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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561
UPSC Toppers honoured
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak honoured the successful UPSC candidates who are products of Aspire IAS
Good News Weekly for Rising India
Vol-1 | Issue-38 | September 04 - 10, 2017 | Price ` 5/-
modi lauds Women Navy Team Smiles in City of Joy The team of six lady naval officers will be circumnavigating the globe on Indian Navyâ€™s second cruise
A Calcutta restauranteur has started food ATMs for the poor and received huge response
giriraj singh in sulabh
Dr Pathak is pride of India: Giriraj Singh
Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Giriraj Singh visits the Sulabh Village
02 Giriraj Singh in Sulabh
September 04 - 10, 2017
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak along with Amola Pathak presenting the book ‘Narendra Damodardas Modi: The Making of a Legend’ to Giriraj Singh
Dr Pathak is pride of India: Giriraj Singh ssb bureau
r Pathak is not only the pride of Bihar but the whole country. He has introduced a shining example of cleanliness to the world for which, we are very grateful” These were the things mentioned by the Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Giriraj Singh in the Sulabh Village. During his visit, he studied the entire Sulabh village very keenly and talked to the members who were former scavenger sisters, the widowed mothers of Vrindavan, the brothers and sisters who came from Trump Village and felicitated them. Not only that, he also taught
students the tricks to move forward in their lives. Sulabh Founder Welcomes Giriraj Singh The program started with Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement Founder, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak honouring Giriraj Singh with a garland, shawl and a memento. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Pathak said that it is a matter of great honour for him that the Minister took time out of his very busy schedule
to bless the Sulabh village. Most importantly, the minister is ready to do anything for nationalism. He believes that anything else will be there only when the nation and its culture will remain intact. Some people keep talking about happiness here, but the minister has made already it amply clear time and again even if someone feels good or bad about it. He says that if anyone wants to stay in the nation then he will have to follow nationalism. Girirajji keeps busy in politics
“Dr Pathak has introduced a shining example of cleanliness to the world, for which we are very grateful”
Quick Glance The Minister inspected all the facilities in the Sulabh village Sulabh Founder Dr Pathak felicitated the Minister Singh says he is highly impressed by Dr Pathak’s mission
but he has scientific thoughts, innovations, connecting people and he keeps talking about employment. We have discovered new technology here, likewise, Giriraj ji too has discovered something about which Prime Minister Modi informed us saying we must meet Giriraj Singh and take this cause forward together for the development of the country. Giriraj ji came and not only inspected everything but gave his opinion frankly on everything he inspected. We are very thankful to the Minister for this.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Giriraj Singh in Sulabh
Giriraj Singh addressing the audience in Sulabh
Usha Chaumar welcoming Giriraj Singh
Giriraj Singh inside the Sulabh Toilet Complex
Giriraj Singh with Dr Pathak and the Sulabh Team
Giriraj Singh looking at the Effluent Treated Water
Giriraj Singh excited to see Electricity from Biogas Genset
Giriraj Singh lighting the Mantle Lamp
Frying papad with biogas fuel stove
04 Giriraj Singh in Sulabh
Giriraj Singh at the Sulabh water ATM
September 04 - 10, 2017
Giriraj Singh with Dr Pathak at Sulabh Swachhta Rath
Giriraj Singh inspecting the two pit toilet
Giriraj Singh testing the manure made in Sulabh
Giriraj Singh at the Vocational Training Centre in Sulabh
Sulabh Shauchalaya two pit pour flush composit toilet
Giriraj Singh interacting with the faculty at the Fashion Designing Centre
September 04 - 10, 2017
Giriraj Singh in Sulabh
Interacting with Students of Sulabh Public School
Giriraj Singh and Dr Pathak at the Computer Training Centre
Giriraj Singh with Dr Pathak, teachers, and the students of Sulabh Public School
Giriraj Singh looking at the Sanitary Napkin making machine
06 Giriraj Singh in Sulabh
September 04 - 10, 2017
Giriraj Singh inspecting the duckweeds
Giriraj Singh checking organic manures at Sulabh
Giriraj Singh addressing the audience
Giriraj Singh taking interest at the Sulabh Toilet Museum
Giriraj Singh looking at the products made by the Widows of Vrindavan
Poor conditions of cities without Sulabh toilets Giriraj Singh thanked Dr Pathak for the warm welcome and said that he thought if Dr Pathak had not built toilets for people, then the situation of the cities today would’ve been very pitiable. After coming to the facility, we got to learn a lot, I pray to God to give us so much strength that we can establish this model in every intersection and every district of the country. Dr Pathak is not only older than us but also because of his rich experiences. I respect him very much. Dr Pathak has not only made waste useful through innovative technology but also made it a part of the economy. The technology developed by Sulabh has greatly impressed us. I will soon use this technology in my parliamentary constituency. It is said that wherever there is a will, there is a way, and this thing has been made meaningful by Dr Pathak and Sulabh. The desire of Dr Pathak has raised the flag of cleanliness not only in the country but in the whole world. We are going to forget our culture Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi also understood the importance of cleanliness and he said that the toilet should be given precedence over a temple. Though he was condemned by all the people for his statement, we get to see the special importance of cleanliness in history as well. We were already ahead of others in the
field of science with big scholars and sages have been produced by the country, but we are forgetting ourselves. We are forgetting our culture. We will progress only when our teachers will make us read lessons about our culture and traditions. Today, instances of contagious diseases are increasing in our country because garbage and waste lie strewn around us. We all have to contribute to keeping our society clean, only then the country will be clean and healthy. Today’s man has become harsh The cow is given the status of a mother in our country since time immemorial. But today’s man has become harsh and rude. He only keeps the cow only till it gives milk. Those cows which stop giving milk are sent to slaughter houses. We have found a solution for this problem also. Now we have started the process of making compost by mixing human hair with the cow’s urine and dung. We told PM Modi that henceforth no cow will be sent to slaughter house because we have made the cow the focal point of economy. Now, the non-milking cow will also generate an income of 50 to 60 thousand rupees in a month with its dung and urine. We are better than other countries in the technology sector. We just need to implement those techniques. We will do our best to meet this goal and discuss these issues with Pathak ji.
September 04 - 10, 2017
UPSC Toppers honoured The programme was organised to honour them, and also to inspire other students who had not made it so far but were trying
felicitation programme for toppers in UPSC exams was held at Kamani Auditorium by Aspire IAS, a coaching institute, and Dhara Foundation. The event was organised to felicitate those who scored good ranks in UPSC exam after taking coaching from Aspire IAS. The event felicitated toppers like Nandini KR, who scored 457 marks and set an example for the rest of the students. Three parents, including parents of Nandini, were welcomed on the stage with the esteemed guest and topper students. The guests invited to the event where KG Balakrishnan (former
Dr Pathak told the IAS officers that they have a huge responsibility towards the needy who come to them
Quick Glance The programme was organised by Aspire IAS and Dhara Foundation Luminaries included former CJI KG Balakrishnan, Dr Pathak and others
Chief Justice of India), Dr Bindeshwar Pathak (Founder and Director of Sulabh International), Anil Garg (activist), K.P. Chaudhary (Secretary General, All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations) Meera Khanna (Vice President, Guild of Service) and Ankit Kumar Aggarwal (founder of Aspire IAS). All the esteemed guests were welcomed with a shawl, flower, a basket of fruits and a memento.
Former CJI Balakrishnan Balakrishnan was invited to address the students in the auditorium. He started his speech by wishing for the success of the students. He emphasised on the fact that in our country in addition to the metropolitan cities, smaller towns also need to be taken care of. The people there still do not have the facilities of toilets, proper food and education. He said that itâ€™s everyoneâ€™s responsibility to provide them with
Dr Pathak said students should fight against discrimination
these, and then only the whole nation will be equal in the real sense. He added that this should be the main focus for the development of the nation. He quoted from experiences from his life and mentioned that we can do a lot of good deeds in our careers. He requested the audience to come
September 04 - 10, 2017
forward in bringing the backward areas of India to get equal importance. He wished for a bright future for all of them. Dr Pathak Dr Bindeshwar Pathak addressed the assembly of students and said that they should promise that they would never ever say that a particular file was not with them because of which they couldnâ€™t help others. He said they have a huge responsibility and people would reach out to them when they are in great pain and sorrow. They should never give any excuse to not help them. He mentioned that he came from a rich Brahmin family which later on became poor. And letting all the citizens know his story, he wanted to give the message that these students should work against discrimination, build more toilets to prevent open defecation and give a hand to the Swachh Bharat mission. With this motivational speech he
suddenly smiled and said he had got so deep into the speech that he had forgotten that his allotted speaking time was over! On a more serious note, he even mentioned that he was once selected for the selection committee for IAS. He was present in the interview for the IAS selections and even motivated the students who he thought were the perfect material and could get selected easily. Meera Khanna Meera Khanna addressed the gathering with an illustration which is believed to be a major problem today. She said that it was a winter evening when she was having rajma chawal at home. She received a call from one of the shelter homes of her organization in J&K. She was told that they had only
that nightâ€™s ration and the children in the shelter were hungry. She left her food and made some calls here and there. No government office was able to help them. It was the time when there was a curfew in J&K. Then after calling a list of people they received some help from the military based in the state. The army agreed that they could provide some ration but someone should come and pick it from their base. At that time, no vehicle was allowed on the road. A driver from the nearby hospital came to the rescue and suggested that he could go and bring the food for them in his ambulance. With this story, she wanted to explain to the students that whether they do get the jobs or not they should never back off from situations like
Anil Garg took the focus of the gathering to the plight of the tribals and said that they were struggling
these and always come forward to help. With this message, she congratulated all the toppers and wished for the success of the rest of the remaining or the upcoming students in future. Anil Garg Anil Garg an activist by profession, took the students and the toppers attention to a whole new dimension where he displayed the struggle of the tribals in the rural area of India in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc. He informed the audience how the land and sand mafia was working in these areas and even got the stats related to this matter. He quoted that Maoists are not Maoist by greed but by the circumstances and needs. They formed this group to fight against the zamindari system but later the movement was forced to shift its opposition to the government as they did not receive any help or support. The common people, Garg said, tend to help them not because they
Former CJI K G Balakrishnan speaking to the audience
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak addressing the audience
Smt Meera Khanna recounting her life experiences
Anil Garg expressing his opinions and sharing stats
September 04 - 10, 2017
K. P. Chaudhary introducing his organisation to the audience
Nandini K R sharing her experiences with the audience
to prepare for the exams and what all points one should keep in mind and how to go about it Ankit Kumar Ankit Kumar addressed the gathering of students with a motivational speech and consoled them that they would be the next lot to be present on the stage next year. He shared his experiences with the toppers with rest of the students and informed that the students rented a flat near the coaching institute where they all would gather around for a round table conferences and took interviews of each other. He said that he had never seen any parent in his life like Nandini’s parents who were so much dedicated and worked hard day and night for their daughter. He added that the top four students will
Ankit Kumar giving a motivational speech
are forced but they share the same mind sets but could not gather the guts to be one of them. Throughout the speech, he wanted to showcase the reality to the students and give them a better understanding of the problem. His message to the toppers and the students was that most the new recruits are posted to places like these where tensions are high. So in case of any mishap in these areas, they should think with their minds open and not keep a blocked set of ideas that they are merely terrorists or something of that sort. K. P. Chaudhary K. P. Chaudhary and his organization works for the ST/SC communities all over the country and helps them get the proper education, health, jobs and better livelihood. He shared his enthusiasm with the toppers and tried to spread positivity to those who were not selected. He also shared his life story with the students present at the event. The parents of Nandini KR were invited on the stage to share their views on Nandini’s success. They were from Tamil Nadu and spoke in their language. All the toppers were asked to introduce themselves. There came the best part when one of the toppers started by stating that while preparing for the IAS, some IAS officials had dishonoured him many times. Everyone in the crowd felt that he was expressing his anger toward the system. But he later twisted the speech and expressed his respects for his teachers. He mentioned that he comes from a very remote place in Maharashtra and never knew what IAS was. He dedicated all his hard work to his teacher and mentor Ankit Kumar. The remaining toppers also shared their experiences with the students and guided them with methods of how
be honoured with a special gift. Later the special gift was unveiled in front of the crowd, which excited everyone: it was a Royal Enfield Bullet bike. Then he mentioned that they’ll be inaugurating ‘GYANANJALI’ which will comprise of twenty under privileged students with a special accommodation where they will be provided coaching for the prelims and mains. Along with that, they’ll be monitored with regards to diet and physical activities. He added that they are expecting the selection of all twenty students in UPSC exams. The entrances for ‘GYANANJALI’ will be starting from 1 September. Those interested could check online and register themselves there. Nandini KR At last Nandini KR, the topper of UPSC exams shared her thoughts
The ceremonial lamp, contrary to tradition, was lit at the end as a prayer to Maa Saraswati
where she mentioned that she used to travel with her family to remote areas in Tamil Nadu, as her father was assisting a group of officers to the local schools for the survey of the educational development of those areas. She used to observe a senior officer who used to meet people, listen to their problems and brought smiles to their faces. Once she asked her father who is he? He later explained to her and since then she planned to become an IAS officer. She first came to Delhi after finishing her schooling. Here she came to know that along with studies one needs to work to sustain oneself. After a lot of hard work and dedication, she got a job in a government office. But she was not very happy with it. She then planned to go back to studies and got to know about ASPIRE IAS, a coaching institute which matched her timing. She used to finish her office work and rush for the classes in Rajender Nagar. She used to be late to classes and feared that she’ll be reprimanded, but she immersed herself into studies and got selected. She said that we should never lose hope and just carry on our hard work and believe that the time is testing our patience; this will get you to the desired goal when it feels that you are ready to tackle it. She motivated the remaining students present in the auditorium. In the end of the event, everyone present on the stage was requested to come and light the ceremonial lamps. Ankit Kumar explained that they didn’t light the ceremonial lamp at the beginning of the programme, as is the norm because it has a significant value as we light the lamps praying to Ma Saraswati. Lighting the lamps, in the end, would bring brightness to everyone present.
10 Good News
September 04 - 10, 2017
Namdev’s umbrellas for Mumbai beggars The actor, stranded in flooded waters, was moved by poor mothers holding on to their children and went out to help
west bengal ham-radio
HAM-ing it from Sarkari office The HAM radio, an amateur radio service that has been viewed always as a rebel’s instrument. Now Mamata Didi allows it from her secretariat Quick Glance HAM radio has been traditionally the instrument of anti-establishment persons It can operate under very tough conditions when other systems fail For the first time, a government is allowing this to be operated officially
ctor Govind Namdev, who has been a part of the Indian entertainment industry for over two decades, has gifted food, umbrellas and raincoats to beggars on the Mumbai streets after the city was flooded due to heavy rain. On August 29, entire Mumbai received heavy rains, with the suburbs notching up a staggering 316 mm in a 12-hour cycle the highest record since the great Mumbai floods of July 26, 2005. On August 30, the city attempted to limp back to normal. “My car was stuck in traffic on Tuesday evening. Then, I saw the children at the signal, who were suffering from the water all around. There were many young girls with kids who were just five-six months old. And their mothers were trying to protect them from the rain with clothes and torn umbrellas,” Govind said in a statement. “That thing really touched my heart. I got out from my car and just asked my driver to get them some milk and vada pav from a nearby store. I also then bought them some new bigger umbrellas and raincoats,” added the actor. Govind also urged the government and other people to come out and support the poor. “I urge people around to help people on streets and on signals with food and clothes or if needed medicines. Please help them. I also request the government to keep them in concern. However, the government has always helped us. Even people associated with various NGOs should try helping children at signals,” Govind said.
or the first time in West Bengal, a senior IAS officer is poised to obtain the nod of the state government to operate a HAM radio from the state headquarters at Nabanna, which has replaced the centuries old iconic Writers Building as the state secretariat. It would be unique in the sense that the state secretariat will be having a HAM radio centre for the first time, to be operated by a senior bureaucrat for which he has already received the required licence, sources quoting
secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club Ambarish Nag Biswas said. The officer, who had undergone due training in HAM radio operation, will shortly be handed over a certificate of authorisation from the club as he also successfully cleared the examination in this regard, sources said. Licenses for HAM radio operation are usually issued by the department of telecommunication under the union ministry of communication and information technology. HAM radios come in handy especially during natural disasters and mega events in a state. During the
More coffee per day, longer life! There was a 22 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day IANS
ant to increase your lifespan? Drinking up to four cups of coffee every day may help you reduce the risk of an early death, research suggests. The findings showed that people who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee. There was a 22 per cent lower risk
Tsunami, HAM radio operators did yeomen service by helping the core command of the Navy, IAF and Army in locating and rescuing hundreds of stranded people in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. Because, hundreds of operators, a majority of them amateurs, had tuned in on their sets to exchange information as a result of which it became quite easy for the command headquarters to identify troubled spots and rush in aid to rescue the people. Once the HAM station in the Bengal secretariat becomes operational, it will be easy for the state authorities to keep in touch with other parts of the state through other HAM operators, especially in the eventuality of all normal communication links failing, as they have done in the recent Texas deluge. The administration will be able to quickly assess the situation and organise remedial measures.
Quick Glance Drinking up to four cups of coffee every day may reduce the risk of an early death People who consumed four cups of coffee/day had 64 % lower risk Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world
of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day. “Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world,” said Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at the Hospital de Navarra in Spain. “We found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective association among older participants,” Navarro added.
September 04 - 10, 2017
An App to help teachers After a pilot project review, it was felt that the app left out teachers and was thus reoriented to bring teachers as the main focus
ow here is a new app which will give lessons to teachers free of cost. This App will provide over 2,500 lessons and they have been curated by a group of teachers and techies from Bengaluru. The App, called Meghshala, is an offshoot of a digital social education trust started with the same name in 2013 by Jyothi Thyagarajan, a teacher and Sridhar Ranganathan, a techie. Ullas Kumar, another experienced teacher and an engineer, joined the team in August 2014. A pilot project was launched in three schools in 2014. Then they realised that the focus was more towards students and teachers were left out. Then the team began to rework the application so that it would help teachers to teach the students in a better way through the digital medium… A group of about 30 professionals were networked to develop digital lessons following the Karnataka State Board syllabus and these lessons were tested in classes from grade 1 to 8. They initially handed out these lessons in a pen drive but then they found that most of the school class rooms did not have computers or power point presentation facility. From November 2015, the model was changed and became projectbased. The developers also worked out a fellowship programme, a
sort of orientation for the teachers across the state. “Initially we selected one teacher each from 30 Bengaluru schools and trained them to get used to the technology with the available resources”, says Ullal. He is now vice president, operations at Meghshala. The App was created in March 2016. It was distributed to a handful of teachers. “Initially we distributed it through SD cards.But we got a number of calls from schools that since they wanted an interactive tool it was difficult to get them through
SD card. And there were also some bottlenecks getting all the lessons on the memory card”, says Ullal. It was then the idea of making the app available through the android stores emerged. “It is not a big deal, it is a simple tool anyone can use”, assures Ullal. At present, lessons are available in Kannada and English and four major subjects—Science, English, Maths and Social studies are available on the app. Presently the user can log in and use it in any of the three languages—Hindi,
English or Kannada. The team is working to expand the syllabus to cater to the rest of the country and it should be available in about 6 months. According to a report by the Ministry of Human Resources Development ministry, the country will need about 60lakh more teachers by 2030. “Most of the teachers in the city are there in the profession only out of personal necessity. The profession of teacher is slowly losing its attraction, says Ullal “We want to impress upon the teaching community that teaching
The team is working to expand the syllabus to
cater to the rest of the country and it should be available in about six months
The App, called Meghshala, is an offshoot of a digital social education trust A group of about 30 professionals were networked to develop digital lessons Developers also worked out a fellowship programme, a sort of orientation for the teachers
can be fun it is a profession of great responsibility. We are there to help them in this mission. That is our commitment,’’ he says. Meghshala has won the national contest for social innovation in 2016, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs. We are hoping to reach one lakh teachers by 2018” Ullal says.
Northeast on horse’s wings The government has cleared a scheme under which the region will have better air connectivity
f the scheme is successfully implemented, the air connectivity to difficult terrains of the North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep will get a major push. The ministry has marked these regions under priority areas. There are twelve operational airports in the NE region. The actual number of airports could increase as helicopters are able to land in places other than airports and landing strips. The UDAN Scheme aims at providing connectivity to unserved and under-served airports of the country through the revival of existing airstrips and airport. It aims to develop the regional aviation market and make flying affordable. Under the scheme, an operator is entitled to receive funds from the government in the form of viability gap funding (VGF) if a fixed number of seats on the flight are sold at a fare of up to Rs 2,500. The first round of bidding was successful with airlines ordering 100 regional planes. The winners of the second round of bidding under UDAN are to be announced by November-end. IndiGo has announced its plans to buy 50 ATR planes and SpiceJet has also signed a letter of intent to buy 50 Bombardier Q400 regional planes. Air India and SpiceJet are among airlines that have the biggest fleet of regional planes under this scheme. Five airlines – Air India, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air Odisha and Air Deccan – were allotted 128 routes to fly in the first round by March, but only 16 routes have been operationalised.
September 04 - 10, 2017
CEO picks up the shovel for the sake of toilets
Sanitation oath in Maharashtra schools The process of taking the oath will be held between September 1 and 15, 2017, and will be given to teachers as well
The official goes around trying to people to construct their own toilets and sometimes she faces adamant refusal, which she tries to wear out G Ulaganathan
chools of Maharashtra will now be administered an oath of sanitation. This will be part of the clean India campaign. This process of taking the oath will run till a fortnight, starting from September 1 and till 15. This oath will not only be given to students but also teachers and employees as well, as everyone is thought to be equally responsible and collectively responsible for ensuring universal cleanliness under the Swachh Bharat programme started by Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi. Under this campaign for fifteen days, meetings will be organized with the suggestions of the parents, arrangement committee, teachers union, individual teachers and with the suggestions of everyone else. After the meeting, students will be taught how to keep schools and houses clean. For this, children will be encouraged by organizing various programs about how to stay clean and keep the surroundings clean. They will also be taught small things, which are not taken care of by anyone. Every student will be given information on how to wash hands, the proper method of eating, cleaning after using the toilet, cleaning the house and the surrounding area. Most schools have no specific programme to teach the students the value of personal hygiene. The specific issue of health is washing hands before and after meals and also cleaning of the mouth. Apart from this, they will also be taught how to keep the campus clean. They will be given the responsibility to keep the environment tidy and spread the awareness about it.
ere is an official who knows how to get things done. S Aswathi is the Chief Executive officer of Zilla Panchayat in Channagiri taluk of Davangere district. This young officer is putting her heart and soul promoting the Swachh Bharat campaign and making the entire Davangere ‘open defecation free’ by the end of this year. “As part of the Swachh Bharat campaign, we are planning to make Davangere Open Defecation Free by this year. By October 2, the target is to complete two taluks and another two taluks in the next two months. Hence, we keep visiting at least 10-15 villages per day. We are targeting villages with more hygiene issues and where people need to be sensitised.” She told media persons recently. During one of her tours last week, villagers and officials at the Devarahalli gram panchayat were in for a shock when Aswathi picked up a shovel and started digging a pit for a toilet after a family refused to construct the toilet. When her team visited the house of a farmer Bairappa, he was adamant and refused to build a toilet. Aswathi says “He was not willing to construct a toilet. We tried to find out if there was a genuine issue. At times villagers claim lack of availability of materials and we arrange for it. But in this case, he was giving lame excuses. Since a house was being constructed next to his house, he kept saying his neighbours had
Women’s Commission: Railway Toilets Must Every station on the Mumbai suburban lines have the same problem: the toilets stink
deposited some soil and sand on his property and he wanted them to clear it. His wife and daughter too supported him. “Even as my team members were arguing with him and stressing the importance of one’s own toilet, his daughter asked me, why is it that your PDO (Panchayat Development Officer) has not dug a pit for me?” This surprised Aswathi. “If this is your complaint, then I am ready to dig a pit for you. I said. Our team carries shovels and other necessary tools
when we visit villages. We immediately got to it and I started digging. People need to understand that we are doing it for their benefit.” This took the large gathering totally by surprise. Then suddenly Bairappa realised that he was not doing the right thing and came forward and he continued the work. His excuse was that he was only waiting for the neighbours to remove the soil. The district needs about 2.82 lakh SSB Bureau
hitra Wagh, a member of the state Women’s Commission has decided to put the issue of sanitation and women’s security on the suburban railway to the General Manager of the Railways. Wagh, who travelled on the Western Railway line last week, spoke to many women commuters about the issues that they felt were lacking. According to Wagh, many women were concerned about the
Quick Glance The lady is the CEO of Zilla Panchayat in Channagiri Taluka of Davangere district She is targetting villages where people need to be sensitised She led by example by picking up the shovel herself and started digging
toilets to be constructed for the district to be declared as ODF. Remarkably so far, 2.20 lakh have been constructed. Another 50,000 plus toilets have to be built this year. Aswathi also says, “Another problem in Davanagere is the belief that whenever there is a pregnant or lactating mother in the house, they do not come forward to construct a pit. Since it was difficult to convince them despite a lot of campaigning with the help of Anganwadi and ASHA workers, we decided to organise a Seemantha function.”(Usually, it is held in the seventh month of a woman’s pregnancy.) A brainchild of Kalaburagi Zilla Panchayat CEO, Hephsiba R Korlapati, the Seemantha programme is now being extended to Davanagere too. At this function, pregnant women or lactating mothers who have successfully completed the construction of toilets within the prescribed deadline, are honoured. This encourages others to come forward when they learn through the media publicity and many families come forward and construct toilets. lack of toilets for women and the cleanliness issue in maximum toilets on railway platforms. The World Bank MD had ridden Mumbai local train to know problems faced by women commuters. At every suburban railway station, stench tells of a toilet. Train travellers top complaint: Toilets stink. Crime in ladies coaches will be zero in a month. There are only 355 toilet seats, and673 urinals for seven mn railway commuters reveals a study.
September 04 - 10, 2017
kolkata gender toilets
mann ki baat
Kolkata Student’s Transgender-Friendly Toilets For promoting equality, a college student from West Bengal has started installing toilet signages for transgender friendly toilets IANS
ith the discussion and execution of ideas around all-gender restrooms gathering steam across the world, a college student from West Bengal has taken it forward with the installation of innovative toilet signages for the transgender community here. As many as four toilets next to Masterda Surya Sen Metro Station in south Kolkata now display ‘Tridhara’ stickers along with the symbol (interlocked male and female forms) for the community. The idea was conceptualised by 21-year-old Sobhan Mukherjee. “I was writing about the community and attended various programmes.
Quick Glance Sobhan Mukherjee has helped install four such toilet signages These transgender-friendly toilets are in Masterda Surya Sen Metro Station These places displace ‘Tridhara’ stickers on toilets for the community
I realised they felt discriminated when it came to pay-and-use toilets. When I proposed the concept of signages to the local councillor Anita Kar Majumdar, she readily agreed. It requires minimum investment... for printing the stickers. All it takes is a social responsibility,” Mukherjee told IANS. Mukherjee said the move falls in line with the Ministry of Sanitation’s guidelines stating that members of the third-gender community be allowed to use public toilets of their choice (men
response eram scientific
eToilet manufacturer seeks feedback Eram Scientific has launched a campaign to get feedback from the public on their electronic toilets IANS
e r ala - h e a d q u a r t e r e d Eram Scientific, the leading manufacturers of eToilets in the country, that has set up 2,200 electronic public toilets in 21 states has launched a campaign for feedback from the public. “The public can make use of the 24X7 call centre number inside the toilet to call and give their feedback at any time. A feedback switch in the toilet provides the user the facility to press
the switch if the floor of the eToilet is found to be dirty,” S. Narayana Swami, Director, Eram Scientific, told IANS. “This sort of a trigger from the public will send an e-notification to the web server and the call centre. The floor will then be cleaned automatically after the user exits the eToilet.” Etoilets are public toilets where once the user inserts a coin, the door opens, the light is switched on and the person is even directed with audio commands. They are programmed to flush 1.5 litres of water after three
or women). “Instead of creating separate washrooms, we decided to divide the existing spaces as male, female and ‘Tridhara’ toilets and put stickers on them,” the postgraduate student in geography said. Transgender activist Ranjita Sinha has lauded the move. “It is praiseworthy since he is a student. Often we are unable to push through and start something new but he has done it,” Sinha told IANS. Mukherjee has now spoken to councillors in other wards to get the ball rolling in different locations of the city. Last year, California in the US became the first state to adopt an allgender restroom access law. This year Stanford University also increased the number of all-gender restrooms on campus. Panjab University in India will have a separate toilet for transgender people. minutes of usage or 4.5 litres if usage is longer, says the social enterprise. T h e highlight of the feedback system is that it is the first of its kind QR Code-enabled instant feedback. This is made possible via QR code scanning through a unique QR code sticker which is placed inside and outside of the eToilet. Once the user scans the QR code via his mobile phone, he is directed to a portal where the user can provide suggestions and remarks on the hygiene and cleanliness of that particular eToilet. The user can also post photos as their feedback through the portal. Eram is looking forward to huge public participation in this.
Modi calls for ‘cleanliness is service’ campaign PM Modi believes festivals should be transformed into symbols of cleanliness in a ‘new India’ ssb bureau
rime Minister Narendra Modi said last week that festivals should be transformed into symbols of cleanliness in ‘New India’ and called for a 15-day campaign ahead of Gandhi Jayanti to take the message of “cleanliness is service” to every home. Speaking during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on All India Radio, Modi said India was a land of diversities and this was visible in every walk of life. “Festivals are, of course, symbols of faith and belief. In new India, we should transform them into symbols of cleanliness as well. In individual households, festivals and cleanliness are linked. In fact, preparations for festivals always begin with cleaning,” Modi said. “This is nothing new for us, but it is important to convert it into a social character. Public cleanliness must be insisted upon not just in our homes but in our villages, towns, cities, states, and in the entire country cleanliness has to be inextricably linked to our festivals,” he added. Modi said the cleanliness campaign launched by his government will mark its third anniversary on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, adding that the positive results of the campaign were for all to see. He said toilet coverage had increased from 39 per cent of the population to almost 67 per cent and more than 2.30 lakh villages declared themselves open defecation-free. The Prime Minister said there was filth everywhere after Gujarat floods and volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-eHind cleaned 22 affected temples and two mosques in a phased manner in Banaskantha district
September 04 - 10, 2017
women team navy
Neha Tops Golf Leaderboard The professional golfer’s recent victories have moved her to the top of the leaderboard in the Women’s Pro Golf Tour
Modi Lauds All-Women Navy Team
Modi said he was proud of the ‘six daughters’ of India and would carry their experiences through his own app
eha Tripathi shot a stunning five-under 67, that carried her to the top of the leaderboard in the ninth leg of the Women’s Professional Golf Tour here last Thursday. At the end of two rounds, Neha was three-under 141. She earlier won the first leg of this season in Ahmedabad, but has not tasted victory since, and was two shots clear of the consistent Gaurika Bishnoi (69) at the Prestige Golfshire here. On a day when there were numerous under-par scores, Vani Kapoor recovered lost ground with a two-under 70 that hauled her up from T-11th to Tied-5th at 147. Also moving up significantly was
Amandeep Drall (71) who is tied seventh, up from overnight 14th at 149. Amateur Ridhima Dilawari shot a round of 71 that brought her to even par 144 and third place, while the overnight leader, Gursimar Badwal slipped with a card of 75 and was fourth at 146. Vani shared the fifth place with amateur Pranavi Urs (73). Amandeep Drall was Tied-7th with Siddhi Kapoor (74) and Mehar Atwal (76) dropped to ninth at 150. Neha, starting the day in tied-third, had a dream run as she cruised through the front nine in two-under with birdies on 4th and 6th holes. Neha has had a good start to the year as well as she picked a win at Ahmedabad in the first leg of the Women’s Pro Tour. Neha also picked full status to play on the Ladies European Tour after finishing T25 in the final Stage of the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco.
lady Indian Navy officers who will be on a circumnavigation mission, PM Modi expressed his gratitude for their service SSB BUREAU
rime Minister Narendra Modi last week said the nation is proud of the six women officers of the Indian Navy who will embark next month on a mission to circumnavigate the globe. Modi said the updates on their journey would be made available on the Prime Minister’s mobile application (Narendra Modi App). “I had the opportunity to meet some young daughters, some of who were born in the Himalayas, who had absolutely no connection with the sea. Six of these young daughters are in the navy. Their grit and zeal are inspiring for all of us,” Modi said in his radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”. “These six young women will embark on a voyage across the seas, in a small boat, INSV Tarini. The expedition has been named Navika Sagar Parikrama. They will circumnavigate the globe and return home, after many months,” he said. “Our six daughters riding the waves of the high seas, with courage, is the
Quick Glance Six women Indian Navy officers will go on a circumnavigation mission The navy officers will travel on the INSV Tarini, a cruising sloop The expedition mission has been named Navika Sagar Parikram
first instance of its kind in the world,” the Prime Minister said. “Each and every Indian would be proud of these daughters. I salute their valour and I have asked them to share their experiences with the entire country. “I am making a separate arrangement for their experiences on the Narendra Modi App to ensure that you can read it. This is a tale of heroism, a tale of personal experiences, and I would be happy to bring you the stories of these daughters. My best wishes and blessings to these daughters,” he said.
An all-women team of Indian Navy led by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, along with Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal and P. Swathi, and Lieutenants S. Vijaya Devi, B. Aishwarya and Payal Gupta is set to embark on the circumnavigation journey next month. The gruelling journey would take them through some of the roughest seas. The around eight-month-long journey would be covered in five legs with stopovers at four ports Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).
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cricket Jhulan Goswami
Jhulan Goswami, India’s veteran pacer, revealed that she derived her inspiration to play from the 1997 Women’s World Cup Final
eteran India pacer Jhulan Goswami on Monday revealed that the 1997 women’s World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand inspired her to pursue cricket as a career. “In 1997 there was a women’s world cup final between Australia and New Zealand and we got some complimentary tickets from our school, so I went to watch it and realised if I start playing, then one day I can play for India,” Jhulan, the leading wicket-taker in the women’s One-Day International (ODI) told at the ‘NDTV Youth for Change’ event here. Jhulan, who has picked up 195 wickets in 164 ODIs averaging 21.95, said it was the 1992 men’s World Cup when she started taking interest in the sport. “I watched the 1992 World Cup which took place in New Zealand and Australia. From there I became a fan
of cricket.” “Unfortunately, in our country during those days, only cricket was telecasted on television and no other sports; at times East Bengal, Mohun Bagan matches, or we used to wait for Olympics or football World Cup,” the Bengal-born cricketer explained. The 34-year-old, who was awarded the ICC Women’s Player of the Year 2007
Quick Glance The pacer says she got complimentary tickets to watch the 1997 World Cup Final between Ozies and Kiwis That match was her inspiration for Jhulan to start thinking of playing for her own country one day Today she is a feared pacer and has taken 195 wickets in 164 One Day International matches
also recalled her early days in the game, saying she started as a ball girl initially. “I used to be very sporty girl, used to play and watch a lot of sports. My upbringing was at my aunt’s place where we used to play a lot of tennis ball cricket in the backyard,” Goswami said. Goswami is currently placed second in the ICC women’s ODI bowling rankings with 652 points.
award social work
great works For ‘Transforming India’
12 women from the all over India were felicitated for their contributions towards transforming communities
1997 Women’s World Cup Inspired Jhulan IANS
nion minister Smriti Irani and Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya last week awarded 12 women from different parts of the country to recognise the transformational impact of their work across villages, towns and cities. “Women Transforming India Awards”, this year, to promote equal opportunity for women, received 3,000 entries from across the country. “It is a great opportunity for me to be here among these wonderful women who have such inspiring stories,” Irani said during the award ceremony. “You don’t hear such stories every day. These stories need to be told. We are going to do something so as to bring across these stories of change to the whole nation,” she added.She further said that the stories from previous year’s awards will be combined along with this year’s and reached to the people through some medium.The list of winners included Subasini Mistry,
Scholarship For Women Adobe India launched its Women in Technology Scholarship Program ssb bureau
dobe India last week announced its Women in Technology Scholarship Programme aimed at recognising extraordinary students in the fields of science and engineering. The registrations for the programme commenced from last week. “Adobe India’s Women in Technology Scholarship Programme is a platform for female students in the field of technology to demonstrate their exceptional skills and get a chance to contribute in an environment that thrives on innovation,” Abdul Jaleel, Vice President, People Resources India, Adobe, said. According to Adobe India, the winners of the programme will have an opportunity to pursue an internship with the company next year. Adobe will also sponsor tuition fees for the remainder of the award recipients’ university education.
Quick Glance Minister Smriti Irani and Niti Ayog Vice Chairman A Panagariya gave the awards Lauding their achievements, she said that these are uncommon stories The jury for selection was some of the top Indian and foreign dignitaries
who saved for two decades to build a hospital for the needy after losing her husband at a young age, Arunima Sinha for being India’s first amputee to climb Mount Everest, and goat veterinarian Sunita Kamble for creating alternative livelihood opportunities for women. A jury comprising former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Indian Olympian PT Usha, Indian Air Force officer, Wing Cdr Pooja Thakur, Panagariya, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, and UN Resident Coordinator Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator undertook the process to shortlist 12 top awardees.
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Try not to become a “person of success, but rather try to become a person of value”
sharad gupta A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications
Smart Villages Could Be The Answer After every monsoon, questions are raised over efficacy of developing a plethora of cities
Common people may not be able to control climate change but need to be vocal to support the fight against it
ll of the northeast, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha have been facing flood furies for the past few weeks. The latest that came last week was Mumbai practically drowning, with local train services, the lifeline of Mumbai, suspended, 10 flights cancelled and even the Bandra-Worli Sea Link shut down for some time. The weather office reported 200 mm rainfall in 12 hours, or nine times the usual, and in Worli, it was 300 mm of rain. This is the worst for Mumbai since the catastrophe of 2005. These are termed extreme events, and there is a direct link between these and climate change. Many Indian earth scientists have warned that weather patterns are becoming erratic, with droughts in a place where it is usual to have good rains, and flash floods in other places. As ordinary citizens, we can do very little to stop Lord Indra’s wrath. But there are two things we can all do. One is, become vocal and move governments to get proactive in tackling climate change. The second is, keep our cities free of plastics as well as ensure proper drainage systems to avoid the post flood complications of various diseases compounding the miseries of the people. What is clear is that awareness and readiness are all that matter.
Kumar Dilip Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
t was during a public meeting in Mumbai in the run up to 2004 Lok Sabha election campaign that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to develop Mumbai so well that it would compete with Shanghai – he city known for its skyscrapers. But, within one year, Mumbai faced worst deluge in its history – the city came to a standstill for almost three days. Cut to 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of smart cities in all parts of the country. A smart city, by definition, had automated transport, communication, drainage and speedy help in emergencies. Two years later, during a campaign meeting for Brihannala Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, chief minister Devendra Phadanvis announced a proposed outlay of his plans for Mumbai. These included metro lines worth Rs 70,000 crore, the Nariman Point-Kandivli coastal road (Rs12,000 crore), the Mumbai TransHarbour Link (Rs17,500 crore), the Navi Mumbai International Airport (Rs16,500 crore) and the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (worth Rs30,000 crore). Within a year of the BMC elections, Mumbai witnessed yet another deluge. Instead of becoming a smart city, Mumbai went for the worse. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Mumbai presents most stark socioeconomic disparities. The rich jostle for space for the poor. The skyscrapers are surrounded by tinroofed shanties. SATELLITE TOWNS NEEDED This is why, the troika of legendary city planners Charles Correa, Pravina Mehta and Shirish Patel, in 1965 envisaged a twin city for Mumbai – Navi Mumbai. It was supposed to lessen the burden on Mumbai. The planning was fine but as usual, execution was poor. The city came up well but had poor connectivity with the main city. As a result, people had to spend up to five hours in commuting
between two cities. As a result people migrated back to Mumbai – often withstanding a salary cut – to save on commuting time. In fact, this is not the case with Mumbai alone. Most urban centres have very fragile infrastructure. They have frequent power cuts, jam-packed roads and choked drains. Come rains and most of the cities become Venice – most roads go under sailable water. The concept of smart city originated with the Smart Planet Initiative of IBM in 2008. As the concept gained currency, many countries including those in Europe, China and South Korea planned huge investment in the cities to prepare them for the future. A smart city is characterised by an urban region having modern technological infrastructure, access to smart energy, smart mobility, smart public utility services and ultra fast communication network. The smart city must not add to the already worrisome carbon problem of the world. The smart city benefits everybody - its residents, business persons and the government. WHY SMART CITIES? According to demographers, India will become the most-populous country in the world by 2030. Unlike the previous phases of demographic change, the latest one is witnessing a fast shift towards urban areas, particularly the big cities. As per government estimates, every minute 25-
Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Mumbai presents most stark socioeconomic disparities
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We could take a lesson
from Europe where people prefer to live in villages, not cities which they consider more expensive and polluted 30 people are migrating to major Indian cities from rural areas in search of better livelihood and better lifestyles. If the pace of migration from rural areas to urban centres continues, Indian cities would be home to nearly 85 crore people by 2050. This would make 70 per cent of the total population of the country. As the cities are generally considered the engines of economic growth, such a huge population in cities would be the biggest market in the world and may be the source of 80 per cent economic growth of the country. But such a huge population would also require accommodation, jobs, civic amenities, efficient governance, fast communication means, speedy and hasslefree transport system, uninterrupted and clean power, water supply and good quality of life. The Smart City Mission aims to provide the same to Indians. FOREIGN PARTNERSHIP The government has also invited foreign partnership in developing smart cities. Deals have been signed to develop three smart cities in association with Germany, three with the United States, and one each with Spain and Singapore. The Industrial Corridors, being developed to connect some of the mega cities, are further contributing to the Smart City Mission. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor and the BangaloreMumbai Economic Corridor are expected to create smart cities in their sphere of influence. Three smart cities such as Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka are being developed with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA), which has taken up the master plan for these cities. Experts say that the only solution to ease urban congestion is to develop satellite towns and have smooth connectivity with the parent town. Besides Smart Cities, we also need to develop smart villages and provide employment and better amenities there. This will help in checking migration and thereby taking off load from overburdened cities. We could take a lesson from Europe where people prefer to live in villages, not cities which they consider more expensive and polluted.
Importance Of Having A Purpose
Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
Imbued with a sense of purpose, life becomes very fulfilling and enjoyable. What’s your purpose?
he simple fact that we are the only rational and self-aware beings amidst countless others points to the premise of a purpose behind actions. Everything in the universe has a specific purpose. Nothing is random or coincidental. Things always happen for a reason and things are the way they are because they are there to fulfil their purpose. Whether we like it or not, everything follows its own path and things happen on their own time. We never seem to pay much attention to finding out what our purpose is. It seems as if it’s only a chosen few of us who realise their life’s purpose and set out on those paths. The happenings of daily life bog us down so much that we barely get time to contemplate such things. When was the last time you sat down and thought about the reason for your existence? We are so overly concerned with our survival and social status that we don’t get to knock on the doors of such questions which could be gateways to enlightenment. What
happens when a person finds their ‘purpose’ or their passion? They feel a certain level of excitement that charges them from the inside out to a point they start feeling magical. That’s when one has found their ‘thing’. For some, it could be sports, for some poetry. Whatever it is, we almost instantly recognise it. Almost like an inbuilt GPS for recognising our true purpose. When we are aligned with our purpose, our thoughts, words, and actions become congruent with our passions and we starting trusting and following our heart more.
In the larger scheme of things one could surely say that humans are here for the evolution of life and consciousness, for spreading love, or for the betterment or even destruction of the environment. But in our personal day-to-day experiences, we must take out the time to check if our actions align with our internal GPS. The simplest way to check is to ask yourself what excites you to the point of making life so magical that it feels like a dream? And when you know what that is, you are already halfway there. The amount of positive vibes, energy, and motivation you get when you are aligned with your purpose is truly mesmerising. Life becomes amazingly simple and beautiful. It’s almost like advancing a level in a game where things become easier. All one has to do is to align their thoughts, words, and actions with one’s passions. Once that happens, magic awaits. This is the secret. It is the secret to having a fulfilled life.
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THE MOTHER’S FURY sly Swelling and continuouhas surging water, Ganga spree been on a devastating
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Hindi’s relevance The article ‘Making Hindi Relevant Again In Classrooms’ was a very impressive article to read. Nowadays we could eventually find young kids questioning their parents when
anyone asks then numbers in Hindi or use correct Hindi vocabulary. They get confused and have lost the speed and habit of reading subjects in their local language. They have more than 70% of the syllabus in English and have adopted English as their means of communication. They find easy to express because they are studying in English the whole day. They could talk in Hindi but could not write it properly and without mistakes. This makes me feel ashamed of the fact but after the article, I have some hope to see the future generation could speak fluent Hindi too. Narayan Tiwari, Jabalpur what a gift for modi! The cover page article ‘A memorable gift’ gives us, the readers, an insight into the life of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak who has transformed the lives of
thousands of marginalized and oppressed people in Indian society. It is incredible to see the dedication and commitment of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak towards issues that have haunted us but seemed difficult to solve. Despite the numerous awards and recognitions, he continues to work towards the betterment of the country. Salute the gentleman! Jeremy D’Costa, Panaji, Goa upfront upright For the past few weeks, I have been reading with increasing interest the rather philosophical articles by Mihir Paul, and he has given me some ideas as to how to go about tackling our daily problems in our personal lives. It is interesting that a newspaper like this, which is devoted to positivity, should carry such articles every week. Shital Pradhan, Gangtok
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18 Photo Feature
September 04 - 10, 2017
Ganapati Bappa Morya
Known as the harbinger of knowledge, wisdom, good fortune, and prosperity, Lord Ganesh was welcomed home with fervour and grandeur as Indians celebrated the beginning of Ganesh Chaturthi last week.
Photos: prabhat pandey
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in India to observe Lord Ganeshaâ€™s homecoming. It signifies the arrival of goodness and abundance in hearts and minds. This is one of the most colourful and vibrant festivals celebrated annually.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated after devotees install lord Ganeshaâ€™s idol at homes for a ten day period after which the idol is immersed in river. Lord Ganeshaâ€™s favourite modak is the sweet of choice bringing smiles, joy, and prosperity all across in this ten day celebration.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Quick Glance An engineering student was yanked away from the brink by his college friends and others Google, Facebook, etc., have been asked to immediately remove the links to the Blue Whale game But the game cannot be totally banned, until and unless the Internet is banned, say experts
behaviour online gaming
Loneliness Leads to Lethal Online Game It is time parents and schools woke up to be more alert to erratic children, watch their social media behaviour, and seek professional help at the earliest Geeta Singh
ecently a 13-year-old boy Parth Singh has committed suicide in UP’s Hamirpur district. He was found hanging in his bedroom. His father’s phone, with the Blue Whale page open, was lying there. Before this, some other teenagers committed suicide due to this. A 14-year-old student in Mumbai jumps off the terrace of a seven-storeyed building. In Thiruvananthapuram, a 16-year old boy hangs himself in his house. Another 22-year-old from Kerala is also found hanging at home in Kannur. Despite hearing numerous warnings still, an engineering student in Kolkata believed to have completed several levels of the ‘Blue Whale’ suicide game had even carved an image of the animal on his arm with a blade. He had reached stage eight which needed him to etch the whale diagram on his arm. The next challenge was to cut his lip. But he was yanked away from the brink in time by his college friends, faculty and counselling by the West Bengal
police. “I have come back,” the third year student said, displaying the now fading wounds of the Blue Whale etched on his left forearm. He had heard of the online game from a WhatsApp group warning against playing it. He thought it wasn’t a big deal and started playing in early August. Any suicide is disconcerting, not only for the families of the victims but also for the community they lived in. However, the news of these four suicides is far more disturbing on several levels. These innocent lives were taken by the internet game called Blue Whale Challenge. It is a lethal online game that lures troubled youngsters and puts them on a path to suicide. Instead of seeking help from their immediate family, friends, relatives and teachers, these students
felt they would find solace for their sufferings from a stranger online. The Blue Whale Challenge is a dare-based game, which requires participants to perform daily tasks for 50 days. During the course of the game, the participants could be asked to watch horror and psychic movies, cut their hands with blades and needles, causing self-harm. The Web being a largely uncontrolled and uncensored entity, it is very hard for us to be able to control all activities that young adults may indulge in. Giants Warned The sudden popularity of this game in which the final task requires the player to commit suicide has forced the government to swing into action. The ban issue was recently raised in the Maharashtra assembly and in
High-risk behaviours provide adolescents with an
imaginative means to give expression to their internalised anger towards people who cause them anguish
the Rajya Sabha by members who called for provisions to remove such games from websites. Copies of the issued order have been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as Ministry of Women and Child Development. Notably, Maneka Gandhi, the Minister for Women and Child Development, wrote to her counterpart in the Information and Technology Ministry to ban the game. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had also written to PM Modi to take action to stop the spread of the game. Eventually, the centre has directed Internet giants Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove the links of the game, which has also led to a number of suicides by children worldwide. But the Challenge is not a game that can be downloaded on a phone or a website and therefore be banned, Udbhav Tiwari from Centre of Internet and Society said. “Since there is no application or one specific website for the challenge, it can’t really be banned not unless you completely ban the internet,” Tiwari says. The game originated on a social media site in Russia called VKontakte created by one Philipp Budeikin, 22, who is currently lodged in a Siberian jail. The game is said to psychologically provoke players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves and each task must be filmed and shared as “proof”. The series of tasks include binge watching of horror films, inflicting self-harm, waking up at 4.20 a.m. to watch psychedelic videos that the curator sends, and not talking to anyone throughout the day. So, what pushes young people with their entire future ahead to such limits? Adolescence Troubles A misplaced sense of identity is one of the major reasons. Adolescence is the time when children have an unstable sense of selfhood. Often, they grapple with questions of who they are, who they would want to be known as and where they fit in with their
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Indian students need more counselling The survey was conducted all across India and other important locations abroad by IC3 along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
peers, family and the community at large. This constant internal turmoil pushes them to indulge in new, unconventional, risk behaviours, which can earn them the label of being unique, daring, and popular. They get enticed by such challenges, which seem to give them a false sense of purpose. The curators apparently spot their victims based on their posts on different online forums. “The administrators of the challenge use different online forums to reach out to their victims. It can be Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp or any other online forum,” Tiwari said. Till date, reports state that over 130 teenage lives have been taken by the game so far mostly in Russia, cross Russia and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where it is said to be trending. The shocking deaths of these kids raise many questions. Why are teenagers drawn to such a game which allegedly goads players into committing suicide? How does one identify those who are most vulnerable to the vicious designs of the game? And what roles can teachers and parents play in preventing such tragedies? According to experts, teenagers are more vulnerable because the virtual world allows them to act freely without the restrictions prevalent in the real world which seems to give them an adrenaline boost. Teenagers generally take these risks because they are vulnerable and prone to seek validation. Also, it makes them feel like they are a part of something that is bigger than them. Unable to recognise the harm it was causing, or scared to share the details of such games, either due to fear of judgment or lack of support, the victims could become easy targets for continuing the process. The victims may have got involved with the game out of curiosity, but find themselves being psychologically manipulated into
The curators apparently spot their victims based on their posts on different online forums. The administrators of the Challenge use different online forums to reach out to their victims
continuing with the tasks, according to the experts. According to media reports, 22-year-old Philipp Budeikin who is believed to be the creator of the deadly game said in an interview in St Petersburg that his purpose was to cleanse society by provoking people who think they are not worthy of being alive to commit suicide. In order to understand what their child is going through, parents and schools have a vital role to play. They need to spend more time with kids and keep an eye of their routine, added the psychiatrists. If the teenagers are seemingly lost, lonely and depressed, parents and school managements must take serious and immediate action to get them involved socially in the real world and divert their mind by providing activities or giving them something new to learn. Experts emphasise on media literacy as a measure to prevent teenagers from harmful content. Peer pressure is another very common motive, especially for those with low self-esteem. Pre-adolescent, from 9 to 12-year olds and adolescents from 13 to 20-year olds are the two age groups who are most susceptible to harming themselves by accepting life-threatening dares be it in the real world or the virtual world. There is a deep-rooted psychological issue, which entraps children of this age group in the fold of high-risk behaviours. It not only becomes compelling for them to accept dares but also provides them with an imaginative means to
give expression to their internalized anger and hatred towards people who cause them deep pain and anguish. Self-harm is a common phenomenon adopted by children who feel rejected and abandoned. They try to make a bold and tacit statement to the world by inflicting self-injury as a false assurance to show that the control still lies with them. Before things get out of hand it is important to observe warning signals and take immediate action. A child who might be getting addicted to online games like Blue Whale will withdraw from physical and social engagement with friends and family. They will start spending an unreasonable amount of time on the computer and become secretive about their activities in the cyber world. They may show erratic moods and behaviours like irritation, restlessness and anger or may suffer from bouts of low mood without any ostensible reason. Parents should be alert and watch out for these signs. If the symptoms persist they should seek professional help. It is essential for schools to hold workshops for children to educate them about the dangers of cyber space and how to keep themselves safe in the cyber world. From the obvious step of banning such games, the government should formulate a committee of cyber experts and develop programs to educate the youth on the dangers of cyber space and equip them with ways to keep themselves safe in the digital world.
he International Career and College Counselling (IC3) Conference was recently hosted at New Delhi’s JW Marriott in Aerocity where a study revealed the difference a good career counselling could make to students. Indian students need proper exposure and the lack of good career counselling means that most students and parents are completely unaware of the host of career choices available today. “As the survey insights state, Indian students have not been able to gain preference in comparison to the overseas students due to lack of exposure and right counselling at the right age. We really need to step up the counselling practices in India to help them gain the desired position in the international markets,” said IC3 Conference Chair, President and Chief Mentor, KIC UnivAssist, and former high school college counsellor Ganesh Kohli, according to Agency. The survey was conducted all across India and other important locations abroad by IC3 along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Four categories of people provided their opinions to build the survey: Students, High Schools and Counselors, Industry Leaders, and Universities and Global Academic Institutions. Following are some of the most crucial points from the IC3 survey: 56 per cent of universities feel that students need to be helped by their high schools in making the transition from school to college A staggering 98 per cent of universities feel students need much more career counselling at the school level to be prepared better for higher studies. The two primary focus areas of universities when interacting with high schools is engagement or relationship building (58 per cent) and student recruitment (41 per cent).
September 04-10, 2017
Britain Admires India’s Target Reaffirming their commitment to the Paris Agreement, both India and UK are setting new renewable capacity targets IANS
ritain “admires” the stretching targets that India has set to bring its renewable energy capacity up to 175 GW by 2022, Britain’s High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith said in an interview. “In the UK, we admire the stretching targets that India has set to bring its renewable energy capacity up to 175 GW by 2022. And we’re driving action ourselves to decarbonise our economy. We are setting concrete carbon budgets in law to help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050,” he said at the 10th Environment and Energy Conclave organised here by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Reaffirming commitment to the Paris Agreement, Asquith said both countries share a common conviction
that climate change is one of the biggest threats to global prosperity and stability. “We recognise that it is in our own interest to prevent dangerous climate change. Both our nations are committed to the Paris Agreement as a means to galvanise global action on
climate change. “We both believe that this is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart economic thing to do,” he added. Asserting that both India and Britain have a shared purpose on energy and the environment, Asquith
Dia To Save Snow Leopards Actress Dia Mirza will be attending the International Snow Leopard Ecosystem Forum to campaign for their protection
India’s renewable energy capacity target stands at 175 GW by 2022 UK low-carbon sector is worth over 46 billion pounds of business Both countries are cosigners in the Paris Agreement on climate change
said both “recognise the commercial opportunities that can be realised in the low carbon economy”. “The UK low-carbon sector alone is worth over 46 billion pounds across more than 90,000 businesses. It employs more than 238,500 fulltime workers, directly and indirectly, supports much more. We are both taking action,” he added. Discussing the shared challenges in energy security and sustainability sector, Asquith stressed on attracting investments, developing clean energy sources and the need to boost energy efficiency. At the Conclave, Britainbased energy efficiency services firm Cenergist, which recently opened its Indian chapter from Kolkata, has signed a MoU with TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) to promote greener products and projects. Cenergist will also distribute LED bulbs in Britain in collaboration with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL).
Quick Glance The snow leopard is listed in the IUCN Red List 12 countries are meeting in Kyrgyzstan to protect the big cat Dia Mirza has been felicitated for her devotion to wildlife protection
ollywood actress and ardent animal lover Dia Mirza will attend the International Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Forum (Summit 2017) to campaign for the protection of snow leopards. “Twelve countries are meeting in Kyrgyzstan to protect the snow leopard and their habitats! Proud to be a part Snow Leopard Forum 2017,” Dia posted. The actress, brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India, had earlier adopted two cheetah cubs at the Prince of Wales Zoological Park in Lucknow. She has been felicitated at award functions for her active involvement in social and environmental issues. The International Snow Leopard and
Ecosystem Forum (Summit 2017) took place last week. According to the event’s official page, it brings together heads and representatives of the governments of the 12 snow leopard range countries as well as of other interested nations with leaders from international institutions, donor agencies, conservation
organisations, and scientific institutions. The effort is towards protecting the snow leopard, and to galvanise international support for their ambitious plan of securing 20 snow leopard landscapes by the year 2020. The snow leopard or ounce is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as
Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.This is because due to climate change and consequential habitat loss, they are having to climb to higher altitudes where they do not find food. As of 2003, the population in the wild was estimated at 4,080–6,590 adults. Fewer than 2,500 individuals may be reproducing in the wild.As of 2016, estimates for the size of the global population vary from at least 4,080 to about 8,700 individuals. Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Python rescued from shrine
Rs 500 Cr Relief Package Granted
A seven-feet-long rock python was among 80 others that were rescued in Delhi in recent times Quick Glance The python was rescued from a shrine in Tughlakabad in Delhi It was rescued when the wildlife SOS was contacted by devotees There have been 80 such cases in the month of July itself in Delhi
seven-feet-long rock python was rescued from a shrine in Delhi’s Tughlakabad area, the rescuers said on Thursday. About 80 such cases of snakes rescued from human spaces in the national capital have been reported since July. The Python took shelter in the shrine due to rain on Wednesday last week. Some devotees saw it and called the animal welfare organisation Wildlife SOS helpline 9871963535. A three-member team rushed to the
spot and rescued the reptile. The python is under the observation of the animal welfare organisation Due to the monsoon season, more cases of reptiles around human spaces are spotted, with maximum cases happening in July and August. “There have been over 80 cases of snake rescue in the month of July and August so far. 50 snakes were rescued in July alone from Delhi and NCR,” KadambariAtki from Wildlife SOS told IANS. “In the monsoons, we receive hundreds of calls from Delhi residents who have seen snakes and
we end up responding by rescuing sometimes up to five snakes a day,” said Wasim Akram, Manager of Special Projects at Wildlife SOS. Recently, a special team of snake rescuers was stationed at the Red Fort during the Independence Day celebration, after the Delhi police officials spotted several snakes during the security preparations. Found commonly across India, the Indian rock python faces extreme threat due to the prevalent misunderstanding and ignorance among the public, experts said. “Snakes are ecologically required for rodent control and never attack or bite unless they are cornered, stepped on or threatened. People get bitten out of ignorance and over confidence,” said KartickSatyanarayan, Cofounder of Wildlife SOS.
rare bush rat has been rediscovered living in Western Australia (WA) 30 years after it was thought to have been wiped out of the region, researchers said last week. The distinctive black-footed tree rat was spotted by chance last year on a seasonal monitoring trip, reports the BBC. Months of camera footage have now confirmed its existence. The researchers said they “cracked
rime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced a Rs 500 crore relief package for Bihar after conducting an aerial survey of the flood-hit regions in the state. “Announced a package of Rs 500 crore for Bihar,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted. “A central team would be sent to Bihar to access the losses due to the floods,” he said. Modi along with Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi conducted the survey of Kishanganj, Purnea, Katihar and Araria districts of Seemanchal region -the worst hit. The aerial survey took nearly 50 minutes as the leaders took stock of the situation, an official of the Bihar disaster management department said. Following the survey, Modi met top central and state officials along with Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi, at the conference hall of Chunapur airport in Purnea to review aid management.
Odisha seeks Doppler radars
On a seasonal monitoring trip, researchers spotted a distinctive black-footed tree rat that was presumed extinct a bottle of champagne” to celebrate its return after a 30 year absence. The native rat has telltale black feet and a long black and white tail. Weighing up to 800gm, it is considered enormous compared to its more common relatives such as the golden-backed tree-rat at around 200g. It was last seen in the Kimberley area in 1987. The species was believed to have been wiped out by bushfires, predatory cats and human activity. “If you haven’t seen an animal in
Rare Bush Rat Rediscovered IANS
30 years you can start to make a case that it can be made extinct. We won’t need to do that now,” Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions ecologist Ian Radford told the BBC. Population estimates remain uncertain, with Radford saying that because they had been so elusive they were very difficult to track.”
disha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last week requested the central government for Doppler weather radars in disaster-prone Balasore and Sambalpur at the earliest. In a letter to Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan, the Chief Minister requested him to intervene in the matter and issue appropriate instructions for procuring and installing the radars. The decision to install four Doppler radars was taken by the union government way back in 2006 for real-time tracking and monitoring of weather. In the meantime, two radars had been installed and made operational at Paradip and Gopalpur, said Patnaik. But radars at Balasore and Sambalpur are yet to be installed. Doppler radar stations at these two locations would help, among others, track local storm/ thunderstorms in the northern and western parts of the state, said the Chief Minister.
24 Science & Technology
September 04 - 10, 2017
Solar Eclipse Internet Event
NASA’s previous record broken
With more than 90 million page views, NASA topped its previous record as one of the biggest events in internet history IANS
he total solar eclipse of August 21 attracted more traffic to NASA websites than any other event on record, according to data revealed by the US space agency. “With more than 90 million page views on nasa.gov and eclipse2017. nasa.gov, we topped our previous web traffic record about seven times over,” NASA officials wrote. It was one of the biggest internet events in recent history and by far the biggest online event NASA has ever measured. “We estimate more than 40 million views of our live broadcast on nasa.
gov and multiple social platforms,” NASA said. There have been nearly 27 million unique views on Facebook before and after the eclipse, and 12.1 million unique views were recorded on nasa. gov’s Eclipse Live page during the event, peaking at between two and
Sweat to power future wearables Fuel cells have been developed that can extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics like LEDs and radios IANS
esearchers have developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. In a paper, published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, the researchers described how they connected the biofuel cells to a custommade circuit board and demonstrated that the device was able to power an LED while a person wearing it exercised on a stationary bike. The biofuel cell that the Engineers from the University of California San Diego in the US developed can stretch and flex, conforming to the human body. The research led by Professor Joseph Wang, who directs the Center for Wearable Sensors at the university, used a combination of clever chemistry, advanced materials and electronic interfaces. The researchers explained that biofuel
cells were equipped with an enzyme that oxidises the lactic acid present in human sweat to generate current. This turned the sweat into a source of power. To make the biofuel cells flexible and stretchable, the engineers decided to use what they call a “bridge and island” structure developed in Professor Sheng Xu’s research group. Essentially, the cell is made up of rows of dots that are each connected by springshaped structures. Half of the dots make up the cell’s anode and the other half are the cathode. The spring-like structures can stretch and bend, making the cell
NASA had expected 40 million views of their Live webcast It actually had 90 million views, seven times the previous record There were 27 mn unique views on Facebook before and after eclipse
three million simultaneous views. The NASA.gov numbers alone are several times larger than reported streaming numbers for recent Super Bowls, putting the eclipse in the realm of major news, sports and entertainment events. In addition to the main television broadcast, there were nearly 12 million unique viewers across other video feeds from telescopes and events. NASA scientists are studying the data gathered from spacecraft, aircraft, ground observations and scientific balloons to learn more about the Sun and Moon, and even learn about the effect of a Mars-like environment on life. The next big American eclipse will occur in 2024.
Researchers developed custom biofuel cells that are powered from sweat The biofuels can stretch and flex, conforming to the human body Biofuel cells are equipped with enzymes that oxidise lactic acid
flexible without deforming the anode and cathode. The basis for the islands and bridges structure was manufactured via lithography and is made of gold. As a second step, researchers used screen printing to deposit layers of biofuel materials on top of the anode and cathode dots. The researchers’ biggest challenge was increasing the biofuel cell’s energy density, meaning the amount of energy it can generate per surface area. Increasing energy density is key to increasing performance for the biofuel cells. The more energy the cells can generate, the more powerful they can be. To increase power density, engineers screen printed a 3D carbon nanotube structure on top the anodes and cathodes. The structure allows engineers to load each anodic dot with more of the enzyme that reacts with lactic acid and silver oxide at the cathode dots. In addition, the tubes allow easier electron transfer, which improves biofuel cell performance, the study said.
DigitalOcean’s Block Storage In India Block Storage is a complementary product to DigitalOcean’s Droplets, which provide computing power and local storage IANS
igital Ocean, the cloud for developers recently introduced Block Storage in its India datacentre that will help developers build and scale larger applications more easily. Flexible and scalable data storage is becoming a crucial requirement for most developers for storing large or small amounts of content, including images, videos, or blobs of text, application developers need a solution for the storage and retrieval of usergenerated content, logs, backups, and so on. Block Storage is a highly available and scalable SSD-based offering that enables developers to easily attach extra disk space to DigitalOcean Droplets (cloud servers), the company said in a statement. Block Storage is a complementary product to DigitalOcean’s Droplets, which provides computing power and local storage, by making them more expandable and flexible. By attaching Block Storage to DigitalOcean Droplets via the control panel or API, developers can achieve benefits like scalability, flexibility, reliability and security. DigitalOcean launched its first datacentre in India (12th datacentre globally) in Bengaluru last June. Customers have created thousands of Block Storage volumes in DigitalOcean’s San Francisco, New York and Frankfurt regions to scale databases, take backups, store media, and much more.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Tiny diamonds to prevent battery fires
Nanodiamonds will soon be added in lithium battery electrolytes commonly found in smartphones to prevent short circuits and fires IANS
esearchers have found that nanodiamonds - tiny diamond particles 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a hair can prevent short-circuits and fires in lithium batteries widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops. The new process can turn electrolyte solution -- a key component of most batteries -- into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to batteryrelated disasters. In the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers described a process by which nanodiamonds curtail the electrochemical deposition, called plating, that can lead to hazardous short-circuiting of lithium ion batteries. “We anticipate the first use of our proposed technology will be in less critical applications -not in cell phones or car batteries,” said YuryGogotsi, Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US. “To ensure safety, additives to electrolytes, such as nanodiamonds, need to be combined
with other precautions, such as using non-flammable electrolytes, safer electrode materials and stronger separators,” Gogotsi added. As batteries are used and charged, the electrochemical reaction results in the movement of ions between the two electrodes of a battery, which is the essence of an electrical current. Over time, this repositioning of ions can create tendril-like buildups almost like stalactites forming inside a cave. These battery build-ups, called dendrites, are one of the main causes of lithium battery malfunction. As dendrites form inside the battery over time, they can reach the point where they push through the separator, a porous polymer film that prevents the positively charged part of
Science & Technology
Nanodiamonds can prevent short circuits and fires in batteries Additives to electrolytes can curtail electrochemical deposition
a battery from touching the negatively charged part. When the separator is breached, a short-circuit can occur, which can also lead to a fire since the electrolyte solution in most lithium-ion batteries is highly flammable. To avoid dendrite formation and minimise the probability of fire, current battery designs include one electrode made of graphite filled with lithium instead of pure lithium. The use of graphite as the host for lithium prevents the formation of dendrites. But lithium intercalated graphite also stores about 10 times less energy than pure lithium. The new study showed that mixing nanodiamonds into the electrolyte solution of a lithium ion battery slows dendrite formation to nil through 100 charge-discharge cycles. The finding means that a great increase in energy storage is possible because dendrite formation can be eliminated in pure lithium electrodes. The discovery is just the beginning of a process that could eventually see electrolyte additives, like nanodiamonds, widely used to produce safe lithium batteries with a high energy density, Gogotsi noted.
Tech giant Google recently launched an Augmented Reality (AR) platform for its android smartphone users. It is called AR Core
Tango, another AR platform by Google, but ARCore is scalable across the Android ecosystem as it doesn’t require any additional hardware. The new AR platform has been rolled out to Google Pixel and Samsung S8 which run on Android 7.0 Nougat and above. Google is working with manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, ASUS and other major smartphone makers for quality and performance checks. ARCore, which works with ‘Java/ OpenGL’, ‘Unity’ and ‘Unreal’
Nanodiamonds are 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a hair
Augmented Reality Platform For Android n a bid to bring the augmented reality (AR) experience closer to Android users, Google has released a new software development kit (SDK) called ARCore. The platform, which is now available for developers to experiment with, will render augmented reality capabilities to existing and future Android phones, Google said in a statement late on Tuesday. The company built on the fundamental technologies used in
technologies mainly focuses on three features - motion tracking, environmental understanding and light estimation. The tech giant has also built ‘Blocks’ and ‘Tilt Brush’ applications for the creation of 3D content for use in AR apps.Last month, Apple had unveiled its ARKit platform focussing on augmented reality applications at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, to allow developers to build apps that could place virtual content on top of real-world scenes.
China, Russia join hands A bilateral agreement between China and Russia will be signed for space exploration from 2018 to 2022 including lunar exploration IANS
hina and Russia are set to sign a milestone agreement on joint space exploration from 2018 to 2022, the media reported last week. The deal is expected to be signed in October and will bring significant benefits to both nations, particularly in manned and future missions to the moon, the People’s Daily reported. The bilateral agreement will cover five areas including lunar and deep space exploration, developing special materials, collaboration in the area of satellite systems, Earth remote sensing, and space debris research, according to informed sources. This is not the first space agreement between China and Russia, but it is the first to cover a partnership spanning five years. China also plans to launch a mission to collect samples from the moon to the Earth, and in 2018 Beijing is expected to launch the first module of its own space station, scheduled to be completed in 2022, reports Efe news. In 2020, China plans to send a mission to Mars with a robot vehicle for scientific research, and last year inaugurated the world’s largest radio telescope, half a kilometre in diameter.
September 04 - 10, 2017
MedGenome Raises $30 Mn For Research
Med Genome raised money for its research to speed up developing affordable diagnostic tests
Quick Glance Med Genome raised $30 million in its third round of funding Infosys founder and former Cognizant chief also participated Financing was led by venture capital firm Sequoia India and Sofina
enomics research firm MedGenomelast week said that it raised $30 million (Rs 192 crore) in the third round (Series C) of funding to speed up developing affordable diagnostics tests. The financing was led by venture capital firm Sequoia India and Belgian investment firm Sofinas.a. Infosys co-founder S. Gopalakrishnan and former Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Lakshmi Narayanan participated in the funding for the first time. “I am investing in MedGenome as it addresses opportunities in developing precision medicine. Its platform and network are designed to generate actionable insights for clinicians to diagnose and provide better management for complex diseases at lower cost,” said Gopalakrishnan. In the previous two rounds (Series B and A) of funding, the four-year old firm raised $20 million in 2015 from the Indian arm of the US-based Sequoia and $4 million in 2013 from the Singapore-based Emerge Ventures Pte Ltd. “The fresh capital will be used
to penetrate the market by creating awareness on the need for genetic tests and broaden biomarker discovery programmes,” said the city-based firm in a statement here. As the largest sequencing lab in South East Asia, MedGenome services global pharmaceutical and biotech firms the world over. Its lab is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and accredited with the College of American Pathologists.
The research firm claimed to conduct the country’s first liquid biopsy test ‘OncoTrack’ to monitor cancer treatment, noninvasive prenatal test for pregnant women, carrier screening test for couples planning on a baby and exome sequencing test for identifying mutations in rare diseases. “With over a million babies born every year with genetic disorders, India carries a huge genetic disorder burden. Precision medicine is the goal of clinicians and patients that
Selfies to help detect pancreatic cancer
An app has been developed by researchers that will allow people to screen for pancreatic cancers using smartphone selfies IANS
esearchers at the University of Washington have developed an app that could allow people to easily screen for pancreatic cancer simply by snapping a smartphone selfie. The app named ‘BiliScreen’ uses a smartphone camera, computer vision algorithms and machine learning tools to detect increased bilirubin levels in a person’s sclera, or the white part of the eye. One of the earliest symptoms of pancreatic cancer, as well
as other diseases, is jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. In adults, the whites of the eyes are more sensitive than skin to changes in bilirubin levels, which can be an early warning sign for pancreatic cancer or hepatitis. The ability to detect signs of jaundice when bilirubin levels are minimally elevated could enable an entirely new screening programme for at-risk individuals. “The problem with pancreatic cancer is that by the time you’re symptomatic, it’s frequently too
late,” said lead author Alex Mariakakis. “The hope is that if people can do this simple test once a month -- in the privacy of their own homes -- some might catch the disease early enough to undergo treatment that could save their lives,” Mariakakis said in a statement released by the university. In an initial clinical study of 70 people, the app -- used in conjunction with a 3D printed box that controls the eye’s exposure to light -- correctly identified cases of concern 89.7 per
can be enabled through biomarker discovery,” said MedGenome Founder-Chairman Sam Santhosh in the statement. With leadership in genetic diagnostics for inherited diseases in the country, the company is expanding DNA-based testing to cover infectious diseases like tuberculosis. “MedGenome continues to emerge as a leading genomics firm, bringing affordable genetic testing to emerging market consumers, supporting physicians make better decisions and leveraging the power of that data to impact global drug discovery market,” said Sequoia Managing Director AbhayPandey in the statement. Sofina Investment Manager XiaiTianLoi said his firm was partnering with MedGenome to broaden the use of genomics-based diagnostics in the Indian healthcare sector and tap into the value of Indian genetic data for research. “We believe MedGenome’s efforts will have an impact on healthcare delivery in India and the world over,” he added ”
cent of the time, compared to the blood test currently used. The new app has been described in a paper to be presented at Ubicomp 2017, the Association for Computing Machinery’s international joint conference on pervasive and ubiquitous computing to be held at Maui, Hawaii from September 11-15. The blood test that doctors currently use to measure bilirubin levels which is typically not administered to adults unless there is a reason for concern requires access to a health care professional and is inconvenient for frequent screening. BiliScreen is designed to be an easyto-use, non-invasive tool that could help determine whether someone ought to consult a doctor for further testing. The researchers believe that beyond diagnosis, BiliScreen could also potentially ease the burden on patients with pancreatic cancer who require frequent bilirubin monitoring.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Cocoa Blood Sugar
Dark chocolates prevent diabetes?
Compounds found in cocoa can help prevent as well as treat diabetes
ove to gorge on dark chocolates? According to a study, compounds found in cocoa -- the main ingredient of chocolate -- can actually help prevent as well as treat diabetes. The findings showed that cocoa compound named epicatechin monomers helps the body release more insulin and responds to increased blood glucose better. When a person has diabetes, their body either does not produce enough insulin or does not process blood sugar properly, because of the
failure of beta cells, which produce insulin. However, the study found that the increased presence of epicatechin monomers helped beta cells to remain stronger as well as enhanced their ability to secrete insulin. “What happens is epicatechin monomers is protecting the cells, increasing their ability to deal with oxidative stress,” said lead author Jeffery Tessem, assistant professor at Brigham Young University (BYU), US. “The epicatechin monomers are making the mitochondria in the beta cells stronger, which produces more ATP (a cell’s energy source), which then results in more insulin being released,” Tessem added. For the study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the team first fed the cocoa compound to animals on a highfat diet. The results showed that by adding it to the high-fat diet, the
Quick Glance Cocoa contains epicatechin monomers that help the body release more insulin Epicatechin helps the body respond to insulin more by raising sensititivity Increased presence of epicatechin helps beta cells to remain longer
compound would decrease the level of obesity in the animals and would increase their ability to deal with increased blood glucose levels. “These results will help us get closer to using these compounds more effectively in foods or supplements to maintain normal blood glucose control and potentially even delay or prevent the onset of Type-2 diabetes,” said study coauthor Andrew Neilson, assistant professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Researchers discovered an anti-inflammatory drug that was found to lower lung cancer risk by half
diagnosed with cancer. Participants in the trial received 50 mg, 150 mg or 300 mg of canakinumab or a placebo, injected subcutaneously every three months. They were followed for up to fiveand-a-half years. The researchers observed a marked cut in rates of total cancer deaths, but especially in deaths due to lung cancer, as well as in the incidence of lung cancer among patients who received the drug. This effect was dose-dependent for example, lung cancer rates were reduced 26 per cent, 39 per cent and 67 per cent, respectively, for the low, medium and high doses of canakinumab. Patients who received the highest dose of the drug (300 mg) had approximately half the rate of total cancer deaths and onequarter the rate of fatal lung cancer compared to those who received the placebo.
New studies show how eating dairy products had a significant impact on shaping the human skull over the years IANS
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY TO REDUCE LUNG CANCER RISK esearchers have found that an existing antiinflammatory drug has the potential to lower lung cancer risk. According to a study published in the journal Lancet, death from cancer was reduced by half in the group of people who received the highest dosage of the drug canakinumab. “The data are exciting because they point to the possibility of slowing the progression of certain cancers,” said Paul Ridker, Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, US. More than 10,000 patients were enrolled in the study. They had a history of heart attacks and had high levels of C-reactive protein (hsCRP) - a biomarker of inflammation and a risk marker for lung cancer. But none of the participants had been
Eating Cheese Changed The Skull
Inflammation is one of the body’s first lines of defence against harmful invaders such as bacteria. Inflammation can also occur in the lungs, for example, when a person smokes, inhales polluted air or is exposed to toxins such as silica and asbestos. That inflammation is known to increase the risk of lung cancer. The research team noted that it is unlikely canakinumab directly prevents new lung cancers from developing - instead, they believe it is more probable that the drug helps slow lung cancer progression and invasiveness, consistent with prior studies in animal models. “However, this is an exploratory study that needs replication,” Ridker said. The study also found that the drug made by Novartis also reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
he effect of agriculture on skull morphology was greatest in populations consuming the softest food cheese, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “At least in early farmers, milk did not make for bigger, stronger skull bones,” said David Katz, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary. Katz, with Professor Tim Weaver and statistician Mark Grote from the University of California-Davis used a worldwide collection of 559 crania and 534 lower jaws (skull bones) from more than two dozen pre-industrial populations to model the influence of diet on the shape, form, and size of the human skull during the transition to agriculture. They found modest changes in skull morphology for groups that consumed cereals, dairy, or both cereals and dairy.
September 04 - 10, 2017
Varanasi Ganga to become cleaner Two STPs will be built on “hybrid annuity”-based public private partnership which the winning bidder shall build and operate
breakthrough in super steel With both strength and ductility, a super steel has been developed by Chinese scientists that will have a plethora of industrial applications IANS
C ssb bureau
o ensure that no untreated sewage flows into the Ganga, the government has finalised modalities and awarded work to construct sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the Hindu holy cities of Varanasi and Haridwar, an official statement said last week. The two plants will be built on “hybrid annuity”-based public private partnership in which the development, operation and maintenance of the STPs will be undertaken by the winning bidder, said the Water Resources Ministry release. Under the model, 40 per cent of the capital cost quoted would be paid on
completion of construction while the remaining 60 per cent will be paid over the life of the project as annuities along with operation and maintenance cost expenses. The Union Cabinet had given approval to the hybrid annuity-PPP model in January 2016. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has already awarded the work of construction of STPs in the two cities, the statement said, adding a 50 MLD (million litres per day) plant will be constructed in Varanasi at an estimated cost of Rs 153.16 crore, while two plants of 68 MLD and 14 MLD will be constructed in Haridwar at Jagjeetpur and Sarai respectively. developing entrepreneurship.
Bins in buses
The programme has been developed under the guidance of Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala, Dr Veerendra ssb bureau
he ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ has led to several innovations related to cleanliness in recent days. Here is another one; the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department, SDM Polytechnic College in Ujire near Mangalore, has designed an easy-tooperate dustbin for buses. The project has been developed under the guidance of Dharmadikari of Dharmasthala, Dr D Veerendra Heggade and secretaries of SDM Educational Society D Harshendra Kumar and Dr B Yashovarma. This is ideal for
hinese scientists said they have developed a super steel that has a high level of both strength and ductility, a breakthrough that may have a wide variety of industrial applications. Furthermore, its material cost is just one-fifth of that of the steel used in the current aerospace and defence applications, they reported in the US journal Science. Strength and ductility are desirable properties of metallic materials for wide-ranging applications, but increasing strength often leads to the decrease in ductility, which is known as the strength-ductility trade-off. A Hong Kong-BeijingTaiwan mechanical engineering team led by Huang Mingxin from the University of Hong Kong adopted a new manufacturing technique called deformed and partitioned (D&P) to address the problem. “Steels have been the most widely used metallic materials in the history
of mankind and can be produced with much higher efficiency than any other metallic materials,” the team was quoted as saying. “Therefore developing a strong and ductile breakthrough steel has been a long quest since the beginning of Iron
Age in mankind history.” According to the team, the “breakthrough steel” belongs to the system of so-called medium manganese steel that contains 10 per cent manganese, 0.47 per cent carbon, 2.0 per cent aluminium and 0.7 per cent vanadium. the government as well as private buses and the trial bin was fixed in one of the buses in the Dharmastala depot under the Karnataka State Roadways Corporation Puttur division. “People who travel long distances tend to throw garbage like peanut shells, snack wrappers, soft drink and water bottles. We were working towards developing a bin for the bus so that passengers travelling do not feel like they are surrounded by garbage. We also wanted the bin to be easy to operate. The total cost of one bin is about Rs 2,500. Due to space constraints, we have placed it near the back door so that people can drop waste as they alight from the bus. We are willing to provide the technology and in future we expect the KSRTC to consider built-in bins in all buses,” Chethan, one of the faculty members says. The team that worked on this project includes Shreyank, Shivaraj, Mithun, Dhanraj, Shivaprasad, Santosh, Chethan, Nayan, Prakash, Lohith, and Ashok. The team was headed by KP Prasad, Principal.
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30 Hungry Millions
September 04 - 10, 2017
Food Smiles in City of Joy
A restaurateur recently decided that there is a bit more to life than minting money, so he started a FOOD ATM for the poor Prasanta Paul
his hotelier is not overtly ambitious, soft spoken, humble yet quite articulate. Especially, not one who would like to blow his own trumpet. Like any businessman, he has quietly been endeavouring to spread the reach of his business. It is during one such exercise recently that an idea struck him and he thought he could very much make a small beginning. Without much fuss, he got his staff going and rolled down a unique project the City of Joy will be proud of a food ATM for the city’s hungry millions. Excess food at home or in a restaurant which routinely finds a place in the dustbins or is strewn around the lanes and bylanes of the city will henceforth find a new home – in the refrigerator of this young entrepreneur’s humble restaurant “Sanjha Chulha”. Meet Asif Ahmed, owner of a restaurant chain in Park Circus in southern Calcutta, who has gifted the city its maiden food outlet for the deprived with a simple slogan – donate your excess food. Believe it or not, Ahmed has since then been flooded with phone calls. Congratulatory words? Yes, of course, but that is not all. It was something more Ahmed could hardly expect. The City of Joy has bared its heart! The callers have largely been bombarding Ahmed with one simple query “We’ve stock of excess food, but how do we send it before it becomes stale? Please send your man as early as possible.” Ahmed’s joy knew no bounds and he is more than grateful for this spontaneous outpouring from people around the city. “I couldn’t believe that I’ll be overwhelmed with this kind of a response; not only from the city, people are calling me from neighbouring Howrah and outskirts to donate their food. Unfortunately, I am hamstrung by a dearth of staff and vehicles,” regrets Ahmed who is at the moment, least prepared to handle this wave of gestures from people. Ahmed, who has four outlets of his restaurant chain, initially started the facility at Park Circus and Gariahat,
both posh locations in the south, equipping each with large freezers. “It was a small beginning on the 15th August, but became an instant hit, with people just driving in their cars with packets of food. Very soon, our freezer had no place to store anymore, even though it is quite big,” says Surya Kanta Halder, one of Ahmed’s managers at Park Circus. What about the response from those for whom the project has been launched? “Oh, it’s simply electrifying,” was Halder’s instant reply without the least hesitation. “I’ve not seen the kind of smiles in my life; feeding the hungry, I believe, has now become part of my life and I must say I am grateful to my boss for revealing this aspect of life to me.” Halder has made it a point to work extra hours, if required, to help and
organise food packets for distribution without asking for overtime charges. Currently, packets for breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as long as the stock lasts; stocks naturally run dry very soon. And since the food ATM works on a first-come first-served basis and the freezer is on display for everyone to have a clear look at it, Halder and his men never have to offer any excuse to any `food seeker’ about their inability to fill his or her tummy when the stock is exhausted. But aren’t there issues that might draw the ire of people for serving leftovers from the plates of customers or packets being sent from homes to those hungry and the have-nots? “Of course, we’ve taken this aspect into consideration,” explained Ahmed, who has already instructed his staff in the four outlets to request customers
Ahmed is expecting large donations to buy a fleet of cars to expand the supply chain across the city
Quick Glance The customers at his place are being asked to keep aside some food People from across the city are flooding the ATM with food Now Rotary and other welfare organisations are piling up with food stocks
in advance to keep aside a portion (their choice) of the food served in separate plates to beat the controversy. “And I’m sure people who are trooping in from various locations of the city to donate their excess food, must have kept this human aspect in their minds. After all, it’s a noble cause for which we’re offering this humble service to the suffering humanity and that’s why we’re simply flooded with food packets of various sizes containing various items,” Ahmed said. In order to be transparent in the entire process, Ahmed has installed a camera and a monitor on top of the refrigerator and is toying with the idea of live-streaming the availability of food and storage space. The aim is to avoid harassment of the donor who might be disappointed upon reaching the outlet only to find that there is no space to store his food. Anticipating that the tide of the hungry will eventually be in the morning, Ahmed has tentatively kept the timing of the food donation between 12 at noon and 11 pm. Aren’t some of the NGOs of the city extending their helping hand to Ahmed? “ Inspired by the success of our endeavour, Rotary International, Round Table and Jain International Trade Organisation ( JITO) have got in touch with us and promised to provide us with food packets for 15 months, to begin with,” disclosed Ahmed. And he is also expecting fund donations to launch a fleet of cars to further beef up and expand the network to the northern side of the city and fringe areas. What’s the future? “This is just a tiny sapling which I’ve planted on earth; I want to see it grow into a fullfledged tree with active assistance and participation of people around us. Till then, hamari koshis jari rahegi,” Ahmed exuded.
September 04 - 10, 2017 RAJ KASHYAP
he number of train accidents in the northeastern region of the country under the North East Frontier Railway has been reduced drastically following a series of measures initiated in the past few years. PJ Sharma, chief public relations officer of North East Frontier Railways told the media that the achievement in reducing the number of accidents had been due to the launch of a fund named ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ (RRSK) in 2017-18, which was created for financing critical safety related works. The Fund has been created with a corpus of Rs.1 lakh crore over a period of five years. He added that Mission Zero Accident that was launched in the Railway Budget 2016-17 to enhance safety in the railways has also yielded positive results. A press release said that train accidents have declined from 135 in 2014-15 to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17. In the current year as well, accidents decreased from 29 to 15 during 2017-18 (from 01/04/2017 to 30/06/2017) in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year which is an improvement of 48.3% over the last year. In Budget Estimates of 2017-18, a provision of Rs.20,000 crore has been made under Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ (RRSK), which includes Rs.5000 crore from budgetary support, Rs.10,000 crore from Central Road Fund and Rs.5000 crore out of the railways’ internal resources. Mission Zero Accident is divided into two sub-missions which include Train Collision Avoidance System to prevent collisions by the Loco Pilot through developing an indigenous technology, and Elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings. The railways have 27181 level crossings, out of which 19480 are manned and 7701 are unmanned. Out of a total of 7701 unmanned level crossings, 4943 level crossings are on BG (Broad Gauge). It has been planned to eliminate unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) on Broad Gauge by 2020. Often called “the lifeline of a nation,” India’s extensive rail network
Quick Glance The NEFR operates across a vast area with difficult tracks To help arrest accidents, a special fund has been created A big factor behind the drop in is closing unmanned railway crossings
Track renewal has been
almost doubled from the last five years’ average of Rs 5,548.6 crore to Rs 9,961 crore in the Budget Estimate of 2017-18
Drop in accidents, says NEFR
Train accidents have dropped sharply from 135 in 201415 to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17 runs 12,000 trains a day and the fulllength track could circle the globe over one and a half times. It carries more than 23 million passengers daily and connects 8,000 stations across the subcontinent. It’s also one of the oldest train networks which were built more than 150 years ago by the colonial British government. The release mentioned other safety measures that have been initiated by the railways that include the allocation for track renewal has been almost doubled from the last 5 years average of Rs.5548.6 crore to Rs.9961 crore in the Budget Estimate of 201718. The trial of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System (UBRDS) for detection of rail fractures has been undertaken on Northern Railway and North Central Railway on 25 Km
track length each. It has been decided to extend this system to other zones based on the outcome of the trial. Indian Railways is also embarking on a mission to provide upgraded safety features on its coaching stock. As a part of this plan, it has been decided that only Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches would be manufactured from 2018-19 as they are of a superior design that reduces the chances of a derailment and mitigates the possibility of grievous injury or death in case of accidents. A policy decision has been taken to carry out the work of refurbishment and providing improved safety features in its existing ICF design coaches which have a residual life of more than 10 years. A total of about 40,000 coaches will be provided with these features
Accidents Per Million Train Kilometres Which is an internationally accepted yard stick of safety has declined from 0.23 in 2006-07 to 0.09 (approximately) in 2016-17 200 150
(01/04/17 to 30/06/17)
in the next 5 years including the production of new coaches. Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS): Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) has the capability to control the speed of a train in accordance with the sectional permitted speed and signal aspect ahead by automatic actuation of brakes, in case loco pilot fails to do so in time. This mitigates the safety risk of accidents and collisions due to errors committed by loco pilots. TPWS also reduces delays during foggy weather. In the last 64 years, while freight loading has been increased by 1344% and passenger km by 1642%, the route km have grown by only 23% which is causing congestion on the tracks. More than 60% of the routes are being utilized more than 100%.
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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 38 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi â€“ 110 045. Editor Monika Jain