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Good books, good friends

Good books, good friends



Get out the popcorn, choose your favourite couch. It’s time to let your hair down and journey into fantasy. The best time to catch up on movies and also with your reading is during the vacation. With books and movies to keep you entertained, the sun may not be such a bother. This issue of the Young World suggests some movies you can watch and books you can read.


Summer holidays. I was back in my grandparents’ place. But now that I was in senior school I had a lot of ‘holiday homework’ to complete. Whoever heard of ‘holiday homework’? Anyway, there I was in the garden, trying to accomplish two jobs at one go – that is my homework and trying to meet my friend Gnobo.

I love having Gnobo around during the holidays because he always takes me places where no one has ever been before. Gnobo is a little goblin that lives somewhere deep in a bed of marigold.

Gnobo and I were talking and he was telling me about this and that until he suddenly said, “Do you know, I have found a dungeon and there is a treasure in it!”

“What?” I exclaimed. “How can you find treasure in a dungeon? And where are there dungeons in this day and age?”

In the dungeon

Gnobo refused to tell me anything more. “If you come with me I will show you,” was all he would say. So I had no choice but follow.

Gnobo ran down the garden path, passed an orchard, down the hill, crossed a stream and then all of a sudden he stopped!

“Sssh!” he said. “It could be tricky getting into the tunnel if you wake up the dragons.”

“Dragons?” I exclaimed. “Which age are you living in?”

But Gnobo didn’t stop to answer. He simply disappeared. I found an opening in the bushes and pushed my way in. It was rather dark but I saw Gnobo in front of me. He pointed out something to me. To my surprise it was a dragon! It was fast asleep and every time it breathed a puff of smoke and fire came out of its nostrils. I was too amazed to say anything!

We walked on until we came to an opening. It was large and airy. And all around were shelves and shelves, and unbelievably there were hundreds and hundreds of books on these shelves. I almost screamed with joy. I ran around the shelves, touching the books to see if they were real. And to my utter delight, they were.


Absolutely delightful

The first shelf I came across had all the books in the Chalet school series. All 62 books! Can you just imagine my joy? The series begins with Joey Bettany’s sister Madge deciding to start a school in Austrian Tyrol. Joey is one of the first students of the school.

Madge decided on a school in Austria because her kid sister Joey always becomes sick in the English winter. The school grows from a handful of students to a school where girls from all over the world come to study. The Chalet school stories take you from the mundane everyday life in schools to adventure, mystery and even the World War!

The first book in the series is The School in the Chalet and Joey is the central character in the books. The author of this amazing series is Elinor Brent-Dyer.

There can be no treasure without the books by Enid Blyton. But I found that on these shelves there were more beside the usual school series of Malory Towers and St. Claire’s and the adventure series with the Famous Five and the Secret Seven and so on. I found the very interesting Wishing Chair books. There are three books here, beginning with the Adventures of the Wishing Chair, followed by The Wishing Chair Again and finally More Wishing Chair Stories.

The story begins with two kids, Mollie and Peter, trying to find a gift for their mother for her birthday. They stumble upon an antique shop that is run by fairy folk. It is there that they find the magic wishing chair and there begins a never-ending chain of adventures. Then I saw The Children of Cherry Tree Farm, Mister Meddle’s Mischief, Adventures of Mr. Pink Whistle, Bed-Time Stories, The Children of Willow Farm…and oh! so many more.


Dark, dusty shelves

The Roald Dahl shelf also did not disappoint. Almost all his books were there. James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The Witches and The BFG and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me. There were even some of his poetry books too, Dirty Beasts and Rhyme Stew.

Gnobo, in the meantime, was rushing through the shelves calling out names of books and authors. I could hear him from somewhere across the aisle.

“ Abel’s Island by William Steig, Babe, the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith, The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs, The Ruby in the Smokeby Philip Pullman…”

“Stop it, Gnobo,” I shouted, “I can’t keep track. And where are you?”

“I am at the shelf that has books by Ruskin Bond. Here’s the whole Rusty books and The Ruskin Bond Omnibus and more…”

“This is surely a treasure trove. Here on this shelf I have so many – The Puffin Book of Spooky Ghost Stories, The Magic Store of Nu-Cham Vu, The Feluda Mysteries, Malgudi Schooldays… Oh! I can’t wait to begin reading them all!


A little bit of India

Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds by Anitha Balachandran

Diya and Tara come to live in their aunt Ninamasi’s house. And then there is Mister Jeejeebhoy’s sweetshop. Read the book to find out what happens to Diya and Tara.

History, Mystery, Dal and Biryani by Subhadra Sen Gupta

Travel back in time and discover an India so different, so colourful and so full of adventure.

Exquisite Balance by Poile Sengupta

Suprabha and Subir are twins. But their mother is in for a surprise. She realises that her twins are nothing like each other!

Flippi the Flying Pup, Squiggly goes for a Picnic, Lippo goes to a Party and Cheeko and the School Bag by Deepa Agarwal

Flippi is a dog that can fly. Squiggly is an untidy worm. Lippo loves a good party and Cheeko loves mangoes and goes to school.

The Giant who Looked for his Temper by Santhini Govindhan

Boomba lived in a cave and he had no friends. Everyone was scared of him because he had a nasty temper. And then one day Boomba tries to find a way to control his temper.

Kali and the Rat Snake by Zai Whitaker

Kali has just joined school and he hates every minute of it. He has no friends because everyone thinks he is different. His father is a snake catcher! Find out how Kali fares…

Have you read these?

Arabian Nights or One Thousand and One Nights

The story is about a Persian king who gets married and expects his new bride to tell him a story every night. If she cannot tell a story he has her beheaded. Finally, Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter offers to be the king’s bride. She begins to tell a story but it does not end that night. So the king cannot behead her, because he has to hear the end of the story. And so it continues for 1001 nights. Some of the more famous stories in this book are Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

His parents want him to study Law, but Crusoe wants to sail the high seas. Sail he does and ends up having many an adventure. He lands up on an island inhabited by cannibals and during one skirmish rescues a prisoner, Friday, who then becomes his faithful ally. A story of daring and adventure. A story of being able to pursue your dreams.

Goody Two-Shoes by Oliver Goldsmith

Margery Meanwell, an orphan, has only one shoe. Then one day, she is given a pair by a rich gentleman. She tells everyone, that she now has “two shoes”!

The Children of New Forest by Frederick Marryat

Colonel Beverley is killed in the Battle of Naseby (June 1645). His family lived in Arnwood which the soldiers have burnt down. Everyone thinks his children are dead. But, actually they had escaped and are being taken care of by Jacob Armitage, a gamekeeper, in his cottage in the New Forest.

There are more … Gulliver’s Travels, Alice in Wonderland, The Coral Island, Little Women, Lorna Doone, The Swiss Family Robinson, Rip Van Winkle, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Ivanhoe, The Three Musketeers…

Courtesy: The Hindu

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Sleep Better Every Night

Ashwin Baluja looks at the clock and knows it’s going to be another long night. It’s 3:30am, but 27-year-old Baluja is staring at the ceiling, agonizing over the fact that he has to leave for work in about five hours. But, for him, sleep is a dream long gone by.
“I have difficulty falling asleep, and even when I do it’s broken,” says Baluja, a Mumbai graphics designer.  “It’s almost three to four times a week that I spend the night, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. There are times when I am so tired and just want to sleep, but my mind doesn’t seem to understand.”
Baluja seems to have a fair idea of how this began. It started when, as an intern at a design studio, he had to work late, stressful hours. That job ended three years ago, but Baluja believes his body-clock remains set to that old routine. He also feels that his then lifestyle, involving alcohol consumption and antihistamines to treat an allergy, may have contributed to his insomnia.
Like many people with poor sleep habits, Baluja has tried drinking warm milk at night and listening to soft music. “People don’t seem to take sleep very seriously,” feels Baluja. “I didn’t either, till the lack of it began to affect my concentration and my daily work.” Baluja now plays basketball four times a week and does a bit of meditation and finds that things are improving at night.
In December, Philips Healthcare released the findings of their survey, conducted among 5600 people aged between 35 and 65, across 25 Indian cities. It revealed that 93 percent of urban Indians are sleep-deprived, getting less than eight hours of shut-eye daily. As many as 58 percent of these felt that their work suffered from their lack of adequate sleep, with many falling asleep at work. Other findings among those polled in the Philips Sleep Survey: 11 percent of office workers take leave because of lack of sleep.  71 percent mentioned waking up anywhere between one and three times during the night. 63 percent exhibited a high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a condition characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, which can
potentially lead to heart ailments, and, in rare cases, even trigger a heart attack.

Can a milk drink help?
There’s some science behind the old wives’ tale that a warm, milky drink will soothe you to sleep. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is used by the brain to boost levels of the calming neurotransmitter (brain chemical) serotonin and the sleep-
inducing hormone melatonin. It’s unlikely, though, that the natural level of tryptophan in milk will markedly change mood and relaxation.

People with chronic sleeplessness probably don’t want to hear about the significant health issues they face:
The numerous short and long-term problems such as poor concentration, emotional stress, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Insomnia can also wreak havoc on relationships and your ability to work, while the constant lethargy it induces discourages sufferers from doing things they enjoy.
“If you have disturbed sleep, which may be in the form of trouble falling asleep, early awakening, frequent waking and if you don’t feel rested, you are likely suffering from insomnia,” says Dr Manvir Bhatia, director of New Delhi’s Neurology and Sleep Centre, and chairperson of the Department of Sleep Medicine at the city’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “Impairment in daytime activity—like experiencing fatigue, headache, poor concentration and irritability—is the usual symptom of insomnia and more often than not, this problem is lifestyle-induced.”
While commonly heard wisdom maintains that we all need eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed, the right amount varies with individuals. Also, sleep requirements change throughout life and the hours you need when you are young may be different from what you need when you’re older. “Most people need about eight hours of sleep, but even six hours of sound sleep could be adequate,” says Dr Sanjeev Mehta, a sleep disorders specialist at Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai.

If you relate to one or more of these statements, you may have an underlying medical problem causing secondary insomnia.

  • I wake up in pain regularly.
  • I wake constantly because I need to go to the toilet.
  • I feel I may have depression, which is causing my sleeping problems.

What’s the good news for poor sleepers? Drug-free treatments that target problematic behaviours can help. Although these treatments may have complex titles such as stimulus control, sleep restriction and cognitive therapy, they are actually simple methods designed to help you change your routine and your beliefs to allow sleep to come more easily. Put together, these treatments come under the banner of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
The principles are simple in theory, but it takes time and commitment to incorporate them into your daily life. However, research shows the effort is worth it, because CBT has proven to be more effective than traditional sleep medications. A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the total wake-up time of participants undergoing CBT for six weeks was reduced by 52 percent compared with a 4 percent reduction in patients receiving medication alone.
“Sleep hygiene is very important,” says Dr Bhatia. “Follow a fixed bedtime and wake-time routine. This will help create a regular sleep cycle.”
Dr Bhatia discourages self-medication. “Always seek the help of a therapist or counsellor,” he advises.

What is insomnia?

The first step in sleeping better is to understand what type of insomnia you may have and whether or not you have an underlying medical or physical condition that is exacerbating the problem. The two types of insomnia are primary and secondary.

Identify your insomnia
If you can relate to one or more of these statements, you may have
primary insomnia.

  • can’t fall asleep easily because my mind is so busy.
  • I am a light sleeper and, when I awaken, I can’t get back to sleep.
  • I regularly nap through the day to catch up on lost sleep at night.
  • I am very anxious about going to bed because I know that I won’t sleep.
  • I feel I am doomed to have a bad day when I don’t sleep well.

Secondary insomnia is usually caused by a medical problem such as sleep apnoea, restless legs, nocturnal cough, cardiovascular problems, chronic pain, depression or prostate problems. Behavioural treatments can help you improve sleep even if you suffer from one of these conditions, but it is advisable that you see your family doctor about your health as well.
Primary insomnia is fancy terminology that simply lumps together everything else that can cause sleep problems. The term primary means that the insomnia is not caused by any known physical or mental condition. In most cases, insomnia, the initial cause of the sleep problem—be it anxiety or stress at work—is long forgotten, as in the case of Ashwin Baluja. But the problem continues out of habit, an inability to right the body clock and/or stress and anxiety about lack of sleep itself.
“Sleep deprivation is your body and mind’s way of telling you that something is not right,” says Dr Leena Shah, a Mumbai clinical psychologist.  “Sometimes even when a person is too happy, he may not be able to sleep well.”
The main categories of insomnia are:
• Difficulty initiating sleep: where people have trouble falling asleep and take more than 30 minutes to do so.
• Difficulty maintaining sleep: where people wake up for a lengthy period and have trouble falling back to sleep. (It is considered “normal” to wake up once or twice during the night for short periods of a minute or so.)
• Difficulties initiating and main- taining sleep: where people suffer from a combination of both problems.
Most people who struggle with sleep do so for a long time and usually without consulting their doctor. Few Indians who suffer sleep difficulties seek help from their doctor, and that needs to change

Change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours

If you take a certain stress stimulus to bed, it can  cause distress and make it hard for you to get sleep. But try leaving such stress-causing thoughts behind and you’re more likely to get sleep naturally, says Dr Leena Shah.
Long-term insomnia takes a little more work and time to resolve. On the following pages you’ll find three main CBT principles to treat insomnia. The first two components—sleep restriction and stimulus control—help you to recognize, pinpoint and make behavioural changes, while the third component, cognitive therapy, addresses unhelpful thoughts and beliefs related to sleep problems.

Break your bad habits

Here are three ways to attack your bad sleeping patterns. You’ll see maximum improvement if you adopt a combination of them. Follow our daily seven-step plan (page 119) every day for four to six weeks to start to see improvements. People with long-term insomnia may need longer to break the habit.

Sleep restriction

This method increases your natural drive for sleep. Your aim is to match the time you spend in bed with the time you actually sleep. The way to achieve this is to go to bed as late as possible so that you are ready for sleep. Most importantly, you must get up around the same time every morning. This is because rising at the same time every day and letting natural light flood into your eyes resets your body clock.

Stimulus control

If you can’t get to sleep after 15 to 20 minutes, get up. Do any activity that helps to slow down your mind and body so you are better prepared for sleep. If you have chronic insomnia, you may find you get out of bed many times through the night at the beginning of the treatment, but the number of times and the length of time you are up will decrease if you stick with it.
“As a part of sleep hygiene, you must avoid all physically stimulating activity before bedtime. The bedroom should be comfortable and should
not be used for watching television or surfing the internet,” suggests
Dr Bhatia. “Do not simply lie in bed and wait for sleep to come. Instead, let sleep come to you. Try reading or listening to soothing music.”

Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy is about exploring unhelpful thoughts surrounding sleep so that you can replace them with more helpful statements. It is most successful when conducted under the guidance of a psychologist, but there are things you can try at home to shift unhelpful thoughts.
Ask yourself the questions below. If you tend to have unhelpful thoughts, change them to helpful ones so that you can face bedtime in a less tense state.
• Do I believe the quality of my day is completely dependent on my sleep?
• Can I leave my sleeping problems in the bedroom and face the day in a positive way even after a bad night’s sleep?
• Do I have some nights where my sleep is better? If so, what am I doing differently?
• Do I feel there is something wrong with me if I don’t sleep well?• Can I think of positive statements to replace negative thoughts about sleep?

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How to Crack A Bank Interview

This article is an effort of the author to respond numerous comments left by the candidates who have cleared the written part of State Bank of India’s Clerical Recruitment Examination. The author tries to make it suitable for all Bank Interviews.

Six Myths of Banking Interviews:
To succeed in your interview, you should be able to remove the following misconceptions or myths about the bank interviews:

  • Myth 1: Only Aggressive Candidates Are Selected:
    This is a false notion of many of the candidates that- to impress the interview board, one has to be aggressive. In the interview, your attitude, your confidence and sincerity with which you communicate matters only. Many Candidates commit the mistake of showing off their shallow knowledge or even negative frame of mind while being interviewed.
  • Myth 2: Speak More To Win In An Interview:
    Speaking more does not mean more chances of success. Some candidates have a habit of stretching a topic, unnecessarily sometimes. While speaking shows your depth of understanding a question, speaking more than necessary will make you face cross questions.
  • Myth 3: Project Yourself In Style To Impress The Interview Board
    The bottom-line is to BE YOURSELF. Don’t make an effort to project what you are not. What the interviewer is looking into you, are the traits of an employee, who once selected will be an integral part of the banking organization.
  • Myth 4: Interview Board Has A Formal Atmosphere:
    The reality is- in most cases the interview board has the casual atmosphere to provide the candidates. The board is interested in knowing your attitude and approach towards men and matters along with your outlook on life and your reaction to certain situations.

The board is keen on judging the real persona in you and brings the best out of you.

  • Myth 5: In Bank Interviews All Questions Are Related To Finance & Banking:
    In Bank interviews not all questions are tricky and based upon finance and economics. While the board looks for a flair of finance, business and economy in the candidate, they can ask questions from every branch of activity including political, social , economical to cultural and scientific. If you are appearing for a Job Interview of a Clerical Post , they won’t expect you to be a financial expert. Similarly, if you are appearing in a Bank PO Interview, they may ask you some basics of banking, yet you are not expected to know the answers of very difficult questions such as various articles of negotiable instruments act or RBI act etc.
  • Myth 6: It’s a good idea to prepare with pre-scripted questions:
    It’s not at all a good idea to go to an interview with a pre-determined script of answers. However , you should know some basic definitions and terms related to banking like repo rate, reverse repo rates, difference between them , their application by RBI, latest rates and their impact on economy, open market operations, liquidity adjustment facility, base rate system, Basel-I , Basel-II, CRAR, Universal banking, narrow banking, retail banking, mobile banking, cross selling, micro-finance, financial inclusion, role of RBI, difference between a commercial bank and cooperative Bank.
    Apart from this an insight into economical topics like demand, supply, markets, competition, services industry, banking sector, bank marketing is also required. These questions cannot be prepared by a predetermined script.

Understanding Basics of an Interview:

  • The Interview Board:
    In most Bank Interviews the panel is of 3-5 members. While 3 or 4 of them ask you questions, one may watch your body language and confidence level.
  • The Duration of Interview:
    Most bank interviews run for 5-15 minutes depending upon the response, depth of knowledge and attitude of the candidates.
  • Number of Questions:
    In most interviews the number of questions ranges from 10 to 15 questions. The initial 2-3 questions are to judge what you are.
  • The first usual question is “Introduce Yourself” or “Tell me something about you”.
  • Next one or two questions may be related to your family background such as your parents and siblings, your marital status, kids if you are married.
  • Next few questions would be aimed to judge your suitability and adaptability to the job. Some common questions are ” why you want to join banking? ” or “You are in marketing why don’t you look for a marketing job? ” or “You have done an MBA, why you want to join banking industry Now? “
  • The questions on your adaptability are thrown to you to judge whether you are fit for changed circumstances. For example, they may ask you whether it will be suitable for you, to join a rural branch of the bank? Girls may be specially asked if they are ready to live away from their families.

What Topics You Should Read?
While there is no prescribed manner in which you should prepare for the interview questions, here are a few suggested topics that you should go through.
(A): About your bank
You need to go to the website of the particular bank for which you have applied and spend some time reading about its history, profile, present organization, products & services, brands etc.
(B) Banking Topics: some most commonly discussed topics are:

  • Types of banks
  • Functions of banks,
  • Difference between various types of banks.
  • Types of accounts, deposits, remittances, RTGS
  • Collection of Bills, Checks, Advances, Loans, Locker facilities, Different delivery channels. bank services, bank customer care, Mobile
  • Banking, Internet banking, challenges of Internet and mobile banking, Retail banking, Financial Inclusion, Financial Literacy, Money markets, Investments, Options, futures and forwards, Credit rating, merchant banking, Over seas banking and home banking, personal banking, Various Loan Products, Plastic Money & Credit cards. Cross selling and up selling
  • RBI & its functions,
  • Some basics about capital markets.

The best available source online for the above topics is RBI Common Man Site

Handling Cross Questions on Academic Background:
Usually the first question is about you. The questions that follow may arise from your answers. Before you start preparing, you should give a thought on possible cross questions that may be asked.

For example, a candidate while giving an introduction about himself / herself mentions that he / she has done BA in History. The interviewer puts next question – Ok, now you have decided to join banking industry, how you shall correlate your subject history to banking?
This is a typical example. The possible right answer would be – being a student of history, I understand the historical aspects of the present economic scenario of our country. India has been subject to exploitation by the foreign powers for centuries its impact is still reflected as widespread illiteracy and poverty in rural areas.

Next question may be asked on financial Inclusion or financial literacy or about a village branch and your working in that branch. They may also put some hypothetical questions.

While it’s bit easy for a students with Management , Commerce and Economics background students to easily correlate their academic background to the banking career, its bit difficult for graduates from History, Geography, Sociology, Literature,Philosophy, Psychology, Home Sciences, Biology, Chemistry And Physics Subjects.
A little bit imagination and creative answers can help to win the heart of the interviewers easily.

  • For example – the student with Geography background would co relate his subject to banking in this way: “Our country is 7th largest country in the world and second largest by population. The geographical distribution of population is uneven and so is banking. While there are good banking facilities available in the bigger towns and cities, villages still lack of the basic banking services. “
  • A student with sociology background can easily correlate the banking to his / her academic career by giving an example of social & cultural diversity and demographic distribution in the country.
  • A science student can correlate his own academic subjects with banking by mentioning the impact of the information technology & science on banking. A psychology student can correlate his / her subject by discussing about the customer service, customer profiles etc.
  • Typical Question: Are you joining the bank for a Job security?
    This is a common question. Of course everybody knows that bank jobs are secure jobs today, yet to tell the interviewer directly that you are joining the bank for a job security would leave a negative imprint. Tell that apart from a secure job, you are looking for a challenging job profile which makes you integral part of the growing financial system of the country.
  • Typical Question: Will you join if you are appointed to serve in a remote village branch?
    This is a very common question, mostly asked from Girls / ladies/ married people. The answer has to be YES in any case, as any ifs and buts will give a negative impression. In most cases this question is asked to judge your adaptability.

The best answer would be : Yes, I am ready to join a village branch because it will give me more responsibilities and work experience.
If you are married, you will be further told that you will have to leave your family will that affect you. Your response has to be: Yes it will affect, but for me my career is more important and after all i am doing for the sake of my family.

  • Handling Hypothetical Questions:
    Sometimes a hypothetical situation is given to you and the interviewer may ask you to suggest a strategy. These types of questions may be related to social and political problems of the country as a whole. For example they may ask you
    -What is Naxalism and how to get rid of Naxalism,
    -how to achieve 100% financial inclusion
    -How to end terrorism
    -How to make India corruption free
    -How to make people financially literate
    -How to eradicate poverty from India
    -How will you compare India and China’s economy?
    -What is America’s role in India’s politics / economy?
    -What will be your role to bring more business to your branch?
    -How you will improve the marketing strategies of your bank?
    the list is endless…..
  • The questions depend upon the mood of the interviewer and also the background, attitude of the candidate. Please note that for clerical posts, there are more direct questions, for Managerial Jobs the number of hypothetical questions may be more.
  • How to Handle Such Questions?
    The examiner does not expect a solution of a socio economic problem. These are ubiquitous problems and even the political powers are unable to solve them. However the idea of the interviewer is to judge your depth of current affairs knowledge and your perception / opinion about the socioeconomic conditions.
  • How to make your own OPINION on socio economic issues?
    The people who regularly read newspapers, particularly editorials & columns can express their opinions about the social and economic issues. However if you don’t find it suitable to read editorials and columns then here is a short cut trick to develop your opinion:

Every news paper has a “Readers Letters” column on its editorial page. Choose a Newspaper with more number of “Readers Letters”. Just go through all “Readers Letters” everyday and you will easily develop your own opinion by reading other people’s opinion about a particular topic

  • Typical Question: Introduce yourself / Tell something about yourself?
    You have to tell your name and place where you live. Your last degree/ job. You may also mention your university / college and your last company where you worked. You may or may not mention your family background. No need to tell your date of birth.
  • Your Family Background:
    This question may or may not be asked. Sometimes they ask you to judge your social and cultural values, dislocation on appointment or promotion, problems of growing children if you are married, serving wife, parents who are old and need care.
    If any of your parents / siblings is in Service Industry, you must mention. If nobody from services background and you belong to a moderate business family, tell them briefly about your family business.
  • Please Note:
    You have to be careful about your family business because next question may be – why don’t you join your family business? A responsible and just answer is expected. If you exaggerate about your own business and give an impression that you are from a rich family – it will be a negative imprint. They don’t hire people with expensive habits.
  • Why do you want to Join Banking Sector?
    Don’t tell them that you are looking for a safe job. Mention that it is a challenging industry, one of the fastest growing sector. Talk about India’s recent trends in Banking.
  • Why you want to shift your job?
    If you are already in a job, you may expect this question. The answer may vary from person to person, but you should not complain about your past job, your past boss or company. If you are in sales, don’t tell them that you don’t enjoy field job. They look for ambitious people and so tell them that your ambitions can be fulfilled in banking industry. Tell them that your past job was not challenging and was a mere typical 10 to 5 job which you did not like.
  • Your Strengths And Weaknesses?
    While you are free to mention any of your strengths including you being a adventure lover, bold, extrovert, sociable and its easy for you to win friends. However, be careful about your mentioning weaknesses. Tell a weakness that indicates strength. For example, you mention that office politics makes you nervous and reduces your productivity. Mention that you cannot work without pressure. You need pressure to work more. Good food may be your weakness which does not affect your professional life. If you have some weakness which may affect your job, you will not be hired. Never discuss about addictions if you have any.
  • Why You Should Be Selected And What If Not Selected?
    You have to tell them that you prepared honestly for your selection and confident of your success. You should be selected because you have sincerely done your duty to prepare for the written exam and clear it with your own perseverance.
    If not selected? Tell them that you are going to reappear in the exam with more confidence.
  • What will be your Reaction if selected / not selected?
    If selected you will be happiest person because you are going to join a professional organization. Don’t tell them directly, what you will do if not selected. Mention that you are 100 % confident about your success. if the interviewer persists on your not getting selected tell him , that you will again prepare and re appear whenever a similar vacancy exists in this bank or another bank because you have finally decided to join Banking sector only.
  • How did you prepare for this interview?
    Tell them that you prepared reading various newspapers, books. Next question may be about a newspaper / magazine you like.
  • Tackling Hobby Questions:
    Hobby questions must be answered carefully. This is because the hobby related answers always give rise to cross questions. For example if you said that you love listening to music, you MUST know something about the music you love. If you tell them that you love Indian classical music and don’t know about Pandit Jasraj this means you are telling a lie. Similarly, if you tell, reading is your hobbey, you may be asked about particular books you have read. In other words, you should have a general knowledge about your hobby. Further, Its not correct to say that people with outdoor activities as hobbies are preferred.
  • Finally 10 Keys to get Success:
  1. Be confident
  2. Believe in yourself
  3. Put some counter questions if you feel so
  4. Agree or disagree with the interviewer
  5. Be neutral to Sensitive issues
  6. Don’t answer in Hurry
  7. Practice Before Your Interview
  8. Be neutral to political parties /
  9. Be honest with your Country and your countrymen.

10.  Be sincere…Sincere people never fail.

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Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010

Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010

Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 was earlier drafted as Prevention of Torture Bill, 2009. The bill is a sequel to India’s inking the 1975 UN Convention against torture and other cruel, Inhuman and Degrading treatment or punishment in 1997.

  • The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment also known as Torture Convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1984.
  • It entered into force on 26 June 1987 after it had been ratified by 20 States.
  • India signed this convention on 14 Oct 1997 .
  • India is yet to ratify this convention.

Ratification by India:
The Indian Penal Code has some provision regarding the subject matter of this convention, however it does not define ‘torture’ as clearly as in Article 1 of the convention nor make it criminal as called for by Article 4 of this convention. This is a prerequisite of ratifying the convention that the country needs to bring in a domestic legislation. The government has earlier thought of modifying the IPC, but it would have complicated the procedure.

Consultations:

  • Criminal law, including all matters included in the Indian Penal Code come under the subject matter of Concurrent List of 7th schedule of the Constitution of India. (see concurrent list subjects 1, 2 & 3)
  • So these issues require a consultation with the state governments also.
  • Besides the mater has been examined at length in consultation with the Law Commission of India and the then attorney general of India.
  • After long deliberation on the issue it was decided to bring a piece of ‘stand alone’ legislation so that the convention could be ratified.

Current Status:
India’s Union cabinet approves a proposal on April 8, 2010 to introduce Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010

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कंप्‍यूटर पर हिन्‍दी में कैसे काम करें

यूनिकोड UNICODE

1.       यूनिकोड क्‍या है:

कम्प्यूटर, मूल रूप से, नंबरों से सम्बंध रखते हैं। ये प्रत्येक अक्षर और वर्ण के लिए एक नंबर निर्धारित करके अक्षर और वर्ण संग्रहित करते हैं। अत: हम कह सकते है कि यूनिकोड प्रत्येक अक्षर के लिए एक विशेष नम्बर प्रदान करता है, चाहे कोई भी प्लैटफॉर्म हो, चाहे कोई भी प्रोग्राम हो, चाहे कोई भी भाषा हो।

1. कंप्‍यूटर की न्‍यूनतम आवश्‍यकताएं Minimum requirements of the system:

क. विन्‍डोज़ 2000 या उच्‍चतर ऑपरेटिंग सिस्‍टम Windows 2000 or Higher Version

ख. एम.एस.ऑफिस एक्‍स.पी. या उच्‍चतर वर्जन MS Office XP or Higher Version

2. यूनिकोड एक्टिवेट करने के लिए सेटिंग्‍स Setting to activate Unicode

क. विन्‍डोज़ 2000 के लिए For Windows:

स्‍टार्ट Start” सेटिंग्‍स Settings ” कंट्रोल पैनल Control Panel ” रीजनल ऑपशन्‍स Regional Option” लेंग्‍वेज सेटिंग्‍स फॉर दी सिस्‍टम में इंडिक को टिक करें Click Indic in Language for the system ” फाइल कॉपी होना शुरू हो जाएगा (यदि आवश्‍यक हो तो कंप्‍यूटर को विन्‍डोज़ 2000 की सी.डी. उपलब्‍ध कराएं) Insert Windows 2000 CD when it asks” फाइल कॉपी हो जाने के बाद कंप्‍यूटर को री-स्‍टार्ट करें ।

ख. विन्‍डोज़ एक्‍स.पी. के लिए For Windows XP

स्‍टार्ट Start ” कंट्रोल पैनल Control Panel” रीजनल एण्‍ड लेंग्‍वेज ऑपशन्‍स Regional & Language Option ” लेंग्‍वेजेस को क्लिक करें Click on Languages Tab ” एडिशनल लेंग्‍वेजेस सपोर्ट Additional Languages support” राइट टू लेफ्ट लेंग्‍वेजेस को टिक करें Click on Right to Left Languages ” फाइल कॉपी होना शुरू हो जाएगा (यदि आवश्‍यक हो तो कंप्‍यूटर को विन्‍डोज़ एक्‍स.पी. की सी.डी. उपलब्‍ध कराएं) Insert Windows XP CD when it asks “फाइल कॉपी हो जाने के बाद कंप्‍यूटर को री-स्‍टार्ट करें।

ग. विन्‍डोज़ विस्‍टा के लिए For Windows Vista

स्‍टार्ट Start” कंट्रोल पैनल Control Panel ” लेंग्‍वेज एंड रीजन Language and Region ” रीजनल एंड लेंग्‍वेज ऑपशन्‍स Regional & Languages Option  ” कीबोर्ड एंड लेंग्‍वेजेस Keyboard & Languages ” चेंज कीबोर्ड Change Keyboard” एड Add” हिंदी भाषा और की-बोर्ड चुनें Select Hindi Language & Keyboard ” ओके OK

3. की-बोर्ड Keyboard  (हिंदी इंडिक आईएमई Hindi Indic IME)

यह की-बोर्ड ड्राइवर http://www.bhashaindia.com पर उपलब्‍ध है।  इसे फ्लॉपी, सी.डी आदि माध्‍यमों से भी डाउनलोड करके इन्‍स्‍टॉल किया जा सकता है । इंटरनेट या सीडी से कंप्‍यूटर पर डाउनलोड करने के बाद उसे रन करें और उसके बाद इस की-बोर्ड को एक्टिवेट करने के लिए निम्‍न प्रकार सेटिंग करें

सेटिंग्‍स Settings:

विन्‍डोज़ 2000 में For Windows 2000:

स्‍टार्ट Start ” कंट्रोल पैनल Control Panel” सेटिंग्‍स Settings रीजनल ऑपशन्‍स Regional Option” इनपुट लोकेल Input Local” चेंज Change ”  इनपुट लेंग्‍वेज एड करें Add Input Language” हिंदी को टिक करें Click Hindi ” इंडिक आईएमई Indic IME” ओ.के. OK

विन्‍डोज़ एक्‍स.पी. में-

स्‍टार्ट Start” कंट्रोल पैनल Control Panel” रीजनल एण्‍ड लेंग्‍वेज ऑपशन्‍स Regional & Languages Option ” लेंग्‍वेजेस Languages ” डीटेल्‍स Details” एड Add ” इनपुट लेंग्‍वेजेस Input Languages ” हिंदी Hindi” की-बोर्ड  लेआउट पर टिक लगाएं और ड्रापडाउन सूची में से इंडिक आइएमई को चुनें Click on Keyboard layout and choose Indic IME from dropdown list ” ओके OK” कंप्‍यूटर को री-स्‍टार्ट करें Restart system

विन्‍डोज़ विस्‍टा में For Window Vista:

स्‍टार्ट Start” कंट्रोल पैनल Control Panel ” लेंग्‍वेज एंड रीजन Language & Region ” रीजनल एंड लेंग्‍वेज ऑपशन्‍स Regional & Languages Option ” कीबोर्ड एंड लेंग्‍वेजेस Keyboard & Languages ” चेंज कीबोर्ड Change Keyboard ” एड Add” हिंदी (इंडिया) Hindi (India) ” हिंदी इंडिक आईएमई की-बोर्ड चुनें Choose Hindi Indic IME” ओके OK

यूनिकोड में टाइपिंग

नया वर्ड डॉक्‍यूमेंट खोलें”स्‍क्रीन के बॉटम ट्रे में दायीं ओर EN (English) चिह्न होगा, उस पर क्लिक करके HI (Hindi) को चुनें ” (HI को चुनते ही की-बोर्ड ड्राइवर क्रियान्वित हो जाएगा) ” टापइराइटर के चित्र पर क्लिक करके अपनी सुविधानुसार की-बोर्ड का चयन करें ” मंगल फॉन्‍ट में हिंदी टाइपिंग शुरू करें ।

अंग्रेजी में टाइप करना हो तो बॉटम ट्रे में HI पर क्लिक करें और EN को चुनें या टोगल-की Alt और Shift को एक बार दबाएं।  पुन: हिंदी में टाइप करने के लिए वही पद्धति अपनाएं।  इसके अलावा आप EN/HI पर क्लिक करके भी भाषा चुन सकते हैं।

उपलब्‍ध की-बोर्ड ले-आउट Available Keyboard Layout:

इसमें तीन प्रकार के की-बोर्ड लेआउट उपलब्‍ध हैं – फोनेटिक (ट्रांसलिटरेशन), इन्‍सक्रिप्‍ट और हिंदी टाइपराटर(गोदरेज, रेमिंगटन आदि)

ख. आकृति की-बोर्ड

जिन कंप्‍यूटरों में आकृति सॉफ्टवेयर पहले से लगा हुआ है और जो उपयोगकर्ता इंडिक आईएमई की-बोर्ड का उपयोग नहीं करना चाहते वे आकृति की-बोर्ड का उपयोग कर सकते हैं। कुछ वर्णों और चिह्नों को छोड़कर अन्‍य सभी वर्ण और चिह्न उसी स्‍थान पर हैं। आकृति इंजिन में निम्‍न प्रकार सेटिंग्‍स करें:

आकृति इंजिन ” फॉन्‍ट ” आकृति यूनिकोड

आकृति का इस्‍तेमाल करते हुए यूनिकोड में टाइपिंग

नया वर्ड डॉक्‍यूमेंट खोलें”स्‍क्रीन के बॉटम ट्रे में दायीं ओर EN (English) चिह्न होगा, उस पर क्लिक करके HI (Hindi) को चुनें  ” जांच लें कि आकृति की-बोर्ड इंजिन की फॉन्‍ट ड्रॉप डाउन सूची में आकृति यूनिकोड का विकल्‍प चुना गया है ” मंगल फॉन्‍ट में हिंदी टाइपिंग शुरू करें। अंग्रेजी में टाइप करने के लिए स्‍क्रॉल-लॉक का उपयोग करें ।

विन्‍डोज़ के रीजनल ऑप्‍शन्‍स में की जाने वाली सेटिंग्‍स आवश्‍यक हैं ।

अब आकृति के निर्माता मेसर्स साइबर स्‍केप ने आकृति विस्‍तार नामक नया हिंदी सॉफ्टवेयर विकसित किया है जिसमें यूनिकोड और गैरयूनिकोड फॉन्‍ट में काम करने की सुविधा है।

ग. बरहा Baraha

यह भी एक यूनिकोड सॉफ्टवेयर है जिसमें फोनेटिक टाइपिंग की सुविधा है । इसे http://www.baraha.com से डाउनलोड किया जा सकता है।

टिप्‍पणी –

1.         आकृति द्विभाषी सॉफ्टवेयर में बनाई गई वर्ड फाइलों को आकृति कन्‍वर्टर की सहायता से यूनिकोड में परिवर्तित किया जा सकता है ।

2.        मंगल फॉन्‍ट के अलावा कोकिला और एरियल यूनिकोड एम.एस भी यूनिकोड फॉन्‍ट हैं जो सामान्‍यत: कंप्‍यूटर में उपलब्‍ध रहते हैं।

4.    यूनिकोड फॉन्‍ट के लाभ

क.       टेबल आदि में डाटा संसाधन किया जा सकता है,

ख.      फाइलों आदि के नाम हिंदी में दिए जा सकते हैं,

ग.       किसी भी स्‍थान पर हिंदी में ई-मेल भेजे जा सकते हैं,

घ.       हिंदी वेबसाइट में इनका उपयोग किया जा सकता है

ङ.       हिंदी में टेम्‍पलेट आसानी से बनाए जा सकते हैं

ङ.

इंडिक आईएमई ट्रांसलिटरेशन अर्थात् फोनेटिक की-बोर्ड का चार्ट

रोमन देवनागरी रोमन देवनागरी
ka bha
kha ma
ga ya
gha ra
Nga la
cha va / wa
chha sha
ja Sha
jha sa
Nja ha
Ta kSha / xa क्ष
Tha tra त्र
Da Gya / jNja ज्ञ
Dha La
Na
ta
tha
da
dha
na
pa
pha
ba

स्‍वर                                              मात्राएं

रोमन देवनागरी
ka
kaa का
ki कि
kee की
ku कु
koo कू
ke के
kai / kei कै
ko को
kau / kou कौ
ka^ कं
kaH कः
kaM कँ
kO कॉ
kA कॅ
kRa / kRu / kRi कृ
kra क्र
रोमन देवनागरी
a
aa
i
ee
u
oo
e
ai / ei
o
au / ou
a^ / an अं
aH अः
aM अँ
O
A
Ra / Ru / Ri
OM
|

नुक्‍ता

रोमन देवनागरी
qa/Ka
Kha

संयुक्‍ताक्षर

Transliteration-
Roman keystrokes
Remington/Typewriter/Inscript-
Key combinations
Conjuncts
dda द +  halant +  द द्द
ddha द +  halant  +  ध द्ध
dwa/dva द +  halant  +  व द्व
dma द +  halant  +  म द्म
dya द +  halant  +  य द्य
dba द +  halant  +  ब द्ब
dna द +  halant  +  न द्न
dga द +  halant  +  ग द्ग
dgha द +  halant  +  घ द्घ
hma ह +  halant  +  म ह्म
hla ह +  halant  +  ल ह्ल
hva/hwa ह +  halant  +  व ह्व
hna ह +  halant  +  न ह्न
hya ह +  halant  +  य ह्य
ShTa ष +  halant  +   ट ष्ट
ShTha ष +  halant  +  ठ ष्ठ
tta त +  halant  +  त त्त
kta क +  halant  +  त क्त
shcha श +  halant  +  च श्च
shwa/shva श +  halant  +  व श्व
shra श +  halant  +  र श्र

उदाहरण

बैंक baink
कलम kalam
कलाम kalaam

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What is the LHC Trying to Accomplish?

What is the LHC Trying to Accomplish?

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most complex physics experiment ever constructed. Located underground, straddling the French-Swiss border, the 27 km-long ring of electromagnets is designed to accelerate protons and heavier charged particles to speeds close to that of the speed of light. The LHC is located at, and managed by, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

INTERVIEW: What is the LHC? What does it do? What is the Higgs Boson? Discovery News Editor-in-Chief Lori Cuthbert discusses the Large Hadron Collider with Space Producer Ian O’Neill to nail the basics about the LHC.

As of March 30, 2010, the LHC began high energy collisions, attaining collision energies of 7 TeV, three times higher than ever before.
What will it do?
At strategic points around the accelerator ring, counter-rotating “beams” of accelerated particles are steered to collide head-on by the most precise electromagnet technology on Earth. At these collision points, huge particle detectors are located to track and measure the resulting high-speed smash-up.

When the LHC runs at full capacity, the energy conditions shortly after the Big Bang will be recreated for a very short period of time. This is the reason why the LHC is often dubbed the “Big Bang machine.”

Making these highly controlled mini-Big Bangs allow physicists to have a glimpse at what our universe is made of, creating particles that the universe hasn’t seen since its birth, 13.75 billion years ago.

WIDE ANGLE: The LHC has the potential to revolutionize modern physics, but what precisely are physicists hunting for and what technology are they using to help them?
What will it discover?
The LHC will probe the limits of physics theory, possibly turning up evidence for the elusive Higgs boson or uncovering the nature of mysterious “dark matter” that is thought to dominate the cosmos. It is, however, the Higgs boson that is the prime focus of the particle accelerator’s mission.

The Higgs boson is the “exchange particle” that is theorized to give stuff mass.

Without the Higgs particle, the universe cannot exist, but if the Higgs particle isn’t discovered by the LHC, it means our understanding of how the universe works is wrong. The non-discovery of the Higgs would be as profound as its discovery, potentially revolutionizing physics.

INTERVIEW: What happens if the LHC doesn’t find the Higgs particle? Perhaps the universe has something more exotic in store, a prospect that excites LHC physicist Prof. Jon Butterworth.
What’s the plan?
By the end of March 2010, LHC scientists hope to push accelerated protons to record-breaking speeds, topping an energy of 7 trillion electron volts (an electron volt — or eV — is a unit of energy used by physicists when describing the kinetic energy of subatomic particles).

The LHC initially broke the world record in November 2009 when accelerating protons to an energy of 1.18TeV. 7TeV will be 3.5 times more powerful than its nearest competitor, Fermilab’s Tevatron in Batavia, Ill.

As this experiment is very complex, long periods of “down time” are required for CERN scientists and engineers to upgrade and repair the “Big Bang machine.” Although a recent BBC article alluded to some kind of unexpected shutdown at the end of 2011 for a year, this is actually standard operating procedure.

According to a March 10, 2010, CERN press release:

Traditionally, CERN has operated its accelerators on an annual cycle, running for seven to eight months with a four- to five-month shutdown each year. With the LHC, things are different. Being a cryogenic machine operating at very low temperature, the LHC takes about a month to bring up to room temperature and another month to cool down. A four-month shutdown as part of an annual cycle no longer makes sense for such a machine. That’s why CERN decided at the end of January 2010 to move to a longer cycle with longer periods of operation accompanied by longer shutdown periods when needed.

So, the LHC is scheduled to run at half power until the end of 2011 when it will be upgraded to operate at full capacity.

Filed under: Article of Week, General Knowledge, ,

Keeping yourself clean may pollute the environment

Keeping yourself clean may pollute the environment

Shower

Knowing the source of pollution is an important first step toward preventing further contamination.
Getty Images

THE GIST:

  • Taking showers and doing laundry could wash pharmaceuticals into the water supply.
  • Babies and people with compromised immune systems could be most at risk.
  • Although the health consequences are still unclear, knowing the source of pollution could help reduce its impact.


With every shower you take, you may be unwittingly polluting the environment.

As you scrub off dirt, you also wipe off medicines from your skin and pharmaceuticals excreted in sweat, according to a new study. Those chemicals pass through the sewage system and might even end up in our drinking water.

“We are raising an alarm in that pharmaceuticals are not meant to be in our water,” said Ilene Ruhoy, director of the Institute for Environmental Medicine at the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nev. She presented her work this week at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco.

Related Links:



“If you think about other people exposed to these drugs that are intended for a particular population,” she said, “that could be a concern.”

Scientists have already recognized toilets as the biggest source of pharmaceuticals in the environment. After swallowing and digesting medicines, our bodies excrete metabolized versions of them through urine and feces. Often, people flush unwanted or unused pills as well, without thinking about where the drugs will end up.

Ruhoy suspected that toilets weren’t the only way that pharmaceuticals escape from the medicine cabinet. For the first time, she and colleagues considered overlooked sources of drugs in the environment.

Their research revealed that human skin fails to absorb much of the medicine that is applied topically, such as antibiotic ointments and steroid creams. Showers, baths and laundry wash those drugs directly into the sewage system. Chemically, these compounds often remain whole, unlike the broken-down versions in feces and urine.

The scientists also found that a significant percentage of the medicine we swallow end up coming out in our sweat. Those chemicals go down the drain, too.

It’s not yet clear how pharmaceutical residues in the environment will affect the health of animals or people, especially because concentrations for now are low. Still, tiny doses can add up after years and years of exposure. It’s a phenomenon that scientists have become increasingly worried about.

Studies have already found female features, such as eggs, in male fish that live near sewage effluents. Among the concerns, the migration of antibiotics into the environment could lead to more drug-resistant infections. Babies and people with compromised immune systems would be most at risk.

“There’s potential for an incredible number of compounds to be entering the environment, and we don’t really know what mixtures of those chemicals can do, either individually or together,” said Michael Fulton, an environmental toxicologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Charleston, S.C.

“Work is really just sort of beginning,” he added, “to try and identify what compounds are getting into the environment in high enough concentrations to produce an effect in some animal living out there.”

Knowing where pollution is coming from is an important first step toward preventing it from entering the environment in the first place, Ruhoy said. She recommends using the minimal necessary dose of topical ointments instead of slathering them on. Precautionary measures like wiping down with a towel before stepping into the shower might help, too.

“Let’s just be aware that what we do has an effect on the environment,” she said. “The environment and human health are intricately connected.”

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Indian study challenges global view on Himalayan glaciers

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: India on Monday challenged the internationally accepted view that the Himalayan glaciers were receding due to global warming. The glaciers, although shrinking in volume and constantly showing a retreating front, have not in any way exhibited any abnormal annual retreat of the order that some glaciers in Alaska and Greenland have reported, a state-of-the-art review of Glacial Studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change said.

Brought out by V.K. Raina, former Deputy Director-General, Geological Survey of India, for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the discussion paper on the Himalayan glaciers points out that it was premature to make a statement that the glaciers were retreating abnormally because of global warming.

The study says a glacier is affected by a range of physical features and a complex interplay of climatic factors, and it is, therefore, unlikely that the snout movement of any glacier can be claimed to be the result of periodic climate variation until many centuries of observations become available.

While glacier movements are primarily due to climate and snowfall, snout movements appear to be peculiar to each glacier, the paper adds.

Releasing the documents, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said that while most Himalayan glaciers were retreating, some were advancing as well. This included the Siachen glacier.

“Some glaciers are retreating at a declining rate, like the Gangotri, and the overall health of the Himalayan glaciers was poor as the debris cover had reached alarming proportions,” he said, citing the paper.

Mr. Ramesh added that there was no conclusive scientific evidence to show that global warming was resulting in the glacial retreats. Contrary to what most believe, there can be no comparison between the Arctic glaciers and the Himalayan glaciers, as the former are at sea-level and the latter at a very high altitude.

According to Mr. Raina, all glaciers under observation in the Himalayan region during the past three decades have shown cumulative negative mass balance (determined by annual snow precipitation). Degradation of the glacier mass has been the highest in Jammu and Kashmir, relatively lower in Himachal Pradesh, even less in Uttarakhand, and the lowest in Sikkim — showing a declining trend from the north-west to the north-east.

Irrespective on latitudinal difference, glacier melt contributes to about 25-30 per cent of the total discharge of glacier ice, with maximum discharge in mid-July and August.

Assuring several steps to study the Himalayan glaciers scientifically and arrive at a final conclusion, Mr. Ramesh said he would bring the discussion paper to the notice of R.K. Pachauri, chief of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other agencies that have warned of doom due to melting glaciers.

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‘Eco-tourism can help Indian wildlife conservation’

  • Pqrof. Raman Sukumar is not one of the salesman conservationists that you meet every other day trying to pitch themselves up rather than the wildlife they pretend to conserve. Yet, he is the most respected, most popular, most distinguished, and if one may say, the most saleable face of wildlife conservation in India and Asia – considering that Asian wildlife conservation needs, and can certainly do, with more than a-dime-a-day support.

    Worldwide, conservationists look up to him for his scholarship. Scholars look up to him for his conservation acumen. Activists looking to do good work, and not knowing how, trust him with their might and energies. Donors looking to spend on conservation trust him with their monies. (They know he puts their money as well as his exactly where his judicious mouth is…!)

    Though now Prof. Sukumar addresses the larger issues of conservation, including ecological pressures and impacts on flora and fauna, he is still widely known by his nicknames, Asian Elephant Man and Elephant Suku – names that he probably won, much like his Ph.D, for his pioneering study of ‘man-elephant relations and conflict’. (Years later, his work among the elephants was also to get him the Chair of Asian Elephant Specialist Group of IUCN.)

    Shali Ittaman spoke to Prof. Sukumar about his work, about his concerns and about his steadfast belief that he represents a cause that is worth fighting.

    Q: Prof Sukumar, so many years of work on the Asian Elephant… You are really the animal’s best friend, aren’t you?

    Sukumar: I have tried a few things…!

    Q: …and very successfully, I should think?

    Sukumar: Well, I have made a few points…

    Q: Has your interest now gone beyond the elephant?

    Sukumar: Certainly, yes. Conservation biology is really the big area of my study, and it includes the elephant – being the flagship species that it really is…

    Currently, I am studying global climate change and its long and short-term impacts on the flora and fauna, which is everything between the forest floor and the canopy.

    Q: What are the current big dangers to Indian wildlife?

    Sukumar: There are many dangers depending on the region – loss of forests, fragmentation of wildlife habitat, degradation due to invasive weeds and p

    oaching. There are also great dangers looming on the horizon from pressures of development activities such as mining road and rail traffic and tourism. India is on the fast track of economic growth, and I think that we are just beginning to see an escalation of developmental pressures.

    But crucially, when one talks of danger, it must be understood not just from the point of risk to flagship species such as the elephants and the tigers, but also from the perspective of risk to flora and fauna, which, like I said, is everything from forest floor to tree top. It is only then that issues such as global climate change and weed invasion of wild lands begin to look alarming.

    Q: Are these also the biggest threats to the elephant population in India?

    Sukumar: The immediate danger to larger species such as the elephant and the tiger is from habitat fragmentation, which, from the view of conservation is no less a threat than hunting. Elephants especially are migratory by nature. They must move from one forest part to the other to meet their forage requirements. Today many of their traditional movement routes are either being blocked or under pressure the forests are bisected by roads and railway tracks and what remains in the name of forest tracts are patches of degraded wilderness.

    Q: You have been asking estate owners to desist from development work near eco-sensitive zones? Do you see this as a big issue?

    Sukumar: Yes. Mining, quarrying, logging and single crop plantations have often been talked about in the context. An equally big issue is encroachment by commercial plantations such as coffee and tea.

    Q: Eco-tourism also seems to becoming the by-word near sensitive zones? How do you see it shaping vis-à-vis conservation?

    Sukumar: In a democratic country like ours, it is difficult to ban people from going into the forest. After all, forests are a common resource and belong as much to the common man as much as to the conservationist. The need of the hour is therefore responsible eco-tourism based on thoroughly thought and rigorously applied rules and regulations.

    Having said that, I also think eco-tourism has its positive sides. Eco-tourism can lead to sensitisation of the masses towards wildlife conservation. Eco-tourism can also bring in the much-need money for conservation and to local economies, though this is not happening now.

    Currently, poor farmers are selling their lands at cheap rates for commercial development. I propose an alternative … commercial ventures should be permitted on lands near wildlife reserves only through long-term leases, say 30 years. In this way, subsistence farmers are not deprived of their lands but have a regular source of income. Let us face it… conservation does need money but we should not open the floodgates!

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Climate change

CLIMATE CHANGE

Gathering clouds

 

R. RAMACHANDRAN

 

 

Developed countries may not accept the targets for the post-2012 phase under the Kyoto Protocol and may even abandon it altogether.

 

 

 

BAY ISMOYO/AFP

This October 13 photograph shows a fisherman paddling his boat through a devastated peatland forest in Pangkalan Bunut in Indonesia’s Riau province. It is one of the last tropical forests in Sumatra and its destruction will lead to further atmospheric warming.

 

ALL indications are that the crucial 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen in December is going to be a disaster from the perspective of developing countries, whose interests have been championed by the Group of 77 and China. The Copenhagen Summit was expected to deliver a fair and equitable agreement on the shared responsibilities and commitments of developed and developing countries for the period after 2012 in accordance with the agreed Principles (Article 3) and Commitments (Article 4) of the UNFCCC. However, it is increasingly becoming clear that this hope will be belied, with the evident change of track by developed countries from UNFCCC’s basic tenets and the Bali Action Plan (BAP) that was drawn up and agreed upon in December 2007 to reach an agreement in Copenhagen.

But more distressing is the fact that there are signs of India, given its major power aspirations, trying to abandon the G-77 ship in its bid to be in league with the G-20 rather than with the developing world. Its recent unilateral posture of “flexibility” – read subservience to the United States – in the run-up to Copenhagen, as evidenced by the “discussion note” submitted by Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, betrays India’s shifting stance. According to a Reuters interview with the Minister, this “flexible approach” had the sanction of the Prime Minister, who did not want India to take an obstructionist position in Copenhagen and be a “deal-breaker”. “Don’t block, be constructive, work proactively, make sure there’s an agreement” is what apparently the Prime Minister told Ramesh.

Another Indian news report said that the Prime Minister was convening a meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) to discuss what the country’s stand should be in Copenhagen. With just a few weeks to go before COP-15, these are ominous signs, suggesting an approach that may subvert the legitimate rights of developing countries to economic growth and a secure future. Martin Khor, the Executive Director of South Centre, observed: “From environment, it became an issue of economics and now it has become totally political.”

To understand these developments in the proper perspective, it is important to remind ourselves of the basic premise of the UNFCCC. The Convention recognises the basic fact that the “historic responsibility” for climate change lies with the industrialised countries, whose developmental pathways in the post-industrialisation era are responsible for the problems of the climate that the world faces today. Scientific studies, particularly by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), point to the doubly iniquitous nature of the problem for developing countries. It would be the poor of the developing economies of the South who will be most hit by the effects of climate change, for which they are not responsible at all.

Equity is sought to be restored through Article 3.1 of the Convention, which calls for climate protection “on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities”. “Accordingly,” it says, “the developed country Parties should take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.” This Principle, together with the commitment of developed countries (the Annex-1 countries) to “take corresponding measures on the mitigation of climate change” as required in Article 4.2, was turned, via the Berlin Mandate of 1995, into a separate Protocol under the Convention (Kyoto Protocol), which was concluded on December 11, 1997, and which came into force in February 2005.

The Protocol was premised on the following important guiding principle which captured the notion of equal right of access to the global commons of the atmospheric carbon space: “[T]he largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has originated in developed countries… [and] per capita emissions (PCEs) in developing countries are still relatively low and… the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs.” Accordingly, there were no binding commitments set for developing (or non-Annex-1) countries. Legally binding emission reduction targets were set only for the Annex-1 countries, “with a view to reducing their overall emissions… by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the [first] commitment period 2008 to 2012”. However, the Protocol being only an interim arrangement, weak reduction targets were set for the first commitment period, which comes to an end in 2012.

Significantly, the U.S., which was the largest GHG emitter in the world until China overtook its place recently, is not a party to the Kyoto Protocol even though it is one to the Convention. Historically, the U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the total stock of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important of the GHGs, in the atmosphere (since 1850). Industrialised countries together account for nearly three-fourths of the total stock of CO2. Even today, the U.S. accounts for over 18 per cent of global GHG emissions. China, with an economy that has grown rapidly in recent years, accounts for a little over 19 per cent of global GHG emissions, but its historic contribution to the CO2 stock is only 7-8 per cent. India accounts for only 5 per cent of global GHG emissions and its historic contribution is 1-2 per cent of the atmospheric CO2 stock.

AFP

This handout picture from 350.org shows environmental activists forming a human chain to write the number 3 along the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea during a protest to mark the International Day of Climate Change on October 24.

 

Today, China is the largest emitter of GHGs and India the fourth largest. But these numbers must be read along with the fact that the U.S. accounts for only about 4.5 per cent of the global population whereas India accounts for about 17 per cent and China for about 21 per cent. Correspondingly, the annual per capita emissions (of GHG), respectively, are 23.6 tonnes, 5.5 t and 1.7 t. (The PCEs of CO2 are correspondingly 20 t, 4.3 t and 1.2 t respectively.) In terms of PCE, while the U.S. ranks sixth, China ranks 70th and India 124th. This makes the U.S.’s persistent demand on legally binding commitments in the post-2012 phase on countries such as India and China completely unacceptable, especially without the required commitments on its own part of deep emission cuts.

The overall scientific opinion today is that if disastrous and irreversible impacts of climate change are to be avoided, the increase in the average global temperature, which according to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC (2007) is at present about 0.8oC, should not exceed more than 2oC above the pre-industrial level. A 2oC limit corresponds (with a 50 per cent probability) to 450 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 equivalent concentration of GHG gases in the atmosphere. The present GHG concentration is around 380 ppm and the average PCE is about 4.5 t of CO2 equivalent.

According to the IPCC’s AR4, only a global cut of 85 per cent from the 2000 levels (of about 4.5 t PCE) by 2050 has a high probability of preventing a temperature increase of over 2oC. This implies a cut of over 90 per cent for the Annex-1 countries, whose average PCE per year is about 10 t of CO2 eq. The IPCC report further suggests that Annex-1 countries should cut their emissions by 25-40 per cent by 2020, a demand also placed by the G-77 and China in the negotiations. Given the 11.2 per cent increase in emissions by Annex-1 countries since 1990, this now seems even more unattainable unless the Annex-1 countries accept immediate drastic cuts in emissions; such a commitment does not seem forthcoming.

It must be emphasised that all these numbers have to do with cutting down the current flow of CO2 into the atmosphere. Any kind of compensatory mechanism (such as emission cuts or otherwise) for the historic responsibility of occupying an unfair share of the carbon space – a global commons – from 1850 has never been an integral part of the UNFCCC negotiations or the IPCC’s calculations. A non-paper submitted by the Indian delegation in July this year at the UNFCCC estimated that if historic responsibility were quantified and included in the calculations, Annex-1 countries would have to cut their emissions by 79.2 per cent by 2020. Indeed, this was the ballpark figure submitted by quantification exercises presented at this meeting by some other G-77 countries and China. In effect, the emission reductions by 2050 would far exceed 100 per cent; that is, they will have negative emissions. This negative quantity can, in principle, be converted into equivalent financial commitments towards non-Annex-1 countries on the “polluter pays” principle.

Another way of looking at this is through an equitable distribution of the available carbon space – the “carbon budget” approach. According to a recent paper, written by Meite Meinhausen and others in Nature, the carbon budget available for the world as a whole from 2000 until 2050 is 1,000 gigaton (billion tonnes) of CO2 – this would have a 75 per cent chance of containing the temperature increase to less than 2oC above pre-industrial levels. A similar exercise undertaken more recently by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has put the available carbon space to be 750 Gt between 2010 and 2050 for a 67 per cent chance of restricting the warming to under 2oC. For a 75 per cent probability, the carbon budget comes down to 600 Gt.

Given that the current annual emissions are about 30 Gt, the two estimates are consistent, and both mean that if the current emissions by Annex-1 countries continue at the same rate, the carbon space will be exhausted within a short span of 15-20 years, leaving no space at all for developing countries’ economic growth. But the sad part is that even current flow targets are not being met by the Annex-1 countries. Any demand for deep cuts by them are not only rejected outright but binding commitments are sought from major developing countries such as India and China in the post-2012 phase.

All this indicates that if we accept that the “guardrail” of 2oC should not be breached, there will be a squeeze on the available carbon space for developing countries even if developed countries undertake substantive cuts. A recent joint modelling exercise by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and the Delhi Science Forum (DSF) has explicitly shown that the growth rate of emissions of developing countries must decline and subsequently converge with the PCE of Annex-1 countries around 2050. However, the average PCE of emerging economies such as China and India will overshoot that of Annex-1 countries in the medium-term around 2030 (given their developmental priorities and attendant emissions growth). By apportioning the available carbon space on per capita basis and allocating national carbon budgets for each country on the basis of 2010 population figures (and appropriate growth rates), the WBGU model too predicts this for reasonable scenarios of emissions reductions of Annex-1 countries.

It must be pointed out that these (TISS-DSF and WBGU) convergence paths are quite different from the Manmohan Singh Convergence Principle (see Frontline, August 13) and allow for more equitable development paths for developing countries. The Singh Convergence Principle does not allow the emission pathways of developed and developing countries to cross at any point and, therefore, would constrain the development space more severely.

AFP

Palestinians and Israelis formed the numbers 5 and 0, respectively, to form the number 350. The number refers to 350 ppm (parts per million), which scientists say is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

The hope was that at Copenhagen the UNFCCC signatories will arrive at a fair and equitable agreement that would deliver climate justice to the developing world, which requires carbon space for growth and development, by (i) requiring Annex-1 countries to undertake deep and ambitious cuts in carbon emissions during the second phase of the Protocol; (ii) bringing the U.S., particularly in the wake of the Obama administration’s apparent shift in Climate Policy, on board to join the Kyoto process in its second phase and take on binding commitments on emissions reduction; and (iii) evolving appropriate binding and verifiable mechanisms for developed countries to provide the requisite financial resources to meet the “full incremental costs” and transfer of (low carbon) technologies to the non-Annex-1 countries for undertaking Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), as agreed upon under BAP. Component (iii) essentially stems from Article 4.7 of the UNFCCC in terms of the respective commitments of developed and developing countries. Specifically on this aspect, the G-77 and China have taken a stand that only those NAMAs that are “supported and enabled by international technology, financing and capacity building will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification (MRV)”.

In the run-up to COP-15, at the negotiations both in Bonn in June and in Bangkok in September, a number of industrialised countries put on the table their numbers for reductions by 2020 and 2050. The targets for 2020 are very weak, far below the 40 per cent reduction required by the IPCC as well as the G-77 and China. The targets for 2050 vary widely, but in any case the aggregate target is nowhere near the over 90 per cent reduction required by the IPCC. The U.S., of course, is in a league of its own with its domestic Waxman-Markey Bill (approved in the House of Representatives) and its Senate version, the Kerry-Boxer Bill, setting a very weak target of 20 per cent reduction for 2020 and 83 per cent for 2050 but with respect to the base year of 2005! According to John Hay, the spokesperson for the UNFCCC Secretariat, these numbers come with the caveat that these could be raised but only through emissions trading, offsets and other mechanisms in developing countries that would earn them carbon credits. But, as had been argued earlier (Frontline, August 13), such offsets-based reductions by Annex-1 countries imply an added squeeze on the carbon space for developing countries, which is already compromised and constrained for no fault of theirs.

But what we have seen in Bangkok is a Plan B insidiously taking shape that no one had anticipated, though a recent opinion piece by David Victor in Nature called for such a Plan B at Copenhagen. “We have no Plan B post-Copenhagen,” Hay said on being asked if he saw the talks breaking down at Copenhagen. “We don’t see any government saying, ‘Oh! Sorry, we changed our minds.’ The international crisis makes it absolutely impossible for us to counter this unfair response,” he added. Clearly, as things unfold, many governments, including perhaps India thanks to the stand advocated by Jairam Ramesh, are probably going to say, “Sorry, we changed our minds. We do not want Kyoto.” There is thus the real danger of things taking a turn for the worse in the days before Copenhagen, maybe even in Barcelona where the last pre-COP talks have just got under way.

Evidence was mounting that not only would the developed countries not accept targets for the post-2012 phase under the Kyoto Protocol but they would, in fact, abandon the Protocol altogether. At the Bali meeting, it was envisaged that if the U.S. did not join the Protocol, its case could be dealt with as a special one by making its “comparable” commitment (based on its domestic legislation) binding under an amendment to the Convention. In fact, India has made a submission based on the Guidelines of the International Law Commission that a declaration made with the intent of an international obligation is tantamount to being a legally binding commitment. This means that the U.S. could have been brought on board even if it remained outside the Protocol. But the other developed countries, instead of extending the Kyoto Protocol with such an addendum of the U.S. commitment, seem to be veering towards a new agreement that will have only a “pledge and review” approach. That is, each developed country’s arbitrary national plans or pledges made so far without any scientifically sound guiding principle would assume the meaning of binding commitments subject to verification.

This concerted attempt to kill the Protocol had made inroads into the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) under the UNFCCC that was negotiating the Protocol text for the next phase. Apparently, right at the start of the meeting in Bangkok, the Chair suggested that along with the Protocol this new “pledge and review” mechanism may also be discussed to see how these two tracks could be merged. The G-77 apparently walked out at this suggestion. This “pledge and review” approach has now assumed the form of an Australian proposal that is backed by the U.S. and the European Union, which removes the distinction between developing and developed countries by requiring all countries to draw up “national schedules” based on “national mitigation commitments” that would be registered and verified through an agreed “Implementation Mechanism”.

This “pledge and review” approach is fast gathering momentum among Annex-1 countries. The shape of things to come at Copenhagen was evident from the recent address of Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to international legislators on October 24. He said: “[V]irtually all countries with major emissions have adopted ambitious climate legislation. And others are mounting new plans and political momentum to get them approved…. I suggest that we lock in the determination to act already by Copenhagen and seek political commitments for immediate implementation…. It should capture and encourage the contributions individual countries are willing to undertake within all areas of the Bali Road Map, including specific and binding commitments on mitigation and finance….”

But what is really disturbing is that there appears to be a definitive move within the top echelons of the government to change the Indian negotiating stand that seems to support this Plan B at Copenhagen – that India should also unilaterally state its domestic targets and accept international verification of the same. In fact, at both the multilateral and the Indo-U.S. bilateral discussions, the Indian negotiators were embarrassed at being told by the U.S. chief negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, waving an interview given by Jairam Ramesh to an Indian newspaper, that their stand was quite at variance with that of the Minister, who had given them to understand that India would be willing to accept WTO/IMF-like target schedules and verification mechanism. It is no coincidence that the Minister should talk in the same breath of a national legislation for mitigation actions and espouse his support for the Australian proposal, as he has done in his note to the Prime Minister saying that India should have “no theological objections” to it.

The ‘discussion note’ circulated by Jairam Ramesh needs to be viewed in the light of the above discussions. “India,” said the Minister’s note, “should take the position that it welcomes any initiative to bring in the USA into the mainstream through a special mechanism but without diluting the basic Annex/non-Annex-1 distinction of the Kyoto Protocol. The Australian proposal of a schedule maintains this basic distinction and the nature of differential obligations is made clear, we should have no theological objections to it.”

AFP

 

This implies that he is willing to distance India from the demands of the G-77 and China of deep emission cuts by Annex-1 countries and is willing to go by their weak unilateral commitments in a schedule. Given that developing countries will also have to submit their mitigation schedules that would be subject to verification, implying legally binding commitments, where is the distinction between Annex-1 and non-Annex-1? The Minister also says that India should announce its readiness for a bi-annual implementation dialogue with the UNFCCC and, if need be, with key nations (along the lines of the WTO and the IMF) on its climate change actions (emphasis added).

These declining growth rates of India’s emissions as a result of voluntary mitigation actions can, of course, be stated as quantified emission reduction targets, but these should be strictly for domestic policy measures and not as legally binding international commitments. The very acceptance of a mechanism for international verification, a la WTO/IMF, of domestic mitigation action implies a legally binding commitment. This marks a complete about-turn from the stand that has been taken by India all along and a bartering away of the country’s developmental space in an obvious bid to align with the U.S. The simple point is that a possible solution to the climate problem in the mid-term and the long-term is deep cuts by industrialised countries. Without that, even if India stops all its emissions today, the problem is not solved. So without any condition on the Annex-1 commitments, unilateral binding commitments do not achieve anything.

MARK RALSTON/AFP

An aerial view of the Suncor’s oil sands extraction facility on the banks of the Athabasca river and near Fort McMurray town in Alberta province, Canada, on October 23. Greenpeace is calling for an end to oil sands mining in the region because of the greenhouse gas emissions it causes.

 

The note further says: “The position that we will take on international mitigation commitments only if supported by finance and technology needs to be nuanced simply because we need to mitigate in our self-interest.” This goes completely against the Indian stand given the very high costs of mitigation actions. At a plenary in Bangkok recently, the U.S. negotiator apparently stated that the U.S. would offer no technology or finance. An Indian estimate has placed the additional investments required for mitigation actions required to bring down emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, the reductions required by the 2oC limit, at around $4 trillion.

“India must listen more and speak less in negotiations, or else will be treated with disfavour and derision by developed countries… which will take away from India’s standing as a global power and an aspirant for permanent membership to the Security Council,” says the note. “India,” it adds, “must not stick to G-77 alone and must realise that it is now embedded in G-20. India’s interests and India’s interests alone should drive our negotiations. India must be seen as pragmatic and constructive, not argumentative and polemical.” His remarks also betray his distrust of China and Brazil, who he thinks may have their own agendas. This apparent shift in India’s climate policy is without parliamentary debate and approval. The bid to barter away the real developmental needs of India’s poor in an effort to please developed nations is a betrayal of its own people.

 

 

 

 

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Full List – Heroes of the Environment 2009 – TIME

Full List – Heroes of the Environment 2009 – TIME.

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Slashing the Slashes – Top 10 Internet Blunders – TIME

Slashing the Slashes – Top 10 Internet Blunders – TIME.

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I don’t deserve the Nobel, but accept it: Obama

I want you to take a look at: I don’t deserve the Nobel, but accept it: Obama

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NASA to bomb the moon?

I want you to take a look at: NASA to bomb the moon?

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Venkatraman Ramakrishnan:The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan: A profile

LONDON: He may have migrated to the US long back, but Indian-American Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on Wednesday made a billion people back home proud

by winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his pioneering work on ribosome, a cellular machine that makes proteins.

57-year-old Ramakrishnan, born in the temple town of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, is the seventh Indian or of Indian origin to win the prestigious award.

Born in 1952, Ramakrishnan earned his B.Sc. in Physics (1971) from Baroda University in Gujarat and later migrated to the US to continue his studies where he later got settled and attained US citizenship.

He earned his Ph.D in Physics from Ohio University in the US and later worked as a graduate student at the University of California from 1976-78.

During his stint at the varsity, Ramakrishnan conducted a research with Dr Mauricio Montal, a membrane biochemist and later designed his own 2-year transition from physics to biology.

As a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, he worked on a neutron-scattering map of the small ribosomal subunit of E Coli. He has been studying ribosome structure ever since.

Ramakrishnan, now a senior scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has authored several important papers in academic journals.

In the August 26, 2000 issue of Nature, Ramakrishnan and his co-workers published the structure of the small ribosomal subunit of Thermus thermophilus, a heat-stable bacterium related to one found in the Yellowstone hot springs.

With this 5.5 Angstrom-resolution structure, Ramakrishnan’s group identified key portions of the RNA and, using previously determined structures, positioned seven of the subunit’s proteins.

In the September 21, 2000 issue of Nature, Ramakrishnan published two papers. In the first of these, he presented the 3 Angstrom structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit.

His second paper revealed the structures of the 30S subunit in complex with three antibiotics that target different regions of the subunit. In this paper, Ramakrishnan discussed the structural basis for the action of each of these drugs.

After his postdoctoral fellowship, Ramakrishnan joined the staff of Brookhaven National Laboratory in ther US. There, he began his collaboration with Stephen White to clone the genes for several ribosomal proteins and determine their three-dimensional structures.

He was also awarded a Guggenheim fellowship during his tenure there, and he used it to make the transition to X-ray crystallography.

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Man Booker for Hilary Mantel

I want you to take a look at: Man Booker for Hilary Mantel

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  • Amy Tan: ‘Writing it was exhilarating, but I wish it hadn’t been published’
    The author of The Joy Luck Club talks about her favourite authors – and why she has misgivings about her own new bookAmy Tan is the author of six bestselling novels, including The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife and The Bonesetter’s Daughter. She has also written a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa. She co- […]
  • Women write literary fiction’s big hitters. So where are their prizes? | Stephanie Merritt
    The 2017 bestseller list was dominated by women, with Margaret Atwood at the top, but the Booker still favours menOn the face of it, the revelation that female writers dominated the UK literary bestseller lists in 2017 might seem cause for celebration, a long-overdue correction that seems especially welcome in a year that exposed systemic bias in many forms […]

Periodicals Articles Alert

Bachhon ko Nishulk Aur Anivaarya Shiksha Ka adhikaar Adhiniyam 2009, Pratiyogita Darpan,May2010,P.1823-1825 ; E-Kachara Prabandhan: Ek Chunauti Aur Upaye, Pratiyogita Darpan,May2010,P.1832-1834; Vitamin Truths & lies,Reader Digest,May2010,P.52-56; Surface Area and Volume, Education Trend,May210,P.65 ; Metals and Non Metals, Education Trend,May210,P.77; The rise of Nationalism in Europe, Education Trend,May210,P.91; Linear Equations in two variables, Education Today,May2010,P.5-15,Federalism, Sectors of Indian Economy and Water Resources Education Today,May2010,P.16-29 ; Acids, Bases and Salts, Education Today,May2010,P.30; Prehistoric Creatures,Tell Me Why,May2010; Disappearing Herbs,Out Look,May24,2010,P.56

Periodicals Arrival in the Library