Advertisements

We come across different types of advertisements in our day-to-day life. They have invaded every aspect of our day-to-day dealings, our conversations, our thoughts and to a certain extent even control our behaviour as customers and consumers of goods. and services, Advertisements stare and scream at us from every corner of the street every newspaper, every magazine, every hoarding, every stall or shop or showroom to walls of every public building, vehicle, radio and television. They don’t even spare our computer screens when we all are interested in checking our mails or even simply browsing through. The world has suddenly become advertisement conscious, so much so, that at night the city lights up with thousands of neon glow signs proclaiming. capturing and demanding our attention.

Advertisements have crept even into smaller and insignificant things of our life. Everything from education to career building to buying a soap or a mobile, one has to rely upon advertisements. It seems nothing as if can be obtained without advertisements. They are the ones that tell us which soap to use, which biscuit to eat. which brand to wear, which sun glasses to use, which pens to write with, which toys to play with etc. An effective advertisement can zoom the sale of even a third rate and useless commodity. No business, trade or transaction can flourish without proper advertising and marketing. It is these advertisements that bring products to the sotice of general public. Today lakhs of rupees, even crores, are spent in preparing Two or three minutes of an advertisement.

Many small things have been made large by right kind of advertising. Infact, newer needs have been generated amongst people. People have started to feel the need for even those goods which they have never heard of before. Advertisements intentionally create demands. The companies pay utmost attention to study the right time to telecast their advertisements so as to target major viewership. Large companies depend heavily on advertisements to make their products known to the consumers. Without these sponsorings, the major sports events cannot be organised with such a fanfare.

The art of advertisement is of course a modern blessing but it has reached and touched all possible heights. It has touched all the aspects of modern complexities and has complicated man’s life more. For even a simple pencil, there are too many options which don’t provide a child with any solution but rather confuse him all the more. Myriads of products work up man’s brain, play havoc with his pocket and assault his peace of mind. It is because of these advertisements that a whole new field of career and businesses have opened up. The branch of marketing solely depends upon this recent art of advertising alongwith other components. Advertisers exercise their imagination, feel the pulse of the people, what touches or tickles them and what captures their mind and then create a whole new tantalising world of fantasy, glamour and fiction to sell off real things. Infact, advertisers and advertisements play and encash upon the psychology of people in order to achieve their ends.

Even cinema has been affected by advertisements. What we call as trailors of movies Theatre. In this age of tough competition, one cannot survive without popularising publicity of a movie, is nothing but its advertisement to bring audience to the sae’s business, product, institution. It is then that advertisements come to one’s aid. Moreover, these days politicians too rely heavily on advertisements for election campaigning. Some advertisements are enlightening like the ones which caution against the use of tobacco or informing about polio day. Some advertisements are revolutionary in nature like Tata Tea Jago Re’ advertisements or Idea Cellular advertisements. Some advertisements are misleading, especially in the education sector wherein various institutes guarantee 100% job placement. Such claims proved fake and thus were banned. There are some other advertisements too which gained huge popularity, but did little to boost the sales of the company. The Vodafone’s Zoozoos are the perfect examples of this. “A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself,” quotes David Ogilvy.

It is through advertisements that people can popularise their business, talent, product, service or commodity. But for this, advertising is not limited to the television advertisements only. Advertisements in thousands are there in newspapers, magazines, radio, banners, hoardings, on walls, on the internet. All of them are gaining equal viewership. Advertisements are not limited to consumer durable or FMCG products only. Today advertisements are published or telecast for everything like for services: banking, hospitality, matrimonial service, insurance, salon service, for schools and other educational institutes; for vacancies available, for upcoming exhibitions or shows, for every big and small thing. And with a smart phone in every hand, internet seems to be a new rage for advertisers wherein Bill Gates has said:

“The future of advertising is the internet.”

Without advertising, the world refuses to acknowledge the presence of a thing in today’s It would not be wrong to say that hike in sales depend upon the kind or quality of advertisements prepared to promote it.

Lately, it has been seen that some advertisements are crossing over from artistic sensibility and creativity to shabbiness, puerility and sometimes even indecency which hurts a person’s artistic sensibility and aesthetic sense. For this reason many advertisements have been banned. For instance, cigarette advertisements are banned on Indian channels. Tobacco and Alcohol advertisements are telecast or printed only with statutory warnings. Other advertisements which were found indecent, unethical or provoking religious sensibilities have been banned from time-to-time. Advertisements should be made with great care as they are seen by all men, women and children alike. Sometimes, children try to imitate what they have seen without realising that they are breaking the code of conduct. Public needs to be vigilant while watching or reading advertisements. Thus, we see that advertisements can be useful as well as can be destructive. If used with sense, advertisements can prove to be entertaining as well as educative. Although, we cannot escape this onslaught of advertisements, we can use our own intelligence to weed out the bad ones. 

Indian Railways

Indian Railways is one of the largest railway networks operated by the Government of India. Railways was first introduced in India in 1853. Today, its operations cover 19 states and 7 union territories, and also provides international services to its neighbours, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is also one of the busiest rail networks in the world, carrying about 18 million passengers daily. Moreover it is the world’s largest employer, providing jobs to millions.

For a country so reliant on its trains, Indian Railways Vision 2020 envisages introduction of bullet trains. It will be a massive addition to its route network, with segregation of passenger and freight services into separate double-line corridors, raising the speeds of passenger trains from the current 130 kmph to 160-200 kmph on some routes, zero accidents and equipment failures and setting up of high-speed passenger corridors.

However, this vision would remain a difficult one to achieve, looking at the past and current situation of the railways. Inspite of being the largest and the busiest network, Indian Railways was never a sector to give good returns to the economy, (barring the time of Lalu Prasad Yadav). It faces a lot of problems, sometimes proving even a burden to the Indian Government. The age-old and crumbling infrastructure, low fares, lack of maintenance, mismanagement, lack of quality service deliverance ete are all the major issues with the railways. A sharp decline in the earnings and serious escalation in expenditure has posed even more problems for Indian Railways. Additionally, the ever increasing prices of fuel, coal, the number of accidents, cost of maintenance ete further increases the problems.

A significant change in the Indian Railways came after the year 2004. The 156 years old Indian Railways was regarded as a hopeless, loss making organisation, with too little revenue, too many problems. Steps were taken to increase the demand rather than the price. A team of experts proposed and applied some simple techniques effectively on a per train basis. Subsequently, fares were increased in line with the demand, giving the railways the much needed cash flow to improve its services. Thus with these efforts, Indian Railways was able to book profits. After 2010, the railways went back into problematic phase. The funds started shrinking, therefore improvement in passenger amenities could not be carried out. However, the recently elected government has again brought in a ray of hope for the good days for Indian Railways. Surprisingly, Indian train fares are among the cheapest in the world. With such fares, Railways paced its steps well with technological advancement. The e-ticketing for making reservations and mobile app system to track train schedules are some major breakthroughs. Additionally, with the new government, new hopes have also risen. Today, Railways is eyeing private players and foreign funding to mobilise more funds for its various projects. Railways is keen to modernise railway stations with the help of private players. They are also prepared to lease out its properties for some years, given the share should come to Railways too.

Vision 2020 also intends to spread the railroad service to isolated areas of the country with 25,000 km of new track by 2020. Moreover, the ‘vision’ to revamp railways comes with an assurance that investment in India’s conventional train network would continue, which is a social necessity in the wake of 18 million daily passengers.

With 18 million daily passengers, a staff of 1.4 million employees and 17,000 trains operating on 64,000 km of track, India maintains one of the world’s largest rail systems. Vision 2020 not only aims to accelerate the urban pace of the country, but also plans to connect the isolated parts of the country by reaching far and wide. It largely suggests that India is all set to write a new chapter in the history of Indian Railways.

Brain Drain – A Need for Reversal

Brain drain refers to the situation when highly qualified and trained people leave his/her own country to permanently settle down in some other country. It is also referred to as human capital flight. Brain drain is a global phenomenon that refers to flow of human resource in bulk from one country to another. With the beginning of globalisation, ideas, opinions, skills in the form of labour started being exchanged between nations. The term emerged in 1960’s when the skilled workforce started emigrating from the poor or developing countries to the first world countries (or developed countries) in search of better job opportunities. This is primarily due to the fact that developing countries like India have failed utterly in providing the right kind of opportunities to its youth. 

This, in turn, is leading to a great loss of national wealth. In the past few decades, a lot of Indian professionals too migrated to other countries. The human capital in terms of skills, ideas, labour and intelligence is being transferred to countries abroad from India since ages. This has become a characteristic more of the intelligentsia of the nation-the doctors, engineers, scientists, MBA’s, CA’s, lawyers and other professionals. Today, Indian constitutes majority of large organisations like NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), California Laboratory etc. Additionally, studies show that Indians are one of the most hard working, dedicated and sincere workers. That is why various countries and companies readily take our nationals.Countries like USA, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Japan etc., have developed greatly in their technology, science, electronics, computers, astronomy etc. Thus, these countries provide greater opportunities-quality as well as quantity-wise. The facilities, packages, scholarships etc., provided by these nations are far better than what India can provide them. While this is the case of young students/ professionals, the academically well qualified people prefer going abroad for a higher research because they don’t get the best chances, resources and facilities for research in India. The cut-offs for admissions have became close to 100% in the best Indian Institutes. While the institutes are in the race of getting the best students, the ambitious youth fail to occupy seat in any of the prestigious Indian Universities. This leads them to explore the scope of higher education abroad.

Most of these students prefer staying back in the host country due to better work opportunities and heavy pay packages. A part from good earnings, those in the US and Europe are aware of the public services, social security system and retirement benefits. So, after getting global exposure and getting introduced to the high quality life and facilities, the students become reluctant to go back to the home country.

There are many Indians at top posts in global firms and companies like Sabeer Bhatia, founder of Hotmail email, Satya Nadella, now Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Indra Nooyi, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. As many as 12% scientists and 38% doctors in the US are Indians, and in NASA, 36% or almost 4 out of 10 scientists are Indians. Awakening to this fact, Indian Government is putting the best foot forward to curb brain drain. In lieu with consistent economic growth, India will see robust hiring and there is an expected double-digit salary increase across all sectors-IT, manufacturing, finance, insurance and real estate.

Both, government and private firms are aiming towards a better and friendlier atmosphere to create better conditions for their employees. Discrimination and bias at work places are checked by making laws and strictly implementing them. Incentives are given to stop youngsters from going abroad in search of work.

After witnessing a huge brain drain of doctors, the government was persuaded to take actions. Now, the medical students going abroad for higher studies will have to signa bond with the government, promising to return to India after completing their studies Policies to nurture higher education, better public service delivery and better sharing of data with the public (RTI) needs to be promoted to encourage a reverse brain drain. Moreover the government of the day needs to ensure good employment facilities for students by encouraging domestic and international investments in manufacturing research and development. ‘Our IT professionals and IIM graduates are the best in the world. Countries welcome them open arms. We can use the best potential of the country to accelerate our own progress in socio-economic fields. We need to give deserving jobs to students, who return to India after completing their education.

Meditation – The Ultimate Nirvana

Modern age philosopher Osho maintains “No meditation, No life. Know meditation, Know life.” This quote holds cent per cent relevance in today’s time. In this modern day and age, the negative effects of stress are unavoidable. People have literally forgotten the way to live their life. They are extremely busy running after materialistic goals thereby fueling stress every day.

To cope with this stress, they have tried everything from exercise and diet to alternative methods like medicines. However, the most effective method to deal with stress is not one of these modern methods but rather a thousand years old idea of meditation. Meditation finds its root in many religions, primarily in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Hindu mythology is full of examples wherein normal human beings and sages meditated for years to gain higher spiritual powers. Through meditation, they have risen above the botherations and tensions of worldly life. They have aligned their souls with the almighty in their meditation.

Buddhist mythology explains ‘Nirvana’ through meditation. According to it, Lord Buddha reached enlightenment at the age of 35, awakening to the true nature of reality, which is ‘Nirvana’, the ‘Absolute Truth’. The word Nirvana comes from the

root meaning to blow out and refers to the extinguishing of the fires of greed,

hatred and delusion. When these emotions are destroyed by wisdom, the mind becomes free, radiant and joyful, and at death, one is no longer subject to rebirth. Nirvana is the ultimate happiness, which can be achieved through meditation. The basic principles and practices of meditation are rooted in Hinduism, which believes that the soul is eternal and maintains an eternal relationship with God. The aim of meditation is to quieten the thought waves of the mind.

Quietness can lead to more peace inside the mind. Meditation leads to tranquility and

purification from negative state of our mind, Infact, Buddha religiously believes

“Meditation brings wisdom, lack of meditation leaves ignorance.”

Meditation is very difficult to describe and can only truly be explained once experienced. It is the practice of mental concentration leading ultimately through a sequence of stages to the final goal of spiritual freedom called nirvana. Meditation can be compared with any sport, for example to a basketball game. Everyone can try to play this sport but only a few know the rules and the central dogma of the game. And the others just play the game as they assume it is like. So, it would be right to say that not everyone is able to practise meditation correctly.

Learning to meditate properly, however, is very difficult and must be done under the supervision of teachers. A person who has not practised meditation before, finds it difficult to understand the nature of his mind and may think he is meditating while his mind runs disorderly.

Just a mere 10-15 minutes practice of meditation each day can bring many positive results in the lives of the people. It can be practised anywhere and anytime. The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make the mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practising a simple breathing meditation.

A quiet place is chosen to meditate and to sit in a comfortable position with closed eyes. Sitting in a traditional cross-legged manner is preferable. The most important thing is to keep the back straight to prevent the mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy. The main motto is to concentrate on breathing.

Breathing during meditation is done naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control it, thereby trying to become aware of the sensation of the breath’s movement. This sensation is the object of meditation. Additionally, meditation should be practised with great discipline and awareness to obtain positive results, otherwise it can cause problems in psychological and spiritual well-being.

In recent years, scientists and doctors have shown interest in the effects that meditation has on people going through various situations. Infact, prestigious universities such as Harvard and Washington have invested their efforts in the research and have also come out with positive results. Meditation not only helps reduce the negative effects of stress, but also leads to a better sense of well-being by uniting mind and body.

Statistics on meditation in the Western culture have shown that people suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, hypertension were treated with the help of meditation. Meditation provides benefits to all of the major forms of human existence: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

A lot of famous people across the globe have started shifting to this practice religiously. They believe that through meditation, the mind is rejuvenated, the soul refreshed, nerves calmed and in general, one is at peace with oneself and the environment. Fortified by sessions of meditation, people have found they are able to face the tensions of the world with increased success. 

Wildlife in India

Wildlife constitutes animals, birds, insects etc., living in the forests. The rich flora and fauna of India have been studied and mentioned in texts since the earliest times. Animal laws date to third century BC. Later, several zoologists recorded their distribution and abundance. Wildlife helps in the promotion of various economic activities that generate revenue from tourism. The fauna plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of a region. With the baffling variety of forests in India, the wildlife wealth is equally diverse and perplexing. There are about 76000 species of animals in India which comprise about 82% of known species of the world. India has a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

The trans-Himalayan region, encompassing Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh comprise the richest wild sheep and goat community in the world. Tigers are found in the forests of Eastern Himalayan foothills. Leopard is found in Northern parts of Asom, Lynn and Yak in Ladakh along with Brown, Black and Sloth Bear in the Himalayan Region. The Wild Buffalo is found in Asóm, Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh, while the Great Indian Bison is found in the forests of Central India. Black Panther is found in widely distributed areas including deserts and jungles. Cats are found in the North-Western parts of the country. Several species of Wild Sheep and Goats too are found. Deer, Stag are common but have reduced in numbers considerably. Monkeys, Langurs, Chinkaras too are common as well as the Blue Bull, the Four-horned Antelope or the Chawsingha, Wild Dog, Fox, Jackal, Hyena, Mongoose, Shrews, Hedgehogs, Mole, Bats, Rodents and Squirrels. There isof reptiles like Cobra, Krait, Russel Vipers Dhamoa, a non-poisonous large snake, Rock Python, Marsh Crocodiles, Gharial, Lizards, Chameleon, Monitor Lizards, Turtles etc. Elephant is the largest Indian mammal found in the forests of Asom, West Bengal, Central India, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Rhinoceros is India’s second largest mammal whose number has considerably decreased and is now confined to the forests of Asom and West Bengal under strict protection, in the famous Kaziranga

and Manas Sanctuaries of Asom, and Jaldapara Sanctuary in West Bengal. India can proudly boast of about 2000 species of birds in India which is thrice the amount of birds in all the countries of Europe put together. Aquatic birds like Storks, Herons, Ducks, Flamingoes, Egrets, Cormorants are found along with waders and shore birds like the Sea Gulls, Snipes, Iluses, Cranes and Lapwings. The Great Indian Bustard, Pea Fowl, Jungle Fowl, Quail and Partridges are the main ground birds along with Babblers, Barbits, Bulbuls, Mynas, Pigeons, Parakeets, Doves, Cuckoos, Rollers Beaters, Fly catchers, Orioles, Warblers, Wagtails, Finch larks, Finches, Drongos and Hoops. Prey birds such as Owls, Eagles, Kites, Fallows and Kestrel too are found in large numbers. Peacock, is rightly the national bird of India symbolising the vast variety of our bird-wealth with its rich and magnificent plumage fossils of several animals have also been found in India. Titanosaurus indicus was the first dinosaur discovered in 1877 in the Narmada Valley by Richard Lydekker. Rajasaurus narmadensis, a carnivorous dinosaur was also known to inhabit this region. Whale fossils were found in the foothills of Himalayas, as the area used to be underwater (in the Tethys Sea). Unfortunately, our wildlife has been adversely affected by the fast dwindling forest wealth. Large number of species have got reduced, others are endangered and still others are on the verge of extinction. This has adversely contributed to the disturbance of the ecological balance. Moreover, poaching and illegal killing of animals for their fur, skin, teeth, hair etc has contributed in the reduction of wildlife population.

The first species to disappear during the Indus Valley Civilisation was wild cattle. This probably happened due to inter-breeding with domestic cattle. Species of birds, like pink-headed duck and Himalayan quail have become extinct. Along with Tigers, the numbers of Cheetahs too have dwindled who are now surviving under protection and breeding programmes in the Gir Sanctuary, Gujarat.

To put a check on this, Indian Board for Wildlife was made in 1952 with its main function as an advisory board advising the government on how to conserve and protect wildlife with the construction of National Parks, Sanctuaries, Zoological gardens etc. The Wildlife Conservation Act, 1972 is a strict law and gives a firm footing to National Parks and Sanctuaries. The endangered species of plants and animals have been classified under this act for protection. Project Tiger was launched in 1973 under which 21 Tiger Reserves have been created to check intensive land use practices like mining, construction of roads and railway lines affecting the tiger habitat and corridors. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has set-up a 10-member committee of experts in 2011. The committee will also appraise ongoing demand for diversion of habitat areas towards infrastructure projects in states. Wildlife reserves have started using advanced technology for better maintenance of facilities and also the inhabiting animals. Haryana wildlifedepartment will make use of the camera trap method to get the exact number of animals in its sanctuaries. Kolhapur department has been equipped with wireless communication.

Along with the efforts of the government, people’s awareness and cooperation is needed in order to conserve and protect these invaluable natural resources of our country. Then only can the efforts of the government be given a concrete direction and the conservation goals can be achieved. On International Tiger Day, 29 July, Pench Tiger Reserve along with Rotary Club organised competitions in Nagpur. Such initiatives can go a long way in instilling responsibility towards wildlife among citizens. Wildlife is an integral part of our national heritage. We want our future generations to be able to ‘hear’ lions roar and not just ‘see’ them in picture books. For that we must take steps today. Otherwise, it will be too late!

Water Resources in India

Water is the most important and valuable natural resource on Earth. It sustains all life and life itself originated in water. Before the discovery of traces of water on Mars, Earth was the only planet in the solar system to contain water. About 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water, but only 3% of the available water is freshwater, About two-thirds of the freshwater lies frozen in the form of glaciers and ice caps. The rest of the small portion is available in the form of groundwater and surface water.

Water is used in the agriculture for irrigation of crops. In industries, water is used as a coolant, solvent and in manufacturing processes. Hydroelectricity is electricity generated with the help of water. Water is also used for navigation and transport of goods.

India covers 2.45% of the world area and possesses 4% of world’s water resources. Precipitation contributes about 4000 cu km of water to the country. India has a large number of surface water resources, in the form of rivers, lakes, ponds, tanks and other small bodies. The three main rivers of North India are Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra, which carry 60% of the total surface water in India. The flow of India’s rivers constitutes 6% of discharge of all the rivers of the world.

Being an agriculture-centric country, India has developed a number of irrigation schemes. Irrigation projects of Bhakra-Nangal, Hirakud, Damodar Valley. Nagarjuna Sagar and Indira Gandhi Canal have featured prominently in Five Year Plan.

The land area between Punjab and Brahmaputra Valley has abundant groundwater resources. The technology for identification of more aquifers can be developed further, as has been done in Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. India also has more than 600 km long coastline. Lagoons exist in the states of Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal, where the coastline is indented. This water, known as brackish water, is used for the cultivation of paddy, coconut etc., and for fishing. na

Unmindful use of groundwater has led to the lowering of the water table. Excessive quantity of water used in irrigation increases soil salinity, affecting the crops.

Disputes also have arisen where water bodies are shared between two states and distribution of water is in question. For example, in the absence of Cauvery Agreement, Karnataka developed some irrigation schemes, which affected Tamil Nadu’s rice delta.

“Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink.”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -By ST Coleridg

Hydroelectricity can solve a part of India’s energy crisis, triggered by hike in oil prices. It is generated by the use of gravitational force of falling or flowing water. is the most widely used form of renewable energy, with production in 150 countries India has one of the greatest hydroelectric power potentials in the world. Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has installed a hydel power grid in North India. Hydroelectricity is cost-effective. Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, no waste is produced and carbon-dioxide emission is also less as compared to fossil fuel powered plants.

Water of the rivers and other natural sources is getting polluted due to industrial chemicals, pesticides, oil slicks and household wastes. Around 75% of surface water in India is polluted. Rajasthan and Maharashtra have high fluoride content in water, while arsenic has been found in water of West Bengal and Bihar. There are 14 river basins found to be most affected by dumping of sewage. For example, leather factories in Kanpur pump around 5.8 litre of waste water into Ganga everyday. Yamuna is also known as ‘Open Drain’.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) along with the State Boards monitor water quality at 507 stations. Some of the legislations passed by government include water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Water Cess Act, 1977, Environment Protection Act, 1986 and National Water Policy, 2002. Ganga Manthan dialogue was initiated recently, to discuss measures to check pollution of Ganga water. Placing portable toilets and small scale water treatment plants along the river can go a long way in halting pollution.

Other than these, efforts of NGOs and citizens have also counted in the cleaning of lakes such as Puttenahalli lake, Dal lake, Agara lake, Rankala lake etc.

Maintenance of water quality and water conservation are the needs of the hour. Villages can collaborate to form watersheds, so that wells and other water reservoirs can be recharged with water. Ralegan Siddhi is a village in Maharashtra which successfully implemented this approach. Rainwater harvesting has been made mandatory in Tamil Nadu.

India’s water resources are in ample amount, but what is available freely, shouldn’t be Wasted. Let us be more responsible and emulate successful models like that of Ralegan Siddhi in every part of India.

Right To Education (RTE)

Education is the most effective tool and medium for human development. Education changes the mindset through a continuous process involving, research, experiment and innovation. Without such practices a nation cannot expect the future citizens of its country to be informed and creative.

Education is a must thing” quoted modern political activist Malala Yousafzai. This quotes further justifies Aristotle’s words, “The educated differ from the Uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” These two quotes show the importance of education in everybody’s life. According to the Indian Sages, the aim of education is second birth.

We are born into the world of nature and necessity, we must be reborn into the world of spirit and freedom. This significance gave rise to Right To Education. The Right To Education is a Fundamental Right and is accorded the same legal status as the right to life as provided by Article 21 A of the Indian Constitution. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 is “An act to provide for free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6 to 14 years”.

The right of children to free and compulsory education came into force from 1st April, 2010. According to the Act, every child in the age group of 6 to 14 years will be provided 8 years of elementary education in an age appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his/her neighbourhood.

According to the Act, any cost that prevents a child from accessing school will be borne by the state which shall have the responsibility of enrolling the child as well as ensuring completion of 8 years of schooling. No child shall be denied admission for want of documents; or shall be turned away if the admission cycle in the school is over and no child shall be asked to take an admission test.

This would apply to all schools, private or even Navodaya schools. The act restricts schools to claim special category status because it indulges in screening procedures at the elementary level. Moreover, if the number of children applying to a school exceeds the available seats, an open lottery system shall be used to fill the seats. This applies to all categories of schools.

Children with disabilities will also be educated in the mainstream schools. Section (10) of the Act makes it the duty of the parents to ensure that their children go to schools, without prescribing any punishment. Special provisions are laid for children not admitted to school or who have not completed elementary education; a child so admitted to elementary education will be entitled to completion of elementary education even after 14 years.

Banking in India

“Money plays the largest part in determining the course of history.”

-Karl Marx

A bank is a financial body that accepts deposits and channels them into lending through loans or capital markets. Banks thus, connect customers with lack of funds and those with extra capital.

The word ‘bank’ was borrowed from European languages, literally meaning bench’ or ‘counter’. Banking system evolved in the 14th century in Italy. By the 18th century, merchants of London had started storing their gold with goldsmiths who charged a fee and issued receipts.

A banker is a person who discharges his dduties in the form of operating customer accounts and, paying and collecting cheques.

Banks borrow money by accepting the money deposited in current accounts, by accepting term deposits and issuing securities on banknotes and bonds. They also create new capital by giving loans. Banking activities can be for retail, in which the customers and small businesses are involved directly with the bank; for businesses; for large corporate houses and for investments.

There are various types of banks such as commercial banks (which are engaged solely in banking activities), investment banks (for capital market activities), cooperative banks (non-profit banks), postal savings banks (associated with postal systems) and private banks (managing the assets of high net worth people).

In India, banking has its origin in the Vedic period. It is believed that the transition from money lending to banking must have occurred even before Manu, the great Hindu Jurist, who laid down rules relating to rates of interest. During the Mughal period, the indigenous bankers played a very important role in lending money and financing foreign trade and commerce.

The first bank in India, though elemental, was established in 1786. From 1786 till today, the journey of Indian Banking System can be segregated into three distinct phases. They are-Early Phase from 1786 to 1969 of commercial banks; Nationalisation of Commercial Banks upto 1991, prior to Indian banking sector reforms and New Phase of Indian Banking System with the advent of Indian Financial & Banking Sector Reforms after 1991.

The General Bank of India was set-up in the year 1786. The East India Company established the Bank of Bengal (1809), Bank of Bombay (1840) and Bank of Madras (1843) as independent units and called it Presidency Banks. These three banks were amalgamated in 1920 and Imperial Bank of India was established which started as private shareholders banks, for mostly European shareholders.

Health Advancements

Modern medicine has gained prominence and widespread acceptance as the preferred method of curing diseases. Today, we know more about the human body, how it works and about its diseases. The advances in modern medicine have made clearer the physical and psychological causes behind various diseases. Advancements in the field of health and medicine has been there in every civilisation. But, today it is more researched and revised in form of chemicals. These advances in medicine have opened up possibilities beyond what doctors thought was possible years ago. Today’s techniques, surgeries, therapies and drugs have decreased the overall death rates, placing doctors equivalent to God.

Due to the advancements in modern medicine, newer and more effective methods of cure and treatment are available that will help humans to live longer, healthier and with more satisfaction. Medical advancement has shown various wonders like achieving the impossible task of separating bodily attached twins. After the accident, people were bound to live a handicapped life with amputated body part. But now they are given a second life with a help of a substitution part. People born with diseases or any defects as such being blind, deaf or any other bodily defects can now be cured with the help of advanced technology.

Moreover, doctors have been successful in transplanting various body parts like heart, liver, kidney, etc and have performed various brain surgeries too. Not only this but they have also treated people with acid burns etc by providing them with new faces. And it has all been possible due to the advancement in cosmetic surgeries. Medicine are now available for psychological disorders also. Even the gender of people in some cases, can be changed nowadays. Such is the power and might of modern day medication.

Medical sector is thus proving miraculous every day and coming up with refined development each time. Some important ones amongst them are: Robotic surgeries, which are happening on a daily basis and in growing number of centres. Doctors are using more of robotic technology in complicated surgeries to improve the accuracy of procedures. Because of the combination of drug therapies, the rate of death due to HIV and cancers have come down.

Today treating heart attack is not about doctor’s perfection. It is about the speed with which the patient is brought to the hospital so that the clot that blocks the heart can be cured. The most recent stem-cell research has proved a laboratory breakthrough for doctors. This is likely to be the future of regenerative medicines. About so many life-taking diseases can now be cured using embryonic or adult stem cells.

India is also not behind in its medical advancements. It is a promised land offering much in the medical and scientific research. In medicine, India has not only put research efforts in traditional medicine, but also in herbal medicine. It has thus adopted a holistic approach. Indi, has formulated the drug against tuberculosis called Risorine’ which has drastically cut short the duration of TB treatment. India is now a home to some great hospitals like Medanta the Medicity, Apollo Hospitals, NIMHANS (The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences), Fortis Hospital chain and others serving patients from foreign countries too.

The bright Indian minds leading various research projects are making news every day. Thousands of years of accumulated medical knowledge is now. available at a d click of a mouse. Even doctors need to study and be up to date. For that, Ministry of Health has come up with the world’s first digital library on traditional knowledge comprising ayurveda, herbal and other such medicinal formulations. Government, private and even some non-profit organisations are coming forward to boost the sector even more.

According to a Chinese Proverb: “Good medicines, tastes bitter” which implies medicines comes with side effects too. Today, it seems that people just don’t want to bear even a slightest amount of pain because they have a medicine available for pain. In response to this, they undergo a number of tests, and request for unnecessary care for themselves. Doctors see the human body as a machine with separate parts that can be treated independently rather than as an integrated whole. every

Medicines give quick results but have to be continued for long. People suffering with same disease are treated the same way irrespective of their uniqueness and emotions Medicines have several side-effects too. For instance, over dose of medicine can hamper the immune system, the therapy for cancer leads to baldness, several surgeries need extensive after care, and so on. That is why Buddha’s quote holds meaning as he said:

“Every human is the author of his own health or disease….”

In the earlier time, people would die pitiably, without any known reason. One would feel helpless in front of a small illness. People would accept their disease as their fate. In lieu of this fact, the benefits of medical advancements has outweighed their drawbacks. A lot has been achieved in this field, yet a lot needs to be done for the betterment of mankind.