All that you need to know about Pratham

Adding another feather to the student’s space initiative, ISRO is all set to launch the students made satellite ‘Pratham’. The project which was conceptualised in the year 2008 with the aim of making IIT-B a centre for space science and technology research, has added a flying feather to the IIT’s students with the invention of this space satellite which is for the first time ever will be launched under the students space initiative.

According to the officials of the IIT, the prime objective of Pratham is to empower the students involved with the skill set required to develop a satellite through various stages of design, analysis, fabrication and testing.

What is Pratham?

Pratham is an Indian ionosphere research satellite which will be operated by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay as part of the Student Satellite Initiative. The satellite is coated with aluminium alloy and other space-grade materials, and also has an on board computer. And, its primary mission as set by ISRO will be to count electrons in the Earth’s ionosphere.

The student made satellite is the first ever lightweight satellite which has been designed to calculate the electrons in the earth’s ionosphere. Weighs just 10kg, it is one among those satellites which can fit easily within a cube of 30cm, and has a lifespan of around four months.

How does Pratham works?

Pratham has been designed in such a way that it can easily transmit data whenever it passes over India. Added to this any university with a small ground station can also detect Pratham’s signals and measure the total electron counts (TEC). This initiative might also help the space researcher and the students in their various other studies.

Technically, Pratham’s payload instrument mainly comprises of two monopole antenna transmitting at a range of 145.98MHz and 437.45MHz. It also has three active monopoles, GPS, magnetometer, sun sensors, and magnetorquers and is powered by Li-ion battery and four solar panels, these will help the satellite to work faster and easily than any other satellite.

Why this project is important to India?

The student-designed satellite’s mission was primarily started with the hope of accomplishing knowledge from four-folds. First aim was to help the students interested in the space studies to acquire knowledge in the field of satellite and space technology. Second fold is to empower the IIT-B students to fully design a satellite. And the third fold was to launch it and measure TEC of ionosphere above India and Paris. One of the most important missions was to involve students from other universities too into the satellite projects.

Sources: tecakeARRL

Can India break the stereotypes against the LGBT?

Not many of us know much about the life of a transgender person. These are hardly spoken about or interacted with people of any other communities. Interestingly, our history has also accepted the transgenders. If one looks into the pages of our mythology, one could see them full with stories which have mentioned the transgenders. But in today’s day and age, these people find very little or sometimes no acceptance.

According to the official data (as per Census 2011), there are almost 490,000 transgender surviving in our country, and 70,000 among them resides in the rural India. However, this data can be an underestimate as there are thousands of transgender who do not come forward because of the stigma attached to their identity in society. The actual figures may, thus, be much higher and surprising.

Over the past few years the government has made several rules and amended laws to support the LGBT community, but in real scenario the situation has not improved an inch. The community is still ignored and not accepted by the society. In a bid to empower the third sex, earlier in 2013 the SC had ordered the government to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education, in line with other minorities, as well as key amenities.

But nothing can actually change the custom that has been there for years. The custom of calling them with different taunting names, and showing them that they are not a normal human being. Nothing can easily change this mindset unless and until people themselves are realising.

They often face the uglier side of life that forces them to think that they are different than normal humans in the society. May it be a school or a job company nowhere there are people with that liberal mentality to accept these men’s as one among themselves.

Look at the broader frame, still today there are thousands of these lives who reside is a niche village of Debogram, why they are there? Urban India has not yet accepted these communities and thus they are still those ignored people who are not easily accepted by the schools and colleges. What will they do then? Answer remains very simple at times which says there are NGO’s to provide them with all the required things. But are there are enough NGO’s to guard and fight for the rights of these people? There are so many questions that trigger our mind when we talk about equality among the lives of the society. But finding answers to each one of them is almost difficult and really not expectable.

In contrary to all these controversies that has been there for years the new initiative of the West Bengal Boards of Education to allow transgender to be take admissions to the Kalyani University and appointing a transgender principal will see a new change all together. Breaking the stereotype that these people do not have the rights to be there within the community, this particular initiative can pave a way for the others to also think outside the framework which was set by our ancestors years ago.

Given the recent developments, such as Ireland legalizing same sex marriage and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel marrying his same sex partner, the move by Krishnagar Women’s College is surely worth applauding. However, a lot has to be done in terms of giving more rights to transgender and every individual who is considered ‘different’ or ‘abnormal’ by the society.


New Glitters to this year’s Sharodiya

One, who has been to Kolkata during Durga Puja, must have figured out the reason why the city is called the City of Joy. These four days, the Puja fever captures the heart of everyone in the city irrespective of age, caste, class or gender. The entire state of West Bengal welcomes Goddess Durga and her children, along with Mahishasura, the mighty demon, with hearts filled with unintelligible emotions of togetherness and joy.

Although Durga Puja festivities are yet to begin, the city has geared up to welcome Sharodiya with again some new plans. Theme puja is not a new thing for the Kolkata vasi but this year the pandal organisers are experimenting with yet some new themes. Chief Minister’s visit to Vatican City will remain the core attraction of this year’s Durga Puja celebrations. Accompanying this, there will also be pandals which will feature Singur gram. Not only special theme but the pandal organisers have decided to dig out social and developmental issues through their pandal decoration.

Instead of the traditional theme pujo this year Jodhpur Park Puja committee has decided to think out of the box and opted to decorate their pandal with the 3-D pictures of the Hand pulled rickshaws which is one among the several heritage of the city. Another attraction for this year’s sharodiya pujo visitors will be the 24 pargana pally’s theme to have their pandal with bio degradable papers. “We want to promote the use of bio degradable materials in the state and this will be our small initiative to do that,” said Rahul Dey, committee in charge of pargana pally.

Carrying the old tradition forward, the Baishnabghata Balak Samiti puja committee has once again come up with innovative ideas which will track the 19 years of the journey of Mother Teresa. This pandal will showcase the journey of the Nobel laureate Mother who had served the poor and the sick on the streets of Kolkata. “The main inspiration came up when WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee together with her party members went to witness the event in the Vatican City,” said Pradipta Pal, organiser head.

Suruchi Sangha puja committee has modelled Mother Teresa’s house as their pandal . Not only Vatican City but also the Singur will remain this year’s main attraction DumDum Park, North 24 Parganas and Swabhumi has captured the essence of Singur’s natural beauty and the life of the farmers. Similarly, 25 Palli puja committee has used a similar approach by modelling their pandal on theme of the flyover collapse in Girish Park in Kolkata.

While many other traditional Durga Puja in north Kolkata, like Shimla Byam Samiti and Bagbajar Sarbojanin has continued to run their traditional form of Pujo and has devoid of any themes. One of the oldest pandals in the city, Mohammad Ali Park pandal, has depicted various phases of the freedom fighter Kabi Najrul and the pandal at Santosh Mitra Square is modelled on propagating the message of save life save drive and initiative which earlier this month had gripped the city with effective measures taken by the Chief minister to check on the rising numbers of road accidents..

Whatever the appearance of Puja may be, when it comes to following the tradition, there are no exceptions. There are other countless must-do rituals and traditions that are attached with Durga Puja. And perhaps this is what brings the entire Bengali community together. While some of them are scripted in shastras, and the others have become an integral part of the city’s own culture over the years.

Apart from all these the religious rituals, Durga Puja in Kolkata has its own charm and trademark features that make it all the more exclusive.

Can Bihar sustain under digital transformation?

The rising cases of fraud within the premises of Indian educational institutes have stamped a question mark on its flexibility and credibility.  Consecutive records of the many issues rising every single day, a pile of errors has erupted within this system and has over the years made it more complicated.

Different scams that has been recorded over the past few years has clearly showed how the system of educational structure is getting corrupted and more malicious substance content are taking birth within that system. Today the total scenario of an educational institute has changed from being a place where one develops their knowledge to a place where one will get to witness the rise of many social issues.

As one look back at the Bihar Topper scam, one could easily trace how fake evaluation processes are making the children’s life and the future of the country dark. But what step has government taken against the charges to Rubi Ray and Saurabh Shrestha? To be precise the government has not done anything to stop the budding of such activities in the country. Especially in Bihar which has been a core victim of poor educational system.

Earlier this year, the Bihar topper scam had shaken the educational system drastically and the people around the world agitated for a new idea to be implemented following its impact on Bihar’s educational facilities. In a move to clean this murky examination system of Bihar, the Bihar School of Examination Board (BSEB) has recently introduced a digital system within their educational premises. This system would ensure that the paper evaluation is being done only by the technological methods and not physically by any of the faculty members. But how far this initiative can actually solve the problem?

Although, this could hardly make any difference in the country’s budding culture of problems developing within the Indian educational system, but this could definitely do some amount of harvest in the field of education and can help the future of the states own educational system to structure itself prominently from within.

Earlier Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) too had decided to go for digital evaluation of answer scripts and this was a major push to the educational system of India which led to campaigns like Digital India However, a state of Bihar which has lowest literacy rate as of now makes it difficult for someone to believe that this new initiative can actually work with positive note.

Call it an impact of the infamous toppers scam that rocked the country, or a step by the Bihar educational system to step an inch forward towards improving the state’s own status. This initiative if implemented properly will surely bring some change to the whole scenario and can improve the lives of the many students who had been the victim of this corrupted system.

War over water politics

The violent protest over the water politics that the country is witnessing today traces its origin way back in 1892. A dispute between the Madras Presidency (under the British Raj) and the Princely state of Mysore turned into a major issue when they came up to the terms with sharing the river water between the two states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Since that day, Cauvery water has been a bone of contention between the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In the year 1910, both the states decided on the construction of dams on the Cauvery River.

The issue that originated decades back kept troubling the regions of both the states as few years after the decision on water sharing was taken, Karnataka stopped the release of water to Tamil Nadu which led to the waste of many crops and thus problem begin to rise again. At this time the Tamil Nadu government led by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa sued the Karnataka government for contempt of court.

There was no fire between the two states until this year September 5, when the issue of water sharing came into the limelight again. With the Supreme Court deciding on releasing 15,000 cusecs daily to Tamil Nadu the fire within the state of Karnataka has escalated. This not only led to the breakdown of a huge mass protest but has also left the state to standstill.

The disproportionate ratio of water sharing between the states that led to the lack of clarity on sharing the Cauvery waters in  years when the state suffers from lack of proper monsoon lies becomes the heart of the tussle that ignites the initial fire every now and again between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

According to Karnataka Law Minister T B Jayachandra, the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka has the capacity to reserve only about 51 tmc of water at present, the people of state feels this quantity of water to be sufficient only to meet the need of the drinking water for the people in south Karnataka and not enough for release to Tamil Nadu.

“When the monsoon does not deliver to its full potential, neighbours turn foes in the Cauvery River basin in south India.” said Jayachandra. Over the last few years Tamil Nadu has become heavily dependent on the Cauvery River. Most of the agricultural land built in the region was near the river and thus most of the livelihood was totally dependent on Cauvery River. Today these poor farmers are arguing that their livelihood would get seriously affected if there happens to be a change in the distribution of water all of a sudden.

As per a report released on February 5, 2007 the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) had ordered Karnataka to release 192 tmc of water to Tamil Nadu during regular monsoon, which the state failed to do. And following this came up the Supreme Court’s verdict, the Cauvery water-sharing row that turned the whole frame into more devastating. The verdict has escalated resulting in mass protests and bandhs called by pro-Kannada leaders across the two states. Many buses had remained stranded over the past few days, which were once used to be full with crowd. This is not the ultimate scenario of the water war.

The state is today witnessing some sporadic incidents of attacks may it be on the people or on a hotel. Following this the agitation within the individual souls have turned so worst that there are also reports of pelting of stones, ruckus at a bank and attacks on vehicles from both the States. Nevertheless to bring down the situation to a notch below the Supreme Court has modified its order and has redirected Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs a day till September 20.

But has this step finally brought some relief to the problems which both the states were witnessing till today? The answer still remains unclear, no improvement as such has happened over the last few days but rather the situation has worsened and with that the future of the farmers is again under question.


Naveen Patnaik government launches Biju Kanya Ratna Yojna

Biju Kanya Ratna Yojana (BKRY) was launched by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday for the development of girls in three districts of the state with the aim to improve the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) and Child Sex Ratio (CSR).
The scheme will be implemented in Ganjam, Dhenkanal and Angul districts in the first phase.
According to sources, a budgetary provision of Rs 3.5 crore has been made for the scheme which will take care of enrollment of girls in elementary education, tracking dropout girls from schools and creating a better environment for them.
Nayagarh, Dhenkanal, Angul and Ganjam districts have suffered a drop in CSR from 967 in 1991 census to 941 in 2011 census. Nayagarh is covered under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
Patnaik also inaugurated 1000 Anganwadi buildings to mark the birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik. The government plans to construct another 24,000 Anganwadi centres in the next four years as a part of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNRES) in convergence with Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

Gujarat 2016: Goodbye to seasonal farming

No more dependent on only one season for farming, the farmers of Saurashtra region will now get water supply whole long year. After four decades of long wait, finally the farmers of the parched Saurashtra region of Gujarat have received some hope to salvage their farming profession which was under threat of extinction. Modi government this year inaugurated the first phase of SAUNI project which will fill up 10 dams and reservoir with water for the betterment of the farming work in the region.

SAUNI irrigational project was launched by Narendra Modi in September 2012 to ensure proper water supply to the regions of Gujarat where cultivation is the only source of income for the villagers. However, the project was under process and following this many farmers has witnessed their crop wither away in drought in the last four decades.

SAUNI stands for Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation. The project envisages filling 115 major dams of the arid Saurashtra region by diverting floodwaters overflowing from the Sardar Sarovar Dam across the Narmada in south Gujarat. It also involves laying a 1,125-km network of pipelines at a cost of Rs 12,166 crore to carry Narmada water to these dams, and irrigate 4.13 lakh hectares (ha) land. Parts of Saurashtra are prone to drought, and irrigation water is also a politically sensitive issue in this region. But with the nod from the Government on the water supply, the villagers are expecting a good cultivation this year and thanks to the scheme, farmers who earlier used to grow crops only during the Rabi season – sown in winter and harvested in spring – will now be able to grow crops during the Kharif season – the monsoon season.

The first phase of the project would help around 105 villages in Gujarat, covering nearly about 47,943 hectare of land of Saurashtra region. This region of Gujarat is mainly known for the superb quality of the cultivation of the best groundnut, cotton and wheat of the country. It has also been one of the main sources of export of cotton and groundnut between India and other markets. But following the poor quality of water management in the region coupled with the low rainfall, the irrigational land of these regions witnessed a heavy loss in the farming. After the successive droughts in the last four to five years, many were often forced to opt for another profession. However, now the people of the region are hopeful that the SAUNI project will fulfil their minimum requirement of irrigation water. And that, no more waste of the land would ever occur in the near future.

So, is the SAUNI project part of the Narmada dam project?

Not exactly, even though it is based on it. The Narmada project was implemented by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL), a Gujarat government undertaking, and was expected to irrigate 1.8 million acres of land, mainly in Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat and to some parts of Maharashtra, through the generation of hydropower. SAUNI, by contrast, is an out-and-out irrigation and drinking water project designed solely for the Saurashtra peninsula. But now after seeing the conditions of the farmers of the Saurashtra village the project would supply water to the parched irrigational lands of the area.

Okay, and how is SAUNI different from traditional irrigation projects?

SAUNI project will have pipe canals instead of traditional conventional open canals. The government had decided on these pipelines during the initial planning stage of the project, based on problems faced by Gujarat on the land acquisition. SAUNI’s massive pipelines will have a diameter ranging from 3 m to 500 mm and will run underground, and this is the best feature of this project as it requires no land acquisition, and also this involves less loss of water as compared to conventional canals. All these together give the better side of the project.

However, the government has set the deadline of December 2019 for completing the entire project. Now the project has become the only hope for the farmers of the Saurashtra region to gain their power over the farming profession and retain the lands irrigational qualities back. The project if thought in a long term process would also help India to grow more groundnut and cotton as compared to earlier days, and may be this can boost the quantity of export of these raw resources of India to the bigger markets in the world.

Sources: zeenews, businessstandard