solutions to agricultural challenges. Information technology is drastically changing the lives of humans in all areas including the agriculture sector. Information technology use computers along with telecommunication equipment for the retrieval, storage, transmission and manipulation of data, which are aimed to improve competence in the agriculture sector. 

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita (“The Song of the Lord”) is is among the most important religious texts of Hinduism. The Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata, one of India’s most famous epic poems. The work is also known as the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Iswara Gita, the Ananta Gita, the Hari Gita, the Vyasa Gita, or simply the Gita. The Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, right before the start of the climactic Kurukshetra War in the Hindu epic Mahabharata

The Bhagavad Gita is a poem written in the Sanskrit language. It has a total of 700 verses which are structured into several ancient Indian poetic meters, with the principal being the shloka. It has 18 chapters in total. Each shloka consists of a couplet, thus the entire text consists of 1,400 lines. It’s unclear exactly when the Gita was composed as estimates vary widely, but several scholars suggest it was completed around 200 CE and then inserted into the larger work; many see it as the first fully realized yogic scripture. 

In the Indian tradition, the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the epic Mahabharata of which it is a part, is attributed to the sage Vyasa, whose full name was Krishna Dvaipayana, also called Veda-Vyasa. Another Hindu legend states that Vyasa narrated it while the elephant-headed deity Ganesha broke one of his tusks and wrote down the Mahabharata along with the Bhagavad Gita.

The Gita is a dialogue between the warrior-prince Arjuna and the god Krishna who is serving as his charioteer at the Battle of Kurukshetra fought between Arjuna’s family and allies (the Pandavas) and those of the prince Duryodhana and his family (the Kauravas) and their allies. Arjuna and his brothers have been exiled from the kingdom of Kurukshetra for 13 years and cut off from their rightful heritage by another faction of the family; the Gita takes up their struggle to reclaim the throne, which requires that Arjuna wage war against his kinsmen, bringing his considerable military skills to bear. This dialogue is recited by the Kauravan counselor Sanjaya to his blind king Dhritarashtra (both far from the battleground) as Krishna has given Sanjaya mystical sight so he will be able to see and report the battle to the king.

On the battlefield, the armies of the Pandavas and the Kauravas have gathered, ready to fight. The Pandava prince Arjuna asks his charioteer Krishna to drive to the center of the battlefield so that he can get a good look at both the armies and all those who are going to fight on both sides. He sees that some among his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers. He does not want to fight to kill them and is thus filled with doubt and despair on the battlefield. He drops his bow, wonders if he should renounce and just leave the battlefield. He turns to his charioteer and guide Krishna, for advice on the rationale for war, his choices and the right thing to do. 

The Bhagavad Gita is the compilation of Arjuna’s questions and moral dilemma, Krishna’s answers and insights that elaborate on a variety of philosophical concepts. The compiled dialogue goes far beyond the “a rationale for war”; it touches on many human ethical dilemmas, philosophical issues and life’s choices. The Gita has three major themes: knowledge, action and love. The setting of the Gita on a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of human life. 

The Gita combines the concepts expressed in the central texts of Hinduism – the Vedas and Upanishads – which are here synthesized into a single, coherent vision of belief in one God and the underlying unity of all existence. The text instructs on how one must elevate the mind and soul to look beyond appearances – which fool one into believing in duality and multiplicity – and recognize these are illusions; all humans and aspects of existence are a unified extension of the Divine which one will recognize once the trappings of illusion have been discarded.

The Gita inspired the Bhakti (“devotion”) Movement which then influenced the development of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Krishna explains the path of selfless devotion as one of the paths toward self-actualization, recognition of the truth of existence, and liberation from the cycle of rebirth and death; the other two being jnana (“knowledge”) and karma (“action”). The Hare Krishna Movement of the present day is an expression of Bhakti, and the Gita remains their principal text.

According to Flood and Martin, although the Gita is set in the context of a war epic, the narrative is structured to apply to all situations; it wrestles with questions about “who we are, how we should live our lives, and how should we act in the world”.

Home Automation System

Home automation or domotics is building automation for a home, called a smart home or a smart house. The word “domotics” is a contraction of the Latin word for a home (Domus) and the word robotics. The word “smart” in “smart home” refers to the system being aware of the state of its devices, which is done through the information and communication technologies (ICT) protocol and the Internet of Things (IoT).

A home automation system will monitor and control home attributes such as lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. It may also include home security such as access control and alarm systems. Home automation allows you to control almost every aspect of your home through the Internet of Things. 

A home automation system typically connects controlled devices to a central smart home hub (also called a “gateway”). The user interface for controls of the system uses either wall-mounted terminals, tablet or desktop computers, a mobile phone application, or a Web interface that may also be accessible off-site through the Internet. Home automation has a high potential for sharing data between family members or trusted individuals for personal security and leads to energy-saving measures with a positive environmental impact in the future.

Applications and technologies:

Home automation is prevalent in a variety of different realms, including:

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): it is possible to have remote control of all home energy monitors over the internet incorporating a simple and friendly user interface.

Lighting control system: a “smart” network that incorporates communication between various lighting system inputs and outputs, using one or more central computing devices.

Occupancy-aware control system: it is possible to sense the occupancy of the home using smart meters and environmental sensors like CO2 sensors, which can be integrated into the building automation system to trigger automatic responses for energy efficiency and building comfort applications.

Appliance control and integration with the smart grid and a smart meter, taking advantage, for instance, of high solar panel output in the middle of the day to run washing machines.

Home robots and security: a household security system integrated with a home automation system can provide additional services such as remote surveillance of security cameras over the Internet, or access control and central locking of all perimeter doors and windows. 

Leak detection, smoke and CO detectors 

Laundry-folding machine

Indoor positioning systems (IPS). Home automation for the elderly and disabled.

Pet and baby care, for example, tracking the pets and babies’ movements and controlling pet access rights. 

Air quality control (inside and outside). For example, Air Quality Egg is used by people at home to monitor the air quality and pollution level in the city and create a map of the pollution. 

Smart kitchen, with refrigerator inventory, premade cooking programs, cooking surveillance, etc.

Voice control devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home are used to control home appliances or systems.

Advantages:

1. Energy Savings

Home automation systems have proven themselves in the arena of energy efficiency. Automated thermostats allow you to pre-program temperatures based on the time of day and the day of the week. And some even adjust to your behaviours, learning and adapting to your temperature preferences without your ever inputting a pre-selected schedule. Traditional or behaviour-based automation can also be applied to virtually every gadget that can be remotely controlled – from sprinkler systems to coffee makers. Actual energy savings ultimately depend on the type of device you select and its automation capabilities. But on average, product manufacturers estimate the systems can help consumers save anywhere from 10 to 15 per cent off of heating and cooling bills.

2. Convenience

In today’s fast-paced society, the less you have to worry about, the better. Right? Convenience is another primary selling point of home automation devices, which virtually eliminate small hassles such as turning the lights off before you go to bed or adjusting the thermostat when you wake up in the morning.

Many systems come with remote dashboard capabilities, so forgetting to turn off that coffee pot before you leave no longer requires a trip back to the house. Simply pull up the dashboard on a smart device or computer, and turn the coffee pot off in a matter of seconds.

3. Security

Remote monitoring can put your mind at ease while you’re away from the house. With remote dashboards, lights and lamps can be turned on and off, and automated blinds can be raised and lowered. These capabilities – combined with automated security systems – can help you mitigate the risks of intrusions: you will be alerted immediately if something uncharacteristic happens.

The Disadvantages

1. Installation

Depending on the complexity of the system, installing a home automation device can be a significant burden on the homeowner. It can either cost you money if you hire an outside contractor or cost you time if you venture to do it yourself.

2. Complex Technology

Automating everything in life may sound extremely appealing, but sometimes a good old-fashioned flip of the switch is a lot easier than reaching for your smartphone to turn lights on and off. Before you decide which system is right for you, think about how far you want to take home automation in your household.

3. System Compatibility

Controlling all aspects of home automation from one centralized platform is important, but not all systems are compatible with one another. Your security system, for example, may require you to log in to one location to manage settings, while your smart thermostat may require you to log in to another platform to turn the air conditioner on and off. To truly leverage the convenience of home automation, you may need to invest in centralized platform technology to control all systems and devices from one location.

4. Cost

Even though the price of home automation systems has become much more affordable in recent years, the cost to purchase and install a device can still add up. Consumer Reports offers a wide range of information and insights – including costs – on the best home automation systems on the market.

Main purpose of home automation system is to provide ease to people to control different home appliances with the help of the android application present in their mobile phones and to save electricity, time and money. The sheer quantity of consumer attention generated by home automation technology means the biggest technology businesses and innovators have entered a race to overtake one another. That means better smart house technology is continually improved to coincide with our technological requirements. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of international private business self-regulation which aims to contribute to societal goals of a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in or supporting volunteering or ethically-oriented practices.

According to the World Business Council of Sustainable Development, corporate social responsibility is the “continuing commitment by business to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large.” It is also called corporate sustainability, sustainable business, corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, conscious capitalism, or responsible business.

CSR is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives (“Triple-Bottom-Line-Approach”), while at the same time addressing the expectations of  shareholders and stakeholders. It is a management concept that helps companies be socially accountable to themselves, their stakeholders, and the public. Corporate social responsibility is now a familiar metric of how well a brand interacts with stakeholders and communities, both locally and globally. 

On April 1, 2014, India became the first country to legally mandate corporate social responsibility. The new rules in Section 135 of India’s Companies Act make it mandatory for companies of a certain turnover and profitability to spend two percent of their average net profit for the past three years on CSR.

Some examples of CSR in action include:

  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Engaging in charity work 
  • Purchasing fair trade products 
  • Investing in environmentally conscious businesses
  • Getting involved in volunteer work
  • Improving labour policies

Types of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is divided into four categories: environmental, philanthropic, ethical, and economic responsibility.

Environmental Responsibility: Environmental responsibility refers to the belief that organizations should behave as environmentally friendly as possible. It’s one of the most common forms of corporate social responsibility. Some companies use the term “environmental stewardship” to refer to such initiatives.

Companies that seek to embrace environmental responsibility can do so in several ways: Reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, the use of single-use plastics, water consumption, and general waste; Increasing reliance on renewable energy, sustainable resources, and recycled or partially recycled materials; Offsetting negative environmental impact; for example, by planting trees, funding research, and donating to related causes.

Ethical Responsibility: Ethical responsibility is concerned with ensuring an organization is operating fairly and ethically. Organizations that embrace ethical responsibility aim to achieve fair treatment of all stakeholders, including leadership, investors, employees, suppliers, and customers.

Firms can embrace ethical responsibility in different ways. For example, a business might set its own, higher minimum wage if the one mandated by the state or federal government doesn’t constitute a “livable wage.” Likewise, a business might require that products, ingredients, materials, or components be sourced according to free trade standards. In this regard, many firms have processes to ensure they’re not purchasing products resulting from slavery or child labour.

Philanthropic Responsibility: Philanthropic responsibility refers to a business’s aim to actively make the world and society a better place. In addition to acting as ethically and environmentally friendly as possible, organizations are driven by philanthropic responsibility often dedicate a portion of their earnings. While many firms donate to charities and nonprofits that align with their guiding missions, others donate to worthy causes that don’t directly relate to their business. Others go so far as to create their charitable trust or organization to give back.

Economic responsibility: Economic Responsibility is the practice of a firm backing all of its financial decisions in its commitment to do good in the areas listed above. The end goal is not to simply maximize profits, but positively impact the environment, people, and society.

Examples of CSR Companies

  1. Lego: The toy company has invested millions of dollars into addressing climate change and reducing waste. Lego’s environmentally conscious efforts include reduced packaging, using sustainable materials and investing in alternative energy.
  2. TOMS: TOMS donates one-third of its net profits to various charities that support physical and mental health as well as educational opportunities. As of April 1, 2020, the brand is directing all charitable donations to the TOMS COVID-19 Global Giving Fund.
  3. Johnson & Johnson: The brand focuses on reducing its environmental impact by investing in various alternative energy sources. Globally, Johnson & Johnson also works to provide clean, safe water to communities.
  4. Starbucks: The global coffee chain has implemented a socially responsible hiring process to diversify their workforce. Their efforts are focused on hiring more veterans, young people looking to start their careers, and refugees.
  5. Google: Google has demonstrated its commitment to the environment by investing in renewable energy sources and sustainable offices. The company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is also known to take stands on certain social issues.
  6. Pfizer: The pharmaceutical company’s focus on “corporate citizenship” is reflected in its healthcare initiatives. Some of the company’s initiatives include spreading awareness about noninfectious diseases and providing accessible health services to women and children in need. 

A properly implemented CSR concept can bring along a variety of competitive advantages, such as enhanced access to capital and markets, increased sales and profits, operational cost savings, improved productivity and quality, efficient human resource base, improved brand image and reputation, enhanced customer loyalty, better decision making and risk management processes.

While the goal of CSR is to push businesses to act responsibly and ethically toward the environment and community, there are some disadvantages. Engaging in CSR is not always cheap. It can rely on expensive structures and strategies to plan, execute and measure. A poorly planned CSR strategy that doesn’t deliver what it says it can quickly become a failure and business liability. The impact on a business’s reputation can be detrimental, and the community will be quick to scrutinise its actions.

H&M’s Greenwashing campaign is an example of a misleading or disingenuous CSR – Swedish fast-fashion chain H&M has been called out recently for supplying insufficient information about the sustainability of their “sustainable style” collection. This is known as greenwashing (the act of giving a false impression that a company and its products are more environmentally friendly than they truly are). The internationally renowned fashion company has marked some of its products as ethical and environmentally friendly, yet they still produce materials at a non-environmentally friendly rate. The Norwegian Consumer Authority called out the chain for failing to produce sufficient information on how their products have “environmental benefits”. As a result, H&M have received criticism in the media.

The movement toward CSR has had an impact in several domains. For example, many companies have taken steps to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations, through measures such as installing renewable energy sources or purchasing carbon offsets. In managing supply chains, efforts have also been taken to eliminate reliance on unethical labour practices, such as child labour and slavery.

As the use of corporate responsibility expands, it is becoming increasingly important to have a socially conscious image. Consumers, employees and stakeholders prioritize CSR when choosing a brand or company, and they are holding corporations accountable for effecting social change with their business beliefs, practices and profits. In today’s socially conscious environment, employees and customers place a premium on working for and spending their money with businesses that prioritize CSR. 

A Brief Introduction to Constellations

Constellations are a group of stars that form patterns in the sky. Constellations played a significant role in navigation for explorers of the Earth; these navigators created extensive star charts to help them find their way around the planet. The word “constellation” comes from the Late Latin term cōnstellātiō, which can be translated as “set of stars”; it came into use in Middle English during the 14th century.

Ancient humans spent a lot of time observing star patterns in the sky. They identified clusters of stars as gods, goddesses, heroes, animals, and objects. They also created stories to go along with these star patterns, which became the basis for many of the myths passed through centuries by the Greeks, Romans, Polynesians, Indigenous Americans, and members of various African tribes and Asian cultures. Most of the constellation names we know came from the ancient Middle Eastern, Greek, and Roman culture. In some cases, the constellations may have had ceremonial or religious significance. In other cases, the star groupings helped to mark the passage of time between planting and harvesting.

In 1930 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially listed 88 modern and ancient constellations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the sky. In 1928 adopted official constellation boundaries that together cover the entire celestial sphere. It is roughly based on the traditional Greek constellations listed by Ptolemy in his Almagest in the 2nd century and Aratus’ work Phenomena, with early modern modifications and additions by Petrus Plancius (1592, 1597/98 and 1613), Johannes Hevelius (1690) and Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1763), who named fourteen constellations and renamed a fifteenth one.

36 modern constellations predominantly lie in the northern sky, while 52 are found in the southern celestial hemisphere. Most constellations (more than 40) represent animals. Many were named after humans or figures from mythology, while some depict inanimate objects.

Constellations are typically grouped around asterisms, which are patterns formed by bright stars that appear close to each other in the night sky. These asterisms are often the most conspicuous parts of constellations, which is why the term constellation is still colloquially (and incorrectly) used synonymously with asterism. The constellations themselves are much larger than asterisms and occupy considerably larger areas. For example, the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and Southern Cross are not constellations. They are asterisms formed by the brightest stars of the constellations Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and Crux.

Zodiac Constellations are constellations that lie along the plane of the ecliptic. The ecliptic, or the apparent path of the Sun, is defined by the circular path of the Sun across the sky, as seen from Earth. In other words, the Sun appears to pass through these constellations over the course of a year.

There are 12 constellations in the zodiac family. They are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces.

The northern zodiac constellations – Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo – are located in the eastern celestial hemisphere, while the southern – Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus and Aquarius – are found in the west.

Some prominent constellations include:

Ursa Major constellation lies in the northern sky. Its name means “the great bear,” or “the larger bear,” in Latin. The smaller bear is represented by Ursa Minor. Ursa Major is the largest northern constellation and third largest constellation in the sky. Its brightest stars form the Big Dipper asterism, one of the most recognizable shapes in the sky, also known as the Plough. Ursa Major is well-known in most world cultures and associated with a number of myths. It was one of the constellations catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. In Greek mythology, it is associated with Callisto, a nymph who was turned into a bear by Zeus’ jealous wife Hera.

Cassiopeia is one of the most easily recognizable constellations in the northern night sky. Nicknamed the W constellation, Cassiopeia is easily recognizable for the prominent W asterism formed by its five brightest stars. The constellation is named after the vain queen Cassiopeia in Greek Mythology, wife of the King Cepheus of Aethiopia. Cassiopeia can be found high in the northeastern sky on October evenings, not far from Polaris, the North Star.

Andromeda constellation is located in the northern sky, between Cassiopeia’s W asterism and the Great Square of Pegasus. The constellation was named after the mythical princess Andromeda, the daughter of Queen Cassiopeia and wife of the Greek hero Perseus. It is also known as the Chained Maiden, Persea (wife of Perseus), or Cepheis (daughter of Cepheus).

Pegasus is one of the most prominent constellations in the northern sky. It was listed by the astronomer Ptolemy during the 2nd century and was named after a winged horse in Greek mythology. The brightest star in the constellation is Epsilon Pegasi, which forms the creature’s nose. Pegasus belonged to Poseidon, the god of the sea, earthquakes, and storms. In a battle between Perseus and Medusa, Perseus decapitated her and the winged horse “sprang” from her blood. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Pegasus constellation can be found high in the sky from the end of summer through autumn.

Orion is one of the brightest and best known constellations in the night sky and lies on the celestial equator. It is named after Orion the hunter in Greek mythology. In mythology, Orion was a supernaturally gifted hunter, and the son of Poseidon. He proclaimed himself as the greatest hunter in the world. This angered Zeus’s wife Hera, who had a scorpion kill him. Out of compassion, Zeus put Orion into the sky. Located on the celestial equator and made up of bright young blue giants or supergiants, it is one of the most prominent and recognizable constellations in the sky and can be seen throughout the world. Orion’s Belt includes the three most prominent stars in the constellation: Alnilam, Mintaka, and Alnitak. Orion is clearly visible in the night sky from November to February.

Each Latin constellation name has two forms: the nominative, for use, when talking about the constellation itself, and the genitive, or possessive, used in star names. For instance: Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation Aries (nominative form), is also called Alpha Arietis (genitive form), meaning literally “the alpha of Aries”. 

The 88 officially recognized constellations are visible at different times throughout the year. Each season has distinctive star patterns because the visibility of stars in the sky change as the Earth orbits the Sun. The Northern and Southern Hemisphere skies are very different from each other, and there are some patterns in each that cannot be viewed between hemispheres. In general, most people can see about 40-50 constellations over a year.

Most people can see more than half of them throughout the year, though it can depend on where they live. The best way to learn them all is to observe throughout the year and study the individual stars in each constellation. To identify the constellations, most observers use star charts found online and in astronomy books. Others use planetarium software such as Stellarium or an astronomy app. 

The Life of John Keats

John Keats was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and P B Shelley. Although his poems were not generally well-received by critics during his lifetime, his reputation grew after his death, and by the end of the 19th century, he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analyzed in English literature.

John Keats was born in Moorgate, London on 31 October 1795 to Thomas Keats and his wife, Frances Jennings, and was the oldest of 5 siblings. He lost both his parents at a young age. Keats attended the Clarke school at Enfield, two miles away, that was run by John Clarke, whose son Charles Cowden Clarke did much to encourage Keats’s literary aspirations.

After the death of Keats’s mother in 1810, his grandmother made Richard Abbey their guardian. In 1811, John Keats was apprenticed to a surgeon at Edmonton. He broke off his apprenticeship in 1814 and went to London, where he worked as a dresser, or junior house surgeon, at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospitals. In 1816 Keats became a licensed apothecary, but he never practiced his profession, deciding instead to write poetry. His literary interests had crystallized by this time, and after 1817 he devoted himself entirely to poetry.

Charles Cowden Clarke had introduced the young Keats to the poetry of Edmund Spenser and the Elizabethans, and these were his earliest models. His first mature poem is the sonnet “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” (1816), which was inspired by his reading of George Chapman’s classic 17th-century translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Clarke also introduced Keats to the journalist, contemporary poet, and editor of the Examiner – Leigh Hunt, and Keats made friends in Hunt’s circle of literary men, including poets Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, and John Hamilton Reynolds. The group’s influence enabled Keats to see his first volume, Poems by John Keats, published in March 1817.

In 1817 Keats left London briefly for a trip to the Isle of Wight and Canterbury and began work on Endymion, his first long poem. On his return to London, he moved into lodgings in Hampstead with his brothers. Endymion appeared in 1818. This work is a long poem divided into four 1,000-line sections and composed in loose rhymed couplets. The poem narrates a version of the Greek legend of the love of the moon goddess Diana for Endymion, a mortal shepherd, but Keats emphasizes Endymion’s love for the goddess rather than on hers for him.

Soon after the completion of Endymion, Keats wrote “Isabella or the Pot of Basil” in 1818 which was a narrative poem based on a grotesque and tragic tale from Boccaccio’s Decameron. It was during the year 1819 that all his greatest poetry was written, which included: The Eve of St. Agnes, a romantic love story amid a family feud and Lamia, the story of a witch who is transformed by Hermes from a serpent into a beautiful maiden and then into a serpent again, and the two versions of Hyperion.

During the same year, he also wrote the great odes (“On Indolence,” “On a Grecian Urn,” “To Psyche,” “To a Nightingale,” “On Melancholy,” and “To Autumn”). All the odes were composed between March and June 1819 except “To Autumn,” which is from September. These odes are Keats’s most distinctive poetic achievement. They are essentially lyrical meditations on some object or quality that prompts the poet to confront the conflicting impulses of his inner being and to reflect upon his longings and their relations to the wider world around him. This subject was forced upon Keats by the painful death of his brother and his failing health, and the odes highlight his struggle for self-awareness and certainty through the liberating powers of his imagination.

Keats’ central theme of all his poetry is imagination mainly concerned with beauty because it was the only consolation he found in a life full of sadness and misunderstanding. The memory of beauty was to him a source of pure joy. For Keats, beauty is intrinsically tied to life as it should be, where humans and nature are in complete harmony with one another, where beauty is dynamic, changeable, in process, and includes its fulfillment. He loved nature just for its own sake and for the glory and loveliness’ which he everywhere found in it, and no modern poet has even been nearer than he was to the simple ‘poetry of earth’.

Keats’ letters were first published in 1848 and 1878. During the 19th century, critics disregarded them as distractions from his poetic works. During the 20th century, they became almost as admired and studied as his poetry, and are highly regarded within the canon of English literary correspondence. T. S. Eliot described them as, “certainly the most notable and most important ever written by any English poet.”

He had been increasingly ill throughout 1819, and by the beginning of 1820, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, a disease that had afflicted many of his family members, Keats traveled along with Joseph Severn to Italy in hopes of finding treatment. Keats died in Rome on 23 February 1821 at the age of 25.

The United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is one of the largest and most familiar international organizations. It is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security and international cooperation among nations. The organization’s objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.

The UN succeeded the ineffective League of Nations, the first worldwide intergovernmental organization whose mission was to maintain world peace. The League of Nations was created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and disbanded in 1946. The League lasted for 26 years; after which the United Nations (UN) replaced it in 1946 and inherited several agencies and organizations founded by the League. The UN was established after WWII to prevent future wars.

At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; with the addition of South Sudan in 2011, membership is now 193, representing almost all of the world’s sovereign states.  UN is headquartered in New York City and has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, and The Hague.

Charter of the United Nations:

The Charter of the United Nations, also known as the UN Charter, is the founding document of the United Nations. The Charter establishes the purposes, governing structure, and the overall framework of the UN system. It was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, after the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945. The United Nations can take action on many issues due to its unique international character and the powers vested in its Charter, which is considered an international treaty. As a charter, its rules and obligations are binding on all members. 

The UN has four main purposes:

  • To maintain peace throughout the world.
  • To develop friendly relations among nations.
  • To help countries work together to improve people’s lives, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy. 
  • To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.

The Main Bodies of the United Nations:

The United Nations is part of a broader framework called the UN System, which includes many institutions and entities. It has six principal organs – 

The General Assembly:

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation. 

The six committees of the general assembly include: (1) Disarmament and International Security, (2) Economic and Financial, (3) Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural, (4) Special Political and Decolonization, (5) Administrative and Budgetary, and (6) Legal.

The Security Council:

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. It is responsible for establishing peacekeeping operations, international sanctions and authorization of military action. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members) with each member having one vote.

The Economic and Social Council:  

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is a central forum responsible for discussing and coordinating international economic and social issues and formulating policy recommendations. It is the central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. It has 54 member states, and over 1,600 NGOs have consultative status with the council to participate in the works of the UN. 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ): 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), sometimes known as the World Court, is the primary judicial organ of the UN. It is a universal court for international law; its functions are to settle legal disputes between states following international law and gives advisory opinions on legal issues. The ICJ consists of a panel of 15 judges elected by the UN General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms. 

The UN Secretariat: 

 The United Nations Secretariat is the administrative organ of the UN, headed by the United Nations Secretary-General and assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies.

The Trusteeship Council: 

The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories under the administration of seven Member States. It also aimed to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence. The Trusteeship Council suspended operation on 1 November 1994.

Specialized Agencies of the UN:

The UN specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations. All were brought into relationship with the UN through negotiated agreement, some of which include –

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Bank Group (WBG)

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Programmes and Funds of the UN:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The World Food Programme (WFP)

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)

UN Women 

UN-Habitat

Successes and Failures of the United Nations:

The U.N. is credited with helping negotiate 172 peaceful settlements and helping more than 30 million refugees. It has provided safe drinking water to more than a billion people and food to millions of people across 80 nations. It has assisted countries with their elections, provided vaccinations for children, helped millions of women with maternal health and protected human rights through some 80 treatise and declarations.

Currently, approximately 100,000 peacekeepers from 120 countries are serving in 13 missions. The U.N. and its agencies have had success in coordinating global efforts against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, cholera, influenza, yellow fever, meningitis and COVID-19, and has helped eradicate smallpox and polio from most of the world. Ten U.N. agencies and U.N. personnel have received Nobel prizes for peace.

UN inaction is responsible for a number of ongoing crisis, including Russia’s takeover of part of Ukraine; China occupying disputed territories in South China Sea; the Iraq War; the Israel-Palestine conflict; civil wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and the treatment of Rohingyas in Myanmar, Ughyurs in China and Kashmiris in India.

Despite having many short-comings, the United Nations plays a crucial role in the world. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although it is best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make a change in the world. 

E-Commerce

E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. Electronic commerce draws on such technologies as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. In the emerging global economy, e-commerce and e-business have increasingly become a necessary component of a business strategy and a strong catalyst for economic development.

Photo Credits: Grace Kim, The Balance

Business-to-Consumer (B2C):

Business-to-Consumer (B2C), also called B-to-C, refers to the transaction of goods and services that take place directly between a business and a consumer, who is the end-users of its products or services. This type of ecommerce is among the most popular and widely known sales models. B2C traditionally referred to mall shopping, eating out at restaurants, pay-per-view movies, and infomercials. However, the rise of the internet created a whole new B2C business channel in the form of e-commerce or selling goods and services over the internet. Amazon is an example of B2C e-commerce.

Business-to-Business (B2B):

Business-to-business (B2B), also called B-to-B, is a form of transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. Simply put, it refers to business transactions between two companies. These transactions commonly happen in the supply chain, where one company will purchase raw materials from another to be used in the manufacturing process.

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C):

Customer-to-customer (C2C), also called C2C, is a form of business model whereby customers can trade with each other, typically in an online environment. C2C transactions actually represent a form of bartering. It represents a market environment where one customer purchases goods from another customer using a third-party business or platform to facilitate the transaction. Two implementations of C2C markets are auctions and classified advertisements. eBay and Etsy are examples of C2C companies.

M-Commerce:

M-commerce, also called Mobile Commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services, paying bills, mobile ticketing and doing transactions through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. Many choose to think of mobile commerce as “a retail outlet in your customer’s pocket.” M-commerce can be used by businesses to improve their customer base and increase their revenue. Some types of m commerce include online shopping, mobile banking, mobile app payments through PayPal and Google Pay, and booking tickets online.

F-Commerce:

F-commerce, also called Facebook Commerce, refers to the selling of goods and services on Facebook. It has become a major online trading vehicle. Facebook being a popular social media site provides a captive audience to transact business. Many small businesses rely more on their social media presence than they do on traditional websites. This is one of the newest forms of e-commerce, that has become popular with young entrepreneurs which makes shopping on Facebook pages convenient for the young generation.

Positive Psychology

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Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being. It is a field of study that has been growing steadily throughout the years as individuals and researchers look for common ground on better well-being. As a field, positive psychology deals with topics like character strengths, optimism, life satisfaction, happiness, well-being, gratitude, compassion, self-esteem and self-confidence, hope, and elevation. Positive psychology focuses on eudaimonia, an Ancient Greek term for “the good life” and the concept for reflection on the factors that contribute the most to a well-lived and fulfilling life.

Positive psychology began as a new domain of psychology in 1998. It became popular when Martin Seligman, who is known as the ‘father of positive psychology’, chose it as the theme for his term as president of the American Psychological Association. He was of the belief that past practices of psychology weren’t helpful and the new ones should instead focus on the enhancement of positive human attributes. From this point in time, theories and research examined positive psychology interventions that help make life worth living and how to define, quantify, and create wellbeing. Positive psychology can have a range of real-world applications in areas including education, therapy, self-help, stress management, and workplace issues.

Positive psychology focuses on the positive events and influences in life, which includes:
Positive experiences (happiness, joy, inspiration, and love).
Positive states and traits (gratitude, resilience, and compassion).
Positive institutions (applying positive principles within entire organizations and institutions).

Three Levels of Positive Psychology:

Subjective level: focuses on feelings of happiness, well-being, and optimism and how these feelings transform your daily experience.
Individual-level: a combination of the feelings in the subjective level along with virtues such as forgiveness, love, and courage.
Group level: positive interaction with your community, including virtues like altruism and social responsibility that strengthen social bonds.

The PERMA Model of Well-Being:

The PERMA Model is a well-being theory developed by positive psychologist Martin Seligman. It identifies five essential elements to well-being. PERMA is an acronym for the five elements of well-being – Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments.

Positive Emotions: Positive Emotions is much more than just happiness. It includes other emotions such as hope, joy, compassion, pride, and gratitude. Positive emotions are prime indicators of flourishing and can help improve well being. Increasing positive emotions helps individuals build physical, intellectual, psychological, and social resources that lead to this resilience and overall well-being.

Engagement: Engagement is something that an individual becomes engrossed in and is in line with the ‘flow’ concept, which includes the loss of self-consciousness and full involvement in an activity. This concept of engagement occurs when there is a perfect combination of skill and challenge involved. The concept of engagement is something much more powerful than simply “being happy,” but happiness is one of the many byproducts of engagement.

Relationships: Relationships include all the various interactions individuals have with partners, friends, family members, colleagues, and their community at large. Relationships in this model refer to feeling supported, loved, and valued by others. It is based on the idea that humans are inherently social creatures.

Meaning: Having a purpose in life helps individuals focus on what is important in the face of significant challenges or adversity. Having meaning or purpose in life is different for everyone. A sense of meaning is guided by personal values, and people who have a purpose in life live longer, have greater life satisfaction and have fewer health problems.

Accomplishments: A sense of accomplishment is the result of working toward and reaching goals, mastering an endeavour, and having self-motivation to finish what you set out to do. This contributes to well-being because individuals can look at their lives with a sense of pride. Accomplishment includes having a passion to attain goals. But flourishing and well-being come when accomplishment is tied to striving toward things with an internal motivation or working toward something just for the sake of the pursuit and improvement.

What is HR – Human Resource

Human Resources (HR)

What Is Human Resources (HR)?

Human resources (HR) is the division of a business that is charged with finding, screening, recruiting, and training job applicants, as well as administering employee-benefit programs. HR plays a key role in helping companies deal with a fast-changing business environment and a greater demand for quality employees in the 21st century. John R. Commons, an American institutional economist, first coined the term “human resource” in his book “The Distribution of Wealth,” published in 1893. However, it was not until the 19th century that HR departments were formerly developed and tasked with addressing misunderstandings between employees and their employers.

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

Human resources (HR) is the division of a business that is charged with finding, screening, recruiting, and training job applicants, and administering employee-benefit programs. Additional human resources responsibilities include compensation and benefits, recruitment, firing, and keeping up to date with any laws that may affect the company and its employees. Many companies have moved away from traditional in-house human resources (HR) administrative duties and outsourced tasks like payroll and benefits to outside vendors. Understanding Human Resources The presence of an HR department is an essential component of any business, regardless of the organization’s size. An HR department is tasked with maximizing employee productivity and protecting the company from any issues that may arise within the workforce. HR responsibilities include compensation and benefits, recruitment, firing, and keeping up to date with any laws that may affect the company and its employees. Research conducted by The Conference Board, a member-driven economic think tank, has found six key people-related activities that HR must effectively do to add value to a company. These include: Managing and using people effectively Tying performance appraisal and compensation to competencies Developing competencies that enhance individual and organizational performance Increasing the innovation, creativity, and flexibility necessary to enhance competitiveness Applying new approaches to work process design, succession planning, career development, and inter-organizational mobility

Managing the implementation and integration of technology through improved staffing, training, and communication with employees1 Beginning in the 1980s, there was a push for strategic initiatives within HR departments. This movement was based on research related to the impact of employee-related issues on a firm’s long-term business success. Collectively, these strategies are sometimes referred to as human resource management (HRM) strategies. HRM is a comprehensive approach to managing employees and an organization’s culture and environment. It focuses on the recruitment, management, and general direction of the people who work in an organization. An HR department that adopts HRM strategies typically plays a more active role in improving an organization’s workforce. They may recommend processes, approaches, and business solutions to management. Google is one example of an organization that has adopted a more active approach to employee relations through their HR department. The company offers tons of employee perks, and the company headquarters have a wide range of facilities for employees, including wellness centers, roller hockey rinks, and horseshoe pits. For Google, happy employees are equivalent to productive employees.

There are many online portal where you can search for HR professionals and get your Human Resources executive search completed with ease.

Special Considerations

Since the start of the 20th century, some companies have started outsourcing some of the more traditional administrative, transactional HR functions in an effort to free the department to recommend and implement more meaningful, value-adding programs that impact the business in positive ways. Functions that may be outsourced in this process include payroll administration, employee benefits, recruitment, background checks, exit interviews, risk management, dispute resolution, safety inspection, and office policies. The use of more moderns tools, such as the best recruitment software, can also afford HR departments more leeway by improving their efficiency. Compete Risk Free with $100,000 in Virtual Cash Put your trading skills to the test with our FREE Stock Simulator. Compete with thousands of Investopedia traders and trade your way to the top! Submit trades in a virtual environment before you start risking your own money. Practice trading strategies so that when you’re ready to enter the real market, you’ve had the practice you need.

Yoga

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Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines that has its origins in ancient India. The word Yoga first appeared in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda and is derived from the Sanskrit root “Yuj” which means to join or unite.

According to the Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads an individual to the union of consciousness with that of universal Consciousness. It eventually leads to a great harmony between the human mind and body, man & nature. The prime objective of Yoga is Self-realization, to overcome all types of sufferings prompting ‘the state of salvation’ (Moksha) or ‘freedom’ (Kaivalya).

Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita:

The Bhagavad Gita (‘Song of the Lord’) is part of the Mahabharata and contains extensive teachings on the discipline of yoga. In addition to an entire chapter (chapter. 6) dedicated to traditional yoga practice, including meditation, it introduces three prominent types of yoga: 

Karma yoga: The yoga of action.

Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion.

Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge.

The Gita consists of 18 chapters and 700 shlokas (verses), with each chapter named as a different yoga, thus delineating eighteen different yogas. Some scholars divide the Gita into three sections: the first six chapters with 280 shlokas dealing with Karma yoga, the middle six containing 209 shlokas with Bhakti yoga, and the last six chapters with 211 shlokas as Jnana yoga; however, this is rough because elements of karma, bhakti and jnana are found in all the chapters.

Branches of Yoga:

Raja Yoga: Raja yoga is also known as ‘Classical Yoga’ and this approach is closely linked to Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path of Yoga. Raja refers to ‘royal’, ‘chief’ or ‘king’, and alludes to being the best or highest form of yoga. The focal point of this branch is meditation, aiming to ‘control’ the intellect and thoughts through meditation. A connection with ‘God’ or ‘consciousness’ is worked towards by un-identifying with the ego-based self and identifying with the universal true Self.

Karma Yoga: Karma Yoga (Religion of Love), also known as the ‘yoga of action’ is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Karma Yoga is an intrinsic part of many types of yoga. The word ‘Karma’ is derived from the sanskrit Kri, meaning ‘to do’. Karma yoga suggests that we relinquish attachment to the consequences of our actions and instead focus on the moment in action. Awareness of each thought, word and deed and mindfulness are an important part of Karma yoga, which allows the practitioner to truly experience that moment-in-action. Karma yoga is based upon selfless service and acting without any expectation of benefitting from the service. It occupies a large part of Indian thought and through this practice, union with ‘the divine’ is achieved through making any action an offering to God. 

Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is also known as ‘the yoga of force’. Many teachers equate Ha to mean ‘Sun’ and Tha to the moon, and reason that the physical yoga practice is intended to ‘balance’ the Sun and Moon energies within us. Whilst the physical yoga practice is intended to bring about a state of equilibrium within the human organism, the real meaning and essence of Hatha yoga is to change the physical body and mind by way of experimentation, movement and physical ‘force’. Hatha yoga is anything that uses the physical body. First mentioned and practised around 1100AD, it is the most ‘modern’ branch of yoga.

Bhakti Yoga: Bhakti yoga is also known as the ‘yoga of devotion’ and describes the path of devotion. The word Bhakti comes from the word ‘Bhaj’, of which the essence is ‘to share’. This form of yoga is based upon the heart, love and devotion towards a chosen deity. Much like Karma yoga, dedicating all actions towards a deity or ‘God’ is an intrinsic part of Bhakti yoga. Seeing the divine in all of creation, bhakti yoga is a positive way to channel the emotions. The path of bhakti provides us with an opportunity to cultivate acceptance and tolerance for everyone we come into contact with. Bhakti yogis express the devotional nature of their path in their every thought, word, and deed.

Jnana Yoga: Jnana yoga, also known as the ‘yoga of knowledge’ is the yoga of the mind, of wisdom, the path of the sage or scholar. This is the yoga of ‘knowing’, of realizing the truth of oneself. This path requires development of the intellect through the study of the scriptures and texts of the yogic tradition. The jnana yoga approach is considered the most difficult and at the same time the most direct. It involves serious study and will appeal to those who are more intellectually inclined.

Mantra Yoga: Mantra yoga is the yoga of sound. Considered sacred utterances, mantras are syllables, words, or phrases representing a particular attribute of the Divine. Mantra yoga is the practice of becoming centered through the repetition of mantras.

Yoga as a Physical Practice:

Yoga as an exercise is a physical activity consisting of asanas, often connected by flowing sequences called vinyasas, sometimes accompanied by the breathing exercises of pranayama, and usually ending with a period of relaxation or meditation. Yoga as exercise was created in what has been called the Modern Yoga Renaissance by the blending of Western styles of gymnastics with postures from Haṭha yoga in India in the 20th century, pioneered by Shri Yogendra and Swami Kuvalayananda.

Today, yoga has developed into a worldwide multi-billion dollar business, involving classes, certification of teachers, clothing, books, videos, equipment, and holidays. In 2015, The United Nations General Assembly established 21 June as “International Day of Yoga” and celebrated annually. On 1 December 2016, UNESCO listed yoga as an intangible cultural heritage.

Benefits of Yoga:

Building muscle strength
Enhancing flexibility
Promoting better breathing
Supporting heart health
Helping with treatment for addiction
Reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain
Improving sleep
Enhancing overall well-being and quality of life

Yoga is the medicine for nearly every problem. As you practice yoga, it does not only help you to improve your physical body but also helps in maintaining your inner peace and relaxing your mind. Yoga is not just a one-day practice; it’s a lifelong commitment.

The Role of Civil Services in a Democracy

In a democracy, civil services play an important role in the administration, policy formulation and implementation, and in taking the country forward towards progress and development

Democracy is an egalitarian principle in which the governed elect the people who govern over them. There are three pillars of modern democracy: Legislature, Executive, and the Judiciary.
The civil services form a part of the executive. While the ministers, who are part of the executive, are temporary and are reelected or replaced by the people by their will (through elections), the civil servants are the permanent part of the executive.

The civil servants are accountable to the political executive, the ministers. The civil services are thus a subdivision under the government. The officers in the civil services form the permanent staff of the various governmental departments. They are expert administrators. They are sometimes referred to as the bureaucracy or also as the public service.

Importance of the Civil Services:

  • The civil service is present all over India and thus has a binding character.
  • It plays a vital role in effective policy-making and regulation.
  • It offers non-partisan advice to the political leadership of the country.
  • The service results in coordination between the various institutions of governance.
  • It offers service delivery and leadership at different levels of administration.

Functions of the Civil Services:

  • Civil services are the basis of governments. No government can function without an administrative machinery, which is necessary for implementing policies.
  • Civil services are responsible for implementing laws and executing policies framed by the government. The role of Civil Servants across the domains of policy making and policy implementation is critical to the development process.
  • The civil service is chiefly responsible for policy formulation as well. The civil service officers advise ministers in this regard and also provide them with facts and ideas.
  • Amidst political instability, the civil service offers a sense of stability and permanence. Civil services carry on the governance when governments change due to elections etc. While governments and ministers can come and go, civil service is a permanent fixture giving the administrative set-up continuity.
  • Successful policy implementation will lead to positive changes in the lives of ordinary people. The task of actualizing schemes and policies fall with the officers of the civil services.
  • Civil services are also managing public enterprises and public utilities in the interest of socio-economic justice. Public utilities are either publicly owned or strictly regulated in most countries. Government also imposes controls over private economic and business activities in the public interest.
  • The services offer welfare schemes such as providing social security, the welfare of weaker and vulnerable sections of society, old-age pensions, poverty alleviation, etc.
  • The services perform varied developmental functions like promoting modern techniques in agriculture, promoting the industry, trade, banking functions, bridging the digital divide, etc.
  • The civil services also perform quasi-judicial services by settling disputes between the State and the citizens, in the form of tribunals, etc.
  • Assisting ministers in fulfilling their responsibilities towards the parliament and its committees.
  • Handling financial operations of the state

Problems Affecting the Civil Services Today:

It is widely recognized that the civil services have contributed to stability in terms of maintenance of peace, the conduct of fair elections, managing disasters and the preservation of the unity of the nation, providing stability and maintaining order in a vast country prone to various conflicts – ethnic, communal, regional etc. Nonetheless, various committees including the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC II) have pointed out that, there are certain criticisms with respect to the performance of the civil services, towards realizing a results-oriented government. Some of them are:

  • Lack of professionalism and poor capacity building.
  • The incentive system is ineffective and does not reward laudable and upright civil servants.
  • The rules and procedures are rigid, which doesn’t allow civil servants to exercise individual judgement and perform efficiently.
  • There is a lack of accountability and transparency procedure, with no adequate protection for whistle-blowers.
  • Political interference causes arbitrary transfers and insecurity in tenures. There has been regular political interference in the functioning of civil servants to further narrow political agenda, which undermines the public welfare at large. Fear of transfer and lure of promotion sometimes impairs judgement of civil servants making them politically compliant.
  • Rampant corruption and nepotism is common due to an erosion in ethics and values.
  • Patrimonialism (a form of governance in which all power flows directly from the leader) is prevalent.
  • Resistance to change from the civil servants themselves.

What is digital marketing?

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services.

              At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the method by which companies endorse goods, services, and brands. Consumers heavily rely on digital means to research products.

Digital Marketing in 2021:

1.Voice Search Optimization:

  • According to research on voice search, they found that 55% of teenagers use voice search every day. This massive adoption by the entire generation shows how popular voice search is going to get in the future.
  • Google claims that they have achieved 95% accuracy with their Voice Search. With higher precision of search, the ease of use factor for voice search has jumped up. Now with better accuracy to match what you ask for, and the ease of using your voice to get results makes the process personalized and attractive.

2. Programmatic Advertising:

  • Programmatic Ad Buying is the use of software to purchase digital advertising. While the traditional method includes human negotiation, requests for proposals, and quotes, programmatic buying makes use of algorithms and machines to buy ads.
  • Programmatic Advertising is when AI is used to automate so that advertisers can target more specific audiences. 
  • Programmatic Advertising is rapidly increasing every year and is predicted to be used for a huge majority of display advertising in the next couple of years.

3. Chatbots:

  • Chatbots are considered one of the top digital marketing trends in 2021,the AI-based technology makes use of instant messaging to chat with customers, and with site visitors. It is designed to communicate with customers by textual or auditory methods. 
  • Businesses can leverage the use of chatbots to engage with customers. Since there are plenty of users visiting the website at once, it advantageous to have a technology that answers hundreds of users at once.  The benefits of having chatbots are 24/7 customer service, instant responses to inquiries, and answers to simple questions. 

4. Personalization:

  • If you want to outperform your competitors and want to stand out in the market, you must focus on personalizing content, products, emails, etc. Personalization is the next big trend that will soon become an industry standard.
  • The best example to understand the power of personalization are Amazon and Netflix, they have personalized recommended movies for each user. Here are some other examples of brands that are progressively using personalization at present.

5. Video Marketing:

  • Video Marketing is also one of the top digital marketing trends in 2021 and is likely to be at the top for more years to come. Here are some stats that will demonstrate the importance of including a video in your digital marketing current trends list.
  • One of the issues faced by marketers in recent years was to showcase long-form texts on mobile screens, as it becomes too difficult and tedious for users to read them. 

6. Instagram Reels:

  • The Instagram Reels was great news for marketers & content creators. Especially since Tik Tok was banned in a few countries, reels have served as the best replacement. 
  • The great news for digital marketers is that Reels are providing more than double engagement rates when compared to posting a normal video.
  • video can present the same information in a much better way regardless of the device. 
  • As a marketer, you can use this feature to showcase many kinds of content such as informative content, behind the scenes of the organization, product reviews, etc.

Disasters and Disaster Management

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A disaster is a sudden event that results in massive damage, loss, and destruction of life and property beyond a community’s capacity to cope. It can be either natural or human-made and leads to disruption of the daily life of the community. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the geographical location, climate and the type of earth surface/degree of vulnerability. It causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses. 

Disasters are classified as per origin, into natural and man-made disasters. Natural disasters include earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires. Man-made disasters can include hazardous material spills, fires, groundwater contamination, transportation accidents, structure failures, mining accidents, explosions and acts of terrorism.

No country is immune from disaster, though vulnerability to disaster varies from country to country. There are four main types of disaster:

Natural disasters. These disasters include floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcano eruptions that can have immediate impacts on human health, as well as seconday impacts causing further death and suffering from floods causing landslides, earthquakes resulting in fires, tsunamis causing widespread flooding and typhoons sinking ferries

Environmental emergencies. These emergencies include technological or industrial accidents, usually involving hazardous material, and occur where these materials are produced, used or transported. Large forest fires are generally included in this definition because they tend to be caused by humans.

Complex emergencies. These emergencies involve a breakdown of authority, looting and attacks on strategic installations. Complex emergencies include conflict situations and war.

Pandemic emergencies. These emergencies involve a sudden onset of a contagious disease that affects health and disrupts services and businesses, bringing economic and social costs.

Worst Disasters of India:

A few of the worst disasters India has faced:

The Bengal Famine (1943): The Bengal famine of 1943 affected the Bengal province of British during World War II. An estimated 2.1–3 million died of starvation, malaria, and other diseases aggravated by malnutrition, population displacement, unsanitary conditions and lack of health care. 

Bhopal Gas Tragedy (1984): The Bhopal Disaster is considered among the world’s worst industrial disasters. It occurred due to a gas leak incident on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. At least 30 tonnes of methyl isocyanate gas killed more than 15,000 people and affected over 600,000 workers.

Gujarat Earthquake (2001): The Gujarat earthquake, also known as the Bhuj earthquake, occurred on 26 January, 2001. Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Kutch, Surat, Surendranagar, Rajkot district, Jamnagar and Jodia districts of Gujarat. The earthquake killed between 13,805 and 20,023 people, injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 340,000 buildings.

Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (2004): The Indian Ocean tsunami occurred on December 26, 2004 affected parts of southern India and Andaman Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc., and resulted in the death of more than 2 lakh people.

Uttarakhand Flash Floods (2013): The Uttarakhand Flash Floods of 2013 caused devastating floods and landslides, becoming the country’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami. It affected 12 out of 13 districts of the state. Four districts were worst affected namely; Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, and Chamoli.

Disaster Management:

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Disaster management refers to the conservation of lives and property during natural or human-made disasters. Disaster management plans are multi-layered and help tackle catastrophes such as floods, hurricanes, fires, mass failure of utilities, and the rapid spread of disease and droughts. Disaster management includes seven administrative decisions and operational activities: Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Rehabilitation.

There are three key stages of activities in disaster management:

  1. Before a disaster: to reduce the potential for human, material, or environmental losses caused by hazards and to ensure that these losses are minimized when disaster strikes;
  2. During a disaster: to ensure that the needs and provisions of victims are met to alleviate and minimize suffering; and
  3. After a disaster: to achieve rapid and durable recovery which does not reproduce the original vulnerable conditions.

National Disaster Management Authority:

The Government of India set up a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999 in recognition of the importance of Disaster Management as a national priority, and a nation committee after the Gujarat earthquake, for making recommendations on the preparation of Disaster Management plans and suggestion effective mitigation mechanisms. 

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex body for Disaster Management in India, headed by the Prime Minister. The NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act 2005 enacted by the Government of India. NDMA is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best practices for coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management. The vision of the National Disaster Management Authority is “to build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, pro-active, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.”

Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Lay down policies on disaster management
  • Approve the National Plan
  • Approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan
  • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the Purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects
  • Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plans for disaster management
  • Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation
  • Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government
  • Take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with threatening disaster situations or disasters as it may consider necessary
  • Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

Disasters are inevitable. Countries need to be prepared to survive unforeseeable impending disasters. It is necessary to stay watchful, and a structured and preplanned preparedness and a healthy response to the disaster will help save lives. 

Environmental Pollution

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes harm to plants, animals and human beings. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death.  Pollution causes more than 9 million premature deaths (16% of all deaths worldwide). Major forms of pollution include air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, and water pollution. The following are a few types of pollution:

Air Pollution:

Air pollution is the presence of undesirable substances in the air that are harmful to human health and the environment. It is the contamination of the air by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Vehicle emissions, fuel oils and natural gas to heat homes, by-products of manufacturing and power generation, particularly coal-fueled power plants, and fumes from chemical products are the primary sources of human-made air pollution. Pollutants include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. 

Air pollution has various health effects. Short-term exposure to air pollutants is closely related to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma, respiratory disease, and high rates of hospitalization (a measurement of morbidity).The long-term effects associated with air pollution are chronic asthma, pulmonary insufficiency, cardiovascular diseases, and cardiovascular mortality.

Water Pollution:

Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment. Water pollution reduces the ability of the body of water to provide the ecosystem services that it would otherwise provide. Water pollution traditionally is attributed to four sources: sewage, industry, agriculture, and urban runoff. The main water pollutants include bacteria, viruses, parasites, fertilisers, pesticides, pharmaceutical products, nitrates, phosphates, plastics, faecal waste and even radioactive substances.

Water pollutants may cause disease or act as poisons. Bacteria and parasites in poorly treated sewage may enter drinking water supplies and cause digestive problems such as cholera and diarrhoea. Hazardous chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides from industries, farms, homes and golf courses can cause acute toxicity and immediate death, or chronic toxicity that can lead to neurological problems or cancers.

Light Pollution:

Light pollution refers to the excessive and unwanted use of poorly implemented artificial light by urban and other heavily-populated areas. This light is from artificial sources, mainly electricity from houses, offices, streetlamps, billboards or car headlights. It disrupts the natural patterns of wildlife, contributes to the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, disrupts human sleep and the activities of nocturnal animals, and obscures the stars in the night sky. 

There are three other kinds of light pollution: glare, clutter, and light trespass. Glare is excessive brightness that can cause visual discomfort (when driving). Clutter is bright, confusing, and excessive groups of light sources (Times Square in New York City). Light trespass is when light extends into an area where it is not wanted or needed (like a streetlight illuminating a nearby bedroom window). 

Noise Pollution:

Noise pollution, also known as environmental noise, refers to the unwanted or excessive sound that can impact human health, wildlife, and environmental quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines noise above 65 decibels (dB) as noise pollution. To be precise, noise becomes harmful when it exceeds 75 decibels (dB) and is painful above 120 dB.

The sources of noise include loud music, transportation, lawn care maintenance, construction, electrical generators, wind turbines, explosions, and people. Poor urban planning may give rise to noise disintegration or pollution, side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential areas. This type of pollution can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In animals, noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfering with reproduction and navigation, and contributing to permanent hearing loss.

Soil Pollution:

Soil pollution or soil contamination refers to the toxic chemicals (pollutants or contaminants) in the soil in high concentrations that poses a risk to human health and the ecosystem. Soil pollution consists of pollutants and contaminants. The major pollutants are biological agents and human activities. Soil pollution is mainly caused by deforestation, soil erosion, mining activities, industrialization, construction activities, sewage treatment, and overcrowded landfills.

Soil pollution affects plants, animals and humans alike. While anyone is susceptible to soil pollution, soil pollution effects may vary based on age, general health status and other factors, such as the type of pollutant or contaminant inhaled or ingested. Soil pollution may cause a variety of health problems, starting with headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin rash, eye irritation and potentially resulting in more serious conditions like neuromuscular blockage, kidney and liver damage and various forms of cancer.

Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Companies use digital marketing to endorse their goods, services, and brands, using online media channels. In the past decade, digital marketing has become a vital component in organizations’ overall marketing strategy. It allows companies to tailor messages to reach a specific audience, making it possible to market directly to people who are likely to be interested in their product. Digital marketing encompasses a wide variety of marketing tactics and technologies used to reach consumers online.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process used to optimize a website’s technical configuration, content relevance and link popularity so its pages can become easily findable, more relevant and popular towards user search queries. Search engines recommend SEO efforts that benefit both the user search experience and the website ranking by featuring content that fulfils user search needs. SEO targets unpaid traffic, organic results rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. Unpaid traffic may originate from different types of searches, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM):

Search engine marketing refers to marketing a business using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs). Advertisers bid on keywords that users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services, which gives the advertiser the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries. Search engine marketing’s greatest strength is that it offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the precise moment they’re ready to make a purchase. No other advertising medium can do this, which is why search engine marketing is so effective way to grow your business.

Pay-per-Click (PPC):

Pay per click advertising is an umbrella term for online paid ads where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Paid search ads are the ones that show up in the search results. Most of the time (except for some home services queries), those ads are search ads triggered when someone searches for a particular set of keywords. Within pay per click, there are a few different types of ad strategies: Paid search campaigns, Social media campaigns, Google Local Services ads, YouTube ads, Display ads, Immersive ads (VR and AR), Shopping ads (e-commerce), and Nextdoor ads.

Social Media Marketing (SMM):

Social media marketing refers to the marketing activity done via social media profiles and platforms to build a brand, increase engagement and promote the business. Social media is an ideal place for brands looking to gain insights into their audience’s interests and tastes. The way experts see it, smart companies will continue to invest in social media to achieve sustainable business growth. Seven out of ten consumers expect a business to have a well-maintained social media presence, and 17% of consumers actively use social networks to know more about the business. The top platforms for social media marketing are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Content Marketing:

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a good relationship with the target audience by giving them high-quality content that is relevant to them consistently. Content marketing uses storytelling and information sharing to increase brand awareness. Ultimately, the goal is to have the reader take action in becoming a customer, such as requesting more information, signing up for an email list, or making a purchase. Content can mean blog posts, resources like white papers and e-books, digital videos, podcasts, etc.

Email Marketing:

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message to a group of people using email. Every email sent to a potential / a current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations. Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales. 

Mobile Marketing:

Mobile marketing is a multi-channel strategy that aims at reaching a target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, via websites, email, SMS, social media, and apps. In recent years, customers have started to shift their attention to mobile. Because of this, marketers are doing the same to create engagement. Mobile marketing is an indispensable tool for companies large and small. To earn and maintain the attention of potential buyers, content must be strategic and highly personalized. Some types of mobile marketing are mobile app marketing, in-game advertisements, quick-response barcode, mobile banner ads, proximity or bluetooth marketing, and voice marketing.

Internship

An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period. Once confined to medical graduates, an internship is used practice for a wide range of placements in businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field. Employers benefit from these placements because they often recruit employees from their best interns, who have known capabilities, thus saving time and money in the long run. Internships are usually arranged by third-party organizations that recruit interns on behalf of industry groups. Rules vary from country to country about when interns should be regarded as employees. The system can be open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers

Some benefits of Internship for college students

1. Apply your theory

Internships offer students the chance to put what they are learning into action, in a real-world environment. This helps you better understand the theories and strategies you have been reading about, cementing the learning process and giving you greater focus.

2. Get a feel for the work environment

For students who are exploring their career options, internships are great! By joining a team, you will have a much better understanding of what it’s like working at a particular company and get a clearer idea of the industry itself.

This knowledge will help you in your job hunting in the future, giving you an better idea of the types of jobs you want – and perhaps more importantly – the types of job you don’t want.

3. Boost your confidence

Of course, taking on an internship helps you learn about the work environment, but it also helps you learn about yourself.

You will have a much clearer idea of your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Most importantly, knowing that you have hands-on experience will give you far more confidence when it comes to job seeking and interviews.

4. Build networks

As Porter Gale wrote, “your network is your net worth” and internships offer students great networking opportunities. You’ll meet colleagues and team members, take part in meetings and get to know new people in a professional environment.

If you distinguish yourself during your internship, you can make life-long connections who can help you find positions, meet clients, or even make recommendations.

5. Improve your CV

Students who put themselves forward for an internship show that they are willing to take responsibility, work hard, want to learn, and are interested in getting experience. These are all qualities that hiring managers are interested in and this helps you differentiate yourself in a competitive jobs market.

No matter how successful you were in your internship, you can hold your head up high and explain what you learned and what responsibilities you had.

6. Getting a reference or letter of recommendation

When it comes to finding your first graduate position, references and recommendations can be the difference between an offer and a rejection.

Most managers will be happy to offer a reference or letter of recommendation after completing an internship with them, so when the times comes you will have a greater chance of getting the job you have always wanted.

(With some references https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internship)

What does your taste in music reveal about you?

pink headphone isolates on blue background.

Music plays an important role in the lives of people all over the world, which is why many wonder what individual factors might influence musical preferences. Ever thought, Could the contents of your playlist, for example, reveal something about your personality?

Personality Traits Linked to Musical Styles

One large-scale study conducted by researchers at Heriot-Watt University looked at more than 36,000 participants from all over the world. Participants were asked to rate more than 104 different musical styles in addition to offering information about aspects of their personalities.

According to the researcher, Adrian North, the reason people sometimes feel defensive about their taste in music might be related to how much it relates to attitudes and personality. 

North suggests that people define themselves through music and use it to relate to other people. His research points to the connection that people often make between who they are as an individual and their musical tastes.

Keep in mind that these are the results published in only one study rather than being replicated and validated by a variety of researchers and different study designs. The following are some of the personality traits the study linked to certain musical styles.

Pop Music

Fans of the top 40 pop hits tend to be extroverted, honest, and conventional. While pop music lovers are hardworking and have high self-esteem, researchers suggest that they tend to be less creative and more uneasy.

Rap and Hip/Hop Music

Despite the stereotype that rap lovers are more aggressive or violent, researchers have found no such link. Rap fans do tend to have high self-esteem and are usually outgoing.

Country Music

Country music fans are typically hardworking, conventional, and outgoing. While country songs are often centered on heartbreak, people who gravitate towards this genre tend to be very emotionally stable. They also tend to be more conservative and rank lower on the trait of openness to experience.

Rock/Heavy Metal Music

Despite the sometimes aggressive image that rock and heavy metal music project, researchers found that fans of this style of music are usually quite gentle. They tend to be creative, but are often introverted and may suffer from low self-esteem.

Indie Music

Fans of the indie genre are typically introverted, intellectual, and creative. According to researchers, they also tend to be less hardworking and less gentle. Passivity, anxiousness, and low self-esteem are other common personality characteristics.

Dance Music

According to researchers, people who prefer dance music are usually outgoing and assertive. They also tend to rank high on the trait of openness to experience, one of the five major personality traits. People who prefer fast-paced electronic music also tend to rank low on gentleness.

Classical Music

Classical music lovers are typically more introverted but are also at ease with themselves and the world around them. They are creative and have a good sense of self-esteem.

Jazz, Blues, and Soul Music

People who enjoy jazz, blues, or soul music were found to be more extroverted with high self-esteem. They also tend to be very creative, intelligent, and at ease.

What is Customized Report Writing Service

Report writing is an art and skill that all students should learn during their academic years in the university as this skill skill is must for a corporate and professional life.

Together, we can achieve this by utilizing custom report writing tools to extract data from your system and present it back to you in almost any format you desire. We have years of experience optimizing the functionality that exists within custom report writers. The customization request we receive most often is to present data based on certain circumstances, also known as conditional reporting. For example, when analyzing the profitability report of your business, you may want the color of a field to change when invoices are below a 25% margin level, or to have the ability to define this margin level each time you run the report. This is just one example, and these types of conditions are limitless as defined by your needs.

Take advantage of our expertise to work with Oasis Solutions to either design the report exactly as you need, or let us train you  to design your own custom report.

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

It is a fact that the role of custom report writing is very vital and essential in order to determine the business needs and improvement required to enhance the organization. People can use the top free statistical software of 2020 to make their custom report effective and efficient. In these types of reports, an individual tends to work on the critical parts of the data so that higher dignitaries would come into a position to know about the loopholes in the management, sales, and other key areas. In a custom report basically, you have to pick the dimensions and metrics and plan how would you showcase that information as per the convenience of the reader? Almost, all the finest education system in the world loves to inculcate custom report knowledge amongst the students who are willing to learn the same art. Let us now attain some deep knowledge regarding the same subject.

Some true statements regarding the role of custom report writing

  • It is a fact that a detailed object present in Master-Detail cannot be treated as a secondary object for sure.
  • A person who is creating a report can choose any object unless and until it isn’t visible to him or her.
  • When the primary object of the report is deleted then make sure to delete reports related to it.
  • As soon as the report type is saved with the primary object then the primary object cannot be changed.
  • It is quite obvious that custom summary formulas can take reference from other custom summary formulas.
  • Also, reports can be grouped or organized by a custom summary formula result in a proper way.

Steps to create a custom report type in salesforce

There are several steps that help with the presentation of the custom reports and it is very essential to learn those ways in order to make your report effective and professional

  • From the setup section, you have to enter report type in the Quick find box
  • Then, click on the new custom report type and choose the primary object of the specific report.
  • Make sure to enter the report type label and report type name that can be of 50 characters.
  • Do not forget to select the category in which you want to store the report.
  • In the end, you should select the development status and click on the next option.

What are the benefits of making custom reports?

The role of custom report writing possesses lots of significance in the life of an individual who is making different reports on a daily basis and in the below section you are going to get some idea about the same.

  • Help to save time with automation: time-saving is one of the most prominent key benefits of making custom reports because it eradicates the long process of crunching the numbers in Excel and then having to create the report.
  • Create excellent custom visualization: creating your own visualization as per your comfort zone helps to attain better interpretation of the data and it also lets a person make informed decisions by granting instant solutions.
  • Give a measurement of performance: every organization works on different goals that make them use different metrics and with the usage of custom reports one can easily design his or her goal and perspective about anything related to work.
  • Increased productivity: as we all know due to possessing flexible features custom reports tend to work in an excellent manner for all types of organizations by translating any data into actionable insight in an appropriate manner.

Pros and cons of creating custom reports

Pros

  • Controlling: senior people who hold the decision-making power in an organization often use these reports to take over the control of the crucial decisions about the organization.
  • Motivating employees: through different reports, managers tend to get knowledge about the contribution of his or her employees that helps the staff to get appraisal and recognition of their work.
  • Evaluating performance: by reading several reports one can easily evaluate the performance of the employees working on all levels in a better and proper manner.
  • Helps in decision-making: these reports generally point out the loopholes in the policies and way of working in the organization that leads to the best decision making

Cons

  • Biasness: it is a fact that if an individual who is making the reports tends to favor some person or the situation then he or she would end up creating biased reports.
  • Time-consuming: creating and generating reports is a time-consuming process and it tends to waste valuable time on useless data gathering.
  • Expensive: making different reports may lead to an increase in the cost or expense of an organization because it needs experimentation and evaluation.
  • Difficult to understand: it is the most obvious fact that these reports could become complex to understand because they include the deep study of various factors.

Method to create a custom student report

Custom student reports can be considered as a tricky task because it includes complex features like naming the report, specifying the report criteria, choosing the data field to be included, and so on.

  • First of all, you have to click on the module access icon then the data and reports option followed by choosing the custom reports option.
  • Tap on the new student report option present on the top right side of the screen and enter the name of the report into the field.
  • Make sure to select the report criteria and do not forget to choose the data field to be included in the report by clicking the arrow icon.
  • In the end, you need to click on the save button situated at the bottom of the page and click on the show report option to get a preview.

Custom Report Writing Service

I hope, you are now well aware of the use and role of custom report writing. In case you are a student and your college or university has given you assignments regarding the same report the all you need to do is to navigate to Custom Report Writing Service in order to buy assignment help in reference to any topic and matter. Here, the expert educators tend to deliver the best possible solutions to all sorts of queries in context with your academics. Our trained teachers strive to work day and night in order to bring out excellent solutions to your service. So, what are you waiting for when you are getting all possible help from our side? It is advisable not to panic at the time of emergency and get in touch with well-trained and educated teachers on an online and offline basis. We work for 24 hours and try to answer every query without causing a delay. At the same time, our teachers conduct free revision sessions for all types of students that too in an efficient and effective manner. Providing online classes as per the region’s preferences is our responsibility. All you need to do is to connect with the experts as and when you need expert guidance.

Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system in which a country’s trade, industry, and profits, are controlled by private companies instead of the people who contribute their time and labour to the company. In this system, private entities own the factors of production such as entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and workforce. Individual capitalists are typically wealthy people who have a large amount of capital invested into the business and benefit from the capitalistic system by making increased profits and thereby accumulating more wealth.

Capitalism requires a free market economy to succeed. It distributes goods and services according to the laws of supply and demand. The law of demand says that when demand increases for a particular product, its price rises. When competitors realize they can make a higher profit, they increase production. The greater the supply reduces prices to a level where only the best competitors remain.

Capitalism results in the best products for the best prices because consumers will pay more for what they want the most. Businesses provide what customers want at the highest prices, but the prices are limited by business competition, making their products as efficiently as possible to maximize profit. Most important for economic growth is the reward of capitalism for innovation, including new products and more efficient production methods.

Capitalism does not provide for those who lack competitive skills, including the elderly, children, the developmentally disabled, and caretakers. To keep society functioning, capitalism requires government policies that value the family unit. Despite the idea of a level playing field, capitalism does not promote equality of opportunity. Those without good nutrition, support, and education may never even make it, and society will never benefit from their valuable skills. People who can find work may face low wages, limited possibilities for advancement, and potentially unsafe working conditions. In the short term, this inequality may seem to be in the best interest of capitalism’s winners. They have fewer competitive threats and may use their power to rig the system by creating barriers to entry. Capitalism also ignores external costs, such as pollution and climate change, in its pursuit of increasing levels of consumption and growth. The system makes goods cheaper and more accessible in the short run, but over time, it depletes natural resources, lowers the quality of life in the affected areas, and increases costs for everyone.

Story of Netflix

When Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph founded Netflix (formerly known as Kibble) in 1997, the company appeared to be little more than an upstart DVD rental business whose only real value proposition was the mail-order element of its operation. Fast forward two decades and Netflix has become one of the biggest TV and movie studios in the world, with more subscribers than all the cable TV channels in America combined. How did Netflix go from renting movies to making them in just 20 years?

By consistently doing the obvious.

For Netflix, however, doing the obvious rarely meant taking the easy way out. It meant making business decisions that were so difficult and so ambitious, few people could even see them, let alone understand them. Netflix has innovated in several key ways. They started with a frictionless DVD rental business facilitated by the internet, developed an entirely new streaming business from scratch, and finally invested in original content creation. But many of the most pivotal moves Netflix has made during the past 20 years haven’t been all that surprising. As we’ll see, it makes perfect sense that Netflix became a movie studio. It just didn’t look that way to most people in the beginning.

1997-2006: From Video Rentals by Mail to Smart Suggestions by Algorithm

To the casual observer, Netflix might look like one of the luckiest companies in the world.

For every major change or development in the home entertainment market, Netflix always seems to be just off-screen, waiting to capitalize on the latest consumer trend. Netflix has had its fair share of these kinds of opportunities, but good fortune had very little to do with the company’s early wins.

Netflix’s secret weapon wasn’t luck but rather a keen understanding of its market. Hastings and Randolph may have built their initial business around DVDs, but they knew they wouldn’t be in the DVD business forever—even if nobody else did.

Legend has it that Reed Hastings decided to start Netflix after returning a copy of Apollo 13 to his local Blockbuster. Upon returning to the movie, Hastings was told that he owed $40 in late fees. Fearing what his wife would say about such a steep late fee and convinced there must be a better way to rent movies, Hastings began to devise what would later become Netflix.

Although Randolph later disputed Hastings’ story about their company’s origins, Netflix did indeed set out to change the way we rented movies. In 1997, Blockbuster was the undisputed king of the home entertainment rental vertical, which made Netflix’s mail-order DVD rental business unique. As a result, when Netflix launched in ’97, many people understandably thought the business was focused exclusively on distribution—most people saw Netflix as nothing more than a more convenient way to rent movies.

Although this was a crucial element of Netflix’s early business, Hastings and Randolph never set out to be the best entertainment distribution company. They saw an opportunity to use the internet to decentralize entertainment and unbundle premium TV from the monopolistic grip of Big Cable, even if nobody else recognized their initial play for what it was. DVD rentals were never Netflix’s endgame – they were just a way for the new company to gain a tentative toehold in an intensely competitive market.

1997: Netflix launches with a video library of approximately 900 titles, with a 7-day maximum rental policy. By April 1999, Netflix’s video library expands to 3,100 titles. Rentals initially cost just 50 cents each. By January 2000, Netflix’s catalog reaches 5,200 titles.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable development refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is the idea that human societies must live and meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development attempts to minimize greenhouse gases, reduce global warming, preserve environmental resources, and provide communities that allow people to reach their fullest potentials. The concept of sustainable development formed the basis of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The summit marked the first international attempt to draw up action plans and strategies for moving towards a more sustainable pattern of development. It was attended by over 100 Heads of State and representatives from 178 national governments. 

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the first woman prime minister of Norway was asked to chair a United Nations commission to address “a global agenda for change.” She came to make strong impact on the commission’s work, widely referred to as the Brundtland Commission. She developed the broad political concept of sustainable development in the course of extensive public hearings. Brundtland has become known as the “mother of sustainability” since the release of the 1987 report, Our Common Future

Pillars of Sustainability:

The three pillars of sustainability are a powerful tool for defining the Sustainable Development problem. This consists of the Social, and Environmental, and Economic pillars.

Social Sustainability:

Social Sustainability is the ability of a social system, such as a country, family, or organization, to function at a defined level of social well-being and harmony indefinitely. Problems like war, endemic poverty, widespread injustice, and low education rate are symptoms of a socially unsustainable system.

Environmental Sustainability:

Environmental Sustainability is the ability of the environment to support a defined level of environmental quality and natural resource extraction rates indefinitely. This is the world’s biggest actual problem, though, since the consequences of not solving the problem now are delayed, the problem receives too low a priority to be solved.

Economic Sustainability:

Economic Sustainability is the ability of an economy to support a defined level of economic production indefinitely. Since the Great Recession of 2008, this is the world’s biggest apparent problem that endangers progress due to environmental sustainability.

Sustainable Development Goals:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the global goals, includes 17 interlinked goals, addressing global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the SDGs intending to meet the target by 2030. The goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

  1. No Poverty – End poverty in all its forms everywhere. 
  2. Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Good Health and Well-Being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all of all ages.
  4. Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.
  5. Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
  10. Reduced Inequalities – Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Partnerships for the Goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Benefits of solo travel

These days, an increasing number of modern explorers are taking vacations by themselves. As the solo travel movement goes from strength to strength, we are highlighting some of the positive aspects of taking a trip on your own. Here is my look at the benefits of solo travel.

You can be completely selfish

This may be the only context in which selfishness isn’t a bad thing. Traveling with others means making plans with others. Checking out local landmarks, museums, restaurants, and attractions can be challenging when each traveler has something different in mind. But what if you could spend each day in any way you like? Fancy spending six hours in a single museum, or trekking for miles in chilly conditions? Go right ahead.

You meet interesting people

When you travel with others, you typically stick together. In other words, you’re less likely to wander away from your group. But traveling alone brings something truly valuable to the table – you’ll be more likely to chat with locals, meet new friends and generally be more sociable. 

You come to know yourself more intimately

These days, we’re constantly bombarded by stimulation – relentless connectivity to others, as well as the Internet. Rarely do we get the chance to sit with ourselves and simply be. Solo travel provides the opportunity to do just that. Being on your own in a new place serves as a permission slip to slow down, without the distractions you’d feel buzzing around you when traveling with companions. Being alone, and embracing it, is a wonderful part of solo travel.

You can rest without feeling guilty

Feeling wiped out from a long flight? Or from exploring a new city on foot? Let’s face it, there’s only so much running around you can do. But when you’re traveling with friends, the pressure to keep going can be intense. When traveling alone, on the other hand, you can head back to your room for a guilt-free mid-afternoon nap.

Traveling alone can provide the restful break you need. Photo: Darkydoors/Shutterstock

You step outside your comfort zone

When traveling with friends, you often troubleshoot travel hiccups together. Can’t find your way around? The solution usually comes by talking it over. Taking a trip on your means you have to get out of any tricky trip situations by yourself, which can help with problem-solving, dealing with pressure, and developing self-belief. 

You’re less likely to feel stressed out

When you’re out and about with your usual friends from home, it’s easy for old routines and group dynamics to creep up on you. Not so when you’re on your own. You’re there for you and you alone – the only drama you’re going to experience is the drama you make yourself.

You’ll have the time and inspiration to work on creative projects

Been dying to delve into a creative project? Whether it’s writing poetry, developing a new business plan, or playing the guitar, traveling alone provides the opportunity – and inspiration – to tap into these desires. When you’re untethered to the demands of others you’ll probably find it easier to nurture your creativity.

It might make you happier in the long term

Research suggests that getting into vacation mode has the potential to increase our happiness levels. And spending time alone has also been shown to stave off depression. The takeaway? Heading off on a solo adventure just might be good for your overall well-being.

Solo travel can help you develop new skills. Photo: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

You’ll probably improve your language skills

What better way to learn a new language than to throw yourself in headfirst? Full immersion in a foreign culture (and tongue) is possibly the best way to dismantle the language barrier. When traveling with others, you’re more likely to rely on them for help with translating. And, let’s face it, chances are high that you’ll communicate with one another in your native language. When you’re alone, on the other hand, you’re forced to constantly practice the new language.

(With reference from outlook.com)

Esports in India

Picture source : https://www.raillynews.com/2021/04/What-is-Esports%3F-How-to-Get-an-Esports-License%3F-How-to-Become-an-Esports-Player%3F/

Esports pertain to a sports competition through video games organized into the multiplayer setting. It has successfully taken over the Indian market because of the promotion and campaign on various online streaming platforms like YouTube. The esports industry is not new, but not many people are aware that it has been around for a decade already. It just so happen that it became popular in India just recently as more developers and investors showed interest in the Indian market. The most common esports genre in the Indian market today is the following: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
RTS (Real-Time Strategy)
FPS (First Person Shooter)
Card games
Battle Royale
Fighting

Esports in India India ranked 16 on the Forbes list, making it a multi-billion dollar industry. A decade ago, India’s online gaming sector is lame, with only 25 game developers. Today, there are over 250 game developers in the country. Some of the big names in the industry had already invested in India’s gaming sector, such as Tencent, Nazara, Paytm, and Alibaba. The revenue generated in sports mostly came from companies like Oppo and Asus. India has hosted some of the most significant tournaments in esports, such as PUBG Mobile Series 2019 and the Electronic Sports League, participated by Dota 2 players from different parts of the world.

Counter-Strike – It was first released in early 2012, and since then, it becomes the most popular and widely played esports in the country. Back then, India was not a hub for esports. Today, India is recognized internationally for esports, and counterstrike has a lot to do with it.

Dota 2 – It is the first esport that dominated the Indian market; a multiplayer online battle game played by two teams with each team consisting of five players.

Esports sector during pandemic: Online gaming is one of the reasons why India’s economy is still surviving despite the global pandemic. The number of online gamers using their smartphone has grown by 60% if you compare the data during pre-covid and lockdown. The high youth population and the affordability and accessibility of smartphones are the primary reasons why India’s online gaming sector is thriving. It has also paved the way for an online casino portal for Indian players. Another factor that paved the way to the growth of the online gaming market is the penetration of high-speed 4G internet.

Stakeholders’ role in India’s esports growth E-commerce platforms has a lot to do with the growth of esports in India. They make sure that the gaming enthusiasts will have access to the hardware and accessory they need for the game. Some of the notable e-commerce include Asus and Flipkart. Online gamers prefer to use gaming devices and tools with top-notch performance. Companies that produce such gaming paraphernalia ensure the demands are met while keeping in mind affordability and accessibility. Companies like Amazon and Flipkart ensure that gaming products are available and affordable.

Connectivity is a major contributor to the gaming industry’s growth. Telecommunication providers have been working 24/7 to provide the best data plans, keeping in mind high-speed data access and affordability. Data availability is made possible through Reliance Jo’s effort to set up thousands of mobile towers across the country, ensuring high-speed connection.

Written with REFERENCE from https://esports.gg/

Impact of Globalisation on India

Globalisation refers to the interdependence of world economies and populations brought about by trade in goods and services, technology, and the flow of investment, people, and information. It includes the creation of networks and pursuits transgressing social, economical, and geographical barriers. One of the effects of globalization is that it promotes and increases interactions between different regions and populations around the globe.

India is one of the countries which experienced significant success after the initiation and implementation of globalisation. The growth of foreign investment in corporate, retail, and the scientific sector increased enormously. It tremendously impacted the social, monetary, cultural, and political aspects of the country. In recent years, globalisation has increased due to improvements in transportation and information technology, and improved global synergies have led to the growth of trade and culture globally. 

The Indian economy has witnessed drastic growth since it integrated into a global economy in 1991. It had a tremendous impact on the economic condition. Although India has had immense economic growth, not all sectors of the country have benefited. Globalisation did not have a positive impact on agriculture. Agriculture now contributes only about 20% to the GDP. International norms imposed by WTO and multilateral companies have directed funds of the agriculture sector to private-sector enterprises. Agriculture has received reduced government support, affecting farmers because production costs are very high, while commodity costs are low. Greater integration of global commodities markets leads to a constant fluctuation in prices, which has increased the vulnerability of Indian farmers, who are also increasingly dependent on seeds sold by the MNCs.  

Globalisation has led to an increase in the consumer products market. They have a a variety choices in selecting goods. People in cities working in high paying jobs have a greater income to spend on lifestyle goods. There has been an increase in the demand for products like meat, egg, pulses, organic food as a result. It has also led to protein inflation. Protein food inflation contributes a large part to the food inflation in India. It is evident from rising prices of pulses and animal proteins in the form of eggs, milk and meat. With an improvement in the standard of living and rising income level, the food habits of people change. People tend toward taking more protein intensive foods. This shift in dietary pattern, along with the rising population results in an overwhelming demand for protein-rich food, which the supply side could not meet. Thus resulting in a demand-supply mismatch thereby, causing inflation.

Outsourcing is one of the principal results of globalisation. In outsourcing, a company recruits regular service from outside sources, often from other nations. As a kind of economic venture, outsourcing has increased, in recent times, because of the increase in quick methods of communication, especially the growth of information technology (IT). Voice-based business processes, accountancy, record keeping, music recording, banking services, book transcription, film editing, clinical advice, or teachers are outsourced from advanced countries to India.

Another sector the government has neglected is public health. India has one of the lowest ratios of public to private health expenditure. The rate of epidemics among the poor has increased, leading to outbreaks of contagious diseases becoming common. 

Globalisation has provided a relatively better environment for women. Technology has made education in India accessible for more people, especially women, decreasing the gender gap stratified by gender roles. Women now have access to more jobs and are more involved in avenues generally reserved for men. It has increased the number of women in competitive professions, empowering them. 

The increasing migration coupled with financial independence has led to the breaking of joint families into nuclear ones. The western influence of individualism has led to an aspirational generation of youth. Concepts of national identity, family, job and tradition are changing rapidly and significantly. The rise of nuclear families has reduced the social security that the joint family provided, leading to greater economic, health and emotional vulnerability of old age individuals.

The current generation, especially, the young have an identity that gives them a sense of belonging to a worldwide culture, which includes an awareness of events, practices, styles and information that are a part of the global culture. People have developed a bicultural identity or perhaps a hybrid identity, which means that part of their identity is rooted in the local culture and another part that stems from an awareness of one’s relation to the global world. The development of these global identities is no longer just a part of immigrants and ethnic minorities. Media plays a significant role in developing a global identity. Yet, along with this new global identity, people also retain and develop their local identity for daily interactions with their family, friends and community.

We cannot say that the impact of globalisation has been totallly positive or totally negative. It has been both. However, it becomes a point of concern when an overwhelming impact of globalization can be observed in Indian culture.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder that involves intense fear of social settings. Everyday interactions can cause a significant amount of anxiety, and self-consciousness, due to the constant fear of being scrutinized and judged negatively by people. According to ICD-10 guidelines, the main diagnostic criteria of social phobia are fear of being the center of attention or behaving in a way that will be embarrassing or humiliating. 

People experience anxiety in several social situations, from meaningful encounters to everyday trivial ones. They can experience overwhelming anxiety or fear in social situations, such as meeting new people, being on a job interview, answering a question in class, talking to a cashier in a store, answering the phone and making new friends. Even everyday things like eating or drinking in front of others or using a public restroom may cause anxiety. Social anxiety disorder is referred to an illness of lost opportunities where “individuals make major life choices to accommodate their illness”.

Social anxiety disorder is known to appear at an early age in most cases. 50% of people with this disorder develop it by the age of 11, and 80% develop it by age 20. This early age of onset may lead to people with social anxiety disorder being particularly vulnerable to depressive illnesses, substance use, and other psychological conflicts. Generally, social anxiety begins at a specific point in an individual’s life, which develops over time as the person struggles to recover. Eventually, mild social awkwardness can develop into symptoms of social anxiety or phobia. 

Social anxiety isn’t the same as just “shyness”. Shyness is short-term and doesn’t impact daily life majorly or lead to excessive social avoidance. Whereas social anxiety is persistent, interferes with everyday life, and disrupts one’s ability to attend school, work, and develop close relationships. This disorder could lead to the following:

Low self-esteem

Trouble being assertive

Negative self-talk

Hypersensitivity to criticism

Poor social skills

Isolation and difficulty in social relationships

Low academic and employment achievement

Causes:

Research into the causes of social anxiety and social phobia is wide-ranging with encompassing multiple perspectives. Scientists haven’t yet figured out the exact cause. Studies suggest that genetics can play a part in combination with environmental factors. 

Genetics: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. Studies suggest that parents of people with social anxiety disorder tend to be more socially isolated themselves, and shyness in adoptive parents is associated with shyness in adopted children. Growing up with overprotective and hypercritical parents has also been associated with social anxiety disorder. Adolescents who found having an insecure (anxious-ambivalent) attachment with their mother as infants were twice as likely to develop anxiety disorders by late adolescence, including social phobia 

Brain structure: A structure in the brain called the amygdala could play a role in controlling the fear response. People who have an overactive amygdala may have a heightened fear response, causing more anxiety in social settings.

Social Environment and Experiences: A social anxiety disorder may be a learned behaviour. Half of the people diagnosed had the anxiety worsened due to a specific traumatic, unpleasant or embarrassing social situation. Direct experiences, observing or hearing about the socially negative experiences of others, or verbal warnings of social problems and dangers, may also make the development of a social anxiety disorder more likely. Longer-term effects of not fitting in or being bullied, rejected, or ignored are also causes. 

Signs and Symptoms:

Physical Symptoms

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Blushing
  • Blurred Vision
  • Shaking
  • Dry Mouth
  • Trembling Voice
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle Tension
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Dizziness
  • Chest tightness

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Avoiding what makes you anxious 
  • Fidgeting or other nervous actions
  • Isolating yourself and limiting actions related to the social situation
  • Leaving or escaping from a feared social or performance situation

Emotional Symptoms

  • Fear of rejection, humiliation
  • Worrying about being left out or being unable to overcome anxiety
  • Feeling defeated as if there is something “wrong” with you
  • Feeling exposed or vulnerable around others

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Racing thoughts
  • Worrying about what people will think
  • Believing everyone is looking at you or judging you 
  • Thinking it is not worth the discomfort of trying to socialize 
  • Assuming the worst about a situation or interaction
  • Analyzing social interactions after it’s over
  • Negative evaluations of yourself

Diagnosis:

Clinicians use a predetermined set of criteria to diagnose SAD, also known as the DSM-5. The following is an overview, which also corresponds to its presentation and help with the understanding of social anxiety disorder. 

Fear or anxiety is evident in social situations, where possible scrutiny may be experienced.

Aversion to situations in order to avoid getting embarrassed, humiliated, or rejected.

If the person is able to endure it, it is often done with intense fear or anxiety

Anxiety experienced by an individual that is not proportional to the situation

If the fear or anxiety has lasted for 6 months or longer.

When an individual experiences anxiety or distress that affects their daily living 

Anxiety or fear that is not associated with a medical condition, medication or substance abuse

Treatment:

Treatments depend on the severity of your emotional and physical symptoms and how well you function daily. The length of treatment also varies. Some people may respond well to initial treatment and not require anything further, while others may require some form of support throughout their lives.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: CBT is the first-line psychotherapeutic treatment for this disorder. It is a type of psychotherapy useful for treating social anxiety disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations that help you feel less anxious and fearful. It can also help you learn and practice social skills. CBT delivered in a group format can be especially helpful. 

Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy involve a therapist helping you to understand underlying issues from childhood that may have contributed to your social anxiety. It is most useful for people who have deeper unresolved conflicts contributing to their anxiety. Psychoanalysis may also be useful in some instances to explore potential resistance to change.

Support Groups: Many people with social anxiety also find support groups helpful. In a group of people who all have a social anxiety disorder, you can receive unbiased, honest feedback about how others in the group see you. This way, you can learn that your thoughts about judgment and rejection are distorted. You can also learn how others with social anxiety disorder approach and overcome the fear of social situations.

Medication: There are three types of medications used to help treat social anxiety disorder – 

Anti-anxiety medications

Antidepressants

Beta-blockers

Accounting Concept and Convention

Accounting is a business language, which is used to communicate financial information to the company’s stakeholders, regarding the performance, profitability and position of the enterprise and help them in rational decision making. The financial statement is based on various concepts and conventions. Accounting concepts are the fundamental accounting assumptions that act as a foundation for recording business transactions and preparation of final accounts

Definition of Accounting Concept

Accounting Concepts can be understood as the basic accounting assumption, which acts as a foundation for the preparation of the financial statement of an enterprise. Indeed, these form a basis for formulating the accounting principles, methods and procedures, to record and present the financial transactions of the business.

These concepts provide an integrated structure and rational approach to the accounting process. Every financial transaction that occurs is interpreted taking into consideration the accounting concepts, which guide the accounting methods.

  • Business Entity Concept: The concept assumes that the business enterprise is independent of its owners.
  • Money Measurement Concept: As per this concept, only those transactions which can be expressed in monetary terms are recorded in the books of accounts.
  • Cost concept: This concept holds that all the assets of the enterprise are recorded in the accounts at their purchase price
  • Going Concern Concept: The concept assumes that the business will have a perpetual succession, i.e. it will continue its operations for an indefinite period.
  • Dual Aspect Concept: It is the primary rule of accounting, which states that every transaction affects two accounts.
  • Realization Concept: As per this concept, revenue should be recorded by the firm only when it is realized.
  • Accrual Concept: The concept states that revenue is to be recognized when they become receivable, while expenses should be recognized when they become due for payment.
  • Periodicity Concept: The concept says that a financial statement should be prepared for every period, i.e. at the end of the financial year.
  • Matching Concept: The concept holds that, the revenue for the period, should match the expenses.

Definition of Accounting Convention

Accounting Conventions, as the name suggest are the practice adopted by an enterprise over a period of time, that rely on the general agreement between the accounting bodies and help in assisting the accountant at the time of preparation of financial statement of the company.

To improve the quality of financial information, the accountancy bodies of the world may modify or change any accounting convention. Given below are the basic accounting conventions:

  • Consistency: Financial statements can be compared only when the accounting policies are followed consistently by the firm over the period. However, changes can be made only in special circumstances.
  • Disclosure: This principle states that the financial statement should be prepared in such a way that it fairly discloses all the material information to the users, to help them in taking a rational decision.
  • Conservatism: This convention states that the firm should not anticipate incomes and gains, but provide for all expenses and losses.
  • Materiality: This concept is an exception to the full disclosure convention which states that only those items to be disclosed in the financial statement which has a significant economic effect.

The Impact of Ecommerce

The impact of e-commerce is far and wide with a ripple effect from small business to global enterprise.

  1. Large retailers are forced to sell online.

For many retailers, the growth of e-commerce has expanded their brands’ reach and positively impacted their bottom lines. But for retailers who have been slow to embrace the online marketplace, the impact has been different.

Retailers that fall into the middle ground are the ones feeling the biggest changes in response to the impact of e-commerce. 

 In February of 2019, online sales narrowly surpassed general merchandise stores for the first time, including department stores, warehouse clubs, and supercenters. Because Amazon Prime took away the price of shipping, more consumers are comfortable with online shopping.

  • Ecommerce helps small businesses sell directly to customers.

For many small businesses, e-commerce adoption has been a slow process. However, those who’ve embraced it have discovered e-commerce can open doors to new opportunities.

Slowly, small business owners are launching e-commerce stores and diversifying their offerings, reaching more customers, and better-accommodating customers who prefer online/mobile shopping. 

Pre-pandemic, small businesses were working to expand their e-commerce presence. Today, 23% of small business owners feel they’ll have to strengthen their e-commerce capabilities to survive in a post-pandemic world. Another 23% of small business owners have created a website or updated their existing one since COVID-19 lockdowns began.

2. B2B companies start offering B2C-like online ordering experiences.

B2B companies are working to improve their customer experiences online to catch up with B2C companies. This includes creating an omnichannel experience with multiple touchpoints and using data to create personalized relationships with customers.

Ecommerce solutions enable self-service, provide more user-friendly platforms for price comparison, and help B2B brands maintain relationships with buyers, too. 

 By 2026, B2B transactions are expected to reach $63,084 billion.

3. The rise of e-commerce marketplaces.

Ecommerce marketplaces have been on the rise around the world since the mid-1990s with the launch of giants we know today, such as Amazon, Alibaba, and others

4. Supply chain management has evolved.

Survey data shows that one of e-commerce’s main impacts on supply chain management is that it shortens product life cycles.

As a result, producers are presenting deeper and broader assortments as a buffer against price erosion. But, this also means that warehouses are seeing larger amounts of stock in and out of their facilities.

In response, some warehousers are now offering value-added services to help make e-commerce and retail operations more seamless and effective.

These services include:

  1. Separation of stock/storage for online vs. retail sales.
  2. Different packaging services.
  3. Inventory/logistics oversight.

5. New jobs are created but traditional retail jobs are reduced.

Jobs related to e-commerce are up 2x over the last five years, far outpacing other types of retail concerning growth. However, growth in e-commerce jobs is only a small piece of the overall employment puzzle.

A few quick facts on how e-commerce has impacted employment:

  • Ecommerce jobs are up 334%, adding 178,000 jobs since 2002.
  • Most e-commerce jobs are located in medium to large metropolitan areas.
  • Most e-commerce companies have four or fewer employees.

The flip side of this, however, is that upticks in efficiency paired with a shift away from traditional retail may lead to some job losses or reductions in workforces as well.

As with any major market shift, there are both positive and negative impacts on employment.

6. Customers shop differently.

Ecommerce (and now omnichannel retail) has had a major impact on customers. It is revolutionizing the way modern consumers shop.

Today, we know that 96% of Americans with access to the internet have made a purchase online at some point in their lives and 80% have made a purchase online in the past month.

And not only do customers frequently use eCommerce sites to shop: 51% of Americans now prefer to shop online rather than in-store. 

Millennials are the largest demographic of online shoppers (67%), but Gen X and baby boomers are close behind at 56% and 41% participating in online shopping activities respectively.

7. Social media lets consumers easily share products to buy online.

Researchers have discovered that e-commerce has made an interesting social impact, especially within the context of social media.

Today, e-commerce shoppers discover and are influenced to purchase products or services based on recommendations from friends, peers, and trusted sources (like influencers) on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you’ve ever been inspired to buy a product you saw recommended on Facebook or featured in an Instagram post, you’ve witnessed this social impact as it relates to e-commerce.

8. Global e-commerce is growing rapidly.

In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide made an online purchase.

Chinese platform, Taobao, is the biggest online marketplace with a gross market value (GMV) of $484 billion. For context, Tmall and Amazon ranked second and third with $458 and $339 billion GMV in annual third-party global market value respectively.

An Introduction to Halley’s Comet

Image Credit: NASA

Halley’s Comet, officially known as 1P/Halley, is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75–76 years. It is the most famous known comet and is the only known short-period comet that is regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth and thus can be viewed twice in a human lifetime. The comet made its last appearance in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061. 

Comet Halley was the first comet recognized as a periodic or short-period comet, with an orbit lasting 200 years or less. Its shape vaguely resembles that of a peanut shell, and its dimensions are about 9.3 by 5 miles (15 kilometres by 8 kilometres). It is one of the darkest or least reflective objects in the solar system, reflecting only 3% of the light that falls on it.  While it travels around the Sun, Halley leaves behind a trail of dust and ice particles that form the annual Orionid Meteor shower every October.

Origin:

Halley’s periodic returns have been subject to scientific investigation since the 16th century. Although it was around for centuries, it wasn’t until 1705 that Edmond Halley, an English astronomer and physicist, calculated its orbit and predicted its next appearance. He noted the three occurrences of the comet, used Isaac Newton’s recently developed Laws of Motion and some observational records and concluded that the comets which appeared in 1531, 1607, and 1682 were the same comet, and predicted that it would appear again in 1758. As foretold, the comet did reappear, but unfortunately, Edmond Halley wasn’t around to see its appearance. In 1759, Nicholas-Louis de Lacaille, a French astronomer, named the comet after Halley to honour him.

History of the Comet:

Some historians believe that the comet was sighted as early as 467 BCE by the ancient Greeks. A comet in ancient Greece, recorded between 468 and 466 BC with its timing, location, duration, and an associated meteor shower all suggest it was Halley.

The first official known sighting of this comet, according to historical records, occurred in the year 240 BC. The Chinese recorded this sighting in the Chinese chronicle ‘Records of the Grand Historian’ or ‘Shiji’, which describes a comet that appeared in the east and then moved north. 

In 1066, the comet was seen in England and was considered an omen. Later that year, King Harold II of England was overthrown and killed at the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror, who then claimed the throne.  The battle depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry chronicles those events and prominently displays the comet as a star. 

In 1456, on a return passage, Pope Calixtus III determined that the comet was an agent of the devil, attempted to excommunicate this natural phenomenon, and ordered special prayers for the city’s protection. His misguided attempt to frame it as a religious issue failed because the comet came back 76 years later. 

He wasn’t the only person of the time to misinterpret what the comet was. Around the same time, while Turkish forces laid siege to Belgrade, the comet was described as a fearsome celestial apparition “with a long tail like that of a dragon.”

Modern Observations:

The comet’s reappearance in 1986 sparked great interest in scientists around the world, who planned extensive plans to observe it closely. It marked the first time scientists were able to study it with sophisticated and developed technology. The high-quality images returned by the probes were the first of their kind, providing a fascinating insight into Halley and proving that its core is a solid mass primarily composed of dust and ice. Five spacecraft from the USSR, Japan, and the European Space Agency journeyed to Comet Halley. ESA’s Giotto obtained close-up photos of the comet’s nucleus. Halley being large and active, with a well-defined and regular orbit, was a relatively easy target for Giotto and the other probes.