Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Science in Indian Education

National Science Day is observed every year on 28th February to mark the novel discovery of Raman Effect by the great Indian Physicist Sir C.V.Raman on this day in 1928. Raman Effect is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by him while working in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the cultivation of Science, Calcutta. After two years of this discovery, Sir C.V.Raman brought the first Nobel Award for the country in 1930. Since 1987 National Council for Science and Technology communication fixed 28th February as National Science Day. The basic objective for observing National Science Day is to spread the message of importance of Science and its application among the people. All the NSD activities are planned around a theme for the year. Some of the interesting themes were; for 2006: Nurture Nature for the future, 2007: More crop per drop.
The role science could play in the development of India was realized by the leadership of the country long before independence.In 1938, Pt. J.LNehru sent a message to Silver Jubilee Session of Indian Science Congress at Calcutta was, "It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and traditions". Nobel Laureate Sir C.V.Raman once remarked, "There is only one solution for India's economic problems and that is science and more science and still more science". Homi Bhabha in 1966 while addressing the International Council of Scientific Unions, in Bombay, remarked "What the developed countries have and the under-developed lack is modern science and an economy based on modern technology."

Pt. Nehru's dream was of modern prosperous India propelled by Science and Technology. Naturally school science education received special attention in the brave new world of Nehru's India, though not in systematic fashion. After independence major break through came in Indian Education System with the implementation of Kothari Commission's Report. Learning of science became compulsory both for boys and girls from class first to tenth. Previously learning science was an option for girls and boys used to begin it after class fifth. At present superior strength of school system is in the area of mathematics, physical and life sciences. Creativity and innovations are not too remote for Indian School Students. Every year hundreds of schools arrange/participate in science exhibitions of the objects created by school students in mega-cities. Some of the projects are prized at national and inter-national level. Some of our students participate in International Science Olympiads and win prizes.

But there is other side of the picture. In almost all the states and in the majority of the schools there is a trend of including more and more content overwhelmingly in the form of factual information in the syllabus. Laboratories in the schools have declined and even of demonstration once common are now confined to elite schools. Factual information that dominates the syllabi is not supported by any kind of activity. Students therefore have no option but to memorize the facts. Consequently maximum number of student's find science not only difficult but boring. Little effort is made to get to the roots of students difficulties. Teachers fail to develop in the students basic concepts which are built on the previous knowledge of students. Learning science for life is almost ignored. In each class, science is learnt to prepare for next higher class. As a result majority of students don't want to opt this subject beyond class tenth. Not long ago, a study conducted by National Council of Applied Economic and Research revealed that less than three percent of school students want to pursue a career in science. It is because that the current education system in schools lays emphasis on rate learning which apparently fails to kindle interest in Science.

Beyond the higher secondary stage, too little of the zeal for science finds its way into the University system. There are vast dragnets of engineering, technology, medicine and so forth, which draw the best scientific talent away. In 2003 a study conducted by "The National Institute of Science Technology and Development (NISTAD) revealed that between 1992-2003 both at plus two and college levels in Delhi, priority for science discipline as a whole was on decline. The data of college enrolment in sciences between 1990-91 and 1997-98 revealed that on an average about 48 percent of the students drifted out of B.Sc Course to join professional courses. These students were those who got admission after securing 80-90 percent marks at plus two levels. The choice of the National Talent search awardees also reflects this trend. In recent years, of the 750 awardees hardly 100 opted for science and only 15-20 percent pursue science to the post graduation level.

The B.Sc course for instance has failed because it is over regulated and standardized, so much so that a student has no say in selecting his subjects of study. We are in a situation where the system makes decisions for the students. Allotment of the subjects to the students is just like a 'ration card mentality'. It is rarely that students with obsession and passion for science enter the portal of colleges and universities that offer science courses which constitute "catchment area" for serious scientific work. Even those highly motivated who choose to remain in science and move into universities for post graduation and research are confronted with outdated curricula, disinterested teachers, un-inspiring teaching and poor infrastructure. In fact 88% of the students who opt for science are studying in affiliated colleges. Most of these colleges, flout the rules prescribed for teaching science by University Grants Commission. For their part, Universities have long abandon the accent on research and have merely become counters killing the enthusiasm even of the few motivated students.
The reasons for this mass exodus of brilliant young persons from science to professional courses aren't far to seek, One obvious explanation is that a career in science doesn't pay and those who still continue to be in science do so as a last resort. They are there, 'unmotivated' and 'un-interested'. To cap it all that is, the authoritarian attitude of Indian scientists in 'commanding positions' either at the universities or in national science laboratories have done much to drive away precious science talent. Indian research contributed a mere 2.16% of world's science and technology publications between 1993-2004. One of the factors that has marginalized Indian Science is the extremely meager support forthcoming from budgetary resources. Not even 1% of GDP goes to Science and allied research.

This year's Noble prize for chemistry has been given to Venktaraman Ramankrishna of Baroda, presently in Ohio University. Decades ago he failed to clear medical and engineering entrances conducted by IIT. He also appeared in the entrance test for reputed Christian medial college in vellore but was unsuccessful to get a seat. Now the evaluation methodology of entrance tests conducted is being reviewed and the role of coaching classes which teach 'tricks of the trade' to get through is also being sought out. After his post doctoral degree in science in eighties, Venktaraman Ramakrishnan applied for a job in about 50 Indian Universities but failed. There seems to be something wrong with our methods of selection of teachers in our universities.

At a public lecture at the Indian Institute of science campus, Bangalore, Venktarman was asked by a member of the audience if he had plans of returning to India. He said, "No". There are some rules essential for science to thrive. Apart from material infrastructure there needs to be an intellectual freedom, where there are no masters but only disciples. It must have people who are committed. Science is not a career or a profession but a way of life. Knowledge is built that way. Sometimes a discovery here and a proof there, shakes or even destroys the very edifice, no discouragement that the building again starts brick by brick. It is this situation which is exciting about science. This kind of set up may not be available for Venktaraman in India.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Valentine Day

February 14 is Valentine’s day. The day make us think of lovers. Pink, pastels, flowers, candy are all special things for the special day.

    Roses are Red

    Violets are Blue

    Let me count the ways that I Love you.

February 14, 2009 is Valentine’s day.  The first thing comes to our mind is Valentine’s for lovers. Two people in love, teenage love, husband and wife love and older love. The day make us think of lovers.  Valentine does not have to be about two people in love but all the other people in our lives that deserve to be recognize as being special in our lives.

Valentine’s day is such a special time of the year. The excitement that  Valentine’s day bring, should be felt all year long not just on one day. We use candy, flowers, jewelry and cards to say I love you instead of  saying what can I do to make your day better.  To forget 364 days of the year to say and do things to show our love ones we care but on one day go overboard with the gifts.  We try to show someone that we love them on one day Valentine’s Day.  We should just remember to say I love you everyday and give gifts any day to show our appreciation not only when it is a specific holiday.  It don’t have to be an expensive gift a homemade gift, card, muffins or breakfast for a love one can mean so much.  Poetry is a nice way to remind someone of caring, or understanding the feelings of another.

What are your plans for Valentine’s day, A special Dinner, Play, movie or just spending time with the special people in your life. Don’t forget your flowers, candy and cards or the special person in your life may think you don’t care.  With the economy slow down, it may be fun to look to other alternative ideas. Coupons for a car wash, 1 week of cleaning services, and a special home cook meal.  It is always fun making cards with the young ones and baking cupcakes to give to their love ones, it gives them pride to show that something they made with their hands means so much to their loves.

What ever you do have a lovely day and Love yourself.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Benefits of 3G Technology

Like GPRS, 3G (third generation wireless technology) is a wireless communications service that lets you stay permanently connected to the Internet via mobile phone, handheld computer, the Tablet PC or laptop. 3G technology promises better quality and reliability, faster data transmission and higher bandwidth (which includes the ability to run multimedia applications). With data rates up to 384 Kbps, almost seven times faster than a standard telephone connection.This allows us to have video calls, as these calls are made with a direct Internet connection Telme offers this service for free.

3G (or 3-G) is short for third-generation voice and data transmission via mobile phones. The technically correct definition is UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service. Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service)The services associated with the third generation provides the ability to transfer both voice and data (a telephone call or video call) and non-voice data (such as downloading programs, exchanging email, and instant messaging). Although this technology was aimed at mobile telephony, in recent years mobile operators offer exclusive access to the Internet using USB modem, without having to buy a mobile phone, so any computer can have Internet access. There are some ultraportable devices such as (netbooks), featuring the modem built into the computer, but require a SIM card (which they carry mobile phones) to use, so in this case it is necessary to be discharged with a phone number.

What are the benefits of 3G technology?
It says users of GPRS and 3G are "always connected", since these methods of connection have permanent access to the Internet. Through short text messages, field employees can communicate their progress and request assistance. Executives who are traveling can access corporate e-mail, just as can a salesperson, you can also consult the inventory. You can automate your home or office with GPRS and 3G devices to monitor their investments.

How 3G technology will change our lives
Below is the  synopsis of how the introduction of 3G services by telecom operators will change our lives in response to our reader invite (below).

Having raced to the bottom in their voice tariffs and saddled with low average revenue per user, Indian carriers are seeing hope with the launch of 3G services.While MTNL and BSNL had a lead of almost two years they have failed to make the cut because of their lack of understanding of the desired device and content ecosystem.

Tata DOCOMO, Aircel, Reliance Communications and Airtel have launched their 3G services and it's expected they will heavily rely on smartphones, application stores and multimedia content to evince interest from the consumer.As already proved in western economies consumption of data has been the single biggest factor for change in the fortune of carriers.

As we start to talk about what this means and where this will lead to let's take a look what 3G means and how it will change the way you consume telecommunication services and products in India in the years to come.

3G networks are more efficient than 2G networks because of the wider frequency band that they operate in. This means higher bandwidth content such as music and video can be effortlessly streamed over the network. There are many competing technologies within 3G, however the most preferred across the globe is High Speed Packet Access (HSPA).

Airtel and Aircel have chosen HSPA while Tata DOCOMO and RCOM have selected an even more efficient version HSPA+ (Evolved HSPA) that promises even greater network speeds.HSPA+ is the same technology that T-mobile is rolling out as 4G in the US.HSPA gives a download speed of 14 Mbps (megabits per second) and an upload speed of 5.8 Mbps.HSPA+ gives a download speed of 56 Mbps and an upload speed of 22 Mbps and supports Internet Protocol (IP) architecture. In contrast 2G working on GSM/EDGE technology gives a measly data speed of 56 to 360 Kbps.

So for a country that loves to talk what difference does high speed Internet make?It does and that is where the whole ecosystem, demographics and the content ecosystem dovetail perfectly.A simple but startling comparison is a good place to start: In a population of 1.2 billion there are just around 40 million PCs neatly overshadowed by 600 million mobile phones.

In India where the fixed line network is scarce and inefficient 3G technology marks a huge connectivity leap and should be hailed as an enabling technology in bringing Internet connectivity to all.This means that a phone can be used to watch live TV, used as a virtual phone using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service, do video-conferencing using Skype, use Facebook, Orkut or Twitter, listen to live music from Internet radio or a music service like Spotify, share photos, use as a tether to download books and play games.

This shift is also expected to give a boost to the fortunes of the application developer community in India, not a big one at the moment and more used to working on pre-historic Symbian platform that has been chugging along because of Ovi music.

The mobile app development market is a huge opportunity and if valuations of certain companies like Foursquare and Rovio are anything to go by it has the potential to create a new industry in India.

Few of the companies like Hungama Mobile, OnMobile and IMIMobile are moving out of their VAS legacy to embrace this new reality. Various indicators such as strong mobile advertising numbers from Inmobi, mobile marketing, huge VAS content consumption and several mobile banking and payment ventures are encouraging enough to indicate a latent mobile commerce appetite.

Other than the crucial infrastructure upgrade, carriers have been busy lining up content, smartphones, data plans along with a strong marketing exercise to educate customers. Here is a lowdown on the essential components in this ecosystem.

These are virtual stores through which consumers can download software applications for their mobile phones. Software applications could be anything from gaming, document manager to a train timetable application.

Some of the applications are free and supported through advertising; others carry a monthly subscription fee while few of them carry a one-time download fee.

Typically carriers have their own app stores however the experience from other markets tells that carriers do not provide a great experience.

Tata's is called 3G Life services, Aircel is busy promoting its Pocket Apps, Bharti has come out with App Central and RCom has been working behind the scenes with GetJar to launch its app store.

The biggest winners will be Samsung, Nokia and Apple who have an established App store and provide a quality that cannot be matched by carriers.However, there is a strong market for regional content and none of these providers has anything to vet that appetite.

Phones that support 2100 MHz frequency will work on 3G. Most of the smartpones built in the last two years should support 3G. However there are a few that support only GSM/EDGE frequencies.

So what are smartphones?
If you have in hand a phone with the processing power of a computer it's called a smartphone.HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy, iPhone 4 are few of the smartphones that boast of 1 GHz processing power along with a smart UI, HD playback and some cool features such as accelerometer, digital compass and GPS.Nokia N8 launched recently lags behind in its processing power and the UI.Naturally these phones also excite developers to develop applications that fully utilise the device capability otherwise risking disengagement with the consumer.This is the reason why device manufacturers and carriers are finicky about quality of mobile applications in order to maintain a higher quality of engagement with their consumers.

Advertising and marketing
Monetisation of content is the key to rewarding all participants in the ecosystem. Similar to Internet advertising, as mobile viewership will increase, brands and advertisers will start promoting themselves on mobile phones.The ad revenue generated goes directly to the app developer with the carrier and ad network retaining a cut. This is a big opportunity as most of the users prefer a free application or content and advertising is a primary medium to incentivise the developer.As shown in the developed markets mobile advertising has grown multi-fold in the last one year moving into sophisticated formats such as proximity advertising and instant promotions.

Data plans
After having done all the effort this is where the carrier expects a lift in its topline. At the moment most of the data plans have been tiered based on data consumption and future plans will evolve around usage patterns.For example, if a user spends most of the time on Facebook than an unlimited Facebook plan can be purchased.Similar plans would be available for Skype or heavy chat users.With a surge in traffic these kinds of plans will help carriers optimise traffic and better utilise existing assets.The possibilities are endless and we have just scratched the surface.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Online Bachelors Degrees

Since reunification there was never such a large increase in college graduates as in 2009. More experts but not necessarily the means.

The bachelor's degrees at German universities gain in importance. About one in five graduate studies completed in 2009 with a BA examination from - ie a total of about 72,000 students. Two years earlier, accounted for only one in twelve final exam at the bachelor tests, in 2008 was about one in eight, as the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden.

Overall, there were since reunification have never such a large increase in graduates as last year. 339 000 young people excluded from the examination in 2009 her studies. There are almost ten percent more than in 2008. As the statisticians in Wiesbaden said, this is the highest increase since 1993, were recovered in the first all-German higher education data.

This does not create more skilled workers for the labor market. As a reason for the increase in the number of graduates, the Federal Office who emphasized the Bologna reform with the introduction of Bachelor and Master degree programs based on it. Many students then put to a test, the Bachelor
Master exam and thus appear in the two respective annual statistics as a graduate.

Most university degrees are, however, continued after diploma or master's degree programs for a total around 106,000 in the previous audit year. 2009 put about 36,000 students from teaching qualifications, and more than 25,000 made their promotion and their nearly 21,000 master. Nearly 4700 graduates completed their studies with an art degree.

The bachelor degree programs are very popular, particularly among women: In 2009, there were about 37,000 more bachelor's degree than those who did their degree at a university. There are 30,000 women. Whereas men predominated university degrees. Two out of five examinations in the subject group Bachelor of Law, Economics and Social Sciences have been stored.

About one in five graduate studies (21 percent) completed the examination in 2009 (winter semester 2008/09 and summer 2009) with a BA from - around 72 000 Two years earlier, accounted for only one in twelve final exam at the bachelor tests, in 2008 was about one in eight, as the Federal Statistical Office reported on Thursday in Wiesbaden.

Overall, there has never been since the reunification of such a large increase in graduates as last year. 339 000 young people completed their studies in the examination in 2009 - nearly ten percent more than in 2008. As the statisticians in Wiesbaden said, this is the highest increase since 1993, were recovered in the first all-German higher education data.

This does not create more skilled workers for the labor market. As a reason for the increase in the number of graduates, the Federal Office who emphasized the Bologna reform with the introduction of Bachelor and Master degree programs based on it. Many students put off by a bachelor exam then the final examination and thus appear in the statistics as a graduate of two years on.

Most university degrees are, however, continued after diploma or master's degrees - a total of around 106,000 in the last audit year. 2009 put about 36,000 students from teaching qualifications, and more than 25,000 made their promotion and their nearly 21,000 master. Nearly 4700 graduates completed their studies with an art degree.

The bachelor degree programs are very popular, particularly among women: In 2009, there were about 37,000 more bachelor's degree as a specialist university graduates (30,000). In men, the specialist diplomas predominated (43,000 to 35,000). Two out of five examinations in the subject group Bachelor of Law, Economics and Social Sciences have been stored.

Monday, September 13, 2010

All About Twitter

While MySpace, Facebook and Orkut have already changed the way their users socialize, there is always demand for more. New technologies, simpler applications, ease of use have lead to innovations in the online world. Just when you thought you were accustomed to one social networking site, there's news: Tweeting in your PC.

Social networking sites and blogs are now the fourth most popular online activity and are growing in popularity twice as quickly as traditional online pursuits, such as email and searching. The Nielsen Online research found that 67 per cent of web users visit social networks and blogs, which now account for 10 percent of all time spent on the Internet, reports The 'in' thing among social networking websites is Twitter.

Twitter - a free social networking and micro-blogging service - enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known all followers.

Jack Dorsey created Twitter in 2006 and its simplicity has made it a rage among Internet users. Twitter asks one question, "What are you doing?" and the answers being under 140 characters can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web.
Twitter is sometimes described as the "SMS of the Internet". Unlike Orkut and Facebook where you have 'friends', Twitter allows you to follow people whom you want to see updates from. The idea behind other social sites is to connect people that already know one another while the idea behind Twitter is to allow you to connect people that you find interesting, but don't necessarily know. Both have their weighed pros and cons.

How do I get started?
On the page find a link which reads, 'Get Started - Join'. All you have to do is to enter your full name and email address and choose a user name and a password. If you have accounts with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or MSN, you can use any of them to find friends who are already using this service. You are also offered a list of famous tweeters you can follow.
You can then start tweeting, by typing in the box on top of the page whatever you want to say. Although you're asked 'What are you doing?' you can post anything you want. Tweets can also be deleted. You can also reply to tweets of people you follow.

How do I follow?
When you create an account, you can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via email. Once you've found your friends, follow them to start getting their updates. Following someone simply means receiving his/her Twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time he/she posts a new message, it will appear in your Twitter home page.

When you sign up for Twitter, you have the option of keeping your account public (the default account setting) or protecting the account to keep your updates private. Protected accounts receive a follow request every time someone wants to follow him/her and only approved followers are able to see the profile page.

While the UK Government has made it official to Tweet for its civil servants, Twitter has a long way to go in India. In the meantime, for all those who like to keep themselves updated and in the loop, Twitter's the way to get you there.

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to teach children

The alphabet fun and easy to love the environment and teach our children respect for the world they are growing. From A to Z of tap water in gourds that become sponges and beautiful princesses carriages ...

A for water friend
Tap water in most of Italy, is healthy as or more than we buy. Just ask your place of residence or the company that controls the water, a detailed analysis of its components to go safe. If you think your water has a take taste, often depends on the pipes through which it passes. If the water in your area is safe, begin to drink it: saving money and plastic. Teach your children to take a shower, and not just the bath, and turn off the taps while brushing their teeth immediately after washing their hands, started using a reduced flow and do not overdo it with hot water for tea and herbal tea a baby just two cups warm!

B as a Bicycle
What a beautiful move in a bike! Teach your children the love for two wheels using it whenever you can. Before traveling with you, then, after simple rules, you can take them on bike paths in town or country. Zero gasoline, zero traffic, free views, wellness and fun, what more do you want?

C as environmentally friendly Dollhouse
How should a house really be green? Teach your children playing with them. You can build you a house made from recycled paper or wood, or come together in wonderful You're a Natural Dollhousethe dolls' house with solar panels, recycled materials, bins for recycling and all the mini-need to find - even as adults - as it should be a home test environment.

Differentiating D as waste
A blue plastic bag, a transparent organic waste, paper bags and cartons. The collection is a bit 'busy - schedules and instructions to follow - but really save the environment. It can turn into a nice game to play with your kids. For example you can name them, in turn, super-responsible for a waste category! will have to make sure all family members respect the right bag and you can tell, like a fairy tale, where they end up all waste. We do feel involved in the operation of recycling and will learn the value of each material.

How Eco snack bag
The ecological picnic basket? To accomplish here the tutorial with explanations. So to wrap cakes and biscuits will do less than paper and plastic that are so bad environment.

F Take a picnic as ecological
What's nicer than a picnic on the lawn? The important thing is behaving in an environmentally friendly way down, like Yogi Bear Ranger! As suggested by the website 100 Environment: use seasonal produce, organic if available, and zero km, buying directly from the farm foods to be consumed in the country, use biodegradable plates and cups, avoiding plastic, use the leftovers to produce the excellent fertilizer for household plants and flowers, choose foods instead of packaged bulk, "eliminating" the products with packaging (packaging) expensive and harmful.

G as ecological games
Fun with nature can be a breeze! Buy a good book on plants, trees or birds in your area and a walk Sunday to dedicate a search with your little explorers. You also guided the friendly recycling truck all over the internet or watch the cartoon that teaches ecology. During the winter days built with some games using the board, or draw using our designs (printed on recycled paper)

H as eco-friendly hotel
Environmentally sustainable tourism means respect for nature and culture that go to visit. Idea in more eco-friendly? Staying in hotels with his family, ecological, such as those suggested on VitaNaturale

I like pollute less
Accustom your children to use a little soap, a little bubble bath in bath salts, scented and colored instead of liquid, solid shampoo and little foam. Never throw the paper on the floor, do not throw objects out the window nor cigarette butts along the street. You must be the first good example for your budding environmentalists!

The machine as
How dirty laundry with the children in the house! Yet even when we try every day by washing their clothes is good to learn simple rules: use class appliances, load up the basket, prewashed to avoid high temperatures, use the washing machine at night when consumption is lower.

M as sea bathing
The sea moves and entertains your children but it is important to teach respect for this delicate ecosystem. A smart way? Follow the Decalogue for the Protection of the Sea, suggested by the website of the Ministry environment. The advice, simple and immediate, may seem trivial, but it is important that the behavior becomes more natural from the bag for waste with respect for animals and plants!

N as ecological Grandparents
Grandparents, unwittingly, are often the best educators in terms of environment. Accustomed to grow with few amenities, will be the first to suggest healthy snacks of bread and oil, games and stories instead of TV, laundry and walking instead of appliances and automobiles. Grandparents can be a real asset green, why not take advantage?

Or aware Garden
Cultivating a garden is one of the most enjoyable and constructive experience for a child. The important thing is to do so in full respect of nature. Planting a tree or grow fresh strawberries will be beautiful and healthy for nature by following the useful suggestions of, which explains, in ten little rules, like planting a beautiful garden without pesticides, recycling water and using only natural fertilizers!

P as ecological Diapers
Did you know that a disposable nappy takes 500 years to be disposed of? ecopannolini The cotton terry cloth, to wash and dry in the sun, the answer to this unnecessary waste. Smell of laundry, cost nothing and require only a little 'patience in cleaning. Ask at your local special kit - in some cities like Genoa initiatives have been launched - or are here all the information you need!

Q When is conceived as an eco-baby
Have you ever thought that the unbridled passion of love can be experienced in the sign of respect for the environment? Do not miss the fun on the Ten Commandments written by the Make Love ecological green warriors of Greenpeace!

R for Recycle
The collection is only one step of the beautiful art of recycling. Have you tried using plastic bottles with imagination - can become beautiful vases for flowers - and to accustom your children to notebooks of recycled paper? On packed with lots of ideas to create with straws, cups, plastic. Realize bookmarks, clothes and even Christmas decorations, all in style eco-friendly!

S as expenditure on tap
Giant distributors of products of good quality - detergent, milk, cereals and even candy for all tastes for breakfast for your children - can be found in almost every town and tell us a new way of shopping, respectful of nature, cheaper and practical. Also rid you of containers and packaging found on the Ecospheres retailers detergents on tap closest to your area, and here for those of milk on tap!

T as T-shirts to be reused
T-shirts that no longer use? Use old T-shirts and sweatshirts escaped the cabinet change, transforming into other animals, as suggested by Eco-Blog! Cut the labels and printouts designed to create beautiful bags or blankets and keep them in a closet. Will be the vintage of the upcoming arrival!

U as organic eggs and other healthy foods
Choose healthy food for your children. No GMOs, no vegetables grown with fertilizers, buy eggs from your farmer confidence. You must not seek to force the bio that is so fashionable, but rather choose healthy foods, eat less meat, less fat and teach your children the value of food that is not a reward or a punishment against the whims but a key for their lives.

V as holiday nature
An idea for the summer of your children? Try one of the many journeys of nature organized by WWF and Legambiente. Together with their peers in an environment rich in ecological ideas (from the parks of Tuscany to the sea adventures in Italian islands) your children will learn to live together, respect and love for the environment!

Z as the Cinderella pumpkin (you can do it better sponges and the TV!)
You know how many things you can do with a pumpkin? A delicious risotto, a big face for Halloween, cakes and pancakes, beauty creams, a natural sponge for the bathroom and even a carriage for a princess. Discover the beauty of simple things that surround us. And never forget the bedtime story. Which is the better the TV, no pollution, no noise and makes serene dreams of your children!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Marble Used in Taj Mahal Agra

Taj Mahal was constructed using different materials but the mausoleum itself and parts of the other structures are largely made of marble. Marble of different kinds and colors were used but white marble was the primary marble of choice. This was what made the Taj Mahal unique. Earlier Mughal structures were primarily constructed using red sandstone but the Taj Mahal, under the direction of its creator Shah Jahan, was made primarily of white marble.

Construction of the Taj Mahal was done by over 20,000 workers recruited all over India.  Sculptors, calligraphers, stonecutters, and other artisans were hired from other nations such as Syria and Persia.  Specialists were hired to work specifically on the designs and decorations of the marble.  Precious and semiprecious stones inlaid into the white marble were imported from China, Arabia, Tibet, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.

 The Taj Mahal Marble: The Makrana Marble, the translucent white marble of which the Taj Mahal is made, was brought primarily from Rajasthan, India, particularly in Makrana, a small town in Rajasthan where the marbles were and are still mined.  Rajasthan accounts for the majority of marble production in the country until now.  The Makrana marble is highly calcic and has several main sub-varieties.

These sub-varieties are:

• Kumhari

• Doongri

• Alberta

• Makrana White

The Taj Mahal contains several if not all of these Makrana Marble sub-varieties.

Changing Colors of the Taj Mahal: The white marble actually gives the Taj Mahal some sort of mystique as it absorbs and reflects different colors during different times of the day and night.  At dawn it somewhat looks pink as it infuses itself with colors of the sun rising.  In the later hours of the morning and at noon, it looks white as the sun shines on its white marble.  At sunset, it turns reddish or orange as the light of the sun fades.  At night, especially when the moon is full, the building seems to glow blue. 
Parts and Areas of the Taj Mahal Made of Marble
 • The Mausoleum – The entire structure of the mausoleum is made of white marble almost 76 meters in height.  Its most spectacular feature, the onion-shaped dome, is white marble that’s 35 meters high.  It sits on a 7 meter high cylindrical “drum” also made of white marble.  Four white marble minarets each more than 40 meters tall stand at the corners of the mausoleum plinth.

• The calligraphy on the Great Gate or Pishtaq is made of jasper or black marble inlaid in white marble panels.
The Charbagh or Mughal garden has a raised marble water tank called al Hawd al-Kawthar at the center of the garden with a reflecting pool.

• The Darwaza or main gateway is built primarily of red sandstone and marble.

• The Masjid or Mosque is made from red sandstone but is decorated with colored marble inlays. It also has three onion-shaped, marble-coated domes and the chhatris or domed kiosks on the four corners of the mosque have a marble coated veneer.  Its floor has outlines of 569 prayer rugs in black marble.

• The Jamat Khana or Guest House is virtually a twin of the Masjid or Mosque and also contains similar marble inlays and exterior marble decorations as the Mosque.

Decorations on the Taj Mahal Marble: The exterior as well as the interior of the Taj Mahal are lavishly decorated.  Its exterior marble is decorated with paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings.  Calligraphy, abstract forms, as well as vegetative motifs are also made as decorative elements.  The interior contains much more decorations than the exterior.  All the decorative elements found on the exterior can be found on the interior with the addition of precious as well as semiprecious gemstones on its surfaces.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mitticool Refrigerator that runs without electricity

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam called him a 'true scientist'. Mitticool, a clay refrigerator that works without electricity had turned the world's attention to its creator Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a craftsman based in Gujarat.Presenting the national award to Mansukhbhai in 2009, President Pratibha Patil appreciated his work and asked him for a Mitticool.

Scientists and journalists from across the world have visited his unit to see how he makes eco-friendly products at a low cost.

A school drop-out, he has achieved a feat that many in the world envy today.  The simple and unassuming Mansukhbhai is not keen on money. His ambition is to make more low-cost and eco-friendly products for the masses.

"A good majority of Indians cannot buy a fridge as it is expensive. Besides this, electricity bills and maintenance cost is also high. Mitticool is an eco-friendly product which has no maintenance costs. It also retains the original taste of vegetables, says Mansukhbhai who has sold 1500 units so far.

"I failed in the tenth standard. But I was not disappointed as I knew that I was capable of making something new," says Mansukhbhai who holds a patent for Mitticool.People who considered him as incapable, now look up to him. They say, "you are the pride of our community!"He has been popularising earthen products since 1988. The only drawback for him is the lack of stores to sell them.The products are mostly available in Gujarat and in some stores in Mumbai and Pune only. Besides, the low-cost fridge, he has developed a water filter, non-stick tava and a pressure cooker all made of clay. And he has many more innovative ideas.

The beginning
Pottery has been the Prajapati family's traditional business. Mansukhbhai's family belonged to Morbi in Rajkot district.However, his father gave up the profession as it was not getting them any money. It was all hard work without much gain. He being the only son was sent to school on the hope that he would do well in academics and get a good life.

However, he disappointed them when he failed tenth standard. To make matters worse, he refused to take up construction work which his father had started doing. He was however forced to do all sorts of odd jobs. He even injured an eye working in a brick factory.

"I was fed up. I wanted to start my own factory. But there was no way I could do it without resources. I joined a tile factory. I worked there for sometime. This was a turning point for me," he says.

He found that tiles were manufactured at a fast pace with a machine which was quite expensive.However, Mansukhbhai knew he needed to think differently and make innovative products. He took a loan of Rs 30,000 and started a small factory.At the age of 18, he made a machine, which could make 600 tavas a day instead of 100 tavas they used to make manually. This gave him lot of confidence to explore and innovate.He got the idea to make a machine for about Rs 4,000, which could help him manufacture more tavas than was being done manually. His initiative to restart the pottery business was not taken positively. But he went ahead despite opposition.

"Now all my family members actively take part in the work. They are very happy with what I have achieved so far. I owe a lot to my family. I am happy that my elder son is doing an engineering course in ceramic engineering."

His only regret is that because of poor marketing his products are not reaching out to many people. He, however, makes it a point to parcel products to people who are willing to deposit money in his bank account.

The business
It was a great beginning. "I also made a clay mixing machine. Till then, clay used to be missed with the legs. This machine also reduced the workload and improved the efficiency."By 1995, he realised the need to build a water filter. The market had steel filters which were not very efficient. After months of research and hard work, he built a water filter.Luck favoured him too. "A person who had settled in Nairobi heard about my project and approached me for 500 units. I was excited. I sold it making Rs 100,000 on the first sale. It was a good start. The product I developed was sold in Nairobi even before it sold in India," he says. The water filters priced at Rs 350 to 400 are quite popular.

Later in 2005, he started the non-stick tava  (pan) business. "My wife could not buy a non-stick tava as it was costly. So I thought many people would be facing the same problem.That's when I designed the non-stick tavas, priced between Rs 50-100." It took him an year to research and experiment -- testing the material for the non stick coating etc. The food grade test for the pan was done by Tata Chemicals in Mumbai.Mansukhbhai has sold more than 50,000 tavas. He had to make thousands of tavas before he made the perfect one.

He thanks the Gujarat Grassroots Innovation Network and professors at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the National Innovation Foundation, who extended their help in the form of grant and guidance for getting the patent, making the packing box and lab testing of products.

"When a foreign delegation came to meet me, we cooked food in clay vessels and served them in clay plates. They were very impressed and happy with our healthy approach."

In 2009, he made the clay pressure cooker. "It comes with a whistle too," he remarks. About 500 cookers have been sold so far.

The idea behind Mitticool
During the 2001 earthquake, all earthen pots were broken. Some people told me the poor people's refrigerators are broken. They referred to the 'matkas'(pots) as refrigerators.It struck me then that I must try to make a fridge for those who cannot afford to buy a fridge. The patent winning Mitticool has been the most challenging product for him. It needed a lot of experimenting. He started work on it in 2001, the product was finally ready by 2004.

It took him almost four years of hard labour and an investment of about Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million). An engineer who saw the fridge asked him to make 100 units. This was a great morale booster.He had to take a loan of about Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) for the Mitticool project. He is still repaying the debt.

It takes 10 people to make a fridge in one day. Made from clay, the refrigerator can store water, fruits, vegetables for 8 days and milk for one day.The upper part of the refrigerator stores water, while the bottom unit has space for fruits, vegetables and milk.At present, he sells the clay fridges at Rs 2,500, at his unit. Most of the sales outside Gujarat are done during exhibitions.

In Mumbai and Pune, some of his products are available. Every year he takes part at the international trade fair in New Delhi in a bid to popularise the products."I have also been getting lot of calls from the US. It is amazing to see so much interest from abroad," he says happily.

Mitticool was showcased at a conference organised by the Centre for India and Global Business, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK in May 2009. Bosch and Siemens Hausger te (BSH), Germany, has also showed interest in Mitticool.

About 20 units of Mitticool have been exported to the UK, Africa and Nairobi. He has now been invited to Africa to set up a unit there. "I have not committed anything but the most important thing is the soil. Gujarat has the best soil for pottery," he points out.

The recognition
Mansukhbhai had never imagined that his products would win him so many accolades.Nothing can be as rewarding as such compliments. Money is nothing compared to people's appreciation. "Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi knows me by my name. He has been very supportive and told me to approach him for any problem," he says.He says well-known activist and performer Mallika Sarabhai recently remarked that he should be made Gujarat's brand ambassador.

He also enjoyed doing a shooting for a programme which will be aired on Discovery Channel."A team from the Discovery Channel took me around India. I enjoyed the trip. It was a wonderful experience. I had never imagined that I would ever be able to fly in a plane," Mansukhbhai says.The media has been very supportive. It feels great to see my products on television channels, newspapers etc.He also enjoyed doing a shooting for a programme which will be aired on Discovery Channel.

"A team from the Discovery Channel took me around India. I enjoyed the trip. It was a wonderful experience. I had never imagined that I would ever be able to fly in a plane," Mansukhbhai says.

The media has been very supportive. It feels great to see my products on television channels, newspapers etc.

His goal
Mansukhbhai wants every Indian to have access to his products. There is very little awareness about the products though I try to participate in 2-3 exhibitions every year."I wish I could strike a deal with a retail store like Big Bazaar to get better visibility. I am sure if more people use our products, it will create more awareness about such low-cost products that are a healthy and cost effective alternative in the long run."

Advice to entrepreneurs
His advice to budding entrepreneurs is: Never think about failures. Never give up.Put your heart and soul into what you want to do. Always follow the right path and have patience. Keep working hard.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims.... a every Indian should know
A. The Tata Gesture
One of the examplary work done by Mr Ratan Tata during the aftermath of the heinous terrorist attack in Mumbai and the Taj Mahal Hotel which is owned by the tatas is as under:-

Ratan Tata is the chairman of Indian Hotels who own the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, which was the target of the terrorists last year .

Hotel President a 5 star property also belongs to Indian Hotels.

The following is really touching.

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims.... Don't miss!!!!!!
A. The Tata Gesture

1. All category of employees including those who had completed even 1 day as casuals were treated on duty during the time the hotel was closed.

2. Relief and assistance to all those who were injured and killed

3. The relief and assistance was extended to all those who died at the railway station, surroundings including the “Pav- Bha ji” vendor and the pan shop owners.

4. During the time the hotel was closed, the salaries were sent by money order.

5. A psychiatric cell was established in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to counsel those who needed such help.

6. The thoughts and anxieties going on people’s mind was constantly tracked and where needed psychological help provided.

7. Employee outreach centers were opened where all help, food, water, sanitation, first aid and counseling was provided. 1600 employees were covered by this facility.

8. Every employee was assigned to one mentor and it was that person’s responsibility to act as a “single window” clearance for any help that the person required.

9. Ratan Tata personally visited the families of all the 80 employees who in some manner – either through injury or getting killed – were affected.

10. The dependents of the employees were flown from outside Mumbai to Mumbai and taken care off in terms of ensuring mental assurance and peace. They were all accommodated in Hotel President for 3 weeks.

11. Ratan Tata himself asked the families and dependents – as to what they wanted him to do.

12. In a record time of 20 days, a new trust was created by the Tatas for the purpose of relief of employees.

13. Whats unique is that even the other people, the railway employees, the police staff, the pedestrians who had nothing to do with Tatas were covered by compensation. Each one of them was provided subsistence allowance of Rs. 10K per month for all these people for 6 months.

14. A 4 year old granddaughter of a vendor got 4 bullets in her and only one was removed in the Government hospital. She was taken to Bombay hospital and several lacs were spent by the Tatas on her to fully recover her.

15. New hand carts were provided to several vendors who lost their carts.

16. Tata will take responsibility of life education of 46 children of the victims of the terror.

17. This was the most trying period in the life of the organisation. Senior managers including Ratan Tata were visiting funeral to funeral over the 3 days that were most horrible.

18. The settlement for every deceased member ranged from Rs. 36 to 85 lacs [One lakh rupees translates to approx 2200 US $ ] in addition to the following benefits:

a. Full last salary for life for the family and dependents;

b. Complete responsibility of education of children and dependents – anywhere in the world.

c. Full Medical facility for the whole family and dependents for rest of their life.

d. All loans and advances were waived off – irrespective of the amount.

e. Counselor for life for each person

B. Epilogue

1. How was such passion created among the employees? How and why did they behave the way they did?

2. The organisation is clear that it is not something that someone can take credit for. It is not some training and development that created such behaviour. If someone suggests that – everyone laughs

3. It has to do with the DNA of the organisation, with the way Tata culture exists and above all with the situation that prevailed that time. The organisation has always been telling that customers and guests are #1 priority

4. The hotel business was started by Jamshedji Tata when he was insulted in one of the British hotels and not allowed to stay there.

5. He created several institutions which later became icons of progress, culture and modernity. IISc is one such institute. He was told by the rulers that time that he can acquire land for IISc to the extent he could fence the same. He could afford fencing only 400 acres.

6. When the HR function hesitatingly made a very rich proposal to Ratan – he said – do you think we are doing enough?

7. The whole approach was that the organisation would spend several hundred crore in re-building the property – why not spend equally on the employees who gave their life?


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Water on the moon

Water on the moon, once again it has found evidence - clear and definite than before. India's first unmanned moon mission Chandrayaan -1 left in NASA's Moon's North Pole present one radar around the ice-filled 40 Kretr (pits) have identified. NASA says that after this search for the moon Saintiston has become even more interesting. The search for information about the NASA Jiofijikl Research Letters journal has been published.

Why important: without water life can not. So it is believed that while water will be there as will stir some life. Moon's shot was a drought and Ujdha. If there would mean we should get Maikrobs Universe Earth, life is not limited. We are not alone.

What's New Search: Chandrayaan -1 present in one of 11 NASA lightweight equipment Mini - SAR (synthetic aperture radar), 15 kilometers from the North Pole on 2 of 40 pits Daymitr discovered. This is less than 10 kg of Radar. Mini - the portion of the moon in SAR has identified these ponds, there would not sunlight. The dark area is very cold. It is believed that water ice than there is fluid in large quantities.

Water - with ice Kretr: Kretron inside and outside surface is highly Ubrkhabr. Because the sharp pointed rocks around Kretr, but the North Pole is rough these Kretr inside, not outside. The reason is substance present in these ponds. NASA considered this unknown substance is water ice. According to NASA it will be deep snow only a few meters above it looks Khurdurapan. It is guessed that the moon 600 million metric tonnes of water ice may exist. Some ice may have been found in the soil of the moon, who could not catch the radar.

Earlier evidence of water: Mini - twice before SAR has found evidence of water on the moon. NASA Moon as the Moon Polar Minrolji Mapr areas identified was the presence of water Molikyuls. It also Mapr Mini - with the Chandrayaan -1 mission SAR has been sent. Before Mapr NASA satellite sensing satellite or Lunr Kretr Objrvesn and the steam Elcros the water Vepr was detected.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rest is Best

There is no end to monotony. The human mind is always on the lookout for renewal. Spend three years in a job, and only a few of us are not starting to feel nervous. But how do you manage to keep your mind and soul as fresh as ever, if the bid is the hour of patience and do not comply lose hope? Here's how to continue.

Take an aimless stroll
Exercise and walking - as most doctors will tell you - is to go always good for your health, but an aimless can make a difference to your state of mind. It gives you the space to think your own thoughts aimlessly without planning your time. But do not do this too often, or rather, not pencil in your diary. As Dr. Sandeep Vohra, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Apollo Hospital, says: "Monotony is because we just get bored. If you plan on hiking, you can get bored with them as well. Keep therefore the change from one activity to another."

Going out with friends
Social contacts can be a mood lifter. All it takes several rounds of conversation and laughter to awaken. If you have spent much time alone, you could bleak. When people listen and get involved to change your mood.

Yoga, exercise, wellness
Dr. Rachana Singh, lifestyle management expert, said exercise helps break monotony by positive liberating your hormones. "I would suggest that you can actively exercise three times a week, actively and passively three times a week. Deep breathing for 15 minutes a day will work wonders - it helps to solve the mind-body balance and help you relax," she says .

Dr. Nikhil Raheja, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, stresses the importance of yoga, exercise, relaxation and self-hypnosis. "It is easy to learn and can work wonders," he says. "A good massage at a spa or pedicure can also renew you," he adds.

Go shopping
Dr. Raheja says that a large shopping can be stress buster. "They do not always have to buy something big, just little things for the house can feel comfortable. Shifting things around, experimenting with colors, patterns, and a couple of changes is always refreshing," he says.

Browse pounds
Browsing in a bookstore or library, you can calm. What is more, if there is a place with a good collection, there's the added joy of discovering new songs and ideas to revive your soul again. Not in the books? Try to find a music shop, read in DVDs or wander through a hobby store.

Pamper yourself
Eat, drink, do things that you love. Discover desire and pleasure - and when you are back in the real world, you will feel refreshed.

Television, if you do not often that treat, re-read an old favorite, get a little comfort, food, or best of all, sit back and listen to music. According to Dr. Raheja, music as a stress-buster and resources for renewal.

Try some adventure
Adventure mean many things. To learn from something new or go rafting or learning a new art - it is a challenge and there are showers. Something new opens up the mind, as you stretch your limits.

Dr. Singh believes it is a good idea to indulge in a hobby. "One or three times a week is a good idea," she adds. "Listening to music, identifying their interests - this can be really positive," she says.

According to Dr. Vohra, may exercise computers or digital games for the mind. "These will help in a certain way and the people, was designed with boredom," he says. Indoor games, all to relieve anxiety and stress.

"Or go bowling, visiting amusement parks," says Dr. Raheja. "Puzzle solving, like crosswords and Sudoku are also mentally demanding."

Take advantage of a weekend
Leaving, a new beach or desert, or a resort - with family or friends or alone - can not only been a buster, but also in new, exciting experiences bring.

Spend time with your loved ones
With people you are comfortable with - or the ones you love - can be reassuring and remember the good things in life.

Statistical analysis of the data suggest that depression associated with spikes in cortisol levels linked to boys and girls after the stress tests, but higher cortisol responses to stress with obesity in girls.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Path of selfishness

Selfishness is the basis of all immoral and corrupt practices that is prevalent in our society. Our worldly desires make us self centered and to fulfill them we focus on self interest and in the process we acquire selfishness. Main cause of selfishness is that we only think about our own interests and comforts. Selfishness starts getting into the background when we think about others , their problems and what we can do to mitigate them. Selfishness is the biggest impurity in us which does not permit us to look beyond our own self. Once we are rooted in selfishness we move away from truth and at the same time show very little respect for others and their opinions. Swami Vivekananda had once remarked that what is selfish is immoral and that which is unselfish is moral, People are selfish due to wrong understanding that if their desires are met they can be happy for ever. They fail to realize that the main end of life is not the pursuit of material happiness. It is in the pursuit of eternal happiness which has nothing to do with material happiness. It is obtained by looking inwards to realize our spiritual destiny. World is tempting and eye catching which gives instant joy to a worldly man who shall be ever busy in fulfilling his desire by activating selfishness. Mahabharta says that desires can never be satiated by gratification of desires. The more they are enjoyed the more they grow as fire by the pouring into it of butter.

Man Performs three types of actions which can be put under three heads- selfish actions, unselfish actions and self less actions. Selfish actions are those which are based on your needs and also on your greeds. These actions are performed to cater for selfish desires. Unselfish actions are those which may be based on selfish desires but there is some sort of unselfish goal like how can I contribute towards betterment of society. Then there are selfless actions which re not propelled by any desires but man considers his duty to work for the up lift of his surroundings or environment. For a selfless man every thing other than he himself in environment not only the trees, rivers or plants around him but also all living being around him. Selfless action are basically duty driven actions where man consider it as his duty to act for others and even goes out of the way to help others particularity those who are in need. Selfless work is the highest type of work and selfless people are assets to society. They are those who set example to the ordinary people. Selfless person does not expect any rewards for his actions.

The Gita defines Yoga as skill in action or efficiency in actions. Skillful actions are those where our personal interest in the work is not there and we put in our hundred percent in the task given to us. It is man's, Selfishness which results in inefficiency in work. There is corruption. There is poverty, there is crime, violence and backwardness in society, all these are caused by inefficiency in work. Efficient work is that where there is sincerity in work where there is commitment, where there is transparency and where there is rightful attitude behind the works we undertake during our day to day living.
Way out of selfishness : Selflessness in life, Selfishness in death, says Swami Vivakananda, When we act as per sense of duty we are not victim of play of our nature. To wake up to the world of spirit we have to fight selfishness. Man's aim of life is not eating for himself or working on his personal needs. Man lives in a community which can run only on exchange of commodities and service. Gita asks you to work in a spirit of Yagya or Yajna. It says all works bind excepts those which are done in a spirit of Yajna. This can be activated when you get yourself out of action by fixing your mind in higher ideal. Higher ideal unlocks your potential. Then your mind moves away from the idea of putting your mind on the results of action. Gita admonishes those who are selfish and says that those who cook for their own sake and do not share with other are thieves. It is very appropriately said that he will never go to heaven who is content to go alone. This brings us to a very noble idea that we should share with others which is the hall mark of Indian culture. We have to bring about a change in our attitude towards, Life. We have to change from the attitude of hoarding to the attitude of sharing. Share your knowledge with others and it would increase many fold.

Giving is important to root out selfishness. Give preference to giving rather than taking from others. Joy of giving is sixteen times more than the joy of taking from others. To root out selfishness one should involve oneself with charitable acts. Another way to get out of selfishness is to replace self interest by social interest. You should undertake social work with a sense of responsibility and with a conviction to change the society for its betterment. Make selfless service to other as the basic aim of your social work. The answer to the questions why should I serve others is very simple. Man benefits himself by doing good to others. When man establishes himself in benevolence, his selfish thoughts decline and he moves onto the path of enlightenment. He acquires wisdom which is higher than Intellectuality. A wise person is always selfless whereas an intellectual can be selfish. And finally when you inject duty idea into your life. You shall ever remain selfless because life is duty and at the same time life is beauty. One thing is common in all great people of the world. They were selfless workers. Selflessness come from cessation of desires. Desires means feeling of deficiency whereas desirelessness is feeling of completion. Desires are not to be suppressed but controlled with inner blossoming. You may draw enjoyment when associated with beautiful things but never develop attachment or craving for them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Particle Collision in Universe

The newborn universe was a fast learner: At barely a millionth of a second old, it already had an inkling of the difference between right and left. The conclusion comes from physicists working with a colossal atom smasher that, for the briefest moment, reproduces the soup of free-flying elementary particles thought to have filled the early universe. Within each infinitesimal dollop of the soup, interactions between particles are not mirror symmetric so that the soup develops a kind of left-right imbalance, the nuclear physicists report.

For physicists, symmetry helps frame their understanding of fundamental particles and the forces between them. A particle interaction or decay can be symmetric in several ways. For example, a process such as an electron bumping into a positron might look the same running backward instead of forward in time. Likewise, things might be symmetric if right were swapped for left in a kind of mirror reflection, a symmetry known as parity.

Nature sometimes bucks the aesthetic, however. For example, certain radioactive decay processes violate parity. The effect shows up in the so-called "weak" decay of, say, a nucleus of cobalt-60 into a nucleus of nickel-60, which happens when a neutron in the nucleus turns into a proton. In the process, an electron comes out always spinning to the left, whereas parity symmetry would predict that it should emerge spinning to the left or right with equal probabilities. That insight, which garnered a Nobel Prize in 1957, revolutionized particle physics.

Parity might also be violated, after a fashion, in so-called strong interactions, the forces that hold protons and neutrons together in the nucleus in the first place. Or so suggest data from the 4-kilometer-long Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. RHIC smashes gold ions together with such violence that the protons and neutrons in them melt into their constituent parts--particles called quarks and gluons--to make a mind-bogglingly hot mess known as a quark-gluon plasma. Within the plasma, parity symmetry goes askew, researchers reported here yesterday at the April meeting of the American Physical Society.

The "symmetry breaking" is subtle. Imagine, as is most likely the case, that two gold ions collide not precisely head on, but slightly off center. The resulting drop of quark-gluon plasma spins a bit like Earth on its axis. That internal churning creates a strong magnetic field. Within the plasma, positively charged quarks and antiquarks appear to flock to one pole and negatively charged quarks and antiquarks flee to the other, Brookhaven's Dmitri Kharzeev told the meeting. That separation of charges violates parity, which would predict equal numbers of positive and negative particles rushing in both directions, he said.

The team cautions that the parity violation is qualitatively different than in the weak interaction. In a weak decay, an electron always emerges spinning the same way. In the quark-gluon plasma, the positive particles sometimes go to the north pole, sometimes to the south. So the parity violation only shows up "locally," when events are analyzed one at a time. Tally up all the events, though, and positive particles don't have a preference for one direction or the other, so overall the strong interactions still preserves parity, as researchers observed.

While the observations are intriguing, the team can't rule out other, less sexy explanations for the observed charge separation, said Berndt Mueller, a theorist at DukeUniversity in Durham, North Carolina. If more refined analyses do turn up conclusive evidence of parity violation, it would be like mining for silver and finding gold, Mueller said. The differences between the quark-gluon plasma and the world we live in would be "even more exciting and even more dramatic than what has been generally expected."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Intel Talent Search Finalists

Suman Guha Mozumder
The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition in the United States. It encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and develop the skills necessary to solve the problems of tomorrow. Each year, 300 semifinalists are selected from a pool of approximately 1,700 applicants from across the nation to compete for $1.25 million in scholarships and awards.Here Suman Guha Mozumder speaks to the five finalists of Indian origin, and finds a common trait -- they are all rooted in tradition while aiming for the stars.

Math for world's sake
For Akhil Mathew of Madison, New Jersey, promoting the sciences and mathematics is a life ambition. "It seems doing that would be necessary to address many of the world's current problems," says the 18-year-old Intel Science Talent Search finalist, who entered a project in mathematics.Akhil was born in India to Thomas and Rama Madhavarao, but he has spent most of his life in New Jersey.According to Intel, Akhil combines algebraic geometry, representation theory and category theory in his work on Deligne categories of complex rank. Deligne created a large family of categories parametrised by complex numbers which interpolate classical categories, ones in which the complex number in question is a positive integer. In his project, Akhil showed that under certain finiteness assumptions important properties of these categories are determined by constructible sets. He then showed that these properties hold generically if they hold on a sufficiently large set of parameters.Akhil is a tutor in chemistry, math and French at Madison High School, where he is also active in the chess club. Since eighth grade, he has taken courses at Drew University, where he recently assisted in preparing a math textbook for publication.He is moderator of an online Johns Hopkins University math forum. "I play tennis casually and volunteer at the public library as a chess teacher for elementary school students," he adds.He says his former mentor and current teacher Sinan Gunturk of New York University taught him a great deal about analysis and got him seriously interested in mathematical research. Akhil hopes to continue his studies at Harvard or MIT. "I am very glad to have received the finalist award," he says, "and look forward to presenting my work in Washington, DC."

The mathematician philosopher
Arjun Ranganath Puranik turns philosophical when asked about his goal in life. "I think we are only truly happy when we help people somehow," says the 17-year-old from Palatine, Illinois. "Even helping one person has a positive impact on society at large."He submitted a mathematics project to the Intel Science Talent Search that classifies the representations of rational Cherednik algebras, which have applications in quantum physics.According to Intel, Arjun's research gives a deepened understanding of H3, the group of symmetries of the regular icosahedron. He studies an algebraic structure built from H3, called the rational Cherednik algebra. His classification of finite dimensional representations of this algebra provides useful linear algebra information about this complicated structure. His result contributes to the efforts to classify all rational Cherednik algebras.Arjun, who was born in Karnataka to engineer parents Ranganath and Parimala Puranik and who has been in the United States since he was in kindergarten, is first in his class of 747 at William Fremd High School where he is managing editor of the newspaper, lead member of the math team and captain of the scholastic and science bowl teams."My parents and my older brother have encouraged and mentored me to pursue my passion in math and science by example and by direction," he says. "My family has always been and is continuing to support me in all of my pursuits." Though his academic pursuits keep him busy, he loves to play tennis and has played at the varsity level the last two years."I also love to listen to music in general, and have been trained in playing classical piano and in Hindustani vocals," says Arjun. He hopes to get into either Stanford or MIT following the footsteps of his brother, who has just graduated fromStanford.

Helping hand, through science
I know this sounds like a bit of a cliche and definitely idealistic coming from a 17-year-old, but I want to make a difference," says Sunanda Sharma, Intel finalist from Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts. "I've been very lucky with the resources and support that I have, and have a responsibility to help others who maybe aren't so fortunate," she says.Her Intel project mirrors that philosophy. Sunanda, who was born in New Delhi and immigrated to the United States when she was three, investigated the effect of an enriched environment on autism-relevant behaviour for her Intel project in behavioural and social sciences. Focusing on an autism candidate gene called PTEN, active in embryo formation and development, she studied juvenile and adult mice, using those with PTEN irregularities as autism models. She believes her findings show that environmental enrichment can be used to influence deficits in brain circuitry caused by genetic abnormality even when the gene is very early-acting. She is the co-author of a paper on the subject being prepared for publication.Sunanda, who "can't wait until March to go to DC," says, "I'm very excited and extremely grateful to Intel, my mentor and the lab in which I worked, and my school. Of course, I really appreciate my parents and brother for supporting me through the last several months and years."Science, as they say, is in her blood. Her father is a scientist."Definitely they [her parents] were a big influence and inspired me to pursue science since I was a kid," says Sunanda, daughter of Jitendra and Usha Sharma. "On a more personal note, one person who has possibly influenced and inspired me the most is my older brother Samvaran, who has taught me so much about science, research, and life in general," she adds.She is president of her school's speech and debate club, which is made up of about 70 students who compete in local and national tournaments each year. She also plays clarinet in the school band, and loves to play piano on her own. "I also am learning to compose and mix audio tracks," she adds proudly. Sunanda, who has won numerous honours in state and regional science fairs, hopes to attend MIT or Harvard.

Juggling Bharat Natyam and Andromeda
Namrata Anand's goal in life is simple -- to impact as many people as possible in the most positive way that she can. "I believe that if I go about life trying to improve the lives of those around me, I will not only help impact society at large but will live a fulfilling life myself," she says.And for the 17-year-old from Los Altos Hills, California, scientific research is a great way to reach and influence people across the globe."My parents [RK and Nita Anand] and my sister have always encouraged me to shoot for the stars," she says.She has done just that for her Intel Science Talent Search project in physics and space sciences. She used spectral analysis and nearly a decade's worth of data to expose key information about the chemical enrichment history of the Andromeda galaxy. She believes that chemical analysis projects like hers, focusing on patterns of metallicity, have the potential to identify locations in space with a high probability of extraterrestrial life. Her work will form a major section of a paper being prepared for publication in the Astrophysical Journal; she will be a co-author."I am incredibly honoured," she says about being an Intel Search finalist. "The research opportunity I was given over this past summer at University of California-Santa Cruz was a phenomenal one, and I can't imagine having brought myproject to this level without the help of my mentor, Dr Raja Thakurta, and my school's science department. I am thrilled at the thought of traveling to Washington, DC to hear all about the amazing projects 39 other students have completed."Namrata, born and raised in the Bay Area, says her family has had a great influence over her and that her love of writing, physics and the performing arts can all be traced back to some inspiring aunt, grandparent or a second cousin. She is part of her school's conservatory, which provides students with a forum to explore their passion for the arts and develop their creative abilities."I am also learning Bharata Natyam and Carnatic vocal music. My gurus are not just extremely talented but they are my role models in more ways than I can count," she says. She also loves to run, play basketball, and is a passionate football fan.Namrata, who plans to attend Harvard or Stanford, says her Hindu religion and Indian culture have influenced many aspects of her life in the most brilliant, positive ways."The past 17 years have been awesome," she says, "and I can't express how grateful I am for all the opportunities I have been given."

The green warrior
Raman Venkat Nelakanti, 17, is passionate about doing something to solve the global energy crisis; and he believes biology can help."Ten years down the line," the Intel Science Talent Search finalist says in conversation with India Abroad, "I want to be at the forefront of biological energy production, which is a recently developing science. The issue over producing
renewable energy is important to me because I want to keep the earth sustainable. I hope that my future research endeavors will contribute to that." Plano, Texas-born and Bay Area, California-raised Raman feels people are putting off the inevitable effects of global warming and energy shortages as something of the future.Raman investigated the green algae chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a potential source of hydrogen, a renewable biofuel, for his Intel plant sciences project. These algae require an oxygen-free environment for producing hydrogen. Depriving algae of sulfur causes them to consume oxygen in their environment, thereby maintaining a balance where they can produce hydrogen. At the same time, complete sulfur deprivation inhibits algae growth and introduces inefficiencies into the process."I found an optimal amount of sulfur and a process that could be used for algae to produce hydrogen gas and have normal growth," he explains. "I devised a method that improves the efficiency and sustainability of algal hydrogen production." When he got to know he was an Intel finalist, he felt "absolutely surprised, amazed and excited. I am really looking forward to going to DC and meeting with many great scientists and other finalists from across the nation."Raman says his parents Bhava and Tara Nelakanti have always been there to encourage him in his interests, be it science fairs, music or cricket. "I really love playing cricket and have been playing in the California Cricket Association since seventh grade. I still play in the adult league matches on the weekends," he says.He also learns Carnatic vocal music and enjoys gardening at home and at his Sunnyvale Community Garden. He volunteers for the community garden and a swim center called Abilities United, where he helps with aquatic therapy for children with disabilities."The Bay Area has been an amazing place to grow up," says Raman, who also attributes his success to the amazing teachers who helped him along the way. "Everyone at school is intelligent, friendly and supportive," he adds. "The community has really helped me grow as a scientist."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quantum Mechanics in photosynthesis

We were astonished to find clear evidence of long-lived quantum mechanical states involved in moving the energy. Our result suggests that the energy of absorbed light resides in two places at once.

It also raises some other potentially fascinating questions, such as, have these organisms developed quantum-mechanical strategies for light-harvesting to gain an evolutionary advantage? It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans."

Greg Scholes, University of Toronto professor of chemistry

A team of University of Toronto chemists have made a major contribution to the emerging field of quantum biology, observing quantum mechanics at work in photosynthesis in marine algae. "There's been a lot of excitement and speculation that nature may be using quantum mechanical practices," says chemistry professor Greg Scholes, lead author of a new study published this week in Nature. "Our latest experiments show that normally functioning biological systems have the capacity to use quantum mechanics in order to optimize a process as essential to their survival as photosynthesis."

Special proteins called light-harvesting complexes are used in photosynthesis to capture sunlight and funnel its energy to nature's solar cells – other proteins known as reaction centres. Scholes and his colleagues isolated light-harvesting complexes from two different species of marine algae and studied their function under natural temperature conditions using a sophisticated laser experiment known as two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy.

"We stimulated the proteins with femtosecond laser pulses to mimic the absorption of sunlight," explains Scholes. "This enabled us to monitor the subsequent processes, including the movement of energy between special molecules bound in the protein, against a stop-clock. We were astonished to find clear evidence of long-lived quantum mechanical states involved in moving the energy. Our result suggests that the energy of absorbed light resides in two places at once – a quantum superposition state, or coherence – and such a state lies at the heart of quantum mechanical theory."

"This and other recent discoveries have captured the attention of researchers for several reasons," says Scholes. "First, it means that quantum mechanical probability laws can prevail over the classical laws of kinetics in this complex biological system, even at normal temperatures. The energy can thereby flow efficiently by—counter intuitively—traversing several alternative paths through the antenna proteins simultaneously. It also raises some other potentially fascinating questions, such as, have these organisms developed quantum-mechanical strategies for light-harvesting to gain an evolutionary advantage? It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans."