The cow in the field

Credits- dreamstine stock photos.

A farmer is in deep worry because his prize cow has wandered somewhere. The farmer expresses his concern to a milkman. The milkman reassures him not to worry because he has seen the cow nearby. The farmer tries to look for the cow in the nearby field, he sees a large shape that is black & white. He is relieved to see the cow. He visits the field just to be sure the cow is there. The cow is there, but to his surprise, the cow was hiding inside a bush of trees. The black & white thing that he saw was just a big piece of paper. This raises the question: was the farmer right when he said the cow is in the field?

The cow in the field is a classic example of the Gettier problem. It was discovered by Edmund Gettier in 1963. According to Plato, for anyone to attain knowledge, three conditions must be satisfied. Belief, truth and justification. So if a person believes something to be true and can provide a justification for it, he has attained knowledge. The three conditions are called tripartite of knowledge. Edmund believed this theory is wrong. He gave two reasons to prove it wrong. While justification is present, the justification is fallible because there is a possibility that the belief could end up being false. This means that our justification for the truth can be wrong because sometimes the source of our information can be false. Each problem features luck. In all of Gettier’s problems, the belief becomes justified; however, it is due to the presence of pure luck.

Gettier attempted to fix the tripartite theory of knowledge. he came up with 4 theories. Now instead of 3 conditions, he believed knowledge had an extra condition. The four theories are:

1. No False Belief condition: this theory states a belief cannot be based on a false belief. For example, someone at the cake you ordered the night. They ordered another cake for you. When you woke up in the morning, you saw the cake and you didn’t notice that it’s not the same cake you ordered. You think it’s the same cake.

2. Causal connection condition: Between knowledge and belief, there has to be a causal connection. For example, Rohit believes that Pratham is in the room because he saw him in the room. But in reality, he saw his twin brother Latham in the room. Although Pratham was also in the room Rohit didn’t see him. That’s why Rohit’s reasoning is wrong. According to causal connection, Rohit shouldn’t be able to prove that Pratham’s in the room cause he didn’t see him

3. Conclusive reasons conditions: A reason for belief must exist that would not exist if the belief were false. For example, you know a softie is in front of you because there is a softie in front of you.

4. Defeasibility condition: This states that as long as there is no contrary evidence, a belief is known. In the scenario with Rohit, Pratham and Latham. Rohit is entitled to say Pratham is in the room because he doesn’t know evidence pointing to the contrary.

AIR POLLUTION – A GLOBAL ISSUE

Introduction: One of the significant global threats to our health and food safety is air pollution. Air contamination kills around 3.7 million individuals all throughout the world and makes sufficient harm to crops. It is mainly caused by smoke and other harmful gases, fundamentally oxides of carbon, nitrogen, and furthermore sulphur. It is the presence of a substance in the environment that can make hurt human health and furthermore other living creatures on this planet. The sources for air pollution can be divided into two significant categories: 

•Anthropogenic (human-made sources): are for the most part identified with the consumption of fuel. This may likewise incorporate little sources other than ignition like exhaust of paint, hair splash, and different solvents. Military assets, for example, atomic weapons additionally go under this kind of contamination. 

•Natural sources: This might incorporate normal causes, for example, volcanic ejections and woodland fires likewise dust from huge spaces of land with little vegetation.

Ambient air pollution: An expected 4.2 million deaths each year are ascribed to ambient air pollution because of stroke, coronary illness, cellular breakdown in the lungs, and persistent respiratory infections. Around 91% of the total population lives in regions where air quality levels surpass WHO guidelines. While both developed and agricultural nations are influenced by fine particulate matter, low-and middle pay nations bear the biggest weight, with the best conceivable cost in the WHO West Pacific and South-East Asia regions. With investments in cleaner transportation, energy-proficient lodging, power generation, industry, and further developed municipal waste administration can altogether decrease ambient air pollution.

Data: Source: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators/indicator-details/GHO/ambient-air-pollution-attributable-deaths

Household air pollution: Household air pollution is caused by the burning of household fuels, which causes indoor air contamination and adds to open air contamination. In 2016, 3.8 million deaths were reported because of indoor air pollution. Therefore, this risk factor is perhaps the main natural supporters of chronic weakness. The significance of household air pollution as a public health threat shifts extraordinarily relying upon the degree of advancement: in low-and centre pay nations, it is answerable for essentially 10% of death rates; around the world, it is liable for 7.7% of mortality.

Data: 

Source: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators/indicator-details/GHO/household-air-pollution-attributable-deaths

Major sources of exposure: 

● Contaminant emitting from power plants, refineries, and petrochemical plants, just as chemical and fertiliser industry, Industrial plants, lastly government incineration. 

● Domestic cleaning exercises, cleaners, printing shops, and service stations are instances of indoor sources. 

● Automobiles, vehicles, railroads, aviation routes, and different sorts of vehicles are instances of versatile sources. 

● Finally, as mentioned earlier, normal sources incorporate actual fiascos like forest fires, volcanic erosion, dust storms, and agricultural burning.

Environment and health impacts of air pollution: Various contaminations are significant supporters of human sickness. Particulate Matter, particles with shifting yet tiny measurements, enter the respiratory system through breathing causing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, fertility and central nervous system dysfunction, and cancer. Despite the fact that ozone protects against ultraviolet radiation, it is unsafe at ground level, influencing the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Air pollution: A development issue

Effects on the economic development: In 2015, WHO estimated that the financial expense of unexpected passing and disability from air contamination in Europe is near USD 1.6 trillion. Air contamination influences the economy from various perspectives. It reduces individuals’ capacity to work and kills trillions of individuals consistently. Besides, it obliterates government properties like monuments which will influence the economy by decreasing the tourist destinations.

Effects on food Production: Food creation contributes recognizably to air contamination and the other way around. Air contamination impacts the dirt and lessens its capacity to the creation of good yields and as trade in agricultural products grows it increases the air contamination discharged from producer nations. This outcomes in an irregularity causing expanding pollution emission from producer countries rather than importing countries.

Measures are taken to eradicate air pollution: 

By the government:

● Action Plans for Improvement of Air Quality: Under the central sector of control of pollution, (NCAP) ‘national clean air program’ was launched to address the country’s increasing air pollution problem.

● The government even informed a detailed action plan in the year 2018 for the prevention and control of air pollution in Delhi and the national capital region.

● In 2018, a graded response action plan was notified for again the prevention, control, and eradication of pollution in the national capital region. Which was divided into 4 main categories: moderate to poor, very poor, severe, and emergency.

To spread awareness:

● The SAMEER app, which provides public access to air quality information as well as the ability to file complaints about air pollution-causing activities, has been launched.

● The government also encourages people to spread awareness among the people and grow more trees, save water, electricity, maintenance vehicle for less smoke emission.

● Since 2019, central pollution control board teams have been placed to provide field feedback in Delhi and the national capital region.

How can we reduce air pollution? 

● Conservation of energy.

● Look for the ‘energy star’ label while buying products.

● Using public transportation and carpooling can also help.

● Avoid using hair spray and other solvents.

● Avoid using an air conditioner.

● Recycle and reuse.

● Afforestation.

● Environment safe paints should be used more often.

● Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste do not burn it.

Development of Rural Women in Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra

Credits- The guardian

The Vidarbha region of Maharashtra primarily consists of four major cities. Nagpur being the largest has a huge rural population which is deprived of stable sources of income and is riddled with social problems including alcoholism. The primary contributor to the alcoholism problem is the male population. Inadvertently, the women of the household have to take up the responsibility of earning the bread. In regions lacking educational infrastructure, women have to not only overcome sexism, misogyny and toxic masculinity to earn, but they also have to battle the unavailability of jobs and the unwillingness of employers to employ women just to keep the food on the table. Out of the 48 lakh unemployed people in Maharashtra, the Vidarbha region contributes 6 lakh of them. Although an older report, according to the 2013-14 Report on District Level Estimates for the state of Maharashtra, Nagpur reported 27% unemployment in urban areas and a staggering 55.3% in rural areas. As mentioned earlier, this was a relatively old statistic. However, going through the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t done any good in the rural employment sector.

Taking the dire unemployment situation into consideration as well as considering the rising issue of alcoholism amongst the general male population in the region, it has also given rise to domestic violence, marital rape and sexual assault under influence. The Covid-19 pandemic and the Lockdown made this situation a lot worse as unemployment was peaking and the availability of alcoholic beverages was very low. Upon gathering statistics from an NGO called Aroha working for the development of rural women, it was found that domestic violence cases simply multiplied by 2.3 times during the first lockdown (March – July 2020). This is an extremely dire situation and it is continually worsening with the increase in economic disparity and water shortages reaching an all-time high. This is the time when the need to empower women to gain financial stability and independence is the most. The NGO Aroha has taken this as their mission and has been working towards training women in making handicraft items and selling them on an international market through powerful marketing and product development via their brand Rangers.

Rangers is a traditional eco-friendly, high-quality handicrafts store based in Nagpur which sells purses, handbags, lamp shades etc which are made by women from rural areas and all the profit is evenly divided between all women involved, contributing to their financial independence.

Aroha starts by enrolling women who are in dire need of financial assistance. They start by providing them with training in handcrafting, Warli art, stitching, embroidery and block printing. Then, once the women graduate with enough skills, they’re hired by Rangaresha which provides them with employment, stable income as well as incentives for them to work. Aroha is financially supported by Larsen & Toubro Ltd. Since 2004, Aroha steadfastly remained focused on the promotion of livelihoods, capacity-building initiatives and extending training support as well as surfacing as a resource agency for all of the above for the benefit of other allied agencies. With time self-help group formation activities were also undertaken. In the past 17 years, Aroha has helped 1739 women overcome poverty and has made them

capable of standing up for themselves and fighting back against years of oppression. Although the actual statistical data about profits and actual gross income from handicrafts remains unknown and the organisation didn’t provide that information, it is undeniable that the organisation and their vision had been successful in their initiative and continue to empower women to date.

Marital Rape

This report is an excerpt of an interview project that i completed for one of my practical classes. I had to interview people working in NGO working for marital rapes analyze the interview.In this project i’ve interviewed Dr. Chitra Awasthi, the founder of RIT foundation that in collaboration with many NGOs to promote gender equality in India.

NATURE OF REPORT

In order to gain insight on the prevalence of marital rape in India and to promote gender and social equality in the country, the students of Mass communication and journalism were instructed to interview an NFPO (RIT Foundation) within the field of awareness through Media

There were no stipulations about the medium used or the questions to be asked. Students were permitted to select their own respondent owing to their comfort as well as good knowledge of the field. The report is directed to citizens of the country and people across nations. The report aims to start a conversation on this topic, to give women under martial rape the courage to raise their voice and to pressurize the law-makers to criminalize such acts.

MARITAL RAPE

The act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the consent of the partner is known as marital rape. Whether the perpetrator is a stranger or a spouse, it is one of the most horrific acts a man can conduct against a woman. Though marital rape is the most common and repugnant form of masochism in Indian society, it is hidden behind the iron curtain of marriage.  83% of married women i.e. nearly one in every 3 women have been subjected to physical, sexual and emotional violence from their spouse. Almost 31% of married women between the ages 15 and 49 have suffered from sexual abuse cite their current husband as the perpetrator. 

Any undesired sexual actions by a spouse or ex-spouse conducted without consent and/or against a person’s will, achieved by force, threat of force, intimidation, or when a person is unable to consent, are classified as marital rape. Intercourse, anal or oral sex, forced sexual conduct with other people, and other sexual practices that the victim finds degrading, humiliating, painful, or unwelcome are examples of these sexual actions.

Rape is a crime that occurs when a woman refuses to provide her consent. It’s crucial to remember that lack of consent doesn’t always have to take the form of the word ‘no.’ It’s reasonable to assume given the circumstances. If a woman consents to sexual intercourse within a marriage because of the threat of harm to her children or herself, the woman loses her right to stay in the house or get maintenance, it is not valid consent. It is still rape.

THE CURRENT SITUATION AND STATISTICS

140 of the world’s 195 countries have already made marital rape a criminal offence. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, and Russia are among the countries on the list.

However, 55 countries, including India, China, and Singapore, are countries where it is still OK to rape your wife.

The concept of marital rape has not been recognized until today. We’ve been lobbying for a law to make it a crime, but first we need to gather statistics on rape in marriage.

 And according to the latest National Health and Family Survey (NFHS-4) for 2015-16, 5.4% women have experienced marital rape, under this category. But while the data on marital rape in India exists, marital rape as a crime “does not exist”.

And yet 5.4% of married Indian women say they have experienced marital rape. 4.4% of them say they have experienced marital rape in just the last 12 months before this survey. The figure recorded by NFHS-3 for 2005-6 was 9.5%.

But while the data on marital rape in India exists, marital rape as a crime “does not exist”.

The data also includes entries for “forced her to perform any sexual actions that she did not want to” and “forced her to perform any sexual acts that she did not want to with threats or in any other way.”  Overall, 2.5% and 3.6% of married Indian women answered affirmatively to these categories as well. That brings the number of married women who have been subjected to what would be called rape or sexual violence if the perpetrator had not been their husband to 11.5 percent.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) ‘Crime in India’ 2019 report, about 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence.

Marital rape exists in the data, but not in law

Despite the historical misconception that rape by one’s partner is a minor occurrence that causes little damage, research shows that marital rape has serious and long-term implications for women. Injuries to private organs, lacerations, discomfort, bruising, torn muscles, tiredness, and vomiting are some of the physical repercussions of marital rape. In addition to broken bones, black eyes, bloody noses, and knife wounds, women who have been assaulted and raped by their husbands may experience other physical consequences such as broken bones, black eyes, bloody noses, and knife wounds as a result of the sexual violence. Miscarriages, stillbirths, bladder infections, infertility, and the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases like HIV are all gynecological repercussions of marital rape.

Women who have been raped by their partners are likely to experience significant psychological repercussions. Anxiety, shock, acute dread, despair, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the short-term symptoms of marital rape. Disordered eating, sleep issues, depression, difficulties forming trusting relationships, and increased negative thoughts about themselves are all common long-term impacts. The psychological consequences are likely to linger for a long time. For years after the abuse, some marital rape survivors describe flashbacks, sexual dysfunction, and emotional pain.

OTHER COUNTRIES’ LEGAL STATUS

In the United States, experts estimate that 10% to 14% of married women are raped throughout their marriage. Researchers discovered that marital rape accounted for almost 25% of all rapes when they looked at the frequency of different types of rape. Given the popularity of marital rape, social scientists, practitioners, the criminal justice system, and society as a whole have paid little attention to the issue. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1970s that society began to recognize the possibility of rape in marriage. Until recently, the usual rule was that a husband could not be convicted of raping his wife because he has an implicit right to sexual intercourse with his wife under the marital contract.

Resistance restrictions are still in place in the majority of American states. There are no exemptions for husbands from rape prosecution in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. There are still certain exemptions for husbands from rape prosecution in thirty-three states. In several of these thirty-three states, a husband is excused from prosecution when his wife is most vulnerable (e.g., she is mentally or physically disabled, unconscious, asleep, etc.) and legally unable to consent. The majority of States have certain spousal exemptions, indicating that rape in marriage is still considered a lesser offence than other types of rape.

When we look at the laws of various countries, we can find that most of them punish rape both within and outside of marriage.

In Australia, for example, if a person has achieved the age of 16, he or she can petition to a judge or magistrate for an order permitting them to marry.

By 1991, however, the marital rape exception had been repealed in every state in Australia.

In New Zealand, a person under the age of 20 but over the age of 16 can only marry with the approval of their parents. For women, the age of sexual consent is similarly 16 years. The New Zealand Crimes Act of 1961 makes no provision for marital rape. In 1985, the marital rape exemption was repealed.  In the United Kingdom, a marriage between two people under the age of 16 is void.  In 1991, the marital rape exemption was completely repealed.

A marriage between two people under the age of 16 is void in the United Kingdom. In 1991, the marital rape exemption was completely repealed. In Egypt, the age of majority is 21 years old for all legal reasons except marriage. The legal age for consent is 18, and intercourse with a female under the age of 18 is considered rape under the penal code.

Various states in the United States have different laws. In the United States, the marital rape exception has been repealed in 50 states. In Indonesia, the age of majority, as well as the age at which girls and boys can marry, is 16 for girls and 19 for boys. A girl’s legal age for giving valid consent to a sexual act is also established at 16 years. Any marriage that occurs before the age of majority is null and invalid.

LEGAL POSITION IN INDIA

In India, marital rape is legal but not de facto. While in other nations, the legislative has either criminalized marital rape or the judiciary has actively participated in recognizing it as a crime, the judiciary in India appears to be working at cross-purposes. The Supreme Court ruled in Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subhra Chakraborty that rape is a crime against basic human rights and a breach of the victim’s most prized fundamental right, the right to life, which is contained in Article 21 of the Constitution. However, it contradicts this declaration by failing to recognize marital rape. Though there have been some advancements in Indian domestic violence legislation, they have mostly been limited to physical rather than sexual abuse.

This established the notion that a woman does not have the right to refuse sex with her spouse once they are married. This gives husbands sexual access to their spouses, which is in clear violation of human rights principles and gives husbands permission to rape their women. The rape legislation only applies to two types of married women: those under the age of 15 and those who are separated from their spouses. While rape of a girl under the age of 12 may result in a sentence of ten years or more in jail, rape of a girl under the age of 15 results in a lower punishment if the rapist is married to the victim. When Section 376-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, was added in 1983, it made some headway toward criminalizing domestic abuse against the wife.

The Law Commission’s proposed definition of sexual assault, which is wide, complete, and acceptable, could be used in place of the existing term of rape in Section 375 IPC, according to the report. The Task Force, like the Law Commission, stopped short of suggesting that marital rape be included in the new definition. Currently, India’s legal framework is severely inadequate in terms of safeguarding women’s bodily integrity and sexual autonomy.

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION

The RIT Foundation is a non-profit organizationcreated in 2009 by Dr. Chitra Awasthi, an educationist, writer, and philanthropist. The RIT Foundation is collaborating with a number of non-governmental organizations in India to promote social and gender equality.

In 2015, they filed a petition – RIT Foundation v. Union of India writ petition c no. 284 of 2015 seeking to criminalize marital rape. It will be coming up before the Delhi High Court for final hearing early next year.

“The first step to breaking the silence is having the tool to validate,” Chitra Awasthi says. The last refuge of male dominance is the control of women’s sexuality and bodies. It will take time to smash it. However, as a society, we must begin a dialogue and put pressure on lawmakers to act.”

Respondent’s Background

Dr. Chitra Awasthi is the president and founder of RIT Foundation. She has been working as an educationist with children and young adults for the past 36 years now. She is well-known in academics for her psychological insights and comprehensive understanding of holistic living solutions. With a postgraduate degree, a university topper, in sociology from Kanpur University, she has authored a wide range of books on sociology and allied subjects. Her major interest, however, has always been in religion and spiritualism. She has translated, edited, and produced secret treasures from English, Sanskrit, and Hindi, and she is an eager student of spiritual literature in the Indian tradition. Rit International is her first foray into the corporate world. She does, however, wish to help share the same knowledge to children who are less privileged, so that they can benefit from high-quality education and knowledge.

How The Lamestream Media Perceives Gaming

Credits – goomba stomp

On 17th October, 2021,the Times of India published an article under ‘Talk It Out’
A segment called ‘Gaming addiction can take a toll on your wallet and relationships’.

The segment published that day had three questions in which only one was concerned with the issue of spending money while gaming; the question was: “My husband is totally addicted to gaming and is betting and losing money….What can I do to help this situation and get him to De-addict”.

In that question, there is a major error, substituting gaming for gambling would correct this mistake. The response by the expert counselor doubled down on the argument of gaming saying it was “addictive and difficult to disentangle from.” While I do think the issue of gambling is serious, miswording it does major damage to the already adverse image of gaming as in computer gaming or mobile gaming. In the article, the rest of the two questions were completely unrelated to the headline and the headline was misworded just for the sake of attention-grabbing.

On 4th October, The Hindu published a piece called ‘Gaming disorder increases during pandemic’. The article starts by mentioning a 15-year-old buying a smartphone during the pandemic and now playing games for eight hours a day and then dives into the problem of gambling and banning of gambling and fantasy apps like Poker which have financial stakes.

The article is another great example of goodwill but misjudgment. You should not write about something as serious as gambling addiction and mix it with the whole of gaming (which includes a wide array of forms). Playing a game like Age of Empires (a real-time strategy game) when you are 15 will not lead you to become a gambling addict at 21. Gaming is not just one thing or a single game. The advent of gaming as a form of pop culture in India is met with naive writing on a subject like this. There are downsides to gaming for the youth, excess of anything is harmful but misrepresenting a particular thing will lead to its disregard and indifference, which is what the conservative media wants to happen apparently.

Sources

The Time of India Article: Gaming addiction can take a toll on your wallet and relationships

The Hindu Article: Gaming disorder increases during pandemic

INFIDELITY

Credits – Behance

INTRODUCTION

Infidelity can be better defined as any act that violates an open or explicit agreement

between two people, thereby damaging the relationship. It usually means having an

emotional or intimate relationship other than your partner.

Deception is one of the most devastating and destructive things that can happen in a

person’s life. It can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, increased risky

behaviours and cause real physical pain.

All infidelity violates the supposed or implied marital union, whether that be emotionally or

physically.

Relationships in which more than two people are involved are known as Polyamory

relationships. In non-monogamous behavioural relationships, partners can practice flipping

or polyamory (having multiple romantic relationships at the same time). These programs

promote honest communication and consent between all members and is not an example of

infidelity.

Now, how does Infidelity affect society?

Disloyalty to a person is like a storm. When it floods you, you and everyone else are thrown into many different places. When parents are in trouble so are their children. When a house burns down, children and adults are left homeless. The same can be said of infidelity. Confusion, fear, uncertainty, anger, tears, withdrawal, suspicion, frustration, fighting affects everyone in the family and especially children who are naturally more sensitive and rely on their parents for emotional and physical stability and security.

For young adults, infidelity can wreak havoc on trust, and infidelity can have devastating effects on a person’s mental and physical health. The condition is associated with depression, anxiety and unhealthy coping strategies such as poor diet and substance abuse. Some mental health professionals believe that there may be a similarity to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Types of Infidelity

• Physical Infidelity: Physical or sexual contact outside of relationships. There may or may not be an emotional attachment between partners.

• Emotional Infidelity: Emotional attachment or intimacy with another person. Emotional affairs can do as much damage, if not more, to a relationship as a physical affair.

• Cyber Infidelity:

social media has made it easier for people to engage in online

messages, chats, forums, or groups with sexual content. Cyber infidelity also

includes viewing erotic stimuli, such as porn.

• Object Infidelity:

Excessive love or interest outside of relationships can lead to

what is known as materialism. This is a situation where one partner is too focused on

something like their job or their phone, causing disruption in the relationship.

Credits – neil webb

Data And Facts

Statistics report that anywhere from 40-60 percent of adults in committed relationships commit acts of infidelity and despite popular opinion, there is no significant difference in these percentages between men and women. Not only has dishonesty in the workplace become increasingly common but it has also become easier to deal with dishonesty on the Internet and social networking sites.

Ship of Theseus- what makes you?

Credits- Medium

Ship of Theseus is a paradoxical philosophical theory. It was first found in the writings of a greek philosopher called Plutarch. Theseus was the founder king of Athens. Plutarch writes about Theseus going on a voyage with his crew members. During the journey, they decide to replace the old wooden planks with new ones. They threw away all the old planks and replaced it with new pieces of woods. This leads to the question- is this the same ship that left from athens? Or is it a different ship because every single piece of wood has been replaced? What if there were still 2 old pieces? Would that change the answer?

Thomas Hobbes took this theory a little further. What if a scavenger collects all the old parts the crew members threw in the sea and builds a ship? Two ships arrive at the final port A) the ship made of new planks and B) the ship made up of old planks by scavengers. Now which one is the real ship of Theseus?

A theory called the Mereological theory of identity (MTI) states that the identity of anything is based on its components. So if we try to solve the ship of Theseus by this theory then we will have to conclude that the ship he originally left on and the scavenger-made ship are the same. In other words, we can say A=C. But this would mean that Theseus switched ships during his journey which he did not. Or we can just say that A=B which means the original ship = the newly made ship. But to say A=B would imply that B is not equal to C which would raise doubts because A and C are made up of the same parts. We concluded that A and B are equal even when they are not even made up of the same parts.

Credits – Ship of Theseus

Of course, the Ship of Theseus is a larger issue than ships. What is it that makes you yourself? Is it your physical characteristics? If that was the case then every time you cut your hair, you’d become a different person. Is it your feelings and thoughts? Then every time you forget some memory or have a change of heart, you will not be you anymore. People change over time and still believe they are the same from the core. What is it that makes us? This debate goes on to this day.

There is a film named on this topic. It is directed by anand gandhi. It is undoubtedly the best film i’ve ever seen in my entire life. It explores this concept, dividing it into 3 different stories of a blind women, A monk who’s fighting for animal rights and a businessman wanting to do seek an experience out of his bureaucratic life. The story merges in the end. This movie changed my outlook forever.

Aristotle – The peripatetic thought

Credits- Medium

Aristotle’s father was a court physician to the Macedonian king Amyntas II. The connection with the Macedonian government held Great relevance in Aristotle’s life. His parents died when he was young. He was sent to Athens by his guardian for further studies. He met Plato there and started to study in his academy for the next 20 years. He was Plato’s student and colleague. When Plato died, everyone thought Aristotle will be the next director of the Academy. But due to his disagreements with some of Plato’s work, He was not offered the position.

Around 338 BC, he returned to Macedonia and started to tutor the son of king Philip II, Alexander(who was later given the tag of “The Great”). When Alexander became the king and conquered Athens, Aristotle moved back to Athens. Plato’s academy headed by Xenocrates was still the top academy there. Aristotle decided to open his school. Aristotle’s school of thought is called peripatetic.

After the death of Alexander the Great, Anti-Macedonian sentiments were high and Aristotle was charged with impiety. He fled to Athens to save his life and spent the rest of his days on the island of Eubea. One of the significant contributions of Aristotle was his creation of logic. He divided the process of learning into three parts. Theoretical, Practical and productive. Logic did not belong to any of the categories. Logic was the first step applied to learning anything. It is used to attain knowledge about anything. Logic helps in establishing truths and errors about reality.

In his book, prior analytics, He talks about the notion of syllogism. It is one of his most important contributions in the area of reasoning. A set of assumptions and affirmations are taken to come to a logical conclusion. For example- All Indians are human, every human is not religious. Therefore, not every Indian is religious. I want to let you all know that it took me 10 minutes to think of that example. The syllogism consists of two premises and that gives us one conclusion. Aristotle created some rules which would allow him to come to a valid conclusion. One example is –

: At least one premise must be universal

: At least one premise has to be affirmative

: If one of the premises is negative, the conclusion should be negative.

Credits – Zazle

Aristotle believed three rules should be applied to every valid thought. Law of Identity, Law of Noncontradiction, Law of Excluded Middle. The Law of identity determines the characteristics of any particular thing. For example – A Human Being has 2 Hands, 2 legs, a stomach etc. These are all characteristics. The Law of noncontradiction means that a single statement cannot be both true and false at the same time. If you’re ugly, you’re ugly. You’re not beautiful. The Law of excluded middle claims that there is no middle ground between truth and false, something has to be either true or false. Although I and many philosophers disagree with this. Every living being is grey and nothing can be so black and white.

Aristotle believed in metaphysics and this is where he had a different thought from Plato. He did not use the word “Metaphysics”. He rather called it first philosophy. Aristotle rejected the theory of forms. To read more about theory of forms, go to the link attacked below.Plato believed the Intelligible world(made up of ideas and thoughts) and the visible world are different and the intelligible world is the true form of reality. Aristotle disagreed. He believed that if you separate those two things then there will be no meaning. Anything can be form or matter or both. He believed that intelligibility is present in everything. He believed that knowledge is gained through specific truths which are gained through experience and also art and philosophy. Wisdom, on the opposing hand, is when a person understands all the fundamental principles of all things and uses that knowledge in real life. He breaks down how things come to be through 4 causes:-

1. The material cause- This explains what something is made of

2. The formal cause- This explains what form something takes.

3. The efficient cause- This explains how something comes into being.

4. The final cause- The final purpose of anything.

Aristotle believed that the ultimate purpose of any human being is happiness. And to attain happiness, one must act with virtue. It is only through virtue that a human being can attain happiness. A person must make decisions with true virtues which he sets for himself according to his past experiences. The ultimate form of happiness, according to Aristotle, was a life of intellectual contemplation and living life with reasoning. The reasoning is what separates humans from animals and is the highest form of living. That’s all about his school of thought.

https://track2training.com/2022/07/23/plato-and-his-allegory-of-the-cave/

Existentialism- philosophy of Human experience.

Credits- existential art

Existentialism gathered momentum during the nineteenth and twentieth century. Philosophical thoughts were about nature and truth before existentialism. Philosophers did not lay focus on human experiences. Existentialism aims to focus on human individuality and finding oneself. Though there are massive differences between existentialist philosophers, there is one common ground among everyone. The idea of existentialism is to find oneself and discover the meaning of life.

According to existentialism, the meaning of life and oneself can only be attained through free will, personal responsibility and freedom of choice. An individual creates his meaning and value through his consciousness. An individual who constantly makes efforts to expand his consciousness and the idea of themselves will always know what it is to exist. Personal responsibility is of great importance. Our choices have consequences. And we are all products of these consequences. It is through personal responsibility, that we get the power to fight our nature. Sometimes a human being has to fight his own nature to attain harmony. Our decision-making gives birth to our natural self.

Credits – doroleung

There is something magical about the truths that we discover that changes the meaning of our existence and brings a new awareness into our life. When we go through a crisis, our body produces emotions like anxiety, angst, absurdity etc. There is certain meaninglessness to our existence. We believe that we have an understanding of how this universe works until we discover something that tells us something else. Those moments, when your world-view is challenged. The things that you thought to be true are false. We find it hard to accept it but a human being who is aware will find a way to accept the new meaning of life. Empathy is of great importance here. We should try to empathise with people around us who are faced with existential questions they are struggling to find the answers to. Everyone goes through a crisis and we should take note of it and build ways for humanity to deal with it in a much more efficient way. Empathising with one another is a good way to start.

Existentialism also lays great importance on authenticity. To be authentic, one must be in harmony with his freedom. One must be able to come to terms with his identity while not letting his background and history play a part in his decision-making. We can often be scared of our past selves and go into a state where we fear that we might again become who we were. This is why it becomes very important to not be controlled by the idea of yourself. You have to let go of yourself. It is the only way you can be yourself. The choices you make should be based on certain values. This brings responsibility to your decision-making.

Existentialism is often associated with atheism. All atheists are not existentialists but existentialists are usually atheists. Religion and existentialism do not go hand in hand. Even the existentialists who place their faith in some higher being accept that religion is suspicious. Existentialism is all about finding the truth about oneself and that will not be possible if we place our faith in some higher being.

* I was influenced to write this article after reading the book Philosophy 101 By Paul Kleiman *

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Stating the importance of Fundamental Rights

Credits- paathshaala

Imagine waking up to see a day where you are denied using the cafeteria of the college or denied using the vending machine in the office because of your race or your caste, it would probably be the most horrible day of your life. To make sure that these things never happen to you, a lot of people fought and gave their lives to make sure that the future society is egalitarian. Fundamental rights ensure that you have the liberty to do what you want to do, how you want to do it and where you want to do it. You have the right to equality in a consumer market, in your workplace and in the social places you visit. You have the freedom of speech to voice your opinion wherever you feel it’s needed. Without fundamental rights, everything will be in a state of chaos

These are the basic rights that help the human being reach his maximum intellect and intelligence. Our rights ensure that we are governed by a law which respects our human rights. It ensures that the government stays well within their limits and cannot compromise the dignity of any human being whatsoever. We as human beings need a certain environment to achieve our intelligence and find ourselves. Fundamental Rights tries to ensure that we get that environment. The highlights of the preamble are justice, liberty, fraternity and republic. Your rights allow you to fight for your justice, it allows you to be liberal, it allows you to form your fraternity which makes you feel welcome and the republic ensures that the power is always within the people.

Credits- topper guide

Dr B R Ambedkar and a lot of other people saw a dream in which every Indian citizen should be equal before the law. When we look back at the colonial period, Our society was segregated into different parts because there was no sense of unity among people. This led to isolation from each other. This environment led us to disarray. To make sure a healthy relationship between the state and the people, fundamental rights play a huge part as it ensures freedom of speech which leads to better communication. Fundamental rights also ensure that society is always progressive because it promotes growth and stimulation. Our constitution is designed in such a way that it supports flexibility but that does not put our fundamental rights in threat in any way. It is the backbone of our country or any country.

Brain Drain – A Need for Reversal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wildlife in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Resources in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -By ST Coleridg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right To Education (RTE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India’s Defence System

The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of four professional uniformed services: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard. Additionally, the Indian Armed Forces are supported by several paramilitary organisations (Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force) and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.

The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defence. With strength of over 1.5 million active personnel, it is world’s 2nd largest military force and the largest standing volunteer army in the world.

India has quite a volatile neighbourhood. To our north we have China- a very big military power- with whom we keep on having altercations, not to mention the war of 1962. We still have many border issues with them and their troops keep on infiltrating our land. Then there is Pakistan, a country born out of India but still trying to take one or more parts of it under control. We have had a number of wars with them. In the recent years, terrorism has become a grave concern for India. Owing to all these wars in the past, the recent infiltrations, terrorist attacks, border altercations and stand-offs it is easy to imagine why India needs a strong military strategy to combat these problems and survive as a nation.

Speaking of stats, India is now one of the world’s biggest spenders on defence and the world’s largest importer of military equipment and munitions. Adjusted for purchasing power parity, India was the world’s ninth-biggest spender on defence in 2012, according to the World Bank. It spends a full 2.5% of its GDP on the military, a tad higher than the world total of 2.4%, though lower than America’s 3.8% of GDP. Yet, unlike the US, most European nations or even China, India does not have a thriving domestic defence industry of its own. The tendency to import weapons, military aircraft, ships and other hardware from abroad is worrying. However, India has a land frontier of 15,200 km, a coastline of 7,516.6 km and an exclusive economic zone of 2.2 million sq km, as well as island territories, vital offshore installations and airspace to defend. The Indian forces, therefore, have to be kept prepared and well equipped to repel any external threat.

One can easily understand that Indian military depends heavily on foreign products. India, hence, needs to revamp how its defence sector operates. Though the country basks in the glory of Kargil and thumps its chest over an occasional successful missile test, defence development and production remains a joke in India. The list of failures and shocking delays in the country’s defence sector is long. The cloak of secrecy under which research and development in defence operates causes even greater concern about inefficiencies, waste, questionable priorities, and failed or delayed projects the public is not yet aware of.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden budget does address issues relating to the defence sector. A key Budget announcement was that 49 per cent foreign direct investment will be allowed in the defence manufacturing sector, up from 26 per cent. This will induce more foreign companies to invest in India’s defence manufacturing. It is also good news for domestic private sector players such as Mahindra & Mahindra Defense, Tata Power SED, or the Kalyani Group’s defence arm which manufactures

field guns and similar equipment. That, in turn, is healthy for India’s defence procurement, which is dominated by either public sector undertakings or by foreign contractors. This, combined with the upgrade plan for soldiers and the modernisation of the army, means well for Indian manufacturers who stand to benefit.

A policy of integrating border policy in some ways with defence needs is also evident in the enhanced allocation of 990 crore, a substantial sum, for the socio-economic development of villages along the border. This may mean economic improvement of those communities residing there. The 150 crore earmarked for marine police stations, jetties and purchase of patrol boats holds out a similar indication. While modern warfare is mostly about improved technology, it is also important to ensure that the morale of the troops remains high. The decision to erect a war memorial and set up a defence museum will definitely raise the morale of the armed forces. It will certainly be a welcome addition to the Amar Jawan Jyoti at New Delhi’s India Gate. Again, the one rank one pension scheme, accepted earlier by the government, has been given a Budgetary allocation of 1000 crore.

In the recent years, India has leaped miles forward in the field of tiding up its security. We have a range of state-of-the-art products like missiles and tanks that has put us at par with the strongest military powers of the world. India is one of the few countries to have developed an anti-missile system. India is only the sixth country in the world to develop an undersea nuclear deterrent, INS Arihant ballistic missile, Agni-5, which can carry a nuclear warhead in the east as far as all of China and in the west all over Europe. There is no dearth of money in defence, what remains to be seen is how the private sector and the army spends it. The best way would be to increase our capabilities using the opportunity and the increasing interest from foreign collaborators. The most difficult part of this balance would be ensuring a successful interlocking set of relationships between the military, private sector, universities, and the political leadership at least over the fledgling period.

Citizenship Journalism

Credits- ISTE

What is citizenship journalism? It is more or less a medium through which rural people can communicate and share the ongoing problems in their state. One such example is cgnet Swara. Cgnet Swara started in 2004 as a website which acted as a middleman between the people and the news. Using the site is simple. All you need to do is call a number and tell them your problem and they’ll report it. A lot of times these stories have broken up like wildfire.

Ndtv once reported a piece of news that was reported by cgnet Swara first. The wonderful thing about this is illiterate people can also tell the news from the ground in a very convenient way. This is revolutionary. Keeping in mind that most of the people only speak their tribal language, it becomes hard for them to understand English or Hindi. But the problem with citizen journalism is that its structure is not very professional. Most of the time the calls might not result in anything because they are just opinions.

This is one of the reasons journalists are sceptical about this. Sometimes the mainstream media has used information from cgnet Swara and didn’t credit them. This makes the relationship worse. One of the officials from cgnet Swara said “Their relationship has become more antagonistic … It is very unfortunate, that local media see us as a competitor—which we cannot be and never intended to be. Every platform has its problems and strengths. We understand the structural problems of mainstream media and we want to fill in the gaps.” The initial goal of citizen journalism was to bridge the gap between the alienated theories that mainstream media provides us as entertainment. This is why the big conglomerates don’t like the idea of citizen journalism. Although it’s unprofessional, it represents the voices of the people in the rawest way possible. Since the narrative in India is controlled by a handful of people, they’ll always try to not let citizenship journalism grow. Going forward, one of the major challenges for citizen journalism is building a structure and improving fact-checking.

India: One Land, Many Clans

Romaine Rolland, a French scholar, once quoted, “If there is one place on the face of Earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!”

India, the land of spirituality and philosophy considers religion as an integral part of its tradition. The worship of various religions and its rituals play a significant role in every aspect of human life in the country.

India is the birthplace of two great religions of the world, namely, Hinduism and Buddhism. India is also home to the followers of one of the oldest religions of the world, Zoroastrianism and ancient religions like Jainism and Sikhism are also widely practiced here. Followers of Islam, Christianity, Bahaism and Judaism exist throughout the world and also form a part of the population of secular India.

Hinduism is the dominant faith in India. The ancient Hindus, literally meaning the people of the valley of the Indus river, soon took on functions and specialisation that had little to do with tilling the soil. Different castes developed out of necessity, for with the evolution of society, it was no longer possible for the tiller of the soil to assume the functions of priest, warrior, merchant and artisan, all rolled in one. Roles began to be defined and people were classified according to their work, occupation and economic place in the society.

Also, a number of world religions originated in India and others that started elsewhere found fertile ground for growth here. Buddhism and Jainism, and ancient monastic traditions, have had a major influence on the Indian art, philosophy, and society and are followed by a large section of the society even in the late 20th century. Islam spread throughout South Asia in the early 8th century and is the largest minority religion in India today.

Sikhism, which started in Punjab in the 16th century, gradually spread throughout India and to the other parts of the world. Christianity, represented by various denominations, traces its history in India, back to the time of the apostles. Judaism and Zoroastrianism, that originally arrived with traders and exiles from the West. are represented by small populations, mostly concentrated on India’s West coast. A variety of independent tribal religious groups are also live carriers of their unique ethnic traditions. Even with such diversity, the message of love and brotherhood is expressed by all religions and cultures of India-the bowing in prayer in the courtyard of a mosque or the rows of lamps that light up houses at Diwali, the good cheer of Christmas or the bonhomie of Baisakhi-the festivals of India are celebrations of a shared emotion that bring people together.

People from different religions and cultures of India, unite in a common chord of brotherhood and amity on this fascinating and diverse land. Yet, there is a disparity amongst various religions in accordance with the occupation or hierarchy due to which the caste system evolved.

This rigidity of caste system marginalised a lot of sections of society, thus,hampering the overall growth of the human race in India. A lot of religious leaders such a Mahavira (540-468 BC), the founder of Jainism and Gautama (563-483 BC), the founder of Buddhism, failed to reduce the rigidity of caste system It was the Industrial Revolution that finally made a dent in the caste system and brought a new awareness to Indians. Industrialisation encouraged urbanisation, as village dwellers of both high and low castes moved to the cities for better jobs. In the urban areas, the rigid, age-old, caste-centered thinking gave way to a more liberal outlook and encouraged the mixing of castes without distinction. Trade unions and other associations saw members from all castes working together.

The British Government of India had a considerable transforming impact on the country’s social structure. The British brought changes by passing many important laws, such as the Hindu Act, the Caste Disabilities Act and the Widow Remarriage Act etc.

The strongest, most systematic attack on the caste system had come in the 20th century through the Constitution of India, adopted on 26th November, 1949, India’s Constitution guaranteed the rights of all its citizens to justice, liberty, equality and dignity. This highlights the long and arduous journey from ancient caste distinctions based on Hindu philosophy and religious traditions to the constitutional pledge of a democratic government with equality, dignity and justice for all human beings. To uplift the backward classes, the Government of India has officially documented castes and subcastes, primarily to determine those deserving reservation in education and jobs through the census.

India is a secular state and probably, the only state where so many religions flourish side by side. In practice, it is difficult to divide religion or caste affiliations from the life of people. This is probably so, because it is impossible to know India without understanding its religious beliefs and practices, which have a large impact on the personal lives of most Indians.

For many Indians, religion and their caste exerts a strong motivational influence on their lifestyles, beliefs and culture. Kinship bonding in India is very strong, with an enormous respect for family, community values and traditions. Festivities transcend the invisible barrier between religions and rather become a celebration of the universality of human living. But this does not mean that religious practices in the Indian sense merely involve hollow and meaningless display of traditions, instead it is a deep rooted sense of the way of life.

At present, Indian society is characterised by the development that has led to a free-market economy. In the current scenario, India’s caste system can no longer fully contain the socio-economic changes that the country is undergoing. Different occupations and levels of education are no longer correlated with caste.

For example a high caste person may not be born as a Chief Executive, but he/she can work to become one. A person of low caste can now get a good education and can become an executive, a college professor or even a political leader.

However, the vote politics rampant in Indian democracy tries to lure the voters on the basis of their castes and religions, which is also a great setback to the real and concrete development of the country. The only weapon that seems available to fight the rigid caste system is education.

We need to learn to respect man as man first, which will help us value the uniqueness of religion, class, ethnicity and culture of India.

Information Media

By far, books, magazines, newspapers and other printed matter carry the largest and most varied kinds of information to their readers. We can get books on almost any subject that we care to read on. There are books on sports, cookery, fashion, language education, etc. You name the topic and the likelihood is that somebody has published a book (or books) on that topic. So does the internet, which is a modern development in this field.

We get all kinds of information via magazines and newspapers. We come to know about various anti-social happenings through the print media and are able to keep ourselves alert. We also read about the rise and fall of certain politicians, the cricket matches, the state of the stock exchange, the grand sale going on in a supermarket, and also about the various kinds of jobs available.

The amount of information that we can gather from a newspaper is enormous. To read the whole newspaper completely would take hours. While everything printed in newspapers may not be interesting to everyone, we usually read the sections we like, for example, the sports and cartoon pages, and leave the rest. In our country, newspapers are published daily in various languages to cater to various linguistic groups. Each newspaper gives its own version of the hottest news items plus other items that are its particular preferences.

Thus, an average person can be reasonably well-informed about the current happenings in this ever changing world; and only at the price of a few rupees.

The last century, and especially the last few decades, witnessed the tremendous strides made in the field of electronic technology. The simple traditional telephone has been joined to sophisticated television sets, computers, stereo, music, mobile phones and the internet.

Moreover, the internet and social media are particularly important for facilitating access to an unparalleled wealth of information, as well as providing opportunities for new innovative activities and social interactions. Through the means of the internet, especially in smart mobile phones the information spreads instantly and reaches mass audiences in a less costly manner.

In order to get the attention of masses one can voice thoughts on any of the social networking sites and in return get thousands of reviews back. This advancement made Bill Gates quote; “The PC (Personal Computer) has improved the world in just about every area you can think of… Access to information and the ability to give a voice to people who would never have been heard.”

Through the television comes all manner of soap-operas, talk-shows, news, documentaries and the ubiquitous advertisement clips. Large number of people are reached daily in this way. A whole new generation of people is created based on the ideals and dreams that are propagated by television. Political groups and manufacturers make extensive use of this mode of communication to communicate with people. Television has become so effective as a means of transferring information that even criminals and terrorists know its value.

The invention of communication satellites now allows us to witness any event around the globe at the touch of a remote. Even the internet is playing a huge role in the transfer of information at present.

India: A Software Superpower

Two mighty streams flow through India- the spiritual and the technological, indeed! Many developed countries today feel threatened with the Indian Brains taking up leading positions in their country. India is fast becoming the boiling pot of all the IT and software professionals. For a country that lagged behind in the industrial revolution, this rapid catching up with the technology is nothing short of a miracle. It is a country that is being increasingly identified with the high quality IT products, services and processes as well as wealth of skilled manpower that ranks among the best in the world.

The country is forecasted to become the ‘software superpower’ of the world by 2020. It has thus acquired a foremost position in the map of the IT world. India’s progress in this sector is quick and influential, providing the economy a boost.

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, manufactured the first computer in India, in 1966 and since then there has been no looking back. India has emerged as a great reckoning force and a dynamic nation at the dawn of this century.

The year 1985 is said to be the year which is the generator of the software and IT revolution in India. India declared its IT policy under the leadership of late Rajiv Gandhi who saw computer as a powerful instrument of modernising the country. The IT policy of 1985 stressed on the fact that electronics and software would be the answer to the problem of unemployment in near future. Indeed computers are spreading in the country at a rocketlike speed. Today, software revolution is at its peak in India. Computers are common in every home, with small children playing games, to generating businesses. Computer consciousness and awareness is fast-developing amongst the youth of today. At present, the United States is considered the leader in IT software, with giants like Microsoft, Apple, Hewlett Packard etc. Today even India is among the top rankers is software industry with over 150 of the fortune 500 companies existing in India.

The world’s top software firms such as Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, IBM etc already have set-up centres for research and development because of globally recognised quality standards of India. For instance, Guillermo Wille, head of GE’s India Research Centre noted that GE’s Indian scientists and engineers are working in leading edge fields such as nanotechnology, hydrogen energy, photonics etc. Moreover, while complimenting Indian talent, Oracle co-president Charles Phillip said:

“The kind of intellectual figure you people have is phenomenal……

The success is ‘phenomenal’ and has been achieved because of various reasons. Strong steps by the government have been taken to improve infrastructure led by revamped policies to attract global foreign direct investments. There is a huge base of English-speaking graduates that supports the extensive ITES-BPO industry. Additionally, there is a ready supply of professionals with relevant IT skills from both formal and informal sector.

Infact, to further boost the literacy in this sector, Indian Government has launched low-cost-tablet called ‘Aakash’ which will link about 25000 colleges and 400 universities to an e-learning programme.

Bengaluru is popularly known as India’s Silicon Valley. It is the hub of IT companies specialising in R & D, electronics and software production. Leading Indian software companies like Infosys, Wipro Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL hold the world ranking in terms of revenues.

Infosys is the third-largest Indian IT service company by 2014 revenues. Wipro’s founder, Azim Premji was claimed to be the richest man according to Forbes 2011 list of billionaires. Sabeer Bhatia, founder of hotmail e-mail services, recent Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO (succeeding Steve Ballmer in February 2014) are the examples of India’s excellent might in this sector.

A 21 years old Indian engineering graduate won a reward of ? 8 Lakh for discovering a bug which enabled the users of facebook to remove pictures from other accounts without the approval of the owner. Truly, India’s software whiz kids have won world-wide acclaim in rectifying the millennium computer bug. They are less prone to committing mistakes than their Western counter parts, especially in writing long and complicated software programmes,

And they take advantage of the 24-hour clock, while European and American multinationals sleep, Indian experts fix their software glitches overnight. Every third of Bill Gates’ employees is of Indian origin and upto 50000 Indian technicians make their way to US Silicon Valley each year.Indian politicians are eager to back the IT revolution. They are making the concessions so that the infrastructure and the sector as a whole can flourish. With such incentives India’s IT sector is getting stronger with each passing day. With a 1.2 Billion people, India has the world’s largest pool of technical talent and is the top global technology services outsourcing destination.

Moreover, the increasing demand of Indian software engineers is a sure signal that even the world accepts India as a software super-power to reckon with in the present era.

Sex Education in school

One of the much debated topics across the world is the importance of sex education in schools. Sex education refers to a broad programme designed to impart knowledge/training regarding values, attitudes and practices affecting family relationships. The real purpose behind sex education is the transfiguration of a male child into manhood and of a female child into womanhood.

It is the education that provides knowledge on physical, social, moral, behavioural and psychological changes and developments during puberty. It teaches the adolescents about the role of boys and girls in family and society, responsibility and attitude of boys and girls towards each other, etc within social context.

Sex education is never the most pleasant of the conversations for an adult and child to have. Yet, it is an essential one that many feel should happen in a responsible and safe environment. Due to increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS, RTIs/STIs and teenage pregnancies, there is a rising need to impart sex education. Parents and counsellors in Delhi argue that banning sex education is not a solution and will prove disadvantageous instead, given the exposure kids have to the internet.

Plato and his allegory of the cave.

Credits – thoughtco

Plato was born in Athens, Greece, around 429 B.C. He was expected to become a politician by his family but he chose not to for two reasons and took the road of philosophy and mathematics. The first reason was the Peloponnesian War where he found out that some of his relatives were part of a dictatorship and were removed for corruption. The second reason was the death of Socrates who was the biggest influence in Plato’s life. Socrates was executed by the new Athenian government. Plato started writing and became a philosopher. He studied under Pythagoras in Sicily. After returning from there, he founded The Academy, a place where he and other people discussed philosophy and mathematics to come to better conclusions.

Plato’s allegory of the cave proves the power of reasoning over the senses. Personal human experiences will not amount to the truth. Proper philosophical reasoning is the only way to find the truth. To understand his allegory of the cave, you first need to understand his theory of forms. So Plato states that reality exists on two specific levels. First is the visible world which has sight and sound. Second is the intelligible world which gives the visible world its being. For example, when a person sees an ugly face he’s quickly able to identify its ugliness of it. Because in his mind he has an idea of ugly that allows him to point out ugly. He was able to spot the ugliness because he has an abstract idea of what ugliness is. The current state of that ugly face might change in the future because everything keeps changing in the visible world but the form of beauty, ugly etc is eternal and never changes. This is the theory of forms.

Credits- Amelia

Coming onto the theory of caves, The allegory of caves was a conversation between Socrates and Plato’s brother, Glaucon. Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a world where illusion is believed to be reality. To prove his point further, he asks him to imagine a scenario where there’s a cave and 3 people are locked up inside the cave since their birth. Their necks and legs are chained and cannot escape from the cave. They can only see what is in front of them. Behind and above the prisoners is a fire, and between the fire and prisoners, there is a low wall from where people walk with objects in their heads. Now, these prisoners can only see the shadow of the object and therefore they believe the shadow to be the real form of the object. Because the prisoners have never been exposed to real objects, they start to believe that the real form of that object looks like a shadow. If a shadow of a hammer were to appear, they’d believe the shadow of the hammer to be the real hammer. They are not saying that it’s a shadow because in their reality no shadows exist. They think it’s an actual hammer. One of the prisoners will eventually be able to understand the nature of this illusionary world and would be able to guess what shadow will come next. This will lead to him being praised by the other 2 prisoners.

Suppose, one of the prisoners is set free. He escapes the cave and gets to see the world. He gets angry and frustrated after seeing the real world because he believes the cave illusion to be his reality. When his reality is disproved, he becomes angry, sad and frustrated because he is now forced to believe something else and step out of his comfort zone. Eventually, he’ll be able to make sense of what he has seen and accept that the cave illusion was not his reality. He has now accepted that his past was based on a lie and that is not the way he should perceive things going ahead because he has now found out that it was all an illusion. He goes back to the cave to tell the other prisoners about the real world. When he tells them whatever he has witnessed, they don’t believe him and threaten to kill him if he tries to free them. They are so comfortable in their fake reality that they don’t even want to make the effort of exploring a new possibility because that might lead them out of their comfort zone and face chaos. People mistake what is in front of them as reality and choose to live in ignorance. And when parts of the truth start to emerge in front of their eyes, they get frightened. Because that threatens their ignorant reality. However, a person who pays attention to these flashes of truth and is open to the idea of exploration will always have a better understanding of the world around him. Always aim for reasoning rather than simply believing what seems easy to believe.

Credits- steemit

*I was influenced to write this article after coming across the book Philosophy 101 by Paul Kleinman*

E-commerce – Market Trend of the 21st Century

Even today, some considerable time after the so called internet revolution”, Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) remains a relatively new, emerging and constantly changing area of business management and information technology. Speaking in layman’s terms, E-Commerce refers to the entire process of marketing. selling, delivering goods and servicing customers over the Internet. It has revolutionized the way companies do business. Consumers can buy almost anything online 24 hours a day.

In the 21st century, the rapid development of information technology and the rapid increase in information exchange have brought new drives and innovative ideas to the whole society. The wide adoption of information technology by the community has led to great changes. These changes are not simply in the context of data processing or computing. They are changes which affect how we communicate with each other, how we organise our daily activities, how we educate the younger generation, and how we run business. The great development and acceptance of information technology, computer networks and the Internet have transformed the mode of operation of many businesses, and at the same time have brought along unprecedented business opportunities. Businesses are now able to conduct transactions across geographical boundaries, across time zones and at a high efficiency. E-Commerce has become the market trend of the Century.

Life has become very busy these days. Odd working hours, hectic schedules and time constraints have changed how people shop these days. Hence, E-Commerce has become the preferred method of shopping for many people. They love the ease with which they can shop online from their home at any time of the day or night. Purchasing options are quick and convenient with the ability to transfer funds online. Consumers save time and money by searching for items and making their purchases online. It can take several days of physically going from location to location, costingtime and fuel, to purchase a hard-to-find item. Moreover, E-Commerce is an retail method for business transactions. Start-up costs for establishing an E-Commerce business is far less than expanding your business with more brick and mortar locations. Fewer licenses and permits are required to start an online business than that of a physical store location. You will also save money by using fewer employees to perform operations such as managing inventory and billing customers. You won’t have to search for an appropriate geographic location or worry about paying high utility costs for the facility. efficient

Advertising done well on the web can get even a small firm’s promotional message out to potential consumers in every country in the world. A firm can use electronic commerce to reach narrow market segments that are geographically scattered. The web is particularly useful in creating virtual communities that become ideal target markets for specific types of products or services.

The prospects are, in no doubt, great for E-Commerce and its followers. But still, there are some consumers who are reluctant to embrace E-Commerce because of privacy issues. Making an online purchase often requires disclosing personal information such as an address, telephone number and banking or credit card account information. While many people feel making an online purchase does not compromise their personal information, some still prefer not to take a chance of having their account information accessed by a third party, and will only make their purchases at a storefront operation.

Then there is the issue of inability to feel the product physically or check it with your own hands while buying. When making a purchase at a brick and mortar business, you get the product when you pay for it. On the web, there may be a time lag from purchase to actually being able to consume. The consumer will have to wait for delivery of physical goods.

Also, some businesses are less suitable for electronic commerce. Such businesses may be involved in the selling of items which are perishable or high-cost, or which require inspection before purchasing. Most of the disadvantages of electronic commerce today, however, stem from the newness and rapidly developing pace of the underlying technologies. These disadvantages will disappear as electronic commerce matures and becomes more available to and accepted by the general population.

Not only the new generation, but also the older generation is getting a hold of technology. They are adapting to the changing technologies and try to be up-to-date. Therefore, E-Commerce is also making its way into their lives. It is true that going to markets or malls to shop will never go out of fashion but E-Commerce is also here to stay and become more and more popular as people realize its advantages and get comfortable with it.

Decentralisation

Decentralisation can be defined as “the dispersion of decision making governance distribution of functions and powers from a central authority to regional and local authorities.”

There are various forms of decentralisation. Privatisation is a type of decentralisation. Privatisation and deregulation means shifting responsibility for functions from the public to the private sector. Privatisation can range from public-private partnerships to allowing private enterprises to perform functions the had previously been monopolised by the government. Usually, though not always, privatisation and deregulation are accompanied by economic liberalisation and market development policies.

India’s fiscal deficit during 1990s, spectacular growth by economies of Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia due to the indulgence of private sector; integration of world trade changes in China and dissatisfaction with the performance of public sector-all factors collectively contributed to the initiation of privatisation in India.

To begin with, in 1992, India opened up cellular and basic services to private players and then the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was constituted in 1997 as an independent regulator in this sector. Till 1986, telecommunication was a public utility owned by the Government of India.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) was created in 1986 as a Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) to facilitate telecommunication services in the cities of Delhi and Mumbai. In all other places, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was formed as a PSE on 1st October, 2000 as a telecom service provider.

These state-owned incumbents with a large existing subscriber base dominate the fixed line service. However, with the entry of private players, today the Indian telecommunication industry is the world’s fastest growing industry with 826.93 million mobile phone subscribers, as of April, 2011, as liberalisation led to the entry of private players such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices. Idea Cellular and Aircel.

Privatisation of banks began in 1994 when the Reserve Bank of India issued a policy of liberalisation to license limited number of private banks, which came to be known as New Generation tech-savvy banks. Prior to this, SBI was in existence since 1955, apart from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) established in 1935, which controlled the central banking responsibilities.

Thus, Global Trust Bank was the first private bank after liberalisation, which was later amalgamated into Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) was the first bank to receive an in principle approval from the RBI to set-up a bank in the private sector. At present, there are many private banks in India including leading banks like ICICI Banks, ING Vysya Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Karnataka Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SBI Commercial, Dhanalakshmi Bank, Federal Bank, HDFC Bank. Karur Vysya Bank, UTI Bank and YES Bank. Privatisation of insurance sector in India happened around the year 2000 when the government allowed private players to enter the Indian market. Although in the year 1993, a road map for privatisation of the life insurance sector was laid, but it took another six years before the enabling legislation to pass the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act in the year 2000.

s that Resultantly, the newly appointed insurance regulator-Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)- started issuing licenses to private life insurers. At present leading private sector life insurers are SBI Life Insurance, Metlife India, ICICI Prudential, Bajaj Allianz, Max New York Life Insurance, Sahara Life Insurance, Tata AIG, HDFC Standard Life, Birla Sun Life, Kotak Life Insurance, Aviva Life Insurance, Reliance Life Insurance, ING Vysya, Shriram Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Future Generali, IDBI Fortis Life Insurance, AEGON Religare and Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

In the electricity sector, the new wave of policy reforms designed to promote private participation has been driven by the need to expand the capacity and increase the reliability of systems, public sector budget constraints and the positive results of the private participation in other countries. Although in India electricity sector is still largely under the domain of public sector, but the inclusion of private sectors for capacity additions has also begun.

Major PSUs involved in the generation of electricity include National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCI). Besides PSUs, several state level corporations are also involved in the generation and intrastate distribution of electricity. In the private sector, major capacity additions are planned in Reliance Energy, Tata Power and RPG Group-CESC.

Decentralisation is an answer to the problems of the centralised sector. Decentralisation in the government sector helps to solve problems of economic decline, lack of funds, performance issues and reservation for minorities. In the area of politics, its objective is to vest more power with citizens or elected representatives. Economic decentralisation brings about privatisation of public institutions, through deregulation, abolition of restrictions on business competing with government services, such as postal services, school etc. Decentralisation has also been executed in various technologies like water purification, waste disposal, agricultural technology and energy technology.

Internet is a good example of a successful decentralised network. Wikipedia, the online Encyclopaedia, storing information on a plethora of topics, is also decentralised as it allows users to add, modify or delete content via the internet. Social networking sites are also decentralised systems that have greatly changed our lives. Information technology used to facilitate interactions of the government with the citizens, is referred to as e-Government.

petroleum are some of the other sectors that have been decentralised and are among It is indeed a good initiative to boost democratisation. Education, health care and the fastest growing sectors of the economy today. Thus, decentralisation of public sector enterprises that began with the economic reforms of the 1990s has yielded angible benefits to the country.

However, dangers of decentralisation loom large. For example, if the technical capacity or functioning of a system is weak, it will definitely result in poor quality products and services. Coordination for national policies can become complex and resource distribution can become uneven. A few local elites can grab power and hindrances in proper decision-making can surface. In the absence of a higher competent authority, monopoly and anarchy can give way to chaos and suppression of public interests.

Thus, decentralisation is both a boon and a bane to the economy. It is to be used as an ‘instrument of change and empowerment of the masses’ and not to earn quick money by few individuals pursuing their selfish interests.

The Pre-socratic era (Origins of Western philosophy)

Credits- Study maps.

Greek philosophers in the 5th and 6th centuries started to question the world around them. They thought that greek mythology was too vague, and irrational and did not ask the right questions. They were in search of a more rational approach to the truths of life. They questioned where everything came from, what everything was, the role of mathematics and the existence of plurality in nature. They believed that not everything in the world is the same and some materials don’t stay in their present state forever. That’s why they laid the principles of change which they called archê.

The term “pre-Socratic” meaning before Socrates was coined and popularised by Hermann Diels. Socrates was alive at the same time when some of the pre-socratic philosophers existed so this term doesn’t necessarily mean philosophers before the birth of Socrates. It just means a different take from Socrates’ philosophical work. Pre-socratic philosophers produced texts. No texts have survived fully. These philosophies are based on the texts that could be gathered and quoted from the later historian which was usually biased.

There were some different schools of thought during this era. Some of them were The Milesian school, The Pythagorean school, The Eleatic school and The Atomist school. The Milesian school consisted of three important philosophers. Thales was the first. Thales claimed that a single element was water. Thales determined that water could go through changes of state like evaporation and condensation. He also knew that it was responsible for moisture. The second philosopher was Anaximander. Anaximander claimed that the single element was an undefined, unlimited and indefinite substance, known as Apeiron. The thing that separates Hot and Cold, solid and liquid is the Apeiron. His philosophy is similar to the Chinese philosophy of yin-yang. The third and last philosopher from The Milesian school was Anaximenes. He believed the single element to be air. According to him, the air is everywhere and can transform into something else. For example water, objects, clouds etc.

Anaximenes. (credits- stratis)

The Pythagorean school was formed by philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras believed that every answer to life can be found through mathematical calculations. Every rationale of life is derived from mathematics. He had a very cult-like following. His students were very true to his rules and ways of life. They’d often follow his exact instructions. His students believed that his studies were the prophecies of God.

The Eleatic school was based in the colophon. It had four main philosophers. The first one was Xenophanes. He did not believe that gods were anthropomorphic or had human characteristics in other words. He believed that there was only one god and he didn’t have a physical form but he can See, Hear, Think and control the world with his thoughts. The second philosopher was Parmenides. He believed that individual experiences don’t amount to the real truth. Truth can only be found through reason and not senses. His foundations hugely influenced Plato and the whole of western philosophy. The school of Elea started using reason to find the truth because of him. The third philosopher is Zeno. He was Parmenides’s most famous student and probably his lover too. He spent most of his life creating arguments that defended parmenides’ ideas. His most famous Argument is about pluralism. The notion that many things exist as opposed to one, will lead to more absurd conclusions. He believed plurality was an illusion. His work was later disproved but was hugely influential. The last one is the melissus of Samos. His philosophy was that what it differs from what it seems. According to him it never really is what it seems.

*I was influenced to write this article after coming across the book philosophy 101 written by Paul Kleiman*

Inculcating Stoicism in your life

Credits- art.com

Stoicism is a philosophy founded by the Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. According to this school of philosophy, there are two factors. The internal world and the external world. The internal world contains emotions, reactions, behaviour and all the things that a human being controls. The external world is wealth, status, validation etc. Stoicism describes wealth as neither good nor bad. Although a human being should always live a life of modesty and should not pay much attention to the external world. We do not control what happens in the external control but we do control our actions and our reaction toward the external world. We should build such a mindset where the external world doesn’t have an overwhelming effect on us.

In today’s generation, everyone’s life is a busy one. No one has the time to be free and reconnect with themselves. This makes us lose touch with ourselves. This is how the world moves. We are controlled by the external narrative and are always chasing some illusionary goal that we think will give us all the joy and happiness needed in life. We’re all chasing one thing or the other. But stoicism has always said that no material thing in the external world can attain happiness. You always have to look within. Bureaucracy makes us a slave to the external world and we do not break the pattern until we are dead.

Credits- words of wisdom

Stoicism teaches us to take control of our lives. It tells us not to be controlled by the greed of wealth and status. It encourages us to find ourselves. You can inculcate stoicism in your life by getting across some of the stoic readings. Marcus Aurelius was a believer In stoicism. He was probably the richest man when he existed. He was still believed to live a modest life and people around him worshipped his virtue. One has to grasp an understanding of the world he lives in and more importantly they have to grasp an understanding of themselves. Stoicism encourages independence in thinking. It makes us see what really exists.

Personally, stoicism gave me an understanding of what the external world is. I came across it when I was 16 years old. I was very materialistic as a kid. I used to seek joy in buying all the gadgets that I wanted. There were times when I used to feel hollow but I never really knew what it was and why do I feel that? Stoicism made me understand that void. The void had been created due to the lack of real value in my life. I realised it and started studying stoicism. With time, my understanding of the world got better. Sometimes it makes me laugh how unconcerned I was. We all get lost in our lives sometimes. The games that we make for ourselves can sometimes trap us. But a true human being will always find a way to see through the fake and embrace reality.

“ I THINK, THEREFORE I AM”

• Rene Descartes

School of life’s video about stoicism

How To Achieve Emotional Intelligence?

Each of us has a unique personality, as well as varied needs and desires and emotional expression styles. It requires tact and wit to get through all of this, especially if we want to thrive in life. Emotional intelligence is crucial in this situation.

Understanding your emotions, what they’re trying to tell you, and how your emotions influence those around you is emotional intelligence. It also affects how you see other people; you may develop partnerships more skillfully when you get other perspectives.

Self-awareness is the foremost step to achieving emotional intelligence. It simply means being aware of your strength and weakness. It builds confidence and due to this, it doesn’t let emotion rule them in any way. Self-regulation is basically thinking before you act. It doesn’t allow one to be impulsive or jealous and can be gained by controlling emotions there is more thoughtfulness than envy. Empathy one of the essential elements in emotional intelligence . Being able to identify other persons feelings and opinions help them to manage good relationship with others, and makes them avoid being judgemental or stereotypical and through these it can lead to development of motivation and social skills.

To establish social awareness in yourself the first step would be to observe around and be aware of the environment. Before forming an opinion about someone try to put your shoe in theirs and acknowledge their perspective. Coming out of your comfort zone and enjoying the new challenges that life gives you. Moreover, analyze how you cope up in stressful situations do you blame it on others and doesn’t take the initiative by yourself? That’s when you initiate with the practice of humility it will guide you to be aware of your actions and be true to it. Moreover, the main key is to keep an open mind. Whatever situation come and go it will help you understand how the world works. Grow and let others grow.

How dangerous is Volcanic Lava?

We all know that lava erupting from a volcano can be too hot and dangerous but to what Fahrenheit and how is it monitored?

Lava flows that spontaneously utilise apertures in vents and cracks to escape are closely related to volcanic explosions. Lava extrudes with an amber glow at degrees between 1470°F and 2190°F. Lava cannot compete with the sun, which has an incredible temperature of roughly 10,000° F, even at this temperature. Practically all living things, including people, animals, plants, crops, and even dwellings, are negatively impacted by the intense heat from lava that results from an eruption.

Any substance with a melting temperature lower than 2,190° F may be melted by lava, including rubber, tanks, vehicles, trees, and grass. If it is unable to completely melt the materials, it can ignite them and eventually reduce them to ashes. But we must remember that volcanic lava is unquestionably hazardous and is far stronger than burning of wood or coal, therefore one must be extremely cautious when in its proximity.

The use of GPS devices or transmitters to aid in the most accurate mapping of current lava flows. The signals are obtained by radio waves sent by satellites circling the planet, and they provide crucial information for monitoring lava flows that may be moving closer to populated areas.

The Christian,Muslim conundrum

Credits-peakpx

I sat with my friend clive to know more about his culture. He told me how he was brought up to be a Christian and what were his values. He used to go to church every morning. Then we discussed if he has ever faced discrimination due to his religion. He didn’t feel that he has experienced discrimination. I also asked my Muslim friends if they’ve had any such experiences. They also felt the same way.

All of the people that I interviewed are from a well-to-do backgrounds. This makes me come to my next observation. Are people discriminated against because of their religion or because they belong from a not so well to do background? If you see in our society, Muslim or Christian people who have money don’t have to go through the religious stigma that other people go through. For example, a poor Muslim might have to go through a lot of discrimination as compared to a well-to-do Muslim. In today’s world if you are rich then you’re a powerful man.

Credits- gettyimages

I also had the opportunity of meeting a Muslim boy who was not very well-to-do. He told me that in his school, people were always given an opportunity before him. He was the last boy to be considered for every activity and he feels it’s because of his religion. I am not trying to make a stupid assumption but I feel this has some truth to it. In today’s world, if you belong to the higher class of society, you are likely to not go through any hardships due to your religion. Although, that is not completely true because there have been a lot of events where people were either kicked out or denied to take property at a certain place.

This activity led me to discover a lot of insights into the religious stigma that exists around me. I’d encourage everyone to go and ask people from vulnerable backgrounds about their lives. It serves two purposes. They get to share their sorrows and you become more informed about the situation of the matter.

Taoism- finding your own “way”

Taoism is an ancient Chinese philosophy. This philosophy was supposedly written by Lao Tzu during 500 B.C.E. We don’t know if Lao Tzu existed. We have no living proof of his presence. Taoism is a philosophy that is based on non-doing. Not getting in your way. Respecting the natural flow of this universe. For example, if the force of the river is on the right side then you’d be a fool to swim towards the left side. Taoism is about going with the force of life or with the TAO. Tao is not a god but it’s us all, every living being is a part of the tao.

One of the key things about Taoism is yin & yang. It talks about the balancing force of this universe. Action and non-action, dark and light, hot and cold. Every example has meaning because their opposites exist. There is no action without non-action or no light without dark. This teaches us to accept all things for what they are. Taoism finds power in the natural truths of life. It promotes harmony. When we accept the natural form of this universe, we become one and attain harmony. The tao can’t be explained or held. It can only be felt by letting go.

“Look, but you can’t see it.

Listen, but you can’t hear it.

Reach out, but you can’t touch it.

Invisible,inaudible,intangible.

Elusive.

The one, the tao”.

• Lao Tzu.

What does getting in your way mean? We often second guess our instincts and in some situations that is necessary. Taoism is all about making things simpler rather than complex. Living in the now, acknowledging everything but still detached from it. Creating your own “way”. Inculcating meditation in your life is one way to do it. I can’t stress how much meditation helps in finding yourself. Taoist meditation is a little different from the normal one. It’s more about communicating with your own body.

Like stoicism, Taoism believes in a modest approach to life. If I were to give a personal example, my mind automatically dived toward the future and I wouldn’t even know that it did. It was an automatic reaction that kept happening. But since I’ve come across Taoism, this situation has gotten much better. It has made me more accepting of my habits and given me a “way” to deal with them. You can’t change everything about who you are, you can accept it and get better at dealing with it. Taoism helped me do that. The teachings of Lao Tzu make you go into a state of Nirvana. That state can’t be explained because it is something beyond words. The tao cannot be held or explained. It can only be felt.

What is Tao? It is just this. It cannot be rendered into speech. If you insist on an explanation, This means exactly this.

• Yuan mei

Micro Learning

Micro learning is a form of short-term learning. Micro learning means learning small bits of information at a time that is simple to process. Over the last few years, everyone’s attention span is on a constant decline. In times like these, micro learning is a very efficient way of training people. It has its own pros and cons. It is very time efficient. It’s budget-friendly. It also keeps the learner hooked. But one of the biggest issues with this is that you can’t make people learn complex problems or concepts through this concept. Micro learning is a concept of an oversimplification to reduce the time and effort required to train. It may not be very useful when you aim to teach people complex concepts. In today’s world, we are surrounded by micro learning. Let’s take the internet, for example, a lot of people refer to different creators and sources for their consumption of information. They provide them with a total overview of a particular matter. This overview is rather oversimplified.

People seek political, local and lifestyle news in a simplified way. Short-duration content like reels and shorts or a ted talk are living examples of micro learning. Micro learning is a very good way to teach people small skills that are a means to a different end. For example, teaching someone how to operate a device or how to follow protocols. But it may not be very useful for teaching complex skills like writing, speaking and photography. Micro learning is the new way that people have preferred to learn about things that are relevant to them. If you can give them exactly what they need then it’s also not a very bad career choice. You must have come across many YouTube creators that simplify complex news and provide it to their viewers. That is a form of microlearning. It is a very popular and very effective way of grasping people’s attention.

Importance of seeking a spiritual experience.

I went into the Osho centre expecting a breath of fresh air and a new perspective on life. I had reached my saturation point and was seeking something meaningful. I learned a meditation technique there which changed my life forever. So the process, is that you have to lay down and breathe slower than you usually do. After doing that, you focus on your left leg and try to breathe through it. You move your attention towards the right leg and do the same. That’ll make your legs very light and peaceful. After doing this, you move all your attention to your navel centre which is the centre of your body and breath through it. If you do this correctly then that’ll give you immense harmony and peace. It feels as if all the negative vibrations are leaving your body. After this, you move your focus to your heart and breathe through it. And then from the face. In the end, you try to feel your whole body and try to breathe through your whole body. After this, you reflect on your meditation and take 3 deep breaths.

I’ve been practising this meditation for the last 2 months and it has made me comfortable with myself. I am now more accepting than ever, more confident than ever. It gave me a roadmap to working towards myself. Meditation makes you interact with yourself. When you do that consistently, you become more sure of who you are and what you want in life. I feel if you have clarity in life, everything automatically falls into place. Meditation definitely helped me do that.

I also met people from different walks of life in the centre. Middle-aged people, old people and young people doing completely different things. But doing things at their own pace and getting better at dealing with it every day. I came across a man whose name is Aditya. He is a middle-aged man in his 30s. He is not married and lives alone. In India, more often than not you expect a man in his 30s to be married cause that’s what society dictates. But he was completely free and detached from the social bounds we have. He was an artist working as a freelancer for the last 10 years. His energy was just different from the normal crowd. It was so refreshing to meet someone like that.

I always wanted to inculcate meditation in my life but I never had the discipline to do it until I started going to this centre. Meditation is so helpful for any human being because it makes you more conscious about yourself and when you are self-aware, you tend to make better decisions that affect you and you are aware of your flaws and you respect them. You find a way to deal with your vulnerabilities. I’d encourage my fellow members to go and seek out a spiritual experience free from the bounds of bureaucracy. This experience was personally so therapeutic for me and encouraged me to think in different ways and change my brain pattern towards life. It made me conquer my fear. And the only way to conquer fear is to accept it. I’d leave it at that.

Future of Robotics

Robots may be travelling to strange planets in 2030 and operating on patients from the other side of the earth. One of the areas of technology that is rapidly developing is robotics, which is influencing how people will travel, work, and explore in the future. IoT, AI, and other down side developments are assisting in further elevating the situation. Robotics is home to numerous fascinating discoveries that will be essential to daily living everywhere.

Saul -The Robot.

The robotics sector continues to innovate by fusing artificial intelligence with vision and other sensory technologies. According to the magazine, more recent versions of robots are simpler to set up and programme than older ones. High-tech ocean robots that explore the world beneath the waves, Saul the robot that shoots UV rays at the Ebola virus to kill it, and an AI-controlled therapeutic robot that facilitates more effective communication between patients and healthcare providers to lessen stress are a few noteworthy developments that will occur in 2021.

Cognitively and, in some situations, physically, more human-like. They already coexist with people in factories, warehouses, fast food restaurants, and apparel stores.

Future employees may have a far better future if technologies are developed to support new activities for which people are better suited. While millions of secretaries and typists were undoubtedly made redundant by the widespread use of computers in businesses, new jobs in related areas, such as computer engineers, software engineers, and IT advisors, were also created.

Time Travel:Is it true?

Since childhood days we all have been told the stories of time and travel and magic through cartoons and storybooks. But is it really possible in the practical world? Yes, it is. Whether waiting for the favorite next episode to arrive or hoping to have more time to spend a day with a close one who resides in a different city, time always moves at a constant speed.

No one has ever actually accomplished exactly the sort of back-and-forth time travel seen in science fiction or proposed a way to send a person through a significant amount of time without killing them in the process, despite the fact that many people find the idea of altering the past or seeing the future before it happens to be fascinating.

But there is some evidence that supports some degree of temporal dilation. For instance, the special relativity theory of physicist Albert Einstein postulates that time is an illusion that shifts with respect to the observer. When compared to an observer at rest, an observer moving close to the speed of light will perceive time and all of its consequences like aging much slowly.

Other strange science ideas based on wormholes, black holes, and theoretical physics are among the scientific hypotheses concerning time travel. But for the most part, time travel continues to be the subject of a wide range of science fiction publications and media resources.

In 1905, Einstein created his special relativity theory. It has evolved into one of the pillars of modern physics together with his subsequent development, the theory of general relativity. According to special relativity, when an item is traveling in a straight line at a constant speed, space and time are related.The idea is deceptively straightforward in its condensed form. There is no “absolute” point of reference since everything is measured in respect to something else. Second, light travels at a constant pace. No matter what or where it is assessed from, it remains constant. Third, nothing travels at a quicker rate than light.

Psychedelics substances and their magic.

The world we live in today continues to grow more anxious and ignorant of their surroundings. Information is indeed a boon for humankind but there’s only so much data we can process in a day. The problem is that we have an abundance of data available which is harming us in ways we can’t imagine. To reduce our tension we seek help from pharmaceutical industries but are they worthy of our trust? No. Then, what is our substitute? Or rather I should say what’s better for us? A possible answer can be psychedelic substances. In the recent past, there have been a lot of studies and experiments in the psychedelic environment which have been successful. These substances can help human beings fight depression, anxiety issues and different brain disorders. And this is just one of the realms of possibilities that psychedelics are capable of.

I will be discussing two case studies carried out by robin Carhart-harris who is a neuroscientist at imperial college. The first study revolves around the story of a man called kirk rutter who was in grief after his mother’s demise followed by a break-up and a car accident. Such events can disturb any human being. Kirk was in depression. He couldn’t think of anything but negative thoughts. He felt guilty, disturbed and sad. He called his condition “an automatic circuit” as he lost control over his thoughts. He had been on a lot of different medications but nothing helped him. Finally, he decided to participate in a study conducted by Carhart-harris. Rutter was taken into a room where the researchers studied his brain activity through magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]. Then harris explained to him about the drugs which he’ll receive and told him he’ll neutralize the hallucinogen if he couldn’t handle it. Then the two practised a technique which’ll help him calm down if he becomes overwhelmed. Rutter burst into tears while doing that. The next day he came back and was handed two pills by a researcher containing a synthetic form of psilocybin [psychedelic substance]. He lay on a bed and put on his headphones and an eye mask. The process began, the first hallucinations that he saw were some Sanskrit words and then he went on to reflect on his grief. He took his eye mask off and noticed that harris had an eye in the centre of his face[of course he’s hallucinating] and harris joked “I might be looking very different to you” they both laughed. Rutter talked about his resentment and discussed his life with harris like he never did before. The next day he returned for the second dose which was stronger. The trip was followed by an integration session where he would discuss his experience.

Rutter went on record to say “ This process made me look at grief differently. It was a realization that it wasn’t helping. Letting go was not a betrayal”. Rutter was depressed for more than 6 years before this study.  He was convinced that this experience changed his life for the better. He feared sometimes will the automatic circuit return? But he has some control over it now. 5 years later, his depression has not returned.

The second study carried out by harris included 12 people who were clinically depressed for more than 17.8 years on average. I am stressing over the term “clinically depressed”. They were also given the psychoactive substance available in magic mushrooms called psilocybin. No other medication could help this lad. One week after the oral dose all the patients experienced improvements in their symptoms. After 3 months, 5 of them were in complete remission. Harris said, “this is remarkable in the context of currently available treatments”. These researchers do not claim psilocybin to be the last resort to cure depression. They just claim that this can be done. After all, they were able to cure clinically depressed patients which no other legal medication could do.

The major argument that concerns psychedelics right now is the legalization of the substance. The science community believes that it should be legalized because it can help a lot of people fight their condition. If it becomes legal we can regulate the product and we can also create a safer environment whenever anyone consumes it. Researchers have enough evidence about its therapeutic potential and if this movement is promoted by authorities then it’ll be a huge boon for humanity. Legalization of anything increases the consumer’s safety as it’s labelled and safe for consumption. There are no major arguments against it but some scientists do believe that open consumption of psychedelics can lead to chaos but they have not considered the fact that if it gets legal it’ll be regulated. The scientists have virtually no funding to continue their research on these substances and also the public perception of these substances is very vague and false. Scientists argue that the awareness around this should be increased.

The public perception of these substances is the real problem. People put these drugs in the same category as crack and cocaine which is a very dangerous simplification. Although the majority of people are unaware of these substances but false interpretation dampers the image of the product. Psychedelics are referred to as “party drugs” but they are much more than that. The people who are aware of it are very limited and are unable to successfully communicate about it. Psychedelics needs to step out of its ivory tower and try to spread its importance where people don’t know anything about it. There are some communities in places like Haiti and amazon forest that celebrate the psychedelic culture and fully embrace it. But they are very small in number.

Before 1968, LSD and Psylocibin were legal. There were a lot of reasons for it getting banned. One of the reasons was the irresponsible behaviour of the civilians. People used it without really knowing about the substance. Your environment plays a big role when you are under the influence of psychedelics. If your environment is appropriate then your trip can be very soothing but if it’s not then it can result in psychosis. Some people ended up murdering someone. Although the biggest reason was the tyranny of the US government. Countries that had a well established psychoactive and pharmaceutical industry would’ve suffered huge losses if psychedelics expanded. The USA was one of them. The USA introduced a new classified system called scheduling. Under this system, drugs marked under schedule 1 are dangerous and offer no therapeutic value and the drugs marked under schedule 5 are safe and have some therapeutic value. LSD and Psylocibin were marked under schedule 1 even though enough evidence concluded that these substances have promising therapeutic potential. There was a conference organized between countries that had strong pharmaceutical markets and countries that we’re struggling to establish a pharmaceutical market. You can guess who won. psychedelics became illegal in most parts of the world. President Nixon’s assistant to the president John Ehrlichman went on record to say and I quote “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. Do you understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.” And after that, the criminalization has never stopped.

My opinion on this is every person who can experience these substances should do it.  I am saying this because I’ve had some personal experiences with LSD. I have consumed LSD a couple of times and I can say without a doubt that It was the most profound experience of my life. What it does is it makes you reflect on your vulnerabilities. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. You question your rights and wrongs and your worldview. We all are insecure about ourselves but we never take out the time to reflect and introspect. Lsd made me do that. It made me more aware of my surroundings, it made me more empathetic towards people so I can see things from their perspective. And most importantly, it made me resolve the conflicts within me.  I had created an elite class system within me that I was hardly aware of. I used to judge and see people through this class system. During my trip, I realised that and immediately made a promise to myself that I will resolve this. That’s why I chose this topic. I was personally affected and I thought I can explain to people what a wonderful thing psychedelics can be.  Like me, a lot of people find it hard to deal with their conflicts and I genuinely feel LSD can help them. If there’s such an efficient and wonderful medicine available to us, why don’t we use it for our benefit?  There’s a reason we have a DMT receptor in our brain.

I would like to conclude by saying that with proper regulations psychedelics can help human beings increase their quality of life. I’ve given enough evidence to back my statement. All it needs is some support from the government and some positive word of mouth. Soon, there will be a lot of experiments and trials concerning this.

My sources-

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00187-9

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41591-020-00001-5

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254121216_SocioCultural_and_Psychological_Aspects_of_Contemporary_LSD_use_in_Germany

Is too much sleep a good sleep?

The first wealth is health.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is a known fact that a healthy adult is supposed to have 8 hours of sleep for most people of age between 18 to 64 years. But what if one feels all-time sleepy?

The “proper” hours of rest varies from person to person since some individuals function well on seven hours of sleep while others may require a bit more. However, research and experts generally agree that individuals should not sleep for longer than nine hours every night.It probably won’t be a huge problem if you occasionally take advantage of the holiday to sleep in. If you typically get much more than nine hours of sleep per night or don’t feel refreshed when you get less, it could be worthwhile to check further.

The sleep pattern has to be assessed if a person is at rest for more than 9 hours each night. You might spend longer in bed if your sleep is in poor condition. Your body needs eight hours of profound, restful sleep, but if that’s not happening, it will naturally strive to extend the sleep time in order to get the quality sleep it requires.

Depression, Higher risk of obesity, and Cognitive impairment are some of the health risks one might face due to improper sleep. Thus, it is essential to have a healthy diet, a proper bedtime routine, and a proper amount of sunlight in the bedroom.

Reasons why Indian startups are failing.

Think big, think fast, think ahead. Ideas are no one’s monopoly.

Reliance

Layoffs in celebrated startups such as Meesho, Byjus, and Unacademy are one of the most controversial news in coming times. Despite Indian start-up being bagged with $36 billion funds in 2021 and within a year of India’s startup ecosystem, $41.4 billion was invested, and 42 new unicorns emerged.

The foremost probable reason could be the product-market fit. It is a known fact that the labor costs in India are very low. Thus, the grocery store or medical store will deliver it to the doorstep free of cost unlike dunzo who may charge a good amount of rupees, and practically it is not feasible to use it for daily ration goods unless it’s a known company like amazon.

The second one is squandering companies in the sense of taking all of the money from investors like spending on IPL advertisements when the cost is a lot more than the company’s revenue. Prey to regulations could be another reason behind the downfall and those who are too ahead of their time can bring out problems in the resources which are yet not available in the market.

Exciting films and shows to come out this year

THIS MUCH I KNOW TO BE TRUE

2022 like any other year has a lot of interesting projects that have my attention and I am eagerly waiting for a few films. The 1st film that I’ll be talking about is THIS MUCH I KNOW TO BE TRUE. This film is a musical journey of a man who sees himself through the devil. It is directed by Andrew Dominik. Nick cave and warren Williams make music which is influenced by the devil. In the trailer, there is a dialogue which goes like “you have discovered that the veil that separates your ordered life from disarray is very thin”. The trailer has some gritty visuals that immediately make you immersed in nick caves’ world. I am very excited about this project. It is slated to release this July in India.

THIS MUCH I KNOW TO BE TRUE TRAILER
NOPE

The second film that I am looking forward to is NOPE by Jordan Peele. Jordan Peele has delivered some excellent films in the past in the form of US(2021) & GET OUT(2017). US is my personal favourite. It is about a family who finds out that there is an exact clone version of themselves who is trying to kill them. The reason they despise the real family is that they’ve been living in the dark for their whole life while they get to live a happy and normal life. The thing that makes them envy the other family so much is that they have their bodies and they have their traits but their souls differ. This is the thing that separates them. It was a very interesting watch and that is why I am looking forward to this film which will come out later this year.

NOPE TRAILER
SUCCESSION

The third project is not a film but it’s an HBO series called succession. Succession is probably the best HBO show ever. It’s about a media conglomerate which is owned by the Roy family. It sheds light on the family politics that go behind the scenes and how a media conglomerate works. We get to see how every member of the Roy family has some personal motive and no one can be trusted. Everyone wants to be at the top and they can go to any margin for it. The show also tells its audience how the Roy family handles their public image by constantly changing the narrative for their own good. It’s a kind of show that always moves in tandem with what is happening and has happened in the past. The story is so well connected that you can understand the character development of all the actors in the show. The first 3 seasons are already out so watch it if you haven’t already. Season 4 will most likely be out by this year’s end or the start of 2024.

WARREN BUFFET- A MODEL FOR HIS BILLIONAIRE PEERS

By Moksha Grover

Warren Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.  Born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1930, Buffet is 91 years old. He is one of the most successful investors of all time and a model for his ultra-rich peers. Buffet also runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns above 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.  He has a net worth of over $104.4 billion as of August 2021, making him the world’s ninth-wealthiest person[1].  “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die” is a famous quote said by Warren Edward Buffet.

EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

Warren Buffet displayed his interest in business and investing at a very young age. At age seven, he was inspired for investing in the book “One Thousand Ways to make $1000”. Much of buffets childhood was filled with business ventures. He sold chewing gum, Coca-Cola bottles, and weekly magazines door to door. When in high school, he made money delivering newspapers, selling golf balls and stamps etc. As a sophomore, with one of his friends, he established a large paper route and invested in pinball machines. They are stationed in barber shops and split their profits with the shop owners. They started their business with just $25 and sold their business later for $1200. Buffet also bought 40 acres of Nebraska farmland, by age 15 with the proceeds from earlier business ventures[2].

After completing his graduate degree from Columbia University, Buffett worked for the investment legend Benjamin Graham, in New York City. He considered Benjamin Graham as his mentor and was inspired by him a lot. After Graham retired from his business, buffett went back to his hometown and started running a series of successful hedge funds, known as the Buffett Partnerships.

In late1960s, Buffet closed down his original investment business and took over Berkshire Hathaway, a struggling textile maker. He decided to close his business when he saw the stock market being overvalued and made Berkshire Hathaway his primary business activity. Over the decades, with the help of buffet, Berkshire Hathaway turned into a conglomerate with annual sales of $245 billion[3]. It has a market capitalization of $654 billion and employs roughly 360,000 people through its many subsidiaries[4]. With the rise in the value of Berkshire’s stock, many people became rich. Buffet declared employee Greg Abel as his successor, keeping in mind his age-related health risks and long-term, interests. Although buffet has not retired or declared his intention to retire from Berkshire Hathaway. Its shares gained about 25% in the first eight months of 2021[5].

Image source: IndiaStudyChannel.com

LIVING LIFE ON HIS OWN TERMS

Buffet got much of his philosophy from his father, Howard Buffet, who was an American businessman, investor, and politician. He describes this philosophy as trying to “keep up with the Joneses.”. This means that he enjoys living up his life on his own terms and doesn’t care about what others think of him.

Talking about buffet’s personal life, Although, Buffet is a Democrat, he has still voted and donated to both democrats and republicans. He has also described himself as an ‘agnostic ‘person. His late wife and the foundation named after her that he has funded, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, were and are substantial supporters of reproductive rights organisations that favour access to legal abortions. Warren Buffet married Susan in 1952, who spent her later years in San Francisco. He spent more than 20 years considering himself to be happily married to Susan. After his first wife’s 2004 death, Buffett married another woman named Astrid Menks, who lived in Omaha, at the same time in a small and informal ceremony.

WARREN BUFFET’S CHARITY

Warren Buffet became the founder of ‘The Giving Pledge along with Bill and Melinda French Gates. The Giving Pledge is a campaign to encourage extremely wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Buffet also pledged that more than 99% of his wealth will go to philanthropy, either during his lifetime or at his death[6]. He could have started his own charitable foundation but has contributed his money to five foundations run by others.  Until 2021, he served Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a trustee and poured most of his charitable money into the foundation.

Buffet says that he has given very little money to his three children Howard Graham Buffett, Peter Buffett and Susan Alice Buffett, who themselves are millionaires and own hundreds of millions of dollars for the foundations they each run. For example, he’s one of corporate America’s strongest proponents of women in business. He mentored Tracy Britt Cool for more than a decade as she rose from a financial assistant to CEO of Pampered Chef, a Berkshire subsidiary. Later, she started her own private equity firm, modelled after Berkshire, with Buffett’s support.

Buffet also shared his knowledge of the financial markets and the economy in 1977 and conducted annual shareholder meetings.[7] His annual shareholder meetings, known as “Woodstock for capitalists” is akin to a Disney vacation for thousands of families each year. Buffett also voluntarily met with scores of college students for decades about eight times a year for a Q&A session and tour of his businesses[8]. Buffet has given more than $4.1 billion to charity[9].

BUFFET’S RULE

Buffet recently admitted that he pays tax less than his secretary. The reason behind this, he told is a system from which he has benefitted a lot. This system lets billionaires pay very low tax bills, partly because it taxes income instead of wealth. For years he advocated for the so-called “Buffett Rule,” a minimum 30% tax on those making more than $1 million a year to remedy the problem[10]. Rich pay less tax when they deduct it from what they have donated to charities is a fact, also recognized by the buffet.

 For his rules on business, Buffet is a very sensible investor. He only invests in those companies which he has thoroughly researched and understands. Buffett personally lost about $23 billion in the financial crisis of 2008, and his company, Berkshire Hathaway, lost its revered AAA rating[11]. The most important quality, as defined by buffet for an investor is temperament, not intellect. For a successful investor, being with or against the crowd is not the centre of attraction.

Buffet was inspired a lot by the book “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham as it inspired and convinced him to invest in stocks. With the help of this book, he got to know that investing in stocks is equal to owning a piece of the business. So, when Buffet searches for stock to invest in, he always prefers the business that exhibits favourable long-term prospects. Buffet never buys anything unless he can write a particular reason to pay a particular price for that shares of the company and advises all the investors to do the same.

“Leave the children enough so that they can do anything but not enough that they can do nothing” is a famous quote said by buffet to wealthy families for charitable purposes.


[1] John M.Longo, ‘Why Warren Buffett Is a Model for His Billionaire Peers’, The Wire (August 30,2021) < https://thewire.in/business/why-warren-buffett-is-a-model-for-his-billionaire-peers> accessed 30th August 2021.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Stephanie Loiacono,’ Rules That Warren Buffett Lives By’, Investopedia (Jan 12,2021) < https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0210/rules-that-warren-buffett-lives-by.aspx> accessed 30th August,2021.

Bengal and Food: A Better Love Story Than Twilight

West Bengal and food are a match made in heaven. Delicacies that form the image of this land can be found in the smallest of dhabas and on the menus of the most prestigious restaurants. Food is the wave that flows throughout the state; the song that unites every Bengali; the light that brightens up the City of Joy; and the love that never ends.

But what’s so special about the food of West Bengal? What is it that separates this state from the rest of the world? Is it the spice or the sweet? Is it the simplicity or the richness of the dishes?

Let’s take a look at some unique dishes:

Jhaal Muri – The quintessential

Jhaal Muri is the ultimate snack in a Bengali household. Its versatility is unmatchable as it can be eaten at any time of the day and can be combined with so many different food products. From the local trains to the Ganga ghats, from the streets to the shopping malls, from the snowy hills of Darjeeling to the beaches of Digha, the Jhaal Muri is present everywhere and, in a way, represents what a Bengali is-Jhaal (spicy) – fierce, competitive, revolutionary; on the other hand, friendly, simple, and humble, signified by ‘muri’.

Hilsa—A Bengali’s Beloved

Bengalis’ love for Hilsa dates back many centuries. Irrespective of any sort of boundary and border, every Bengali’s heart holds the same amount of unadulterated love for the national fish of Bangladesh and the state fish of West Bengal. Hilsa and the monsoons have better chemistry than Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in “Titanic.” Through time, it has become a comprehensive part of Bengali culture, tradition, and lifestyle.

On Poila Boishakh (Bengali New Year), it is customary to relish a meal of Ilish (Hilsa) Maach with your loved ones. Despite it being very costly, sales never drop as it reaches its peak during the rainy season. Ilish bhaaja (fried Hilsa) along with Khichuri (fermented rice with vegetables) can fill the stomach as well as the heart of a Bengali on any given day.

Love for Hilsha has been reciprocated through art, literature, songs, movies, and eminent personalities of Bengal like Swami Vivekananda, Satyajit Ray, and Sunil Gangopadhyay, who have been vocal about it through their works. There are many multiferous varieties of Hilsa dishes like the Ilish Jhuro, Tetul Ilish, and newer innovations in the modern era like Anarosh Ilish, Ilish risotto, and baked illish. Recently, Bengal has conducted entire festivals dedicated to Hilsa, organised by hotels and the West Bengal State Tourism Department, such as the Ilish Utsav 2019, the 6th Sundarban Hilsa Festival 2019 and the Gongabokhe Ilish Utsab.

Pithe – The Sweet Beauty

The winter is witness to food items that balance out what the summer has to offer. Sweet vs. Spice. Pithe is a palm-sized winter-special sweet treat. It is a combination of fresh palm, date jaggery, scented rice flour, milk, and coconut. Mostly made indoors, a household isn’t Bengali if it doesn’t prepare pithe during the winter. It’s almost a tradition at this point as even guests are offered loads of pithe on their visit to a Bengali household. On the occasion of Poush Sankranti, the elder women of the house make pithe, which is enjoyed along with Rabindra Sangeet, poetry, and folklore.

Mishti Dhoi – A Sweet Tooth’s Paradise

It is impossible to talk about Bengal and not bring in Mishti Doi. It can be considered as the staple dessert of Bengal. The original brilliance of Mishti Doi can be found in the bhars (earthen pots) of the pandals during the Durga Puja. It is a wonderful dessert and is also very simple to make. Mishti Dhoi’s brilliance resonates all around the world. Bulgaria was the first European nation to introduce curd in Europe. The age-old, traditional techniques to make Mishti Doi never faded away, and hence, its originality was never compromised.

The Life Of Tribal In India

There is a different life existing, distinct from urban cities and villages mostly in the dense forests and hilly areas usually termed as a tribal community. Have you ever wondered what would their life look like? Let’s find out
In today’s culture, the term “tribal” is often used to describe a region’s indigenous population. Tribal people are the native inhabitants of the area and go by a variety of names on every continent. A fun fact is there are more than 550 Indian tribes present in this region that have lived there for a very long period. Every community is unique in some way that sets it apart from the other tribes. One thing unites all of these communities: they are cut off around the world.
Their major occupations are agriculture, food gathering, and hunting. They practice shift cultivation, clearing patches of forest and burning them to cultivate their crops like paddy, corn, etc.; though they cook their food and eat, as they are not accustomed to using species or oil in their cooking. Their diet also contains forest fruits, vegetables, roots, and tubers. These people have a distinctive dancing style, music, and theater in addition to a rich cultural legacy. Everyone in this culture is required to receive a tattoo on some region of their body at a specific age or a special event. Furthermore, they have separate traditions, cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, foods, dialects, customs, and a whole distinct outlook on life. They are both immensely dynamic and culturally rich. They illustrate the cultural diversity of Indian ancestry.

Fear of Future

Fear of future is a negative word let’s call ourselves Forward Thinkers . Yes, forward thinkers are the ones who are always worried about what will happen in future.

If you are in school , you must be wondering what will I study in college, which career will make me more money , what if I don’t clear entrance, etc. If you are in college and you didn’t get into your dream college you are already dreading about your life by thinking of all the self sabotaging thoughts.

Well these thinkings if asked to an experienced person who has already lived his life will say that – ” Having worries and sleepless nights over future worries is a good sign that you are in a right path ” . It means you know that the life that you crave for will not come merely from attending college. You know that wasting time and money with friends who won’t contribute you in anyway is serious damage to your future. You are very much aware and that itself stands you out of the crowd.

A person who worries is more prone to take steps rather than the one who doesn’t. You are already more mature than your peers. You are already embracing the struggle in you and fighting to remove the worry. So keep that fire of worry in you alive and take that action today because the life that you crave for won’t come in a day it will come after many years of sleepless and ruthless nights.

Will my life become useless if I don’t clear entrance exam?

source : pinterest

“Entrance Exam” – almost all of us must have given atleast 1 entrance exam in our life . Basically it is a screening test to filter out the best students on the basis of marks, after that the filtered students get into their desired universities and colleges.

In India , science students face the entrance exams the earliest in their life as compared to other stream students . You ask any science student and they must be preparing for either JEE or NEET . Some maybe into KVPY or NDA as well. Generally the syllabus of these exams include the chapters of 11 and 12 . But you will be shocked to know that some parents enrol their children into institutions or coachings from 5 or 6 class for the preparation of these entrance exams.

A child whose age is to explore new things, hobbies and passion is made to take part in the rat race at such an early age that when the desired outcome is not achieved,the child gets heartbroken , demotivated and depressed. He/ She starts asking his/ her own worth just because they weren’t able to clear an exam. Every year we hear students committing suicide because they weren’t able to stand at their own expectations.

I would like to tell all the students who are preparing for any entrance exam that you are not defined by any question paper. You are not defined by any percentage or CGPA. You are more than that. Your life is full of possibilities and surprises. Even if that entrance didn’t clear, you still have a lot to do in this world and contribute for yourself and for others welfare.

Not getting into your dream college or course doesn’t mean you didn’t deserved it. It means you are destined for something else. Something that you can’t even imagine. So don’t ever measure your worth if your entrance didn’t cleared, it was just an exam not your life.

Tradition is not an obstacle to progress.

Tradition basically means undocumented beliefs and customs that have been passed on from generation to generation,  which we all adhere to in our daily lives either knowingly or unknowingly. It is upto the decision of an individual where to follow traditional values and take them as a lesson or not. Since tradition is unwritten, it gets modified with time to suit the need of the time, but it is a chapter that provides lessons of right and wrong. Adhering to these values doesn’t make us orthodox, it rather makes us more aware of the past, and thus help make right decision. Along with binding  us to our forefathers, it makes our character distinct. In fact tradition are a testimony to our culture and society. While we have modern lifestyle today, one should remember, traditions values are not meant to be erased.

Such is the significance of tradition in our lives, that it can never become an obstacle in progress. It teaches us ways to utilize our time more effectively.The tragedy lies in the fact that usually elders tend to look down upon the younger generation if they don’t adhere to the religious and cultural traits of their parents. This decision should left up to the individual. Moreover, traditional Indian habits like touching the feet of our elders to show respect or visiting the temple with the family on an auspicious occasion are signs of a refined sense of culture, not of backwardness. Tradition cannot be an obstacle.

INDIA’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

An overview of India’s Educational System

The Gurukul was India’s first educational system. It was a residential schooling system that began approximately 5000 BC, in which the shisya (student) and guru (teacher) lived in the guru’s ashram (residence) or in close vicinity. This allows for the development of an emotional attachment prior to the transmission of knowledge. The ancient Sanskrit language was used as a means of communication.

The foundation of learning was not just reading books and memorising facts, but a child’s well-rounded, holistic development. Their mental, cognitive, physical, and spiritual well-being were all considered. Religion, holy scriptures, medicine, philosophy, warfare, statecraft, astrology, and other topics were covered.

The focus was on instilling human values in students, such as self-reliance, appropriate behaviour, empathy, creativity, and strong moral and ethical principles. The goal was for knowledge to be applied in the future to develop solutions to real-world challenges.

The Gurukul students’ six educational goals are as follows:

The acquisition of highest knowledge: The Gurukul education system’s ultimate goal was to understand Brahma (God) and the universe beyond sensual pleasures in order to achieve immortality.

Character development: The student developed will-power, which is a necessity for excellent character, as a result of their study of the Vedas (old scriptures), allowing them to develop a more positive attitude and outlook on life.

Development in all areas: The optimum approach for entire living was thought to be learning to withdraw the senses inside and practising introversion. While completing various jobs at the Gurukul, pupils were able to become aware of the inner workings of the mind, as well as their responses and reactions.

Social virtues: The learner was motivated to only tell the truth and avoid deception and lying by training his body, mind, and heart. This was regarded as the pinnacle of human morality. They were also encouraged to believe in charitable giving, which made them more socially responsible.

Spiritual development: Ancient literature, especially Yagyas, recommend introversion as the best approach for spiritual development (rituals). As a result, the learner spent time in reflection and isolation from the outside world in order to gain self-knowledge and self-realisation by looking fully within himself.

Students presented food to a pedestrian or a guest once a year as part of their cultural education. This act was regarded as a sacrifice comparable to one’s social and religious obligations to others.

India’s Educational Statistics and Facts

Every child between the ages of three and eighteen is entitled to free and compulsory education under India’s Right to Education Act 2020.

According to India’s education statistics, over 26% of the population (1.39 billion) is between the ages of 0 and 14, which presents a significant opportunity for the primary education sector.

Furthermore, approximately 500 million people, or 18% of the population, are between the ages of 15 and 24, offering for prospects for expansion in India’s secondary and higher education institutions.

According to the Indian education data, the literacy rate for adults (15+ years) in India is 69.3%, with male literacy at 78.8% and female literacy at 59.3%.

Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India, with 96.2 percent as of 2018.

The University of Delhi is the most well-known Indian higher education institution, followed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

In the 2019 English Proficiency Index, India was ranked 34 out of 100 countries, allowing for easy distribution of educational materials that satisfy Universal standards.

Goals for India’s educational future

India joined the United Nations’ E9 programme in April 2021, which aims to build a digital learning and skills initiative for marginalised children and youth, particularly girls.

The Indian government allotted a budget of US7.56 billion towards school education and literacy in the Union Budget 2021-22.

India’s higher education system is expected to feature more than 20 universities among the top 200 universities in the world by 2030. With an annual research and development (R&D) budget of US$140 billion, it is expected to be among the top five countries in the world in terms of research production.

What is the present Indian Educational System like?

It is obvious that modern Indian education differs from that of the “Gurukula.” The curriculum is generally taught in English or Hindi, and computer technology and skills have been integrated into learning systems. The focus is more on competitive examinations and grades than moral, ethical, and spiritual education.

In the 1830s, Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay introduced the modern school system to India for the first time. Metaphysics and philosophy were deemed unnecessary in favour of “modern” subjects like science and mathematics.

Until July 2020, India’s education system was based on the 10+2 system, which awarded a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) after finishing class 10th and a Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) after finishing class 12th.

This has been replaced by the 5+3+3+4 system as a result of the new National Education Policy (NEP). The phases have been divided to correspond to the stages of cognitive growth that a kid goes through naturally.

India’s obligatory education system is divided into four levels.

1. Establishing a foundation
According to the NEP, the five-year foundational stage of education consists of three years of preschool followed by two years of primary school. This stage will include the development of linguistic abilities as well as age-appropriate play or activity-based strategies.

We have a course called English in Early Childhood: Learning Language Through Play for people working in early education that can help you understand the importance of play in language development and how to use play to teach language skills to children in a fun way. With our free online course, you can also learn how to Prevent and Manage Infections in Childcare and Pre-School.

2. Stage of preparation
This three-year stage will continue to emphasise verbal development while also emphasising numeracy abilities. Classroom interactions will also be activity-based, with a strong emphasis on the aspect of discovery.

3. The middle stage
The three-year focus moves to critical learning objectives, such as experiential learning in the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities, for classes six through eight.

4. The second stage
Students in grades 9 and 10, as well as grades 11 and 12, have a range of subject combinations to pick from and study, depending on their talents and interests.

Critical thinking, an open mind, and flexibility in the cognitive process are all encouraged at this level. Our course Volunteering in the Classroom: Bringing STEM Industry into Schools will boost your students’ thinking abilities while also encouraging their interest in the subject of STEM, which has a large skills deficit and hence has a great employment potential.

Higher education In India

At the undergraduate stage, students can choose to study at this level from age 18 onwards. The majority of students attend a free public college or university, while others choose a private institution for their education. Indian college and university degrees in the field of agriculture, engineering, pharmaceutics and technology usually take four years to complete. Law, medicine and architecture can take up to five years.

Post-graduate study in India

Known as master’s courses or doctorate degrees, they can take from two up to three years to complete, respectively. Post-graduate education in India is largely provided by universities, followed by colleges and the majority of students are women. Post-graduate study allows students to specialise in a chosen field and conduct large amounts of research.

Adult education India

Adult education aims to improve literacy and move illiterate adults over the age of 21 along the path to knowledge. The National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA) in India is in charge of supporting and promoting adult literacy programmes.

Our course Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners offers everything you need to educate adults online if you’re an adult education provider or thinking about becoming one.

In India, distance education is available.

The School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education at Delhi University was the first to implement distance learning in India in 1962. The goal was to allow people who had the desire and aptitude to learn more and improve their professional skills to do so.

Significant gains in online education in India have been made and continue to be made as technology advances. Due to rising consumer demand and the pandemic’s effects, Indian higher education institutions are focusing on developing online programmes. By 2026, India’s online education market is expected to be worth $11.6 billion.

In India, homeschooling and blended learning are popular.

While homeschooling is not common in India, nor is it usually acknowledged, distant learning is becoming the new standard as a result of the epidemic. As a result, many children will learn at home while also attending school, a practise known as blended learning.

Our course Blended Learning Essentials for Vocational Education and Training provides a complete introduction to blended learning for teachers and trainers.

What is India’s New Education Policy?

The Union Cabinet authorised a new National Education Policy (NEP) in July 2020, which will be fully implemented by 2040. They also changed the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to the Ministry of Education, which will serve as the sole regulator for all Indian schools and higher education institutions.

The NEP was initially drafted in 1964 by a 17-member Education Committee and ratified by Parliament in 1968. Its objective is to provide the framework and lead the development of education in India. It has been updated three times since then, the most recent being under Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministership.

The 2020 NEP’s five major changes in school and higher education

1. School will begin at age three: The Right to Education Act (RTE) will now cover free and compulsory schooling from age three up to 18 years, instead of six to 14 years. This brings early childhood education of ages three to five, for the first time, under the scope of formal schooling.

2. Students will be taught in their mother tongue: Although not compulsory, the NEP suggests students until class five should be taught in their mother tongue or regional language as a way to help children learn and grasp non-trivial concepts quicker. 

3. One umbrella body for the entire higher education system: Under the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards

4. Higher education becomes multidisciplinary: By 2040, all universities and colleges are expected to be multidisciplinary, according to the policy. Students will be able to create their own subject combinations based on their skill set and areas of interest.

5. There will be a variety of exit alternatives for undergraduate degrees: Colleges and universities in India are now permitted to offer a certificate after one year of study in a discipline or a diploma after two years of study under the new regulation. After completing a three-year programme, a bachelor’s degree is conferred.

Conclusion

Because of the proactive nature of the NEP, India’s education system is in sync with the global reforms in education brought about by Covid-19. We have various teaching tools accessible to help you create a better influence on your students’ lives and your teaching abilities, as blended learning appears to be the future of education in India.

We hope you’ve gotten a better understanding of the facts that make up India’s education system, whether it’s merely to broaden your horizons or to take advantage of the rapidly expanding Indian education sector.

Understanding Financial Markets

What are Financial Markets?

Financial markets is a marketplace where buying and selling of securities like stocks, bonds, derivatives, commodities, currencies, etc. occur. These markets may include securities which are listed on an regulated exchanges or are traded Over-The-Counter(OTC). Financial markets basically provide a way for those who have excess money to invest and those who are in need to money to borrow.

Financial markets play an important role in creating liquidity for capitalist economies. Financial markets are transparent as they ensure that the prices set are efficient and appropriate.

Types of Financial Markets

Stock Markets

Stock markets are a place where trading of equities occur. Equity is the value of shares issued by the company. In a stock market, securities are traded via Primary Market and Secondary Market. In Primary Market, securities are issued to investors directly by the issuer. Companies raise capital by an Initial Public Offering(IPO). Primary markets are also known as New Issue Markets.

Secondary markets are where investors buy and sell securities they already own. The secondary market, also called the aftermarket and follow on public offering, is the financial market in which previously issued financial instruments are traded.

The most popular stock exchanges in India are National Stock Exchange(NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE).

Bond Markets

The Bond Market is a marketplace where participants can issue new debt, known as primary market and buy and sell debt securities, known as secondary market. A bond is an financial instrument in which an investor loans money for a specific period of time at a pre-determined interest rate. Bonds are issues by  municipalities, states, and sovereign governments to finance projects and operations. Debt securities usually include bonds, but it may include notes, bills, and so for public and private expenditures.

Money Markets

Money Markets involves trading of securities that are highly liquid and are issued for short time period with low interest rates. Money market consists of various financial institutions and dealers, who seek to borrow or loan securities. Examples of securities traded in money markets are treasury bills, commercial papers and certificate of deposits. Money markets are considered a safe place to invest as they have high liquidity.

Money markets are Over-The-Counter(OTC) markets which means that they are not regulated and not structured. Money markets give lesser returns however they offer a variety of products.

Derivatives Market

Derivatives markets are financial markets for derivatives like futures, options, forwards, etc. Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is determined by the value of the financial instruments like bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, market indexes, and stocks. The four major types of derivative contracts are options, forwards, futures and swaps. Futures and Options are listed and traded on stock exchanges while forwards and swaps are not.

Forex Market

The forex (foreign exchange) market is a market where people can buy, trade, hedge, and speculate on currency pairs’ exchange rates. Because cash is the most liquid of assets, the Forex market is the most liquid in the world. The currency market conducts more than $5 trillion in daily transactions, which is higher than the combined volume of the futures and stock markets. The forex market, like the OTC markets, is decentralized and is made up of a global network of computers and brokers from all over the world. Banks, commercial companies, central banks, investment management firms, hedge funds, and retail forex brokers and investors make up the forex market.

Commodities Market

Commodities markets are gathering places for producers and consumers to trade physical commodities like maize, livestock, and soybeans, as well as energy goods (oil, gas, and carbon credits), precious metals (gold, silver, and platinum), and “soft” commodities (such as cotton, coffee, and sugar). Spot commodities markets are those where tangible things are exchanged for money.

Cryptocurrency Markets

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are decentralised digital assets based on blockchain technology, have been introduced and have grown in popularity over the last few years. Hundreds of cryptocurrency tokens are now accessible and traded on a patchwork of independent online crypto exchanges throughout the world. These exchanges provide traders with digital wallets via which they can exchange one cryptocurrency for another or fiat currencies like dollars or euros.

Facing Interviews

“A successful interview is meeting of minds”

I am sure most of you face or might have faced anxiety before giving an interview. Various questions like what to prepare, how to conduct yourself, what are the things that will make you stand out among the candidates might come into your mind. While, there is no guaranteed method to crack an interview, however there are still some aspects you can focus on to increase your chances of getting selected. This article provides some tips to help you with your interview.

What Aspects are Tested?

  • Past relationship with boss and co-workers
    Employers want to know if you’re a team player when you’re applying for positions that require you to collaborate with others. They may ask you a series of questions to learn about your prior coworkers’ relationships with you. You should demonstrate in your responses that you can get along with everyone and work well with others to form an effective team.
  • Respect for the value of others
    In a diverse workplace, there are people from different backgrounds and have different values. Employees might not love or enjoy everyone’s personalities and not believe in their values but they must respect their work in order to fulfil their objectives and remain professional.
  • Ability to meet deadlines
    Demonstrating your ability to manage your time can help you stand out as a job prospect. It would be hard to meet deadlines and complete each project to the best of abilities if you do not have good time management skills.
  • Ability to multi task
    A hiring manager will almost always ask if you can juggle multiple tasks at once. It’s a reasonable issue, given the volume of phone calls, emails, and meetings that can occur in a single day.
  • Value oriented approach to problem solving
    Value-based interviewing (VBI) is a type of interview that focuses on the ‘how’ and ‘why’ an applicant makes decisions in the workplace and aims to uncover the reasons for their actions. It gives managers a thorough grasp of and insight into candidates’ beliefs and behaviors, as well as how they align with the company’s.
  • Other aspects that employers check are how efficiently you use time, thorough knowledge of the industry, commitment to continual learning, ability to address small problems but always focused on the bigger picture.
  • Your personal values play a key role in your selection in an interview. Personal values include your integrity, your enthusiasm, accountability, team orientation, work ethics, respect for people, etc. Also, your technical expertise matters the most.

Dealing with Pre-Interview Nervousness

  • Make sure you sleep properly the night before the interview so that you are rested well and you give the interview with a fresh mind.
  • Go easy on caffeine before the meeting.
  • Give positive affirmations to yourself to give yourself motivation and to get rid of the negative thoughts.
  • Listen to the calming music on your way to the interview.
  • Look at the job opportunity as an interview to shine.
  • Welcome the challenge
  • Breathe
  • Exhibit interest in job instead of trying to be interesting.
  • Stay focused and positive.

Ten Variables for the First Impression

  • Arrive on time for the interview
  • Dress in a professional manner
  • Take good rest and be alert
  • Be respectful to everyone you meet during the interview process
  • Be honest
  • Clearly express your clarifications for the job
  • Show your interest in job and company
  • Responses to the questions should be specific and informed
  • Ask relevant questions
  • Your personality should fit well with the organization

MBA Entrance Exams in India

Every year around 2,30,000 people appear for CAT(Common Admission Test) in India and given the limited number of seats, only 5100 are able to get a seat in IIMs. This article is for all the MBA aspirants who wish to secure a seat in a top-notch MBA college but are not aware of their options. Apart from IIMs, there are many other Tier-1 and Tier-2 colleges in India which provide good education. So, to ease your confusion, below is the list of entrances and colleges in which you can apply to-

CAT
The Common Admission Test(CAT) is held on the last Sunday of November every year. The registration for it generally starts from the first week of August. The minimum eligibility criteria to fill the form is a Bachelor’s Degree with 50% percent marks or an equivalent CGPA. Candidates in the final year of their graduation can also apply.

CAT Expected Test Pattern
-Mode of examination- Online
– Duration of the Exam- 120 minutes (2 hours)
– Number of Sections- 3
– Name of the Sections-
1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
3. Quantitative Aptitude
– Time allocated per section- 40 minutes for each section
– Number of questions- 66
– Total marks- 198
– Marking Scheme- +3 marks for every correct question
-1 for every wrong answer in MCQs
No-negative marking for Non- MCQs

The second round after the entrance exam would be a Group Discussion or a Written Ability Test along with Personal Interview. This round is only for the candidates who clear the cut-offs.

Colleges accepting CAT scores
– All the IIMs
– FMS Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT Madras
– MDI Gurgaon
– JBIMS Mumbai
– SPJIMR Mumbai
– IMT Ghaziabad
– Goa Institute of Management, Great Lakes Chennai, KJ Somaiya Mumbai, TAPMI Manipal, XIMB, Bhubaneshwar

IIFT
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade is one of the best B-Schools in India. MBA in International Business is their flagship program and they have their campuses at Delhi, Kolkata and Kakinada.
The minimum eligibility criteria to fill the form is a Bachelor’s Degree with 50% percent marks or an equivalent CGPA. Candidates in the final year of their graduation can also apply.

IIFT expected Test Pattern
-Mode of examination- Online
– Duration of the Exam- 120 minutes (2 hours)
– Number of Sections- 4
– Name of the Sections-
1. Quantitative Aptitude
2. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
3. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
4. General Knowledge
– Time allocated per section- No sectional time limit
– Number of questions- 110
– Total marks- 300
– Marking Scheme
+3 marks for every correct question in Section 1,2 and 3
+1.5 marks for every correct question in Section 4
-1/3rd of marks allocated for a question

The second round after the entrance exam would be a Group Discussion or a Written Ability Test along with Personal Interview. This round is only for the candidates who clear the cut-offs.

NMAT by GMAC
NMAT or NMAT by GMAC is a national level entrance test conducted for MBA admissions at NMIMS University and other reputed B-Schools in India as well as abroad. The minimum eligibility criteria to fill the form is a Bachelor’s Degree with 50% percent marks or an equivalent CGPA. Candidates in the final year of their graduation can also apply.

NMAT expected Test Pattern
-Mode of examination- Online( from exam center or remote proctored exam from home)
– Frequency of Exam- Once a year(74 days exam window)
– Duration of the Exam- 120 minutes (2 hours)
– Number of Sections- 3
– Name of the Sections-
1. Language Skills
2. Quantitative Skills
3. Logical Reasoning
– Time allocated per section-
1. Language Skills- 28 minutes for 36 questions
2. Quantitative Skills- 52 minutes for 36 questions
3. Logical Reasoning- 40 minutes for 36 questions
– Number of questions- 108
– Total marks- 324
– Marking Scheme
+3 marks for every correct question in Section 1,2 and 3
No negative marking

Colleges accepting NMAT scores
– NMIMS Mumbai
-NMIMS Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore
– KJ Somaiya, Mumbai
– Goa Institute of Management

The second round after the entrance exam would be a Group Discussion or a Written Ability Test along with Personal Interview. This round is only for the candidates who clear the cut-offs.

SNAP
Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) is a national-level MBA entrance exam conducted by Symbiosis International University (SIU) for admission to management programs offered by its affiliated institutes and several other private B-schools.
The minimum eligibility criteria to fill the form is a Bachelor’s Degree with 50% percent marks or an equivalent CGPA. Candidates in the final year of their graduation can also apply.

SNAP expected Test Pattern
-Mode of examination- Online
– Duration of the Exam- 60 minutes (1 hour)
– Number of Sections- 3
– Name of the Sections-
1. General English
2. Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
3. Analytical & Logical Reasoning
– Number of questions- 60
– Total marks- 60
– Marking Scheme
Each wrong answer will attract 25% negative marks

Colleges accepting SNAP scores
– SIBM Pune
– SCHMRD Pune
– SIIB Pune
– SIBM, Bangalore
– SIOM, Nashik
– SIDTM, Pune
– SIMS, Pune
– SIBM Hyderabad, Nagpur

The second round after the entrance exam would be a Group Discussion or a Written Ability Test along with Personal Interview. This round is only for the candidates who clear the cut-offs.

Other management entrance exams which offer good colleges in India are XAT, CMAT, ATMA, TISSNET, etc.











EDUCATION

What is Education? The first thing that strikes in our minds when we think about education is gaining knowledge. Education is a tool which provides people with knowledge, skill, technique, information, enables them to know their rights and duties toward their family, society as well as the nation. It expands vision and outlook to see the world. It develops the capabilities to fight against injustice, violence, corruption and many other bad elements in the society.

Education gives us knodwledge of the world around us. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It is the most important element in the evolution of the nation. Without education, one will not explore new ideas. It means one will not able to develop the world because without ideas there is no creativity and without creativity, there is no development of the nation.

Importance of Education in Our Society
Education is an important aspect that plays a huge role in the modern, industrialized world. People need a good education to be able to survive in this competitive world. Modern society is based on people who have high living standards and knowledge which allows them to implement better solutions to their problems.

Features of Education

Education empowers everyone. Some of the areas where education helps are:
1. Removing Poverty
Education helps in removing poverty as if a person is educated, he can get a good job and fulfill all the basic needs & requirement of his family.

2. Safety and Security against Crime
If a person is well-educated, he will not be fooled by anyone easily. An educated person is less prone to involve in domestic violence & other social evils. They enjoy healthy relationships in life. This means people are less susceptible to being cheated or becoming a victim of violence.

3. Prevention of Wars and Terrorism
To lead a safe & secure life, one needs to understand the value of education in our daily life. One needs to take an active part in various educational activities. These types of productive activities provide knowledge to live a better life.

4. Commerce and Trade
A good education doesn’t simply mean going to school or college & getting a degree. Trade & commerce of the country will also be flourished easily if its citizens are well-educated. Education helps to become self-dependent and build great confidence among them to accomplish difficult tasks. On getting an education, their standard of life gets improved.

5. Law and Order
Education enables the process of the Nation’s Fast Development. If you have a good education, you can serve your country well. It develops a good political ideology.

6. Women Empowerment
Education also helps in empowering women. Certain old customs like Not Remarrying Widows, Sati Pratha, Child Marriage, Dowry System etc. can be demolished with the power of education. Women, if educated, can raise voice against the injustice done to her. This will bring a lot of development in society as well as in the nation. In short, Right to Freedom of speech & expression can be used in the right way if all women will become educated.

7. Upliftment of economically weaker sections of society
Education is the most important ingredient to change the world. Due to lack of education, many illiterate people suffer the hardships of discrimination, untouchability & injustices prevailing in the society but with the advancement of a good education. If all the people will be educated; this ultimately leads to the upliftment of economically weaker sections of society.

8. Communications
The relation between education & communication is apparent. Good education helps to communicate better with other people. It also improves our communication skills such as speech, body language etc. A person who is educated feels confident within him to confront or give a speech in front of a large public or can held a meeting or seminar.

One of the most important benefits of education is that it improves persnal lives and helps the society to run smoothly. By providing education, poverty can be removed and every person can provide their contribution to developing the country.

The first thing that strikes in our minds when we think about education is gaining knowledge. Education is a tool which provides people with knowledge, skill, technique, information, enables them to know their rights and duties toward their family, society as well as the nation. It expands vision and outlook to see the world. It develops the capabilities to fight against injustice, violence, corruption and many other bad elements in the society.

Education gives us knowledge of the world around us. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It is the most important element in the evolution of the nation. Without education, one will not explore new ideas. It means one will not able to develop the world because without ideas there is no creativity and without creativity, there is no development of the nation.

Importance of Education in Our Society
Education is an important aspect that plays a huge role in the modern, industrialized world. People need a good education to be able to survive in this competitive world. Modern society is based on people who have high living standards and knowledge which allows them to implement better solutions to their problems.

Features of Education

Education empowers everyone. Some of the areas where education helps are:
1. Removing Poverty
Education helps in removing poverty as if a person is educated, he can get a good job and fulfill all the basic needs & requirement of his family.

2. Safety and Security against Crime
If a person is well-educated, he will not be fooled by anyone easily. An educated person is less prone to involve in domestic violence & other social evils. They enjoy healthy relationships in life. This means people are less susceptible to being cheated or becoming a victim of violence.

3. Prevention of Wars and Terrorism
To lead a safe & secure life, one needs to understand the value of education in our daily life. One needs to take an active part in various educational activities. These types of productive activities provide knowledge to live a better life.

4. Commerce and Trade
A good education doesn’t simply mean going to school or college & getting a degree. Trade & commerce of the country will also be flourished easily if its citizens are well-educated. Education helps to become self-dependent and build great confidence among them to accomplish difficult tasks. On getting an education, their standard of life gets improved.

5. Law and Order
Education enables the process of the Nation’s Fast Development. If you have a good education, you can serve your country well. It develops a good political ideology.

6. Women Empowerment
Education also helps in empowering women. Certain old customs like Not Remarrying Widows, Sati Pratha, Child Marriage, Dowry System etc. can be demolished with the power of education. Women, if educated, can raise voice against the injustice done to her. This will bring a lot of development in society as well as in the nation. In short, Right to Freedom of speech & expression can be used in the right way if all women will become educated.

7. Upliftment of economically weaker sections of society
Education is the most important ingredient to change the world. Due to lack of education, many illiterate people suffer the hardships of discrimination, untouchability & injustices prevailing in the society but with the advancement of a good education. If all the people will be educated; this ultimately leads to the upliftment of economically weaker sections of society.

8. Communications
The relation between education & communication is apparent. Good education helps to communicate better with other people. It also improves our communication skills such as speech, body language etc. A person who is educated feels confident within him to confront or give a speech in front of a large public or can held a meeting or seminar.

One of the most important benefits of education is that it improves personal lives and helps the society to run smoothly. By providing education, poverty can be removed and every person can provide their contribution to developing the country.

The end…

10 Disappointing Niche Website Mistakes You Make Now

Introduction

Everyone makes mistakes in life, we are believed to learn from our mistakes or try to avoid them, same happens when building a niche website, mistakes can cause damage to your brand value or prevent you get disire results.

However, no one really talks much about how doing things wrong on your website can deteriorate your image and cost you your business. There are common mistakes that are often made not out of ignorance but coincidentally or because of forgetfulness.

Effects of these mistakes can be seen in sales, website visitation rates, and bounce rates. This is why you need to be aware of them and have tools and knowledge to improve your website, eliminate the mistakes you are making, and inevitably, improve your business.

To avoid certain things which are causing us to gain the maximum number of reach I want you to keep these ‘10 Disappointing Niche Website Mistakes You Make Now’ in your mind while building a website.

  1. Under-Plan Website: Without a plan, you can never ever run any business. Can you run a restaurant without having a proper plan? No. If you try it, you will create a mess, will be unable to get customer satisfaction. Similarly, it happens with websites.

“A successful website does three things:

It attracts the right kinds of visitors.

Guides them to the main services or products you offer.

Collect Contact details for future ongoing relations.”

Mohamed Saad

 The most successful component of a growing website is single, original quality content, which will increase your credibility and authority in your chosen area. It will also increase your search engine ranking.

Evergreen content would be something like an article that teaches you how to tie a bowtie. Something like that isn’t time-sensitive, so you can essentially write it once and continue driving traffic to it forever.

  1. Working on multiple websites at a time:  If you are working on a certain website stick to it. You may think that working on more websites will multiply your earning but, it will not, it will require more time and pace which will be not possible and will cost you the quality of your content. There are many other ways to accelerate your growth on your single website.
  1. Not focusing on the quality of your website:  You need to focus on the quality of the website while side keeping the quantity of the site. The quality of your website will determine the content of your website which will increase the audience towards your websites.

 For example: if you own a photography studio you must add your best high-res photos or video to your website which attracts the customer which will direct them to buy your services.

IndicatorsChecklist
TimelyUp-to-date information
How frequently the website is updated
When the website was updated
RelevantOrganization’s objectives
Organization’s history
Customers (audience)
Products or services
Photography of organization’s facilities
Multilanguage/cultureUse different languages
Present to different cultured
Variety of presentationDifferent forms (text, audio, video, …)
AccuracyPrecise information (no spelling, grammar errors)
Sources of information are identified
ObjectiveObjective presentation of information
AuthorityOrganization’s physical address
Sponsor (s) of the site
Manager (s) of the site
Specifications of site’s managers
Identification of copyright
Email to manager
  1. No presence in Social Media:  Social media is just not for making friends is can be also used to marketing a business. Making a good presence on social media could help you to connect to the audience. Most users of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc will help you to divert the attention of the audience towards your websites.  All the social media outlets have a ‘Paid’ section by which you can grow your presence or multiply your reach by a promoted content.

The point is marketing on Social Media is rapidly becoming an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. Likely to soon be second only to Organic traffic as one of the more economical means of attracting visitors.

  1. Ignoring keyword research: Some keyword research was necessary in order to pick a niche that was feasible to create a website about.  You may use several keywords some of them for free or some with a price. By using free keyword tools as google Adwords can really help to find the adequate keyword we can maximize your reach. making a  keywords research will be highlighted by google which will increase traffic on your website.

Google looks for keywords on your website and Google will send visitors to your website based on the keywords they find there.

  1. Not getting proper training:  You need to get the proper training to build a good niche website. You can search on the internet for various online training programs various website runs a training program that can help you to learn to run a website. Do some research and make a sound decision regarding a comprehensive training platform for starting an online business. You will likely experience some doubt as you continue to build your business, and the money does not start pouring in right away.  So it is best that you start your journey on firm ground.

There are various websites you can follow like niche affiliate, niche academy a super affiliate, etc. they are all here to train you, build up your skills, and make your website more attractive and interesting. Some of them are paid courses and some will train you for free. I would recommend you can start with the free course then go for the paid version for a better understanding and advanced learning.

  1. Not treating your business like a business: This is most likely the biggest reason that people fail to achieve success online. Establishing yourself as an Authority online and creating a business that will support your family is serious stuff and should be treated as such. 

Unfortunately, many Newcomers treat this more like a “hobby”, than a business.  You will be never able to figure that out.  It can be used to get a little better organized yourself.  You must have ‘hunger’ enough to take the advice of some very successful people and treat my business, as a business.

  1. Not writing a site blog: Your website’s blog is an integral part of your overall success. A blog is where you can personalize your site, and therefore, differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s where you can add fresh and interesting content that engages with your potential conversions in the way that a straightforward eCommerce platform cannot. Your blog should have regularly scheduled updates, with content that is relevant and well-written.

A blog is an aspect of operations that many websites outsource, and if you’re incapable of producing an interesting blog, then you should certainly consider farming the task out to a professional writer. A good writer will be able to create engaging headlines and titles, with an article that is written utilizing SEO, and yet is still personable and promotional (but not too promotional – a blog is different from an advertorial). You may hire a content writer online at a price. Prices vary from their experience in the field.

  1. Not Getting Personal and Not Starting an Email List: If you have a great connection with the customers online directly, it will help to organic traffic on your website. It will help you when they can relate to you and your situation.  Do not hesitate to let your visitors know that who you are and why you are an expert in your niche. 

Not mentioning or forgetting to mention NAP (Name, Address, Telephone number) or not keeping it up updated will cost you to lose your customer forever. Your NAP needs to be clearly displayed and updated as needed, they can be directed to an incorrect location, or are unable to contact you via a method of their choosing.

  1. Underestimate the Importance of Mobile Traffic: It’s amazing how many people are glued to their smartphones while out and about. You might see a group of people at a bar, totally ignoring each other as they intently tap away at their phones. They might be shopping for a new product or service, but are you prepared to receive them? Your website needs to be responsive to smartphone-based web browsers, meaning it needs to be configured to load quickly and display quickly on a screen of any size. If your page cannot be adequately navigated using a smartphone, then you could potentially be missing out on a significant amount of traffic and conversions.

 Conclusion

Starting a niche website is easy. Getting it set up on WordPress and writing your first article is simple stuff that anybody can do. The difficult part comes in growing it into a money-making niche site. As you learned in this guide, there are a lot of moving parts. It takes patience, hard work, and persistence.

The biggest reason for failure is simply that people give up too quickly. And it’s not their fault. If it’s your first time, you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know the processes and different cycles that a new niche website goes through before breaking through and finally being successful.

Niche websites can truly change your life if you want them to. Starting a successful website can open a lot of different doors for you. It can allow you to quit your job, finally, travel the world, or just get some really good side income money.

Interesting Physiological Facts

The Body of man is made up of many tissues and organs. They number in millions. The cells are organised uniquely and function dynamically together. Their complexities can be better understood when it is closely scanned. Here are some bits of information that are quite interesting.

  1. The stomach takes 20 minutes to tell the brain that is is full and that one should stop eating.
  2. The thickness of the skin varies from 1/2 to 6 mm, depending on the area of your body.
  3. The four taste zones on your tongue are bitter (back), sour (back sides), salty (front sides), and sweet (front)
  4. One uses 14 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.
  5. It takes the interaction of 72 different muscles to produce human speech.
  6. The strongest muscle of the body is the masseter muscle, which is located in the jaw.
  7. The small intestine is about 750 cm long.
  8. The large intestine is 150 cm long and 3 times wider than the small intestine.
  9. Most people shed 20 kg of skin in their lifetime.
  10. When you sneeze, air rushes through your nose at the rate of 156 kmph.
  11. An eye lash lives about 150 days before it falls out.
  12. Our brain sends messages at the rate of 375 kmph.
  13. About 5-6 litres of blood is filtered by 2 million nephrons 37 times a day.
  14. Each of our eyes has 120 M rods, which helps us to see in black & white.
  15. Each eye has 6 M cones, which helps us to see colour.
  16. We blink our eyes about 20,000 times a day.
  17. Our heart beats about 100,000 times day.
  18. Placed end-to-end all our body”s blood vessels would measure about 90,000 kms.
  19. The average human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells.
  20. The thyroid cartilage is more commonly known as the Adam’s Apple.
  21. It is impossible to sneeze with open eyes.
  22. When you sneeze, all your bodily functions stop even your heart.
  23. Babies are born without knee cap. They don’t appear till they are 2-6 years of age.
  24. Children grow faster in spring season.
  25. Women blink twice as much as men.
  26. If one is blind in one eye, he/she only loses about 1/5 vision and the sense of depth.
  27. Our eyes are always the same size from the birth, but our nose and years never stop growing.
  28. The length of the finger shows how fast the fingernail grows. the nail on the middle finger grows fastest. On an average our toenails grow twice as slow as our fingernails.
  29. Hair is made of the same substance as fingernails.
  30. The nose can remember 50,000 scents.
  31. A finger nail takes 6 months to grow from base to tip.
  32. The energy used by the brain is enough to light a 25 watt bulb.
  33. The heart produces enough pressure to squirt blood 900 cm.
  34. We get a new stomach lining every 3-4 days. If we didn’t,the strong acids our stomach uses to digest foods would also digest our stomach.
  35. A pair of feet has 500,000 sweat glands.
  36. Each square inch of human skin consists of 600 cm of blood vessels.
  37. The liver is the only major organ in the human body that can regenerate itself if part of it is removed.

An important step towards enhancing space technology

Space technology is a significant aspect of a society’s development. It has greatly benefitted us in various fields such as education, research, communication, management of natural disasters and overall, in improving the quality of human life. With economical progress, India has been striving towards executing such space missions which not only aid the national development but establish our position in the international space exploration movement that has been rapidly expanding.

Another such progress was made recently when the Indian Space Association or ISpa was launched. It aims to privatize the space sector by allowing private firms to collaborate with the government for achieving the objective of self-reliant space technology as well as providing India with a lead role as the global space hub. Policies to achieve the same would be framed in consultation with the stakeholders.

Who are the members?

Larson & Toubro, OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Bharti Airtel, Ananth Technology Ltd and the like constitute the founding members. Other key members are Centum Electronics, Maxar India, Godrej and many more. These members will work in line with the shared vision of the government and coordinate with the shareholders.

The association’s Director-General is Lt Gen Anil Bhatt (Retd) who also served as the Director-General of Military Operations previously. Mr. Rahul Vatts who is the Director and Chief Regulatory Officer of Bharti Airtel will serve as the association’s Vice Chairman. The association’s first appointed chairman is Mr. Jayant Patil, Director of Defence and Space technologies, L&T-NxT.

What is it based on?

According to the government, four pillars comprise the shared idea of promoting this space reform.

  • Innovation freedom in the private sector– The government wishes to encourage private sector participation in the development of strategies that would shape the future of India in the space sector. Drafting legislation, engaging in research to develop efficient and high-quality devices that cater to the needs of clients across the globe so that India can become a major manufacturer of space-related equipment are some of the aspects which would be handled in a much better manner if many firms work mutually.
  • Government’s enabling role– The government would play an important role in the creation of an environment that is optimal for coordination and cooperation between the members and shareholders. Experts from the government would not only share their ideas but also promote much-needed innovation while keeping national interests at the forefront.
  • Preparing youth for the future- With extensive research and innovation emerges a brilliant opportunity to develop academia which would make the youth enthusiastic to learn more about the industry and contribute towards its expansion. Young minds would get a chance to explore more career options in this field which would enhance India’s global performance.
  • Using the space sector as a developmental source- This reform would aid India’s progress in multiple aspects such as better resource management, interplanetary explosion, more successful space missions, better weather forecasting, country’s imaging and mapping.

Overall, the launch of the Indian Space Association is a very positive step to benefit various sections of society, ranging from entrepreneurs to youth. It has the potential to transform India into a global leader of the space sector backed by expert interventions from the government and various agencies. Pushing for policies and legislations to enhance India’s growth in terms of critical technology would bring in employment and better wages.

The participation of national and international agencies would bring in more innovation and cooperation. It has the strength to make India a preferred destination for future international investments and which can transform it into a commercial hub. It would also assist in easing the workload of ISRO which has been at the center of India’s space hub developments.

Social media outage: A glitch turned fatal

The dependency of societies on technology is undebatable. Social media has emerged as a saviour amidst the pandemic which made it very challenging to stay connected in terms of our personal and professional life. However, the recent social media outages have revealed a scary fact: we cannot afford them. They cause damages to as many sectors of society as technology benefits.

Effects on economy

Facebook, home to one of the largest social media networks across the globe, upon recently facing a major outage and disruption in its services like WhatsApp and Instagram, took entrepreneurs by shock as their sales dipped dramatically and they scrambled to cater to the increasingly impatient customers. From beauty and clothing to food delivery, many industries were simultaneously affected. The services were completely stalled for hours which created a lot of stress and panic.

Facebook itself suffered revenue losses of billions and the world economy had to pay the price. The small-scale advertisers, influencers, and content creators were forced into helplessness as their only methods of interacting with the audience and making ends meet suffered a blow. Such financial dependence on social media continues to prove itself a major cause of concern.

Effects on education

Social media has been a boon for the education sector, providing students and educators around the world with ample opportunities to enhance knowledge sharing, despite the uncertainties of a global pandemic. But the outages on educational platforms have proved to be costly. Zoom, for example, suffered major glitches which were very inconvenient and caused communication problems between students and educators, which, in turn, is detrimental for their academic growth.

Moreover, educators also feel the pressure to rush through the materials since these technical issues take much time to be fixed. Many other platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, which are also used by educators to keep the students updated, upon facing such issues, create a lot of panic and confusion.

Effects on mental health

Social media is constantly used by many as a way of entertainment and recreation. It allows us to relieve stress and cope with day-to-day life. But many people also use it as a form of escapism and eventually become addicted. Outages expose them to periods where they experience extreme withdrawal symptoms. When their mental health and happiness are dependent upon an external source such as social media in the form of validation received through likes and comments, feelings of anxiety, stress and emptiness creep in when those services are stalled for hours.

Not only are they unable to connect with others to reduce loneliness but they also get stuck with their negative thoughts which have a very poor effect on their overall well-being. Research shows that social media is one of the leading causes of depression as it is designed in such a way that people automatically fall into the trap of comparison and information overload.

Is there a way out?

While social media outages are abrupt and often uncontrollable, as individuals, we can educate others and take steps towards reducing our dependence on it in some ways-

  • Limiting screen time – Instead of scrolling endlessly for hours, social media can be used mindfully by delegating certain hours of the day to it while engaging in other activities and hobbies during the day. This would ensure that our well-being is not compromised and we can successfully achieve our goals.
  • Spending time with others – Be it a family member, friend or even a pet, we must make sure that we have some company so that we do not slip into loneliness or other destructive habits which can worsen social media addiction. Participating in volunteering work or joining local communities that align with our interests is also a great way to be more active physically and mentally.
  • Social media detox – Refraining from using technology and social media for a fixed amount of time is also a good method to overcome social media dependency. Taking help from family members and friends, identifying triggers which guide the over-consumption and making a planner to track its effects on daily mood are some helpful ways that can make this process easier.
  • Choosing alternatives – In the case of finance, we must make sure that social media is never the only source of making ends meet. We must always be prepared and have enough skills to tackle the challenges of a physical workspace in case our social media business comes to a halt. Multiple courses can be easily found, online or offline, which can aid us in the process.

Social media outages serve as a reminder that although it is a great source of education, entertainment and much more, it has an unpredictable aspect to it which can prove to be damaging if we do not gain control over our online consumption. Hence, we must learn to strike a balance between our online and offline worlds.

“Like all technology, social media is neutral but is best put to work in the service of building a better world.”

Simon Mainwaring

Asima Chatterjee- First Indian Woman to Earn a Doctorate in Science

India has always put a feather on the cap when it comes to its contribution to the field of science and development. Throughout history, it is evident that along with men, Indian women too have been prominent contributors to science. One such great personality in the field of science was Ms. Asima Chatterjee

Prof. Asima Chatterjee was born in 1917 in Calcutta, British India. In spite of the regressive ideologies people possessed for women back then, Chatterjee’s family was extremely supportive of her education and encouraged her to be an academic. Her father was very interested in botany and Chatterjee shared in his interest. She graduated with honors in chemistry from the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta in 1936.

Asima Chatterjee received a master’s degree (1938) and a doctorate (1944) in organic chemistry from the University of Calcutta’s Raja bazar Science College campus, making her the first Indian woman to earn a doctoral degree in the field of science. She was acknowledged as the Doyenne of Chemistry. She specialized in synthetic organic chemistry and plant products as part of her doctoral research. Her research was directed by Professor Prafulla Kumar Bose, one of the pioneers in natural product chemistry in India. she was also inspired by the doyens of Indian science, like Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, Professor Prafulla Chandra Mitra, and Professor Janendra Nath Mukherjee, who influenced her career as a natural product scientist. In addition, she had research experience from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Caltech with László Zechmeister. Chatterjee’s research focused on natural products chemistry and led to the development of anti-convulsive, anti-malarial, and chemotherapy drugs. She made significant contributions in the field of medicinal chemistry with special reference to alkaloids, coumarins and terpenoids, analytical chemistry, and mechanistic organic chemistry over a period of 40 years. Her work led to the development of an epilepsy drug called Ayush-56 and several anti-malarial drugs.

She published around 400 papers in national and international journals and more than a score of review articles in reputed serial volumes. In addition to many citations in her work, much of it has been included in several textbooks.

She has won several prestigious awards such as the S S Bhatnagar award, the C V Raman award, and the P C Ray award; and is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award, in recognition of her contributions to the field of science. In addition to these accolades, she was also the first woman to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress, a premier institution that oversees research in science. She was also nominated by the President of India as a Member of the Rajya Sabha from February 1982 to May 1990.

On the request of the late Professor Satyendra Nath Bose, FRS, she wrote Sarai Madhyamic Rasayan, a book in Bengali on chemistry for secondary school students, published by Bangiya Bijnan Parishad, an Institute for the Popularisation of Science founded by SN Bose himself.

In an era where people saw women as mere “property” that belonged to her husband, she rose to earn a name for herself. Due to her impeccable contribution to the field of science, she is truly an inspiration to many young girls. Being one of a kind, her achievements will be lauded for many more years to come.

Top Medical Colleges in India

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India is known for its contribution to medicine. Since the ancient times, traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Unani, and homeopathy have been prevalent. Apart from this, the status of allopathy has been equivalented as well. Every year, India graduates millions of well-qualified doctors. As an ode to the exceptional quality of medical education in India, here are a few top medical colleges in India –

  1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi is a public hospital and medical research university based in New Delhi, India. The institute is governed by the AIIMS Act, 1956 and operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. AIIMS is considered the best institution of India in the field of medicine. A few undergraduate programs offered by AIIMS are Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Allied Sciences. Post graduate programs are – Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Surgery (MS), Master of Dental surgery (MDS), Doctorate of Medicine (DM). All undergraduate admissions would be taken up only through a single national level examination NEET-UG conducted by NTA (National Testing Agency).

  • Armed forces medical college, Pune

The Armed Forces Medical College is a leading medical training institute in Pune, India, in the state of Maharashtra. The college is managed by the Indian Armed Forces, ranked among the best medical colleges in India throughout and 34th best globally by CEO World Magazine: 2021. The Armed Force Medical College doesn’t conduct any separate entrance exam for the admission; Candidates must qualify the NEET examination to get admission. The courses offered are MBBS, post graduate courses, super-speciality, and para-medical courses. It is also a premier institute for research.

  • King George’s Medical University, Lucknow.

King George’s Medical University is a medical school, hospital, and medical university located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. The medical school was raised to a medical university by an act passed by the government of Uttar Pradesh on 16 September 2002. Apart from the top-notch quality of education that they provide, they have one of the most beautiful campus in India. Situated in a majestic white building, the college looks nothing less than a palace. With a green lush lawn in the centre, it offers a relaxing place for the already exhausted medical students. King George V, then the Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone of King George’s Medical College in 1906. It has four main faculties – Faculty of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Institute of Paramedical Sciences, and Institute of Nursing. The University has about 1250 undergraduate students (including 280 dental students) and 450 postgraduate students.

  • Madras Medical College, Chennai

It was established on 2 February 1835 during British Raj. It is the third oldest medical college in India, established after Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research and Calcutta Medical College. Madras Medical College was ninth among medical colleges in India by The Week in 2019. The College of Pharmacy was ranked 57 in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) pharmacy ranking in 2020. Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH)Park Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu Government Dental CollegePark Town, Chennai, Barnard Institute of Radiology, Park Town, Chennai, are a few notable institutes attached to this college.

4 Must Read Historical Fiction Novels

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Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in the past. Authentic historical novels portray the details of the time period as accurately as possible, including social norms, manners, customs, and traditions.  Common characteristics of this writing genre are the inclusion of historical events or historical people, invented scenes and dialogue, as well as true and plausible details. There are seven crucial elements in this genre: character, dialogue, setting, theme, plot, conflict, and world building. The characters could be based off of real or imaginary individuals.

If you want a break from the present and are looking for a book to transform you to a different era, here are a few great historical fiction novels that you shouldn’t miss!

  1. The Stationary Shop of Tehran-

If you’re a fan of historical romantic novels, this book is perfect for you. It follows the lives of two youngsters, Roya and Bahman, and their nascent love blossoming in a Persian stationary shop. This book by  Marjan Kamali is an eclectic mix of initial infatuation, first eye lock, the first touch, first love, betrayal, reunion and closure.

  • Hindu Refugee Camp Lahore-

This book by Sachin Garg is set in the difficult times just after India Pakistan partition in 1947. This is a story of Havildar Ghulam Ali Limb-Fitter, who was stuck in a Hindu refugee camp in Lahore. His wife waits for him in Lucknow, India. India wouldn’t accept him because he had served in the Pakistani army. This book is a heart-aching story of him trying to find a place in his motherland, India. This book comprises of several letters written by him to his wife Zahira, ministers, bureaucrats and other officials, begging them to help him return to his life in India. If you want to read about the real-life hardships faced by innocent people, as an aftermath of the partition, this book is truly a must read.

  • The Kite Runner-

The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul.  It is a beautifully crafted novel set in Afghanistan, a country that is on the verge of being ruined. It is an unforgettable, heart-breaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. It is a one-of-a-kind classic.

  • Train To Pakistan

This novel by Khushwant Singh is another historical fiction novel based on the repercussions of India Pakistan partition in 1947. This book is narrated from the perspective of Mano Majra, an idyllic fictional border resorted to love and harmony even at the face of all odds till external forces come and disrupted all the harmony. This village has Muslim and Sikh population that suddenly becomes a part of the border between Indian and Pakistan. Published in 1956, this book captures the essential human trauma and suffering in the face of such a terror and crisis. Train to Pakistan is an ideal novel for those who wishes to learn more about India’s past and is looking for more than the socio-political scenario behind the partition.

4 Motivational Books Everyone Should Read! 

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A book can provide inspiration in many different ways. The characters in fiction can inspire us to grow in the same way. A steady stream of non-fiction guides readers on everything from how to write poetry to how not to manage a career. However, inspirational books go a little further, especially for those of us in need of some extra hygge – the Danish word that refers to a feeling of contentment and cosiness. In essence, Hygge is just another way of saying: let’s read a book by the fire that will calm and relax our spirits. Various genres, tastes, and viewpoints are represented in these inspirational books. All of them strive to improve your life despite their differences. Check out the books that will help you become a better person.

  1. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial

Written by Anthony Robbins in 1991, this novel teaches people how to master their emotions, their bodies, their relationships, their finances, and their lives. Known as a leader in peak performance science, he has a deep understanding of the psychology of change. With help from this book, you will discover your true purpose, learn how to take control of your life, and become master self-mastery in a step-by-step program.

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad

This 1997 book called Rich Dad Poor Dad was written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It emphasizes the importance of financial literacy, financial independence, and building wealth through real estate investing, starting and owning a business, as well as increasing financial intelligence.

  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is a book by Charles Duhigg. He was a reporter for the New York Times. Originally published in February 2012 by Random House, the book is now available on Amazon. An in-depth look at habits, their creation, and reformation is explored in this book. Charles Duhigg takes us to the cutting edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its capacity for transformation through his insightful intelligence and ability to distill vast amounts of information into engaging narratives.

  • How to win friends and influence people. How to stop worrying and start living

Published in 1936, this is a self-help book by Dale Carnegie. Using this book, you can improve how you appear to the world. Changing your own behavior can alter how you are seen and treated by the world. You can change the energy you emit so that what comes back to you, changes as well. This book is an important guide to communication and business skills. It teaches you about marketing yourself and attracting more clients which is why many world-renowned figures have praised this book. By reading this book, you will be able to overcome mental woes and achieve goals. Having a positive attitude allows you to appear to others as a friendlier, more personable person, and in terms of your business, enables you to generate new clients. It helps you accomplish your goals by using your potential fully and by becoming an effective speaker in front of a large audience. If you deal with issues like self-confidence, this book is a must-read!

Innovative Schools in India

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Kids are like clay; they take up any shape you mould them into. Schools play an important role in the lives of all students. For every kid, school is their first introduction to social interaction. We learn most of our morals and values in school and we cherish for them for the rest of our life.

Many of us reminisce about our school days with nostalgia, but we can all agree that school wasn’t the happiest place to be. There were heavy bags filled with books, hundreds of students wearing uniforms, every hour accounted for, punishments, us. As children, many of us definitely thought that there was no choice but to attend school no matter how much I disliked it. I pondered, then, whether I would feel any different about going to school if mine was in a train carriage or in an open garden?

Perhaps that would have been too much to wish for, but my feeling is that it would have been much more exciting. Let’s take a look at a few unique schools in India that will inspire you to return to school!

  1. Bihar’s Platform School

Many of us probably read the classic story of Toto Chan. Toto Chan studied in a very unique school where the classrooms were designed like old railway carriages. This school probably comes closest to the school model from that story. Inderjit Khurana started the platform school near Patna to educate poor orphaned kids who sold tea on railway platforms. About 100 kids joined shortly after he opened the school. Soon, however, he realized that merely teaching them lessons wouldn’t help much. Having basic life skills, such as medical aid, was of the utmost importance to these kids because they came from an underprivileged background. Counselling would also need to be provided, and the entire process would have to be fun and engaging for the students. The syllabus gradually began to incorporate these concepts. Trying to give the children a life of dignity is what I am trying to do as a teacher at the school, Ajith Kumar said. Unless they are educated, most of them will turn to criminal activity.”

  • SECMOL, Ladakh

Ladakh’s Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement (SECMOL), has gained appreciation from millions across the country. Among its main features are focus on practical instruction, eco-friendly living, and a complete departure from the traditional educational system. Following its success, Sonam Wangchuk, its founder, embarked on a variety of other programs.

  • School without books or tests- Ananya

Children who grow up in underprivileged homes and in abusive households face a variety of obstacles to attending school, including a lack of support from their parents. Dr. Shashi Rao found this deeply troubling. After seeing the need, Dr. Rao joined forces with other people who also thought it was important to impart education in a creative and unique way to these children. First, they interacted with the children at Dr. Rao’s home and in public parks, discussing everything from cricket to the weather. After covering everyday topics, they moved on to mathematics and geography. Over the years, Ananya Trust, the trust started by Dr. Rao, developed into a school of a unique kind. It offers education to children from underprivileged backgrounds. 

  • Karnataka’s Aurinko Academy

As a youngster, Vivek was less intrigued by formal education than by an offbeat trade – carpentry! In search of a school that would not only encourage skills but also polishes them, his parents came across the Aurinko Academy in Bengaluru, which defines itself as a progressive learning environment, and they decided that this was the school for their son. The change in him was evident to his mother almost immediately. Following just a few months at the institute, Vivek found himself intrigued by the subject of carpentry, which was one of the many genres offered in their unique curriculum.

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Must-Visit Historical Places In India

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More than 5000 years of civilization have left India with some fantastic historical sites, monuments, legends, and experiences. Monuments such as these honour the glorious history and heritage of the country. Over the centuries, many dynasties, kingdoms, and kings have built monuments for a variety of reasons, from ancient to medieval. The fact remains, however, that historical places in India draw a large number of visitors. All forts, palaces, and temples of India are exceptional examples of aesthetics and elegance, from the Taj Mahal to Hampi.

  1. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

The Gwalior Fort is a hill fort near GwaliorMadhya PradeshIndia. The fort has existed at least since the 10th century, and the inscriptions and monuments found within what is now the fort campus indicate that it may have existed as early as the beginning of the 6th century. Raja Suraj Sen Pal and his dynasty ruled over more than 900 years. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers in its history.

  • Ajanta Ellora Caves

The Buddhist Caves in Ajanta are approximately 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments dating from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state in India. They are universally regarded as masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. Ellora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site too. It is one of the largest rock-cut Hindu temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Hinduism in particular and few Buddhist and Jain monuments with Artwork dating from the 600–1000 CE period. With the Ellora Caves, Ajanta is one of the major tourist attractions of Maharashtra.

  • Amber Palace

Amber Fort or Amer Fort is a fort located in Amber, Rajasthan, India. The town of Amber and the Amber Fort was built by Raja Alan Singh Meena 967 AD, later ruled by kachawaha rajputs. It consists of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amber Fort is also popularly known as the Amber Palace. The palace was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families

  • Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho has always been thought of as the place that exemplifies sensuality and eroticism at its best. However, this is a misrepresentation as only about 10 percent of the sculptures are sensual and the rest are common depictions. Countless sculptures depicting love, eternal grace, beauty, delicacy and the creative arts can be seen in one of the most historical places in India. A perfect amalgamation of Hinduism and Jainism, Khajuraho temples have carvings of cult icons, demi gods and Apsaras.

5.      Jallianwala Bagh, Punjab

The infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place near this monument near the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Covering around 6.5 acres, it is the place where General Dyer ordered a mass shooting on Baisakhi. Thousands of innocents succumbed to death in this incident. It was one of the incidents that ignited the fire of Independence revolution. A memorial was erected here on 13th April 1961 by the then president, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

Government Schemes for Students

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In the past 7 years, the Central government led by PM Narendra Modi has implemented various schemes to support students’ education. In order to achieve a better quality of life for the billion-strong population of India, we need to nurture and care for its students as our greatest asset. Check out the list of Pradhan Mantri Yojana for Students launched in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. In 2021, these government school education schemes will continue to be relevant.

In this section, we provide you with a list of PM Modi’s government schemes for students’ education in India. There are several central government schemes for school education in India, including those run by the AICTE and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It includes 10 schemes run by AICTE and 28 schemes run by MHRD that are classified into education schemes for elementary, secondary, and higher education.

Students can apply online and fill out the appropriate Yojana forms to access the scheme’s benefits. Having a quality education is the primary objective of ensuring adequate employment for all students and, therefore, building a strong nation.

An overview of the central government school education schemes in India run by AICTE can be found below:

  1. Samriddhi Scheme for SC/ST Students to Start up Businesses

In view of the poor employment opportunities on the market, SC/ST students need opportunities to set up their own businesses. As per AICTE’s start up policy, Samriddhi Scheme aims at supporting SC/ST students in designing, launching, and running their own business or start up following formal education. Applicants for Samriddhi Scheme can apply online to take advantage of its benefits.

  • Pragati Scholarship Program

Pragati Scholarships or Contingencies are given to meritorious girls pursuing a technical education accredited by AICTE. Every year, an aggregate of 4000 scholarship recipients receive 30000 Rupees in tuition fee reimbursements and another 20000 Rupees in incidental awards. To avail the benefits of Pragati Scheme, students can now apply online.

  • Prerana Scheme for Preparing SC and ST Students for Higher Education

Engineering & polytechnic colleges are suffering from a severe shortage of faculty. It may be possible to resolve the problem by encouraging pre-final- and final-year degree students to attend postgraduate courses. PRERANA scheme is designed to assist institutions that offer extra resources to encourage and train SC/ST students to take GATE/GPAT/CAT/CMAT and GRE. The aim of the scheme is to help SC/ST students wishing to pursue higher education through tests such as GATE/GPAT/CAT/CMAT/TOEFL/ IELTS and GRE. Those interested in availing of the benefits of the PRERANA Scheme should apply online.

  • The Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme

Scholarships awarded under this program are to full-time GATE or GPAT qualified students. Qualified students admitted to AICTE-approved institutions and colleges for M.E./M. Tech/M. Arch and M. Pharm programs are eligible to apply. PG Scholarship Scheme beneficiaries receive Rs. 12,400 per month per student.

  • Support for Students Participating in Competition Abroad (SSPCA)

SSPCA’s goal is to provide travel assistance to teams of approximately 2 to 10 students attending competitions at the international level for competitive purposes. Through this program, students are encouraged to improve their skills in their specific technical field. Online applications for SSPCA Scheme are available to students.

Gandhi Jayanti – History and significance

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. This year will mark Gandhi’s 152nd birth anniversary.

He was an anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist, he used nonviolent resistance to lead India’s successful independence campaign from British rule and helped inspire movements that have fought for freedom and civil rights all over the world. He was also a successful Indian lawyer, trained at Inner Temple, London. He passed the law exam at the age of 22, in June 1891.

He then moved to South Africa, where he lived for 21 years. The first nonviolent campaign for civil rights took place in South Africa where Gandhi engaged in nonviolent resistance and raised his family. He returned to India in 1915, at the age of 45 and took over the leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921. In addition to his national campaigning for eradicating poverty, expanding women’s rights, promoting religious and ethnic harmony, and ending untouchability, Gandhi also pushed for Swaraj or self-rule. During the 1920s, Gandhi also began wearing a loincloth and a shawl (in the winter) made of yarn hand spun on a traditional spinning wheel known as a “Charkha” to symbolize the poor of rural India. Furthermore, as a mean of self-purification and political protest, he also began to live modestly in a self-sufficient community, eat simple vegetarian fare, and fast for long periods.

Gandhi often ignited a spirit of anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, making them challenge the severe British-imposed norms. One such incident marked in history was the Dandi Salt March in 1930. The Dandi Salt March also known as the Salt Satyagraha was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Mahatma Gandhi. It was a twenty-four day march lasting from 12 March 1930 to 5 April 1930, covering a distance of 400 km (250 mi) and symbolized a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.

Mohandas Gandhi was called “Mahatma” meaning “great-souled” by the common people, who viewed him as India’s national and spiritual leader. This honorific was first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world. His legacy continues to this day which is why he is still regarded as the “Father of the nation”

Gandhi’s vision for an ideal Indian is based on four pillars – Truth (satya), non-violence (ahimsa), welfare of all (sarvodaya) and peaceful protest (satyagraha). These principles together are the backbone of “Dharma” which means ‘to hold together’.

Satya means truth or oneness in your thoughts, speech and actions. Gandhi believed that “there is no religion higher than truth”. This is evidently witnessed in Gandhi’s classic autobiography “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”. Written between his childhood and 1921, this is a magnificent piece of literature touching on his life. It was written in weekly instalments and published in his journal Navjivan from 1925 to 1929.

Ahimsa or non-violence means the personal practice of not causing harm to one’s self and others under every condition.  It should be practiced not only in actions but also in thoughts and speech. Ahimsa also forms the basis of Jainism and Hinduism as a religion.

The third principle is sarvodaya or welfare for all. The basic fundamental teaching of the Vedic science is also based on sarvodaya. It talks about “bahujan hitay-bahujan sukhay” – “the good of the masses, the benefit of the masses”.

Satyagraha is protest based on satya (path of truthfulness) and non-violence and includes peaceful demonstrations, prolonged fasts etc. i.e., a non-violence-based civil resistance. It is based on the law of persistence. 

Gandhi’s teachings and principles are still preached among the civilians today. His vision for India is celebrated on his birth anniversary. This day, 2nd October is declared as a national holiday across India. On this day, people celebrate with prayer services, commemorative ceremonies and cultural events that are held in colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions. The statues of Mahatma Gandhi are decorated with garlands and flowers. His favourite song Raghupati Raghava is also sung at some of the meetings.

Many other countries celebrate his birth anniversary as well. In a resolution adopted on June 15, 2007, the UN General Assembly designated October 2 as International Day of Non-Violence. Resolution reiterates “the universal significance of non-violence” and pledges to “to cultivate a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding, and non-violence”.