India is reeling under the disastrous influence of Covid-19. This is a viral disease that caught the world by shock and surprise during 2020 and the virus mutated time and again to enlarge its catchment, even as we thought that the impact is reducing. A recent variant has taken India, the second-most populous country in the world, by sheer surprise. And its impact is devastatingly large.
As has become a tradition of unthoughtful opposition in the country, fingers are being raised on the Prime Minister himself. In the eyes of the irresponsible opposition, unfair international press, and polarised communities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in person, is responsible for every shortcoming in the country. If a person is infected, if someone had to wait for an hour for the vaccine, if someone did not get an ambulance or gas cylinder or bed, if someone’s Aadhar Card was not read on the computer, if a vaccine registration data that was wrongly entered did not respond in time, whatever be the grouse that is big or small, the blame is squarely placed on the Prime Minister, which is totally unfair.
The most popular person in the country today is also the most targeted person. This unfair blame game has not helped any process of addressing any problem. Since it is being propelled by vested interests, it is just serving some lowly political strategy of the opposition. But as a nation, the need of the hour is to rise beyond these trivial issues and establish fundamentally strong arrangements for providing relief for the suffering.
Indeed, some errors may have occurred in arresting the widely spreading nature of the virus. It is a large nation of unique challenges and it is almost impossible to take into account every caution in developing national strategies and implementing the local actions of these wider programmes. Often, people also do not cooperate unless excessively forced a discipline upon them. More than all, the virus is new to the world and our historic cumulation of knowledge has not given enough understanding about the behaviour of this microscopic beast. Most modern researches, including the invention of the vaccine, are only a few months old and we are yet to discern the long term effects and effectiveness of the measures being prescribed and adopted. As such, the policy-making horizon at the national level also does not have an accumulated experience to bank upon and derive from.
If you analyse the matter in sum total, India has actually done much better under the circumstances than even many advanced countries in the world. Firstly, many western countries including the USA allowed civil protests on wearing masks and people argued there to the extent that imposing mask is against their fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. India has imposed the mask rule much more sincerely than any country in the world. As for social distancing, India imposed very stringent guidelines and very meticulously implemented it in every place of people’s congregation. However, there is a view that this regulation could have been better followed in election rallies and religious congregations. With cooperation from people and political outfits of all hue and colour, this could have been coordinated better though.
Vaccine production is one important and primary response to the pandemic that India did better than any other country on the planet. India invested heavily in this and brought out very effective vaccines at very affordable prices. India also became a global leader and philanthropic in vaccine distribution and shipped millions of doses to the countries in trouble. Many countries including the US kept for domestic use what it produced, without shipping out a vial whereas India worked under the principle of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ and stood by the troubled States. The public vaccination programme also was a very systematic one in India and it began from the most vulnerable sector of the society. In Germany, senior citizens registered for vaccination in January 2021 are still waiting to get their first dose. In a minuscule population of Switzerland, the vaccination programme that started in December 2020 has still covered only 8% of the population. The Netherlands with a population of 1.7 crores is hoping to cover its citizens only by July or August this year. Italy, which suffered hugely during the Covid first wave, is still embroiled in awarding contracts for procuring vaccine and politics has broken out around AZ, Moderna, Pfizer etc. and the country is in indecision. We can take up the case of each of the 193 countries in the world and see how they have badly fared, while India has done exceedingly commendable work in comparison.
However, India is shown in a bad light, all the while, which is a trend in international one-upmanship, to which even Indians in India and abroad greatly contribute. If the per-unit population death by the virus is computed, India has the least number of deaths per crore of population. While Italy has 57, France 47, Germany 38, and the USA 29, India has recorded only 26 deaths per crore. It is only that India is visible because of our large population and the absolute numbers of affected. Also, we are visible because of the dramatic footages of rituals of cremation of the dead while the rituals in other communities may not be that dramatic looking. Especially the burning of the dead bodies in India, which may stir up emotions when pyres are seen on the television screen, is one of the best methods to destroy and annihilate the virus so that it does not re-enter human society through ecological recycling.
China is determined to show India in poor light because as a nation, it was isolated in the first wave and the virus was popularly called as Chinese virus. Now, it will benefit China if the second wave virus could be called as India virus and most allies of China and vested interests will provide fuel to this terrible conspiracy. Indian opposition and mindless Modi haters will only give on a platter the food for India bashing if they continue to play into the hands of international cartels that want to see India underdeveloped and politically chaotic. By highlighting and constantly filling the television channels and social media with negative information of the tragedy India is undergoing and completely hiding under the carpet the enormous amount of positive work India is doing towards the mitigation of the pandemic, we only stir up anarchic conditions and delay recovery.
This is the time for us to come together as a nation and rally behind our leaders, who have been single-mindedly and apolitically working towards Covid recovery and India’s development. If we don’t recognise that ‘citizen role’, we just turn out to be our own enemies within the nation and spin within the negative spiral that we ourselves create, knowingly or unknowingly.
The writer is Chairman, Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Government of India. The views expressed are personal.
Indeed, some errors may have occurred in arresting the widely spreading nature of the virus. It is a large nation of unique challenges and it is almost impossible to take into account every caution in developing national strategies and implementing the local actions of these wider programmes.
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TRICOLOUR INSPIRED FASHION IDEAS TO TRY THIS REPUBLIC DAY
Republic Day is right around the corner and for those who are wondering how to seize the spirit of the patriotic day, a gorgeous tricolour-inspired outfit would instantly match your vibe to that of the day.
While the laziest idea would be to grab anything that is white, green or orange, if you plan your outfit a little in advance, you can fashionably stand out from the rest.
1. ORANGE SKIRT
A bright, poppy orange skirt is an investment. Grab one whenever you find it, whether in a mall, a flea market or online. Not only an orange skirt will make you look perfectly dressed for the day, but the vibrant colour would add a note of freshness to your look. Pair it with a white top or a shirt and you are ready to rock, patriotically.
2. GREEN BOTTOMS
Pants, palazzos or shorts the options are many. Choose one which you have available or would prefer based on the weather in your area.
3. EYE MAKEUP AND NAIL ART
This one is for experimenting and stepping beyond the first thought of putting the colours in your outfit.
If you want to play with your makeup, then a tricolour-inspired eyeshadow should do the trick. This is perfect for those who wish to dress as per the theme but do not have any outfit working for them. Nail Art is another exciting, easy and creative idea to style with the tricolour theme.
Jewellery is another great hack for those not interested in choosing their clothes in tricolour. Pieces of jewellery such as earrings, necklaces and rings can add that sparkle and colour to your outfit.
Those who are interested in crafts can also DIY their jewellery using quilling paper and beads.
5. COMBINING ALL THREE
here are ideas of using all three colours together by creating a three-piece outfit, without risking a fashion disaster. You can mix and match in multiple ways
a. A full white outfit paired with a green jacket and an orange handbag.
b. A casual green tee, white lowers and orange shoes.
c. An orange-white cord-set, paired with a green denim jacket.
d. A green puffy jacket, orange scarf, white backpack and your favourite regular jeans.
e. A full green outfit with white shoes and an orange cap.
The final and most essential touch is lots of confidence to carry your look well.
With these gorgeous outfit ideas up your sleeve, you can easily gather compliments at an R-Day get-together and likes on your Instagram profile.
Better than RO: Complete health protection with TYENT water ionizer
It is common to hear that water is essential for our health and drinking water plays a vital role in maintaining health and boosting immunity. Water helps in maintaining the balance of body fluids. Our body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Nowadays Reverse osmosis (RO) are commonly used as a filtration method to remove many types of dissolved solids in water, but as a result all the minerals which are present in the water like calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica will be removed along with all the bacteria, viruses, and hard minerals.
During the initial days, we all had used a Ganga water filter with candles to purify the water. Nowadays people are using water ionizers the latest technology in water purification. Ionised water is obtained by means of an electric current being passed through water, in a process called electrolysis. As a result, the water molecule is split into positively charged hydrogen and negatively charged hydroxyl ions. The former are included in the composition of acids, and the latter in that of alkalis.
TYENT is a leading medical-grade water ionizer brand in the world and it is certified by all international quality certification authorities. Medilight healthcare collaborated with TAEYOUNG E&T Co. Ltd., a parent company of TYENT Water Ionizers and successfully launched world’s No.1 water ionizer brand TYENT in India. TYENT is a Korean company with Japanese technology.
The water obtained through RO is supposed to be dead water or neutral water as it removes all minerals good as well as bad. However dead water is acidic since its pH slides below seven without alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.
TYENT ionized alkaline water which has rich sources of essential alkaline minerals & selective Anti-Oxidant molecular hydrogen. It has many health benefits.
1. It helps in restoring the right pH balance in the human body.
2. It helps in reducing inflammation.
3. It helps in reducing joint pains.
4. It slows down the aging process.
5. It helps in boosting immunity.
I HAD TEARS IN MY EYES: SAQIB SALEEM REVEALS MOHINDER AMARNATH’S REACTION TO HIS PERFORMANCE IN 83
In an exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Saqib Saleem revealed Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance in ‘83’ and much more.
Garnering praises for his stellar performance in 83, Actor Saqib Saleem joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. As part of the exclusive conversation, the actor opened up about the response to his latest film 83, Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance and much more.
Speaking about the release of 83 and the response coming his way, Saqib said, “I have been working for the last 10-12 years but it feels like it is my first film because the love I have gotten for this, I have never gotten in my life for anything. It is just so overwhelming that the kind of messages I have been getting whether it is from the fraternity, whether it is from people on social media, my friends, my relatives and I do not know how to react. As I said, I have never gotten a response like this, so I don’t know what to say or what to do. I did not know that I was so bad at taking compliments. It is the first time I have realised that I am bad at taking compliments.”
When asked about the best compliment that he has received so far for his performance in the film, Saqib revealed, “If I had to tell you the best compliment I have gotten is from the man himself- Mohinder Amarnath. It was at the premiere of the film and I was very nervous about how he would see it. I had already the seen the film so I knew the film was good but I really wanted his review because I was playing him. When the premiere was on, I was slyly next to his seat, trying to gauge his reaction as to what he is thinking but I was getting very anxious. I was like I cannot do this to myself. I have to let him enjoy the film. I have to just disconnect from the film right now. I went out of the theatre. I had a couple of more black coffees and I got more anxious. When the film got over, I came back in. I went to him and I do not know why but I had tears in my eyes. I looked at him and all I said was that ‘Sir, I am really sorry if I did something that was wrong’. He looked at me with his trademark smile and said, “Are you mad?”
“He had a red handkerchief that he would always carry himself in the 1983 world cup. He was wearing a red pocket square. He took out that pocket square and put on my jacket and said, “This is yours from now. You have made me 10 years younger.” I could not stop crying. I had never in my life, my acting career had a more honest moment. I felt so connected to my own self at that time. Now, no review matters, no box office matters, nothing matters. The man himself appreciated it and that is the biggest validation I could have asked for, “he added.
COVID 19: A CATALYST FOR CHANGE AND EVOLUTION IN EDUCATION
Educational innovations have the potential to improve learning outcomes as well as the overall quality of teaching methods.
A leapfrog moment, this advancement has apparently moved from the margins to the centre of several educational standards, providing a chance to assess innovative approaches that, if attained, can enable students to get an education that prepares them for our changing times.
Benefits and tips of hybrid learning in eLearning industry.
Today, we are in a different situation. The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed education advancement into the heart of nearly every learning system on the planet. According to a recent 59-country survey of educators, “the crisis has revealed the enormous potential for development that has lain dormant in many education systems.” The issue is no longer how to scale innovative ideas from the margins to the centre of education systems, but rather how to transform education systems so that they might source, support, and sustain innovations that resolve inequality and equip all students with the skills to build a better future for themselves rather than their communities. By doing so, we hope that not only will those who have fallen behind be able to catch up, but a new, more equitable education system will emerge from the crisis.
History teaches us that crisis reshape society
During the Covid -19 pandemic, two recent trends in the education industry have been the augmentation of ‘Hybrid Learning’ and the ‘Escalating Innovation in Educational Technologies’.
Digital technologies are having a significant impact on economies and societies, changing the way we work, communicate, engage in social activities, and have fun. They also spur innovation in a wide range of fields. The ground-breaking capacity of technology is heavily influenced by the population’s level of digital literacy. It’s no surprise that there’s a strong link between education and skills and the adoption and use of digital technologies in various aspects of life. The importance of education and skills in fostering innovation cannot be overstated.
By transmitting new tools, practices, organizations, and technology, innovation in education aims to provide the means to bridge the productivity gap. The pandemic has overhauled education-based scientific research to facilitate the development of a body of practical technical teaching know-how or to improve classroom practices.
Educational innovations have the potential to improve learning outcomes as well as the overall quality of teaching methods. Changes throughout the educational system, for instance, or in teaching methods, can enable customized learning processes. In most regions of the world, education is viewed as a means of increasing equity and equality. These pandemic-related innovations could help improve equity in access to and use of education, as well as equality in academic results.
A powered-up education system could hold a strong public school system at the heart of a community and leverage the most meaningful collaborations, including those formed during Covid-19, to help learners grow and develop a wide range of competencies and skills both inside and outside of the classroom.
Opting for Novel Education: Education that empowers, challenges, and inspires
The learners of today want the institutions to reframe the existing toolkit and the design of new learning artifacts. They are opting for courses where ensuring learning outcomes is at the centre of the framework, above all else. The shift in choices makes it explicit that, in agreement, students opt for a pedagogical strategy that includes a cohesive view of their professional growth. The programs that are designed to facilitate the assimilation of global issues and the development of transferable skills are surely at the top of the charts. Another new aspect is flexibility, which makes it more important than ever to respond to the educational needs of each group of students.
A large proportion of higher education institutions’ programs have been designed with the expectation that students will be placed face-to-face with their peers and professors. This created priceless opportunities to improve active learning. The pandemic altered it dramatically and, most likely, permanently.
The fact of the matter is that future jobs will be done by small teams that collaborate across spatial and temporal boundaries. Effective collaboration and the development of a productive work community have become critical to achieving professional success, particularly in the digital space. The pandemic turned out to be an opportunity to better prepare students for the future.
Deploy academic technology as a long-term means of meeting the education-learning needs of students and teachers; otherwise, technology risks becoming a complex and costly distraction. Using technology to assist in educational consistency is a debatable topic all over the world. Countries use whatever technology they can get their hands on, from radios to televisions to computers to mobile phones.
After Covid-19, the global community and learners specifically envision technology-enhanced educational systems. Articulating such a vision is critical, and it can navigate the future amidst the myriad of decisions that education leaders make each day. With the pandemic’s devastating effects affecting the most vulnerable young people the most, it’s interesting to return to a global education narrative that takes precedence over access to education above everything else. A student driven education system is what students deserve, not just in India, but in every community, and it is possible if all parties involved work together to capitalize on the opportunities provided by this emergency to truly leapfrog education forward.
The author is CEO-The Lexicon Group of Institutes
STUDY FINDS PARENTS TALK LESS TO KIDS WHEN EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL ISSUES
A team of researchers has provided the first evidence that parents may talk less to their kids when experiencing financial scarcity.
The study has been published in the ‘Developmental Science Journal’. “We were interested in what happens when parents think about or experience financial scarcity and found evidence that such strain could suppress their speech to their children,” said study senior author Mahesh Srinivasan, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.
“Our results suggest that parenting training may not be sufficient to close the academic achievement gap without addressing the broader issue of income inequality,” Srinivasan added.
The study’s preliminary results lend credence to the developmental and educational benefits of such poverty-cutting government programs as the federal American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit and other supplemental cash payouts for needy families.
“Existing interventions toward eliminating the word gap have often focused on improving parenting skills,” Srinivasan said.
“But our findings suggest that relieving parents of their financial burdens, such as through direct cash transfers, could also substantially change the ways they engage with their kids,” he added.
In the first experiment, researchers sought to observe how parents would interact with their children (in this case, 3-year-olds) after the parents were asked to describe times in which they had recently experienced scarcity. A control group of parents were instead asked to describe other recent activities.
Of the 84 parents in the study, those in the experimental group who described their experiences of financial scarcity spoke less to their 3-year-olds during laboratory observations than parents who reflected on other forms of scarcity (like not having enough fruit), or parents who had not been asked to recollect experiences of resource insecurity.
The second experiment used existing data collected via LENA technology, tiny “talk pedometer” devices worn by children that record their conversations and count the words they hear and say.
As the researchers predicted, analyses revealed that parents engaged in fewer conversational turns with their children at the month’s end, a time that typically coincides with money being tight as parents await pay checks or other sources of income.
THE IDEA OF DOING SOMETHING WITH JUST YOUR VOICE WAS VERY CHALLENGING: RITHVIK DHANJANI
In this interview, Rithvik Dhanjani talks about his maiden audio-based project, ‘Buri Nazar’. He describes the challenges and excitement of acting in this new medium, while also talking about his journey in the entertainment industry.
Rithvik Dhanjani rose to fame with his role in Pavitra Rishta, and his dance performances in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. He is a well-known face in the Indian television and web entertainment spaces. However, ironically, after his latest project, Buri Nazar, Rithvik has been receiving praises, not for his visual charisma, but for the magic he has brought into the show with just his voice. We hosted Rithvik for an impromptu conversation for our latest series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
We opened the interview by asking Rithvik about how the project came to be, and what aspect of the project was the most appealing for him. Rithvik stated, “I was completely unaware of not just the platform but also the power of the platform and so much that you can do with just audio. The team of Audible reached out to me a couple of times, for multiple projects, and this was one of the productions that they reached out to me for, and they were like, ‘just give it a read and see what it is like.’” Rithvik loved the idea that the project was going to be an audio remake of the Amazon Original movie Evil Eye. “The script was amazing, the platform was great, and the idea of doing something with just your voice was very challenging,” said the actor. This challenging aspect of the project made it all the more interesting for Rithvik.
We were then curious to know if Rithvik had to undertake any special preparation for his first audio-based acting gig. To this, Rithvik shared with us, “I prepped just like I would prep for another script because the script was very self-explanatory, it was written beautifully, the drafting was amazing, the lines were great.” He continued, “So, we had a couple of sessions with my director to, sort of, understand what he is wanting my character to look like– sorry, sound like.” Rithvik chuckled while pointing out the ironic error in his speech. He added that he did not require any particular training for the audio series, however, his voice skills from his training as an actor proved to be of great help during the project.
For our final question, we asked Rithvik about the roles he thinks have been the most important ones in his career. Rithvik replied, “I think Pavitra Rishta has been one of the shows that have, practically, shaped my life to what it is today. Apart from Pavitra Rishta, I think it has to be Cartel which has just been released on Alt Balaji and MX Player.” Further expressing his thought, Rithvik said that he believes that every part he has played has proven to be an important one in some way or the other. He finished his reply by saying, “If I did not do Jhalak Dikhla Jaa at the point when I did it, people would have ignored that I am a dancer as well. So, I think that, too, played an important part. But if you ask me about characters and shows, it has to be Pavitra Rishta and Cartel.”
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