It’s tough being a Dalit.

Credits – Human History

For years, Dalits have suffered the consequences of being Dalit. Their daughters are raped, sons are murdered and whatnot. I’ll narrate to you 3 stories that I came to know through my friends, family and the internet.

I had to take the help of the internet because I have been travelling for the past few days and couldn’t meet a lot of people. Coming to the point, this is a story from Bhilai. A Dalit family used to survive on wages. Their daily wage was delayed. They asked the landlord to pay them their dues. Instead of paying them back, he tortured them. He locked them in a room. They starved for days. This story is not even reported anywhere because it never came out. Imagine asking for what is yours and getting thrashed for it. You start to become less of yourself every day.

This story is from mahulpala village. The residents of this village collected money to build a temple. Dalits(10% of the population also contributed money and labour) to the temple. But when the temple was inaugurated, they were asked to step outside the temple. They started praying from outside of the temple. They were thrashed by the priest’s son for even touching the temple. When they filed a complaint. The whole village started to boycott them. They refused to sell anything to them. They refused to let them inside the village. The district administration has signed a compromise that they can pray from outside the village. A temple that they built themselves refuses to let them in.

Another story comes from the school I studied in. There was a boy named Govind. He was in our class. He found it very difficult to be around us. Because nobody respected his presence. Everyone teased him. And it was not friendly banter.

Imagine living in an environment where you are not even considered a decent human being. Nobody wants to listen to you. Nobody respects you. And imagine this place to be your school. That is the worst thing that can ever happen to you. We created that environment for Govind. He came to school every day. He tried to fit in between us every day but we never let him fit in. He always wanted to play with us but we never allowed him to. What I feel bad about is that I watched it happening around me and I did nothing. You never forget the trauma you faced as a child. I was part of the reason Govind faced such a thing in the first place.

Discriminating against anyone based on their caste signifies only one thing. SUPERIORITY COMPLEX. When a person assumes their caste is superior than the other person, they feel “free” to discriminate against them. This shows the lack of logic that is applied while discriminating against someone. It makes no sense and it has to stop. When you discriminate against someone, you’re mocking your intellect. RISE ABOVE.

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.

The imbalance in cricket’s Ecosystem

Credits- wall arts

Cricket has shifted completely in the last 10 years. T20 cricket gives the game such a high economic drive that every other format lives in the shadow of it. With that said, people have constantly raised their voices and have made efforts to keep test cricket alive. We’ve seen some great test matches in the last 3 years. One of the biggest problems the game faces right now is scheduling. There’s so much cricket being played all over the world. The majority of it is franchise cricket. Franchise cricket brings the majority of the money to the game and every player wants to be a part of it because of how economically convenient it is. Now, these tournaments take a big window out of the calendar. That leaves very little time for international bilateral series.

South Africa cancelled the one-day international tour to Australia to make sure that all top South African Players are available for CSA’s newly announced T20 franchise league. It seems clear which way the game is heading. Although, we cannot solely blame CSA for choosing franchise cricket over international cricket. If they didn’t make that decision, they could’ve almost been on the verge of being broke. They require investment to kick off their new league and that could’ve only been possible if the investors were sure that the international South African players will be available for the league from the start. Opting out from the Australia series means South Africa might not qualify for the world cup directly and will have to go to the qualifiers first. That’d indeed be something to keep an eye on.

One great issue is the imbalance in international cricket. There are only 3 cricket boards that can sustain their cricket on their own. India, Australia and England. Everyone else is dependent on each other. For example- if India tours West Indies for a test series, West Indies will make so much money that they won’t have to play cricket for the whole year because of how bad their economic situation is. Boards other than the strong 3 find it difficult to ask their players to play for their country rather than their franchises because they cannot offer the kind of money these Franchises do.

Credits- wikipedia

Cricket has reached a tipping point now. With more games being played than ever before. Players retire from a particular format because they cannot see a way to play all formats and sustain. Franchise cricket taking a huge chunk of time out of the calendar. All these things have made a lot of administrators reach to a conclusion. They’ve planned to reduce the number of bilateral series. Especially ODIs. The future for ODI looks rather bleak. Test cricket is not going anywhere and the same goes for the Revolutionary T20 form. ODI format finds itself in a tough position because it seems irrelevant in today’s age. The quality of cricket is not the same anymore. It feels like an extended version of T20 cricket. The most prominent ODIs that we’ll see in the future will be the World Cup. Cricket has truly changed.

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.

Indian Railways

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brain Drain – A Need for Reversal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meditation – The Ultimate Nirvana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wildlife in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Resources in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -By ST Coleridg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right To Education (RTE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Delhi Metro: The Defeline of Delhi

Not long ago, Delhiites used to curse the public transport system of the national capital. Errant, reckless and rash bus drivers, showing no sign of courtesy even to the ladies as well as the elderly, made commuting from one place to the other a painfully daunting task.

Delhi Metro has changed the way people travel within Delhi. With the arrival of Metro, travelling from one place to another has become joyfully exciting, fast, noiseless, dust free and absolutely dependable. For most people living in Delhi, Metro is their great pride, as it has made their life comfortable by making travelling stress free. It has brought relief from traffic snarls.

Delhi Metro is thus a world-class metro. It is one of the few metro systems in the world having an operational profit from the very first day. It is India’s second urban-mass rapid transportation system after Kolkata Metro. Delhi Metro or Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to be precise, is a metro system serving Delhi and the suburbs such as Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad region in the National Capital Region of India. Delhi Metro is the world’s thirteenth largest metro system in terms of length. It is a dream come true for the workers and people employed and a blessing for its commuters.

After the 1980s, Delhi saw a major population explosion and about fivefold rise in the number of vehicles. As a result, the other public transport system i.e.. bus service was unable to bear the load. Commuters took to private vehicles which increased the traffic congestion as well as pollution. So in 1984, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Urban Arts Commission came up with a proposal of developing multi-modal transportation system which would curb all the problems and would connect the city in a better way.

After the technical study and finalising the finance issue the physical construction of Delhi Metro was started on 1st October, 1998. The first line of Delhi Metro was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 24th December, 2002. It became the second rapid system in India after the Kolkata Metro which was operational since 1984. The first phase of the Metro was completed on the estimated budget and almost-three years ahead of schedule, an achievement described by Business Week Magazine as ‘nothing short of a miracle’.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) is a state-owned company with equal participation from the Government of India and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi. The huge investment involved in the construction comes from both of these sectors as well as from the loans from companies. These companies are banks like Japan Bank for International Cooperation or Indian companies like Reliance Infra. In 2007, the Delhi Metro claimed to be one of the only five metro systems in the world that operates at a profit without governmental aids. This was achieved by keeping the maintenance cost limited and by getting additional revenues from advertisements and property development, apart from the ticket sales.

With the increasing association with Delhi as an image of the city’s everyday life, it became popular filming location for films like ‘Love Aaj Kal’, ‘Delhi 6’, ‘Paa’ ete and for some other advertisements too. The metro also generates revenue with such a lease. Delhi Metro has air-conditioned coaches. To ensure safety, it is equipped with the most modern control and communication system. It has all the conveniences and world class amenities like ATMs, food outlets, cafes, mobile recharge stores etc., in most of the stations.

Students of many art colleges have designed decorative paintings at Metro Stations, while pillars on some elevated sections have been decorated with the creations of schoolchildren. Some of the newer metro stations conduct rainwater harvesting as an environment protection measure. In order to reduce its dependence on non-renewable sources of energy, DMRC is looking forward to harness solar energy. Infact DMRC has been certified by the United Nations as the first metro system in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions thereby reducing pollution levels in the city.

Delhi Metro has a huge ridership on the daily basis and even record breaking number of commuters on the festival days. Commuters find it most convenient as it saves their money, save them from ever-lasting time consuming traffic, pollution, rains. heat among other things. The brighter side does not end here. DMRC conducts awareness programmes for the labour engaged in the construction work on issues like HIV/AIDS etc. It also provides medical facilities and educational services to its labourers and to their children. Overlooking some minute drawbacks like overcrowding, congestion during construction, Delhi Metro is a huge success in the capital city. It has, in more than one way, helped in the beautification of the city. Looking at such a positive success, government is planning to come up with more such metros in other cities like Mumbai and Lucknow. It is also attracting foreign investors who wish to be a part of one such profitable plan.

The Role of Indian Cinema

Cinema is in today’s world the most popular means of entertainment. Millions of people watch cinema everyday all over the world-not only as a means of entertainment, but also as an escape from the monotony, boredom, anxiety and troubles of life. It is a restful, pleasurable and entertaining way of rewinding and relaxing after a long day’s work. All the senses are captivated while viewing cinema and the next two and a half or three hours are spent in a wink. Moreover, every class and section of society can afford this form of entertainment at their will and convenience.

Indian cinema has a charm, flavour and magic of its own. It appeals not only to the film-crazy Indian public but also enchants a large number of audiences the world over. People who do not speak or understand Hindi still sing songs from Hindi films. An average Indian film is longer than films from other parts of the world, has a ginger-touch of love, hate, revenge, drama, tears, joys and also its own share of songs and dances. A typical Indian film has it all-all the spice and variety of life condensed into it, transporting the audience on a magic carpet to a totally different world where everything and anything is possible. Infact, Salman Rushdie has quoted:

“I have been a film buff all my life and believe that the finest cinema is fully the equal of the best novels.”

Down the years, cinema in India has reached its own destination, created its own history, touched its own milestones. From stereotyped love stories to action, to drama, to realistic, to fictional-the silver screen in its every aspect has mesmerised, captured and tantalised millions of every age, class, sex and community. The journey from silent films to talking pictures, from black and white to coloured has been long.

It has catered to the dreams and aspirations of many who have hungered for glamour and reached “Mumbai’ and it still does.

There have been two streams of cinema in India-one is the Commercial Cinema which has the sole aim of entertaining and making money in return. The second stream is the Parallel Cinema or the Art Cinema which aims at sensitising people on various social issues and problems of the society. While Commercial Cinema appeals to all sections of the society. Parallel Cinema appeals mainly to the intellectual class and the intelligentsia of the society. But a change has taken place over the last decade and half. A general awareness among people has increased and Art Cinema is being more and more appreciated by a large number of people. Many a times, an art film does much better at the box-office than a mainstream commercial film. This has resulted in the thinning of the differentiating line between Art and Commercial Cinema.

Cinema has an educative value too. Because it exercises a deep influence upon the minds of the people; cinema can be used as a very effective reformative instrument. Statutory warnings are included to spread the awareness about the adversity of smoking has compelled many to quit the habit. Social awareness can be generated on issues like dowry, women education, abortion, girl foeticide, youth unrest, corruption, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy etc. Films like No One Killed Jessica, My Name Is Khan, The Attacks of 26/11 are some movies which have dealt with current sensitive issues. Cinema can expose the evils prevalent in society. It is the most effective means of mass communication. Cinema also is a great unifying force in a diversified country like ours. People belonging to all communities and sections, speaking any language, watch the cinema with the same fascination and excitement. Moreover, people can go to places with cinema. We travel from Ooty to Shimla to Switzerland to Washington to Sydney. It also encourages the art of music, singing, dancing, script-writing, direction etc. It employs a large number of people from technicians to producers to spot boys to dress makers. Thousands of people earn their livelihood through cinema.

Shahrukh Khan has aptly put the significance of cinema by saying: “Cinema in India is like brushing your teeth in the morning. You can’t escape it.”

The silver screen spreads and sells not just dreams but captivates the hearts of young boys and girls. If this medium is not used judiciously and wisely, it can distract the youth from the right direction. Thus, the film makers should undertake film making as a social responsibility and through films should give youth a sense of direction. The trend of making films on famous novels and plays should be encouraged to spread good literature and its appreciation among common man. Sensible and relevant themes should be picked to make films. Films need not be didactic, but they still can pass on constructive messages subtly to the masses. Hence, if used with pure sensibility, cinema can help in bringing positive changes in the society and the attitudes of the people.

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.

Tourism in India

Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. It is an invisible export, which carns valuable foreign exchange without any significant or tangible loss of internal resources. It is a source of revenue and employment. There are countries in the world whose main source of revenue is tourism.

India is one of the popular tourist destinations in Asia. India has fascinated people from all over the world with her secularism and her culture. Hence, India is a country with a great potential for tourism. Bounded by the Himalayan ranges in the north and surrounded, on three sides by sea (Arabian sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean), India offers a wide array of places to see and things to do. The enchanting backwaters, hill stations and landscapes make India a beautiful country. There are historical monuments, beaches, places of religious interests, hill resorts, etc. that attract tourists. Every region is identified with its handicraft, fairs, folk dances, music and its people. Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in India. The tourism industry employs a large number of people, both skilled and unskilled. It promotes national integration and international brotherhood.

Tourism is highly labour intensive industry of a unique type. It provides different services needed as well as expected by the incoming tourists. At the world level, it is one of the largest in terms of money spent by tourists in the countries they visit. This amount is said to exceed the GNP of many countries with the sole exception of the USA. According to the latest estimates of the world travel and tourism council, this industry is expected to generate about 6 percent of India’s total employment.

The services rendered to foreign tourists visiting India are the invisible products of tourism industry. These products, i.e. hospitality services of all sorts for tourists turn into invisible exports because these are included in this category without leaving Indian soil. More the foreign exchange earnings, greater is the gain. In the same manner more the number of visitors from foreign countries, more is our foreign exchange earning. The host country has only to provide all possible facilities to the guest visitors to keep them entertained and in a holidaying mood for the longest possible period in hotels. Longer is their stay, more money they will spend and their earning is passed on to us. As the same time, the creative items like art pieces fabrics in indigenous designs including heavy goods like carpets and a lot more, do not fail to carry an appeal for the sightseers. Their sale in India itself is an additional advantage. By exporting the same product through an agent, our profit gets reduced. Next to readymade garments, gems and jewelry, tourism is our largest export item in terms of its earnings. In 2005 The Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) started a campaign called Incredible India’ to encourage tourism in India For a better growth, the department divided different places in different sections like ‘spiritual tourism,’ ‘spa tourism, ecotourism’ and ‘adventure tourism.

As Indian healthcare sector develops, a new term has been coined called Medical Tourism’, which is the process of people from all corners of the world visiting India to seek medical and relaxation treatments. According to research reports on Indian Healthcare sector, the medical tourism market is valued to be worth over $310 million with foreign patients coming by 100,000 every year. Medical tourists choose India as their favorable destination because of the key opportunities in Indian healthcare sector in the form of efficient infrastructures and technology. The health insurance market and National medical systems here are well developed, which is convenient for visitors from the West and the Middle East. They also find the hospital expenses very affordable.

Things have now started looking bright for the Indian tourism industry. However, the Indian tourism industry has been hit by pollution. The effluents emitted by the Mathura Refinery have led to the de-colorization of the Taj Mahal in Agra. The condition of many of our monuments is deteriorating due to the negligence of the concerned authorities. On the other hand, beaches have become the dumping grounds of garbage and waste left by tourists. The natural environment and heritage sites remain a source of attraction as long as these are not damaged beyond control from their degradation or pollution. Massive tourist traffic, unless regulated creates these mal-effects. Tourist carrying capacity of a resort needs to be matched to minimise the inconveniences of local people during the period of tourist rush. Youths of the host area are also to be saved from cultural alienation by blindly imitating the lifestyle of foreigners during days of reckless massive tourism. A planning for adopting a sequence of steps like a survey of the existing position of services, facilities needed by tourists and measures for development of a healthy and sustainable tourism, has become a dire need. At national level, an apex body has to take stock of the status and trends of tourism in comparison with neighbouring countries. It will help appraise the future needs, the nature of various incentives for alluring tourists and the gaps to be removed for better provision as well as management of the infrastructure.

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.

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.

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.

The Aghoris And The Idea Of Cannibalism

“Humans eating humans” is a unique form of ideology, Isn’t it? But this is surprisingly a real fact and this is what cannibalism means in layman’s terms. Those who knew about this belief through history books, movies and etc might assume that it is all in the past but confoundingly it’s a no. Cannibalism is still followed by Aghoris in India. But who are they?

The Aghori Babas of Varanasi, India, are renowned for their ghastly and terrifying quest for heavenly salvation and their practice of devouring corpses. They contend that the dread of death, which is the most intense fear experienced by people, prevents them from attaining enlightenment. One can achieve liberty by overcoming this fear. They are one of the hermits who turn to cannibalism to get through the obstacle of spiritual freedom.

The central tenet of Aghori religion is that everything in the world, even corpses, is equally sacred. There is no such thing as good or bad according to them. The Aghoris strive to transcend all divisions, recognise the false essence of all divisions already in existence, and find eternal happiness by uniting with ultimate presence. However, traditional Hinduism disapproves of this rite. Aghoris are outspoken critics of inequality and the caste system’s enduring effects, which historically segregated Indians into rigid social groups.Also, they don’t harm any other human around them.

While some techniques are as easy as mindfulness, others could be quite strenuous and combative. There is no acceptable or thorough reason for cannibalism. It has been used by several societies and civilizations for a variety of reasons. It makes no sense in general. Instead, it is designed to fit the religious framework of the culture in which it is practiced.

Team India will be led by Shikhar Dhawan in the ODI series against WI.

The three-match ODI series against the West Indies will be contested at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and the teams have been chosen by the all-India Senior Selection Committee.

Team India will be led by batter Shikha Dhawan. As vice captain for the three-match ODI series, Ravindra Jadeja.

Starting on July 22, the Men in Blue will face the West Indies in a three-match ODI series and a five-match T201 series. The last game of the multi-format series between Team India and England will be played on July 17.

Senior players that were given a break from the ODIs include star batsman Virat Kohli, bowler Jasprit Bumrah, and batsman Rohit Sharma.

After missing the home series against South Africa, Kohli, who was formerly famed for his brilliant batting exploits, struggled to regain his form. In the fifth Test against England at Edgbaston, he managed to score just 31 runs.

Bumrah, the captain of team India, astonished everyone at the Edgbaston with his fast bowling and aggressive batting, breaking the previous record of 35 runs in one over by Stuart Broad.

The following players will represent India in the three one-day internationals: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Lyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar

Desserts Of India

India is one of the countries rich in its culture, variety of food, and diversity in all its perspectives. There is a different culture, and lifestyle in each 100 km of state. Be it spice or sweet India has got everything !!

Gulab Jamun, arguably India’s most well-liked dessert, is deliciously sweet, sticky, and impossible to resist! These fried and syrup-soaked soft, spongy balls are created with a dough comprising flour, milk powder, or condensed milk. Their name, which translates to “rose berry” in Hindi, comes from the fact that they are frequently flavored with cardamon and rose. Unni appam, a treat from Kerala in southern India, is a sweet treat comparable to gulab jamun. It is prepared with rice flour, coconut, banana, and jaggery (raw sugar).

Like Italy has gelato, India has got an Indian version of ice cream which is kulfi. it is significantly creamier and thicker than typical ice cream because it isn’t whipped before freezing. Simply boiling the milk will thicken and diminish its volume. Cardamon is the typical flavoring for kulfi. Mango, pistachio, saffron, vanilla, and rose are among the more tastes. With the inclusion of thin noodles and dried fruits, it is occasionally served as falooda kulfi.

The most popular version of this traditional Indian dessert is gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa). It originated in the imperial Mughal kitchens and is especially well-liked in the north of India during the winter. Grated carrots are the major component. It is prepared with milk, sugar, and a substantial amount of ghee.Similar to how gajar ka halwa is created and adored in the north of India, Rava Kesari (also known as Kesari halwa) is made in the south. Ghee is used to roast the Rava (semolina), which is then boiled with sugar and water. Additionally, saffron is added to give it color. And this is the most significant dessert and can be seen in prepared in next house. 

Jalebi is the most loved dessert in India .In essence, it consists of deep-fried loops of dough prepared with refined flour and sweetened with saffron. Jalebi isn’t only an Indian delicacy. Its origins can be found in the Middle East, and it is thought that Persian conquerors brought it to India. But there’s no denying that India has enthusiastically embraced the jalebi. It is available at local cuisine stands all around the country, deliciously breathtaking.

This ubiquitous celebratory treat in the shape of a ball is a staple at any special event in India and has a wide variety of variations. Yes,you would have guessed it right!! Its laddoo.However, each location has a unique specialization. It is frequently prepared with semolina, crushed coconut, or gram/chickpea flour. Other components include milk, sugar, ghee, and dried fruits. Since more than three centuries, worshipers at the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh have received the most renowned laddoo in all of India. With an estimate of 3 million pieces sold each day, production is a huge endeavor!

Visiting Karnataka? Never miss out on Mysore Pak. This buttery, fluffy confection, frequently given during festivals, is thought to have been created in the royal Mysore Palace kitchen. It is produced with a lot of clarified butter, sugar syrup (pak), and chickpea flour (ghee). There is also a less popular hard, brittle kind of it. Definitely opt for the soft one!

According to popular mythology, Nobin Chandra Das, a confectioner from Kolkata, invented the rasgulla in 1868 after extensive testing Although it was originally served at the Jagannath temple in Puri, the Odisha government claims to have proof that the rasgulla (known as rasagola there) existed in the state before 1500. In July, Odisha has a celebration called Rasagola Dibasa to honor the confection.Cottage cheese, semolina, and sugar syrup are used to make the white, spongy rasgulla balls. In West Bengal and Odisha, where the dessert is revered, its provenance has been the subject of a heated discussion in recent years.

Furthermore, the list doesn’t stop here. There is a huge variety of different cuisines with desserts ahead from different states. 

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.

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.

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.

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.











Poverty in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video Editing as a Career in India

What is Video Editing?

The whole process of making art aesthetically appealing lies in the technique of editing visualsVideo editing covers the whole process of re-arrangement and modification of the video.

What is the job of a Video Editor ?

A video & film editor’s job is to take videotapes to produce a single refined piece of video. Today, video editors are considered to be the backbone of any post-production process. The key responsibility of a video editor is to edit any visual media form, like soundtracks, film, and videos for the cable and broadcast visual media industries. Gone are the days of Linear Editing (Tape to tape), today new technology is used to edit the media.

Non-linear editing or Digital Video Editing is the buzzword in today’s digital world. Digital video editing makes use of computer technology to facilitate the whole editing process onscreen. With the Indian cinema and entertainment industry crossing all geographical boundaries, a video editing career has surely emerged as a lucrative option to many Indian youngsters.

Film editing courses will help you understand the nuances of cutting and editing videos. This is done through hands-on, practical training.

Video Editing Eligibility Criteria

There is no formal educational qualification required to enter into this profession. All one needs is training in the computer systems and programs used in digital video/film editing and interest in editing visual media.

For doing specialized courses from reputed institutes like Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, candidates must possess the qualification prescribed by the respective institutes/ colleges. In general, Digital video editors often have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in animation or media arts.

Video Editing Personal Skills

Being Imaginative and techno-savvy are essential for this profession. You simply cannot become a good video editor if you do not have a flair for the creative. You also need to have a sharp eye for detail, an analytical mind, and the ability to work in a team.

A video editing career requires being abreast with the latest technological developments happening in his/her profession as newer technologies are being introduced quite regularly.

Video Editing Job Prospects 

Besides media houses, large film studios, electronic news channel groups, one can also find wide-ranging opportunities in various production houses scattered all across the country.

The increased popularity of online video clips has also resulted in a large number of job opportunities for competent video editors.

Video Editing Salary 

Initially, one can earn a salary between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 per month. With some years of experience and expertise gained in video editing, a video editor‘s career is on the smooth track with a high pay package and other benefits.

A creative and experienced video editor working for a large studio can earn a salary of anywhere between Rs. 25, 000 to Rs. 75,000 per month. One can also have the liberty to work as a freelance in a firm where he could be paid on an hourly basis.

India – The National Insignia

India measures 3214 km from north to south and 2933 from east to west with a total land area of 3,287,263 sq. km. It has a land frontier of 15.200 km and a coastline of 7516.5 km. Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and lakshadweep in the Arabian sea are parts of India. the Country shares its political borders with Pakistan & Afghanistan on the west and Bangladesh and Burma on the east. the Northern boundary is made up of the Sinkiang province of China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. India is separated from Sri Lanka by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

National Emblem

The state emblem of India is an adaptation from the Sarnath lion, at the capital of Ashoka the Emperor, as preserved in the Sarnath Museum. The Government of India adopted the emblem on 26th January 1950, the day when India became a republic. In the State emblem adopted by the government, only three lions are visible, the fourth been hidden from the view. The wheel appears in the relief in the center of the abacus with a bull on the right and a horse on the left and the outlines of the other wheel on the extreme right and left.the bell shaped lotus has been omitted. the words “Satyameva Jayate” from the Mundaka Upanishads meaning “Truth alone triumphs” inscribed below,the abacus of the emblem in Devanagari script is also referred to as the National Motto.

National Emblem of India

The National Flag

The National Flag is a horizontal tri-colour of deep saffron (Kesari) (Representing Courage and Sacrifice) at the top, White (peace and truth) in the middle and Dark green (Faith and Chivalry) at the bottom at equal proportion. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is 2:3. In the center of white band is a wheel, in navy blue. Its design is that of the wheel (Chakra) which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka. Its Diameter approximates the width of the white band, it has 24 spokes. The Design of the national flag was adopted by the constituent assembly of India on 22nd July, 1947. Its use and display are regulated by a code.

National Anthem

Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. It was originally composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by polymath Rabindranath Tagore. The first stanza of the song Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as the National Anthem on 24 January 1950. A formal rendition of the national anthem takes approximately 52 seconds. It was first publicly sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta (now Kolkata) Session of the Indian National Congress. The National Anthem of India is played or sung on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the Anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung, and about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions. The substance of these instructions has been embodied in the information sheet issued by the government of India for general information and guidance. The approximate duration of the Full Version of National Anthem of India is 52 seconds and 20 seconds for shorter version.

National Anthem of India

National Song

The song Vande Mataram composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee has an equal status with Jana Gana Mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the INC.

National Song of India

National Calendar

At the time of Independence , the govt, of the India followed the Gregorian calendar based on the christian era. The National Government adopted the recommendation of the Calendar Reform Committee that the Saka era be adopted as the basis of the National Calendar. The Saka year has the normal 365 days and begins with Chaitra as its first month. The days of the Saka Calendar have a permanent correspondence with the dates of the Gregorian Calender, Chaitra 1 falling on March 22 in a normal year and on March 21 in a leap year. The national Calender commenced on Chaitra 1 Saka, 1879 corresponding to to March 22, 1957 AD.

National Flower

Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera Gaertn) is the national Flower of India. It is sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian Culture since time immemorial. India is rich in Flora. Currently available data places India in the 10th position in the world and 4th in Asia in plant diversity. From about 70% geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plant have been described by the Botanical Survey of India(BSI).

Lotus – National Flower of India

National Animal

The Combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned Tiger, (Panthera tigris), its pride of place as the national animal of India. Out of eight species known, The Royal Bengal Tiger, is rare.

Royal Bengal Tiger

National River

the Ganga or Ganges is the longest river of India flowing over 2510 kms of mountains Valleys and plains. It originates in the snowfields of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalaya as the Bhagirathi River. It is later joined by Alakananda, Yamuna, Son, Gomti, Kosi and Ghagra. The Ganga river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world and covers an entire area of 1.000.000 sq.km The Ganga is revered by Hindu as the most sacred river on earth.

River Ganga

National Tree

Indian fig tree, (Ficus bengalensis) whose branches root themselves like new trees over a large areas. The roots then gives rise to more trunks and branches. Because of this characteristics and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is a n integral part of the myths and legends of India. Even today, the banyan tree is the focal point of village life and thevillage counil meets under the shade of this tree.

Banyan Tree

National Fruit

Magnifera indica, The mango tree is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruit trees pf the tropical world. its juicy fruit is the rich source of Vitamin A, C & D. In India there are over 100 varieties of mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes have been cultivated in India from time immemorial.

Mango

National Bird

The Indian Peacock, (Pavo cristatus), the national bird of India, is a colorful bird, with beautiful velvet feathers and slender neck. The male of the species more colorful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. The female is brownish and slightly smaller than the male and lacks the tail, The dance of the male fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a gorgeous sight.

Peacock

National Sport

Hockey is India’s national game. India won the first Olympic history gold in 1928, in Amsterdam, beating the Netherlands 3-0 India’s hockey team is the most successful team ever in the Olympics, having won eight gold medals in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964 and 1980. India also has the best overall performance in Olympic history with 83 victories out of the 134 matches played.

Hockey

Indian Standard Time (IST)

India has only one standard time, India is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT/UTC, 4.5 hours behind Australian eastern Standard time and 10.5 hours of American Eastern Standard time.

National Monument

India gate, one of the largest war memorials, situated in the heart of New Delhi, is the national monument of India. It was erected in memory of 90,000 soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the world war 1 and Afghan war for the British army. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyebs. Earlier it was called All India War Memorial.

India Gate

National Aquatic animal

River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is an endangered species in India. River Dolphin is critically endangered species in India. It has been put in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife protection Act, 1972. Poaching., degradation of its habitat, siltation, pollution and reduced flow of river water are said to be the reasons for its depletion.

River Dolphins

National Currency

The symbol is a combination of both Devanagari letter ”Ra” and Roan letter “R” with a stripe cutting at the middle to represent the tricolor. it also means equality.

National Heritage Animal

In order to enhance the population of this mammalian species the Ministry of the Environment has declared Asiatic Elephants as the National heritage Animal.

Elephants
India

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.

Vivad se Vishwas scheme 2020

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

The tax system is the government’s largest source of income. Tax revenue is used for various projects for the development of the nation by the government. Taxation in India is well structured and consists of different levels.

The Indian tax system is well structured and has a three-tier federal structure. The tax structure consists of the central government, state governments, and local municipal bodies.

India’s central government imposes several taxes such as customs duties, central excise duties, income taxes, and service taxes. The state government collects several types of taxes, including farm income taxes, state excise taxes, professional tax, land revenue tax, and stamp duty. On services such as water and drainage supply, local governments are allowed to collect octroi and property tax.

An income tax is a tax imposed on individuals or entities on the basis of their income or profits. Generally, income tax is computed by multiplying the tax rate by the taxable income. There may be variations in tax rates according to the taxpayer’s characteristics and the income being received. 

Income tax in India is governed by Entry 82 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, empowering the central government to tax non-agricultural income; agricultural income is defined in Section 10(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. The Income Tax Department is the central government’s largest revenue generator; total tax revenue increased from ₹1,392.26 billion (US$20 billion) in 1997–98 to ₹5,889.09 billion (US$83 billion) in 2007–08. In 2018–19, direct tax collections reported by the CBDT were about 11.17 lakh crore (₹1.117 trillion).

Income tax dispute resolution in India is multi-layered and time-consuming, which negatively affects doing business in India. Tax appeals in India are handled by the Supreme Court of India, which has an extensive jurisdiction. The system, however, can be abused. In the present dispute resolution procedure, tax appeals filed by the income tax department are the most common.

The Indian Government, to clear the backlog of appeals, has launched a direct tax litigation settlement scheme named the ‘Direct Tax Vivad Se Viswas Scheme’ (VSV scheme) on March 17, 2020. The ‘VSV scheme’ provides taxpayers with an option to put a full stop to the entire litigation process and achieve finality merely by paying the tax component of the dispute. The Indian Government shall waive penalty and interest, and is offering a 50 percent discount to settle revenue appeals and appeals where the taxpayer has a favourable precedent by a higher court. An important aspect is that the ‘VSV scheme’ is not an amnesty scheme and explicitly clarifies that availing this option shall have no precedence value qua the principal issues. Thus, taxpayers can decide to settle their appeals based on an objective comparison of future litigation costs with the cost of availing the settlement option.“The last date of payment under ‘Vivad se Vishwas Direct Tax 2020 (without additional amount) was extended to 30th September 2021 and with the additional amount the due date is 31st October 2021.”

With respect to the matters covered in the declaration, the taxpayer is immune from interest, penalties, and prosecution for any offence under the Income-tax Act.

Tobacco Smoking in India

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on Pexels.com

Smoking is already a major health problem in India, one that will worsen if we do not take action. Nearly ten lakh deaths are attributed to smoking alone in India each year. About one-third of Indian men now smoke; as many women as men do. The risks for both are the same. The majority of tobacco-related deaths occur in middle age and not just in old age.

In India, it is common to chew tobacco products such as gutka. Over half of all oral cancer deaths result from chewing, and women are particularly hard hit. Younger people are chewing more, and precancerous conditions such as mouth lesions are on the rise.

Chewing is common among both men and women all over the world. The percentage of people chewing tobacco products in India is 31% for men and 19% for women, but the number is much higher in Bihar at 69% and 22% for men and women, respectively. Pregnant women who smoke lead to low-birth-weight babies, stillbirths, and birth defects.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India 2010, chewing is more prevalent among the poorest. The poorest 30 percent of people chew tobacco products. The middle income is 25 percent, and the highest income is 15 percent. Oral cancer is more likely to kill women who chew tobacco. In the 30-69 age group, three percent of women and one percent of men are at the relative risk of dying from chewing. Oral cancer has a higher relative risk of death among women, but men have a higher background death rate, so the absolute risks are more equal.

Kishanganj has 1,00,000 men ages 15-69, of whom 50,000 will die from smoking. Seventy percent of people will die between the ages of 15 and 69, while thirty percent will die in old age. In 2015, there were 59% more men who smoked in Bihar than in previous years. 612 lakh men who smoke cigarettes lose 10 years of life whereas 687 lakh men who smoke bidis lose 6 years of life. The use of tobacco is not only a public health threat, but also an economic burden on our country’s health care systems, forcing them to spend a lot of money treating diseases that are largely preventable. In addition to the cost of treating serious diseases like cancer or stroke, tobacco use also affects individual families.

28,000 Kishanganj residents are forced into poverty by tobacco use each year. Almost Rs. 11 crores are spent each year on tobacco in the district. Tobacco control laws are implemented in part by the police. A staggering 350 police officers will be killed by tobacco at ages 15-69 out of 1000 who smoke. Stopping smoking is one of the most important things smokers can do to extend their lives and improve their health. Nonetheless, India has very low quit rates of 5%. Nearly all the risks can be avoided by quitting by 40 and preferably earlier. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air decreases and oxygen levels increase after quitting within 12 hours. The risk of heart attacks drops and lung functions improve within three months. With 1 year, the risk of sudden heart attack is cut in half, and with 5 years, the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is halved. According to Section 4 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), smoking in public places is prohibited wherever the general public has access, whether by right or otherwise, but does not include open spaces. Additionally, smoking is prohibited in open areas that are visited by the public such as auditoriums, stadiums, stations, and bus stops. The fine for smoking in public places can range from Rs 200 to Rs 500.

Social Status of Teachers in India

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Globally, teaching is considered one of the most respected professions. Since ancient times, teachers have held the highest social status in India. Recently, however, the situation and social status of Teachers in India this problem has worsened. There are only two professions in rural India that attract the most people: teaching and police/army. The reason for the first one is because of massive vacancy, and another one is because of receiving respect in society. Teachers are highly respected by the general public. However, the social standing of teachers in India is declining day by day. A new challenge awaits them every day.

  1. A lack of exposure to the Internet and technology

Is it possible to imagine a life without the Internet today? Indian government schools, however, lack adequate internet facilities and teachers aren’t adequately prepared to utilize them. Sitting in our AC rooms, we can blame the teachers for their inefficiency, but we need to see things from their perspective. Their current teaching method, consisting of a blackboard, pen, and paper, is the conventional method. In the absence of proper training in the latest tech, these teachers can’t become qualified to use the Internet for teaching.

  • Lack of access to basic resources

There are very few resources available to Indian teachers so that they can do their jobs. Despite the fact that books, copies, and other stationery are not provided, they are expected to teach effectively. Regardless of that scarcity, they must still prove their worth by delivering exceptional results. There is no justification for this at all.

  • Infrastructure in a bad state

Perhaps you are wondering how infrastructure has anything to do with teaching, but it does. Software engineers cannot work without computers, and doctors cannot work without stethoscopes; similarly, teachers cannot teach without classrooms. In India, you’ll be surprised to learn that there are many schools where classes of different types are held simultaneously. Imagine a 4th grader studying alongside an 8th grader, one after the other, not to mention together? That scenario alone is chaotic and difficult to comprehend. In that environment, teachers are under pressure both to manage the classes and to achieve good results from their students. The situation facing female teachers is so horrendous that it can’t even be addressed. The act seems inhuman. The toilets don’t exist, and even if they are (for name’s sake), they are in very poor condition.

  • Growing disbelief in government-run education

There is widespread disbelief in the nation’s public schools and in their teachers. They are treated as substandard (which they are). However, students and teachers suffer the most. It is their right to get a quality education, but they do not get it. Teachers no longer get the appreciation and respect they used to get in previous decades.

  • Appointments and selections that are not uniform

In India, the process of selecting teachers is not uniform. There are Ad Hoc teachers, temporary teachers, teachers under contract, regular teachers, and many more. With such disparity in the selection of teachers, how can anyone imagine a uniform and robust education system? Just knowing the selection process and the teaching process according to that can be so confusing.

  • Inequitable Payment Structure

Linked to the first issue mentioned above, this one is also somewhat related. It is not surprising that there are huge differences in salaries at the time of appointing a teacher. The government fixes an amount for contract teachers, which is less than what regular teachers make. A different rule applies to Ad-hoc teachers.

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A personality is a collection of traits, behaviours and attitudes that define a person. The word personality comes from the Latin word persona which refers to a theatrical mask worn by performers for different roles. Every individual has a unique skill set. Everyone’s potential is multi-faceted, and investing in personality development enables one to harness one’s inner strengths. Focusing on individual personality development adds to your capabilities and helps your dreams and aspirations turn into a reality. To be a more charismatic person, you have to develop your inner self as well as your outer self. The importance of personality development is undisputed in personal and professional life. Personality also influences what we think, our beliefs, values and expectations. 

Following are the factors which help in shaping one’s personality:

  1. Heredity – Heredity refers to factors that are determined once an individual is born. An individual’s physique, attractiveness, body type, complexion, body weight depends on his/her parents’ biological makeup.
  2. Environment – The environment to which an individual is subjected to during his growing years plays an important role in determining his/her personality. The varied cultures in which we are brought up and our family backgrounds have a crucial role in shaping our personalities.
  3. Situation – An individual’s personality also changes with current circumstances and situations. An individual would behave in a different way when he has enough savings with him and his behaviour would automatically change when he is bankrupt.
  4. Positive outlook

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” Is a saying that has been around for centuries. It means that we should focus on the good part in any given situation and come up with something positive. This is called the act of being sanguine. Having an optimistic outlook goes a long way in developing your personality.  In terms of career, decisions, relationships, and much more, positivity stands out as a notable characteristic of a good personality from the fact that it makes it easier to cope with changes like ups and downs in life. Some attributes of being a positive thinker are-

  • Optimism– By maintaining an optimistic outlook, you can handle difficult situations more effectively. Optimism manifests itself as a willingness to make an effort and take a chance, rather than assuming that your efforts will be unsuccessful or that your circumstances will never improve.
  • Acceptance- It is not always possible to control the outcomes of circumstances. For those situations, acceptance can help you learn from your mistakes. Acceptance can also help you maintain perspective, rather than exaggerating the situation. It helps you move on for better rather than keep sulking over a failure.
  • Resilience– Having resilience means you have the ability to bounce back when faced with adversity without relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms. It is the ability to handle major setbacks while maintaining daily routines.
  • Gratitude– it is the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. To be grateful implies a state of self-contentment and acceptance of life as it flows. This helps to feel satisfied with whatever you already have.
  • Be a conversationalist-

A conversationalist is a person who is good at or fond of engaging in conversation. As ironic as it is, being a good conversationalist does not only mean being a good speaker but also a good listener. Be it in one’s personal life or professional life, the ability to engage in a good conversation is always impressive. When you participate in a sincere conversation it feels like you are genuinely interested in the person or the topic and leaves a great impression. It makes the other party feel you are not only imposing your own opinions on them but are also willing to listen to their part. Discussing your ideas and thoughts openly is a great way to hold the conversation. Having a humorous side always helps.

  • Dress well-

It is rightly said that “a man is known by his dress and address”.  An individual’s dressing sense speaks volumes of his character and personality. A person’s dressing sense reflects their character, body language, character, and style. Dressing well can help you to build self–confidence and it perceives to others that how confident you feel about yourself. Your attires should change according to the occasion. For an interview, it is better to wear classy formals. For an outing one can wear casuals. It can make one look more outgoing and approachable. Thus, dressing well plays an important role in personality development.

  • Be yourself-

You need to know all about your own personality before trying to develop it. One of the simplest ways to improve your personality is to maintain honesty. Each one of us is different, we have our own sets of skills and flaws and trying to be somebody else gets you nowhere and just simply backfires. Honesty is the best policy at all times. Therefore, being honest to our self and to our surroundings is imperative to live a blissful lifestyle. 

4 Must Read Historical Fiction Novels

Photo by Ivo Rainha on Pexels.com

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! 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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!

Migrant Crisis In Covid 19 Pandemic

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

In the context of immigration, the COVID-19 economic crisis could be long, deep, and pervasive. Across the globe, economic activities have been slowed by travel bans, lockdowns, and social strife. There are additional challenges for the host countries in many sectors such as health and agriculture that depend on the availability of migrant workers. In addition to the risk of contagion, migrants may lose their employment, wages, and health insurance coverage.

Despite all forms of transportation being suspended and interstate borders being sealed, migrant workers across India made their way back home during the Covid-19 lockdown announced in March. During the lockdown, migrant workers’ greatest suffering resulted from their inability to manage their finances. The critical role of wages is evident in the lives of migrants and their families during this period – without wages, they could not meet basic needs such as food, water, shelter, or healthcare, or send remittances to their rural households who depend on immigration income. It is important to note that wages played an important socioeconomic role during the crisis, determining the ability of workers and their households to survive. Over 139 million Indians are migrant workers, which constitutes nearly half of the nation’s 470 million workforce. Despite the extreme desperation facing the vast mobile workforce during the shutdown, the issue of migrant workers’ access to protected wages has remained unaddressed. A strict nationwide lockdown was rather viewed as an outcome of poor planning by governments, which failed to account for the large numbers of undocumented, rural-urban migrants.

Migrant workers’ plight was attributed solely to their mobility between states, without taking into account the nature of their employment in urban labor markets, including low wages and insecure jobs. India’s wage-dependent workforce is vexed by an ongoing debate about the state’s protection of living wages. Despite substantial evidence to the contrary, some have argued that raising wages will lead to the closure of businesses and the loss of jobs. Even government reports, such as the Economic Survey (2019), by the State Bank of India (2019), and by the Reserve Bank of India (2018), highlight the fact that stagnation in real wages has hurt the consumption capacity of the poor, causing the economy to slow down. However, the neo-liberal economic policy that encouraged economic growth by slashing the labor protection framework, especially that protecting workers’ wages, weakened labor regulations and grievance redress mechanisms, leaving them unable to handle the widespread wage violations experienced by workers.

Due to the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, experts suggest that measures to create disposable income, including raising wages, are a top priority in order to create economic revival. The post-lockdown period in India, however, has been marked by the dilution of the labor protection regime through the labor reform process, in order to facilitate economic revival rather than ensuring wage security for its migrant workers. Due to their alienation from the state machinery where they work, migrant workers cannot demand wages from their employers, and due to their lack of integration into trade unions at their destinations, in addition to their fragmentation by caste and region, they lack any collective bargaining platforms. It is critical that economic revival is imagined alternatively, and executed through a strong institutional framework, in order to prevent that economic expansion post-pandemic deepens the exploitation of and inequality faced by the country’s poorest wage, dependent populations.

Under such a framework, the state plays a crucial role in keeping wages protected by setting minimum wages at the level of living wages, allowing workers and their households to eat adequately to live a dignified life.

India’s Job Trend Today

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

India’s job market has undergone a radical transformation. In the past, the only stable professions considered ‘highest paying’ were doctors, engineers, and public service. Despite these choices still being relevant and respected today, there are a lot more options available and have revolutionized the job market in India. Many students are uncertain about their career choices, and to be honest, money is a great motivator and can help them make a decision. One can decide their career path with more confidence if they are aware of the top most profitable jobs in India.

  1. Lawyers

Many people see lawyers as high-flying professionals fighting for justice while at the same time living a high-flying lifestyle. While most of these depictions may be overdramatic, there is no denying the fact that lawyers today are some of the highest-paid professionals in not just India but also the world. Lawyers advise and represent clients – both private and public – and fall into categories such as tax lawyers, criminal lawyers, securities attorneys, etc.

Independent lawyers may charge per case or appearance in court whereas those working in corporate companies may receive a monthly salary with additional bonuses as applicable. Depending on experience and success rate, the salary can go up to Rs. 12 lakhs to even Rs. 25 lakhs per annum, making this one of the highest paying jobs in India.

  • Investment Banker

The primary role of investment bankers is to require care of their client’s financial assets. they’re also brokers and advisors and help their clients invest their money during a potentially lucrative market at the proper time to maximise returns. additionally, to the present, investment bankers also help with mergers and acquisitions, conduct research, and act as financial advisors to corporate organizations also.

With one among the very best average salaries within the market, investment banking is one among the foremost lucrative professions within the country today. Entrants can expect a salary starting from Rs. 4 lakhs to Rs. 12 lakhs once a year and with experience, this number can go up to Rs. 40 lakhs once a year.

  • Data Science

In the past few months, data science has gained significant popularity. A data scientist is a person who uses social science and technology to glean trends from data as well as manage it. this is often basically done to research data and find solutions to varied business problems. Data scientists also help in creating customized statistical models also as algorithms supported end-user behaviors. As a base salary, certified data scientists earn between Rs. 4 lakhs and Rs. 12 lakhs per annum, regardless of their experience level. this is one of India’s highest-paying IT jobs because salary can range from Rs. 60 lakhs to Rs. 70 lakhs per annum depending on experience.

  • Digital Marketing

Due to the rise of social media and other forms of marketing, digital marketing is here to stay and is changing how people communicate today. It simply refers to any type of marketing effort that uses the internet and other means of digital communication such as email, social media, text, and web-based advertising.

Many people from different backgrounds are becoming marketing professionals due to the diversity and creative freedom offered by this field. Many roles are available in the digital marketing field, such as content writers, SEO analysts, social media managers, brand marketing managers, etc.

How To Set Up Your Own Business

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

The start-up of a business seems to be a challenging undertaking. Even so, it can reap great rewards for both the company and the economy at large. The process of setting up a business in India can be a bit confusing if you elect to do so. There are a few considerations you should keep in mind. Keeping this in mind, here are some basic steps necessary for registering a business in India:

  1. Spend no more than you need to on your start-up

It is possible to work from home on a laptop computer. When working from home, keep in mind that your household insurance may no longer be valid. You’ll need to check with your current broker as you may need to upgrade your insurance. Make sure that your business has its own bank account. You shouldn’t combine your personal and business accounts. It’s confusing, extra work, and of no use when you’re trying to take care of your business or have a fulfilling life in general. A business account doesn’t need to be expensive; it can just be a regular current account with your current bank or with another provider.

  • Availability of Company Names

A proposed name must be available before company registration can occur. The MCA 21 website allows applicants to check the availability of their desired company names online. The selected company name appears on the website once it has been approved.

  • Set Up a Plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

To stay afloat even if you are just starting out as a freelancer, you need to know your monthly costs and how much profit (or other income) you need to generate. Calculate what your monthly income needs to be. Identify the growth in revenue you can realistically expect over the next 12 months, and be clear on how you will acquire new clients. Although it’s hard to guess, thinking about it will provide you with earnings goals and points to consider as you run your business. You can easily download a free business plan template from either the Prince’s Trust website or the Start Up Loan websites.

  • Networking

In the age of digitization and the fact that people are always online searching for goods and services they need, businesses without a strong digital presence are missing a great opportunity. Therefore, you will need to be committed to building an online presence for your business because it is imperative in this digital age. Digital marketing strategies will help you get noticed by a lot of people, and a good SEO company can guide you down the right path since SEO is a way to make a strong online presence. Your chances of getting a job increase if you are ‘out there’ touting for work. Meeting people online is possible without having to leave the office.

  • A Lot Of Sales, A Lot Of Sales

Make sure you don’t ignore the marketing and sales sides of your business. Become an expert at it. Study it and practice it. Initially, it is likely to be nerve-racking, but persevere! Question everything you do in your business, asking yourself, ‘How is this going to make me money?’ If it won’t make you any money, then don’t waste your time doing it.

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”.

Digital Marketing Strategies

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. Since it was developed in the 1990s and 2000s, technology for marketing has changed. Digital marketing campaigns became widespread as people increasingly used digital devices rather than in-person shopping. As digital platforms become widely integrated into marketing plans and everyday life. Employing combinations of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e-books, and optical disks and games have become commonplace.

One or more online channels and techniques (omnichannel) can be used in digital marketing strategies to increase brand awareness. The following methods/tools may be used to build brand awareness:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Business websites and brand-related content may be made more visible with search engine optimization techniques for common industry-related queries. With the growing influence of search results and search features such as featured snippets, knowledge panels, and local SEO on customer behavior, SEO has become increasingly important to increasing brand awareness. Search engines work by crawling the web using bots called spiders. By following links from one page to another, these web crawlers find new content to add to the search index. Using a search engine, relevant results are extracted from the index and ranked according to an algorithm. As complicated as that sounds, it is. Nonetheless, you need a basic understanding of how search engines find, index, and rank content if you want to rank higher in search engines.

  • Search engine marketing (SEM)

Paid search, also known as SEM, involves the placement of ads in prominent, visible positions on search results pages and websites. A positive impact of search ads on brand awareness, recognition, and conversions has been demonstrated. The advertiser bids on keywords that users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services, which allows their ads to appear alongside search results when users enter those keywords. Approximately 33% of searchers who click on paid ads do so because they are directly related to their search query.

  • Social media marketing

The social media revolution has changed our society and the way we interact with one another. Marketing on social media platforms aims to increase brand awareness for 70% of marketers. Social media marketing teams use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube as their primary platforms.

  • Content marketing

56% of marketers believe personalized content, such as blogs, articles, social media updates, videos, and landing pages, are helpful in boosting brand recognition and engagement. Mentionlytics claims that blogging, social networking, and interactive content strategies can improve brand awareness and loyalty by 88% when combined. This can be done via various approaches like-

  • Infographics -These are generally long, vertical graphics that include statistics, charts, graphs, and other information.
  • Podcasts- As this format for content production is growing, some brands have become interested in the value that podcasting can bring to their business. Podcasting allows brands to communicate to a captive audience. With lifestyle on-the-go, the power to have the podcasting on demand allows companies and brands tell their story anywhere at any time, which helps to establish authority in your industry and create advocates brand along the way.

Covid-19 Pandemic And Students

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This school year, there were Coronavirus outbreaks at several schools. however, the rate of transmission was generally the same or lower in communities that had measures in place to minimize disease spread. Today, however, many school districts are being pressed to remove practices such as masking or testing. Although cases of COVID-19 with the delta variant doubled nationwide, this is despite a surge in outbreaks. Testing in schools will become even more important with the delta variant. In an ideal world, all students would be tested daily with free tests. If someone was infected, that test would detect it instantly and with 100 percent accuracy. But there are no such tests. Plus, schools don’t have unlimited funds or the ability to create perfect protocols. Instead, districts will have to weigh the pros and cons of different Coronavirus tests. There will have to be a balance between how often they test and who they test. Below is a look at the type of tests that schools use, along with their benefits and challenges.

Pooling tests

A new test was introduced at a school in America. Each week, thousands of students (with parental consent) swabbed their noses at home. A plastic baggie was used to store the swab, which they then brought to school. A nearby lab received swabs, which were mixed into 16 groups and shipped there. In the lab, technicians combined the samples from these swabs and performed PCR tests.

A PCR reaction is a polymerase chain reaction (PUL-im-er-ace). Genetic material can be detected in samples by these tests. A coronavirus is being looked for here. These tests are the gold standard for diagnostic tests. A PCR test will almost never reveal the presence of the Coronavirus in an uninfected individual. That would be what’s known as a false positive. But PCR tests can miss real infections. Ten to twenty percent of the time, it misses them. Nevertheless, it’s the most accurate test currently available. Tests that are less accurate are less expensive than tests that use PCR. Additionally, it takes longer to run. A cost-saving measure is combining individual samples into pools. The pooled test doesn’t need to be repeated if it’s negative. This can save a lot of money.

To make pooled testing work, students must buy-in. The peak participation rate in these schools averaged about 60 percent. Whenever a student tested positive, school nurses would scramble to contact the child. The kids were told to isolate themselves and identify everyone they had recently interacted with. Those contacts would then be notified about the possible exposure by the nurses. Contact tracing is a method of identifying contacts.

It does, however, have some drawbacks. PCR-testing labs are not readily available in all schools. In addition, the results take a few days to appear. Then we have to trace the contacts, which is even more time-consuming. As a result, the virus can spread easily among infected students. In the case of the delta variant, this may prove particularly troubling. As soon as they become infected, they are much more likely to spread it.

Online Courses for Students

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Being stuck in a pandemic, students have been confined to the four walls of their home. Everyone, from preschoolers to college students pursuing degrees, has been forced to learn online. In such a time of despair, it is only wise to make the most of it.

In today’s times, we are privileged to have an access to the internet, and using it wisely can provide a wealth of information. Amongst the plethora of resources, there are a few platforms that offer great courses, curated for the youth of today, with aim to up their skills in their respective fields. These courses will help you to learn new things from the comfort of your home.

Here are a few such platforms and courses that you can do to update your skills.

  1. Swayam.Gov.In-

SWAYAM is a Sanskrit acronym that stands for “Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds” is an Indian Massive open online course platform.  It offers over 2,748 courses taught by close to 1,300 instructors from over 203 Indian universities. They are officially launched by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.  It was launched on 9th July 2017 by Honourable President of India. The aim of Swayam is to give a coordinated stage and free entry to web courses, covering all advanced education, High School and skill sector courses. All the courses offered by SWAYAM are recognized by the government of India. certificates are awarded to students only after successful completion of the course which is valid pan India even while applying for jobs.

  • Oxford Home Study-

Oxford home study is UK’s leading Home Study Centre offering highly affordable home study courses. They deliver fully accredited courses in a variety of different fields; from art & design and management, through to interior design and work health & safety. Every course is created by a team of noted academics and experienced industry experts. This maintains the highest possible quality standards and provide the ultimate online learning experience for every student. These courses aren’t free; however, a student can take a loan or apply for scholarships. The certificates offered by these courses are valid and well recognised.

  • Udemy Courses-

Courses available on Udemy help you make the most of your time, from working at home to learn trending technical skills and self-improvement from wherever you are. They provide a wide range of courses, covering a variety of subject from writing, finance, commerce, e-commerce, lifestyle, fashion, designing and many more. Some of them are paid but many of them are free as well. Additionally, they provide a certificate too, however, only on paid courses.

  • Google Digital Garage-

The Digital Garage is a non-profit nationwide programme from Google delivering free digital skills training via an online learning platform. You can learn soft skills like personality development, building confidence or even practice our interview skills. The majority of courses are free, and are approved by industry experts, top entrepreneurs and some of the world’s leading employers. This ensures the student that they are learning from authentic sources. The speciality of these courses is that they are flexible i.e., can be learnt on own’s own pace, and extremely personalised. The most popular courses on this platform are Data and Tech, Digital marketing, online business. These are paid/free certificated courses. There are numerous reputed institutes providing courses on this platform; Monash University, university of Auckland, to name a few.

India’s Most Beautiful Botanical Garden You Must Visit

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

A botanical garden is an educational and research facility that grows plants such as ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. The purpose of these gardens is not to provide flowers for entertainment, which is what parks and pleasure gardens provide. But more often than not, plantations are designed for the purpose of generating shade and services for public parks, as well. A botanic garden that specializes in trees is sometimes referred to as an arboretum. Sometimes, you can find them in zoos. A unique laser show is featured in Nashik’s botanical garden, the only one in Southeast Asia of its kind. The botanical gardens in India are typically maintained by research institutes, universities, or other organizations. 

We’ve put together a list of some mesmerizing botanical gardens that offer something for everyone

  1. Government Botanical Gardens, Ooty

Government Botanical Garden was first constructed in 1848 near Coimbatore (Ooty), Tamil Nadu, India, by architect William Graham McIvor. The garden has a terraced layout and is located 2,200 m above sea level in the Nilgiri hills. The garden is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. There are around 1,000 species of plants, shrubs, ferns laid out in an Italian style, trees, herbs, several lawns with flowering plants, ponds with lilies, and bonsai plants in the Gardens, including exotic and native species. Located in the Garden’s middle is a fossilized tree trunk that is estimated to be 20 million years old. The Gardens also consist of a variety of medicinal plants.

  • The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Kolkata

A wonderful garden that stretches across 150 hectares was constructed in 1787. It is situated in Shibpur, Howrah near Kolkata. This garden has the unique privilege of having famous botanists, scientists, and taxonomists as its superintendents. On June 25, 2009, the Garden was named the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in honor of Jagadish Chandra Bose, the Bengali polymath, and natural scientist. It is under the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. There are more than 2,500 species of trees and shrubs in the open areas of the garden. Plants of the screw pine genus are also often found here, as well as orchids, bamboo, and palms. Jackals, Indian mongooses, and Indian foxes are among the animals that live in the Botanic Garden. One of the main attractions at the park is the 250-year-old Banyan tree, which occupies about 4 acres of the park.

  • Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore

Located in Bengaluru, Lalbagh Botanical Garden is an ancient botanical garden. Originally laid out in the 1760s, the garden was designed by Hyder Ali. Plants of both ornamental and economic value are introduced and propagated in this garden. One of the most appealing features of the garden is the glasshouse.  In addition to providing a social function as a park and recreation area, the glasshouse was also a place where flower shows were held. There are two flower shows celebrated during Republic Day week (26 January) and Independence Day week (15 August). Lalbagh has good bird watching opportunities, both on the ground and in the lake. Additionally, a “Garden centre” is available here for citizens to purchase ornamental plants.

  • Lloyd’s Botanical Garden, Darjeeling

It is located at an altitude of about 2,100 meters in the middle of the Himalayas and is a garden of 24 acres that was established in 1878. It is one of India’s most picturesque botanical gardens. Over 1,800 exotic botanical species are located in the garden, including a living fossil tree and the Ginkgo biloba, plants that date back thousands of years.

PALACE OF ILLUSIONS

“Palace of illusions” is a 2008 novel by award-winning novelist and poet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. It is a retelling of the Hindu epic Mahabharata based on Draupadi’s (Paanchali’s) perspective, namely, that of a woman living in a patriarchal society. The book touches on themes like feminism, patriarchy, and marginalization. It tells the story of Draupadi’s courage, determination, and power. 

The Mahabharta Epic has been immortalizing Indian legends for centuries, and every Indian household is familiar with it. Despite the passage of time, it still remains relevant today. Throughout this mythological tale, there are countless characters, scenes, and segments from all different epochs.

This book particularly focuses on the rendition of Draupadi’s story. Draupadi was the daughter of King Drupada, king of Panchalas kingdom. Being a princess of the Panchalas kingdom, she was also addressed as Panchaali. She had a twin brother named Dhristadhyumna, and a sister turned brother named Shikhandi. As king Drupad never wanted a girl child, Draupadi was aware of her father’s disdain for her. Growing up, she craved attention from her father and his approbation. While being stuck in a chaotic world of constant oppression, she found peace and solace in her dear friend, Lord Krishna, the King of Dwarka. He wasn’t just a mere friend, but also a confidante, a well wisher, and a savior in times of need. 

Draupadi is described as a young rebel. She grew up questioning and battling patriarchal expectations. Her effrontery didn’t meet with any fortuitous results as she had to bow down to the higher values instilled in her. She lived in an era where values like protecting the family’s honor or choosing the kingdom’s greater good were lauded at the expense of vitiating a woman’s dignity. Draupadi was truly stuck in a “man’s world”.

The book begins with Draupadi’s childhood and goes back and forth providing flashbacks as the plot evolves, getting the reader acquainted with the characters. When Draupadi attains the age to be married off, King Drupad holds a Swayamwar for his daughter. Draupadi is perpetually subjected to capitulate her own heart’s desire for the betterment of those around her. The concatenation of compromises starts with the Swayamvar, where she had to choose Arjuna over Karna, whom she admired. Later, her mother in law, Kunti, asks Draupadi to marry all five of her sons. This culpable decision made by Kunti was under the pretext of keeping all her sons together for eternity; but it was at the expense of Draupadi’s well being. The book doesn’t change the narrative or the course of Mahabharta. It further underlines the myriad sacrifices that Draupadi had to make in order to live up to the axiomatic definition of an ideal wife as well as a good daughter in law. Draupadi is constantly struggling to find love and freedom. Although she was coerced to be quite submissive at first, she later created an austere image of herself and gained respect in everyone’s eyes, especially her husbands’.

Contrary to the original story of Mahabharta, ‘Palace of Illusions’ establishes that Draupadi secretly loved and admired Karna. The author proficiently interlaces the original stories from Mahabharata, while adding her own subtle twists to events.

Overall, this book portrays the beautiful journey of Draupadi evolving from being a young, rebellious girl to a glorious queen of all times.

Baba Amte: A Social Reformist

Baaba Amte, or Murlidhar Devidas Amte, was born on December 26, 1914, in Hinganghat, Wardha district, Maharashtra, British India. In addition to being a lawyer, he was a social activist who dedicated his life to helping India’s poorest and least powerful people, especially those who suffered from leprosy. Numerous international awards have been conferred on him, including the 1988 UN Human Rights Prize, a share of the 1990 Templeton Prize, and the 1999 Gandhi Peace Prize. Amte was born into an affluent Brahman family and grew up in a privileged environment. His legal practice began in 1936, following his graduation from law school. While Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India campaign was being launched against the British occupation of India, he acted as a defense lawyer to those imprisoned. Gandhi’s nonviolent fight for justice inspired Amte to give up his legal career in the 1940s and join Gandhi’s ashram in Sevagram, Maharashtra, India, where he worked among the downtrodden.

Following an encounter with a man suffering from advanced leprosy, Amte’s attention turned to that disease. At the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, he took a course on leprosy, worked at a leprosy clinic, and studied the disease. Amte established Anandwan, an ashram dedicated to the treatment, rehabilitation, and empowerment of leprosy patients, in 1949. Over time, the centre offered programs in health care, agriculture, small-scale industry, and conservation, as well as serving people with disabilities.

Amte was also involved in numerous causes, such as environmentalism and religious tolerance, in addition to his work with lepers. He opposed the construction of hydroelectric plants in particular dams on the Narmada River, both for environmental reasons and because of the effects on those displaced by the dams. As part of his commitment to this cause, Amte left Anandwan in 1990, but he returned to the ashram toward the end of his life. He left philanthropic work to his sons, Prakash and Vikas Amte, who became physicians.

Sadhna Tai, Baba’s wife, deserves special mention. Her family of Sanskrit scholars raised her in the orthodox Hindu tradition, and after her marriage to Amte she let go all caste prejudices and worked alongside him, despite difficult circumstances. Their unrelenting efforts led to the foundation of Maharogi Sewa Samiti (MSS), an organization dedicated to curing and rehabilitating leprosy-affected people. Registration for this company dates back to 1951.

As Baba Amte infamously said, “I don’t want to be a great leader; I want to be a man who goes around with an oil can and if he sees a breakdown offers his assistance. A man who does that is greater than any holy man in saffron-colored robes. The mechanic with the oilcan: that is my ideal in life.” Over the course of his 94 years, Baba Amte was awarded the Padma Shri, Ramon Magsaysay Award, Padma Vibhushan, United Nations Prize for Human Rights, Rashtriya Bhushan, Gandhi Peace Prize, and many others.

Sheetal Amte-Karajgi, a beneficiary of Baba Amte’s ‘new India’ vision, describes her grandfather as a man who fights injustice with a stick, believing Anandwan to be a shining example of this idea.

The 9th of February, 2008, marked the passing of Baba Amte.

His contributions to blurring the psychological divide between the marginalized and the privileged have continued even after he died, via the activities of Anandwan, even as a Gandhian by ideology. 

Best Ngos in India

NGOs or Non-governmental organizations Are organizations that are generally formed outside the government so as to be independent. NGO as an organization is aimed at the welfare of society. NGOs do much social work such as housing for widowed women, teaching poor orphans, protecting women. They can be big or small, have government funding or million-dollar budgets, or run-on volunteers’ time. Some NGOs specialize in promoting gender equality or saving rainforests.

With their efforts in the last few decades, Non-Governmental Organizations have grown and strengthened in India. Only a few of them, however, have had an impact on society, and some are still hard at work and serving their communities. Although our nation is rife with problems, the level of corruption and transparency is low. Several Indian NGOs have reached a certain level, and some want to expand their efforts to a larger Indian community. In the article, we are provided with detailed information about the top NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) in India, their work for India’s society, as well as their ideals. They will provide comprehensive information about NGOs and how they can achieve success.

Some of the best NGOs in India are-

  1. Smile Foundation

Smile Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New Delhi, India. The company was founded in 2002 by Santanu Mishra and operated in 25 states. Since 2017, the Foundation has reached more than 4 lakh children and their families. Smile Foundation for Education in India was dedicated to promoting education among underprivileged children. They have integrated education, health, livelihood, and inclusion of women and children equally in their development program. His programs include Smile on Wheels, Mission Education, and Smile Twin e-learning.

  • Nanhi Kali

Founded in India in 1992, Nanhi Kali supports the education of underprivileged girls. Anand Mahindra founded it in 1996. It is jointly managed by the Naandi Foundation and the KC Mahindra Education Trust, part of the Mahindra Group’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. In the long run, Project Nani Kali educated girls and women to positively influence India. “We wanted to raise global awareness about young girls in the country who have been deprived of basic rights,” Sheetal Mehta, chairman of the non-profit organization, said in an interview with the Daily News and Analysis.

  • Give India Foundation

GiveIndia is a not-for-profit organization in India. Through this platform, trustworthy non-governmental organizations throughout India can receive funding and resources through online donation channels. Through its web portal, it allows individuals worldwide to donate funds and contributions and send those funds to trusted NGOs in India.

  • Goonj

The non-governmental organization Goonj is based in Delhi, India. The organization works in 23 states of India, providing emergency relief, humanitarian aid, and community development services. Echo focuses on clothing as a basic but unheard-of need. The company was founded by Anshu Gupta in 1999. The Ramon Magsaysay Award was given to him for his work with Goonj in 2015. In 2012, Schwab Foundation, a partner organization of the World Economic Forum, named him the Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Goonj has grown from 67 garments to over 3500 tonnes of material every year. In order to qualify for foreign contribution exemption, it is registered under the Societies Act and Sections 80G, 12B, and FCRA.

Amazon Business Announces Great Deals for MSMEs This Great Indian Festival

Amazon Business Announces Great Deals for MSMEs This Great Indian Festival

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Business Wire India Mass limits and business uncommon arrangements on a wide scope of business determination on Amazon Business. Wide scope of business items in classifications like cell phones, apparatuses, televisions, shopper hardware, PCs, laptops, home kitchen and more from top brands. Reward 5 cashback on orders above INR 50K. Set aside to 40 additional on mass buys on lakhs of items. Uncommon Corporate Giving Store to oblige all the giving necessities of organizations and their office organizations.

Wide scope of business items in classifications like cell phones, machines, televisions, shopper hardware, workstations, laptops, home and kitchen, and more from top brands.

• Reward 5% cashback on orders above INR 50K.

• Set aside to 40% more on mass buys on lakhs of items.

• Uncommon ‘Corporate Giving Store’ to oblige all the giving necessities of organizations and their office organizations. Organizations can mass buy corporate presents effortlessly and comfort.

Amazon. in’s greatest extended festival the Incomparable Indian Celebration that began on Oct third, brings a large group of never-seen bargains and offers on novel items from lakhs of venders, Little and Medium Organizations (SMBs), and well known brands. Amazon Business clients can get astounding arrangements on the most extensive choice of items from top brands across classifications including cell phones, machines, televisions, customer gadgets, workstations, computers, home and kitchen, and that’s just the beginning.

Moreover, business clients approach new dispatches and can get uncommon proposals on business-significant choice for both giving and own utilization by signing in to their Amazon Business account. With more than 15 Cr GST empowered determination, organizations can set aside to 28% more. Organizations purchasing in build can benefit of up to 40% in amount limits. They can likewise profit of an uncommon 5% cashback on an acquisition of above INR 50,000.

Alongside the arrangements during the Incomparable Indian Celebration, Amazon Business has likewise acquainted a ‘Corporate Giving Store’ with take into account business giving necessities. Through this store, clients can mass buy corporate presents effortlessly and accommodation. Organizations will likewise have the choice to redo and customize corporate gifts as per their necessities.

Where I encountered with corruption

Corruption in India is an issue that affects the economy of central, state, and local government agencies in many ways. Corruption is blamed for stunting the economy of India. A study conducted by Transparency International in 2005 recorded that more than 62% of Indians had at some point or another paid a bribe to a public official to get a job done. In 2008, another report showed that about 50% of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or using contacts to get services performed by public offices, however, in 2020 their Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the country 86th place out of 180, reflecting a steady decline in the perception of corruption among people. 

Image source : https://www.gettyimages.in/illustrations/corruption

My personal experience with corruption.
(I have changed the designation and events places since I don’t want to be in trouble)
It was back in February when I went to DTO(District Transport Office) to get the form for my driving license. I took the form and filled out the details, went to the counter to submit the form but I was told that the official would come on the next day. I came back the next day and the same thing happened to me all the time. After visiting the office for a week finally, the official had come and I submitted my form to him and all he responded was that the process would take up to 3 weeks to 2 months.
It was already a month and I had no response for my form, I went to the office to get inquired but I found out that they had not even checked the form yet. Another official came and told me to come tomorrow for the clicking of photograph and I went there the next day. My photo was taken and processing of my form had begun. Later on the same week I had got the call that I had to appear for the driving test. I went for the test, I had seen many people outside the hall talking to the instructor but they didn’t enter inside. The instructor came inside and asked me some basic road rules, I knew the answers easily so it didn’t take me much time. And I was told again to wait for a month for a response. I came back after a month and found out that I had failed the test, I reappeared again and I failed it again. It was my third attempt now and I didn’t want to lose it, I asked the instructor that even if my answers are correct, why did I failed but he didn’t answer me. Then outside I met a man who asked me the purpose to come to this office, I told him everything about me failing the test. He replied calmly that if I don’t pay the officials 4000 rupees, they will not let me pass the test and get my license.

In India in every office there is a bit of corruption till the date, the officials won’t do the what they are given salaries for, instead, they would ask for bribes for doing the work.
A study conducted between 2004 and 2005 found that India’s driver licensing procedure was a hugely distorted bureaucratic process and allows drivers to be licensed despite their low driving ability through promoting the usage of agents. Individuals with the willingness to pay make a significant payment above the official fee and most of these extra payments are made to agents, who act as an intermediary between bureaucrats and applicants
The average licensee paid Rs 1,080, approximately 2.5 times the official fee of Rs 450, to obtain a license. On average, those who hired agents had a lower driving ability, with agents helping unqualified drivers obtain licenses and bypass the legally required driving examination. Among the surveyed individuals, approximately 60% of the license holders did not even take the licensing exam and 54% of those license holders failed an independent driving test.
Agents are the channels of corruption in this bureaucratic driver licensing system, facilitating access to licenses among those who are unqualified to drive. Some of the failures of this licensing system are caused by corrupt bureaucrats who collaborate with agents by creating additional barriers within the system against those who did not hire agents.

(Written with reference to : Wikipedia and transparency international)

SAILENT FEATURES OF CONSTITUTION: WELFARE STATE AND SECULAR STATE

WELFARE STATE


The Indian Constitution has been conceived and drafted in the mid-twentieth
century when the concept of social welfare state is the rule of the day. The
Constitution is thus pervaded with the modern outlook regarding the objectives
and functions of the state. It embodies a distinct philosophy of government, and
explicitly declares that India will be organised as a social welfare state, i.e., a
state which renders social services to the people and promotes their general
welfare. In the formulations and declarations of the social objectives contained
in the Preamble, one can clearly discern the impact of the modern political
philosophy which regards the state as an organ to secure the good and welfare
of the people.
This concept of a welfare state is further strengthened by the Directive Principles
of State Policy which set out the economic, social and political goals of the
Indian Constitutional system. These directives confer certain non-justiciable
rights on the people, and place the government under an obligation to achieve
and maximise social welfare and basic social values like education, employment,
health, etc.
In consonance with the modern beliefs of man, the Indian Constitution sets up
a machinery to achieve the goal of economic democracy along with political democracy,
for the latter would be meaningless without the former in a poor country
like India.

SECULAR STATE


India is a country of religions. There exist multifarious religious groups in
the country but, in spite of this, the Constitution stands for a secular state of
India.
The word ‘secular’ was not present originally in the Preamble. It was added
thereto by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment in 1976. What was implicit in
the Constitution until then became explicit. Even before 1976, the concept of
secularism was very much embedded in the Indian constitutional jurisprudence as
many court cases of this era would testify.


The concept of “secularism” is difficult to define and has not thus been defined
in the Constitution. Secularism has been inserted in the Preamble by reason
of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976. The object of insertion
was to spell out expressly the high ideas of secularism and the compulsive need
to maintain the integrity of the nation which are subjected to considerable
stresses and strains, and vested interests have been trying to promote their selfish
ends to the great detriment of the public good. The concept is based on certain
postulates. Thus, there is no official religion in India. There is no state recognized
church or religion. Several fundamental rights guarantee freedom of
worship and religion as well as outlaw discrimination on the ground of religion

and, thus, by implication prohibit the establishment of a theocratic state. The
state does not identify itself with, or favour, any particular religion. The state is
enjoined to treat all religions and religious sects equally. No one is disabled to
hold any office on the ground of religion. There is only one electoral roll on
which are borne the names of all qualified voters.


The essential basis of the Indian Constitution is that all citizens are equal,
and that the religion of a citizen is irrelevant in the matter of his enjoyment of
Fundamental Rights. The Constitution ensures equal freedom for all religions
and provides that the religion of the citizen has nothing to do in socio-economic
matters. “Though the Indian Constitution is secular and does not interfere with
religious freedom, it does not allow religion to impinge adversely on the secular
rights of citizens or the power of the state to regulate socio-economic relations.”
The Supreme Court has declared secularism as the basic feature of the Indian
Constitution. The Court has further declared that secularism is a part of
fundamental law and an unalienable segment of the basic structure of the
country’s political system. It has explained that secularism is not to be confused
with communal or religious concepts of an individual or a group of persons.

It means that the State should have no religion of its own and no one
could proclaim to make the State have one such or endeavour to create a
theocratic State. Persons belonging to different religions live throughout the
length and breadth of the country. Each person, whatever be his religion, must
get an assurance from the State that he has the protection of law freely to profess,
practise and propagate his religion and freedom of conscience. Otherwise,
the rule of law will become replaced by individual perceptions of one’s
own presumptions of good social order. Religion cannot be mixed with secular
activities of the State and fundamentalism of any kind cannot be permitted
to masquerade as political philosophies to the detriment of the larger interest
of society and basic requirement of a Welfare State. The Court noted disturbing
trends. It noted that lately, vested interests fanning religious fundamentalism
of all kinds, and vying with each other, are attempting to subject
the Constitutional machineries of the State

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: SOCIALIST STATE


The word “socialist” was not there originally in the Preamble. It was added to
the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1976. Thus, the
concept of “socialism” has been made explicit and India’s commitment to this
ideal has been underlined and strengthened.


The term “socialist” has not been defined in the Constitution. It does not however envisage doctrinaire socialism in the sense of insistence on state ownership as a matter of policy. It does not mean total exclusion of private enterprise and complete state ownership of material resources of the Nation. In India, there has always been emphasis on mixed economy, i.e., along with a public sector, the private sector also has a role to play. The government accepts
the policy of mixed economy where both public and private sectors co-exist side by side. However, the private enterprises has so far been rigorously controlled by the government, but signs are appearing on the horizon that in future the private enterprise is going to play a much more important economic role than it has
played so far.


The Supreme Court has in a number of decisions referred to the concept of socialism
and has used this concept along with the Directive Principles of State
Policy to assess and evaluate economic legislation. The Court has derived the
concept of social justice and of an economically egalitarian society from the concept
of socialism. According to the Supreme Court, “the principal aim of socialism
is to eliminate inequality of income and status and standards of life, and to
provide a decent standard of life to the working people.”
Democratic socialism aims to end poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality
of opportunity. Socialistic concept of society should be implemented in the true
spirit of the Constitution.

In Samatha v. State of Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme
Court has stated while defining socialism : “Establishment of the egalitarian
social order through rule of law is the basic structure of the Constitution.”

The Court has laid emphasis on social justice so as to attain substantial degree
of social, economic and political equality. Social justice and equality are complimentary
to each other.
Another idea propounded by the Court is that socialism means distributive
justice so as to bring about the distribution of material resources of the community
so as to subserve the common good.
By reading the word ‘socialist’ in the Preamble with the Fundamental Rights
contained in Arts. 14 and 16, the Supreme Court has deduced the Fundamental
Right to equal pay for equal work and compassionate appointment.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: PREAMBLE

Unlike the Constitutions of Australia, Canada or the U.S.A., the Constitution
of India has an elaborate Preamble. The purpose of the Preamble is to clarify who
has made the Constitution, what is its source, what is the ultimate sanction behind
it; what is the nature of the polity which is sought to be established by the
Constitution and what are its goals and objectives?


The Preamble does not grant any power but it gives a direction and purpose to
the Constitution. It outlines the objectives of the whole Constitution. The Preamble
contains the fundamentals of the Constitution. It serves several important
purposes, as for example:


(1) It contains the enacting clause which brings the Constitution into
force.
(2) It declares the great rights and freedoms which the people of India
intended to secure to all its citizens.
(3) It declares the basic type of government and polity which is sought to
be established in the country.
(4) It throws light on the source of the Constitution, viz. the People of India.


The words in the Preamble, “We the people of India…in our Constituent Assembly…
do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution”, propound
the theory that the ‘sovereignty’ lies in the people, that the Constitution,
emanates from them; that the ultimate source for the validity of, and the sanction
behind the Constitution is the will of the people; that the Constitution has not
been imposed on them by any external authority, but is the handiwork of the Indians
themselves.


Thus, the source of the Constitution are the people themselves from whom the
Constitution derives its ultimate sanction. This assertion affirms the republican
and democratic character of the Indian polity and the sovereignty of the people.
The People of India thus constitute the sovereign political body who hold the ultimate
power and who conduct the government of the country through their
elected representatives.
The claim that the People of India have given to themselves the Constitution
is in line with similar claims made in several other democratic Constitutions,
such as those of the U.S.A., Ireland, etc.

As regards the nature of the Indian Polity, the Preamble to the Constitution declares
India to be a ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’. The term
‘Sovereign’ denotes that India is subject to no external authority and that the state
has power to legislate on any subject in conformity with constitutional limitations.
The term ‘democratic’ signifies that India has a responsible and parliamentary form
of government which is accountable to an elected legislature. The Supreme Court has
declared ‘democracy’ as the basic feature of the Constitution. The term ‘Republic’
denotes that the head of the state is not a hereditary monarch, but an elected functionary.
As to the grand objectives and socio-economic goals to achieve which the Indian
Polity has been established, these are stated in the Preamble. These are: to
secure to all its citizens social, economic and political justice; liberty of thought,
expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and opportunity, and to
promote among them fraternity so as to secure the dignity of the individual and
the unity and integrity of the Nation.
Emphasizing upon the significance of the three concepts of liberty, equality
and fraternity used in the Preamble, Dr. Ambedkar observed in his closing speech
in the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949 : “The principles of liberty,
equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They
form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat
the very purpose of democracy. Liberty cannot be divorced from equality, equality
cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be divorced
from fraternity. Without equality liberty would produce the supremacy of the few
over the many. Equality without liberty, would kill individual initiative”.
The Supreme Court has emphasized that the words “fraternity assuring the
dignity of the individual” have “a special relevance in the Indian context” because
of the social backwardness of certain sections of the community who had
in the past been looked down upon.
To give a concrete shape to these aspirations, the Constitution has a Chapter
on Fundamental Rights which guarantee certain rights to the people, such as,
freedom of the person, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.
According to the Supreme Court, “The Constitution envisions to establish an
egalitarian social order rendering to every citizen, social, economic and political
justice in a social and economic democracy of the Bharat Republic.” The Constitution
thus ensures economic democracy along with political democracy.
The goals and objectives of the Indian Polity as stated in the Preamble are
sought to be further clarified, strengthened and concretized through the Directive
Principles of State Policy.

The Preamble lays emphasis on the principle of equality which is basic to the
Indian Constitution. The principle of equality is a basic feature or structure of the
Constitution which means that even a constitutional amendment offending the
basic structure of the Constitution is ultra vires. A legislature cannot transgress
this basic feature of the Constitution while making a law.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: WRITTEN CONSTITUTION

India’s Constitution is a lengthy, elaborate and detailed document. Originally
it consisted of 395 Articles arranged under 22 Parts and eight Schedules. Today,
after many amendments, it has 441 Articles and 12 Schedules. It is probably the
longest of the organic laws now extant in the world.

Several reasons contributed to its prolixity.

First, the Constitution deals with
the organization and structure not only of the Central Government but also of the
States.

Secondly, in a federal Constitution, Centre-State relationship is a matter
of crucial importance. While other federal Constitutions have only skeletal provisions
on this matter, the Indian Constitution has detailed norms.

Thirdly, the
Constitution has reduced to writing many unwritten conventions of the British
Constitution, as for example, the principle of collective responsibility of the
Ministers, parliamentary procedure, etc.

Fourthly, there exist various communities and groups in India. To remove
mutual distrust among them, it was felt necessary to include in the Constitution
detailed provisions on Fundamental Rights, safeguards to minorities, Scheduled
Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

Fifthly, to ensure that the future India be based on the concept of social welfare,
the Constitution includes Directive Principles of State Policy.

Lastly, the Constitution contains not only the fundamental principles of governance
but also many administrative details such as the provisions regarding citizenship,
official language, government services, electoral machinery, etc.

In other Constitutions,
these matters are usually left to be regulated by the ordinary law of the
land. The framers of the Indian Constitution, however, felt that unless these provisions
were contained in the Constitution, the smooth and efficient working of the
Constitution and the democratic process in the country might be jeopardized.
The form of administration has a close relation with the form of the Constitution,
and the former must be appropriate to, and in the same sense as, the latter. It
is quite possible to pervert the Constitutional mechanism without changing its
form by merely changing the form of the administration and making it inconsistent
with, and opposed to, the spirit of the Constitution. Since India was emerging
as an independent country after a long spell of foreign rule, the country lacked
democratic values. The Constitution-makers, therefore, thought it prudent not to
take unnecessary risks, and incorporate in the Constitution itself the form of administration
as well, instead of leaving it to the legislature, so that the whole
mechanism may become viable.
It would, however, be wrong to suppose that the Indian Constitution with all
its prolixity finally settles all problems of government. It leaves a number of
matters to be taken care of by ordinary legislation. It also provides scope, though
not so much as in Britain, for the growth and development of conventions.


Thus, the relationship between the President or the State Governor and his Council
of Ministers, the concept of ministerial responsibility for acts of the officials,
the relationship between the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister in a State and
his Council of Ministers, the appointment of a State Governor, dissolution of the
Lok Sabha or of a State Legislative Assembly by the President or the Governor
respectively, the relations between the President and the Governor, are some of the
matters which are left to be evolved by conventions.


It is not correct to assume that the conventions of the British Constitution would operate suo motu in India wherever relevant and applicable. In course of time, some of these conventions have been questioned, and new conventions are in the process of emergence. This is mainly because most of the conventions of the British Constitution have been evolved in the context of a two-party system, while in India, a multiparty system is evolving. More will be said on this subject in later pages.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION: MODERN CONSTITUTION



The fact that the Indian Constitution was drafted in the mid-twentieth century gave an advantage to its makers in so far as they could take cognizance of the various constitutional processes operating in different countries of the world and thus draw upon a rich fund of human experience, wisdom, heritage and traditions in the area of governmental process in order to fashion a system suited to the political, social and economic conditions in India. In the end result, the Indian Constitution has turned out to be a very interesting and unique document. One could discern in it the impact of several Constitutions. As for instance, the Indian Federalism is influenced by the American, Canadian and Australian Federalism. Fundamental Rights in India owe a great deal to the American Bill of Rights; the process of Constitutional amendment adopted in India is a modified version of the American system.


The influence of the British Constitutional Law, theories and practices on the
Indian Constitution is quite pervasive. As for example, the parliamentary form of
government in India closely follows the British model in substance; the system of
prerogative writs which plays a crucial role in protecting peoples’ legal rights and
ensuring judicial control over administrative action is Britain’s contribution to
India. Australia’s experiences have been especially useful for ordering the Centre-
State financial relationship, and for promoting the concept of freedom of trade
and commerce in the country. Inspiration has come from the Irish Constitution in
the shaping of the Directive Principles of State Policy.
The Government of India Act, 1935, which preceded the Indian Constitution,
has furnished not only administrative details, but also the verbatim language of
many provisions of the Constitution.
It will, however, be wrong to suppose that the Indian Constitution is just a carbon
copy of other Constitutions and contains nothing new and original. While
adopting some of the principles and institutions developed in other democratic
and federal countries, it yet strikes new paths, new approaches and patterns, in
several directions. It makes bold departures in many respects from the established
Constitutional norms and introduces many innovations. For example, in the area
of Centre-State relationship, with a view to achieve the twin objectives of promoting
the unity of India and reducing rigidity inherent in a federal system, the
Indian Constitution makes several provisions which are original in conception as
nothing parallel to these is to be found in any other federal Constitution and, to
this extent, it makes a distinct contribution to the development of theories and
practices of federalism in general.

Rights and Rulings regarding Live-in relationship

In India, the concept of Live-In Relationships is not expressly recognized by the legislature.

However, the courts in India have time and again observed that a long continued live-in relationship can raise a presumption of marriage to safeguard the interests of the parties (generally women) to such arrangement and the children born out of such arrangement.

Reforms of Criminal Justice System

Recommendations 

1) That evidence regarding a man and woman living together for a sufficiently long period should be enough to draw the presumption that the marriage was performed according to the customary rights and ceremonies of the parties

2) It was proposed that the word wife in the section 125 CrPC should be altered to include a woman who was living with the men like his wife for a reasonably protracted period.

Marvin versus Marvin

Court used a new expression of “palimony” has been coined the which is a combination of “pal” and “alimony”. For social obligation of a man entering into a live-in relationship with another woman without the formalities of a marriage.

It was held that

1) The provisions of the family law do not govern a non-marital relationship; such a relationship remains subject solely to the judicial decisions.

2) The court should enforce Express contracts between non marital parents except founded on the consideration of meretricious sexual services.

Gokal Chand versus Pravin Kumari

It was held that continuous cohabitation of men and women as husband and wife may raise the presumption of marriage but the presumption which may be drawn from long cohabitation is rebuttable and if there are such circumstances which we can destroy that presumption, the court cannot ignore them.

Badri Prasad v Director of consolidation

A strong presumption arises in favour of wed-lock where the partners have lived together for a long spell as husband and wife. Although the presumption is rebuttable, a heavy burden lies on him who seeks to deprive the relationship of legal origin.

D. Velusamy and D. Patchaimal

To get recognized as “in the nature of marriage,” certain conditions were set by the Supreme Court in the case of “D. Velusamy and D. Patchaimal (5 SCC 600).”

1) Duration of period of relationship Section 2 (f) of the DV Act has used the expression “at any point of time”, which means a reasonable period of time to maintain and continue a relationship which may vary from case to case, depending upon the fact situation.

(2) Shared household The expression has been defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act and, hence, need no further elaboration.

(3) Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements Supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint names or in the name of the woman, long term investments in business, shares in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor.

(4) Domestic Arrangements Entrusting the responsibility, especially on the woman to run the home, do the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or upkeeping the house, etc. is an indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage.

(5) Sexual Relationship Marriage like relationship refers to sexual relationship, not just for pleasure, but for emotional and intimate relationship, for procreation of children, so as to give emotional support, companionship and also material affection, caring etc.

(6) Children; Having children is a strong indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage. Parties, therefore, intend to have a long-standing relationship. Sharing the responsibility for bringing up and supporting them is also a strong indication.

(7) Socialization in Public Holding out to the public and socializing with friends, relations and others, as if they are husband and wife is a strong circumstance to hold the relationship is in the nature of marriage.

(8) Intention and conduct of the parties Common intention of parties as to what their relationship is to be and to involve, and as to their respective roles and responsibilities, primarily determines the nature of that relationship. Live-in relationships are the new and on-going trends among the youth that gives them the freedom to live without any pressure of arranged marriages.

Blood type

Do you know your blood type? If you haven’t been in any medical situations where blood type is important, you might not.

We know that there are 8 main blood groups that make up most of the world’s population.

But it turns out that scientists still don’t know why we evolved different blood types. And that may remain a mystery for a long time. But from now, science can at least tell you about your own blood.

Knowing your Blood type

In develops parts of the world, it’s not crucial to know your blood type off the top of your head. Doctors will typically run tests before any major procedure and if there’s any doubt in a medical emergency, you’ll most likely receive O negative blood, because that’s the universal donor blood that’s save to give to any A, B, AB or O recipient.

Blood type experiments

For thousands of years nobody really understood blood. A Greek doctor Claudius Galenus from 200 CE believed that it was created food and liver, and this school of thought lived on for nearly 1500 years.

It wasn’t until in the 17th century A british doctor named William Harvey, discovered that blood actually circulated through the body. This spawned A new age of experimentation with blood.

In 1665, an English physician successfully kept one dog alive by transfusing it with a blood of another dog. Just two years later, doctors began experimenting with Xenotransfusions. That is transfusing humans with animal blood, such a sheep. And those human patients died.

It wasn’t until 1900 that we finally realised people and animals actually have different types of blood that determine whose blood can mix with whose. That’s where different letters came into play.

If you’re type A, your immune system will perceive type B blood as an intruder and trigger auto immune response that can cause

  • kidney failure,
  • extensive blood clotting, and
  • even shock.

The reverse is true of type B blood. The immune system will attack type A.

AB blood however, accept both A and B blood without triggering the auto immune response. These things get little bit complicated when introduced there negative and positive part of your blood type. Positive can’t accept negative, but the opposite is extremely dangerous.

Other than 8 Blood types

To further complicate things scientists have discovered dozens of more blood type, such as the Duffy blood group, which can determine your susceptibility to malaria. Or the Hh blood type, which 1 in 10,000 people in India have. But the vast majority of the humans fall into this A, B, O system.

As per why humans evolved this complicated system of blood types and compatibility, we really don’t know. The original mutations are thought to date back nearly 20 million years. But whatever the biology is behind blood typing, it’s a real practical thing that matters.

It’s just not a bad idea to know your blood type. If you’re traveling somewhere that’s rural, or doesn’t have access to advance medicine, it’s good for you and your travelling companion to know your types, just in case of an accident along the way. In big emergency closer to home, blood banks often put in calls for donors of a specific type. And remember if you’re type O Negative, you’re an extremely useful universal donor. So, knowing your type can give you a peace of mind.

Your body when you Swim

Harvard medical school published a study which looked at over 40,000 men, aged 20-90 who were either runners, walkers, swimmers, and physically in active people. With an average length of 13 years of observation and in that time

  • 2% of swimmers passed away
  • 8% of runners passed away
  • 9% of walkers passed away
  • 11% of physically inactive people passed away

This study showed that swimmers are much healthier later on in life than the rest of the population and for women swimming just 30 mins a day can decrease coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent.

It also helps to increase HDL aka good Colestrol. Some studies have also shown that aerobic excercise can keep the cells in the lining of your arteries more flexible and healthier. Hence there is no question that swimming is an awesome form of fitness.

Body during swimming

What do you actually feel when you go into the water? Here are some main elements of the human body that gets impacted during swimming.

1. Blood

According to the America Heart Association, swimming is considered as Aerobic activity. Aerobic excercise enlarges the heart and it increases the blood flow through the entire boby. Because swimming is an excercise, the blood has to pump all the molecules into the body.

2. Heart

Since so much of blood has to be pumped into the body, that ties into how it impacts your heart because we know that after 2 mins your body goes into aerobic respiratory because your heart has to pump all the oxygenated blood through the body. So as you swim, your heart is circulating the blood which help your body to perform and achieve the required goals.

3. Skin

You must have seen that the skin color changes of swimmers. For example, some swimmers face turns red when the swim, that happens because your blood vessels are dilating and the brings the heat to the surface into the skin then some people turn red, as a result your skin is showing the effort that you’re putting in the water.

4.Muscles

There’s a reason why swimmers are considered to have best body and physiques in the world compared to any athlete, because swimming engages every single muscles in the water when it comes to your core stability, your upper body, your biceps, your hamstrings, your calves, everything is engaged when you swim.

When you’re swimming, you are micro tearing your muscles while swinging it. And the muscles requires 24-48 hrs to recover those muscles. That’s when sometimes you might feel sore.

5. Lungs

Swimming can actually help increase your lungs volume because in swimming different than other sports, you can’t actually breath whenever you want. It’s not like running when you have full access to oxygen.

In swimming you’re engaging your muscles and you’re not allowed to breathe necessarily at the time when your body might want it. So because you have to get used to this, you actually increase your Vo to max (maximum amount of oxygen body is able to use). So basically you are making your lungs more efficient at functioning.

6. Brain

The Brain loves swimming, because of all the extra blood flow moving through these endorphins that makes you more awake, alert and focus.

But this could happen in any type of sport but swimming is something really special because you’re sort of in your own world where the medium is 800 times more dense than air, which makes you feel free and relaxed.

Hence, from physical health to mental health, swimming is an incredible benefit human body and after reading this you must be thinking of trying swimming.

Being Bilingual

People have very different opinions on what bilingualism really is. For some it means speaking two languages fluently and with little to no effort rather strongly consider a person bilingual, if it has perfect pronounciation in both languages and makes very few grammatical errors while talking.

The truth is that, even with a bad accent and making some mistake, being able to speak in two or more languages rather than one has practical benefits in an increasingly globalised world.

Multilingualism

Multilingualism has been shown to have many psychological and social advantages that can go something simply as

  • watching movies with no subtitles
  • to having less problems in traveling and
  • even getting a job or business opportunities specially in tourist areas.

Types of Bilingualism

It is considered to be two types of Bilingualism

1. Compound Bilingualism

Compound Bilingualism, also called addictive Bilingualism happens for example when a child is raised by bilingual parents and both languages are used in home, the child grows when both languages are used simultaneously in the same environment.

With this type of Bilingualism, the person does not see the two languages as separate it is common to hear such people speaking different languages in the same sentence or using a word of a different language from the one they’re talking to better express themselves.

2. Coordinate Bilingualism

This is the second type of Bilingualism also know as Subtractive Bilingualism. In this type, the person perceive two languages as separate because he learns them separately and in different environments in context.

I am an example of coordinate Bilingualism, most of the time i talk Hindi when I’m in my college environment or to people who talks only that language, I use the language specifically for those context but to my family members i usually talk in Bengali which is my native language, the language related to my home environment. I see these two language as separate since I learned and used them in completely different environments.

Officially Monolingual Countries

Only a few countries in the world including the U.S, England, and Australia are officially Monolingual but even in these countries only a considerable percent of people who speaking and understand more than one language.

Advantage

Researchers suggest that bilingualism can slow the advance of age-related mental issues such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s by up to 4 years.

Also in bilingual adult, brain tissue called grey matter is denser compared with Monolingual adults.

Although speaking more than one language does not necessarily make you more intelligent person, it helps stimulates and increase brain connections. Learning a new language is like an excercise to the brain that will improve your Cognitive skills and even if you grew up in a Monolingual environment, it is never too late to start learning a different language.

History of Halloween

From communion with the dead to pumpkins and pranks, Halloween is a patchwork holiday, stitched together with cultural religions and occult tradition that spans centuries.

Before Halloween

It all began with the Celts; a people whose culture had spread across Europe more than 2,000 years ago. October 31st was the day they celebrated the end of the harvest season in a festival called Soin, that night also marked as Celtic New Year and was considered a time between years; a magical time when the ghost of the dead walked the earth as called as time when the veil between death and life was supposed to be at its thinnest.

At that time the villagers would gathered and lit huge bonfires to drive the dead back to the spirit world and keep them away from the living. But as the Catholic Church’s influence grew in Europe, it frowned on the pagan rituals like sawing.

The name Halloween

In the 7th century the Vatican began to merge it with a Church sanctioned holiday. So November 1st was designed All Saints day to honor martyrs and the deceased faithful. Both of these holidays had to do with the afterlife and about survival after death, it was a calculated move, on the part of the church, to bring more people into the fold.

All Saints day was known as then Hallowmas; hallow meaning holy or saintly, so the translation is roughly mass of the saints. The night before October 31st was All Hallows eve while gradually morphed into “Halloween“.

How the holiday spread

The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine of the 1840s. The brought several of their holiday customs with them including

  • Bobbing for apples and,
  • Playing tricks on neighbors like, removing gates from the front of the houses
Irish immigrants

Trick-o-treat

The young pranksters wore masks so they wouldn’t be recognised but over the years the traditional of harmless tricks grew into outright vandalism such as in 1930s, pranks during Halloween became really holiday, as there was such a hooliganism and vandalism.

Trick-o-treat was originally a extortion deal, give candies or get your house trashed. Storekeeper and neighbors began giving treats or bribes to stop the tricks and children were encouraged to travel door-to-door for treat as an alternative to trouble making. By the late 30s trick-o-treat became a holiday greeting.