KRONICLE
Demonetization #13
Jan. 7, 2017

Demonetization. What's the difference?




In a move to eradicate black market’s cash supply and purge counterfeit notes from India’s economy, the unprecedented decree to demonetize notes of large denominations, was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8th November 2016. It is certainly one of the most audacious steps taken by him that not only took the entire nation by surprise but also sent shock waves to the whole world. This decision to make the 500 and 1000 currency notes invalid has created a massive stir amongst the people of the nation. After the conclusion of his 40-minute speech, all the unaccounted currency notes became chaff. It’s not the first time that this idea has come up. There were voices raised in US and Europe to annul currency of larger denomination but the measures were never implemented.

It is obvious that the following day would be a day of long queues, shortage of cash, mayhem, memes and tweets. Black money holders are one of the primary targets behind this. According to the World bank, black money contributed about 23% to India’s GDP. Among other speculations, are corruption, tax evasion, terrorist funding, counterfeit currency rackets, and hawala transactions, would be dealt with. It would usher India movement towards a cashless economy,. It will also discourage huge donations to private institutions, healthcare, real estate, etc, as it is easy to track digitized money.

The government has limited the withdrawal amount and is strictly scrutinizing people’s deposit patterns. People have to show their ID proof while depositing money, which makes it very difficult for black money holders to deposit the huge sums that they had been accumulating since the years. Unaccounted money would incur a 200% penalty on normal income tax amount. Corruption had become a menace to the Indian democracy. It was impeding the development of the nation, but with demonetization in force, it has become difficult to perform “under the table” transactions as they would have to use bundles of smaller denomination notes which is tedious. Demonetization has also retarded inhumane activities of Naxalites, Maoists and other antisocial organizations. The private institutions, who were previously enjoying by taking large donations, are now pushed to the corner and are out of their ways to augment their wealth. The entire counterfeit currency market is now in ruins. On the other hand m-commerce platforms like Paytm, Freecharge, etc have suddenly come to limelight, thus, marking the transition of economy from legal tender to digital money.

Even the moon has a dark side, so how can demonetization be any different. The adverse effects started with the Sensex losing 1600 points and NIFTY 50 crashing for 2 days. The scarcity of cash led to widespread pandemonium. Travellers were the worst sufferers following the proclamation, they had left their city with hard cash but arrived at their destination only to see it become a pile of trash. A great rush is seen near banks and ATMs even though notes could be exchanged from post offices, railway stations, petrol pumps, etc. Vendors, farmers, costermongers and other small traders are in a lot of trouble as they rely on hand to hand cash transactions on a daily basis; their means of livelihood was cut off in the make-do. With some people clandestinely destroying their money to avoid penalties, the economy of the country is going down. Critics predict that the introduction of 2000 rupee notes could increase the counterfeit currency circulation in the future. It has also become inconvenient for common people who are generally not habituated with using such large denominations, moreover, getting change for Rs.2000 is another struggle. Something worth noting was the temporary presence of decadent dealers who took advantage the situation by exchanging 500 notes with a lesser amount of change at crowded places like bus stands, railway stations, etc.

Demonetization has caused many hiccups, but according to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the execution couldn’t have been better as it didn’t create any major fiasco in the country. Although most of the population might term it as spontaneous, it is essential to figure that there’s more to it than meets the eye. It wasn’t an immediate action, but a result of months of practice by astute economists who were working under the shadows. Leakage of the information in any form prior to the declaration could have made it less effective, hence it was divulged after the preparation was complete. Considering the introduction of Jan Dhan Yojana to promote future transactions through banks, and the 30th October as the deadline set by the government for declaration of the income, the sagacious could guess that it would be followed by demonetization.

Abatement of corruption and ebbing away black money should be the rationale behind demonetisation. Government should consider establishing infrastructure to track large financial transactions in key sectors, create a robust mechanism to identify and apprehend tax evaders and moreover, the government should direct its efforts towards penetration of the banking infrastructure into the remote parts of the country or in other words, towards inclusive financing. Phrases like ‘cashless economy’ and ‘plastic money’ are amidst conversation and the use of credit card and debit cards has increased many folds. The government is trying to reach every nook and cranny to provide financial services, as it would not only help the employees and workers but also create a transparent transaction system and thus keep tax avoidance at bay.

This policy is turning out to be a financial reformation and black money holders are having a hard time exercising their brains for finding ways around the new proclamation. However, this cannot be considered as a conclusive step even though it is an excellent move to curb corruption, it has its own share of appraisals and criticisms. There are many diverse views from different individuals because everyone addresses to a particular facet of the initiative. Demonetisation may be termed as double edged sword, thus one has to admit that perspectives depend upon individuals and accept the repercussions as necessary evil. Success and failure are both sides of the same coin and our hon’ble Prime Minister has just flipped it!
International Peace #12
Dec. 5, 2016

International Peace

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What is peace?The dictionary defines peace as a state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended.But is it really true? Are we truly in peace only when there is no war. Have we truly been able to achieve that state of mind? Days pass by and even the tiniest obstacles of our lives become a challenge to our mind.The issue of war and peace has always been a focal issue in all periods of history and has put to test the relationship between nations thereby affecting its entire population.

With the increasing awareness about the impediment offered by war, people are becoming more oriented towards tranquility and a third world war seems improbable. But when difference of opinions arise amidst the minds of the people,a conflict always emanates.This case is true not only for people but it is also true when it comes to countries. When their agendas or plans collide there is always a sense of war that arises if not a true war. The feeling of oppressing the next person disturbs the sense of peace.

Peace cannot be truly achieved until the feeling of revenge is removed not only from countries but individually from all the countrymen because a country is as good as its citizens. In every situation, conflicts are not a symbol of war because if there is an understanding between communities then conflicts can be useful as examples have shown that great decisions have been made as a outcome of a conflict.

We all are well aware about the conditions of Syria, the tragedies that ISIS is causing and chaos the so called terrorist and maoist groups have caused in the past and are still causing.These events have not only terrorised in the people in the past but they continue to do so in the present also.We have taken measures to prevent these incidents from happening yet the success rate in very low. This has always shattered peace and has caused tension amongst the people.

Peace as a concept is not only applicable at larger levels like countries but also on smaller units i.e. communities,organisation,companies etc.If peace does not prevail on these smaller units then it definitely cannot be achieved on larger levels.Hence it is our duty as individuals to ensure that we maintain our cool even in tense situations.When people are working in small communities ,the possibility of a conflict is very high. A difference of opinion is very probable but everything depends on the manner in which the situation is tackled, our method can determine the outcome of the conflict. If the conflicts are tackled with a positive mindset ,it can lead to great outcomes that can lead to the upliftment of the community or the organisation.

With all these day to day problems that challenge the state of peace, it is difficult to maintain one’s resolve.The current events show that even after moving great distances in order to achieve peace we truly are miles away from it. There are many amendments signed between nations to prove a relation between them but still when it comes to a common agenda , all men become against each other. The feeling of selfishness is always there, which is the greatest obstacle for all nations to unite with each other.Leave apart nations,we have not even truly been able to achieve peace within a nation.Although we say that we are united,but we are not.That feeling of division interrupts the peace.
Let us look at the following people who have worked for world peace and struggled to bring people together:
Mahatma Gandhi:One of the most famous Indian freedom fighters who inspired the Indian towards independence through the path of nonviolence.
Nelson Mandela: Made significant contribution to peace in South Africa. Although imprisoned for fighting apartheid, he was released and became first democratically elected President. Mandela sought to forgive and work with the former white minority.
Aung San Suu Kyi:One of the most famous Burmese leaders who was also awarded Nobel peace prize for opposition to military rule. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for many years due to her opposition.
Martin Luther King:He was a non-violent civil rights leader. King promoted an end to discrimination through an inclusive philosophy of nonviolent protest and mutual co-operation. He also spoke out against the Vietnam war.
Malala Yousafzai : One of the recent Peace leaders ,she was a pakistani schoolgirl who overcame assassination attempt by Taliban to campaign for universal access to education. She also won a Nobel Peace prize for her contribution.

People like these have fought to bring peace in all the generations.With their struggles and successful attempts we have attained the sense of peace that prevails today. Not only people but organisations also have helped to bring peace in the world.Some of these organisations are:
International Peace Bureau:The International Peace Bureau works on building a world without war. They believe that reducing the funding for military sector can help save significant amount of money that can be used for fulfilling real human needs. The organisation has members from over 70 countries. It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910 for their tremendous work in this field.
United Nations Organisation:Needless to say, UNO is one of the most active and widespread organisation for peacekeeping in today’s world scenario. It not only works for peace building but for conflict prevention and peace enforcement. Its global partnership includes Member States, the UN Secretariat, host countries, regional organizations and UN partners. They have built up an impressive record of peacekeeping achievements for over more than 60 years of their existence, including winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
United Religions Initiative:With a membership of more than 1 million people, United Religions Initiative envisions a world at peace, sustained by interconnected communities committed to build respect for diversity, nonviolent resolution of conflict and social and environmental justice. They work to bridge religious and cultural differences to bring peace in the world. URI is composed of more than 85 countries and people from different faiths and spiritual expressions.
World Peace Prayer Society:With the motto of ‘May peace prevail on Earth’, this society has a Sanctuary that serves as home to annual events, including the World Peace Festival and Planet Peace Day for children etc. This is a Japan based organisation with supporters from 191 countries across the word. They encourage creative ways to carry the message of peace to public view.
So as a conclusion we can say that although we travelled miles but yet there are larger distances to be covered in order to bring peace.If people like them and organisations like these continue to fight ,world peace can be stabilized and one day we may be able to achieve the peace that we desire for.
Poke Go & Prisma #11
Aug. 13, 2016

Pokemon Go & Prisma


Technology is best,when it brings people together
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Imagine, you are walking in the streets of Kolkata and you need to find a Restaurant nearby, just wear your Augmented Reality glasses and look around, you will be able to see all kinds of restaurants with menus and user reviews right in front of your eyes. There will be virtual sales person appearing everywhere that can give you a nightmare.

In case you've been living under a rock, Pokémon Go just came out and every 90s baby just got hit in the face with their childhood. In the month since its release as a free smartphone app, Pokémon Go has sent millions of people worldwide on digital scavenger hunts to hunt down and collect cartoon characters. Just about everything written about Pokémon GO since its July 6 release positions the game as a triumph of augmented reality—technology that overlays digital images atop the real world—on a smartphone.

Prisma, the photo-editing app, which has now forayed into the android market as well, has indeed become the most popular app just competing behind the market leader this summer, the People across the world are turning amateur photos into elaborate works of art with a new viral app that relies on AI technology to let users instantly transform mundane images into Picasso paintings. It has attracted 10 million daily users as of 28th July, is reinventing the concept of filtering photos with technology. While the concept of adding filters to photos has been around for years, the Prisma app is unique in the way that it relies on a “combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence” to remake the image.

Currently, Facebook is known as a social network for posting photos, commenting to friends about bar hopping, and reading the news of the day. But over the next decade, CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that advances in artificial intelligence and virtual reality will make the social network even more compelling. In the future, users will be able to share 360-degree videos of their families and be presented with news stories they never knew they would be interested in but contain photos they may find fascinating, he explained.

It was not long back when the Best Picture nominee in the Academy Awards, ‘Her’ had many people wondering if the movie is more science fiction or reality. The story centres on a man who falls in love with an intelligent computer operating system (OS) with a female voice and personality. While this may seem like science fiction and a long way off, the day when your computer will know you better than any human is not as far off as you may think. Many of the capabilities of Samantha, the intelligent OS in the movie, are already here, including speech and natural language recognition, and some conversational abilities.

Augmented Reality promises to transform your future into the magical world. The intervention of virtual world superimposed in your physical world is what Scientists are trying to do for our future. Augmented Reality or enhanced reality is something which will make the world super transparent and easy to navigate. Augmented Reality will eventually take over every aspect of mankind and the thought is both whimsical and scary at the same time. Currently, you need a smartphone or glasses to see a completely computer generated world. Augmented Reality apps are currently at beta stage but it will surely take over humanity within 5-10 years completely. That day is not far when you will be able to read a newspaper and also access videos embedded in the printed newspaper through augmented reality glasses.  You will be able to store everything in your printed visiting card and access them anywhere, anytime.

That day is not far when you can access the whole profile of a person standing at the bus stop by looking at the person through Augmented Reality glasses. However, there will be a privacy issue with this which can be easily prevented by the person. Everyone can make their data password protected. You have the control to allow or not to allow your information to be seen by the passer by. Augmented Reality is one of the most delightful Artificial Intelligence inventions however, there can be major nightmares associated with this technology. Technology is slowly making humankind dependent and lazy, it's making your life easier still too much of technology can manipulate human mind and there's a chance of falling into a major trap of machines and robots in future. Augmented Reality promises to transform the communication world completely. You will be able to see the person in front of you while talking over a phone. A virtual 3D world will be created in front of you. The impact of this technology will be so high that people will prefer to stay in their virtual world and completely disregard reality. The chances of getting addicted towards this kind of technology are very high.

From Archaeology to Architecture, from Art to Commerce, from Construction to Military, from Education to Medical applications, augmented reality apps can be used in almost every field. For e.g., there are Augmented Reality T-shirts available which allows you to look into your body. You can easily see the anatomy by wearing Augmented Reality glasses or by placing the camera of your Smartphone with Augmented Reality app over the T-shirt worn by someone. AR is touted to be the next big thing and most of the tech giants are investing heavily on this. Just like the Internet, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will change the way Humans live, Think and Survive. Imagine the world when you can be virtually present in all the major events from Olympics to World Cup, just by wearing Augmented Reality glasses. You are virtually present amidst the crowd and cheering for your favourite Team. With the advent of Augmented Reality, you will be thrown into a world of Mixed Reality and you have the power to select the best truth. Right now, few options such as Contact Lenses, Eyeglasses, Head mounted display, Head-up display, eye Tap, Handheld etc. are available to access the Augmented Reality environment. Lots of exciting things are happening around the concept of AR and VR (Virtual Reality) around the world. Magic Leap is one such company which is currently working in stealth mode for making AR the greatest tool to change the world in future. From Steven Spielberg to Harrison Ford, everyone is excited about the brand new computer-mediated world.  Things that look magical today become monotony in future, although Augmented Reality promises to give you the best out of this world experience, still the apprehensions will stay as everyone wants to guard the beauty of humanity, which is hardly found in machines.

SANKALP #10
April 2, 2016

SANKALP


sankalp



“Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.”



Summers had taken a toll this year. Phulki wiped the sweat off her forehead, drank some water and went back to her cabin. As she sat by the old screechy wooden chair, she saw through the window another women approaching from the far end. The mirage made her look like a hazy black smoke over the burning candle. She seemed to be holding something in her arms. However, it didn’t take her long enough to realize what it was! Of late, she had grown used to this a lot. Women came pouring in and out every few days for her help. Who else could they go to, for she was the only messiah they had. Exhausted, she rested her head against the chair back and stared up at the ceiling. The fan still squeaked as it tried to spin. Nothing has changed. She wondered if at all anything was going to change in near future and closed her eyes.

The flashback of those dreadful days started instantly as if it was just yesterday. She recalled her rural upbringing, her getting married at early teenage, losing her husband to suicide and then losing her child to malnutrition a year later. All these memories haunted her regularly. Her poverty after her husband’s death had driven her to try every possible thing to ensure her child’s nourishment yet her illiteracy hindered the process, and ultimately, she lost the battle against time. She still remembered the innocent look on the frail and fragile body of her baby, completely oblivious of the functioning of the mundane affairs. A shivering chill went through her. That day she’d resolved to be educated and educate other villagers as well. Her world has changed ever since. She believed that no children should die from preventable causes. She now runs a small Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre in that village where people came with their children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Everyday, she toils hard to improve their life, giving them a second chance of healthy living. Yet the previous day, she’d lost another child who was under her care to malnutrition. The path ahead would be difficult, she’d then realized. The lack of trained healthcare professionals, guided supervision and basic amenities were the challenges she still faced. She had tried contacting people for voluntary contribution for working towards removal of this evil of malnutrition, but in vain went her all her effort. ‘Do they even care?’, she thought. It is not until they put themselves in our shoes that they realize what a desperate mother or a helpless father feels after having lost their only child, their only moon of the sky at night, to something over which they had control yet they were simply unaware of - like proper nutritional diet and sanitation methods. So why don’t they volunteer to educate the people in need and help them a bit, making this world a better place to live - this was something which was beyond her comprehension.

A knock on her door interrupted her thought process. She opened her eyes and invited the guest inside. The woman out there had finally reached her door. There was, as expected, a baby in her hands, all skin and bones. The sight didn’t fail to move her to a deep spasm of pity. The mother’s face looked as if she’d given up on herself. The fire in her eyes was doused with ice water. Phulki was well familiar with that look on her face, having gone through the same phase herself, earlier. Phulki welcomed the woman with open arms and admitted her child. Now, another delicate flower in her casket had to be taken care of by her small team. ‘Hopefully, this time, my efforts will make a difference’, she thought.



There are people like Phulki who are contributing, even through their minimalistic efforts, towards a better future of the nation. And then there are people remain aloof from such miseries, which comprises of majority of the population. If you are told that while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition and then you are told bluntly that you do not care at all about it, you’d be more upset with the fact that you are accused of being inconsiderate than with the fact that 30,000 kids died last night. Such is the scenario with most of the people.

As an individual, we humans are incorrigible. We fall in the pattern of tradition and habit and go on milling the grind in lethargic gullibility. We resort to self-justification with the excuse that if I alone am on the path of change while others are not, it’s of no use. What one needs to realize is that charity does begins at home. If you play your part, sometime, somewhere it’ll automatically reflect as a significant change because of its cumulative effect.

According to UN, India has the world’s largest youth population and every year, India adds more population to it than any other nation in the world. Tomorrow, these people are going to be the citizens of India, representing the nation in front of the world in myriad fields and making the nation proud. Ideally, we will have the manpower and the intellect of the youth which can’t stop us from attaining numero uno position. However, in reality, the country will never fulfill its gigantic potential if the brains of its young people never develop properly for lack of nutrition.

The WHO estimates that malnutrition accounts for 54% of child mortality worldwide, about 1 million children. Now, the grave concern arises when we realize more than one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Among these, half of them under the age of 3 are underweight.

To resolve the grieving issues of malnutrition, many NGOs and international organisations are working hard, with UNICEF at the foremost in the list. UNICEF has partnered with State Governments to improve nutrition for reducing child stunting and with other government programmes. As well as strengthening the nutritional intake of mothers, newborns and infants, UNICEF focuses on improving poor sanitation and hygiene to improve their health and chances of survival. UNICEF also works in partnership Government programmes such as the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), and the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Total Sanitation Campaign).

Kshitij, in collaboration with UNICEF, provides you the cutting-edge platform to ponder over the grave crisis looming over our country and contribute in a big way to incapacitate the malignant paws of child malnutrition through its’ social initiative Sankalp. At this crucial and transitional stage when we have entered the first half of modern world of 21st century, it goes without saying that now is the high time we act lest the damage becomes irreversible later.

Digital India #9
Oct. 7, 2015

Digital India


Technology is best,when it brings people together
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In the siliconic world where the ever-evolving technology gains the dominance and the economic imbalance again gets its vengeance, the whole of public ecosystem breaks down to emphasize itself as rich and poor. Agonizing against the same, came forth an idea of digital empowerment – the power to empower.



The digital India programme is the initiative of the Government of India with a vision to revolutionize the face of India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It aims to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing internet connectivity even in the rural areas.



With this , the e-governance initiatives in India take a whole new dimension .Digital India aims to bridge the divide between the digital does and digital don’ts, between the indigent and the affluent, rural and urban, literate and illiterate, employed and unemployed, and the empowered and the disempowered, and to some extent even men and women.


Why digitization? Because it increases transparency by multiple folds and reduces corruption. Transactions are processed with a simple mouse click within a blink of an eye. Not only it saves time but also the database is maintained in much more efficient way using technology rather than manually. It ensures peer to peer connection which eliminates the middlemen and reduces the chances of money not reaching the receiver.



This is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vision for a Digital India (It somehow reminds of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem where mind is without fear)

I dream of a Digital India where High-speed Digital Highways unite the Nation

I dream of a Digital India where 1.2 billion Connected Indians drive Innovation

I dream of a Digital India where Knowledge is strength – and empowers the People

I dream of a Digital India where Access to Information knows no barriers

I dream of a Digital India where Government is Open – and Governance Transparent

I dream of a Digital India where Technology ensures the Citizen-Government Interface is Incorruptible

I dream of a Digital India where Government Services are easily and efficiently available to citizens on Mobile devices

I dream of a Digital India where Government proactively engages with the people through Social Media

I dream of a Digital India where Quality Education reaches the most inaccessible corners driven by Digital Learning

I dream of a Digital India where Quality Healthcare percolates right up to the remotest regions powered by e-Healthcare

I dream of a Digital India where Farmers are empowered with Real-time Information to be connected with Global Markets

I dream of a Digital India where Mobile enabled Emergency Services ensure Personal Security

I dream of a Digital India where Cyber Security becomes an integral part of our National Security

I dream of a Digital India where Mobile and e-Banking ensures Financial Inclusion

I dream of a Digital India where e-Commerce drives Entrepreneurship

I dream of a Digital India where the World looks to India for the next Big Idea

I dream of a Digital India where the Citizen, Netizen is an Empowered Citizen.



So what exactly is the plan beneath the lagoon of Digital India? Here are seven things you need to know about it:

1. Broadband Highways: Modi has said that India is suffering from digital divide - meaning there are millions of people who do not have access to broadband and the opportunities it presents - and that needs to be bridged. Broadband highways will be routes through which internet connectivity will reach 2,50,000 gram panchayats by December 2016. Reliance Jio's 4G plans will also figure in this ambitious programme, which will make for a National Fibre Optic Network by 2016.

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2. Digital Locker: This online locker will be able to store all documents issued to you by the government, and will require an Aadhar card as identification for the first time. After that you will be able to set your own password and even link it with a Google or Facebook account. Services such as passport applications might become fully online when the relevant authorities are able to access your verified documents online. You won't be required to go to a government office with a folder full of documents.

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3. Mobile connectivity: Over 42,000 villages will have seamless mobile connectivity by 2018. This will require Rs 20,000 crore worth of investment, and companies such as Airtel, Idea and Reliance will all play a role along with state-owned BSNL and MTNL.

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4. e-Kranti: This is perhaps the biggest program within Digital India, and focuses on a mobile-first approach. That means integrating public programmes on single portals, and using technology for their implementation and for public grievance system when they don't work well. The government will also fast track approvals using IT, and mandate standards and protocols for software and hardware. A National Cyber Security Co-ordination Centre will be set up to combat cyber attacks, which have the potential to disrupt large parts of Digital India. Major IT companies such as TCS, Wipro and Infosys are expected to work on projects to make this possible.

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5. Jobs: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres will be set up in states that have lagged in development, such as the North-Eastern states and rural areas. One crore students will be trained in smaller towns and cities in five years, to develop a skilled workforce for such BPOs and the IT sector. Telecom service providers have agreed to train 5 lakh people in smaller towns to work in their projects.

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6. Manufacturing: Digital India seeks to spur electronics manufacturing to the extent that there would be zero net imports — that is exports will equal imports — by 2020.

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7. MyGov: This website crowd sources ideas from the public for design of programmes such as better traffic management, using big data for making cities smarter, and even for the PMO's mobile app among many others. The idea is to start new programmes in consultation with informed citizens for better implementation.

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Digitization is a concept prevalent in most of the Western countries. The splendid thing about this is that it's implemented from the grass root level. Digitization also helps in generating employment as engineers are wanted to maintain such a massive database.

To implement this in a country like India, proper workshops and seminars needs to be conducted in rural areas as the people should be made familiar to the system.

Mother's Day #7
May 10, 2015

MOTHERS’ DAY BLOG


25 Reasons why Moms are Amazing…
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A human involves in several relations in his life, but the one that’s the most impactful on us is our Mother. The relationship between mother and child is a complicated one, defined by lifelong adoration and momentary contempt.
We go from revering our mothers, refusing to leave their side, to contesting their very existence, resenting their advice and warnings. We then go from missing them, beginning to understand them and empathizing with them, to finally revering them again, longing for their advice and wisdom.
As a kid, many people told me I would spend my adolescence hating my mom, that the inevitable day would come when I’d loathe her very existence.
That day did come and lasted for a few rough years, until college, when missing her brought on stifled feelings, along with a new respect and admiration for a person I had previously longed to get away from.
I finally understood why she nagged me all those times to study and to go to bed early. I understood why she questioned me about my homework and made me go to all those stupid coaching classes.
I understood why she never let me go to the market alone or take food from strangers… because she loved me.
As we leave the nest, happily thinking we’re flying on to better things, we cling on to anyone who is remotely kind, realizing that the love of a mother is rare and wonderful.
There are not many people out there willing to take you in, flaws and all, and love you with no qualms. There is nothing out there that is going to provide that unconditional, non-judgmental type of love.
Throughout failed relationships, romantic and platonic, I’ve come to realize that people are not easily reliable in this world. Friends come and go, no matter how strong the bond may be. People most certainly don’t love you the way they say they do and no one can actually keep a secret.
While friendships are wonderful and necessary, the only stable and consistent love you will ever have in this world is from your mother. She is the only one who will always be there in the middle of the night ready to answer your call. She’s the only one who actually cares to hear about every moment of your day.
She is the only one who actually listens when you talk and doesn’t mind spending four hours watching you try on jeans.
People also told me, throughout my days of contempt and misguided anger, that I would one day be great friends with my mother. One day, we would share stories over a cup of tea like some TV flick scene.
I told them they were delusional, and that my relationship was different than those theatrical dramas.
However, age brought wisdom and wisdom brought appreciation. That appreciation grew into respect, which blossomed into friendship. As the years passed and those strong friendships I thought would sustain some type of familial archetype began to disintegrate, I realized a pivotal truth in my life: My mother has always been and always will be my best friend.

  1. She’s the first one you call with good news.
  2. She’s the first one you call with bad news.
  3. She’s the only person you can actually shop with.
  4. She will always make the trip to visit you, no matter how far away you are.
  5. She will never forget your birthday, and she’ll be the first to sing to you when the clock strikes midnight.
  6. She will be honest when something doesn’t look good on you.
  7. She will tell you when you’re being a brat.
  8. She will listen to your dramatic stories and your stories with no end.
  9. She won’t judge you when you wear the same outfit three days in a row.
  10. She’s always got good advice, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
  11. She always has your best interest at heart.
  12. She knows what kind of foods you like (and don’t like).
  13. She will never stay mad at you or hold a grudge.
  14. She will buy you something spontaneously just because she knows you’ll like it.
  15. She will tell you if you’re getting fat, but will say you look beautiful no matter what your weight.
  16. She will be on call when you get too hammered to find a way home.
  17. She’s the one you can brag to about your accomplishments and express shame to for your mistakes, without fearing judgment.
  18. She will drop everything to be at your beck and call when you’re sick, whether it’s a common cold or the flu.
  19. She’ll support your interests and encourage you to stay true to your passions.
  20. She’s the one who knows when something is wrong, no matter how many times you tell her, “Nothing!”
  21. She’s the only person who knows your annoying habits and still loves you for them.
  22. She never fails to tell you she loves you at least once a day.
  23. She’s the one who sees there’s only one cookie left for the two of you and suddenly says she’s too full.
  24. She will go above and beyond, through the toughest of conditions, just to make sure you’re happy.
  25. She’s the one who’s standing beside you, when everyone else has walked away.

 

Happy Birthday Wikip #6
Jan. 15, 2015

According to an online survey about what is the most important open source project of all? Essence of answer revealed says:

  • If asking about economic impact? Then it's probably Linux, or maybe the Apache Web server.

  • If asking about user base? In that case, the answer might be Google's Android, or Mozilla.

  • But if you're talking about active participation, getting people's hands on the guts of the thing, having them donate that back to the commons, and fulfilling the idea behind open source, there can be only one answer. Wikipedia.

It was the winter of 2001, nearly 14 years ago, when Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger launched wikipedia, initially meant to complement their former creation Nupedia, an online encyclopedia project edited solely by experts, by accepting edits from all people. This “complementary” website soon overtook Nupedia, never looking back again, increasing continuously in size as well as popularity, becoming a household name in recent times.


The role of wikipedia in the life of an average engineering student is humongous, to say the least! Starting from the first science project in school, extending right up to the lab journal to be submitted the next morning, life has certainly been made much smoother with a bit of help from dear old wiki now and then!


Any new topic you encountered that has piqued your interest? Want to read the story of a movie you didn’t understand? Want to know about the early life of your favourite movie star? Don’t worry, wiki will come to the rescue!


The massiveness and diversity of the information on the wikipedia is often admired by the public. Just consider the fact, if you will, that the “English” part of the wikipedia consists only a small percentage of the total number of articles on wikipedia, which include articles in many other languages from across the globe.



Jimmy Wales- the founder of wikipedia


Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur best known as the co-founder and promoter Wikipedia and the Wikia web-hosting company.

In a 2004 interview with Slashdot, Wales outlined his vision for Wikipedia: "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we're doing.”


Wales cites Austrian School economist Friedrich Hayek's essay, "The Use of Knowledge in Society", which he read as an undergraduate, as "central" to his thinking about "how to manage the Wikipedia project".


In 2010, Wales showed his dismay towards whistle blower website WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange, saying that their publication of Afghan war documents "could be enough to get someone killed"; furthermore, he expressed irritation at their use of the name "wiki".  "What they're doing is not really a wiki. The essence of wiki is a collaborative editing ".



The story behind “Jimbo”


One of the many remarkable things associated with the man behind Wikipedia is his rather witty middle name “Jimbo”.


Once,a user of Quora ventured to ask Jimmy Wales the story behind it. This was Jimmy Wales’ reply- “Many years ago I was on a mailing list that already had a Jimmy, James, and Jim.  (As I recall.)  To differentiate myself, I started signing my posts "--Jimbo".

I still sign email that way, and my Wikipedia user name is "Jimbo Wales".  People don't call me that offline.”



Jimmy Wales- the KGP connection


Wales has always enjoyed addressing young students from across the globe. IIT Kharagpur has been lucky enough to be one of the very few Indian colleges Wales has visited. Jimmy Wales was invited to IIT Kharagpur during Kshitij 2008 as a guest speaker. His enthusiasm to interact with people is truly remarkable. An active user of Quora, his simple and honest answers have won the hearts of many users. This might be the reason he has maximum followers on quora.


When asked once on Quora whether he would like to give a speech at IIT Roorkee for free

he answers that he would love to do so, that he had given speeches in India twice before. However, he also cited his difficulty in travelling due to his recent marriage and a toddler at home. Guess the KGPians were lucky to have contacted him during his more carefree bachelor days!

Wikipedia and The Wikimedia Group:


No matter how humongous it might look but Wikipedia is just a part of a much larger group with a number of other websites such as Wikibooks,  Wikinews, : Wikispecies, Wikidata,  Wikiversity,  Wikimedia Commons, Wikiquote,  Wikivoyage, Meta-Wiki, Wikisource, Wiktionary.


As of 2013, the foundation employs more than 208 people, with revenues of US$48.6 million and cash equivalents of $22.2 million.


Did you know, Wikipedia has also provided a link for its 2002 version? You can check out how wikipedia looked after its first birthday by visiting the link http://nostalgia.wikipedia.org/wiki/HomePage



Reliability of Wikipedia and controversies:

Since its launch in January 2001, Wikipedia's open nature has led to various concerns, such as the quality of writing, the accuracy of information etc. The media has covered a number of controversial events related to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).

Several studies have been done to assess the reliability of Wikipedia. An early study in the journal Nature said that in 2005, Wikipedia's scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of "serious errors"


WikiLeaks is not part of Wikipedia:

WikiLeaks is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation. While both Wikipedia and WikiLeaks are not-for-profit media outlets, their objectives are vastly different. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. Its goal is educational - to build a comprehensive repository of knowledge in many languages that is free to access and distribute. In contrast, WikiLeaks considers itself a journalistic venture and aims to inform the public (worldwide) about secretive, illegal or unethical actions by governments and businesses.

Wikipediawallpaper-wikileaks-6.jpg



Wikipedia’s financial policies:


Regarding including advertisements, Jimmy Wales has considered and rejected the idea, saying, “Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here. Not in Wikipedia.”

There’s also the fact that these public pleas don’t appear to be working. Wikipedia has been  pleading for user donations with banners across the top of its site with memos from purported authors.


Wikiexperts founder Alex Konanykhin argues that using ads could solve its financial issues without affecting its neutrality.


Another much talked about issue is if Wikipedia needs to generate revenue in order to pay for some written content.


“We believe that boycotting fundraising efforts of Wikipedia might compel it to raise billions via advertising and develop content of significantly better quality. Qualified contributors may and shall be compensated for their time,” Konanykhin says.


Some lesser known facts of Wikipedia

1. The Eagles' 1976 hit Hotel California has been co-opted as the official theme song for Wikipedia


2. Wikipedia has a policy titled "No Angry Mastodons":


There's a long tradition within Wikipedia of offering up insane policies under slightly silly names. There's "No climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spiderman", "Jimbo's prayer" and "No curses", which requests that users don't target the Wikipedia community with any malevolent hex, seal, spell, or enchantment.

Another one is "No Angry Mastodons", which deals with posting under the influence of anger, and offers recommendations on how to avoid other people stampeding.


3. There's a competition to guess what the last article in Wikipedia will be:


Why might something be the last article? Well, Wikipedia could be shut down due to lack of funds, the internet could be subject to some catastrophe, interest may dwindle, the site may change its name, or it's possible that it may one day reach the sum of all human knowledge.


Suggestions so far include "How to divide by zero", " So long and thanks for all the fish" and "Last digit of pi".


Others also includes:

and many others. The link to the page is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Last_topic_pool


4. Wikipedia has had more than 1 billion edits, across 17.6 million articles, from 27 million users

There are 65,000 articles in the 15th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. Wikipedia has 4.3 million English articles. There are 262 different language versions of the website, although the English, German and French versions have the most articles.



5. Pick a random article. Click the first link inside of it. Then click the first link in the new article you just accessed. As of May 26, 2011, 94.52% of Wikipedia's articles will eventually take you to the Philosophy article following this process.


6. In 2006 the users of Wikipedia who edited the site were named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.  Moreover there's a correlation between the weather and the number of people editing Wikipedia at a given time. Bad weather means lots of editing.




The Wikimedia group:

WikipediaWiktionary — The free dictionaryWikiquoteWikibooksWikisourceWikinewsWikiversityWikispecies — The free species directoryMediaWikiWikidataWikimedia CommonsWikivoyageMeta-WikiWikimedia IncubatorWikitech and Wikimedia LabsWikimedia Foundation

Evolution of logo


Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg.png           Wikipedia-logo-en.png      Wiki_logo_The_Cunctator.png  Wiki_logo_Nupedia.jpg


Hack-a-THINGS! #5
Jan. 4, 2015

In the days and months to come, your TV will talk to your fridge, to check the ingredients you will need for the recipe you bookmarked from that famous cookery show.

Your medicine box will alert your chemist or you to replenish pills, per your doctor's prescribed dosage. Your college parking will ping you the next available spot in the parking lot. Your e-book reader will talk to your library card to list books of your choice, as you enter the library to get a book on your name.

Look around, and you will objects, people, devices...you name it. The next thing you know, they talk to each other. Some already are. Yet others, will, in the next few hours, days, weeks, to months.

Such is the Internet of Things.

Add to this, the ever-evolving technology of APIs, and you have tens of possibilities, sprouting from their mere confluence.

Have you woken up to such umpteen possibilities, yet? Have you dared to dream the future?

Here is your opportunity.

Challenge yourself at the TCS sponsored “HackaTHINGS” – a hackathon that will let you re-imagine IoT and its applications.

TCS HackaTHINGS is your chance to learn and experience the realm of IoT …

Code through the night ... discover lifelong friendships with fellow technologists and friends, from colleges across India, with food and coffee to fuel your quest.

Consider yourself a technology geek? Think you are innovative?

Get started now! Registrations are open for engineering colleges and institutes across India.

Sign up for the TCS HackaTHINGS today...registrations close January 2, 10 PM, to win exciting prizes and goodies!!

Find more information on this activity here: http://ktj.in/events/tcshackathings

Share your experience and pictures of your teams with us on Twitter and Facebook

Hashtags: #TCSInnovation #Kshitij15

Niharan #4
Dec. 28, 2014

There was silence outside the delivery room of the village hospital as Mr Kapoor sat on a hospital bench in quiet anticipation, two of his friends consoling him by keeping their hands on either of his shoulders, patting slowly. A few minutes later, the screams of pain coming from inside stopped, only to be replaced by the wails of a new- born baby. Mr Kapoor’s heart was pounding in his chest with joy and anticipation as a nurse came out. But seeing her grave expression made him a bit tense. Was something wrong with Shanti?

“It’s a girl.”

Mr Kapoor’s heart sank. All the joy and anticipation was knocked out of him in one blow, only disappointment was left.

Would the girl even survive her first day? Even if the laws protect her from being killed at birth, would they protect her from the dark abyss of a neglected future, a future of illiteracy, a future of molestation, a future of child marriage? The future of many such girls has been in the dark since generations, which is a dark reality of contemporary India. In a country which has reached the final frontier in key areas such as space technology and is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, such mentality among its people is really disgraceful.

Was India never a country for women? Many of you might have heard about the liberalism and respect for women that was present in ancient India. The proof of this liberalism can be found in various contexts of our ancient culture (okay, we know what you are thinking about right now, but that’s not the only context we are talking about!). Then when did this liberalism disappear? Was it during the rule of the Mughals? Or perhaps after the onset of imperial culture in India? A question for the historians and philosophers perhaps.

But the important part is that at present, irrespective of whether a woman is present in a village or a town or a metropolitan city, she faces many kinds of hardships. For some it comes in the form of discrimination and illiteracy, for some in the form of eve teasing, and for the really unlucky ones, in the form of physical or mental assault. Of late, this has become a hot topic of discussion. With India witnessing one of its worst rape cases in history some time ago, the youth has stood up for this cause. The awareness for this cause has increased manifold. The government has taken up welcome steps such as setting up of shelters for rape victims.

But the most important effect this whole uprising has had is on the mindset of the people.


11th January 2011

Mrs Sharma was sitting in the sofa, worried sick for her daughter. It was 2am already. Some advertisement was going on in the TV screen in front of her, but her mind was only on her daughter. A thousand bad thoughts were going through her head, as she was trying in vain to control them. Priya had been late many times before, but never this much.

The bell on the door startled her, nearly making her fall of the sofa. A rush of relief surged through her body, replaced quickly by anger. Walking briskly to the door and opening it with a harsh pull, she shouted, “Priya, do you have any sense of responsi-”

But the sight in front of her was the biggest shock of her life. Priya stood outside, blood soaking her salwaar kameez, tears flowing down in rivers down her eyes.

“My god Priya! Come in fast. Did anyone in the neighbourhood see you?”

Priya shook her head briefly, coming in.


There were many cases like Priya’s before this uprising. Were all of them even reported? Doubtful! More than 90% of rape cases go unreported in India. Of the reported cases, how many cases result in conviction? You wouldn’t want to know. Not horrified enough yet? One in three of these victims is a minor.

No, at present, India can’t be called a country for women by the longest call. But yes, this condition is changing. Slowly but steadily.


11th January 2013

Mrs Verma sat on the chair, her eyes were wet and her pulse was racing to the fullest. Soon as the phone rang, she answered the phone with some confusion and fearful voice.

It was a call from Netaji Hospital. Her daughter, Sneha was admitted; she suffered with several brutal injuries all over her body.

Mrs Verma called upon the next door neighbours. Soon, all the residents of the building were gathered on the ground and rushed to the Netaji Hospital. The police was also called to hospital.

“These guys are dead.”
“I swear to God, Mrs Verma, you will have your justice. We all are with you”

“ This is not Shanti’s fault at all. Even if you have the slightest doubt in this regard, remove it”

Mrs Verma was really touched by the support of the neighbours.

In this very neighbourhood, such a case had occurred some two years ago. Only recently was the case reported by Mrs Sharma. Time had changed. It was not the victims who needed to be scared anymore, it was time for them to get justice.

The social acceptance of such victims is the most important aspect, so that they can they don’t have to agonize for someone else’s mistakes. But we as a society need to go much further to be called safe for women. The mindset of people towards women need to be changed. This change needs to reach the remotest areas of the country. Female literacy rates are lower than 65%, as opposed to around 80% of their male counterparts. Girl children need to be taken out of their homes (or rather the kitchens) and sent to schools.

This education is the most important thing. As the children get educated and realise the opportunities this country has to offer, they will themselves fight for it. Women need to be strong at this time. They need to rebel against the injustice, not be ashamed of it. The slightest of the injustice should not be tolerated. Mothers in rural areas need to rise for the daughters. The young girls need to set the example for the smaller girls. Yes, there is a long way to go. Yes, not all the people will be accepting at the beginning. But the positive ripples of the contributions of the educated girls in the society will soon start to show. Only this can change the mindset of the hardened minds with their ancient ideologies. The young boys also need to understand this, to support their sisters, their friends. The youth can change the rules, the youth can take over. There is no need for the older ideologies.

Kshitij, IIT Kharagpur, in association with NCFW is proud to announce its social initiative against gender based discrimination- Niharan. We are proud to be a contributor in this revolution. Join us at www.ktj.in/niharan and help us make India the country for women.

Happy Children's Day #3
Nov. 14, 2014

“I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day”
~Lewis Carroll, "Solitude"

The rain poured heavily on my body as I stood on the muddy ground, panting, waiting for the opposite team to start. I pressed the toes of my foot together, feeling the cold, wet mud squeeze out from in between. It was very difficult to run on the ground without falling, and we were all sure to get scolded by our parents for this game. But this was the least of our worries. The joy and anticipation of the evening football game was above everything else. Summer vacations were on, and this was not the time to be sitting at home. It was time to go wild.

The first ray of the morning sunshine would bring with it the anticipation and excitement of the morning cricket match. As I sat on the sofa hurriedly gulping down my breakfast, my whole attention was at the door, expecting the knock that was the invitation to play. As I came back home after sweating it out and lay on the bed after having the delicious lunch to study, sleep came to me most naturally. I woke up and checked the clock. It was time for pokemon to air. Hurriedly turning on the TV, I watched with intense concentration the next episode in the epic journey of Ash, Brock and Misty, learning the name of any new pokemon featuring in the episode lest it comes up during the evening discussion. Each of us used to wait for Sunday most eagerly than anything, not just because it was a holiday but for Shaktiman. Shaktiman was the ultimate rage among the kids and the elders. He was indeed the coolest superhero of our childhood. 

rain.jpg

Of course, eventually the thoughts about something called “holiday homework” would creep up in my mind, but that was easily pushed away. “There are many days left for the school to reopen”, I would console myself. The afternoons we spent playing Contra and Mario and watching the weekly Harry Potter movies featuring on Cartoon Network was one of the most anticipated things in summer. Though we didn’t discuss these things in our group in those days, but all of us had a crush on Hermione! Talking about crushes, how can I forget the sweetness and innocence of Karuna from Shakalaka Boom Boom !

I think I was 10 years old then. I saw a girl of my class and liked so much in my very first look. I thought to love her. Since I was very small at that stage, I asked the suggestions of my sister and told my sister about my love with her. Later one day there was an unexpected twist in my story, I messed up with my sister,she became angry on me, told my love story to the girl whom I loved. I don't know what to do then at such small age. The next day in school she was coming towards me, that situation I got very frightened about what to do now. I still remember that situation. Finally however I tackled her and made my problem solved with some promises to her. This was the most craziest situation I can ever forget.”
-Aki Manohar Viswanath

Then came one of the most rare events of the year, the get together with cousins in the hometown. That was almost two weeks of pure and epic fun! But surprisingly by now, school was being missed. Of course the start of the new school year would bring with it new books, new bags and new shoes. With renewed energy and determination (which was unfortunately short lived), I would go to my new classes. The night before school reopening was spent completely in covering the books with brown papers and putting labels on them. As I put the books neatly in my bag, the sweet smell of the new books filled me with excitement of going back to school.

“I was an average student in class and had 5 close friends. We used to stay together all the time. And one of them was not good at scoring marks.
Then came the ravishing exams. Everyone was tensed about the results and my coolest friend failed in a subject. He was devastated because he had worked very hard. And then I thought of really wild idea. I sneaked into my teacher’s cabin, pulled out the mark sheet and changed my friend’s marks by 15 and he didn’t even know it. The next day the teacher came to the class and made an announcement that he found some of the students’ marks were incremented and asked if anyone in the class did it. But the funny part was he mentioned that about half of the class students marks were changed and I was literally shocked. I told my school friend that I changed only his marks.
And while I was with my other friends in the cafeteria. They told me that they knew I would get caught and went and changed all other marks.
And being lazy to check the copies again, the marks were kept still and my friend passed”                              
                                                                                                                                      -P. Sravya
School was something different! It was a market of sorts for students. Cards and tazos from chips packets were exchanged. Book cricket was played during lectures, pen and chalk fights during breaks. PT period was the most awaited class of the week.  All of us would come back worn out and dirty after playing football, cricket or dodge ball. The energy of the class would be at an all time low in the next lecture, but of course, we were back to original before soon! The uncontrollable laughter at the silent jokes during the teacher’s lecture was the only thing we remembered about the lecture afterwards. The walk home after school was also one of the most fun aspects of the day. Our uniforms, which were tucked in, clean and ironed in the morning, looked as though we had come back from a hard day of military training. The jokes and laughter on our way back removed all the stress of the previous six hours at school. Those pranks with teachers made our childhood worth remembering!


source

Another epic part of our childhood was the festivals. Diwali was a stage to prove your bravery, with each of us bringing down with us the most badass bombs which our parents would allow. The eve of Diwali was filled with the noises of theses bombs and the light from the “Anaar” and “Chakra” we used to buy. The ultimate fantasy was the rocket. Very few of us were allowed to buy them. Its launch would be witnessed by the whole gang.

            “On the eve of Diwali, in Delhi, I and my friend were bursting crackers in the evening. That  evening there came a vegetable vendor in front of our flat to sell vegetables. We burned a hydro bomb and threw it on vegetable cart. Explosion of the hydro bomb caused tomatoes to explode. As a result, everyone’s face near vegetable cart got painted and the vegetable vendor got scared by explosion sound and fell into the mud behind him“
                                                                                                                     - Shashank Shekhar

The half-yearly exams would soon arrive and then came the winter vacations. As Christmas neared, there was an improvement in all our habits. Christmas gifts were not for the naughty kids.  Come Christmas night, we were all ears for the noise of gifts falling in the bags hung outside. Of course, dad was smart enough not to put in the gift before we fell asleep. The morning of 25th December would start with our running to the doors and excitedly unpacking our presents.  The whole day was then spent playing with them. The lingering sadness of school reopening was in the air.

All of our childhoods were filled with many such memories. Things which we never thought we were capable of were tried. New talents were explored. Lifetime friends were made. Important lessons about life were learnt, not from elders, but from Ash, Goku and Tyson. Family bonding was deepened, not on some lavish vacation, but during India’s cricket matches. Even after many years, when we get the chance to meet our school friends during the college vacations, the old memories are recalled. We would perhaps all go our separate ways in the future, but the bond of  friendship would remain always, lasting our whole lifetime, because no friendship is as pure and selfless as that grown in the back of a classroom or in the mud of a ground during a rainy day game….

Relativity! #2
Nov. 1, 2014

Imagine what would happen if time slowed down for you ? You wouldn’t know that you were moving and acting slower. Everything around you would be moving like a movie in fast-forward mode.Or imagine if you could actually travel backward in time like say 2 hours per hour, or 10 or 100 years per hour? Or imagine that some day you met yourself ?
Seems too confusing ! Its not only for you. These questions made scientists go nuts for centuries until the year 1905 when one man who proposed the answers to all these. Thanks to Albert Einstein with his famous Theory of Relativity.

Wait..!
But how did Einstein think up the theory of relativity? Did an apple fall on his head too as Isaac Newton?
It all started when he was just 16. Einstein imagined chasing after a beam of light with a velocity equal to that of the latter. And if he could catch up and be moving with it like a surfer riding the wave, he would actually see a frozen lightwave. The untenability of that thought led to the downfall of the great achievement of nineteenth century physics and provided the base for the Theory of Relativity.
Newton's theory of gravitation was soon accepted without question, and it remained unquestioned until the beginning of this century. Then Albert Einstein shook the foundations of physics with the introduction of his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, and his General Theory of Relativity in 1915. The theory of relativity, or simply relativity in physics, usually encompasses two theories by Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity.
Special relativity is a theory of the structure of spacetime. It was introduced in Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies".General relativity is a theory of gravitation developed by Einstein in the years 1907–1915. The development of general relativity began with the equivalence principle, under which the states of accelerated motion and being at rest in a gravitational field (for example when standing on the surface of the Earth) are physically identical.
And that stands till the present day. Our best current theory of gravitation is the General Theory of Relativity. However, only if velocities are comparable to that of light, or gravitational fields are much larger than those encountered on the Earth, do the Relativity theory and Newton's theories differ in their predictions. Under most conditions Newton's three laws and his theory of gravitation are adequate.

Nowadays life is unimaginable if Einstein didn't propose the theory of relativity. From GPS to nuclear power stations or Quantum Physics all everything is in virtue. Credits to the Relativity!!
To know more about the discoveries that relativity made possible visit: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/discoveries-relativity-made-possible.html
Have you ever imagined that time-travel is possible now with the theory of relativity and even research is going on in this field? Some most promising models include string theory and loop quantum gravity. Recent advances in gravitation theory and cosmology, combined with breakthroughs in observational astronomy are transforming our understanding of space and time and our perspectives on the origin and future fate of the universe.
Now when we discuss quantum physics how can we forget the great Physicist Werner Heisenberg ??
Heisenberg is famous for his theory of uncertainty which states that the exact position and velocity of an object can’t be determined simultaneously. Lets have a look:
What is Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

In H.G. Wells’ novel, THE TIME MACHINE, our protagonist jumped into a special chair with blinking lights, spun a few dials, and found himself catapulted several hundred thousand years into the future, where England has long disappeared and is now inhabited by two groups of strange creatures, the Morlocks and the Eloi.That may have made great fiction, but physicists have always scoffed at the idea of time travel, considering it to be the realm of cranks, mystics, and charlatans, and with good reason. However, rather remarkable advances in quantum physics and with Einstein’s theory of relativity, time travel has now become fair game for theoretical physicists.

One stubborn problem with time travel is that it is riddled with several types of paradoxes. For example, there is the paradox of the man with no parents: What happens when you go back in time and kill your parents before you are born? If your parents died before you were born, then how could you have been born to kill them in the first place?
There is also the paradox of the man with no past. For example, let’s say that a young inventor is trying futilely to build a time machine in his garage. Suddenly, an elderly man appears from nowhere and gives the youth the secret of building a time machine. The young man then becomes enormously rich playing the stock market, race tracks, and sporting events because he knows the future. Then, as an old man, he decides to make his final trip back to the past and give the secret of time travel to his youthful self. Where did the idea of the time machine come from?
All these seems too confusing…..! Lets look at this video to understand it better.
Video link: Is time travel possible?

SCHRODINGER’S CAT :
Schrodinger’s cat is a thought experiment, better described as a paradox devised by Erwin Schrodinger. The scenario presents a cat that may be both alive and dead and ultimately discusses three important things:
1) Our point of view
2) Cat’s point of view
3) Natural Uncertainty.

In Short:
A cat is in a bunker with an unstable gunpowder that has 50% probability of blasting and 50% probability of doing nothing. Until we look into bunker, we don’t know whether the cat is dead or alive. And if experiment is repeated several times with many cats, bunkers and bombs, half the time cat survives and the other half, it dies. So, before we look, cat is in a superposition of both dead and alive. But, our act of looking foresees nature’s decision and curiosity kills the cat !
FInally, we arrive at conclusion that the cat either sees gunpowder exploding or not. But, there is no option in between. So, the cat’s reality expresses the outcome of the experiment. And, it is our observation to pick one option or the other. Either, we see the cat dead or alive.

Check out the video here: Schrodinger's Cat

The things that pop out are:
• What’s the cat’s perspective?
• Who’s observing to force the nature to collapse to one reality? (or both incidents happening parallel)? -- Infact, these collapsing to one reality is one of the biggest unanswered questions in physics!!

 

Criticism Of Relativity:
The theory of relativity is considered to be self-consistent, is consistent with many experimental results, and serves as the basis of many successful theories like quantum electrodynamics. Therefore, fundamental criticism has not been taken seriously by the scientific community, and due to the lack of quality of many critical publications they were rarely accepted for publication in reputable scientific journals. So, as in 1920s, most of the critical works have been published in small publications houses, alternative journals or private websites. Consequently, where criticism of relativity has been dealt with by the scientific community, it has mostly been in historical studies.

It’s been 100 years since the theory of relativity has been proposed and many advancements have been happening on the basis of the relativity theory. In this regard we celebrate “100 years of Relativity” as our theme for Kshitij 2015, the 12th edition of this Asia’s largest Techno-Management Symposium.

Missile Man of India #1
Sept. 30, 2015

His legacy will live on. That’s what they say. But what is his legacy? He wore too many caps in his life: the "chacha Kalam” to students, the mentor to scientists, the proponent of rural development, the adviser to heads of states and institutions, the ruthless backer of nuclear development. Who was the real Kalam?

 

He failed to become a pilot. He became a scientist instead and set off on career designing a small helicopter. His vision and persona was bigger than most of contemporary leaders and certainly beyond comprehension of politicians. His was known for highly energetic speeches, spontaneity and childlike enthusiasm which stood in deep contrast against people in public space who conduct in measured approach. That makes him one among us. Not surprising was his unrelenting belief and confidence of India of 2020. By his deeds and vision, he has transcended the expression "First Citizen of India". Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam steered India’s space, missile and nuclear programmes, fusing them together as India’s aggressive and peaceful ticket to the future.

He passed away at Shillong at 6:40 pm while interacting with students, with a smile on his lips and a song in his heart. He was the treasure of knowledge and experience and still modest person. What we lost can't expressed in words.

 

Once Mr. D P Satish, a journalist went to meet Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, way before he became the President of India. It was the year 2000, sometime in November. He was given an appointment at IISc Bangalore Campus. Their Conversation went on something like this-

 

Kalam - What’s your name, you said?

Reporter - Sir, I am Satish

Kalam - Okay. You know it is one of the names of God Ishwara?

Reporter - Yes Sir, I know.

Kalam - Good. Very good. How did you come? Where do you live?

Reporter - Sir, I took an auto. I live in Ulsoor, opposite Ulsoor lake 10-12 KM from here.

Kalam - You are in your early 20s. You waste money on auto. Take a bus. Earning money is difficult. You know. Very difficult.

Reporter - Thank you Sir. But, you don't get a bus at 5 o'clock in the morning. I took an auto.

Kalam - Okay. Bangalore weather is great. Boys like you should walk long distances. It’s good for you. You will remain healthy all your life. I used to walk long distances bare feet when I was a student and during my younger days. I had no money for chappal, Shoe and all.

 

...He spoke about a plethora of things, instead giving an interview. Adding lines on education and his favourite India 20-20 initiative, he signified some more lines about Integrity!


" If you have integrity, nothing else matters in life. Even if you don't have integrity, nothing else matters in life. They are exactly opposite things. But, answer is the same for both. Choice is yours. Choose carefully in your life. Right?".

This excerpt connotes a glimpse of Kalam giving importance to values…

Abdul kalam personal life was full of struggles and hard work. Kalam’s father was a devout Muslim, who owned boats which he rented out to local fishermen and was a good friend of Hindu religious leaders and the school teachers at Rameshwaram. APJ Abdul Kalam to support his studies, he started his career as a newspaper vendor.On Wednesday April 29, 2009, Abdul kalam became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America’s top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service.Abdul Kalam is the Third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the highest office, the others being Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain.

 

You gave us real reasons to be proud of an ethnic Indian, anywhere in this world.

 

An anecdote from A.P.J. Kalam's life. It is quite rare and surely less known to the folks.

 

There were about 70 scientists working on a very hectic project. All of them were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job.

One day a co-worker promised his kids that he would take them to the local carnival after returning from work, the co-worker had also obtained the prior permission of Mr.Kalam to leave early. The colleague was involved in his work that it was well into and then he realised that he had made a promise to his kids and it was too late. On rushing back home, he came to know through his wife that Mr.Kalam had come earlier and taken his kids to the carnival.  Mr.Kalam who granted him permission was observing him working seriously at 5.00 PM. He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work, but if he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit to exhibition. So he took the lead in taking them to exhibition The boss does not have to do it every time. But once it is done, loyalty is established.

That is why all the scientists at Thumba continued to work under their boss even though the stress was tremendous.

 

India reacted to Kalam's death with an outpouring of grief; numerous tributes were paid to the former President across the nation and on social media.The Government of India declared a seven-day state mourning period as a mark of respect




THE INSPIRATIONAL KALAM:

 

1.“Let me define a leader. He must have vision and passion and not be afraid of any problem. Instead, he should know how to defeat it. Most importantly, he must work with integrity.”

 

2.   “My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards.”

 

 

3.“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”

 

 

4. “You see, God helps only people who work hard. That principle is very clear.”

 

5. “When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.”

 

He is the perfect symbol of meritocratic India, the ideal. He is probably the greatest, humble and down to earth President India would ever have. Presidents occupy office for a fixed term. For us, APJ Abdul Kalam is the President for life.

  • He always put India First: Whether it was as a scientist or President, he was a patriot first. From reportedly advising Sonia Gandhi to not become prime minister in 2004 to fathering the Pokharan explosion, he always said what he felt was right.

  • He was inspired by three of India's greatest scientists - Dr Vikram Sarabhai, professor Satish Dhawan and Dr Brahm Prakash.

  • He took only two holidays in his life, it is said - both for deaths of his father and mother.

  • He was the youngest 83-year-old India has ever seen: Even when he died, it was while delivering a lecture to students at IIM Shillong on a liveable planet. As Meghalaya chief secretary PBO Warjri said, he passed away in his element, while delivering a lecture to youngsters, on a subject he loved the most.



His unparalleled contributions as a Scientist, President, Visionary are quite inspiring. His demise left a void for all of us.We are not sure to have a true leader like him anymore.

RIP Dr. Kalam!

You gave us real reasons to be proud of an ethnic Indian, anywhere in this world.