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REPORT

Torment Schools without toilets

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INTERVIEW DR. HUMAIRA P20

PHOTO FEATURE RUMPUS IN CAMPUS P26

Volume 4 | Number 5 | May-June 2014 | RNI JKENG/2011/42577 | Rs.

SHELL SHOCKED SCHOOLING! WITH SCORES OF HUMANS DEAD AND MAIMED, TOSAMAIDAN IS A TRAGEDY OF SORTS

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INBOX

editorcounsellor@gmail.com

Dear Editor, Rape has become a routine matter nowa-days. Every now and then a woman is being raped in a broad day light and made to suffer both physically and psychologically. It is a menace not endemic to a particular region but found across the globe. It becomes worthwhile to mention here that giving moral respect to the women and making them feel secure in a society is entirely the task of a civilized and ethical society. Over the years the trust deficit between men and women has hugely increased. The main culprit for it is the man himself. A man must realize that without feeling an urge of respecting a woman, he is no more than a beast and a society, of which he is an integral part, no more than a slum. When a man humbly respects a woman, it speaks volumes about him and a society is never looked down upon. However, in contrary to it if a man molests and abuses a woman, it stains the dignity of men instantly and has serious repercussions upon the entire society which is then immediately labelled as unethical. It is but natural that without giving a woman her quota of respect, a man too must not expect his share of respect from the opposite gender. When a man does something dastardly, it disturbs the equilibrium between the two genders and creates chaos and instability in the society. Thereby need arises that a man must discipline himself and act humanely towards women so that he may always be felt as a creation to be trusted upon. Suhail Ashraf Wani Student, Srinagar

ASMA-UL-HASSANA

Respected Editor, When personal names are given after any of the ASMA -UL-HASSANA, the Abd is prefixed to honour the superiority and greatness of Almighty Allah. Let me cite precedence. The Rahim, (Merciful) is the attribute; the name would therefore be Abdul Rahim. Ironically many Muslims ignore the teachings and ethics of the aggrandized Din Islam. They carry a bad habit to call other Muslims by their names like Rahima, instead of Abdul Rahim, Majeeda, instead of Abdul Majeed

or Kareema, instead of Abdul Kareem. Similar is the case of beautiful names of the Apostle Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Many Muslims call other Muslims by name like Rasoola, instead of Ghulam Rasool, Muhammada instead of Ghulam Muhammad and so on. A human being can never be a Rahim (Merciful), Rehman (Compassionate), Khaliq (Creator), so hopefully respected Muslims do not turn blind eye on the bitter truth instead act as a Muslim in real sense so that other in total opposition of monotheism do not get a chance to laugh or point finger on us. Fayaz Ahmed Khan Social Worker, Batamaloo

REPORT

RESPECT WOMEN

Rehabilitation Policy The mishandled initiative

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INTERVIEW MUSTUFA MASOODI P24

GRAPHICTAIRE KASHMIR TOURISM P30

Volume 4 | Number 4 | April 2014 | RNI JKENG/2011/42577 | Rs.

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side of the line he said, “Didn't I tell you sir many times to fill the bags of the citizens of Shalimar with rice and in response they will cast their vote in our favour”. This same person comes again at 10:39 AM, but meets a young energetic person on the street with wrath; and asked him in aggressive tone, "Why should we cast our votes, and to whom should we cast our votes? What is the purpose of casting votes? Should we cast our votes in favour of those: Who killed our neighbours, brothers, sisters and still are killing? Why have you came here and are asking for votes, get out from here and don’t come here again else you may face the consequence”. In reply the agent of NC Party says, “Don’t you know me? I can stop everything for you. And moreover, you were ensured with 'RICE GHAT’, wasn't that much? And from now onwards don't try to commit a mistake of travelling from our Street; you'll be no more if you did be cautious till then", Agent whispers to his ear before he leaves. All the men standing there were in puzzle about this person and the other person talking to him over phone. Javeed Ahmad Rather Izhar Wani Intern, Hajan Sonawari

SCHOOL TIMINGS

n catio u d E g cisin Politi

"AND THEY SAY CAST YOUR VOTE...

Respected Editor, On 30th, April around 7:30 AM, as I woke up from my bed at my mother’s home at Shalimar, I confront an unknown man having a big belly, who comes and asks for vote completely in a whispering like expression and says, ‘come and cast your vote, it is very early otherwise after sometime everybody would see you’. A man utters and says all of a sudden that he is from Shalimar and works with national conference (NC) but nobody puts his name. In the meantime his phone ranged and he just picked the call. To the person other

Respected Editor, Recently Director Education paid a surprise visit to City schools and suspended absentees who were late. But had the Director looked into his own affairs of his directorate before going to schools he would not have suspended teachers for being late. The trend of reaching schools late will continue in future too till school timings are not rescheduled. It looks very difficult for young school going children to reach the schools so early with no facility of personal transport. Similar is the case with the teachers who also have to prepare breakfast for their own children besides preparing them for school. This may be the biggest factor before switching over to respective schools late by 15 minutes or an hour. The authorities need to look beyond suspensions with a motive to stress upon the work culture which the department is lacking over the years when we look at the annual board results.

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Ulfat Khursheed Teacher, Srinagar


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editorial

The Counsellor Srinagar

Meadow of misery Since 1965 till date, 63 persons have lost their lives and 41 received injuries due to unexploded shells in Tosa Maidan. @abdullah_omar I visited Tosa Maidan and found that people were against the Army’s firing range in the meadows and wanted the area to be developed as a tourist destination @rather_raheem I invite ecologist, environmentalist from India to visit Kashmir to see the damage caused by excessive use of artillery shelling in the health resorts in Kashmir. @mirwaizumer it is not just Tosa Maidan but the entire issue of land for defense purposes and currently under use of the forces that needs to be seriously examined for a rational decision @mehboobaM Since 1964 when the lease was given to army over Tosamaidan the meadows and villages adjoining it have undergone heavy human and economical losses, problems like man animal conflict, ecological imbalance and pollution have arisen @sheikhghulamrasool

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ollowing protests by locals and warnings by civil society groups as well as pro-freedom groups to launch an agitation on the issue, Government of J&K has decided not to extend the Tosamaidan lease that would have allowed the Indian army to carry on with their yearly firing drills in the beautiful meadow again putting tens of villages adjacent to it in extreme discomfort. The lush green high altitude picturesque meadow has, alongside humans in the adjacent villages, borne the brunt of explosives and ammunition fires for fifty long years now. While army will continue to occupy the meadows till a new site is identified, one expects good sense will prevail on the government while selecting a new location. The harrowing scars of human tragedy that continues to spill blood and fear in Tosamaidan should not echo from any other meadow or desert identified for these killing fire-drills. The site used for firing range should be far off from the human habitat and that environmental concerns should also be addressed. International protocol and procedures should be made an integral part of the process leading up to the identification of the location. However, the reports of devastation and deprivation that the people of villages living adjacent to Tosamaidan suffered and in fact are still suffering need to be probed through a fact-finding team comprising of local administration and civil-society groups to assess the damages caused by the military exercises conducted in the area that included aerial-bombardment. Those affected directly by the military drills should be compensated for the loss of life or limb. Steps should also be initiated to control and cure the far reaching health hazards that such drills pose to the human population. To conclude, healthcare and education system of the area that has been affected badly due to the yearly military drills should be restored on a priority basis so that the people, particularly children living in the lap of this mesmerising meadow begin their lives with new promises of hope and a better future. The misery of Tosamaidan must now make way for the collective good of this meadow and its surrounding inhabitants.

Wahid Habib Printed and Published by: Wahid Habib | Editor-in-Chief: Wahid Habib | Editor: Faiz Wangnoo| Sub Editor: Zubair Mushtaq | Designed by: Creatwo Studio, 9906910717 | Photo Journalist: Sajad Rafiq & Tayzeem Rasool | Legal Advisor: Irfan Rasool Najar | Director Sales & Marketing: Wasim Raja | Publicity Manager: Khursheed Ahmed | Published From: Triangles Group, Top Floor, Bhat Complex, Opp. Distt. Police Lines, Balgarden Karan Nagar, Srinagar 190010, Tel : +91-9858765858, +91-9796398432 Jammu Office: 36, Sector 5, Guru Nanak Nagar, Jammu 180004 Tel: +91-9419077011 | E-mail: editorcounsellor@gmail.com | Printed at: Exxon Printing Press Bob Demb, Khanyar Srinagar

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content REPORT

Torment Schools without toilets

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INTERVIEW DR. HUMAIRA P20

PHOTO FEATURE RUMPUS IN CAMPUS P26

Volume 4 | Number 5 | May-June 2014 | RNI JKENG/2011/42577 | Rs.

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COVER DESIGN SHEIKH PARVAIZ

SHELL SHOCKED SCHOOLING! WITH SCORES OF HUMANS DEAD AND MAIMED, TOSAMAIDAN IS A TRAGEDY OF SORTS

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SHELL-SHOCKED SCHOOLING!

COVER STORY | BILAL MEHMOOD

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EDU NEWS

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report

Amin Masoodi Special Corrospondent The author can be mailed at masoodiamin@gmail.com

TORMENT SCHOOLS WITHOUT TOILETS Despite liberal funding from the central government under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and other flagship schemes, basic facilities in government-run schools are still a distant dream for students

N

otwithstanding the claims of the government that it was committed to provide basic facilities like toilets and potable drinking water in schools, a large number of schools, mostly in rural areas of Kashmir are lacking such important facilities. In the absence of toilets in such schools, students, including grown-up girls much to their embarrassment are forced to attend nature’s call in open. The problem is prevalent in far-off areas of north and south Kashmir, which have been neglected by the authorities. What makes the matter worse is the fact that from time to time there has been liberal funding from the central government under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and other flagship schemes to ensure such facilities in government-run schools, but due to improper utilization of funds a large number of schools are marred by very poor sanitation, thereby, putting the health of students at risk. In north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, out of 994 primary schools, 414 schools housed in rented buildings are without washroom and potable water facilities. Similarly out of 704 upper primary schools, also referred to as middle schools, 134 schools housed in rented buildings are without these facilities, according to data available with the office of Chief Education Office Kupwara. The record further suggests that 40 higher secondary schools and 95 high schools in the district have proper toilet facility. 6

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With no toilets available in schools students use unhygienic hanging toilets, shoddy structures made out of low cost timber that sit a few feet above the ground.


COLUMN REPORT

Students and teaching staff are facing problems due to lack of toilets in schools as this has also led to poor sanitation in the school premises risking the health of students. An SSA school in the Bakiakar village of Handwara Tehsil is housed in two rooms in an old-building and is without the toilet facility. “We are forced to attend nature’s call in open and take meals without washing our hands. The two room school is without a toilet facility for past two years and despite repeated requests by our parents, the authorities have not addressed the problem,” said Mohsin Nabi, class VII student. “We have to carry water-bottles that don’t last throughout the day. The school is devoid of potable water facility as well. The poor sanitation affects our health and making us prone to infections,” he added. In the same village of Handwara Tehsil, recently upgraded high school has a toilet facility, but students said it was of no use to them as it remains locked most of the times due to scarcity of water. Girl students said that in absence of the facility, they were left with no option but to attend nature’s call in open. “What is the point in having a washroom at school when it is of no use...? It is extremely embarrassing for us to go into the fields to attend nature’s call, but despite a few representations to the Chief Education Officer Kupwara the problem has not been addressed,” said a class X student, whose views were echoed by many of her classmates. In SSA school at the remote Lashtiyal village of Kupwara district, the situation is no better. The school housed in two rooms, having an enrollment of 45 children, is without a toilet. Stu-

dents said that they were facing great difficulties due to absence of toilets. “Our teachers have advised us to go to toilet in the morning, when we leave for school and make a habit of going again to the toilet in the evening. How can one have control on his or her urges when it comes to attending nature’s call. We appeal the authorities to make the necessary arrangements so that we do not face

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any problems,” said a group of students to The Counsellor. A teacher at an SSA school in the far-off Kukroosa village in district Kupwara said that despite repeated requests authorities have not provided the school with toilet facility. “The government claim of spending crores of rupees on building infrastructure for schools and making facilities like bathrooms and drinking water available seems hoax as in reality a large number of schools don’t have even basic facilities like toilets. In our school, both students and teachers are facing problems due to non-availability of washrooms but nobody bothers to address the problem,” he said. “Despite many requests to the Chief Education Office, Kupwara the problem remains,” he added. In the Baramulla district of north Kashmir, the situation is equally dismal. As per data available with Chief Education Office, Baramulla; out of total 1103 primary schools, a whooping 461 have temporary arrangements of toilets and out of 656 Upper primary schools, only 88 schools have temporary toilet arrangements. Besides, most of these schools operate from rented buildings, many being housed in temporary tin sheds and often get submerged in water whenever there is a rainfall. The data reveal 155 High Schools and 44 Higher Secondary schools in Baramulla district have proper bathroom facility. Students of few SSA schools in the remote Sheeri village (20 Kms from Baramulla town) said that they were suffering immensely due to deficiency of basic facilities. School is a place where a student has to stay for about six hours and non-availability of toilet facility during these long hours is simply frustrating for students. “We have been requesting the teaching staff to make the facility available at school but nothing has been done to date,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmad, a class VIII student. Rehana Anjum, a class X student of a government high school in Baramulla district, said, “The washroom of our school is in a porous tin shed, which risks the privacy of a girl. Most of the girls prefer not to use the washroom. Authorities should make a separate bathroom for girl students to avoid inconveniences, ensure privacy and security,” Students of many other schools in Baramulla alleged that the toilets are not cleaned regularly and they had to rush to 8

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Miserable condition of an unhygienic toilet in a Govt. school in north Kashmir

the toilets in their homes after the huge schooling hours. In the Pulwama district of South Kashmir, sources in education department told The counselor that 341 SSA schools were lacking toilet and potable water facilities. They said that most of these schools were housed in rented buildings and students and teaching staff were facing hardships due to non-availability of basic facilities. Waiting for release of funds The District Planning Officer Baramulla, Abdul Roub Shad told The Counsellor that as soon as funds are released under SSA or from Directorate of School Education the department spends the same on construction of bathrooms and building necessary infrastructure in schools. “We have raised temporary sheds in some schools to enable students and teaching staff use these as washrooms but as and when funds are released, we will construct permanent washrooms wherever necessary,” Shad added. Chief Education Officer Kupwara said, “I have already requested for release of funds under SSA and whenever funds are released, no time will be wasted in ensuring bathroom facility in schools, wherever needed.” “I must admit that students and teaching staff are facing problems due to nonavailability of washrooms in some schools in Kupwara district,” he added.  masoodiamin@gmail.com


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story

Bilal Mehmood special Corrospondent The author can be mailed at bilal.mehmood21@gmail.com

SHELL-SHOCKED SCHOOLING! WITH SCORES OF HUMANS DEAD AND MAIMED, TOSAMAIDAN IS A TRAGEDY OF SORTS

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Most of the kids in the villages around Tosamaidan have developed hearing disabilities, depressive bouts and memory disorders because of the situation they are finding themselves in. All these health ailments are potent enough to trigger a sense of low morale and motivation in them for study.

T

he residents of Tosamaidan and its adjacent habitats observed April 18, 2014 as Black Day. Their 50 years of living ordeal had a hiatus that day, when the license to conduct firing drills by Indian army in the picturesque meadow expired. It all started in 1964 and since then the firing drills caused 63 civilian deaths which included children, aged and youth. All these years, they lost their kith and kin in a brutal manner. Amid the din of drills, kids in this charmingly beautiful meadow lost their childhood. They couldn’t complete their schooling amid frequent shaking of the ground. Their school buildings crumbled down due to blasts. And today most of these children have turned depressive, dejected and demoralized. For now, Omar Abdullah led coalition government of J&K —which is about to complete its office term, has declined to extend the lease of the 11,200 hectares of Tosmaidan meadow in central Kashmir’s Budgam district to Indian army for conducting firing drills which includes aerial bombardment. The vow has not satisfied people living in the villages surrounding the Tosamadian.

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They say, they want everything in writing now, which as per them, hasn’t been given to them. To gauge the mood in the villages around Tosamaidan after the lease ended, I stepped into Shanglipora village, situated in a close proximity of the meadow. It takes 15 minutes of bus journey from Khag area of Budgam to reach the sleepy village housing 900 families. Some elders seated on the shop fronts were busy chatting with each other. The spring sunshine had seeped into the mud shops exposing the weathered surface of walls. On the potholed road layered with dirt, some shabby looking kids were running and chasing. In this village where 40 odd people have lost their lives due to firing drills by the Indian army, the education of kids is the worst hit. After walking a few miles, I met Mohammad Akram, 37. An average built man wearing thick glasses; Akram is the elected Sarpanch of Shanglipora. His daughter, Ruqaya, 11, figures in the list of hundreds of kids in the village who have never been to school. “Apart from human lives, education has been the biggest casualty of the villagers around Tosamaidan all these years,” Akram told me on the way to his home. As we walked on the mud lanes dotted with round pebbles, scores of kids peeped out of the windows. Within a few minutes, we reached Akram’s residence. Not that old, Akram’s father lied down on the porch of his mud-brick house. Some years ago, the elder stumbled on a stray shell that exploded and left him handicapped forever! After some time, Akram’s daughter Ruqaya entered into the fenceless courtyard of her home. As per her routine, she carried a stack of firewood on her head. Instead of going to school, she along with other girls of Shanglipora goes into the nearby forest to fetch firewood. But stepping inside the forest is no kidding. Apart from the scare of wild beasts, threat of stray shells is all-pervading. Akram told me that these killing shells come down from Tosamaidan where army conducts firing drills and remain hidden under bushes or grass in the forest. Ruqaya has to negotiate


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this threat every day and so far luck has sided with her. But what prevented her from going to school? “Look, you need to understand something,” Akram, her father retorted. “This is not a normal place to study. And, how could you study when death is round the corner!” Akram was trying to explain that the frequent bangs and shakes created by firing drills of army has instilled a deep sense of insecurity among them and their children. At stone’s throw from Akram’s residence, I saw a boy, in his early teens, staring at us. I walked up to him and asked, “Do you go to school?” Lowering his gaze, he whispered, “No, I don’t.” His name was Mudasir Ahmad, who discontinued his studies after noticing a drastic decline in learning abilities. That was two years ago when army’s firing drills would send shock waves around. “But I wasn’t only school dropout in the village,” Mudasir, a visibly shy boy told me. “My classmates after developing memory problems also left their studies midway.” Akram and Mudasir took me to nearby school located in a breathtaking surrounding where nature has an apparent soothing effect on one’s senses. After walking for fifteen minutes on the path surrounded by lush green trees, we stopped near an old structure which houses the Government Middle School. It was lunch time. Kids dressed in untidy uniforms were quietly having lunch in the lawn of their school. A look of astonishment flashed on their faces when quizzed about their school and studies. Many chuckled. Others ran away. And some burst into an instant laughter out of innocence. But a few stood their ground and answered queries in broken syllables. I talked to Aleem Sultan, a class 6 student living at the fringe of Shanglipora and closer to firing range in Tosamaidan. He is the fourth son of Mohammad Sultan, a shepherd. His older siblings have left their studies midway due to the disturbance created by the explosions. “Two of my brothers are labourers,” Aleem told me with a palpable awkwardness. “And my third brother is also a shepherd.” Aleem lost one of his distant cous-

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ins, a shepherd to a stray shell in Tosamidan few years back. He too had severed his ties with studies due to incessant firing drills. “You see,” a medico in the village said, “most of the kids in the village have developed hearing disabilities, depressive bouts and memory disorders because of the situation they are finding themselves in. All these health ailments are potent enough to trigger a sense of low morale and motivation in them for study.” The clock had struck 2.00 pm when I left Shanglipora for the neighbouring village called Drung. The road to Drung—where the base camp for army’s firing range is located, is still awaiting black top. A few minutes of walk took me to the residence of Manzoor Ahmad Rather, 38, Sarpanch Drung. Sporting a short beard, Manzoor took me to Pathri, a base camp where army vehicles and makeshift tents could be seen from May to October every year for conducting firing drills. “They [Army] keep on firing for six months,” Manzoor said while taking me to the vantage point where the view of entire Srinagar is visible. “And during that period, the life around this heavenly meadow turns hell for people living here. The violent explosions also keep kids out of school.” As we walked further ahead, some signs of firing assaults became ominous. Large ditches created by exploded shells have marred the beauty of the meadow. It is in these meadows that kids like Amir Rashid, 9, roam grazing their cattle. Rashid too dropped out of school once bang after bang shook up his surroundings. He told me that he survived a life threatening event two years ago when his school building was crumbled down because of a loud explosion inside the meadow. “I had to run for my life,” Rashid, a class 3 dropout told me with a big stick in his hands. “And since then, I don’t go to school.” But Rashid wasn’t a lone kid roaming inside what many locals call “a meadow of death”. Shabir Hussain, 12, another shepherd from Drung echoes the same torturous tale. Three years ago, Hussain complained about the severe migraine.


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COVER STORY

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Shear crack visible in a concrete structure due to explosions, at Shanglipora in Tosamaidan.

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THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

His parents who are living from hand to mouth overlooked his condition for a while. But when the pain grew intense, the grieving parents took him to a local health care centre. What appeared just a passing pain was later diagnosed as a symptom of acute migraine. Medications followed. And for a moment, he felt relieved. But every time Hussain would study, migraine would return. And thereby he couldn’t concentrate on his studies anymore. Finally, in disappointment, he gave up his studies. I met a local medico to make sense of Hussain’s condition. After talking at length about the health conditions developed by villagers due to firing drills, the medico told me that migraine is the common problem here. “It is but natural,” the medico said who wished anonymity. “Once you keep firing those loud shells in a human habitat for fifty long years, the population is bound to get affected. The case of Hussain is no different.” It was already 3.30 pm when I walked past the houses in Drung with deep fissures towards another village called Sutaharan. On the parting note Manzoor, Sarpanch Drung said, “We urge the state government to provide us a document of assurance, so that our next generation could lead a normal life.” After a few moments, I moved towards the village that lost an 8th standard student last summer. It is said that Shabir Ahmad, 14, from Sutaharan village stepped accidently on the stray shell in the meadow. The shell exploded and ripped him apart. Later, when the word of his death spread in the village, the villagers ran towards the meadow only to find his body in pieces scattered around. Ghulam Mohiuddin Shiekh, 48, Sarpanch Sutaharan village, who was born two years after Tosamaidan was notified as the firing range in 1964. The lease ended in 2004, but Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led coalition government renewed the lease for another ten years. It is said that the extension of the agreement was in complete violation of Forest Conservation Act. The lease finally expired on April 18, 2014. Last year Chief Minister Omar Abdullah admitted on the floor of the JK Leg-


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islature that 63 deaths have occurred in Tosamaidan since 1964. But independent groups put the toll at around 150. Besides, hundreds of people have been left handicapped. Kids and youth belonging to the villages around Tosamaidan mainly figure in the list. And one of those who have been rendered handicapped forever is Bilal Ahmad, 29. I saw him walking on crutches. We sat on the village ground where villagers had gathered. After a while, he folded the bottom of his pants up and revealed his artificial leg. He later told me that a part of his leg was devoured by a stray shell in the meadow. He was then in his early teens and had gone to the meadow for playing cricket. Later, when he returned home, he was no longer walking on both of his legs. And since then, he is living a miserable life. Like Shanglipora, education in Sutaharan is the worst hit due to disturbing noise created by firing drills. Interestingly, there are 12 firing ranges in J&K out of total 66 such ranges in India. These firing ranges do not exceed 2 to 3 in all states except Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan which have seven and six firing ranges respectively. Locals in Sutaharan say the army is in no mood to relocate the field firing range from Tosamaidan. But according to the deliberations between state and military officials, army has sought more time to survey the new proposed sites in Gurez and Wadwan valleys. In that case, the lease is more likely to be extended. “But extending the lease of Tosamaidan to army will puncture state government’s own tall claims,” Sarpanch Sutharan told me. Many fear that in case the government would pursue relocating the firing range to beautiful valleys of Gurez and Wadwan, it will only complicate the situation further. As the clock ticked past 4.30 pm, I visited some of the schools in the village. In one of the schools, a young school teacher—a class 12 pass-out, told me that the attendance in classrooms wasn’t something to feel proud about. “Naturally, one can’t expect order out of a chaotic situation,” he summed up the state of education in his village.

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“Look, you need to understand something. This is not a normal place to study. And, how could you study when death is round the corner!” Mohammad Akram, Elected Sarpanch of Shanglipora.

However, with hundreds of youth, belonging to villages around Tosamaidan, reeling under unemployment, many believe that the area has a great potential for adventure tourism due to its perfect location. There is an adventurous trek to Gulmarg from Tosamaidan. And towards its South-West, one can reach Poonch via Noor Pur Galee and China Galee. “And if army vacates the land,” Rouf Tramboo, an expert commentator on adventure tourism said. “This will throw up many avenues for the youth of the place.” But the place is still being perceived dreadful for recreation. In June 2010, three civilians on a picnic in Tosmaidan were killed when they fiddled with an unexploded shell. The shell exploded, ripping apart the three kids of the same family. The fear is still palpable. And perhaps, it would remain there as long as government wouldn’t give a formal order to village heads declaring the meadow free from firing drills and cleared of killing stray shells. The dusk was near when I left Sutaharan. The smaller kids were still playing on mud roads oblivious of the dangers lurking around their habitat. Some young girls were ferrying water pots on their heads. Most of them, I was told, aren’t enrolled in school. As I left the village, I thought about Ruqaya, daughter of Sarpanch Shanglipora. She was hardly 2-year-old when a shell explosion killed her uncle. A year later, her father survived a fatal attack when a shell hit his leg. At the age of six, her other uncle became handicapped when he stumbled on the stray shell. And once she was eight, her grandfather lost his leg to another explosion in the meadow. And as she continues to venture inside the ‘shell littered’ forests, she too remains vulnerable to such a tragic fate. Life is indeed dangerous in these villages around Tosamaidan, where death keeps no calendar. 

bilal.mehmood21@gmail.com


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interview

Bilal Bhat Special Corrospondent

The author can be mailed at bilalcool07@gmail.com

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH KEY LIES IN CRITICAL THINKING, PATIENCE AND PASSION FOR HARD WORK Conferred with Young Scientist Award by Federation of European Biological Society and Award of Excellence, "Summa Cum Lauda" for doctoral dissertation, Dr. Humaira in an interview with Counsellor’s Special Correspondent Bilal Bhat, shares her professional struggle and personal experiences

Tell us about your early education and life? I was born in old city area of Rajouri Kadal, Srinagar. Later, my parents shifted to Zakura Srinagar. So I grew as a child first in the old city and then in the city outskirts. After doing my schooling from Caset Experimental School, Karan Nagar, I joined Aligarh Muslim University and did Masters in Biochemistry. Subsequently, in 1996, I joined Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Later, in 1999, I went to Germany and finished my doctoral from Institute of Biochemistry, Justus Liebig University, Giessen. How the idea of becoming a scientist struck your mind and how did you follow it? My interest in science and research grew from my school days. We were taught to live and think independent; we also had a kind of scientific environment in our school. As the turmoil of 90’s start20

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

ed, my father sent me to Aligarh where I opted for Biochemistry as my dream subject and finished Masters with 1st class distinction. Dr. Hassnain once visited our university and offered me a chance to join his lab as a summer trainee. That reinforced the flair and passion for scientific research. Subsequently, I applied for GATE and successfully qualified. What was the source of inspiration? During my school days in 1980s, scientific temperament was almost missing in Kashmir and even today Kashmir lags a lot when it comes to the field of research. My inspiration came from books which aroused my interest in science. Despite being a school going kid, I would go to the Allama Iqbal Library at Kashmir University to read books related to science. How do you view your decision to join AMU? Joining Aligarh Muslim University was a good thing to happen in my career. I

liked the subject more and more and got exposed and accustomed to lab culture. I read publications and papers of different scientists of the world. This increased my interest in science and research. We were made to do different lab experiments. This was a learning, evolving and practical experience for me. When did you felt deeply that you were made for research? It was during the period I worked with Dr Hasnain in his lab. There I experienced how lab works, how to tackle a problem, how to critically think about it, how discussions happen. Dr Hasnain made me read very difficult papers of scientists from US, Germany. I read, critically reviewed and presented these papers in the lab. I liked and enjoyed the whole process and in next four months I came to realise that I am made for scientific research. After qualifying GATE, with the grace of Almighty Allah I became the first Kashmiri


REPORT

tional Quality Award, Postdoctoral Fellowship by the DAAD sponsored International Quality Network "Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids” and also won Young Scientist Award by Federation of European Biological Society (FEBS). You have started your own lab in the US, tell us something about that? During my PhD I developed a lot of new ideas and wanted to do research on these ideas, but for that I was in need of my own set of experimental lab, for which funding source was very important. This passion of getting my independent lab kept my dream alive throughout my struggle. After finishing my fellowship in Germany, I went to US and joined as a faculty member and started my own independent lab where I am guiding two PhD’s.

girl to join the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IIS Bangalore). How and why did you go to Germany for your PhD? At IIS Bangalore, I met a Germen scientist who offered me to join his lab in Germany and do PhD there. This was a turning point and opened door towards a new world of research for me. I was just 25 and married, but my husband supported me immensely. He even left his job in India to join me in Germany and support my research. Tell us about your professional life in Germany and how much challenging it was? Very challenging. It demanded a lot of patience and hard work. And with the grace of Almighty Allah I was able to give seven publications in short span of my PhD (duration) due to which, I became the fastest PhD ever in that university. I received ‘Award of Excellence’, "Summa Cum Lauda" for doctoral dissertation in the year 2002. In 2003 I got an interna-

What hurdles you faced in starting your own lab in the US? I applied for job in the US amidst economic downturn. The job openings had squeezed. My first application pitted me against 500 applicants, all Americans, for just one position. I applied in different universities across the US, but competition was stiff everywhere. Those were tough times and getting through was very difficult. For one year, I prayed to Allah to either help me forget my ambition or guide me in achieving it. I kept studying and applying until fortune smiled upon my struggle and I was interviewed in Perdue. Thanks to Almighty Allah, I got an independent faculty position in Perdue. At Perdue, I have to do 80% of research and 20% of teaching. Right now I guide two PhDs. To whom would you give credit for your achievements? If I have to attribute my success, I will attribute it to my husband, whose support and cooperation has been a real driver. And yes, my German guide Prof. Albert Jeltsch too has been of help and great contribution towards my professional success so far. Research is a tough and busy job, how does it affect your family life? Many women scientists stay isolated and they don’t marry. A woman scientist has to craftily strike a balance between family and research, so that it doesn’t affect the relationship and work. I could have lost my husband, but it’s all about how you handle things. You need to take your family into confidence and make them understand your passion.

Talking about Kashmiri women, they lag in this field. What could be the reason? It’s not only Kashmiri women, who are behind in the research field. It’s all over the world, even in the US. The reason is women after working hard in research give up in the end as they don’t bear the work load. How can the women in Kashmir continue research after getting married? What I know about Kashmiri girls is after completing their masters or M Phil in science, they sacrifice their whole career for family. If they lose one or two years in taking up family, they think they won’t be able to continue research. This is a wrong notion. Pauses come into every one’s life, but it doesn’t mean you stop moving. Consider those couple of years as a breather and start afresh. How can Kashmir improve in terms of research? The opportunities in Kashmir in terms of research are very bleak, but Kashmir University’s serious collaboration with European and US Universities can really help the students. This can lead to interaction with scientists from different countries of the world and help gain experience and avail opportunities. Students should move out of state for research, but they don’t have to necessarily stay outside Kashmir. What’s the way of applying to US and European universities? For US universities, one has to go through GRF. In Europe, there are no hard and fast rules; one can apply directly in some labs. In Indian labs, they can find lots of open positions. Research means facing challenges and obstacles. Would you please throw some light on this aspect? Research means you have to put lot of efforts, and sometimes experiments do not work and life becomes miserable. At times, you have to do same experiment 1000 times, which could fail again and again, but you don’t have to give up. Passion and madness for research should keep you going. Having a lot of experience in the field, what would be your message for the young aspirants, who wish to join the field of research? Just follow your passion; this passion will keep your ambition alive. Don’t take science for the purpose of money, otherwise you can face lot of problems in future and may finally leave it. 

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THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014


17 Years of experience in Technical education. 14 batches of B.Tech and 6 Batches of M.Tech successfully passed-out. Experienced and well qualified 300 faculty members. Vast experience of running 6 B.Tech, 11 M.Tech, & Ph.D courses in Engineering. More than 5200 passed-out students are well placed and working in the industry. More than 500 passed-out students are well placed abroad. More than 2000 students are getting MOMA (Ministry of Minority Affairs) Scholarship, J&K Special Scholarship and OBC Scholarships every year.

COURSES OFFERED B.Tech Courses

M.Tech Courses

Bachelors of Architecture

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special

report

Bilal Bhat Special Corrospondent

The author can be mailed at bilalcool07@gmail.com

TECHVAGANZA 2K14 ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE

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THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014


SPECIAL REPORT

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ational Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar is all set to host the prime Techno Cultural event of state, ‘Techvaganza’ from May 24 to May 26. NIT Srinagar is a renowned national institute run under the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD). The fest is aimed at promoting technology, scientific temperament and innovation among students by acquainting them with the future technologies and demonstrating the various aspects which will lead to revolutionize of their lives. “The three day program aims to provide a firm platform to the student community to develop and showcase their technical prowess and ideas,” Chief Coordinator Techvaganza Professor Shabir Ahmad Sofi told The Counsellor. “Though a number of technical festivals are held across India, but this is one of the largest in northern region. We welcome and encourage the students from different colleges and Universities and even from outside state. We have kept the registration free, and this way, we provide platform for them”, he said. “Any student can come with his idea or a design, which if approved can go for a pattern or international publication for its recognition. In addition to that, there are many schemes from the central government that can facilitate and sponsor its production, if it’s not found anywhere else in the world,” he added. Techveganza today is well established as region’s largest science and technology event annually held at National Institute of Technology, Srinagar. Its first edition was held in 1998 at IIT-Bombay. Techvaganza has the reputation of nurturing the most competitive and eye catching events to capture the talent of forth coming engineers Techvaganza is a Technical-fest organised by the Student-body of the college. The organizers can be broadly categorized into three sections — the

Managers, Co-ordinators and Organisers. The Manager deals with the management of the competitions, exhibitions, lectures, & workshops. The Co-ordinator deals with issues like Accounts, Infrastructure, Marketing, Hospitality, Publicity and Media. The Organisers are the ones who plan and take the initiative from the very ground level to its originality. Started in 2009 in Kashmir, it gives most bounteous chance for engineering students, professionals, diploma students, to showcase their talent in technical fields. A move to make the valley techno paradise, students are asked to provide models to cater solutions for different problems. Techvaganza also strives for the betterment of the society with unique initiatives. “We have about 30 events with cash prize worth 3 lakh rupees. These events are based on the practical problems that people face in Kashmir and elsewhere in India. We have programs like ‘cross the bridge’ in which students are told to provide best models for flyovers and also seismic designs for buildings to resist earth quakes and android apps for Google play store etc”, said, Sakib Gulzar, Convener of Techvaganza 2k14. It brings amongst the participants a sense of inquisitiveness, profundity, professionalism and broad-spectrum adeptness. This festival is planned for the effectual deliberations and interaction on both the current and future status of emerging techniques targeted at catering to the needs of contemporary epoch. Robotics is one of the key focus area of this fest. “We also hold different workshops. Last year we held robotic evens which included making of unmanned flying robot and other different models. It’s not all about winning the prizes only, they get chance to learn from others mistakes, through interactive secessions with peers, scien-

tists and different alumni,” he added. Techvaganza has the reputation of nurturing the most competitive and eye catching events to capture the talent of forth coming engineers “Engineering is not only all about theory; one has to be practical too. At the end of the day, you have to work for the companies to face the practical world. Kashmiri students have lot of talent, but they lack in exposure, this is where Techvaganza finds its place to enlighten such youth”, said Faizan Bhat, Manager Techvaganza 2k14. “Media too has a bigger role to highlight this opportunity among various students, so that they can avail it to showcase their mettle. If last year, a student of chemical engineering, IIT Delhi, can produce biodegradable plastic and sold his project in 360 crores, I believe we too can achieve such fate, it’s now on the students, how they are going to avail it,” he further said. Technical fun or fun fest is also the part of the program, many cultural events of dance, music and fun items are to be performed by the professionals in respective fields, a part to entertain the audience. The students participate in the program to imbibe creativity and confidence among themselves. “Last year, I had been the fun organiser of tech events and we had eight to nine fun events. Everybody hailed the entertainment part of our program. This year, I hope, we will get better,” Akaash Malhotra, a 6th semester civil engineering student said. The main aim of Techvaganza is to uplift the technical level of the region to provide a platform for the budding creators of tomorrow to understand what the world needs and their role in order to keep the wheels of the society in motion. It is in itself a ceaseless endeavour to encourage engineering excellence and bring out the best talent from across the country. 

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RUMPUS IN CAMPUS

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RUMPUS IN CAMPUS

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail Mark Twain

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edunews Science and maths skills get 'best jobs' in the US: Report Private institutions welcome UGC order on new engineering colleges

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rivate engineering colleges have welcomed the direction of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which says that no new engineering colleges will be allowed to start in the coming academic year. With no more new seats and colleges to be permitted, existing institutions feel that they have a better chance to fill their seats. College owners say that indiscriminate granting of permissions to start new institutions and increase seats in existing ones has caused this problem. When existing institutions were allowed to increase their intake, the leading institutions became the first choice for students, which left those with questionable reputation struggling to fill seats. The announcement of UGC has brought cheer among the institutions facing tough times. T D Eswaramoorthy, the joint secretary of the Engineering Colleges affiliated to Anna University in Coimbatore says that for a while now, many colleges have been unable to fill seats. "Many institutions with 180 seats have surrendered 60 of them," he said. This is because having more seats is a financial strain on the college, especially if they are unable to get students. For every 15 students, there is supposed to be one teacher. Therefore, the teachers required for the excess students can be cut-down. Other expenses including laboratory facilities can also be minimized.

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Mathematician job was found to be this year's best as per the evaluations provided by CareerCast's 2014 Jobs Rated Report, released on April 15 at Carlsbad, California. The report syas that public and private companies, government agencies, educational institutions and the non-profit sector, all seek to hire mathematicians, in part because of the growing popularity of mathematical principles and concepts in almost every area of work, especially statistical analysis. In 2013, the median annual pay scale for mathematicians was $101,360. And at a projected growth rate of 23 per cent by 2022, the field's outlook is very bright. "In today's data-driven economy, maths skills unlock a world of career opportunities," said Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast. Healthcare careers are also strong, with audiologist, dental hygienist, occupational therapist and speech pathologist ranking among CareerCast's best jobs in 2014. In the coming decade, the US bureau of labor statistics (BLS) projects five million new healthcare jobs added by US employers.

Sebi pitches for subject on capital markets in school syllabus

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arket regulator Sebi has made a pitch for inclusion of additional financial concepts related to capital markets in school syllabus. The Securities and Exchange Board of India said it has followed up with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and HRD ministry on the proposal and has been informed that it would be given due consideration. "Follow ups with CBSE and HRD ministry have been done and as informed by the ministry, the inclusion of additional financial concepts and a different approach of introducing such concepts shall be duly considered when the process of revising the syllabus and textbooks will be done in 2014-15," Sebi said.

As part of its efforts to spread financial awareness, Sebi has been inviting students from schools, colleges and professional institutes interested in learning about the market regulator and its role since February 2011. It has conducted 139 such visits so far. The participants belonged to different parts of the country such as Amritsar, Pondicherry, Goa, Bareilly and were pursuing different courses, including management, commerce, banking, law, arts and science. For spreading financial literacy among more students, Sebi said the process of initiating 'National Financial Literacy Assessment Test (NFLAT) has been started and will be completed by August.


edunews

US sees dramatic surge in graduate applications from India

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ccording to a new report from the council of graduate schools (CGS), applications from prospective Indian students to US graduate schools surged dramatically while those from China slowed down a bit in 2013. A 32 per cent increase in applications from India, which accounts for 18 per cent of all international graduate students at US institutions offset a one per cent decline in applications from China, from where one third of the students come. This year's encouraging increase is more consistent with the growth trend in international graduate applications seen between 2006 and 2012, after a post-9/11 decrease said the survey. China, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Canada are the top five countries of origin for international graduate students in the United States, the report said. The survey covers in detail seven countries — China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil) and three regions — the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Preliminary increases in applications varied by broad field, the report said. The three most popular fields of study — engineering, physical and earth sciences, and business — together account for 64 per cent of all international students enrolled in US graduate programmes They were also the fastest growing, at 14 per cent, 16 per cent, and 7 per cent, respectively. Gains in applications were also found in 2014 in arts and humanities (3 per cent) and other fields (2 per cent). Applications in education declined 1 per cent and life sciences fell, 6 per cent.

Iran, UAE blacklist Osmania University degrees

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everal countries in the region have blacklisted Osmania University and therefore do not recognise the certificates issued by it to students of both distance education and regular stream. Scores of OU students, including foreigners have been refused jobs in the United Arab Emirates and Iran. "OU is blacklisted because those who completed the distance education course pass themselves off as regular day scholars of the varsity. These students do not have the basic standards required to perform well in a job," a manager in a Dubai-based recruitment agency said. Gems Education, which recruits young job aspirants, said OU is blacklisted in UAE as the distance education and regular courses offered by the university is not recognised on technical grounds. Even students who had obtained degree from regular classes face huge problems. Students with bachelor of communication and journalism degrees as well as masters in communication and journalism degrees have also been facing problems with Iranian authorities, as the country does not recognise the degrees. Recently, three students from OU who had applied for the UAE-based Gems Education, were rejected by the management saying their degrees are not recognised. OU authorities, however, said they were not aware of the blacklisting by UAE. "The country has not intimated us. I will verify the matter, write to the academic council of the varsity and resolve the issue once it is out in the open. If the countries want us to distinguish between the regular and distance mode courses in the certificates issued, we could consider that for the benefit of students," Bhikshamaiah, controller of examinations, Osmania University said.

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The Counsellor

Dr. Moses Simuyemba, CPC

The author is a medical doctor by profession a motivational speaker, writer and life coach and can be reached at mosessimuyemba@yahoo.co.uk

DEALING WITH PROBLEMS

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ou can be hindered from making progress if you ignore your problems. Could you be letting little challenges grow into huge obstacles by not dealing with them? When faced with unpleasant situations it is tempting to ignore them and not deal with them. The path of least resistance is an attractive one and the effort required to deal with the problem sometimes seems too immense. At times it’s not so much that the problem is big but that it requires us to admit something about ourselves or others that we just don’t want to face. The trouble is “You won't find a solution by saying there is no problem.” The dangers of not handling your problems The longer you take to deal with your problems the bigger they will grow and the harder it will be to sort them out. They are like weeds that grow in a beautiful garden. If not recognized and uprooted early enough they will dominate the garden and choke the beautiful flowers in the garden. Secondly, when ignored, problems may become accepted as the norm. I remember working at a hospital where there are often shortages of medical supplies. As medical staff there we got so used to improvising that even when some supplies were in stock we did not think of using them. For instance, we improvised arm slings for shoulder dislocations and broken limbs by using bandages and empty fluid bags. One nurse actually had to remind me that the pharmacy had plenty of arm slings so I should not be wasting people’s money by telling them to buy bandages instead. My mind had become accustomed to the abnormal to such an extent that it became normal and I absolutely did not think there was any other way to get the job done. Lastly, a problem that is not dealt

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with can lead to other problems. Unfortunately, problems are very social creatures and they will eagerly invite other problems into your life if you harbour them for too long. By not controlling one you may be opening the door to many others. It’s the domino effect: one action or lack of it in this case, can lead to many different consequences.

“A third way to deal with problems, then, is to alter your viewpoint. One way of doing this is to distance yourself emotionally from the problem. Try looking at the problem as an impartial observer and not as someone actively involved in it”

Change your thinking So how do you deal with problems? The first and best way is to change the way you think about problems. The way you see the problem is the problem. I like to think of such things as “challenges” rather than problems because “Problem” is a dead-end word. It leaves no room for solutions. When you regard something as a challenge instead, it leaves your mind free to think about how to respond to it. If you see it as a temporary obstacle you are more likely to feel empowered and able to deal with it.

Focus on the desired outcome A second way to deal with a problem is to focus on the solution instead. Focusing on the problem too much may actually make it more impossible to solve. This can make the problem so big in your mind that it obscures or overshadows any possible solution. Try instead to think about what life would be like if the problem were solved. This brings your creativity into play and your mind will soon find ways to solve the problem. According to Albert Einstein “You can't solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it.” A third way to deal with problems, then, is to alter your viewpoint. One way of doing this is to distance yourself emotionally from the problem. Try looking at the problem as an impartial observer and not as someone actively involved in it. This technique will not only make the problem seem less daunting, but will also help you to find possible solutions. When you are emotionally involved in something it clouds your judgment and dulls your creativity. Have a sense of humour Finally, “laugh at your problems; everybody else does.” It is important to realise that any problem, no matter how big it may seem at the time, has a solution and is usually not the end of our lives as we may often feel. As long as you are breathing no problem is beyond solving. There is always hope to those that will look for it. Take life in your stride. Do not get bogged down by it and don’t ever forget to enjoy it. A free and fun mindset alone will go a long way in helping you to deal with your problems. The conclusion Look ahead with confidence. Stay focused on what you want and not what’s in your way. “Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” 


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report

Qadri Inzamam

The author is a student of Journalism and can be mailed at qadriinzamam@gmail.com

OUR LABOUR DAY SACRIFICES ARE SACRED. AGREED. BUT WHAT IF THESE SACRIFICES ARE FORGOTTEN AND THOSE WHO OFFERED THEM ARE CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION?

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hough this year’s May Day went unnoticed because of the curfews and strikes that followed the death of Nawa Kadal youth on April 30, Kashmir’s Trade unions and other NGOs have traditionally commemorated the World Laborers Day on May 1 with full vigour by organizing rallies and protest marches. Though joining the world in commemorating the day is good, but in the process, we ought not to forget the sacrifices of the first ever native laborers who protested against the exploitation by government. Significantly, these first ever laborers, who laid down their lives for the rights of laborers, were Kashmiri Shawl weavers. Ironically, their sacrifices have been completely forgotten. On May 1, the whole world commemorates the sacrifices offered by laborers in Chicago in 1886. While trying to quell the protests at Haymarket, on 4th May, Chicago Police killed four protesters – all laborers. The laborers had been protesting for the ‘Eight-hour Work Day’. That was 1886. However, no one remembers the first ever strike observed by workers in Kashmir in the year of 1847, decades before the “exalted” May Day. Historians in Kashmir believe that it was the first ever strike observed by laborers anywhere in the world to protest the exploitation by the autocratic regime. Moreover, the first ever sacrifices ever offered by any laborer in the world was also in Kashmir and that too years before the Haymarket affair. Zahir-ud-Din, Kashmir’s noted journalist and author of ‘Flashback’, says that Kashmiri laborers were the first ever workers in the world to observe a strike to press their demands and protest against 34

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

the exploitations by the government. In 1865, during the reign of Maharaja Hari Singh, a Pandit namely Raj Kak Dhar got the contract of the shawl department for 12 lakh rupees. Raj Kak imposed a tax of 49 rupees on the Shawl Weavers and to collect that, as historians write, he would take along Maharaja’s army. During that time almost 125000 Kashmiris people were associated with Shawl weaving industry and generated a stupendous amount annually. However, due to the imposition of heavy taxes they were left with very little amount of money to feed themselves and their families. “The weavers approached the then Governor Kripa Ram to apprise him of their woes, but he did not listen to them. To press their demands the weavers took out a procession on April 29, 1865. The processionists staged a demonstration in a ground near Zaldagar and later decided to march towards the residence of the governor,” writes Zahir-ud-Din in his book, Flashback. He further writes that Raj Kak Dhar instigated the governor who sent Colonel Beach to deal with the protestors. The protestors were chased towards a bridge, called Rather Sum Bridge, near Zaldagar which collapsed and as many as 28 protesters were drowned. Historians claim that the army personnel even fired on the protesters which left many injured. These first ever protests of laborers in the world held in Kashmir were led by Abli Baba and Sheikh Rasool. During the protests, the Maharaja’s army arrested many protesters, including these two leaders. Sheikh Rasool and Abli Baba are believed to have been tortured to death in Shergari Palace. Others who were ar-

rested were sent to Jammu where they breathed their last. Zahir-ud-Din, however, says that nobody really knows how the leaders of first ever ‘Trade Union Movement’ were treated. “No charge sheet was produced in any court. No inquiry was constituted.” Zahir-ud-Din says that besides be-


REPORT

ing important in terms of the Laborers’ Rights, 29 April has importance in terms of Human Rights. It was the day, Zahir-ud-Din- writes, when the phenomenon of extra judicial killings started in Kashmir. In order to make sure that Zaldagar martyrs are not neglected by history and forgotten by people, Zahir-ud-din says that he wrote to the members of trade union reminding them of the importance of Zaldagar incident and the Trade Union Movement. “I urged them to set up a memorial at Zaldagar so that people can remember the sac-

and give more importance to Chicago incident,” he contests. Professor M. A. Wani, who is Head of History Department at Kashmir University, believes that the essence of the World labors Day is to show concern for the labour and working classes who constitute a bulk and majority of our society.

rifices of the valiant shawl workers who laid their lives for the Rights of Labourers,” he says. Zahir says that at least a seminar or debate should be held on April 29 every year to commemorate the Zaldagar incident and its importance. “But it is ironic that we have forgotten our own sacrifices

About 29th April 1865 incident, Prof. M. A. Wani says that the nature of that incident was altogether different than that of the Chicago episode. “Zaldagar incident was against the autocratic rule and oppression that was meted out to this oppressed class.” He is, however, quick to add that

Þ

A local weaver busy in making exquisite shawls on a wooden loom

Zaldagar incident has been associated with the Labours Day in the modern context of the phenomena of celebrating Labours Day. Prof. Wani says that it is ironic how the Kashmir as a society has failed to remember and value the sacrifices made by the Zaldagar labours. “It is unfortunate on our part. This age is altogether a materialistic age. Those martyrs who sacrificed their lives at some point of time against a particular regime or oppressed system must be remembered at each and every time of our lives.” He says that the materialistic tenden-

cies have overwhelmed everyone in our society. The role of intellectuals, he says, is most important to remember the labour class and its sacrifices so that others do not face the same atrocities that the abject labours had faced in the past. Nadeem Qadri, a Kashmiri lawyer and noted Human Rights activists, an-

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REPORT

guishes that Kashmir as a society has failed to respect the rights of laborers. “Labour Laws are thrown to the winds and nothing tangible is being done to protect the rights of Labour community,” he says adding that “we need to do a lot to make the labours part of mainstream Rights based community. Nadeem Qadri, however, stresses on understanding, what he calls as, ‘nexus between NGOs and Trade Unions’. The idea of protection of rights need to studied in multi-disciplinary format, so that the Rights of Labours can be protected, he says. After more than a century, the condition of Shawl weavers in Kashmir is still miserable and pathetic. During the Maharaja’s reign, Shawl workers would earn not more than 5 to 6 rupees per month and In today’s age, their earnings continue to be lean. However, Zahir believes that it is only the workmen who face the brunt of this exploitation. “The dealers and other internediates associated with the trade are wealthy enough. It is a labour who leads a miserable life.”

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Like Zahir-ud-Din, Prof. M.A. Wani also believes that the condition of labour class in Kashmir has not improved over all these decades despite tall claims made by the successive regimes that they are concerned about the working class of the society. “On one hand they are paid few hundred rupees a day but on the other hand we ignore the inflation that takes place,” he says. “They continue to suffer and their condition is still abject.” Abdul Ahad, one of the persons in old city who works on Shawls, says that he earns few hundred rupees only after working for several days on a Shawl. His eye sight is fading and weakness has taken toll on him. “But there is no other way I could earn for my family,” he adds. Other workers associated with the Shawl business have the similar story to narrate. Though many associations represent the aspirations and demands of the labour class and employees In Kashmir but effective change is still off the ground. Every year on May 1st they hold

seminars and rallies to remind government of its promises. People’s Democratic Party Trade Union (PDPTU) says that the present regime has been unfair to the employees and labour class of Kashmir as they have done nothing to improve the conditions of workers. National Mazdoor Conference (NMC) has a long pending appeal that the state government should take immediate decisions for the release of 10 per cent DA of state government employees and pensioners due from January. Other associations have also, time and again, put forth their demands which continue to remain unfulfilled. A holistic approach is needed to end the era of exploitation of workers, restoration of dignity of labour and improving their working conditions and wage structure. Also, given the history of struggle of Kashmir’s labour class, it would be fair to suggest that we obsere Labour Week, that concludes on May 1, every year. This would also serve as a tribute to the sacrifices of April 29, 1865 agitating Zaldager labourers. 


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all about

KAS

Mir Mushtaq Quadir

Author is CEO/Director Northern Lights Academy and can be mailed at mirmushtaqquadir@gmail.com

ESSENTIAL TIPS CIVIL SERVICES PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION – 2014

I

t is very important to understand that the preliminary exam is a multiple choice question based (MCQbased), elimination test. And therefore, it requires a special preparation and a strategic approach. In my opinion the following techniques are pre-requisites for success in the preliminary examination. MEMORY AND RETENTION POWER A civil servant is required to have a razor sharp memory and high level of retention power. Therefore the civil service examination is designed to evaluate these traits in a candidate. Although, the preliminary exam syllabus is well defined, questions can be asked from a wider area related to it. No question comes as a surprise, if you are well prepared. There is a plethora of facts and information to be memorized. So, you have to sharpen your memory and try to retain as much as possible. Although techniques may vary from person to person, some useful techniques to increase the retention power can be as follows:PREPARING CHARTS Important fact and figures can be simplified, classified and represented on charts. Use of tables and pie charts, etc. can make them more useful. Such charts can be pinned on the wall or any well-lit place, so that you are exposed to them time and again. PREPARING SHORT-NOTES AND PICTORIAL NOTES Whatever notes you prepare, it should be prepared with the final hours before prelims in mind and therefore they should be actually short and precise. They should be in point form and self explanatory, so that the entire syllabus can be revised in about a day’s time just before the ac-

38

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

tual examination. Also, pictorial notes can be used to prepare and represent the conceptual part. The main concept can be at the centre of a plain sheet, then joining it with other related concepts by using one or two link words in between. MNEMONICS AND ABBREVIATIONS Use of mnemonics and abbreviations is a very important technique for increasing your memory and retention power. Moderate and

Only good memory is not sufficient to be a successful civil servant. One has to be able to distinguish between the matter worth remembering and worth forgetting balanced use of mnemonics and abbreviations can help you in keeping abreast with loads of information. IMAGINATION AND CORRELATION By letting your creatine faculties loose, you can imagine different facts and figures in picture form and many other interesting ways. You can break complex names and places, etc. into simpler and smaller words. Many dates, figures and facts can be correlated to the same aspect of your personal details. Correspondence and correlation can

be established between many facts and information, so that they will be retained naturally. REVISION This is the most important and widely practiced technique. After 24 hours of learning, approximately 72% of the matter is forgotten, and only 18% is retained. Subsequently, very little of the entire learning is retained by the brain. Regular revision can ensure that most of the learning is retained by your brain. When you plan your study, earmark separate time for regular, multiple revisions – daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. IDENTIFICATION OF RELEVANCE Only good memory is not sufficient to be a successful civil servant. One has to be able to distinguish between the matter worth remembering and worth forgetting. Many candidates commit a serious mistake of stuffing their brains with heaps of information overload. Preliminary exam is an elimination round, which requires the candidates to eliminate the less important material from the most important ones. Markets are flooded with books, magazines and material. One of the toughest decision pertains to selecting proper and relevant material and choosing the relevant portion of them. In doing so, you can discuss with your teacher and experts. Hence, taking the advice from the experts is very important. CONCEPTUAL CLARITY Success in the civil service examination depends upon clearly understanding the concept and not merely remembering them. Even the focus of the civil service examination in general and the preliminary exam, in particular, has been shifting from rote-memorizing the facts and figures to deeper and analytical understanding of the relevant


ALL ABOUT KAS

concepts. Therefore, the stress has to be laid on conceptual clarity rather than merely cramming facts and figures. Also, you can remember any concept better only if you have understood it properly and not just mugged up its definition. Conceptual clarity is a three step activity. Firstly, any concept has to be clearly understood with its origin, merits, demerits and criticism. Secondly, the concept needs to be examined and analyzed distinctly this-à-via other relevant concepts. Thirdly, it has to be correlated with the phenomena and events that have happened during the years, thus studying the concept in its applied aspect. With these steps you can master the art of conceptual clarity to a great extent. ACUMEN TO CHOOSE THE BEST OF THE GIVEN OPTIONS One of the important tasks during the examination is to prioritize and choose the most appropriate alternative from the many available ones. On many oc-

casions more than one answers seems cored, also the answer may change with the wording and the orientation of the question you study, preparation and revision will help you in this regard.

be correlated with other relevant topics, and then has to be viewed at with a contemporary perspective. Correlation also requires you to follow on interdisciplinary approaches.

SPEED AND ACCURACY Speed and accuracy is the name of the game, in any objective multiple choice test. Hence time management has to be adopted, not only during your preparation, but also in the actual exam. Practice-sets, solving regularly during your preparation will help you in increasing your speed and accuracy. COMMON SENSE AND PRESENCE OF MIND With the presence of mind you can turn a losing battle into a victory. So, even when you have to rely on guesswork, with the help of your common sense and presence of mind you can convert a wild guess into a smart guess.

SACRIFICE AND DEDICATION Success is woven around a good deal of ordeal and sacrifice. Dedicate yourself completely to your goal.

ESTABLISHING CORRELATION Firstly, the topic under study has to

SYSTEMATIC APPROACH AND CO-ORDINATION Success in any endeavour depends on self management i.e. how well organized you are. All your activities should be properly organized, coordinated, implemented and systematically performed on a daily basis. The syllabus should be systematically divided into smaller topics and sub-topics. Every day of your preparation should be guided by systematic plan and discipline. A disciplined, systematic and holistic approach has to be adopted towards all aspects of your life. “If you think you can, you will.” 

MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

39


feature

Amin Masoodi Special Corrospondent The author can be mailed at masoodiamin@gmail.com

PATIENT LISTENING

T

he relationship between a doctor and patient is crucial to the practice of healthcare and effective treatment of illness. For a patient, if God is hope, a doctor is its sign. He is expected to treat hopeless patients and give them a new lease of life. For doctors, establishing good rapport with patients is important for effective diagnosis and treatment. The relationship forms one of the foundations of medical ethics in contemporary times. Under ‘Community Medicine’, senior professors at medical colleges teach medical students well before they set foot in hospitals, to maintain a professional rapport with patients, uphold the patients’ dignity, and respect their privacy. In major hospitals of Kashmir, however, doctors are often accused of ‘ill-treatment’ by the patients. Most of the patients accuse doctors of not lending a patient ear to them, especially during their visit to hospitals. The doctors, people allege, treat patients differently at private clinics, where they (patients) pay a fee before seeking treatment. “A doctor is expected to listen to a patient, no matter how qualified or experienced he or she is. For a patient, a doctor is next to God as he is the one, who treats him or her for illness and rids the patient of disease. But doctors tend to lose patience while dealing with patients in hospitals or private clinics,” said Gulzar Ahmad Wani from Mehjoor Nagar, Srinagar, who often visits Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital for treatment. “I often visit Out Patient Department (OPD) of SMHS for treatment of arthritis but sometimes doctors rush into treatment without listening to me,” he added. Most of the patients visiting doctors at major hospitals like Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medi40

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

cal Sciences (SKIMS) and SMHS complained doctors were not giving them due time while treating them in OPDs. Sarwa Begum, a resident of Budgam feels that doctor did not take her ailment seriously. “Last week, a doctor did not listen to me, when I tried

Doctors are often accused of not lending a patient ear to those visiting hospitals for treatment


FEATURE

to explain to him about the pain in my stomach. He asked me to keep quiet and wrote the prescription in less than two minutes. I had no relief after taking the medicine and did not visit him again,” she said. Psychology suggests that the patientdoctor relationship is important to both and it affects the doctor’s ability to treat the patient and can lead to distrust, causing decreased compliance on part of patients. Hence diagnosis and treatment, both can be affected in such cases. Dr Shabir, working at sub-district hospital Kupwara, which witnesses good rush of patients across the district believes that better the relationship in terms of trust and mutual respect, better are the chances of effective diagnosis and treatment. “Good relations between a doctor and patient are of mutual benefit to both. Workshops need to be conducted at regular intervals, in which doctors are trained to treat the patients with care. This will help in strengthening the doctor-patient relationship,” Dr Shabir told The Counsellor. Though, under “Community Medicine” it is mandatory for a doctor to show respect to the patient and be truthful in informing him or her about health and be direct in asking for the patient's consent before giving treatment. A patient must have confidence in the competence of doctor and must feel that he can confide in him or her. IGNORED IN HOSPITALS, PATIENTS’ TREATED BETTER AT PRIVATE CLINICS Many patients are of the view that doctors take extra care in their treatment at clinics while as ignore them most of times at hospitals. “I have experienced that a doctor, who ignores a patient at hospital treats him or her in a better way at a private clinic. That is why patients are left with no option but to visit the private clinics of doctors to ensure that they receive effective treatment. The poor patients are the worst sufferers of this exercise as they have to bear the fee. That is why huge rush of patients at private clinics in Kashmir has become a common feature now,” said Rafiq Ahmad, a south Kashmir resident. Ghulam Hassan, a resident of Baramulla said, “I was suffering from gastroenteritis for more than two years. I

visited a physician in district hospital Baramulla for about a month. After realizing that the doctor did not take my ailment seriously and I am not getting better, I decided to go to another physician for treatment,” “I visited a Srinagar based doctor at his clinic. Although I bore added expenditure, but I am feeling better now. I realize

A doctor is expected to listen to a patient, no matter how qualified or experienced he or she is. For a patient, a doctor is next to God as he is the one, who treats him or her for illness and rids the patient of disease. But doctors tend to lose patience while dealing with patients in hospitals or private clinics

that patients are getting better treatment at private clinics rather than hospitals, where doctors attend to them for the sake of doing their duties,” he added. DOCTORS IN DENIAL Doctors, however, refute the allegations, saying that a patient is given utmost medical care in both hospitals. Director SKIMS Dr. Showkat Ahmad Zargar, told The Counsellor that due to the massive rush of patients in major hospitals like SKIMS doctors struggle to

give good time to the patients. “In some cases, when a doctor advises a patient to carry out medical tests, the patient does not cooperate, which in turn leads to trust-deficit between the two. The doctor in such cases loses interest in treating the patient as for effective diagnosis and treatment, investigation is a must,” said Dr Zargar. To a question regarding the issue of disclosing the disease to a patient, Dr.Zargar said that it is not always advisable for a doctor to reveal the disease a patient is suffering from. “A doctor cannot tell a cancer patient that he is suffering from cancer as the disclosure may prove devastating for the patient. Instead the doctor will prefer to inform a close relative like brother or father”, he said. “But again, what happens is that once a doctor discloses about the disease, other relatives start visiting the doctor to know about diseases in detail, which at times irks a doctor,” Dr. Zargar added. Prominent Dermatologist and former Head GMC Srinagar Dr. Qazi Masood believe that attention span of a doctor varies from case to case. “I agree with you. A doctor must have a warm attitude to earn the confidence of a patient in all situations. The success of a doctor solely depends upon the goodwill, trust among the patients and effective diagnosis and treatment. Some doctors interact with patients in detail; others tend to remain specific with them with regard to diagnosis and disease. I think most of doctors behave politely with patients, but in hospitals where doctors have to see a huge number of patients in specified time, they intend to be very specific with patients,” said Dr Masood. “From the very beginning, a doctor is taught about how to interact and treat a patient and that a healthy patient-doctor relationship is a must for effective diagnosis and treatment. Right from their internship, doctors are made to move out in villages, towns, health centers and hospitals and a guide keenly watches their activities when they interact with patients and attendants”, Dr Masood added. 

masoodiamin@gmail.com

MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

41


shout it out

Faheem-un-Nisa

The writer is persuing engineering from NIT Srinagar, and can be mailed at niss.faheem@gmail.com

“MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHO IS THE SMARTEST OF THEM ALL?”

I

f I say “smart”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I won’t be the least surprised if you say “smart phones”. Forget Gen-X, we belong to Gen-S! Smart phones, wake us up, show us the road map, remind us of important dates, turn into mirrors, notepads, gaming consoles, remote controls and what not! And then there are smart TVs, smart cards, smart homes, smart cars; we live in a world where we have to share the S-word, on an hourly basis. But here’s some food for thought- do we deal with smart people as frequently? And the million dollar question is- who are smart people? Google’s definition of the word “smart” is ‘having or showing quickwitted intelligence.’ True that, but let's dig a bit deeper into the word and explore some of its dimensions. Smartness, I believe, is a relative concept. What was smart a couple of decades ago might not be considered equally smart today. We all grew up listening to the story of the thirsty crow that assembled pebbles and, one by one, put them into a pitcher of water so as to raise the water level up to the mark where it could comfortably peck in and drink it. We all thought that the crow was smart until an advertisement of one of the popular soft drinks changed our whole perspective of the story- why doesn’t the crow simply peck at the pitcher, make a small hole in one of its sides and enjoy the water as it flows out of the hole?! The crow in the previous story was smart, but the one in the advertisement made it appear dumb. Both the crows ended up satiating their thirst, but only the smart one managed to save his energy, time and effort. In engineering jargon, smart thinking is all about applying the concept of algorithms to everyday life: for every prob42

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

lem there’s a worst case, an average case and a best case. Believing that there’s always a better case and tirelessly searching for it: that is the Gen-S definition of “smart”. That reminds me of an interesting article I happened to read somewhere. Once, the workers of a shoe factory in Japan went on strike, but instead of closing down the factory as everyone had expected them to, they worked in manufacturing of only the left shoe for every pair. This way the production remained on course, but the company couldn't sell the product. Once the issue was resolved, the other pair was manufactured, resulting in a win-win situation for both company and the workers. I am not trying to put ideas into anyone's head!! What I am trying to prove here is that whatever you do, there is always a smarter way of doing it, but the only way to find that way is to believe that it exists! Sometimes, however, smartness encompasses our approach towards the problem and the way we orient our resources rather than the solution itself. As stated by Abraham Lincoln, sometimes smartness is the four hours we spend to sharpen our axe when we have only six hours to chop a tree down, and sometimes it is all about hiring lazy people to do a difficult job because they will find an easy way to do it, as said by Bill Gates! "Smart" is not the super-nerd "Virus" from the movie 3idiots who writes simultaneously with both the hands in order to save time. Smart, instead, is the one who knows when going slow is the fastest way of reaching the destination and when saving time is half the solution. The examples are many, the connotations diverse. The end-fact, however, is that all humans are smart! Pardon the

technical analogy, but up there we all have a smart phone that can perform miracles, but most of us use it only for making calls! The potential of the human mind is infinite; we just need to have faith in its capabilities, learn how to tap it and keep pushing it beyond its apparent limits! Let's not be deluded by the IQ of the machines that surround us; the fact remains that no matter how smart our gadgets get, we shall continue to remain the smartest of them all! 


MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

43


column

DR NAZIR AHMAD GILKAR

The author is ex-principal of SP College and can be mailed at: gilkarna@rediffmail.com

EVALUATION PROCESS AUDIT STRATEGIC ISSUES

C

urriculum management audit (CMA) is becoming common to align curriculum with the preset goals and objectives. FW English developed CMA in the late 1970’s within the context of the educational system and its governance. Curricular quality control requires: a written curriculum (design and development), a taught curriculum (transaction) and a tested curriculum (evaluation). All components of curriculum management are interdependent and equally important. Under triangular focus on access-equity-excellence, access is perpetually improving, but equity and excellence a casualty. Examination and evaluation are a reflection of the teaching - learning process. Evaluation process audit is a step towards examination reforms considered now a need of the hour. Examination and evaluation audit may show a way forward to assess learning outcome as the 12th five year plan (121217) has strongly focused on this need. Over the period, it has been observed that examinations and evaluation have not been taken seriously by the faculty as well as learners. Despite this fact the learners who appear in examinations are full of stress and strain during the examination days. Their academic performance is not up to the mark as expected of them. A minimum threshold limit of marks is fixed to begin with rather than to end up on it. Most of them perform around this threshold. There is no change as the present university education has not been able to reshape the learners in their behavior. This is because of the fact that real learning does not take place. The quality of pedagogy has not been considered a priority area. The following components are essential to be looked into in strategic evaluation process audit: 1) Transparency in the process of evaluation is very important. The practice of providing Xerox copies of answer scripts on demand is a step worth appreciating. Even re-evaluation builds a confidence level of learners and reposing trust in the system. This brings seriousness in the 44

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

process of evaluation as well as the learners are ready even to take risks when they apply for reevaluation. Despite this what is required to see that first evaluation is done meticulously and with care so that all examinees are fully satisfied at the first evaluation itself. 2) Accountability demands maintenance and upkeep of all the records. Continuous internal assessment is an essential component of the evaluation process with the same importance as attached to semester end examinations. Availability of proper record for CIA has got added significance in the light of RTI, Act in operation. A learner may ask for Xerox copies for all components of the CIA. It is worthwhile to note that a piece of information under RTI, Act is sought in order to cause an action. So maintenance of every record is quite essential as this is not only operational but strategic in the sense that a learner being a citizen is empowered. 3) Differentiation in a strategic way can be attained only when learners work SMART in all the segments of curriculum management. This could be achieved only through an effective evaluation process. The sub-standard paper setting and a bad test appear as a reflection of poor teaching-learning process. To maintain a highly professional work environment conducive to the well set academic standards, the job of setting a question paper need to be taken with utmost care and with absolute application of mind as any lapse could jeopardize the career of learners. 4) Excellence in academic operations can be achieved through proper monitoring. Constitution of Inspection Teams does not only add significance to the operational efficacy in the conduct of examinations, but are proving effective and strategic as well in monitoring academic standards. The comprehensive inspection reports definitely guide to frame strategies to enrich the examination and evaluation system further. To imbibe seriousness in continuous internal assessment the inspection teams would perform with a view that maintenance and

upkeep of all records forming the basis of CIA are ensured to provide a piece of information as and when demanded. 5) Change is essential and the core objective is to improve upon the operational examination process. The learners must enjoy de-stressed and hassle free examinations the similar way as teachinglearning. Examinations assess learning outcome leading to changes in behavior. Teaching-learning and evaluation are interconnected just like the spokes of a cycle. The real and strategic purpose of evaluation can be attained the best when learners respond to it in a joyful way. 6) Responsiveness is an important component of SMART governance and strategic evaluation process audit. In case of genuine complaints received from examinees with regard to certain discrepancies in the examination and evaluation process the matter generally is referred to an expert committee for soliciting valued opinion and action accordingly is taken in the matter to redress the grievances. Negligence makes one accountable. The issue is strategic when utmost care is taken to avoid learners being put into any discomfort. Media being the third eye and fourth pillar needs to be balanced while reporting with due cognizance of the entire matter in totality. No doubt we live in a democratic set up and have also a whistle blowing role, but in the society, there are also people who draw vicarious pleasure out of nothing. 7) Innovations demand revisiting all academic operations. Teachers are required to redesign teaching methodology and switchover to quality pedagogy .Motivating and inspiring learners to go through a subject in depth, hence no short cuts are recommended .Once studies are conducted in such a fashion the outcome will be in line with preset learning objectives .The study of subjects like Mathematics or Accountancy is not to be confined to attempting unit end numerical exercises alone when it sans understanding of basic concepts covering the unit lesson .A flaw in teaching –learning process is reflected in evaluation and vice-versa . (Annex) .The focus has to be


COLUMN

on innovative examinations by introducing open-book examinations, on-line examinations and so on as these will be vital steps in this direction. During the course of continuous internal assessment the introduction of aforesaid new methods will reduce the reliance on rote learning .No doubt the faculty will not be fully trained initially in constructing a test for open-book examination, but with the passage of time this deficiency could be overcome .Moreover, the computer labs would also be augmented once on-line examinations are introduced (Annex). 8) Creativity is the hallmark of a strategic process. Courses of study like entrepreneurship development, value based education; soft skill promotion etc can be evaluated in a different style with a view to create interest and curiosity in students in their studies. There will be no prescribed syllabus and no formal examinations. The main focus will be on self-learning, studying varied books, biographical notes, and success stories pub-

lished in dailies and professional magazines. Arrangements are to be made for case studies and sharing of experiences .The learning outcome, skill set development and motivation level achieved will be evaluated by writing a short paper or an essay purely based on observations and discussions but not on text books or library based writing. Simply it will be a reflection of experiences gained and a quite unique strategic style. 9) Distinction is a characteristic a university enjoys when it offers a variety of interdisciplinary choice based courses to enhance learner competitiveness and employability. The portfolio or basket of courses generally fall under the categories like soft skills and socially oriented courses made available to all the students pursuing different programmes across all the academic disciplines .These skill based and social orientation courses should appear different as regards their content ,transaction and evaluation .Alternate

approach to be adopted in their evaluation being application and practice oriented to distinguish such courses from knowledge domain ones both in continuous internal assessment and semester end examinations . 10) Speed is not important in operational sense only but in the strategic perspective as well. It is vital as an integral of the total quality with zero tolerance for defects. The timely declaration of results and minimization of exam cycle has its own significance with a view to provide more time for teaching and learning. Thus, all the procedural requirements like academic calendar, date sheet, paper setting etc are to be completed well in advance preferably at the commencement of a semester. The examination cycle from the first day of conduct till the declaration of results shall be in line with the norms set by the regulator (UGC). In this regard academic organizations can have a cue from professional institutions including IGNOU. 

MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

45


YOUTH TALK

SABIQ TARIQ

BINT-E-ASHIQ

STUDENT

STUDENT

Srinagar

The poet is perusing B.Sc Biochemistry from Islamia College and can be mailed at sabiqtariq0000@gmail.com

Only For Just Taking A Stone Enough of this hide and seek Looking for you since a week Come on darling come to me Your mama wants, you to see I have searched all the vale Eyes have frozen, my face got pale Why did you left your mother alone I am crying and dying like a sone No one listens my Ah! And cry I need you oh my rei! You have left on a special eve Flee from the nest under the eave Your sister was getting married soon On 5th of May with full moon Who will give her bridal wear Who will now take her care Her beauty has gone, she doesn’t smile Can you visit her, just for a while She has to fill henna in her hands In which she is wearing your friendship bands You promised to bring her a diamond necklace A chain and a golden vambrace Your bro is asking for you He can’t realise it is true Your love was making him a normal man Seeing you dead, he had ran Who will now play with him Hair and beard, cut and trim There is so much I wish to say I think about you every day I can’t believe, you have gone Only for just taking a stone 46

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

The poetes is studying at Madrasa Khadi Ja Tul Kubra Mughal Lane, Zakura Crossing,

Can’t I even take a stone In my mind, I had my father’s blurred image For I have seen him when I was just four My life revolved solely around my mother Me and my little sister, Grew up together Mother never; She never told me about father’s death Later I learned it from his acquaintances With a plan to revenge, I joined a gang All of us with corresponding targets In my house we all gathered, One night, an ill one With no warning, they came All of us managed to flee, swiftly But she was left there; My little sister She was taken somewhere, Which I call “nowhere” I regret for my mistake I am responsible for my mother’s death Us! I lost my little family Can’t I revenge, For my lost precious pearls At least, my hand can take up a stone And, Be a stone pelter ………..


YOUTH TALK

MUFTI JAMEEL FAROOQ

STUDENT

STUDENT

com

The poet has done MA in English & can be mailed at Mufti.jameel97@gmail.

SHUJAH AMIN The writer is pursuing B.Tech from SSM college of Engineering

Child is crying

Believe In Yourself! Have Faith In Your Abilities

See the child how she is crying! Is anyone here who could call her mother? “She is no more; she was martyred yesterday while coming with the milk.” O! Could you then call her father, as, she is howling? “He too died but, without seeing her, he has been sleeping since her birth.” See, she is wailing so please call her relatives? “They have been maimed all by the oppressor, no one is left.” How would she live and survive in this world? “Where have you come from man? Don’t you know this is a place of draught, the place of anarchy, the place of wolves? There are two things to live: Shaking or sackings, if you are humane choose the latter; if not then the former is the best. She will have to live for the oppressor so that they can find the crimson joy, for which they visit during the nights. This is called Kashmir once a paradise. “

Without a humble and satisfactory self confidence you cannot have happy or a successful life. This applies to all mankind, whether a teenager going to school or a youngster soaked in his college life or a man of admirable age fulfilling his necessities. It is appalling to see the number of people hampered and made miserable by a malady called inferiority complex. This germ or virus not only can affect your personal life but its direct effect can be seen on your day to day life. This feeling which is mostly seen in the youngsters has many reasons behind it. It may be because something miserable or distressing has happened to a person in his childhood. He may not have had an adequate quantity of self confidence in his childhood due to this ugly factor. Even it may also arise in your environment by which you are surrounded i.e. your school, college, office or even at your home. Someone always discouraging you or always nagging at you, so there are many factors by which this mental or inner disease may arise. Now talking about its effects which are very vast and very dangerous or even fatal for your inner self you may lack behind in your academics, in your sports, or even in relations with others i.e. your family, friends or even you may be hostile to yourself. The only solution or in other way I can say, the only prescription for this disease is a whole lot of self confidence. I can remember when I was in school, there was a teacher in our school, Mr. Aman, a tall, broad and a handsome kind of a man. He was one of the most disciplined human I ever knew. So, whenever he used to enter the class, he used to demand silence and believe me whenever he demanded silence, he used to have it. Then walking to the board he used to write four letters. Those four letters are still in my mind like it has happened yesterday. “CAN’T” Then he used to shout what next? And we like obedient students used to say ‘Knock the “T” out of CAN’T! ’ and he used to do it using a duster after that he used to say you can do whatever you want, just think of it and its half done. So, whenever I feel a little low I remember those golden words and instantly a wave of energy rushes through me. Everyone is having such encounters in the life by which they get enthusiastic. So we should apply this technique. It is a nice way to raise your confidence up. If it doesn’t work there is another sure shot way by which you can raise your belief, faith, confidence, i.e. by asking for help from the creator i.e. ALLAH. This may sound a little religious to some people out there but let you think it in a scientific- religious manner. A disease you are having and you want to cure it. Where would you go, obviously to someone specialist, who can treat that particular disease, but, who would be a better specialist than the almighty himself, so friends ask for help from Almighty ALLAH and trust him, he solves everything. So to conclude this, I have mentioned a few rules or techniques by which you can raise your confidence if applied patiently. 1) Formulate in your mind a picture of yourself as a succeeding. Stick to it, keep it pinned in your sub conscience. Believe in it, till it turns into reality. 2) Whenever a negative thought concerning yourself appears in your mind, deliberately raise a positive thought to cancel it out. 3)Do not build obstacles in your mind about yourself, abilities. 'Minimize them, they must be seen as they appear and shouldn’t be inflated. 4)Don’t be awe-stuck by people, no one can be you, as efficiently as you are. 5) Remind yourself that god is with you and nothing can defeat you. Believe in him truthfully and believe in yourself.

MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

47


P8

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FEATURE UNHEALTHY FOODS P 42

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DASHED HOPES: JAMIAT’S JAMAAT FAILED TO DELIVER !

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STATE POWER

NHPC

1,400 MW

Power is available in State

GENERATES 1920 MW’S POWER FROM J&K

1,100 MW

Power is shortfall in state

`3600 Crore

Uri-I

ECLIPSE

Uri-II

Salal

State purchased power in 2011-12

Sewa-II

Dulhasti

`1,200 Crore

Sales revenue generated in 2011-12

480-MW

240-MW

690-MW

390-MW

120-MW

ON THE MOON

WILL MANMOHANICS WORK, IN THE STATE OF J&K WHICH IS SUFFERING A LOSS OF RS. 50,000 CRORES ANNUALLY IN POWER SECTOR DUE TO INDUS WATER TREATY?

CAGED INNOCENCE! MOHAMMAD RAFIQ SHAH

P 10

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RET'S SUFFERING , BUT WHO IS COUNTING?

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SUBSCRIPTION TARIFF Visualising Invisible ARACHNID—THE KASHMIR’S TRENDSETTERS!

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Volume 3 | Number 01 | January 2013 | RNI JKENG/2011/42577

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Bring it on… Accountability!

1

"When you catch a clerk you resort to much publicity in the media. Why big sharks are being left out"

The Counsellor analyse top ten issues which people of Kashmir want to get resolved in this year

“We live in corrupt society, though action against it has already been initiated, but it will take some time before things will get on track again.” —NC spokesman, Tanvir Sadiq

Trying to Survive, Young minds ask for secure Employment

Rationalize Law Enforcing Agencies Make Judiciary Realistic and Pragmatic

4 Control Stagflation! 3 Deliver Public Services! “The silence by people over government’s policies might explode any moment in near future if it fails to provide basic amenities of life and safeguard them from further deterioration”

2

“Apart from raising fountains in the middle of the roads and installing traffic lights, let us also witness a planned and sustainable makeover of city this year sans diluting its traditional face value”

5 Effective Governance 6 “Now when 7 Better Health state is about to empower panchayat representatives, governance can be expected to travel to grass root-level for larger good of society”

"I made the mistake of not being seen or heard in the summer of 2010 when the trouble first started. I wish my mistake had been learnt from."

8

Care amid growing Crisis

—Chief Minister Omar Abdullah

Relief from Controversies & Scandals

Bring Justice to Human Rights Abuses

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49


YOUTH TALK

DEEBA ASHRAF

STUDENT

can be

The writer is pursuing Graduation in Arts from womens college M.A road and can be mailed at deebaashraf49@gmail.com

FACEBOOK: Rules and Laws Facebook is a social networking site launched in February 2004 and was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates at Harvard University. In a very short span of time, facebook has become the most popular and widely used social network across the globe. People use facebook to stay connected with their friends and other relatives all around the world. People using facebook post photos, videos; share links and exchange other useful information. Through facebook, making friends has really become easy. Facebook can create new friends and renew the old ones. Facebook not only helps us in connecting with our friends, but also helps in language development. It helps us to communicate in writing format in a better way. On facebook, there are different pages and groups organizing quizzes and debates which may help the users in increasing their knowledge. Facebook can even be the best educational tool if students will. Besides all this, facebook offers benefits to marketing professionals and small business owners as well. According to a latest survey done in the U.S.A, 71% of online adults use facebook and 67% of them lie in between the age group of 13-25. Thus the highest age groups who use facebook are teenagers. Facebook has been voted the most popular social networking site for the year 2013. ADDICTION: On asking an 8th standard kid,"how often you text per day"? "more then 100 times", he shockingly replies. For parents and grandparents, this technically strong relation between their children and facebook is a mystery. It feels like facebook has made a permanent place in their lives. Instead of spending time with the family and friends, youth prefer to spend their time on facebook. After getting up early in the morning, a regular user would first check facebook, see if anyone has commented on his latest status update or a photo. 50

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

Facebook has now become a part of roti, kapda and makaan which are the basic necesseties of life and without them one cannot survive. MISUSE : There is no doubt that facebook helps us to stay updated and connected with our friends, but at the same time it misusing fact cannot be denied. People keep on making fake accounts of others and use it in a fallacious way to their fullest. Creation of fake accounts may lead to defamation of the person by whose name its being used. There are also confession, pages on facebook where one can post any damn shit regarding anyone without caring of the consequences. It leads to immorality and disesteem among the people of different age groups. Some people take a good advantage of facebook in creating communal disharmony among the people of different sects by posting false posts.

Students can be seen using facebook at their schools. Some students even take pictures of their teachers and other staffmembers and then upload them on facebook. Parents complaint that children spend most of their time on facebook, affecting their studies. Some people share their detailed and specific information on facebook such as phone numbers, address, photos etc for which they may later get stalked by any stranger. Some people even find facebook good for flirting. A survey says the divorce rates have increased by 20% because of facebook. In America, 1 in every 5 divorces involve facebook now. In a recent incident in Mexico, a teen stabbed her best friend 65 times after she posted naked selfies on facebook.I think such incidents can help the people in understanding how dangerous facebook can turn. FACEBOOK LAWS: Laws go totally strict against the misuse of facebook. As per the facebook law of India, its totally illegal to create an account by fake name (or someone else's name) and makes the creator liable to 2 years imprisonment. Even if the person sends one message to someone, posts one comment or sends a single friend request from the fake account; the liability could be 3 another years in jail. According to section 499 of Indian Penal Code, anything that has been put in writing either in electronic or in print form, which is not true and offends an individual will amount to defamation. Similarly, according to section 66D of I.T Act, whoever by means of any communicating device or computer cheats by impersonating someone else, shall be punished with imprisonment of 3 years or shall be liable to pay a fine of 1,00,000 rupees. Also, the punishment for defamation has been provided under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which stipulates a prison sentence of 2 years or a fine or both. In nutshell, creating an account by fake name(or someone else's name) amounts to forgery and we all are aware how big crime forgery is.


MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

51


YOUTH TALK

ROUF SADIQ TANTRAY

STUDENT

SCHOLAR

The writer is Studying Medical Technology in SKIMS Soura and can be mailed at rstmagic@gmail.com

ZAHOOR AHMAD RATHER The writer is a Ph.D. Scholar at vit campus jaipur can be mailed at zahoor689@gmail.com

The Menace of Begging

Concept of Education

Everyone among us might have heard of a saying, "It is a beggar's pride, he isn't a thief ". It sounds right, but if one sees it while keeping beggars of today in perspective, it might confuse you after what its author had penned it down. What is begging and who is a beggar? Literally begging is a practice of imploring others to grant a favour, often a gift of money with little or no expectation of reciprocation. Beggars are its practitioners. Beggars came into existence, before the dawn of recorded history of human society. Begging has turned into a menace in the valley. Beggars are seen wherever the eye goes. Mostly beggars are seen near religious shrines, entrances, stairs, universities, colleges and streets, are filled with both locals and non-local beggars. Hospital have become paradise for them, they enter the premises of hospitals and sometimes even in wards the beggars can be seen looting the general public. Even though one can put away the local beggars, but non-locals are hard to put away. They narrate painful stories with loud screams and cries that make a person emotional and try their best to hoodwink the opposite person. Even some non-locals beggars hand a paper written a painful story or part of their life. They artistically devise new techniques day after day, to make fool of people. Some of them lay down on footpaths and catch hold of a person, making hard for pedestrians to move. Before the introduction of traffic signals, beggars usually roamed near bus stops and sometimes irk passengers in the buses while asking them for money. Now they have made traffic signals into perfect begging spots. As the red light turns on, beggars appear within no time in front of the car shield and their continuous knocking forces one to give them money. Non-local beggars are also responsible for many social evils, like drug addiction and other immoral acts. Government must act soon to eradicate this growing menace from Kashmir valley. Government should only allow those non-locals to valley who have got work permits. Islam, our beautiful religion has a solution to all problems of society. To curb this menace of begging, Islam has devised the policy of Bait-ulMaal. Everyone among us knows how-about of a Bait-ul-Maal. Creation of Bait-ul-Maals in every locality can prove handy in eliminating the menace of begging.

The contemporary moment of human history is riddled with a number of dilemmas, and we find it extremely difficult to resolve them. We construct marvelous machines and appliances in our rush to conquer space and time, but we find ourselves dwarfed and incapacitated to expand our inner boundaries; we are unable to discover equations of harmony between ourselves and the universe. I personally feel that we are satiated but not satisfied. We have ignored the ideals of truth in search of material life. The ingredients which our present system lacks, and which were the predominant facets of our ancient system relate to admission policies, monitorial system, low teacher pupil ratio, healthy teaching surroundings, sympathetic treatment. It is important to note that ancient people did not consider literacy as the only form of education; self-sufficiency, social service, and spiritual knowledge were the actual goals of developing reading and writing skills. Unfortunately, we have almost lost each and everything, especially features and principles of education. The ideal of education has been very grand, noble and high in ancient period. Its aim, according to Herbert Spencer is the 'training for completeness of life' and the molding of character of men and women for the battle of life. The ultimate aim of ancient education was development of personality and character. Moral strength and moral excellence were developed to the fullest extent, which we lack so utterly. The moral stature of our educated people is deplorably low. The old values which held society together are disappearing and as there is no effective programme to replace them with a new sense of responsibility. Here, moral education motivates me to present the importance of education, because moral education makes a man civilized. Without moral education a man can not be able to differentiate good and bad. Moral Education alone is the panacea for all social evils. The direct aim of all education, whether literary or professional, should be to make the student fit to become a useful and pious member of society. The illumination and power, which men and women received from education, should be to transform and ennoble their nature. The formation of character by proper development of the moral feeling should become the aim of education. Here I will suggest that in order to achieve the high ideal of perfect mastery over senses, a life of strict discipline is necessary for the student. He has to avoid the luxurious and majestic life which is full of show and fashion. He has to accept the principle of simple living and high thinking because knowledge is not for only material life, but knowledge makes us a civilized man. Teacher should realize that an ideal teacher is supposed to be a friend, philosopher and guide. His intellectual egotism does not lead him to reject or discourage students’ opinions altogether. Rather, his loving attitude towards students motivates him to be interactive in the classroom. He questions his students and encourages them to express their opinions. In an ideal educational process, a teacher is supposed to be a father figure, a role model. One of the vital aspects of education is to train the young to be truthful. The Vedas assert that:’ the noble soul who pursues the path of truth is never defeated. Students should not engage themselves in criticizing others. Criticizing others, ultimately injure the critics, for it is the criticizer whose mind gets contaminated by perceiving evil in others. Those who defame others are themselves defamed. Lastly, I want to conclude my topic with these lines that we are living in modern age but we should feel proud of the civilization and culture of our ancestors inherited to us.

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THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014


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GET GOING

Stemlock: The bike

steering lock Chaoyang Park Plaza adds some nature to inner-city Beijing

Chinese architectural firm MAD has started work on an ambitious new project that aims to add some nature to inner-city Beijing. The Chaoyang Park Plaza comprises commercial, office, and residential buildings – all of which feature a degree of sustainable technology – and MAD hopes to achieve LEED Gold-certification once the project is completed in 2016. Chaoyang Park Plaza is being built next to one of Beijing's largest public parks, and the plot measures roughly 3 hectares (7.6 acres). MAD drew upon traditional Chinese landscape paintings for inspiration, and the project is dominated by a large pair of asymmetrical towers which rise to 120 m (393 ft) in height and are intended to invoke rugged mountains. These are surrounded by four office buildings which resemble river stones, and there are also two large residential buildings elsewhere in the grounds. Sustainable technology name-checked by MAD includes natural lighting, an innovative air purification system, and a passive ventilation system that appears to be integrated into the facade of the buildings.

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THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

If thieves want to get past the lock of bicycles or cars, they can. But, by adding extra hassles it may ne impossible for them. The Stemlock is just such a hassle. It internally disconnects a bike's handlebar stem from its fork, making it impossible for a thief to steer. For regular riding, obviously, the stem and fork stay securely connected. Upon parking the bike, users insert the included key in the top of the Stemlock, push it down and twist it a quarter turn, then remove it. The stem is then disconnected from the fork, resulting in the handlebars swinging left and right with no effect on the angle of the front wheel. Not only does this make the bike a much less appealing target, but it also allows for easier parking in cramped spaces such as hallways, as the handlebars can be turned sideways without also turning the front wheel. The Stemlock is made by IXOW Company of France.

Vibrating capsule treats constipation by buzzing the intestine

Shape-changing implantable transistors

According to Dr. Yishai Ron, a researcher at Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and his colleagues have created an oral capsule that relieves constipation by vibrating its way along the intestinal tract. The capsule contains a tiny motor, that is programmed to start vibrating six to eight hours after being swallowed – this gives it enough time to reach the large intestine. Once it starts up, the vibrations reportedly stimulate the intestine into contracting, which in turn helps move stools through. In a clinical trial, 26 constipated test subjects first went for two weeks without taking any laxatives, and then began swallowing the capsules twice a week.

A multinational group of scientists at the University of Tokyo, Japan and The University of Texas has developed implantable shape-changing transistors that can grip nerves, blood vessels and tissues. According to the researchers, these soft electronic devices can change shape within the body, while still maintaining their electronic properties, allowing them to be used in a variety of applications and treatments. Scientists have been trying to put electronics in the body, but one of the problems is that the stiffness of common electronics is not compatible with biological tissue.


GET GOING

N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) found to have anti-cancer properties

Donut-shaped CENTR video camera takes 360 degrees worth of footage The consumer-ready CENTR Camera aims to make it easy to capture 360-degree HD footage, recording your world in full. Built by former Apple engineers, the CENTR has four HD image sensors mounted around a palm-sized chassis. Instead of filming straight-on, like the average video camera, it's constantly filming 360 degrees of footage. CENTR's 20-variable image calibration stitches images from the four sensors into a single video automatically, so they're available to view right away without any complicated post-filming editing. Each camera shoots at 1080p resolution and is processed 4K of panoramic video data in each frame. The effective resolution after image stitching is 1080 x ~7500 pixels. The final panoramic width for each video actually varies slightly based on the calibration parameters automatically set by CENTR. The footage can be viewed in real time using the CENTR interactive player on a Wi-Fi-connected desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. It looks like a normal video at first, but unlike your typical YouTube fare, you can scroll to spin it around. In a video made from the cockpit of a plane, for instance, you start off looking forward from the pilot's POV and can then scroll to look over the wing and keep going to view the pilot himself.

Researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, have found that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), a common solvent used in a wide array of industrial and medical products, has cancer-fighting properties. The discovery came about thanks to an observant researcher, and now the solvent is set to be put to the test in a world-first clinical trial on patients with advanced blood cancer. NMP has long been regarded as a basic, stable and inactive solvent, which led to it being used in everything from paints, fabrics, medical patches and dental barriers. For many years, it has also been used as a solvent for the transportation, storage and delivery of many compounds. But in 2010, Dr. Jake Shortt from Peter Mac's Gene Regulation Laboratory noticed that pre-clinical models of myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer that develops from damaged plasma cells, were responding to a control dose of NMP. Enlisting the help of Peter Mac's Haematology Immunology Translational Research Laboratory (HITRL), NMP was found to target a class of gene-regulating proteins and effectively "reprogram" myeloma cells. The fact that safe levels of NMP in humans are already well established has helped accelerate the research, enabling a phase I clinical trial due to commence later this year to already reach the advanced planning stage.

ITS PINK: Go Into Shade Balancing a healthy amount of time in the sun while avoiding overexposure to its harmful UV rays can be a a difficult task. Indeed, the challenge of finding this happy medium has produced a bevy of of UV-detecting wristbands. Smartsun is the such device, alerting users to dangerous levels of UV exposure by changing color from yellow to pink when it's time to head indoors. Though it has just made it to market, the Smartsun UV monitor has been some time in the making, having undergone two years of testing and development at Scotland's University of Strathclyde. It was here that its inventors, Professor Andrew Mills and Dr Michael McFarlane, developed the device and the chemical reaction that causes it to change color as it detects ultraviolet light. The Smartsun band is designed for a single use, each beginning its life a yellow color, then shifting to beige when approaching the UV threshold and, finally, becoming a fleshy pink when you need to cover up. What causes this transformation is an acid-release agent that reacts to the levels of ultraviolet light. This in turn affects the pH levels in the material, causing a dye to respond and trigger the change in color. The company says that if applying sunscreen to your skin, it should also be applied to the band, as the levels of protection will be better aligned and it will take longer to change color as a result.

MAY-JUNE 2014 THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR

55


drop

cap

Dhaar Mehak

The author is a freelance writer and an undergraduate economics student & can be mailed at dhaarmehak@gmail.com

EDUCATION THE ULTIMATE SAVIOUR

T

he progress from the first page of a book to its last in the human mind is worth a mention. This is to begin with that the mention is made of a mere book. If such be the impact of a single book can we measure the impact of the whole process of education on a complete being? We merely can trace it; for the impact is too vast while the measuring rod too narrow. Simply considering the example of two children, one who at three was introduced to education and the second allowed loitering around (on account of a number of reasons). Years later, on this account we have two entirely different personalities infront of us. This forms us a perfect universal laboratory at our disposal with hundreds of thousand live examples allowing a vent to learn from practicalities. Sensitivity, as a virtue; God has put within each one of us, however if the factor being that, this virtue needs a sculpting to arise huge and visible. It can be carved out in a being via, a complete process. Once this notion is developed in a person we verily can stop worrying about him as with this development he is fit enough to take care of himself and others as well; that too in a very compassionate way and a progressive manner. Through the experiences of our social laboratory we can develop the conclusion that it is "Education" that carves out and presents to us a highly developed lot of human capital. The other day an acquaintance of mine was in a light conversation with me when it suddenly grew intense. She, may be found herself comfortable enough to speak her heart out to me and narrate all the brooks of her life that ultimately drowned her in the ocean of depression. A crooked father, obeying to and living with whom was her necessity, a chauvinistic boyfriend; living with whom she said was the need and demand of her heart, a bunch of perverted male cousins with whom coexistence was inescapable; she found herself trap. Listening to all this at length with the blend of her emotions, 56

THE COUNSELLOR SRINAGAR MAY-JUNE 2014

I strongly and trying my best to get into a motivational tone, asserted my words with a deep significant meaning and lifelong liberalization mantra for her said, "Study! only education can help you out." Quite contrary to my expectations, I could, but trace no change in her expressions ; they were still the same and in the same set of tone, expressions and gestures she untouchingly said, “I can't concentrate, my mind keeps on thinking all this and I feel more depressed!" Folly! Sad me, I tried to discover for the satisfaction of my being the issue, was the matter wrong with my words or with her understanding?! Thanking nature and not missing the positive of our system, we have the medicine of education that cures all the ills of existence and elevates the person. It is the door that is wide open to one and all without any biasness. The first step to education is to read and write, to quote Baba Bulleh Shah ‘Eik-O-Alif teray darkaar’. The next is to understand followed by absorption then the development of the sense to perceive then to imagine till now sensitivity has been already carved in this process and finally it is the acquisition of creativity. Once a person reaches the creative domains he is already under the aegis of education. There however is no age or time specified for the entry into the education, such being the product of self realization. The creative domains open infinite doors to education, elevation, liberalization and above all sensitivity. This is education, we however by the very dint of our favourability’s interpret it wrongly as a tool, means and a way to earn a living, more specifically a descent living. How wrong the definition we have moulded and folded, ignoring the reality we contend our safe refuges like the pigeon with his head under snow, happy that he succeeded in hiding. Equally big is our loss ignoring the reality, head within the snow, the cat came and enjoyed the meal from the posterior of the hiding champion.

If not now then when? Will we correct our definitions and run in the right direction(s). Running in the rat’s race? In the hope of achieving the meal, well follow the majority and run, run and run. This is exactly where we mar the scope of education. The fault is not with the system, where we say, "Abolish the exams", it but is with us, where we ought to say, "Abolish the rat race". Education is the development of individual faculties, it is the development and creation of a versatile human capital. When, what a person likes coincides with what he is doing, perfections arise and he is deemed to succeed. On the other hand, I wonder about none other but my own self, if I would have been coward enough to join the rat race, I would have been a back bencher somewhere or may be an exam survivor and a floating fish in a brook on the way to the dark ocean of depression. Education is about having guts to follow one's passions and a step forward to develop its professional domains and invoke its sensitivity in order to yield the best of results. It is a known fact from the pages of history that education has lifted and liberalised all those who learn its essence and accept it as a way of their lives, to quote the famous lines, "History is theirs whose language is the sun!". This is the high time to realise, the Education, its values, singnificance and importance. This is the high time to help ourselves and then eventually help others. The best and the supeior most gift that can be given or taken is but alone of the education. It verily is like the pot, the farmer discovered from his farm, anything falling in it doubles. We need to get sensitive to remove all the ills within us and outside. Much have we deterioted ourselves, our beings, societies and environment. Much have we falen from the morals and much of negativity have been practising. Enough of it by now; the one solution to every problem is alone Education. Time to join the hands in give and take but solely of education is right here, in front of us, at its very peak and brink of time. 


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