LEADERSHIP

The above picture speaks volumes about being a leader.

Every time when we hear the success stories of any organisation, we are mainly reminded of the leadership.

Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people and maintaining good inter personal relationship with followers to work together towards the achievement of a common organisational goal. Both leaders and followers play a pivotal role in the success of an organisation.

FEATURES OF LEADERSHIP

  1. Leadership indicates ability of a leader to influence others.
  2. Leadership brings change in the attitude of followers.
  3. Leaderships also indicates an inter personal relationship between leaders and followers.
  4. Leadership is exercised by a manger of a company to achieve common goals of the organisation.
  5. Leadership is a continuous and flowing process.

There person who has leadership qualities is know as a ‘Leader’.

What are qualities needed to become a leader? Some of the qualities are explained below:

Physical features– Physical features like height, weight, health and appearance determine the physical personality of an individual. Health and endurance aid a leader to inspire his subordinates by working hard for the organisation

Knowledge– A leader must posses good knowledge which is essential for giving clear instructions to his subordinates.

Integrity– A leader should have high integrity and honesty. This inspires subordinates to follow his values.

Initiative– A leader must be confident enough to take initiatives and decisions wherever required. He shouldn’t wait for opportunities and must possess the talent of grabbing opportunities for advantages of the organisation.

Motivation skills– A leader should be good motivator and should understand the needs of each and every member and motivate them through satisfying their needs.

Communication skills– A leader should also be a good communicator. His instructions should not cause any ambiguity or chaos. He should not just be a good speaker but also a good listener, adviser, persuader etc.

Social skills– A leader should be sociable, friendly and approachable in times of need.

Self confidence– A leader should always be self confident in during hardships because he sets an example for followers to feel confident in their lower times.

LEADERSHIP STYLE

There are many styles of leadership which a person opts according to the use of authority. There are three basic styles of leadership:

  1. AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP: In this type of leadership, the autocratic leader is strict and expects perfect compliance of his orders from the end of the subordinates. In this style of leadership there is only one way communication. The leader does not like to be contradicted. This style of leadership is especially useful in getting productivity in situations like a factory where a supervisor is accountable for on time production.
  2. DEMOCRATIC OR PARTICIPATIVE LEADERSHIP: A democratic leader is open to views and ideas of his subordinates as he believes that people perform their best when they set their own objectives. Everybody’s opinion matters which helps in achieving organisational goals.
  3. LAISSEZ FAIRE LEADER: In this leadership style, the leader absolutely does not believe in power unless necessary. Subordinates are given independence in formulating their own objectives. The presence of the leader is purely to support them and supply them with information for the assigned task and thus, the subordinate also shoulders some responsibility.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/leadership-skills https://www.adamenfroy.com/leadership-qualities

ETHICAL HACKING

In this developing digital world, there has been a rise in cybercriminals and one must have definitely come across the word ETHICAL HACKING many a times but is often confused with HACKING.

Hacking refers to the illegal practice of accessing or stealing data that is stored in a system by experts and professionals called ‘Hackers’ who have all the knowledge about programming.

Ethical Hacking is a tool that is used by organizations across the globe to deal with cyber criminals and preventing them to access confidential and sensitive data. Ethical Hackers are employed by big companies to develop a security framework to prevent threats.

TYPES OF HACKERS

Hackers are of three types

  • White Hat Hackers- These people are usually software engineers who hack for good reasons and function respecting rules of businesses and corporate structures. It is another name for an Ethical Hacker.
  • Black Hat Hackers- These people steal and misuse data for no reason but their main intention is creating a chaos. There is a need for advanced cyber security just for the reason of protecting data from these hackers.
  • Grey Hat Hackers- They are a combination of both Black and White Hat Hackers who generally hack for fun with no bad intention of damaging systems.

There are various reasons for hacking such-

  • Damaging system
  • Steal data
  • For fun
  • Money extortion
  • Hampering privacy
  • Testing a system security

As we can get a vivid picture on Hacking and Ethical Hacking, let us understand the benefits of Ethical Hacking.

IMPORTANCE OF ETHICAL HACKING

  • Testing password strength
  • Ensuring security features in applications, which protects organisational and user databases
  • Rechecking the validity of authentication protocols
  • Ensuring data communication channels cannot be intercepted

BENEFITS OF ETHICAL HACKING

Though the primary benefit of Ethical Hacking is to prevent data from being stolen and misused by attackers, other benefits include-

  • Identifying vulnerabilities from the point of view of an attacker
  • Implementing a strong and secure network
  • Gaining the trustworthiness of the customers and investors by ensuring their data safety
  • Defending national security by protecting data from terrorists

STEPS TO PERFORM ETHICAL HACKING

Reconnaissance– This is the first step wherein the Hacker identifies his target and obtains the IP address, passwords, networks etc.

Scanning– This is the second stage wherein the Hacker starts assessing and testing the weakness of the target that can be abused by using apparatuses like dialers, port scanners etc.

Gaining Access-This is the third stage wherein hacker plans the outline of the organization of the objective with the assistance of information gathered during observation and now finds out a few alternatives to access the organization.

Maintaining Access– By this stage the hacker finds an entrance into the framework and introduces secondary passages for future purposes.

Clearing Tracks- This process is basically an unethical activity. It has to do with the erasure of logs of the multitude of exercises that occur during the hacking interaction.

Reporting– It is the last step of the ethical hacking process. In this the Ethical Hacker makes a report of his discoveries and the work that was done like the instruments utilized, weaknesses found, the achievement rate and the endeavour measures.

Relevant links: https://er.yuvayana.org/how-ethical-hacking-performed-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-ethical-hacking/ https://www.edureka.co/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-ethical-hacking/

MY LAST DUCHESS- POEM ANALYSIS

MY LAST DUCHESS is a poem written by Robert Browning. The poem is set during the Victorian era where women were objectified and were defined as things to be possessed and controlled. There is only one speaker in this poem-The Duke.

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,”

The poem begins with the Duke of Ferrara directing the attention of the envoy who has arrived to negotiate the Duke’s marriage. The Duke introduces his last Duchess from a painting on the wall to the emissary who was looking as if she was full of life. The duke calls it a piece of wonder and there can be no such doubt when it a piece of art from Fra Pandolf. The Duke asks the envoy to sit down at look at the picture. The Duke then explains that he deliberately said the name of the painter because all visitors look at the painting with earnest glace.


“But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot

Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek; perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say, “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat.” Such stuff”

In these above stanzas he continues about the painting. The Duke tells the envoy that every visitor act as though they would ask, if they dared, how an expression like that came into her face. The duke informs the guest that he isn’t the first person to ask this question. He continues to say that the spot of joy on the cheeks of the Duchess was not perhaps just his presence. He says maybe Pandolf may have complimented her.


“Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?— too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule

She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill”

The Duke tells the messenger that the Duchess was too easily impressed and finds a reason to blush for everything. He says that she liked everything she saw and flirted with every person who crossed her. A brooch from the Duke or the sun setting or a branch of cherries brought by a person or her white mule gave the same level of happiness to her and she blushed the same way for everything. He claimed that she ranked his 900 year old name equally with anyone else’s gift. He says that he cannot stoop down by arguing with her.


“In speech—which I have not—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse—
E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose

Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet”

The Duke of Ferrara imagines a situation where he would confront her and express about and her disgusting character. And if she had let herself be degraded by changing, instead of being stubborn and making excuses, then even the act of confronting her would be beneath him, and he refuses to ever belittle himself like that. He continues saying that she smiled at everybody at the same way and hence he gave orders to stop her smile forever indicating he killed her. He asks the envoy to follow him downstairs.


“The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretense
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

This is the last part of the poem. Here, the Duke’s prospective bride’s father, a Count was known for his generosity in money and dowry. However, the Duke tells that his primitive objective is the Count’s beautiful daughter and not his dowry. As they walk together, the Duke directed the attention of the emissary towards the statue of God Neptune taming a seahorse, a rare piece of art that Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze specifically for him.

Speaking about the Duchess by the Duke speaks volume about his character and the men of his times. Husbands believed they owned their wives and considered that they had the right to dictate her feelings.

Relevant links:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Browning

https://www.gradesaver.com/robert-browning-poems/study-guide/summary-my-last-duchess#:~:text=Analysis%20%22My%20Last%20Duchess%2C%22%20published%20in%201842%2C%20is,poem%20is%20probably%20the%20speaker%20himself%2C%20the%20duke.

FUNCTIONS OF A CENTRAL BANK

The Central Bank is the highest authority in the banking sector and it supervises, controls and regulates the monetary and financial activities of the banking sector in a country. Central Bank is also known as the apex bank in a country. In India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the Central Bank. One of the pivotal features of Central Bank is that it has complete or residuary monopoly over note issue in a country. The function of central bank are as follows:

ISSUER OF CURRENCY

The Central Bank has the monopoly right to issue currency in a country and control the volume of currency and credit. The currency which issued by the apex bank is the legal currency and is circulated in the country. Generally, Central Banks issues currency by having a reserve backup. As of India, RBI has a minimum reserve of Rs.200 crores in form of gold of value Rs.115 crores and Rs.85 crores in form of foreign securities.

BANKER TO THE GOVERNMENT

Just like how the commercial banks are to the public, the Central Bank acts as a banker to the government. It also accepts deposits and provide loans to the government. Central Bank accepts receipts and make payments, provides loans and advances and provide remittance services just like banks.

BANKER’S BANK AND SUPERVISOR

Central Bank acts as a banker’s bank :

  • It is a custodian of their cash reserves.
  • It is the lender of last resort.
  • It acts as a clearing house for member banks.

CONTROLLER OF CREDIT AND MONEY SUPPLY

Central Bank controls money supply and credit through monetary policy. It controls the volume of currency by restricting its issue and controls credit through various qualitative and quantitative measures.

EXCHANGHE CONTROL

The next function is to maintain the exchange value of currency. In exchange control system in India, every citizen has to deposit the foreign exchange he receives with the RBI. For securing foreign exchange, it must make an application to the RBI in the prescribed form.

LENDER OF LAST RESORT

During emergency situations where commercial banks are unable to fulfil the obligations of their depositors, they approach the Central Bank as the lender of last resort. Central Bank rediscounts its eligible securities and provide loans against these securities. It prevents the banking system from a failure or breakdown.

CUSTODIAN FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES

The Central Bank is responsible for maintaining the external value of the currency and thus maintains some gold and foreign currencies so that in the event of fluctuations, Central Bank buys and sells foreign exchange in the market to minimize the effect.

CLEARING HOUSE FUNCTION

The Central Bank acts as a Clearing House for its member banks. Banks receive cheque drawn on other banks from customers which has to be realized from drawee’s bank. Cheques are also drawn and passed on to other banks which also needs to be realized from drawee bank. Central Bank allows other banks to come together to set off their cheque claims without physical movement of money through the clearance facility.

PUBLICATION OF DATA

Finally, the Central Bank also collects and publishes various statistical data relating to the banking and financial sectors of the economy.

Relevant links:https://hscprojects.com/central-bank-functions-economics-project/#:~:text=The%20main%20function%20of%20a%20central%20bank%20is,during%20times%20of%20bank%E2%80%99s%20insolvency%20or%20financial%20crisis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_Bank_of_India

CREDIT CREATION

Bank Building Vector Illustration.

Credit creation is one of the important functions of a commercial bank.

“A commercial bank is one that accepts deposits and lend loans and earns an income with the difference.”

Commercial banks expand the money supply in the economy through the form of credit creation. The banking structure is based on credit. Credit basically means getting the purchasing power now and promising to pay at some time in the future. Bank credit means bank loans and advances. Banks generally accept deposits but do not give the whole as loans. The banks keep a minimum reserve of the deposits for the demand of depositors and provides the remaining as loans. The deposits are generally ‘demand deposits’ which can be repayable on demand.

When providing a loan, the bank does not provide it as cash but opens a secondary depository account in the name of the borrower. Now, let us see what is primary and secondary deposits.

Primary deposits are deposits from a customer to a bank which forms the basis of credit. Secondary deposits are loans provided by bank to the borrower. The bank opens an account in the name of the borrower. In credit creation, every loan transaction happens only by opening a secondary depository account.

Let us understand the process of credit creation through the table below

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CCr1.jpg

The table above explains the process of credit creation by a single bank. In the table, the cash reserves are kept so that the bank can meet depositor’s needs and lends the rest of the deposits. In this bank, the cash reserves are kept at 20% of the total deposits. Now, a person A deposits an amount say Rs.1000. Person A’s deposits are the initial primary deposits. Of this 20%, that is, Rs.200 is taken for cash reserves and the remaining Rs.800 is taken for lending. Another person, say person B borrows an amount of Rs.800. This money is neither given in form of cash nor straightly to his bank account. The money is given in the form of secondary deposits. This marks the Round 1 of credit creation. Since the money is given in secondary deposits, for the bank, it considers it to be a new deposit because cash at bank increases by Rs800 and by charging 20% cash reserves and give the remaining amount of Rs.640 to lending to say, person C. This process continues for several rounds until the deposits become zero. At the end of the process, the bank has managed to multiply the amount of money supply which is circulating in the economy. As of the above example, the initial deposit amount was Rs.1000 but in the end, through the Multiplier Effect the money created is Rs.5000. Multiplier Effect refers to the ability of the bank to increase money supply through the process of borrowing and lending.

MULTIPLIER EFFECT = 1/CRR = 1/20% = 5 times

where CRR is the Cash Reserve Ratio

We can see observe from the table that the deposits have been multiplied by 5 times by the bank.

Relevant links:https://www.slideshare.net/ramusakha/credit-creation-28701684

https://byjus.com/commerce/credit-creation-by-commercial-bank/

POVERTY

Poverty is a state of living wherein a person or a group of people lack access to financial services to have a minimum standard of living and lack of basic facilities like food, clothing and shelter. The word poverty comes from French word “poverté” which means poor. Poverty is not the same in every country and are not used everywhere in the same context because it may have occurred due to social or economic or political factors. Now let us discuss the three main types of poverty:

ABSOLUTE POVERTY: Absolute poverty is a situation in which a household has a very meagre income that they cannot afford to have access to basic facilities like food, shelter, housing, education, sanitation and health etc.

RELATIVE POVERTY: This type of poverty generally comes as a comparison of social status. This type of poverty arises with the inability to buy or upgrade the luxurious goods. Relative poverty can be seen generally in developed countries like the Unites States.

CHRONIC POVERTY: This type of poverty can be experienced by people for very long period of time or even their whole life. Chronic poverty is one that can sometimes be prevailing on for generations.

POVERTY MEASUREMENT:

Various tools have come into use to estimate the poverty in a country.

In India, poverty line, income and consumptions are the indicators of measuring poverty. Poverty line refers to the amount of expenditure incurred for purchasing consumer commodities. In India, the poverty line is defined on the basis of calorie intake.

AREASCALORIE INTAKE
URBAN AREAS2,400
RURAL AREAS2,100

Now comes the question, why is urban calorie intake lower than rural areas?

It is a known fact that the main occupation in rural areas is agriculture and thus due to a comparatively high physical activity, there is also an equivalent high calorie intake by rural people than urban people.

In 2017, an estimated 9.2 percent of the global population still lived below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day, which is based on poverty lines in some of the poorest economies in the world. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, there is an increase in the number of poor worldwide by 120 million and is expected to increase further by the end of the pandemic.

IMPORTANCE OF POVERTY MEASUREMENT: Poverty measurement is very important mainly for the government to understand if the benefits reach the poor and to allocate funds, formulate strategies and policies to improve their standard of living.

CAUSES OF POVERTY:

Though there are many causes to poverty, some are listed below:

  • UNEMPLOYMENT- Poverty and unemployment are interrelated. Poverty leads to unemployment and vice versa. Due to lack of financial resources the bread winner of the family is not able to support his family even with basic facilities.
  • CLIMATIC CHANGES- As per the World Bank, the climatic change has the power to impoverish about 100 million in the next decade. Nothing can stand nature’s fury and natural disasters like floods, drought, tsunamic etc. can pull down a country’s economy making many people poor and famished.
  • WAR SITUATIONS- Political conditions like pre and post war situations can also poverty. The country’s income would be mostly spent on the weapons to safeguard the country and people but people cannot escape the inside war (hunger) as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country suffers.
  • LACK OF ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION- Currently, almost 2 billion people don’t have access to clean water. Contaminated water can lead to water borne diseases which can be chronic and life threatening.
  • LACK OF EDUCATION- Another reason for poverty is lack of education. Education helps people in getting out of poverty by getting a job. As the flow of income increase, it slowly increases the standard of living of the household and jumps out of poverty.

Relevant links: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/Mowafi_Poverty_Measurement_Debate.pdf

https://www.britannica.com/topic/poverty

REASONS TO GO ON A DIET

In a world full of foodies, some people also spread awareness about the importance of going on a diet. Diet, though in modern days is used as a tool for weight loss, is not a new thing ancient India. In ancient days or even now, many people go on a fasting. Many state that to be on religious grounds. Many also state it the other way. Fasting was a little different from diet. Fasting was either no consumption for a day or two or just consumption of liquids. Many say there is a scientific reason behind fasting because many say that being on a fast on a regular basis is healthy as it gives some rest to the digestive organs in the body that are continuously indulged in the process of breaking down food. As people are more emotionally attached to food, they over indulge in the process of eating which is not good for a healthy state of the body. Though it might be nutritious, there would be no pattern of eating. Thus, diet brings a pattern and regularisation in quantity and quality of eating. Most of the people believe that the only reason for people to go on a diet is for weight loss which is actually a myth. Though it is one of the reasons but there are many other reasons too!!

REASONS TO GO ON A DIET:

  • WEIGHT LOSS-This is the reason mostly people undergo a diet regime. Due to the accumulation of toxins by eating a lot of processed foods and increase body mass index. Thus, people to reduce to their former size, go through diet. But the diet they follow may not be always right or suitable for their body. A healthy diet includes consumption of fruits, vegetables and protein rich pulses.
  • WEIGHT GAIN– There are also very skinny people, though eat a normal diet do not fit into the normal Body Mass Index (BMI). There are also people who lost huge weight due to some illness. Diet helps these people to gain weight.
  • REDUCES RISK OF CANCER– Excessive consumption of alcohol, eating packed and processed food are associated with risk of some forms of cancer. Following a healthy diet refreshes your body and maintains it healthy.
  • DECREASES GLUCOSE LEVEL IN BLOOD STREAM– This is related to weight loss. By way of diet for weight loss, one can also lower their blood glucose levels according to the “Diabetes care” 2011.
  • HEALTHIER SKIN AND HAIR– A healthy diet keeps your skin soft and supple. It keeps aging at bay. It also improves your hair condition and keeps it soft and shiny.
  • BETTER DIGESTION– While on a diet, you can control the quantity of each nutrient going to your body. An increase in consumption of fibres in diet can improve your digestion.
  • IMPROVES MOOD– Diet not only make you look better, you also feel better. Your body feels light and healthy which has a direct impact on the mind. A healthy body promotes a healthy mind.

STAY HEALTHY! STAY HAPPY!!

Relevant links: https://www.idodeclaire.com/2021/06/why-you-should-focus-on-your-diet.html

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-is-a-plant-based-diet-and-why-should-you-try-it-2018092614760

TIME MANAGEMENT

Everybody must have heard of this quote

“TIME AND TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN”

The proverb tells everything. Nothing can stop time from flying away. It can never be bought with money. These evidently tell us the value of time. Time is the most valuable thing in a person’s life. The time which was wasted cannot be reversed or changed. Time cannot be also borrowed or saved. Time is so precious because we don’t know how much do we have still. You must have heard people investing their time for some purposes. Do not think it’s nothing much! If people are willing to invest some quality time with you, it means they are valuing you so much that they decide to share their valuable time to spend with you.

Time management is about making the most of your time. If it is effectively used, you can reap better things in your life. Time management can be really useful to a person to sort their activities in a particular way in order to avert the possibility of confusion.

TIPS TO HAVE A PROPER TIME MANAGEMENT:

  1. PLAN A SCHEDULE- The first and foremost basic step is planning your schedule. It involves the time duration of the schedule, its deadline, listing activities and sorting them to necessary and unnecessary activities, number of breaks etc. There needs to be clear goals specified that needs to be accomplished within the time frame.
  2. AVOID DISTRACTIONS- Everybody might be good at planning a schedule but is often hard to follow for many. A person is behind a schedule only because of distractions. There can be no excuse about the comfortability of the schedule because each schedule is framed based on the basis of the capacity of individuals and were framed by themselves too!
  3. KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME LOGS- It is important to know how much time is needed to actually complete a scheduled work. Thus the time must be set after several trials to choose the optimum time it takes to complete a particular task.
  4. ENSURE YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT BREAKS- To follow your schedule continuously, you need sufficient breaks to rejuvenate your mind and body. Long and continuous working can make you lose track and you might end up running behind your schedule. Breaks are meant for relaxation so that you do not feel tired or lazy to continue your work. Humans, after all, are not machines.
  5. FIND YOUR BEST PRODUCTIVITY TIME- Some people might be feeling comfortable to work at nights while some feel good to work at mornings. Each person knows his/her strengths and weaknesses. Thus, it is the individual’s decision to find out the best suitable time for working.
  6. REWARD YOURSELF- Self-motivation is always the best. Rewarding yourself can really bring a state of happiness to you and encourage you to stay on track with the schedule. After all, what better reward can you receive than successfully achieving your goals?

WHY IS TIME MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?

Time management makes your activities happen in an organised manner. There involves no tensions. It is all about sticking to your schedule. Time management teaches an individual punctuality and discipline. Effective time management boosts your confidence and finally, helps you to achieve your goals in the shortest span with focussed efforts.

RELEVANT LINKS: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_00.htm https://www.slideshare.net/ubatool3/time-management-ppt-15402539

E-LEARNING: Pros and Cons

E-learning system was one which wasn’t preferred by everybody before the pandemic. A live classroom session can never be the same as an online class session. In my opinion, classes through the internet are not generally interactive as much as a live class session because individuals might feel a little shy or uncomfortable with online interactions. There are chances for less clarity or more misunderstanding between a group or individuals. Nothing can actually beat the comfortability of attending live classroom sessions. But online classes are not that really bad!! Though they are used in rare cases, they are still quite helpful. They are technological improvements to help man save time, money and energy. In the present condition where people are battling bravely against the coronavirus pandemic, schools, college and other educational institutions are shut down. There was no time for these institutions to weigh the positives and negatives of e-learning because it became the necessary default. It is because of the improvements in technology that a child is not stopped from learning. The present generation is already accustomed to the use of technology and therefore it is a blessing in disguise because there would be no problem in the context of adjusting or learning or comfortability. E-leaning has provided a virtual place for individuals and mentors to interact with each other, learn and grow. They do have some pros and cons which are discussed below:

PROS OF E-LEARNING:

  • COST EFFECTIVE- E-learning is useful because it can be accessed from any desired destination. It is a least cost way to learn any course or subject. One just needs a computer or mobile phone and there is no need for any other materials or tools. It is the most affordable learning option without any difficulties.
  • FASTER DELIVERY- Generally, the organisation of real training sessions requires a lot of time and money. With the invention of e-learning, all these costs are not incurred due to virtual classrooms and sessions.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY- Nowadays, there is a lot of campaigns and awareness programmes about pollution. E-learning has not only allowed people to learn from their comfortable place but also prevented pollution from their vehicles.
  • PERSONALIZED TRAINING EXPERIENCE- A person can attend their trainings at their own pace in e-learning because during real classes, the trainers might move on faster will trainees find it difficult to adapt to the pace.
  • INTERNET CONNECTION- Internet connection is 24*7 and a person can attend their course anytime, anywhere at their comfort.
  • ENCOURAGES INDEPENDENT LEARNING- An individual needn’t be dependent on somebody to learn something. A small pay for a training or course can help a person to learn independently without hassles.

CONS OF E-LEARNING:

  • TECHNOLOGY ACCESS- E-learners have to use technology in order to access the courses and trainings. The learner may neither have an experience or knowledge to use the technology nor an internet connection.
  • TECHNICAL GLITCHES- E-learning comes with a lot of technical glitches which are not very easy to rectify. It needs a technical knowledge to handle such a situation. Thus, in such situations the absence of such knowledge can provide problems to a person.
  • PEER INTERACTION- There would be less of peer interaction. There is anonymity between the fellow mates attending the same training. Except the trainer, we never know who is on the other side of the screen.

RELEVANT LINKS: https://www.indiainfoline.com/article/general-editors-choice/how-is-online-education-helping-offline-education-during-the-lockdown-121062500209_1.html https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/e-learning https://e-student.org/what-is-e-learning/

ON KILLING A TREE: Poem analysis

“ON KILLING A TREE” is a poem written by Gieve Patel. This poem is highlights deforestation and exploitation of nature by man in a cruel way to satisfy his needs. The poem gives a vivid picture of the brutal act of killing a tree. The poem compares the killing of a tree to a murder.

“It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown

Slowly consuming the earth,

Rising out of it, feeding

Upon its crust, absorbing

Years of sunlight, air, water,

And out of its leprous hide

Sprouting leaves.”

The poem starts with the poet starting to describe how difficult it is to kill a tree. It cannot be killed with just a quick blow of a knife because it had grown this huge and is deep rooted in the soil. It rises out of the earth’s crust and absorbing years of sunlight, water and air. The tree also sprouts leaves from its discoloured bark.

So hack and chop

But this alone wont do it.

Not so much pain will do it.

The bleeding bark will heal

And from close to the ground

Will rise curled green twigs,

Miniature boughs

Which if unchecked will expand again

To former size.”

In stanza 2, these lines state that even though human being chop the tree, it doesn’t mean the tree is destroyed. Just like how we get cuts and bleed and finally heal, the tree also releases sap when chopped. The bleeding bark will heal back itself and grow again from the ground. Green twigs grow and when left unnoticed, it grows back to it’s former size.

“No, The root is to be pulled out —

Out of the anchoring earth;

It is to be roped, tied,

And pulled out — snapped out

Or pulled out entirely,

Out from the earth-cave,

And the strength of the tree exposed

The source, white and wet,

The most sensitive, hidden

For years inside the earth.”

In the above lines, the initial step to destroy a tree is described. The initial step is uprooting the tree. To destroy a tree completely, first it needs to be pulled out from the earth which was holding and sustaining it. The earth nurtured the tree for many years but now roped, tied and pulled out entirely. ‘Earth cave’ is maybe referred to deep hole that is created by pulling out the tree. It is only when the act of pulling the tree out of the earth is done, it’s real strength is revealed. When the tree is uprooted, the most sensitive, white and moist part of the tree, the roots come out from the earth which was deep down the soil for years.

“Then the matter

Of scorching and choking

In sun and air,

Browning, hardening,

Twisting, withering,

And then it is done.”

And after the tree is uprooted, it is destroyed by other elements of nature such as sunlight and air. The climatic and environmental changes play a role in browning and hardening of the tree. It dries and twists and finally withers. By this stage, the tree is destroyed once and for all.

This poem conveys a social message to all stating the importance of trees and destroying them is a crime. The nature has provided man so much but man becomes greedy and exploits nature. Man should realize that destroying nature is destroying himself.

RELEVANT LINKS: https://byjus.com/cbse-notes/class-9-english-beehive-on-killing-a-tree-summary/ https://experimentwithperspectives.blogspot.com/2016/03/poem-analysis-subject-summarisation-and-explanatioon-on-killing-a-tree-by-gieve-patel.html

IMPORTANCE OF INTERNSHIPS

Is it really important to join as an intern especially after you join college? Is there any real benefits of pursuing an internship? Does it add value to your resume? All these question will be answered below.

An internship is a short term work experience a person receives to gain practical knowledge from an organization. It helps a person to gain real life experiences and professional contacts. They time duration for an internship maybe for a few days, weeks or months. Some companies also provide payment to interns for their work in the form of stipend. Internships are pursued by students from colleges and universities to have the actual exposure to their field of interest. It naturally adds much weightage to that student’s resume. Generally internships were confined only to specific subjects or fields. But now, internship became a necessity for almost all fields.

In this highly competitive world, the more you qualify the more your standing. An individual will be placed unique in a crowd where others have just gained knowledge through books. For instance, when you go for an interview in an organisation or company with a resume carrying various internships that you pursued related to the job you are applying, you stand a better chance to get employed because the aim of each and every employer is to choose from the best. Also the employer needn’t train you because you already have on field experience which saves their cost of training. Thus it adds some weightage to your resume. Students choose a path as a career when they join college. However it might not be of their interest or comfort. Internships are a great way to explore your career path and aid the intern to know whether the field is suitable to him/her. Some internships help you bring out the talents from the inside that you never knew. Internships also help people to assess themselves by testing their subject and understanding it through practical application. There are also things that can never be learnt by reading. It is all about observing and following the same. University learning can only bring you to a certain level. A student can develop professional touch in his work only through internships. An internship is also used as a chance to prove oneself to be efficient, hard working and clever. There are also possibilities for the company to offer you a job in the near future because they know they are employing the right person with the perfect skills needed for a certain position in an organisation. Going through an internship, a person may encounter and establish a lot of professional contacts who can be very useful in career advising and job recommendations. In a field say marketing, an intern is hired for work in various departments such as product designing, product promotion, pricing etc. it exposes an intern to various departments and help the mentor to assess the capacity of the intern and aids him to delegate responsibilities to the intern. Finally, it is a safe environment to learn and mistakes can be corrected before you enter into your first job.

HAPPY LEARNING!!!

RELEVANT LINKS:https://blog.suny.edu/2018/06/10-reasons-why-an-internship-is-important-to-all-students/ https://www.thebalancecareers.com/is-an-internship-really-all-that-important-1986800

INSOMNIA

Insomnia or sleeplessness in layman terms is a sleep disorder. It is characterized by poor quality of sleep and leads to daytime impairment which also has an effect on the health as well as the work performance of an individual. One could not fall asleep soon or wake in the morning or go back to bed soon. Insomnia occurs due to various physical and psychological factors. It can independently occur or maybe caused due to any other issues like depression, hyperthyroid, menopause etc. There are risk issues relating to losing of focus and learning and causes irritability as one would have very less energy. Insomnia makes you sickly and you do not feel refreshing at all. Insomnia can last for many days, weeks and even longer than a month. It is suffered by all irrespective of age though it is mainly predominant among adults.

There are two types of Insomnia on the basis of cause:

  1. Primary Insomnia which is caused not by any other health issue.
  2. Secondary Insomnia which is caused by some other health problem.

On the basis of duration, Insomnia can be classified as-

  1. Acute Insomnia.
  2. Chronic Insomnia.

On the basis of severity:

  1. Mild Insomnia- lack of sleep.
  2. Moderate Insomnia- affects daily routine.
  3. Severe Insomnia- affects everyday and every action in life.

CAUSES OF INSOMNIA:

  • Mental health problems like anxiety and depression
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine, tobacco products
  • Unfavourable sleeping environment
  • Uncomfortable with sleeping positions
  • Improper sleeping habits
  • Improper eating habits
  • Lack of bodily activity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Regular naps
  • Chronic pain
  • Asthma
  • Heart diseases
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications for some other issues

SYMPTOMS FOR INSOMNIA:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Increase in committing errors or mistakes
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Problems with memory and retention
  • Lack of concentration
  • Tension headaches
  • Low energy
  • Anger
  • Mood changes
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty in socializing
  • Prone to accidents
  • Waking up too early
  • Waking up many times at night

PREVENTING INSOMNIA:

Below are some tips one can easily follow in order to beat sleeplessness:

  • Limiting naps to increase sleepiness at night
  • Maintaining a proper sleep schedule
  • Exercises that mainly concentrate on stretching the body
  • Relaxing before going to bed
  • Never carry your stress and negative thought to bed
  • Avoiding use of phones or any other electronic devices before bed
  • Avoiding heavy meals before bed
  • Avoiding late night shifts
  • Avoiding consumption of caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • Practicing breathing exercises before going to bed at night for better sleep

INSOMNIA IN COVID 19:

During this coronavirus pandemic, one of the invisible enemies to human being is Insomnia. People all over the world suffer from sleeplessness. They either get Insomnia as a result of depression and stress. People also suffer sleeplessness due to the fact that they stay at their homes which restrict a lot of body activity. They never become tired and they thus suffer. Many of those who work from home are before their gadgets all the time. They do not have a time bar as to when to stop working. They have to forget the difference between day and night. It is not good for health because of the rays from gadgets can also lead to sleeplessness and staying in the same position day and night can also cause other ailments in the body.

It is the responsibility of every individual to take care of their body and mind and maintain it healthy so as to lead a healthy lifestyle.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167 https://in.news.yahoo.com/delhi-sees-rise-cases-depression-115800635.html https://in.news.yahoo.com/explained-coronasomnia-sleep-disorder-spiked-133447914.html

YOGA- Balance of Body and Mind

There are many practices in the world to keep the mental and body health in harmony; One such practice is yoga. In the last few years there has been an surge in the number of yoga practitioners as these days there are more health problems and more awareness and it does have a positive impact on the body. Yoga is the art and science of uniting the body and mind that helps in “Self-Realisation”. Yoga was a method used for liberation of individual souls but now it is presented as a solution for global problems. Yoga has various branches that are practiced based on the problems one would like to be deal with. Yoga gives inner peace.

Yoga has its origins from the Indian Subcontinent and is practiced and passed on for many generations. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to unite’. The highest or ultimate result of yoga is ‘samadhi’. A lot number of seals and fossil remains of the Indus Saraswati valley civilisation suggest the presence of yoga in ancient India. The presence of yoga is available in folk traditions, Indus valley civilization, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, the epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana etc. Yoga is broadly classified into four divisions- mantra yoga, raja yoga, laya yoga, hatha yoga. The practice of yoga in the vedic tradition was as a result of the internalization of the vedic ritual and its elevation symbolically from the material plane into the mental plane. By practicing yoga you have

  • Ability to move everywhere
  • Ability to control everything
  • Ability to become light or heavy
  • Ability to fulfil desires etc.

ADVANTAGES OF YOGA

Yoga is very deep and its understanding cannot be expressed in words. However, there are many advantages of performing yoga:

  1. Yoga helps to enhance the circulation of blood and nutrients to circulate to all parts of the body.
  2. Yoga can be done anywhere, anytime and doesn’t need any equipment.
  3. Yoga brings out the inner strength in your body and helps you to have a stronger body. It also aids in lifting your own body.
  4. Yoga improves your body posture making it healthy.
  5. Yoga improves the concentration of individuals.
  6. Brings up a healthy weight.
  7. Yoga prevents the risk of heart diseases because it help to reduce blood pressure, pulse rate, cholesterol and maintains a healthy weight too.
  8. There is a state of balance in the body and mind when practicing yoga.
  9. Yoga delays premature ageing because it is also a technique to detox your body.
  10. It is an effective treatment for depression and studies have shown that it acts as an anti-depressant and reduce stress.
  11. Yoga improves your body flexibility.
  12. Yoga helps you to sleep better without any disturbance.
  13. Yoga increases immunity because it is a type of healing that helps every cell in the body to be immune.
  14. It helps to improve the mood and helps to get rid of laziness, anxiety and dullness.
  15. It helps in the better functioning of the lungs through breathing exercises which is very much necessary for the existence of life.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/opinion/you/mirrorlights-experts-say-yoga-can-improve-respiratory-health-and-immunity-post-covid/articleshow/83788419.cms https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286745#risks-and-side-effects

ENTRANCE EXAM- A NECESSITY?

It is known to all that the CBSE 12th Board examinations have been cancelled due to the on going pandemic. However, the Government did not announce it on its own. The decision was taken after many parents have started worrying about the coronavirus and their ward’s safety. The cancellation was requested also because the classes were taught in online mode and the current grade 12 batch (2020-2021) were passed in their 11th grade without an examination. There were rounds of discussions that were conducted on how should the board examinations be kept offline considering the present situation and the safety of the students. Finally, on 1st of June, considering the consequences of the pandemic, Government of India announced the cancellation 12th CBSE Final Examinations. This decision has given much more confidence to the parents and their worries faded away. However, the next dilemma is about the marking formula that the CBSE would adopt for the students. These marks are very much important for students with which will be the basis for their undergraduate degree courses. For the purpose of resolving, the Government has appointed a 13 member committee to recommend the criteria to evaluate the grade 12 CBSE students.

The next question comes- the mode of admission in colleges. Is there an entrance exam or not? Generally for those who opt for engineering and medical have an entrance test and those scores are also considered important during the admission. Requests are placed by many people about the cancellation of entrance exams for engineering and medical for joining universities. The decision is still pending from the part of Government which will be arriving soon. In my opinion, entrance exams are useful in filtering the best candidates with good knowledge about the subject. There are many pros and cons for entrance exams. Some reasons are given below on why an entrance exam needs to be held.

MERITS OF HOLDING ENTRANCE EXAMS

As we know, college life is a turning point in a student’s life as it is considered as the first step to future career. The first push for students to take up entrance exams is to join the college of their dreams. Secondly, not all are good at all the subjects; Entrance exams can help the candidates to test their own mettle in their particular subject of interest and prove that they are knowledgeable in their field of interest. The exams test the knowledge of an individual in terms of analytical, numerical, comprehension and current affairs. Entrance exams also help students to dig deeper in their subject and learn more and more and thus here will be never ending learning that even successful completion of entrance exams will not be their ultimate goal. By attempting the exam, one need not necessarily pass the exam but he/she can understand the areas where they need to improve and where they stand in the crowd in aspects of knowledge in that subject. Finally, only deserving candidates get the seats in the college. There is no scope for any bias in the selection process.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://admission.aglasem.com/entrance-exams/ https://www.careerindia.com/entrance-exam/

POLLUTION

Pollution refers to the contamination of the environment due to the presence of hazardous substances in the atmosphere. Pollution is basically man-made. These hazardous substances are referred as pollutants. In early times, pollution was in terms of the fire burnt in caves. But that did not have a big impact on the atmosphere. The population was very low during ancient human civilization. However, as the human civilization progressed and as evolution and advancements in human beings took place, it ended up having a huge population density across the world. Industrialisation also played its part in pollution. According to studies, the productivity of indoor and outdoor workers have decreased due to pollution. Thus pollution is a severe problem in the current day.

Though there are many types of pollution such as plastic pollution, radioactive contamination, light pollution etc. the major types are pollution are air, water and soil pollution.

AIR POLLUTION

Air pollution is the release of chemicals and particles in the environment. The chemicals include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide etc. Air pollution attributes to about 5 million deaths each year. It contributes to 9% of the total deaths in the world every year. There are many causes of air pollution such as

  • Burning of fossil fuels, wood, plastic etc.
  • The untreated chemicals let out from industries and exhaust of vehicles
  • Deforestation
  • Emission of green house gases such as methane, carbon dioxide etc.
  • Mining operations
  • Chlorofluorocarbons present in coolants

These cause a severe damage to environment, health and welfare of the living beings such as

  • Respiratory problems such as wheezing and asthma and other lung problems
  • Global warming
  • Acid rain formation
  • Smog formation
  • Affects wildlife

We can prevent air pollution by

  • Afforestation
  • Using a filter in factories before releasing chemicals
  • Using eco-friendly vehicles

WATER POLLUTION

Water pollution is mainly caused by discharge of sewage in the water bodies that pose a dangerous threat to marine life. Every year, 14 billion pounds of plastic are released into the ocean. The reasons for water pollution are

  • Oil spills from the ships
  • Pesticides used in agriculture washed off to seas
  • Marine dumping such as dumping plastics and other non biodegradable substances
  • Release of untreated waste into water bodies
  • Acid rain

Effects of water pollution are

  • Contamination of marine organisms
  • Water pollution affects the growth of marine plants
  • Eutrophication – prevents the sunlight from entering into the ocean
  • Infected fishes infect human being leading to water borne diseases such as cholera, hepatitis and typhoid

How do we prevent water pollution?

  • Proper disposal of wastes into water after treating it
  • Recycling water
  • Conserving water

SOIL POLLUTION

Soil pollution is defined as the presence of toxic chemicals in the soil, in high enough concentrations to pose a risk to human health and the ecosystem. The causes of soil pollution are

  • Acid rain
  • Landfill
  • Usage of fertilizers and pesticides
  • Dust particles present in the soil
  • Deforestation and soil erosion

Due to these reasons, it is evident that the soil becomes infertile and contaminated, making it unfit for agriculture. There are some measures to prevent soil pollution such as

  • Treating wastes before dumping them
  • Avoiding burning of wastes
  • Afforestation
  • And finally, using organic manure for maintaining a healthy/fertile soil.

Relevant links:https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/eu-drafts-plan-tighten-carbon-070725934.html https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrXgiOIKdxgJQYAvDPAHAx.;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzMEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1625070088/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.ndtv.com%2fdelhi-news%2fdelhi-government-bans-fishing-in-parts-of-yamuna-river-citing-high-pollution-2475600/RK=2/RS=24WnrdQSK4vCKpBJqFmCILrj3wE-

GODREJ GROUP

Godrej is an old Indian multinational conglomerate company founded by Ardeshir Godrej and Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej in 1897. It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Godrej Group has been in industry for almost 123 years serving more than 1.1 billion customers. It operates on various sectors and providing various services across the globe. Godrej Group has its subsidiaries and affiliated companies which include Godrej & Boyce, Godrej industries, Godrej Agrovet, Godrej Properties, Godrej Infotech, Godrej Koerber and Godrej Consumer Products.

GOALS

  • Providing employment- Godrej Group Limited has partnered with government and NGOs to provide many job related training programmes focussing on skill development and empowerment.
  • A step to a Greener India- Their manufacturing plants concentrate on productivity and environmental sustainability. The also focus on the water, energy and waste management in their factories.
  • Good/Green product- The company produces a good and green product by way of catering the needs of the customers down the pyramid and is also less harmful to the environment.

STORY OF GODREJ

After much of failures in business, Ardeshir Godrej sets up a lock company in 1897 which opened his locked door to success. In 1918, their company launched the world’s first vegetable oil soap without animal fat and then ventured into manufacturing steel cupboards. In 1943, the then Government of Bombay auctioned Vikhroli village Pirojsha Godrej which was transformed into a beautiful, industrial township supported by lots of greenery. In 1944, the group produced the safest safes. It was the pride of Godrej Group to manufacture 1.7 million Ballot boxes for India’s first elections after becoming a democratic country. Cinthol No.1, a soap which was released by Godrej became the second largest soap player in India. Refrigerators, hair dyes were also new categories in which they ventured. In 1990, Godrej Properties was established dealing with real estates in India. Godrej Agrovet was established in 1991 to address the agricultural crises in India. Godrej Group built the revolutionary lock: the Mechatronic Door Lock Key, and the Unique Dual Access Control Padlock in 2007. It also provided engineering expertise to India’s mission to the moon in 2008. Godrej India Cultural Lab was set up in 2011. It also built the Calandria for a 700MW nuclear power reactor for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India within a record time of 30 months in 2013. Godrej partnered with the Indian Space Research Organisation on India’s first mission to Mars. Godrej Aerospace engine powered the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and their precision components calculated the satellite’s trajectory to the millisecond. Godrej One was created in 2015 by Godrej Properties and Pelli Clarke Pelli, which headquartered at Vikhroli in Mumbai. They also acquired a 51% stake in Krsnaa Mehta’s India Circus to put a 100% in redesigning India’s lifestyle(2016). In 2017, Godrej Agrovet was listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange. In 2019, the group made a big achievement by delivering the world’s tallest Continuous Catalytic Regeneration reactor of 95 meters, for Nigeria’s Dangote Oil Refinery. The Group partnered with the Ordnance Factory Chandrapur to develop the Pinaka rocket assembly line to enhance the production with high-quality and advanced-safety features.

As we can see, Godrej did not just grow from all out of a sudden but has been consistent and hard working and their goodwill is spread over a number of years.

Relevant links:https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/godrej-holding-company-hikes-stake-in-godrej-properties-agrovet-121063000007_1.html https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/icra-upgrades-godrej-consumers-longterm-rating/2110558


Joint family Vs Nuclear family

Joint family system existed in the very oldest days of Indian culture where many members of the same family lived together under the same roof, cooked together, ate together. Joint families consisted of a parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts and so on. People who grow in joint families stand in a better position in terms of socializing with others. Members of a joint family are less like to fall into depression or loneliness. When you live in a joint family, you feel you are closely related to each and every person because you spend every moment of your life at home with each and every person. Each member is dependent on the whole family and are nothing without it. We could really feel the connect between our family members. Parents have got their role of disciplining children while the grandparents be the partners in crime to their grandchildren. There would be siblings and cousins growing together and have a nice time. This also promotes a bonding and affection between them at a very young age. Children could seek help from anybody in the house. Nobody is special and nobody is less important and everybody is treated equally. They stand strong, they stand united. Everyone gets the feeling of togetherness and feeling loved.

In the modern days, nuclear families are more found to exist. Joint family system is almost a rare sight to see because due to various factors such as access to education, healthcare and employment, the joint families tend split to satisfy their own needs. A nuclear family consists of minimum of members such as parents and children. Young people who desire more freedom and less restriction choose nuclear family. Just like how out of sight is out of mind, there might not be a very close knit relationship with other relatives as there is no much contact. There are less chances of the bonding to grow or be static just in contrary to joint families. The children might relatively lack emotional intelligence and community values. But there are also some advantage in nuclear family. Every member of nuclear family enjoy their privacy which is not possible in joint family. Parents also get to save money for their kid’s future. The number of conflicts is relatively low due to less number of members. There won’t be any problem of adjustment ( though one needs to learn to adjust). Nuclear families are generally more inclined towards gender equality when compared to joint families because it does not consist of the elders to impose age old beliefs on the entire family. Nuclear families can be mainly observed in urban areas whereas joint families can be mostly found in rural areas.

Whether a joint family or a nuclear family, the structure isn’t important, family is. Family plays the most essential part is a individual’s life. Irrespective of the family type, every individual’s wish is for a peaceful atmosphere at home. Family tries to give you the best. Never give up on your family as they stand as your pillar of support.

RELEVANT LINKS: https://www.groupdiscussionideas.com/joint-family-vs-nuclear-family/ https://bestgdtopics.com/joint-family-vs-nuclear-family/

ENDING CHILD MARRIAGE

India is a fast developing country fighting against social, political and economic evils but still there are some more devilry issues that might not be very much visible. Child marriage is one of the serious social concern that needs special attention. In ancient India child marriage was used as a weapon to protect girls from rapes and abduction by foreign rulers. Though it was ancient practice in India, it is still prevalent in many parts of the country. People must evolve to understand the problem and obliterate the outdated practice of child marriage. India stands second in the highest number of child marriages according to the United Nations. As per the Indian law, any girl married off below the age of 18 and any boy married below the age of 21 is termed as child marriage. But the rules are still violated in rural and backward areas of the country. Almost 45% of Indian girls are wedded even before they attain they age of 18. Marriage is a sacred union with the consent of two matured individuals to share all the responsibilities in life. But child marriage is a social evil and its eradication is a laborious task. Child marriage has an effect on other social issues such as quality education, gender equality, access to quality healthcare etc. Girls are most affected in child marriages because of poor socio-economic conditions.

CAUSES OF CHILD MARRIAGE

  1. Low status of women in society.
  2. Financial inability of the family to take care of members. Because of this, they force their girls into marriage.
  3. Many families do not wish to invest on their girl’s education with poor finance. Thus, many girls are illiterate and are then married to adult men.
  4. Child marriage is considered as a tradition and is thus carried on for generations.
  5. Gender inequality.

PROBLEMS/EFFECTS OF CHILD MARRIAGE

  1. Responsibility- Young children are given a load of responsibilities after marriage that they will not be able to manage. There will be no one to help them out or guide them in their chores.
  2. Teenage life- They lose their fun and freedom that they are supposed to enjoy. This affects their overall growth and turn up to be irresponsible citizens.
  3. Early pregnancy related complications- Child marriage can lead to early pregnancy which gives rise to a lot of complications. It is due to the incomplete development of the reproductive organs. These complications are not good for both mother and baby. Some girls even die after giving birth.
  4. Inability to manage family- The young girls have less abilities to run a family, take of children, managing health and household.
  5. Fall in high fertility age group- When a girl is married at an early age, she normally tends to have more children and unwanted pregnancy. Lack of access to modern medical facilities to avoid or postpone pregnancy, women are forced to have pregnancy and carry the child.

As per the reports of Child Rights and You (CRY), there has been a 40% increase in the child marriages in May 2020 in India during the COVID 19. The government has brought in a lot of schemes such as “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” and “Balika Samriddhi Yojana” ensuring the survival and protection of girl child. Thus, empowering girl child and providing financial aid to them can provide a solution to child marriage.

Relevant links:https://in.news.yahoo.com/14-old-married-off-40-144902449.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/syrian-refugee-girls-face-dangerous-child-marriage-trend-says-charity/articleshow/83844108.cms

ADDICTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA

In the present generation, an addiction more dangerous that drugs is social media. Social media has literally handcuffed people to their mobile phones and laptops. After keeping their mobile down, people don’t feel comfortable to sit idle or do some work because they are urged to check to their phones several times. People forget to eat, drink, see time and look around. Phones that were first used for talking has developed over time and in present, even used to kill time. In recent years, after social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram have been developed to provide entertainment and a chance to connect with their friends and family, but have also captured them as prisoners because people cannot imagine their lives without social media.

FACTS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTON

  • It is estimated that over 210 million people worldwide suffer from social media addiction.
  • The number of young adults experiencing sleep issues jumped from 26% to 41% since 2015. Social media maybe a boon in some ways but have negative impacts in many ways.
  • Teens who spend 5 or more hours per day on their smartphones are 71% more likely to have one risk factor for suicide.
  • Globally, people spend an average time of 2hours and 23 minutes on social media and messaging per day.
  • 50% of people were caught driving while using their mobile for checking social media.
  • 10% of the teenagers check their phones more than 10 times at night.

SYMPTOMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION

  • Spending majority time on social media.
  • Inability to focus on other things except social media.
  • Taking photos almost every time to post it.
  • Anger when its usage is reduced.
  • Always craving for internet connection.
  • The first thing you would open when you get an opportunity.
  • The compulsive need to update your every movement everyday.
  • Always checking for notification.
  • Contacting your friends and being in touch only through social media.
  • Increased use of social media even in the midst of family and friends or while even doing other activities.
  • A feel of restlessness when you are not using social media.
  • Insomnia, headaches, eye related issues are the physical symptoms.
  • Not valuing offline relationships.
  • Increasing reliance on social media for coping up and solving real life problems.

EFFECTS OF THE ADDICTION

  • A person’s concentration totally dedicated to social media cannot be able to focus on any other real life problems or jobs. They live in a world full of likes and comments for their posts that they often forget to live in the real world.
  • Ignoring relationships in real life.
  • Social media facilitates to compare the real lives of individuals with the filtered, flawless, edited and happy lives of others (which are actually not; no one’s life is perfect) can be detrimental to the mental wellbeing of the self.
  • Increase in isolation.
  • Reduces work performance.
  • Disturbed sleeping pattern.
  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Reduced physical activity which leads to another set of health issues.

Now, the question comes-How can we prevent ourselves from addiction?

Though it is a very difficult process in this technologically moving world let’s try to follow some steps to avoid addiction:

  • Setting a time limit for using social media can greatly help us because once we have a perfect schedule, we try our best to stick to it.
  • Delete the apps from your phone if you are too addicted. You can still access them from your laptop but there will be a decrease in time of usage.
  • Ensure you spend a lot of time with your loved ones in person.
  • Start a new hobby that’s not technology related.

Following these can bring your happy self back to you. Social media is a great technology when u have self-control and you know how to use it positively.

RELEVANT LINKS: https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/economists-know-break-phone-addiction-110054105.html https://www.healthline.com/health/facebook-addiction#treatment

DO U WANT TO START A BUSINESS?

Business is nothing but an activity that involves purchase and sale of goods and services with a strong motive to earn a ‘profit’. It mainly involves satisfying societal needs while fulfilling one’s own needs. One can immediately venture into business provided he / she has an idea of what stream of business they are planning to start with. There are various types of industries to start your business: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary industry industries.

Primary industries deal with production of natural resources and their extraction; Secondary industries deal with the manufacture of raw materials and construction of infrastructure; Tertiary industries deal with provision of support system to primary and secondary industries in form of banking, insurance, communication and other services.

Before starting the business, ensure the availability of these services that supplement your business:

  • Transportation and Communication: There are chances that the production of goods might not take place near the market place. Transportation is used for moving raw materials to the production area and movement of final goods from warehouses to market. Communication is needed for exchange of information.
  • Banking and Finance: The bloodline of the business is funds. Thus without financial support, business cannot last long.
  • Warehouses: The goods produced are generally stored because they are not sold soon after production. Warehousing prevent the loss or damage to the product.
  • Insurance: A business always involves risks such damage to goods, fire accidents and theft. To protect their goods, businessmen generally insure their goods against various risks. A premium amount is paid to keep them insured and in the event of loss, compensation is provided by the insurance company.
  • Advertising: This is an important tool for every trader to induce customers to buy their products. It is impossible for every trader to personally contact each an every person to endorse his product. Advertising helps to gain attention of the large mass of people and provide each of them a clarity and usefulness of a product.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS IF YOU WISH TO BEGIN WITH YOUR JOURNEY AS AN ENTREPRENEUR:

  • Selection of business line: This is the first and foremost step for starting your business. It deals with selecting that category that suits your business goals.
  • Scale of operation: This decision deals with deciding on whether the entrepreneur will on a large scale or small scale of operation depending upon the type of business and risks associated.
  • Form of ownership: The business organisation can be sole proprietorship (single owner) or partnership (many owners) or even a joint stock company. This depends on type of business, size of business, the capital requirements and legal requirements.
  • Location to set up: The next step is to plan where the business will be located. A mistake here can lead to increased cost of production and transportation. One should also ensure availability of labour force nearby if the company needs human capital.
  • Financing the preposition: Arranging capital is needed as per the requirements of the business. Capital is needed for procuring fixed assets like land, building and machinery. Capital is also need for fulfilling day to day requirements.
  • Infrastructure facilities: Facilities like machinery, equipment, land and building are important to support a business.
  • Plant layout: Once the physical facilities are decided, there is need for a plan to be sketched about the physical arrangement of these facilities.
  • Labour force: Every business is in need of both skilled and unskilled labour to covert raw materials to desired output.
  • Tax planning: The entrepreneur must also be aware of the various tax laws that would have an impact his decisions.
  • Launching the enterprise: This step is the about the actual launch of the enterprise after completing various legal formalities and starting the production.

Relevant links: https://yourstory.com/smbstory/profitable-minimum-low-investment-small-business-ideas-smb-online-selling/amp https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4686-how-to-start-a-business.html

Battling Loneliness

Loneliness, a dangerous pandemic which is spreading faster than coronavirus. This I would say, is a disease that cannot be cured by medicine but is the consequence of inattentiveness from the side of friends and family. Introverts are often confused with loners because both are detached from the outside. But introverts like it being that way because they prefer to spend time with themselves and they have their own little world to think about and live in it. But people become loners due to less interaction with outside world and become mentally low and go into a shell. It takes some special efforts to bring them out of that shell. That efforts needs to start from family because not all of them can understand one’s difficulties and problems. Only a close family member often checks on you and notes even the slightest changes in your behaviour. They must feel special so that they come back again. But sadly, the families are busy with their own work that not only at times they forget to notice others but also forget to look upon themselves. At that time, friends come to the rescue. Friends are nothing but an extended family though they don’t stay with you all the time. But still friends can turn out to be more comfortable to be with, to share problems and find solutions. A friend can sniff out the difference in you sometimes even before your family. But for those without much close friends, it is even more a difficult task to come out of loneliness. Loneliness can make a person mentally unstable leading to anxiety and depression. It is mainly due to the fact that they get neglected or unnoticed for some reason.

Here are a few tips for those loners who want bring back their self and stop waiting for others to show some love:

  • A new world into books: For people who feel lonely, there can never be a better companion than a book. A book becomes your best friend when you slowly start developing the habit of reading.
  • New hobbies: We just have one life and use your lifetime to learn more and explore. The more you dig deeper, the more it gets interesting. And the main part is, it keeps you busy!
  • Gardening: Flowers and plants are so refreshing to see and even more refreshing to grow. Being around a place full of plants and flowers uplift our mood putting a smile on our face.
  • Grow a pet: There can be no greater friend than your pet. It always disturbs you, it would do anything to seek your attention. With such a companion, no one could ever feel lonely.
  • Team sports: Team sports are a great way to make new friends, have fun and find back a way to yourself.
  • Fitness: If you are a fitness freak, you might very well be able to battle loneliness because your body is your friend and you get to concentrate on yourself instead of expecting it from others.
  • Reconnecting with others: Don’t expect others to notice. When you feel you need attention, you can always reconnect with your close ones just by a phone call.
  • Be active online: Being active on social media can become an addiction, but still is a lot way helpful for finding new friends and relationships.
  • Feel positive: Never think negative about anyone or yourself. Start loving yourself that you would begin to take care of yourself. Spread positivity to everyone. Do notice what’s happening around, especially around your people. There are chances someone might be feeling lonely too! Feel happy, be happy!!

Relevant links:https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/battling-the-hidden-pandemic-of-loneliness-mental-health-7270437/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201902/feeling-lonely-discover-18-ways-overcome-loneliness

INDIFFERENCE CURVES

In microeconomics, the study deals with the different individuals and their decisions and its effect on the economy. The decisions such as the level of consumption, savings, investment are never the same. But a consumer strives to get the best deal for his commodities which give him highest satisfaction given the budget constraint. The consumer tries to attain that point in the indifference curve where he can get the most utilities from both goods.

An indifference curve or IC is the graphical representation of combinations of two goods that yield the same level of satisfaction to the consumer. The indifference curve operates on the principle of diminishing Marginal Rate of Substitution(MRS). Every point on the indifference curve shows that an individual or a consumer is indifferent between the two products as it gives him the same kind of utility.

There is also a concept of indifference map which is the graphical representation of two or more indifference curves showing the various combination of commodities with different quantities, which a consumer consumes, given his income and the market price of both the commodities.

Before going forward with IC, let’s look what is Marginal Rate of Substitution.

Marginal Rate of Substitution is the rate at which a consumer substitutes some units of one good or willing to forego units of one commodity for additional units of another good which provides the same level of utility or satisfaction. MRS measures the changes in the units of consumption of the combination of two goods but does not influence the utility.

Formula for calculating is MRSxy = MUy / MUx = Px / Py

where,

MRSxy – Marginal Rate of Substitution of good x and good y

MUy and MUx – Marginal utility of good y and good x respectively

Px and Py- Prices of good x and good y respectively

The indifference curve is convex to the origin because of the diminishing Marginal Rate of Substitution.

ASSUMPTIONS OF INDIFFERENCE CURVES

  • There are only two goods, say good x and good y. It is also assumed that the prices of the commodities are constant.
  • The consumers are rational and thus aim to have the highest utility from the pair of goods. The consumer moves to higher indifference curves for attaining maximum satisfaction.
  • The utilities are ordinal because the utility or the amount of satisfaction cannot be quantified.
  • The income of the consumer is fixed. Thus, there is a budget constraint.
  • There is Diminishing Marginal Rate of Substitution where good y is substituted for good x.

PROPERTIES OF INDIFFERENCE CURVES

  • The indifference curve is convex to the origin due to the decreasing marginal rate of substitution. It can never be concave as it violates law of diminishing marginal utility.
  • The indifference curve is slopes from left to right as one commodity substitutes another.
  • The indifference curves never touch the axes because the assumption states that each point represents different utilities of two goods. If it touches the axes, the utility of one commodity becomes zero.
  • Higher indifference curves represent higher quantities of both the goods and thus higher utility.
  • Two indifference curves never intersect each other because the two curves represent different utilities.

From the above diagram, we can infer that point c is where the consumer is in equilibrium.

Consumer equilibrium is a situation in which a consumer purchases a combination of goods which gives him maximum satisfaction given the income and prices, he is not willing to make any changes in it.

Conditions for consumer equilibrium

  1. Slope of IC = Slope of price line (budget line)
  2. MRSxy=Px / Py

In U1, points a and e cannot be equilibrium points because there are opportunities for consumer to move to U2. Points b and d cannot be equilibrium points because at both points MRSxy is not equal to Px / Py.

At point c in U3, MRSxy= Px / Py and thus the consumer is in the state of rest and attains maximum utility.

The consumer cannot move to U4 because the prices of goods exceed the budget line of the consumer.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/economics/indifference-curve/ https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/glossary/indifference-curves/

FOREIGN EXCHANGE MARKET

The market or a platform in which the national currencies of various countries are exchanged or converted for each other is called the foreign exchange market. This market covers various institutions such as banks, official government agencies, dealers in foreign exchange etc.

The foreign exchange market is bifurcated-Spot market and Forward market.

A spot market handles spot or current transactions in foreign exchange. The exchange rate is Spot rate. The transactions are affected by the prevailing rates at the point of time and delivery of foreign exchange is thus affected.

A market where the foreign exchange is bought and sold for future delivery is called forward market. It deals with foreign exchange transactions that are contracted today but are implemented in future. The exchange rate prevailing in this market is Forward rate.

REASONS FOR RISING DEMAND FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE

  • In a situation of fall in foreign exchange rates, the imports from that foreign country becomes cheaper and thus, there will demand for higher imports. Hence the demand for that foreign currency increases.
  • The price fall in foreign exchange rate also implies foreign currency becomes cheaper than domestic currency and promotes tourism to that country. This increases demand for foreign currencies.

The situation is just opposite for falling demand for foreign currencies where imports become costly and thus its demand falls.

REASONS FOR RISING SUPPLY OF FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE

  • In a situation of rise in foreign exchange rates, then the home country’s goods are cheaper to the foreign countries and thus, it increases the flow of foreign currency into home country by way of exports.
  • A rise in foreign exchange rates also attract foreigners to visit home country as the home country’s currency becomes cheaper. This also increases supply of foreign currencies.

The situation is just opposite for falling supply of foreign exchange as investment in goods and services become costly for foreigners.

DETERMINATION OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE

The exchange rate is determined at that point where demand for foreign exchange equates supply of foreign exchange which is nothing but the equilibrium exchange rate of foreign currency.

In the diagram above, there are two currencies US dollars(foreign country) and Indian rupees (home country) taken in X- axis and Y-axis respectively.

In the diagram, the demand curve is downward sloping. The reason of demand curve being negatively sloped, any graph for that matter, is because in general demand for a commodity increases when there is a decrease in its price. Thus, demand and price of that commodity are inversely related to each other. However, supply curve is positively sloped because supply and price have a direct relationship. In the context of foreign exchange market, demand (DD) is negatively sloped which implies less foreign exchange is demanded when exchange rate rises. Supply (SS) is upward sloping which mans that supply of foreign exchange rises with increase in exchange rate.

In the diagram , both curves intersect at point E which is the equilibrium point. OR is the equilibrium rate and the equilibrium quantity is OQ.

There are changes in the exchange rate only when there are changes in demand and supply. Suppose, if there is an increase in the demand for US dollars in India, it shifts the demand curve from DD to D’D’. The demand will increase the exchange rate shifting it from OR to OR1. It represents depreciation of Indian currency in terms of US dollars.

Similarly, a rise in the supply of US dollars will cause supply curve to shift from SS to S’S’ and the exchange rate would also shift from OR to OR2. This leads to appreciation of Indian rupees in terms of US dollars.

This is the process by which the exchange rate between various currencies take place.

Relevant links:https://www.ndtv.com/business/rupee-vs-dollar-rate-today-rupee-depreciates-to-74-23-against-dollar-amid-muted-domestic-equities-2475230 https://in.news.yahoo.com/goal-without-proper-plan-destined-074454320.html

Understanding Inflationary gap in an Economy

In macroeconomic level, when there is excess of aggregate demand over aggregate supply at a situation of full employment, the gap of difference is called the inflationary gap. The terms might be confusing and thus are explained below.

Aggregate demand is the total demand of all final goods and services produced in an economy. It can also be said defined as the total quantity of money that all sectors of an economy are willing to spend on the purchase of goods and services at a given period. Aggregate demand consists of expenditures relates to consumption, investment by firms, purchase of goods and services by the government and finally the net exports( difference of imports from exports). The aggregate demand curve does not start from origin because it cannot begin from value zero. It is because even at zero level of income, there is some level of consumption, known as autonomous consumption. Just because we do not receive income doesn’t mean we don’t eat. We borrow money and still have some consumption level. Thus there is still expenditure on consumption and aggregate demand curve can never start from origin(0,0).

Aggregate supply is the money value of the total output available in the economy for purchase during a given period. Aggregate supply also represents the national income of a country.

Full employment is a situation where all those able bodied persons who are willing to work at the existing wage rate, are actually employed( meaning no unemployment in an economy).

As we move on to inflation. How does it actually occur?

In layman terms, when there is increased demand for a good or service than the supply, it leads to an increase in the price of the commodity or service as consumers are willing to pay more to obtain it. Thus the increasing prices lead to inflation.

The concept of inflationary gap is explained with a graph:

Aggregate demand curve is synonymous to total or aggregate expenditure or price and is thus taken on the Y-axis. Aggregate supply curve is synonymous to total income or total output which taken in the X-axis.

At the level of full employment, the aggregate supply is a 45 degree line. The aggregate demand curve is represented as AD0. Both these curves intersect at point A which is said to be an equilibrium point.

An equilibrium point in layman terms it is the point at which the the market forces balance or equate. It is a state of rest. It literally means :

Aggregate demand = Aggregate supply, at a given price and quantity.

A note to the reader, the price and quantity at the point of equilibrium is the equilibrium price and equilibrium quantity respectively.

In case of inflation, aggregate demand>aggregate supply.

As I said above, price and aggregate demand are synonyms. When is an increase in price, it implies an increase in aggregate demand. So, excess of aggregate demand pushes the curve upwards. So there is a shift in the position of the demand curve. The demand curve shifts from AD0 TO AD1. We arrive at the new demand curve. The new equilibrium point is at E.

So Aggregate demand = Aggregate supply at the equilibrium point E where the new equilibrium price and quantity are higher than the old ones.

In the graph we can clearly see gap maintained between the two demand curves and the gap is constant throughout. The inflationary gap thus lies between the new and old aggregate demand curves.

Relevant links: https://www.intelligenteconomist.com/inflationary-gap/ https://www.microeconomicsnotes.com/india/inflation/inflationary-gap-concept-criticisms-and-importance/1396

Ozone Depletion-A Path to Destruction

The bad state of environment is not often taken seriously due to the ignorance of the people of the world. It is high time that everybody should start working on improving environmental conditions or else nature would start showing us it’s fury which would ultimately lead to our destruction. The main reason for this shape of environment is us, the human race. Activities that are profitable to human beings are sometimes harmful to the environment. Though nature gives us so much we do not give back anything. But is our duty to protect nature because there will be no men when there is no nature. Everybody must understand the seriousness and should initiate possible ways to improve the environment before it gets too late.

Ozone depletion is one of the serious environmental issues that need immediate attention.

“The ozone layer is a region in the earth’s stratosphere that contains high concentration of ozone or trioxygen and protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet radiations of the sun”.

Earth has various layers of atmosphere. They are troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Stratosphere contains the ozone layer. Ozone absorbs about 97%-99% of the UV rays and thereby protecting lives on earth. Due to combined human activities and environmental pollution, holes are created in the ozone layer and because of which harmful UV rays enter the earth.

REASONS FOR DEPLETION

  • Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs are the main reasons for the depletion of ozone layer. These CFCs can be generally found in aerosols, refrigerators and air coolants etc.
  • According to researchers, unregulated launching of rockets can do more harm to the ozone layer than the CFCs.
  • Volcanic eruptions are also a cause for ozone depletion.
  • Nitrogen compounds such as NO2, N2O and NO mostly used in industries, agricultural fertilizers etc. also affect ozone.

EFFECTS OF OZONE DEPLETION

  • Human beings are directly exposed to the ultraviolet rays due to ozone depletion and it leads to serious health issues such as cancer, skin diseases, cataract, quick ageing and weakened immune system.
  • UV rays can also cause cancer in animals.
  • Ozone depletion also affects the environment because strong ultraviolet rays leads to minimal growth and photosynthesis of plants. It also severely affects forests.
  • Ultraviolet rays has been found to cause damage in the early development stages of fishes and amphibians. Another effect on marine organisms is decreasing their ability to reproduce.

OZONE AND COVID 19

As the coronavirus started spreading rapidly around the earth, the whole was shut down due to the pandemic and all the commercial and industrial activities came to a standstill. This was a decision to actually stop the spread of the disease. It was a “Blessing in disguise” because it indirectly gave ample time for the environment to heal itself. Some studies have also shown good improvements in the quality of air, clear sky and decrease in pollution. It was also found that the ozone layer stopped depleting and started healing itself during the shutdown.

CONCLUSION

From our part, we can express gratitude to nature by controlling pollution, using eco-friendly products, limiting vehicle use and finally planting more and more trees.

HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY!

GO GREEN, SAVE GREEN!!

Relevant links: https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/good-news-largest-ozone-layer-072150152.html https://in.news.yahoo.com/global-efforts-ozone-help-reverse-160002811.html

SAFFRON-THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPICE IN THE WORLD

Saffron as everyone knows, is an amazing spice used in various cuisines just for its certain flavour, fragrance or natural food colouring. But have you ever wondered why is it so costly? It is a luxury to just buy a few quantities of saffron because just a few strands are quite costly and not all are able to afford to buy it. During various periods, saffron was considered equivalent to commodities like gold. Iran is the major producer of this spice manufacturing about 90% of world saffron. Countries like India, Italy, Spain, United Arab Emirates and China etc. are also producers contributing about 10% of total saffron produced in the world. I’ve mostly seen saffron being used in sweets giving it a beautiful golden colour which leaves us mouth watering. It is also being used in very little quantities. Is it due to its cost or does it have an impact on health when used in large quantities?

The reason behind is exorbitant price is due the difficult growing process. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. The stigmas of the flowers ( called threads ) are dried and are used to make saffron. But this step is not quite easy. Farmers must harvest the delicate threads by hand. Thus this needs a lot of labour work and is hence quite expensive. Also another factor contributing to its cost is the huge land area needed to cultivate the flowers and it takes 75,000 flowers just to make a pound of saffron. Under specific conditions, like well-drained and rich soil, it blossoms just a week in an year. One side being used in cooking, on the other side, it also has some medicinal properties. Saffron is filled with antioxidants.

USES OR BENEFITS

Saffron has many uses such as

  • Providing antioxidants such as crocin, picrocrocin and safranal which helps to guard a person’s health.
  • Saffron is a good medicine to boost the mood of a person who is especially in depression. Saffron extract along with antidepressants have shown good results in improving the symptoms of depression patients.
  • Saffron is also used to treat Alzheimer disease. Taking a specific saffron extract for 22 weeks can improve the symptoms of the disease.
  • Saffron is also used to treat anxiety. However saffron is not useful to treat say, anxiety and depression at the same time.
  • There is also some evidence that it helps promote weight loss.
  • Also heals complexities

RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS OF SAFFRON

Anything that is taken in more quantities than what is prescribed can lead to ruin. Saffron also contains some risks. High doses of about 5 grams or more can cause poisoning. Doses of about12-20 grams can cause death. Allergic reactions can occur in some individuals when consumed.

FAKE SAFFRONS

Since it is well known that saffron is very expensive, some people indulge in frauds by selling fake saffron because it is easy to make huge money. Corn husk is one of the items that is used to make fake threads. The original and fake look exactly same so how can we ensure we buy the original one? One way is to buy it from a trustworthy or known seller. The other way is to test its purity. Add some saffron threads into water and wait for sometime. The original threads will colour the water and still look the same. If it fake, the threads would either look faded or totally lose its colour.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://www.homehealthyrecipes.com/kashmiri-saffron-most-expensive-spice/ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160120113714.htm

Malnutrition

A good level of nutrition is important to consistently keep our body healthy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Combined with good physical activity and right amount of nutrients, it gives rise to a strong immune system, a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Malnutrition is a condition that develops due inadequate consumption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are necessary to maintain a proper functioning of the organs”. Though this condition is present worldwide, it is mainly noticed in developing countries which have high poverty rate, low financial aid and poor sanitation facilities. Malnutrition and undernutrition are two words that are often used interchangeably but they are not actually synonyms. Undernutrition is in fact a part of malnutrition. Undernutrition is often due to lack of availability of nutrient-rich food and overweight and obesity which is mainly due to large consumption of processed foods leads overnutrition condition. Malnutrition however consists of both undernutrition and overnutrition. There are around 1.9 billion adults worldwide who are overweight, while 462 million are underweight. As per the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) almost 14.5% of the Indian population is malnourished. Deficiency of every nutrient creates specific health issues. Malnutrition can lead to:

  • Short term and long term diseases
  • Injury or damage recoveries at a slow rate
  • Difficulty in focussing
  • Higher risk to infections
  • Muscular weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune system

WHAT CAUSES MALNUTRITION?

There can be many reasons depending upon the type of malnutrition

  1. Low consumption of food- Some people are malnourished due to the low intake of food which might be related to their economic position which implies lower nutrients absorbed by the body.
  2. Mental health-Malnutrition can occur with people having issues related to mental health such as depression, schizophrenia and amnesia etc.
  3. Consumption of alcohol- Heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to gastritis which makes it difficult to absorb nutrients and digest food. Thus intake of unhealthy foods can lead a person malnourished.
  4. Low income- Not all families are financially well off to supply their members with a whole meal rich in nutrients nor afford to buy fruits, vegetables, meat and milk etc. Poverty is also another reason for malnourishment as they might not get food every time.
  5. Diseases- Chronic ailments are also a cause for malnutrition.
  6. Food habits- Food habits play a major role in healthy lifestyle of an individual. Consumption of processed food spoils health as it is not freshly cooked.

SYMPTOMS OF MALNUTRITION

  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of fat
  • Difficulty to focus/concentrate
  • Longer healing time for injuries
  • Loss of fat or muscle mass
  • Constant sickness/ illness
  • Tender bones
  • Skin which is pale and dry
  • Anemia
  • Brittle nails
  • Joint ache
  • Bleeding gums
  • Sparse hair
  • Either skinny or bloated
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Malnutrition can be prevented if a person eats a balanced diet, engages in physical workout regularly, avoids processed and preserved foods and consume food low in carbs and fat. Malnutrition can make an enormous impact in the economy of a country especially when it is developing, the impacts are of course negative. It will seriously affect the productivity and mortality rates of a nation thereby generating inefficient human resource capital in the future.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://vikaspedia.in/health/nutrition/malnutrition/malnutrition-causes-and-types https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/malnutrition

VACCINE PHOBIA

When we were born, we were vaccinated for many diseases. Have you wondered why babies are vaccinated and how it works? Babies are very fragile and have a very weak or immature immune system and are thus at the risk of becoming sick. A vaccine is a substance that stimulates the production of antibodies and provides immunity to one or more diseases. A vaccine contains an agent that resembles the disease-causing microbe which is either weakened or killed and is being injected to the living beings. When the living body identifies a similar or related microbes in future it destroys the microorganism. The vaccines have been proven to be useful in shielding us from various hazardous health issues. Every year they prevent more than 3 million childhood deaths worldwide from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles, to name a few. Though vaccines have caused some level of worry due to its side effects there was also some and trust attached along with it.

In the current situation in India, the nation is fighting bravely together against the second wave of coronavirus. After much of struggle, many vaccines are invented such as Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V etc. These are considered as a torch in abstract darkness. However it didn’t last long because of the fear of its side effects, the unpleasant happenings, events and news. People are like cat on the wall unable to choose between extremes-one is to stay without guard and increase the risk of exposure to coronavirus and the other, to vaccinate themselves and tremble due to the fear of its side effects which might even be fatal. Of course! Every human body has its own defects and is never identical to the other. The suitability of vaccine also depends on the body conditions. Many people fear that they might fall sick after taking the vaccine. Mostly in remote areas with less awareness and more fear have expressed that they are healthy and strongly believe that they would not get sick even if they are affected by coronavirus and are confident about the immune system.

Even we ourselves must have heard people in our neighbouring areas dying immediately after taking either one shot or both shots of vaccine. Some of us must have also heard people getting really sick after the first shot of vaccine. This creates a lot of chaos because people started losing confidence in the vaccine because they believe that getting infected or getting vaccinated, both can be baleful. I’ve heard many people talking about the vaccine that it is not suitable for all age groups and administering it to the old people triggers new health problems which weren’t visible before. I have also heard many saying that the vaccine is also not suitable for the children as it causes serious health issues when they become adults. But apart from whatever we hear or see, the vaccines are lifesavers and consists of a lot of positives and benefits though it may have some drawbacks too. The vaccines have gone through a lot of processes and tests before being given to the public. The vaccine might not be a perfect solution but still let us hope it paves way for a better and healthier future.

Relevant links: https://www.psycom.net/covid19-vaccine-hesitancy-mental-health https://womensenews.org/2021/04/the-covid-19-vaccine-to-fear-or-not-to-fear/

MUCORMYCOSIS-A NEW ENTRANT

In the present condition where the second wave of coronavirus is alarming the whole world, something new has also barged in and is becoming a cause of worry-Mucormycosis. The Black fungus or “mucormycosis” in medical parlance is a new entrant into India, a rare and dangerous infection caused by a fungus by name “mucor” which can found on wet surfaces in general. These fungi are generally not harmful unless one has a weakened immune system. Black fungus is caused by mold found in moist places like soil or compost and are all pervasive in the environment. Black fungus attacks the respiratory tract. It is not contagious and does not spread from person to person. People get infected with mucromycosis , which are of several types, by breathing in fungal spores. Many people who were infected by COVID-19 were being infected by this deadly fungus due to low immune systems.

HOW DANGEROUS IS BLACK FUNGUS?

This disease is globally distributed , however its exact estimate couldn’t be placed due to insufficient data. Mucormycosis can become life threatening when it reaches the brain so doctors have to surgically remove eyes of patients to stop the infection from spreading too far and hence the infection needs to be detected soon and scraped off. The mortality rate considerably high in India due to delays in seeking medical attention and diagnosing the infection, and challenges and difficulties in managing the advanced stage of infection The estimates indicate that about 54% of people die of mucormycosis. Several people are also suffering from blindness as a result of this disease. The infection can also spread to other parts of your body through your blood. This is called disseminated mucormycosis. When this happens, the fungus affects organs like your spleen and heart. In severe cases, you might face several mental issues or also go into a coma. It can even be fatal at times.

WHO ARE ALL AT RISK?

  • Patients with Diabetes
  • People on immunosuppressants
  • People severely affected by COVID-19
  • People on ventilator support
  • Those with skin injury due to surgery or burns
  • Those who underwent organ transplant
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Long term steroid users
  • Premature birth or underweight birth

SYMPTOMS OF MUCORMYCOSIS

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Swelling on one side of the face
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sinus congestion
  • Pain in the belly
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Blood in your stools
  • Black lesions on the bridge of the nose or inside the mouth

WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS?

  • Blindness
  • Damage to nerves
  • Blood clots

TREATMENT FOR THE INFECTION

An early identification of the symptoms and timely treatment can help in successfully treating the infection. The use of specific anti-fungal medicines when administered properly can cure the disease. The most commonly used medicines include Amphotericin B which is used for severe fungal infections. However, it is strongly advised that self-medication must be avoided.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES WE CAN TAKE FROM OUR END

  1. Wearing a mask while venturing out especially to garbage dumping, garden, dusty areas etc.
  2. Avoiding over exposure of skin.
  3. The blood glucose must be constantly monitored and controlled.
  4. Maintaining proper personal hygiene.
  5. One must follow the correct amount of steroids to be taken as advised by your physician.
  6. Ensure that clean water is filled in the humidifier for those who use oxygen cylinders.

RELEVANT LINKS: https://www.healthline.com/health/mucormycosis

https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/mucormycosis-amphotericin-b-drug-shortage-symptoms-treatment-1803854-2021-05-18

Tourism industry and covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a slump in the world economy. The pandemic has forced the people of the globe to switch their plans. All sports and technological events have been cancelled or have changed to be online. There is an overall economic contraction in the global economy as recession started setting in during the pandemic. However the tourism industry was worst-hit due to overwhelming travel restrictions and as well as a decline in demand from travellers and such measures were put into action to control the spread of the virus. There were four broad categories of restrictions, according to the report.

Of a total of 217 destinations,97 destinations implemented total or partial border closures;65 countries and territories suspended flights totally or partially;39 locations enforced border closures aimed at a specific group of destinations;16 countries and territories, or the remaining 7%, implemented other measures such as requiring visitors to quarantine.

For many countries, tourism is the main source of revenue and have suffered losses in millions. The United States has suffered terribly as it ranks first with a revenue loss of about $30.7 million followed by Spain. It is devastating to know but there is a total loss of about $195 billion worldwide in the first four months of 2020. The whole world came to a standstill and all countries could see their economic growth and revenue dropping but are unable to boost it due to the ongoing pandemic.

EFFECTS OF DECLINING TOURISM ON JOBS

Tourism supports one in 10 jobs and provides livelihoods to millions in developing and developed economies. The pandemic played a massive impact on the livelihood of the workers in the informal sector due to the huge unemployment. They neither received proper income nor an alternative occupation. Many small businesses which were dependent upon tourism were hit hard and were not able to meet their expenses and hence most of the youth and the workers were laid off by their employers due to their inability to pay them.  The travel agents suffered more and more losses when their customers knew that the pandemic isn’t going to end soon and ended up cancelling their plans for travel in the near future.

The pandemic also affected various modes of travel such as air, land and water transportation along with the hospitality industry. As of April 2,2020 British Airways is reportedly poised to suspend 36,000 staffers. Aviation-supported jobs potentially fall by 46 million to 41.7 million. Direct aviation jobs such as jobs at airlines, manufacturers and air traffic management fall by 4.8 million. Cruise lines had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Bookings and cancellations grew as extensive media coverage of ill passengers on quarantined ships hurt the industry’s image. In May 2020, Norwegian Cruise Line announced a quarterly loss of $1.88 billion and warned it may go out of business. Most countries around the world have imposed partial or complete closure of borders along with travel bans.

Millions being unemployed, uncertainty over economic recovery, global fears of continuing COVID-19 spread, the hospitality industry was among the first industries to get affected and would be among the last industries to recover.

RELEVANT LINKS:https://www.jetir.org/view?paper=JETIRES06073 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7474895/