I know its a topic most of us know about, that we should recycle and its environmental advantages and all other details. However most of us don't do that (including me, until now).
Few days earlier, I noticed that in the apartment complex I live, there is a nice recycling center and few people use it as well. It has separate dumpster for papers, glossy magazines, plastic, cardboard, glass etc.
Inspired by that, I made a separate trash bin in my apartment to collect plastic and paper (I used the trash bin near my study table for paper stuff). In one week, the total amount of plastic generated in my apartment was one full walmart bag. I thought may be I used too much plastic in this week, but it was again the same amount the next week and so on. I was frustrated to see the amount of plastic we use in daily life.
Milk cans, yogurt cans, oil cans, polythene wrapper for refrigerated vegetables, polythene wrapper for cheese, bread, wrapper for candies and chocolates, shampoo bottle, toothbrush, toothpaste tube, cover of clothes, tags with the clothes, plastic bags in which we bring stuff home, and too much more than that. Astonishingly, this is from a family of just two people.
I felt ashamed to see that because I realized that without recycling in my life I have thrown about 1500 full bags of plastic in trash. If you spread that much of plastic, it might cover a whole football field :(. Just multiply this amount by the number of your friends whom you know don't recycle.
I also started collecting cardboard, and I was using lot of that as well. packing cardboard, rolls on which paper towels and tissue papers are wound, box of corn flakes etc. I was not using glass as much (its different after a beer party though).
At this point in time, I can always say that our previous generation did everything to destroy our environment and didn't do much to save it. I would hate to see future generation saying that. I would request all my readers to just think about it and do their small contribution to the earth, environment, society and future generation. Please recycle your waste as much as you can.
Initially it might appear clumsy or confusing to have more than one trash bins for different kinds of waste, but it becomes normal and its worth it.
In India, we used to sell plastic and old papers to "kabadiwaala" which was a good way to recycle, but that's definitely not enough. There are some attempts by local administrative bodies to encourage recycling as well. However, more local bodies need to realize the importance of recycling, and start waste management as is there in USA.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I know its a topic most of us know about, that we should recycle and its environmental advantages and all other details. However most of us don't do that (including me, until now).
Sunday, June 25, 2006
One of my my friends in London prepared the following document as a proposal to use EDUBUNTU (Educational UBUNTU) as the operating system for the schools. I helped him a little bit in preparing the document as well. Its very important to realize the importance of free OS like UBUNTU, especially for developing countries like India, because the software costs are still whopping and most of the people rely on pirated softwares, whh are vulnerable to security threats and viruses. You can read the whole article or those parts that interests you :)
Link to the original Article
Overview of Edubuntu – a FREE operating system for schools
Edubuntu is a free Linux-based operating system, designed specifically for use in educational environments. It provides a centralised management of configuration, users and processes, complete with collaborative working facilities. The Edubuntu package comes complete with some of the very best free software and digital materials for education.
The principle of Edubuntu implementation is that an educator can setup a computer lab, or establish an online learning environment in around one hour! Then administer that environment without extensive computer knowledge, or expensive further training.
Edubuntu has high quality support provided by an active community of enthusiasts and professionals.
The Edubuntu Manifesto (abridged)
The team behind Edubuntu makes the following public commitment to its users:
|Edubuntu will always be free of charge.|
|Edubuntu includes the very best in translations and accessibility infrastructure that the Free Software community has to offer, to make Edubuntu usable by as many people as possible.|
|Edubuntu is released regularly and predictably; a new release is made every six months.|
|Edubuntu is entirely committed to the principles of free and open source software development.|
Edubuntu is Ubuntu, customised for classroom use and is currently the most popular Linux distribution. Ubuntu, its creators, developers and users have won multiple awards in the industry for Best Distribution , Best Community , Outstanding Contribution to Linux , Linux Journal's Reader's Choice , and many more.
"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word, meaning "humanity to others". Ubuntu also means, "I am what I am because of who we all are". The Ubuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.
The Edubuntu desktop provides a child friendly (but easily customisable) intuitive environment, which is similar enough to other major operating systems (in particular Windows) that it takes just a moment for most users to orientate themselves and begin working.
Edubuntu comes with many hundreds of pre-installed applications to enable almost all users to perform whatever task they please immediately . The Edubuntu repository (a massive store of trusted software) also contains over sixteen thousand further packages , which can be accessed and installed easily and quickly if desired.
The pre-installed software includes a full office suite that is compatible with Microsoft Office, so enabling use of pre-existing files and exchange of files with Windows users, with only very rare compatibility issues to worry about. Also included are many educational games, graphics design software, desktop publishing applications, course-planning software, SchoolTool (for course planning, student management, calendar and timetabling, etc.) and hundreds more.
The installed educational software includes games to practice maths, spelling, reading and advances through to include typing, chemistry, languages, geography, etc. even astronomy, and computer programming!
All of the software can be given to (or downloaded by) students or parents. It may then be used at home, ensuring total continuity from school to home. There are no licensing issues with doing this.
Edubuntu has been designed throughout to ensure it can be administered by teachers, rather than requiring specific IT personnel. This means that the skill set required is no more than that of an interested, informed and competent teacher.
The Ubuntu (and related) websites provide comprehensive documentation regarding all aspects of installing, administering, maintaining and using Edubuntu (and other products in the Ubuntu range).
The vast and active Ubuntu community provides rapid and effective support through the forums; however, professional support is also available from many companies, in particular Canonical, a company created specifically for providing professional support for Ubuntu, by Ubuntu's creator.
By using Edubuntu's terminal server system to create a network, only the server for each group needs software maintenance. This means only one computer to apply security patches, only one PC to update virus software, only one PC to reconfigure when anything changes (e.g. policies, colour schemes, pupil names, teachers, the theme of the week, or term, etc.)
Linux distributions are widely regarded as the most secure operating systems available today.
Some simple facts demonstrate this:
|Number of known viruses for Windows = 60,000 (approx)|
|Number of known viruses for Linux = 40 (Approx) and most of these are confined to research laboratories!|
|The German military have banned the use of Microsoft products due to concern over “back-doors” built-in to the operating system.|
|The Chinese government use Linux as their official operating system, due to similar security fears.|
|The USA 's National Security Agency ( NSA ) developed Secure Linux for its own use.|
|All open-source software (where the developers publish the code) is under constant scrutiny from peer review , something that can never happen with closed-source applications.|
|To install applications using Linux requires an administrator password , so a pupil cannot bring in a disc from home and break the system, similarly a virus infection cannot actually do anything without admin privileges.|
Edubuntu and Linux in general are very effective at using resources efficiently. When compared with the more popular operating systems, Linux requires lower specifications to perform the same task, uses them more economically and can be customised more easily to produce even sleeker operation.
However, where Edubuntu really excels is the built-in terminal server implementation. This enables just one powerful machine (the server) to provide a pre-processed feed to many “ thin-clients ” (low powered computers, often recycled, obsolescent machines , with no hard drive). The powerful machine does all the work for the thin-client, which just has to render the graphics on the screen and feedback the mouse and keyboard operations to the server.
This enables users to continue using (and often take out of retirement ) older computers which were considered useless.
It may be possible to “cluster” a couple or a few mid powered machines to create one “ super-computer ”. This groups computers and shares resources as though they were all in one enclosure.
For example, four single processor computers with 512Mb RAM each, would “cluster” to produce, in effect, a four-processor server with 2 GB RAM.
When upgrading, the cost is minimal as an upgrade to the server has an immediate impact on the performance of all the client computers!
The effect of implementing Edubuntu is to allow teachers to take control of their computers, their software and thus their classrooms, rather than relying on some, often-absent, IT specialist . They will better understand the process of deploying the equipment and software. They will have masses of fantastic, pre-installed, educational software at hand, all free ; and they can get on with the job of teaching children, rather than fighting with their computers.
The cost is one truly astounding part of Edubuntu - it is free!
Edubuntu comes with hundreds of complimentary applications!
Edubuntu provides unlimited access to hundreds more educational packages! These alone would cost thousands of pounds when purchasing equivalent software for proprietary operating systems.
There are no lock-in contracts with Edubuntu or any of the supplied software, meaning you are free to change at any time, with no financial penalty.
When using the forums, support is also free of charge!
By recycling old computers to create a terminal server network, the hardware cost is minimal!
If required, to serve the network, the purchase cost of just one high-powered server is far less than many single mid-powered machines, one for each student or classroom.
Linux distribution popularity chart
Ubuntu community forums
ScoolTool is included with Edubuntu
Course Management Package
KDE Edutainment Project
Skolelinux website (another education focused operating system)
Linux project resources
Open Source based groups working with schools
directory of free software for education
Professional Ubuntu support company
Register article discussing viruses
Case study of a school implementing Edubuntu
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Most of us have read or seen news about a teenager committing suicide as her parents did not support her involving in a love affair with a guy, and tried to control her forcefully. We do not need to look for specific news, but most of us know these to be pretty normal issues in India, especially in middle class. After looking at this news, and other related news, I decided to write on how the mechanics of Love Marriages work in India, and how it should work.
Before going further, I would like to clarify that,
1. I am not against arranged marriages, and
2. I am not against age old Indian culture and tradition.
3. I am not against the caring and loving nature of Indian parents as well.
Parents in India generally believe that their offspring are not wise enough to choose a suitable spouse for them. And, if the young generation do decide on that, they most likely make the wrong decision, and then in most cases it becomes a duty for the parents to do otherwise.
I think that rather than believing or disbelieving on the abilities of young generation to take this decision, it is a duty of every parent to prepare their kids for this decision, and other important life decisions as well.
I have read and heard at many places that marriage is the most important procession in the lives of Indian and it is also an industry worth thousands of crores. It becomes ironical that marriage becomes most important procession for the parents most of the times rather than the bride and groom.
I believe that kids must be taught few basic things by their parents and then the kids must be allowed to exercise their choice when they grow up. To prepare them for the future, not only the marriage there are some things which every parent must talk to their kids about.
1. Appropriate sex education - It doesn't only include the mechanics of sex, but as a way of expressing intense love and trust for the partner, a source of several diseases including AIDS if unprotected, a probable cause of emotional disturbance if it doesn't involve love.
2. Future life partner - What are the things they should look for in a probable partner, when they think about it?
3. Meeting with friends - Parents should be ready to meet and mingle with friends of their kids if possible. They should also encourage their kids to bring their friends home sometimes. When kids talk about their friends or probably boy friend or girl friend, parents should listen to it and talk as well. They should just live the life of their kids with them. This will instill confidence in kids with their parents and at the same time parents will be able to watch out for something abnormal.
3. Love - If the parents come to know that their kids are in love, they should take it normal and I think it is normal for the young people to fall in love with each other.
4. Marriage - In many cases when two young people decide to marry, parents tend to disagree and provide reasonings that love marriages do not succeed and it's not our culture. Instead if they support the kids, explain what marriage is all about including new life style, new responsibilities, take them to pre-marital counseling, the love marriages will succeed as well.
5. Religion and Caste - This is the most troublesome issue. Many people think that if their kids marry in different caste, something xx xx xx will happen, earth will tear up, volcanoes will erupt and Lord Shiva will himself come to the earth to cause destruction.... And then there is an issue of Family's age old respect or "Khaandaan ki Izzat". I believe, happy and successful generation with lots of respect for their previous generation would increase family's respect a lot more than the act of controlling young generation forcefully and/or suicide attempts.
What I have written above is a collection of sequential thoughts which according to me should be followed not only for successful marriage, but successful young generation as well. These are the reflections of experiences earned by keenly observing the world around, and comparing the contrasts between Indian and American cultures as well.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
I had read this story long back. Got it again today and thought to share.
The MORAL of the following story is just toooo good .
A butcher watching over his shop is really surprised when he saw a dog coming inside the shop. He shoos him away.
But later, the dog is back again. So, he goes over to the dog and notices he has a note in his mouth. He takes the note and it reads "Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb, please". The dog has money in his mouth, as well.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Congress is not planning to reconsider the "Office of Profit" bill returned back by President.
click here for the actual news
Congress has always relied upon using its shameless politics to make most of the votes. THey considered people as votes. Earlier Congress always made President who would not question the Govt. at any point of time. Now since they have got one who can question them, they are getting into playing dirty politics as they have done in the past.
The implementation of Emergency by Indira Gandhi, reversal of SC decision on Shah Bano case by Rajiv Gandhi, opening the Ayodhya Mandir, the reservation row, everything was done to satisfy some group of people or earn votes. These are just few examples, else the whole post-independence era is filled with such activities by Congress.
Congress never relied on long term policies and decision which could benefit India as a whole. Everything was done to satisfy few power hungry people or a group to gain votes.
With regard to current "Office of Profit" bill, Congress just wants to clear few posts especially for the current ruler of Congress Ms. Sonia Gandhi, and it has no intention of looking into its repercussions. When the bill was returned by President, most of us thought (with a sense of doubt) that at least now the Govt. will do something about it.
I believe that if Congress returns this bill to President as it is, then that would be the biggest disrespect of the First Citizen of India. If it actually takes place, I would recommend Dr. Kalam to resign from his President post and start a new political party afresh. Enough is Enough. He should recruit members of his new party in the same way as the officers in Indian Military are recruited. This new party will lead the country with the most scientific and appropriate approach.
I think now that Govt. should really cross its limit of shamelessness and force a revolution to happen, else it will lead us to the future I predicted in my earlier blog.
With the expectations of brighter future of India
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The interview of P. Chidambaran by Mr. Karan Thapar now shows another set of all misleading arguments leading to reservations. It is a ridiculous interview. Chidamabarn trying to show extra calm and composure evaded the harsh questions by Thapar.
I have just one question, if reservations have been succesful for so long in South, that means Social Justice has come in Southern States. If southern states have social justice then there should be no reservation now. And I think that was the spirit of reservations.
Look at this interesting excerpt.
Karan Thapar: Let me ask the question differently - after 50 odd years of reservations and the controversy that they have created, atleast in some quarters, do you believe that a review of how they function would be a sensible thing to do?
P Chidambaram: If review means questioning the justification of reservation, I say 'no'.
Karan Thapar: A review means questioning whether they have worked effectively or not and if it is to be found that they haven't worked effectively, that would end up questioning this justification as well. So, there is no doubt that one could lead to the other, but not necessarily.
P Chidambaram: I would not give my view, which I have to give in the Cabinet, but I know from experience that reservations have helped many members of the OBCs to rise in the Southern states. I am totally convinced about it.
Let's celebrate cause Mr. Chidamabaram is convinced, and rest of the Indians should believe in his words.
Other interesting excerpt.
Karan Thapar: Let me then come to another issue. The Government has committed itself to extending 27 per cent reservations to OBCs in higher education on the basis of the recommendation of the Mandal report. Your late leader, Rajiv Gandhi, who you revere, in a speech in Parliament on September 6, 1990 effectively showed that Mandal was inaccurate, it was unscientific, it was misleading and in very many areas, it was actually wrong.
P Chidambaram: I know that speech.
Karan Thapar: His conclusion is important. In the end, it may be emphasised that the survey has no pretensions to being a piece of academic research. On what basis then today, as successors to Rajiv Gandhi, do you want to keep pursuing the report?
P Chidambaram: Please remember, after that speech, in 1991, a Congress Government implemented reservation in Government jobs and that has come to stay.
Karan Thapar: So, in other words, Mr Gandhi's position has been forgotten?
Reservation was implemented before Congress Govt. by V.P. Singh. Its an interesting fact that Rajeev Gandhi refuted the factes of Mandal Commission.
My verdict, hopeless situation. Meira Kumar recommended increase in SC quota now. Please look at my previous blog, and see how we are moving steadily towards our own destruction.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
पिछले चिट्ठे में मैंने भारत में बढ़ती कई समस्याओं की तरफ एक साथ ध्यान दिलाने का प्रयास किया था
। हम सब अपनी तरफ से इनके हल समझने और सुलझाने का प्रयास करते हैं। ये चिट्ठा मेरी तरफ से इस
दिशा में एक कदम है।
मेरा मानना है की हमारी आधी से ज्यादा समस्याओं का कारण है हममें विनय और आत्मसम्मान की कमी।
आप किसी भी समस्या के मूल में जाएंगे तो आपको इस बात का एहसास होगा की...
I posted the same views in an Orkut Community (Anti Reservation Action Forum)
I wanted to paint a hypothetical picture of what's in store for India in next few years.
1. Regarding infastructure, India is on a verge of collapse. If you don't believe it; Delhi Government requested industries to close their evening shifts in March 06. Although there are numerous other examples, I will stay put here.
2. As most of you have figured out, Nuclear deal was a face saving deal by Govt., as they had to make any arrangement at any cost to get more energy, because India is on a verge of severe energy crisis. The deal is still not finalized, thanks to slow processing of US Govt.
3. The other fact which Government has been hiding from us, is that the scarcity of water in couple of years may come to a level where we may have to buy water from neighboring countries (You may not believe it, but statistics say so :( ).
4. Amidst the infrastructural collapse and pressure of Govt. on private companies to implement reservation, most MNCs and private companies will start moving to China and may be Pak.
5. This will drastically reduce the growth and will increase the unemployement rate and also the social unrest in the society.
6. Since, it may appear that these issues started right after decalaration of reservation, it will widen the rift in the society, and politicians will definitely project it that way so that they can avoid the blame.
7. Based on this rift, politicians will promote Aryan invasion theory, by which they will say that upper castes are actually Aryans. They came from outside and started oppressing the real natives of India and made them lower cast. (they did promote that theory in 1990. Remember: Tilak, Tarazu aur Talwaar, Inko maaro Joote Chaar)
8. This may lead to events as serious as ethnic cleansing as we saw in Germany in 1940s and presently in Darfur, Sudan. So hypothetical lower castes will try to kill or displace hypothetical upper caste from India.
9. These serious issues will increase the terrorism and unrest in India, and it will be declared a terrorist state.
I shudder when I imagine what will happen after that. But I would like to know, what situation appears unrealistic to you? The present short sightedness and selfish ministers will not miss a chance to make advantages of this situation.
God Bless India
PS: Please don't take me wrong. I love my country and I am very much patriotic. But I really want everybody to realize what's in store for us. I am sorry if this post hurt your feelings.