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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Edition 8: Politics as Career


Cityblog has asked many children about their career choices. We did not get any response from any of the respondents that they want to become a political leader or activist. We tried to find out reasons by talking to students and young politician like Ranjit Shirole who contested Loksabha and Vidhansabha elections from Pune. Some interesting insight was brought to the forth.
Politics play a very important role in our daily lives. Our education, jobs, lifestyle, taxes are all influenced by political decisions. The youth has been exhorted by President APJ Abdul Kalam to take up politics as a career in large numbers and have been urging the citizens to proactively cast their votes to select candidates who has proven performance, with honesty as the focus.
India is a country with about 51 per cent of its population below 25 years. Youth power is said to be taking over. And with this fact, tens of millions of these Indians are expected to contribute in India's Parliamentary system. The role of youth is important in Indian politics. But this is not true, that by simply casting their votes the youth are participating in the politics of the country.
The participation of the Indian youth in politics is extremely important, but its involvement needs to be in the right direction. We know that if a person is going to enter into politics then he must be educated and should possess the knowledge of the Indian politics. Along with education he should also have a strong men power so that he can assure his safety from the other politicians.
In fact in Indian politics, it has been seen that the wards of the politicians have an easy go. In cases of Priya Dutt and Sanjay Dutt, who are the children of famous actor turned politician Sunil Dutt; Jyotir Aditya Scindhia, son of Madhav Rao Scindhia. Many others are engaged in making their career in film industry, but who knows that they could even join politics after their acting career like Ritesh Deshmukh, Chirag Paswan, Pankaj Kesri.
Even the most famous comedian of his time Shekhar Suman who has contested the 2009 Lok Sabha Election as a Congress candidate from Patna Sahib was defeated by another actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha. After the LS election, Shekhar is now doing a TV show named “TEDHI BAAT SHEKHAR KE SAATH". So the main thing is that the names which are ecoing in politics are of well known personalities or of the wards of famous politicians.
When you ask the youth of India about politics and there's an answer straight on your face. Who wants to join politics? The youth in India do not look forward to politics as an option for their career. We know that politicians in India have said this many time on rallies, that "Children are the future of our nation"; but the correct sense of this cliché is "Their children are the future of this nation".
When students can opt for differnt kinds of career available in India, then why don't the youth see politics as a career option? The fact is that, on account of globalisation and international trade there are diverse careers available for them. A former student of DU says that, "People see politics as a dirty game. I had a lot of interest in politics, but slowly I understood that once we see the real picture, it becomes dirtier. I have done my graduation in Political Science, but in politics you don't need a degree but you need a strong back in politics. And there are also no proper criteria for the selection of a politicians. There must be a written examination for the politicians to get into the power on the basis of their knowledge not on the basis of their background in politics".
According to a media report, with 65 per cent of India's voters being under the age of 35 (included one hundred million first-time voters), the young made up a sizeable chunk of the electorate and the Indian electorate of 2009 was the youngest since 1952. So does that mean that the youth has arrived in Indian politics and the country is set to witness a drastic change?
We talked to young politician Ranjit Shirole from Pune, as to why Politics is
still a forbidden career for most of children. “Children speak out mostly
What their parents have to say on their career” says Ranjit. “Many children hear from their parents, families and surroundings that politics and politician are dirty words associated with crime and corruption. Thus many stay away from this career option.”
As a solution, Ranjit says “One should have an outlook that he wants to enter politics to do service and not for corruption and muscle power. That sounds bit moralistic and ideal but one should have a different perspective. Career is means of livelihood for everyone. Same things can be made transparent about politics. Politics broadens one's outlook towards specific needs of society. Politics also expands sphere of network and avenues of collaboration. Being in system also makes you aware of rules and laws involved. This leads to awareness and insight about many 'legal' opportunities for one to earn livelihood and growth. And when I mean opportunities they are not corruption or crime. They are meaningful, legal and they catering to real needs of society”. This is a very new refreshing angle
He further divides politics into organizational and electoral. “Organizational politics help an individual gain backing and support to follow individual interest. There are many spheres which one can make impact just being part of an organization. Example Students, environment, traffic, media, labor issues, business cells. Based on ones interest, one can take up some work. That's another way for good people to be part of process. All parties want good people to work.” He adds
As per Ranjit Electoral politics needs one to be financially stable, established to explore. But then there are some innovative ways to mark that handicap like public and corporate participation.
When asked about his own experience, he said from childhood he was interested in active politics his being fifth generation in politics. But his siblings, cousin who share same background chose other career option. It's about individual passion.
What are prerequisites for becoming a good politician; he says Education, Information, IT skills, knowledge of law and excellent inter-personal, communication skills are must for new age politician. And one should be hardworking and resourceful.
He also feels need for some more stringent guidelines of education for politicians, disallowing convicted criminals, and upper age limit for politicians as suggestions to improve system.

Edition 8: consumer case study

Students are always apprehensive about whether they will get a job after completing their studies. Being educated but employed is a legitimate fear.
Unscrupulous institutions exploit this fear to cash in by advertising courses and offering suitable placements on completion of the course. The consumer must always be careful, as can be seen from the recent judgement of a consumer forum.
Case Study: Amit Kudale a resident of Thane came across an advertisement in a newspaper about various courses being conducted by a so called International Academy, one of which was called 'Diploma in International Shipping Management'. A counsellor informed Amrut and his father that the course was recognised by the government of India and the Director General of Shipping, that it would be for a duration of 18 months and would cost them Rs 4.61 lakh. Institute offered to help secure an educational loan from financial institutions, and gave a 100% job guarantee.
Kudale paid the registration fees, but the receipt was issued stating that the amount had been received for 'General Purpose Rating' (GPR). Institute asked for further payments which were paid from time to time, totalling Rs 61,000. Kudale started attending the classes while his father tried to arrange for an educational loan on the basis of a recommendation letter issued by Institute. But financial institutions refused to advance a loan as the course was not recognised by a university or the government.
When Kudale informed the Institute about this, he was given a copy of a letter issued by International Maritime Academy. The letter only authorised Institute to market the course on its behalf and did not grant affiliation or recognition to Institute to conduct the course. Kudale enquired with the Director General of Shipping who asked him to visit its website for the relevant information. He was surprised to find the GPR course to be six months long costing Rs 1.3 lakh. Kudale wrote to Institute asking for a refund, but was ignored. He filed a complaint before the Consumer Forum for the Central Mumbai District.
Kudale, who argued his own case, stated that the jurisdiction clause printed on the receipts that any dispute would have to filed in Aurangabad would not debar the Central Mumbai Forum from deciding the complaint since the classes were being conducted at Dadar. The Forum upheld this contention. Institute did not bother to file their reply or contest the complaint, and it was decided ex-parte. The forum held that imparting of education for consideration amounted to a service, and the complaint was maintainable under the Consumer Protection Act. The forum indicted Institute of misrepresentation on several counts. Their advertisement did not disclose information regarding affiliation and recognition of the course, yet guaranteed a job. There was no such course as 'Diploma in International Shipping Management'. In order to pocket higher fees, Institute had misrepresented the duration of the course as 18 months instead of six.
The forum held that Institute had indulged in unfair trade practices and deficiency in service resulting in the loss of an academic year, causing considerable mental agony. It directed Institute to stop publishing misleading advertisements, and give Kudale a refund of Rs 61,000 along with 6% interest, compensation of Rs 1 lakh and Rs3,000.

Edition 8: Orange Flavor

New Year New Story
During some cricket series, there was an ad released by Fevicol. Theme of ad is that a small girl sticks moustache for a Drama assumingly using fevicol and that cannot be removed throughout her life and even after that. The creators of the ad had expected humor as tone. But it carries much deeper meaning than that. Glancing across various stages of life in 5 to 6 seconds is what makes one pensive and closer to realities of life. Having celebrated another year end it can make one feel further pensive. Time is running out. It stops for no one. But later one should realize that what matters is journey how well you have enjoyed it. That's what makes difference. And your time is not up.... It's a new year a new canvass for you to draw a new picture, a new page for you to write your story. Whatever has happened is past. What matters is larger picture with small steps to match that. Do have a plan. Match your plan with action. Always create a delta towards your goal. Don't waste time. Be healthy. Spend time with loved ones. Enjoy small things in life. Do help others.
Its easy to advise. But it is hard to follow. How many new year resolutions we have broken?
In this New Year Cityblog has a resolution to educate, provoke thoughts, act as forum and provide some interesting reading for whole family.
New year has also greater challenges for us here in Pune. Swine Flu is still at large. We don't know how monsoon will behave this year. We need to solve traffic problems. Sudden strike from auto rickshaws was the first calamity of this year for Pune people. As citizens we don't have say in anything. We just need to suffer.
Young readers will have exams soon. We have seen some sad suicides as a result of pressure. We advise parents to communicate with their wards effectively. That will facilitate them to act as guiding light for those in real need of support in difficulties. How you do the communication is important. Life is beautiful. Try to make your wards feel so.
Play with your children. Advise to young readers to take a chill pill. Enjoy everything even exams. Talk more with your parents.
As a country we have daunting energy crisis. Inflation has reached unsustainable proportions. Regional politics, naxalism, separatism, has to be dealt deftly and terrorism has to be dealt decisively. We need cleaner and greener cities. We need better roads, infrastructure. We need more inclusive and effective education. We need to convert our population into advantage.
On world stage, Farce of Copenhagen has created doubts if really human being can be made to sense and realize how big crisis we are into.
But this year comes with Hope. Cityblog believes that we can make difference and we will. Watch out for some effective initiatives from Cityblog.

Edition8 : Tukaram Ombale


He was Asst Sub Inspector at D B Marg Police station who killed one and captured one of the beasts who ran amock at CST,Kama hosp etc. here is the report.
On the night of 26-27 November, Ombale and several other policemen were on alert in the Girgaum Chowpatty area. They had been told that two terrorists were on the run in a Skoda. The twenty policemen out there had a grand total of two self-loading rifles and two bullet-proof vests. The vests were given to the men with the rifles, who were placed at vantage points around metal barricades. The rest of the policemen carried only lathis (batons)); some were plain clothesmen, others in uniform.Those (virtually unarmed) policemen tried to stop the Skoda. The driver fired at them. The police shot back from the pre-determined vantage point and got him. The other man slid out, pretending to surrender, but carrying an AK-47.Ombale rushed to secure him when the terrorist started pumping away with the AK-47. Call it guts or instinct but Tukaram Gopal Ombale refused to let go of his assailant. I am told that something like 30 bullets were recovered from his body.His colleagues took advantage of Ombale's last act as they rushed at the terrorist with their lathis. The plainclothesmen were later identified as a 'mob' in grainy footage shot by someone on a mobile phone!Tukaram Gopal Ombale died for his bravery. Assistant Police Inspector Sanjay Govilkar received bullet injuries. But those ordinary policemen -- some in their forties, laughably ill-equipped -- succeeded in doing what nobody else could, they captured a terrorist on a suicide mission alive. They also recovered artillery dwarfing their modest weapons -- AK-47s, several magazines, 9mm pistols, and grenades.
Hats off: what could have made Sir Tukaram Ombale act like what he did.
Attitude towards duty, love for country, hatred towards killers of his collegaues and seniors (assuming he had heard), or just plain uninhibited umbrage you associate towards cops addressing a ordinary criminal (which he must have thought). The last case seems least probable as already terror alert was there. It must be combo of above three. Sometimes ordinary people render extraordinary response in such events. Thats human spirit. Thanks to this human spirits, beasts in the world will never succeed. Normal Human tendency is to live and let live. only beasts can not value others live whatever excuse & propaganda they provide. People will forget Tukaram Ombale amidst lists of others (whose sacrifice is no lesser). Yuvraj singh gets 6 crores for hitting 6 sixes in an over, Bindra gets more for olympic gold, Shah Rukh, Big B get 10 crores per ad, Sania gets lot of money for nothing, but participating in first round of US Open & getting lost. Local corporator gets unofficial bribe amounting to Rs 1 lakh per month from specific builders for passing plans.
I dont know how much MPs and MLAs earn, you can extrapolate.
what will Ombale's family get: 20 Lakhs onetime+pension:
is it proportionate? Life is unfair, not to blame film and sportstars, but definitely yes politicians who have empowered beasts to let loose amidst votebank politics, corruption, incapabilty, chaos...
hats off to Sir Tukaram Ombale..

Edition8: How search engines work part2


BUILDING THE INDEX
Once the spiders have completed the task of finding information on Web pages (and we should note that this is a task that is never actually completed -- the constantly changing nature of the Web means that the spiders are always crawling), the search engine must store the information in a way that makes it useful. There are two key components involved in making the gathered data accessible to users:
The information stored with the data.
The method by which the information is indexed.
In the simplest case, a search engine could just store the word and the URL where it was found. In reality, this would make for an engine of limited use, since there would be no way of telling whether the word was used in an important or a trivial way on the page, whether the word was used once or many times or whether the page contained links to other pages containing the word. In other words, there would be no way of building the ranking list that tries to present the most useful pages at the top of the list of search results.
To make for more useful results, most search engines store more than just the word and URL. An engine might store the number of times that the word appears on a page. The engine might assign a weight to each entry, with increasing values assigned to words as they appear near the top of the document, in sub-headings, in links, in the meta tags or in the title of the page. Each commercial search engine has a different formula for assigning weight to the words in its index. This is one of the reasons that a search for the same word on different search engines will produce different lists, with the pages presented in different orders.
Regardless of the precise combination of additional pieces of information stored by a search engine, the data will be encoded to save storage space. For example, the original Google paper describes using 2 bytes, of 8 bits each, to store information on weighting -- whether the word was capitalized, its font size, position, and other information to help in ranking the hit. Each factor might take up 2 or 3 bits within the 2-byte grouping (8 bits = 1 byte). As a result, a great deal of information can be stored in a very compact form. After the information is compacted, it's ready for indexing.
An index has a single purpose: It allows information to be found as quickly as possible. There are quite a few ways for an index to be built, but one of the most effective ways is to build a hash table. In hashing, a formula is applied to attach a numerical value to each word. The formula is designed to evenly distribute the entries across a predetermined number of divisions. This numerical distribution is different from the distribution of words across the alphabet, and that is the key to a hash table's effectiveness.
In English, there are some letters that begin many words, while others begin fewer. You'll find, for example, that the "M" section of the dictionary is much thicker than the "X" section. This inequity means that finding a word beginning with a very "popular" letter could take much longer than finding a word that begins with a less popular one. Hashing evens out the difference, and reduces the average time it takes to find an entry. It also separates the index from the actual entry. The hash table contains the hashed number along with a pointer to the actual data, which can be sorted in whichever way allows it to be stored most efficiently. The combination of efficient indexing and effective storage makes it possible to get results quickly, even when the user creates a complicated search
BUILDING A SEARCH
Searching through an index involves a user building a query and submitting it through the search engine. The query can be quite simple, a single word at minimum. Building a more complex query requires the use of Boolean operators that allow you to refine and extend the terms of the search.
The Boolean operators most often seen are:
AND - All the terms joined by "AND" must appear in the pages or documents. Some search engines substitute the operator "+" for the word AND.
OR - At least one of the terms joined by "OR" must appear in the pages or documents.
NOT - The term or terms following "NOT" must not appear in the pages or documents. Some search engines substitute the operator "-" for the word NOT.
FOLLOWED BY - One of the terms must be directly followed by the other.
NEAR - One of the terms must be within a specified number of words of the other.
Quotation Marks - The words between the quotation marks are treated as a phrase, and that phrase must be found within the document or file.

Edition 8: Adverbs

Adverbs (kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne) tell us more information about verbs. For example,

ENGLISH MARATHI
Mary went to a movie yesterday Mary kaa-la si-ne-maa-laa ge-lee ho-tvee
Your boods are here tvu-ze pu-stva-ka ye-the aa-he
Take this medicine twice a day he au-hsha-dha dvi-wa-saa-tvoo-na dvo-na-dvaa ghyaa-we
The hare runs fast (swiftly) sa-saa tvu-ru-tvu-ru pa-hla-tvo

In the above sentences the words kaa-la (yesterday), ye-the (here), dvo-na-dvaa (twice) and tvu-ru-tvu-ru
(fast or swiftly) express or give more information about verbs in the sentence. These words tell us as when,where , how or how many times or how frequently the action has taken place or has occurred.
Adverbs (kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne) are classified or grouped as per the meaning they express or denote
eg. Time, place, number, quality, frequency etc;

1. Adverbs of Time (kaa-la-waa-cha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)
2. Adverbs of Manner (pra-kaa-ra-dva-r-sha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)
3. Adverbs of Place (stha-hla-waa-cha-ka or sthi-tvi-dva-r-sha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)
4. Adverbs of Frequency (aa-wru-Tvee-dva-r-sha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)
5. Adverbs of Quality (pa-ri- maa-tna-waa-cha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)
6. Interrogative Adverbs (pra-shnaa-r-tha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)

ADVERBS OF TIME (kaa-la-waa-cha-ka kri-yaa-wi-she-hsha-tne)
Some examples: ha-Llee (at present; now a days), kaa-la (yesterday),
u-dvyaa (tomorrow) ke-N-whaa or ka-dhee (when?)

ENGLISH MARATHI
Now-a-days it is not Available ha-Lle he mi-hla-tv naa-hee.
When is Marry expected? Mary ke-N-whaa ye-tnaa-ra aa-he? OR Mary ka-dhee ye-tnaa-ra aa-he?
She is expected tomorrow. Tvee udvyaa ye-ee-la.
Office was close yesterday. Kaa-la office ba-Ndva ho-tve.

Edition 8: Birthday Party Tips

It's a challenge for parents to plan and manage enthralling Birthday Parties. Cityblog provides some tips and useful information to plan unique and memorable parties

THE LITTLE GARDENER B’DAY PARTY
Parents can choose from a variety of gardening themes like rainwater harvesting party or a party with worms. Parties are usually held in day time in a local garden.
Contact : 98211 27658 for details
STAR PARTY
The party includes a three-hour-long star gazing session in the evening. S. Natarajan only charges conveyance. There are certain constrains though. The ones born in the monsoon might not be able to make the most of this party because of the cloud cover.
Contact : 98692 54477 for details
HOBBY IDEAS
A series of crafts are taught by experts at the sotre, choose from a range of craft and hobby activities like factic painting, puppet making, bead craft, moulding and painting, paper craft, origami, scrapbook for your kid’s party.
Contact : 2835 79614 for details
MAKE AND BAKE
Kids can choose from a variety of ceramic pots, plates or photo frames. Colors and brushes are provided. Once the kids finish painting their own plates the store glazes them and sends them back as return gifts.
Contact : 24813662 for details

MAD SCIENCE B’DAY PARTY
Scientists perform experiments and explain the science behind them. The kids then make their own chemical concoctions. Making snow, or making your own bath salt are some of the activities at the party.
Contact : 98201 43854 for details

Edition 8: Quiz

What is the capital of Australia?
Choose one of the following:
Perth o
Sydney o
Canberra o
Auckland o
What is the currency of Germany? Choose one of the following:
Dinar o
Dirham o
Dollar o
Euro o
Malay is the official language
of which country?
Choose one of the following:
Brunei o
Malaysia o
Micronesia o
Maldives o
Ottawa is the capital of :
Choose one of the following:
Oman o
Canada o
Micronesia o
Somalia o
The 'Ring of Fire' is situated around: Choose one of the following:
Indian ocean o
Arctic ocean o
Sahara desert o
Pacific ocean o
Taka is the currency of:
Choose one of the following:
Tonga o
Bhutan o
Mongolia o
Bangladesh o
Brussels is in:
Choose one of the following:
Saint Helena o
Belgium o
Qatar o
Vietnam o
The largest ocean in the world is: Choose one of the following:
Indian ocean o
Atlantic ocean o
Pacific ocean o
Arctic ocean o
The highest mountain
peak in the world is:
Choose one of the following:
Mt. Everest o
Kanchenjunga o
Nanda Devi o
Dhaulagiri o
The place recording the
heaviest rainfall in India is:
Choose one of the following:
Chennai o
Darjeeling o
Cherrapunji o
Trichur o
The largest gulf in the world is:
Choose one of the following:
Persian Gulf o
Gulf of Mexico o
Gulf of Guinea o
Gulf of Aden o
Apart from Pakistan, India shares its political borders on the West with:
Choose one of the following:
Nepal o
Thailand o
Saudi Arabia o
Afghanistan o
The river that rises from Gangotri: Choose one of the following:
Yamuna o
Damodar o
Cauvery o
Ganges o
The largest peninsula in the world is: Choose one of the following:
Arabia o
Taimir Peninsula o
Malay Peninsula o
Somali Peninsula o
The capital of Egypt is:
Choose one of the following:
Ethiopia o
Cairo o
Tirana o
Dubai o
Channel Islanders are natives of: Choose one of the following:
Bahamas o
Dominica o
Haiti o
Jersey o
Berlin is the capital of:
Choose one of the following:
Ghana o
Finland o
Germany o
Brazil o
The largest island of the world is: Choose one of the following:
Iceland o
Greenland o
Nicobar o
Sri Lanka o
The capital of the Papal state is: Choose one of the following:
Vatican city o
Pago Pago o
London o
Paris o
Sand dunes are associated with: Choose one of the following:
Mountains o
Deserts o
Deltas o
Forests o
LOGIC PUZZLE
There are five gears connected in a row, the first one is connected to the second one, the second one is connected to the third one, and so on. If the first gear is rotating clockwise what direction is the fifth gear turning?
Answers :
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
___________________________
LAST WEEKS ANSWERThere are 24 with one side colored, 8 with three sides colored, 24 with two sides colored, and 8 with no sides colored

Edition 8: Make your own bus

BUS OF YOUR OWN
Shiny vehicles on a shop shelf are inviting, but how about making a shiny red bus, much like the ones you see on the roads. What's more, you can give a new life to things that are being readied for the dustbin at this very instant!
The things you need:
1. Empty juice carton
2. Felt paper (any colour of
your choice)
3. Black marker pen or pen
4. Four bottle caps
5. Glue
6. Thermacol
Step 1: Paint the four bottle caps to make the wheels for your bus.
Step 2: Cut the felt paper to cover the entire outer part of the juice carton. Stick the paper with glue.
Step 3: Now, using the marker, draw the details of a bus - windows, door, windshield, etc. Give your bus the design you want!
Step 4: Attach the four 'wheels' on both sides of the carton, using glue.
Step 5: To make a bumper, take a strip of thermacol around 1 cm wide, and measure its length according to the width of the front portion of the bus. Colour it and stick it in front.

You are now the proud owner of a bus!

Edition 8: News




China Economy headed for crash
As most of the world bets on China to help lift the global economy out of recession, experts are warning that China's hyperstimulated economy is headed for a crash, rather than the sustained boom that most economists predict. Its surging real estate sector, buoyed by a flood of speculative capital, looks like "Dubai times 1,000 or worse. Experts even suspects that Beijing is cooking its books, faking, among other things, its eye-popping growth rates of more than 8%. Bubbles are best identified by credit excesses, not valuation excesses. And there's no bigger credit excess than in China.
As America's pre-eminent short-seller Chanos an expert bets big money that companies' strategies will fail Chanos's narrative runs counter to the prevailing wisdom on China. Economists and governments expect Chinese growth momentum to continue this year, buoyed by what remains of a $586 billion government stimulus program that began last year, meant to lift exports and consumption among Chinese consumers.
Still, betting against China will not be easy. Because foreigners are restricted from investing in stocks listed inside China, Chanos has said he is searching for other ways to make his bets, including focusing on construction- and infrastructure-related companies that sell cement, coal and steel.
Bihar Growth story
Despite three years of floods followed by a year of drought, 'backward and benighted' Bihar reports a miraculous figure: 11% GDP growth, second only to Gujarat. The state's economy has never grown so fast so consistently as it has since 2004-2005. A few pointers on what's going right in Bihar:
* Getting anywhere in Bihar has always been an exercise in endurance. But that's changing. More than 6,800 km of roads have been relaid and 1,600 bridges and culverts constructed in the last four years. Journey time in India's 12th largest state, sprawling over 94,163 sq km, has been cut by half today in many places. Now, most of the state's 38 districts from northernmost West Champaran to Kaimur on the western end are a drive of six hours or less from Patna.
* Automobile sales in the state grew 45% in 2009, at a time when sales had dipped 20-25% in several other states during the economic slowdown. Is this buying spree an indication that a section of Biharis have more money to splurge than they did earlier? “A few people had money earlier too, but they didn't flaunt it for fear of attracting extortionists and kidnappers,” says Ranjit Singh, director of a high-end Patna hotel. That fear may have evaporated now.
* Only 317 kidnappings for ransom were reported during the last four years as against 1,393 during the previous four. The kidnapping industry has clearly fallen on hard times. One indication of this is that doctors no longer refuse to go to patients' homes on emergency calls. “Today you can see boards at clinics saying we go on calls,” says Dr Amulya Kumar Singh, who runs a nursing home in Patna.
* Most of Bihar's infamous dons are behind bars. That includes Mohd Shahabuddin, the former RJD MP who had once gone live on TV, daring the state police chief to arrest him. Things are a little different now. A ruling JD(U) MLA, Sunil Pandey, attempted an encore of sorts in early 2006 when he brandished a revolver and talked murder on TV. But Pandey found himself behind bars within no time. Speedy trials have ensured a total of 38,824 convictions between 2006 and September 2009.The convicts included dons and their henchmen.
* Gun-toting strongmen are no longer a common sight on the streets of Bihar. Policemen patrol them now. And places like Siwan, where Shahabuddin once held sway, do not get deserted after dusk. This improvement has shown results. Malls, shops and private educational institutions are coming up. So are mobile service providers and banking firms. It's boom time for real estate with apartment buildings coming up all around. “That's because even non-Biharis for a change want to have a foot in Bihar which has become a better place to live in,” says economist Shaibal Gupta of the Asian Development Research Institute. Adds Faizal Alam of Kalyanpur Cements, “Cement inflow to the state went up 18% to 51 lakh tonnes in 2008-09.” That's an indicator of the construction boom. Ironically, this economic growth has happened without any worthwhile contribution from the manufacturing sector. The state's economy is growing because of a boom in agriculture and services sectors. “It's government-induced growth,” admits Bihar Industries Association (BIA) president S P Sinha. According to former BIA president K P S Keshri, private investments in the manufacturing sector have been as little as Rs 1,500 crore during the last four years.
Many attribute the growth to the fact that the flow of Central funds to states has increased manifold in recent years. In the case of Bihar, it went up from Rs 37,341 crore during the five-year period 2000-2005 to Rs 55,459 crore during the next three years. But equally importantly, the funds are now getting better utilized than during the Lalu-Rabri regime when large chunks remained unspent. Also, adds Gupta, the state made concerted efforts to mobilise internal resources with its own revenue collection going up from Rs 2,919 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 5,256 crore in 2008-09.
The flip side is that much of this growth does not get reflected in social indicators which remain abysmal. But, as Gupta says, it would be unrealistic for anyone to “expect the moon” at this stage. “Right now the fundamentals are getting corrected and therefore you can find mostly infrastructural indicators of growth; one will have to wait for social indicators to become visible,” he says.
While contractors and realtors stand to gain, more than half the state's 8.2 crore people 1.25 crore families still live below the poverty line. For these families to prosper, Bihar desperately needs huge investments and more growth. The State Investment Promotion Board, formed by the Nitish government, has received proposals worth Rs 96,000 crore. But most of them, especially the major ones, remain on paper as Central rules prove a stumbling block. For instance, thermal power plants cannot come up in Bihar because the Centre has so far refused to provide coal linkages to ensure regular supplies to any such new plant. Also, Bihar has a lot of catching up to do with the rest of India. “There cannot be any comparison between Gujarat and Bihar, both of which reportedly grew by over 11%; since our base is low, even a small investment results in impressive growth in percentage,” Gupta points out. State officials admit that crucial sectors like health are still sick with meagre resources in comparison to other states.
From its bleak past, Bihar may be finally moving towards a brighter future, but the common Bihari is not patting himself just yet. Maybe he is still waiting for this high growth to translate into better food on his table and more money in his pocket.
Indian Hockey Players Strike unresolved
The disgruntled national hockey players early this week continued their indefinite boycott of the World Cup preparatory camp to protest the non-payment of their dues and incentives.
The squad, demanding incentives for their performance in the year gone by, had on Sunday decided to go on strike despite reaching a truce with Hockey India officials in New Delhi just a day before.
"We are not training from this morning. We are waiting for Hockey India officials to arrive. We came to know that Hockey India officials are coming to meet the team. The team will have a meeting with them and let's see what happens," said senior forward Prabhjot Singh, who has been appointed by his teammates as their representative.
"Hopefully, things will be resolved by this evening. If all the boys are satisfied with the outcome, we will end the strike immediately," he added.
Hockey India on Sunday 10th jan, reacted sharply to players' decision with treasurer Narinder Batra accusing them of blackmailing the Federation and holding the nation to ransom.
"They agreed to our offer yesterday and now they are back on strike. They can't hold a nation to ransom," he said.
Batra claimed HI listened to every grievances of the players and offered a solution too. "They talked about insurance cover, graded systems and even the alleged poor quality of food they had at the Pune camp. We told them what we can immediately do. We even agreed to compensate for the poor food, arrange a meeting with the sponsor as they demanded and HI president (AK Mattoo) went to the extent of promising them Rs 1 crore each if they win the World Cup. We said we would get the money anyhow for them.

Infy reported a 4.9 percent drop in quarterly profit
Infosys Technologies , India's No. 2 software services exporter, reported a 4.9 percent drop in quarterly profit, smaller than market estimates, sending its stock up 2.5 percent in a flat market.
The company, which kicked off the sector's results, said October-December net profit fell to 15.6 billion rupees ($346 million) from 16.4 billion a year ago.
Infosys raised its revenue forecast for the full year and said revenue in dollars would rise 1.8-2.0 percent, reversing its October forecast for a drop of 1.0-1.3 percent.
A Reuters poll had estimated a net profit of around 14.8 billion rupees, a decline of 4 percent from the previous quarter and down 10 percent year-on-year.
"Global economic recovery seems to be led by the US and the financial services," said S Gopalakrishnan, CEO and managing director of infosys. "Even though IT budgets are expected to be flat in 2010, offshore outsourcing is expected to benefit from this recovery.”
HIGHLIGHTS
Consolidated results for the quarter ended December 31, 2009:
n Income was Rs 5,741 crore (Rs 57.41 billion) for the quarter ended December 31, 2009; QoQ growth was 2.8%; YoY decline was 0.8%
n Net profit after tax was Rs. 1,582 crore (Rs 15.82 billion) for the quarter ended December 31, 2009; QoQ growth was 2.7%; YoY decline was 3.6%
n Earnings per share decreased to Rs. 27.75 from Rs. 28.66 in the corresponding quarter of the previous year; QoQ growth was 3.3%; YoY decline was 3.2%
"The contribution to our revenues from our top ten clients grew by 12.2% during the quarter. Our clients are taking decisions much faster," said S D Shibulal, chief pperating officer, infosys. "Our focus on New Engagement Models was strengthened by the launch of Flypp, our latest technology platform for telecom service providers.”
Quarter ending March 31, 2010
n Income is expected to be in the range of Rs 5,675 crore (Rs 56.75 billion) and Rs 5,721 crore (Rs 57.21 billion); YoY growth of 0.7% to 1.5%
n Earnings per share is expected to be in the range of Rs 25.62 and Rs 25.83; YoY decline of 9.0% to 8.3%
Fiscal year ending March 31, 2010
n Income is expected to be in the range of Rs 22,473 crore (Rs 224.73 billion) and Rs 22,519 crore (Rs 225.19 billion); YoY growth of 3.6% to 3.8%
n Earnings per share is expected to be in the range of Rs 106.85 and Rs 107.06; YoY growth of 2.2% to 2.4%
Growth has been above expectations and the margins have been really good. On the margins front, if the volumes are really good, then their utilisation will go up and they should be able to offset the adverse impact of the rupee appreciation."
The quarterly numbers are higher than street estimates and the yearly guidance has also been increased, which is quite encouraging. That's the most exciting part. It looks like confidence in business momentum is coming back.
From here on, with the operating environment stable, what's more important how you decide to grow, how you go up the value chain."
Quality of life? India beats China, Russia
India has moved up 35 places to become the 88th best country in the world to live in, leaving behind nations like Russia and China, according to a survey.
The rise has made India the second best place after Bhutan to live in the sub-continent, according to the 2010 Quality of Life Index, published by travel magazine International Living.
Sweden has been dubbed as the costliest country in the world to live in by the index.
In 2009, India was the fourth best country in South Asia after Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The index, published for the 30th year, ranks 194 nations in nine categories: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, & climate.
India has not only improved its overall position in the tally, but has also gained around 25 points in the cost of living category. This year the country got 65 points compared to 40 last year.
"The figure relates to how much it will cost one to live in style comparable to, or better than, the standard of living you're likely enjoying in the United States," the magazine says.
Iraq tops the cost of living category, securing 100 per cent. This makes it the worst country to live in. The second-worst place to settle down in is Afghanistan, which got 88 points. For the record, Sweden scored a zero in the category.

Edition 8: Innovations


On the 9th of December, 2009,’Innovations’ Pune, put up their Annual Day Programme. The School is one of three schools run by the Shreemangesh Memorial Education Society.The theme of the Programme was ‘Circus’. The crowd was mesmerised as the tiny children dressed as clowns and strong men, lions and monkeys, elephants and bears and jugglers were led by a self-assured little Ringmaster dressed in a smart, red coat through the song and dance programme. The confidence of the tiny tots was amazing. They carried out their roles with great enthusiasm and were rewarded with continuous applause from the audience. They really got into their roles and even helped each other out once in a while. The little ones were completely spontaneous and completely free of stage-fright. It was really a trip down memory lane, successfully capturing the excitement and evoking memories of a childhood visit to the Circus. The programme ended with a Christmas tableau and the children playing percussion instruments to the tunes of Popular Christmas Carols. They looked like little angels and delighted all present at the function. It was a pleasure and quite honestly surprising to see them so well behaved and confident. The Programme was attended by Parents, various Principals of Schools in the City and by Members of the Society. The Chief Guest, Mrs. Kiran Bedi, whose granddaughter attends Innovations, was fulsome in her praise of the School. Mrs. Verma, in her address, spoke of the vision of the society to provide a first class education to children, especially in rural areas, and also of the Society’s plans for the future. She thanked the Guests and Parents for their support of the School and Mrs. Bedi for sparing the time to come for the programme.The Society was founded in 2002 by Mrs. Shilpa Verma in memory of her late uncle Shree Mangesh Singh Bayas. At present the Society’s schools are near Baramati, in Aurangabad and Koregaon Park in Pune, with two more planned in Mumbai and Tirthapura. The pre-school sections have specially researched curriculum, which aims to inspire the child’s innate sense of involvement resulting in his/her evolution and enabling them to express his/her self to the maximum. Their curriculum combines the best of play school methodologies in the curriculum to give scope to every child to create, discover, interact and become self confident as they master various skills while at school. Their vision is to form a chain of International schools all over India and help create the bright minds of India’s tomorrow.

Edition 8: Kapil Dev


We Indians love our cricket. We think that cricket is our religion and Tendulkar is our God. Gavaskar brought India into international respectability though we had few talented cricketers before. But one player stands out as true darling of millions and started cult of idol worship is Kapil Dev. Simple Honest performer, immense talent, great fitness, a great human being. He brought fighting spirit into Indian cricket. He had charisma to bring dead stadiums alive. He was a great bowler who toiled on flat Indian wickets and yet was highest wicket taker at one point. A generation which started watching cricket on TV, cannot forget the ‘fan club’ culture initiated by him. He also was a great fielder. He was rightfully awarded as Indian Cricketer of the century

Achievements:
Captained India to World Cup victory in 1983
Broke Richard Hadlee's record of 431 wickets in Test cricket
Scored first ODI century by an Indian
Only cricketer to score 4,000 Test runs and take 400 wickets
Named Indian Cricketer of the Century by Wisden
Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj has been a Indian Cricket player, and is said to be one of the all time greatest all-rounders to have existed in the world of Cricket. Kapil also served the Indian Cricket team as its Captain, and is famous for being the only Captain of the Indian Cricket team that led it to win a World Cup Cricket Trophy in the year 1983.Early Life Kapil Dev was born on the 6th of January 1959 at Chandigarh, India. He began his Cricket career in Domestic Cricket from the Haryana team, with a match played against Punjab team in November 1975. Kapil took 6 wickets in the match and helped Haryana to win the match. Domestic Cricket Career Kapil gave his best performance of his initial times in a match against Bengal, in which he took 7 wickets giving only 20 runs within just 9 overs in the second innings. Although Haryana was beat by Bombay team in the quarterfinals, his performance brought his talent under the limelight. Debut He debuted the Test Cricket with a match played against Pakistan at Faisalabad in the year 1978. During the 3rd Test match played at Karachi, he scored the fasted half-century made by any Indian cricketer off just 33 balls. Kapil’s One Day International (ODI) debut was made on 1st of October 1978 in a match played against Pakistan at Quetta. He scored 13 runs and took 1 wicket giving 27 runs in the match. Captaincy He was made the Captain of the Indian Cricket team in the year 1982-83 for a match against Sri Lanka. He began as a regular Captain of the team with the tour of West Indies. World Cup 1983 During the 1983 World Cup, Kapil scored a huge 175 runs off 138 balls against a crucial match against Zimbabwe. India won this match by 31 runs and went on to win its only World Cup Trophy. This innings played by Kapil has been regarded as one of the Top 10 ODI Batting Performances of all times by the Wisden magazine. After the World Cup victory, the Indian team lost its grip and faced some bad defeats due to which Kapil was removed from the Captain’s seat and Sunil Gavaskar again became the Captain in the year 1984. Again in March 1985 Kapil got the Captaincy back and led India to World Cup 1987. India lost to Australia in the Semi-Finals, and Kapil’s Captaincy came to a permanent end. Vital Statistics In his Test Cricket career, Kapil Dev played 131 Test matches in which he scored 5248 runs with a Batting Average of 31.05 runs. His highest score was 163 runs. As far as bowling is concerned, he took 434 wickets in the Test Cricket, and gave away 12867 runs with an average of 29.64 runs. Kapil played 225 ODI matches throughout his career, and scored 3783 runs with an average of 23.79 runs, his highest score being 175 not out. He took 252 wickets, and gave 6945 runs with an average of 27.45 runs in his ODI career. Kapil served as the Coach of the Indian Cricket team between October 1999 and August 2000, but resigned after match fixing allegations were imposed upon him. The Wisden magazine named him the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002, and has been conferred upon with Arjuna Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards by the Government of India.

Edition 8: Past winners and Feedback




Past winners and Feedback

Edition 8: Indic Threads Education

IndicThreads.com Conference On Java Technology is the oldest independent event on Java technology in India and the best place in India for Java learning & discussion. Theconference this year had sessions on new and groundbreaking technologies, emerging trends, successful practices and real world case studies on Java technology, delivered by some of the best in the business.
The 4th annual IndicThreads.com Conference On Java Technology was held in Pune,
The conference is the oldest independent event onJava technology in India and the best place in India for Java learning & discussion. The event this year saw participation from speakers & delegates from across India as well as from countries like Japan & the US.
Harshad Oak, co-founder of IndicThreads & the only Sun Java Champion in India says "For me the highlight of the conference were the interactions around the new JavaEnterprise version 6 specification & how Java today is the top platform for software development and is much more than just a language.
Sangeeta Oak, co-founder adds "The talks about Java Mobile Edition and the impact ofGoogle's Android platform also provided fresh insights about Java's place in the mobilesoftware development space, the relevance of Google's Android platform and thecontroversies surrounding it."
Sessions this year dealt with Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Lucene & Solr Search, Dynamic& Scripting Languages For Java Platform, Scala, Groovy, Grails, Google App Engine,Scrum, REST, Spring, Java Mobile Development, Android, Java For Enterprise SoftwareVersion 6 and Jax-WS.
Speakers at conference 09 include renowned speakers, book authors & experts fromIndia & abroad, including Allahbaksh Asadullah, Arun Gupta, Biswajit Sarkar, KamalGovindraj, Lalit Bhatt, Mushtaq Ahmed, Narinder Kumar, Navin Kabra, Pramod Nagaraja,Rohit Nayak, Harshad Oak & Vikas Hazrati.
The conference session presentations and videos are freely available on
IndicThreads.com
In a novel initiative, IndicThreads had a Go Green campaign at conference 09. So theconference gave away free saplings to all those interested. Delegates who walked, cycled or used public transport to the conference were given special goodies bags, while the winner of the Green IT quiz "Gurpreet Khanuja" from Persistent Systems won a shiny new eco-friendly bicycle.
About IndicThreads

IndicThreads.com
is one of India's leading software developer portals. It organizes an
annual International Conference On Java & another on Software Quality . It also offers
ground breaking courses in business & technology education under
IndicThreads Education


Ms. Tanmayee Nitin Sangamnerkar, studying in 1st std. at Primary School, of SYMBIOSIS, Stood First in Maharashtra, in ABACUS State Level Examination, held at Kolhapur. She will represent Maharashtra, at National Level, in Chennai.

Abacus is an international organization, conducting examinations for excellence in Mathematics.

Edition 8: Yearend at Dapoli


A year went by…
Another year has flashed past. Looking back, it was all so frenzied. I must thank sonu, my cousin for thinking of such a great way to wave goodbye to it. This New Years eve, we decided to go to Dapoli in the Konkan, thats coastal Maharashtra
We were just two families from Pune. We set off early on 30 December in a hired Toyota Qualis. The first stop was at tamhini ghat which has a very picturesue landscape and rich flora and fauna, Theres a popular joint near Mulshi lake called Green gate, which serves excellent Maharashtrian snacks. It was chock-a-block with what appeared to be half of Pune, escaping from the crazy city. The smart set jostled with the hoi polloi at the counter, elbowing their way through to breakfast. Gorging on Bata Wadas, Misal, Poha and Sheera, we set off once again. We stuck with the Goa Road till about twenty kilometres from Mahad, when we left the highway and plunged into the hinterland.
The landscape changed dramatically as we crossed Goregaon (not to be confused with the Mumbai suburb of the same name) and started climbing towards the Ghat section.
We stopped at an excellent little hotel, quaintly named Parnakuti. It was poised on the lip of a gorge and the view down was simply breathtaking.
Some of the sights really jolted us from our city-bred cocoons. Colourful herds of goats & sheep and womenfolk washing clothes at the well. It was all so quaint and strangely exotic.
After a good six-hour drive, we reached Dapoli, re-grouped and proceeded to Karde, a village about 10 kilometres away. The road had three hotels on one side with a massive hill as a backdrop and the Arabian Sea on the other. It was a sight for sore eyes. Pristine white sand and blue Im not joking blue water. For our eyes, used to the brackish and black waters that lap the shores of Mumbai, clogged with oil from Bombay High, this was soothing balm. We lost no time in checking in to rooms that were clean, but basic and charging into the ocean. We wanted to have a dip before the sunset, which is early on the western coast as my eleven year-old son pointed out worriedly. He didnt want to waste a minute. There are boats which take you to dolphin spotting.
My cousin sonu had had planned the 31 December agenda carefully. The first item was a visit to the Durgadevi temple at Murud, a village about five kilometres away. It is a lovely little temple that reminds you of the Kerala style of Architecture, with a sloping roof and terracotta tiles. The village also had the children whooping with pleasure as they caught sight of an authentic bullock cart. It told us how far away from their roots we had come.
This little village is also known as the birthplace of a great pioneer and architect of modern India Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve. His memory is well preserved with several landmarks named after him. Sulekha will have another connection here through one of the eminent bloggers, Vikram Karve, who is a descendant of the great man.
The next item on the agenda was a visit to the Keshavraj temple, which meant a half-hour hike and climb through on of the most picturesque paths I have ever seen. It was through a Supari farm. Tall and slender supari palms climbed to awesome heights, bearing bunches of nuts that looked liked miniature coconuts. They would yield supari or betel nuts when dried.
Getting back to the hotel for the evening festivities was like an anti-climax after the visual treats we had sampled. But tradition had to be followed. We did go through the motions, but not after witnessing a spectacular sunset as the sun set for the last time in 2009 off the western coast of India.
The New Year was welcomed in serene settings. Absent were the drunken louts, loud music and garish lights of Mumbai and other metros. In this forgotten part of the country, there were hardly any tourists. Indeed, this is a sad reflection on the entrepreneurial spirit of Maharashtra or lack of it, but it suited us fine. I for one wasnt complaining. I have quit drinking years ago and prefer nowadays to appreciate the nuances of the (mis)behaviour of others, rather than be a subject. The other benefit is that I now appreciate food more. Over the three days, I simply freaked on the seafood. Prawns, Pomfret, Surmai, Bangda.ahhh. And to wash it down, the divine Sol-kadi. Sheer Ambrosia.
We checked out early the next morning. Amod has planned another temple visit, this time to the Ganapati temple at Anjarle. On the way, we passed the Harne Bandar, where we saw some lovely fishing boats.
Lunch was at a house in the Anjarle village. Villagers make a buck or two by this side business. Lunch was sumptuous vegetarian stuff at Mr. Sathayes residence, served on banana leaves and eaten, sitting on the ground. The village too was dotted with houses that took my breath away. If and when I retire, I want to retire to a place like this.
Coming back to Pune after all that was an anti-climax of sorts. The resultant traffic jam of returning revellers didnt do anything to improve our spirits. But the abiding images of that trip that we carried were solace enough

Edition 8: Commercial space

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Edition7: Swine Flu Vaccine


New Year comes with Hope. We take a scientific look on status of vaccines against Swine Flu disease which terrorized us in 2009.
What is Swine Flu vaccine?
The Swine flu pandemic vaccines are the set of influenza vaccines that have been developed to protect against the pandemic H1N1/09 virus. These vaccines either contain inactivated (killed) influenza virus, or weakened live virus that cannot cause influenza. The killed vaccine is injected, while the live vaccine is given as a nasal spray. Both these types of vaccine are usually produced by growing the virus in chicken eggs. Around three billion doses will be produced annually, with delivery started from November 2009.
In studies, the vaccine appears both effective and safe, providing a strong protective immune response and having similar safety profile to the normal seasonal influenza vaccine.
Developing, testing, & manufacturing sufficient quantities of a vaccine is a process that takes many months. According the World Health Organization (WHO), "There's much greater vaccine capacity than there was a few years ago, but there is not enough vaccine capacity to instantly make vaccines for the entire world's population for influenza." Nasal mist version of the vaccine started shipping on October 1, 2009.
Two types of influenza vaccines are available:
 TIV (flu shot (injection) of trivalent (three strains; usually A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B) inactivated (killed) vaccine) or
 LAIV (nasal spray (mist) of live attenuated influenza vaccine.)
TIV works by putting into the bloodstream those parts of three strains of flu virus that the body uses to create antibodies; while LAIV works by inoculating the body with those same three strains, but in a modified form that cannot cause illness.
LAIV is not recommended for individuals under age 2 or over age 50, but might be comparatively more effective among children over age 2.
Manufacturing methods
For the inactivated vaccines, the virus is grown by injecting it, along with some antibiotics, into fertilized chicken eggs. About one to two eggs are needed to make each dose of vaccine. The virus replicates within the allantois of the embryo, which is the equivalent of the placenta in mammals. The fluid in this structure is removed and the virus purified from this fluid by methods such as filtration or centrifugation. The purified viruses are then inactivated ("killed") with a small amount of a disinfectant. The inactivated virus is treated with detergent to break up the virus particles and their released proteins are concentrated by centrifugation. The final preparation is suspended in sterile phosphate buffered saline ready for injection. This vaccine mainly contains the killed virus but might also contain tiny amounts of egg protein and the antibiotics, disinfectant and detergent used in the manufacturing process.
For the live vaccine, the virus is first adapted to grow at 25°C and then grown at this temperature until it loses the ability to cause illness in humans, which would require the virus to grow at our normal body temperature of 37°C. Multiple mutations are needed for the virus to grow at cold temperatures, so this process is effectively irreversible and once the virus has lost virulence (become "attenuated"), it will not regain the ability to infect people. To make the vaccine, the attenuated virus is grown in chicken eggs as before. The virus-containing fluid is harvested and the virus purified by filtration; this step also removes any contaminating bacteria. The filtered preparation is then diluted into a solution that stabilizes the virus.
A new method of producing influenza virus is used to produce the Novartis vaccine Optaflu. In this vaccine the virus is grown in cell culture instead of in eggs. This method is faster than the classic egg-based system and produces a purer final product. Importantly, there are no traces of egg proteins in the final product, so the vaccine is safe for people with egg allergies.
What’s happening in India?
Pre-market human trials of swine flu vaccine to check its efficacy on Indians may start in the next fortnight as the Indian Council of Medical research is in final stages of "positive" negotiations with an international pharmaceutical company in this regard.
Heath Ministry proclaims that they
will finalize the deal with the international vaccine manufacturing company by January 15 with which it will place the order.
Government is negotiating with three international vaccine manufacturers.
By next fortnight, the phase IV trials are expected to begin. This will be done to check the safety and the immunogenicity of the foreign-made vaccine on Indian population.
Sources in the health ministry also said international vaccine manufacturer Glaxo Smith Kline has quoted the lowest price and is under consideration.
More than 21,000 people have been affected by swine flu virus in India.
Nearly 700 deaths have been reported from different cities here.
Government says that since no Indian company is ready yet for the phase IV trial, we are considering the foreign brands as they are already tried, tested and in use in other countries.
Zydus Cadila of Ahmedabad, the Indian swine flu vaccine manufacturing company, has recently got a Nod from the Drug Controller General of India to carry out human studies of its vaccine.
Glaxo SmithKline and Baxter International have started human trials for their H1N1 wine flu vaccines in India.
Both Glaxo SmithKline and Baxter have been granted approval to start clinical studies for their versions of vaccine to fight swine flu causing H1N1 virus India
Meanwhile, domestic companies including Serum institute of India, Panacea Biotech & Bharat Bio have already lined up their versions of H1N1 swine flu vaccines for launch in India in before the first half of 2010
Serum Institute, Panacea Biotech and Bharat Biotech are expected to launch human studies of their H1N1 swine flu vaccine candidates in India by feb 2010.
Serum Institute of India of Pune plans to administer around 500 doses of the H1N1 vaccine to animals over a period of 40 to 50 days.
Serum institute will submit the toxicity and immunogenicity data generated from the studies to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for obtain permission to undertake first in man Phase I human clinical trials.
Serum Institute will begin human trials as soon as the company receives permission from DCGI. Serum Institute is developing two types of vaccine one is injectable (inactivated) and other is intranasal route (live attenuated).
Lets hope that 2010 will bring us some good news on H1N1 Vaccine front.
At least it will help reduce panic levels reached in 2009.150

Edition 7: Childrens Rights part 2

Many countries signed
the paper, and agreed to
make sure that their children
got these rights.
The government of India,
too signed it some years later.

That means the government
of our country will make
sure that all children
get these rights.

But we have to work for
them, too. We have to
work together, to ensure these
rights for all children.

We have to work to see
that we fulfill the duties
that these rights imply.

Edition 7: Orange Flavor

Dear Readers
Wish all of you had a wonderful new years eve. All of us must have made new resolutions. It is important though to live by them. But there are few who manage to do that. That's what makes them different. Winners don't do different things but they do same things differently.
That's what we tried to do at Cityblog. It has been wonderful interacting with you since our launch on children's day. We have got very encouraging responses from readers highlighting us as a complete family paper. We have tried to make it as informative as we can. We also plan to be more entertaining in the coming year. We have got very good response from schools, parents, teachers about value addition we do to the readers.
2009 started on a somber note of recession. Jobs were lost and business also suffered. India comparatively was shielded. But still major industries faced problem. Things are looking better now. But it is not over yet. There is a hope and promise for 2010. 2009 gave us stable government at center which was a comforting factor amidst threat of coalition instability. That also helped mitigate the business outlook. Innovations were the order of the day and yes there were good innovations. Satyam fiasco ended with some pragmatic decision making. Law and order situation in Pune deteriorated. Pune is no more a safe city. There was no improvement in traffic, roads and public transport. Swine Flu created havoc and panic around July Aug and still it remains a challenge with winter setting in. we could have done much better as citizens (by not flocking during Ganesh Festival and following simple precautions) & administration
( by taking firm steps early and then having single face of control). Erratic monsoon also was a threat with water cuts. But have we learnt lessons from that. Should we predict same steps in 2010 june-july? There were encouraging initiatives like Societies for clean cities, sajag manch, RTI and consumer forums to hold the system accountable. But there is no clear solution for fighting corruption and sycophancy. Pune pattern ended predictably prior to elections amidst consensus and convenience. Elections also had no surprises. Government has confusing priorities and opposition is weakened. It is now the time for citizens to be proactive. Let's resolve that for 2010.
On social front, we have seen no change. In fact ostentatious marriages, unruly party scenes, suicides, crime, dysfunctional family system have ruled the headlines. To highlight some positives; clean and green is now fashionable. Marathi Drama has some takers for non comedy content. Marathi movies continued the creative trend. Hindi movies had a bad year but some good performances were seen. Non cricket sports suffer owing to politics and corruption. Are we really ready for Commonwealth in 2010?
2010 also has world cup soccer the biggest human gathering far much followed than elitist Olympics. This will be first time in Africa. We have ICCT20 cricket world cup. IPL will be back in India. We also have Kasab trial to be completed. War against Terror is to be won. Naxalism still control sizable area in India. Nuclear deal has to go through.
We need better use of RTI to reduce corruption. Many Challenges.
Cityblog aims to be a pique of things in 2010, bringing our readers few insights, information & entertainment. We need a lot of participation from you. We have always maintained positive outlook. When every one was reading fall of Tiger woods from grace, we focused on a detailed two series article highlighting his achievements which still exist. That's the way we should look at things. We never published any masala news or items. We had experts guiding for JEE or on other matter.
Cityblog achieved its start and we are now gaining acceptability as we reach 10000 mark of circulation.
Good bye, Have a great new year 2010…

Edition 7: J R D Tata


Born: July 29, 1904
Died: on November 29, 1993
Achievements: He had the honor of being India's first pilot; was Chairman of Tata & Sons for 50 years; launched Air India International as India's first international airline; received Bharat Ratna in 1992.
JRD Tata was one of the most enterprising Indian entrepreneurs. He was a pioneer aviator and built one of the largest industrial houses of India.
JRD Tata was born on July 29, 1904 in Paris. His mother was a French, while his father was Parsi. JRD's full name was Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and he was popularly known as Jeh to his friends. JRD's father Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and Sri Jamsetji Tata shared their greatness from the same great-great-grandfather, Ervad Jamsheed Tata, a priest of Navsari.
JRD Tata was the second of four children. He was educated in France, Japan and England before being drafted into the French army for a mandatory one-year period. JRD wanted to extend his service in the forces but destiny had something else in store for him. By leaving the French army JRD's life was saved because shortly thereafter, the regiment in which he served was totally wiped out during an expedition in Morocco.
JRD Tata joined Tata & Sons as an unpaid apprentice in 1925. He has great interest in flying. On February 10, 1929, JRD became the first Indian to pass the pilot's examination. With this distinctive honor of being India's first pilot, he was instrumental in giving wings to India by building Tata Airlines, which ultimately became Air India. His passion for flying was fulfilled with the formation of the Tata Aviation Service in 1932.
In 1938, at the age of 34, JRD was elected Chairman of Tata & Sons making him the head of the largest industrial group in India. He started with 14 enterprises under his leadership and half a century later on July 26, 1988, when he left , Tata & Sons was a conglomerate of 95 enterprises which they either started or in which they had controlling interest.
JRD was the trustee of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust from its inception in 1932, which remained under his wings for over half a century. Under his guidance, this Trust established Asia's first cancer hospital, the Tata Memorial Center for Cancer, Research and Treatment, Bombay, 1941. It also founded the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 1936 (TISS), the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, 1945 (TIFR), and the National Center for Performing Arts.
In 1948, JRD Tata launched Air India International as India's first international airline. In 1953, the Indian Government appointed JRD as Chairman of Air-India and a director on the Board of Indian Airlines-a position JRD retained for 25-years. For his crowning achievements in Aviation, JRD was bestowed with the title of Honorary Air Commodore of India.

In 1956, JRD Tata initiated a program of closer "employee association with management" to give workers a stronger voice in the affairs of the company. He firmly believed in employee welfare and espoused the principles of an eight-hour working day, free medical aid, workers' provident scheme, and workmen's accident compensation schemes, which were later, adopted as statutory requirements in India.
JRD Tata cared greatly for his workers. In 1979, Tata Steel instituted a new practice; a worker is deemed to be "at work" from the moment he leaves home for work till he returns home from work. The company is financially liable to the worker if any mishap takes place on the way to and from work. Tata Steel Township was also selected as a UN Global Compact City because of the quality of life, conditions of sanitation, roads and welfare that were offered by Tata Steel.
JRD Tata received a number of awards. He received the Padma Vibhushan in 1957 on the eve of silver jubilee of Air India. He also received the Guggenheim Medal for aviation in 1988. In 1992, because of his selfless humanitarian endeavors, JRD Tata was awarded India's highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna one of the rarest instances in which this award was granted during a person's lifetime. In the same year, JRD Tata was also bestowed with the United Nations Population Award for his crusading endeavors towards initiating and successfully implementing the family planning movement in India, much before it became an official government policy.
JRD Tata died in Geneva, Switzerland on November 29, 1993 at the age of 89. On his death, the Indian Parliament was adjourned in his memory-an honor not usually given to persons who are not Members of Parliament.

Edition 7: How Search Enginers work :Part1

The good news about the Internet and its most visible component, the World Wide Web, is that there are hundreds of millions of pages available,
waiting to present information on an amazing variety of topics.
The bad news about the Internet is that there are hundreds of millions of pages available, most of them titled according to the whim of their author, almost all of them sitting on servers with cryptic names. When you need to know about a particular subject, how do you know which pages to read?
If you're like most people, you visit an Internet search engine.
Internet search engines are special sites on the Web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various search engines work, but they all perform three basic tasks:
They search the Internet -- or select pieces of the Internet -- based on important words.
They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.
They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.
Early search engines held an index of a few hundred thousand pages and documents, and received maybe one or two thousand inquiries each day. Today, a top search engine will index hundreds of millions of pages, and respond to tens of millions of queries per day. In this article, we'll tell you how these major tasks are performed, and how Internet search engines put the pieces together in order to let you find the information you need on the Web.
Today, most Internet users limit their searches to the Web, so we'll limit this article to search engines that focus on the contents of Web pages.
Before a search engine can tell you where a file or document is, it must be found. To find information on the hundreds of millions of Web pages that exist, a search engine employs special software robots, called spiders, to build lists of the words found on Web sites. When a spider is building its lists, the process is called Web crawling. (There are some disadvantages to calling part of the Internet the World Wide Web -- a large set of arachnid-centric names for tools is one of them.) In order to build and maintain a useful list of words, a search engine's spiders have to look at a lot of pages.
How does any spider start its travels over the Web? The usual starting points are lists of heavily used servers and very popular pages. The spider will begin with a popular site, indexing the words on its pages and following every link found within the site. In this way, the spidering system quickly begins to travel, spreading out across the most widely used portions of the Web.
Google began as an academic search engine. In the paper that describes how the system was built, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page give an example of how quickly their spiders can work. They built their initial system to use multiple spiders, usually three at one time. Each spider could keep about 300 connections to Web pages open at a time. At its peak performance, using four spiders, their system could crawl over 100 pages per second, generating around 600 kilobytes of data each second.
Keeping everything running quickly meant building a system to feed necessary information to the spiders. The early Google system had a server dedicated to providing URLs to the spiders. Rather than depending on an Internet service provider for the domain name server (DNS) that translates a server's name into an address, Google had its own DNS, in order to keep delays to a minimum.
When the Google spider looked at an HTML page, it took note of two things:
The words within the page
Where the words were found
Words occurring in the title, subtitles, meta tags and other positions of relative importance were noted for special consideration during a subsequent user search. The Google spider was built to index every significant word on a page, leaving out the articles "a," "an" and "the." Other spiders take different approaches.
These different approaches usually attempt to make the spider operate faster, allow users to search more efficiently, or both. For example, some spiders will keep track of the words in the title, sub-headings and links, along with the 100 most frequently used words on the page and each word in the first 20 lines of text. Lycos is said to use this approach to spidering the Web.
Meta Tags
Meta tags allow the owner of a page to specify key words and concepts under which the page will be indexed. This can be helpful, especially in cases in which the words on the page might have double or triple meanings -- the meta tags can guide the search engine in choosing which of the several possible meanings for these words is correct. There is, however, a danger in over-reliance on meta tags, because a careless or unscrupulous page owner might add meta tags that fit very popular topics but have nothing to do with the actual contents of the page. To protect against this, spiders will correlate meta tags with page content, rejecting the meta tags that don't match the words on the page.
All of this assumes that the owner of a page actually wants it to be included in the results of a search engine's activities. Many times, the page's owner doesn't want it showing up on a major search engine, or doesn't want the activity of a spider accessing the page. Consider, for example, a game that builds new, active pages each time sections of the page are displayed or new links are followed. If a Web spider accesses one of these pages, and begins following all of the links for new pages, the game could mistake the activity for a high-speed human player and spin out of control. To avoid situations like this, the robot exclusion protocol was developed. This protocol, implemented in the meta-tag section at the beginning of a Web page, tells a spider to leave the page alone -- to neither index the words on the page nor try to follow its links.
To be Continued…….

Edition 7: Everyday Expressions

ENGLISH MARATHI AUDIO
Yes ho, ho-ya Native Normal,
Native Slow
No na-ko, naa-hee Native Normal,
Native Slow
Please kru-pa-yaa, kru-paa ka-roo-na Native Normal,
Native Slow
Excuse me ksha-maa a-saa-wee, Native Normal,
ksha-maa ka-raa Native Slow

Is that so? Kha-ra-cxh? Native Normal,
Native Slow
Thank you dha-nya-waa-dva Native Normal,
Native Slow
I don’t know ma-laa ma-hi-tv naa-hee Native Normal,
Native Slow
Good luck shu-bhe-chchhaa Native Normal,

What is this? he kaa-ya aa-he Native Normal,
Native Slow
What is that? tve kaa-ya aa-he Native Normal,
Native Slow
What do you call this? tvu-Mhee- hyaa-laa kaa-ya Native Normal,
mha-tna-tvaa? Native Slow
What do you call that? tvu-Mhee tvyaa-laa kaa-ya Native Normal,
mha-tna-tvaa? Native Slow
What does this mean? hyaa-cxhaa a-rtha kaa-ya? Native Normal,
Native Slow
What does that mean? tvyaa-cxhaa a-rtha kaa-ya? Native Normal,
Native Slow
Where is the kitchen? swa-ya-M-paa-ka gha-ra ku-the Native Normal,
aa-he? Native Slow
I am in hurry mee ghaa-eetv aa-he Native Normal,
Native Slow
We want to see the city aa-mhaa-laa- sha-ha-ra / Native Normal,
gaa-wa ba-ghaa-ya-cxha aa-he Native Slow

Edition 7: Is your Daughter Smart and Confident

With their bright smiles, strong sense of family bonding and urge/ ability to support their parents emotionally and even financially, daughters have time and again proved to be a blessing in the modern world.
But bringing up a girl child today is no easy task.
It's important to enter her domain of fairytales, to relate to her emotions, to provide her with a balanced upbringing.
It is also important to set a good example by practicing the values you preach.
Here are some tips on how to groom your little girl so that she becomes a confident young woman.
1. SMART, CONFIDENT, INDEPENDENT
l She is your princess, yes. But avoid spoiling her/ indulging her demands all the time, especially if they are far-fetched.
"Traits like stubbornness and high-headedness can be curbed or inculcated in a child's formative years. If parents teach their daughter how to adapt and be flexible, they are less likely to face problems in their career and relationships," says psychiatrist Mansi Joshi.
For instance, if your daughter asks you to do her homework just because she doesn't feel like doing it herself, don't even think of agreeing. You could, however, guide her as to how she could finish it properly.
If she wants to skip school for no reason, don't indulge her. Let her learn the importance of routine and discipline.
Do not let her bully you into agreeing to whatever she demands. Every toy she demands doesn't have to be bought. If she throws tantrums and announces she won't eat until it is bought, wait for her to come around. When she is hungry, she will come and eat. When she is done with her meal, talk about her bad behavior, make her realize her mistake and let her apologize.
Giving her light punishment at times and encouraging her to make amends is essential.
l Help her imbibe decision-making skills, a sense of right and wrong and a determination to achieve her dreams. Give her the essential skills and degrees to help her achieve them so she can be emotionally and financially independent.
l Enable her to recognize and overcome barriers by being encouraging.
Whether it is in the kitchen, a science lab or a social gathering, she must be confident enough to face every situation.
l Empower her to dream and achieve her dreams.
She will learn how to cope with stress, imbibe decision-making skills and become responsible and independent if you allocate small tasks for her to accomplish on her own right from childhood.
2. EDUCATE/ TRAIN HER IN THE VOCATION OF HER CHOICE
Provide her with the best possible education.

She may or may not show an inclination towards academics. If it is the latter, enable her to develop and nurture her talent in some allied vocation such as singing, the fine arts, dramatics, dance, pottery, fashion design, etc.
l Help her make a wise career decision.
3. BEAUTY IS ONLY SKIN-DEEP
Dwell on what she thinks, believes, feels, dreams and does, rather than just how she looks.
You have a profound influence on how she views herself, so value your daughter for who she is and make her confident about using her talents to the fullest.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO HER DIET
A growing girl need to eat often and she needs to eat healthy. Provide her with a balanced diet that caters to all her growing needs.
"Maintaining a balance of carbo-hydrates, proteins and fats in a child's diet is very important. Avoid giving her processed food like canned juices or tinned veggies or food that contains saturated fats," says Dr Vijay Sathe,
a pediatrician and expert in child health.
Control the intake of concentrated sugars that find their way into her body through chocolates, ice creams, candies, etc. These have no nutritional value and only lead to obesity.
Instead, place in her plate everything natural and healthy -- ranging from fruits to vegetable to pulses -- to ensure she stays healthy and disease free.
Manisha Dutt, a dietician with the Mumbai-based Gym, suggests you take her grocery shopping. "Involving your daughter in the whole process could make a world of a difference. Take her veggie shopping and encourage her to pick up what she likes. She will be more excited about eating what she has picked up, " she says.
Never force your daughter to eat anything. That will just make her more stubborn about not touching it.
Remember to include calcium rich products like milk, cheese, paneer, butter, green leafy vegetables, etc, to protect her from conditions like osteoporosis at a later stage.
5. SAY NO TO FAD DIETS
Advertisers spend billions to convince a girl she doesn't look 'right'; don't believe, or let her believe, what they say.
Explain to her that there are many beautiful, healthy body types. Help her to be healthy and feel good as she works with the body type with which she was born.
Make sure she doesn't gorge herself all day and eat unhealthy. At the same time, do not let her get hooked on to the dieting fad as it may increase the risk of eating disorders and other health problems.
6. ENCOURAGE HER TO GET A GOOD FRIENDS' CIRCLE
Having good friends is important for your daughter.
l Call her friends over on and off and get involved in their activities; this will also help you keep a check on the kind of company she keeps.
7. HELP HER TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
Manisha stresses on sports as the best elixir for your child's mental and physical health.
"Sports gives an extra edge to your children. It helps keep your children's mind and body active and fit. Sports also teaches them to set goals; it helps them learn perseverance and discipline," she says.
The current generation needs compulsory playtime to help them cope with the stress created by the pressure of studies.
"If time does not allow her to take up any specific sport seriously, you can at least encourage her to join a sports team in school," says Manisha.
8. IS SHE TURNING INTO A COUCH POTATO OR A CYBER GEEK?
A sedentary lifestyle should be completely avoided.
Dr Sathe says, "If your daughter is going to sit in front of the computer and chat or surf or play computer games for hours, then she is obviously not going to have any time to go out and play. This is bound to damage her health and make her physically inactive."
He also stresses on emotional bonding between parents and children.
"As parents, your guidance and care can go a long way in building your child's future. Take time out from your busy schedule and soaring career to see what your daughter is doing at school and in her free time. Take time out to chat with her and make her feel cared for. Most important, set an example of a good lifestyle that she can emulate," says Dr. Sathe.
9. DON'T BE OVERPROTECTIVE
This world does hold dangers for our daughters but the solution does not lie in being overly protective. Instead, doing so will tell your daughter you don't trust her and her abilities.
Make her aware of the dangers and the precautions she needs to take, but don't curb her freedom. Tell her to be alert all the while.
10. A MIX OF MODERN AND TRADITIONAL VALUES
An excess of anything may not do her personality any good. Get her familiar with your traditions and culture; at the same time, do not make her conservative or narrow-minded.

Edition 7; Quiz

What does FIFA stand for?
Choose one of the following:
Federation of Internationale de Football Association o
Association of International Football Federation o
Federation ofFootball
Association o
Federation of International
Football Amateurs o
How many players are there in a soccer team?
Choose one of the following:
13 o
12 o
11 o
10 o
Which country gave shape to football the way we know it today? Choose one of the following:
Peru o
Brazil o
China o
United Kingdom o
The last FIFA World Cup soccer took place in 2006, after how many years will the next one be held? Choose one of the following:
Four o
Two o
Six o
One o
Which was country to host the first FIFA World Cup games?
Choose one of the following:
USA o
Uruguay o
Brazil o
France o
Which was the first country to host the World Cup twice?
Choose one of the following:
France o
Spain o
Italy o
Mexico o

What is the venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup?
Choose one of the following:
South Africa o
Brazil o
China o
Sweden o
Which song did Ricky Martin sing for the 1998 FIFA World Cup?
Choose one of the following:
We will rock you o
We are the champions o
Cup of life o
You can win o
What is the real name of Pele or the black pearl who took his country Brazil to great heights in the
World Cup soccer matches?
Choose one of the following:
Edson Arantes do Nascimento o
Nascimento Arantes do Edson o
Edson Coimbra do Arantes o
Gabriel Batistuta o
What was the mascot in the FIFA 2006 World Cup at Germany? Choose one of the following:
A smiling cockerel o
A Dancing Lion o
A smiling dog o
A smiling orange o
LOGIC PUZZLE
A solid, four-inch cube of wood is coated with blue paint on all six sides.
Then the cube is cut into smaller one-inch cubes.
These new one-inch cubes will have either three blue sides, two blue sides, one blue side, or no blue sides. How many of each will there be?

LAST WEEKS ANSWER

The man in front knew he was wearing a black hat because he knew the first man did not see two white hats and he knew that the second man did not see one white hat because if he saw a white hat, the second man would have known that his hat was black from hearing the first man's statement.

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CityBlog Pune is weekly paper launched by Orange Publications and Productions Pvt Ltd. It aims to create a forum where each issue will be followed up. We will have citizen to express and not just read what others have to say. Just like an on + offline blog