Wednesday, September 21, 2016

IIT Bombay Students Built Satellite ‘Pratham’: ISRO to Launch It Soon

Six IIT Bombay students are preparing for the pre-launch of the first “student satellite” at the Satellite Centre of the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The talk on the launch of this satellite has been going on since last eight years, but for some reason, it was still not possible. At last the much-awaited launch of the satellite known as “Pratham” will take place this year.

“Pratham” will be launched soon

ISRO’s public relations director Deviprasad Karnik told that the launch date will be announced soon. According to him, students will complete the work by September 26. This satellite was proposed by the two students Shashank Tamaskar and Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay at the Aerospace Engineering Department in 2007. An MOU was signed with ISRO in 2009 and later the project was extended till 2014.

The team has 30 students, of which 9 are part of the core team. Project Manager Manavi Dhawan conveyed that they are much excited about the developments and their dream to launch the satellite is nearing completion after so many years. The dimension of satellite is 30.5cm X 33.5cm X 46.6 cm and it weighs 10 kg.

ISRO bore all the expenses

According to Sumit Jain, one of the core team members, besides giving the GPS location “Pratham” can predict tsunamis as well. ISRO has not only provided the testing facility, but also the entire cost of the project. The youngest member of the team Harshad Jalan told that the ‘ISRO scientists’ has a zero error policy. So, every work is expected to be carried out without a single mistake. Sometimes the students have to work for 30 hours at a stretch in the lab and have only an hour to rectify any mistake.

Professors of IIT Bombay are proud of its students

The students of IIT Bombay faced another challenge. The team members have to be changed every semester making it hard for them to maintain continuity as the new students again have to acclimatize with the project from the very beginning. To overcome this problem the previous students had to work hard at writing every bit of details so that the new students find it easier to carry forward the work. The students working on this project were selected through a written test and interview.

Professor Arya, who was appointed to oversee team progress felt extremely proud while watching the students present their case and explaining their point during the review meeting with ISRO scientists.
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

18-year-old Hamraj Kumar Raises One Cr Fund For His Health Startup

Age is just a number, whatever way you take it

18-aged Hamraj Kumar has reportedly raised funding of Rs One Crore for his startup Cureinstant. Kumar has the vision and will to make major changes in the healthcare sector and working hard to make it a reality with his project.

At an age when everybody shies of doing something new because of inexperience and the fear of failing, Kumar is firmly moving to make his goal a major success. His dream project Cureinstant is meant to make our lives better. Kumar felt that in this social era the health care should be social as well. He visualized that ill-health is the main problem of a modern society that needs urgent attention. With a great sense of responsibility Kumar decided to take up the challenge on his young shoulder and come up with a solution.

He created, a platform where all the entities of the medical world can come under one umbrella. Here the patients, doctors, medical stores, pathology labs, fitness centre and many other health professionals can come together creating an environment where different doctors curing the same disease helping out curing a single patient.

This unique environment will make the patient feel much comfortable, assured as well as secured about the treatments he or she is receiving. This will also help reduce error in judgment while treating the patients. It is similar to the Electronic Health Record (EHR) in American Hospitals, but something more as here when a doctor prescribes some medicine on the platform the medical stores are there to bring the medicines at the patients’ door.

At the same time when a doctor advises a medical test, the pathology laboratories get the notification and will come up to perform the tests. With the progress in Science and Technology Healthcare is somewhat ignored. Healthcare did not receive the same technological advancement compared to other industries (especially in the social aspects). We can give our social status regarding our thinking or our recent vacation, but there is no major platform to share our diseases and tell the right persons that you are sick.

There are possibilities that someone has faced the problems of the disease themselves and might have a helping hand for us. This platform will bridge this gap and may enable us to book appointments with doctors and healthcare professionals. The platform offers a plethora of options to help patients in keeping their health records on the cloud that will again increase sharing of patient reports among doctors, laboratories and health stores.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Ex-politician & Science Geek Pradeep Rawat Now Running a Public Library

The 60-year-old ex-politician Pradeep Rawat decided to build a library in his Pune residence after his term as a Member of Parliament ended. The library houses the vast collection of books he has collected over the decades. The library was built to help people get hands on to scientific literature that otherwise not available to the general public. The library having over 5,000 books on science and evolutionary biology is named as Rawat’s Nature Library and is open to all for free.

Since its onset, the Rawat’s Nature Library had become highly popular, particularly among the students preparing for Civil Service examinations. Over the past three years, more than 30,000 students appearing for civil service examinations have visited the library and benefited by its collection of books. The library is now planning to open its doors to the scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) to conduct academic debates as well as discussions in the near future.

According to Dr. L S Shashidhara, the head of Biology at IISER, the library has a vast collection of books on various aspects of science and the collection is even better than the IISER or Pune University. The amazing fact is Pradeep Rawat has read all these collections despite not being a science stream graduate. All these scholarly books are usually read only by the science researchers and not even by the general science graduate students.

All the books in Rawat’s Nature Library library are properly filed under different categories such as Plants and Animals, Brain and Behaviours, Classical Science, Environmental Science and Science in Marathi. The collection also covered the works and biographies of eminent Indian scientists.

Pradeep Rawat, who lost his father at the age of 13, always had a strong interest to study science. He took admission in the Abashabeb Garware College in the science stream to follow his goal. However, he ended up being put behind bars due to his active participation in the JP movement and could not complete the degree course after the incidence. Fortunately, this never stopped him from becoming an autodidact and reading more science literature. He used to come back with eight to ten bags filled with books of different genre whenever he traveled abroad. You can visit the website and enquire about the library to visit or donate books. The library address is:

“The Pentagon”

109-111, Hotel Panchami Lane,

Pune Satara Road, Pune – 09
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Monday, September 12, 2016

Goa: A Prime Location for Water Sports in India

India with its characteristic topography offers as a perfect destination for some of the most exciting and spine exhilarating water sports. The large lakes, blue oceans and gushing stream India has the right atmosphere for adventure enthusiasts to get their adrenaline pumping.

Goa is an ideal place for water sports in India. It has a plethora of beaches aside the Arabian Ocean. It has vast yet vibrant population that makes it an ideal tourist destination and the brand of water sports is an icing on the cake. It offers some of the best water sports in the country and attracts over 20 million visitors each year. Adventure and water sports vacation in Goa gets fulfilled with its enchanting sceneries and the varieties of water sports available such as windsurfing, jet skiing, fishing, parasailing, water-skiing, scuba diving and dinghy sailing. Scuba diving in Goa can be very exciting and Goa also has many attractive sightseeing locations to complement the water sports. Some of the most attractive and popular water sports in Goa are:

Scuba Diving

In Goa, the scuba diving is rapidly gaining popularity; especially among those who love the marine life. Even though the beaches are not recognized to have magnificent coral reefs you can still enjoy sword of brightly colored coral heads, lobsters and fishes.

Wind Surfing

Windsurfing can be really fascinating with its combination of sailing as well as surfing. Even beginners can try this sport in the sea beaches of Goa; especially at Dona Paula bay (preferably in the morning as the waves get stronger by afternoon).

Dinghy Sailing

It is also called the beer and sandwich sailing. The name is given as it serves as an easier alternative to windsurfing. It involves sailing in a craft (15 feet long) that can accommodate around three to four persons easily. The Dona Paula beach is again good for Dinghy sailing activities.


Parasailing is also for speed lovers. It is one of the most attractive water sports available in Goa. Here the parasailor is harnessed to a rope 300 feet long. The other end of the rope is tied to a speedboat. This is truly a thrilling experience.


For speed lovers, there is water-skiing in Goa. If you love speed, then this will be the most lovable water sport for you in Goa. Classy speedboats of speeds over 30 to 40 miles per hour can be found in beach resorts and hotels in Goa.

Water Scooter

It can be seen as riding a motorcycle on the ocean instead of the road. Two people can climb on a single water scooter at a time and have a gala time. 


Simple swimming can be exciting as well for travelers of every age young or old. You will enjoy the swimming in the gushing waters at different beaches in Goa. All the beaches have appointed lifeguards and you can swim safely after taking advice from them.


Angling needs to have undisturbed placid waters as well as great patience. You can find such serene and quiet location on Agonda beach, where you can fit one to catch your favorite fishes.

A holiday in Goa can be truly thrilling with the water sports and with the beautiful moments you spend at this beautiful place. Explore the beautiful Goa and its water sports this summer vacation in India.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This Is the World’s Largest Kitchen Which Makes Around 2 Lac Chapatis Everyday

In a world where there is not enough food for the hungry population around the world, there is a kitchen that feeds thousands of people for free every day. This is the world’s largest kitchen where there is no differentiation between the rich and the poor, young and old or between different castes. You may not believe that this amazing kitchen is in India only. It is the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where 70 to 75 thousand people take their meals every day. During festivals and special occasions this number reaches over one lakh. Let us know about 15 amazing facts about this kitchen.
  • Every day the kitchen in Golden Temple prepare food for more than 70 to 75 thousand people and during festivals or special occasions the number reaches over 1 lakh
  • The Golden Temple kitchen is regarded as the largest kitchen in the world
  • Every day the kitchen requires over 12000 Kg wheat, 13000 Kg pulses, 1500 Kg rice and 2000 Kg vegetables
  • The kitchen at Golden Temple prepares around 2 lakh chapattis daily. The kitchen uses a roti maker that can prepare 25000 rotis in one hour.
  • Every day over 5000 Liter milk, 1000 Kg sugar and 500 Kg Ghee are used to prepare Kheer in this kitchen
  • The kitchen uses more than 100 LPG cylinders and 5000 Kg wood to prepare this huge amount of food every day
  • The kitchen has over 450 permanent staffs and hundreds of volunteers
  • The utensils of the kitchen are so big that more than one person can get easily fit into them
  • The main preparations are made in 11 huge tawas where 7 quintal pulses or kheer can be made in one go (for each tawa)
  • The kitchen also contains two dining halls where 5000 people can have their food at one time
  • The kitchen staffs work 24 hours to manage food for all the people
  • The volunteers in Golden wash over 3 lakh dishes per day
  • All the dish washing is done by the volunteers and to maintain hygiene each dish is washed at least 3 to 5 times
  • This tradition of providing free food to people irrespective of caste and religion was started by Sant Guru Nanak and carried forward by Guru Amar Das
  • Mughal Badshah Akbar also had taken the Prasad while sitting with the common people in “Guru Ke Langar”.
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

From Labourer’s Daughter to Being the Rani of Indian Hockey Team

The Indian women’s hockey team qualified for the Rio Olympics after a long wait of 36 years, an achievement that will be cherished. Our first Olympic goal scorer after such a long wait is Rani Rampal who shone in the opening match.

Selected by the Sports Authority of India for Arjuna Award, Rani made it possible despite extreme poverty and dearth of resources required for training. Her never-give-up attitude and focus pushed her towards victory against all odds. She started practicing very early and by the age of 13, she was selected for the Indian team.

Labourer’s daughter becomes the queen of Indian hockey

Rani hails from Shahabad in Haryana. Her father’s horsecart was the only means they had to fund her dream of being an ace hockey player. Rani’s talent blossomed in the absence of any hockey kit, or proper shoes. All she had was her passion for the game and supporting parents. Rampal’s hard work, coupled with training from Dronacharya-awardee coach Baldev Singh transformed her as a winner against all odds.

Rani has a gripping charm about her and has never hesitated in admitting that her father still works as a labourer back in Haryana. Even after Rani’s fame, accolades and income, her parents remain uninfluenced.

It was because of goals that India qualified for the Rio Olympic. She bagged the highest scorer award in 2009 for Women’s Hockey World Cup, the best young player of the tournament in 2010 World Cup, and received the player of the tournament in 2013 Women’s Hockey World Cup, to name a few. Apart from these, she was also entitled as the Most Promising Player in the Four Nations Tournament and the Olympic qualifying round in 2008. She received several awards for being the best player and top scorer in multiple international tournaments.

For her outstanding contributions in the field of hockey, Rani will be awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award by the Sports Authority of India on August 29, the National Sports Day. Before this bright young lady, only two women hockey players have received the Arjuna Award – Surinder Kaur (former captain of the Women’s National Hockey team) and Jasjeet Kaur.

Rani’s success story is unique and inspiring for all those who give up their dreams because of poverty and accept a miserable life. Her supportive parents are also exemplary to others like them who discriminate against girls and restrict them from blooming and chasing their dreams.

The post first appeared in KenFolios - Only interesting stories.
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Where Women Are Treated Worse than Animals: Made to Drink Water out of Shoes

Away from the shining India celebrating late Olympic success through women power exist places where women are made to drink water out of shoes. The remote village in Bhilwara, Rajasthan remained in the pre-Independence era and came into vision through the lens of photographer Sudhir Kasliwal. The regressive exorcism rituals are still a common sight in those villages.

Hundreds of women are brought to the Bankaya Mata temple in Bhilwara from every nearby village for their treatment. They are then subjected to the degrading and dangerous practices in the name of remedial measures or treatment. Women are put through different regressive rituals by the Bhopas (quasi-priests as well as therapists) that include drinking water out of shoes, walking kilometres while carrying shoes in mouth and head or dragging themselves down over 200 steps in the temple (to drive out the evil spirits) in the name of treatment. This atrocious ritual takes place every week in Bankaya Mata temple.
Photographer Sudhir Kasliwal went to Bankaya Mata temple in in 1995 after hearing about its strange exorcism rituals. What he witnessed moved him deeply. It pained him beyond description. He had all those rituals photographed on film then. But, what pained him more is the fact that even after 21 years the practice still continues.

The ritual starts with women made to walk kilometres with shoes on their head as well as clutched in their mouth. At the end, they are made to drink water out of those shoes in the name of exorcism. Most of the women brought for treatment usually suffering from mental illness or the in-laws want them to be tagged insane (to teach young girls who are outspoken and not well adjusted in their in-laws’ homes some lessons).
The women with real mental illness suffer most through this torturous ritual, while it affects the normal women badly enough. The rituals often lead to permanent and long-term emotional damage to the mentally ill patients. As observed by psychiatrist Ruma Bhattacharya, these women have no space to express their feelings and sufferings leading to hysteric behaviour that further wrongfully interpreted as being ‘possessed’. They sustain long-lasting emotional issues such as phobia and bad dreams.

Readers may get shocked after knowing these incidents and may feel comfort thinking that such extreme superstitions only exist in remote, uneducated and backward areas of the country. But, in reality, superstitions became a part of educated mass living in urban areas as well. The case of Asaram is an example of such behaviour and belief (where a teenage girl was brought to the Godman for exorcism and allegedly sexually assaulted).

Although the newspaper reports have resulted in the arrest of four such Bhopas or quacks from the premises of Bankaya Mata temple and are now guarding the temple to stop such activities, sociologist Rajeev Gupta believes that these steps are mere eyewash. According to him the myth originated from a small story and became a tradition over time. Women pose as soft targets because of illiteracy, lack of empowerment and access to healthcare facilities and the scarcity of qualified mental health professionals.

It is a shame to the educated mass that such inhuman tradition is still thriving in our country. Ironically, a barbarous camel sport known as “Ladoo Oont” that was annually performed at Pushkar Fair got called off shortly after Sudhir Kasliwal made a documentary about it in 1979. In “Ladoo Oont” riders subjected the camels to perform gruelling tasks to test the strength of the animal, even as the camels groaned in pain. But, the torture of women did not stop after the photographs taken by him went public in 1995. Perhaps our senses are more accommodating towards animals than women, lamented the photographer.

The post first appeared in KenFolios - Only interesting stories.

Image Courtesy: Sudhir Kasliwal
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