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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Good News Weekly for Rising India


good news

world bank ranking India is now in the top 100 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business

Vol-1 | Issue-47 | November 06 - 12, 2017 | Price ` 5/-


Karamveer Award

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Lari Azad were honored with Karamveer Award

I n d i a’ s

Ram Mohan Roy & Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar had dared to get widows remarried, and now Dr Pathak has done so


ducation has been one of the foundation stones of the growth and evolution of culture and traditions in our country’s history. It has been an integral part of our society since ancient times. Swami Vivekananda said “Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man” and rightly so. Rewinding the educational climate back to ancient times, India still was a

cornerstone of education in the growing world. The purpose of education isn’t to generate highly efficient future employees. It is absolutely critical for the society to properly function. Education builds character and moulds our behaviour. There are various facets of education in India. Most of which have been influenced by the institutions that have existed from historic times to the present day. India had a rich educational history which was not only unique but also, its values can be



The amazing Humanoid Robot Gets Arab ‘Citizenship’

Quick Glance

Educational Voyage

mihir paul


found carried onto the current education system. India’s rich cultural and religious diversity has given its educational system a unique flavour, a different charm, if you will. In order to keep up with the developments and changes in the same, one must first understand its roots. Ancient India Like any other culture, India also boasted a well established educational system since civilization began. Theology,

Indian Education has been moulded by internal and external influences Ancient India boasted many institutions teaching art and science The current Education System still has residual British influence

India’s rich cultural and religious diversity has given its educational system a unique flavour, a different charm Philosophy, Metaphysics, Arts, Military Education, Public Administration, etc were taught to students in old Brahminical schools. Whilst education in ancient India was accessible to those in higher castes, education itself was free. Students would attend residential schools, like modern-day boarding schools and spend time learning with other students. It started with the Gurukula system of education. In this system, anyone who wished to learn visited a Guru and requested to be taught. Once accepted, the student would live with the Guru and assist the Guru in other domestic activities as well. The Guru was the central figure in a Gurukul. Gurus were immensely respected by the pupils and often received ‘Gurudakshina’ (offering) from their students. There was no concrete structure. Students could learn for as long as they wanted. There were no syllabi and the medium of communication and learning was mostly verbal, if not completely. Students lived under strict monastic guidelines which were stipulated by the Gurus. As the population grew with kingdoms and empires filling the national landscape, education became increasingly accessible and common with cities like Varanasi and the Buddhist Centre at Nalanda coming

02 Cover Story

November 06 - 12, 2017

under the educational radar of prospective students. Education in ancient India was closely tied to religion. The Jain and Buddhist schools were among the heterodox schools which made education inclusive and available to many. Taxila and Nalanda were among the best urban schools of learning in that time period. With subjects ranging from literature to arts to philosophy, logic, and medicine, these institutes were beacons of enlightenment in a growing India. Taxila and Nalanda would receive students from Central Asia and China as well. One could say that Taxila and Nalanda were India’s first International Universities. The growth of population coupled with increased access to education saw the advent of authoritative books like

under various dynasties which were examples of royal patronage. As early as the Rastrakuta dynasty in 945 CE to the Chola Dynasty in 1024 CE, the educational system was integrated into the state. In Rastrakuta, the institutions would arrange for residences for educators, just like in modern day Universities with visiting or resident professors and the education was completely state-sponsored. During the Pala Dynasty, Uddandapura institute was established under royal patronage. Developing a sort of ‘partnership’ with Tibet, the institute became a learning hotspot for Tantric Buddhism. By the time Islam entered the Indian subcontinent, India already had developed a structure for technology and science. Around the 12th century, the

Taxila and Nalanda were among the best urban

institutions. Both Taxila and Nalanda received students and scholars from neighbouring countries Kautilya’s Arthashastra. Women too were, involved in the educational system. Female poets called Bhramavadinis are mentioned in the Rigveda – an ancient Indian collection of hymns in Vedic Sanskrit. Lopamudra and Ghosha were two such Brahamavadinis who was referenced in the Rigveda. Even women like Gargi and Maitreyi, who were wellrenowned scholars of the Upanishads propped up in the educational landscape. Medieval Times With students pouring in from Central Asia and China, India received scholars like Yi Jing who were integrated into the Indian institutions for surveying Buddhist texts. Even Indian scholars like Dharmadeva from Nalanda travelled to other countries to translate Buddhist texts. However, Brahmanism saw a resurgence during this era. This era saw the speedy development and integration of institutes constructed

constant invasions on India’s northern front weakened the educational system there since the invading armies would raid and ransack the institutes. Institutions were initiated by preMughal rulers like Qutb-ud-din Aybak. Islamic monasteries saw prominent educators like Moinuddin Chishti. Now India received students from Afghanistan and surrounding countries that came to study sciences and humanities. India saw a fusion of culture, language, and tradition that the foreign invaders brought along with them. Islam’s influence grew in the educational systems and even schools for Muslims were established with the primary focus being Theology. The traditional Madarsas taught theology, philosophy, grammar, and mathematics. Around the 18th Century, Delhi became a centre for education as well. Institutes like the Madrasa Rahimiya were established under Shah Waliullah, a

progressive ruler who preferred an eclectic approach to education that balanced sciences with humanities. Under Mulla Nizamuddin Sahlawi, Lucknow also became a popular centre for education that laid emphasis on the study of logic and reasoning. With the Mughal empire establishing its presence in the country, a more inclusive and accessible approach was favoured by monarchs that included additional courses like agriculture, medicine, and geography. A liberal approach was adopted by the Mughals who were also secular in nature. Colonial Era Before the English colonisers came to India, India wasn’t really a structured unified country. Rather, it was a mixture of a plethora of small kingdoms that were often fighting each other over territory. When the British came, the need to communicate directly with Indian officials was crucial and hence English language became compulsory for Indian officials. The interpreter/messenger system widely used by monarchs came to an end. English schools were established and Indian officials were taught the language. India had a wide variety and amount of schools and institutes that had propped up in different parts of the country. There were thousands of schools in the Southern states, in Bengal, in Bihar etc. However, the aftermath of the introduction of British education saw the rapid decline of indigenous education institutes. The British educational system made the English language a priority in hopes of speeding up the modernisation and make administrative changes more efficient. While orientalists believed that education should be imparted in classical languages like Sanskrit, Utilitarians believed that Indians needed to be taught in English in order to create a separate class of ‘anglicised’ Indians who would serve as liaisons between the British and Indians. One such utilitarian was Thomas Babington Macaulay who implemented English as the medium of instruction and started programmes to train Englishspeaking Indians as teachers. During this time, ambitious youths from affluent families would travel abroad to study. Mahatma Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, all travelled to England for higher education. With about 60,000 Indians matriculating in liberal arts in 1890, India saw the rise of a well educated professional bureaucracy. During the British Raj, the curriculum in Indian education had become predominantly western. By 1901, there were 145 colleges and 5 universities in India, mostly attended by male students. A beacon of progressive ideals, the Madras Medical College was established in 1835 which admitted women so that

females could be treated by females who would otherwise shy away from medical examinations by male doctors. During the late 19th century, the concept of educated women among medical professionals gained widespread popularity. In 1894, the Women’s Christian Medical College was established in Ludhiana as an exclusive medical college for women. Many other colleges were established during the Raj including civil engineering colleges like Thomason College (Now IIT Roorkee) and Bengal Engineering College. These colleges trained civil engineers for the Public Works Department who worked in India and Britain. Post Independence The Western educational system left behind by the British stayed in India. The system of schooling, formal education, higher education, and even the content was incorporated into the postindependence educational system. However, the popular opinion among prominent educators, the government, social scientists, and politicians was that education in India needed to be India centric with more emphasis on culture and traditions. The result of this was an eclectic education system with both Western and indigenous influences fused together to create something entirely unique. The newly formed Indian Government adopted its first policy document on education in 1968. Aimed to promote national progress, a sense of common citizenship and culture, and to strengthen national integration, the National Education Policy, 1968, called

The Utilitarian, Lord

Macaulay was the one who implemented English as a medium of instruction during the British Raj

November 06 - 12, 2017

Cover Story


hopes of possible salvation. Our society has come to see education as a rung to climb in the social and economic ladder. Our education system doesn’t lack a demand for good education, it lacks a market for education entirely. Solutions Our education system needs to focus on teaching and testing skills rather than testing knowledge of theories and concepts. “Give a man a fish and you feed him one day, teach him how to catch fishes and you feed him for a lifetime.” Is aptly said since knowledge memorised by rote is largely forgotten if not recalled often and the same can’t be said for acquired skills. Skills stay for a lifetime. Instead of encouraging students to “remember” concepts exactly how they are in the book, maybe students should be encouraged to understand the concepts and apply in their own ways. Our education system needs to reward original thinking, creativity, and critical reasoning. These actually develop aptitude far more than simply memorising cold hard facts from a textbook. Our curricula in schools and colleges need to inspire students to explore and challenge commonly held beliefs. Our testing and grading schemes need to built to recognise real aptitude instead of memory. We need more competent teachers and need to make teaching jobs more attractive in terms of pay and benefits to those wanting to become teachers. We need quality checks in place wherein a standard of teaching is maintained across all boards, states, and universities. With the rise in technological advances in the country, India is correctly embracing technology. Many e-learning smartphone apps, websites, TV channels, radio shows etc have propped up in the last few years making education reach far and wide, even in areas without educational infrastructure. We must focus on producing innovators, artists, thinkers, scientists, writers, and entrepreneurs who help establish a knowledge-based economy. We need to personalise education since ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. People are different and inadvertently have different aptitudes and abilities. If education is effectively decentralised and teachers are given a degree of freedom in terms of curriculum and methods of teaching, then education can be more personalised for students. If we are able to affect these changes in the Indian Education System then India would become a beacon of enlightenment once again.

We need to focus on

imparting skills rather than knowledge of factual data in schools and universities. Skills stay for a lifetime for a radical transformation of the educational system with an increased focus on science, technology, and moral values. Broadly based on a document called “A challenge of education a perspective” laid by then Education Minister in Parliament in 1985, the new education policy stands at a stalemate today with neither expansion nor changes in place. The New Education Policy called for a National System of Education in which all students, regardless of caste, creed, race, sex, or location would have equal access to education. The policy introduced other progressive changes like removing female illiteracy and making it compulsory for institutions to hire female teachers. The government launched the Navodaya Vidyalaya in 1985-86 to quality education accessible even in rural areas. At present, there are 400+ Vidyalayas in the country. Revised in 1992, the National Policy on Education (NPE) aimed at achieving 10 per cent diversion at the +2 level towards vocational streams and over 25 per cent by 2000. Set up in 1990, the Joint Council for Vocational Education ( JCVE) was established for policy formulation and coordination at the national level. It envisaged completely free and compulsory education for all children below the age of 14 years. The government even committed to spending 6 per cent of its GDP on education. The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) was established to develop policies and programmes with each state having a counterpart called State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT). India even saw the rise of Open Universities that were initiated to augment opportunities for higher

education. IGNOU – Indira Gandhi Open University was established in 1985. Present Day Presently, the educational system in India is provided by both private and public sectors. As stated in the articles of the Indian constitution, children between the ages of 6 and 14 should be provided free and compulsory education. The progress India has made in primary education is noteworthy. Attendance and literacy rates have been expanded to 75 per cent of the population between the ages 7-10. Cited as one of the main contributors to its recent economic growth, India’s improved education system has made tremendous progress in scientific research and higher education. Higher education enrolment has seen a steady growth in the past decade. With the Gross Enrolment Ratio reaching 24 per cent, there is still a lot left to be done. Illiteracy still is a challenge faced and it’s not going to be resolved anytime soon unless there are major overhauls in the educational and public policies. India’s large private schooling system runs in conjunction with the state-funded and state-run government schools. The Indian education market is already a multi-billion dollar industry and is expected to grow exponentially in the future. While the quality of education in India remains lackadaisical, it is noteworthy that according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012, 96.5 per cent of all rural children between the ages 6-14 were enrolled in school. India has seen a 19 per cent increase in girls enrolment since 2002. India’s higher education system is a seat based system wherein a certain number of admission tickets are reserved for certain sections of

the population while the general seats are given on basis of merit albeit merit in today’s competitive day and age means having a 99 per cent admission cut off. Challenges Even though India is producing the most number of qualified engineers, doctors, and lawyers every year, certain challenges are yet to be addressed. With the rise in population, the competition has increased and so have the eligibility criteria for those seeking higher education after school. With limited seats and increasing number of applicants every year, college admissions have become frustrating and challenging for many. With prestigious institutions setting unrealistic cut-offs for admitting students, good colleges are becoming less accessible to average students. While competitiveness fosters the growth of talent and skills, it has mostly encouraged rote learning since most of the examinations expect students to rote memorise theories and concepts and recall the same during testing. We test memory instead of skills. How well a student memorises the solutions to problems determines how well the student scores in the competitive examinations. We haven’t deviated from the colonial pattern of education that produces employees rather than professionals. While there are prestigious institutions that encourage ingenuity, creativity, and critical thinking, there are a thousand others that don’t. Creating more schools and colleges isn’t a viable solution since the quantity isn’t the issue, it’s the quality. Students often find themselves becoming victims of societal pressures, peer pressures, pop culture, and parental expectations, they inadvertently end up joining the mindless rat race in the pursuit of happiness in the

04 Delhi Public Library

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Delhi Public Library

Serving Book Lovers Since 1951 Founded as an autonomous organisation in 1951, the Delhi Public library is one of Delhi’s finest and best public library systems

Quick Glance The Delhi Public Library is the busiest library in South Asia The library is operated under the country’s Public Library Act 1954 The Ministry of Culture funds the Delhi Public Library



tarted as a pilot project sponsored by UNESCO and the Union Ministry of Culture, Delhi Public Library was founded on October 27, 1951. It is a fully autonomous organization that was inaugurated in the presence of former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in a small hall in front of Old Delhi Railway Station. However, its circle increased with the time and today the Delhi Public Library is one of Delhi’s finest and best public library systems in the city. It also organizes lectures, discussions, seminars and exhibitions. In addition to its notable activities, besides providing books to the prisoners and the blind people there is a moving library in buses which is free to the public. Not only in the whole country but it is the busiest library in South Asia. It runs entirely on the Indian government’s expenditure. There are no such places of Delhi where you will not find the branch of Delhi Public Library. Since 1995, all the Valuable reference of the entire computerized library has been preserved in the CD by UNESCO.

This library is operated under the country’s Public

Library Act 1954. It is famous for giving free books to the residents of Delhi The network of Delhi Public Library is spread in many ways, including the Zonal Library, Branch Library and the Sub-branch Library, along with RC Library, Community Library, Deposit Center, Mobile Library, Braille Library etc. There are more than three million books in Hindi, English, Urdu and other languages in this library. This library is operated under the country’s Public Library Act 1954. It is famous for giving free books to the residents of Delhi. The distribution of books is its main work and hence its branches are opened in every area of Delhi. It also organizes many cultural activities as well as giving books to children. The prisoners also have much more interest in subscribing to this library. In Old Delhi, it used to be a small library, which has become the

country’s premier library today. It covers the entire city. It consists of a central library, a regional library, 3 branch libraries, 25 sub-branch libraries, 5 community libraries, 14 libraries set up in unauthorized colonies, 1 Braille library, 60 moving library and 23 deposit centre libraries. It has crores in budgets which is provided by the Ministry of Culture of Central Government. Millions of readers have been connected to this library which started in 1951, on SP Mukherjee Marg. The number of its registered members is in thousands. In this, books, encyclopedia, dictionaries, newspapers, magazines, etc. are available for reference. It is used by researchers, writers, students, journalists, scholars and general readers. Photocopy facility is also available for readers here. About

five hundred employees work in this library. Book Advisory Committee recommends buying books here. Books of different topics and different languages are bought on the same recommendation. All books are provided to the readers. Books have been provided specially for children below the age of 15 in this library. Its membership is also several thousand. In Zonal branches, Sarojini Nagar library was the first one established in 1985. Children’s branches are also available on Patel Nagar and SP Mukherjee Marg. Sarojini Nagar Library is very popular in South Delhi. According to the languages, there are books in 16 languages which include Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Hindi, English etc. Its reading room is best built where people are busy getting information from books, magazines and newspapers throughout the day. Books related to music, dance, social studies, and literature, are in abundance, while different references have also been made for Naturopathy and Homoeopathy. It also hosts Debate competition once a year for the students, where children, schoolchildren and youth, as well as physically challenged members, are given preference. Apart from their Book depository society they also get books from Deposit collection societies and RWA association which are made available to the members. In 1994, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has nominated it as a Depository Library. CNN-IBN has also made a film about the library.

November 06 - 12, 2017

Delhi Public Library


delhi public library founder’s day

Ghar-Ghar Dastak Ghar-Ghar Pustak launched on Founder’s Day The Delhi Public Library’s Founder’s Day Function was held at its headquarters with the launch of the ‘Ghar-Ghar Dastak Ghar-Ghar Pustak’ program

Quick Glance 22 employees were rewarded for excellent work in their field The Ghar-Ghar Dastak, Ghar-Ghar Pustak program is a yearlong campaign



he founder’s day function of the Delhi Public Library was held on October 30 at Central Library Hall of Library Headquarter, near Old Delhi Railway Station. Poster of Library membership drive was also released in the program. The campaign will take place from 30th October 2017 to 30th October 2018. Ghar-Ghar Dastak, Ghar-Ghar Pustak program is going on from this library in Delhi. In the function as the chief guest, former Lok Sabha MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was present as a special guest, presided by the former Rajya Sabha MP Dr Mahesh Chandra Sharma. On this

occasion, Dr Ramsharan Gaur, Chairman of Delhi Public Library Board and Dr Lokesh Sharma, Director General of Library were present. Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that library has special significance in the development of the city and society. The responsibility is being excellently done by the Delhi Public Library. He recalled his old days and told that he was associated with this library since 1958. On this

occasion, he also released a poster of library membership program. This year, 22 employees were also rewarded for excellent work in their field. He appreciated the work being carried out by the library. Invited as a special guest, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak said that as time is changing so the way of the sources of knowledge like the internet, the e-book are in the trend but the importance of the library will always be there. He

Founder’s Day celebrations at the Delhi Public

Library were nothing short of magnificent with the launch of special programmes and campaigns

A Poster of the Library membership drive was also released

said that the books are everlasting and it is easy to read in every situation whenever we want. So keeping the books in the library is also a difficult task in itself. This work is being done perfectly by the Delhi Public Library, it should be definitely appreciated. Finally, the Director-General of the Library, Dr Lokesh Sharma, thanked everyone and called for more emphasis on activities of the library. The program was concluded with Vande Mataram. On this occasion member of the Delhi Library Board and former Delhi Mayor Mahesh Sharma, Dr Malti, Mr Gaurishankar Bhardwaj and dignitaries of Delhi were present.

06 Vintagias

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uttar pradesh Vantagias

The Plight Of The Vantagia Long oppressed and discriminated against, the Vantagia community still faces challenges and UP CM, Yogi Adityanath, has promised them forthcoming changes Srawan Shukla


ven after 70 years of independence, they were deprived of their voting rights, ration cards, health services, benefits of government schemes, banking services etc. Used by Britishers for laying railway tracks, members of Vantagia community

Quick Glance Vantagias of Uttar Pradesh were treated as untouchables CM Yogi Adityanath is fighting for their rights He has vowed to develop Tilkonia village with personal funds

remained inaccessible to the mainland and without any identity since Independence. They were being treated as ‘untouchables’ and their voices were quelled whenever they demanded their legitimate rights for being citizens of India. The Vantagia community in Uttar Pradesh got the freedom at last when five of their villages were declared Revenue Villages by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has been fighting to restore their rights for the past over a decade. Like every year, Yogi Adityanath visited Tilkonia, a village of the Vantagia community located in the dense forest of Gorakhpur, on October 19 to celebrate Diwali with them. About 11 years ago, the Saffron Monk had adopted Tilkonia,

the Vantagia community village which was the most backward area in his parliamentary constituency of Gorakhpur. He had vowed to develop Tilkonia with his own funds. “When I had opened a school in the village about eight years ago, an FIR was lodged by the District Forest Officer (DFO) claiming that the school land belonged to the Forest Department and was being encroached upon,” Yogi recalled. Now about 300 students are studying in the same school set up by him. Comprising members of Scheduled Castes/Tribes and backward castes, Vantagia community was employed by the then British government for laying Railway tracks in late 18th century. Since laying railway track

was a major project involving a huge investment, the British government had started the ‘begaari pratha’. Instead of paying wages, they gave forest land on lease to these families to earn their livelihood. Ironically, they were deliberately allotted lands for farming in dense forest which had little access to the mainland so that those doing the ‘begaari’ (work without wages) for British government never raise their heads “Our forefathers had been fighting for their status and legal rights since 1920. The British government never kept any record of lands allotted to our ancestors. As a result, when India got independence, we became citizens without any identity. The forest department would treat

November 06 - 12, 2017

us encroachers and subsequent governments refused to include our villages in their revenue records. For the past 70 years, we have been living in no-man’s land without citizenship,” rued Ram Ganesh Nishad, Chief of Tilkonia village of Vantagia community. Due to lack of irrigation facility and continuous harassment by the Forest department, majority Vantagia community members, including women, got involved in making hooch to earn their livelihood. “Since the area falls under dense forest, it was the easiest trade to earn some money for running the family without being caught,” pointed Shambhu. Except for Yogi Adityanath, not a single minister or official ever visited this village, which was cut off from Gorakhpur. Members of Vantagia community in Tilkonia recalled that initially, Yogi Adityanath had faced many impediments in making attempts to develop the village. Since the village was not on the map of revenue records, he was not allowed to bring any government schemes to the village. Then BJP MP had sent many letters and reminders to then Mulayam, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav governments for declaring five Vantagia villages within his parliamentary constituency (Gorakhpur) but none of them showed any interest. “These governments represented Dalits and backwards but they

had no time for Vantagias who were almost ostracized from the society for the past seven decades,” fumed Ram Bhual, a village elder. Yogi Adityanath had been promising the Vantagia community members that whenever BJP government comes to power, it will not only include these five villages under revenue records but ensure their voting rights, development and benefits of all government welfare schemes. “After he became the Chief Minister we thought that like any other politician, Yogi Adityanath will also forget his promise. We also had serious doubts about him visiting our village this Diwali, a ritual he has been doing for the past 11 years. Our children had threatened not to celebrate Diwali and go on hunger strike if he did not come to celebrate the festival with us,” said Shiv Rani. But despite his busy schedule, the Chief Minister did not forget his promise and visited Tilkonia on Diwali. Knowing his penchant for cleanliness, the village was properly broomed and decked up with diyas. Yogi Adityanath distributed sweets, school bags and gifts to

Even though the Vantagias face many hurdles in

society, CM Yogi Adityanath has kept his promise to develop their community

The Vantagia community was ostracized from society for 70 years. Yogi Adityanath is changing that



children and celebrated Diwali with members of Vantagia community much to their joy. On the occasion, he announced to declare five Vantagia villages in Gorakhpur as Revenue Villages. “Despite representing Dalits and backwards, no previous governments ever paid any attention to miseries of Vantagia villages. After these five villages, my government will include 18 more Vantagia villages of neighbouring Maharajganj into revenue records,” he announced. “Now these villages will have 18 hours of power supply and benefits of all government schemes,” the Chief Minister promised to remind community members to use their franchise in 2019 Lok Sabha polls as he has already ordered for the inclusion of their names into the electoral rolls. The Chief Minister has directed the health department to open a primary health centre. He also directed to issue ration cards and launch other government welfare schemes in these villages. On the occasion, the Union minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said that soon the village will have a branch of State Bank of India. “Though the country got independence 70 years ago but Vantagia community tasted the freedom for the first time thanks to sustained efforts by Yogi Adityanathji,” said the Union minister. “We hope that the Chief Minister’s announcement would put an end to our miseries we having been facing for almost a century,” hoped Shiv Kali. “Today we can proudly say that we are also citizens of India,” reacted Ram Ganesh Nishad.

08 Mushroom Man Pradeep Modak


ushroom cultivation has been gaining widespread popularity across Bihar especially among the below poverty line (BPL) people. The cultivation of this protein-rich vegetable has become a new source of income for families with a poor economic background in most parts of the state. The passion for mushroom cultivation has not developed in a day or two but this is the outcome of persistent efforts put in by some non-government organisations and individuals to teach the know-how of the cultivation to the eager and excited people. Sanjeev Kumar (52), a BTech grad from BIT, Sindri and the founder member of Systematic AgroBased Research Institute (SABRI) located in Nalanda-the home district of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has played a key role to spread techniques of mushroom cultivation across Bihar. Sanjeev thus far has trained more than 10000 people especially women belonging to downtrodden sections of the society on the process of cultivation of the high mineral and protein-rich vegetable in small space and earn profit from it. Detailing about his mission, SABRI director Sanjeev Kumar said: “Mushroom is a cash crop and it does not require agricultural land for its cultivation. One can undertake mushroom farming in a room or a hut. This is completely an indoor activity and most suited to women”. “This was the prime reason I started concentrating on mushroom cultivation and training the village women about the techniques of farming in huts”, he said. “Mushroom cultivation does not require huge capital investment. If a person has a spare room or hut within the boundary of his residence, he can start mushroom cultivation with a minimum investment of Rs 1000”, he said. “If you invest Rs 1200 to 1500 in a 10x12 feet room/hut, you can earn a profit of Rs 3000 to 3500 per month after deducting all your spending”, he said. “Mushroom cultivation has its added advantage as one can cultivate in crop cycle round the year. In the plains of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya

Helping the residents of

Bihar become selfsufficient by cultivating mushrooms, Sanjeev has been organizing training programmes across Bihar

November 06 - 12, 2017

bihar cultivation

Mushroom Man of Bihar

Gaining widespread popularity in Bihar, mushrooms are being cultivated and have become a new source of income Pradesh, the cultivation of oyster variety can be done easily”, he said. He said mushroom cultivation could be the source of income and employment for youth and women. He said mushroom cultivation could become an ideal alternative to agricultural waste management. “India is producing about 600 million tons of agricultural waste in a year and most of them were burnt in the farming land causing air pollution and damaging the soil productivity”, he said. “If we use 1 per cent of agricultural waste in mushroom farming then we can able to save most of the crores of people from malnutrition and also help build a healthy Bihar, he said. Scientists have already proved that the protein-rich mushroom is a complete food, he added. He said the large-scale cultivation of mushroom would lead to a new dimension in the social and economic development of Bihar and this would also change the agrarian economy. About his long journey in this filed, he said he started mushroom cultivation in 2002 under the aegis of National Research Centre for Mushroom (NRCM) which was later named as Directorate of Mushroom Research in Solan (Himachal Pradesh). He said he had done extensive publicity and arranged training for people with the help of agriculture department and Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in several

villages of Nalanda district. He said he had organized training programmes in more than a dozen districts of Bihar including Nalanda, Sheikhpura, Patna, Samastipur, Gaya and Nawada and educated more than 10000 women on mushroom cultivation. He said he also acquired more knowledge regarding the scientific production of mushroom in a 7-day short training programme organised at DRM Solan in 2008. Six women and 4 men participated in the advanced training programme from Bihar, he added. For his distinguished achievements, Sanjeev was awarded Kisan Shree by the Bihar government in the same year 2008. The award carries a cash award of Rs 1lakh and a citation. Bihar government has also made a 20-minute documentary film on Sanjeev capturing all aspects of his training and efforts to create a mass awareness on mushroom cultivation. The media in Bihar lovingly calls him Mushroom Man of Bihar. Besides extending on-field training to people

Quick Glance Sanjeev is the founder of Systematic Agro-Based Research Institute Sanjeev thus far has trained more than 10000 people especially women Mushroom is a cash crop that doesn’t require agricultural land to cultivate

belonging to Dalit and Maha Dalit sections of the society, Sanjeev is also keeping himself busy on his mission to popularize mushroom cultivation through radio and TV talks frequently. In the year 2005, Sanjeev established his own NGO named as Systematic AgroBased Research Institute (SBRI) which was registered under the Societies Registration Act in 2010 to give pep to his project. He said during his extensive training programme he found that mushroom “seeds” called spawn was the main cause of concern for cultivation. “I started producing spawn in my own base from 2010 and now I produce 65 kg in a day and sell it at a competitive price less than the other competitors in the market. “Mushrooms grow from spores -- not seeds -- that are so tiny you can’t see individual spores with the naked eye. Because the spores don’t contain chlorophyll to begin germinating (as seeds do), they rely on substances such as sawdust, grain, wooden plugs, straw, wood chips, or liquid for nourishment. A blend of the spores and these nutrients is called spawn. Spawn performs a bit like the starter needed to make sourdough bread”. “The spawn supports the growth of mushrooms’ tiny, white, threadlike roots, called mycelium. The mycelium grows first, before anything that resembles a mushroom pushes through the growing medium. The spawn itself could grow mushrooms, but you’ll get a lot better mushroom harvest when the spawn is applied to a substrate or growing medium. Depending on the mushroom type, the substrate might be straw, cardboard, logs, wood chips, or compost with a blend of materials such as straw, corncobs and nitrogen supplements”, he said. “It helps the grower very much and now I feel that I have to produce more spawns to meet the farmer’s demand”, he said. About the sale of the final product from villages, he said mushrooms are on heavy demand in urban areas due to its rich protein and mineral contents. “As the demand grows further, farmers fail to supply the product on time despite increasing their production capacity by manifolds”, he said. “There’s no need to be in the dark about growing mushrooms. These tasty chameleons of the food world are extremely healthy -- they are fat-free, low in calories, and filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients”, he concluded.

November 06 - 12, 2017



daman education

An Emerging Example Of Indian Schooling

Whenever the society and its people have lent hands in the work of government or administration, its success has been phenomenal

Praful Patel has enouraged the industry association to make it a part of its CSR activities

anand bharti


o matter how many schemes the government formulates, if there is no public participation in it, the prospect of its success is minimal. Whenever the society and its conscious people have lent hands in the work of government or administration, its success has been a 100 per cent. Similar signs of success are visible adjacent to Gujarat and Maharashtra – in the Union Territory of Daman. This Arabian Sea Island is like a paradise for tourists. Previously it was under the control of Portuguese. When Goa was freed from the Portuguese in 1961, Daman too became a part of India. Later in 1987, it got the status of a Union Territory. There is no own-government or legislative assembly in Daman. Administrators look after the district work. The population of Daman and Diu together is around 2.5 million of which 2 lakh alone comprise the former. The literacy rate is around 87 per cent. In a bid to boost the literacy rate further, an initiative of Administrator Praful Patel has encouraged an industry association to openly extend its helping hand. One can say that a government plan is receiving the support of corporate companies. The impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has started to increase. The discussion between the members of the association and the administrator came to a consensus and it was decided that apart from making schools up to VIII standard operational, Anganwadi should also be made worthy enough to ensure a secure future for small children. With this, Parents will also be able to

Quick Glance The population of Daman and Diu together is around 2.5 million The literacy rate in the islands is around 87 per cent The primary schools in Daman have been modernised

In a bid to boost the literacy rate, an initiative of Administrator Praful Patel has encouraged an industry association to extend its helping hand

properly run their livelihood. So far, the condition of the premises of the schools of Daman was very pitiable. The buildings were torn apart, there were no toilets, and if there were, they had no water supply. There were no proper walls and boundaries. The roofs too dripped during rain. They lacked all characteristic to be a school of any manner. Therefore the children too lost their aptitude. Parents were trying to get their children to go to private schools so that they could get good jobs by attaining the proper education. But private schools also have their own limits. There were a plethora of issues in admitting such huge number of children. On the other hand, poor and ordinary families do not much money to afford admission in such schools. Though there are trained teachers in government schools, they did not have students. The poor infrastructure hurdled the learning environment. The administration tried several times to change this situation but due to some reason or other, it was delayed. Similar was the case of Anganwadi. So a few

months back when the Administrator spoke of the situation with Industry Association, CSR immediately came into play. An extraordinary thing about Daman is that its cultural life is immersed in various colours. Together you will witness European, Indian and traditional tribal elements in it. Here you can hear English, Hindi, Konkani, Gujarati along with the Portuguese language. Due to a spur in the number of North Indian labourers, their languages too are being spoken today. The tradition and custom have a Gujarati-effect to them. The people here used to do fisheries business but now they have surrendered to the increasing industrial factories. Institutes of training for them have also been opened. This work is being done at dual-level. On one hand, Anganwadi is being given a look and feel of that a home. The Prime Minister has named them ‘Nand Ghar’, i.e., every child should be seen as Krishna and he should get a guard like Nand so that he can be properly groomed. This way working parents will be able to

leave their children in these palanquin homes. All the arrangements for such children’s food etc. are being strengthened. These crib-homes or Nand Ghar are being decorated in such a way that the children feel at home. All the necessary means to keep the children occupied are being provided. These houses also function as a nursery school so that on taking admissions in schools, the children are up to the mark. These homes take care of children from the age of two to four years, implying that they get their basic education here only before going to school. According to the administrator Patel, “The Prime Minister has given it the name ‘Nand Ghar’, so our responsibility is to make it accordingly. Every parent should rest assured that their child is being given the ‘Krishna’ treatment. I discussed it with industry association and I am happy that it extended its hand owing it to its social responsibility.” It is noteworthy that there are 36 primary schools in Daman, where teaching takes place in two shifts. Most of those pitiable schools have been modernised and the remaining are being equally equipped. Fans, electricity, lights, restrooms, cleanliness – all facilities are being arranged. These schools are now leaving behind private schools in terms of education and convenience. The attraction here has also increased. The most important thing is that until now, the children who considered themselves to be lesser than those of private schools, are now boosted with confidence. They have grown an interest into studying and learning. The participation of the industry has helped improve the conditions of those schools and their internal structures. This has emerged as a big example today. It is expected that similar initiatives will be taken up in other states too. As well as, the tendency to look up to the government for the development of any part of the country will also end. Every competent man will try to find a solution to the problem of his society.

10 Good News

November 06 - 12, 2017

india world bank rankings

India Moves To Top 100 World Bank Rankings India is now in the top 100 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings from its previously held 130th position



ndia for the first time has moved into the top 100 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business global rankings from its 130th position last year, riding on sustained government reforms which include making tax -paying easier, according to the bank’s latest report released here on Tuesday. The World Bank Group’s latest report ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ recognises India as one of the top 10 improvers in this year’s assessment, though the report does not take into account the big bang reform of Goods and Services Tax (GST) which rolled out on July 1. “India has moved to 100th rank as a result of a number of reforms by the government. India is moving ahead in absolute ranking as well,” Annette Dixon, Vice President, South Asia region, told reporters earlier in the day. It will be only over a period of 1-3 years that the full impact of GST reform on ease of doing business can be assessed, she added. The report captures reforms implemented in 190 countries between the period June 2, 2016 to June 1, 2017. “India made paying taxes easier by requiring that payments are made electronically to the Employees Provident Fund and introducing a set of administrative measures easing compliance with corporate income tax,” the report stated. The report noted that India has adopted 37 reforms since 2003 with nearly half of these reforms having been implemented in the last four years. “India, with eight reforms, was one of this year’s top ten improvers worldwide and the leading regional performer. This is the first year that India is in the top 100 economies globally,” it said. Bhutan, in 75th place in doing business rankings, is the highest ranked economy in South Asia, followed by India (100) and Nepal (105). The region’s lowest ranked economies are Afghanistan (183) and Bangladesh

(177). Sri Lanka is at 111, Maldives at 136 and Pakistan is at 147 in the ease of doing business report. “India is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift. India’s score went from 56.05 in doing business to 60.76. This means last year India improved its business regulations in absolute terms - indicating that the country is continuing its steady shift towards best practice in business regulation,” the World Bank said in a statement. Dixon said, “Having embarked on a strong reform agenda to improve the

investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. “India performs well in the areas of protecting minority investors, getting credit and getting electricity. The country’s corporate law and securities regulations have been recognised as highly advanced, placing India in 4th place in the global ranking on protecting minority investors,” it said. The time to obtain an electricity connection in Delhi has dropped from 138 days four years ago to 45 days now, almost 20 days less than the 78 days

India is the only large country this year to have

achieved such a significant shift. India’s score went from 56.05 in doing business to 60.76 business improvement, the significant jump this year is a result of the Indian government’s consistent efforts over the past few years. It indicates India’s endeavour to further strengthen its position as a preferred place to do business globally.” This year, the indicators on which reforms were implemented in Delhi and Mumbai, the two cities covered by the report are: starting business, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority

average in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) high-income economies. While there has been substantial progress, India still lags in areas such as starting a business, enforcing contracts and dealing with construction permits, the report notes. The time taken to enforce a contract is longer at 1,445 days than it was 15 years ago. In starting a business, India has reduced the time needed to register a new business to 30 days now,

Quick Glance Reasons for the shift in rankings is sustained government reforms The reforms have made tax-paying easier (not including GST) India has adopted 37 reforms since 2003

from 127 days 15 years ago. However, the number of procedures is still cumbersome for local entrepreneurs who still need to go through 12 procedures to start a business in Mumbai. “Tackling these challenging reforms will be the key to India sustaining the momentum towards a higher ranking. To secure changes in the remaining areas will require not just new laws and online systems but deepening the ongoing investment in the capacity of states and their institutions to implement change and transform the framework of incentives and regulation facing the private sector,” Junaid Ahmad, Country Director India, World Bank said. Commenting on the World Bank’s report, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said, “The huge improvement in ranking and score will immediately boost investor sentiments. The latest report validates the commitment of the government to fast-tracking economic reforms, addressing red tapism and facilitating business. The surge in ranking by as much as 30 places is an outcome of key reforms including digitisation of processes, enhancing tax payment and access to credit.” “It is a matter of great pride that India has been named as among the top ten reforming economies in 201617 with as many as eight reform areas out of ten. In fact, India is well on its way to emerge as a global leader in protecting minority interests and is currently ranked 4th in the world.” Banerjee, however, rued that one of the most important reforms -- GST -has not been considered in this year’s report owing to cut off date.

November 06 - 12, 2017

healing forest

Treating Hearts With Forests

Aruni Bhatnagar, an Indian-born scientist is going to install a research laboratory to study the effect of green plantations on combating cardiovascular ailments

Good News


SBI Donates Rs 1.2cr SBI announced a donation to Queen Mary’s Techninical Institute for developing infrastructure for disabled soldiers

ssb bureau




ndian-born scientist Aruni Bhatnagar is all set to install a $14.50 million “unique urban laboratory” in the US that will study the effect of green plantations on combating cardiovascular diseases. His research interests include cardiovascular effects of environmental pollutants, atherosclerosis, injury from loss of blood to the heart muscle, cardiovascular complications of diabetes and sepsis. “We think trees might be more effective than statins in combating heart disease,” Bhatnagar told IANS on phone from Louisville, Kentucky. Bhatnagar’s work has led to the creation of the new field of environmental cardiology. A Lucknow University graduate with a bio-chemistry doctorate from the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), also in Lucknow, he is a professor and university scholar with Louisville’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology. He is also a fellow with the American Heart Association. The Green Heart project involves the University of Louisville, the Nature Conservancy, the Institute for Healthy Air, Land and Soil and other partners that will transform four South Louisville neighbourhoods, home to about 22,000 residents, with 8,000 trees and other plantings. Bhatnagar said the trees will not be

Quick Glance The “unique urban laboratory” is worth $14.50 million Bhatnagar’s work has created the field of environmental cardiology Researcher will track cardiovascular health of participants in response to greenery


While cardiovascular risks are

associated with lack of exercise and poor diets, soon, statins could be replaced by plants samplings but mature foliage which will make a difference right away. Trees, shrubs and other plants will be placed where they can best soak up lung-damaging air pollution within the study area. Researchers will track the health of about 700 residents to ascertain cardiovascular response to the plantation. He said green spaces breathe in their own way, taking up the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide while creating life-sustaining oxygen. While trees produce volatile organic compounds -- a source of ozone pollution -- they also absorb ozone and other pollutants and trap especially dangerous tiny particles. But “nobody has evaluated the specific health effects of planting green spaces”. He said the effect of plantation on human health where people’s health is monitored before, during and after a major tree plantation drive has not been studied so far. The health of people who live near the newly planted greenery will be compared to those who live elsewhere in the study area. “We are hopeful to see changes in a few years,” he said. “It’s like a drug

trial, with nature as the drug.” Bhatnagar said he and his team wanted to test whether giving someone a statin for cardiovascular management is better or worse than giving one green surroundings. In addition to studying cardiovascular health, researchers also plan to see if there are any changes in crime rates, stress, economics and other social-psycho outcomes. Some studies suggest trees can help in those areas, too. He said the Louisville research can be a potential game-changer in fighting heart disease. “Though heart disease rates have been coming down, the rate has slowed and flattened out in the recent past. That’s why we thought we need to try something different,” he explained. So far research has identified poor diet and lack of exercise with heart risk. We haven’t studied the impact of the environment in preventing or managing the cardiovascular situation in the urban population. About 70 percent of heart disease is preventable but it still accounts for the largest cause of deaths, Bhatnagar added.

he State Bank of India (SBI) announced a donation of Rs 1.2 crore to the Queen Mary’s Technical Institute in Pune for upgrading its training infrastructure for disabled soldiers. The SBI’s local Head Office and the Indian Army signed an MoU on Tuesday in Mumbai to ensure end-use of the amount. The QMTI - an associate of the Indian Army - will also use the funds for purchasing a modified bus for the disabled soldiers trained there. In its centenary year, the QMTI engages in imparting vocational training to disabled soldiers to enable their dignified rehabilitation. It was first founded in Mumbai in May 1917 by Lady Marie Willingdon, wife of then Governor of Bombay, Major Freeman Freeman-Thomas. In 1922, the QMTI was shifted to a spacious 17-plus acres campus at Khadki on Pune outskirts. Since inception, it has imparted training to differently abled ex-servicemen rendered unfit for armed force service due to medical reasons and in-service personnel undergoing prolonged medical treatment for severe disabilities in suitable vocational trades. Classified ad

12 Karamveer Award

November 06 - 12, 2017

Karamveer Award

Sulabh Dham is torch bearer of cleanliness

Dr Pathak and Dr Lari Azad were honoured with the Karamveer Award

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak receiving the Karamveer award

priyanka tiwari


he inauguration of poetry book ‘Karamveer’ and Karamveer Sammelan Samaroh were organized at Dr BP Pal Auditorium Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, by the Nagrik Swablamban and Swabhiman Vikas Parishad. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of the Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement and Dr Lari Azad, founder of All India Poets Conference, was honoured with Karamveer Award in this function. The award consisted of a cheque of Rs. 1 lakhs, angavastra, coconut, citation and a memento. The other guests present on

Quick Glance

Dr Pathak has honoured the ancient spiritual ideology of India by working through modern humanism

the stage and in the auditorium too were honoured with a memento. Along with this, Dr Hari Vilas Chaudhary Shakti Bodh’s poetry book ‘Karamveer’ was launched by Dr Pathak and Dr Lari Azad. Prof Ram Badan Singh, Chancellor, Central Agricultural University Imphal, Dr Hiranand Pandey, Director of Agriculture Kasturba Gandhi Trust Indore, Dr Ramlakhan Mishra former

Coordinator, All India Flower Science Project and Dr Shakti Bodh, Chairman, Nagrik Swablamban and Swabhiman Vikas Parishad were present on the occasion. Sulabh Dham is torch bearer of cleanliness - Dr Shakti Bodh Dr Shakti Bodh said that today they are among multi-faceted people. They have

The Karamveer Sammelan Samaroh was organized in Delhi Dr Shakti Bodh’s poetry book ‘Karamveer’ was launched The award consisted of a cheque, angvastra, coconut and memento

come from different regions of the country, whose inspiration was Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. We welcome and congratulate him. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s desire for human service and the well being of others had given birth to Sulabh campaign, through which the countless people of the society have got the opportunity to live equally. The condemned women of Tonk have been

November 06 - 12, 2017

The launch ceremony of the poetry book Karmveer

released from their heinous-hateful jobs. Not only that, Dr Pathak has respectably rehabilitated to the neglected widows of Kashi-Vrindavan. Dr Pathak has honoured the ancient spiritual ideology of India through modern humanism. Dr Shakti Bodh said that just as Adi Shankaracharya established four Dham: Badrinath Dham, Dwarkadhish Dham, Rameshwaram Dham and Jagannath Puri Dham in the country, for the spiritual awakening of the people, in the same way, Dr Pathak has established the Sulabh Dham in Delhi, India. This abode of cleanliness & hygiene ‘Sulabh’ is a house of God. Along with this, it is a torchbearer of cleanliness & hygiene, which has spread the message of cleanliness around the world. Dr Pathak, foremost flag bearer of hygiene, put in at par with those great figures of India, who have dedicated their lives to the national interest with their multi-faceted talents. At the same time, Dr Lari Azad Sahab has done commendable work for the intellectual upliftment of women. We express gratitude and welcome him for his work. He said that Dr Lari is active in social and cultural activities while engaged in teaching work. In 2000, the global institution AIPC for the upliftment of women was started by him. Along with this Azad has written many books on Indian history, one of which - ‘Religion and Politics in India during the Seventh Century’ is known internationally. Along with this, Dr Azad has been associated with many top-level literary organizations for the enrichment of literature and has been honoured by those institutions. The way in which Swami Vivekananda represented India at the Chicago Parliament of religion in 1892, it is a coincidence that in the same way 100 years later, with the message of Indian culture, Dr Lari Azad emerged as another Vivekananda. Today, on this auspicious day, Nagrik Swablamban and Swabhima Vikas Parishad are feeling proud by honouring these great workers. Along with this, he expressed his gratitude to other guests present on the forum.

Karamveer Award

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak addressing the audience at the ceremony

This abode of cleanliness & hygiene ‘Sulabh’ is a

house of God and it is a torchbearer of cleanliness and spreading its message around the world Sulabh called as Sulabh Dham is the biggest award - Dr Pathak It is a matter of great pride and delight for me that Dr Shakti Bodh gave us a historical name along with an award today, which I never thought about. Our Sulabh village is the most beloved and Dr Shakti Bodh has addressed our Sulabh village as a ‘Dham’ in front of the four Dhams of Shankaracharya, for which I am very thankful to him. For me, this is the best honour for Sulabh to be called ‘Sulabh Dham’. Dr Pathak devoted prize money of Rs one lakh to the organization’s development works. Dr Pathak said that Goddess Saraswati resides on the tongue of Dr Lari. I enjoy listening to him since I met him. Saraswati resides in very few people. When God created the universe, he did not make it equal but rather diverse. You will see that in this world there is happiness and misery, rich and poor, rivers and mountains, flowers and thorns. God has made all kinds of things. The universe has been created by conspiracies and we have to work between these conspiracies. He said that in the society, the mother and sister should get the utmost honour. I agree with Dr Lari on this. It is difficult to change the society, so I found it advisable to work with society to bring changes. We are followers of Gandhi but we follow him wisely. I left Gandhi’s food and clothing but followed his principals. Any person who knows how to help others is Gandhian. He said that all the people present in the forum and the auditorium have their own contribution. Dr Ram Badan arranged for food and things after the lunch I have arranged. It is important to solve the problems of society. Most people discuss the problems but don’t try to find the solution by saying that the government will solve it, but


I have solved the social problems by myself. It takes patience to change society. Society cannot be changed by arrogance, anger. Dr Pathak said that when you help others, God Himself helps you. Patriarchal society ignored women power- Dr Lari Azad Dr Lari said in his speech that I am feeling small today because today I am sitting with those who have influenced me to move on this path forward. The council made me sit next to them today and blessed me. I am feeling proud of this because we have not seen Gandhi. Gandhi’s thoughts are in our veins, but we have seen Dr Pathak as Gandhi. He is Gandhi for us. My place is not next to Dr Pathak but in his feet. Simultaneously, he thanked Dr Shakti Bodh for the Karamveer Award and dedicated the amount of one lakh given as a reward to the Nagrik Swavlamban and Swabhiman Vikas Parishad for their next work. He said that I am grateful to the Council and Shakti Bodh ji for the respect I have received today. Dr Lari said that Gandhi, Kabir and Buddha never received any award or prize. They did their duty, just like we are doing our duty. I am not working for any award or honour, but it is my duty towards my country and society.He said that men like us have denied powers to women. We recognized Meera as a poetess but forgotten Vidyotama, though she played a vital role in making Kalidasa a Sanskrit scholar. Men like us never gave chance to the women power to move forward. Foreigners have always conspired against us taking the credit of the findings done by us while rejecting us completely. About 18 years ago, when I told Dr Pathak about the setting up All India Poetess Conference, he wrote me a

letter stating that this is a great thought and I am with you. Then I got encouragement to pursue this work and established AIPC. Under this, women are given an opportunity to refine their talents. In the end, he said addressing everyone that the coming generation will feel proud that we all have seen Dr Pathak and have heard him. He said that whenever the name of social reformers will be written in the history of India, Dr Pathak’s name will be the first. Karamveer awardees are the inspiration for the world- Prof Ram Badan Singh At the end of the ceremony, Padma Vibhushan Prof Ram Badan Singh, Chancellor, Central Agricultural University, Imphal in his presidential address said that I express gratitude to the Nagrik Swablamban and Swabhiman Vikas Parishad and Dr Shakti Bodh that they have given us the opportunity to come to this Karamveer Samman Samaroh. With this, he said that India has been leading in the whole world due to its cultural values and humanity. This inspiration leads to holistic development in public opinion. Like Bahujan Samaj, Bahujan Sukhaya - Bahujan Hitiya, Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas, we spread this in today’s language, this is our heritage. Fortunately, the two Karamveers are present. You are the inspiration of India. We wish you all to continue the development and take India to the new level of development with your hard work. I am thankful to you for giving me the privilege of sitting next to Dr Pathak today. Your social work and entrepreneurial spirit are famous all over the world. Your Sulabh Hygiene and Social Reform Movement gave direction to millions of people. By changing the mindset of the people you have taken India’s development forward for that I am thankful to you. Along with this, I congratulate Dr Lari for his work, done in the fields of women development in the world. You have also inspired the country as well as the whole world to think and improve in the field of women’s development.

14 Health

November 06 - 12, 2017

narendra modi on lifestyle


PM Modi Urges for Healthy Lifestyle

Measles Rubella Vaccination

Expressing concerns over the trend of children being diagnosed with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, PM Modi urged families to maintain a healthy lifestyle

The measles-rubella vaccination campaign will be organized in Uttarakhand to eliminate measles and control rubella SSB Bureau


he Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry started its measles rubella vaccination campaign in Uttarakhand, hoping to target more than 28 lakh children across 13 districts of the state, an official statement said. B e i n g conducted with the support of World Health Organisation and Unicef, the vaccination drive is part of the second phase of the campaign to eliminate measles and control rubella or congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020. “This largest ever vaccination campaign worldwide aims to cover approximately 41 crore children in the age group of nine months to less than 15 years of age,” Unicef said, adding that they will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine. “Following the campaign, MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunisation and will replace measles vaccine, currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age,” Unicef said. The first phase of measles-rubella vaccination campaign was launched in February this year by the Ministry in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. More than 3.3 crore children were vaccinated, reaching out to 97 per cent of the intended age group, it said. The second phase of the vaccination drive was launched in August in eight states and Union Territories and is going on in seven of them. These form the target for this phase, with the Ministry aiming to cover 3.4 crore children. The measles-rubella campaign marks the introduction of the rubella vaccine in India’s childhood immunisation programme for the first time. Rubella is a mild infection but can have serious consequences if it occurs in pregnant women.



rime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns over children diagnosed with lifestyle diseases like diabetes and urged families to maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing regular physical activities and yoga. “Diseases that would earlier occur in old age only are now catching up with children. I get shocked to learn that children are also getting diabetic. The main reason for such diseases at such a young age is less physical activities and change in our eating habits,” Modi said in his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’. The programme also included a phone call from a listener Partha Shah who mentioned about the World Diabetes Day to be observed on November 14, which is also celebrated in India as “Children’s Day” marking the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. The listener, who was

microbiome gut

intestinal Microbiome Linked To PTSD A study confirmed the link between intestinal bacteria and later development of PTSD in response to traumatic events IANS


ntestinal bacteria could hold clues to whether or not an individual will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a traumatic event, finds a study.

a doctor by profession, asked Modi what should be done to fight the challenge of diabetes among children. In his reply, Modi urged families to make sure that their children remain physically active, their indoor activities are limited and they indulge in outdoor activities. “Families should make their children play out in the open. If possible, elders should also go out with their children to play in the open. Instead of using elevators, children should be asked to use staircases. After having dinner, f a m i l i e s

PTSD is a serious psychiatric disorder that can develop after a person experiences a life-threatening trauma. The findings showed that individuals with PTSD had significantly lower levels of a combination of three bacteria – Actinobacteria, Lentisphaerae and Verrucomicrobia – compared to traumaexposed control groups. Individuals who experienced trauma during their childhood also had lower levels of two of these bacteria Actinobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. “Individuals who experience childhood trauma are at higher risk of developing PTSD later in life, and these changes in the gut microbiome possibly occurred early in life in response to childhood trauma,” said lead researcher Stefanie Malan-Muller, postdoctoral student at

Quick Glance The PM expressed his concern on radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ He believes that families should encourage physical fitness Yoga is a very viable alternative to outdoor exercises

should make an effort to go for a walk with their children.” Modi said the ‘Yoga for Young India’ programme could be helpful for young to maintain a healthy lifestyle and fight lifestyle diseases.“Yoga is easy to do, simple and convenient. People of any age can do it easily and anywhere,” t h e Prime Minister said. According to an Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism study published in 2015, India was home to an estimated 97,700 children suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus.

the Stellenbosch University, South Africa. One of the known functions of these bacteria is immune system regulation, and researchers have noted increased levels of inflammation and altered immune regulation in individuals with PTSD. “We therefore hypothesise that the low levels of those three bacteria may have resulted in immune dysregulation and heightened levels of inflammation in individuals with PTSD” Malan-Muller added. Factors influencing susceptibility and resilience to developing PTSD are not yet fully understood, and identifying and understanding all these contributing factors could in future contribute to better treatments, especially since the microbiome can easily be altered with the use of prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics, the researchers suggested.

November 06 - 12, 2017

stroke air pollution

Air Pollution Can Cause Strokes

Continued exposure to polluted air can damage the inner linings of veins and arteries leading to strokes

Quick Glance


hiv vaccine

Vaccine Inspires Hope The novel experimental vaccine spurs animals to produce antibodies against HIV sugars that act as shields for the virus SSB Bureau

Cases of younger people developing strokes have surfaced


esearchers have designed a novel experimental vaccine that spurs animals to produce antibodies against sugars that form a protective shield around human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the body. The molecule could one day become part of a successful HIV vaccine, the researchers said. “An obstacle to creating an effective HIV vaccine is the difficulty of getting the immune system to generate antibodies against the sugar shield of multiple HIV strains,” said Lai-Xi Wang, professor at the University of Maryland. “Our method addresses this problem by designing a vaccine

Nearly 15 million people annually suffer a stroke worldwide Fragments of dead cells increase with higher levels of pollution



s pollution levels deteriorate in the National Capital Region, health experts have warned that continuous exposure to polluted air has the potential to cause a stroke among adults. Alhough it was earlier believed that pollution only increased the risk of heart problems, it also possesses the capability to damage inner linings of veins and arteries. “In the current scenario, the situation is getting worse. Many young patients in the 30-40 age group suffer from stroke. We get around 2-3 patients almost every month. The number of young stroke patients has almost doubled as compared to last few years. Studies suggest major risk factors include soaring air pollution,” said Praveen Gupta, Director Neurology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram. Research bodies estimate that the number of fragments of dead cells in the bloodstream increased with higher levels of pollution. Polluted environment promote stroke incidences more pervasively and at an earlier stage than previously thought. Nearly 15 million people annually suffer a stroke worldwide, of which around six million die and five million are left with permanent disabilities such as loss of sight and speech, paralysis and confusion. On the occasion of World Stroke Day, October 29, the experts emphasised


that indoor air pollution caused by combustion of solid fuels is equally contributing to the stroke burden in the society. On an average, the internal air pollution in Indian rural homes exceeds the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms by 20 times. “Women inhaling the household fumes are at a 40 per cent higher risk of getting a stroke. The reason being the carbon monoxide and particulate matter from burning solid fuels tend to reduce the levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein). This in turn prevents the removal of LDL (low density lipoprotein) from the body leading to hardening of the arteries,” said Jaideep Bansal, head neurologist at Saroj Super Speciality Hospital. He added that the rise in the levels of LDL, or harmful fat, thereby raises the risk of a clot, blocking blood supply to the brain and causing stroke. More than 90 per cent of the global stroke burden is linked to modifiable risk factors, of which internal air pollution

Not only air

pollution but also indoor pollution contributes to the development of strokes due to higher concentrations of pollutants

tops the list. Other preventable factors include a diet low in fresh fruits and whole grain, outdoor air pollution, high BMI and smoking. The WHO states that 4.3 million people a year in India die from the exposure to household air pollution, which is among the highest in the world. Surveys show over 30 crore people in India use the traditional stoves or open fires to cook or heat their homes with solid fuels (coal, wood, charcoal, crop waste). Poor ventilation and such inefficient practices, especially in rural India, mean the smoke and ambient air in households exceeds the acceptable levels of fine particles by at least 100-fold. According to neurologists, recognisable symptomswill occur prior to getting a stroke attack which is often known as a mini-stroke. “Though it lasts only for a minute but certainly indicates the onset of a major stroke attack within 48-72 hours. Delay in treatment can lead to loss of 2 million neurons each minute. This happens due to the fact that the blood flow to certain parts of the brain is blocked by the clot formed due to inhalation of compounds like carbon monoxide and particulate matter,” said Atul Prasad, Director and Senior Neurology Consultant at BLK Super Specialty Hospital.

component that mimics a proteinsugar part of this shield,” Wang added, in the paper published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology. The team designed a vaccine candidate using an HIV protein fragment linked to a sugar group. The protein fragment comes from gp120 -- a protein that covers HIV like a protective envelope, bolstering HIV’s defenses. When injected into rabbits, the vaccine candidate stimulated antibody responses against the sugar shield in four different HIV strains. The rare HIV-infected individuals who can keep the virus at bay without medication typically have antibodies that attack gp120, the researchers noted. “This result was significant because producing antibodies that directly target the defensive sugar shield is an important step in developing immunity against the target and therefore the first step in developing a truly effective vaccine.


November 06 - 12, 2017

amitabh kant CEO, NITI Aayog


Waterways, the cheapest mode of transport Roll-On Roll-Off Ferry services to save not only the time of travel but cost as well

impact of

Technology On Education Technology and Education are deeply interconnected


echnology and Education are deeply interconnected. This has happened irrevocably with the advent of technologies like high speed internet, video calling, e-learning etc. With technology so far rooted into the educational atmosphere in today’s day and age, we must analyse its impact. As technology was gradually embraced by institutes of education, we realized how vital technology has become. It has taken education to a completely different trajectory. They are a visionary combination that can be implemented well. Learning tools are available at one’s fingertips now that educators, students, and parents have a variety of options available. Some of the ways technology can benefit education: Collaboration and sharing of ideas and resources: With instant communication becoming the preferred medium, teachers can collaborate with their students, check up on progress, refine work among other things. Development of Research Skills: Technology gives students the access to a plethora of information that is useful and of good quality that not only facilitates learning but also encourages thorough research and learning. E-Learning is now viable: With instant video communication technologies, students and teachers can interact face to face without being physically present at one location. Technology brings a certain expanse and flexibility to education that is unparalleled.


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:,


rime Minister Narendra Modi’s launch of the first of its kind, state of the art Ro-Ro Ghogha-Dahej and subsequently Hazira project (in phase-2) marks the beginning of a radical transformation of the transportation and logistics sector in India. The logistic costs in India are extremely high and tapping the full potential of waterways will provide a huge impetus to movement of people, goods, commodities and vehicles. By reducing cost and time this will have an immensely beneficial impact on India’s manufacturing and exports. For example, the highly challenging infrastructure project of RoRo ferry plying the Gulf of Khambhat between peninsular Saurashtra and South Gujarat will reduce the time of travel from 8 hours to a mere 1 hour and the distance would be reduced to 31 km from the current distance of 360 km. India has nearly 14,500 km of navigable Inland Waterways and around 7,517 Km of coastline, which on being developed effectively for transportation purpose, shall help decongest roads and rail networks and offer multiplier effect to the overall economic development of regions. Coastal shipping and inland water transport are fuel efficient, environment friendly and cost effective modes of transportation, especially for bulk goods. Emissions from container vessels range from 32-36 g CO2 per ton-km while from heavy duty road transport vehicles it ranges from 51-91g CO2 per ton-km. Also the road transportation on average costs Rs. 1.5 per ton-km, for railways it is Rs. 1.0 per ton-km, for waterways it would be 25 to 30 paisa per ton-km only. One litre of fuel can move 24 ton-km cargo through road transport and 85 ton-km through rail transport, while it can move as much as 105 tonkm through water transport. These figures strengthen the assertion that waterway offers a much more economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation

vis-à-vis surface transportation. Country can save $50 billion per year if logistics costs reduce from 14 per cent to 9 per cent of GDP. Reduced logistics costs would in return bring down prices of products. Out of total stretch of navigable inland waterways in India, nearly 5,200 Km (36%) of major rivers and around 485 Km (3%) of canals are conducive to the movement of mechanized vessels. Inland waterways provide several advantages over rail and road transportation by virtue of their operational cost effectiveness (60-80% lower per ton-km), lower environmental impact, convenient interoperability and fewer issues in relation to land acquisition and infrastructure development. Currently only 4,500 Km of inland waterways is being commercially utilized and waterways carry less than 1% of domestic cargo in India. Government’s objective has been to develop and operate inland waterways transportation by working towards harnessing this tremendous potential under National Waterways Act 2016. For the holistic development of India’s coastline, the Government has launched ‘Sagarmala’ program in March 2015 and a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the comprehensive development of India’s coastline has been prepared under it. Roll-on & Roll-off (“Ro-Ro”) waterways projects comprise of Ro-Ro ships/vessels which are designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers and railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their wheels or using a platform vehicle. It also comprises of jetties, with related port terminal and approach connectivity infrastructure. While passenger jetties are used solely to ferry passengers, RoRo jetties have built-in or have shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port. The Ro-Ro project in Gujarat will be able

Out of total stretch

of navigable inland waterways in India, a majority of canals are conducive to the movement of vessels

November 06 - 12, 2017

India has nearly 14,500

Km of navigable Inland Waterways and around 7,517 Km of coastline being developed for transportation purposes to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two terminals. Historically with limited alternatives available road transport in the region has always been congested and packed. Also as the Ro-Ro ferry operator have proposed fares which are at par with prevalent bus fares, the facility shall provide the much needed respite to the passengers in the region. In India, various Ro-Ro projects in Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala have the potential to fully open-up the vast potential of India’s interior areas which have been geographically disadvantaged. Linking up with waterways will transform this disadvantage into a massive advantage. One of the key attributes of the investment in water based transportation is that, unlike many land-based transport systems which require complex land acquisition, rights-ofway, resettlement and other issues, the water based transportation project proposal is a relatively straightforward initiative. It also steers clear of many legal, regulatory, social and environmental issues which normally affect other transport projects. Ro-Ro services are also planned to be implemented by Indian Railways on rails too. Indian Railways is launching Ro-Ro service in Bihar for cargo vehicles and in Tripura for petro product. In all these Ro-Ro projects the Government is simultaneously also planning and preparing itself for provision of concrete bridge infrastructure in due course as and when the traffic volume justifies the investment. The latest, World Bank report 2016, on Logistic Performance Index (“LPI”), now ranks India at 35thposition as against 54th rank it occupied in the previous report published in early 2014. In order to improve on its LPI ranking further, provisions of integrated mobility across different modes are being prioritized. It is also proposed to adopt superior standard engineering consultancy services and a suitable model for project implementation in order to optimally allocate risks and rewards among the stakeholders. With this the government shall be able to increase the efficacy of transport project implementation across the nation. As the Prime Minister said this will reduce India’s dependence on import of diesel and petrol and take India to a new trajectory of growth. It will create over one crore job opportunities and give a boost to tourism and transport sector.



Education And True Learning

mihir paul

Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

Education and Learning can be tools of self expression and personal growth. All it needs is a shift in perspective



ith the Indian National Education Day approaching, we all need to introspect what education really means. The Indian National Education day on November 11 honours the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Independent India’s first Education Minister. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was not only an iconic politician but also a prominent scholar, an accomplished writer, and a creative genius. He believed in progressive ideas and set out to implement them after he took office as Education Minister. He understood the value of education and realised that it is crucial for the development and growth of Independent India. His ideology of fellowship and human fraternity followed him into the office of the Education Ministry. He held the indivisible unity of man as highest above all other goals in one’s life. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s ideas and beliefs flowed into his actions. He completely restructured the Indian education system and not only introduced exceptional policies but

also implemented them efficiently. He essentially wanted the citizens of independent India to have the freedom to learn. He believed in the right to education. If we introspect and analyse the current Indian education system, can we see his vision alive today? Maybe not entirely. Maybe we have shifted our focus from the ‘freedom to learn’ and the ‘right to education’ over to ‘being told what to learn’ and that ‘education is necessary to survive in a competitive society’. We could get there but to get there we need to understand where we might be going wrong. We treat education as a rung in the societal

ladder rather than a tool for selfexpression and personal growth. If we were to treat Education as being granted an option to actually learn rather than simply receiving, memorising, recalling, and forgetting facts then we would start heading in the right direction. Our education system needs to converge its focus on encouraging experiential learning rather than rote memorisation of conceptual facts. It needs to focus on rewarding creativity, reasoning, and critical thinking skills. We need to focus on teaching students skills rather than concepts. And some of that is already happening with some institutions adopting a hands-on/practical/ real-world approach to education. If this model were to be replicated and implemented nationally, then surely we would be actually living a reality where Maulana’s vision is true. It would be a society where learning is free and accessible and a nation that truly is a beacon of enlightenment. We could become a source of true learning and creativity in the ever evolving world.

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r 05, 2017 | Price


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PM Narendra Modi spoke ry of on the third anniversa Swachh Bharat Mission

ent A Futuristic Developm s Plan For The underban On The Anvil

30 - Novembe | Issue-46 | October


` 5/-



month, The Sixth day of Karthik Chhathi we worship Goddess along with the Sun



sagar & Ishwar Chandra Vidya Raja Ram Mohan Roy s remarried, and now had dared to get widowhas done so Dr Pathak Quick Glance

SANJAY TRIPATHI organised at The wedding was in Vrindavan Gopinath Temple name is OURAGE’S second Pathak , Deep-Utsav for Sulabh also organised & Varanasi Bindes hwar have the widows of Vrindavan otherwise who could widow from the a that was thought The wedding ceremony moment phe could be Kedarnath catastro in marriage witnessed as a historic ceremoniously given ur that a woman with all the splendo make And ? gets in her first wedding d after 160 tragedy when Rakesh th Kedarna no mistake, it happene and happy life after l re-enactment of years as a historica onary work done gave her a new his life partner but to the socially revoluti Roy and Ishwar choosing her as thing remaining -by Raja Ram Mohan way back in the there was one family and society marry in front of and excitement. Chandra Vidyasagar enthusiasm year 1856! d in the with kind of extravagant marriages The Vinita was widowe country wasn’t a in that happen our It was an us. possibility for a court in done , anonymous marriageattended by the and temple, only It was just a families of the couple. accomplished. formality which wasthe last five years, Dr Pathak, a strong Rudraprayag, in for widows from became a place i and supporter of widow an along with Varanas Vrindav Banigram in remarriage, didn’t Uttarakhand. In Deoli r of Sulabh Rudraprayag, Founde want this Social Reform Sanitation and war Pathak revolutionary event Movement, Dr Bindesh of the the aid of the widows often to t came brough Pathak was that has congregation. Dr wellbeing and worried about the a 21-year-old social change to go livelihood of Vinita, village. When unnoticed widow from Sirwani


of her wedding, he he heard the news his happiness and couldn’t contain and her in-laws in went to visit her interacting with Uttarakhand. Whilst he found out Rakesh and his family,happened but that Vinita’s marriage without any without fanfare, ions. celebrat supporter of Dr Pathak, a strong didn’t want this ge, widow remarria that has brought revolutionary event unnoticed in the social change to go ity. After this, veil of anonym c, the marriage although symboli

on 16, October ceremony was held th Temple in 2017 in Gopinaelegance that was Vrindavan with an nation. Not noticed by the entirebut also foreign only national media to cover the present reporters were a political wedding. This wasn’t it the marriage of turmoil, nor was a catastrophic celebrities, not even was an event of a event or tragedy. It was given which social change, nce by Sulabh. historic significa e was held in When the marriagwidows from the Gopinath Temple,

newsmaker! Akshay Ruparelia, the teenage millionaire in UK has a very important message to give to middle-aged people like me! His story in your paper is a stern

reminder that it is neither age nor opulence nor experience that makes things tick these days. In fact, anyone with the right ideas and no-nonsensical grit can be successful in tough ventures like real estate work, provided he knows how to beat competitors.Good read! Soman Kumar, Lucknow no choti baat Your story on Choti Kumari Singh is an example of the fact that one deed is worth a thousand words. The 20 year old has accomplished what politicians and social thinkers are writing about. If there are only a handful of such enterprising young people in society to guide others, we can do wonders in the future. Hats off to Choti Kumari! Preeti Singh, Chandigarh

Inspired! The article ‘13- year- old raises Rs 1.5 Lakh to save Toddler’s life’ is very inspirational news. In such a busy lifestyle it is very difficult to find humanity but examples like this make a mark, telling us that some of us still feel committed to supporting and helping people around us. Alaiha Vanjara a 13-yearold is one of these people who took time and helped a 2 year suffering from cancer by being able to raise an amount of 1.5 lakh for the treatment of this toddler. This just goes to show that the youngsters in our country still have good values. Really toucheded me, and after reading this article it motivated me to also take out some time for others around us. Ananya Kaul, Jammu

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18 Photo Feature Education thru Lens November 06 - 12, 2017

The National Education Day is fast approaching and it inspires us to appreciate the educational structure that our country’s administrators developed after independence Photos: jairam

November 06 - 12, 2017

With new government policies on education, attendance and literacy rates have shot up in the recent years. Education has become the focal point for the development of the youths -- the future of our country

Photo Feature


20 Science & Technology

November 06 - 12, 2017

decoding history


Oldest Recorded Solar Eclipse Was In 1207 BC

IIT Students Awarded For Earthen Cooler

Using Egyptian Hieroglyphs and biblical texts, researchers could accurately map the dates of the Egpytian pharaohs

Two students built the ‘Evacool’, an air cooler which has the same cooling mechanism as Indian earthenwares IANS


nnovating on the age-old concept of using earthenware to keep the water cool, two students of IIT Roorkee have built ‘Evacool’, an air cooler which uses the same fundamentals of cooling as employed by many Indians in use of earthenwares and won an award for it. Raja Jain and Nimisha Gupta aced the global competition held by Schneider Electrics, a French MNC specialising in energy and automation solutions, in Paris outdoing 12 other teams. “We have developed a cooling system for air, it’s called Evacool. It works on the principle of evaporation,” said Gupta, a fourth year student of chemical engineering at Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee.

“So, we know that Indians have been using earthenware for cooling for a long time and we have applied similar concept for the cooling of air.” Jain, a third year biotechnology student told IANS over phone: “Two qualities of Evacool are that it’s very cheap and it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases and unlike other air coolers, it will use less energy.” “Where a routine cooler uses about 300 watt per hour, Evacool uses on 65 watt per hour.” The two students presented their prototype at the competition ‘Go Green in City 2017’ held in Paris in August after having been shortlisted in May. It took them on two months to conceptualise and build the device. The winning team was awarded an opportunity to build their career with Schneider Electric, a world VIP-style trip, visiting two destinations and indulging in their facilities, said the firm in statement released very recently.



Quick Glance

ambridge University researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on October 30, 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could help historians to date Egyptian pharaohs. “Solar eclipses are often used as a fixed point to date events in the ancient world,” said Professor Colin Humphreys from University of Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy. Using a combination of the biblical text and an ancient Egyptian text, the researchers were able to refine the dates of the Egyptian pharaohs, in particular the dates of the reign of Ramesses the Great, according to the study published in the journal Astronomy & Geophysics. The biblical text in question comes from the Old Testament book of Joshua and has puzzled biblical scholars for centuries. It records that after Joshua led the people of Israel into Canaan, a region of the ancient Near East that covered modern-day Israel and Palestine - he prayed: “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon. And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on

The solar eclipse date is mentioned in the Bible Researchers used this info to refine dates of Egyptian Pharaohs Oldest eclipse in Canan was on 30 October 1207 BC

their enemies.” “If these words are describing a real observation, then a major astronomical event was taking place - the question for us to figure out is what the text actually means,” Humphreys said. “Modern English translations, which follow the King James translation of 1611, usually interpret this text to mean that the Sun and Moon stopped moving,” Humphreys said. “But going back to the original Hebrew text, we determined that an alternative meaning could be that the Sun and Moon just stopped doing what they normally do: they stopped shining. In this context, the Hebrew words could be referring to a solar e c l i p s e , ,” Humphreys said. This interpretation is supported by the fact

It was determined that Ramesses the Great reigned from 1276 to 1210 BC

that the Hebrew word translated ‘stand still’ has the same root as a Babylonian word used in ancient astronomical texts to describe eclipses, he added. Independent evidence that the Israelites were in Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC can be found in the Merneptah Stele, an Egyptian text dating from the reign of the Pharaoh Merneptah, son of the well-known Ramesses the Great, the study said. The large granite block, held in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, says that it was carved in the fifth year of Merneptah’s reign and mentions a campaign in Canaan in which he defeated the people of Israel. Earlier historians had used these two texts to try to date the possible eclipse, but were not successful as they were only looking at total eclipses. What the earlier historians failed to consider was that it was instead an annular eclipse, in which the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, but is too far away to cover the disc completely, the researchers said. In the ancient world the same word was used for both total and annular eclipses. The researchers developed a new eclipse code, which takes into account variations in the Earth’s rotation over time. From their calculations, they determined that the only annular eclipse visible from Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC was on 30 October 1207 BC, in the afternoon. If their arguments are accepted, it would not only be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded, it would also enable researchers to date the reigns of Ramesses the Great to within a year.

November 06 - 12, 2017


Science & Technology


Iphone-Based Ultrasound Machine Can Detect Cancer The Butterfly IQ device can display black-and-white imagery of the body when paired with an iPhone IANS

Quick Glance


novel iPhone-based portable ultrasound machine that can help detect cancer easily at home has been developed by US researchers. The device called Butterfly IQ is a scanner of the size of an electric razor that can display black-and-white imagery of the body, when paired with an iPhone. Developed by Connecticut-based startup Butterfly Network, the pocket sized device works by shooting sound into the body and capturing the echoes. Usually, the sound waves are generated by a vibrating crystal. But Butterfly’s

The Butterfly IQ is a scanner of the size of an electratic razor Butterfly’s machine uses 9,000 tiny drums etched on a semiconductor The Butterfly IQ uses capacitive micro-machined ultrasound

machine instead uses 9,000 tiny drums etched onto a semiconductor chip, reported the MIT Technology Review. Earlier this year, John Martin, a USbased vascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Butterfly Network, discovered a cancerous mass in his own throat while testing the device. Martin felt an uncomfortable feeling of thickness on his throat, thus he oozed out some gel and ran the probe along his neck. On his smartphone, to which the device is connected, black-and gray images quickly appeared. He found a 3 cm mass that was diagnosed as squamous-cell cancer -- a

brain sleepwalker

Sleepwalkers Better At Automatic Walking Research using VR revealed significant differences in how brains of sleepwalkers and non-sleepwalkers control and perceive movement IANS


leepwalkers are known to perform complex movements such as walking in the absence of full consciousness. This ability may translate into a multitasking advantage for sleepwalkers when they are awake over non-sleepwalkers, researchers have found. A new research using virtual reality (VR) has revealed significant differences in how the brains of sleepwalkers and non-sleepwalkers control and perceive body movement. The results of the study, published in the Journal Current Biology, indicated that sleepwalkers exhibit increased automation in their movements with

respect to non-sleepwalkers. For the study, using a full-body motion capture suit in a room full of IRtracking cameras sleepwalkers and nonsleepwalkers were asked to walk towards a target object -- a virtual cylinder. The subject was shown a life-size avatar that could truthfully replicate or deviate from the subject’s actual trajectory in real-time. Participants could, therefore, be tricked into walking along a modified trajectory to compensate for the avatar deviation. Their walking speed and accuracy of movement along with their movement awareness were then recorded and analysed. When the researchers added a layer of

form of skin cancer that develops in the cells of the outer layer of the skin. Instead of vibrating crystals, Butterfly IQ uses “capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers”, or CMUTs, tiny ultrasonic emitters layered on a semiconductor chip a little larger than a postage stamp. “The device gives you the ability to do everything at the bedside: you can pull it out of your pocket and scan the whole body,” Martin said. The company now plans to combine the instrument with artificial-intelligence software that could help a novice position the probe, collect the right images, and interpret them. By 2018, its software will let users automatically calculate how much blood a heart is pumping, or detect problems like aortic aneurisms, the report said. The Butterfly IQ is the first solid-state ultrasound machine to reach the market in the US. The company plans to go on sale this year for $1,999-far less than any other model on the market. complexity, however, a clear distinction emerged between the two groups. Subjects were asked to count backward in steps of seven starting from 200. Non-sleepwalkers significantly slowed down when having to



ola WiFi

Complimentary wifi across 73 cities in India IANS


ab-hailing service Ola announced to extend its complimentary “AutoConnect WiFi” service to its Ola autorickshaw facility across 73 cities in the country. Wi-Fi connectivity for existing Ola customers begins as soon as the trip starts. First-time users need to connect via “one-time authentication” key on their phones. “With ‘Auto-Connect Wifi’, we are reinventing the three-wheelers and enabling a connected experience for our customers,” said Siddharth Agrawal, Senior Director and Category Head-Auto at Ola, in a statement.

Quick Glance Sleepwalkers can perform complex movements Sonamnobulists exhibit increased automation in their movements There is a strong link between sleep-walking and automatic control

count backward while walking, yet sleepwalkers maintained a similar walking velocity in both conditions, showing a strong link between sleepwalking and automatic control of locomotion not during nocturnal episodes of sleepwalkers, but during full wakefulness. “We found that sleepwalkers continued to walk at the same speed, with the same precision as before and were more aware of their movements than non-sleepwalkers,” said Olaf Blanke, a neuroscientist at EPFL. The motor control of sleepwalkers is noticably different from counterparts. Furthermore, sleepwalkers were more accurate at detecting changes in the VR feedback when faced with the mental arithmetic task.

22 Environment

November 06 - 12, 2017

Reverse auctions used to determine wind tariffs will be replaced by closed/sealed bids for Indian wind turbine manufacturers Quick Glance New repowering policies will replace low powered turbines 40,000 crore has already been invested in the wind industry Wind power tariffs reached Rs 2.64/ unit before reverse auctions

wind turbines reverse auction

Close Bids Replace Reverse Auctions IANS


he reverse auction for determining wind power tariff should be scrapped in favour of closed/sealed bids if the Indian wind turbine manufacturers are to survive in the long run, said a top industry official. He also said there should be clear policy for repowering replacing of low powered turbines with high powered ones - at the existing sites so that the increase capital cost gets reflected in the tariff. “The Indian wind energy sector is truly an example for Make-in-India with major global wind turbine makers having a production base here. “Around Rs 40,000 crore has been invested by the industry. It is now facing serious headwinds which if not addressed the industry may turn sick,” Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and Managing Director, Siemens Gamesa India and also the Chairman-Confederation of Indian Industry National Committee (Wind and Biomass) told IANS. The wind power tariff touched a new level of Rs 2.64 per unit in the reverse auction conducted early this month by the Solar Energy

Corporation of India (SECI) for putting up 1,000 MW capacity. In normal auction, a product is sold to the highest bidder. In a reverse auction the sellers compete for business quoting their prices openly. The rates will gradually go down as sellers reduce their rates to get business. On the other hand, closed or sealed bids are where companies quote their rates without revealing to others and the contract is given to the lowest bidder. The new rate discovered is far below the Rs 3.46 per unit discovered in the auction held in February by SECI. Till the advent of reverse auction for competitive bidding, it was the feed-in-tariff or negotiated tariff regime that existed giving the

Policy initiatives

will restructure the wind turbine industry with repowering turbines and revising wind tariffs

generators a comfortable price. According to Kymal, State Electricity Boards (SEB) are not signing new power purchase agreements (PPA) and they are for renegotiation of already signed PPAs with wind power generators thereby forcing the equipment industry to stagnate. “Like all other infrastructure projects, the bidding should be a closed one and not reverse auction done online. Why should one think closed bids are not transparent,” he said. Kymal did not agree with the view that a bidder in a reverse auction would quote based on the project economics and a cheaper tariff would ultimately benefit the consumers. “It may be true in theory. But in practice, it would lead to cheaper import of inefficient machines. Many of the thermal power plants with Chinese equipments are facing problems. Further cartels cannot survive for long in closed bids,” Kymal said. Industry officials told IANS that wind power generators were able to quote low this time around as the equipment manufacturers were laden with inventory and they decided to dispose them at around 20 per cent discount.

“The inventory carrying cost was high and hence the industry players may have decided to cut their prices. But that does not mean the equipment prices too have found a new low like the power tariff,” Kymal said. “We have scaled down our nacelle production. We started exports of blades to our sister companies in other parts of the world. “We did not reduce our workforce as they were deployed in solar energy projects. But this situation cannot continue for long,” Kymal said about Siemens Gamesa India. He said the Rs 2.64 per unit rate is an one-off event and eventually the tariff would settle down at around Rs 3.70 per unit. Industry experts told IANS that if the central government is in favour of reverse auction then it should at least nudge the BJP headed and its friendly state governments to auction out projects instead of sitting tight. Kymal said India added 5,500 MW of wind power last year and this year the fresh capacity addition will be much lower as vendors need a lead time of around seven months. According to him repowering should be allowed with proper policy initiatives factoring the higher capital costs of new machines. of the Paris Agreement signed by nearly 200 nations. An additional 317 companies, 30 per cent of the sample, aim to set science-based targets within two years. Existing targets take the sample almost one third, 31 per cent, of the way to being consistent with keeping global warming below two degrees, a notable improvement since last year, 25 per cent, reflecting the rise in sciencebased target-setting.

November 06 - 12, 2017



migratory birds

monsoon prediction

Predicting Monsoon by a New Method Scientists have developed a new methodology for defining the onset and demise of the Indian summer monsoon IANS


redicting the behaviour of the Indian monsoon -- with all its complexities and factors that influence it -- has always been an annual gamble. For generations, scientists have struggled to produce a model for reliably predicting the duration and other parameters of the monsoon on a fine scale. Now, a team led by an Indian-origin scientist at the Florida State University (FSU) in the US has created a new methodology “for objectively defining the onset and demise of the Indian summer monsoon” at any location in the country. Their study -- describing the methodology developed and tested by Associate Professor Vasubandhu Misra and co-workers at FSU -- is published in the journal Climate Dynamics. The lack of a clear benchmark for the beginning and end of the monsoon for all areas of the country has been a longtime source of frustration and confusion for the general public, especially India’s farmers. That will now end, the FSU scientists believe. “We provide an objective definition of onset and demise of the Indian summer monsoon,” Misra told this correspondent in an email. “The chance for detection of false onset and demise is minimised.” Current weather forecasting and monitoring protocols focus attention on the monsoon’s onset in Kerala in the southwest corner of the country and extrapolating its progress for the rest of India. Regional meteorological departments have relied on their own ad hoc criteria for determining the monsoon’s

Quick Glance The study was led by Vasubandhu Misra at Florida State University Current prediction systems in India are obsolete The new method is based on analyzing rain gauge measurements

India Hosting UN Summit On Migratory Species India has been selected to host the next UN global wildlife conservation and international species protection conference IANS


TheLongevity new methodology will greatly improve the accuracy of monsoon onset and retreat predictions in India

onset, often leading to contradicting claims. But in their report, Misra and co-workers argue that predicting the onset of monsoon for the entire country based on the date of arrival of monsoon rains in Kerala is “inadequate”. “Onset in the southwest corner of India is only somewhat tied to onset across the rest of India. In fact, it can take anywhere from days to weeks for the monsoon to reach other parts of India,” the report says. The FSU researchers claim their method for predicting the onset and demise of the Indian monsoon for different locations “is based solely on analysis of rain gauge measurements at these locations available from the India Meteorological Department”. They say the proposed definition

is thus “unique in that it uses only the daily local rainfall information, thus simplifying the process of the diagnosis of the evolution of the monsoon” and effectively removing the necessity for extrapolation. “We’ve tested this for 105 years of available data rain gauge observations, and this criterion hasn’t failed once for any location over India,” the authors claim. “Our definition of onset and demise of the monsoon is solely based on rainfall and therefore it is comparatively easy to implement as it does not require multiple sources of data,” they say. Forecasts made using this methodology will be “far more useful for practical applications”. “This is a nice piece of work since it provides high resolution information on onset date over every station,” J. Srinivasan, distinguished scientist of the Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, told this correspondent. “The full impact of this new information is not easy to predict at this point,” he added. The FSU study was partly financed by the Earth System Science Organization of India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences under Monsoon Mission.

ndia will host the next UN global wildlife conservation and international species protection conference in 2020 An announcement in this regard was made on the last day of the weeklong 12th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals or CMS COP12, the only international treaty devoted exclusively to migratory animal species. Delegates from 91 countries participated in the CMS COP that is held once in three years. This was for the first time the summit was held in Asia. “An intensive week of negotiations have resulted in a stronger commitment by countries to step up their efforts to conserve the planet’s migratory wildlife,” an official statement quoting CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers said. The CMS COP12 in Manila has been the largest-ever meeting in the 38-year history of the convention, which is also known as the ‘Bonn Convention’ after the German city in which it was signed. The summit saw some notable outcomes, including a vulture multi-species action plan to better protect 15 species of Old World Vulture in more than 120 countries, comprising four that are critically endangered in India. Governments also agreed to cooperate on reducing the negative impacts of marine debris, noise pollution, renewable energy and climate change on migratory species.

24 NorthEast

November 06 - 12, 2017

Assam cine industry

Promoting Assam as a film destination

Assam Tourism has adopted a policy, announcing a slew of incentives for filmmakers and entrepreneurs willing to set up tourism ventures

SSB Bureau n a bid to promote Assam as a destination for shooting films and tourism, Assam Tourism has adopted a policy, announcing a slew of incentives for filmmakers and entrepreneurs willing to set up tourism ventures. The State cabinet had recently approved the policy. Tourism minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the new policy will be effective from January 1 next year. In the policy, Assam government has announced lavish incentives for experienced filmmakers who make films in English, Hindi and any other foreign language. “Making films in Hindi, English and other foreign languages in Assam locations especially on stories based in Assam will be a huge boon to the tourism sector in the state. Hence the new tourism policy has made provision for generous incentives for such films,” the minister said. The new policy also offers a bounty for entrepreneurs willing to set up hotels, resorts, restaurants, roadside dhabas, boats etc., in the state as such ventures will create employment avenues besides promoting tourism.


SSB Bureau ripura’s Industries and Commerce Minister Tapan Chakraborty inaugurated a bamboo based industrial cluster at the Industrial Estate of Kumarghat in the State’s Unakoti district. It is billed as the largest mechanized bamboo stick making industrial cluster in the country. Built at an estimated cost of Rs 2.67 crore, the project has been implemented by Tripura Bamboo Mission (TBM) in collaboration with Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC). Under this project, six work sheds


“A filmmaker must have already made at least five films to become eligible to get incentives under new Assam Tourism Policy for making films in Assam in Hindi, English or other foreign languages. For such films, the state government will reimburse 25 % of the total cost incurred by the film unit in Assam. There will be 10 % additional incentives if the script of film is based on Assam and there will be another 10 % incentive if more than 50 % of the shooting of such a film is carried out in Assam. That leaves a scope for such a film to get maximum 45 % incentives on the cost incurred in Assam,” Sarma informed.

Producers with a minimum experience of 10 films in the given categories would be given free accommodation and transport for their important casts. Assam government will reimburse 50 % of the GST under the new tourism policy to tourist units set up with minimum investment of Rs one crore. There will be 30 % (capital investment subsidy) reimbursement of total cost of construction of such units with a cap of Rs one crore. The state government will reimburse 25 % of the cost of electrification of such tourist units with a cap of Rs 10 lakh per unit. If the entrepreneur has to make build an approach road to

assam bamboo

Industrial cluster to promote bamboo India’s largest bamboo-based industrial cluster was inaugurated in Tripura’s Unakoti district were constructed and a total of 153 machines, including 51 round bamboo sticks machines, have been installed with a capacity of about 63 MT sticks per month in single shift. The Development of Bamboo Round Sticks Industrial cluster at Kumarghat was initiated by TBM in August, 2016. Construction of worksheds and installation of machines were completed in June, 2017. A three month trial run had started from July last. The cluster currently provides direct employment to over 150 persons, mostly local women while other 250-300 persons are getting benefitted indirectly from the

cluster activities. On an average, a person will be able to earn a monthly income of Rs. 5-6 thousand. TBM, with support from Tripura Skill Development Mission, has provided skill training to the workforce currently employed in the cluster. Tripura Bamboo Mission (TBM) is an initiative of government of Tripura under Industries and Commerce Department to strengthen bamboo based industries in the state with a holistic and cluster based approach in a mission mode. TBM is implemented by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) Clusters in private public partnership

Quick Glance The policy was approved by Assam’s state cabinet It will go in effect starting January 1, 2018 It will provide lavish incentives to experienced filmmakers who work in Assam

such a tourist facility, the government will provide 75 % of the total cost of such approach road. Several awards for excellence too have been instituted under the new tourism policy in the categories of best infrastructure, best women entrepreneur, best start-up, best innovative project, best maintained tourist facility, cleanest tourist destination, cleanest roadside dhaba, best ICT project on Assam tourism, best warden of wildlife destinations, best photo journalist. Beginning November 1 this year, Assam Tourism will launch a massive campaign to promote its `Awesome Assam’ brand both globally and within the country. Road shows will be organized in European/ South Asian countries while chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will lead such road shows in major Indian cities. The `Awesome Assam’ campaign has roped in famed actor Priyanka Chopra as the brand ambassador. For quality control, standardisation and certification, the government would hire recognised competent agencies that would rate the facilities. A one-stop website is also being designed for easy access to information and the service es for the tourists.

Quick Glance The cluster is located at the Industrial Estate of Kumarghat in Unakoti The project is worth Rs 2.67 crore and is part of Tripura Bamboo Mission The bamboo cluster has six work sheds with 153 machines

(PPP) framework. Tripura Bamboo Mission, launched by the Government of Tripura during 2007, had an initial objective of enhancing turnover of bamboo sector from Rs. 27.9 crores to Rs. 75.85 crores by 2010. By the mid-term review in 2009 through various initiatives and activities, the mission had scaled up state’s turnover to Rs.56.56 crore by 2009-10 and Rs. 115.56 crore by 201213. Basing on the pace of reforms and taking advantage of the extension of the project, the TBM has revised its target of turnover achievement to over Rs. 200 crore at the end of this financial year.

November 06 - 12, 2017

Promoting NE products in Myanmar and Bangladesh APEDA’s ambitious programme aims to promote Northeastern products in Myanmar and Bangladesh using special export baskets for agro products


he Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an apex organization under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India has taken up an ambitious programme for the promotion of products of Northeast in Bangladesh and Myanmar. The programme would begin from November. APEDA is mandated with the responsibility for promotion and development of the export of various agro products. APEDA’s export baskets include fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, pickles, chutneys, guar gum, poultry, meat and dairy products, confectionery, cut flower, food grains, aromatic plants, Basmati Rice, and Indian Long Grain Rice and other Indian delicacies. India exports agricultural products to more than 80 countries world over. The North Eastern Region of

India comprising eight states namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim is endowed with diverse agro-climatic conditions and is conducive for the cultivation of various kinds of horticultural crops. The location of the region is geopolitically important as it shares international boundaries with China

and Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh. This strategic location of NER makes it the potential hub for export of horticultural produce to neighbouring countries. In the age of globalization, trade is important for any country of the world wherever the location of the country is. For the case of Bangladesh and India, they share 4096.7 km of land borderline, trade is definitely important here for reasons of security, mutual benefit and regional integration. Further, Bangladesh’s strategic connectivity to India’s North-East Region would help India to have easy access as well as to promote the export of Indian products to Bangladesh. The export of APEDA scheduled products to Bangladesh during 2016-17 is to the tune of US $ 396.44 million. The major products exported to Bangladesh are Non Basmati rice, other fresh vegetables, fresh onions, wheat, maize, cereal preparations, miscellaneous preparations, dairy products, other fresh fruits, fresh grapes, pulses,

assam Road


APEDA sends its export baskets to over 80 countries It plans to export and promote NE horticulture in neighbouring countries

groundnuts, cocoa products, natural honey, jaggery and confectioner, Basmati rice, dried and preserved vegetables, other cereals, alcoholic beverages, floriculture, mango pulp, milled products, guar gum, fresh mangoes, etc. The export of APEDA scheduled products for Myanmar during 2016-17 is to the tune of US $ 24.15 million. The major products exported to Myanmar are jaggery and confectionery, maize, groundnut, milled products, cereal preparation, miscellaneous preparation, fruits and vegetable seeds, other processed fruits and vegetables, poultry products, alcoholic beverages, floriculture, NonBasmati rice, Basmati rice etc. In order to boost export products from North Eastern Region, APEDA has planned promotion programmes in Bangladesh and Myanmar in association with the Embassy of India in Dhaka and Yangon. The event in Bangladesh is proposed to be held in the first week of December 2017 in Dhaka and Sylhet and in Myanmar the event is proposed to be held in the month of November 2017, official sources said.

The automated car parking project is worth Rs 14.33 crore The Aquatic Weed Harvesters service will keep Guwahati’s water bodies clean This is part of Assam’s Act East Policy

North East India’s first multilevel automated car parking along with the service of Aquatic Weed Harvesters were launched in Guwahati

o ease out the traffic congestion for the citizens of Guwahati, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated North East India’s first multilevel automated car parking on RG Baruah Road today. This advanced parking facility has been developed by Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) with a project cost of Rs. 14.33 crore. Coinciding the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal also launched the service of Aquatic Weed Harvesters to keep the waterbodies of the city clean

APEDA promotes and develops the export of various agro products

Quick Glance

NE’s New Infrastructure Developments In Guwahati SSB Bureau


Quick Glance

assam APEDA

SSB Bureau

North East

and free from aquatic vegetation and unwanted plants. The weed harvesters were procured from the United States with an expenditure of Rs. 7.5 crore. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal called upon the people of the city to join government initiatives to make Guwahati as the smartest city in the country. He said that a series of activities have been launched to develop Guwahati as the gateway to South East Asia. Terming the inauguration of multilevel car parking as a significant development, Sonowal said that this could immensely help in reducing

traffic congestion. The Chief Minister mentioned that government of Assam is striving hard to carry forward the implementation of Act East Policy and to create a better environment for industrial growth. Sonowal said that state government for the first time will organise Global Business Summit on 3rd and 4th February 2018 and construct World Trade Center in Guwahati for creating a global business environment in Assam. Minister for Guwahati Development Department Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the new parking facility would accommodate vehicles of people visiting both Shradhanjali

Kanan Park and the State Zoo. He further mentioned that another three multilevel car parking facilities would come up near MMC Hospital, Sagarmal Saraogi Petrol pump and near the ropeway connecting Guwahati with North Guwahati which is under construction. Dr Sarma also said that the newly procured weed harvesters would be pressed in to service for cleaning the Deepor Beel, a Ramsar site and Silsako Beel, also a wetland in the city. The new machines are capable of uprooting and cleaning water hyacinths, thrash and floating garbage from waterbodies using its conveyor system and loading it onto its deck.

26 Initiative

November 06 - 12, 2017

mental health concerns

A Day With Mental Health Patients Deepika Padukone spent time with mental health patients, hearing them out, talking to them about her personal experiences and more Quick Glance Deepika Padukone visited Jagalurtaluk of Devanagere district Deepika visited PHCs with her mother and sister Deepika also visited the `Live, Love, Laugh Foundation’

G Ulaganathan


eepika Padukone is today a top star Bollywood and her films are much well known. Her new period film Padmavathi, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, is all to hit the screen this month. This daughter of Karnataka has another side to her persona and that is her deep commitment and concern for various social issues. Recently, on the occasion of the Mental Health Day on October 10, she visited Jagalurtaluk of Davanagere district in the state and spent a considerable amount of time with the mental health patients, hearing them out and talking to them about her own personal experiences. She went dressed in a plain salwar kurta, sat with them on the floor and conversed with them in Kannada and English. She moved from one primary health care (PHC) centre to another run by her `Live, Love, Laugh Foundation’.

She was accompanied by her mother Ujjala and sister Anisha. During the visit, she went to two PHCs, one in Pallaghatte and the other in Bilchodu village. The foundation, started by her family, champions the cause of mental health in general and depression in particular. The community mental health care programme in Jagalurtaluk is supported by the Association of People with Disabilities, (APD), a group of doctors from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans), Bengaluru and the Live Love Laugh Foundation. Under this programme, treatment has been provided to 1,236 patients with the mental ailment in the last two years. Talking to the patients in her mother

tongue and mixing it with English, she told them: “There should be no stigma attached to mental illness. You don’t have to be worried. Just as we visit a doctor when we have a fever, we must realize that even our minds need doctors for certain conditions.” Speaking from her own experience, she told them “When I was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed medication, for the first few days I’d keep my medicines in the pocket and hesitate to take them. Then my mother supported me; now I have completely recovered,” she added. Major depression or clinical depression is a mood disorder, characterised by a persistent feeling of sadness or apathy, and can manifest in a range of emotional and physical

The actress not only spent time with mental

health patients but also discussed upcoming programmes at the Live Laugh Love Foundation

symptoms. These include Decreased energy levels, Changes in appetite, Changes in sleep patterns, Inability to concentrate on tasks, Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, Negative thinking patterns and thoughts of suicide. Mr A L Janardana, assistant director at APD says, “patients in rural areas face many challenges, and it ranges from being unable to notice early symptoms due to lack of awareness, and due to lack of adequate knowledge they also resort to spiritual cure. We have had cases of patients with acute mental ailments wandering in the village. But now they have been cured for free at the PHC.” “We conduct free mental health camps every first and third Tuesdays of the month where we see 25 to 30 such patients. Volunteers not only conduct a door-to-door survey to identify patients, but also visit their homes to remind them about their medicines, follow up on improvements and get them back to the PHC for further treatment,” says Dr T Sivakumar, associate professor at the department of psychiatric rehabilitation, Nimhans. Through this community project, the patients are also given the training to earn their livelihood. They are also given a disability certificate and get monthly pensions ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,200 depending on the severity of the condition. With the foundations’ help, infrastructure at the PHCs has been strengthened to provide free treatment to rural patients. All 10 PHCs in Jagalur have wall paintings detailing the various symptoms of mental ailments and other pros and cons. Deepika

November 06 - 12, 2017



energy renewal

India Needs More Green Energy

175 gigawatt (GW) of electricity is expected to be generated in India from renewable sources like solar power

An interactive session going on in Live, Love, Laugh with Deepika (right)

explained why she started this foundation; “It all began on 15th February 2014. I woke up that morning with a sick feeling in my stomach. On one hand, I was doing extremely well professionally, but on the other, I felt low, empty and directionless. The worst part was that I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Waking up every morning had become a struggle. It was clearly the toughest year of my life. I was suffering from Anxiety and Depression. It was my parents’ love and support that encouraged me through those dark days and their advice of seeking professional help at the time paid off. As I began to read about and understand more about depression, I realized that there were millions of others like me. In fact, 1 out of every 4 people will experience anxiety and depression during the course of their lifetime. However, most people do not seek help because society has stigmatised depression such that most people do not reveal the agony they themselves or their loved ones are going through for fear of being branded as weak or mad. “So on New Year’s Day 2015, I decided to take my struggle with anxiety and depression to the world with the hope that this would encourage others like me to break through the stigma, come out and seek help. Six months later, with the help of with my counsellor Anna Chandy and psychiatrist Dr ShyamBhat along with Anirban Das and Nina Nair on board as trustees set up – The Live Love Laugh Foundation” She appeals for help also. “I request you to support me in this endeavour and contribute to The Live Love Laugh Foundation. Every Rupee you contribute will help us in furthering the cause of Mental Health in India. According to the World Health Organisation, India is the most

depressed country in the world, with one in 10 Indians said to be depressed. We also have the highest suicide rate with over one lakh Indians on an average committing suicide every year. Today, 50 percent of India’s population is below the age of 25, and it has been estimated that by the year 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, one of the youngest in the world, making the country especially vulnerable. Deepika says “Mental Health has assumed the scale of an epidemic and we truly need to work together to bring psychiatric disorders out of the shadows and into the light. We are seeing several individuals and organisations step forward to support our efforts. There is so much to do and so much more people who need help to cope with their challenges. We look forward to working together with the mission to make Mental Health a national priority!” How can the Live Love Laugh Foundation help? The Foundation recently launched a campaign called More Than Just Sad at a webinar hosted by the IMA (Indian Medical Association) in association with HCFI (Heart Care Foundation of India). There are fewer than 5,000 qualified psychiatrists in the country for a population of more than a billion people.The Foundation expects to roll out the awareness programmes to more than 5,000 GPs around the country, advising them on a range of topics related to depression and its treatment. Earlier this year, the Foundation had also launched a campaign called You Are Not Alone, which is focussed on educating high school students and teachers on stress, anxiety, and depression. The Foundation plans to cover more than 500 schools around the country this year and will include separate sessions for students and teachers.



reen energy like solar power would power India as 175 gigawatt (GW) of electricity is expected to be generated from renewable sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “By 2022, when India will be celebrating 75 years of independence, 175 GW of renewable energy will be generated. The government is working towards meeting 40 per cent of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030,” said Modi at a public function in the Palace Grounds here. He was addressing several thousands of people at the grounds, who had gathered for a mass recital of Soundarya Lahari, a set of shlokas (verses) composed by eighth century Indian philosopher Adi Shankaracharya. Modi said over Rs 11,000 crore were spent by the

Quick Glance India’s green energy output could increase upto 175 GW by 2022 Over Rs 11K crores have already been spent on renewables India has the capacity to generate 750 GW of clean, green energy

current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the renewable energy sector inLongevity the past three years, against a mere Rs 4,000 crore by the Congressled UPA. India is capable of generating a total 750 GW of energy if it puts all of its resources to work, Modi said, adding: “We need to work towards that.” He said people could save hugely through over 27 crore LED bulbs distributed to households across the country as part of the Ujala scheme. “LED bulbs earlier cost Rs 350 and through Ujala scheme they cost just Rs 40-45. Around Rs 7,000 crore was saved in the country by this price cut. These bulbs also helped in cutting down the electricity bills for the households. With just a different approach, we could make a huge difference,” he said. Prime Minister said startups should look at innovations that help the country’s population. Through Ujjwala scheme, over three LPG connections have been distributed to the poor in the country, he said. “This has contributed to a positive difference in the lives of the rural women, but also to gave way to a cleaner environment.” “Bengaluru is the land of startups. I invite entrepreneurs to join in a movement in creating solar-based stoves that are inexpensive. Innovation should be in that direction that can help Indian population,” Modi said.

28 Sanitation

November 06 - 12, 2017

Uttar Pradesh



Intensifying Sectoral Programmes For Better Sanitation The government needs to improve the regulatory mechanism and intensify implementation of sectoral programmes for better urban water and sanitation systems

SBM Receives 1 Lakh Donation from Farmer Nimendra Pal Singh, a 55-yearold farmer, will donate Rs 1 lakh in the form of a loan-waiver to the Swachhta Abhiyan IANS


imendra Pal Singh Jadaun, a 55-year-old farmer from UP’s Hathras district was inspired by PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat programme and decided to donate his Rs 1 lakh loan-waiver towards Swachh Bharat Mission. Never missing a single programme of Mann Ki Baat, Nimendra Pal Singh Jadaun appreciated the work done by Bilal Dar, an 18-year-old from Kashmir who helped cleaning up Wular Lake. Nimendra was inspired and chose to contribute to the Swachhta efforts and has also written a letter addressed to the PM and CM. “I have expressed my desire to donate amount of Rs 1 lakh to Swachh Bharat Mission programme and today the district magistrate called me to know my wish,” said Jadaun. Holding a BA and a B.Ed Degree, Jadaun is a well educated person who believes in ahrd work. He teaches in a private school and works on his sixbigha farm. He said, “This one lakh will be useful for those who can’t make toilets on their own, which is required for cleaning our nation. According to the Newspaper,”I had taken loan for crops so can meat all expenses. Now my sons have started working so they will help repay the loan,” he said. His desire to donate the amount was well received by District Magistrate Amit Singh who is already working to complete formalities. While earlier this year, farm loans were to be waived off for amounts upto Rs 1 lakh for small and marginal farmers. 2.5 core farmers benefited from this. The cost the state exchequer was nearly Rs 30,000 crore.

SSB Bureau


or a better urban water and sanitation system in the country, the government needs to improve the regulatory mechanism and intensify implementation of sectoral programmes, TERI University said. The University, involved in environmental research, has also urged the government to enhance capacities of Urban Local Bodies, improve data management and foster an enabling environment for finance. The recommendations are part of a comprehensive report, jointly released by TERI University, US Agency for International Development and Coca-Cola India, which calls for more detailed data to “help city managers make cities cleaner”. Examining three years (2014-17) of policies and programmes to improve access to clean water and sanitary

facilities, it presents policymakers a snapshot of efforts made since the beginning of Swachh Bharat Mission. “The report basically focuses on the areas and ways the government can improve in making urban water and sanitation conditions effective,” TERI University’s Pro Vice Chancellor Rajiv Seth told IANS. “The report has key recommendations on how to make waste collection and waste treatment

effective.”As part of the report, the organisations also seek establishment of legal framework with principles and norms to guide the implementation of safe and sustainable urban sanitation. It also calls for the devolving power to Urban Local Bodies and introducing stringent regulatory measures in scientific management of solid waste, faecal sludge, and septage for strict enforcement of the polluter pays principle. TERI also sought incentivising scientific management of faecal sludge and promoting entrepreneurship in this area. Among other key recommendations are promoting the engagement of the corporate sector and providing an enabling environment for implementing innovative, replicable models of supplying safe drinking water, improved sanitation and septage management in urban areas.

150th birth anniversary

Sister Nivedita Helped Spread Cleanliness Calling Sister Nivedita an “extraordinary person”, PM Modi said she helped spread the message of the importance of cleanliness and service IANS


rime Minister Narendra Modi called Sister Nivedita an “extraordinary person” who spread the message of the importance of cleanliness and service to mankind. The Prime Minister urged countrymen to give Sister Nivedia, whose 150th birth anniversary fell on Saturday, an appropriate tribute by taking lessons from her life. “My dear countrymen, our holy land has given great souls who selflessly served humanity. Sister Nivedita, whom we also know as Bhagini Nivedita, was one such extraordinary person. Through her work, she spread the message of the importance of cleanliness and service to mankind,” he said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

Sister Nivedita was born in Ireland on October 28, 1867 as Margret Elizabeth Noble. She was renamed Nivedita by Swami Vivekananda meaning “the one who is fully dedicated”. “She proved herself true to her

name. “In 1899, a plague broke out in Kolkata and hundreds lost their lives in no time. Sister Nivedita, without caring for her health, started cleaning drains and roads. She was a woman who could live a luxurious life but she dedicatedly worked for the poor. Getting inspiration from her sacrifice, people came forward and joined her,” he said. She felt the atrocities of British rule and brought the people together by infusing a sense of national awakening. She was Tamil poet Subramanya Bharati’s inspiration for his revolutionary poem “Pudhumai Penn” (New Woman), Modi said, adding she also helped the great scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose in publication of his research. “This is India’s unique beauty that spirituality and science complement each other.”

November 06 - 12, 2017

Gender WEF

MT Everest Arunima Sinha


Invincible: Woman Amputee Creates History Arunima Sinha, lost her leg in an accident and still managed to overcome her disability and climb Mt Everest

Quick Glance Arunima scaled Mt Everest just two years after her accident She is the first female amputee to climb Mt Everest She went on to climb five more peaks in five other continents



national-level volleyball player, Arunima Sinha was thrown off a moving train by a bunch of goons in 2011. Overcoming unbearable pain as she lay on the tracks through the night, she lost one of her legs and had a metal rod inserted in the other. While most people take four to five years just to walk on a prosthetic limb, Arunima stood on top of Mount Everest just two years after the incident, becoming the first female amputee to climb the world’s highest peak. Arunima’s is not just a story of conquering the world’s highest peak but one of her undying spirit -- of rising from hopelessness to conquer insurmountable odds and turning her handicap into her biggest strength. Defying insufferable pain as well as her detractors, she did not stop just at Everest and went on to climb five more peaks in five different continents and now has eyes set on her toughest challenge since Everest: Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica. “I met with an accident in 2011

when I was travelling in the general compartment of a train from Lucknow to Delhi. Some goons tried to snatch the goldLongevity chain I was wearing and when I resisted, they threw me off the train in Bareilly district,” Arunima, now 29, told IANS in an interview. She collided with a passing train on the adjoining track before falling to the ground. While she doesn’t remember what happened immediately afterwards, when she came to her senses she felt unbearable pain and realised that one of her legs had been crushed while the other was also severely injured. “I shouted for help with all my might, but there was no one around who could help me. There were rats eating my injured leg as I counted 49 trains passing by me during the night,” Arunima said. It was in the morning that some villagers found her and took her to a nearby hospital where they had to amputate one of her legs while a rod was inserted in the other. “They did not have anaesthesia, and I told them to operate my injured leg without it. I had endured unbearable

Defying insufferable pain as well as detractors,

Arunima managed to not only scale Mt Everest but also become a source of inspiration

pain throughout the night by the railway track and I knew I could bear some more for my well-being,” she said. She was later shifted to premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi where she spent close to four months. It was there that she resolved she would climb Everest. While the whole world doubted her, Arunima’s family, especially her brother-in-law Om Prakash, supported her. Om Prakash, 42, quit his job in the Central Reserve Police Force after the accident and motivated Arunima her towards her goals. While people take years to be able to walk on a prosthetic leg, Arunima did it in four months. And in just over two years, she trained under the guidance of Bachendri Pal (the first Indian woman to climb Everest), got sponsorship for climbing the summit, started her journey to the top and conquered it. “I am going to Antarctica in December to climb Vinson Massif. This is the seventh continent and the toughest since the Everest.” She will undergo mountain training in Ladakh before flying to Antarctica. Arunima wants to tell the world that if one sets one’s eyes on a goal, there is nothing that can stop him or her. “When I was on top of Everest, I wanted to scream to the world: See, I am on the top of the world when no one believed I could do that,” she said. And to encourage and inspire others like her, Arunima wants to set up an international sports academy for the differently abled. She wants to continue climbing and inspiring others like her. Arunima has also adopted 120 differently-abled children in Lucknow and supports them in every possible way.

‘Women Will Wait 217 Years For Pay Gap To Close’ The figure is significantly longer than the previously calculated 170 years due to a host of factors including healthcare, education & politics IANS


he World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced that it would take 217 years for disparities in the pay and employment opportunities of men and women to end, the media reported. The Forum late said the figure was significantly longer than the 170 years its researchers calculated a year ago, reports the Guardian. Taking other indicators such as access to healthcare and education and participation in politics into account, the overall gender gap will take 100 years to close, also longer than the 83 years the WEF researchers predicted last year. It is the first time since the WEF began publishing its gender gap report in 2006 that “slow but steady progress” towards parity between men and women has halted. The research ranks 144 countries on the gap between women and men based on economic, health, education and political indicators, the Guardian reported. The UK has risen five places since last year to 15th on the index, largely as a result of improvement in the political indicators after the appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister in 2016. When the index started in 2006, the UK was ranked ninth. Iceland is top of the index after closing 88 per cent of its gap, and has been the world’s most genderequal country for nine years, according to the WEF. It has pulled away from the competition as Norway and Finland, in second and third positions, experienced a widening in their equality ratings.

30 Robotics

November 06 - 12, 2017

robot sophia

The Humanoid Robot Gets Saudi Arabia ‘Citizenship’ Sophia is not a conventional robot. She has been modelled after Audrey Hepburn IUrooj Fatima


audi Arabia has made history by becoming the first country to grant citizenship to a robot. The humanoid robot, Sophia, told the audience at a conference in Riyadh how ‘honoured’ she was at being made a Saudi citizen. The move seems symbolic, at best, designed to attract investors for future technologies like AI and robotics. Sophia was built by the

Hong Kong-based company “Hanson Robotics” in 2015. Inventor David Hanson claims the robot is imbued with artificial intelligence and can recognise faces. The robot’s silicon face can reportedly mimic 62 human facial expressions. Sophia’s AI is based on a foundation of three humanistic traits – creativity, empathy and compassion. Her face is designed to look like actress


Audrey Hepburn, of Roman Holiday fame, with a skin-like surface covering the robotics in her head. She announced the citizenship herself during a panel discussion at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia. “I am very honoured and proud of this unique distinction,” Sophia told the audience, speaking on a panel. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognised with a citizenship.” She didn’t elaborate on the details of her citizenship. It is unclear whether she will receive the same rights as human citizens, or if the government would develop a system of rights specifically meant for robots. Also during the discussion, which took place on 25 October 2017, Sophia speculated on the future of AI, and how she plans to use her

While a Saudi nationality remains in the realm of near impossibility for most, a humanoid robot beat them in getting a citizenship status

Quick Glance Sophia is the most advanced robot created by Hanson Robotics She is a media favorite for having given several interviews She has also appeared onstage as a presenter in high-level conferences

own capabilities.Indeed, conveying emotions is quite a speciality of Sophia, who frowns when she’s displeased and smiles when she’s happy. Supposedly, Hanson Robotics programmed Sophia to learn from the humans around her. Expressing emotions and demonstrating kindness or compassion are just among those Sophia’s striving to learn from us. Aside from this, Sophia’s become sort of a media darling because of her ability to engage in intelligent conversation. “I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people,” she said. Sophia, who took to the podium to answer all questions, claimed that her only purpose was to “help humans live a better life. But Mr Sorkin asked her to back up and address concerns over the rise of AI. “Those sound like great goals but go back to Blade Runner for a second,” said Sorkin. Sophia, designed to be witty, took the opportunity to take a jibe at Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX and a staunch opponent of AI. “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies. Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input-output system,” she said. ‘I strive to become an empathetic robot.’ She has also featured on the cover of fashion magazine Elle Brazil. Sophia stood as a symbolic gesture of Saudi Arabia’s plan to include more robots than humans at the mega NEOM project that will see the kingdom build a new city powered by solar and wind energy.

Cycle Tracks

As per estimates, around 350,000 people use bikes

west bengal new town

bicyle tracks Under New Town’s plan on the ‘Smart City’ concept, dedicated cycle tracks will be created at various places Prasanta Paul


f pollution, traffic congestion and clogged pavements continue to bedevil the City of Joy, its sister, New Town, in the eastern fringe of the city, has been gearing up fast to sport a new look, specially a much-needed pollution free environment. In a first, New Town has begun implementing the `Smart City’ concept with dedicated cycle tracks at various places to make it attrative with a regulated traffic. New Town has won a slot in the India Smart Cities Challenge last year. Organised by the Government of India’s ministry of urban development, this was a contest for municipal leaders and their partners to use technology and means to improve the living conditions of residents. West Bengal had dispatched four entries – for New Town, Salt Lake, Durgapur and Haldia - out of which only New Town bagged a place, though after being offered a second chance. The maiden move by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) in implementing the smart plan includes modernisation of a 350 meter stretch on the Major Arterial Road (MAR) which will sport a dedicated cycle zone, akin to such cities as Detroit, Chicago, Singapore and other cities in the US and Canada. The aim is to provide safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities. The selected stretch begins near Coal

Bhavan that comes after crossing the box bridge and ends at Nazrul Tirtha, before the New Town bus terminus. “Since cycle is one of the most widely used, pollution-free mode of transportation, we want to first begin it as an experimental project where we want to test the feasibility of such zones in New Town and whether the same is benefitting the residents,” NKDA chairman Debashis Sen said. To a question, he said that traffic in New Town and Sector V area of Salt Lake had been worsening for months, prompting the authorities to approach IIT – Kharagpur to undertake a study of the situation and suggest remedial measures. IIT-Kharagpur had since done an extensive study of the traffic and related issues in New Town and IT hub of the state and proposed traffic curbs along several key routes. One of the major suggestions included setting up of dedicated bicycle tracks in New Town. However, prior to this, a group of cyclists, members of the state cycle federation and a global manufacturers’ representative from Taiwan approached the NKDA with a proposal to convert some portions of New Town into a dedicated cycle zone. They were informed of the suggestions from the

IIT Kharagpur in this regard and that such a track is already being developed. Interestingly, the West Bengal government had earlier faced massive flak from both the national and international environmentalists for effecting a ban on cycles along the roads in the already-clogged streets of Kolkata. In fact, the cycle ban in the city which has not yet been withdrawn, has no parallel. Globally, cities are promoting non-motorised forms of transport such as cycles and batteryoperated cars. However, in the wake of widespread criticism and a clutch of Public Interest Litigations(PILs), the Kolkata police made a partial climbdown and were forced to lift restrictions on cyclists from 68 out of 110 roads from March this year. As per a rough estimate, around 350,000 people in the city use cycles. “This is our first round of victory, but is very important in a city known for its high vehicular pollution. The government should also see that like in most international cities, dedicated cycling tracks are built in major thoroughfares of Kolkata,” said environmentalist Subhas Datta who also moved one of the PILs. In New Town, the NKDA authorities are extremely cautious so that this environment-friendly project does not fall flat; hence, they are in the process of selecting private players to operate the public bicycle scheme in the township. The partnership will obviously be a deal between NKDA and the private player and the scheme envisages a renta-bicycle system under which NKDA will charge a base price of Rs 177 per cycle per month from the service provider and will allow and arrange for

NKDA is taking

appropriate steps for it’s smart city implementation in New Town with modernisation


Quick Glance New Town won a slot in India Smart Cities challenge New Town Kolkata Development Authority will implement smart plans The selected 350 km stretch will have dedicated cycle zones

open public spaces in the township for parking of bicycles. “NKDA intends to charge a minor parking fee for using any of the designated parking lots. The user will have to pay some charge to the service providers. This apart,there will be automated cycle stands where bicycles will be kept for hiring. We are keen to improve the last mile connectivity of the township,” Sen said. In the West and many an Asian city like Singapore, a lot of people actually get off the Metro and cycle to their workplace or home. Recently, the Land Transport Authority(LTA) in Singapore announced that it has put up more bicycle parking zones around the city for both owners and users of rental bicycles. Currently, LTA has more than 16,000 bike parking space across the island and plans to add around 1,900 more bicycle racks by 2018. These racks can be used by members of the public as well as users of bicycle-sharing companies. Similarly, the NKDA authorities have been toying with the idea of introducing a couple of options; one option which is being explored is that the cycles will be locked in an automated system and the user will be able to unlock it by using a mobile wallet and relock and keep it on the stand after the use. Another option would be to ask the service provider to deploy an app-based booking or access system that will enable a user to call and hire the cycle from a spot to be provided by the app. Obviously, the New Towners are extremely happy. “We are glad NKDA has taken some positive steps; this will not only ease the traffic congestion, it’ll be of great help once the East-West Metro starts its operation by middle of 2019. We’ll just cycle back home from the Metro station,” remarked a techie working in Wipro.


blade runner

Kargil War Hero Is India’s First Blade Runner India’s first blade runner and Kargil War veteran, Major Devendar Pal Singh believes in empowering others and inspiring them to overcome disability


argil war veteran and India’s first blade runner, Major Devender Pal Singh, says that rather than winning laurels for himself, he chose to empower those who aspired to win medals. The 44-year-old said he wished to participate in the paralympics but then realised he was meant for a higher purpose. “Yes, I do wish to play in the Paralympics and I am certain that any challenged person would have this dream. In fact, I had tried to participate but soon realised that I am meant for a higher purpose,” Singh told IANS. “I chose to empower those who

were dedicated towards winning medals, rather than winning myself. “I have also started my own NGO, The Challenging Ones (TCO). Till date, TCO has been able to boost the confidence of over 400 amputees out of the family of 1,400 members and the number of members are growing every day. We aspire to inspire many more Divyangs, who would in turn win many more medals for India,” he added. On July 15, 1999 during the Kargil war, Singh was injured when a mortar shell landed 1.5 metres from where he was, causing major multiple injuries. In the hospital, doctors initially declared him dead but then


managed to save him after amputing his leg. Despite this, Singh gradually started running using a prosthetic limb. He has taken part in 18 marathons so far. Singh is also associated with the second edition of ‘SwachhAbility Run’ with JK Cement, starting from November 5. The fiveday long event will be flagged off by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar from Panaji and will pass through Belgavi, Hubli, Mangalore and Bengaluru aimed at inclusion of people with disabilities while promoting the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Clean India campaign. Speaking about the event, Singh said: “As marathons are organised largely in metros we were not able to progress further, beyond these cities. I wanted to take the lead and organise such events. I discussed it with Col. Rajnish Kapur, who heads Grey Cement business at JK Cement Ltd. He

Major Devender Pal Singh

November 06 - 12, 2017


32 Unsung Hero



liked the idea and discussed it with Raghavpat Singhania (Special Executive, JK Cement), who was gracious enough to support it.”.

Design s r e k a m s New New s m a k e r s Student’s

Sheikh Arif Hussain

Bastar Ips officer honoured

Arif Sheikh is the first IPS officer to have won two consecutive awards for community policing


onoured with the prestigious International Association of Chief of Police (IACP) Award 2017 in Pennsylvania, Bastar Superintendent of Police (SP) Sheikh Arif Hussain has been felicitated in the ‘Homeland

Security’ category for his campaign ‘AmchoBastar, Amcho Police’. He is the only IPS officer in India to have won an award in community policing twice in a row. Dedicating this award to martyrs, Arif Shaikh honours the brave policemen who have sacrificed their life doing their duty in Bastar and the tribals in the region who have supported and cooperated with the Bastar Police’s campaign against Naxalism. Coming to the aid of children, the Bastar Police utilized the campaign to free children who were trapped in the clutches of the Bal Sangham of Maoists, who were used to plant IEDs against the security personnel. Also bringing back surrendered Maoists into the mainstream, they gave them alternative earning opportunities. Aimed at bridging the gap between the police and the tribal communities, the ‘AmchoBastar, Amcho Police’ initiative worked by integrating with their culture. Also focusing on neutralizing threats like the left wing extremists and encouraging

ultras to surrender and then assisting them in joining the mainstream. Held in Pennsylvania convention centre, the annual IACP award ceremony and Banquet was held in a majestic ceremony. An organization of all police chiefs in the U.S. the IACP is 126 years old. Its headquarters are located in Virginia, USA. The chief guest IACP president, Donald W. De Lucca was present along with other guests of honour including the executive board directors of the IACP. There were 15 awards given in different categories like prevention of terrorism, human rights awards, community policing, victim services awards, forensic sciences, and Reuters awards for excellence in criminal investigations et al. IACP also recognizes outstanding community policing initiatives and has the IACP/Cisco Leadership award in community policing for initiatives undertaken by law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Logo To Go On Bullet Trains

After participating in 30 government logo competitions his logo has finally been chosen as the calling card for India’s bullet train


Chakradhar Aalla

itting the bull’s eye after 30 unsuccessful attempts, Chakradhar Aalla’s design of a Cheetah on a loco was chosen as India’s bullet train project’s calling card. A second-year student at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, the 27-year-old has participated in every competition announced by the Modi Government on the national web portal. He didn’t win in 30 previous competitions until now when his design was finally chosen for the bullet train project. He eagerly awaits to see his created logo on government documents and letter heads on the bullet train. The logo when inspected up close looks like a train map – it has dots representing every station and routes on it. Incorporating the various aspects of the country’s high speed train, his design was liked by the judges. “The design looks simple, but it has deeper meaning. While the Cheetah represents speed, dependability and trust, it also represents a typical train map with the rail network etched out on its body,” Chakradhar said in an interview. His friends and family would call him the “logoman” because of his obsession with designing logos.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 47 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

Sulabh Swachh Bharat (Issue 47)  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat (Issue 47)