Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Satellites Made by Students

SATHYABAMASAT: A nano satellite
Developed by Sathyabama University, Tamil Nadu
Mission: To collect data on greenhouse gases, water vapour, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen fluoride
Launch Date: June 22, 2016
Launch Vehicle: PSLV- C34

SWAYAM: A pico satellite
Developed by College of Engineering, Pune
Mission: To provide point to point messaging services to the HAM community
Launch Date: June 22, 2016
Launch Vehicle: PSLV- C34

SRMSat: A nano satellite
Developed by SRM (Sri Ramaswamy Memorial) University, Tamil Nadu
Mission: To monitor greenhouse gases
Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C18
Launch Date: 12th October, 2011

JUGNU: A nano-satellite
Developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Mission: Near infrared (IR) camera to capture near IR images of earth surface
Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C18
Launch Date: 12th October, 2011

STUDSAT: A pico satellite
Developed by NITTE Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore, by undergraduate students from seven academic institutes
Mission: Remote sensing and capturing images of the earth’s surface with a camera having a resolution of 90 meters.
Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C15
Launch Date: 12th July, 2010

ANUSAT: A micro satellite
Developed by Anna University, Tamil Nadu
Mission: To gain experience in the design, building, testing and operation in orbit of a complete micro-satellite.
Launch date: 20 April, 2009
Launch vehicle: PSLV-C12

World Pharmacists Day 2016

World Pharmacists Day

As designated by the FIP Council several years ago at the FIP Congress in Istanbul, 25 September marks the annual World Pharmacists Day. FIP encourages the world's pharmacists to use this day to organise activities that promote and advocate for the role of the pharmacist in improving health in every corner of the world.
Here is a guide for member organisations on how to prepare for World Pharmacists Day

World Pharmacists Day 2016

“Pharmacists: Caring for you” is the theme of this year’s World Pharmacists Day. 
“This year’s theme was chosen to reflect the important role of pharmacists in providing care to the public, and also to highlight the emotional connection they have with their patients. The role of pharmacists has evolved from that of a provider of medicines to that of a provider of care. Pharmacists have a vital role in the outcome of pharmacological therapies and ultimately strive to improve patients’ quality of life,” said FIP President Dr Carmen Peña.
World Pharmacists Day, now in its sixth year, is used by FIP’s members around the globe to highlight the impact and added value of the pharmacy profession and its role in improving health to authorities, other professions and the media, as well as to the general public.
FIP has produced a number of resources in the six official United Nations languages which pharmacists and professional associations can use in support of World Pharmacists Day. These include a new look logo, official campaign images that feature real pharmacists, and materials for social media.
FIP is inviting individual pharmacists to support World Pharmacists Day by creating profile pictures for social media using an official FIP Twibbon or a specially designed “I care for you” placard, which can be printed and held in photographs. The resources are all free to use and available below. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Five museums from India among top 25 in Asia: Report

Leh’s ‘Hall of Fame’ has topped the India list as a "must-visit" place by travellers in a survey.

Five Indian museums feature among the best 25 in Asia while Leh’s ‘Hall of Fame’ has topped the India list as a “must-visit” place by travellers in a survey.
The other top four most rated museums of India are — Bagore Ki Haveli (Udaipur), Victoria Memorial Hall (Kolkata), Salar Jung Museum (Hyderabad) and Jaisalmer War Museum (Jaisalmer).
Darshan Museum (Pune), Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (Shillong), Heritage Transport Museum (Taoru), Siddhagiri Museum (Kolhapur), and Gandhi Smriti (New Delhi) also figure in the top-10 list for India.
TripAdvisor will honour the ranked museums with its Travellers’ Choice awards.
The list was determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for museums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, it said.
No museums from India feature in the top 25 world list, which is topped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It is followed by Art Institute of Chicago, State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, Musee d’Orsay, Paris and National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.
The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horse in China topped the Asia list.
“Museums provide a passageway into the history and culture of a place and the Travellers’ Choice awards for Museums are a ready reckoner for travellers keen to enrich their knowledge about the cities they travel to,” said Nikhil Ganju, the company’s country manager in India.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Shaping an education system for tomorrow

The problem with our education policy is not just of funding, standards, and more. It’s one of a severe identity crisis

The national policy on education, since independence, has gone through various acts of commission and omission. Indeed, for anything to be called a ‘policy’, it has to be formally so stated by an agency which is charged with the responsibility of framing the document. There can be no policy by default.

This is not the best place to get into a chronological narrative of the approach of the Parliament or indeed the Indian Government towards an ‘education policy’. Education is something on which many people have some opinion. Therefore, it is not surprising that so many committees and commissions have been appointed on this subject.

Further, like in many domains, in the field of education too, post-independence institutions have had a huge shadow of the British legacy. To begin with, we created a University Grants Commission (UGC), perhaps for no better reason than that Britain had such an entity. Imitation is the best form of flattery. But it’s dangerous when it happens blindly in the domain of knowledge management.

The result of this kind of institutional framework is not only worrisome, but also pernicious. The distribution of funds for education have got hugely eschewed. It will be useful to remind ourselves that education is a concurrent subject. However, the business of granting recognition for the so-called ‘maintenance of standards’ made the UGC almost the sole arbiter of the fate of higher education.

When this was put on a base of higher secondary and secondary education on which the Centre had much less say, the fit did not quite work out. The response was not clear, though, through some quirk, the Central Board of Secondary Education finally emerged.

The result is there for all to see. Examination after examination, sometimes mutually exclusive if not competitive, dominates the scene. This is besides the competitive entrance tests from everything — medicine to engineering. Parents are confused, children are bewildered, and employers at a loss to make sense of all this.

The result is that several employers have begun installing there own competitive examinations. The series appears endless. The truth of the matter is that the escape route came — as it always does — for the resourceful and those who were networked.

Almost every two of three so-called influential families have their wards studying outside India. Indeed, this decision had lent them a huge status in many ways: From marriage to employment.

The dream of every Indian mother continues to be to get a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law who is either placed abroad or is at least an NRI. From a Government company to a multinational firm operating in India, a clear pattern of recruitment is discernible.

The effective career path is to float in at a lateral level with foreign credentials. Well might one ask: To whom does this country belong? Is it just a pasture for those from outside India?

However, to continue with the narrative on education, it is not only a problem of funding, standards, intake, focus on output and more, but one of a severe identity crisis. This is a terrible story to narrate as few ever seem to attempt a way through it with the political and the social will it requires.

Hopefully, the national policy on education should be a canvas to clear much of this confusion. The truth of the matter is: Every attempt to do a national policy on education has an overlay of a confusion which is best stated as framed in the statement, ‘Eminence is not omniscience’.

Somebody may be very distinguished in his field, but it does not necessarily make him an expert in education too. In fact, an analysis of the composition of the search committees of key functionaries of educational bodies such as the All India Council for Technical Education and others will show that, those who chaired these committees were members who had little notion of the subject matter of the education domain, or for that matter, even of the issues.

Casual familiarity with issues of education cannot be a substitute for a deep scholastic insight into the subject matter. That can only happen after decades of concentrated development of expertise. That day is still awaited.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Best ebook reader apps

If you want to carry a collection of books with you, you don’t necessarily need an ebook reader thanks to a selection of free-to-download ebook apps for mobile devices.

For book lovers who don’t fancy picking up a dedicated ebook reader, we’ve rounded up some of the best apps for reading ebooks on a smartphone or tablet. Read on for the details.
Best Buy ebook readers – not tempted by apps? Grab an ebook reader instead

The best apps for reading ebooks 

1. iBooks

Price: book prices vary (free books also on offer)
Available for: iOS
Apple’s own app for reading ebooks, predictably named iBooks, is a great place to start for iOS users. The stock reading app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and you can turn your device landscape to view two pages at a time. The free iBooks app (with over 2.5 million titles) also lets you adjust the appearance of the screen so that text is displayed on a black background, great for readers that like to relax with a book in the evening.
The iBooks experience is also available on Macs running OS X Yosemite or later. There are a selection of free books on offer, but the majority of content is paid-for.

2. Google Play Books

Price: book prices vary (free books also on offer)
Available for: iOSAndroid
Google’s own ebooks app lets you bookmark pages, highlight text and make notes. Some titles support text-to-speech, and there are over four million books in total. Some books on the store are free, while others can be rented or purchased to keep for good.
Books are synced to your Google account, so you can start reading a book on your tablet then carry on from where you left off on your smartphone the next morning.

3. Kindle

Price: book prices vary (free books also on offer)
Available for: iOSAndroid
Just like iBooks, the Kindle app for iOS and Android is free to download, and you don’t need aKindle ebook reader of your own to use it. Kindle for smartphones and tablets has a range of free titles to flick through (including Pride and Prejudice and Treasure Island), and it arrives with a built-in dictionary that makes looking up complicated words and phrases hassle-free.
There are over 1.5 million books to choose from, and the app also supports popular magazines and newspapers. According to Amazon, over 650,000 titles on the Kindle app are on sale for £3.99 or less. There are also 200,000 Kindle-exclusive titles.

4. Kobo Reading App

Price: book prices vary (free books also on offer)
Available for: iOSAndroid
Kobo’s own mobile ebook app is home to over five million paid-for and free titles, covering magazines, comics and books suitable for kids. Kobo’s Night Mode will reduce eyestrain during those late-night reading sessions, and the app can sync your bookmarks, notes and highlights so you can continue reading a book across different devices.
We’ve tested a range of Kobo ebook readers in our test lab. Head over to our Kobo ebook reader reviews page for more.

5. 50,000 Free eBooks

Price: Free
Available for: iOSAndroid

This mobile app from Oodles is packed with free ebooks, so whether you’re an English literature student or a commuter looking for a new read, there’s plenty of choice. Books can be downloaded right to your mobile from the app, and you can read them without an internet connection. Font style and size is customisable, and you can also download audiobooks for your offline collection.

It’s worth noting that Oodles is better for classic novels than modern bestsellers, but the app isfree after all.

Lending Library in the Digital Age

Source | Financial Chronicle | 13 September 2016

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