06 Gender The most influential women of 2017
08 Environment Looking beyond the climatic and environmental change related devastations
22 International The wind of change blew across the globe, bringing interesting changes
32 Newsmakers Age is just a number when it comes to setting examples
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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561
A GOOD NEWS WEEKLY
FOCUS ON FUTURE
Vol - 2 | Issue - 02 | December 25 - 31, 2017 | Price ` 5/-
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Quick Glance PM Modi followed a longterm strategy in dealing with China The GST rollout effectively converged 500 different taxation rates PM Modi’s vision of a new India is firmly rooted in the power of technology
PARSA VENKATESHWAR RAO JR
T might seem a thing in the future and there was much angry debate about it. But the IndiaJapan agreement on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train is a strong signal that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, undeterred by the subdued and slowed-down economy, is looking into the future, and how efficient transportation is the key. Bullet train is a symbol of what technology holds out for the country and the people. The Modi vision of a new India is firmly rooted in the power of technology to transform the country. He is one of the few politicians who are of the view that social and economic challenges can be faced through innovative technology. The criticism of the many that a country like India cannot afford a bullet train, or that it is a wasteful expenditure does not bother him. He knows that a beginning has to be made and bullet train will be the beginning of a new journey at the physical and symbolic level. Bullet train stands for technology, for speed, for ease of travel. And it changes the view and experience of people about where they can live and where they can work. The bullet train agreement stands out in 2017 because it is in times when things do not seem to be happening as quickly as you want them to that you need to hold on to your vision and keep your eyes firmly focused on the future. That was what the Prime Minister and his government were trying to do, doing what is necessary to sort out the
problems of the economy, and not losing sight of the big things that need to be done to change the way of life and of the economy. Inaugurating the Indian Science Congress at Tirupati on January 3, 2017, the Prime Minister said, “ We equally need to keep an eye on the rise of disruptive technologies and be prepared to leverage them for growth. We need to clearly assess the challenges and opportunities for our technology readiness and competitiveness.” This view explains the importance that the Prime Minister attaches to technology and what it can do to change the profile of the country. It was a year that was trying in more ways than one. The inflation hit record lows and it did lift the spirits for a while, but it was not enough to boost the economy. The government was aware that there is need for the big turnaround and that it will happen sooner than later, and there is need for patience. In many ways, 2017 is a year of patience and waiting. And the waiting will pay off in 2018. Economists are predicting that there are strong signs of revival in the global economy. Meanwhile, it becomes necessary to keep oneself ready for the takeoff as it were. The challenge to political leadership is to keep the ship of state moving in times of lull, when no attentiongrabbing dramatic
changes are taking place on the surface. And this government seems to steer through the shallows as it were, attending to the day-to-day matters that are as important to keep the system lubricated and in good condition. One of the testing times for the Modi government in 2017 was the Doklam showdown with China. Even as the Chinese foreign office and the media adopted a loud and belligerent tone and which was reciprocated in the Indian media, the government maintained a studied silence, dealing with the situation on the ground with tactful restraint and continuing to deal with China through official channels. There was pressure on the Indian government to flex its military muscle and respond to Chinese provocation aggressively. But the government did not yield to popular pressure as exerted by the Indian media. It was this adherence to diplomatic norms that allowed India to emerge from the Doklam situation with its head held high and without souring the relations with China. So, Prime Minister could attend the BRICS summit at Xiamen in China in September 2017, and the two leaders made the signif icant statement about the need to improve “mutual trust” between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi can be expansive and assertive when the need
The Bullet Train project stands for technology, for speed, and for the ease of travel. It changes the view and experience of people
arises, but the response over Doklam required understatement and he had no trouble slipping into the new diplomatic mode. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a significant statement in Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon Session that India will need ‘aarthik kshamata’ (economic capability) more than ‘saamarik kshamata’ (military capability) to deal with China, and Prime Minister Modi followed a strategy which has long-term goals in dealing with China. It is a known fact that there are times when it is necessary to speak and to act, but there are times when it is equally important not to speak and not to act. Modi government handling of the Doklam episode revealed a fine grasp of diplomatic manoeuvres as required by the situation. The Indian government was equally firm in holding on to its position in relation to the United States and the approach of the new administration of Donald Trump. Despite Washington’s hostile attitude towards Iran, India went ahead and opened the India-Iran joint project of the Chabahar port in southwest Iran. And more significantly, India voted in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) against the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The India-US relations remain unaffected by the stance that India has taken with regard to Iran and Palestine because Washington has acknowledged in its National Security Strategy document released in December 2017 that India is an “emerging global power”. In these two instances, the Modi government has asserted the status of India as a global power. One of the momentous achievements has been the launching of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) at the stroke of midnight on June 30, 2017. Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister had noted, “I do not believe that this process of GST is restricted to the scope of economy only. This momentous
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017 occasion stands today as a testimony to the concept of Co-operative Federalism in Indian democracy. This hallmark day was possible due to the relentless efforts put in over decades by several stalwarts under whose guidance various teams developed this GST framework.” And he spelt out the advantages of the new system, how it would integrate the country at the economic level, converging 500 different taxation rates in the same way that at the time of Independence, India had to integrate 500 different principalities. And he tried to allay the fears and apprehensions about the new system, and he assured that this would benefit the country in the long-term, though it would take time for everyone to get adjusted to the system. The Prime Minister acknowledges the difficulties in moving into the new system, but he says once the transition blues are overcome then the system would work to the advantage of all. It required both faith and firmness in the tax reform and he displayed it to the hilt. Despite initial resistance and protests over the teething problems, everyone is now getting used to the GST. And when the economy moves into the high growth trajectory, then GST would boost the revenue kitty of the government. The Prime Minister
underscored the fact that GST will ultimately help the poor because the government will have greater resources at its command to spend on welfare schemes. He said that earlier governments did what they could to alleviate poverty but they were constrained by the limited resources. He was confident that GST will provide ample resources to the government which then can be fruitfully spent on helping the poor and on social infrastructures like education and health. He understood that a tax reform has wider implications and that it is necessary to understand the good it can bring about on a larger scale. More than anything else, what the Prime Minister maintains is unflagging optimism even in the face of obstacles. He is sure that the rough patch will end and that it will be a smooth ride further on. He is keen to move beyond the immediate irritants. The government then is tirelessly working at the implementation of schemes that will make a huge difference to the lives of the people in the long run. He is also a firm believer in economic reforms and he is willing
The Prime Minister maintains an unflagging optimism even in the face of obstacles. He is keen to move beyond immediate irritants
He believes that it was necessary to combat the menace of black money in the system. He knows that many of the initiatives taken in the last three years when he has come into office like Start Up India, Skill India and Digital India may not show immediate results but they will bear fruit in the long run. He does not lose sight of the long term benefits of these measures and he is willing to bear with the fact that there are no immediate benefits. The Prime Minister sees himself as playing for long term stakes, and he is not unduly perturbed that he has nothing to show for his programmes in the short run. He seems pretty confident that the wait for the long term fruits is worth the trouble. Despite the fact that there is impatience all around him that things are not happening, he is at the moment holding himself back from doing anything dramatic to derive instant political mileage. He has not gone in for ‘big bang reforms’ which can be seen, which can be felt and which can become the talking-point immediately. He seems to understand the advantage of incremental economic reforms. He is going about the job of restoring the health of public sector banks in a measured way, through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act and through recapitalization of PSBs. He knows that there are no instant solutions and that it will take time to handle the nonperforming assets (NPAs). And he is willing to address the problem patiently. There are other long term issues and goals on the Prime Minister’s mind. He thinks that there is need for simultaneous elections to the parliament and state assemblies. He understands the difficulties on the way and the need for consensus among all the parties to achieve this. But he is sticking to the idea and he is working at it slowly, bit by bit and day by day. Prime Minister Modi is a long distance runner. He is not interested in short distance sprints, which are exciting. A long distance runner needs patience and stamina. He is drawing on his patience and stamina. That seems to be the secret of his political run.
PM Modi feels that there is a need for simultaneous elections for the parliament and state assemblies. He is sticking to the idea and working for it
to take the tough decisions and willing to face the flak that comes with it. He said that he is willing to pay the political price if necessary to press on with economic reforms. He is keenly aware that reforms is a double-edged sword, and that there are “short term costs and long term benefits” of reforms. He is willing to run the gauntlet of pushing reforms which are not too popular. Though there has been stringent criticism from all quarters – the political opposition as well as economic pundits – on the merits of demonetization, the Prime Minister is unwilling to change his opinion that it was a good move and that it was a necessary move, and that the economic slowdown that had resulted from it was worth the trouble.
Swachh Bharat Mission
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Swachh Bharat Mission in 2017 It has been over 3 years since Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched, this is where it stands now MIHIR PAUL
BM was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014, in order to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on access to safe sanitation. The Swachh Bharat Mission aims to achieve a nation that is completely Open Defecation Free (ODF) and a Swachh Bharat by 2nd Oct, 2019 thereby paying a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation along with the Ministry of Urban Development have made behavioural change as its focus and primary tool for achieving the ODF goal. Using the focused Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programme, the ministry promotes behavioural change guidelines, gender sensitive information, and a plethora of mass education activities. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is heading the SBM-Gramin division while the Ministry of Urban Development is heading the SBM-Urban division.
CURRENT STATISTICS: WHERE WE STAND SINCE THE START OF SBM SWACHH BHARAT URBAN: • Individual Toilets Constructed: 40,84,620 • Community and Public Toilets Constructed: 2,34,161 • Number of Cities Declared ODF: 1,338 SWACHH BHARAT GRAMIN: • Individual Toilets Constructed: 57,09,600 • Community and Public Toilets Constructed: 1,73,50,263 • Number of Villages Declared ODF: 2,95,497
Quick Glance The sanitation coverage under Swachh Bharat has increased dramatically The centre has introduced groundbreaking reforms to improve sanitation The ODF and Swachhta goals for 2019 can now be a reality
N initiative of Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR), the Namami Gange initiative comprising of making villages on the bank of River Ganga ODF and interventions dealing with solid and liquid waste management are being implemented by MDWS. All 4470 villages located across 52 districts of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been declared ODF with active help of state governments. Now the Ministry has taken up 24 villages on the bank of River Ganga.
SWACHH BHARAT MISSION: MAKING SWACHHATA EVERYONE’S BUSINESS
ESIDES its allocated charge of SBMGramin, The MDWS is also mandated to convene and oordinate all activities and initiatives towards achievement of a Swachh Bharat. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Ministry constantly works with all other ministries, the state governments, local institutions, NGOs, faith organizations, media and the rest of stakeholders.
N order to foster a healthy competition between cities for improving cleanliness standards, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) started the “Swachh Survekshan” survey, ranking of cities on cleanliness and other aspects of urban sanitation, in 2016 which ranked 73 cities across the country. On the same lines, MoUD initiated “Swachh Survekshan” 2017 which will conduct a survey to rank 500 cities of India. At the year-end review, the rankings will be revealed.
Swachh Bharat Mission
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
‘Swachh Sankalp se Swachh Siddhi’ Competition
SWACHH ICONIC PLACES (SIP)
HE Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has taken up a multistakeholder initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Tourism and Culture for focusing on cleaning up 100 places across India that are “iconic” due to their heritage, religious and/or cultural significance. The goal of the Initiative is to improve the cleanliness conditions at these places to a distinctly higher level. This initiative is in partnership with Ministries of Urban Development,
SWACHHTA ACTION PLAN Tourism and Culture with MDWS being the nodal ministry. So far, in the first two phases, 20 iconic places have been taken up. All these 20 Iconic Sites have designated PSUs or corporates for financial and technical support.
AP, is a concrete realization of Prime Minister’s vision that Swachhta is everyone’s business is a first of its kind inter-ministerial programme for Swachhta. All Union ministries/ departments have started to work for its realization in a significant manner with appropriate budget provisions. The SAP has a separate budget head for this allocated by the Ministry of Finance.
Freedom from Open Defecation (FOD) week
SWACHHATA HI SEVA CAMPAIGN
HE Prime Minister gave the clarion call to achieve a New India by 2022 under Sankalp se Siddhi, a mass resolve to make all dirt and filth quit India. In pursuit of this vision, MoDWS organised countrywide film, essay and paining competition between August 17 and September 8, 2017, as another major step towards making Swachhta a people’s movement.
SAFAIGIRI AWARDS 2017
RGANISED on March, 8, 2017, International Women’s Day, the Swachh Shakti was held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar. Around 6,000 selected women sarpanches, grassroots workers from across the country attended the event, and Swachhta Champions were honoured for their outstanding contribution towards making Swachh Bharat a reality in rural India.
N his Mann Ki Baat address on August 27, 2017, the Prime Minister called upon the nation to invoke a spirit of cleanliness and perform activities or SHRAMDAN and urged all NGOs, schools, colleges, social, cultural and political leaders, corporates, government officials, Collectors and sarpanches, to accelerate Swachhata activities during the Sept 15 – Oct 2, 2017 period. On the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission, the
Swachh Bharat Diwas, and the conclusion of ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ fortnight, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi gave away the Swachh Bharat National Awards to winners at an award ceremony organized in New Delhi by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The winners were from essay, film, and painting competitions organized under ‘Swachh Sankalp se Swachh Siddhi’ campaign. Marking the culmination of a national cleanliness campaign, “Swachhta Hi Seva”, the event was organized in response to the Prime Minister’s clarion call to Indian citizens to contribute towards the improvement of cleanliness and sanitation in the country in the days leading to Gandhi Jayanti.
EC activities like door to door IPC, Swachhata Raths, Rallies, Marathons, Felicitation of Champions, quiz/painting competitions for awareness generation and mass mobilization of communities across the rural hinterland was carried out for triggering Behaviour Change.
Darwaza Bandh Media Campaigns
IMING at Behavior Change, an aggressive mass media campaign titled ‘Darwaza Band’ featuring Amitabh Bachchan to promote continued toilet use especially by men has been launched. The campaign includes 5 TV and Radio spots in 9 languages including Hindi and has been successfully launched on the mass media across the country.
HE India Today Group honoured 16 cleanliness warriors. Launched in 2015, the Safaigiri awards started after PM Modi nominated the India Today Group and its Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie as the ambassadors of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan The winners of Safaigiri 2017 are: Corporate Trailblazer: Bharti Foundation Community Mobiliser: ShirishApte Garbage Guru: Green Nerds Tech Icon: Sharad Kale Toilet Titan: S Damodaran of Gramalaya Best River Cleaning Initiative: Thoothapuzha Samrakshana Samithi Water Saviour: Dilasa Best PPP for Cleanliness: Hindustan Zinc Best Sanitation App: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Janaagraha Cleanest Religious Place: Golden Temple Cleanest City: Vadodara Cleanest District: Mahe, Puducherry Cleanest Village: Mawlynnong, Meghalaya Most Effective SwachhtaAmbassador: AmitabhBachchan Best Asian Government Cleanliness Initiative: Bangladesh Best Global Cleanliness Initiative: Waste to Energy, Sweden.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Most Influential Women Of 2017 Who runs the world in 2017? This year there’s a whole new class of women in power
HE condition of women in India was believed to be miserable. But over the years, that has receded into the background. Women now are major contributors to the Indian society. In a world majorly dominated by men, women have been continuously putting forth challenges to change the stereotypical perception about women being inferior or secondary. These resilient women have overcome obstacles and challenges and carved a niche for themselves in their respective fields by not only garnering praise in India but also hogging limelight around the world. Here’s a list of women trailblazers who are the personification of perseverance and success and are sure to inspire you to keep persisting in pursuing your own individual goals. Congratulating each of these exceptional ladies for making India proud, let’s take a trip down the memory lane and recollect their rise to power.
Quick Glance Condition of women in India was believed to be miserable
But over the years, that has receded into the background
Women now are major contributors to the Indian society
R. Sreelekha, or more popularly ‘Raid’ Sreelekha, is indeed a woman of substance and certainly one to be feared by law-breakers. Making history by becoming Kerala’s first woman IPS officer in 1987, thirty years later she has reached another milestone by becoming the state’s first woman DGP. Sreelekha has served at various posts - from DSP in three districts to DIG in New Delhi.
She is the missile woman of India and also known as ‘AgniPutri’. She proved to the world that women are equally good as rocket scientists as they are as models or actresses. She is the woman engineer to head a missile project of Agni missile in Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Agni 5 is a success and many other tests are on with other missiles and weapons under her guidance before handing it over to the armed forces. She is the pride of all the women, and of the country.
From slaying the red carpet at the Golden Globes to getting invited to Barack Obama’s farewell speech at the White House, PC is doing an excellent job of representing India in the West. She took Hollywood in her charming grips and made the world go gaga over her. We could see her everywhere - from Oscars to Jimmy Kimmel talk shows. But she made headlines in 2017 for her social work. She received the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice. The actor, who is serving as Unicef’s Global Goodwill Ambassador, reached out to Syrian refugee children, and received award for ‘Most Effective Use Of Digital Platforms For Social Cause’.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
India gets the first woman defence minister in Nirmala Sitharaman. She is only the second woman to hold the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi. It is 35 years since India’s defence ministry last saw a woman at its helm.
Nita Ambani is the Chairperson and founder of Reliance Foundation as well as the non-executive director of Reliance Industries. One of the most influential women in the business world, Nita Ambani is also known for becoming the first Indian woman to be a member of International Olympic Committee. Her philanthropic work has been commended by various people all over the world and she has brought about positive change in society with Reliance Industries’ CSR arm, Reliance Foundation.
Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar scripted history as she became the first Indian to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her debut Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro after finishing 8th in the qualifying round here. She was the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the quadrennial mega event after 52 years from India. Now she can be seen on the postal stamp, Karmakar was the second sportsperson to get a place in the Indian postal stamp. The trailblazing gymnast Dipa Karmakar received the coveted Padma Shri Award this year.
On November 18, Manushi won the coveted Miss World 2017 crown at a grand event at Sanya City Arena in China, ending India’s 17-year-long dry spell at the contest. Manushi Chhillar is the sixth Indian Woman to win Miss World. Priyanka Chopra won Miss World last in 2000. She was crowned the fbb Colors Femina Miss India World 2017. She has also been part of ‘The National School of Drama’.
SHUBHANGI SWAROOP ANSHU JAMSENPA
Most people don’t make it to the top of the world once. But mother-of-two Anshu Jamsenpa, aged 38, has done it five times, all from the South Col route on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest -- an incredible feat for any mountaineer. This year, she broke a world record and made global headlines when she became the first woman to conquer the 29,028-feet-tall (8,848 meter) Himalayan giant twice in five days -- first on May 16 and then again on May 21. Astonishingly, this wasn’t her first double ascent on a single trip.
Carving a niche in the history, Shubhangi Swaroop became country’s first female pilot for Indian Navy. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, she holds a BTech Biotechnology degree from VIT University. She will be flying a maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Besides her, three other women cadets: Astha Segal from New Delhi, Roopa A from Puducherry and Sakthi Maya S from Kerala have also been inducted in the Navy’s armament division, which was earlier considered a men-only unit.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
The Positive Environment Of 2017 Looking beyond the climatic and environmental change related devastations Quick Glance SWASTIKA TRIPATHI
Some very positive environmental developments
O make destruction the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil. Hence, it is necessary to take note of positive developments in and around us. In the face of some of the worst climate and environment changes witnessed in the form natural disasters, 2017 has in some sense managed to make way for encouraging environmental developments, especially in India. Looking back at the good news from the atmosphere of Indian environment, here are a few note-worthy developments
LEADERS IN CLIMATE ACTIONS
NDIA is showing bold leadership by aggressively moving ahead with climate action and clean energy programmes that will protect people from climate harm and boost its economy. India’s targets under the Paris Agreement are focused on clean energy expansion. With an early goal of 100 gigawatts of installed solar energy by 2022, solar prices in India are dropping at a rapid clip. By May of 2017, India has had solar power generation capacity of 9 GW, became the world’s fourth-largest producer of wind energy, and announced plans to cancel 14 GW of coal plants – to not only meet but exceed its Paris climate agreement targets. India has been ranked 14 out of 56 nations and the EU in Climate Change Performance Index 2018 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These impressive accomplishments point to India’s decisive leadership on climate change.
HE number of Protected Areas in India has increased from a total of 689 in 2013 to 764 in 2017. Protected Areas are those in which human occupation or at least the exploitation of resources is limited. According to the latest figures ( July, 2017) provided by National Wildlife Database Cell, Wildlife
Bold leadership from global level to local neighbourhoods India emerging as an aggressive advocate of the Paris summit agreement
Home to 27,312 Elephants
NDIA recognizes the serious nature and significant scale of the energy-related challenges facing the country and the world. Thus India became one of the first few countries to join Mission Innovation. MI is an international effort constituting a group of 23 countries to catalyze technologies for clean energy and co-leading three Challenges – Smart Grid, Off Grid Access and Sustainable Biofuels.India, along with other member countries, has agreed to double its investments in a span of 5 years on the development of clean energy technologies over the base investments of 2015.
Institute of India, the total area under the 764 Protected Areas is 162024.69 sq km, which is 4.93 per cent coverage of the entire country. In this, 103 National Parks have an area of 40500.13 sq km, 543 Wildlife Sanctuaries have 118917.71 sq km, 45 Community Reserves have 59.66 sq km, and 73 Conservation Reserves have 2547.19 sq km.
ITH 60 per cent of the Asian elephant population, India is home to a total of 27,312 free-ranging megaherbivores, pegs a preliminary result from the firstever synchronised all-India Elephant Population Estimation released in August on the occasion of World Elephant Day. According to the report, elephants are present in over 22 states and a Union Territory (Andaman and Nicobar Islands). Karnataka has the maximum 6,049 free-ranging or wild elephant population. Following closely is Assam at 5,719, Kerala 3,054, Tamil Nadu 2,761, Odisha 1,976, Uttarakhand 1,839 and Arunachal Pradesh with 1,614 wild elephants. Andaman and Nicobar, where a few animals were rehabilitated, now have 19 free-ranging elephants spread over 133 sq km. The report asserted that traces were also found in Manipur and Mizoram that might have nine and seven wild elephants, respectively. A new Elephant Reserve, Dandeli ER, has been created and the area of Mysore ER has been expanded.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
CITES’ CERTIFICATE FOR INDIA
CITIES THAT SEGREGATE
HE Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has launched a forum of 20 cities that have adopted or are willing to adopt waste segregation and management practices. Urban local bodies from different parts of the country, including three from Delhi, have pledged to achieve the target of 100 per cent segregation of waste at the source by October of 2019 and fulfil the vision of Clean India. Hence, the Forum of Cities that Segregate was launched by the CSE to lend impetus to the campaign for waste segregation at source. The idea is to hand hold these cities’ municipal bodies and guide them towards waste segregation and management.
INDIA VS RICH NATIONS
NDIA has been awarded the Certificate of Commendation for its exemplary enforcement action in its regional and global effort to combat illegal wildlife trade. The award has been presented to Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under the Environment Ministry for its efforts in conducting and coordinating a species specific wildlife enforcement operation, code-named “Operation Save Kurma”. During the Operation Save Kurma conducted from December 15, 2016, to January 30, 2017,
approximately 16,000 live turtles/ tortoises were seized and released back into the wild. The 55 suspects involved in the illegal trade were also arrested. WCCB worked in close collaboration with regional law enforcement agencies, including West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department, State Police and Forest Department, the Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh Police, Karnataka Forest and Police departments and Maharashtra and Rajasthan Forest Departments.
STANDARDISING AIR QUALITY
N a bold step, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered that there can be no landfill sites or garbage dumping within half-akilometre radius of the Ganga between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. The bench also announced a penalty of Rs 50,000 on anyone dumping waste near the river. The green panel said all area within 100 metres of the river should be declared “no development zone”. The NGT had also in April directed 13 polluting industries situated along the tributary or major drain of the holy Ganga river to be shut down. In December of last year, the tribunal had imposed a ban on the use of plastic from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river.
OLLOWING the 11th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Buenos Aires, India has objected to some rich countries using an influential forum called the ‘Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation’ to indirectly push certain ‘non-trade’ issues like labour and environment standards as well as gender equality into the global trade body’s negotiation agenda. India pointed out the double standards of these countries for coming in the way of progressive treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as the linkage between the TRIPS Agreement and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity for protecting traditional knowledge and folklore.
A Greener Northeast
ORTHEASTERN Frontier Railway (NFR) will plant over 10 lakh trees in its area of jurisdiction in the financial year 201718. Officials said during the last financial year, 6.94 lakh trees were planted by the NFR, while in 2015-16, it was 5.22 lakh. The NFR has tied up with the Assam Forest Department to take the initiative forward. All divisions of NFR will take part in the plantation drives to be carried out in railway land. Besides block plantations, the project envisages the plantation of trees on both sides of the railway tracks. Similar agreements for joint plantation drives will also be signed with the Forest departments of Bihar and West Bengal.
N a good move, the Centre has decided to soon initiate the process for standardisation of equipment, data and all other parameters required to measure the purity of air. The Environment Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, admitted that many experts had told him that the standards in use for measuring PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels of pollution etc, were far more than the actual standards. The environment minister has said the initiation of standardising equipment, data and other parameters to judge air quality was a “very important thing” for him. He has further ensured that this process will be initiated at the earliest. The minister will have a meeting of experts from Science and Technology ministry, environment ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Best Of Sanitation 2017 MIHIR PAUL
ndia has wholeheartedly acknowledged the fact that proper sanitation is a cornerstone in the wellbeing of the population as unsanitary surroundings form the base for spreading numerous diseases due to associated issues like bacteria from open defecation and poor waste disposal. Following the cleanliness clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, some patriotic citizens and selfless organizations have taken it upon themselves to devote their efforts towards the cause of sanitation. Here we feature some of those personalities and organizations that have become vital towards the cause of Swachhta and sanitation in 2017 and beyond.
URINAL MADE FROM WATER CAN
A PROFESSOR WHO BUILT 6,000 TOILETS
A INVENTION TO REPLACE THE TOILET BRUSH
HE idea is a simple one – instead of using a toilet brush to clean the loo, you use a jet of water. Gloucestershirebased inventor and entrepreneur, Kam Mistry, has come up with a waterpowered contraption, the Shiffter, in the evenings and weekends after his day job. “Let’s face it, does anyone enjoy using a toilet brush? Does anyone like picking up a used one? This product isn’t rocket science. However, it has the potential to become commonplace in hundreds of millions of homes across the globe,” he said. The Shiffter is designed to replace the toilet brush and bleach, Mistry says It is filled with water and sits next to the toilet, and can be used to jet wash the bowl clean. “The feedback from everyone who has seen it has been great as they can immediately see how it will make a currently unpleasant chore much easier and cleaner. It’s also more friendly to the environment as you end up using less bleach, toilet cleaner and water,” he adds. Mistry is currently in pre-production mode, raised a crowdfunding target of £50,000 on May 2nd to mass produce the Shiffter.
PERSISTENT stench was present in the classrooms of Panchayat Union Middle School in Kurumbapatty every day. This was due to the lack of proper facilities in the school, as a result of which the walls were being used as urinals. Four 13-year-old boys – Supikpandian Santhosh, Dhiyanithi, Ragul, and Prabaharan – formed a committee to carry their very own investigations into the matter. On their hunt for the source of the stench, they soon realised that the reason for the same was the school toilets. Since the toilets were ill-equipped, the boys had to resort to urinating on the compound walls or floor. As they were urinating on the floors, their sandals and feet were sprinkled with drops of urine. When these students entered the class,
the stench came in with them. This, along with the poor drainage system of the toilet, resulted in numerous urine infections. As a solution to the problem, these boys came up with the idea of designing urinals from 20-litre water cans, and have also developed a proper grid of pipelines for the disposal of waste. They termed this invention of theirs the ‘Safe Mode Pissing System’ or SMPS. They registered themselves in the Design for Change-organised challenge called ‘DFC I Can School Challenge 2016’. As a part of the award, the students were given medals and Rs 50,000 cash prize.
Dr Jyoti Lamba worked overtime to get 6,000 toilets in 34 villages in Gujarat
UNIVERSITY professor from Gujarat, Dr Jyoti Lamba visited a village and discovered that there was not a single toilet available. She didn’t just go home and lament. Instead, she built 6,000 toilets in 34 villages during the next 4 years, often at her own expense. She has faced criticism, ridicule, apart from practical obstacles. Yet this has not stopped her from achieving an incredible and very inspiring feat.
HEY had shared a dream to make India clean and more environmentfriendly when they were studying in the US. When they returned home, they turned that dream into reality. They developed an indigenous Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) which may give wings to the much acclaimed Clean India Mission. Hailing from Lucknow, Rishab met Prateek and Neemish from Delhi when they joined the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad. One day, when they were loitering around in the campus, they saw a machine in which people were shoving empty plastic water bottles, cold drink and juice cans and newspapers, and the
machine in return was letting out some coupons, which each one was picking up and going away happily. It was then that they decided to bring the concept home and develop it indigenously for their own country, where littering is a common sight at public places. But the task was not an easy one. They developed the software developed and the indigenous machine was ready to roll to take forward their dream of making India clean and pollution-free. As of now, the machine accepts only plastic bottles and aluminium cans, but
the threesome is now working on a software to include glass bottles, old clothes, newspapers and other disposables.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
8 Most Eco-Friendly Toilets of 2017
SULABH TWO-PIT POUR-FLUSH TOILET
HIS flush compost toilet is ecofriendly, technically appropriate, and affordable. The toilet can easily be constructed by local labour and materials. Invented by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, the twopit toilet is being used worldwide. Both pits are used alternately. When one pit is full, the incoming excreta is diverted into the second pit.
perfect example of sustainable and affordable sanitation, these bamboo toilets perfectly fit the bill. The structures are built with bamboo and are stronger comparable to steel. Bamboo toilets are a huge hit in Nagaland. The initiative to set up the eco-friendly toilet was organised by Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA) and South Asia Bamboo Foundation.
SAFI CHOO TOILET
HE SafiChoo toilet is made of plastic. The toilet is designed for sitting or squatting. SafiChoo is an inexpensive mobile toilet intended to reduce oral-faecal contamination and the spread of water, sanitation, and hygiene related diseases.
UNMANNED SELF-CLEANING E-TOILET
HE bio-digester is a simple, lowcost technology for treating human waste and providing safe sanitation facility. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the bio-digester toilet met the requirements of soldiers posted on the peaks of Siachen and Ladakh. These toilets convert human waste into manure and gases. Bacteria like Clostridium and Methanosarcina break the waste into usable water and gas.
AUNCHED by Eram Scientific in 2014, these e-toilets are the world’s cheapest solar-powered unmanned e-toilet for schools. The toilets are programmed to flush 1.5 litres of water after three minutes of usage. It can also be programmed to clean the platform with a complete wash-down after every five or 10 persons use the toilet. The toilet is made of mild steel, and the unit is self-sustaining and equipped with internet connectivity for remote access.
ENT toilets are an ingenious way to tackle the problem of open defecation. These toilets are not only portable but also easy to setup. The waste is collected in a biodegradable bag that contains ‘ChemiSan,’ a material that helps to deodorize and decompose the waste.
NANO MEMBRANE TOILET
HE toilets remove water from human waste and the residual solids are used as fuel or fertilizer. Instead of a flush, the toilet uses a scraper mechanism that sends the waste from the toilet bowl into a collection tank and the solids collect at the bottom as sediment and where the liquid waste is filtered.
cosan toilets don’t require flushes and the waste collected is utilized as manure. These toilets solve the problem of sewage.
Science & Technology
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
India’s Scientific Voyage Of 2017 India’s scientific community has been a vital contributor to the plethora of scientific and technological innovations
S India is completing 70 years of its independence this year, it is imperative to introspect at the contribution of science and technology to national development. India’s scientific community has been a vital contributor to the plethora of scientific and technological innovations, discoveries, and inventions that have come about in the last seven decades. In these years after Independence, India has built satellites and sent probes to the moon and Mars, established nuclear power stations, acquired nuclear weapon capability and demonstrated firepower in the form of a range of missiles. Undoubtedly these are fabulous achievements of Indian scientists and technologists. Solid scientific research combined with sound public policies has made India a hub of scientific and technological development. All this has had great social and economic impact and directly and indirectly touched the lives of ordinary Indians. Developments in communications and information technology have enabled timely forecast of weather and early warning of cyclones, saving thousands of lives. Here we feature some of the most prominent discoveries, inventions, and contributions made by India in 2017
ISRO’S STARSTRUCK ACHIEVEMENTS 104 SATELLITES SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED BY ISRO In its thirty-ninth flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites on the morning of February 15, 2017, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty-eighth consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The total weight of all the 104 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C37 was 1378 kg. GSLV SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES SOUTH ASIA SATELLITE India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09) successfully launched the 2230 kg South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) into its planned Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on May 05, 2017. This was its eleventh launch and took place from the Second Launch Pad at
India has made many significant contributions to science in 2017 While ISRO’s achievements were the highlight, there are many more From India’s most powerful supercomputer to Asia’s first Scientific Gallery
Most Powerful Supercomputer
the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India. This is the fourth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage. In its oval shaped GTO, the South Asia Satellite is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 36,105 km with an orbital inclination of 20.65 deg with respect to the equator. PSLV-C38 SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES 31 SATELLITES IN A SINGLE FLIGHT ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C38 successfully launched the 712 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 30 copassenger satellites on June 23, 2017, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty-ninth consecutively successful mission of PSLV.
HE supercomputer will be a million times faster than even the best of consumer laptops with a processing capacity of millions of teraflops a second. The project has been sanctioned by the government for Rs 400 crore and it will come to fruition soon. What makes this supercomputer so special is that while India has been home to some superfast computers, none have been able to go past cracking the top 200 or 100 in the list of supercomputers across the world. The system will be mostly used for
weather updates, specifically when it comes to forecasting the monsoon. The s u p e r c o m p u t e r, which has not been given a moniker yet, will be able to forecast the likely outcomes months in advance with accuracy. For instance, the fastest supercomputer in India called Aaditya (iDataPlex DX360M4) is currently at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and is ranked at 139. There is also one in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi called HP Apollo 6000 Xl230/250 ranked at 217. While details are still being finalised, it has been decided that this particular system will be hosted by both National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting at Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, which is in Pune.
Science & Technology
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
1.6 BILLION-YEAR-OLD FOSSIL
CIENTISTS have discovered 1.6 billion-year-old fossils of red algae in central India, which may be the oldest evidence of plantlike life found on the Earth. The finding in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh by researchers from the Swedish Museum of Natural History indicated that advanced multicellular life evolved much earlier than previously thought. The earlier traces of life on earth are at least 3.5 billion years old. These single-celled organisms, unlike eukaryotes, lack nuclei and other organelles. Large multicellular
Submersible Craft for the Deep Sea
CIENTISTS from Chennai have developed the blueprints for a manned submersible that will soon make deep-sea exploration a reality in India. This will be India’s first manned submersible that will reportedly accommodate a three-member crew. It has been designed by the scientists at ESSONational Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) The project has an operational span of five years with a Rs 500 crore budget. The proposal for the same has been submitted and is currently awaiting approval from the government. Shenoi explained that the craft, which will be lowered into the sea from a carrier ship, would permit the crew to be underwater for 8 to 10 hours. With a 3.2-diameter titanium sphere where the scientists will lie prostrate, the craft will have a robotic arm equipped to collect marine samples and a glass-viewing panel for the crew. Currently, one of the major projects undertaken by the Union ministry is the Deep Sea Mission, under which polymetallic nodules and polymetallic sulphides are being probed in certain regions of Indian Ocean in collaboration with the International Seabed Authority.
eukaryotic organisms became common much later, about 600 million years ago, near the transition to the Phanerozoic Era, the “time of visible life.” Discoveries of early multicellular eukaryotes have been sporadic and difficult to interpret, challenging scientists trying to reconstruct and date the tree of life. The oldest known red algae before the present discovery are 1.2 billion years old. The Indian fossils, 400 million years older and by far the oldest plant-like fossils ever found, suggest that the early branches of the tree of life need to be recalibrated.
World’s Smallest Satellite
N 18 year old boy, Rifath Sharook from Pallapati, Tamil Nadu, has created a record by designing Kalamsat, the smallest and the lightest satellite, which has been selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be sent into space. The satellite interestingly weighs only 64 grams. NASA would launch the satellite on June 21 from the Wallops Island, which is one of its official launch pads. It will be first time, when NASA would carry a satellite indigenously developed by an Indian student. Rifath participated in this competition where his satellite was selected fulfilling all the requisites of the competition. The main condition of the competition was to design a satellite which can fit in a 4 metre cube space, whose weight would not exceed 64 grams.
The nomenclature of the satellite is in the memory of late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s former President and renowned nuclear scientist. Talking about the project, Rifath says that he has chipped in multiple sensors into the satellite which will calculate quantities like acceleration, rotation and magnetosphere of the planet. Rafith’s satellite is first to be manufactured through the 3D printing technology.
FIRST SCIENTIFIC GALLERY IN INDIA
HE science and technology hub of India, Bengaluru is going to have a special science gallery where the arts meet the sciences. The gallery is the product of partnership between Dublin-based Global Science Gallery Network and Karnataka along with scientific institutions. The gallery is called Science Gallery Bengaluru. (SGB) King’s College London, Trinity College Dublin, and University of Melbourne are some of the members of the global network. The SGB will be the first of its kind in the Asian continent. The SGB has the National
Centre for Biological Sciences, the Indian Institute of Science, and Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology as its partners. The Science Gallery Bengaluru is not going to be another science museum as such as “we do not and will not have our own collections,” insists Jahnavi Phalkey, a historian of science and technology, who is the Director at the gallery. The gallery will promote crosslinking of disciplines and social issues in novel ways, and will try to engage young people in the age group of 15 to 25.
INDIAN AMERICAN TEENS: JR NOBELS
NDRANI DAS, a 17-year-old Indian girl from New Jersey, won the ‘Junior Nobel’ award, which this science talent search competition is also known as, and bagged a whopping grant of $250,000 in addition.
Arjun Srinivasan Ramani from Indiana, an 18-year-old Indian American boy, bagged the third prize of $150,000. Archana Verma from New York is another Indian American finalist of the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition. She received a grant of $90,000 for her project on chemistry behind energy efficiency. Archana is studying the energy that window panes absorb from sunlight goes. Among the five Indian American awardees of the Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition in 2017, Prathik Naidu from Virginia developed a software application to identify new cancer therapeutics as alternatives to chemotherapy.
NOBELS OF SCIENCE IN 2017 Physiology/Medicine: Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael Young were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine for their discovery of “molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.” Physics: Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne won the Nobel Prize in Physics “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” Chemistry: Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.” Dubochet, Frank, and Henderson developed a method by which water could be frozen rapidly. The process ensures that water molecules don’t form ice crystals, but instead they just get frozen in place like glass.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Developments In Medicine and Healthcare 2017
Whether it’s the technology that allows us to peer deep into the body or medicines that extend the lives of those with chronic diseases, it’s easy to see how advances in health and medicine have touched the lives of nearly every person in our country. Medical advances coupled with thoughtful healthcare reforms have gotten India a step closer to the dream of becoming a utopia for health
RETINOPATHY DETECTING AI DEVELOPED
AVYA Kopparapu, a 16-year-old has successfully programmed an artificial intelligence program that makes an early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. She was motivated to do the same after her grandfather started losing his vision due to diabetic retinopathy. Her device comes with a 3D-printed lens that can cut the tedious twohour long diagnostic procedure to produce a retinal image. Perhaps more
importantly, it reduces the cost from thousands of dollars to a quick photo snapped with a phone The device uses a form of artificial intelligence to recognize signs of diabetic retinopathy in the photographs clicked – which allows preliminary diagnosis. Kavya presented her project at the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence conference, in New York City, and praise and approval. Thanks to her efforts, her grandfather was cured through the timely intervention of doctors. These made Kavya realise that time and diagnoses are the two most essential factors.
INDIA FREE FROM AVIAN FLU
NDIA has declared itself free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) after surveillance in the states showed no evidence of its presence, officials said. “Surveillance was carried out throughout the country and around the areas of the outbreaks since completion of the operation (including culling, disinfection and clean-up), which showed no evidence of the presence of Avian Influenza Virus,” Union Agriculture Ministry release said. The Ministry said India had reported outbreaks of influenza at various epicentres in Delhi, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Rajpura in Punjab, Hissar in Haryana, Bellary in Karnataka, Alappuzha and Kottayam in Kerala, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Daman and Khordha, and Angul in Odisha between
October 2016 and February 2017. Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a viral infection spread from bird to bird. Currently, a particularly deadly strain of bird flu – H5N1 – continues to spread among poultry in Egypt and in certain parts of Asia. Technically, H5N1 is a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. It’s deadly to most birds. These outbreaks were notified to the World Organization for Animal Health and subsequently, control and containment operations were carried out as per the action plan on preparedness, control and containment of influenza, said the release.
Medical advances and healthcare reforms are transforming India India seems all set to emerge as the utopia of healthcare in world
INDIA’S FIRST ROBOTIC KIDNEY TRANSPLANT
ir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre performed the first robotic kidney transplant surgery on a man suffering from renal failure. Leena, 55, the wife of patient CN Murlidharan, donated one of her kidneys to enable him to live a normal life. The 59-yearold, who was on dialysis for the past 18 months, is now on the path of recovery after the surgery last
weekend. Murlidharan was initially reluctant but agreed after the medicos persuaded him. The team of medicos was led by Head of Urology and Robotics Inderbir Gill, who is also Professor and Chair, USC Institute of Urology at the University of Southern California. “The family was apprised about the latest robotic technology, its benefits, lesser risk of post-operative infections, lesser pain, minimal blood loss and a faster return to normalcy,” said Gill. “Moreover, it enables greater precision over vascular anastomosis owing to higher magnification and finer scaled movements of the robotic instruments,” he added. The surgery team included consultant urologist PP Rao, consultant nephrologists Bharat Shah and Shruti Tapiawala. The da Vinci robot was used through keyhole incisions to anastomose the graft kidney vessels to the patient’s blood vessels using microvascular instruments and sutures.
TECHNOLOGY TO SCREEN NEWBORNS FOR HEARING LOSS
OHUM Innovation Labs India aims to tackle the problem of no diagnosis with its development of a low-cost hardware-cum-software solution, which screens and diagnoses infants with hearing impairments at an early stage, using brainstem auditory evoked response. The device has three parts to it. While the first is a base precision hardware to capture brain signals, the second is the algorithm software used to analyse the signals (which can run on various platforms)
and the last part includes the reusable electrodes that fit any head size, used to capture brain signals. The software gives clear indications of the right placement of electrodes. The final result is completely automated and clearly states a ‘pass’ or ‘refer’ at the end of the screening.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Healthcare Reforms Of 2017 Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a brisk pace due to its improved coverage, services and increasing expenditure by the public as well private players. The Government has already initiated several measures. These measures span key areas such as affordability, infrastructure, standardization and education.
he biggest challenge is to address the acute shortage of doctors — India has 0.7 physicians per 1000 population compared to the WHO norm of 2.3. The structural issues plaguing the sector are sought to be addressed through the implementation of National Eligibility Entrance Test
MENTAL HEALTH CARE ACT, 2017
RUBELLA VACCINE CAMPAIGN
n India, the Mental Health Care Act 2017 was passed on 7 April 2017. The law was described in its opening paragraph as “An Act to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” This Act superseded the previously existing the Mental Health Act, 1987 that was passed on 22 May 1987. This Bill has now replaced the older Act which has been in place since 1987, which, experts say, stigmatised mental health and infantilized those suffering from mental illnesses.
(NEET) and the proposed Bill to install a new regulator, the National Medical Commission, to replace the discredited MCI.
he government launched the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in a phased manner across the country to reduce measles morbidity and mortality, the Lok Sabha was informed. Health Minister J P Nadda said the MR vaccination campaign will cover children in the age group of 9 months
to less than 15 years. “The campaign started in February 2017 from five states and UTs -Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep -- and about 3.33 crore children have been vaccinated during this campaign. The entire country will be covered under the campaign phase-wise,” he said during the Question Hour. Following the campaign, MR vaccine has replaced two doses of measles vaccine provided in the routine immunisation programme in these states, he said.
T NPPA REFORMS FOR ENHANCING AFFORDABILITY
here has been a steady increase in the number of drugs under price control, to make medicines affordable. This is guided by evidence that drugs consist of 70 per cent of the out-ofpocket expenditure on healthcare. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has reduced the price of some cancer and diabetes drugs by up to 86 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
INFRASTRUCTURE CHANGES BY NITI AAYOG
ITI Aayog has sought to infuse fresh life into PPP in healthcare delivery through a new model focused on district hospitals and new norms on the pricing of procedures. While a lot shall depend upon States to implement this plan, the provisions for making available infrastructure of district hospitals to private providers for 30 years along with viability gap funding suggests that we have got the design right for the PPP model. This could very much be the inflection point for quantum improvement in healthcare infrastructure beyond the top 10 cities of our country.
JAN AUSHADHI FOR RAILWAYS
n a bid to make affordable medication accessible to more Indians, the government has announced that plans are underway to set up Jan Aushadhi stores in 1,000 railway stations across the country. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi scheme was a programme launched by the Government of India to make quality medicines cheaper for those who can’t otherwise afford it. Under this scheme, generic drugs, which are far cheaper than the market prices for branded medicines, are sold to the public.
T NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY
he National Health Policy, 2017 (NHP, 2017) seeks to reach everyone in a comprehensive integrated way to move towards wellness. It aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at an affordable cost. A fresh national health policy after 15 years has been a commendable effort, even though it drew flak for its lack of clarity on the attainability of its targets.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
PARSA VENKATESHWAR RAO JR
“The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention”
Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr is Hyderabadborn, Delhi-based journalist, who had worked with The Indian Express and the DNA
MODERN INDIAN, ANCIENT HERITAGE OPEN-DEFECATION FREE INDIA
THE HERO OF POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his positive approach towards India
LAY along with the positive thoughts for a moment, and these thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile. And the reasons to smile came in abundance with development on the back of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his positive approach towards India. “The man of Action” may have spent lesser days in India than touring foreign nations, but with those flew in international tie-ups for the smart and effective progress of the nation, given his output-based approach. From Swachh Bharat to Digital India, the prime minister has it all on his list of agenda. While on one hand, something as basic as hygiene became a major concern for the nation – leading to the inception of trending hashtag ODF (Open-Defecation Free India). On the other, the citizens are becoming more and more at par with the technology savvy world of today. India is one of the economic powerhouses of the world, and Narendra Modi seems to be taking command of this emerging power in full throttle with his government and governance. The prime minister believes that any scheme would be successful if it was implemented without diluting the spirit or diverting from the idea. His dedication, commitment, smartness, effective use of resources and hard working nature can be picked up to further the positivity on the path of development and get the best of 2018.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was a modern Indian preserving the ancient heritage of India
ANDIT Madan Mohan Malviya, whose 166th birth anniversary is on December 25, is a man of many parts – cultural conservative, political moderate and a liberal educationist. He was steeped in the Hindu tradition of Sanskrit learning of his family. Both his grandfather and father were eminent Sanskrit scholars. His initial education was in Sanskrit. But he took to the then prevailing modern schooling when he passed his matriculation examination and he took his M.A. degree in Sanskrit, and taught English in an old school in Allahabad. He then passed the pleader’s examination and entered the legal profession. At the same time, he was drawn into the nationalist politics of the day, and began to attend the sessions of the Indian National Congress and he also became the editor of the nationalist newspaper, The Leader. But he is remembered the most for founding the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1916. He was respected and admired from leaders with different political views. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had fond memories of Malviya because the two of them belonged to the same city, Allahabad, also known as Prayag. Speaking in Allahabad in 1961 on the occasion of his centenary, Nehru said, “Malaviyaji’s birthday is an auspicious day for our country. Especially for us, who live in this city of Prayag.” Then he recalled his association with Malviya during the days that followed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919: “I had known Malaviyaji since a long time from a distance and now I got an opportunity to know him better from nearby. He always clarified and explained things to me with love and affection. Sometimes I would take liberty to ague with him; even then he would explain with love. Sometimes it was not possible to fully agree with him, but the method of his explanation was soft.”
What is of greater interest and importance are the speeches of Malviya. In his presidential address of the Congress in 1918, which came at the end of the First World War, Malviya spoke eloquently about the principles that should govern international relations. He said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, to my mind the hand of Providence is clearly discernible both in the development of this war and its termination. The world, and particularly the European world, needed a correction and a change. It had been too much given up to materialism and had been too much estranged from spiritual considerations. It had flouted the principle that righteousness exalteth a nation. In spite of the vaunted civilization of Europe some of its nations have been living in a state of anarchy and their relations to one another and to the outer world turned upon force. They have been dominated by an overpowering passion for wealth and power and in their mad pursuit of it have trampled upon the rights and liberties of weaker states and peoples.” The above extract shows his
He was respected and admired from leaders with different political views. He is remembered the most for founding the Banaras Hindu University in 1916
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017 clear understanding of the things that had gone wrong with Europe and how it had led to a disastrous war. The world needed a “moral rebirth” as he had put it. So, here was a national leader who provided a perspective to his fellow-Indians about the developments in the world, and who offered a superior critique of what was wrong with British rule in India even while he acknowledged the positive role that Britain had played in it. His views on what India needed in the 20th century were clear as daylight and he argued his case in simple and straightforward language. Malviya was appointed member of the Indian Industrial Commission in May, 1916 headed by Sir Thomas Holland. In an independent note, which expressed his differences with other members of the commission, Malviya put forward the needs of the country in the field of science and technology. He said, “… (i) that steps should be immediately taken for developing the teaching of science and technology in our existing universities and other collegiate institutions, (a) by strengthening their staff and equipment and by awarding sufficiently a large number of scholarships to encourage the study of science and technology at our schools, colleges and universities; (ii) that an Imperial Polytechnic Institute should be established in the country for imparting the highest instruction and training in science and technology and (iii) that the provision of scholarships for study in foreign countries should be largely increased to enable distinguished Indian graduates to finish their education in the best of foreign institutions.” Though he has been described as a staunch conservative, and a Hindu conservative at that, Malviya shows his farsighted vision of the future which turns on science and technology. And it is also the case that he remained a staunch believer in India’s religious pluralism, which he emphasises time and again in his speeches, in his presidential address of the Congress in 1918 and in his advise to the students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). In more ways than one, Malviya represents the spirit and temper of India, where people practising different faiths, speaking different languages and bringing together diverse cultural traditions live together and work together. Malviya said, “India is not a country of Hindus only. It is a country of the Muslims, the Christians and Parsees too. The country can gain strength and develop itself only when people of the different communities in India live in mutual goodwill and harmony.” What emerges when we look at Malviya’s speeches is that he was a modern, liberal Indian who had tremendous faith in the ancient heritage of India but who did not close his mind to new ideas and needs of the new times, including foreign ideas and institutions.
What Is A Spiritual Experience?
Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
A spiritual experience can be a simple ‘gut’ feeling or as complex as an out-of-body experience
spiritual experience is something that serves us in some meaningful way. It is a kind of experience that makes us aware and expands our consciousness. We feel connected, albeit momentarily, to a part of reality that doesn’t require conventional physical ideas to be validated. These kind of experiences are important and one must pay attention to them regardless of one’s beliefs and religion. A spiritual experience can be a simple ‘gut’ feeling that turns out to be a positive experience or as complex as an out-of-body experience. It can be as simple as being mindful of one’s breath and as complex as long hours of guided meditation whilst exploring the depths of one’s conscious awareness. A spiritual experience can be as ordinary as reflecting, reading a book, looking at the sky, empathy, introspecting one’s choices and actions etc. Such spiritual experiences leave people with a sense of well-being, lightness, peace, freedom, faith, and understanding.
Such experiences connect people on a level where they start realizing the importance of ‘what’s inside’ rather than what’s external and superficial. A spiritual experience is when we encounter something or someone bigger than our ego. The experience
leaves a person with a new and profound sense of awareness or understanding regarding God, a truth, or other religious expressions. The religious experience can be visual, auditory, and/or a sense of the presence of something “other.” Examples of this would be the socalled Marion apparitions reported by Catholics where people claim to see and hear things that are obviously not normal to our world. People in the occult have claimed
to see manifestations of spirits that appear and disappear, hear voices, see objects move, etc. Other people have claimed religious experiences when they say they have suddenly and inexplicably “known” that something is going to happen, and it does. The results of authentic spiritual practices that facilitate direct personal spiritual experience of Ultimate Reality produce various degrees of the following transforming experiences: • A visceral experience of Ultimate Reality, • Experiencing the presence of Ultimate Reality, • A personal connection with Ultimate Reality, • A personal relationship with Ultimate Reality, • Union with Ultimate Reality, • A transcendent experience of Ultimate Reality, • A personal ecstatic and/or awe experiences of Ultimate Reality, • Knowing more about Ultimate Reality through direct experience.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 28 Environment
It is time to make our farmers smarter and farming more efficient
Dia Mirza goes green with her lifestyle starting with a bamboo toothbrush!
24 Street Food
Kolkata’s With rising lead levels, take a hit beloved street food might
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RNI No. DELENG
Club climbs the Minerva Punjab Footballheadlines again rankings and makes
Price ` 5/r 25 - 31, 2017 |
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to ‘the legend of cle
prestigious will be featured in Dr Bindeshwar PathakBook of India” in the chapter s “Marvellous Record his various alities of India” for “Marvellous Person of social work ments in the field outstanding achieve
Dr Pathak Receiving award from Ram Naik and Dr Rita Bahuguna applauding him for his work
TECH FARMERS The article ‘Making farms efficient and farmers smarter!’ is a fabulously written article. Recently there was news that Mahindra has
now launched autopilot and self-driven tractors in India. But this still does not answer the problem of those suicides of the small farmers throughout the nation. It is good to know that technology companies are thinking about the farmers of India, but the problem is that how farmers can afford to use them and buy these facilities. The second point will be that the modern method provided as an alternative to the traditional methods need a lot of investment and extra efforts from the farmers. Someone needs to find a solution to this problem, too. Suresh Suman, Patna
SPIRITUALITY The article ‘Spirituality Subverts Addictions’ is very true. Spirituality gives one a path to follow and guides him towards peace and success. This article touched my heart and inspired me to also find my interest in the spiritual path and follow it. It takes determination to follow it by different methods and procedures like chanting, counting beads, meditating and experiencing the surroundings without any thoughts. It is not just about wearing tangent cloths or shaving the head. Purvi Shukla, Kanpur
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â€˜Tis The Season Of Festivities One of the best joys of the chilly season is that it is fast covered with the warmth of seasonâ€™s greetings. Come December, from Christmas to Hanukkah, the entire world is engaged in the give and take of love and blessings.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
The hearts grow tender with childhood memories and togetherness of kindred. Thatâ€™s the most valuable gift that this season brings around with it. Christmas tree here, Hanukkah candles there, Santa on a reindeer sleigh, gifts on the way - thatâ€™s pretty much what sums up the celebrations.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Beautiful World of Doodles Google Doodles of 2017 have honoured the most prominent Indian personalities
ODAY Google has become very popular in the world. It is the first to reach any corner of the world and it is quick to answer our questions, Google starts to surprise us with its Doodles and sometimes remind us the anniversaries and the lives of those people, who have been achievers. Yes, in 2017, Google made doodles on many Indian celebrities more than it had ever made before. In addition to Independence Day, Republic Day and Holi, Google celebrated the anniversaries of such celebrities who have remained unseen in the pages of the past. Let’s take a look at the colourful doodles made on some of these celebrities who need to be known in the young generation.
On 8 November 2017 Google celebrated the 97th Birth anniversary of legendary Kathak dancer Sitara Devi. Doodle pays homage to Sitara Devi, the legendary Kathak dancer who was described as Nritya Samragini (“Empress of Dance”) by Rabindranath Tagore for her vibrant energy, effortless footwork, and unparalleled ability to bring a story to life. Her performances on stage and on the silver screen revived popular interest in the classical dance of Kathak. She performed at international venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, London and Carnegie Hall, New York, and brought the dance form a global audience. Her significant achievements over a career spanning six decades were recognized by several awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shree. Her legacy continues to inspire young talent in dance. Talented illustrator and artist Ranganath Krishnamani made Sitara Devi’s colourful doodle.
On 9 December Google paid tribute to yet another trailblazer Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first female photojournalist with a doodle. Vyarawalla was known for widely photographing India’s transition from the British Raj to an independent country after its subsequent partition. Hailing from Navsari in Gujarat, Vyarawalla moved to Bombay to pursue a diploma at St Xavier’s College before moving on for further studies at the JJ School of Arts. Her contributions as a photo-journalist include immortalising the moment when the first Flag was hoisted at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947, the departure of the last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten from the country, and the funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in India, in 2011.
Google honours personas via doodles on its landing page Many prominent personalities were featured as doodles
From Rukhmabai Raut to Abdul Qavi Desnavi, Google honoured many
Born on 22 November 1864, Rukhmabai Raut, was one of the first Indian women who staunchly opposed child marriage and practised medicine in colonial India, with a doodle. Raut went on to become India’s first qualified physician and was the major cause behind the enactment of Age of Consent Act in 1891. If women in modern India can assert their rights of consent, it is due to Rukhmabai. Google celebrated her 153rd birth anniversary this year by dedicating an illustration to Raut, showing a woman with a stethoscope around her neck, with two hospital beds, a nurse and a patient in the backdrop. Illustrator Shreya Gupta showed this courageous doctor among her patients, doing the dedicated work of a skilled physician.
On 4 June Doodle reflected Hindi film actress Nutan’s expressive acting style on her 81st birthday. Nutan was known for communicating complex emotions using only facial expressions and body language rather than dialogue. An icon of Indian cinema for over four decades, Nutan pioneered powerful women-centric films in an age when male actors dominated the silver screen. As per Google’s blog, it was hard, to sum up, Nutan’s genius in a single portrait, and so google depicted three distinct expressions of the great actress. The conflicted murderess (Bandini), the anguished untouchable (Sujata) and the hell-raising orphan (Seema). All memorable characters played by Nutan. Her doodle was created by Lydia Nichols.
Google doodle on 18 November honoured Indian film director Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, popularly known as V Shantaram, on his 116th birth anniversary. The
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017 Doodle depicts three films produced and directed by V Shantaram - Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), and Do Aankhen Bara Haath (1957). A consummate actor, an innovative editor, an insightful director and a producer, V Shantaram played a vital role in introducing sound and colour to the Indian cinema. Shantaram was pioneer of launching art as an instrument for social change. Artist Sukanto Debnath created his doodle.
On 11 November 2017 Google remembered pioneer feminist and activist Anasuya Sarabhai who set up Gujarat’s oldest labour union. It later paved the way for the founding of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA).It was Anasuya’s 132nd Birthday. Born on this day in 1885, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, pioneering feminist and activist Anasuya Sarabhai was instrumental in altering the course of India’s labour history.Briefly married as an adolescent, Sarabhai fought social convention and left in 1912 to study at the London School of Economics. There she was swept up in the suffragette movement and newly discovered ideas of social equality that laid the foundation for her life’s work. Anasuya’s Doodle was created by Maria Qamar, a Pakistani-Canadian artist and author of the book Trust No Aunty. “Anasuya’s dedication to justice and equality is something I can relate to,” says Qamar. In drawing the activist, she took inspiration from the Indian textile industry. “I portrayed delicate fabrics and traditional patterns found in our homes and our closets,” explains Qamar. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to share Anasuya’s legacy with the world.”
24 April 2017, Google honoured Rajkumar with three different Doodles, featuring various interpretations of the beloved star’s work. Widely considered one of India’s finest and most prolific actors, Rajkumar’s acting career spanned 200 films and a wide swath of movie genres and roles, establishing Rajkumar as a dynamic and enduring presence in Kannada cinema.
ABDUL QAVI DESNAVI
Bihar’s legendary author Abdul Qavi Desnavi’s 87th Birthday was celebrated on 1 November by Google. Desnavi was not known to today’s youth. Urdu author and literary critic Abdul Qavi Desnavi w a s born in the village of Desna in Bihar on this day in 1930. In the course of a literary career that spanned five decades, he authored a vast body of Urdu works covering fiction, biographies, poetry, and anthologies. His most famous works include ‘Sat Tahriren,’ ‘Hayat-eAbul Kalam Azad,’ celebrating the life of freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He exerted a powerful influence on the evolution of Urdu literature and academic thought in India. At a personal level, he mentored some of India’s finest Urdu poets and writers such as Javed Akhtar and Iqbal Masood. Abdul Qavi Desnavi doodle was stylized in the Urdu-style script by artist Prabha Mallya.
On 15 November Google homepage of India celebrated Cornelia Sorabji’s 151st birthday, for breaking that first glass ceiling and for her persistence in the face of great adversity. Cornelia Sorabji overcame numerous obstacles to become India’s first female lawyer. Sorabji was the first woman permitted to attend Bombay University, where she excelled. She then went on to become the first Indian woman to study law at Oxford University in 1892. However, women were not awarded degrees by Oxford in those days (a rule that would eventually change 30 years later in 1922), making her unable to practice law in England. She eventually became legal advisor to the government for the purdahnashins — veiled women forbidden by social custom from communicating with males from the outside world. Her Doodle by illustrator Jasjyot Singh Hans
depicting Sorabji in front of the Allahabad High Court, to which she was eventually admitted.
7 October became special for all the musician and artists who are avid fans of Begum Akhtar, one of India’s most iconic singers. She was not only famous for her ghazals, but also for her proficiency in the dadra and thumri forms of classical music. Google created a vivid portrait of the ‘Queen of Ghazals” Begum Akhtar, celebrated her 103rd birth anniversary. Born as Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, the ghazal queen is seen in the doodle sitting gracefully with a sitar with a few admirers around her. She was born in 1914 in Faizabad in what is now Uttar Pradesh.Her rich voice was comforting, particularly during the years India underwent upheaval caused by partition.With nearly 400 songs to her credit, Begum Akhtar’s legacy shines on in the musical traditions she loved over her lifetime. Her Doodle created was by Manuja Waldia.
On September 23, Google celebrated the 100th birthday of lesser known organic chemist Dr Asima Chaterjee.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Global headliners of 2017 The wind of change blew across the globe, bringing interesting changes Quick Glance PARSA VENKATESHWAR RAO JR
HERE have been momentous and interesting changes in some of the important places in the world, ranging from the most conservative country in West Asia to the second big economy and to a troubled country in Africa. There is hope in change, both for countries and for individuals
Momentous decisions in conservative Saudi Arabia Malala Yousafzai takes a leap forward as she enters Oxford University Xi Jinping emerges a strong leader in China
Xi’s big plan
There was expectation at the 19th congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that there would be preparation of change of guard due in 2022 after the present party general secretary and China’s president Xi Jinping completes his second fiveyear term. There was no clear indication as to who would succeed Xi. But general secretary Xi has declared his vision for “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as well as the intention to build a “moderately prosperous society”. The developments in China are of great importance to India and others in the world because China is, after the United States, the second largest economy in the world which is $11 trillion strong. What many are keen to know is how China will use its economic power in Asia and elsewhere and how it wants to extend its influence. The most important plan of China is One Belt One Road (OBR). Though it has been articulated in 2013, there was 28-nation summit in Beijing on the issue. India did not attend the summit though China is keen that India should join. India has expressed reservations about it, especially with regard to Chinese construction of roads through the Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as part of China Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC), which in turn is part of the larger OBR.
Winds of change in Saudi Arabia
One of the most important news stories on the world scene emerged from the most unlikely place. It was from the conservative Saudi Arabia, which is seen as home to rigid Islamic orthodoxy that seemed to have broken the mould when it was announced that Saudi women will be allowed to drive their cars and there is no need for male companions in order to do so. For the rest of the world, this might seem a curious development, almost laughable because this is a personal right of women which is taken for granted in most of the countries, including the Islamic ones. But it had not been the case in Saudi Arabia, which is home to two of Holy Places of Islam, Makka and Madina, and where a particularly puritanical Islam as propagated by the Wahhabi school was the dominant doctrine. Saudi Crown Prince Salman Abdel Aziz has decided to break away from this Wahhabi rigidities and he had announced that the country will now pursue moderate Islam. It is as part of this shift to moderate Islam that the decision to allow women to drive was made. Observers of the oil rich country feel that the winds of change are blowing through the most conservative Islamic country. Another major change with tremendous social implications is to allow films to be shown in movie halls. The conservative arrangement of a separate enclosure for women in the halls will continue but the change would mean that the people of Saudi Arabia would now be able to enjoy the most popular and common form of entertainment – movies. Saudi Arabia’s rulers have also taken a firm stance against corruption and they have taken a punitive measure by arresting some of the powerful and rich individuals for amassing wealth illegally. Some of them have been freed on condition they return part of the ill-begotten wealth by way of penalty.
DECEMBER 18 - 24, 2017
Malala goes to Oxford
Pakistan teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot at by the Taliban five years for spreading the message that girls have a right to be educated, and who had miraculously survived and won the Nobel Peace Prize, has now enrolled in the famous Oxford University for her undergraduate course. She will be studying the traditional subjects of politics, philosophy and economics. Yousafzai tweeted the news about her joining Oxford.
Trump triumphs When President Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2017, not many, especially his critics, were sure as to what his policies would be and how far he would be able to implement them. When he imposed travel restrictions for people coming into the United States from some of the countries, there was furore that was it was anti-Muslim, and many of the state courts had quashed the presidential order. But the Supreme Court of the United States had upheld the president’s decision on travel ban from countries, especially from some of the conflict-zones in West Asia and Africa like Syria and Sudan. But President Trump held on to his view and he has now the US Supreme Court backing his decision. The other major achievement in his first year is the tax reform, which has cut corporate taxes from 35 per cent to 21 per cent, and it has provided enough incentives for American corporations to bring back their profits from overseas operations. And corporations and individuals who had put away their money outside the US are now allowed to bring home the money and all that they have to do is to pay a one-time penalty. While the critics have said that this tax reform benefits the rich and that it provides no relief to the middle classes, the defenders of the policy, including President Trump, say that the tax cuts will allow the big corporations to invest and to create jobs and this would help the middle class in America. The President’s battle with the liberal media continues, and he has not changed his view that the liberal media and the Democrats have not forgiven him for winning the election, while the media is of the firm view that the President Trump has a tendency to break the norms and even the law and that there is a constant need to criticize him. But it seems that Trumpp had managed to keep his critics at bay in his first year in office and succeed in pushing measures like travel ban and tax reform on his own terms.
Towards an idyllic state The United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants to become one of the livable countries in the world by 2021. The goal was state by UAE’s Minister for Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani Ahmad Al Feyoudi. He said that the country wants to move to a green economy and curb its carbon print, and that by 2012, when the UAE celebrates its golden jubilee, it wants to become one of the livable places on the planet. He said plans are afoot to achieve this goal, and one of the approaches is to leverage innovative technologies and lessen “irrational exploitation of natural resources”.
Mugabe exits Robert Mugabe, who had been ruling Zimbabwe ever since it became independent from white minority rule in 1980 and who was had remained the unopposed leader for the last 37 years, had at last to bow out of office at the age of 1993. The army had to move in and keep Mugabe under house arrest days after under the influence of a clique led by his wife Grace he had sacked the 75-year-old vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF elected Mnangagwa to lead the country. Zimbabwe is facing a serious economic crisis and the new president has to find solutions for the ailing economy. Mugabe was a vocal Third World leader who spoke against Western imperialism and colonialism, but who failed to nurture democratic traditions in his own regime. For decades, Mugabe had remained an inspiration for newly-independent African countries with his fierce opposition to Western dominance. He had also emerged as a prominent leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) when Zimbabwe hosted the NAM summit in Lusaka, the capital. Mugabe played the typical school teacher which he was in his early life and tried to shepherd other NAM leaders, especially Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi. But somewhere along the line he became bitter and refused to see reason with regard to the whites who owned huge farms and let the local mobs to occupy them. This resulted in the loss of agricultural production. Mugabe failed to understand the needs of post-colonial Zimbabawe.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Great Books of 2017 Books, considered old-fashioned, held their own in the world of 2017 Quick Glance SSB BUREAU
OME of the interesting reads of 2017 are centred around political leaders and top decision-makers. While there is a biography of Prime Minister Narendra Modi written by Sulabh International Founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the other important book comes from former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, who continues with his memoirs, bringing it up to 2012 when he exited politics and moved to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The other important book is by former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, which is really a compilation of his speeches and writings during his tenure as the chief of the central bank.
THE HERO IN THE EYES OF THE HERO Narendra Damodardas Modi: The Making of a Legend By Dr Bindeshwar Pathak Publisher: Sulabh International Social Service Organisation
HE coffee-table book, with rare photographs running through it all along with the text about Prime Minister Narendra Modi called “Narendra Damodardas Modi: The Making of a Legend” by the founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, was launched by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah in New Delhi on July 12, 2017. Dr Pathak said that he was inspired to do the book about the prime minister because Shri Modi was the first national leader who had recognized the importance of sanitation, the construction of toilets and ending open defecation, and it is something which he had been working on for more than 40 years. Dr Pathak felt that there was a need to tell the life-story of Shri Modi. He also recalled that he had first met Shri Modi in Bhuj in Gujarat where Sulabh had built a sanitation complex after the earthquake that razed much of the town to the ground. He approached the writing of the pictorial biography in a unique way. He had a research team in place, which went about gathering the photographs because he said he wanted the book on Shri Modi to be different from the many that had been written on the prime minister. He had decided to produce the book in a lavish manner so that it was a fitting tribute to the man who was the subject of the book. It was also intended to get the book distributed among a larger number of people. It was evident that the special bonding that Dr Pathak felt with Prime Minister Modi was this personal passion and mission with regard to sanitation. The Prime Minister had targeted 2019, which marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and who was also a strong believer in sanitation and removing the scourge of human scavengers, to eliminate the human scavenging, to end open defecation and to provide latrines in city, town and village for the whole population in the country. It is a mission that Dr Pathak had set for himself from the 1970s onwards, and thus there was a convergence of goals and ideals that Shri Modi had articulated as well. The book was at one level a personal tribute of Dr Pathak for Prime Minister Modi. But it was not a mere act of hero worship. The author of the pictorial biography and its subject shared a personal vision about sanitation in the country and that was the main inspiration for Dr Pathak to have undertaken the book project.
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak pens the unique pictoral biography of Narendra Modi ‘The Coalition Years’ highlights important timelines and key policy issues ‘Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ focuses on the symbolism and captivates readers
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
PRANAB’S LAST LAP IN POLITICS The Coalition Years By Pranab Mukherjee Publisher: Rupa; Rs 595
ormer president Pranab Mukherjee’s third volume of memoirs, which was released in on October 13, 2017 at a high-profile event at the auditorium of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi, is an interesting account of the period which spanned the years when the Congress Party was in opposition between 1996 and 2004, and when it came into power in 2004 after a break of eight years, and it had won the election in 2009. Mr Mukherjee’s personal account of developments in the political sphere during these years is interesting and gives an insider’s view of the issues and the people in high places involved in it. He was one of the prominent and vocal members of the party in Rajya Sabha when in Opposition in the years between 1996 and 2004, and he played a key role in the Congress government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the Minister for Defence, as External Affairs Minister and as Finance Minister before he was the party’s candidate for the post of the President of India in 2012. The veteran Congress leader had won the respect of leaders from across the political spectrum despite the fact that he had strong views of his own and his short temper became legendary among his political colleagues. But everyone respected Mr Mukherjee for his learning – he is a voracious reader despite the time constraints of a busy political career – and his clarity of thought. Speaking at the book launch, former prime minister Manmohan Singh remarked that he fell back on the advice of Mr Mukherjee on all difficult and key policy issues in the government. At one point, Dr Singh made the revelatory remark that Mr Mukherjee must have felt that he was more qualified to be the prime minister but he (Singh) had no choice in the matter because it was Congress president Sonia Gandhi who had decided that he (Singh) should be the prime minister. Despite the apparent personal rivalry, it was evident that Mr Mukherjee and Dr Singh had immense respect for each other and it becomes evident in the book that they were able to pull together over the years because of the professional regard each had for the other. Mr Mukherjee was candid enough to admit at the book launch that his was a personal account and that he was not writing like a historian, thus emphasizing that what comes through in the book is his personal view of events and people. It is rare for Indian politicians to write books, especially in post-Independence period, though all the tall political leaders of the Freedom Movement were writers in their own right and they were also passionate readers of books.
RAJAN’S WORLDVIEW: BANKER AND ECONOMIST I Do What I Do By Raghuram Rajan Publisher: HarperCollins; Rs 699
ORMER Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan’s book makes for a delightful read though it is not a fresh account of his years as the chief of the central bank. The book is a compilation of speeches he delivered in his capacity as the Governor of RBI, explaining policy decisions and giving a perspective on monetary policy, which is not much understood by the people at large, including politicians. Rajan, an academic who belongs to the reputed Chicago University where there are more Economics Nobel laureates than in any other institution, plays the role of a teacher as well, explaining things clearly combined with wit and humour. He is also considered one of the finest economic minds in the world, and he commands immense respect of his peers. These are not then dry-as-dust policy speeches. About being appointed Governor of the RBI, he writes, “Putting a policy economist in the Governor’s job is like letting a kid loose in a candy shop!” He confesses that most of his speeches and articles are responses to critics and it is an attempt to clarify matters and give the full picture. To this extent, reading of the book should be a learning experience for the young and the old as well. Rajan notes his cordial relations with the prime ministers Singh and Modi and finance ministers Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley. He writes, “While I enjoyed a good understanding with the political leadership – meeting regularly and cordially first with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Chidambaram, and then when the government changed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley – and while some bureaucrats were a delight to work with, the least pleasant aspect of my job was dealing with bureaucrats who were trying to undercut the Reserve Bank so as to expand their turf.”
MUCH TALKED NOVEL Ministry of Utmost Happiness By Arundhati Roy Penguin India; Rs 599
RUNDHATI ROY became the most popular writer of fiction when her debut book, The God of Small Things won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997. She did not write another work of fiction until 2017, when her second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, was released. Though there were great expectations that her second novel would be as exciting as her first one, the readers and critics were not
much enthused by her latest fictional offering. The disappointment seemed to arise from the fact that this time round, Roy wrote a complicated story and she was more focused on the symbolism rather than the story itself, which is in direct contrast to her first work. What captivated readers of her first books was the delightful story, however quirky it was in its plot and in its narrative. There was a certain freshness and vibrancy in the first book that was missing in the second. It is not unusual that when the expectations are a little too high as in the case of Roy, it is difficult for any author to meet those expectations. Many of Roy’s readers who had liked her first novel felt that she had strayed too much into polemical essays and in doign so she had lost the imaginative writer’s sensibility to tell a story.
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Team of 2017: Top Sportpersons Of The Year Anyone can become a good player, but it takes a lot more to be a champion. UROOJ FATIMA
India is in the process of undergoing a renaissance of sorts these days in the field of sports. In a nation where cricket has reigned supreme for so many years, other sports have finally found a strong foothold in the country, with news of more and more gold medals in other sporting events. Some incredible strides have been made by athletes in their respective sports and they brought great pride to the nation as a whole.
In 2017, the world witnessed scintillating performances by many sportspersons and teams. Choosing the top 10 was a challenge as there were many contenders trying to squeeze into the list. However, the selection has been made based on individual merits and winning performances. We take a look at the recent achievements of individuals from the country who can call themselves world champions and who have won gold in their respective sports. Here is the list..
QUICK GLANCE India ended up with five medals in World Para Athletics Championship Pankaj Advani won Gold in IBSF World Snooker and Billiards Championships Virat Kohli was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shree
display of badminton was one of the finest in the world of badminton. Srikanth looked like a man on a mission. He is slowly becoming the man to beat in world badminton. ACHIEVEMENTS: Sports Man of the Year, won four Superseries titles this year, climbed to the second position in the world ranking
HUTTLER PV Sindhu is regarded as the face of Indian badminton. Her crowning glory definitely has been the silver medal at Rio 2016. She is one of the most talented badminton players in the world right now, and her performance in the last two years speaks for itself. She started her dream run in 2017 by defeating 2016 Rio Olympics final opponent and eventually gold medal winner Carolina Marin at the India Open Super Series before going down to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara at the BWF World Championships final in August. Sindhu, then avenged her defeat to the Japanese, by defeating her in the Korea Open Super Series later in the year. Sindhu won everyone’s hearts and the silver medal in the neck-to-neck encounter with the Japanese in Dubai Super Series Finals. The Hyderabadi shuttler became the second Indian to finish with a silver medal in the seasonending tournament. ACHIEVEMENTS: In five major finals this year, won two Super Series titles and ended the season with an impressive win percentage of 84.
2017’ has surely been the year of Kohli as his achievements as captain surpassed many records. Kohli has been on a smashing spree this year, hitting 1460 runs in 26 ODI matches, 449 runs in 7 Test matches and 221 runs in 8 T20Is. If you want to sum up Kohli’s captaincy so far, especially in the Tests, in three sentences it would be: He came. He saw. He conquered. Proving that captaincy has only enhanced his individual performance, Kohli became the fastest to score 1000
runs as an ODI skipper. He became the fastest to score 10 Test centuries among Indian captains. He was the highest run-getter across all formats. From leading team India from the front to giving us relationship goals by getting married to his girlfriend Anushka Sharma, there doesn’t seem to be anything he doesn’t do perfectly. Kohli has become synonymous with success, like an adjective that future cricket generations will use to emphasize a player’s achievements.
ACHIEVEMENTS: CNN-News18 Indian of the year award, conferred India’s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shree, currently the number one ODI batsman.
NDIAN shuttler Kidambi Srikanth continued his run of dominance. He has had a fantastic run of form this year. With four Super Series titles in the bag, 2017 truly looks like the year of Kidambi Srikanth. His wins include the back-to-back Super Series titles in Denmark (22 October) and France (29 October), taking the number of his Super Series titles this year to four, and career tally to six. Along the way, Srikanth became
BADMINTON the only Indian, and the fourth player ever, to win four Super Series titles in a calendar year. Srikanth’s aggressive
JEAKSON SINGH THOUNAOJAM
NKING his name in the history of soccer forever, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam has become the first Indian to score a goal in Football World Cup by netting an equaliser against Colombia in a breathtaking match on October 9 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. The tall midfielder made the historical kick during team’s second match of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup hosted by India in a first. Thounaojam, who became the first Indian to score a World Cup goal, was so passionate about football even in his childhood that he did not take food for more than two days when his parents told him to stop playing the game and concentrate on his studies. ACHIEVEMENTS: First Indian to score a World Cup goal
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Nationals in Indore where he won a gold medal. ACHIEVEMENTS: Gold medal at Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, Gold Medal at National Wrestling Championship
ER story isn’t just about conquering the peaks. It is about falling and then struggling back to the top of the game. The Mary Kom saga isn’t just about standing on the top of the podium. It’s about surviving the fall and crawling back to old heights. Ace India boxer Mary Kom once again showed why she is one of the best in the world as the pugilist won the gold medal for the fifth time at the Asian Boxing Championships. Playing the 48kg final, Mary beat South Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi with a 5-0 unanimous decision. The diminutive Manipuri has been the face of women’s boxing not just in India but all over the world, earning the nickname ‘Magnificent Mary’ from the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) back in 2010. ACHIEVEMENTS: Won six medals at Asian Boxing Championships, 5th Gold Medal, AIBA brand ambassador
HE is the first woman wrestler from our country to bag a medal at the Olympics. Sakshi created history by becoming the first Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal last year.
FREESTYLE WRESTLER Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze in the 2016 Rio Games, clinched a gold medal in the Commonwealth Wrestling championships this year. She also won silver at the Asian Wrestling Championship. She is also training her sights on next year’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia and the Asian Games in Jakarta ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
PANKAJ ADVANI SUSHIL KUMAR
WO-time Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar is an Indian freestyle wrestler who brought laurels to the country through his achievements and successful victories at an international level. He made a glorious return to the international arena by clinching a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in Johannesburg this year. It was his first medal in international wrestling since his gold medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Sushil returned to competitive wrestling in November at the Senior
ACHIEVEMENTS: Gold in IBSF World Snooker and Billiards Championships, 18 World Titles, Asian Snooker Championships crown, 7th Asian Title, won Indian National Snooker Championship.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Gold medal at Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, Silver at Asian Wrestling Champions, Gold at National Wrestling Championship, Padma Shri
as well as the IBSF World Billiards Championship, proving just why he’s a master of both the fields. Advani now has 18 world titles to his name and he appears to be gunning for more. With this title, Advani has reached the pinnacle of sports in India, as he has won the highest number of world titles by an Indian in any sport. He is slated as one of the best allround billiards and snooker player India has ever produced.
ANKAJ Advani is a name much too familiar to Indian sports fans thanks to his numerous achievements in the world of snooker and billiards. He
ITHALI Raj is an icon for the Indian Women’s cricket team. A fierce leader and a warrior till the end, she has always been a fighter. She is the only player to score 7 consecutive 50s in ODIs. She became the first woman to cross the 6,000-run mark in One Day Internationals.
BILLIARDS & SNOOKER
GOLFER wire victory and lift his eighth Asian Tour title at the Macao Open. The 29-year-old fired rounds of 64, 65, 74 and 68 for an aggregate score of 13-under 271, lifting his first Asian Tour trophy of the year. Bhullar set a spate of records post his win in Macao. He not only became the youngest player to win eight titles on the Asian Tour but also equalled Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa’s feat of most titles by an Indian on the Asian Tour. With a win under his belt this year, Bhullar also plans to play on the web. com tour qualifying school in USA. ACHIEVEMENTS: Tour Title.
PARA ATHLETICS CHAMPIONS 2017 India ended their World Para Athletics Championship with five medals, including a gold Sharad Kumar
‘England won the cup but you won hearts’, was the chant of fans all across India as women cricketers fought extreme odds to enter the final of the ICC World Cup 2017. Indian women’s cricket team ended the World Cup 2017 as runners-up under the captaincy of Mithali Raj. This was the second instance when women’s cricket team went this far in the tournament. She was named the Best Sportswoman in Team Sport category and also collected the award for Team of the Year on her side’s behalf. ACHIEVEMENTS: Highest runscorer in women’s ODI cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000-run mark in ODIs, Best Sports Player of the Year
is considered as one of the sport’s best following his incredible list of victories. His latest big triumph comes as recently as November itself, with the 32-year-old winning gold in the IBSF World Snooker Championship
OLFER Gaganjeet Bhullar held his nerve to complete a wire-to-
SILVER Men’s High Jump T42 Varun Kumar BRONZE Men’s High Jump T42 Sundar Singh Gurjar GOLD Men’s Javelin Throw F46 Amit Kumar Saroha SILVER Men’s Club Throw F51 Karamjyoti Dalal BRONZE Women’s Discus Throw F55
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
Away from the glare & the glitz: The ‘Unsung Heroes’ of India A tribute to the best of unsung visions, wills, commitments and energies Quick Glance SWASTIKA TRIPATHI
ELFLESS in service, fearless in action, extraordinary in contribution, yet seemingly ordinary and unsung in society! We all know of and pass on the popular tales of the brave and the fearless but there is a section that works quietly – away from all the glare and glitz of fame and fortune. Their stories are inspirational and teach one how to beat the odds by harnessing and channelising their inner resources. Here’s to the best of visions, wills, commitments and energies of 2017 of people who have redefined heroism that anyone can create ripples of change in the society – because, to quote American novelist Bernard Malamud, “without heroes we’re all plain people and don’t know how far we can go”.
The unsung heroes who work incognito, away from fame and fortune These inspired persons have redefined heroism by beating all odds They have taught that anyone can create ripples of change in society
the open. Tushar would not stop whistling if he spotted a person open-defecating till that person has stopped doing that. The little boy’s courage and integrity to try to fulfill his resolve made a positive impact on the villagers. The district administration then joined Tushar in the revolution to take forward his campaign that became a huge success. The village was declared open-defecation free on January 26, 2017.
BILAL AHMAD DAR
Meet the Kashmiri teen rag-picker who single-handedly removed 12,000 kg of trash from Wular Lake in Jammu and Kashmir. Infamous for toxic debris, plastic, carcasses, and much more, Wular has been on the verge of dying, reduced from 273 km to just 72 km of water expanse. One fine day, Bilal found plastic and polyethene going into the lake from Srinagar. Unlike any usual passerby, Bilal decided to collect the trash from the lake. What began as a ragpicking job for this barely educated teenager to fund and steer his family after his father succumbed to cancer, has reached a whole new high today. His actions were not a mere means of earning a livelihood for his family but a will to clean the filthy waters of Wular. Of late, the teen now campaigns across the valley for a clean and pollution free Kashmir as the brand ambassador of Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
Mute and deaf since birth yet loud enough in his actions to teach an entire village the lesson of hygiene, eight-years-old Tushar took up the responsibility to make Kumhari village in Madhya Pradesh an open-defecation free area. Playing against his speech and hearing impairment, Tushar would get up at 5 am, visit every household with a whistle in his hand, and with the help of gestures try to convince people against defecating in
LIEUTENANTS SWATI MAHADIK & NIDHI DUBEY
The wives of deceased jawans set an inspiring example of grit and courage when they decided to join the Indian army in honour of the first love of their husbands – the Indian Army uniform. Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed in a counter-infiltration operation in the Manigah forest of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. After his death, his wife and mother of two, Swati Mahadik, decided to join the army and serve the country. Her decision stunned many, but her resolve was unwavering. On the other hand, Nidhi Mishra Dubey was 25 and pregnant when her husband died of a cardiac arrest. After which her in-laws abandoned her and asked to leave. After being advised by
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017 her husband’s seniors in the army, Nidhi decided to prepare for the Services Selection Board (SSB) exams alongside her day job as a teacher. After grueling training, the two Army widows joined the army as officers on September 9.
JAMIAT ULEMA-E-HIND VOLUNTEERS
Gujarat saw devastating floods in July of 2017. As many as 224 people lost their lives in the state. When the waters receded, there was much filth everywhere. That is when the Jamiat volunteers came together and
toiled collectively. The volunteers, in Dhanera in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat, cleaned 22 affected temples and two mosques in a phased manner. Thus, setting up a fine and inspiring example of unity for cleanliness, irrespective of religion, caste, colour, creed. Lieutenant Colonel R S Jamwal Climbing Mount Everest is not a sport all can play. But scaling peaks seems like just another leisure habit for Lieutenant Colonel Ranveer Singh Jamwal who has successfully climbed Mount Everest, not once, not twice but thrice. Hailing from Badodhi village of Sambha district in Jammu and Kashmir, this energetic Lt Col has the distinction of reaching the top of Mount Everest thrice during 2013, 2016 and 2017 beside climbing many other peaks in the Indian Himalaya. A very heroic Jamwal was also actively involved in rescuing many of the trapped climbers in and around Kumbu Ice Fall, the base camp for Everest Expedition from Nepal when earthquake struck that country during pre-monsoon period of 2015.
with a view to bring about a positive change to the region, a young Naga quit his comfortable and secure job to get the youth aim high on money and peace. Neichute Doulo has stopped as many as 15,000 people from migrating from Nagaland by guiding them on the path of entrepreneurship. He established Entrepreneurs Associates (EA) in Kohima to teach the youth about entrepreneurship and provide microfinance to help them kick-start their micro enterprises by raising capital through crowd-funding or citizens’ investment as no bank would provide finance to these young Naga men. EA has expanded its services to neighbouring Manipur and received RBI approval as a lending institution. Since then it has been instrumental in channelising over Rs 150 crore of loans with 100 per cent recovery to banks.
T V ANUPAMA
When TV Anupama took charge as the District Collector of Alappuzha district in August, 2017, no one in Kerala could have imagined that she would rock the political landscape. But Anupama set off a storm in the state within weeks of her appointment by submitting a report on the alleged land encroachment by Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, in violation of the Kerala Paddy and Wetland Act. Anupama has put a check on food adulteration business in Kerala. She has conducted numerous raids around the state and has almost put an end to it. This shows that in Anupama, Alappuzha and Kerala have got an IAS officer determined to do her job as she sees fit, no matter who or what stands in her way.
SURYA SEN SINGH
Now an engineer in Mumbai, Surya Sen Singh, once struggled with poverty and lack of infrastructure to get education back in his village Kansaharia, near Varanasi. Maybe that is the reason why he could truly relate to the crisis of today’s children from his background and hence decided to put up a school named Ajivam in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh for children from nearby villages. The school has classes from lower kindergarten to fifth standard and charges minimal fee, as low as Rs 200 to Rs 500, depending on the financial condition of the student. As his school grew, he also decided to setup a public library in rural UP. Thus, children could have an easy access to knowledge, despite the absence of infrastructure.
Lawyer by profession but environmentalist by passion, young Mumbaikar Afroz Shah was fed-up with the piles of decomposing waste that had washed up and completely overwhelmed the city’s Versova beach. Determined to do something about it, Shah started cleaning up the beach one piece of rubbish at a time, along with his then 84-year-old neighbour Harbansh Mathur who has since then passed away. Every weekend since, Shah has inspired volunteers to join him – from slum-dwellers to Bollywood stars, from school children to politicians. They have been turning up at Versova for what Shah calls “a date with the ocean”, but what in reality means labouring shin-deep in rotting garbage under the scorching Indian sun. Though, later on, Shah had to call off the drive due to some reasons, the volunteers had in the brief period managed to collect over 4,000 tonnes of trash from the 2.5 kilometre beach.
North-east region of India has long been a centre of conflicts with the Seven Sisters – soubriquet for the seven states -remaining largely isolated from the rest of the country. But
It was not an easy task for Vijaylaxmi of Jhorinda Bhojpura village of Phagi district, Rajasthan, to convince her parents to allow her to pursue education. But seeing her 13-year-old friend succumb to death from labour pain, she had no other way to escape the horror of child marriage. After much resistance, her father agreed to her wish and Vijaylaxmi went on to finish her B.Ed, and thus began her journey as a social activist who fights against child marriage. Her family joined her in the effort. While Vijaylaxmi’s parents reasoned with the brides’ parents, Vijaylaxmi spoke to the young girls and told them about the health and social hazards of marrying before the age of 18. Despite death threats to Vijaylaxmi, she with her family has been able to stop 15 child marriages in their
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
EVENTS & MORE...
ACROSS 2. Sivaji Rao Gaikwad is the real name of a South Indian Super Star? Who is he?
3. The last film of “Sathyajit Rai” ? 4. National Institute of Designs is situated at? 11. Hema Malini & Sridevi relates from which classical dance
Venue: The Imperial
Janpath Lane, Connaught Place, New Delhi
10th Nov 2017, 12PM - 31st Jan 2018, 11PM
Yule Ball With DJ Yogi
SSB CROSSWORD NO. 2
Winter Collection at The Spice Route
13. The first indigenously made 70mm Film of India ? 14. First colour film of India? 16. First Indian movie that premeired at the USA 17. First film festival of India was held at? 18. First Filmfare Award for best actor awarded to 19. Who received Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2012 20. Who is the first actress nominated for Rajya Sabha DOWN 1. First Malayalam Film which bagged the President’s gold Medal?
5. First Indian to win an Oscar award
Of The Drinks Forum Epicuria Food Mall, Upper Ground Floor, Nehru Place, New Delhi 24th Dec 2017, 9PM - 25th Dec 2017, 12AM
SOLUTION OF CROSSWORD NO. 1
XMAS Special -Naughty Nice at Nehru Place Social
A Rock N Roll Christmas Eve with The Kern Dalton Collective
Venue: The Bar Cat
Place Social Epicuria Food Mall, R-1, Upper Ground Floor, Nehru Place, New Delhi
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E-17, 3rd Floor, South Extension 2, New Delhi
24th Dec 2017, 8PM - 25th Dec 2017, 12PM
24th Dec 2017, 9PM - 26th Dec 2017, 12AM
A Christmas Horror Story Venue: TabulaBeach
Cafe Asian Games Village Complex, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi
24th Dec 2017, 8PM - 25th Dec 2017, 1AM
Artreach Festival Venue: Bikaner
House Pandara Road, India Gate, New Delhi
22nd Dec 2017, 10AM - 24th Dec 2017, 7PM
6. Which bollywood film with highest number of songs 7. India’s first 6 Track stereophonic film ?
11. Germany 12. Irrigation 13. Clean India 14. November 15. Left 16. Delhi 17. October 18. Kashmir 19. Amit Shah 20. Dr Pathak
8. First 3D animated film from India is 9. The first Panavision film of India? 10. Who is the first indian movie star to be featured on the cover of Time magazine 12. Raja Harishchandra was released in the year? 15. The first talkie film of India?
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DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
The Young Guns of 2017
Age is just a number when it comes to setting examples Quick Glance
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T is a popular saying that “good things come in small packages”, meaning thereby that the size of things doesn’t always indicate their quality and small things often have better quality than big ones. Setting a live example of the above saying, India witnessed many young guns make it to the headlines in 2017, stunning the onlookers. Saluting the marvelous deeds of the outstanding little ones, here’s a recap to the young newsmakers of 2017 :
LAWYERED THE PLAY AREA
seven-year-old girl’s anguished plea against Delhi Development Authority’s plan to raze her playing area and build a multipurpose community hall has resulted in DDA withdrawing its decision before the Delhi high court. In June, 2017, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had cordoned off nearly one-third of the area of a
children’s park in Rohini, Delhi, and began construction of the community centre. Following which, little Navya filed a petition in the Delhi high court through her lawyer father and also wrote an open letter to the prime minister to save her park. The building work was halted and after the court’s decision DDA had to move their plan to a different site.
A DRONE MANUFACTURING CROREPATI
RACING landmines used in wars is a massive headache for even top experts. But this 14-year-old has invented a drone which will not only trace out the landmines, but even deactivate them. For Harshvardhan Jwala of Gujarat, this is not a simple plaything. At his age, he is perhaps India’s youngest crorepati, for the Gujarat government has signed an MOU with him worth five crore rupees for his consent and technological supervision of manufacturing the drone in bulk. Harshvardhan will be working closely with the state’s Ministry of Science & Technology.
THE FUTURE OF WATER DESALINATION
ROUBLED by the pressing need for clean, drinking water and wanting to make it easily available, an Indian-American teen, Chaitanya Karamchedu, has discovered a novel, costeffective way to desalinate water and make it potable. His approach is diametrically opposite to what scientists had been trying till now. The real genesis of the idea was realising that sea water is not fully saturated with salt. It’s not bonding with water molecules, but to the salt. He has been awarded $10,000 by the
THE REAL-LIFE ‘CHACHA CHAUDHARY’
US Agency for International Global Development at Intel’s International Science Fair. He also won the second prize at MIT’s TechCon Conference.
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brain sharper than a needle and faster than a super-computer is the phrase commonly used to describe comic character Chacha Chaudhary. Bringing alive these characters of the popular Chacha is 13-year-old Aditi Sharma who can perform complex mathematical calculations in a matter of seconds. Aditi emerged
as the winner of the ‘listening competition’ in the 12th State level Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Championship in Delhi, where she orally solved calculations from one-digit to four-digit numbers up to 100 rows at a speed “faster than one takes to write on paper”. This human-computer was awarded with a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 5,100.
POSTAL REGISTRATION NO. DL(W)10/2240/2017-19
DECEMBER 25 - 31, 2017
The Young Guns of 2017
PEACE PRIZE NOMINEE WHO EDIFIED
RUNNING ‘SMART’ DUSTBINS ON SIM
here are several types of campaigns going on across the country with relation to ‘Swachh Bharat’ and a smartdustbin made by Pawan Kumar, a firstyear BTech student from Ghaziabad, is causing great interest in this connection. The dustbin has a GSM panel with two sensors, diodes, and microcontrollers in which two mobile SIMs can be installed. A command through IC programming will send messages to both the attached numbers as soon as the filling of trash is done. Recently, Pawan showed this dustbin to BJP MP and Delhi State party president Manoj Tiwari, who liked it very much and promised to tell Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this invention soon. Kalam Ignite Competition-2016.
14-YEAR-OLD Indianorigin schoolboy in the UAE has become one of the youngest pilots to fly a singleengine aircraft. Grade ninth student Mansour Anis received a certificate for his first solo flight from an aviation academy in Canada. His flight was for about 10 minutes, during which
he taxied the aircraft from the parking bay to the runway, took off for a flight of about five minutes and landed back. He broke the previous record of a 15-year-old German pilot and a 14-year-old US pilot who took 34 hours of training. Mansour flew solo just after 25 hours of training. He now has a student pilot permit.
THE ‘BRITISH ENVOY’ FOR A DAY
22-year-old BA-LLB fifth year student Rudrali Patil’s dream came true when she received an invitation from the British High Commission to serve as its commissioner to India for a day. Donning a diplomat cap and a crisp black suit, Rudrali addressed the media and talked about empowering girl children in rural India. She was given the opportunity after emerging victorious in a video making competition on girls’ rights.
ARYAMAN SINGH: JUNIOR GOLFER WITH LONGEST WIN-STREAK
or the nomadic community of Narikuravars in Tamil Nadu, the only mode of livelihood comes from selling beads on streets or worse, begging. However, one young boy’s perseverance has not just earned him the tag of being the flag bearer of the Narikuravars, but also the nomination for this year’s International Peace Prize for Children. 12-year-old Sakthi Ramesh opened the gates for education in his community. He has achieved this by convincing about 25 other children to follow the path of education to change the fate of their community.
SAIKHOM CHANU: HEAVYLIFTED THE TWODECADE WAIT
olfer Aryaman Singh, 10, blazed his way through the first five events of the Indian Golf Union-West Zone 2017, wrapping it on a high note. Thereby, this very young golfer broke his own zonal and national records. Singh remains undefeated at the zonal level for four years, winning every tournament he has played. H i s w inning streak n o w extends to 1,266 days, which is the longest in the history of junior golf in India.
A SCHOOLBOY WITH PILOT PERMIT
TEEN TYCOON WITH NO FRILLS BUSINESS
FTER his online real estate business received a valuation of 12 million pounds, Akshay Ruparelia effectively became one of UK’s youngest millionaires. His website – www.doorsteps.co.uk – became the 18th biggest real estate agency in the country in just 16 months after it went live. Juggling school work with high stakes property deals, Indian-origin Akshay, at just 19 years of age, successfully runs a no-frills business that offers to sell properties for a fraction of the cost charged by established real estate agents. His business employs a growing network of self-employed mothers across the UK, who show the properties to the clients.
ndian athlete Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (23) showed grit in winning the women’s 48kg total and clean and jerk titles at the 2017 world weightlifting championships. With this, the 2017 Commonwealth Games champion lifted the two-decade wait of India to bag a gold medal at the world weightlifting championship. Chanu lifted her personal best in career totalling 194kg to beat Sukcharoen Thunya of Thailand to the second place by a slim margin of 1kg. She was also the winner in clean and jerk of the event. Two-time junior world champion Sukcharoen finished first in snatch with 86kg but came up short in the clean and jerk.
RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 2, ISSUE - 02 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 – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain
Published on Jan 30, 2018