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FROM EDITOR’S DESK

Food for thought MAGAZINE ON EDUCATION VOLUME 1 ISSUE 11 APRIL 2014

Managing Editor Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran CMI Editor James Paul Associate Editor Dr. Prasanth Palackappilly CMI

Throughout the world, major shifts in dietary patterns are occurring, even in the consumption of basic staples towards more diversified diets. Accompanying these changes in food consumption at a global and regional level have been considerable health consequences. Populations in those countries undergoing rapid transition are experiencing nutritional transition. The diverse nature of this transition may be the result of differences in sociodemographic factors and other consumer characteristics. Among other factors including urbanization and food industry marketing, the policies of trade liberalization over the past two decades have implications for health by virtue of being a factor in facilitating the ‘nutrition transition’ that is associated with rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Future food policies must consider both agricultural and health sectors, thereby enabling the development of coherent and sustainable policies that will ultimately benefit agriculture, human health and the environment.

Columns K L Mohanavarma Dr. K.N. Raghavan A.G. Menon Sajit Malliyoor

Changes in agricultural practice over the past 50 years have increased the world’s capacity to provide food for its people through increases in productivity, greater diversity of foods and less seasonal dependence. Food availability has also increased as a consequence of rising income levels and falling food prices. This has resulted in considerable changes in food consumption over the past 50 years

Marketing Manager Varghese Kachappilly CMI

Organic food production places a strong emphasis on environmental protection and animal welfare. Recently, the demand for local, sustainable and organic food production has increased. Organic farming tends to improve biodiversity and sustainability within rural communities and has become one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture in many parts of the world.

Art Sajo Joseph

It is important when considering future food policy that a sustainable pattern of food consumption be considered, ensuring a sufficient supply of staples and of micronutrient-rich foods without encouraging excessive consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. Food systems that diversify beyond subsistence farming and include fruits, vegetables, legumes and animal products result in improved nutritional status. ‘Healthy’ agriculture must be the goal whereby nutritional considerations become part of multinational agricultural policy-making, and at the same time, agricultural considerations must be incorporated into the improvement of nutrition and health.

Contact: Rajagiri Media, Rajagiri Valley P.O, Kakkanad, Kochi-39. Phone : 0484 2428249, 39 Extn : 232 Mob: +91 9497711010 Mail : editor@rajagirimedia.com www.pallikkutam.com

Food policies will only be effective if they are developed with input from both the agricultural and health sectors, thereby enabling the development of coherent policies that will ultimately be beneficial to agriculture, human health and the environment. As Virginia Woolf said: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”


CONTENTS 27 COVER STORY Food for thought Nearly 80 per cent of all diseases are a result of our bad eating habits. You should eat to live and not live to eat. If you are one of those who has little time to eat or have irregular meal times or tend to snack on junkfood, here’s your reality check.

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The changing food habits Rice was no more the exclusive choice of Malayalis’ gastronomical treat. Although people could not think of an absolutely riceless life, our dependence on it did mellow down.

13 PEDAGOGY

April: the poetry month

Jose K. C.

16 STORIES OF LIFE Anatomy of an Affair Parents, watch out for early signs of disaffection, disgruntlement or disruption in your child’s emotional world. It’s a wakeup call for you

P K G Tharakan

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A plethora of tempting delicacies The youth of Kerala growing up with a different set of food habits than that of their parents. The ubiquitous plastic packets with their eye-catching contents have replaced the bharanis in many kitchens.

Vineetha Varma

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New-gen kids miss those good-old days! The fast food retail chains influence our kids a lot. An advantage is that kids can live anywhere in the world now because of the multiple food habits.

Nirmala Lilly 04

Poetry is not alien, nor distant, if we will. It is with us, among us, about us. Then why not celebrate the month of April, devoted to the Muse.

Dr. Jos Cletus Plackal

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PERSONAL

Diet is important in CFS treatment CFS is a complex disorder, with variable levels of awareness and acceptance among the members of the public and even the medical community.

Sajit Malliyoor Pallikkutam | April 2014


CONTENTS 20

EXPERT COUNSEL

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POLICY WATCH

Skill vouchers: The next big thing

The golden boot It would require an initiative of this sort to kick-start the process of rejuvenation of Indian football which could ultimately lead to the renaissance of Indian football and place the nation back in the world soccer map.

Dr D.Dhanuraj

Dr. K.N. Raghavan

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On one hand the traditional and conventional channels of education fail to meet the demands of the industry, on the other hand, labour intensive sectors lack the suitable set of the employable youth of less education profile.

NOTES ON CREATIVITY

Sustain the heroism “Heroism at the starting point” characterizes a large number of creative minds. They of course get sufficient initial capital from the creative trigger.

Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran CMI

42 BOOK SHELF

54 INVESTIGATION India’s research article output best among BRIC; China trails behind

Les Misérables Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean - the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread - Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time.

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GUEST COLUMN

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RESEARCH

Providing higher education is a challenge in India: Report Pallikkutam | April 2014

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NEWS

Infosys honcho sees disconnect between classroom, industry T

here is a disconnect between what is taught in classrooms and what is being practiced in the industry. Academia must encourage students to look at how technology has impacted life and how it can change the future, said executive vice-chairman of Infosys Kris Gopalakrishnan. Speaking at the valedictory function of the Pan IIT Alumni Leadership Series 2013, Gopalakrishnan said, “There is a disconnect between what is in textbooks and what is needed on the ground, because things have changed dramatically in the 21st century. Every aspect of our life needs to be reengineered and re-imagined in the 21st century.” He said that the 21st century teacher’s job has changed from transferring knowledge from text to the student, to one that involves helping students implement or practice what they’ve learnt in the classroom. “Today the student has equal or more access to resources than the

teacher. The classroom should become an actuarial lab,” Gopalakrishnan said. IITMadras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said that in Germany it is common for people

industry people who are thinking of joining academia.

Tamil Nadu commissioner for technical education Kumar Jayant said that teachers have to motivate students to learn on their own. “Teachers have to get over the idea that they are the only sources of knowledge, or even that they are the primary sources of knowledge, and encourage students to access other resources and learn on their own. Students won’t do it unless teachers tell them to do it,” he said. He said that he found that large groups of students in engineering colleges in the state are not able to access computers with free internet on campus during their free time. The PALS 2013 series was conducted to share the expertise and best to switch roles between academics and practices of the IITs with neighbouring industry. This is not the case in the US, but engineering colleges in the city. Ten they manage to overcome the problem by engineering colleges, including Alpha networking between experts in industry College of Engineering and VIT University and academia. This may not be possible in Chennai campus, partnered with the IITs India, but colleges can help bring the real to benefit from the event. world to the classroom by interacting with

SAP University partners 100 Institutions S

AP India, a subsidiary of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) has announced the success of signing 100 universities across the country through the SAP University Alliances programme. The milestone comes with the latest addition of University Visveswaraya College of Engineering, a top Engineering College in Bangalore. Students at 100 top colleges in India now have access to Information Technology training benefiting more than 2, 50,000 students from 1,500 universities that have already participated in the SAP program across 120 countries worldwide. As per company press release, “Aligned with SAP’s mission to contribute to economic growth, the SAP University Alliances Program supports-engineering,

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business and Information Technology, programs in universities and colleges in India by providing students and lecturers with access to SAP software and training. It believes in 5 pillars of Learn, Apply,

Share, Recruit and pursuing CSR to help the student community to acquire relevant skillsto meet the industry requirements.The SAP training courses enables students to pursue SAP certifications and eventual hiring by SAP, partners and customers. This in turn addresses the industry skills shortage by

providing a pool of IT graduates who are already trained with hands-on practice of the SAP software.” “Talent has become the de facto requirement in the technology industry today and SAP sees merit in contributing to talent enhancement efforts and help meet the growing skill demand of the industry,” said Crispian Tan, Director SAP University Alliances Program for the Asia Pacific & Japan region. “This landmark achievement reflects our commitment of ensuring that the next generations of graduates are ready and able to make an immediate impact in the job market and support SAP’s Global focus of Inspiring Millennials to See SAP as the Employer of Choice or Dream Big to become Entrepreneurs”, he added.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


NEWS

UGC selects 4 colleges for Excellence Award

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he University Grants Commission (UGC) has selected four colleges from different parts of the country for the College of Excellence Award. The four colleges are -St Xavier’s in Mumbai, Loyola in Chennai, St Joseph’s in Bangalore and St Xavier’s in Kolkata. The award comes with a grant of Rs 2 crore to be spent over five years for specific purposes by these colleges. St Xavier’s College in Mumbai had bagged the Potential for Excellence Award in 2006, and received Rs 2.5 crore over eight years. A few months ago, the UGC announced a sequel, the College of Excellence Award. “The UGC expert committee appreciated our progress made during the period of the Potential for Excellence Award status,” said Fr Frazer Mascarenhas, principal, St Xavier’s College in Mumbai.

Bangalore University affiliates 30 new colleges

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angalore University has affiliated 30 more colleges thereby increasing the total number of colleges to 530 from 500. The syndicate meeting held recently recommended to give fresh affiliation to 30 colleges and to renew affiliation of 500 colleges Following Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) reports. The university received 550 applications in total. Of that, 502 were seeking renewal

of affiliation and permanent affiliation and 48 applications sought fresh affiliation (new colleges). Among them, the syndicate cleared the renewal of 500 colleges and 30 new ones. BU Vice Chancellor, Dr B Thimme Gowda said, “The majority of colleges that applied for fresh affiliation were from rural areas. We have been liberal in providing affiliation to rural and women’s colleges,”.

NRI quota: private medical colleges approach SC

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ssociation of private medical and dental colleges (APMDC) has approached the Supreme Court of India over new seat allocation rules for post graduate seats in Madhya Pradesh. According to APMDC representative Dr Yogesh Uprit, new rules differ from the process adopted in previous years. The major confrontation is over on how institutions will be allowed to fill up to 15 per cent of the sanctioned seats for NRI candidates only. Earlier, private medical colleges were permitted to fill 15 per cent of the seats

Pallikkutam | April 2014

through this category without department or course-wise segregation. It allowed private medical colleges to fill lucrative clinical seats and thus remaining non-lucrative seats were left for government quota allocation in private medical colleges. According to Directorate of Medical Education (DME) officials, the institutions are still allowed to fill up to 15 per cent seats by NRI candidates. “We are only following directives of admission and fee regulatory committee before the counselling and this has been permitted by SC vide order datedJanuary 24,” said one of the officials.

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NEWS

GATE 2014: decrease in candidates numbers

MHRD funds NAAC for Quality Renaissance Initiative T

he Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has approved the allocation of Rs 17 Crores for the National accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) for ‘National Quality Renaissance Initiative’. The project Approval Board under the MHRD has released Rs 4 Crore as the first installment for the current year. The Initiative is aimed for better quality control and accreditation

being central to enhancing the quality of higher education institutions. R P Sisodia, Joint Secretary MHRD, who is also the Mission Director has pointed out that the affiliation would be advantageous in this process of quality renaissance wherein the university system through its affiliate structure can define quality parameters and forge linkages with other institutions to bring about quality renaissance.

VCs of universities should be in 3540 age group: Sam Pitroda

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am Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on public information, infrastructure and innovation has said that in a young country like India, Vice Chancellors of universities should be in the 35-40 age group, and not 60-plus. Pitroda conceded though, that there’s resistance to any such change, and rued that no one in the country had put forth such a demand. “The university education system is being run by old people. The rules and regulations are made by people who are 60 years old while the customers’ average age

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is 20 years. There is a total disconnect. Can’t we have Vice Chancellors aged 35 to 40 years?” he asked. He also alleged that none of the VCs and professors in the country had bothered to read the Knowledge Commission report. If young people are not given exposure in all fields, they would develop the ideas and thinking of the older generation, he said. “In this country, everybody knows the PM’s job. But nobody knows what his job is,” he commented.

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he declaration of Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE ) results has brought into notice a lot of alarming facts about the entrance exam. This year the number of candidates who appeared for the test went down by 10 per cent. Last year, 9, 84, 855 candidates sat for the exam. It has shown a significant drop in the number of female candidates who appeared for the exam in the year 2014. According to newspaper reports, one reason being assumed for this drop could be the application fees. While, the female candidates did not have to pay an application fee in 2013, this year, they had to pay Rs 750/- as the fee. This was the first batch that had to give all 22 papers of the exam in computer based mode. GATE scores are used for admissions to various post graduate programmes in IITs, NITs and other engineering colleges in India. More than 8.89 lakh candidates checked their results and only 1, 49,694 candidates qualified the exam 85,063 are from General category, 42,287 are from OBC (NCL), 17,085 from SC, 4,224 from ST and 1,035 Persons with Disability. Only 31, 431 female candidates (from all categories) have qualified. A total of 2,16,367 candidates appeared for the electronics and communications engineering paper this year, the general cut off for which was 25.56. The second highest turnout appeared for mechanical engineering paper amounting it to be 1, 85, 578. The general cut off for this paper was set at 28.86. The computer science and engineering paper was attempted by 1, 55, 190, and the cut off was set at 25. Also, 1,41,799 candidates appeared for the electrical engineering test, with a cut off of 25 points, while 90,872 candidates sat for the civil engineering test, for which the cut off was set at 26.57 points.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


NEWS

University of Chicago opens centre in Delhi

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he University of Chicago has opened a centre in New Delhi as a collaborative attempt between the United States and India to boost research and training in diverse disciplines. Robert J. Zimmer, president of University of Chicago, was present at the inauguration in New. The centre was opened to promote research, training and scholarship programmes under three broad disciplines: business, economics, law and policy; science, energy, medicine and public health; and culture, society, religion and the arts . The centre will also be an intellectual destination, enabling the University of Chicago to better support research and scholarship that will benefit faculty, students and society, said a

statement. The center located at Connaught Place will be the hub for

conferences and seminars as well as the seat for faculty offices and study areas. It will host Indian and South Asian students

Kerala VC issues notice to registrar

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erala University (KU) Vice Chancellor, Prof P K Radhakrishnan has issued a show-cause notice to Registrar K Mohammad Basheeer for his alleged failure in convening a meeting of various branch officers on March 24. Reportedly, the unprecedented action and its fallout is understood to have figured prominently in the discussions Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb had with the Vice Chancellor. The VC had communicated to the Registrar’s office on March 15 that a meeting of all branch officers, including the Registrar, Controller of Examinations, Director of Planning and Development and Director of

Pallikkutam | April 2014

College Development Council, should be convened on March 24. The meeting was aimed at formally conveying the VC’s views on streamlining the administrative process after a series of preliminary meetings he had with various officials and employees. It is learnt that the staff in the Registrar’s office failed to convey the message to Basheer who was busy with the Senate elections. As per reports, the Registrar has been asked to furnish the reason for not convening the meeting and why disciplinary action should not be initiated against him. “Since it was my first meeting with the Education Minister after taking charge, I discussed certain administrative issues in the University with him,’’ Radhakrishnan said.

and scholars, serve as a base for University of Chicago students and faculty working in India and throughout the region, and engage alumni and parents in India and South Asia. Delhi is the third centre for the university after a centre in Beijing, opened in 2010, and the centre in Paris, opened in 2004, in bringing together researchers and students to collaborate across the academic spectrum. The centre in Delhi is a wholly-owned foreign enterprise operating under the name of UChicago Center in India Private Limited. US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell said the number of students’ visa applications from India is going up and currently more than 100,000 Indian students are studying in the US.

Principal arrested for cheating and forgery

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agpur Police has arrested a college principal for his alleged role in cheating and forgery in a case registered last month. Tejsingh Kirad, who was produced before court, is co-accused in a case of fraud registered against a former secretary and teacher of Navpratibha School, Siraspeth. Kirad was arrested after his name surfaced during investigations into a fraud at the Siraspeth-based school, where he worked as a teacher some years ago. Former secretary of the school, 74-year-old Vijay Vaid, has been booked earlier along with his daughter-inlaw Anagha, for conniving to dupe the government to the tune of several thousands. The case was registered at Imambada police station after a complaint by the school management. It's learnt that Kirad helped Anagha and a couple of others to procure fake marksheets of BEd against hefty payment. Police said Kirad had accepted Rs 60,000 from Anagha to arrange for a fake BEd marksheet for her.

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INSIGHTS

Adult white lies adversely affect child’s honesty

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majority of parents tell innocent lies to their children even as they maintain that honesty is an important value. According to the results published in the journal Developmental Science, adult dishonesty does make a difference, and not in a good way. They found that children who are lied to lie and cheat more themselves. Lying by an adult affects a child’s honesty. In a controlled experiment the researchers observed that the majority of primary schoolchildren to whom the experimenter lied on cukies cheated in another game conducted under surveillance. The reason for such behaviour is not immediately clear. It may be that children were simply imitating the behaviour modelled by the adult, or it could be they were making judgments about the importance of honesty to this adult. Or, it could be that the children did

not feel the need to uphold their commitment to tell the truth to someone who they perceived as a liar. But it didn’t seem to make any difference to the younger set, the preschoolers, whether they had been deceived by the experimenter earlier. They peeked and lied at about the same rates. That may be because 3- and 4year-olds don’t have very sophisticated theory-of-mind abilities yet. What happens when trusted care-givers do the lying also remains an open research question. But the researchers of the study, Carver and Hays, are still urging restraint. Even if it’s expedient for an adult to lie—to get cooperation through deception, for example or to get children to control their emotions—it’s probably a bad idea in the long run.

Parents as role models for healthy habits

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ids whose moms encourage them to exercise and eat well and model those healthy behaviours themselves are more likely to be active and healthy eaters, according to researchers at Duke Medicine. Their findings, published online in the International Journal of Obesity, remind parents that they are role models for their children, and underscore the importance of parental policies promoting physical activity and healthy eating. Exercise and healthy diets are critical in fighting childhood obesity. The home environment and parenting can influence a child’s health by shaping dietary and physical behaviours, such as providing access to fruits and vegetables or encouraging kids to play outside. Similarly, limiting access to junk foods at home and parental policies supporting family meals increased the amount of healthy foods kids ate. Overall, the home environment had more influence on the children’s dietary habits than on their physical activity levels.

Well-planned homework improves student learning

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he researchers of Rice University and Duke University have shown that simple changes in the pattern of homework can spare elaborate and expensive changes in the curriculum to boost student learning. The results are published in the journal Educational Psychology Review. The researchers demonstrate how technology and cognitive science can be combined to develop inexpensive but effective educational changes that required no changes to course curriculum. In the test case the instructor changed his regular pattern of homework assignment and followed another pattern that incorporates insights from cognitive science to reap better educational outcomes. The instructor has followed a pattern of homework for years, in which one homework assignment was given per week, which was graded and returned the

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following week. In the modified style of homework assignment which was called the “intervention,” he incorporated three key principles from cognitive science, which have been shown to promote learning and increase long-term retention. They were implemented in the following way:

homework, and they were required to view the feedback to get credit for the assignment. The researcher found that giving students multiple opportunities to practise retrieving and applying their knowledge on new problems is a very powerful way to promote learning, especially when this practice is spaced out over time. Feedback also is critical to • Repeated retrieval practice: In addition to learning, and previous studies have receiving the standard homework shown that students will often skip assignment, students were given follow-up looking at feedback. The researchers split problems on the same topic in two the class into two groups and assigned additional assignments that counted only each group standard homework and towards their course participation grade. intervention homework during alternating weeks; in any given week, half of the • Spacing: Rather than giving all the students were assigned to the problem sets for a week’s lectures in one intervention and half to the standard assignment, the researchers spaced the problems over three weeks of assignments. practice homework. The research showed that students scored about 7 percent • Feedback: Rather than waiting one week higher on the portions of the final exams to learn how they did, students received that were taught with the intervention. immediate feedback on intervention

Pallikkutam | April 2014


INSIGHTS

‘Playscapes’ facilitates learning in kindergarten

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niversity of Cincinnati researchers are reporting on the educational and health benefits of specially created outdoor play environments for children. Typically called playscapes, these settings are defined as an intentionally designed, dynamic, vegetation-rich play environment that nurtures young children’s affinity for nature. Unlike traditional urban playgrounds, they can promote more learning, physical development and social skills. The results are published in the International Journal of Play. The researchers say that on average, children are spending less time on playgrounds as well as less time in just play. “The advantages of building playscapes over traditional playgrounds are considerable,” suggest the authors. “Children have opportunities to learn about scientific inquiry, mathematics and other embedded concepts as required by curricular methods.” “Not only does it engage children in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education at an early age, but it also fosters future stewards for a sustainable environment while providing a developmentally appropriate play and learning venue for the 21st century,” the authors state in the article.

The article highlights other countries— Sweden, Australia, Scandinavia, Germany and the United Kingdom among the examples—which are making strides in reconnecting children with nature through play venues in natural settings, as well as international research indicating that these

University of Cincinnati has also developed own PlayScape, with some of the following special features: • A tree house to elevate children into the tree canopy and give them a clear view where they play. • An open lawn for running, rolling and even sledding. • A controlled water feature for children to drink and use for play and learning. • A log fort for children to play, hide and look out over the landscape. • A sensory garden for children to plant, grow and harvest vegetables and herbs. • A “bird blind,” which is a discreet observation area where children can watch birds in action.

environments not only sharpen attention skills but also reduce depression and symptoms of attention-deficit disorders. “They provide a sense of play that also addresses parental concerns about safety, creates pleasant play environments, supports child development and nurtures nature exploration, setting the stage for environmental stewardship.”

• Gathering decks for children to play, draw, do dramatic work or projects or rest. • An observation post for education researchers to examine how this natural setting enhances learning for young children. • A perimeter fence, providing a safe and secure environment for children to explore within the PlayScape.

Teaching children lessons in safety

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ne of the biggest worries for any parent is keeping their child safe from injury. It’s pretty simple when the child is young, because parents directly supervise him (or her). But what about when the child gets older, becomes more independent and goes out on his own? That’s when the responsibility for staying safe transfers from the parent to the child. And that means the child has to be able to assess the danger of situations. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Iowa who analysed in a new study how children take stock of various real-life scenarios and how mothers can help them assess potential hazards. Their conclusions: Children and mothers regularly don’t see eye-to-eye on situational dangers. Because of that it’s

Pallikkutam | April 2014

critical that mothers explain why a situation is dangerous, beyond simply administering a verbal slap on the wrist.

parents could pre-empt that and, if so, how. It has to do with parent-child talks. “Saying to your child, ‘Don’t do that’ or ‘Stop’ or ‘Be careful’ doesn’t really work,” Plumert says. “I mean, it’s okay to say that, but the next step is to say why not. You shouldn’t assume that your child knows why not, even if it seems obvious to you.” Parents could, for example, point out the dangerous elements in the situation, and explain how those current dangers could cause the child to get hurt.

Parent-child conversation is the bridge. Of course, children can learn to be more careful by simply trying stuff. But the research team wanted to know whether

Still, there are some children who are prone to injury, no matter what. These are the risk-takers, and the researchers learned that these children are more likely to view a situation as less dangerous than their peers.

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INSIGHTS

Your ideology determines your T health!

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ccording to a study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, there exists strong connection between ideology, social capital and health. The study finds that those who live in liberal states tend to be healthier. Similarly, the strong communities also foster better health. It found that states with high levels of liberalism and those with high levels of social trust have higher levels of health and well-being. To measure a state’s social capital, Herian and his colleagues used data from a survey that asked “If you lost a wallet or purse that contained $200 and it was found by a neighbour, do you think it would be returned with the money in it or not?”

‘Traffic light’ promote healthy food habits

he use of colour-coded “traffic light” food labels and changes in the way popular items are displayed appear to have produced a long-term increase in the choice of more healthful food items among customers in a large hospital cafeteria. A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) team reports in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that the previously reported changes in the proportions of more and less healthy foods purchased in the months after their programme began have persisted up to two years after the labelling intervention was introduced. The first phase involved the application of “traffic light” labels— green for the healthiest items, such as fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein; yellow for less healthy items and red for those with little or no nutritional value—to all items in the main hospital cafeteria. Several weeks before the labels were introduced, cafeteria cash registers began to identify and record each purchased item as red, yellow or green.

The second “choice architecture” phase, started three months after the labels were introduced, focused on cold beverages, premade sandwiches and chips—all of which were rearranged to display more healthful items where they were most likely to be selected. For example, bottled water, diet beverages and low-fat dairy products were positioned at eye level, while beverages with yellow or red labels were placed at lower levels. The current study analysed purchase patterns for the 24 months following the programme’s implementation and found that the overall purchases of “green” items had increased 12 percent, compared with the pre-intervention period, and “red” item purchases dropped 20 percent. Purchases of “red” beverages—primarily sugarsweetened beverages—dropped 39 percent, while “green” beverage purchases increased 10 percent. The changes remained similar for all types of employees, and overall cafeteria sales during the two-year period were stable.

Gesturing with hands boosts maths learning To assess states’ political profiles, the study used an index that scores each of the 50 states of America on their relative liberalism versus conservatism. The index is based upon factors such as interest group ratings of congressional members, voting records and election results in congressional races. It is designed not only to assess partisanship, but the extent to which politicians favour liberal social policy. Health and well-being were measured with questions from the behaviour risk survey that asked respondents to rate their health and to report how frequently poor physical or mental health prevents them from carrying out daily activities. The researchers also took smoking habits and body mass index into consideration. The researchers said the study has implications for health policy at the state and local levels.

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hildren who use their hands to gesture during a maths lesson gain a deep understanding of the problems they are taught, according to new research from the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology published online in Psychological Science.

a particular problem and whether abstract gesture is a more effective teaching tool than concrete action.

“We found that acting gave children a relatively shallow understanding of a novel maths concept, whereas gesturing led to deeper and more Previous flexible research has found that gestures can help learning,” explained the study’s lead children learn. This study in particular was author, Miriam A Novack, a PhD student designed to answer whether abstract in psychology. gesture can support generalization beyond

Pallikkutam | April 2014


PEDAGOGY

April: the poetry month Jose K. C.

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he father of English poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer hails April of sweet showers. Later, his great grandson in literature, T. S Eliot’s waste landers find April the cruellest month. We in India, of course not in a waste land, would join Chaucer. As I told my students, India has poetry alive all around and Indians are poetic in a Wordsworthian spirit – the land and its people with spontaneity. G. N. Mehra’s words: ‘Nature in all its grandeur and unspoiled virginity is still extant in India, the dragon land’ still hold true. The ‘grandeur’ and ‘unspoiled virginity’ appeal to the little Wordsworths all of us have. The cryptic ‘dragon land’ haunts you and me as the medieval mysteries did Coleridge.

Poetry is not alien, nor distant, if we will. It is with us, among us, about us. Then why not celebrate the month of April, devoted to the Muse. Such a jubilant festival suits to a T today’s utilitarian world, where one is alarmed by some School Boards’ suicidal attempts to make ‘Poetry’ as an optional genre in the curriculum. Let us revisit such moves by organizing some Poetry activities to underline the pleasure-giving, edifying, humanizing effects of poetry. Pallikkutam | April 2014

If one goes beyond the traditional semantics of ‘poetry’, life is poetry if lived with passion and compassion. Our mother’s lullabies are poetry with somnolent sound and rhythm; our folklore teems with poetry with its magic fairy lands and yetis. Our fathers’ sweat drops refract light into rainbows. And, our hearts leap when we behold the rainbows. And we learn the eternal truth – which any good poetry does – that hard work has a lasting fruit for the salt in the sweat pickles it. People in our villages – shepherds, wood cutters and leech gatherers – are in constant interaction with nature. So, going by the Romantic preference for the selection of language really used by men, India has poetry in her villages, her lofty mountains and dancing rivulets. The Antakshari contestants of the yore were poetry lovers and magnificent poetry practitioners. The poetry students of today – be it of the school or the college – should attend passionate Antakshari sessions as a pre-requisite to the study of poetry.

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PEDAGOGY

People in our villages – shepherds, wood cutters and leech gatherers – are in constant interaction with nature. So, going by the Romantic preference for the selection of language really used by men, India has poetry in her villages, her lofty mountains and dancing rivulets. If ‘exaggeration’ is a rhetoric figure in poetry, my cousin uses it along with metaphor, “Do you really eat this hill of food?” His comment was on my gluttony. I laugh; he laughs; so do all others. For, poetry delights. That’s why we enjoy the hyperbolic verbal duel between Hamlet and Laertes in Shakespeare’s graveyard scene. Our grandparents use poetry in day-to-day situations by means of irony: ‘If you sleep like a pig, you will score high in the exams.’ The message is crystal clear to the ‘you’ in the statement. So is the irony in Austen’s opening sentence of her Pride and Prejudice: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ It is not uncommon to hear amidst ourselves, ‘Tom’s points are convincing; Jeet’s are not less convincing.’

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We thus use ‘litotes’ among us as well as Tennyson.

teasing between the spirited teacher (like Socrates) and groups of students.

Put briefly, poetry is not alien, nor distant, if we will. It is with us, among us, about us. Then why not celebrate the month of April, devoted to the Muse. Such a jubilant festival suits to a T today’s utilitarian world, where one is alarmed by some School Boards’ suicidal attempts to make ‘Poetry’ as an optional genre in the curriculum. Let us revisit such moves by organizing some Poetry activities to underline the pleasure-giving, edifying, humanizing effects of poetry.

2. Adjective snowball – get students to add an adjective alphabetically Roll Numberwise to a given sentence. For instance, ‘Aunt Mary has a puppy.’ Roll No 1 may add: ‘Aunt Mary has an active puppy.’

Suggested activities for Classes IV – VII

Roll No 2 may rewrite it as: ‘Aunt Mary has an active, big puppy,’ and so on. At this level, the teacher’s focus should be inciting the imagination of the kids, not necessarily the order of the adjectives. The intention is to trigger a love for descriptive words and word pictures, an essential part of poetry.

3. Poetry recitations - set a tune to the 1. Poetry catechism - get at the heart of a verse under study and do group readings/ poem simply through Socratic questioning / echo readings/ relay readings.

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PEDAGOGY

If one goes beyond the traditional semantics of ‘poetry’, life is poetry if lived with passion and compassion. 4. Verse complementation – after listing down some of the irresistible memories in life, students are encouraged to write the second line to the first line provided to them on those memories.

should justify the choice of their passage, the touchstones (after Matthew Arnold)

Suggested activities for Classes VIII and above, including colleges 5. Poetry definition contest – the contestants can make their own, less-thanten-words definitions, modelled on any two popular definitions.

These can be some of our humble tributes to Poetry in this April. To crown it all, let’s celebrate the birth day of the greatest poet of all times, Shakespeare on 23 April (or 24?) through poster or banner contests.

6. Psychomotor Poetry – preparation and exhibition of handiwork/ drawings/ models that illustrate poems of students’ own choice 7. ‘Talk to the poet’ – an end-of-the-month ‘impersonation’ of a poet of students’ choice in which students answer questions from the audience or an interviewer. 8. Poetic touchstones – display and illustration in art of a striking passage from a poem. The group that displays

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10. Poetry shopping – student groups run shops of poems in all sub-genres (sonnets, elegies, lyrics, and odes etc.) by different authors, which they recite upon demand by the public/fellows, who if interested buy the poem by paying, say Rs. 5/- per poem. The groups that impress the customers earn more.

As the Bard said, ‘… age cannot wither her (poetry) nor custom stale Her infinite variety.’ This is one way we appreciate our own infinite variety in India and among the Indians. There lies the poetry of ‘one nation; one people’ despite the variety. 9. The symbols I see – students go around, observe and report to their friends the significance of the various symbols they encounter around them.

The author is lecturer in English, College of education, Samtse, Bhutan

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STORIES OF LIFE

Anatomy of an Affair Dr. Jos Cletus Plackal

Parents, watch out for early signs of disaffection, disgruntlement or disruption in your child’s emotional world. It’s a wake-up call for you to address; seek outside help, and don’t wait endlessly for an avalanche to hit your family.

L

ove is the most mystical, magical of all realities, so deep and dynamic; it is synonymous with life itself. Love has been the object of zillions of studies and yet it’s like a drop in the ocean. Scientific researches and religious books as well as literary works have all gone on to explore and extol the different facets of this most amazing diamond called love. There is an alarming increase in tragic events related to love affairs, sometimes involving minors! For many a family, an affair itself is a tragedy! Unlike in the West, in India there exists an invisible yet most powerful bond among the family members. Loyalty to the family is essential since the family’s ego is more important than that of the individual. The family ego is crystallized through belief systems put into practice for generations, caste, customs, clan, cultural milieu etc. The present study is an attempt to understand a love affair from a psychological point of view

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with all its complexity and implications for the extended family, and to the lovers themselves. Lynda (not the real name), 22, completing her postgraduate studies, lives in the college hostel. She shows signs of distraction and disinterestedness in everything including studies. Lately she has started feeling isolated from her classmates and teachers. Occasionally she picks fights even with her best friend! At home Lynda feels more miserable in that she is very lonely and lost and her older sister gets on her nerves, all the time. Lynda complained that her parents sided with the older sister all the time and felt that she was not worth anything at home. Besides, the older sister was working overtime finding fault with Lynda. And recently she has been working day and night as a

detective to find all the secrets of her ‘naughty’ younger sister’s cyber crimes! No wonder Lynda laments, “How I wish I could run away from this “terrible threesome”! Lynda’s older sister’s painstaking pursuit of detective work paid off finally. She briefed her parents of the latest development that Lynda was having an affair with a boy who is from a different caste and that they do chat a lot etc! That was like a bomb explosion and the family ego was ruined. The anxiety about the shame that might befall on them if the extended family came to know about this led to many sleepless nights! The ensuing social stigma was unthinkable… The whole family dynamics went berserk and the family was at the edge of an emotional precipice. It is at this juncture that Lynda was brought into counselling. At the counseling Lynda was quite

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STORIES OF LIFE

Lynda was willing to revisit her affair, analyse the relationship and take up a decision. After much painstaking introspection, appraisal and consultations, she decided to call it quits. defensive, and accused her parents of collusion with her sister who always wanted to put her down. She expressed her anger and frustration at her parents for their continued neglect and indifference towards her from her childhood onwards. Ensuing sessions saw fierce outbursts of anger and frustration expressed in tears and terse words. After the catharsis there came some clarity about the sorry state of affairs that led to Lynda’s seeking solace outside the family of origin. The parents realized their share in the genesis of the problem and Lynda began to relent. The following sessions focused on restructuring the family relations, with special attention to redress the painful theme of neglect by parents. The older sister was brought into therapy as a protagonist. She was helped to understand the precarious situation that her younger sister was in. Therapeutic strategy centered around inclusion of the younger sibling started paying off. At this stage the entire family was willing to work hard for restructuring their destructive behaviour patterns with some help from the therapist. Lynda, for the first time in life, felt included and loved by her parents and by her sister. She finally accepted that she was acting rebellious and was fighting against the rest of the family to test whether they really cared for her or not. The affair, she realized, was her last desperate attempt to hang on to life. Lynda was willing to revisit her affair, analyse the relationship and take up a decision. After much painstaking introspection, appraisal and consultations, she decided to call it quits. With some assistance from the family Lynda was able to work it out with her friend and in spite of his initial resistance, convinced him to back off from the affair. PS Parents, watch out for early signs of disaffection, disgruntlement or disruption in your child’s emotional world. It’s a wake-up call for you to address; seek outside help, and don’t wait endlessly for an avalanche (an indiscriminate affair) to hit your family. The author is licensed clinical psychologist (HRT), Jeevas Centre Aluva.

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PERSONAL

Relaxation and diet important in CFS treatment Sajit Malliyoor

CFS is a complex disorder, with variable levels of awareness and acceptance among the members of the public and even the medical community. CFS refers to profound and continuous tiredness that is not directly caused by any other medical conditions. “I am a 19-year-old girl, studying for BSc Chemistry in a central Kerala college. My problem started after joining the course. My college is about 50 km away from my \home and I have to take three buses to reach it. During my initial days, after reaching back from college, I used to be very tired and couldn’t study anything. As the days passed, my tiredness increased and a few months later I was so tired for most part of the time that I couldn’t even go to college. I was unable to attend the class properly or focus on what the professor was saying. Later on, I found that I couldn’t recall what was taught. My memory was impaired. Most often I had headaches which lasted throughout the day or occasionally for days on end. I would have pains in my joints and my sleep was also disturbed. I was taken to the doctor and given some medicine. It didn’t seem to help me much and then I was taken to a specialist. After administering several tests, he said I didn’t have any physical problem and advised me to cut down on travel. Then I moved to a hostel near the college. Initially, it seemed to have positive effect on my condition and I was relatively symptom-free for a few weeks. But the effect soon wore out and I started getting the symptoms again. Though I am attending the classes, I couldn’t perform well in my last semester exam. Most of the days I become very tired towards the evening and occasionally it lasts throughout the day. On most days, I will have severe fatigue and muscle pain. One doctor suggested that I might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and that I should consult a clinical psychologist.

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Kindly advise me on how to deal with my condition. Your letter is quite descriptive. However, I am afraid that the information is not sufficient to make a clear diagnosis. If the investigations were thorough, then you don’t have any physical problem causing

tiredness. I also assume that you are not losing weight or you don’t have any nutritional issues. If all the probable physical conditions are ruled out, then the ball comes to the psychological arena. A psychologist would look for the signs of depression or anxiety disorders, which cannot be commented upon with the information from the letter. Absence of any diagnosable physical or psychological conditions may point towards the possibility of having chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). CFS is a complex disorder, with variable levels of awareness and acceptance among the members of the public and even the medical community. CFS refers to profound and continuous tiredness that is not directly caused by any other medical conditions. Unlike general fatigue, you wouldn’t improve with taking rest. Despite resting adequately, you continue to experience fatigue. On the other hand, your symptoms might worsen with even a small bit of exertion, whether physical or mental. CFS symptoms either persist or come and go frequently, often with no clear pattern for months or years. The mean duration of illness is 16 months, with some cases reporting illness for as long as 13 years. Along with the persistent fatigue, you may also have pain in several joints, muscle pain, headache etc. You may also experience cognitive function difficulties. Attention and concentration can be impaired, and you will find difficulty in focusing in an activity. Memory can also take a hit. Short-term memory is usually more affected. Sufferers may also have tenderness in the lymph nodes and sore

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PERSONAL There are two specific approaches from two different disciplines that are empirically proven to be effective in the treatment of CFS. Physical therapists use graded exercise therapy, which is a gradual, progressive increase in exercise or physical activity such as walking or swimming. Clinical psychologists use a treatment approach called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in the management of CFS. It is based on the idea that certain ways of thinking can fuel certain health problems. throat. Sleep disturbances are reported often, with difficulty in falling asleep, frequent waking or waking unrefreshed. In order for a diagnosis, the symptoms should persist for more than six months. Diagnosis is based on exclusion: by ruling out any other condition that could be causing the fatigue and related symptoms. There is no laboratory procedure to confirm the illness’ presence.

psychological therapies to increasingly using various medications. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances, digestive problems such as nausea, flu-like symptoms and, if present, depression and anxiety. Managing your functions and the quality of your life should be given importance along with the medications.

The cause of CFS is not known. There are various theories, but none has been proved. A popular theory is that a viral infection may trigger the condition. It is well known that fatigue is a symptom that can persist for a short time after having certain viral infections; however, most people recover within a few weeks from the fatigue after the infection. Also, the symptoms of many people with CFS do not start with a viral infection. Factors that are thought to contribute to some people developing CFS include: inherited genetic susceptibility, exhaustion and Any changes in your sleep pattern, for mental stress, depression, a traumatic event such as bereavement or divorce, poor example, may actually make your fatigue worse. Rest (rather than actual sleep) is diet, environmental pollution etc. very beneficial. You should introduce rest Treatment of CFS presents a significant periods into your daily routine. These challenge both to the patient and the should ideally be limited to 30 minutes at a physician. As yet, there has been no time and be a period of relaxation. known cause, cure or universal treatment Relaxation can help to improve pain, sleep for CFS. Until a treatment is developed problems and any stress or anxiety you which will improve all the symptoms of may have. There are various relaxation CFS, or correct the underlying cause, techniques such as Jacobson’s Progressive therapy is based upon the individual’s Muscle Relaxation and guided imagery, presenting symptoms. With the advent of which you may find useful when these are the science of CFS, the treatment options built into your rest periods. Diet is also have moved from the exclusively important. Care should be taken to avoid

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any foods and drinks you are sensitive to. Eating small, regular meals which contain some starchy foods is often beneficial. There are two specific approaches from two different disciplines that are empirically proven to be effective in the treatment of CFS. Physical therapists use graded exercise therapy, which is a gradual, progressive increase in exercise or physical activity such as walking or swimming. The level of exercise depends upon your symptoms and the current level of activity. It will be tailored to suit each individual and ideally be supervised by a physical therapist. Clinical psychologists use a treatment approach called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in the management of CFS. It is based on the idea that certain ways of thinking can fuel certain health problems. CBT aims to change any thoughts or behaviours that are harmful or not adaptive. The use of CBT does not imply that the cause of an illness is psychological. Although it does not aim to cure the condition, it helps to improve the symptoms, coping strategies and dayto-day functioning. For people with CFS, the core components of CBT would normally include: energy/activity management, establishment of sleep routine, goal setting and psychological support. You may consult a specialized centre for a comprehensive assessment and management of your problem. Please send your queries to malliyoor@outlook.com

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EXPERT COUNSEL

The golden boot Dr. K.N. Raghavan

The poor standards of the game in the country pained them but except for the occasional magic weaved by Baichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan, there was precious little about Indian football that offered cause for cheer.

K

erala recorded their maiden Santosh Trophy triumph in 1973, when the championship was held at Maharaja’s College ground at Ernakulam. The victory of the home side brought forth a great deal of celebrations; it also brought in its wake a new generation of foot ball lovers which included children like me, then studying in class V in Rajagiri High school. With all the enthusiasm of a neo convert, I started scouring the newspapers and magazines for articles on football and I was thrilled when Indian junior side led by Shabbir Ali reached the finals of the Asian Youth Championship in 1974. One thought that the fortunes of Indian football were on an upward path and time was not far off when India would also take part in the FIFA World Cup championships. However it did not take too long for these dreams to come crashing down to ground earth. The mauling that the national side received during the Asian Games at Bangkok in 1978 opened one’s eyes to the shortcomings that plagued Indian football.

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The half hearted measures initiated by AIFF such as hosting an international tournament named Nehru Cup with participation of some national teams from Asia and Africa sustained the interest of the fans of the game through the 1980’s but did not contribute to improving the quality of football played in the country. With the advent of satellite televisions channels, fans

packed stands found few takers except when played in football crazy centres such as Manjeri in north Kerala.

It is in this atmosphere where the horizon of Indian football is filled with dark clouds that a silver lining has appeared in the form of victory of the small state of Mizoram from north east in the national championships. Mizoram is not the first state from that part of the country to win Santosh Trophy; Manipur had won the title more than a decade ago. The manner in which Mizoram outplayed their rivals during their progress to the title was impressive; but in India sought solace by watching FA what merits greater appreciation is the league and other high quality matches being solid work put in by the Association played in Europe, South America and other within the state to mould a team capable parts of the world. The poor standards of of winning the championship. As the the game in the country pained them but secretary to the Association put it, they except for the occasional magic weaved by focussed on three aspects- starting a local Baichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan, there was league to give opportunities for all players precious little about Indian football that within the state, educate the referees to offered cause for cheer. The national ensure proper conduct of matches and to championships had lost its charm and improve quality of coaches to raise the lustre and even the Federation Cup performance levels of the players. matches that used to be played before

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EXPERT COUNSEL

It would require an initiative of this sort to kick-start the process of rejuvenation of Indian football which could ultimately lead to the renaissance of Indian football and place the nation back in the world soccer map. On the face of it, this three point formula of Mizoram may appear to be simple but its significance arises from the fact that none of the other states have managed to implement it till date. Even a state like Kerala which has a history of producing high quality players and teams is planning to start a league for sides within the state only this year whereas Mizoram started it in 2012. Mizoram has three astro turf surfaces for conduct of matches while even existing grounds in most states are in a state of disrepair. No association has focussed on improving the quality of referees and coaches without who it is impossible to produce good football. The success of Mizoram in this regard should serve as an eye opener for all other state associations who have been in a state of deep slumber all these years. Mizoram government also deserves credit for providing the required infrastructure- the three grounds with astro turf with one more on the way shows the commitment of government to encourage the game in a big way.

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The victory of the state side in the national championship would boost the popularity of the game in Mizoram and encourage more and more youngsters to take up football as a serious career option. The state government and the local association should do everything within its means to ensure that players benefit financially for the efforts they put in and are also provided a good post retirement package. A player would be able to put in his best only if he is free from worries about his future and finances and it is the job of the association to safeguard the interests of the players. Getting more financial support through sponsors and arranging lucrative deals for individual players are some of the options that have been tried with success in other games and they can be considered here also. Finally, it would indeed be a glorious chapter in the history of independent India if the north east, a part of the country that is always considered to be away from the national mainstream and which is usually

in the news on account of insurgency related problems, is able to provide the lead in starting a “football revolution� in the country. There is no reason why a nation of billion plus people has to languish at the bottom of the pile when it comes to this game, which is easily the most popular sport in the world. All that is required is a well conceived plan of action to unearth and encourage talent and individuals with the commitment and passion to implement them. Mizoram has already shown the way where other states like Bengal, Goa and Kerala had slipped up. If the other six states in the region can join hands together, then the combined impact that they would be able to produce on Indian football would be such that other states would follow suit. It would require an initiative of this sort to kick-start the process of rejuvenation of Indian football which could ultimately lead to the renaissance of Indian football and place the nation back in the world soccer map. The author is the Commissioner of Customs in Kochi.

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NOTES ON CREATIVITY

Sustain the “heroism at the starting point” till the end of the race! Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran CMI

“A magic dwells within each beginning Protecting us it tells us how to live.”

“Heroism at the starting point” characterizes a large number of creative minds. They of course get sufficient initial capital from the creative trigger. They begin really well. But sooner or later they shift their interest to something else, without fulfilling their life’s projects. But they keep things half-done, halfcooked and half-hearted.

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NOTES ON CREATIVITY

The world is a graveyard of many creative ideas because of the timidity of its creative minds. They have “heroism at the starting point”. But they fail to keep the heroism till end and thus fail to reap fruits. Creative ideas are just like beautiful flowers for them. Is well begun half done? The Nobel Laureate in Literature (1946), Hermann Hesse writes in his poem, “Stufen” (English: “Phase”):

world. And the original creativity capital already signifies the half work done!

But half is half! The other half is still laborious. It demands a great amount of elaboration to make a creative insight “Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber perfect. Many creative thinkers fail in inne, elaboration of creative ideas born to them. Der uns beschützt und der uns hilft, zu They do not brood over the creative ideas so that they blossom and bear fruits in the leben.” course of time. They do not bring their Translated: tinkering thoughts to perfection. They love “A magic dwells within each beginning to wander from one creative idea to the other, chasing the mirage of novelty. Protecting us it tells us how to live.” “Heroism at the starting point!” The poet speaks about phases of life In Malayalam, such people are ridiculed as imbued with a multitude of creative possessing so called, “Aarambha possibilities. Initiated by their original suratwam”, “heroism at the starting impact, one shall pass over these phases with great mastery. A certain magical spell point”. This reminds of the improperly trained long-distance runners, who speed directs those creative drives within, up prematurely at the starting point and towards rightful fulfilment of the project during the initial laps and loses the race in called life, suggests Hesse. the end. “Heroism at the starting point” The idiom, “Well begun is half done”, characterizes a large number of creative suggests such magical power of initial minds. They of course get sufficient initial creativity capital. Those ideas are capital from the creative trigger. They powerful enough, that they can change the begin really well. But sooner or later they

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shift their interest to something else, without fulfilling their life’s projects. But they keep things half-done, half-cooked and half-hearted. They begin to dream wild anew. They give up their projects and programs in the face of perceivable adversities. They suffer from lack of perseverance. They fail to perfect their ideas into concepts and to convert their concepts into useful products. They do not take pains to perfect creative ideas and communicate them to others in a powerful and convincing manner. The world is a graveyard of many creative ideas because of the timidity of its creative minds. They have “heroism at the starting point”. But they fail to keep the heroism till end and thus fail to reap fruits. Creative ideas are just like beautiful flowers for them. No sooner do they bloom, than they fade away. They are short-lived. They do not produce sustainable fruits. Sufficient resistance to premature closure should be developed for creative projects. This involves prior knowledge of the

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NOTES ON CREATIVITY

The entire process of elaboration is to make the creative idea into a concept understood and appreciated by as many people as possible. It may not convince everybody. But sizeable adherents to the creative concepts alone make it sustainable. possible challenges to the creative concepts and remedies to combat them. Due to this reason elaboration becomes a necessary component of creative thinking and necessary prerequisite for its successful realization. Elaboration is essential The fourth aspect of creative thinking as suggested by J.P Guilford, the creativity pundit, is “Elaboration”: the ability to convincingly communicate creative ideas as creative products. Elaboration is given to the creative spark in order to carry it to fruition. It acts upon an inspiringly original idea to complete it. It enhances ideas by providing more details, in terms of finishing touches or packaging. Those additional details and clarity make it real, more perfect, understandable, and aesthetically pleasing. They improve interest in and understanding of the idea by others. With sufficient elaboration, a creative concept will be market-ready. It sells! Many creative ideas are often rejected as “crazy” by others due to the lack of sufficient elaboration. People count them as weird and eerie ideas and fail to connect with them. In order that creative ideas make additional appeal to as many people as possible, it should be expressed and communicated suitably. Elaboration is a method of making creative ideas catching. Elaboration consists of activities that make the creative idea whole. It includes filling the gaps, tying up loose ends, avoidance of resemblances, highlighting the uniqueness, etc. The entire process of elaboration is to make the creative idea into a concept understood and appreciated by as many people as possible. It may not convince everybody. But sizeable adherents to the creative concepts alone make it sustainable. It takes a great deal of elaboration to sell an idea and to ensure its decent acceptability. Elaboration includes steps that just affect quantity of a creative idea. Elaboration in this sense includes activities like to add, to embroider, to expand, to build, to enlarge, to extend, to embellish, to enrich, to stretch, etc. New details are added, fanciful additions are embroidered, different aspects of the idea are given suitable expansions, new arguments are built up, certain aspects of the idea are enlarged, some other aspects are extended to include new horizons of meaning, new information is added to embellish it, weak aspects of the idea are enriched, some aspects of the idea are stretched to connect to other aspects, etc. All these activities are geared to make the original creative idea total and intelligible. Elaboration also includes actions that improve the quality of a creative idea. It includes activities like to

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NOTES ON CREATIVITY

A synergy between lateral and linear thinking skills is the secret of successful elaboration procedures. In other words, even though creative thinking is born out of lateral thinking skills, linear thinking skills assumes important roles in the final development of creative thinking. assess, to critique, to determine, to evaluate, to grade, to judge, to measure, to select, to test, etc. Different aspects of the idea are assessed on their merits, critique is made on logical structure of the idea, the limits and possibilities of ideas are determined, the efficacy of the idea is evaluated, the relative advantage of the idea is found out through proper grading against similar concepts, careful judgement of the merits and demerits of the idea is developed, the contextual fitness is measured, etc. All these efforts are oriented to improve comparative worth of the creative idea and concept over other competing ideas and concepts. Elaboration makes creative ideas fit for communication. Half-baked ideas lack selling points. The elaboration process nurtures the original trigger contained in the novel idea to a level, which liberates it from the apparently ‘“crazy” world of creativity and make them palatable to ordinary minds also. During elaboration lateral thinking skills of creative minds meet their linear thinking skills. A synergy between lateral and linear thinking skills is the secret of successful elaboration procedures. In other words, even though creative thinking is born out

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of lateral thinking skills, linear thinking skills assumes important roles in the final development of creative thinking. They are two aspects of the same process, two sides of the same coin. Elaboration is essential not just in the development of an idea. It is equally important in the sustainable development of a project, in the building up of an institution or in the creative development of a movement. They might be born out of creative spark of some creative minds. They might be emanated from the dreams of some charismatic personalities. True elaboration in the course of time is necessary to keep the original spirit of these projects, institutions or movements. They will wither away in the absence of timely and suitable elaboration. Thus elaboration is creativity in nurture. How to develop elaboration skills The result of elaboration is observed in the greatest human achievements as diverse as the great sculpture of Pieta, a smart phone, or constitution of a democratic nation. Each of these projects and products started from a simple creative concept and grew into an impressive final product. The process that allowed the simple concept to take shape is elaboration.

It is possible to train oneself in the art of elaboration. It has a lot to do with imagination and power of visualization. Elaboration is done by asking all kinds of questions of linear thinking to the creative idea. Clarity and distinction in thinking is the key to the success in this process. The art of addressing divergent concerns and integrating a multitude of perspectives is at stake here. To develop elaboration skills one should learn the art of optimally asking the fundamental questions of linear thinking, namely, five Ws and one H question, which were immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his “Just So Stories” (1902) through the following verses: “I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.”

In addition to training in these fundamental questions of linear thinking, one should also familiarize oneself with a multitude of questions directed to improve both the quantity and quality of elaboration as suggested above. Armed with excellent elaborations skills, a creative mind will harvest the richest fruits of creativity.

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COVER STORY

Food for thought No to toxic food Yes to safe food


Eat right Nearly 80 per cent of all diseases are a result of our bad eating habits. You should eat to live and not live to eat. If you are one of those who has little time to eat or have irregular meal times or tend to snack on junkfood, here’s your reality check.

The Japanese way The Japanese diet is the healthiest, according to dieticians. A typical Japanese lunch comprises noodles in broth, vegetables and rice balls wrapped in seaweed and fish for lunch. No fried items, no desserts, no colas. If people replace carbonated drinks with green tea and drink 7-9 glasses of water every day, half their problems will be solved.

Fast food junkies Most youngsters eat twice as much as they need to, usually out of boredom or habit. A decade ago people got high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease in their early 40s. Today most of the afflicted are in their 20s, and it all has to do with bad lifestyle.

Be disciplined Eating healthy is the easiest thing in the world, all you need is some discipline and will. Breakfast should be light, limited or fat free. It should include diet rich in protein and carbohydrate. A light lunch which should include brain power foods like fish, grains and veggies is the ideal spread recommended. Dinner should be the lightest.

Foods that are a must in your food cart What should your fruit and vegetable basket look like? Nutritionists across the world have come up with a dream shopping list that comprises 21 food items that help you fight ageing and disease. Broccoli, carrots, chilli peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, beans, soy and tofu, strawberries, papaya, pineapple or kiwi fruit, mangoes, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, apricots, bananas, tea, salmon and flaxseed.

Tried and tested Strictly avoid Sugar and limit intake to 10% of daily calories. Snacking after dinner. Calorie restricted diets which are known to effect memory and concentration in the long run. Overdose of caffeinated beverages. Carbonated drinks. Replace with six, seven glasses of water. Daily desserts. Have fruits instead.

It’s easy to say ‘cut the oil, salt and sugar ’. But, at a time when there are multiple theories about what’s good and bad, it’s best to stick to the tried and tested. Experts vote for foods that ensure that you’re covered for all vitamins, minerals, omega-3s and phytochemicals—all known to be long-life ‘supersavers’.


Eat because you have to Eating for sustenance, eating for pleasure, and eating from boredom. Most health experts agree that we cannot afford to eat from boredom. Eating for pleasure is allowed occasionally. For eg, the daily dessert must become a weekly or fortnightly tryst for those who want to be fit.

Make time for meals Overworked professionals tend to skip breakfast and eat heavy meals later. According to nutritionists, city folks could cut up to 200 calories from their daily diet if they ate at the right time.


COVER STORY

You are what you eat Be it idli, dosa, raita or dhokla, fermented food have been a staple in practically all our diets. They play a crucial role in maintaining of gut health. In fact, most age-related problems like memory loss stem from lack of protective intestinal microbiota. Here’s how poor nutrition can lead to odd behaviour

restlessness, apathy, and depression. In fact, niacin found in large quantities in rice, wheat bran, chicken and peanuts is regarded as a secret treatment for psychological disorders such as attention deficit disorder, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and general psychosis, which affects one’s social behaviour.

Followers of fad diets, beware. Apart from affecting your physical wellbeing, studies have suggested that nutritional deficiencies and an imbalance of bacteria in your gut results in several behavioural problems. The reason food has an immediate and lasting effect on mental health is because of the way it affects the structure and Lack of fermented foods leads to: function of the brain. Your gut has the Memory loss ability to influence your mind, mood and Eat: Idlis, dhoklas behaviour. This is why you find yourself thinking from your stomach each time you are hungry. Here, we pick three vitamins and explain how their deficiency in the body can cause a behavioural problem. Vitamin B3, or niacin, is an essential vitamin required for processing fat in the body, lowering cholesterol levels, and regulating blood sugar levels. It is learnt that a deficiency of niacin leads to pellagra, a condition characterised by diarrhoea, dermatitis, dementia, inflammation of the mouth, amnesia, and delirium. Even a slight deficiency of niacin can lead to irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, fatigue,

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Be it idli, dosa, raita or dhokla, fermented food have been a staple in practically all our diets. They play a crucial role in maintaining of gut health. In fact, most agerelated problems like memory loss stem from lack of protective intestinal

microbiota (the microbe population living in our intestine). In a recent study, polyamines (low molecular weight aliphatic polycations, highly charged and ubiquitously present in all living cells), found in foods such as wheat germ, fermented soy, and matured cheese, were shown to prevent memory decline in fruit flies. Medical experts explain, your body gets polyamines from three sources: Endogenous biosynthesis, intestinal microorganisms, and through diet. They advise eating a rich supplement of high quality probiotic or non pasteurised, traditionally fermented foods to maximise the variety of bacteria in the diet. However, eating fermented food alone may not be enough if the rest of your diet is poor. The gut bacteria are an active and integrated part of your body, and are vulnerable to your overall lifestyle. If you eat a lot of processed foods, your gut bacteria are going to be compromised because these foods will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast.

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COVER STORY

Serotonin, a key neurotransmitter made by the amino acid tryptophan, helps to regulate feelings of contentment and anxiety, as well as playing a role in regulating depression. Many adults do not have sufficient levels of tryptophan because their intake of nuts, seeds and wholegrains is low. Besides, your gut bacteria are sensitive to antibiotics, chlorinated water, antibacterial soap and pollution. So if you’ve been Mr Forgetful of late, you know which factors may be at play. Omega 3 deficiency leads to: Irritability Eat: Oily fish, soy, nuts One nutrient in particular that is essential for optimal brain functioning is omega-3 fatty acid. The brain relies on a mixture of complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids (EFAs) — particularly Omega 3 and Omega 6 — vitamins and water to work properly. Highly processed food contains high levels of transfats, which can assume the same position in the brain as the EFAs, without delivering the proper nutrients.

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This nutritional deficiency could hamper the body’s production of amino acids, which are vital to good psychological health. Neurotransmitters, made from amino acids, are chemicals, which transmit nerve impulses between the brain cells. Serotonin, a key neurotransmitter made by the amino acid tryptophan, helps to regulate feelings of contentment and anxiety, as well as playing a role in regulating depression. Many adults do not have sufficient levels of tryptophan because their intake of nuts, seeds and wholegrains is low. A deficiency of this supplement is known to change the levels and functioning of both serotonin and dopamine (which plays a role in feelings of pleasure), as well as compromise the bloodbrain barrier, which normally

protects your brain from unwanted matter gaining access. Omega-3 deficiency can also decrease normal blood flow to your brain, an interesting finding given that studies show people with depression have compromised blood flow to a number of brain regions. High omega-3 deficiency can be a contributing factor to deteriorating mental health along with vitamin D deficiency, which also plays an important role. In addition to consuming fermented foods, eliminating most sugars and grains from your diet is also of importance as these increase your risk of insulin resistance, which is also linked to psychological problems such as depression and violent behaviour.

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COVER STORY

The changing food habits P K G Tharakan

If a Malayali is to pray for food, he would go global, multicultural. His own native preparations have been put in sleep mode. International takes centre-stage “East or West, home is best� As with our dress style and hairstyle, behaviour and conduct, thoughts and deeds, our cuisine preferences too stand hacked by all kinds of alien influences the world over with the result that traditional stuff has turned museum pieces. We are Malayalis namesake just as we gather ourselves along the dining table. Times changed transforming us unaware. And we painfully realize we have come so far down the line that a return to the lovely old is impossible, rather undesirable.

enough and more. In the corner of the property, safely distanced from the house, was the cowshed and poultry corner. There were several ponds in the stretch of every compound, one in the front for drinking water and others in the backyard used for cleaning utensils, washing clothes, taking baths and for watering plantations. Fish in the ponds helped keep the water clean by consuming food waste. Other waste-management was through compost pits alongside. Each home was wholesome in itself, like a mini-municipal corporation of its own.

In olden times, our food was all from Food was lavish and healthy, thanks the home-grown stuff, grains to cereals to fertility of our soil and the never-failing vegetables to meat. The courtyard and rainfalls. Excess crop used to be stored or backyard of each household grew varieties of plants and trees, all giving their yields of vegetables and fruits in the proper season,

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distributed to relatives and friends, near and far. Rice used to be the staple food. Snacks and side dishes were rice-based. Both whole grains and powdered forms made it to the utensils. Permutations and combinations of rice flour, cereals, vegetables and produce grown over ground and underground were aplenty. Milk derivatives such as curd, buttermilk, butter, ghee and cream were used on a large scale to enrich quality and taste. Every dish however was distinct and unique in itself. Coconut played a pivotal additive role. Grated coconut made its way to chutney and to mixed veg curry endeared as viyal, coconut-milk flowed to make dessert and sweets and dried coconut provided coconut oil used extensively for frying.

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Rice was no more the exclusive choice of Malayalis’ gastronomical treat. Although people could not think of an absolutely riceless life, our dependence on it did mellow down. Our flair for spicy dishes is phenomenal. Aromatic spices enriched the taste and smell of our dishes. Cooking utensils were of clay or pottery. Water storage was in metal jars and pots made of copper and brass. Aluminum and steel made a late appearance but took over completely replacing the rest when the natural taste from earthenware became history. Breakfast usually was common stuff— idli, dosa, vada with sambar and coconut chutney—wholly vegetarian. Lunch was steamed rice, either raw or parboiled, with several side dishes, some dried, some solid, some flowing, some with a gravy base. Predominant were vegetable preparations. Meat and fish were just escorts. Evening saw cooked sweet potato, tapioca, yam and similar underground produces making up snacks. Inner was either rice and curry or rice soup lovingly called kanji. A full rice meal had a last course for a dessert—a finger mix of rice, curd, smashed banana and sugar—a kind of Kerala finale. Alternately sweet preparations called payasm, made of rice or lentils or with rice flakes or vermicelli with a concoction of milk, sugar, cardamom, resins, nuts and ghee, appeared during festival time invariably at parties and gatherings. Towards the middle of the 1950s, rice production did not catch up with burgeoning demand and people started to

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feel the pinch grimly. The then first Communist Government decided to dilute the state’s dependence on rice and imported large shiploads of macaroni from Italy and other countries of Europe. It was said to be richer in terms of proteins and mineral salts but the state, eternally wedded to the taste of rice, rejected the stuff outright blatantly. It was a drastic misadventure of the part of the Communist Government. By the early 1960s, rice production in the state crashed and rice availability dwindled. Seeing no end to the misery of the people the Government introduced retail rationing. Demand for rice was far

above the ration supplies and a nearfamine situation haunted the state. That was when wheat from North India slowly started its way into Malayalis’ kitchens. It was in ready supply and priced low in comparison with rice. That solved the issue of hunger but eventually changed the taste preference of the masses. Corn and maize too showed up but wheat and wheat flour had established strong roots. Chapati, poori, wheat dosa, atta (flour) preparations et al poured out as if monsoon rain. It was a repeat of Darwin’s

theory of evolution within Malayalis’ alimentary canal. Rice was no more the exclusive choice of Malayalis’ gastronomical treat. Although people could not think of an absolutely riceless life, our dependence on it did mellow down. Large numbers of Malayalis started moving out of the state and national boarders in the 1970s to the West and the Middle East. There, they were exposed to totally different food styles and food habits which they had to accept, by default. They also learnt of the negative sides of our culinary art vis-a-vis occidental and continental preparations— our native dishes being extravagantly oil-based, their aroma at times turning pungent while fried, the stink sticking to dress and staying on cutlery and utensils and, worse still, the table serve not looking modern, stylish or presentable. Oversees workers home-coming on holidays evidently turned responsible in refining the food style and habits of our state. Media publication too accelerated the food revolution in our state. Every newspaper, weekly and magazine carried recipes of freshly tried cuisine. A passion started developing in our households for fresh and new preparations. Books and authors compiled long lists of dishes. Taste research and exploration grew boundless and food was no more a thing of past making but of progressive creation.

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COVER STORY

Media publication too accelerated the food revolution in our state. Every newspaper, weekly and magazine carried recipes of freshly tried cuisine. A passion started developing in our households for fresh and new preparations. Books and authors compiled long lists of dishes. Chinese dishes performed an aggression into our kitchens, down South from the Himalayan warfront. Chinese soup ‘tom yong kung’ (meaning hot and sour) had got migrated to Kerala. Sizzlers served on hot plate, steaming and fuming, happened to fill Malayalis’ night dreams. Continental and American eateries opened up their outlets and our youth and kids love to be sleeping there. Arabic stuff such as tikka, shawarma, broast and Mandi too stay close behind their Western counterparts. Much before globalization took over the economic front, it had penetrated into our abdomen. That the eating habits and lifestyle of children has drastically changed from those of previous generations is a major concern not just in Kerala but for many countries today causing negative effects primarily on health. Poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles consuming artificial colouring materials, preservatives and health-

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threatening materials such as ajinomotto are some of the contributing factors sounding alarm bells in the area of general health management. Providing healthy and nutritious food to the children should stay above taste considerations. Hotels and restaurants, however star-studded they may be, need not be taken as granted for health and hygiene all the while being finger-licking, yummy-yummy. Fresh food is key to healthy living. Fresh vegetables are to be primary stress. Non-vegetarian preparations should, if unavoidable, be minimal or sparse. Children should be trained to be prudently selective with regard to food intake—more of rice, less of meat, adequate sugar, eggs and milk supplies and lots of vegetables and fruits. A concerted effort from the homefront alone can salvage the culinary culture of our times from going suicidal. An active lifestyle should be promoted so that the children may spend a lot of time outdoors

in having picnics, sports and games that make their lives less sedentary. Fast food chains make our lives easier and less stressful. But that should be just for a change from routine home stuff. Most of the diseases today are results from deviant lifestyles. Cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension and stroke have taken an undue toll over us. Life and food are made for each other. For life to run, we need food. To make food, we need to live and work. For a healthy life, healthy food is the key. For healthy food, we need to strive hard judiciously and take pains at home. A home-centric food style will follow a health-centric life cycle. Taste is a horizon in itself. Stay around the shores; never try to cross over. It has no ends. Eat to be fit Mom’s food is best

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Changing eating habits and a plethora of tempting delicacies Vineetha Varma

The youth of Kerala growing up with a different set of food habits than that of their parents. The ubiquitous plastic packets with their eye-catching contents have replaced the bharanis in many kitchens. Where earlier breakfast meant hours of soaking, grinding and fermenting for idlis and dosas, it’s now a snap with boxes of colourful cereals, bread, jam, cheese and butter.

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s a 30-something working mother of a young lad with a voracious appetite and a discerning palate, I find it a challenge to feed him something that is appealing to the eye, tasty, nutritious and ready in no time all rolled into one.

It takes me back to my childhood days growing up in a large Keralan household where food was an integral part of daily life. My earliest happy memories were always associated with various sounds and aromas that arose from the kitchen of the ancestral home. Those were the days when advanced culinary skills were de rigueur for any self-respecting matriarch and with an army of domestic helps and fresh produce

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from one’s own land, a staggering amount of varied delicacies was churned out on a daily basis. Eating out was looked down upon and seasonal snacks were painstakingly made and stored away in large bharanis to be savoured throughout

when parents are working full time to make ends meet, it is indeed a challenge for any mother to be able to provide tasty nutritious meals as did her mother or grandmother. With urbanization, numerous bakeries, supermarkets and eateries have

the year. Refrigeration was unheard of and every meal was freshly prepared from scratch. Each meal session was sheer pleasure for the taste buds.

now bridged that gap—savouries and delicacies which were once rare and required hours of toiling have now become readily available. For those mothers who don’t have an option to spend hours in the kitchen, the instant gravies, spice mixes and powders are all means to be able to provide good food to one’s families without the guilt. Meals can be made much in advance and stored in large refrigerators

Things have changed, and how! Gone are those days where full-time domestic help was within easy reach. With nuclear families living in apartment blocks and tiny homes, coupled with the lack of time

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COVER STORY

The choices the youth of today have in terms of food are like never before, and as tempting as it may seem—moderation and good old-fashioned outdoor play would be a better way forward. for days to come. This has resulted in the youth of Kerala growing up with a different set of food habits than that of their parents. The ubiquitous plastic packets with their eye-catching contents have replaced the bharanis in many kitchens. Where earlier breakfast meant hours of soaking, grinding and fermenting for idlis and dosas, it’s now a snap with boxes of colourful cereals, bread, jam, cheese and butter. Instant noodles save the day when you run out of time and ideas for the evening snack or even tiffin! In this era of advertising, where children are often decision-makers in many purchases it is

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difficult for parents to resist impulse purchases of colas and biscuits and chips at supermarkets. Many vegetarians have now developed a taste for non-vegetarian foods with the emergence of numerous eateries serving typical Kerala non-veg dishes with Kerala parathas! While one cannot deny and avoid this convenience which has now become part of our lives, it has come at a heavy price. The prevalence of obesity in children aged 6-15 in Kerala has been on the increase especially among middle- and high-income groups. This can lead to health problems especially when coupled with lack of physical activity,

excessive snacking on fried foods and the regular consumption of empty calories like soft drinks. Overweight children also run the risk of being made fun of by their peers which may cause self-esteem issues as they grow into adulthood. The choices the youth of today have in terms of food are like never before, and as tempting as it may seem—moderation and good old-fashioned outdoor play would be a better way forward. The author is Executive Housekeeper at Kumarakom Lake Resort, She is an alumna from the Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, TVM.

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‘Nutritious food for all’ should be our motto We depend fully on other states for food crops. We used to cultivate various crops, almost enough for our needs. Our food is mainly rice and rice products. It was not so earlier. Kerala had a diversity of food products locally. We had rice and rice products once in a day earlier. This pattern has changed from the 1970s. “Availability of nutritious food for all” should be our motto, says M M Abbas, general convener of Organic Kerala and president of Co-operative Hospital, Kakkanad, Kochi. “Agricultural land in Kerala has become poisonous mainly because of the extraordinary use of chemical fertilizers. It is almost impossible to cleanse food products available in the market which are fully loaded with fertilizers. Kerala had witnessed a drastic change in cultivation in the early 1950s when we shifted from food crops to cash crops”, he says. The saying “rice is life” reflects the importance of rice as a primary food source to Keralites. During 1985-86 nearly 6.78 lakh hectares of land in Kerala was under paddy, but it went down to 2.90 ha in 2004-05. Thus within two decades, there was a decline of nearly 3.88 lakh hectares. The gross area of paddy in Kerala comes to 7.46 percent of the total geographical area. There is a decline of 57% of the area under paddy during this

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period. The state is well known for its produce like rubber, coconut, arecanut, tapioca, coffee, cardamom and tea. Kerala is the single largest producer of a number of other crops like cashew, ginger and turmeric.

Its cropping pattern is characterized by a predominance of perennial crops. “We depend fully on other states for food crops. We used to cultivate various crops, almost enough for our needs. Our food is mainly

rice and rice products. It was not so earlier. Kerala had a diversity of food products locally. We had rice and rice products once in a day earlier. This pattern has changed from the 1970s.” There is a tremendous decline in the cultivation of paddy, tapioca and other cereal substitutes in the state. The production of cash crops like ginger has registered an increase. Production of rubber and coconut has also increased. But the percentage contribution of these crops to the total production shows a downward trend. The country should achieve food security by preserving agro-biodiversity. “Food subsidies and tax relaxations on ‘junk food products’ should be withdrawn so that local foods get a better exposure. The longterm impacts of genetically engineered food crops should be monitored,” says Abbas. He stresses the need for effective utilization of the food value of various species of lesser-known crops to obtain food security at the local level.

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COVER STORY

New-gen kids miss those good-old days! Nirmala Lilly

The fast food retail chains influence our kids a lot. An advantage is that kids can live anywhere in the world now because of the multiple food habits.

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oing down memory lane, I recall my schooldays when my five siblings and I, coming back from school, used to throw our bags and shoes and run and gather in front of the dining table to eat. Do you know what we used to get to eat? If it was a combination of boiled arrowroot, yam, chembu, kaacchil and sweet potato (different types of root vegetables) with chutney, a mixture of red chilli and small onion smashed in coconut oil, as a side dish. It would be tapioca and fish curry or kadachakka (a variety of jackfruits) with idi chammanthi (another type of chutney) the next day. Another day it would be boiled beans with grated coconut and pulse mixed with coconut. And then there would be seasonal fruits—mango, jackfruit, pineapple etc. Yummy! Delicious! The very thought of it now makes my mouth water! Most of those vegetable roots and items were cultivated in our own backyard. Mind you, nobody would help you to cut the mango or take out the jackfruit completely out of the skin; everyone got a

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piece. We would then have to find our own ways to eat it. At the end of it, our hands, face, body and dress would be in a mess. You had to have a quick shower and change of clothes. It was absolute fun and an enjoyment of nutritious, healthy food. Such good old days are our greatest memories. I pity our new-generation kids: they are not having even a fourth of what we used to enjoy or experience. They are in the “e”-world. They enjoy fast foods and bottled juices. Are they healthy? There are many companies which produce a wide range of Mediterranean foods that are served or sold in cafes, takeaways, kebabs, shops, restaurants, schools and supermarkets. These companies are taking advantage of children by giving freebies in schools and colleges. Many of these come free with other items of purchase. Slowly this will become a habit. Then kids will get addicted to them. I know many kids who are fond of crispy items and soft drinks with lots of preservatives. Eating modern foods has become a habit with many kids.

Munching something while watching TV or playing computer games is a very common affair. Many kids are addicted to having foods from pavement shops (thattukadaas) and chatting at the mobile venders’. The fast food retail chains influence our kids a lot. An advantage is that kids can live anywhere in the world now because of the multiple food habits. By having meals together, children learn how to eat by watching their parents. Meals which include low proteins, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables should be prepared at home. Then children would less likely eat unhealthy snacks and use soft drinks. Remember that it is our children and their health matters to us. “Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply and move harmoniously”. (Jean-Pierre Barra) The author is Sr. General Manager, Wonderla Holidays Ltd.

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Healthy Eating Habits for Your Child Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.

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y teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults. Your child’s health care provider can evaluate your child’s weight and growth and let you

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know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made. Some of the most important aspects of healthy eating are portion control and cutting down on how much fat your child eats. Simple ways to reduce fat intake in your child’s diet and promote a healthy weight include serving: low-fat or non-fat dairy products

poultry without skin lean cuts of meats whole grain breads and cereals Also, reduce the amount of sugar sweetened drinks and salt in your child’s diet. If you are unsure about how to select and prepare a variety of foods for your family,

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COVER STORY

Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating. consult a registered dietitian for nutrition counseling. It is important that you do not place your overweight child(ren) on a restrictive diet. Children should never be placed on a restrictive diet to lose weight unless a doctor supervises one for medical reasons. Other approaches parents can take to develop healthy eating habits in their children include: Guide your family’s choices rather than dictate foods. Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house. This practice will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices. Leave the unhealthy choices like soda and juice at the grocery store. Serve water with meals. Encourage your children to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when they eat slowly. Before offering a second helping or serving, ask your child to wait a few minutes to see if they are truly still hungry. This will give the brain time to register fullness. Eat meals together as a family as often as possible. Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.

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Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals. These activities will give you hints about your children’s food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.

Plan for snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating, but snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child’s appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible, without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events. Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.

Encourage your children to drink more water. Over consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to increased rates of obesity in children. Try not to use food to punish or reward your children. Withholding food as a punishment may lead children to worry that they will not get enough food. For example, sending children to bed without any dinner may cause them to worry that they will go hungry. As a result, children may try to eat whenever they get a chance. Similarly, when foods, such as sweets, are used as a reward, children may assume that these foods are better or more valuable than other foods. For example, telling children that they will get dessert if they eat all of their vegetables sends the wrong message about vegetables. Make sure your children’s meals outside the home are balanced. Find out more about their school lunch program, or pack their lunch to include a variety of foods. Also, select healthier items when dining at restaurants. Pay attention to portion size and ingredients. Read food labels and limit foods with trans fat. Also, make sure you serve the appropriate portion as indicated on the label.

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COVER STORY

Ayurveda Tips

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yurveda recommends vegetarian foods which gives more nourishment to the body than the non-vegetarian foods. Simple food makes the body strong and discords diseases. Overeating may cause obesity and may invite diseases. Night meals should be taken 2-3 hours before going to bed. This will help in proper digestion of food. What we eat has a profound effect on our mind as well as the body. It is not only important as to what we eat but it is equally important as to how we eat. Following are a few tips on diet which help in getting the best out of what we eat.

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Fresh ginger with a small amount of salt should be taken 10 to 20 minutes before food. The diet, especially hard substances should be properly chewed. Wherever possible intake of curd or buttermilk should follow food. The food should be tasty, fresh and good in appearance. It should neither be very hot nor absolutely cold. Water should be avoided at least 15 minutes before food. The quantity of

water after food should be small. Let it be drunk often. Heavy (Guru) food should be taken in a limited quantity. Heavy food should not be taken at night. The proper time of night meal is two to three hours before going to bed. After night meal, it is better to go for a short walk, of say hundred steps. Heavy work or exercise should be avoided after food. After meals, heavy mental or physical work should be avoided. Some rest is advisable for proper digestion of food.

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BOOK SHELF

Les Misérables Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean - the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread - Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them onto the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.

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es Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title, which has not been successfully translated from French (attempts ranging from The Miserable, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor and The Victims, to The Dispossessed). Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, focusing on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous adaptations for the stage, television, and film, including a musical and a film

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adaptation of that musical. The appearance of the novel was highly anticipated and advertised. Critical reactions were diverse, but most of them were negative.

Commercially, the work was a great success globally. Synopsis The major plot involves Jean Valjean who is released from prison, and through the kindness of Father Myriel, becomes a new man. He gets a new name via association with Myriel and his obvious kindness and generosity to others and gradually builds a successful and prosperous life for himself with a renovation of the jet-work industry in Montreuil-surmer. One of his employees is-although unknown to him-fired by the head mistress because of an illegitimate baby. Fantine goes from one occupation to another, finally becoming a prostitute. A minor incident takes place in the streets, and Fantine is arrested by Javert. Valjean, who has become known as Mayor Madeleine, forces Javert to release her and takes her into his own house when he hears her story. Fantine is in extremely poor health, however, and dies without ever seeing her child again, even though Valjean had promised to get the child. Meanwhile, another man has been arrested and mistakenly

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BOOK SHELF

the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. identified as Valjean. Valjean appears in court, revealing the truth and losing both his business and his position in Montreuilsur-mer. Although he is arrested, he breaks out long enough to hide his fortune. He spends additional time in prison, working aboard a ship. Eventually he escapes again and retrieves Cosette from the evil Thenardiers whom Fantine had trusted to take care of the child. Then begins 10 years of hiding, moving from place to place, always staying just ahead of Javert. Seven or eight happy years are spend in a convent where Valjean works with the gardener and Cosette attends a girls’ school. Feeling that Cosette must have opportunity to experience all of life, they leave the convent when she is about 15. Valjean is nearly betrayed and recaptured due to the insidious if somewhat unwitting deeds of the Thenardiers.

are finally overtaken, Valjean rescues Marius and escapes through the city sewers. Marius is unconscious and does not know who rescued him. When his health returns, he insists once again on marrying Cosette, and this time the grandfather relents. Old wounds are at least partially healed. As Javert is also dead, it would seem that Cosette, Valjean, Marius and his grandfather could all form one happy family. Cosette and Marius marry, but Valjean reveals the truth of himself to Marius who gradually banishes him from even seeing Cosette. The Thenardiers are a continuous nuisance and occasionally a real threat throughout

Criticism: Whatever Hugo thought of the battle raging in the United States, the novel was popular in America and received widespread attention in newspapers and journals. The Atlantic Monthly, having finished only “Fantine,” the first of five parts, proclaimed that “it is impossible to escape from the fascination it exerts over the mind.” Readers could not help being impressed by the grandeur of the work, but the reviews were mixed. The New York Times called the novel “remarkable” and “brilliant,” but in the same notice labeled Hugo “a prosy madman.”

While Valjean is continuously on the lookout for people who might have guessed his identity and makes their home always in out of the way places, Cosette becomes aware of her own femininity and beauty. She and Marius spot each other and fall in love. Marius is a college student who has been raised by his grandfather after the old man had disowned his son-in-law for supporting Napoleon. Marius discovers the truth about his father shortly after his death and enmity develops between himself and his grandfather. With little income, Marius in unable to marry Cosette and prevent Valjean from taking her away again, and his grandfather refuses to give consent for a marriage to someone he assumes is beneath him. In Paris, politics, work issues, and various unsatisfactory conditions are gradually bringing a faction of workers and college students to the point of revolt. An insurrection takes place; Marius joins in hoping to die since he will not be able to have Cosette. Valjean joins the insurrection because he believes he is losing Cosette’s love and because, although he hates him bitterly, he intends to try to protect Marius for Cosette. When the barricades

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of the five parts that constitute the novel began to appear in America by year’s end. Hugo had begun the sprawling novel in the 1840s, put it aside, and come back to complete it between 1860 and 1862. He was an opponent of slavery, and in 1859 defended John Brown. “Insurrection,” he said, was a “sacred duty.” In the novel, Hugo name-checked Brown in a list of celebrated revolutionaries that included Washington, Bolivar and Garibaldi. Hugo’s focus was the July Revolution of 1830, but it is possible he had the American conflict in mind when he wrote, “Civil war … What did the words mean? Was there any such thing as ‘foreign war?’ Was not all warfare between men warfare between brothers?”

the book, but in spite of Thenardier’s intention to bring harm to Valjean, he actually reveals the truth of Valjean’s history to Marius. Valjean dies in the end, but it is with contentment after a joyful reunion with Cosette. He is content to know that Cosette and Marius have “forgiven” him, although it seems as though Valjean himself is the one who has the right to be on the forgiving end of things. History Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” was published in 1862 and English translations

“There is a great deal of trash mixed with the good: long and worthless episodes, not sufficiently connected with the story,” claimed The Christian Advocate. The New Englander was harsher still: “The whole career of Jean Valjean presents a series of impossible cases, of strange incongruities, and stands in continuous antagonism with the principles of truth and honor which ought to be every honest man’s line of conduct.” By the time The Continental Monthly got to “Marius,” Part III, the reviewer concluded that he might well understand if it was the readers who called themselves miserable. While Hugo may not have had the Civil War in mind, American

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BOOK SHELF

Whatever Hugo thought of the battle raging in the United States, the novel was popular in America and received widespread attention in newspapers and journals. The New York Times called the novel “remarkable” and “brilliant,” but in the same notice labeled Hugo “a prosy madman.” reviewers certainly did and many viewed the novel through the prism of the war. In March 1863, The Times published “What If Your Uncle Had Been Your Aunt?” The article mocked Hugo the historian, who throughout the novel raises questions of contingency. For example, he states that the Battle of Waterloo would have turned out differently had it not rained in the morning. This focus on “what ifs,” the writer lamented, had become the refuge of Northern Democrats, who used it to distract the public mind from what was actually happening. “Supposing Lincoln to have swallowed his tooth-brush on the 3d and to have died of it on the 4th of March, 1861, we are willing, for the sake of quiet, to concede that this country would now be in the enjoyment of profound peace,” acknowledged the article. But none of these “impossible or ridiculous premises” are true and it is time, the writer declared, “to secure attention to the real business before us.”

posts, as well as photos and articles from the Times archive. It was not only literary critics who contemplated Hugo’s book. Soldiers took the novel with them into battle. James A. Black, an assistant surgeon with the 49th Illinois infantry, wrote on April 1, 1863, “In camp all day reading ‘Les-Miserables’ by Victor Hugo.” An example of how thoroughly Hugo’s characters entered the culture emerges from the diary of James Parks Caldwell, a

The novel attached itself in other ways as well. After the war, the southern writer John Esten Cooke, who had served on J.E.B. Stuart’s staff, explained its popularity among Confederate soldiers and how the Army of Northern Virginia came to be called “Lee’s Miserables”:

If Northern writers had reservations about “Les Miserables,” Southern critics embraced the novel, despite Hugo’s abolitionist sympathies. In July 1863, The Southern Literary Messenger admitted that “[f]or M. Hugo the abolitionist, we entertain a sincere pity.” But the reviewer called the novel the “greatest and most elaborate work of Victor Hugo’s fruitful genius.” “To us,” he said, “it is a Bible in the fictitious literature of the nineteenth century.” The writer went on to apply the novel’s Christian principles to the iniquities suffered by Gen. John C. Pemberton, who had recently surrendered Vicksburg to U.S. Grant and was vilified for it. Pemberton’s “loyalty, his capacity, his fidelity” were all questioned and he was persecuted because he had been born in Pennsylvania. But “why should any innocent be visited, in a century boasting of its humanity and Christian civilization with the sins of its parents?” Like Fantine, Pemberton had been treated as an illegitimate child and made into a pariah. Explore multimedia from the series and navigate through past

imagination of the soldier came from Wilky James, the younger brother of William and Henry James. Wilky joined the Massachusetts 44th and then the famous black regiment, the 54th. In spring 1863, he wrote, “Today is Sunday and I’ve been reading Hugo’s account of Waterloo in ‘Les Miserables’ and preparing my mind for something of the same sort. God grant the battle may do as much harm to the Rebels as Waterloo did to the French.” That summer, Wilky was seriously wounded in the assault on Fort Wagner.

Confederate prisoner held on Johnson’s Island in Ohio. In January 1864 he wrote, “water carrying is a great bore, and has procured me the Soubriquet of Cosette,” the novel’s heroine, who hauls water in the night. One Confederate soldier, John Edward Dooley of the First Virginia, also at Johnson’s Island, turned critic: “there is a great deal of absurdity in it altho’ the interest of the narrative is pretty well sustained.” Perhaps the most dramatic example of how the novel filtered into the

The name had a somewhat curious origin. Victor Hugo’s work, “Les Miserables” had been translated and published by a house in Richmond; the soldiers, in the great dearth of reading matter, had seized upon it; and thus, by a strange chance the tragic story of the great French writer had become known to the soldiers in the trenches. Everywhere, you might see the gaunt figures in their tattered jackets bending over the dingy pamphlets — “Fantine,” or “Cosette,” or “Marius,” or “St. Denis,” and the woes of “Jean Valjean,” the old galley-slave, found an echo in the hearts of these brave soldiers, immersed in the trenches and fettered by duty to their muskets or their cannon …. Thus, that history of ‘The Wretched,’ was the pabulum of the South in 1864; and as the French title had retained on the backs of the pamphlets, the soldiers, little familiar with the Gallic pronunciation, called the book “Lee’s Miserables!” Then another step was taken. It was no longer the book, but themselves whom they referred to by that name. The old veterans of the army henceforth laughed at their miseries, and dubbed themselves grimly, “Lee’s Miserables!”

IIT-Delhi has been ranked 13th of the best universities.

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INNOVATION

On winners and losers in globalization G

lobalization has made the world a better and more equal place for many more people than was the case a few decades ago. However, it has also created two well-defined worlds of poor countries and wealthy nations, according to Vanesa Jordá and José María Sarabia of the University of Cantabria in Spain. In an article published in Springer’s journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, they studied the distribution of wellbeing over the last wave of globalization between 1980 and 2011. Well-being is generally described as the state of being happy, healthy or prosperous. The researchers used the UN Human Development Index as an indicator of quality of life. It offers a realistic perspective of the national levels of well-being of 130 countries, covering almost 90 percent of the world’s population. The Index also takes into account non-income dimensions such as education and health. It shows that globalization has brought higher levels of development to more countries than was the case 30 years ago. However, the intensity by which well-being has increased differs across countries. This has created two well-defined clusters: one of least developed countries in especially SubSaharan Africa, and another of highly developed countries. At the same time,

medium developed nations, such as China and India, have caught up with the advanced economies. Overall, income inequality across countries has only been reduced by less than 10 percent. Because of the so-called “poverty trap,” poorer countries struggle to rise to the top within the competitive common global market. Such efforts are hampered by difficulties in

Leader countries in each region of the world are able to overcome such obstacles and experience higher levels of development compared with the nations around them. The greatest decrease in disparities was found in education, which presents reductions of up to 64 percent. This is thanks to enhanced efforts towards education in developing countries over the last 40 years, especially in Asia. It is consistent with the belief that globalization promotes investment in education and helps countries to develop. On the health side, no real catch-up or convergence was seen during the nineties. However, this is changing over the past ten years thanks to the expansion of health technology and medicines. Greater access to HIV/AIDS medications, tuberculosis treatment, and insecticide-treated mosquito nets to reduce cases of malaria are of benefit.

“The benefits of globalization have increased a number of aspects of wellbeing in most countries. However, these advantages have not reached a group of acquiring supplies and public services in countries which are not able to overcome least developed countries, which make the human development barriers in health accessing global markets difficult. Foreign and income. They are being trapped in a money is also invested heavily in oillow pole which shows little sign of their exporting countries rather than in countries catching up or converging to the general that do not export oil. trend,” conclude Jordá and Sarabia.

Solar energy plus lunar energy can make a difference

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new type of collectors that could be used to trap moon’s energy has been developed by German architect Andre Broessel. This invention will facilitate generation of renewable energy also during the night bridging the energy gap. The electric vehicles could be charged with green energy, day and night! The solar-lunar collector consists of a transparent glass sphere of about one meter diameter filled with distilled water connected to a source of light. The system is named Beta.ray by the company Rawlemon in Barcelona, which plans to introduce the product in the market shortly. At the focus of the glass sphere the light will be concentrated up to about 20,000

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times. The concentrated light will be made to incident on photovoltaic cells and heatabsorbing mini-generators, both of them converting light energy into electrical power. Andre Broessel chanced on the concept of Beta.ray as he was having his breakfast with his little daughter. She was playing with a glass marble in the egg-basket. He observed that the light focus constantly changed in the egg-basket from which he developed the idea of using such structures to focus light. It was the birth moment of the company, Rawlemon. This method is found to produce four times more electrical power than that produced by usual photovoltaic cells under normal conditions. The efficiency of

conversion reaches up to 44.7%, in contrast to ordinary photovoltaic systems whose efficiency ranges between 17% and 20%. The major attraction of Andre’s concept is that it could utilize the energy of moon and could be put into operation at night. The collector is provided with a micro-tracking system to keep the glass sphere facing the light source. Beta.ray thus could concentrate even on the moon’s energy, paving the way for lunar energy technologies working in conjunction with solar energy technologies. The day-andnight production of electrical power is attractive as it solves the diurnal intermittency attached to solar technologies.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


INNOVATION

Policy framework for age-friendly technologies needed

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rom smart phones to smart cars, both public and private entities must consider the needs of older adults in order to help them optimize the use of new technologies, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. Joseph Coughlin, PhD, reports on the promise and prevailing shortcomings of linking high-tech devices to the needs and interests of older generations. Fascinating innovations are coming out of labs around the world. However, there is still a shortage of consumerready solutions. Coughlin calls for the training of a new-generation engineers in tech and aging.

Thus, potential usefulness of a device alone is not enough to ensure success. Lee enumerates a series of factors challenging adoption, such as usability, affordability, accessibility, confidence, independence, compatibility, reliability, and trust. Using technology safely is the focus of the discussion by Bryan Reimer, PhD, which addresses the growing sophistication of driver-assisted technologies moving in the direction of highly automated vehicles. He concludes that it is critical to recognize that increased automation in cars requires more, not less, driver education.

Sustainable production or E3-production

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carce and expensive raw materials, rising energy prices, climate protection and demographic shifts leave industrial production with a lot to contend with in the coming years. Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute, Germany, have come out with some pathbreaking concepts in sustainable production. They call the manufacturing concept E3-Production. The three “E”’s represent the areas of focus that bring together Fraunhofer scientists from 12 institutes. New machines, technologies and processes conserve Energy and resources – and pave the way for an Emissions-neutral factory. Ergonomics in manufacturing completes the set.

“Although automated vehicle technologies will ultimately save lives, there may be unavoidable issues, and even loss of live, on the way to full automation,” Reimer states. Chaiwoo Lee discusses some of the challenges faced by both designers of smart “It is essential to begin framing the issue of automation as a long-term investment in a technology and older adults as actual or safer, more convenient future that will potential users of that technology. She revolutionize, in particular, the experience indicates that a mix of technological, of old age.” individual, and social factors is at work. Energy- and resource-efficient production requires combining different production stages to save time, resources and money in the process. Researchers will demonstrate, for instance, how the he Karlsruhe Institute of Technology the laboratory can carry a much higher manufacture of a hood of a car, normally (KIT), Germany, has come out with a load. A very high stability was reached by broken down into an outer section and micro-structured lightweight construction a shell structure similar to the structure of several reinforcing parts, can now be material of the highest stability. Although honeycombs. It failed at a pressure of 28 combined into a single process. their density is below that of water, their kg/mm2 only and had a density of 810 kg/ Emissions-neutral factory requires stability relative to their weight exceeds m3. This exceeds the stability-to-density keeping the emissions generated by that of massive materials, such as highratio of bones, massive steel or aluminum. production processes to a minimum. You performance steel or aluminum. The The shell structure produced resembles a need to be able to detect harmful lightweight construction materials are honeycomb with slightly curved walls to substances and document their levels over inspired by the framework structure of prevent buckling. time and area. One needs to monitor and bones and the shell structure of the bees’ control the levels of volatile organic To produce the lightweight construction honeycombs. The results are presented in compounds (VOCs), ozone, carbon materials, 3D laser lithography was the journal PNAS. oxides, nitrogen compounds, ammonia applied. Laser beams harden the desired The KIT scientists observed that nature microstructure in a photo-resist. Then, this and methane in the surrounding air. Researchers will be showcasing the E3also uses open-pore, non-massive structure is coated with a ceramic material Research Factory for resource-efficient structures for carrying loads. Examples are by gas deposition. The structures production at Hannover Messe, wood and bones. At the same density, produced were subjected to compression Germany. however, the novel material produced in via a die to test their stability.

Bio-mimicking leads to lightweight construction materials

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INNOVATION

Controlling seemingly uncontrollable phenomena

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an one control global financial markets, human brains or network of friends? They are imposingly complex systems. Unlike the kind of system that exists in your car that has been intentionally engineered for humans to use, these systems are convoluted and not obvious how to control. Economic collapse, disease and miserable dinner parties may result from a breakdown in such systems, which is why researchers have recently been putting so much energy into trying to discover how best to control these large and important systems. Justin Ruths from Singapore University of Technology and Design and his brother Derek Ruths of McGill University have suggested that all complex systems, whether they are found in the human body, in international finance or in social situations, actually fall into just three basic categories, in terms of how they can be controlled. Their article is published in Science. They reached this conclusion by surveying the inputs and outputs and the critical control points (parts of the system you have to

control to grasp full control of it) in a wide range of systems that appear to function in completely different ways. For example, for a cell in the body, the control point

may correspond to proteins that we can regulate using specific drugs. One grouping, for example, put organizational hierarchies, gene regulation and human

purchasing behaviour together, in part because in each, it is hard to control individual parts of the system in isolation. Another grouping includes social networks such as groups of friends (whether virtual or real), and neural networks (in the brain), where the systems allow for relatively independent behaviour. The final group includes things like food systems, electrical circuits and the internet, all of which function basically as closed systems where resources circulate internally. “What we really want people to take away from the research at this point is that we can control these complex and important systems in the same way that we can control a car,” says Justin Ruths. “Our work is giving us insight into which parts of the system we need to control and why. Ultimately, at this point we have developed some new theory that helps to advance the field in important ways, but it may still be another five to ten years before we see how this will play out in concrete terms.”

Emotion detectors make driving safer

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echnology now allows us to read facial expressions and identify which of the seven universal emotions a person is feeling: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise or suspicion. This is very useful in video game development, medicine, marketing and, perhaps less obviously, in driver safety. We know that in addition to fatigue, the emotional state of the driver is a risk factor. Irritation, in particular, can make drivers more aggressive and less attentive. Scientists have recently developed an onboard emotion detector based on the analysis of facial expressions. Tests carried out using a prototype indicate that the idea could have promising applications.

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It’s not easy to measure emotions within the confines of a car, especially non-

invasively. The solution explored by scientists is to use an infrared camera placed behind the steering wheel to capture

the changing moods. The problem was to get the device to recognize irritation on the face of a driver. Everyone expresses this state somewhat differently—a kick, an epithet, a nervous tic or an impassive face. To simplify the task at this stage of the project, Hua Gao and Anil Yüce, who spearheaded the research, chose to track only two expressions: anger and disgust, whose manifestations are similar to those of anger. Detecting emotions is only one indicator for improving driver safety and comfort. In this project, it was coupled with a fatigue detector that measures the percentage of eyelid closure. The camera also detects other states on drivers’ faces such as distraction and on lip reading for use in vocal recognition. The results are promising.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


INNOVATION

In search of Superconducting graphene sheets anoelectronics is a branch of recently in Nature Communications. smallest building Nengineering derived from the electronic Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms of certain nano-materials like arranged in a honeycomb pattern, is the block of matter properties nano-tubes. Nano-tubes are made out of thinnest and strongest known material and

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iggs particle is the smallest building block of matter known today. However theories predict existence of still smaller particles. An exhaustive analysis of these theories suggests existence of the yet-unseen smaller particles of matter. “I gave them a very critical review “, says Thomas Ryttov, particle physicist and associate professor at the Centre for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology, University of Southern Denmark. According to him, there are no flows in the theories that have been put forward for the existence of particles in the universe that are smaller than the Higgs particle. “There seems to be no new or unseen weaknesses. My review just leaves them just stronger”, he says. “There must be a force that binds smaller particles together to create something bigger than themselves, something composite, a Higgs particle. It must happen similarly to quarks binding together to form protons and neutrons. If we can understand this force, we can explain and predict new physical phenomena like new particles”, explains Thomas Ryttov. Gravity has the ability to keep two objects close together. The effect of gravity depends on the fact that the two objects are not too far from each other, and the closer they are to each other the stronger the force of gravity will be. The strong force has the opposite effect: It is weak when two particles are close to each other, but strong—extremely strong—if you try to pull them apart. A still unknown force is expected to bind the still fundamental particle of matter.

Thomas Ryttov and his colleagues believe that the so-called techni-quarks can be the yet-unseen particles, smaller than the Higgs particle. If techni-quarks exist they will form a natural extension of the Standard Model which includes three generations of quarks and leptons. These particles together with the fundamental forces form the basis of the observed matter in the universe, suggest the researchers.

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grapheme sheets rolled into the shape of tubes. Researchers of Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency. Researchers used a beam of intense ultraviolet light to look deep into the electronic structure of a material made of alternating layers of graphene and calcium. While it’s been known for nearly a decade that this combined material is superconducting, the new study offers the first compelling evidence that the graphene layers are instrumental in this process. This discovery could transform the engineering of materials for nanoscale electronic devices. The researchers saw how electrons scatter back and forth between graphene and calcium, interact with natural vibrations in the material’s atomic structure and pair up to conduct electricity without resistance. They study is published

a great conductor of electricity, among other remarkable properties. Scientists hope to eventually use it to make very fast transistors, sensors and even transparent electrodes. The classic way to make graphene is by peeling atomically thin sheets from a block of graphite, a form of pure carbon that’s familiar as the lead in pencils. But scientists can also isolate these carbon sheets by chemically interweaving graphite with crystals of pure calcium. The result, known as calcium intercalated graphite or CaC6, consists of alternating one-atom-thick layers of graphene and calcium. The discovery that CaC6 is superconducting set off a wave of excitement: Did this mean graphene could add superconductivity to its list of accomplishments? But in nearly a decade of trying, researchers were unable to tell whether CaC6’s superconductivity came from the calcium layer, the graphene layer or both.

Economic issues hold key to win swing voters

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ew research from two University of Illinois economics professors who study election trends analyses how polarization on social issues affects competing candidates’ economic platforms. In the paper, co-authors Stefan Krasa and Mattias Polborn develop a theory of candidate competition that accounts for the influence of both economic and cultural issues on individual voting behaviour. The researchers test their theory using what they term a “differentiated candidates framework” in which two office-motivated candidates differ in their ideological position and choose a level of government spending and

implied taxes to maximize their vote share. Vote-maximizing politicians have a clear incentive to cater to the interests of these “swing voters”—that is, voters who are virtually indifferent between the rival candidates—rather than the electorate in general, the authors say. In the paper, Krasa and Polborn also analyse changes in the parties’ cultural positions as well as in the distribution of cultural preferences that affect the candidates’ equilibrium economic policies. Candidates will always fight tooth-and-nail to win over swing voters. However, crafting an economic policy that appeals to all of them is complicated, Krasa said.

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RESEARCH

Providing higher education is a challenge in India: Report Talking about to need to provide opportunity to private sector, the report states that private institutions have filled the demand supply gap in the higher education industry. One advantage of private higher education institutions has been that they offer a variety of skill promoting courses, which are not usually included in the curriculum offered by government run institutions.

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ue to failure of state as well as central government in providing higher education, private institutions have come up and most of them are offering poor quality education, says the recent report on higher education authored by Dr Abusaleh Shariff of the Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy, New Delhi and Amit Sharma, research analyst with the National Council for Applied Economic Research.

(Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) and North Eastern India. It emphasizes that the Indian economy is showing vibrancy and double digit growth mainly through the support of two important inputs, i.e., higher levels of educated resource and better adaption and assimilation of technology. It is critical

As per the report, “InterGenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Level Education in India” that the mean year of schooling of adults is as high as 13.3 years in the USA and just 4.4 years in India. Talking about the Gross Enrollment Ration the report says Higher Levels of Education (HLE) in India is about 10 per cent of University age, while China enrolls about 22 per cent. The report also highlights the regional differences in India related to access to higher education as it shows that the higher education is easily accessible to people in Southern India and Northern India while the situation is worst in North Central

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therefore that higher education becomes accessible to all citizens across India, irrespective of economic, social, linguistic and regional differentiations. Technical education The higher education report states that the share of persons attending technical education is more than 33 per cent of the

total enrolled in any higher education in both rural and urban areas of Southern India, which is quiet high when compared with other regions. In contrast to Southern Indian, “only 3 per cent of those enrolled in higher education in rural parts of North-Eastern India are enrolled in technical courses and the share of its urban counterpart is also low at 10 per cent as compared with other regions of urban India.” It states that unlike other regions, there is no gap in proportions of rural (33.2%) and urban (33.9%) sectors of Southern India which strongly points towards ‘equal’ proportion of awareness, of and participation in, technical education in rural and urban parts of southern India. The report says, “Even regions such as the North and West (unexpectedly) and North Central (expectedly) have shown low penetration of technical education.” Cost of Technical Education The report states that the cost of technical education is considerably high compared

Pallikkutam | April 2014


RESEARCH

The report points that the younger generation has evolved to be more aware of the value of higher education and the shares of respective populations in higher education in each socio-religious group as well as in urban, rural, male and female groups have significantly increased over the past generation. with non-technical degrees. The per annum cost for technical education ranges from around Rs. 30,000-35,000. Comparing southern India with North it says, the cost of technical education is relatively low in low in North-Central and North-Eastern regions. It states, “This may again reflect the qualitative differentials in education suggesting poor quality technical education in these regions compared to other regions of India.” Private players in higher education As per the report the educational provision in India is based on a kind loose pyramid structure which links elementary-level schooling to successively higher levels such as matric, pre-university, university and technical education. The report states that providing higher education is a challenge in India. “Since India is a growing population the infrastructure needs is growing by the day. People’s aspirations are changing fast, which is also boosting the demand for education at levels including the HLE and technical education,” says the report. It further comments that while during the early period after independence the state governments established the HLE infrastructure, the facilities could not sustain and failed to ensure access to eligible citizens due to demand pressure caused both by an increase in youth population and also increasing higher level educational aspirations. “But, while being costly they seem to often impart lowquality education compared with the standard government run institutions,” report commented. Talking about to need to provide opportunity to private sector, the report

Pallikkutam | April 2014

states that private institutions have filled the demand supply gap in the higher education industry. One advantage of private higher education institutions has been that they offer a variety of skill promoting courses, which are not usually included in the curriculum offered by government run institutions. It says, the private higher education institutions needs to be supported by creating enabling and promotional role by the government with a strong regulatory mechanism to set the standards of education. Huge north-south divide The Higher education report highlights that it states that southern India’s urban

education as per cent of its population for both the generations and according to gender. The report also states that now English has become a mechanism to overcome serious socially motivated differentials; and also the contemporary globalizing economic system is anchored in English language. As per the report, the difference between southern India and rest of the regions in terms of English medium educational accessibility is very huge for both the genders. Higher education’s role in employment The report highlights the share of illiterate workforce is 30.7 per cent in the year 200910, which is twice their share of 15.2 per cent contribution to the GDP. While, only about nine per cent of the HLE (graduates and above) contributes about 29 per cent of the GDP.

population has improved at the fastest pace leading the region to showcase most promising growth in higher education in comparison with urban parts of all other regions. Talking about northern India, it says that the urban population in northern India was at the top in both the generations while in the past generation it had second highest prevalence for its rural counterpart, which in current generation has also made it to the top.However, the report states that North-Eastern India on the other hand has the least share in higher

It says, “This adequately demonstrates the power of education which enhances productivity and economic value both at the individual level and when aggregated at the level of a nation. It suggests the impact of education on GDP is prominent and they are highly correlated.” The report points that the younger generation has evolved to be more aware of the value of higher education and the shares of respective populations in higher education in each socio-religious group as well as in urban, rural, male and female groups have significantly increased over the past generation.

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POLICY WATCH

Skill vouchers: The next big thing for employability Dr D.Dhanuraj

On one hand the traditional and conventional channels of education fail to meet the demands of the industry, on the other hand, labour intensive sectors lack the suitable set of the employable youth of less education profile.

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he nation is going to polling booths to elect its 16thLokSabha and the debate is entrenched on the type and nature of the policies that would accentuate the economic growth that the new Government will adopt. The new buzzword in campaigning is ‘entrepreneurial climate’. Irrespective of the political ideologies, almost all of the political parties are trying hard to win over the young voters by promising jobs, investment friendliness and entrepreneurial climate once they are into power. Poll promises in manifestos need not be translated into the policy work in 100 days. It will be a huge challenge to convert the poll promises to policies in such a short spans, as itdemands innovative action plans and out of box thinking. Any Government considering these poll promises as political agenda may not be able to achieve what the country desires.It requires comprehensive handholding arrangements among all the stake holders to benefit the youth at large. While

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various initiatives like Operation Black Board, Sarva Shisha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Schemes etc might have propelled to reduce the school drop outs, mere increase in numbers of the school enrollment does not reflect the quality and skills imparted in the education sector. It is more dismissive at the highereducation level. More than 50 lakhs studentsare graduating in India every year. 1

According to the findings of the ‘National Employability Report - Graduates (Annual Report 2013)’ by ‘Aspiring Minds’, the employability of graduates varies from 2.59% in functional roles such as accounting, to 15.88% in sales related roles and 21.37% for roles in the business process outsourcing (BPO/ITeS) sector. The issues are plenty at the recruitment level; poor English language skills, lack ofanalytical or cognitive skills etc,. The report also says, “Not more than 25% of the graduating students could apply concepts to solve a real-world problem in the domain of Finance and Accounting. On the other hand, on average, 50% graduates

are able to answer definition-based/ theoretical questions based on the same concept. This shows that even though students have got exposure to the concepts, they really do not understand them or know how to apply them”. This issue with the educated and college going students is only one sideof the coin.The other side of the coin is the less educated youth of employable age who also completely lack employability and skillability. On one hand the traditional and conventional channels of education fail to meet the demands of the industry, on the other hand, labour intensive sectors lack the suitable set of the employable youth of less education profile. India’s labour markets have been stuck for the last 20 years with 12 percent manufacturing employment, 50 percent self-employment, 90 percent informal employment and 50 percent agricultural employment. The benefits of demographic dividend have been discussed widely over the last two decades. While the demographic dividend presents us with the

Pallikkutam | April 2014


POLICY WATCH

A skill voucher is an instrument given to an individual or an enterprise which enables the recipient to sign up for VET from any education institute accredited with the provider of the voucher. huge pool of the man power, the economic slowdown has affected the job creation. The lack of employability is adding pressure to already dull job market to make things even more worse. With the thrust on the manufacturing sector getting dominance, ready to deployable labour force is essential for overall growth of the economy. In fact, The National Manufacturing Policy aims to create 100 million additional jobs in the next decade. Data shows that 10 lakh youthjoin the labour force every month for the next 20 years. If we don’t capitalize on this phase, the fruits of Demographic Dividend will remain as a distant dream. The setting up of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) as a public – private parternship to train skilled work force is a commendable initiative by the Central Government. Its objective is to contribute significantly (about 30 per cent) to the overall target of skilling / upskilling 500 million people in India by 2022, mainly by fostering private sector initiatives in skill development programmes and providing funding. It has set up 29 sector skill councils at the regional level. Vocational Education and Training (VET)has been the major thrust area of the council over the years. But the success rates of these training programs are quite complex in terms of benchmarking improvement in the learning outcomes of

Pallikkutam | April 2014

those undergone training. Moreover, it is in the clutches of the bureaucratic controls which focus onthe quantity over the quality in their process. There is no incentive for the individual training according the requirement and expertise demanded by the industry. The present structure limits the competition and choices among the students while incentives for the providers to offer focused results and placement oriented programmes is also missing. This scenario presents the idea of skill vouchers to put in practice for better and effective service delivery in the skill training program. 2

A skill voucher is an instrument given to an individual or an enterprise which enables the recipient to sign up for VET from any education institute accredited with the provider of the voucher. Payment for tuition of the VET is made with the vouchers. The additional amounts are paid by top-up contributions made by the student/learner. Once training is completed, the accredited institution redeems the voucher from the Government. This would encouragemore private institutions whichare closer to the market activities to take up the challenge of imparting skill training for both highly and less educated youth The scheme can be more profound in encouraging the private companies to set up their own Finishing schools in their own areas of work. Students can join there

and would be absorbed by the respective companies most of thetimes or by their counterparts. The benchmarking will be done by the recruiters while the trained students carry the brand logo of the private companies who trained them. This would be different from the Government offered skill training programmes where the gap between the industry and potential employment opportunities may still exist. High growth areas such as manufacturing, automotive, retail, trade, transport, construction, hospitality and healthcare have the ability to provide the required expanded employment. Skill vouchers are better solutions to the grumbling about the poor quality of skilled labour, so that the private companies can invest tremendously in the training aspect as it is with engineering giant L&T now. This will help in potential demand driven innovations to meet the skill training required to meet the challenges on the employability front of the nextgen. 1.

NATIONAL EMPLOYABILITY REPORT GRADUATES, Annual Report 2013, Aspiring Minds 2.

Great potential of skill vouchers, http:// jeevika.org/great-potential-of-skill-vouchers/

The author is Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research

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INVESTIGATION

India’s research article output best among BRIC; China trails behind The report indicates that when India collaborates internationally, the articles with Indian and international co-authors are associated with 111 per cent greater FWCI than articles with single institution co-authorship.

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recent study prepared by Elsevier for the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and based on Scopus data, shows that India has achieved substantial growth in research articles output, increasing from 54 thousand in 2008 to 93 thousand in 2012 at an annualized growth rate of 14.4 per cent. This is a rate higher than that of China (10.9 per cent), Brazil (7.9 per cent), Russia (1.9 per cent) and the U.K. (2.9 per cent). Over the same period from 2008 to 2012, India’s share of the top 10 per cent of the most cited articles – a proxy for high quality research articles – rose from 2.0 per cent to 3.1 per cent at an annual growth rate of 11.3 per cent, which is higher than Brazil (7.6 per cent), Russia (8.4 per cent) and the U.K. (2.7 per cent). Only China surpassed India with a 13.8 per cent annual growth rate.

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India’s field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) – normalized at value of “1” as the world average – is below average at 0.75 and is declining at a rate of 1.6 per cent per

quality. The report indicates that when India collaborates internationally, the articles with Indian and international coauthors are associated with 111 per cent greater FWCI than articles with single institution co-authorship. India’s international co-authorship is modest with a share of 16.2 per cent in 2012, behind Brazil (24.2 per cent), Russia (29.8 per cent) and the U.K. (47.6 per cent). Only China’s international co-author share is below India’s at 14.9 per cent.

Dr. Michiel Kolman, Senior VicePresident of Academic Relations at Elsevier, who is visiting Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore, said, year. China has a comparable FWCI to India, but is experiencing an upward annual “India shows incredible growth in article output, even surpassing China. On the growth rate of 2.4 per cent. The fieldquality side, although we see an overall weighted citation impact is generally impact that is below the world’s average, considered to be a good indicator for

Pallikkutam | April 2014


INVESTIGATION

U.K. possesses the infrastructure and governance to produce research that lays the foundation for innovation. In India and other BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia and China), there are room and opportunities for greater growth in both the number of patents and the research that leads to patents. there is a rising share of higher-quality articles from India. Articles from India that resulted from international collaboration show impressively high quality at more than twice the impact of articles from a single institute.” “More can be done to further advance India’s research excellence. Encouraging collaboration with the international research community will aid knowledge transfer between parties and bolster cross-border recognition,” said Dr. Kolman. On India’s performance in patents, the number of patents granted to

Pallikkutam | April 2014

India in 2012 is 3588, a figure that is higher than Brazil’s (1027), but considerably lower than the numbers for the U.K. (20,194), Russia (24,551) and much farther behind China (152,102). Dr. Kolman also revealed that the proportion of Indian research cited in patents is relatively low. The relative share of India’s patent citations to articles published from 2007 to 2011 is at 1.50 for the UK, and generally lower amongst the BRIC countries: India (0.65), China

(0.54), Russia (0.42) and Brazil (0.44). Dr. Kolman went on to explain that many U.K. research articles have been cited in worldwide patents. “This indicates that the U.K. possesses the infrastructure and governance to produce research that lays the foundation for innovation. In India and other BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia and China), there are room and opportunities for greater growth in both the number of patents and the research that leads to patents.”

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INFO TECH

Apple named most powerful tech brand of 2013

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pple is the most powerful brand in the technology industry, a recent report from CoreBrand has revealed.

industry. Ailing Japanese giant took the fifth position, with an overall ranking of 31. US telecom giant AT&T lost four

CoreBrand’s analysis, which it the most powerful tech brand, has come out with the list of 100 most elite brands list for 2014. Apple was ranked the 10th in the overall list, which was the highest spot for a tech brand.

Marissa Mayer-led Yahoo is growing in popularity, taking the 28th position in the list and fourth position in the tech

Samsung moved up 5 spaces over last year and gained 52nd place out of 100 this year. IBM’s brand power, on the other hand, has steadily improved and it takes the 49th place in overall ranking and eight in the tech industry. Samsung has also moved up five spaces over last year and gained the 52nd place, making it the ninth most powerful tech brand in the list.

Apple was the only tech company to rank at top 10 of CoreBrand’s rankings this year. Apple has steadily grown in brand power over the years; 18th spot in 2013 and 93rd in 2009. Microsoft moved up 9 spaces to 11th rank overall and second highest in tech. Google rounded up the top three with an overall rank of 26, moving up 90 positions since 2008.

year, moved down one spot from last year’s ranking and took the 48th spot.

EBay has shot up CoreBrand’s list in recent years, gaining 58 spots over the past five years. This year, it ranked 59th out of 100 overall and rounded up the top 10 most powerful tech companies. places compared to 2013 and moved from 29th to 33rd position, becoming the sixth most powerful tech company in the list. PC maker Dell, which went private last

The brand consultancy firm rates companies based on a survey of more than 10,000 business executives. Brand power is measured in terms of familiarity and favorability.

Gionee Elife S5.5 ‘slimmest smartphone in the world’ launched at Rs. 22,999

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ionee has launched what it is calling the ‘world’s slimmest smartphone’ Elife S5.5 - in India, at Rs. 22,999.

camera options on the Elife S5.5 include a 13-megapixel rear shooter with LED flash and a 5-megapixel front camera for selfies

The Gionee Elife S5.5 made its first appearance in February. The smartphone went on sale on March 18 in China.

The ‘world’s slimmest smartphone’ measures 145.1x70.2x5.55mm, and weighs 130 grams with its metal chassis.

The Elife S5.5 flaunts a thin metal frame chassis and Gionee claims it to be the world’s thinnest smartphone at 5.5mm, beating the previous record holder Vivo X3 at 5.75mm. The Gionee Elife S5.5 is a single-SIM smartphone that runs the company’s Amigo UI on top of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It features a 5-inch Super AMOLED (1080x1920 pixels) display with a pixel density of 441ppi. The Elife S5.5 is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core CPU coupled with 2GB of RAM. The

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S5.5 include 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and USB OTG. It packs in a non-removable 2300mAh battery, which according to Gionee will easily last more than a day.

and video calls. The smartphone comes with 16GB of internal storage with no further expandability option via microSD card. Connectivity options on the Elife

In December, Gionee had launched the Elife E6’s successor - the Elife E7 - in India at Rs. 26,999 for the 16GB variant. It features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920) OGS (OneGlass-Solution) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The 16GB variant is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.2GHz coupled with 2GB of RAM.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


INFO TECH

IM app Hike Microsoft offers Windows Phone OS free to Indian players to get $14m D funding

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nstant messaging app Hike is set to receive another $14 million in funding from Bharti SoftBank Holdings to scale up its operations at a time of huge expected growth for such mobile applications which have become hot property the world over. “The fresh infusion of funds will be used to scale up Hike and enable it to become agile enough to dominate the instant messaging space,” one of the people told ET. The second round of investment — after an initial $7 million funding in April 2013 — comes as India-based Hike crossed 15 million subscribers. Hike was launched

esperate times call for desperate measures. With Windows Phone failing to make a significant dent in the market share of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in the last four years, Microsoft is waiving the licence fee and offering it to at least two Indian phone makers for free.

Last month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft announced that more phone makers, including two from India — Lava and Karbonn — will produce Windows Phone devices in the coming months. Both companies already make Android devices using Google’s mobile OS which is free to use. Their Windows Phone devices are likely to hit the market in the next few months. Multiple industry sources with knowledge of Microsoft’s negotiations with Indian phone companies told TOI that it was in talks with local firms to produce afford-

able Windows Phone devices since last year. But the agreements were clinched only when Microsoft agreed to remove the licence fee it charges from phone makers for its OS. This is unprecedented. Microsoft didn’t even give the OS free to Nokia, which agreed to exclusively make Windows Phone in 2011. It reportedly charged Nokia between $20 to $30 for each Lumia device the Finnish company sold. Making the OS free also shows signs of growing frustration within the company at the lack of traction for Windows Phone in the market. Historically, licensing the software has always been bread and butter for Microsoft. While Microsoft is likely to offer Windows Phone OS to other manufacturers, including the global companies, under similar terms, the agreements with the two Indian firms are specific to them.

TCS top enterprise mobility services provider: IDC by Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal’s son Kavin Bharti Mittal in December 2012. Bharti Softbank (BSB) is a mobile internet joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japanese telecom firm Softbank Corp to invest in social media, gaming and ecommerce. It works closely with mobile operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, to help them protect some revenue from the SMS communication channel by launching apps that combine data and SMS. Bharti Airtel and BSB declined to comment on the investment. Messaging apps have become hugely popular as more people use them instead of text messages, cannibalising mobile phone companies’ messaging revenue.

Pallikkutam | April 2014

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ndian IT bellwether Tata Consulting Services (TCS) has been evaluated as leader in enterprise mobility services by industry market researcher IDC for securing highest scores in customer satisfaction, innovation and productivity.

mobility goals. “As a result, enterprises are looking to service providers like TCS for mobility expertise and guidance to build, test and manage mobile applications moving forward,” IDC spokesperson Pete Marston said, citing the report.

“Of the 14 mobility service providers evaluated on 117 parameters, customers rated TCS high in resource scalability, HTML (hyper text mark-up language) skills, thought leadership and ability to improve,” the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a statement. Though enterprises worldwide are investing more in building mobile applications as part of their missioncritical business objectives, skills shortage and rising mobile infrastructure costs are impeding them from achieving their

The Mumbai-based global software major helps its global customers in telecom space to leverage mobility to develop new business models, reach new subscribers, create new channels and improve business processes and workplaces. “As we are a customer-centric organisation, focused on our customers’ success, they have evaluated our execution capability in enterprise mobility services very high,” TCS digital enterprise global head Satya Ramaswamy said on the occasion.

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INFO TECH

IBM in talks with telcos for using data analytic tools

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echnology major IBM is in talks with India’s mobile phone carriers for implementing data analytics tools to help service providers get more revenue out of existing customers and improve their product offering by better understanding customer demands. With telcos sitting on tonnes of information about each mobile phone user, Vikas Sehgal, IBM India and South Asia’s director for telecom industry, feels authorised information can be tapped into for giving more intuitive and tailor made solutions to customers. “The technologies to bring data from network, call records, web, social media use and internet use into a mode where it can be churned and exploited to take decisions that are much deeper and informed, are picking up,” he said. He added telcos were adopting new technologies but for different reasons. For instance, some want to know which smartphones subscribers use to download what kind of content or which over-thetop (OTT) applications are subscribers

accessing on the network. IBM India and South Asia’s chief technologist, Ramesh Gopinath, added telcos sit on large amounts of data that they can’t touch, tremendously increasing the risk of them becoming ‘dumb pipes’, unless they leverage data to understand customers better. Gopinath, who is also director of IBM Research India, said the company had built Vibes, a tool that can help telcos to identify communities of like-minded people that can be targeted for specific promotions. People in Motion, another tool, can be used to create trajectories of movements of subscribers based on their locations, which can in turn be relied upon to offer promotional offers. Globally, such services based on ‘geo-fencing’ are being experimented with for giving customers specialised services, including discount coupons or specific deals from a retailer in a small geographical area, for instance a mall.

Infosys wins deal from Volvo cars

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nfosys has been selected by Volvo Cars as a strategic supplier to provide application development services for its global operations. This agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between the two companies. Infosys has been supporting Volvo Cars since 2010 to rationalize and integrate its enterprise systems.

The size of the contract was not disclosed. As part of the new agreement, Infosys will bring its global service delivery experience and ability to drive innovation and transformation. It will develop applications to support multiple domains, including marketing and sales, customer service, manufacturing, product development, and corporate functions. Nitesh Bansal, VP of manufacturing in Europe for Infosys, said, “We will be a strategic supplier for Volvo Cars to deliver excellence and innovation to transform their IT landscape to a modern architecture.”

Netmagic launches new data centre in Bangalore

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ata center Infrastructure Lifecycle Management (DILM) service provider Netmagic, an NTT Communications Company, announced the launch of its new data centre at Electronics City. The 100,000 sq ft data centre is the first time Netmagic and NTT Communications have collaborated in building an entire facility from the ground up, and thereby, draws from their combined engineering and operations expertise, the company officials said. “This is second data centre of Netmagic in Bangalore and eighth in the country. We have also got approval for another data centre in Mumbai... So we will have total of nine data centre very soon,” Netmagic MD & CEO Sharad Sanghi told reporters here. The company already has a data center at Information Technology Park

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Limited (ITPL) in the city. He said: “The company has over 850 employees in India and has operations in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Noida as far as data centre goes and it also has R&D center at Pune.” “We will be building additional capacity in these locations also, as done in Bangalore where we have set up our second data centre,” he said. To a question on investment on the new data centre and the one to be set up in Mumbai, without giving any exact figures, Sanghi said: “We invest in phases...typically we spend close to Rs 30,000 a sq ft on the built data centre white space...this is going to have close to 50,000 sq ft of white space...”. “...Mumbai will be two and a half times this size, so it is quite significant investments that we are doing on data centres in India,” he added. Stating that

company wants to be the part of global seamless cloud that NTT would provide across the world, Sanghi said: “We want to become the cloud provider of choice for global enterprises both India headquartered or overseas headquartered...”. The company said the new facility also marks the formal launch of the Nexcenter brand of data centre services in India. Under this brand, NTT Communications offers leading-edge data centre services across the globe. In India, these services are offered through all 8 Netmagic data centres. The data centre will deliver Netmagic’s entire suite of services, including managed co-location, dedicated hosting, cloud computing, IT infrastructure monitoring and management and security, company officials said.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


INFO TECH

Apple files patent for ‘transparent texting’

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S tech giant Apple has filed a patent for new technology that aims to make texting while walking safer by replacing the text background with a live video feed of whatever is in front of the smartphone user. Many smartphone users keep their eyes glued to the screens while texting and walking which can cause them to stumble over or bump into obstacles. Apple’s ‘transparent texting’ aims to solve this problem by overlaying messages on a live video feed from the rear camera of the smartphone. This will allow users to see what is happening beyond their phone and text at the same time. “A user who is walking while participating in a text messaging session may inadvertently collide with or stumble over objects in his path because his attention was focused on his device’s display instead of the path that he was traversing,” according to the patent filed in the US. The patent describes how the transparency feature could be activated by pressing a transparency button within a texting session that switches on the video feed. The feature would then ensure text bubbles appear overlaid over the live background video. The text bubbles themselves could be opaque or semitransparent, according to Tech Crunch. The patent, originally filed in September 2012, details potential extensions of the concept of transparent texting, including replacing the background of a webpage with a live video feed, so that the text of a website is overlaid over whatever environments the device user is moving through. “Alternative embodiments of the invention can be applied to virtually any computer-executable application in which text is presented over a background,” the patent application said. A recent study by researchers from University at Buffalo in the US found that texting while walking may result in more injuries per mile than distracted driving.

Pallikkutam | April 2014

Apple to release new iPhone in September

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uppliers of LCD panels for Apple’s new iPhone will ramp up production soon, in line with a timetable for a worldwide launch as early as September. The new phone, expected to be called the iPhone 6, will likely be offered in 4.7- and 5.5-inch versions, both of which are larger than the current generation’s 4-inch screen. Manufacturers have apparently begun making such components as fingerprint sensors and chips for liquid-crystal drivers. Mass production of liquid crystal display panels will start as early as the

April-June quarter at Sharp’s Kameyama factory, Japan Display’s Mobara plant, and elsewhere, according to sources. LG Electronics will supply panels as well. The new handset’s display resolution is expected to be significantly higher than that of current models. Apple put the iPhone 5 on the market in September 2012, selling 5 million units within the first three days. But shipments have since been lackluster. Last year, it introduced models in the same series with different price points for the first time with the 5S and 5C.

Android app by Indian developer caught mining bitcoins

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ongs, an app probably used by a few million Indian Android users, was among the two apps recently caught covertly using smartphones for mining bitcoins and dogecoins. Security researchers at Trend Micro, a company that makes antivirus and other security applications, recently wrote in a blog that ‘Songs’ and ‘Prized - Real Rewards & Prizes’ were using smartphones to covertly mine for virtual currency. Mining virtual currency like bitcoin or dogecoin requires lots of computing power. If an app uses a smartphone to mine virtual currency, the process is likely to keep the processor running at 100%, resulting in poor battery life and heating of the device.Trend Micro said the apps being used for bitcoin and dogecoin mining were injected with ANDROIDOS_KAGECOIN, a malware. “(Some) coin mining apps were found outside of the Google Play Store, but we have found the same behaviour in apps

(Songs and Prized) inside the Google Play Store. These apps have been downloaded by millions of users, which means that there may be many Android devices out there being used to mine cryptocurrency for cybercriminals,” a Veo Zhang, a mobile threat analyst with Trend Micro wrote in the blog. “Analyzing the code of these apps reveal the cryptocurrency mining code inside. Unlike the other malicious apps, in these cases the mining only occurs when the device is charging, as the increased energy usage won’t be noticed as much.” After the Trend Micro blog post, Prized and Songs were removed from the Play Store by Google. Of the two, Songs was more popular. It was downloaded five to 10 million times and had a rating of 4 stars. Songs claimed to give users free access to Bollywood and songs in regional languages like Punjabi and Tamil. On the Play Store, clicking on the developer’s website specified in the description page of Songs let to an error.

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BETTER ENGLISH

A Guide to English Style and Usage- 12 A.G. Menon

imaginary means ‘existing only in the imagination’, ‘unreal’: All the characters in the novel are imaginary; The film is set in an imaginary country. Imaginative means ‘having or indicating a lively imagination’: From childhood the girl has been very imaginative; The novel is an imaginative recreation of the Mahabharata.

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When ‘I’ takes the back seat I and me As the subject of a verb when you are the person speaking, I always comes last. So the sentence I and Manjula went to the exhibition yesterday is considered improper. It should be Manjula and I...; My friends and I are planning a trip next week; Suseelan, Xavier, Vinod and I have plans to start a small-scale garment unit. Thus it is someone and I (NOT I and someone). In old-fashioned or formal writing in comparisons, it is I, he, she and they that are used: None was as tall as she; She was as worried as they; No one in the group was as courageous as I. But this expression sounds much too formal or pompous. So the following usage is preferred nowadays: My sister is two years older than me; Roy is stronger than him (NOT My sister is two years older than I and Roy is stronger than I). iced It is ‘iced coffee’, ‘iced tea’, ‘iced water’ etc (having ice added to them), not ‘ice coffee’, ‘ice tea’, ‘ice water’ etc. However ‘ice water’ is used in American English. ID is any document to prove your identity: He was asked to show his ID at the gate. An ID card (identity card) is a sustitute phrase for ID: The ticket examiner asked him to produce his ID card. idea The committee had the good idea to invite M T Vasudevan Nair to the literary meet. This is wrong. It should be The committee had the good idea of inviting M T... But you can say It was a good idea to invite M T... identical Both identical to and identical with are allowed in modern

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usage: The system is identical to/with the one used in other countries. if and whether The words are interchangeable in some places: She asked me if/whether I would like to visit her sister; I am not sure if/whether he’ll accept that job. But in some cases the words cannot be interchanged: If anyone asks for me, please tell them I am out of town. In this sentence you cannot replace if with whether. In the following sentence you cannot replce whether with if: I am wondering whether to have a meal or some snacks. To refer to the future after conjuctions such as if and whether, you should use the present simple tense: If it rains (NOT if it will rain) I won’t go to school today; I’ll phone you whether he accepts (NOT he will accept) our offer or not; I’ll talk to him whether you like (NOT you’ll like) it or not. if...was/were In the sentence If I were rich I would have bought that house, the verb were is in the ‘subjunctive’ (‘subjunctive’ is a verb which refers to an action which is a possibility rather than a fact). In the example sentence, was can also be used instead of were, but in formal writing were is preferred. ill and sick Though both words are adjectives and mean almost the same, ill, meaning ‘not well’, usually comes after a verb: He told me he fell ill after his meal at the new hotel; His father was admitted to hospital after he felt ill. Though sick also may come after a verb, as in He reported sick, it usually comes after a noun: His wife is a sick (NOT ill) woman; The child is sick (NOT ill) by nature. imaginary and imaginative The former means ‘existing only in the imagination’, ‘unreal’: All the characters in the novel are

imaginary; The film is set in an imaginary country. Imaginative means ‘having or indicating a lively imagination’: From childhood the girl has been very imaginative; The novel is an imaginative recreation of the Mahabharata. immune means ‘protected against a disease’ or ‘not affected by something’. In this sense it is followed by ‘to’, not ‘from’: The man seems to be immune to colds; he never catches them. Immune also means ‘not able to be punished (by simeone) or damaged by something’. Here the word is followed by ‘from’: Journalists, many say, must be immune (=protected) from prosecution. imply and infer are often used interchangeably but they are different in meaning. Imply means ‘to hint at’, ‘to suggest’: Cicily thought Mary was implying that her brother was lying; She didn’t say that she won’t attend the wedding reception but I thought she implied it. Infer means ‘to deduce’, ‘to conclude’: What I infer from his silence is that he is not going to marry her; I could infer from what he said about the company’s policies that he would soon quit his job. impracticable and impractical are confusing. Impracticable means ‘impossible to be done’: The project is very good but is highly impracticable to be executed. Impractical means ‘not sensible or realistic’: It is impractical to go to Thiruvananthapuram, finish the work and come back on the same day. in If something happens in a city, you say it happened in it: The accident happened in Mumbai. But if it happens in a particular locality in the city, you use at: The accident happened at Dharavi in Mumbai. In British English it is in the

Pallikkutam | April 2014


BETTER ENGLISH

immune means ‘protected against a disease’ or ‘not affected by something’. In this sense it is followed by ‘to’, not ‘from’: The man seems to be immune to colds; he never catches them. Immune also means ‘not able to be punished (by simeone) or damaged by something’. street, whereas Americans say on the street. The sentence For two years he has been studying in Christ College is wrong. Say For two years he has been studying at Christ College. in case and if There is some difference between the two words. In case (or just in case) means ‘because of the possibility of something happening’: Take an umbrella with you in case it rains; I don’t think I’ll be asked to write a test but in case I am prepared for that. in-charge The expression Mr Thomas Mathew is the in-charge of the company’s Purchase Department is not correct. You can say Mr Thomas Mathew is in charge of the company’s Purchase Department. India-born and Indian-born The former means ‘born in India of Indian or foreign parents’ and the latter ‘born of Indian parents in India or abroad’. information Note that it is information about or on something, not information of something: The police said they could give more information about/on the activities of the gang after two days. Since information is an uncountable noun you cannot use informations: Today’s Mathrubhumi carries an interesting bit/ piece of information about a new insect

Pallikkutam | April 2014

killer; I have reliable information that he has married the film star. The verb inform is followed by of or on. If you inform someone of something, you tell them about it: I informed my friend of my plan to open a boutique; It was some youths of the area who informed on the illegal activities of the gang. You can also say: He informed me that he was going to Bangalore. informant and informer both refer to a person who provides information. They are however used in different contexts. An informant provides more general information: The company’s survey of customer preferences is based on reports from 1,200 informants. An informer is a person who gives information to the police or other authorities about criminals etc: The police arrested the gang after they received tips from informers.

in lieu of, in spite of and instead of The first and third terms mean almost the same: We received double pay in lieu of working on a holiday; I’m getting a day off on Monday in lieu of working on Sunday last; We should do something to correct the system instead of simply blaming the technician. In spite of means ‘despite’: In spite of his injuries he said he would play in the semifinals; Rajani loved Mohan very much in spite of the fact that he was jobless. insist You insist on doing something: The employee insisted on speaking (NOT insisted to speak) to the manager. You can also say: The employee insisted that he should speak to the manager.

instal and install Though the words are interchangeable, install was formerly considered to be the only correct spelling injured, damaged and wounded and perhaps is still the more common. The Injured is used only to refer to people and noun form is however instalment. animals: Three people were killed and intense and intensive The first word seven seriously injured in the accident. For means ‘very strong’ or ‘very great’: Feroze machines, objects and plants you use of late has taken an intense dislike to his damaged: The vehicle was badly damaged father; He felt the heat in Hyderabad was in the accident. To wound a person or an intense. Intensive means ‘concentrated’: I animal is to injure them using a weapon: recently attended a six-week intensive Explosives used by the attackers badly course in English; The farmers of wounded seven policemen; The blast Kuttanad have planned to introduce wounded many people at the rally. Wound intensive methods of cultivation in the area. also means ‘to make someone feel upset’: He was deeply wounded by her remarks.

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RESEARCH GUEST COLUMN

D∏pamßbpw ]nkbpw sI F¬ taml\h¿Ω

cq]mbpsS A°°W°pIfn¬ \n∂v tamNnX\mIm≥ F\n°p Ignbp∂n√. F\ns°∂√, Fs‚ Xeapdbnse B¿°pw. Aømbncw cq]bpsS jqkpw, ]Xn\mbncØns‚ Po≥kpw Ccp]ØømbncØns‚ sk¬ t^mWpw Hcp e£Øns‚ hm®pw bphXeapd hmßp∂Xv Hcp tPmSn d∫¿sNcn∏pw c-≠p ap≠-pw j¿´pw kp`n£sa∂v IcpXnb Xeapdbv°v kln°m≥ hnjaamWv. an°t∏mgpw Ch¿ kz¥w hcpam\amWv Nnehm°p∂Xv F∂Xv IqSpX¬ hnjaap-≠m°p∂p. Ahsc D]tZin°Ww. ]s£ D]tZin°m≥ XpSßnbm¬ AXv IqSpX¬ AI¬®bn¬ Ahkm\n°p∂p. s‚ ]Xns\m∂p hb pImc≥ aq∂mw t]caI≥ Aizn≥ sas√ ASpØp h∂v clkyambn ]d™p.

F

A∏q∏m, F\n°v Hcp Xuk≠-v dp∏okv Xt∂. F¥n\m \n\°v Xuk-≠vcq]m ? tXm°v taSn°m\m. tXmt°m ? Rm≥ tXm°p hn´p. C‰okv ssN¬Unjv. CXv, CsXmcp k¿ss{]km. F¥p k¿ss{]kv ? AXv Rm≥ ]dbpIn√. cq]m Xt∂. F¥n\msW∂p ]d™mte cq]m Xcq. AXpw Bhiyap≈XmsW¶n¬ am{Xw. Bbncw cq]m! ssa tKmUv. F¥n\m \n\°v C{Xbpw cq]m?. Aizn≥ A©p \nanjta BtemNn®p\n∂p≈p. Izn°v Unknjs\SpØp. A∏q∏≥ AXns‚ {Xn¬ If™p. ]dbmw. jphdt√, F¥n\msW∂p ]dbmsX cq]m Xcns√∂p

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]d™Xv ? tKmUv t{]mankv? sbkv. jph¿. Kpcphmbqc∏\mtW Xcn√.

A∏q∏s‚ tlmfnhpUv ]nksb°mfpw kzmZmbncn°pw. t\m°nt°m.

Rm≥ Fs‚ bphXzhpw Hm sI. ]dbmw. A∏q∏s‚ lm∏n B[p\nIXzhpw Im´m\mbn Fs‚ _¿ØvtUbt√ \msf. A∏q∏\v t]c°p´nItfmSv ]≠-v Hcp R߃ Hcp {So‰v Xcm≥ t]mIphm. Atacn°≥ ]nkm {So‰v. {]kwK]cyS\Øn\nSbn¬ ssIbnencp∂ sIm®nbnse ]pXnb tlmfnhpÕn¬ t]mbn AhnsS Hcp tjm∏nwKv amfnse AXym[p\nI C‰menb≥ sdtÃmd‚ns‚ c≠mw \nebnse Xpd∂ _m¬°Wnbnencp∂v ]nkm Ign® IY ]dbpambncp∂p. FdWmIpfØv A\h[n ]nkm ISIfp-mbn´pw CXphsc ]nkm Ign°m≥ tXm∂nbn´n√. Rm≥ kΩXn®p. `mhnbn¬ \√ Hcp tem_nbnÃv BIm≥ t_kv sa‰ocnb¬ P∑\m e`n®ncp∂ Aizns‚ ZuXyw hnPbn®Xn¬ ssIbSn®v BlvfmZw ]nkm Hu´vse‰ns‚ BI¿jIamb ]n∂n¬ \n∂pb¿∂p. at‰ aq∂p t{_mj¿ \nh¿Øn°m´n Nncn®p. t]ca°fpw NmSn h∂v F\n°p A∏q∏\v CjvSw t]mse ]nkm. tj°v lm≥Uv X∂p. PohnXØn¬ {Km≥Uv k¨kns‚ _¿ØvtU BZyambn´mWv ]nd∂mƒ kΩm\w {]k‚ v. e`n°m≥ t]mIp∂Xv. AXn\v cq] Pallikkutam | April 2014


GUEST COLUMN

Fs‚ kplyØv Ipcy®s‚ ]nXmhv Ipd®p h¿jw apºv \q‰nbmdmw hb nemW acn®Xv. At±lw ]°m aetbmcI¿jI\mbncp∂p. ]yph¿ shPnt‰dnbm\nbncp∂ At±lØns‚ Ip´n°meØv I™nbpw D∏pamßbpw tN\bpw Im®nepw thhn®Xpambncp∂p {][m\`£Ww. ac®o\n t]mepw \ΩpsS ASp°fIfn¬ FØnØpSßnbn´v \qdp sIm√ta Bbn´p≈p. tKmXºp s]mSn®v amhm°n AXp \\®v ]cØn N∏mØn D≠-m°p∂ hnZy \ap°v A\yambncp∂p. Nnehm°ptºmƒ B cq]bpsS hnebv°v A¿∞an√mXmbn. C∂p hsc e`n°mXncp∂Xcw Hcp kt¥mjw In´n. ]nd∂mƒ BtLmjn°m≥ Cdßnbt∏mƒ A©p hb pImc≥ AssZzXv Hm¿Ωn∏n®p. A∏q∏m, s{IUn‰v Im¿sUSpØn´pt√m.

kz¥w hcpam\amWv Nnehm°p∂Xv F∂Xv IqSpX¬ hnjaap-≠m°p∂p. Ahsc D]tZin°Ww. ]s£ D]tZin°m≥ XpSßnbm¬ AXv IqSpX¬ AI¬®bn¬ Ahkm\n°p∂p. `£WØnemWv XpS°w. `£WØn¬ h∂psIm-ncn°p∂ am‰w kaql]ptcmKXnbpsS icnbmb AfhptImemWv. .

F√mhcpw IqSn ]nd∂mƒ BtLmjn®t∏mƒ _n√v c-≠mbncØn ap∂q‰n AºXmbn. Rm≥ A©p A™qdp cq]m t\m´pIƒ Aizns\ G¬∏n®p. Aizn≥ _n√p sImSpØv s_bdtdmSp ]d™p. _me≥kv tN´≥ ht®m. \q‰ºXp cq]m Sn∏p sImSp°p∂Xv I≠t∏mƒ s\™nSn®p. ]s£ an-≠nbn√. . cq]mbpsS A°°W°pIfn¬ \n∂v tamNnX\mIm≥ F\n°p Ignbp∂n√. F\ns°∂√, Fs‚ Xeapdbnse B¿°pw. Aømbncw cq]bpsS jqkpw, ]Xn\mbncØns‚ Po≥kpw Ccp]ØømbncØns‚ sk¬ t^mWpw Hcp e£Øns‚ hm®pw bphXeapd hmßp∂Xv Hcp tPmSn d∫¿sNcn∏pw c≠-p ap≠pw j¿´pw kp`n£sa∂ IcpXnb Xeapdbv°v kln°m≥ hnjaamWv. an°t∏mgpw Ch¿ Pallikkutam | April 2014

Cu‰v B≥Uv d¨. aIvsUm\mƒUns‚ ap{ZmhmIyamWv. _¿Pdpw tImfbpw s]m´t‰m Nn]vkpw. t\m¨shPn\v lmw _¿P¿. sh÷n\v Nokv _¿P¿. Ccp∂v Ign°m≥ kaban√. ssIIgpIm≥ kaban√. kz¥w ho´nse ASp°f∏Wn s]¨h¿§Øn\v ISabpw

B¨h¿§Øn\v teiw A`nam\°pdhp≈ ]cn]mSnbpambmWv \mw IW°m°p∂Xv. F®n¬∏m{Xw IgpIepw ASp°f hyØnbm°epw ]pcpj≥ \nh¿Ønbps-≠¶n¬ sNøn√. ]s£ Ign™ AºXp h¿jambn temIsغmSpw IqSpX¬ IqSpX¬ kv{XoIƒ ho´n\p ]pdØv iºfw In´p∂ tPmen sNøm≥ XpSßnbt∏mƒ ASp°fbn¬ Nnehgn°m\p≈ kabw Ipd™p Ipd™p h∂p. ]pXnb ]pXnb I≠p]nSpØ߃ \miIca√mØ ]g°w hcmsX kq£n°mhp∂ C≥Âpw Izn°pw ^pUv ]ckyßfpambn cwKØp h∂p. Fs‚ kplyØv Ipcy®s‚ ]nXmhv Ipd®p h¿jw apºv \q‰nbmdmw hb nemW acn®Xv. At±lw ]°m aetbmcI¿jI\mbncp∂p. ]yph¿ shPnt‰dnbm\nbncp∂ At±lØns‚ Ip´n°meØv I™nbpw D∏pamßbpw tN\bpw Im®nepw thhn®Xpambncp∂p {][m\`£Ww. ac®o\n t]mepw \ΩpsS ASp°fIfn¬ FØnØpSßnbn´v \qdp sIm√ta Bbn´p≈p. tKmXºp s]mSn®v amhm°n AXp \\®v ]cØn N∏mØn D-m°p∂ hnZy \ap°v

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GUEST COLUMN

kz¥w ho´nse ASp°f∏Wn s]¨h¿§Øn\v ISabpw B¨h¿§Øn\v teiw A`nam\°pdhp≈ ]cn]mSnbpambmWv \mw IW°m°p∂Xv. F®n¬∏m{Xw IgpIepw ASp°f hyØnbm°epw ]pcpj≥ \nh¿Ønbps-¶n¬ sNøn√. ]s£ Ign™ AºXp h¿jambn temIsغmSpw IqSpX¬ IqSpX¬ kv{XoIƒ ho´n\p ]pdØv iºfw In´p∂ tPmen sNøm≥ XpSßnbt∏mƒ ASp°fbn¬ Nnehgn°m\p≈ kabw Ipd™p Ipd™p h∂p. ]pfn, D∏v, Ibv∏v, Nh¿∏v, Hcp cpNnbpw tXm∂mØXpw. Cu GImZin {hXØn\v Acnbmlmcw Hmtcm∂ns‚bpw Ign°m≥ ]mSn√mØXn\m¬ G‰°pdn®pepIfpsS tKmXºpI™n D-≠m°m\mbn kahmIyßfmWv `£WØn\v am{XamWv Fs‚ apØ»n tKmXºp cq]`mhw am‰ns°m-ncp∂Xv. hmßn∏n®ncp∂Xv. Rm≥ aqhmbncØntesd h¿j߃°p BZyambn Dcpf°ngßpw apºp tkmfa≥ N{Ih¿ØnbpsS khmfbpw sSmamt‰mbpw I≠-Xv ImeØp \ΩpsS Cu ae_m¿ Xncph\¥]pcØv 1951 ¬ XocØp\n∂p sN∂ncp∂ tImtfPn¬ IpcpapfIpw {Kmºqhpw C©nbpw ]Tn°ms\Ønbt∏mgmWv. Rm≥ tdmam \KcØnse kº∂cpsS hf¿∂ sN∂nØebnepw ASp°fbnse G‰hpw tN¿Øebnepw Chsbm∂pw hne]nSn∏p≈ In´pambncp∂n√. `£ytNcphIfmbncp∂p. `£Ww hni∏p am‰m≥ am{Xa√ amwkØns‚ cpNnbpw aWhpw F∂p a\pjy≥ Adn™Xv Xo Iq´m≥ `£Whn`hßfn¬ Iq´n AXn¬ `£Wkm[\w sshhn≤yw C√mXncp∂ thhn°m≥ XpSßnb Imew A°meØv IpcpapfIpw C©nbpw apXemWv. `£Ww Nh®v AXy¥mt]£nXambn amdn. F¥p IWvT\mfØnseØn°m≥ ]√p hnesImSpØpw Ch hmßm≥ am{Xw aXn. \mhv Nh®p tdmanse [\nIkaqlw ]cpham°nb Iq´v Hcpan∏n°p∂ Xbmdmbncp∂p. kv]qWns‚ I¿Ωta sNtø-Xp≈p. apΩq∂p sIm√w IqSptºmƒ ]s£ \m°n\v Hcp {][m\ ]Wn Sm¿jnse ]S°∏epIƒ hgn IqSn ssZhw \¬In. cpNnbpsS sskU¿, S¿ XpSßnb kt¥mjw. k]vXh¿Æhpw cmPyßfnse ^n\njy≥ \mhnI¿ k]vXkzchpw t]mse C{ktben¬ Cu Nc°pIƒ k]vXcpNnbpw a[pcw, Fcnhv, A\yambncp∂p.

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FØn®ncp∂p. c-≠mbncØn A™qdp sIm√w apºv ssN\bpsS BflobKpcphmb I¨^yqjykv P\ßsf `£WØn¬ C©n tN¿°m≥ DZvt_m[n∏n®p. bqtdm∏n¬ ioXImeØv amwkmlmcw am{XamWv B{ibw. amwkw Ffp∏w No™p \mdpw. NobmXncn°m\pw Aev]w No™Xns\ cpNnIcam°m\pw H‰ am¿§tabp≈p. [mcmfw D∏pw IpcpapfIpw C©nbpw tN¿Øv Iq‰≥ `cWnIfn¬ AS®p kq£n®p hbv°pI. \Ωƒ {]mbambh¿ `£WØnse am‰Øns\ kt¥mjtØmsS kzoIcn°mw. \ap°v Ip´nIƒ \¬Ip∂ _¿Øv tU ]nkbpsS kt¥mjw Dƒs°m≈m≥ {ian°mw. \ap°n∂phsc e`n°mXncp∂ ]nd∂mƒ kΩm\sØ a\ ns‚ {]mIyX°W°pIfn¬ \n∂v tamNn∏n°m\pw {ian°mw.

Pallikkutam | April 2014


Photo Shoot Dr. Joachim Nitsch

Printed and Published by Fr.Varghese Panthalookaran CMI on behalf of Rajagiri Media, Rajagiri Valley PO, Kakkanad, Kochi-39 Ph: 0484-2428249. Printed at Anaswara Printers, Elamakara, Kochi. Editor: James Paul



Pallikkutam : April 2014