Why do Insectivorous plants exist?

If you find insectivorous plants strange and fascinating then this blog is for you.

What are insectivorous plants?

Insectivorous plants are those plants that derive some nutrients by trapping and consuming animals, mainly insects.

Categories of being insectivorous

There are essential two things that a plant has to do to be considered insectivorous:-

  1. Ability to take nutrients from dead prey:- a plant should have the ability to trap the prey and absorb nutrients from it. Those prey is usually insects or small vertebrates like, salamanders. It is not enough for the plant just to have defenses that can kill an animal that’s trying to snack on it. It also has to get it’s animal’s nutrients.
  2. At least have one adaption:- the plant need to have one adaption that actively lures in, catches, or digests it’s prey.

Doing at least one of these things and absorbing the nutrients for it’s benefit make it a insectivorous plant.

Plant traps

Over millions of years and across hundreds of species, plants have developed five different types of traps, most of them are from different times. And traps can be passive, if prey just fall into them and can’t escape, or active, if plant actually moves to catch its prey.

  1. Pitcher plant:- pitfall traps are the standard and passive trap used by plants like pitcher plants. Prey lands on the plants slippery surface and slides down into a pool of digestive juices.
  2. Sundews:- these are flypaper traps in which the prey become stuck in a sticky substance that is produced by the plant leaves. These traps can be passive as well as active. Sundews have sticky moving tentacles that react to contract with prey.
  3. Venus fly trap:- these are snap traps which are active, using rapid modified leave
  4. Bladderworts: they have bladder-suction. This creates little negative pressure vacuum inside their traps, which, when triggered by prey, pop open and suck the victim inside before snapping close.
  5. Lobster-pot trap:- they passive traps that force prey to move towards the plant’s digestive organ by having little inward pointing hairs that keep prey from moving backward out of the trap.
Venus fly trap
Lobster-pot trap
Bladderworts
Sundew
Pitcher plant

All of these unrelated plants have not only developed the same kinds of traps but it looks like they have also developed that same molecular mechanism for digesting their prey.

Reason of existence

It goes back to idea of convergent evolution. All these different insectivorous plants are responding to similar environmental pressure:-

  1. Found in open sunny places that have moist but nutrients – poor – acidic soil. Many of them live in bogs and fens.
  2. In these kind of habitat where nitrogen and phosphorus is not present in the soil, the plant tend to developed two kinds of leaves one for normal photosynthesis and one that are modified onto their particular type of trap.
  3. This results them to invest more in modified leaves than normal photosynthesis leaves as they have to live in a place with enough sunlight as well as to trap preys

Insectivorous plants can stop paying carnivorous temporally once they’re put in nutrients rich soil and if they don’t get enough sunlight and water.

Insectivorous plants are pretty rare and they are only found in certain kinds of habitats, they are just less likely to fossilize than other kinds of plants that are more widespread.

Music can change you

These days we hear music all the time, it wakes us up, motivates our workouts, keeps us company on our commutes. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, it itself has the ability to affect our moods and our bodies in all sorts of ways. It can give us chills even can make us cry.

Effects on Brain

Music activates every area of the brain that scientists have mapped so far. In fact, there is no area of the brain that music doesn’t touching some ways.

25 years ago there was an idea which said that language is in left side of the brain and music is in right side of the brain but now with better quality tools, higher resolution, neuroimaging and better experimental methods, it is discovered that thats not at all right so how does it effects our brain?

When music enters and then gets shuttled off to different parts of the brain:-

  1. It stops at specialise processing units in auditory cortex, they track loudness, pitch, rhythm, etc.
  2. The visual cortex activates when you’re reading notes as a musician or watching music.
  3. Motor cortex activates when you move or dance or tap your feet, snap fingers, clapping your hands.
  4. The Cerebellum activates and immediate the emotional responses.
  5. The memory system in the Hippocampus will activate and will help you to recognise any familiar music or lines that you listen

Hence, music is going on in both halves of the brain, left and right, the front, back, the inside, and the outside.

How playing Instruments helps?

We can start learning to play instrument at any age. Picking up an instrument can provide some huge benefits for Intelligence, Physical well-being, Brain.

Playing an instrument requires:-

  • Auditory motor
  • Sensory
  • Visual system to work together

This inner system cooperation has some incredible outcomes that can affect many areas of life.

Different intensities of training produce different outcomes, even the most minimal practice can make a difference. Starting to play an instrument just one hour a week for few months can cause growth and increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, hearing, and motor. Researchers have found that this kind of activities can even increase IQ by 7 point or more.

Its also known that people who play musical instrument are better at other practical things too such as:-

  • Practical emotions
  • Learning new things/tasks
  • Creative problem solving

Musicians brain have better communication between left and right hemisphere which allows for more cooperation and out of the box thinking. Playing an instrument can also has benefits for brain and body.

  • boosting immune system function
  • Increase in resilience to hearing lose
  • Helps stroke patients regain motor skills

It’s been found that just listening to music can prompt the repair and regeneration of damage nerves in the brain.

Music is so much more than notes on a page, it can change the way we think, speak and feel. Music making and listen is really complex it’s not demystified till now it’s more mysterious than ever.

Self care is not selfish thing

Often times, when we do something for ourselves, it is considered selfish. Growing up it is common to be taught to take care of other people and put others first. However, when it comes to our mental and emotional health, these types of actions of neglecting yourself to put others first can have huge consequences.

Self-care can be confusing and it can make you feel like you are putting too much attention on yourself. But remember, self-care never has and never will be selfish, especially when it comes to mental health.

In order to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first. 

Why Self-Care is Important

Self-Care is one of the most important things that a person can do for themselves. It is not only vital for your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health as well.

There are many misconceptions around self-care and what exactly it entails. However, self-care is really not that complicated. At the most basic level,

self-care is just doing good things for yourself. This could be anything from working out, to taking an hour every night to journal, anything that makes you feel good.

Self-care requires you to know and understand yourself. You are forced to listen to your body and mind, understand what resources are running low and what you have to do to replenish them. 

There are many benefits that come with performing self-care. Some of them include increased productivity, improved resistance to illnesses & better physical health are just a few. These benefits are just the beginning.  Some of the other, more personal benefits are, enhanced self-esteem, increased self-knowledge, and most importantly, you have more to give to other people.

When you are mindful about reguarily carving out time for yourself and making sure that your physical, emotional, and mental needs are being met, you will feel better in all aspects of your life.

This makes it easier for you to work with and help others in their time of need. Just like when you are on an airplane, you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Stigma Around Self-Care

Self-care can be hard, not only because of the stigma that surrounds it, but because it can be extremely difficult to admit that you need help or to take care of yourself when you are struggling with your own mental health.

Growing up, it is extremely common to hear that you should put others before yourself. Kids are taught that being too vain or thinking about yourself is selfish. When you take time to take care of yourself, friends and family may start to get frustrated or say that you need to spend more time thinking about others and spending time with them.

Read also: We need support, not stigma. How do we end the stigma around mental illness and start talking about it?

However, the worst stigma, is self-stigma. The voice in your head that tells you to stop focusing on yourself, saying that you don’t deserve the time or attention that you are giving yourself.

You start to think about all of the things that you are neglecting and the people who deserve your attention more. However, this self-stigma, and any outside stigma, is far from true.

By taking care of yourself you are making sure that you will be able to help and encourage others.  

How you can Take Care of Yourself 

Self-care can be difficult because of the stigma that comes with it. However, understanding how, and being able to take care of yourself is one of the strongest things that you can do.

It is also important to distinguish between the things that actually make you feel good and things that you think make you feel good, but often have the reverse effect, like drugs & alcohol, over-eating, and taking risks. 

There are many different types of self-care; the most well-known is physical self-care. When people say that they are trying to take care of themselves this is often what they mean.

Physical self-care can be helpful not only for your physical health but also to help you let off steam. This doesn’t have to be going to the gym, it can also mean dancing around the house to your favorite song, doing yoga, or going outside and going for a walk. This could also be taking a nap when you need some extra rest or giving yourself a break when you are down or unwell.

However, while physical health is important and this type of self-care can make a huge difference, it can also be harmful to your mental health if you focus on your physical self too much and too often. Working out and getting the ‘perfect’ body isn’t what self-care is all about.

It is vital to remember the other parts of yourself that need to be taken care of, make sure that you aren’t focusing on the outer-self to avoid taking care of your inner-self. 

Sensory self-care helps to calm the mind. This will help you to live in the moment, focus better, and let go of the past and forget your anxieties.

This type of self-care is all about sight, smell, touch, and sound. This could be considered sitting outside at the beach, enjoying the feeling of the water on your skin from a shower or a bath, or listening to calming music. Anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed. 

“Expectations – Leads to heartbreak

In this world, we should never ever expect something from others because if they will not be able to fulfill, then it literally hurts like hell. I’m talking about this topic because it’s really really important for us to know, don’t be dependent on anyone either they are important or not.


What is expectations?
Let me answer to this question, expectation is something that we want others to do, what we think of. Sometimes expectations looks like dominance that you are dominating & forcing someone to do what you want. So the simple thing is – “Don’t expect anything from anyone”.

Why we expect from others?
Okay, so the answer can be because we are so close to them that’s why we have expectations from them. But the thing is that, to expect someone is not wrong but over expectations and to be sad or upset when they are not gonna live on our expectations is pretty wrong.


Is expectations right or wrong?
See, I feel expectations from others is really not wrong because what I think is , it connects people much better than before, sometimes we feel happy while fulfilling the expectation of that person. But  it really hurts when we have a lot expectations from others and they don’t even give a damm.
So according to me, we should never ever expect something from anyone, just expect from you. You are enough for yourself.

What is Plasma?

Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins.


• Composed of 90% water, plasma is a transporting medium for cells and a variety of substances vital to the human body.

• Plasma carries out a variety of functions in the body, including clotting blood, fighting diseases and other critical functions.

• Source plasma is plasma that is collected from healthy, voluntary donors through a process called plasmapheresis and is used exclusively for further manufacturing into final therapies (fractionation). Source plasma donors may be compensated for their time and effort.

• Recovered plasma is collected through whole blood donation in which plasma is separated from its cellular components. Recovered plasma may be used for fractionation. 

Importance of Donation

• The plasma protein therapeutics industry supports volunteerism donation in all of its forms. Source plasma donation and blood donation are critically important activities that contribute to saving lives. 


• Source plasma and recovered plasma are used to produce therapies that treat people with rare, chronic diseases and disorders such as primary immunodeficiency, hemophilia and a genetic lung disease, as well as in the treatment of trauma, burns and shock.


• Plasma donation requires a commitment both in the amount of time for each donation and frequency of donation. 


• Typically it takes between one and three hours to donate source plasma, and plasma can be donated twice within a seven day period. 

Unexpected Bond – Friendship

Friendship is the most unexpected thing I have ever seen in my life. I’m assuming that this thing happens not only to me but also to everyone out here, whenever we want to do friendship with someone eagerly so that person always overpower us or the friendship will not last long. Even I know the reason behind it is that when we request someone to do friendship then the person automatically gets the power to dominate us.
I believe that we should never request anyone to talk to us or to do friendship because it should be mutual right?
Mutual in the sense, friendship is a kind of a feeling that comes from bonding, you can never be friends if you haven’t any bond earlier.
It happens to everyone including me as well. Friendship is so unexpected, you will not even get to know that she/he is your best friend. If you have a very strong bond with someone that this bond will not fade even after not talking for one or two weeks, then trust me he/she is your best friend.
An important thing is that, we should never classify a friend into two groups which is good or bad friend because it’s so childish. We should never say friend to everyone out here because there are different words too – schoolmate , classmate etc. You know if we are using this word “Friend” so easily, it means we are decreasing the value of this word.
Now a days, people do friendship for their own need that’s a most disgusting thing. Don’t do friendship with those you are not connected with, do with those you are connected with.

Didi Lost Nandigram But Won West Bengal

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) which scored a landslide victory in the elections were successful in consolidating the Muslim votes and that had a direct impact on the results of the election.
Of the 63 Muslim dominated assembly constituenties elections were held in 61 constituenties and the Trinamool Congress won 58 of them leaving two for the BJP and one for the Sanjukata Morcha. However, elections were held in 61 of these total 63 seats because elections in two districts – Samserganj and Jangipur – were deffered because of the death of candidates.
As per the data from Election Commission TMC is on its course to win over 210 seats in a 249 member assembly, while BJP is likely to win 77 seats. In the hotly contested Nandigram seat, BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari defeated his former party chief Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram. However, Mamata has moved the Election Commission requesting recounting of votes in the constituency.
When the results has been declared, Mamata Banerjee tweeted – ” I appeal to everyone to maintain peace and not indulge in any violence, we know BJP and central forces have tortured us a lot but we have to maintain peace. At present, we have to fight Covid-19″.
Incumbent West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take oath for the third time on 5th May said senior Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee.

Childhood Dream – University of delhi


When I was a child, I dreamt of studying at University Of Delhi and today I’m studying there. Isn’t it like my dream came true?
Now there are some basic facts about University Of Delhi (DU). The University Of Delhi has since become India’s Largest Institution of higher learning and among the largest in the world. As a collegiate university, it’s main functions are divided between the academic department of the university and affiliated colleges. The university has 16 faculties and 86 departments distributed across it’s North and South Campuses. It has 77 affiliated colleges and five other institution.
There are two different campuses North and South serve as the two main campuses of the university.
North Campus – North Campus proper now has 13 colleges geographically centered on the Faculty of Arts, Science, Law and Management.

South Campus – South Campus proper now has 15 Colleges. The campus is spread across 28 hectares (69 acres).
There are off-campus colleges too, some are situated in the eastern part, western part and central part of Delhi.
Now moving on to why so many students opt for DU for undergraduate studies, it is because of comparatively low fee structure. There are top 25 colleges according to NIRF:-
• St. Stephen’s College
• Lady Shri Ram College for Women
• Shri Ram College Of Commerce
• Sri Venkateswara College
• Hindu College
• Jesus & Mary College
• Hans Raj College
• Kamala Nehru College
• Miranda House
• Gargi College
• Shaheed Sukhdev College Of Business Studies
• Delhi College Of Arts and Commerce
• Ramjas College
• Shaheed Bhagat Singh College
• Indraprastha College
• College For Vocational Studies
• Kirori Mal College
• Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College
• Daulat Ram College
• Maitreyi College
• Dayal Singh College
• Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College
• Keshav Mahavidyalaya
• Acharya Narendradev College
• Ramanujan College

Pros of studying at DU

• You will explore yourself
• You will become broad minded and understand that a college degree is not your identity, you can do anything in any field.
• You will come out from your comfort zone and learn new things everyday.
• You will understand, not only studies but also extra curricular activities are important parts of our life

Founder Of Dreams – Labours Of India

In 2020, there were around 501 million workers in India, the second largest after China. Out of which, agriculture industry consist of 41.19%, industry sector consist of 26.18% and service sector consist of 32.33% and of total labour force. Labours – the founder of dreams, yes they are because off course they are doing a lot for us. From school buildings to metro, they have done everything. The vegetables what we eat daily, it’s because of the farmers who do farming. The farmers who works all the day, only get a little money for their own work, in simple we can say that they earn their bread and butter after struggling a lot.
Just think about the doctors who wear PPE kit whole day just for our treatment. The national registry of Indian Medical Association (IMA) shows that 747 doctors have died of Covid-19. Dr. Jayesh Lele, secretary general of IMA, told The Indian Express that according to their registry, the highest number of such deaths were from Tamil Nadu (89) and West Bengal (80).
Now let’s think about the policemen who works all the day for our safety. As per Indian Police Foundation Data, 1,50,226 Covid cases have been reported among personnel of state police forces and CAPF so far. Apart from policemen and doctors, there are a large amount of social workers who lost  their lives due to Covid-19. More than 87,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19, with just six states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat till Aug 29, 2020.

“The people who are the founder of our dreams are losing their lives rapidly”. Be there for them, help them and respect them.

Digital Marketing

  • What is Digital Marketing ?

Digital Marketing is marketing and advertising of business ,person, service or product using electronic device and digital technologies. Few examples of digital technologies are social media (Facebook, WhatsApp ,Instagram etc.) ,email ,SMS.
Basically, digital marketing refers to any online marketing efforts or assets.


  • Why digital marketing ?

With the growth of electronic devices and Internet, more people are spending their time online. Over 7.7 billion people use the Internet across the globe. It’s become an integral part of everyday life to conduct searches, check social media, and purchase products online.

Your customers are online, which highlights the importance of digital marketing. They’re browsing the web looking for your products or services. If they can’t find them because you don’t have an online presence, you risk losing those leads to your competitors.

To drive the best results for your business, you need to build your online presence. You will reach more leads that want your products or services.

You have options, which isn’t the case when using traditional marketing. With traditional marketing, you have fewer choices. You only have a couple of channels available, like radio, print, and TV, and many of these channels are expensive, which limits your choices further.

Choosing to use Internet marketing gives your company access to a range of strategies. You can pick the ones that match your business, goals, and target market the best, which helps you maximize the impact of online marketing on your bottom line.


  • How does Digital Marketing work ?

Digital marketing works by using a number of different strategies. Each of these may serve a totally different purpose even though they have a common goal. The strategies work together in order to drive relevant traffic to a business (either online or off) and then convert a one time visitor into a returning, loyal customer.


  • Types of Digital Marketing

There are several types of digital marketing some of them are :-

1. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

2. PPC

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

3. Content marketing

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to: Attract attention and generate leads. Expand their customer base. Generate or increase online sales.

4. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.

5. Email marketing

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email.

6. SMS marketing

SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, is a method by which businesses and organizations send out specials, coupons, promotions, alerts, and more via highly targeted, permission-based, opt-in text messages.

7. Video marketing

Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your product or service, increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educate your consumers and customers, and reach your audience with a new medium.


  • How to create digital marketing strategy ?

Learn how to create digital marketing strategy now :-

  1. Determine your digital marketing goals.
  2. Choose your digital marketing channels.
  3. Set your digital marketing budget.
  4. Develop your digital marketing strategy.
  5. Launch your digital marketing strategy
  6. Monitor your digital marketing campaigns.
  7. Implement digital marketing campaigns improvements.
  8. Measure your digital marketing ROI.

  • How to find a digital marketing agency ?

You can find dozens of digital marketing agencies with a search on Google, but finding the perfect one for your business takes work. You need to determine your budget, research your options, meet your potential partner, and more to find the best agency for your company.

Get started on your search by following these steps:

  • Brainstorm some digital marketing goals
  • Choose a few preferred web marketing strategies
  • Determine an online marketing budget .
  • Compile a list of potential agencies by searching online and asking colleagues
  • Review each agency’s prices, services, and what their services include
  • Explore each agency’s case studies,testimonials and reviews
  • Request a custom quote or proposal from each agency
  • Meet with the agency and ask questions about their approach, results, and background.

Water Pollution

The world’s water resources are under increasing threat from the impacts of climate change, population growth, and pollution. As the global population grows, a persistent challenge is how to access enough water to meet humanity’s needs while also preserving the integrity of aquatic ecosystems. The Pacific Institute works on water resource issues around the globe, collaborating with stakeholders to ensure communities and nature have the water they need to thrive now and in the future.

Internationally, the Institute promotes source water protection and “green infrastructure” solutions in order to increase the climate resiliency of water systems and improve ecosystem function. The Institute collects, catalogues, and shares good practice examples of nature-based solutions; catalyzes investment in green infrastructure projects; and connects stakeholders with a common interest in advancing nature-based solutions.

In California, the Institute has played an active role at the Salton Sea for more than two decades, emphasizing the importance of the sea and the negative consequences of failing to act on its behalf. The Institute has produced leading reports on the sea, developed restoration concepts, participated on the state’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee, and continues to work actively with state agencies and local stakeholders to get real habitat constructed on the ground to benefit at-risk species and to diminish the amount of dust blowing off of the sea’s exposed lakebed.

The Institute has engaged in Colorado River research and decision-making for more than twenty years, from early reports on climate change impacts on the basin, to a 1996 report on sustainable use of the river, to policy proposals for surplus and shortage criteria and the ongoing Basin Study. We have developed pragmatic, feasible solutions to the problems that challenge the river, for the people, fish, and wildlife that depend upon it. Our Colorado River work has also included place-specific research and restoration proposals for the Salton Sea, the Laguna Reach, and the limitrophe reach of the River.

What Is Water Pollution?

Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment.

What Are the Causes of Water Pollution?

Water is uniquely vulnerable to pollution. Known as a “universal solvent,” water is able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid on earth. It’s the reason we have Kool-Aid and brilliant blue waterfalls. It’s also why water is so easily polluted. Toxic substances from farms, towns, and factories readily dissolve into and mix with it, causing water pollution.

Categories of Water Pollution

Groundwater

When rain falls and seeps deep into the earth, filling the cracks, crevices, and porous spaces of an aquifer (basically an underground storehouse of water), it becomes groundwater—one of our least visible but most important natural resources. Nearly 40 percent of Americans rely on groundwater, pumped to the earth’s surface, for drinking water. For some folks in rural areas, it’s their only freshwater source. Groundwater gets polluted when contaminants—from pesticides and fertilizers to waste leached from landfills and septic systems—make their way into an aquifer, rendering it unsafe for human use. Ridding groundwater of contaminants can be difficult to impossible, as well as costly. Once polluted, an aquifer may be unusable for decades, or even thousands of years. Groundwater can also spread contamination far from the original polluting source as it seeps into streams, lakes, and oceans.

Surface water

Covering about 70 percent of the earth, surface water is what fills our oceans, lakes, rivers, and all those other blue bits on the world map. Surface water from freshwater sources (that is, from sources other than the ocean) accounts for more than 60 percent of the water delivered to American homes. But a significant pool of that water is in peril. According to the most recent surveys on national water quality from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nearly half of our rivers and streams and more than one-third of our lakes are polluted and unfit for swimming, fishing, and drinking. Nutrient pollution, which includes nitrates and phosphates, is the leading type of contamination in these freshwater sources. While plants and animals need these nutrients to grow, they have become a major pollutant due to farm waste and fertilizer runoff. Municipal and industrial waste discharges contribute their fair share of toxins as well. There’s also all the random junk that industry and individuals dump directly into waterways.

Ocean water

Eighty percent of ocean pollution (also called marine pollution) originates on land—whether along the coast or far inland. Contaminants such as chemicals, nutrients, and heavy metals are carried from farms, factories, and cities by streams and rivers into our bays and estuaries; from there they travel out to sea. Meanwhile, marine debris—particularly plastic—is blown in by the wind or washed in via storm drains and sewers. Our seas are also sometimes spoiled by oil spills and leaks—big and small—and are consistently soaking up carbon pollution from the air. The ocean absorbs as much as a quarter of man-made carbon emissions.

Point source

When contamination originates from a single source, it’s called point source pollution. Examples include wastewater (also called effluent) discharged legally or illegally by a manufacturer, oil refinery, or wastewater treatment facility, as well as contamination from leaking septic systems, chemical and oil spills, and illegal dumping. The EPA regulates point source pollution by establishing limits on what can be discharged by a facility directly into a body of water. While point source pollution originates from a specific place, it can affect miles of waterways and ocean.

Nonpoint source

Nonpoint source pollution is contamination derived from diffuse sources. These may include agricultural or stormwater runoff or debris blown into waterways from land. Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water pollution in U.S. waters, but it’s difficult to regulate, since there’s no single, identifiable culprit.

Transboundary

It goes without saying that water pollution can’t be contained by a line on a map. Transboundary pollution is the result of contaminated water from one country spilling into the waters of another. Contamination can result from a disaster—like an oil spill—or the slow, downriver creep of industrial, agricultural, or municipal discharge.

The Most Common Types of Water Contamination

Agricultural

Toxic green algae in Copco Reservoir, northern CaliforniaAurora Photos/Alamy

Not only is the agricultural sector the biggest consumer of global freshwater resources, with farming and livestock production using about 70 percent of the earth’s surface water supplies, but it’s also a serious water polluter. Around the world, agriculture is the leading cause of water degradation. In the United States, agricultural pollution is the top source of contamination in rivers and streams, the second-biggest source in wetlands, and the third main source in lakes. It’s also a major contributor of contamination to estuaries and groundwater. Every time it rains, fertilizers, pesticides, and animal waste from farms and livestock operations wash nutrients and pathogens—such bacteria and viruses—into our waterways. Nutrient pollution, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water or air, is the number-one threat to water quality worldwide and can cause algal blooms, a toxic soup of blue-green algae that can be harmful to people and wildlife.

Sewage and wastewater

Used water is wastewater. It comes from our sinks, showers, and toilets (think sewage) and from commercial, industrial, and agricultural activities (think metals, solvents, and toxic sludge). The term also includes stormwater runoff, which occurs when rainfall carries road salts, oil, grease, chemicals, and debris from impermeable surfaces into our waterways

More than 80 percent of the world’s wastewater flows back into the environment without being treated or reused, according to the United Nations; in some least-developed countries, the figure tops 95 percent. In the United States, wastewater treatment facilities process about 34 billion gallons of wastewater per day. These facilities reduce the amount of pollutants such as pathogens, phosphorus, and nitrogen in sewage, as well as heavy metals and toxic chemicals in industrial waste, before discharging the treated waters back into waterways. That’s when all goes well. But according to EPA estimates, our nation’s aging and easily overwhelmed sewage treatment systems also release more than 850 billion gallons of untreated wastewater each year.

Oil pollution

Big spills may dominate headlines, but consumers account for the vast majority of oil pollution in our seas, including oil and gasoline that drips from millions of cars and trucks every day. Moreover, nearly half of the estimated 1 million tons of oil that makes its way into marine environments each year comes not from tanker spills but from land-based sources such as factories, farms, and cities. At sea, tanker spills account for about 10 percent of the oil in waters around the world, while regular operations of the shipping industry—through both legal and illegal discharges—contribute about one-third. Oil is also naturally released from under the ocean floor through fractures known as seeps.

Radioactive substances

Radioactive waste is any pollution that emits radiation beyond what is naturally released by the environment. It’s generated by uranium mining, nuclear power plants, and the production and testing of military weapons, as well as by universities and hospitals that use radioactive materials for research and medicine. Radioactive waste can persist in the environment for thousands of years, making disposal a major challenge. Consider the decommissioned Hanford nuclear weapons production site in Washington, where the cleanup of 56 million gallons of radioactive waste is expected to cost more than $100 billion and last through 2060. Accidentally released or improperly disposed of contaminants threaten groundwater, surface water, and marine resources.

HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS

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Many students master the fine points of English grammar but find themselves at a loss when it comes to actually having a conversation with native speakers. In reality, the only way to develop fluency in speaking is by huge amounts of listening, and then practicing. The following are a few tips for improving English speaking skills. Don’t forget that listening is the foundation for speaking! When you also want to practice speaking, here are some suggestions for how to improve English speaking skills. 

Find An English-Speaking Conversation Partner

First of all, it’s important to find native speakers to practice with. Students who are living around many English speakers may be able to find informal opportunities to chat with neighbors and local business people. Joining a club or a volunteer organization can be a great way to get to know people informally. If that isn’t an option, consider hiring a private tutor. A lot of students find and meet with tutors online via tools like Skype or Google Hangouts.

Make Sure To Listen As Well As Speak

When practicing with a native speaker, try to balance your listening and speaking. It’s a good idea to prepare questions in advance so that the conversation will flow back and forth. If your conversation partner asks you a question and you answer at length, you can always turn the question back to your partner by asking, “What do  you think?” or “What about you?”

Record Your Conversation Practice

Recording is a great way to get the maximum benefit from a conversation with a native speaker. When you listen again, you can evaluate your own pronunciation and notice areas where you need to improve. You can also review the content of the conversation, take notes on new vocabulary or misunderstandings, and prepare questions for the next meeting.

Surround Yourself With The English Language

Another way to improve your English speaking skills is to immerse yourself in English as much as possible. Watch movies or TV in English, with subtitles if you need them, and watch the same programs over and over. Most people find that they understand more each time. Listening helps you become familiar with the rhythms and intonations of English. Once the sounds are familiar, try imitating them.

Practice With Music and Movies

Listen to music in English and sing along. Music is one of the best tools for learning intonation pronunciation. Listening to and singing songs might also help you remember vocabulary and phrases (if the song is easy to understand), and it will help you learn to pronounce English rhythm in a more natural way. By unconsciously imitating the singer, you’ll learn to pronounce phrases the way native speakers do. One good song for ESL or EFL students is “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega because it uses simple language to describe everyday scenes and actions.  Movies are a much better choice for learning English.  You’ll learn vocabulary, idioms, slang, pronunciation, and listening by watching movies.  Be sure to use my movie technique when you do this!

Read Aloud

Reading out loud is a great way to practice speaking when there are no conversation partners available. Reading aloud gives you a chance to focus on pronunciation and pacing without worrying about coming up with words. Make sure to practice with material that you can understand. Some students find videos online that have transcripts. Many TED talks, for example, include word-for word transcripts of the talk. By reading aloud from a transcript, you can check your pronunciation by listening to how the speaker says something.

Talk To Yourself

Saying your thoughts out loud or narrating your actions (“I am drinking coffee, and now I’m going to open my book”) can be a very effective way to practice spoken English. By talking to yourself, you can become more fluent in translating your thoughts into spoken words. Practicing alone is also a low-pressure way to practice, since no one will hear your mistakes.

Many students master the finer points of English grammar, but find themselves at a loss when it comes to actually having a conversation with native speakers. In reality, the only way to develop fluency in another language is through huge amounts of listening and speaking. The following are a few tips for improving your English speaking skills.

HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS

1. Speak, speak, speak!

Be confident and speak as often as possible, to as many people as you possibly can! Don’t be shy to make mistakes! The more you practice, the better and more confident you will become in your pronunciation and vocabulary. Remember, speaking is a skill, like learning a musical instrument or new sport — the only way you can get good is to actually do it!

2. Read Aloud

Read the newspaper or a magazine out loud to yourself. You can even find a script from your favorite TV show and act it out! This is a great way to practice pronunciation, as you can concentrate on how your English sounds without worrying about sentence structure or grammar.

3. Record your practice conversations

After a conversation is over, take a moment to reflect: How did it go? How much do you think you understood? How comfortable did you feel with the subject matter? Did you encounter any unknown words? The mere act of thinking about it in this way will increase your confidence the next time you speak (and give you targeted things to work on, such as, vocabulary you didn’t understand).

4. Find an English-speaking conversation partner

It’s important to find a partner to practice with, ideally a native English speaker. If you live around English speakers try incorporating informal conversations into your daily life. If that isn’t an option, consider hiring a private tutor you can meet online via tools like Skype or Google Hangouts.

5. Don’t forget to use technology

A smartphone can be a powerful tool for learning languages. It can help you find reading material, converse with tutors, or even record yourself speaking!

There are some apps that can even help you to find a partner online:
We suggest you try the App “Lingo Blabla.” You can easily find a conversation partner with just one click. Call and start talking in English anytime, anywhere. And, it’s totally free!

A little note about YOGA

What Is Yoga? | Serenity Yoga Retreats | Workshops | Classes

Philosophy

To convey its spiritual message and guide sessions, yoga often uses the imagery of a tree with roots, a trunk, branches, blossoms, and fruits. Each “branch” of yoga represents a different focus and set of characteristics.

The six branches are:

  • Hatha yoga: This is the physical and mental branch designed to prime the body and mind.
  • Raja yoga: This branch involves meditation and strict adherence to a series of disciplinary steps known as the “eight limbs” of yoga.
  • Karma yoga: This is a path of service that aims to create a future free from negativity and selfishness.
  • Bhakti yoga: This aims to establish the path of devotion, a positive way to channel emotions and cultivate acceptance and tolerance.
  • Jnana yoga: This branch of yoga is about wisdom, the path of the scholar, and developing the intellect through study.
  • Tantra yoga: This is the pathway of ritual, ceremony, or consummation of a relationship.

Approaching yoga with a specific goal in mind can help a person decide which branch to follow.

Chakras

The word “chakra” literally means spinning wheel.

Yoga maintains that chakras are center points of energy, thoughts, feelings, and the physical body. According to yogic teachers, chakras determine the way people experience reality through emotional reactions, desires or aversions, levels of confidence or fear, and even physical symptoms and effects.

When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it is said to trigger physical, mental, or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms, such as anxiety, lethargy, or poor digestion.

Asanas are the many physical positions in Hatha yoga. People who practice yoga use asanas to free energy and stimulate an imbalanced chakra.

There are seven major chakras, each with their own focus:

  • Sahasrara: The “thousand-petaled” or “crown” chakra represents the state of pure consciousness. This chakra is located at the crown of the head, and the color white or violet represents it. Sahasrara involves matters of inner wisdom and physical death.
  • Ajna: The “command” or “third-eye chakra” is a meeting point between two important energetic streams in the body. Ajna corresponds to the colors violet, indigo, or deep blue, though traditional yoga practitioners describe it as white. The ajna chakra relates to the pituitary gland, which drives growth and development.
  • Vishuddha: The color red or blue represents the “especially pure” or “throat” chakra. Practitioners consider this chakra to be the home of speech, hearing, and metabolism.
  • Anahata: The “unstruck” or “heart” chakra relates to the colors green and pink. Key issues involving anahata include complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection, and wellbeing.
  • Manipura: Yellow represents the “jewel city” or “navel” chakra. Practitioners connect this chakra with the digestive system, as well as personal power, fear, anxiety, developing opinions, and tendencies towards an introverted personality.
  • Svadhishthana: Practitioners claim that the “one’s own base” or “pelvic” chakra is the home of the reproductive organs, the genitourinary system, and the adrenal gland.
  • Muladhara: The “root support” or “root chakra” is at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region. It is said to contain our natural urges relating to food, sleep, sex, and survival, as well as the source of avoidance and fear.

Types

Modern yoga
Modern yoga has a range of styles to suit everyone, whatever the desired outcome.

Modern yoga has evolved with a focus on exercise, strength, flexibility, and breathing. It can help boost physical and mental well-being.

There are many styles of yoga, and no style is more authentic or superior to another. The key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level.

Types and styles of yoga may include:

Ashtanga yoga: This type of yoga uses ancient yoga teachings. However, it became popular during the 1970s. Ashtanga applies six established sequences of postures that rapidly link every movement to breath.

Bikram yoga: Also known as “hot” yoga, Bikram occurs in artificially heated rooms at temperatures of nearly 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. It consists of 26 poses and a sequence of two breathing exercises.

Hatha yoga: This is a generic term for any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. “Hatha” classes usually serve as a gentle introduction to the basic yoga postures.

Iyengar yoga: This type focuses on finding the correct alignment in each pose using a range of props, such as blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, and bolsters.

Jivamukti yoga: Jivamukti means “liberation while living.” This type emerged in 1984 and incorporates spiritual teachings and practices that focus on the fast-paced flow between poses rather than the poses themselves.

This focus is called vinyasa. Each class has a theme, which is explored through yoga scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, pranayama, and music. Jivamukti yoga can be physically intense.

Kripalu yoga: This type teaches practitioners to know, accept, and learn from the body. A student of Kripalu learns to find their own level of practice by looking inward. The classes usually begin with breathing exercises and gentle stretches, followed by a series of individual poses and final relaxation.

Kundalini yoga: Kundalini means “coiled, like a snake.” Kundalini yoga is a system of meditation that aims to release pent-up energy.

A class typically begins with chanting and ends with singing. In between, it features asana, pranayama, and meditation customized to create a specific outcome.

Power yoga: In the late 1980s, practitioners developed this active and athletic type of yoga, based on the traditional ashtanga system.

Sivananda: This is a system based on a five-point philosophy. This philosophy maintains that proper breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking work together to form a healthy yogic lifestyle. Typically uses the same 12 basic asanas, bookended by sun salutations and savasana poses.

Viniyoga: Viniyoga can adapt to any person, regardless of physical ability. Viniyoga teachers require in-depth training and tend to be experts on anatomy and yoga therapy.

Yin: This is a quiet, meditative yoga practice, also called taoist yoga. Yin yoga allows the release of tension in key joints, including:

  • the ankles
  • knees
  • · hips
  • the whole back
  • neck
  • shoulders

Yin poses are passive, meaning that gravity shoulders most of the force and effort.

Prenatal yoga: Prenatal yoga uses postures that practitioners have designed for people who are pregnant. It can support people in getting back into shape after pregnancy as well as supporting health iduring pregnancy.

Restorative yoga: This is a relaxing method of yoga. A person spends a restorative yoga class in four or five simple poses, using props like blankets and bolsters to sink into deep relaxation without exerting any effort in holding the pose.

Risks and side effects

Yoga is low-impact and safe for people when a well-trained instructor is guiding the practice.

Injury due to yoga is an infrequent barrier to continued practice, and severe injury due to yoga is rare. However, consider a few factors before starting.

Anyone who is pregnant or who has an on-going medical condition, such as high blood pressureglaucoma, or sciatica, should talk to their healthcare practitioner before practicing yoga. They may need to alter or avoid some yoga poses.

Beginners should avoid extreme poses and difficult techniques, such as headstand, lotus position, and forceful breathing.

When using yoga to manage a condition, do not replace conventional medical care with yoga or postpone seeing a healthcare provider about pain or any other medical problem.

Takeaway

Yoga is a five-millennia-old practice that has changed over time. Modern yoga focuses on stretches and poses designed to stimulate inner peace and physical energy.

Ancient yoga was less about fitness and more about mental focus and expanding spiritual energy. The Yoga Sutra, now considered to be the definitive guidebook to practicing yoga, came into the practice 2000 years ago.

There are many different types of yoga depending on what people want from it and a person’s current level of physical fitness. However, some people choose to replace conventional treatment for conditions with yoga and this can prevent a person from receiving the necessary care.

People with certain conditions, such as sciatica, should approach yoga slowly and with caution.

Yoga can help support a balanced, active lifestyle.

Water Resources

Diseases which can come from polluted drinking water

Diseases in Indigenous communities caused by germs from polluted water

Bacterial diseases

  • salmonellosis
  • shigellosis
  • acute diarrhoea (caused by E. coli)

Viral diseases

  • gastroenteritis
  • hepatitis A

Parasitic

  • giardiasis
  • hookworm infection (there is some evidence that hookworm larvae can live in drinking water)
Fig.  6.12: Stomach upsets can be caused by contaminated drinking water.

Stomach upsets can be caused by contaminated drinking water.

In most parts of Australia and many other countries, proper water treatment methods have almost eliminated the germs that cause many of these diseases from water supplies. However, water treatment and hygiene standards in Indigenous communities, especially small communities or camps, are often inadequate and this is why many of these diseases still occur in Indigenous communities.

The germs may get into the water:

Directly by:

  • a lagoon overflow effluent pipe discharging into a river or stream supplying drinking water
  • the presence of dead animals in the water
  • people or other animals swimming, washing or going to the toilet in a drinking water supply

Indirectly by:

  • contamination from an effluent system, such as a leach drain too close to a bore or the overflow from a lagoon flowing into a water supply
  • People washing themselves or going to the toilet in or near a water source

Water contamination and how it can be prevented

Anything which contaminates water is called a contaminant or pollutant. Water can be contaminated or polluted by:

  • Organic materials such as:
    • animal carcasses
    • animal and human faeces and sewage
    • food waste
    • plant matter (grass, leaves, wood)
    • oil, petrol and grease.
  • Inorganic materials such as:
    • scrap metal and junk
    • sand
    • chemicals

Many of these materials can carry disease-causing germs into water supplies. Chemicals in the water supply can poison people and other animals.
Water can be contaminated at:

  • the source, such as the river or bore
  • in storage, such as in elevated tanks
  • in the pipe system which delivers water to the user
Fig.  6.13: Drinking or swimming in contaminated water can be dangerous to health.

Drinking or swimming in contaminated water can be dangerous to health.

Different types of water supplies can become contaminated in a number of ways. Some of these, and their methods of prevention are described below.

Domestic rainwater tanks

Contamination

The rain which fails onto the roof of a house is usually clean, and should not normally contain germs. However, there may be a lot of dirt and rubbish on the roof, especially if it has not rained for a long time.

This dirt might include the faeces from birds and small animals. Also, the wind can carry germs in dust blown onto the roof. When it rains the dirt and rubbish will be washed into the storage tank, along with the germs. Some of these germs may cause disease.

Dirt, animals and bird faeces can get into a storage tank if it does not have a lid. All these things can carry disease-causing germs. Often animals are trapped in water tanks and drown. As dead bodies rot, germs will grow and contaminate the water.

The inside of the tank walls and floor may also become dirty after a period of time. This dirt can contaminate the water.

Prevention

If a house has a rainwater tank as its water supply, these are the things which should be done to keep the water clean:

  1. Install a first flush diverter. This prevents the first flush of water, which may have contaminants from the roof, from entering the tank.
  2. Keep the roof and gutters clean.
  3. Keep a lid on the water tank.
  4. Check for and repair any leaks.
  5. Regularly look into the tank. If the water or walls or floor are dirty the tank will need to be cleaned.

Rivers and billabongs

Contamination

There are several ways in which rivers and billabongs can become contaminated with germs or chemicals:

  • Rubbish may fall into or be washed into the river or billabong, for example, from a nearby dump
  • Sewage may seep into the river or billabong from nearby septic tanks and leach drains
  • Faeces may be deposited directly into the river by people or other animals
  • Faeces deposited near the river may be washed into it by rain
  • Chemicals or poisons sprayed onto land near the river or billabong may be washed into the water
  • People or animals may wash themselves in the river or billabong

There is a risk that the water supply will be contaminated if the community pumps its water from a place:

  • near where a contaminant enters the water such as an effluent discharge point
  • where contamination is occurring, such as a swimming area
Fig.  6.14: Faeces contaminate drinking water.

Faeces contaminate drinking water.

Fig.  6.15: People washing or swimming in a water source can pollute it.

People washing or swimming in a water source can pollute it.

Fig.  6.16: Water supply contaminated by effluent discharge.

Water supply contaminated by effluent discharge.

Prevention

It is important to try and stop the river or billabong from being contaminated, particularly in the area from which the community takes its water supply. Discharging effluent into rivers and streams should always be avoided.

Sometimes it is not possible to stop the contamination of a river or billabong. This is because the contamination source is not known, or cannot be controlled, like if the contamination is occurring upstream or is because of not being able to keep cattle out of a billabong.

The following prevention methods can be adopted:

  1. If the community water supply comes from a river make sure:
    • it is obtained upstream from any possible contamination sources, for example, swimming holes or effluent runoff points
    • it is taken from the deepest possible point in the body of water
  2. Make sure that there is little or no building development near the water supply source. There are laws which control where people can put septic tanks/leach drains, effluent ponds, and rubbish tips in relation to water supplies.
  3. Make sure people do not use the area around the water supply source for recreational purposes, such as playing sport and having picnics.
  4. In the case of a billabong, it may be possible to fence the water source to prevent contamination by people and other animals.
Fig.  6.17: Take drinking water upstream from effluent discharge.

Take drinking water upstream from effluent discharge.

Bores

Contamination

Bores can become contaminated:

  • underground. (This can happen if a contaminant is able to get to the water body, for example, if a leach drain is built too close to the water source, or a faulty effluent disposal system allows disease-causing germs to soak down into the groundwater)
  • While bringing it to the surface
Fig.  6.18: Leach drain too close to water supply.

Leach drain too close to water supply.

This could occur in the bore itself or at the place where the bore pipe comes out of the ground. This is called the bore head.

If the bore head is unprotected then animals can spread disease causing germs and parasites to the water via the equipment. For example, if the equipment leaks and allows water to pool, animals will be attracted (especially stock and birds) and their faeces may enter the water at the bore head.

Prevention

It is important that:

  1. covers be placed over bore heads
  2. there are fences around bore heads to keep animals away
  3. the bore head area is protected from flooding as this can carry disease-causing germs into the bore. The bore head is usually protected by raising it above ground level
  4. septic tanks/leach drains and effluent disposal sites are well away from the bore.
Fig.  6.19: Protective cover for bore

Protective cover for bore.

Laws control the distances these facilities must be away from a bore or water source.

Community water tanks

Contamination

If a large community tank does not have a proper fitting lid, then people, especially children, birds or other animals may find their way into it and contaminate the water with disease-causing germs.

Occasionally, the inside of the community water tank will get dirty and can contaminate the water.

Prevention

To make sure that the water in the community tank is always clean:

  • The tank should have a proper fitting lid
  • There should be a high fence, with a locked gate, around the tank
  • The tank should be regularly inspected to make sure that it is not leaking and that the water is clean and free of animals, such as frogs
  • If the inside of the tank is dirty it must be cleaned. The proper way to clean a tank is described in Section 6.2

Community water pipes and household plumbing

Contamination

A water supply can become contaminated between the source and the community water tank or the user. The pipes that carry the water can be below or on the surface of the ground. They can be above the ground also, such as in the case of pipes carrying water from an elevated tank to the ground. An elevated tank is one that is raised above the user’s water outlets either on a stand or on a hill.

Fig.  6.20: Community elevated water tank.

Community elevated water tank.

If a pipe is leaking around a joint or has been broken, disease-causing germs and parasites can get into the water and contaminate it. These germs and parasites can come from:

  • the surrounding soil
  • the wind
  • animals, including people, attracted to leak or the pools of water.

Prevention

Contamination of water in pipes can be avoided by ensuring that:

  • all joints are maintained free of leaks
  • pipes are placed below ground whenever possible to protect them from damage
  • any above ground pipes are held secure and are protected from damage, especially from vehicles
  • any leaks or broken pipes are repaired as soon as possible
  • connections to tanks, pumps and bores are well maintained and kept free of leaks

    3 Things To Do When A Friend Opens Up About Their Mental Health Struggles

    All of us want to be there for our friends when they need us. We want to help them and provide the support in the best way we know. Nonetheless, when a friend tells us about their current struggle with their mental health, it can be challenging to decide what to do or what to say. It is valid to be worried about not making the situation worse or upsetting them by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Here are 3 things that will help you support your friend in a way that’s healthy for the both of you.

    Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.

    1. Listen to them

    We are constantly hearing people talk which may lead us to think that listening is easy. However, the goal is to listen and not just hear, to be a good listener, you must be able to put all your thoughts and judgements to one side. Try not to interrupt them while they are taking or rush them into talking. It’s most ideal to have the conversation with them when you do not have something to do soon since this can add to the pressure which could make you want to rush the conversation and make them feel unheard or worse, abandoned. You should also try to stay calm, process the information as and when you receive it.

    2. Ask them what they would like from you

    Sometimes people just want to be seen, be heard, or just want to get something off their chest. Other times they simply want advice or maybe reassurance. Asking them what they would like from you will help you to support them in the better way and it will ensure they do not leave feeling unsatisfied or unheard. Try to be as honest, patient and kind as possible when responding to your them. In dealing with such situations, you can be most helpful by asking yourself these three questions: ‘What’s best for my friend?’. ‘What would I want the most from my friend if I was in this situation?’ and ‘How would I want to be treated had I been in the same situation?’

    3. Check up on them

    If you feel mentally stable enough and are able to, keep asking your friend how they are and how they feel, take the time out to candidly listen to what they have to say, keep repeating this cycle. Mental health problems don’t vanish after one conversation. These problems can also be incredibly isolating. Regualrly checking up on your friend is one step closer to making them feel a little less alone, visible and will also serve as a reminder that you care about them.

    It is okay if you can’t always be there for the people you love and care about. We all have our own challenges and struggles. If you do not feel up to it, you should signpost them to others who they can talk to like some other close friend, a trusted family member or a mental health organisation that can professionally help.

    If you were a food item, what would you have been? Why?

    I will go for “Panipuri” its an Indian street side snack, that has a crisp puffed Indian bread (puri), stuffed with mashed spiced potatoes/chana(gram)/ragda (a curry of white peas), dipped in sweet(tamarind and date) and spicy(Pudina, coriander and chilli, with pinch of lemon) flavored water.

    Panipuri or Phuchka is a type of snack that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It consists of a round or ball-shaped, hollow puri, filled with a mixture of flavored water, tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas.

    Why? I am sweet at times and spicy(angry) at times, and thats what makes me and my life. If you are new to me, you will see a rock sheer cover on my mind, you will feel i am arrogant (Hitler like, the most common adjective awarded to me), but once you try and be friends with me, to crack that layer, there is much more you couldn’t even wonder about me.

    I am unpredictable. I can be a sweetest heart soemtimes and an angry bird at times. If you are are new to me, you would think I am arrogant (Probably a Hitler) but as you befriend me, you shall wonder if you ever knew me.

    There is something comfortingly familiar about eating a humble pani puri – a crispy hollow ball made of semolina or wheat, filled with spicy potatoes and topped with tangy, spicy tamarind water made fragrant by mint leaves and black salt.

    It may sound like culinary chaos, but that this spicy, crunchy wonder is absolutely delicious is something almost Indians will agree on.

    Served by vendors from a setup that gives the word ‘utilitarian’ a run for its money, pani puri (also called golgappa, phuchka and a multitude of other monikers) is, in every sense, a material manifestation of the elusive emotion called “simple joy.” This innocuous street snack is also a great leveller – at a pani puri stall, you will see besuited businessmen step out of sleek cars to join the queue alongside the city’s poorest residents.

    So how and where did this culinary gem really originate? Many believe that the answer lies in the history of the kingdom of Magadh.

    One of the 16 Mahajanapadas (great kingdoms in Sanskrit) of ancient India, the Magadhan empire was situated on the banks of River Ganga in what is now west-central Bihar. Lively accounts of Magadh and its capital, Pataliputra, are available in the travel diaries of the Greek historian Megasthenes and the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Faxian and Xuanzang.

    It is believed that phulkis (the precursor to pani puri) first originated in Magadh at a time when several traditional specialities of the region, like chitba, pitthow, tilba and chewda of Katarni rice, were evolving. The culinary genius who invented them is lost in the pages of history, but if Indians had known who invented pani puri (or whatever you call this yummy snack), they would have thanked that person for generations!

    There is another legend associated with the origin of pani puris. This is how it goes:

    In the epic Mahabharata, a newly-wedded Draupadi returns home to be given a task by her mother-in-law Kunti. The Pandavas were on exile and Kunti wanted to test if her new daughter-in-law would be able to manage with the scarce resources.

    So she gave Draupadi some leftover potato sabzi and just enough wheat dough to make one puri, instructing her to make food that would satisfy the hunger of all five of her sons. It is believed that this was when the new bride invented pani puri. Impressed with her daughter-in-law’s ingenuity, Kunti blessed the dish with immortality.

    While the origins of this delicious snack is yet to be pinpointed with historical accuracy, the one thing that is clear is that pani puri travelled across India and made the country fall head over heels in love with it. Over the years, the combinations underwent many changes as each region developed its own version according to its preferences.

    As a result, pani puri today has almost a dozen different names that changes from region to region. In most parts of central and southern India, it is called pani puri but the recipes have subtle variations. While in Maharashtra, hot ragda (white peas curry) is added to the potato mash, in Gujarat, it is boiled moong and in Karnataka, it is chopped onions.

    While the origins of this delicious snack is yet to be pinpointed with historical accuracy, the one thing that is clear is that pani puri travelled across India and made the country fall head over heels in love with it. Over the years, the combinations underwent many changes as each region developed its own version according to its preferences.

    As a result, pani puri today has almost a dozen different names that changes from region to region. In most parts of central and southern India, it is called pani puri but the recipes have subtle variations. While in Maharashtra, hot ragda (white peas curry) is added to the potato mash, in Gujarat, it is boiled moong and in Karnataka, it is chopped onions.

    In West Bengal, pani puri is called phuchka, probably due to the ‘phuch’ sound it makes when you take a bite. The unique feature of the phuchka lies in the fact that it’s made of wholewheat, unlike the other that are usually made of flour or semolina. The phuchka water is also a little spicier and tangier than that used in the rest of the country.

    India’s internet consumption up during Covid-19 lockdown, shows data

    Data from the department of telecommunications showed that between March 22 and March 28, Indians consumed an average of 307,963 TB or 307 petabytes (PB) of data.

    This was a hike of 9% from the 282,282 TB or 282 PB of data used on March 21, the day when the “janata curfew” was announced, and a hike of 13% from March 19, when the consumption was 270 PB. (Bloomberg file photo. Representative image)

    India’s internet consumption rose by 13% since the nationwide lockdown was put in place to check the spread of Covid-19, according to telecom ministry data that showed Indians consumed 308 petabytes (PB) or 308,000 terabytes (TB) of data daily on an average for the week beginning March 22.

    According to the department of telecom, which collated reports from service providers, the daily average consumption in this period was 9% higher than 282PB data used on March 21 (the day the janta curfew was announced) and 13% more than March 19, when consumption was 270 PB.

    The change reflected how people consumed more streaming content and logged on to work from home, which was also captured in how data demand from residences rose as compared to commercial areas.

    The consumption, DoT figures show, peaked on two days — March 22 and March 27 — when 312 PB of data was used. On March 26, 311 PB of data was consumed. The lockdown, announced on March 24, began on March 25. On March 22, India was put under a voluntary, one-day curfew.

    Since the first week, however, consumption has now stabilised around the 300PB mark.

    The data in one PB is equivalent to 500 billion pages of standard printed text.

    Andhra Pradesh and Bihar saw some of the most drastic increase – it rose by 12% in both states. In Maharashtra, where data consumption was highest among all states under the lockdown period, the increase was 7%.

    The government said that that increase was within their capacity. “We have the capacity to handle a spike of 20% without any duress. We optimised the fibre optics network and have not yet reported a breakdown,” said a DoT official, asking not to be named.

    The consumption, the official added, rose lower than it would have since many streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix decided to downgrade video quality.

    Rajan Mathews of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said around the third week of March, operators recorded a 30% jump in traffic with most of it from people streaming videos. The COAI wrote to OTT sites to downsize their content.

    The decision by media companies to disable high-quality video and optimise bandwidth usage helped networks meet the increased demand, Mathews said, adding that the operators also started using unused cell towers.

    “With the consumption moving to residential places, the challenge was that these areas resist installation of cell towers. We worked with the government to ensure that of 800 unused cell towers in metro cities, 730 were made functional,” said Mathews.

    A third factor that helped, according to Mathews, was operators being allowed to carry out maintenance work. “Complaints of cuts in fibre optic cables were about 100 a day on an average, this fell down to 6-7 a day,” he said.

    India’s consumption rates have seen a steady increase over the last few years. Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index (MBiT) report says that there was a whopping 47% jump in the overall data traffic in India in 2019. This translates to 11 GB a month per user, and is driven by 4G consumption.

    SpeedTest, a site that analyses internet access performance across the globe, in its latest report on tracking COVID-19’s impact on speeds around the world which was updated on April 15, showed a 6% decline in fixed line speeds and 18% in mobile speeds when compared to the week of March 2. As per the report, India’s current broadband speed is an average of 36.17 mbps and mobile download speed is 9.67 mbps.

    While the report put India behind countries like China, Austria, Japan, Israel and UAE, in terms of mobile and fixed broadband performance, it was ahead of countries like Italy, France, Germany, and Canada.

    Rajesh Chharia of the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said that while the strain has not increased, internet service providers (ISPs) should be allowed to share infrastructure. He said that it’s a long-term demand, which is awaiting the Centre’s nod.

    “If the infrastructure of a provider is full, they may be allowed to overload it with the infrastructure of another to spread the network. This will ensure uninterrupted services,” said Chharia.

    HEADPHONES AND YOUR RISK OF HEARING LOSS

    Headphones and earbuds are everywhere – but that doesn’t mean they’re safe for your ears. Using earbuds and headphones can cause damage to your hearing if you aren’t careful. Learn how to keep yourself safe.

    Chances are you have a smartphone in your pocket, and a pair of headphones that connect it directly to your ears. Unfortunately, those same devices that make listening to music or talking on the phone so simple might also be damaging your ears.

    According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of headphones and earbuds has led to a major increase in the prevalence of hearing loss in adolescents and young adults. It’s reasonable to assume the same is true for adults using the same devices as well. So what can you do to keep yourself safe from hearing loss caused by headphones or other audio devices?

    HOW LOUD NOISE CAN DAMAGE HEARING

    The key danger of headphones is volume – the fact that they can produce very loud levels of sound very close to your ear. This is dangerous for your hearing because loud noises, in general, are damaging to your ears.

    When sound waves reach our ears, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration is transmitted to the inner ear through several small bones, where it reaches the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid-filled chamber in your ear that contains many thousands of small “hairs.” When sound vibrations reach the cochlea, the fluid inside it vibrates and causes the hairs to move. Louder sounds cause stronger vibrations, which cause the hairs to move more.

    When you listen to sounds that are too loud for too long, these hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration. Many loud noises cause the cells to bend or fold over. This is what causes the sensation of “temporary hearing loss” after you are exposed to loud noises. The hair cells take time to recover from extreme vibrations caused by loud noise.

    In some cases, however, the cells never recover. They may be too damaged to function normally any longer. This leads to lasting hearing loss. This type of noise-induced hearing damage is almost impossible to recover from. No cure exists for repairing a damaged inner ear.

    THE ROLE OF HEADPHONES

    Headphones cause damage to your ears the same way other loud noises do, resulting in what audiologists call “noise-induced hearing loss.” Over time the sounds from your headphones cause the hair cells in the cochlea to bend down too much or too severely. If they don’t get time to recover, the damage can be permanent.

    However, headphones don’t have to be extremely loud to damage your ears. Even listening to headphones or earbuds at a moderate volume can damage your hearing over time. That’s because your ears are not just damaged by the loudness of a noise, but by the length of exposure as well. That’s the same reason going to a concert or using loud power tools can damage your ears as much as a much louder gunshot or explosion. The duration of the exposure matters just as much as the volume.

    https://audiorecovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/audio-recovery-hearing-damage-chart-300x207.png

    Data via cdc.gov

    As you can see, louder noises cause hearing damage much faster than quieter ones, but quiet ones can still cause damage over time. For instance, a 90 decibel (dB) noise – about the same as a loud motorcycle approximately 30 feet away – causes hearing damage in under 3 hours. A sound of about 105 dB – similar to a gas lawnmower or other power tools – can damage your hearing in less than 5 minutes.

    What about headphones? Unfortunately that question isn’t easy to answer because decibel ratings from headphones vary. The “loudness” of your headphones is based on the volume you’ve set your phone or device to as well as the type and make of headphone you use.

    For instance, classic iPod earbuds at 100% volume on an iPhone can hit noise levels of 112dB for the wearer, leading to hearing damage in minutes. The same earbuds at 60% volume measure approximately 80 dB, which makes them safe to listen to for several hours.

    You should note that decibels decrease with distance – the closer you are to the source of a sound, the louder it is. For this reason, many audiologists and hearing experts recommend over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear models like earbuds. The extra distance between the speakers and the ear can significantly reduce the loudness of the audio and help prevent hearing damage.

    HOW TO AVOID HEARING DAMAGE FROM HEADPHONES

    Avoiding headphone-induced hearing damage isn’t too hard. It simply requires most people to break some habits with their headphone use.

    TURN DOWN THE VOLUME

    The single biggest change you can make to protect your hearing is to turn down the volume on your devices. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused primarily by exposure to very loud noise. Limiting your exposure can protect your ears.

    USE NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES

    Most people listen to headphones at a high volume to “drown out” other sounds. One good way to lower the volume on your devices and protect your ears is to use noise-canceling headphones. These headphones block out external sound, letting you enjoy your music or videos at a lower volume without distraction.

    USE OVER-THE-EAR MODELS

    As we mentioned above, audiologists and otologists frequently recommend using over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear or earbud-style models. Over-the-ear headphones increase the distance between your eardrums and the speakers, lowering the chance for hearing loss.

    LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE

    Along with turning down the volume, you can also protect your ears by reducing your listening time. One good rule of thumb is the “60-60 rule”: Don’t listen at any louder than 60% of max volume for any longer than 60 minutes at a time.

    Unfortunately your ears may never heal completely if they are already damaged from headphone-related noise. That doesn’t mean you’ll never hear well again, though. A hearing aid from a licensed audiologist can restore hearing ability and make it easy for you to hear again.

    What is Covaxin, India’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate; how long before approval?

    India’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin: How does Covaxin compare to other vaccine candidates around the world? Where does it figure in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine?

    Covaxin, what is Covaxin, bharat build india Covaxin, Covaxin india vaccine,

    India’s top drug regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, has allowed Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) to conduct human clinical trials for ‘Covaxin’, making it the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate to receive this approval, the firm said. These trials are scheduled to start across India in July.

    What is ‘Covaxin’ and how was it developed?

    Covaxin is a vaccine candidate to developed by BBIL against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV).

    As part of this collaboration, NIV isolated a strain of the virus from an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient and transferred it to BBIL early in May. The firm then used it to work on developing an “inactivated” vaccine–a vaccine that uses a the dead virus–at its high containment facility in Hyderabad.(Read Coronavirus Global Updates)

    https://db57d942241899c441ca465c80cfbd92.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html “Once the vaccine is injected into a human, it has no potential to infect or replicate, since it is a killed virus. It just serves to the immune system as a dead virus and mounts an antibody response towards the virus,” said the company, adding that inactivated vaccines usually have a better safety record.

    BBIL’s Covaxin then underwent pre-clinical testing, which is when the vaccine is tested on animals like guinea pigs and mice to see if it is safe, before the firm approached CDSCO for approvals to move on to the next stage of testing — human trials. https://www.youtube.com/embed/YHhHkhHIhVo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    What does the approval mean for India?

    The Drug Controller General of India, who heads CDSCO, has given Bharat Biotech approvals to begin testing its vaccines on humans through phase I and II clinical trials. This brings India a step closer to finalising a domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine for its population–a positive sign at a time when the country’s cases continue to surge, especially in the national capital.

    The first phase, usually conducted on a small group of individuals, tries to find what dosage of the vaccine is safe for use, whether it is effective in building their immunity to the virus and whether there are any side effects. The second phase is conducted on a larger group comprising hundreds of persons fitting the description of those for whom the vaccine is intended using characteristics like age and sex. This phase tests how effective the vaccine is on the population group being studied.

    Also Read: Covid-19 vaccine may be ready in 12-18 months, says WHO chief scientist

    How many more stages of testing would the vaccine have to go through before approval?

    Vaccines, like most new drugs, are meant to follow a clinical testing process spanning four stages, starting with pre-clinical tests and ending with phase III studies conducted on thousands of patients. After approval from the regulator, the firm has to continue monitoring the use of its vaccine on patients and submit post-marketing surveillance details, which checks for any long-term unintended adverse effects of the product.

    Bharat Biotech plans to begin its phase I and II trials in July, but is unsure of the overall timeline for testing and approving its vaccine.

    “At the moment we are not sure how the vaccine is going to perform in the humans, as clinical trials are about to commence. Based on the success results of phase I and phase II, we will progress to the larger clinical trials. Thereafter, the licensure timelines will be set out upon receiving regulatory approvals,” said BBIL.

    What other Indian companies are working on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate? What stage are they at?

    Other Indian firms engaged in the development of Covid-19 vaccines include Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute of India and, since earlier this month, Panacea Biotec.

    While Panacea is still in the pre-clinical stage, it is not clear whether Zydus and Serum have completed their preclinical studies and have also applied to CDSCO for approval to conduct human trials yet.

    How does Covaxin compare to other vaccine candidates around the world? Where does it figure in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine?

    Covaxin has reached a more advanced stage of testing than two other vaccine candidates that Bharat Biotech is developing through global collaborations — the first is in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, while the second is with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and vaccine maker FluGen. Both these candidates are currently in the pre-clinical stage, according to the World Health Organisation’s draft landscape of Covid-19 candidate vaccines.

    However, it is still far behind in the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca, whose vaccine candidate “ChAdOx1-S” with the University of Oxford is already at phase III trials, is the frontrunner. Serum Institute has an agreement to manufacture this vaccine.

    Moderna, which is also close to beginning phase III trials for its LNP-encapsulated mRNA vaccine candidate with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is close behind.

    Apart from Covaxin, which is not listed among the vaccines being tried globally, at least six other candidates are in Phase I/II trials and another five are in Phase I trials globally.

    Globally, Zydus Cadila’s DNA plasmid and measles vector vaccines as well as Serum’s codon deoptimised live attenuated vaccine, which it is developing with Codagenix, are still in the pre-clinical stage, according to WHO.

    Anxiety During Lock-down

    Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, many of us, even those who have not been infected by the virus, will choose to quarantine in our homes for the upcoming weeks. Capsized travel plans, indefinite isolation, panic over scarce re-sources and information overload could be a recipe for unchecked anxiety and feelings of isolation. Here are a few pointers that could help you survive spiraling negative thoughts about this uncertain time.

    1.) Reframe “I am stuck inside” to “I can finally focus on my home and myself”

    As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize, or create something you’ve always wanted to. Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.

    2.) Stay close to your normal routine

    Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier; however as you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which could lead to negative thinking. Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Do laundry on Sundays as usual. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.

    3.) Avoid obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage

    Freeing up your day from work or social obligations gives you plenty of time to obsess, and if you have a tendency to consult Google for every itch and sneeze, you may be over-researching the pandemic as well. Choosing only certain credible websites (who.int or cdc.gov is a good start) for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.

    4.) Start a new quarantine ritual

    With this newfound time, why not do something special during these quarantined days? For ex-ample, perhaps you can start a daily journal to jot down thoughts and feelings to reflect on later. Or take a walk every day at 4 pm, connect with your sister over FaceTime every morning, or start a watercolor painting which you can add to everyday. Having something special during this time will help you look forward to each new day.

    5.) Use telehealth as an option to talk to a professional if your anxiety becomes unmanageable

    Many licensed psychologists are offering telehealth options over HIPAA-compliant video chat platforms. Remember to reach out for help if your anxiety is reaching proportions that is unmanageable without professional help.

    Letting go of illusions of control and finding peace in the fact that you are doing your part to “flatten the curve” will certainly build mental strength to combat the stressful situation the whole globe is experiencing.

     

    Maintaining one’s mental wellbeing during a pandemic is as important as containing the viruses. Here are a few tips to make sure you stay clear in your head

    Youngsters facing relationship issues and losing patience with their partners. Employees worried about when (if at all) their next paycheck will come in. Students with hazy academic futures. People living alone who just want someone to talk to. These are some of the phone calls that Amatullah Lokhandwala fields every day. A clinical psychologist, she volunteers with Wellbeing Volunteers United (WVU), an initiative started by Prakriti Poddar, Managing Trustee of the Poddar Foundation. With over 500 volunteers from all walks of life, WVU is a free distress line created during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, offering support in English and multiple regional languages. Its helpline number is 1800-121-0980.

    “This is a time for action”, says Amatullah, when asked why she volunteered. “During and after a pandemic, one should not lose sight of mental health. We are in unprecedented times, and it is natural to need help in coping with our situation.”

    Survival tips

         Don’t lose sight of a routine: Stick to healthy eating and sleeping habits.

    Dr. Alka Subramanyam, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at TNMC and BYL Nair Ch. Hospital in Mumbai, recommends that families plan their schedules together, so that everyone knows what the other is doing, and individual preferences can be accommodated. Seemingly harmless changes to a schedule can cause discomfort to others — for instance, if the family decides to eat a meal an hour later than the older adults are used to, it could impinge upon the latter’s medication routine or have physiological consequences like reflux.

    Be mindful of each other: Living through a lockdown is a new experience for everyone.

    For youngsters used to going out, staying in can feel like a stifling loss of independence; for those whose work has come to a halt, it can feel like a loss of purpose; even for those older adults who have been home-bound, staying indoors isn’t an issue — but if they live with family, having people around all the time can be quite an adjustment. Be mindful of this and find ways to listen to or accommodate each other’s concerns.

    Being in confined, shared spaces is also bound to cause friction between family members. Anshuma Kshetrapal, a psychotherapist and drama and movement therapist, says, “We are responsible for setting our own personal boundaries.” She suggests picking the right time and having a conversation about it with loved ones — it could be something as simple as asking those around you to knock before entering your room. To make the conversation go smoother, using the “I” language might help (for example, “This is something I would like, and I am checking if it is okay with you; it’s not about causing offense or discomfort to you.”)

    Minimise “corona time”: If you wish, spend 30-60 minutes in the morning or evening absorbing news and updates about the pandemic. “The rest of the time, dedicate to self and to relationships,” says Dr. Subramanyam.

    For those who live away from their elderly parents or relatives, she advises against causing panic, and instead promotes “cautious concern”. Though one might have good intentions, repeatedly calling one’s parents to issue instructions could not only increase stress but also ruffle feathers; after all, those at the receiving end might bristle at the idea of their life suddenly being managed by their children, when they have run it themselves all this while.

    Social connectedness: Make phone and video calls on a daily basis to others. Staying in touch has never been easier.

    Express yourself: The arts are a representation of the conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings that we carry around. Giving these an outlet, especially at this time, is important. “Anyone is capable of creating art, irrespective of their range of expression,” says Anshuma. She encourages people to spend less time consuming content and more time in creating it. She also advocates spending more time on movement, even if it is just to perform mundane tasks. She warns against taking too much of a “capitalist outlook” towards these activities — it doesn’t matter how “good” you are at the arts, or how many calories you burned in a day.

    Seek help when you need it: If you begin to feel stress, anxiety or depression and need someone to talk to, do not hesitate to seek help. A list of contacts is provided at the end of this article.

    What’s next?

    This pandemic will eventually pass, and life will move on. The return to normality can be an overwhelming experience, and we need to pace ourselves. Anshuma emphasises on “graduality” being key. If you haven’t immediately achieved all you set out to, “Be gentle — Don’t punish or criticise yourself,” she advises.

    The same can be said of organisations too. Prakriti Poddar points out that for many people, the home ecosystem has slowly become the new normal. So returning to work at an office could require a major adjustment. Their thoughts and worries may still be tied to the goings-on at home. It is important for employers to recognise this and demonstrate empathy by giving their employees time to adapt.

    Prakriti urges mental health practitioners to use this as an opportunity to collaborate with each other. “We need to work together,” she reaffirms. Doing so will not only widen their reach and enable more Indians to get help, but will also introduce standardisations in the way teleservices for mental health are delivered.

    Milk Powder: Is it a Viable Alternative to Regular Milk?

    The very mention of milk powder brings back memories of relishing a spoonful straight from the tinned boxes. Or those railway journeys, when as kids we would eagerly wait for tea-time because along with the beverages came those little sachets of milk powder.

    Many people are not fond of raw milk, but the fluffy milk powder is a temptation hard to resist. Sweet and creamy, it continues to be a favoured option to satisfy sudden sugar carvings. But more than that, it is the quickest and easiest option for your much needed milk fix. There’s no need to worry about boiling the milk before consuming or refrigerating it to prevent spoilage. Just add a large spoonful of milk powder in a glass of warm water, stir well and it’s ready.

    (Milk Compound Keeps You Slim Despite Lazy Lifestyle)

    In today’s times, it has become an important part of household needs, from being used as a whitener for tea and coffee to being used as an ingredient while cooking. It is easy to store, offers value for money and is packed with essential nutrients.

    powdered-milk-alternative-regular-milk-1

     What is Milk Powder?

    Raw milk roughly comprises 87.3 per cent water, 3.9 per cent milk fats and 8.8 per cent non-fat milk solids (protein, milk sugar, minerals, etc.). To obtain milk powder, raw milk is evaporated till it leaves behind milk solids minus the moisture content. In short, milk powder is evaporated milk, which is further condensed and processed. During the evaporation process, milk is also pasteurized under controlled temperatures to ward off any bacterial growth.

    Similar to raw milk, powdered milk is loaded with nutrients; it is a good source of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium as well as vitamins A, D, E and K. During the evaporation process, it is ensured that these beneficial nutrients are not lost. Milk powder also meets your daily dose of other important nutritional elements such as amino acids and antioxidants which are responsible for a number of functions such as cellular growth, stimulating the body’s immune system, aiding in blood clotting, calcium absorption and so on.

    (10 Best Milk Recipes)

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    (Raw Milk Versus Pasteurized Milk, Which One Should You Pick?)

    Can I Substitute Regular Milk with the Powdered Version?

    Powdered milk serves as a viable and feasible alternative to regular pasteurized milk; however there are a few things one needs to keep in mind before switching to the powdered version.

    – Powdered versions have almost similar nutritional profile as regular milk except the fact that the latter scores slightly better on flavour, aroma and some of the essential nutrients like phosphorous, selenium and B-complex vitamins. In case you are planning to opt for powdered milk, make sure that it is enriched and fortified with essential minerals and nutrients.

    (14 Recipe Ideas for Leftover Milk)

    – A Delhi based nutritionist and weight management expert, Dr. Gargi Sharma points out at one of the disadvantages associated with powder milk consumption. According to her, “Many times, people are unable to strike a balance between the right proportion of milk powder and water. This could lead to nutritional deficiency and also compromises the nutritional efficacy of milk consumption in form of powder. As a nutritionist I won’t recommend milk powder for long-term consumption. It can’t be treated as a stand-alone meal replacement,” concluded Dr. Gargi.

    powdered-milk-alternative-regular-milk-3

    (Readers Recipe Swap: Milk)

    – However, Dr. Ritika Samaddar of Max Healthcare Saket, New Delhi, stresses on the fact that “The back of the pack clearly states how much of powder needs to be added with what amount of water to achieve your desired nutritional output. If one diligently follows the directions given at the back of the pack, milk powder consumption is as good as regular milk.” She also cautions consumers, “In India, most milk powders contain added sugar which automatically increases the calorific value and is also not desirable for people with diabetes. In such a case, make sure that you opt for a brand that doesn’t mention ‘added sugar’”.

    All in all, powdered milk offers a convenient alternative to regular milk. However, as the experts have noted above, it is imperative that you chose the right product and consume it as per the nutritional directions mentioned on the pack – this is extremely crucial, especially when it is being fed to children.

    A little note about Powdered Milk

    Powdered milk or dried milk is a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness. One purpose of drying milk is to preserve it; milk powder has a far longer shelf life than liquid milk and does not need to be refrigerated, due to its low moisture content. Another purpose is to reduce its bulk for economy of transportation. Powdered milk and dairy products include such items as dry whole milk, nonfat (skimmed) dry milk, dry buttermilk, dry whey products and dry dairy blends. Many exported dairy products conform to standards laid out in Codex Alimentarius. Many forms of milk powder are traded on exchanges.

    Powdered milk is used for food and health (nutrition), and also in biotechnology (saturating agent)

    History and manufacture

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/National_Dried_Milk.jpg/170px-National_Dried_Milk.jpg

    Modified dry whole milk, fortified with vitamin D. This is the original container from 1947, provided by the Ministry of Food in London, England

    While Marco Polo wrote of Mongolian Tatar troops in the time of Kublai Khan who carried sun-dried skimmed milk as “a kind of paste”, the first modern production process for dried milk was invented by the Russian doctor Osip Krichevsky in 1802. The first commercial production of dried milk was organized by the Russian chemist M. Dirchoff in 1832. In 1855, T.S. Grimwade took a patent on a dried milk procedure, though a William Newton had patented a vacuum drying process as early as 1837.

    In modern times, powdered milk is usually made by spray drying[6] nonfat skimmed milk, whole milk, buttermilk or whey. Pasteurized milk is first concentrated in an evaporator to approximately 50 percent milk solids. The resulting concentrated milk is then sprayed into a heated chamber where the water almost instantly evaporates, leaving fine particles of powdered milk solids.

    Alternatively, the milk can be dried by drum drying. Milk is applied as a thin film to the surface of a heated drum, and the dried milk solids are then scraped off. However, powdered milk made this way tends to have a cooked flavour, due to caramelization caused by greater heat exposure.

    Another process is freeze drying, which preserves many nutrients in milk, compared to drum drying.

    The drying method and the heat treatment of the milk as it is processed alters the properties of the milk powder, such as its solubility in cold water, its flavour, and its bulk density.

    Food and health uses

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/Milk_powder_Incolac.jpg/170px-Milk_powder_Incolac.jpg

    Incolac powdered milk

    Powdered milk is frequently used in the manufacture of infant formulaconfectionery such as chocolate and caramel candy, and in recipes for baked goods where adding liquid milk would render the product too thin. Powdered milk is also widely used in various sweets such as the famous Indian milk balls known as gulab jamun and a popular Indian sweet delicacy (sprinkled with desiccated coconut) known as chum chum (made with skim milk powder). Many no-cook recipes that use nut butters use powdered milk to prevent the nut butter from turning liquid by absorbing the oil.[7]

    Powdered milk is also a common item in UN food aid supplies, fallout shelters, warehouses, and wherever fresh milk is not a viable option. It is widely used in many developing countries because of reduced transport and storage costs (reduced bulk and weight, no refrigerated vehicles). Like other dry foods, it is considered nonperishable, and is favored by survivalistshikers, and others requiring nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food.

    Because of its resemblance to cocaine and other drugs, powdered milk is sometimes used in filmmaking as a non-toxic prop that may be insufflated.[citation needed]

    Reconstitution

    The weight of nonfat dry milk (NFDM) to use is about 10% of the water weight.[8][note 1] Alternatively, when measuring by volume rather than weight, one cup of fluid milk from powdered milk requires one cup of water and one-third cup of powdered milk.

    Nutritional value

    Milk powders contain all 21 standard amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and are high in soluble vitamins and minerals.[9] According to USAID,[10] the typical average amounts of major nutrients in the unreconstituted nonfat dry milk are (by weight) 36% protein, 52% carbohydrates (predominantly lactose), calcium 1.3%, potassium 1.8%. Whole milk powder, on the other hand, contains on average 25-27% protein, 36-38% carbohydrates, 26-40% fat, and 5-7% ash (minerals). In Canada, powdered milk must contain added vitamin D in an amount such that a reasonable daily intake of the milk will provide between 300 and 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D.[11] However, inappropriate storage conditions, such as high relative humidity and high ambient temperature, can significantly degrade the nutritive value of milk powder.[12]

    Commercial milk powders are reported to contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol)[13] in higher amounts than in fresh milk (up to 30 μg/g, versus trace amounts in fresh milk).[14] Oxysterols are derivatives of cholesterol that are produced either by free radicals or by enzymes. Some free radicals-derived oxysterols have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques.[15] For comparison, powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols, up to 200 μg/g.[14]

    Export market

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4a/20111110-OC-AMW-0038_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov.jpg/220px-20111110-OC-AMW-0038_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov.jpg

    National household dried machine skimmed milk. This was U.S.-produced dry milk for food export in June 1944.

    European production of milk powder is estimated around 800,000 tons of which the main volume is exported in bulk packing or consumer packs.

    Brands on the market include “Nido“, from the company Nestlé, “Incolac” from the company Milcobel, “Dutch Lady” from FrieslandCampina and “Puck” from Arla Foods.

    Adulteration

    In the 2008 Chinese milk scandalmelamine adulterant was found in Sanlu infant formula, added to fool tests into reporting higher protein content. Thousands became ill, and some children died, after consuming the product.

    Contamination scare

    In August 2013, China temporarily suspended all milk powder imports from New Zealand, after a scare where botulism-causing bacteria was falsely detected in several batches of New Zealand-produced whey protein concentrate. As a result of the product recall, the New Zealand dollar slipped significantly[quantify] based on expected losses in sales from this single commodity.[16]

    Use in biotechnology

    Fat-free powdered milk is used as a saturating agent to block nonspecific binding sites on supports like blotting membranes (nitrocellulosepolyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or nylon),[17] preventing binding of further detection reagents and subsequent background.[18] It may be referred as Blotto. The major protein of milk, casein, is responsible for most of the binding site saturation effect.

    COVID-19 and Diabetes

    photo of virus 3d render red

    Everyone needs to be careful to avoid the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you should be even more cautious.

    Your risk of catching the virus isn’t higher than anyone else’s. But you could have worse complications if you do get sick. That’s especially true if your diabetes isn’t well-controlled.

    To reduce your chance of getting infected:

    • Keep your distance from other people.
    • Use good hygiene.
    • Keep your blood sugar under control.

    Have a plan in place in case you get sick.

    Diabetes and Coronavirus

    Early studies have shown that about 25% of people who went to the hospital with severe COVID-19 infections had diabetes. Those with diabetes were more likely to have serious complications and to die from the virus. One reason is that high blood sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to fight off infections.

    Your risk of severe coronavirus infection is even higher if you also have another condition, like heart or lung disease.

    If you do get COVID-19, the infection could put you at greater risk for diabetes complications like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA happens when high levels of acids called ketones build up in your blood. It can be very serious.

    Some people who catch the new coronavirus have a dangerous body-wide response to it, called sepsis. To treat sepsis, doctors need to manage your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. DKA causes you to lose electrolytes, which can make sepsis harder to control.

    Tips to Avoid Infection

    The best way to avoid getting sick is to stay home as much as you can. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, people with diabetes have the right to “reasonable accommodations at work.” That includes the right to work from home or take sick leave when you need it.

    If you have to go out, keep at least 6 feet away from other people, and wear a cloth face mask. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often while you’re out and when you get home.

    Also wash your hands before you give yourself a finger stick or insulin shot. Clean each site first with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.

    To protect you, everyone in your house should wash their hands often, especially before they cook for the family. Don’t share any utensils or other personal items. And if anyone in your house is sick, they should stay in their own room, as far as possible from you. They should wear a cloth face mask when you have to be in the same room.

    Your COVID-19 Diabetes Plan

    Social distancing and shelter-in-place rules may make it harder to get the supplies you need. Stock up on enough goods to last you for a couple of weeks, in case you get quarantined.

    Make sure you have:

    • Enough food, especially healthy carbs like whole-wheat crackers, vegetable or noodle soups, and unsweetened applesauce
    • Simple carbs like honey, sugar-sweetened soda, fruit juice, or hard candies in case your blood sugar dips
    • The maximum number of refills you can get of your insulin and other medications
    • Extra glucagon and ketone strips
    • Phone numbers for your doctors and health insurance company

    Medicare and some private insurance companies now cover the cost of telehealth visits. So if you have questions for your doctor, you can ask by video chat or phone instead of going into the office.

    When you talk to your doctor, ask:

    What to Do if You Get Sick

    If you start feeling sick, stay home. Check your blood sugar more often than usual. COVID-19 can reduce your appetite and cause you to eat less, which could affect your levels. You also need more fluids than usual when you’re sick. Keep water close by, and drink it often.

    Some over-the-counter medicines that relieve virus symptoms like fever or cough can affect your blood sugar levels. High doses of aspirin or ibuprofen can lower blood sugar levels. Acetaminophen can cause falsely high readings on a continuous glucose monitor. Many liquid cough and cold medicines are high in sugar, which can raise your blood sugar levels. Before you take them, check with your doctor or diabetes team. Tell your doctor if you’ve taken them and your blood sugars are out of control.

    Call your doctor if you get coronavirus-like symptoms such as a dry cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Have your most recent blood sugar and ketone readings available to share with your doctor.

    Get medical help right away if you have:

    • Moderate or large ketones
    • DKA symptoms like tiredness, weakness, body aches, vomiting, or belly pain
    • Severe shortness of breath

    COVID-19 Precautions

    Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and many are experiencing outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.

    COVID-19: 10 Do's and Don'ts To Stay Safe During The Outbreak ...

    Protecting yourself and others from the spread COVID-19

    You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

    • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
    • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.
    • Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COIVD-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet).
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
    • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
    • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
    • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
    • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

    Advice on the safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers

    To protect yourself and others against COVID-19, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure you use and store it carefully.

    • Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers out of children’s reach. Teach them how to apply the sanitizer and monitor its use.
    • Apply a coin-sized amount on your hands. There is no need to use a large amount of the product.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose immediately after using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as it can cause irritation.
    • Hand sanitizers recommended to protect against COVID-19 are alcohol-based and therefore can be flammable. Do not use before handling fire or cooking.
    • Under no circumstance, drink or let children swallow an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It can be poisonous. 
    • Remember that washing your hands with soap and water is also effective against COVID-19.

    Symptoms of COVID-19

    The main symptoms include:

    • Fever
    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Trouble breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Chills, sometimes with shaking
    • Body aches
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of smell or taste
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea

    The virus can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, septic shock, and death. Many COVID-19 complications may be caused by a condition known as cytokine release syndrome or a cytokine storm. This is when an infection triggers your immune system to flood your bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. They can kill tissue and damage your organs.

    If you notice the following severe symptoms in yourself or a loved one, get medical help right away:

    Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19. Remember FAST:

    • Face. Is one side of the person’s face numb or drooping? Is their smile lopsided?
    • Arms. Is one arm weak or numb? If they try to raise both arms, does one arm sag?
    • Speech. Can they speak clearly? Ask them to repeat a sentence.
    • Time. Every minute counts when someone shows signs of a stroke. Call 911 right away.

    If you’re infected, symptoms can show up in as few as 2 days or as many as 14. It varies from person to person.

    According to researchers in China, these were the most common symptoms among people who had COVID-19:

    • Fever 99%
    • Fatigue 70%
    • Cough 59%
    • Lack of appetite 40%
    • Body aches 35%
    • Shortness of breath 31%
    • Mucus/phlegm 27%

    Some people who are hospitalized for COVID-19 have also have dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries.

    Smile Every-Day

    Many see smiling simply as an involuntary response to things that bring you joy or laughter. While this observation is certainly true, what most people overlook is that smiling can be just as much a voluntary response as a conscious and powerful choice.

    Countless scientific studies have confirmed that a genuine smile is generally considered attractive to others around us. Other studies have shed light on how the act of smiling can elevate your mood and the mood of those around you.

    A strong link has been found between good health, longevity, and smiling. Most importantly, studies have shown​ that just the act of smiling (making the physical facial shapes and movements), whether the result of real joy or an act, can have both short- and long-term benefits on people’s health and wellbeing.

    Still not convinced? Here are the top 10 reasons you should make a conscious effort to smile every day.

    101 Quotes about Smiling to Boost Your Mood

    Smiling Makes Us Attractive

    We are naturally drawn to people who smile. There is a real physical attraction factor linked to the act of smiling. Not surprisingly, more severe or negative facial expressions like frowns, scowls, and grimaces actually work in the opposite manner, effectively pushing people away. Instead, use the attraction power of your smile to draw people in.

    Smiling Relieves Stress

    Stress can permeate our entire being, and can really show up in our faces. Smiling not only helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed but can actually help reduce stress.

    Believe it or not, smiling can reduce stress even if you don’t feel like smiling or even know that you’re smiling! When you are stressed, take the time to put on a smile. You and those around you will reap the benefits.

    Smiling Elevates Our Mood

    Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance your mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you elevate your mood because the physical act of smiling actually activates neural messaging in your brain.

    A simple smile can trigger the release of neural communication boosting neuropeptides as well as mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Think of smiling like a natural anti-depressant.

    Smiling Is Contagious

    How many smiles have been described as having the power to lighten up the room? While it is certainly a beautiful sentiment, it carries a hint of truth. Smiling not only has the power to elevate your mood, but it can also change the moods of others and make things happier.

    The part of your brain that is responsible for your controlling the facial expression of smiling is an unconscious automatic response area. Meaning that smiling can be completely unconscious, particularly when it comes to our habit of mimicking another person’s smile. Yes, it is scientifically proven that smiles are “contagious!”

    Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

    Smiling can also boost your overall health. The act of smiling actually helps the human immune system to function more effectively. It is thought that when you smile, immune function improves because you are more relaxed (thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters).

    In addition to taking precautions like washing your hands, why not try to prevent the cold and flu by smiling?

    Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure

    When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?

    Smiling Makes Us Feel Good

    Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together these three neurotransmitters make us feel good from head to toe. Not only do these natural chemicals elevate your mood, but they also relax your body and reduce physical pain. Smiling is a natural drug.

    Smiling Makes You Look Younger

    Not only can smiling make you more attractive it can also make you look more youthful. The muscles we use to smile also lift the face, making a person appear younger. So instead of opting for a facelift, just try smiling your way through the day—you’ll look younger and feel better.

    Smiling Makes You Seem Successful

    Studies have shown that people who smile regularly appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and are more likely to be approached. Try putting on a smile at meetings and business appointments. You might find that people react to you differently.

    Smiling Helps You Stay Positive

    Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It’s hard, isn’t it?

    Even when a smile feels unnatural or forced, it still sends the brain and ultimately the rest of our body the message that “Life is Good!” Stay away from depression, stress, and worry by smiling.

    Impacts of Water on our Body

    Keeping hydrated is essential for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day.

    Normally 60 percent of our body is full of water, and around 71 percent of the planet’s surface is covered by water.

    Perhaps it is the nature of water that means drinking enough each day is not at the top of many people’s lists of priorities.

    Fast facts on drinking water

    • Adult humans are 60 percent water, and our blood is 90 percent of water.
    • There is no universal agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily.
    • Water is essential for the kidneys and other body functions.
    • When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to the skin disorders and wrinkling.
    • Drinking water instead of soda can help with losing weight.

    Fifteen benefits of drinking water

    Benefits of drinking water

    Benefits of drinking water range from keeping the kidneys healthy to weight loss.

    To function regularly, all the body cells and organs of the body need water.

    Here are some reasons our body needs water:

    1. It lubricates the joints in our body

    Cartilage, found in the joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to the joint pain.

    2. It forms saliva and mucus

    Saliva helps us to digest the food. It keeps our mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents us from friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps our mouth clean.

    3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body

    Blood is more than 90 percent of water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.

    4. It boosts skin health and beauty

    With dehydration, the skin will become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.

    5. It cushions our brain, spinal cord, and some sensitive tissues

    Dehydration can affects the brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of several hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration leads to problems with thinking and reasoning.

    6. It regulates body temperature

    Water is stored in the middle layers of the skin. It will comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body.

    Scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases in our body and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain.

    Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain in the body if heat stress occurs during exercise.

    7, The digestive system depends on it

    The bowel needs some water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heart burn and stomach ulcers in our body.

    8. It flushes body waste

    Water is needed in the process of sweating and removal of urine and feces.

    9. It helps maintain blood pressure

    A lack of water will cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.

    10. The airways need it

    When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in effort to minimize the amount of water loss. This can make diseases like asthma and allergies worse.

    11. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible

    These dissolve in water, which makes to reach different parts of the body.

    12. It prevents kidney damage

    The kidney regulates fluid in our body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones problems.

    13. It boosts performance during exercise

    Dehydration during exercise Share on Pinter

    Scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during some strenuous activity.

    More research is needed to confirm this, but a review found that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.

    14. Weight loss

    Water may also help with losing weight, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. Preloading with water before eating meals can helps to prevent our stomach from overeating.

    15. It reduces the chance of a hangover

    When partying, unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon alternated with alcoholic drinks can helps to prevent over consumption of alcohol.

    Facts

    Here are some facts about water:

    • Babies and children have a higher percentage of water compared to adults. When babies are new born, they are about 78 percent water, but this falls to 65 percent by the age of 1 year.
    • Fatty tissue has less water than some lean tissue.
    • Men have more water when compared to women, as a percentage.

    Do we drink enough water?

    A research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2013 analyzed data from the National Cancer Institute’s 2007 Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey.

    Out of a sample of 3,398 adults, the researchers found:

    • 7 percent of adults reported no consumption of daily drinking water
    • 36 percent of adults reported drinking 1-3 cups of daily drinking water
    • 35 percent of adults reported drinking 4-7 cups of daily drinking water
    • 22 percent of adults reported drinking 8 cups of water or more in a day

    People were more likely to drink less than 4 cups of drinking water everyday if they consumed 1 cup or less of fruits or vegetables a day.

    The research only measured the intake of drinking water. Fluid can be gained from some other beverages, but water is best because it is calorie-free, caffeine-free, and alcohol-free.

    Seven percent of respondents reported drinking no water daily at all, and those who drank a very low volume of water also consumed less fruit and vegetables. This suggests that a some number of people are risking their health by not getting enough fluid properly.

    Even if the respondents reporting a very low levels of water intake were obtaining enough fluid, it is likely that they would be obtaining it from other sources that could potentially compromise their health in other ways.

    How technology can help in solving challenges faced by schools during this pandemic…

    Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Scientific American ...

    The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting many colleges and universities to abruptly and comprehensively adopt online learning, remote work, and other activities to help contain the spread of the virus. In the past decade, institutions have recognized the importance of advising, early alerts, degree planning, and other services to help students attain their academic goals affordably and efficiently. A wide range of applications and new technologies to support student success are now available. It may prove invaluable to help students adapt to fully remote learning. EDUCAUSE data reveal that all institutions, students, faculty, and staff are ready and able to use these technologies during the pandemic.1

    This research summary is one of a series of reports outlining higher education’s readiness to adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    How Many Institutions Are Using Technology to Support Student Success?

    Core technologies that support student success include advising center management and an advising case management system that tracks student interactions (70% partial or institution-wide deployment).

    Other data and analytics technologies and practices support managing, sharing, and decision-making related to student success.

    Some types of institutions are more prepared—or less prepared—than others to use technology to support student success.  Bachelor’s institutions, which typically place the strongest emphasis on campus-based learning, are least ready to use data and technology to support student success, while associate’s institutions, which generally adopt learning and instructional technologies more rapidly, are the most prepared.

    Are Faculty, Staff, and Students Able to Use Technology to Support Student Success?

    Having technologies and analytics is one step. Providing students, faculty, and staff with the access and training to use these systems is a critical additional step. More than half of institutions take steps to facilitate the adoption and use of student success technologies by faculty, advisors, and other staff. Six in ten institutions provide applications that enable students to access data such as current academic standing and resources including tips for improvement. Students at institutions that don’t provide such access might struggle to track their progress during times when it’s difficult to get such feedback, and faculty, advisors, and other staff may lack sufficient training or even access to use tools to help students.

    Do Institutions Have Technology to Help Students with Credential Planning?

    Students need to develop, monitor, and adjust their academic plans to ensure they are on track to attain the credentials they seek as expeditiously as possible; sometimes that entails managing academic credits across multiple institutions. This need may be even more pressing given the current disruption and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Fortunately, most institutions have a core set of applications to help students plan their educational programs and manage credits, even across institutions. However, fewer than half of institutions have technologies that can recommend courses or degree programs for students based on their academic record or other factors. Most students who have used these technologies find them very or extremely useful

    The COVID-19 Corona virus global pandemic is creating a global learning crisis in addition to a global health crisis. 82% of the world’s learners are no longer in traditional schooling or education programs and UNESCO is recommending online learning and education technology to to reach learners remotely.

    All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development developed a list of nine ACR GCD-funded solutions to respond to educational needs during the global COVID-19 Digital Response. I’ve added a 10th edutech solution. I invite you to add more in the comments.

    Each solution is available for free in multiple languages and, once downloaded, does not require a continuous Internet connection. Ministries of Education, educational development organizations and parents can leverage these tools to support children’s educational needs during school closures.

    Edutech Solutions for COVID-19 Response

    1. Global Digital Library

    This open source digital library offers free accessible eBooks in more than 40 languages readable on the web, mobile, or for downloading and printing. The books can also be translated or localized directly on the platform.

    2. Feed the Monster

    A winner of ACR GCD and Norad’s EduApp4Syria prize to support the education needs of out-of-school Syrian refugee children, Feed the Monster is an early literacy digital gaming app that teaches children reading and writing fundamentals while collecting and growing their pet monsters. Available in more than 50 languages on Google Play, and in Arabic on the App Store, research shows the app improves children’s early literacy skills and psychosocial wellbeing.

    3. Antura and the Letters

    Also a winner of an EduApp4Syria prize, Antura and the Letters is available in English and Arabic on Google Play, the App Store and Windows download. Designed for children age 4 and older, the app enables children to catch letters hidden around the world, solve puzzles and earn gifts, alongside Antura the dog. Like Feed the Monster, the research conducted on use of Antura and the Letters shows improvement in children’s early literacy skills and psychosocial wellbeing.

    4. Bloom

    The winner of ACR GCD’s Enabling Writers prize, Bloom enables teachers, parents and children to easily create leveled and decodable children’s books in any language. Books can be adapted from shell books, or new resources created using Bloom software’s templates for basic books, picture dictionaries and wall calendars, with images available from its free illustration library. Don’t want to create the books yourself? Access the Bloom Library, with basic leveled and decodable books available in more than 220 languages.

    5. eKitabu

    Winner of multiple ACR GCD prizes, eKitabu offers dozens of books for free download and readable via free e-reader software. eKitabu’s Studio KSL (Kenyan Sign Language) and Studio RSL (Rwandan Sign Language) also offer several sign language videos and sign language storybooks to support accessible, early grade reading.

    6. World Around You

    Funded through ACR GCD’s Sign On For Literacy prize, WAY enables communities to create content in local and national sign languages and share it in WAY’s open content digital library of folktales. The digital libraries are viewable from any web browser and can be remixed by anyone, including children, with simple text and video editing tools.

    7. Bookshare

    Children and adults with disabilities such as blindness, low vision, dyslexia and cerebral palsy can access thousands of accessible books on Benetech’s Bookshare platform. Benetech was a winner of ACR GCD’s 2014 grant competition, using the Bookshare platform to provide students who are blind in India access to accessible reading materials. The library is provided to individuals with disabilities for free or low cost, depending on the support of local partners in your region.

    8. Kit Kit School

    A finalist of ACR GCD’s Sign On For Literacy prize, Kit Kit School is a tablet-based early learning program that includes a suite of games, books, videos, and art and music tools in Swahili and English to support children in learning literacy and math skills independently.

    9. Sema

    A finalist of ACR GCD’s EduApp4Syria prize, the Sema package of apps enable children to teach themselves how to read, write and do basic numeracy. The curriculum was designed in collaboration with pedagogy experts and teachers in Africa.

    10. Worldreader

    I don’t know if Worldreader received ACR-GCD, yet Worldreader is a standout educational resource and needs inclusion on a list like this. Worldreader provides people in the developing world with free access to a library of digital books via e-readers and mobile phones. Since 2010, over 13 million people across 47 countries have read from Worldreader’s digital library of thousands of e-books and they have a special COVID-19 effort. Main image is copyright Worldreader.

    Need for school to go Digital

    With brands like Microsoft, Google and Apple working their way into school systems across the world. Apple most recently extended their ‘Everyone can code’ course, which has been integrated into some schools and educational institutions across the UK and Europe. They are also aiming to bring out a new cheaper version of their iPad, which is targeted at schools and for use within them. Microsoft have multiple programs aimed at students and teachers to bring technology into the classroom and Google have awarded grants to Raspberry Pi. They also support a wide variety of coding programs, all of which offer free teacher training on their products. It’s no surprise that people are wondering the same as us.

    should schools go digital?

    Digital natives

    Of course, today’s children are more familiar with new technologies, computers and social media. They are commonly referred to as ‘digital natives’. However this doesn’t mean they possess the skills that required to make it in a digital based jobs market. In fact, Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has said that the schools are need to prepare young people for a digital revolution and a fast-changing jobs market, going on to say that the young people would need to be able to ‘write apps’ as well as use them.

    This isn’t purely raising future workers, who are able to build the apps and programming code, instead it is about creating a familiarity with digital working. From job search through application to everyday workplace, digital has become integral to almost every step of recruitment and work journey. Even signing up for benefit support when you are unable to find work requires basic computer literacy and an email address (an issue all in itself and a conversation for another day).

    As time goes on it’s becoming clear that the digital is set to be intertwined with modern working, hence why we offer digital transformation as a service to our clients, and the burning questions is how can we make classrooms themselves more digital? Is the potential to take the fundamentals of the digital transformation and apply them to the schools in order to have students working paperless for the majority, if not all, lessons and subjects?

    Digital sector growth

    In a recent Tech City report (2017), it was reported that; “today more than 2.0 million people are already working within the digital sector, or in digital tech roles across another sectors, while the number of digital technology jobs across the UK has grown at more than twice the rate of non-digital tech sectors.

    This factors highlighting the scale of the digital opportunity from a career perspective. But, there are more positives to equipping our younger generations with the digital knowledge they need.

    Of course, as a company who work entire digitally, we may be a little biased on the benefits of working this way! However, in contexts where digital is a possibility, that we have identified for schools undergoing digital transformation. 

    Three Reasons Students Want Your School to Go Digital

    For high school and college administrators, transcripts are a measurement of output; a sort of receipt of learning services rendered. Students aren’t so transactional. For them, transcripts are the first professional documents they’ll need for a lifetime in and around the workforce.

    Here are three ways students are using transcripts today, and why easy access to them matters more than ever:

    1.               Employers are taking a greater interest in college performance. A 2013 survey of more than 200 institutions from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that two-thirds of companies screened candidates by their grade point average (GPA)1. Yet they don’t stop there. Facebook is among the top-tier employers who look at the level of coursework students have completed in both high school and college before even considering them for a position2. Having access to an accurate transcript can be the key to getting hired. Kansas State University can attest to the need. The university switched to eTranscripts three years ago in order to better serve current students, yet it’s “former students who take the most advantage of the [system],” said Barbara Nagel, KSU Assistant Registrar for Office Operations.
    2.               Higher education has changed. While some are heeding investor Peter Thiel’s advice to skip college and start a company, others are staying in school longer and switching institutions to find the best fit. Overall, the rate of individuals enrolled in undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programs jumped 52 percent between 1990 and 2014, the National Center for Education Statistics reports.3 Fast-shifting and interrupted collegiate experiences aren’t easily tracked, which explains why students want online access to academic records at all times.
    3.               Students are already going digital. Young people aren’t waiting around for institutions to meet their demands. Instead, they’re hacking solutions — just what you’d expect from a generation that’s grown up with technology that’s built for on-demand service. (Think of Netflix and Google, for starters.) According to a recent Parchment survey, 55 percent of students say they scan paper transcripts in order to create shareable copies. Some went so far as saying they want to share their records on social media.

    Serving Beyond the Classroom

    All three points should serve notice to credentialing universities, yet a majority aren’t getting the message. The same Parchment survey in which students said they were already scanning transcripts to share online found that only 43 percent of awarding institutions will issue these documents digitally within the next five years, and that’s despite a majority of students — 58 percent, to be specific — saying that they want to access and share transcripts digitally.

    University administrators need to be mindful of this gap. Registrars need digital tools if they’re to serve a generation of students who, thanks to technology, have never had more options when it comes to higher learning.

    Parenting during the Lock-down

    Parenting in the times of coronavirus lockdown.

    I had a feeling that we are headed towards a strict lockdown in the second week of March. Playschool for my toddler was shut anyway and for the elder kid, we were mainly going out only for therapies and a little park time in evening. I ordered a toy car for my two year old to drive around the house if playing outdoors gets banned. But before the delivery could happen, India plunged headlong in its fight against corona virus; Uttar Pradesh reported a few cases and Noida became a red zone!

    No couriers will be delivered, no parks will be open, no play dates can happen, schools will remain closed, and domestic helps barred entry in the society – welcome parenting in times of lockdown.

    In ‘normal’ times, a good 7-8 hours from morning till afternoon are taken care of by a fixed school schedule on weekdays and weekends are sorted with a few hours of outing or meeting friends and family. But now every day is a holiday for the kids while you have to work from home and for home!

    The biggest challenge is to keep them ‘engaged’! How do you do that from 7 am to 7 pm? Problem multiplies manifold when you have a child with special needs and a toddler under the same roof. The little one it seems has an unconquerable diet for play time while my nine year old autistic girl can spend an entire day asking for food! The kitchen is now forced to churn out 5 meals and 8 snacks a day!

    Did anyone mention workouts during lockdown? Not possible when you have a toddler in the house! Do your pushups, he will lie under you, try the hip thrusts – he will sit on you, squats are incomplete without him riding on your shoulders and don’t even aspire for walking lunges, there are toy dynamites on every inch of the floor!

    However, what we have successfully managed to do is to keep our sleep cycle unchanged. We follow same school routine of waking up early and sleeping on time. One parent handles the digital class and therapy schedule of the older kid while the other takes care of the little ones play and food needs. Lockdown compulsions have also brought forth our own capacity of working as a team and managing with limited resources at hand. Half an hour of skating on house tiles is allowed, using crayons on walls is allowed, screen time has increased too but so has bonding time for all four of us. Many challenges of parenting in lockdown have thrown many positives too for families during this uncertain period.

    As I write this piece, we are in the eighth week of lockdown and praying that things ease out a bit in the coming days. There are memes abound on social media that if this lockdown continues then a mother is sure to find some vaccine for the virus before scientists.

    I had stolen some time for myself to write this bit but now I need to unlock the door before their (kids) banging breaks it.

    It’s been more than a month, and I’ve been feeling more and more like the inventive father, Guido, in the 1997 film Life is Beautiful, as I try and shield my almost-eight-year-old a little from the unprecedented reality we are living through. I try and create games through the positive spins I put on everything, from rationed chocolates and ice creams to the short-masked cycling excursions I allow her for filtered mouthfuls of the freshest air that Gurgaon has experienced in the last 20 years.

    Everyone across the world is living their own strange reality these days, but parents of under-10s are perhaps going through their most puzzling and challenging parenting phase yet. While kids these days are more aware of the impact of climate change, can navigate a Zoom class easily, and put together a complicated puzzle faster than our generation could, they are still emotionally fragile and processing this time as a very significant part of their childhood. It is what it is, we say, as we grapple with the bleak financial forecasts and the rising numbers of casualties across the world. Every parent has their own unique coping mechanism, but here’s what I feel has worked for me.

    1) Tell them Age-Appropriate Truths:

    If you have a curious one (and I think 99% of us do!), you will need to explain the impact of COVID-19 and what the foreseeable future holds for them in small easy-to-digest nuggets. By now, they are probably on auto-pilot as far as scrubbing their hands, slapping on masks, keeping an arm’s-length distance are concerned – but how do you tell kids that school as they knew it may not happen till July? September? Who knows? Or birthdays? Or playtime in the park? Or that the pool may not be open all summer? I try and stick to weekly silver linings…next week, we may be able to hit some tennis balls downstairs or let’s fill the splash pool so that you can enjoy a pretend swim. Let’s do a four-way video call with your pals so that we can simulate some school girlie chatter. We even did a video birthday cake-cutting where they sang Happy Birthday for a friend. It’s my way of showing her that we will inch back to normal slowly when it’s safe to do so. 

    2) Revel in Nature:

    Since our kids are already little eco-warriors, this is the best part of the narrative to emphasise at this time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they remember this time as the phase when dolphins and flamingos returned to Mumbai’s waters, or nilgai and peacocks roamed unfettered on Gurgaon’s streets, or the Ganga and Yamuna sparkled with clean waters and the snow-capped Himalayas were visible from Ludhiana? I make sure I show her all the WhatsApp forwards I receive that highlight these wonders from across the world so that she can feel good about the Earth rebooting itself and animals having their day. 

    3) Family First:

    This is the biggest and most obvious plus. How long has it been since Mom, Dad and in some cases, Nana-Nani/Dada-Dadi, have all been home all day, day after day? My daughter has discovered that Dad is a mean cook and has the patience to complete a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle over a week; Nana and Nani rock at Ludo and Snakes and Ladders, and Mamma can dust the whole house, tidy every cupboard and play word games with her. We’ve all cribbed about the lack of quality time and missing our children’s milestones, so now is the time to get the most of these trying days. Believe me, we will miss this the most when it’s over, so let’s create some family rituals that we can carry into life post-COVID. 

    4) Less is More:

    I’ve put together squared notebooks from empty pages of three older ones for her math homework, diluted paint in half-dried poster colour bottles so that she can paint watercolours, sharpened every colour pencil (we have far too many as a blister on my finger can testify!), taken out every single Lego set stashed away in drawers to. Suddenly, every toy bought over the last five years is that much more valuable as is every piece of clothing! She has enough summer clothes without me having had an opportunity to step out to replenish her wardrobe even though she’s grown more than a few inches over the last year! Involving her in making bagfuls of food, clothes and toys for charity also helps her empathise with what the world is going through. 

    5) Touchy Feely Time:

    My day starts with cuddles with the dog who is on Cloud Nine having all of us home 24-7, followed by at least 15 minutes of having my sleepy child draped all over me, hugging, just being, and sharing her night of dreams (both fantastic and fearful) and plans for the day. Such a far cry from the rushed school mornings we are all missing, right? All of us have stashes of handmade cards proclaiming her love for us with her ridiculous spellings and her adorable illustrations. Virtual goodnight kisses are shared with grandparents and lots of love, hugs and kisses are being dispensed on FaceTime, Zoom and every other possible medium. 

    Kids are much more resilient than us, but as parents we are going through another learning phase through this lockdown!

    India suffering in providing basic teaching due to lockdown

    The percentage of people who were able to use the internet connection (all over India) stood at 20.1% with rural at 13% and urban at 37.1%. Additionally, only 10.9% of people in India had used the internet in the last 30 days. It is important to note that these statistics vary among different states across the country. For instance, Bihar stands at the lowest (9.2%) for individuals who have used the internet in 30 days, while Delhi has the highest number (49.3%) of such individuals with bigger states like Maharashtra (25%), Rajasthan (15.4%), Andhra Pradesh (14.7%) etc. being in the middle.

    Using the internet as a mode to impart education among the students, and highlight how a majority of the country would be left out of the quest to achieve basic education in the months to come.

    Limited internet availability

    The 75th report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) for 2017-18 highlights some of the major issues that this new model would have to address. All India percentage of households having internet facilities stands at 24.8% with rural availability at 14.7% and urban at 43%.

    Increased responsibility of parents to educate their wards

    Another important pillar of the new model is the increased role that parents play in educating their wards. Take, for example, the NCERT guidelines which – surprisingly has progressive methods of teaching to improve the analytical, quantitative, and logical reasoning abilities of the students – all key factors are the regular model of teaching and learning does not have. However, the guidelines presume that the parents will have the academic intellect to impart education to their students. But statistics highlight otherwise.

    The same NSSO survey, quoted above, highlights that 26.1% of the population above 15 years of age is ‘not literate’, while a further 18.8% have attended formal education up till primary school, 16.3% each have attended middle (Class V) and secondary (until Class VIII). This constitutes a whopping 77.5% of total India’s population – who may not have the adequate level of education needed to teach children in the house. The situation at the rural level is even more dire, with 69.7 % of the population being in the spectrum of ‘not-literate’ to ‘middle school’.

    Loss of nutrition due to school closure 

    While the above factors touched the modality of the education system, there is an even more basic issue at stake. The schools closure has serious implications on the daily nutrition of students as the mid-day meal schemes have temporarily been shut. As of March 30, 2019, close to 12-crore students across the country were provided with food under with mid-day meal schemes.

    This is close to 65% of the total students enrolled throughout K-12 education (the actual percentage is likely to be more, as mid-day meal only caters to students till Class VIII). Various studies have pointed out that the mid-day meals are an important factor for increased enrollment (~30%) in the schools.

    How technology can help in solving challenges faced by schools during this pandemic…

    The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting many colleges and universities to abruptly and comprehensively adopt online learning, remote work, and other activities to help contain the spread of the virus. In the past decade, institutions have recognized the importance of advising, early alerts, degree planning, and other services to help students attain their academic goals affordably and efficiently. A wide range of applications and new technologies to support student success are now available. It may prove invaluable to help students adapt to fully remote learning. EDUCAUSE data reveal that all institutions, students, faculty, and staff are ready and able to use these technologies during the pandemic.1

    This research summary is one of a series of reports outlining higher education’s readiness to adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    How Many Institutions Are Using Technology to Support Student Success?

    Core technologies that support student success include advising center management and an advising case management system that tracks student interactions (70% partial or institution-wide deployment).

    Other data and analytics technologies and practices support managing, sharing, and decision-making related to student success.

    Some types of institutions are more prepared—or less prepared—than others to use technology to support student success.  Bachelor’s institutions, which typically place the strongest emphasis on campus-based learning, are least ready to use data and technology to support student success, while associate’s institutions, which generally adopt learning and instructional technologies more rapidly, are the most prepared.

    Are Faculty, Staff, and Students Able to Use Technology to Support Student Success?

    Having technologies and analytics is one step. Providing students, faculty, and staff with the access and training to use these systems is a critical additional step. More than half of institutions take steps to facilitate the adoption and use of student success technologies by faculty, advisors, and other staff. Six in ten institutions provide applications that enable students to access data such as current academic standing and resources including tips for improvement. Students at institutions that don’t provide such access might struggle to track their progress during times when it’s difficult to get such feedback, and faculty, advisors, and other staff may lack sufficient training or even access to use tools to help students.

    Do Institutions Have Technology to Help Students with Credential Planning?

    Students need to develop, monitor, and adjust their academic plans to ensure they are on track to attain the credentials they seek as expeditiously as possible; sometimes that entails managing academic credits across multiple institutions. This need may be even more pressing given the current disruption and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Fortunately, most institutions have a core set of applications to help students plan their educational programs and manage credits, even across institutions. However, fewer than half of institutions have technologies that can recommend courses or degree programs for students based on their academic record or other factors. Most students who have used these technologies find them very or extremely useful

    Food and Nutrition – To Lead a Healthy Life

    The good management of food intake and nutrition are both key to good health. Smart nutrition and food choices can help prevent diseases.  Understanding good nutrition and paying attention can help you maintain or improve your health.

    What Is Good Nutrition?

    Food and nutrition are the way that we get fuel, providing energy to our bodies. We need to replace nutrients in our bodies with a new supply everyday. Water is an important component of nutrition. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are all required. Maintaining key vitamins and minerals are also important to maintaining the good health. For pregnant women and people over 50, vitamins such as vitamin D and minerals such as calcium and iron are important to consider when choosing the foods to eat, as well as dietary supplements.

    A healthy diet includes a lot of natural foods. A sizeable portion of a healthy diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, especially ones that are red, orange, or dark green in color. Whole grains, such as whole wheat and brown rice, should also plays a part in your diet. For adults, the dairy products should be non-fat or low-fat. Protein can consist of a lean meat and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, legumes, and soy products such as tofu, as well as unsalted seeds and nuts.

    Good nutrition also involves avoiding the certain kinds of foods. Sodium is used heavily in processed foods and is dangerous for people with high blood pressure. The USDA advises adults to consume less than 300 milligrams (mg) per day of cholesterol (found in meat and full-fat dairy products among others). Fried food, solid fats, and trans fats found in margarine and processed foods can be harmful to heart health. Refined grains (white flour, white rice) and refined sugar (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup) are also bad for long-term health, especially for people with diabetes. Alcohol can be dangerous to health in amounts more than one serving per day for a woman and two per day for a man.

    There are many high-quality, free guidelines available for healthy eating plans that give more details on portion size, total calorie consumption, what to eat more of, and what to eat less of to get healthy and stay that way.

    Nutritional Deficiencies

    Even if you are getting enough to eat, if you are not eating a balanced diet, you may still be at risk for certain nutritional deficiencies. Also, you may have nutritional deficiencies due to certain health or life conditions, such as pregnancy, or certain medications you may be taking, such as high blood pressure medications. People who have had intestinal diseases or had sections of intestines removed due to disease or weight loss surgery also may be at risk for vitamin deficiencies. Alcoholics are also at high risk of having nutritional deficiencies.

    One of the most common nutritional deficiencies is iron deficiency anemia. Your blood cells need iron in order to supply your body with oxygen, and if you don’t have enough iron, your blood will not function properly. Other nutritional deficiencies that can affect your blood cells include low levels of vitamin B12, folate, or vitamin C.

    Vitamin D deficiency may affect the health of your bones, making it difficult for you to absorb and use calcium (another mineral that you may not be getting enough of). Although you can get vitamin D by going out in the sun, many people with concerns about skin cancer may end up with low levels of vitamin D by not getting enough sun.

    Other nutritional deficiencies include:

    • beriberi: low levels of vitamin B1 (found in cereal husks)
    • ariboflavinosis: low levels of vitamin B2
    • pellagra: low levels of vitamin B3
    • paraesthesia: low levels of vitamin B5 leading to a “pins and needles” feeling
    • biotin deficiency: low levels of vitamin B7, which can be common in pregnancy
    • hypocobalaminemia: low levels of B12
    • night blindness: low levels of Vitamin A
    • scurvy: low levels of vitamin C
    • rickets: severe vitamin D and/or calcium deficiency
    • vitamin K deficiency
    • magnesium deficiency: occurs with certain medications and medical problems
    • potassium deficiency: occurs with certain medications and medical problems

    Eating a balanced diet can help prevent these conditions. Vitamin supplements may be necessary for certain people, such as pregnant or nursing mothers and people with intestinal conditions.

    Diseases and Conditions Influenced by Nutrition

    Many health conditions are caused and/or affected by food and nutrition. Some are directly caused by food, such as “food poisoning” or bacterial infections from contaminated food. Some people can have severe allergies to foods like peanuts, shellfish, or wheat (celiac disease). Gastrointestinal ailments—such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD)—are also directly affected by the consumption of food.

    For other diseases and conditions, the type or quantity of food can influence the progress of the disease. Diabetes mellitus, for example, which results in the inability of the body to regulate blood sugar, is drastically affected by the types and quantities of food eaten. Carbohydrate intake has to be carefully monitored if you suffer from diabetes, or blood sugar can rise to dangerous levels. Other conditions affected by food and nutrition include:

    • Hypertension: Salt intake affects blood pressure.
    • Heart disease/high cholesterol: Fatty foods and partial hydrogenated oils can create plaque in arteries.
    • Osteoporosis: Low calcium, low vitamin D and excess fat can result in fragile bones.
    • Certain cancers: A poor diet and obesity are associated with increased risk of breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, and kidney cancers.

    Your food choices and nutritional status can influence your overall health over the entire course of your life.

    In-Person Attendance at Conferences

    5 Articles to Help You Manage Conference Speakers Better | CadmiumCD

    Group and Institutional Benefits of In-Person Attendance at Conferences

    In addition to individual benefits, non-governmental organizations (NGO) can also garner much-needed support by presenting and attending conferences. Online, non-profit charities and NGOs compete against a vast array of other organizations. It can be difficult to gather supporters through the daily background noise of online information. Conferences are an unequivocal means to meet people crucial to furthering organizations. In-person representation makes a greater impression on potential supporters, similar to the effects for individual attendees previously discussed. Increased support from conference attendees leads to increased online chatter, which can have exponential results. More support means more funding and increased real-world impacts made by NGOs.

    Conferences also allow for exchanges across universities. Multi-university collaborations can be difficult, but conferences provide the interface for this to transpire. Combining resources and experiences can not only further specific research efforts, but also science in general. Examples of such fruitful collaborations from IMCCs include Parsons et al. (2014)Cigliano et al. (2015b)Hind et al. (2015), and Cigliano et al. (2016). Emails are not always effective for starting collaborations, and researching potential universities for partnerships takes time. Being in the same place as representatives from other universities accelerates the process and leads to real results. New research stations and enterprises have been established by multiple universities pooling resources as a result of meeting at conferences.

    For certain conferences, registration fees help to financially support other initiatives of non-profits. Conferences can be a fundraiser for projects and grants that provide direct backing for environmental issues and endeavors. For example, funds collected at IMCCs help support marine conservation communication initiatives and policy projects of the SCB Marine Section, such as the Save the Vaquita campaign. Funds may also support other branches of an organization. For example, some registration fees received at a large international conference may be used to support research projects in underrepresented regions, as is done with some of the fees collected at IMCCs by the SCB Marine Section. These regions may be comprised of developing countries with limited resources but ample biodiversity. The SCB Marine Section Conservation Research Small Grants program, for example, is made possible through registration fees collected at IMCCs.

    Overcoming the Limitations of In-Person Attendance at Conferences

    Many science conferences, especially those concerning environmental issues, are increasingly taking steps to monitor (Hischier and Hilty, 2002) and counterbalance the environmental impacts of conference travel (Parsons, 2015). Moreover, agencies (such as the US Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/p2/green-meetings) and industry (e.g., Doubledutch, 2014) even have websites offering advice for those wanting to reduce the impacts of their meetings. IMCCs, for instance, follow the Sustainable Event Policy of the SCB (https://conbio.org/conferences/about-scb-meetings/scb-sustainable-event-policy).

    Additionally, conferences are now frequently offering or mandating the collection of required or optional carbon offset fees to help ameliorate the negative environmental effects of conference travel. Delegates to IMCC4 paid a compulsory offset fee as part of a policy adopted by the meeting organizers to bring the conference into alignment with the Paris Agreement (http://conbio.org/mini-sites/imcc-2016/about/carbon-offsetting/). Carbon offset fees fund environmental projects, such as native tree planting and wildlife conservation.

    Although technology has advanced to levels once thought of as unattainable, these tools should supplement conferences, not replace face-to-face interactions. Fraser et al. (2017) rightly conclude that global virtual conferencing is possible for fields like conservation biology. These have been investigated by IMCC delegates in discussion sessions at OceansOnline, an affiliate conference of IMCC4, with a result of organizers subsequently looking to offer telepresence as an option for the forthcoming 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (Thaler, 2017). Yet, Fraser et al. (2017), while additionally noting the virtual approach’s susceptibility to technical difficulties, are also among the scientists that cannot get past the social limitations virtual conferences impose. Psychology, management, and communications studies have shown that information exchange, collaboration, and networking multiply during face-to-face meetings (Duffy and McEuen, 2010). Effective collaborations require understanding the nuances of collaborators—nuances that cannot be perceived virtually. Physically gathering people with different backgrounds and expertise may be difficult on a regular basis, but large conferences allow for this to happen.

    Suggestions that a number of regional meetings could replace global meetings, providing the same face-to-face benefits while reducing travel-associated carbon emissions (Smythe, 2010), may well be appropriate in some cases. However, history has shown that regional conferences provide a different face-to-face knowledge sharing experience to global meetings, capture few non-regional issues, and lack the scope to address global problems like those typical of marine conservation (Craggs and Mahony, 2014). For large-scale environmental efforts to be successful, multidisciplinary endeavors and collaborations across regions are crucial.

    Recent thinking associated with delegate carbon footprints is, anyway, beginning to ask whether groups like scientists are becoming a bit over-pious with refusals to travel. Calls, have instead been made for individuals and groups to perform a “net-benefit test” when making travel decisions (Favaro, 2017). In the case of attending an IMCC, this would mean them asking, “Is there a reasonable chance that by attending this conference I will be able to produce, directly or indirectly, a net benefit for conservation?” (Dr. Brett Favaro, personal communication). If their non-attendance is impeding career-advancing opportunities and important knowledge sharing, they may be slowing the development and advance of the marine conservation discipline to the detriment of ocean health. Accepted norms for scientists should allow the most effective pursuit of goals, such as those for marine conservation. IMCC organizers have already implemented the net-benefit approach by reforming their organizing approach to reduce carbon emissions, running in-situ applied workshops to improve conservation practitioners’ skills, integrating outreach activities in the conference host city (e.g., beach cleanups, marine education activities) as part of the official conference program, and through advancing conservation initiatives as part of scientific sessions. Although conference travel can have negative environmental impacts, the environmental benefits achieved by increased conference participation surely outweigh the travel factor.

    Moreover, conference organizers can take steps to reduce their environmental impacts by picking a venue that uses sustainable practices (Draper et al., 2011Parsons, 2015). Other ways in which the impacts of delegate travel can be offset or minimized include (Parsons, 2015):

    • Trying to reuse, reduce, and recycle as much as possible—give delegates travel mugs and distribute water stations and recycling bins throughout the venue.

    • Ensuring that food and drink are from as sustainable a source as possible (vegan and local options are best, but if not possible, then vegetarian and local options should be used).

    • Having the program online (available to download as a.pdf or an online app). Have delegates order hard copies of programs in advance, to minimize printing costs and paper wastage.

    • As noted above, having a carbon offset charge for the entire conference included as part of the conference budget (“opt in” carbon offset structures have a low rate of enrollment, i.e., <10%).

    • Conference organizers and delegates uniformly applying the net-benefit test described in this section.

    Finally, when hosting a conservation/environmental conference, organizers can make the most of having a large congregation of international conservation/environmental experts—recruit volunteers from attendees to participate in beach clean-ups, tree plantings, and similar activities; host advisory meetings and capacity building/training workshops with local grassroots environmental groups; do educational visits to local schools, hospitals, and colleges (Parsons, 2015). The educational and practical, real world benefits provided by a conference delegate might have a major and long lasting benefit to the local host community and their environment.

    Impact of Corona virus on Education in India

    Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Education

    Coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted various sectors in India including oil and gas, automobiles, aviation, agriculture, retail, etc. We can’t ignore that hardly a sector would remain unaffected by the crisis. The impact may be more or less. Same is with the education sector in India. Let us find out the impact of coronavirus on education in India with some possible solutions.

    As we know that due to coronavirus pandemic the state governments across the country temporarily started shutting down schools and colleges. As per the present situation, there is an uncertainty when schools and colleges will reopen. No doubt, this is the crucial time for education sector because entrance tests of several universities and competitive examinations are held during this period. Along with them how can we forget about board examinations, nursery school admissions, etc?

    The immediate solution of coronavirus is necessary or if like these days pass then closure of schools and colleges does not even have short term impact in India but can even cause far-reaching economic and societal consequences. Let us tell you that due to the closedown of educational institutes it is estimated to affect around 600 million learners across the world. Remember here we are talking about the school going students.

    First, let us see what all educational institutions are doing to fight against COVID-19.

    Measures taken by the educational institutes are as follows:

    – Closed schools

    – Postponed or rescheduled the examinations

    – Cleaning and sanitisation of premises.

    – Consideration of long term uncertainty etc.

    What is the impact of coronavirus on gold prices in India?

    Education sector: Impact and concern during COVID-19

    – As discussed above, all major entrance examinations are postponed including engineering, medical, law, agriculture, fashion and designing courses, etc. This situation can be a ringing alarming bell mainly in private sector universities. Maybe some faculties and employees may face salary cuts, bonuses and increments can also be postponed.

    – The lockdown has generated uncertainty over the exam cycle. May be universities may face impact in terms of a slowdown in student internships and placements, lower fee collection that can create hurdles in managing the working capital.

    – Another major concern is that it can affect the paying capacity of several people in the private sector, which is catering to a sizeable section of the students in the country.

    – Student counselling operations are also affected.

    – Several institutions may pause faculty hiring plans for existing vacancies which in turn affect quality and excellence.

    – Structure of schooling and learning includes teaching and assessment methodologies and due to closure, it will be affected.

    – Technology may play an important role in the lockdown period like study from home and work from home. In India, some private schools could adopt online teaching methods. Low-income private and government school may not be able to adopt online teaching methods. And as a result, there will be completely shut down due to no access to e-learning solutions. In addition to the opportunities for learning, students will also miss their meals and may result in economic and social stress.

    – Higher education sectors are also disrupted which again pave an impact on the country’s economic future. Various students from India took admissions in abroad like the US, UK, Australia, China etc. And these countries are badly affected due to COVID-19. Maybe there is a possibility that students will not take admissions there in future and if the situation persists, in the long run then there will be a decline in the demand for international higher education also. Isn’t it!

    – Another major concern is employment. Students those have completed their graduation may have fear in their minds of withdrawal of job offers from the corporate sector due to the current situation. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s estimates unemployment shortage from 8.4% in mid-March to 23% in early April. In the urban unemployment rate is 30.9%.

    We can’t ignore that technology plays a crucial role in the educational system and the demand for the current situation is this only.

    Possible alternatives or solutions for interrupted education during COVID-19

    – With the help of power supply, digital skills of teachers and students, internet connectivity it is necessary to explore digital learning, high and low technology solutions, etc.

    – Students those are coming from low-income groups or presence of disability, etc. distance learning programs can be included.

    – To provide support for digitalisation to teachers and students.

    – The necessity to explore digital learning platforms.

    – Measures should be taken to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on job offers, internship programs, and research projects.

    – EDtech reform at the national level that is an integration of technology in the present Indian education system.

    We can’t ignore that at this time of crisis effective educational practice is needed for the capacity-building of young minds. Central Government and State need to take some measures to ensure the overall progress in the country. Time never wait, this tough time will also pass. Till then stay safe, stay at home!

    A School Education

    Ashoka Changemaker Schools | Ashoka | Everyone a Changemaker

    school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country (discussed in the Regional section below) but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is commonly called a university college or university, but these higher education institutions are usually not compulsory.

    In addition to these core schools, students in a given country may also attend schools before and after primary (Elementary in the US) and secondary (Middle school in the US) education. Kindergarten or preschool provide some schooling to very young children (typically ages 3–5). Universityvocational schoolcollege or seminary may be available after secondary school. A school may be dedicated to one particular field, such as a school of economics or a school of dance. Alternative schools may provide nontraditional curriculum and methods.

    Non-government schools, called also known as private schools may be required when the government does not supply adequate, or specific educational needs. Other private schools can also be religious, such as Christian schoolsmadrasahawzas (Shi’a schools), yeshivas (Jewish schools), and others; or schools that have a higher standard of education or seek to foster other personal achievements. Schools for adults include institutions of corporate trainingmilitary education and training and business schools.

    In home schooling and online schools, teaching and learning take place outside a traditional school building. Schools are commonly organized in several different organizational models, including departmental, small learning communities, academies, integrated, and schools-within-a-school.

    History and development

    The concept of grouping students together in a centralized location for learning has existed since Classical antiquity. Formal schools have existed at least since ancient Greece (see Academy), ancient Rome (see Education in Ancient Rome) ancient India (see Gurukul), and ancient China (see History of education in China). The Byzantine Empire had an established schooling system beginning at the primary level. According to Traditions and Encounters, the founding of the primary education system began in 425 AD and “… military personnel usually had at least a primary education …”. The sometimes efficient and often large government of the Empire meant that educated citizens were a must. Although Byzantium lost much of the grandeur of Roman culture and extravagance in the process of surviving, the Empire emphasized efficiency in its war manuals. The Byzantine education system continued until the empire’s collapse in 1453 AD.

    In Western Europe a considerable number of cathedral schools were founded during the Early Middle Ages in order to teach future clergy and administrators, with the oldest still existing, and continuously operated, cathedral schools being The King’s School, Canterbury (established 597 CE), King’s School, Rochester (established 604 CE), St Peter’s School, York (established 627 CE) and Thetford Grammar School (established 631 CE). Beginning in the 5th century CE monastic schools were also established throughout Western Europe, teaching both religious and secular subjects.

    Starting a school

    The Toronto District School Board is an example of a school board that allows parents to design and propose new schools.

    When designing a school, factors that need to be decided include:

    • Goals: What is the purpose of education, and what is the school’s role?
    • Governance: Who will make which decisions?
    • Parent involvement: In which ways are parents welcome at the school?
    • Student body: Will it be, for example, a neighbourhood school or a specialty school?
    • Student conduct: What behaviour is acceptable, and what happens when behaviour is inappropriate?
    • Curriculum: What will be the curriculum model, and who will decide on curricula?

    Education facilities in low-income countries

    In low-income countries, only 32% of primary, 43% of lower secondary and 52% of upper secondary schools have access to electricity. This affects access to the internet, which is just 37% in upper secondary schools in low-income countries, as compared to 59% in those in middle-income countries and 93% in those in high-income countries.

    Access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene is also far from universal. Among upper secondary schools, only 53% in low-income countries and 84% in middle-income countries have access to basic drinking water. Access to water and sanitation is universal in high-income countries.

    Security

    To curtail violence, some schools have added CCTV surveillance cameras. This is especially common in schools with gang activity or violence.

    The safety of staff and students is increasingly becoming an issue for school communities, an issue most schools are addressing through improved security. Some have also taken measures such as installing metal detectors or video surveillance. Others have even taken measures such as having the children swipe identification cards as they board the school bus. For some schools, these plans have included the use of door numbering to aid public safety response.

    Other security concerns faced by schools include bomb threats, gangs, and vandalism.

    Online schools and classes

    Some schools offer remote access to their classes over the Internet. Online schools also can provide support to traditional schools, as in the case of the School Net Namibia. Some online classes also provide experience in a class, so that when people take them, they have already been introduced to the subject and know what to expect, and even more classes provide High School/College credit allowing people to take the classes at their own pace. Many online classes cost money to take but some are offered free.

    Internet-based distance learning programs are offered widely through many universities. Instructors teach through online activities and assignments. Online classes are taught the same as physically being in class with the same curriculum. The instructor offers the syllabus with their fixed requirements like any other class. Students can virtually turn their assignments in to their instructors according to deadlines. This being through via email or in the course webpage. This allowing students to work at their own pace, yet meeting the correct deadline. Students taking an online class have more flexibility in their schedules to take their classes at a time that works best for them. Conflicts with taking an online class may include not being face to face with the instructor when learning or being in an environment with other students. Online classes can also make understanding the content difficult, especially when not able to get in quick contact with the instructor. Online students do have the advantage of using other online sources with assignments or exams for that specific class. Online classes also have the advantage of students not needing to leave their house for a morning class or worrying about their attendance for that class. Students can work at their own pace to learn and achieve within that curriculum.

    The convenience of learning at home has been a major attractive point for enrolling online. Students can attend class anywhere a computer can go – at home, a library or while traveling internationally. Online school classes are designed to fit your needs, while allowing you to continue working and tending to your other obligations. Online school education is divided into three subcategories: Online Elementary School, Online Middle School, Online High school.

    Stress

    As a profession, teaching has levels of work-related stress (WRS) that are among the highest of any profession in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. The degree of this problem is becoming increasingly recognized and support systems are being put into place.

    Stress sometimes affects students more severely than teachers, up to the point where the students are prescribed stress medication. This stress is claimed to be related to standardized testing, and the pressure on students to score above average.

    According to a 2008 mental health study by the Associated Press and mtvU. eight in 10 college students said they had sometimes or frequently experienced stress in their daily lives. This was an increase of 20% from a survey five years previously. 34 percent had felt depressed at some point in the past three months, 13 percent had been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder or depression, and 9 percent had seriously considered suicide.

    Discipline towards students

    Schools and their teachers have always been under pressure – for instance, pressure to cover the curriculum, to perform well in comparison to other schools, and to avoid the stigma of being “soft” or “spoiling” toward students. Forms of discipline, such as control over when students may speak, and normalized behaviour, such as raising a hand to speak, are imposed in the name of greater efficiency. Practitioners of critical pedagogy maintain that such disciplinary measures have no positive effect on student learning. Indeed, some argue that disciplinary practices detract from learning, saying that they undermine students’ individual dignity and sense of self-worth – the latter occupying a more primary role in students’ hierarchy of needs.

    Strategies of Effective Interviewing

    • The proper kind of preparation for the interview.
    • Value of such procedures as having an outline of points to be covered and taking notes.
    • Use (and misuse) of questions and questioning techniques.
    • The kind and amount of control that the interviewer should exercise over the discussion.
    • Analysis and evaluation of information obtained.
    Common interview questions and answers

    Planning & Preparation

    In presenting information, a speaker allocates blocks of time to various items on his agenda. If no time limit is established, the presentation can continue indefinitely. Even worse, the truly important information may never be told. This process takes place by dint of the normal human trait of retaining the most significant bits of information for the end. Psychiatrists recognize this and are particularly attentive in the last ten minutes of the therapy session. Borrowing from this insight, the interviewer, although not able to set an hourly cycle as does the psychiatrist, should try discreetly to indicate a time scale. This allows the interviewee to plan and to include relevant information which otherwise might be withheld. If the interview is terminated too abruptly, the probability of losing valuable information is very high.

    Guiding the conversation

    Support given by nodding is most effective. Other nonverbal means of rendering assistance are equally significant. The use of semiverbal expressions of a meaningless nature—for instance, “Umm…”—can prove most useful. Because such utterances provide no direct interpretation, they are received as the interviewee wants to receive them. He then emphasizes or magnifies the point as he sees fit.

    A succinct summary of information from time to time not only allows for clarity in the communication process but also gives the informant a mirror of just what has occurred. Alterations can be made easily by the interviewee once he hears what he has said. In the final stage, a precise statement of what was agreed on or of the general conclusions reached often allows for a reduction of confusion.

    When details or figures have been discussed, the summary can often be in the form of a written memorandum. If the interviewer wants to be sure of what the interviewee communicated or to check on whether the interviewee really understood the data discussed, he can ask him to write the memorandum.

    Developing Information

    In a research project that concentrated on questioning techniques, I analyzed the recordings of about 100 interviews held for the purpose of selecting job applicants, appraising executive performance, or counseling employees in their careers. One of the conclusions from this study is this: successful interviewers (as evaluated by information obtained) utilize at the outset of the interview a pattern of broad, general questions. Apparently this allows the respondent to answer with information which he feels is important, as well as providing him the opportunity to expand into areas that he deems to be of vital concern. Once this information is released, the interviewer can sharpen the focus with specific questions eliciting short answers. For example, the “yes or no” kind of question should be reserved for the final exploration of a subject, while queries such as “How do you feel about working with Joe Smith’s group?” might well obtain results most useful at the beginning of a particular subject.

    Fear of silence

    During these periods of silence, the interviewer may profitably spend his time pondering the question: “What is he really trying to tell me?” Often the content of the interview makes an incomplete story when analyzed later on. Not only may the words fall far short of the desired goal, but also they may convey misunderstandings. Allowances for the ever-present failures in semantics must constantly be made, and further interrogation conducted, in order that a clear approximation of the true meaning be obtained.

    Art of listening

    The often posed maxim to the effect that we hear what we wish to hear does not appear at first glance to be a profound statement. Yet it summarizes the mechanics that lie behind poor listening techniques. Individual biases and attitudes as well as role perceptions and stereotyping all contribute to the phenomenon of selective perception. Thus, in order to obtain the best possible information, it is necessary that one be aware of his own particular filters that tend to impede if not prevent clear and relatively undistorted reception of information.

    One result is that he makes assumptions about the respondent and his information that are compatible not so much with the interviewee as with what the interviewer has already concluded about the interviewee. Suffice it to say that it is altogether more rewarding to spend this extra time in formulating hypotheses, which later can be confirmed or denied as more information is revealed, or in constructing a frame of reference for the on-going interview, which allows acquired information to be categorized easily as it is given.

    Analyzing data

    The information that is gathered should be approached and analyzed from two points of reference: the objective and the subjective.

    Objective View.

    The objective category can be broken down into content and form:

    1. Content—This term refers, of course, to the factual presentation—what is actually being said and whether or not it is reliable. The overview of the interview or the pattern of the total situation must be firmly grasped and then noted. In addition, it would seem that the following items are valuable in evaluating information—

    • A response that is overwhelmingly conventional is likely to be suspect, owing to the great possibility of its being less than valid. For instance, in an employment interview, the response, “My boss didn’t like me,” is suspect as a cliché. Similarly, the response, “I quit that job because the pay was too low,” could be merely a platitude to satisfy the interviewer.
    • If the respondent is impervious to interruption during the interview, then a measure of doubt is cast as to the kind of information the interviewee is relating. Such behavior generally indicates a need to cover all points in a predetermined pattern with such compulsion that, if the interviewee were interrupted, he would never be able to reassemble all the parts. Weaknesses in the “pseudo armor” should be investigated.
    • A constant shifting of the subject or an extremely short attention span often denotes a degree of suspicion.
    • Should gaps or illogical sequences be prevalent, care should be exercised to augment or to complete the lapses. The voids should be completed by direct interrogation, preferably later in the interview, to check continuity and to arouse a minimum of suspicion by the informant. Later validation by telephone may help with these questions.
    • Conflicting times or facts as well as gaps or illogical sequences may indicate areas for careful attention or further penetration.
    • Useful visual barometers of an unduly high anxiety level are such things as—

    a. color of face

    b. erratic body movements

    c. varying eye contact

    d. dryness of the mouth

    e. pitch of the voice

    f. excessive perspiration

    2. Form—By form I mean the “how, when, and why” of the information. Words take on different meanings when differentiated along these lines. Form can be subdivided into verbal (what is heard) and into nonverbal (what is observed) content. Nonverbal expressions are perhaps the purest kind of information transmitted, since they are the most difficult to mask or disguise. By developing an awareness of and a sensitivity to such signals as when a certain fact was mentioned, what prompted the mention, how it was presented, and so forth, the skilled interviewer takes a most useful if not an essential step. Indeed, this awareness might well be extended to include the nonverbal transmissions of the interviewer himself.

    Subjective View.

    In evaluating information from a subjective point of view, the interviewer is attempting primarily to assess feelings and attitudes. It is often argued that these intangibles have no obvious place in an interview that takes place in a business environment. Yet, even though it is impossible to determine exactly how feelings and attitudes do influence the information transmitted, it is nonetheless crucially necessary that one be fully aware of the fact that these intangibles are powerful, active agents in creating opinions.

    Concluding the meeting

    The final 10% of the interview is perhaps the most important, since the greatest amount of information per unit of time is generally exchanged during this time interval. In a series of taped interviews involving appliance sales and sales in which travel arrangements were a factor, it was found that the sales person often did not hear vital information offered toward the end of the interview or after the sale. This overlooked information brought about frequent misinterpretations, which, in turn, accounted for many later cancellations and unsettled complaints. All of this could have been avoided if a moderate amount of attention had been exercised so as to prevent a premature termination of the interview.

    Part of the conclusion usually consists of a plan of action—something to be done or achieved by either or both parties. A clear, concise summary of this plan, as mentioned earlier, is a most useful technique for achieving good results. The summary is helpful to both parties because it enables them to realize exactly what has been accomplished as well as to focus on a final concordance.

    Importance’s of Examination

    Examinations – vardhaman

    Exams are the way to test our knowledge. Without conducting the exams and test students don’t concentrate in their studies and learn their lessons properly. Exams are necessary in schools and colleges to find out the real skills, talents and knowledge of the students.

    All students are studying their lesson properly to get good marks in the test and exams, each and every student is interested in getting good marks in the exam and study hard to achieve it, without exam there is no chance to express about our knowledge, skills as well as our studying activity.

    Exams are the way to test our knowledge. Without conducting the exams and test students don’t concentrate in their studies and learn their lessons properly. Exams are necessary in schools and colleges to find out the real skills, talents and knowledge of the students.

    All students are studying their lesson properly to get good marks in the test and exams, each and every student is interested in getting good marks in the exam and study hard to achieve it, without exam there is no chance to express about our knowledge, skills as well as our studying activity.

    Some people may thought that exams are not necessary for school and college students, but this kind of attitude is wrong. Without exams students will be tension free, they don’t concentrate in their studies and lessons. Some students don’t go to the school or college, if the examination system is cancelled from school/college.

    Students will get motivation towards their studies to achieve in their examination.
    In this ways exams are very important for the studies, every person wish to get highest mark in the class and study hard to achieve their dream. This kind of attitude gives competition among the students and they study hard for achieving a good result in exam.

    Exam is the way to express our real knowledge and ability in the written form.

    Exams teach us lot of things and give training to various things like punctuality, writing skills, timing sense, expressing our thoughts and opinions and so on. Without exam it is very hard to find out the real knowledge of an individual student as well as students will lost their motivation with their studies. With this examination method, students will get fear about their exams and study their lessons properly to increase their knowledge as well as getting highest marks in their class. 

    Exams are very important. Many students are studying because exams. Through exam, students can know their knowledge. It evaluates student’s skills and enables them to overcome their nerves. It is an efficient way to measure the knowledge. And also helps to measure how much they have learned. Actually it promotes competition among students. It helps in developing one’s personality and confidence. And exams have the major role in providing necessary qualities in life such as hard work, patience, creativeness and leadership. Thismakes them able to overcome their weakness in order to be successful in life. Therefore exams should be compulsory. It judges us how much we have understood and how much we are capable. It also helps to improve the memory power of a person. It allows the students to convey their understandings. It not only helps to polish the writing skills, but also helps one to improve their analytic skills and expand the outlook they have on the world. Hence an exam should be a tool of improving ones career. It helps us to think for ourselves. Hence these it is necessary to take exams.

    Exams are an important part in our education. It is the way by which our knowledge is tested. If exams and tests are not conducted in schools and colleges, then the students may not learn the lessons properly on time and will lose their concentration in studies.

    Exams ensures that the students are learning their lessons time to time properly. Also, examinations builds up competition among the students. Everyone will want to score high ranks in the examination. This will lead the students to study more.

    Without examinations, students will not concentrate in their lessons. So, conducting examinations are very necessary.

    The world Examination is noun of the word ‘examine’. It means to test in order to verify, to judge and to certify, certain facts. Examination is a very wide word, which is used in all spheres of life. The learned examiner does not want that sense of examination to be discussed. He has in his mind the University Examination and he wants to know whether the institution of Examination should continue or should be abolished.

    Some persons are of opinion that examination is not the sure test of the ability of a candidate. The present examina­tion system is based on cramming and to pass the examina­tion has become more a matter of chance than that of abil­ity. Again, the present system of examination promotes other evils such as copying and even corruption.

    The violent acci­dents in the examination halls strengthen this claim. Even today we are told that a third-year student in one of the centers in Delhi gave a sound beating to an invigilator who objected that the candidate should not copy. The pity of the incident is that a police constable was in league with that candidate and he brought the material for him to be copied. Again, how can, the ability of a student be checked by a few questions? The answer to it is certainly in the negative. Thus, there is a strong case that it should be abolished.

    There are others who think that examination is a must. How can we do without an examination? Life in itself is a big examination. At every footstep we have to face certain tests. The success is always marked with dignity and honor in all the examinations of life. Examinations add to our abil­ity, power of toleration, perseverance and other good quali­ties. They think that examination is not only necessary but it is also a blessing.

    Everybody has been afraid of examinations. Even Lord Christ once uttered, “May God not put anybody to test”. Teachers, students, examiners and examinees, all think that examination is a curse, a horror and a terror. Most of the mental diseases among the students are the outcome of the examination and cramming.

    Inspite of all this, there must be something to mark the standards and to judge the ability of the candidates. The students are being led astray. They only study because they fear examinations. If this institution is abolished, it is certain they will not study even a word.

    Thus, we must assume that the system of examination should not be abolished, but it should be reformed so that it should be of a great advantage both to the student community and the society. The examination is an evil but it is necessary, therefore, it cannot be abolished. We cannot do without examinations, but the system needs a total reform. We should not follow the old orthodox methods, but the scientific change should be brought in the system of examinations.

    Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

    Country's biggest examination center to come up in Patna with ...

    Examinations are important but increase the stress level of students, this is further compounded by parental and teachers expectations.  Examinations are a necessary evil, with Examination fever, being a reality.  Examinations confine teachers and students to the syllabus defined at the beginning of the year.

    Teachers are under compulsion to complete the same timely and for students the syllabus is the goal for doing well in the examination. They determine whether a student is fit for promotion to the next class or not.

    Students are thus under a lot of stress to perform well in examinations.

    Stress increases because of parental expectations, too. Every parent wants his child to be the best and ignores the fact that each child is born with different abilities. Some students with high intelligence are able to comprehend and remember things faster than those whose level of intelligence is less. But parents and teachers fail to accept this and put a lot of pressure on the child to be at the top of the class.

    The tendency to compare one’s child with the children of relatives, friends, and neighbors also adds to this pressure.Close to examinations, most children are stressed out as they are trying to meet the aspirations of their parents and teachers.

    The fear of failure and poor performance gives them nightmares. They are afraid of the wrath of their parents and humiliation which they may have to face if performance is not up to the mark. Failure has become a social stigma for students and parents, alike.

    It would not be wrong to say that examinations are a hurdy in making a child actualize his true potential. They are rightly denounced as a system which encourages only rote memory and are not a true test of ones knowledge, potential and ability.

    A child, who may be good in music, may not be able to devote enough time to excel in it as he is always under the pressure of studying so that he can perform well in the examination; the result is that talent is nipped in the bud.

    The examination is a part of excelling in the academic process. It is the way which helps in the evaluation and assessment of the students’ progression. It brings along with it stress, anxiety, and fear in the students. The major reason for the stress of the examination is because of the notion that attaining good marks is the only way to judge the students. In order to beat the stress of the examination, the student needs to be prepared for it from beforehand. The student must take the examination as a process of evaluating himself and not as a burden.

    In recent weeks, students across high school and university classrooms have been breathing sighs of relief. Exams are officially over, and celebrations have begun.

    For many students, exams seem a necessary evil. Time-consuming yet inevitable. But are exams really necessary? And are they evil?

    In 2011, Macquarie University was the first Australian university to debate the abolition of exams. No exams in any subject, at any year level. At the time it was suggested that exams fail to develop “questioning, self sufficient learners”. Critics also often argue that exams promote a superficial understanding of topics, and that they are inauthentic: that is, they fail to represent the kinds of things students will be asked to do “in the real world”.

    However, this is taking a narrow view of the benefits of exams. Exams include many of the aspects we want from assessment.

    What do we want from assessment?

    Good assessment programs aim to provide a balanced, fair evaluation of each student. They achieve this in two ways. First, they use of a variety of strategies and tasks. This gives students multiple opportunities, in varying contexts, to demonstrate what they know and can do. It also enables teachers to be confident in the accuracy of their judgements about each student.

    Second, tasks must be “fit for purpose”. Assuming a subject has a number of goals (knowledge to learn, skills to acquire), each task should be appropriate to the specific goal or goals it is assessing. This means that a task assessing base knowledge will look different to one assessing creativity.

    Rather than abolishing exams, we should instead be asking what mix of assessment tasks is most appropriate for each subject. Where might exams fit? And what are their benefits?

    Exams focus on breadth

    In most disciplines, there are specific bodies of knowledge that students are expected to learn. Physics students might learn about thermodynamics, while history students might learn about the cold war. Exams enable us to accurately test students’ breadth of understanding of these topics.

    Critics of exams often instead promote “deep”, “rich”, and “authentic” assessment tasks. These are typically project-based tasks that draw on students’ creativity and interest. For example, history students might be asked to choose and research a historical character in depth. Business studies students might be asked to design the pitch for a new business seeking venture capital.

    These tasks develop several important higher-order thinking skills, such as analysis and decision-making. However, they’re not alternatives to exams. They do different things. And this is exactly what we want: multiple, different tasks to maximise students’ opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do.

    We also want fit-for-purpose. Where breadth of knowledge is important, we want assessment tasks that target this breadth. We want our future doctors to know of the entire human body. We want our future teachers to know a full repertoire of teaching and learning approaches. Exams can help achieve this.

    Exams are harder to cheat on

    Exams are also useful for a very different reason: they are harder than essays to cheat on. In light of the recent “MyMaster” ghost-writing scandal, it is clear that plagiarism is a serious problem for universities.

    Drawing on our characteristics of good assessment, it is impossible to provide a balanced, fair evaluation of a student’s performance if the student has paid someone else to complete their work for them.

    Are we being defeatist in suggesting exams as a solution to plagiarism? Perhaps. We would like our schools and universities to be about discovery and exploration: not compliance. To date, however, essay mills have consistently remained one step ahead of academia.

    While creative tasks may be one alternative solution, ghostwriter Dave Tomar writes in his book, The Shadow Scholar, that all sorts of tasks are ghost-written. More difficult tasks simply cost more. Tasks that cannot be purchased or copy-and-pasted must be integrated into the mix.

    Exams do enhance learning

    Finally, and on a more positive note, there is evidence that both studying for and sitting exams deepens learning.

    Studying is like exercising. When one exercises, the muscles in use grow stronger. Likewise, the process of searching through ones memory and retrieving the relevant information strengthens that memory pathway for future uses. This means that when newly qualified teachers, doctors, lawyers, or accountants come to retrieve information they need, it is – as a consequence of having been practised previously – now easier to access.

    So, how can we best make use of this “practice effect” for memory? Research tells us that learning is particularly strong when students self-test. Rather than passively reading and remembering by rote, we want our students to study by forming appropriate questions, searching memory for relevant responses, and knitting this information together into an appropriate answer.

    We think this third benefit of exams is the most exciting. Exams don’t just provide a targeted, fit-for-purpose opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know: they also have the power to enhance what students know.

    A Guide to Your First Week on the Job

    walking person

    You walk through the revolving door of the lobby toward the elevator, soaking in your surroundings—there’s not a familiar face in the building. You straighten out your suit, press #12, and take a deep breath: Once those doors re-open, your first week of work will officially begin.

    Whether it’s your first position or your fifth, those first few days on the job can be more than a little intimidating. But with these key rules, you can get comfortable in your new surroundings, get up to speed quickly, and get off on the right foot with your new boss and co-workers

    Do: Be a Sponge

    One of your most important duties your first week is absorbing everything. Getting to know your company’s culture, the working and communication styles of your teammates, the problem projects, office politics, and department or company-wide goals means that you’ll be able to start your real work sooner (and be more effective when you do).

    So, go to the new hire orientation, sign up for professional development classes, and attend all the team and office meetings you can, even if you’re not yet sure what’s going on or they don’t 100% pertain to your work.

    Also join in on the informal events. If you get asked to lunch, happy hour, or the office softball league(either as a participant or onlooker), say yes. It’s a great way to meet people, and it shows that you’re excited to be part of the team.

    Don’t: Overcommit Yourself

    Do be careful, though, to balance your schedule—you want to have plenty of time to learn the ropes from your desk. The last thing you want is to look like you have too much to juggle, seem overwhelmed, or show up late to a commitment because you’re stuck somewhere else.

    Do: Ask Questions

    As you learn about new processes, projects, and people, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You need to get up to speed, and people will expect it from the new person on the team. Also take down detailed notes about everything you learn, even if it seems simple. Your brain is going to be on overload this week, and writing everything down will make sure you don’t have to ask the same question twice.

    Don’t: Be Afraid to Speak Up

    At the same time, don’t be afraid to contribute and add value—you do want to reinforce that you’re the right person for the job! No, you won’t know everything (nor should you act like you do!), but you can make suggestions in team meetings or brainstorming sessions, or ask questions like, “Has this been tried before?” And if you have a skill or ability that you’ve been hired to bring to the team, pipe up and share that knowledge. But be careful to read your audience. You don’t want to come on like gangbusters or step on someone’s toes.

    Do: Offer to Help

    There may be some down time during your first few days on the job as your boss and team adjust to having you there. But don’t sit around waiting for others to figure out tasks for you—volunteer to help your new teammates on a project. You’ll show initiative, you’ll build rapport with your boss and co-workers, and you’ll learn about expectations, procedures, and how things are done.

    Don’t: Turn Down Help or Advice

    If your boss or co-workers give you advice or offer to help you with a task or project, take them up on it—yes, even if you’re totally capable of handling things yourself. It’s a great way to bond with your office mates, plus you may get valuable insight into the company’s expectations or a more efficient way to do the work you’ll be given.

    Do: Find a Mentor

    It never hurts to have an experienced, knowledgeable, successful professional to bounce ideas off of and be groomed by, but it’s especially useful when you’re the newbie. Look around. Who are the stars of the organization—the ones who radiate likability, confidence, and initiative? Introduce yourself, and pick their brains.

    Don’t: Rely Only on Your New Mentor

    Undoubtedly, the people who make you feel most comfortable will become your go-tos as you navigate your first week. But remember the time it takes for people to help you out is time being taken away from their own tasks. Be sensitive to this by trying to figure things out for yourself first, asking a variety of people when you do have questions, and showing appreciation for everyone who helps you out.

    Do: Keep Your Boss Informed

    Throughout the week, ask for periodic meetings with your boss (instead of popping in her office for every question you have!). In addition to getting her direction on projects and tasks, you should use this time to update her on what you’re learning and who you’re meeting with.

    Ask questions like “Are there additional tasks I should be taking on or skills I should be learning?” and “Can you give me feedback on the project I just completed?” to show initiative, but also do a lot of listening, too. Your boss’ feedback and insight is going to be one of your greatest resources at this point—after all, you’re going to be spending the next weeks, months, and maybe even years working for her, and learning how she thinks early on will serve you well.

    Don’t: Compare Everything to Your Last Job

    Surely you could rattle off things you loved (or loathed) about your last job and how this position compares—but don’t! You want to give yourself every opportunity to shine, and that means keeping your initial first week impressions to yourself. You’re in a new place, and this is a new opportunity, so embrace it and move forward!

    Covid-19 lockdown: How the pandemic bringing change in Indian education system

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    The Covid- 19 pandemic has sparked a global realization that our current way of life does not work. It has broken our perception of what is normal and deconstructed society as we know it.One such critical area, where the need for change has become evident, is education. The effects of the coronavirus and thereby its preventive measures, has upended the life of students, parents and teachers.The clear disruption in the ‘normal’ functioning of education has placed an emphasis on many questions, which were previously asked and subsequently left unanswered. So, what could the current effects of this global pandemic mean for the future of education?

    Factors affecting the evolution of the education system:

    To answer these questions, which pertain to modernization and efficiency, a lot of factors must be considered. Given the period we’ve spent in lockdown and the observations of our abrupt transition to online learning, we’ve found the time to think and the direction in which we must apply our efforts.We’ve not only been given a chance to rethink the education sector, but also the opportunity to visualize how it can evolve in tandem with our changing world.

    This possible scope for the evolution of schools, post coronavirus:

    *A change in the purpose of learning

    The course of learning and the way curriculums are taught may change. Aspects that were once considered fundamental to education may be revised to largely accommodate life skills of the future.Not just careers, but residents of the future as well will require skills like resilience, adaptability, collaboration, communication, empathy, creativity and emotional intelligence. Learning in schools will have a new purpose, and it will be a major deviation from the information-focused education of today.

    *The utilization of innovative methods of education

    Aside from the disruption faced due to the novel coronavirus, education in our developing world has experienced some major changes. Yet, even in the face of rapid innovation, we have yet to shift the way in which we impart education. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge, but it doesn’t have to solely occur through age-old methods that do not utilize the highest potential of the brain. Instead of being taught, can students be given an experience that influences their learning? Approaches like integrated learning and experiential learning, with greater implementation of technology, will power the future the education in schools.

    *A tighter relationship with technology

    In the face of a crippling pandemic, technology has emerged as a major lifesaver. Communication is a major key to our interconnected existence and technology is the driving force that maintains our connections. For education, that means creating content and delivery systems that harness and utilize technology to its fullest. Perhaps, education may become more flexible and accessible, relinquishing its over-reliance on rigid structures that we currently consider necessary. Additionally, the current generations of school students are generation Z and alpha. They are generations that are defined by their use of technology; it has become an extension of their consciousness and they do not know a world without it. The future of education will find no room to ignore the utilization of technology since it may very well be the best platform to empower learning in an age that is integrating technology as a way of life. These generations could influence the evolution of education, as they themselves are the ones majorly impacted by the pandemic and are in the best position to learn and grow from it.

    *A focus on bigger issues

    How will we ask students to go back to a way of life that compromises their physiological, emotional and mental health? Will we still ask students to get up to attend school at a time when their brains aren’t suitably active? Will we teach students about protecting the environment while asking them to sit in buses that move through traffic and leave a large carbon footprint? The world could require a different focus tomorrow than it does today. Perhaps, education post-Covid- 19 will embrace learnings from science and emphasize a greater focus on issues that endanger our health, society, life and earth. Covid-19 may have been the catalysis for a change that has been long pending. What we will witness in the aftermath of this global health crisis may very likely be the adoption of approaches that were sought in it. Perhaps, the world may never go back to what it was pre-pandemic. But we can count on it to adapt to the future, irrespective of what it contains.

    Measures taken by the educational institutes are as follows:-

    * Closed schools

    * Postponed or rescheduled the examinations

    * Cleaning and sanitisation of premises.

    * Consideration of long term uncertainty etc.

    Possible alternatives or solutions for interrupted education during COVID-19:

    * With the help of power supply, digital skills of teachers and students, internet connectivity it is necessary to explore digital learning, high and low technology solutions, etc.

    * Students those are coming from low-income groups or presence of disability, etc. distance learning programs can be included.

    * To provide support for digitalisation to teachers and students.

    * The necessity to explore digital learning platforms.

    * Measures should be taken to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on job offers, internship programs, and research projects.

    * EDtech reform at the national level that is an integration of technology in the present Indian education system.

    We can’t ignore that at this time of crisis effective educational practice is needed for the capacity-building of young minds.

    Central Government and State need to take some measures to ensure the overall progress in the country. Time never wait, this tough time will also pass. Till then stay safe, stay at home!

    Improving the quality of Education

    5 Ways Policy Makers Can Improve the Quality of Education:

    * Acknowledge and address overcrowding.

    *Make funding schools a priority.

    *Address the school-to-prison pipeline.

    *Raise standards for teachers.

    *Put classroom-running and curriculum-building decisions in the hands of the community.

    Increasing graduation rates and levels of educational attainment will accomplish little if students do not learn something of lasting value. Yet federal efforts over the last several years have focused much more on increasing the number of Americans who go to college than on improving the education they receive once they get there.By concentrating so heavily on graduation rates and attainment levels, policy makers are ignoring danger signs that the amount that students learn in college may have declined over the past few decades and could well continue to do so in the years to come. The reasons for concern include:College students today seem to be spending much less time on their course work than their predecessors did 50 years ago, and evidence of their abilities suggests that they are probably learning less than students once did and quite possibly less than their counterparts in many other advanced industrial countries.Employers complain that many graduates they hire are deficient in basic skills such as writing, problem solving and critical thinking that college leaders and their faculties consistently rank among the most important goals of an undergraduate education.Most of the millions of additional students needed to increase educational attainment levels will come to campus poorly prepared for college work, creating a danger that higher graduation rates will be achievable only by lowering academic standards.More than two-thirds of college instructors today are not on the tenure track but are lecturers serving on year-to-year contracts. Many of them are hired without undergoing the vetting commonly used in appointing tenure-track professors. Studies indicate that extensive use of such instructors may contribute to higher dropout rates and to grade inflation.States have made substantial cuts in support per student over the past 30 years for public colleges and community colleges. Research suggests that failing to increase appropriations to keep pace with enrollment growth tends to reduce learning and even lower graduation rates.While some college leaders are making serious efforts to improve the quality of teaching, many others seem content with their existing programs. Although they recognize the existence of problems affecting higher education as a whole, such as grade inflation or a decline in the rigor of academic standards, few seem to believe that these difficulties exist on their own campus, or they tend to attribute most of the difficulty to the poor preparation of students before they enroll.

    Some immediate improvements:

    Many colleges provide a formidable array of courses, majors and extracurricular opportunities, but firsthand accounts indicate that many undergraduates do not feel that the material conveyed in their readings and lectures has much relevance to their lives. Such sentiments suggest either that the courses do not in fact contribute much to the ultimate goals that colleges claim to value or that instructors are not taking sufficient care to explain the larger aims of their courses and why they should matter.Other studies suggest that many instructors do not teach their courses in ways best calculated to achieve the ends that faculties themselves consider important. For example, one investigator studied samples of the examinations given at elite liberal arts colleges and research universities. Although 99 percent of professors consider critical thinking an “essential” or “very important” goal of a college education, fewer than 20 percent of the exam questions actually tested for this skill.Now that most faculties have defined the learning objectives of their college and its various departments and programs, it should be possible to review recent examinations to determine whether individual professors, programs and departments are actually designing their courses to achieve those goals. College administrators could also modify their student evaluation forms to ask students whether they believe the stated goals were emphasized in the courses they took.In addition, the average time students devote to studying varies widely among different colleges, and many campuses could require more of their students. Those lacking evidence about the study habits of their undergraduates could inform themselves through confidential surveys that faculties could review and consider steps to encourage greater student effort and improve learning.The vast difference between how well seniors think they can perform and their actual proficiencies (according to tests of basic skills and employer evaluations) suggests that many colleges are failing to give students an adequate account of their progress. Grade inflation may also contribute to excessive confidence, suggesting a need to work to restore appropriate standards, although that alone is unlikely to solve the problem. Better feedback on student papers and exams will be even more important in order to give undergraduates a more accurate sense of how much progress they’ve made and what more they need to accomplish before they graduate.

    Education system in INDIA

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    I take this opportunity to present my votes of thanks to all those guidepost who really acted as lightening pillars to enlighten our way throughout this project that has led to successful and satisfactory completion of this study. I am highly thankful to Mr. Pankaj Jain for her active support, valuable time and advice, whole-hearted guidance, sincere cooperation and pains-taking involvement during the study and in completing the assignment of preparing the said paper within the time stipulated. Without the active participation of our teachers it would have been extremely difficult for me to prepare the project in a time bound framework.

    HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN INDIA

    Indian education history is very rich and motivating. In the ancient days, gurus and scholars impart education orally, but after the development of letters, it took the form of writing. Palm leaves and barks of trees were used for teaching, and this in turn helped in spreading of the written literature. Temples and community centres often took the role of school. When Buddhism spread in India, education become available to everyone and this was the time when some world famous educational institutions were established like Nalanda, Vikramshila and Takshashila. History has taken particular care to give Nalanda University, which flourished from the fifth to 13th century AD, full credit for its brilliance. This university had around 10,000 resident students and teachers on its roll at one time. These students included Chinese, Sri Lankan, Korean and other international scholars. It was in the 11th century that the Muslims recognized elementary and secondary schools. This led to the forming of few universities too at cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Allahabad. Medieval period saw excellent interaction between Indian and Islamic customs in all fields of knowledge like theology, religion, philosophy, fine arts, painting, architecture, arithmetic, medicine and astronomy. Later, when British arrived in India, English education came into being with the help of the European missionaries. Since then, Western education gained advances in the country. With hundreds of universities and thousands of colleges affiliated to them, India has positioned itself happily as a country that provides superiority higher education to its people in specific and to the world in general.

    PRESENT EDUCATION SYSTEM IN INDIA

    The present education system in India mainly comprises of-

    1. primary education,
    2. secondary education,
    3. senior secondary education and
    4. higher education

    Elementary education consists of eight years of education. Each of secondary and senior secondary education consists of two years of education. Higher education in India starts after passing the higher secondary education or the 12th standard. Depending on the stream(Arts,Commerce or Science). Doing graduation in India can take three to five years. Post graduate courses are generally of two to three years of duration. After completing post graduation, scope for doing research in various educational institutes also remains open. The growing receiving of distance learning courses and growth of the open university system is also causative a lot in the democratization of higher education in india.

    WORLD CLASS HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTES IN INDIA:

    There are quite a good number of educational institutes in India that can compete with the best educational institutes of the world and made India recognizable in the International Education. Some of them are as follows-

    Ø The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs),

    Ø Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs),

    Ø Indian Institutes of Science, National Law Schools,

    Ø Jawaharlal Nehru University are some such institutes.

    FACILITIES OF EDUCATION TO MARGINALIZED IN INDIA:

    As education is the means for bringing socio- economic transformation in a society, various measures are being taken to enhance the access of teaching to the marginalized sections of the society. One such measure is the introduction of the reservation system in the institutes of higher education. Under the present law:-

    (1) 7.5% seats in the higher educational institutes are reserved for the

    scheduled tribes,

    (2) 15% for scheduled castes and 27% for the non creamy layers of the

    Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

    PRESENT SCENARIO OF INDIAN EDUCATION :

    Soon after independence in 1947, making education available to all had become a priority for the government. As discrimination on the basis of caste and gender has been a major hurdle in the healthy development of the Indian society, it also restricted the educational development of the nation as a whole. The 86th constitutional amendment has also made elementary

    education a fundamental right for the children between the age group- 6 to 14. According to the 2001 census:-

    Ø The total literacy rate in India is 65.38% .

    Ø The female literacy rate is only 54.16%

    The gap between rural and urban literacy rate is also very significant in India. This is evident from the fact that only 59.4% of rural population are literate as against 80. 3% urban

    population according to the 2001 census

    PUBLIC PRIMARY EDUCATION IN INDIA- AN

    OVERVIEW:

    Early childhood education in India is subject to two extreme but contrary deficiencies. On the one hand, millions of young children in lower income groups, especially rural and girl children, comprising nearly 40% of first grade entrants never complete primary school. Even among those who do, poorly qualified teachers, very high student-teacher ratios, inadequate teaching materials and out- moded teaching methods result in a low quality of education that often imparts little or no real learning. It is not uncommon for students completing six years of primary schooling in village public schools to lack even rudimentary reading and writing skills.

    PRIVATE PRIMARY EDUCATION IN INDIA- AN OVERVIEW:

    Cildren attending urban schools, especially middle and upper class children in private schools, are subjected to extreme competitive pressures from a very early age to acquire basic language skills and memorize vast amounts of information in order to qualify for admission into the best schools. Parents and teachers exert intense pressure on young children to acquire academic skills at an age when children should be given freedom and encouraged to learn as a natural outcome of their curiosity, playfulness and eagerness to experiment. Necessary steps should be taken to avoid unnecessary pressure for childrens.

    GOVERNANCE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION:

    Schemes undertaken by the government:

    Ø State-wise Allocation of Central Government’s Share Made

    Ø Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in India (2006-2007)

    State-wise Amount Spent on Elementary Education from Component of Prambhik Shiksha Kosh in India (2006-2007 and 31.10.2007) State-wise Targets and Achievements under Sarva Shiksha Abhiayan (SSA) in India (2002-2007) Selected State-wise Number of Additional Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) Sanctioned in India (As on 01.02.2006)

    Funds Released to North Eastern States under CentrallySponsored Schemes for Operation Blackboard and Non Formal Education in India (1997-1998 to 2000-2001) Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources under Centrally Sponsored Schemes for Elementary Education for North Eastern States in India (1999-2000 and 2000-2001 Progress Recorded under Shiksha Karmi Project in India (upto september2001)

    Efforts are also being taken to improve the access to higher education among the women of India by setting up various ecational institutes exclusively for them or eserving seats in the already existing institutes.

    Development so far:-

    Under SSA,

    Ø 1.47 lakh primary schools have been opened across the country,

    Ø 1.23 lakh primary schools have been upgraded to have upper primary classes.

    Ø 9.86 lakh teachers have been recruited,

    Ø children are provided free textbooks,

    Ø teachers are provided periodic in-service training,

    Ø Mid-day meal is provided to all children in classes 1-8 in

    Ø Government and Government aided schools.

    GOVERNANCE OF SCHOOL EDUCATION

    The National Council Of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is the legal body for governing the curriculam matters for school education in India. The NCERT provides support and technical assistance to a number of schools in India and give guidance to many educational policies in India. Different Indian curriculam bodies governing school Education in India are as follows:-

    1. The State Government Board
    2. The Central Board Of Secondary Education ( CBSE ) Board
    3. The Council For The Indian School Certificate Examinations ( CISCE) Board
    4. The Indian Certificate Of Secondary Education ( ICSE ) Board
    5. The National Institute Of Open Schooling ( NIOS ) Board

    GOVERNANCE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

    In order to develop the higher education system, the government had established the

    University Grants Commission in 1953(UGC) . The primary role of UGC has been to regulate the standard and spread of higher education in India. There has been a marked progress in the expansion of higher education if we look at the increase of higher educational institutes in India. The higher education system in India comprise of more than 17000 colleges, 20 central universities, 217 State Universities, 106 Deemed to Universities and 13 institutes of National importance. Under the Indian constitution, various minority groups can also set up their own educational institutes. This number will soon inflate as the setting up of 30 more central universities, 8 new IITs, 7 IIMs and 5 new Indian Institutes of science are now proposed.

    7 Strategies to Build A Successful Career

    Man tearing up sign that reads "Impossible"

    Having a successful career will offer you a lot of benefits and real profitable opportunities. As we live in a world governed by social status and money, working your way up to the top will definitely improve your quality of life. There are many possible reasons for which an individual would desire success.

    I guess one of the reasons is that maybe by being successful in your professional life makes you feel better among other people. It offers you a feeling of security and accomplishment. Many people who went from zero to a successful career have reported that their lives were improved in almost all the aspects.

    There are certain habits and activities that successful people from all over the world do. The best way of approaching success is by following and figuring out what are the strategies that professionals use, and model them according to your needs.

    The follwoing seven working strategies will give you enough boosts to improve your career.

    1. Identify with Your Goals

    Before even considering following a career route, you must get to know yourself. A big majority of people go through life by following a well-established pattern. The sad part is, they don’t even like what they do or they just don’t really realize how many other things they could do.

    In order to avoid this awful happening, you need to identify what are your biggest rational wishes. Then, start going deeper and make an in-depth introspection in which you should think about the connection between your inner desires and your rational goals.

    They have to match. Otherwise, you will not be truly fulfilled with your professional life. Identifying with your goals takes some time and effort, but it is a truly important process in any successful person’s journey.

    2. Build a Professional Resume

    Your resume is basically your way of saying “I’m good at this, good at that, and I can help by doing this and that”. Well, that is why you should create a professional, neat resume.

    By taking care of this aspect, you are making sure that you’ll never be caught off guard. Opportunities are everywhere, and you should always be ready with a quality resume. I believe that letting professionals deal with your resume is a productive choice.

    There are some amazing services like Careers Booster or VisualCV that can take care of your problem. They can help you to create a classic or an impressive visual resume.

    3. Become Aware of Your Strengths

    Awareness is an essential key to personal improvement. By being aware of your inner thoughts, your strengths, your desires, and your disadvantages, you can adapt your life to whatever conditions you’re being put through. You’ll also get many benefits as you can leverage your knowledge and wisdom for the best purposes.

    It’s better if you choose your long term profession according to what you know about yourself. Are you a patient person? Would you be able to sit eight to twelve hours in an office working on a computer? Or you’d rather be a football coach because you’re truly passionate about football and you believe you could be an efficient trainer?

    No matter your strengths and disadvantages, you should choose a career path that advantages your traits and qualities.

    4. Assume Full Responsibility for Your Life

    One difference between mediocre and successful professionals: responsibility. Even though you know the concept, you may not apply it every day. Whenever something bad happens, you need to assume it.

    Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, being there, the previous choices you’ve made (like trusting someone), these are still all factors which have been influenced by your thoughts and actions.

    Start assuming responsibility for all of your actions and never blame anyone for your mistakes. That’s the worst thing someone can do. Do not take things personally, and be calm.

    5. Always Raise Your Standards

    Here’s another critical factor which differentiates the successful from the non-successful. Your standards influence the way you think, believe, and behave. If your standards are high, you’ll never be satisfied with less than you can accomplish. People with high standards are most of the times more successful than the average.

    Every two or three months take a moment to reflect upon your standards and values. Try to improve them bit by bit up until you realize that you’ve become the best version of yourself.

    6. Brand Yourself

    Branding is very important nowadays. Big companies are spending hundreds of millions in order to establish themselves as the “big dogs” in the marketplace. It is an old business strategy used by almost every professional company. Your branding is your image in the marketplace.

    Professional employees should brand their names and services and constantly improve it. You can do that by starting a blog, creating a professional social media profile, or simply by providing awesome services.

    7. Network — A LOT

    Networking is all about opportunities and connections. When you meet new people, you basically get a chance to use their skills to your advantage. Of course, you must also give back something: your services, your knowledge, your money. Successful people always network and create those life-lasting profitable relationships.

    Start by creating social media profiles on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook. These three specific networks are the best choices when it comes to this type of activity. You’ll find lots of opportunities and career choices along the way.

    LinkedIn, for example, is filled with business professionals that are branding their companies and also networking in the same time. Twitter is also very used in these matters, and Facebook  is good for everything, including networking.

    Here we see 7 strategies to build a successful career. But this is not only enough also you have to trust yourself.

    Some tips about career success:

    •  Be willing to work hard. …
    • Set goals. …
    • Get a mentor. …
    • Surround yourself with successful people. …
    • Set a routine. …
    • Have regular check-ins with yourself. …
    • Always keep improving.

    ·         Choose Your Occupation Wisely

    ·         Don’t Let Anyone Tell You What Choice Is Best for You

    ·         Measure Your Own Success

    ·         Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

    ·         Always Acknowledge People Who Help You

    ·         Own Your Mistakes

    ·         Be Your Own Cheerleader

    ·         Never Feel Like You Are Stuck

    ·         Lose the Negative Attitude

    ·         Listen More Than You Speak

    Conclusion

    Building a successful career takes time, effort, and patience. If you’re willing to sacrifice some free time and you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone, you will succeed. It’s not that hard, honestly. It just takes courage and commitment to follow everything that you’ve targeted.