Silicon Light Bulbs to Compete with Fluorescent Bulbs

first_img Citation: Silicon Light Bulbs to Compete with Fluorescent Bulbs (2008, March 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-03-silicon-bulbs-fluorescent.html In order to improve this efficiency, the fluorescent bulb has recently gained popularity as an alternative that uses about 25% of its power for light and lasts up to 10,000 hours, compared with the incandescent bulb’s 1,500-hour lifetime. However, unlike the recyclable incandescent bulb, fluorescent bulbs contain phosphor and mercury – toxic chemicals that could pose disposal problems on a large scale.But a company from Ottawa, Canada, is hoping to create a light bulb that further increases the efficiency of fluorescent bulbs, while using completely non-toxic materials. Since 2003, Group IV Semiconductor has been working on a unique bulb design, one that uses a tiny computer chip in place of a traditional wire filament or gas. The new bulbs, officially called solid state light bulbs, use low-cost silicon technology originally developed for fiber optic networks in the early 2000s. The chips were intended to boost the light signal, increasing its speed and allowing it to travel longer distances. Today, silicon is widely used in cell phones, computers, and other electronics.But as the telecommunications market began to lose its appeal, Group IV’s chief executive Stephen Naor looked into other applications. As he explains, in North America alone, 2.2 billion light bulbs are replaced every year, and lighting is a $12-billion global industry. Several countries, including the UK and Australia, have laws to ban incandescent bulbs by 2011. Other countries, including the US, are considering bans. As it stands, fluorescent bulbs are currently the main replacement bulb.But solid state light bulbs could offer a non-toxic alternative, better lighting quality and higher efficiency than fluorescent bulbs. While some types of solid state lighting exist, they are currently too expensive for mass production. For example, LEDs use expensive semiconductors such as gallium nitride, rather than silicon, and often give off an undesirable bluish hue. But the challenge with using silicon is that the material is poor at emitting light. To solve this, Group IV uses electrical current to energize electrons within silicon quantum dots, which give off energy in the form of photons. Naor hopes to have final prototypes of the technology by 2010, with bulbs on store shelves by 2011 that cost about the same as fluorescent bulbs.The company has attracted several big investors, such as Vinod Khosla, the founding chief executive of Sun Microsystems. Applied Materials Inc., which makes manufacturing equipment, plans to help Group IV ramp up production of the bulbs once the prototypes have been perfected. Then Group IV plans to sell the microchip technology to major electrical companies such as General Electric, which will incorporate the chip in their own bulb production.More information: www.GroupIVSemi.com Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, and, since the 1920s, the incandescent light bulb has remained largely unchanged. While that’s a testament to Edison’s ingenuity, it’s also a bulb that uses up to 95% of its power to generate heat rather than light. Engineers report a new low-power lighting technology Explore further Logo: Group IV Semiconductor. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study of finches shows they form homosexual alliances

first_imgCaptive Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata at Bodelwyddan Castle Aviary, Denbighshire, Wales. Image: Arpingstone/Wikipedia. Citation: Study of finches shows they form homosexual alliances (2011, August 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-finches-homosexual-alliances.html To find out how strong the bonds are between zebra finches, who normally form male/female life-long relationship bonds, the team raised a group of all male birds to adulthood, at which point nearly half of them paired up and bonded, which the team describe as perching next to each other, singing, preening and nuzzling beaks.Once the bonds were formed, the team then introduced females to the group. They found that of the eight male-male pairs that had bonded, five of them disregarded the females entirely, choosing instead to continue with their male partners. Elie, in an interview with the BBC noted that selecting a social partner, regardless of gender, could be a bigger priority. In other words, for zebra finches, it appears that it’s more important that a bird find a mate for cohabitation and socialization, then for reproduction. One interesting side note, though the authors mention the types of activities the bird engage in once they form bonds, no mention is made of whether the male birds attempt to mate with one another, a rather critical factor it would seem, in labeling the birds as homosexual, rather than as just life-long pals. Also not mentioned is if female-female bonds ever occur.Elie adds that her findings demonstrate that pair-bonding, even in animals can, be more complex than just a male and a female who meet to reproduce. She also suggests that for zebra finches at least, finding a suitable partner is more than just fun and games, it is also likely a key to survival as the birds team up to defend food they have obtained or to fight off predators.Elie also noted that there are many examples of same-sex parings in nature, such as with gulls and albatrosses where males pair up but still mate with a female. Also, she mentions the apparently gay chin-strap penguins that lived in New York’s Central Park Zoo last year, who went so far as to hatch an artificially fertilized egg together. © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img A new study by a team of researchers shows that for zebra finches, bonding trumps sex. Post-Doc fellow Julie Elie of the University of California and her team describe in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, how male finches, in the absence of females, chose to bond with other males and then to maintain such a relationship even when females are introduced afterwards. Explore further Fathers are no role modelslast_img read more

Software developer shows faceswapping in realtime w video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Software developer Arturo Castro and media artist Kyle MacDonald have put out a video demo of their software that replaces their faces with other faces in realtime. Their face-swapping, face-morphing technology shows how their software can transform new or celebrity faces with your own. The two of them pout, pucker up, grimace, and perform other facial antics to breathe even more life into their changing faces of the likes of Paris Hilton, Marilyn Monroe, Chairman Mao, Lenin and Andy Warhol. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. FaceTracker is open source for non-commercial use, and is available from Saragih. Castro pays tribute to FaceTracker for having contributed “much of the magic that happens in the video. The library returns a mesh that matches contours of the facial features, such as eyes, nose and mouth.”That way the mesh obtained from a photo is matched to my own face in the video. Applying some color interpolation algorithms from Kevin Atkinson’s image clone code gives it the blending effect that can be seen in the final footage,” he said.The other technology component used is Kyle McDonald’s ofxFacetracker. “I’m also using Kyle McDonald’s ofxFaceTracker addon for openFrameworks which wraps Jason’s library for easier use,” he said.Castro said before producing the video he had thought about identity theft and what would happen if a face could be grabbed and put on someone else.His next step is to use the technology for his art-making projects. He is planning an installation soon. His inspirations have been the art center in Valencia, Spain, lalalab, and an electronic musician, Aphex Twin, both with videos that use face-swapping technology. Explore further Castro calls the technology Realtime Face Substitution, and its underpinning is the open source platform openFrameworks, which Castro helps to drive along with Zachary Lieberman and Theodore Watson. OpenFrameworks is a coding toolkit that has been simplified for designers and artists, with C++ as the programming language.The popular openFrameworks toolkit was born out of the conviction that better tools make better projects, and that artists are generally turned on, not turned off, by using C++ for artistic expression.The code is written to be cross platform (PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android) and cross compiler. The API is designed to be minimal and easy to grasp. Castro also makes use of Jason Saragih’s FaceTracker library, a C/C++ API for real time face alignment and tracking. center_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com I like your face — but why? A new computer model pinpoints the reasons Citation: Software developer shows face-swapping in realtime (w/ video) (2011, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-software-face-swapping-realtime-video.htmllast_img read more

Specs for Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card leaked

first_img(Phys.org)—Rumors are swirling around the internet concerning Nvidia’s follow-up to its announcement last week of the GeForce GTX 650 and GTX 660, that a GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card is next and that it will fill in between the other two. Graphics cards and their specifications are important to gamers because the higher the quality, the better the gaming experience. Some run fast but produce less than sharp or rich images, while some are the opposite. The best produce razor sharp, fully textured images, with no blurring or skipping during motion sequences. To create stunning visuals for video games, graphics card makers such as Nvidia have developed processors with a variety of hardware options that offer trade-offs between price and performance. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti appears to be the ultimate trade-off, sacrificing processing speed for price, but only to a certain degree. © 2012 Phys.org Power of GeForce GTX available to gamers everywhere with two new Kepler-based GPUs The latest is that the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is to be based on the same Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) as the GTX 660 (GK106), though sadly, will have two of its five SMX (streaming multiprocessor) units disabled, which will of course slow down its processing abilities. It will also have one of its memory controllers disabled as well. The idea is to give gamers a card that costs less than the 660 (average price $230), but offers more performance than the 650 (average price $109). The rumor is that the newest addition to the line will cost on average $170. The 650 Ti also will have a smaller bus and fewer texture units than the 660 and of course a reduced clock speed, which when added together would seem to bring the performance of the new card closer to the 650 than the 660.Hardware specs and numbers are helpful in gauging how a graphics card will perform, but the ultimate test is how things look when the card is installed and operating, and most appear to expect the GeForce GTX 650 Ti to perform somewhat faster than the 650, but quite a bit slower than the 660, and that image quality will fall somewhere in-between as well (texture units for example, are believed to be 48, versus 80 for the 660 and 32 for the 650). Thus, the bottom line for gamers will be to decide if the $60 difference between the 650 Ti and the 660 is worth wringing their hands over. Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Specs for Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card leaked (2012, September 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-specs-nvidia-geforce-gtx-ti.html The GTX 650Ti leaked specifications. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Intels Perceptual Computing marks neodesktop era

first_img(Phys.org)—Intel wants you to know that voice, face and gesture control will become a familiar feature in computers. The time for a new kind of notebook world is now, for Intel, and computing facets including touch, voice, and visual are seated under Intel’s umbrella term, Perceptual Computing. Intel is promoting this idea as the way people will interact with their computers, and the accent is on the word interact. The keyboard and mouse retreat in the background yielding to gestures and face and speech recognition. Citation: Intel’s Perceptual Computing marks neo-desktop era (2013, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-intel-perceptual-neo-desktop-era.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The idea and implementation are not in the so-distant future and Intel wants to get this platform going. Intel is offering developers a Perceptual Computing SDK in beta. As a voice recognition partner, Nuance is partnering with Intel for advanced voice recognition with support for nine languages in 27 countries.Built-in features will include voice assistance for posting news and updates to social networking sites, searching Wikipedia, and controlling video games. The $150 3-D camera peripheral, through an Intel partnership with Creative, will be able to sense gestures from between six to 36 inches. The camera will go on sale some time this year but developers are invited to buy it on the website. Intel is encouraging developers to buy the Creative Interactive Gesture Camera Developer Kit. This refers to a depth-sensor camera for use with the kit for object-tracking. Intel: Ultrabooks will be thin and light but heavy in innovationcenter_img Ballista Perceptual Computing Demo Facial recognition, which Intel is using as part of its plan, is being promoted as a tool for computer security within this vision of Perceptual Computing. Intel believes the capability will enable stronger passwords. The facial recognition component will be able to detect multiple muscular points on a person’s face, lessening the risk of unauthorized access via attempts to get in via a photo or video.Meanwhile, Intel is actively reaching out to enterprising developers who will be key in driving the adoption of this platform. Intel anticipates developers will want to show their coding skills and let their imaginations fly. Intel’s free Perceptual Computing SDK, in all, will allow developers to work with facial analysis, speech recognition, hand and finger tracking, and 2-D/3-D object tracking on Intel’s Ultrabooks. As sources of inspiration, Intel is offering developers a “showcase” of applications created using the SDK. Examples include a rhythm action game for gesture technology platforms. Last month, Intel announced another motivator, the Perceptual Computing Challenge, with cash prizes, as a developer contest running throughout 2013. The Challenge is promoting development of gaming, productivity, multimodal, and creative UI applications using the Intel Perceptual Computing SDK and Creative Interactive Gesture Camera. The Intel shift that the company wants to effect sooner than later strengthens the role of the interface. The Perceptual-Computing model makes use of voice and face recognition which could replace passwords for user authentication; gesture recognition would be another important feature especially fit for gaming and educational activities. Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, recently elaborated on the concept of Perceptual Computing for an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show. More information: software.intel.com/en-us/vcsou … eptual-computing-sdk © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NPhard problem in linear time

first_imgTSP solutions obtained by the amoeba-based computing system for 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 cities. Credit: Zhu et al. ©2018 Royal Society Open Science Researchers have demonstrated that an amoeba—a single-celled organism consisting mostly of gelatinous protoplasm—has unique computing abilities that may one day offer a competitive alternative to the methods used by conventional computers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science More information: Liping Zhu, Song-Ju Kim, Masahiko Hara, and Masashi Aono. “Remarkable problem-solving ability of unicellular amoeboid organism and its mechanism.” Royal Society Open Science. royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.180396 Citation: Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time (2018, December 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-amoeba-approximate-solutions-np-hard-problem.html Health department says amoeba kills swimmer in Oklahoma lakecenter_img In order to guide the amoeba toward an optimal or nearly optimal solution, the key lies in controlling the light. To do this, the researchers use a neural network model in which every six seconds the system updates which channels are illuminated. The model incorporates information about the distance between each pair of cities, as well as feedback from the amoeba’s current position in the channels. The model ensures that the amoeba finds a valid solution to the TSP in a few ways. For example, once the amoeba has occupied a certain fraction of a particular channel, say A3, then channels A1, A2, and all other “A” channels are illuminated in order to prohibit city A from being visited twice. Also, B3, C3, D3, and all other “3” channels are illuminated to prohibit simultaneous visits to multiple cities. The model accounts for the distances between cities by making it easier to illuminate channels that represent cities with longer distances than with shorter distances. For instance, say the amoeba occupies channel B2, and has begun to encroach into channels C3 and D3 in equal amounts, and the distance between cities B and C is 100 while the distance between cities B and D is 50. The longer distance between B and C eventually causes the system to illuminate channel C3, causing the amoeba to retreat from that channel but allowing it to continue moving into D3. Overall, modeling the TSP with an amoeba harnesses the amoeba’s natural tendency to seek out a stable equilibrium. As channels representing shorter routes are less likely to be illuminated, the amoeba may spread out in those channels and continue to explore other non-illuminated channels in order to maximize its surface area on the agar plate.The researchers also developed a computer simulation called AmoebaTSP that mimics some of the main features of how the amoeba addresses the problem, including the continuous movement of gel as it is supplied at a constant rate and withdrawn from various channels. “In our stellate chip for solving the n-city TSP, the total area of the body of the amoeba becomes n when the amoeba finally finds an approximate solution,” Aono told Phys.org. “There seems to be a ‘law’ that the amoeba supplies its gelatinous resource to expand in the non-illuminated channels at a constant rate, say, x. This law would be kept even when some resources bounce back from illuminated channels. Then the time required to expand the body area n to represent the solution becomes n/x. This mechanism would be the origin of the linear time, and it was reproduced by our computer simulation model. “But still, the mechanism by which how the amoeba maintains the quality of the approximate solution, that is, the short route length, remains a mystery. It seems that spatially and temporally correlated movements of the branched parts of the amoeba located at distant channels are the key. Each of these branches is oscillating its volume with some temporal ‘memory’ on illuminated experiences. Groups of the branches perform synchronization and desynchronization for sharing information even though they are spatially distant.”In the future, the researchers plan to further improve the amoeba’s computing abilities.”We will investigate further how these complex spatiotemporal oscillatory dynamics enhance the computational performance in finding higher-quality solutions in shorter time,” said coauthor Song-Ju Kim at Keio University. “If it could be clarified, the knowledge will contribute to create novel analogue computers that exploit the spatiotemporal dynamics of electric current in its circuit.”Of course, running some other algorithms on traditional digital computers for linear time, we can derive approximate solutions to TSP. On the other hand, when running our simulation models (AmoebaTSP or its developed versions) on the traditional computers as we did in this study, the analogue and parallel spatiotemporal dynamics require nonlinear time for simulating them as digital and serial processes. So we are trying to obtain much higher-quality solutions than those derived from the traditional ones by running our models on the analogue computers for linear time or shorter.”The researchers also expect that, by fabricating a larger chip, the amoeba will be able to solve TSP problems with hundreds of cities, although this would require tens of thousands of channels. In order to maximize its nutrient absorption, the amoeba tries to expand inside the chip to come in contact with as much agar as possible. However, the amoeba does not like light. Since each channel can be selectively illuminated by light, it’s possible to force the amoeba to retreat from the illuminated channels. In order to model the TSP, each channel in the stellate chip represents an ordered city in the salesman’s route. For example, in the case with four cities labeled A-D, if the amoeba occupies channels A4, B2, C1, and D3, then the corresponding solution to the TSP is C, B, D, A, C. Explore further © 2018 Science X Network The researchers, led by Masashi Aono at Keio University, assigned an amoeba to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). The TSP is an optimization problem in which the goal is to find the shortest route between several cities, so that each city is visited exactly once, and the start and end points are the same. The problem is NP-hard, meaning that as the number of cities increases, the time needed for a computer to solve it grows exponentially. The complexity is due to the large number of possible solutions. For example, for four cities, there are only three possible routes. But for eight cities, the number of possible routes increases to 2520.In the new study, the researchers found that an amoeba can find reasonable (nearly optimal) solutions to the TSP in an amount of time that grows only linearly as the number of cities increases from four to eight. Although conventional computers can also find approximate solutions in linear time, the amoeba’s approach is completely different than traditional algorithms. As the scientists explain, the amoeba explores the solution space by continuously redistributing the gel in its amorphous body at a constant rate, as well as by processing optical feedback in parallel instead of serially.Although a conventional computer can still solve the TSP much faster than an amoeba, especially for small problem sizes, the new results are intriguing and may lead to the development of novel analogue computers that derive approximate solutions of computationally complex problems of much larger sizes in linear time. How it worksThe particular type of amoeba that the scientists used was a plasmodium or “true slime mold,” which weighs about 12 mg and consumes oat flakes. This amoeba continually deforms its amorphous body by repeatedly supplying and withdrawing gel at a velocity of about 1 mm/second to create pseudopod-like appendages. In their experiments, the researchers placed the amoeba in the center of a stellate chip, which is a round plate with 64 narrow channels projecting outwards, and then placed the chip on top of an agar plate. The amoeba is confined within the chip, but can still move into the 64 channels. last_img read more

Ride into rail history

first_imgRare pictures of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inside a rail engine or the first President Rajendra Prasad walking outside a station in south India provide a glimpse into the 160 years of Indian Railways.Unlocking a treasure trove of archives, the Railways has brought on display over 200 rare black and white and sepia-toned images in an exquisite collection titled ‘160 Years of Indian Railways: An exhibition of selected photographs from the Indian Railways’ that opened up for view recently at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Railways have been so intrinsic to people’s lives in India. And, through this exhibition we wanted to bring its inception and history closer to people’s mind which may be getting lost in the annals of time,’ says Director, Information and Publicity, Indian Railways, Seema Sharma.However, in a departure from a regular commemorative tribute, the exhibition is curated ‘thematically rather than sequentially’ and celebrates the history and heritage, architectural and otherwise, while evoking a liberal feel of nostalgia. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSo, pictures of a late 19th century image of Gothic Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) in then Bombay, one of Frontier Mail with its front decked up with British flags, royal guests being received at a makeshift station built in Delhi during the 1911 Durbar, as well as a rare old photo of Ranchi, Bilaspur and Colaba stations built in Victorian style, among others, are on view.Photographs of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and a young Rajiv Gandhi have been captured together at a platform, neon signs of ubiquitous ‘Murphy Radio’ company over Patna Junction and the then Madras Central station buildings and the elegant Egmore station waiting rooms are rare views. One photograph captures a narrow gauge train (Dabhoi to Miyagam) of 1863 which has bullocks pulling it instead of an engine.The collection is divided into several themes like – ‘Station Architecture’, ‘Locomotives and Trains’, ‘Personalities’, ‘Carriages and Wagons’, ‘Men at Work’ among others.‘The ‘Station Architecture’ has a special segment as many stations today look completely different compared to what their look was back in those years. The Ranchi station has changed a lot and the two pictures displayed here show the rare heritage look of the building in the colonial days,’ says Seema.‘But, I believe the part that lends more interest to the exhibition is the ‘Men at Work’ section whereby one actually sees the ‘hands and feet’ of the Indian Railway, the gangmen, the foreman, the light man who used to climb up a stair to light up the lamp in those days, etc are great pictures of human dignity and pride in one’s profession,’ she says.Apart from the Railway archives, the photographs have been sourced from the Press Information Bureau and the Railway museums from the 17 zonal offices throughout the country.Explaining how the exhibition began taking shape over the last five months, Seema says there were ‘no pre-set themes as the themes emerged out of the collection themselves. We had sent out request to different railway zones to contribute from their own archives. And, after we sat sifting through the collection, ranging over 600, hours after hours, themes and patterns began to emerge, say architecture or marketing techniques etc.’last_img read more

Explosive Love

first_imgRecently the capital was gripped by, 3 Sakina Manzil, showcased as a part of Desires Unlimited’s first vintage theatre festival – Epoch.Power-packed performances by Puneet Sikka and Tarun Singhal who essayed the role of Shashi and Comrade Shashi left the audience spellbound. The 100-minute play revolves the love story of these two characters set in the back drop of  the Bombay dock explosion. Each of them alternately remembers the time they spent together and the fateful day – 14 April 1944- that drew them apart and tore the city they lived in. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The play – 3, Sakina Manzil – has been written by Ramu Ramanathan, and was directed by Deepak Dhamija is set in pre-independence juxtaposed with the world being ravaged by World War II, and gradual establishment of the Hindi film industry. There are references to how Dev Anand had come as a fresher in the industry and by the end of the play , Comrade Shashi tells the audience how he had emerged as a successful hero. Amidst all this turmoil begins a beautiful love story between the protagonists. As Comrade Shashi walks in for a job at 3 Sakina Manzil, he immediately falls in love with his namesake. It is love-at-first-sight for her as well. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTarun’s performance as Comrade Shashi is etched well. He is able to bring about the transition in the character beautifully as the older Comrade Shashi reminisces his interaction as a young man with his love – Shashi (also his employers daughter). His co-actor Puneet too justifies her role as she transforms from the young Shashi expressing her love moving to the older one as she recalls the tragedy of the explosion and losing her love.The plot is subtly designed to take you back in time and revisit the tale of these lover’s lives simultaneously revealing the horrendous explosion. On the fateful day of their expected meeting 14 April 1944, Bombay habour is ripped by a huge explosion. The Bombay Dock Explosion left the citizens in shock and created chaos and devastation, simultaneously being responsible for separation of the two silent lovers. Separated by destiny, the two lead different lives as they set forth in life after the accident, only to meet again after five decades and recount their versions of the love story.last_img read more

One morning in the life of some Indians

first_imgKalu Miyan heard the good news from Rameshwar when he was sitting under a tree near the canal. For early morning rituals the villagers use this part of the grazing ground. Men come little after sunrise. By then the women return. Neither Kalu Miyan nor Ramu Chacha is aware that their village is among those in the country that has stopped open defecation. They had heard that the few broken bricks stacked in the corner of the village will eventually become the village toilet. They heard that some Babus (government functionaries) from the town had come to their village one day before these bricks were laid. That was before the rains came, and Ramu helped Kalu Miyan to till his land. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceBoth Kalu Miyan and Ramu Chacha sat on a light bedstead with Pavan, their village elder and heard on the radio the Pradhan Mantri from Delhi mentioning something about Swachh Bharat. Pavan, who knows some Babus in the town, told them that their village will have toilets. Villagers know that any construction takes time. The bridge on the canal has been under construction for some time. Ramu remembers that it had started when his youngest son Chhotu was born. Now Chhotu is living in Begusarai, some 50 km away from the village. He goes to school, where there are no classes. The boy, now ten years old, works at a shop and earns a livelihood. Also Read – Turning a blind eyeRamu Chacha has a radio on his phone. He bought it recently from the money he received in his bank account after the Babus came and opened bank accounts about a year back. In the past, only well off persons, such as Kalu Miyan and Pavan had ever visited a bank. Ramu and his family were elated when for the first time they entered a bank. One year before the bank Babus came for account-opening, they had gone to the local Panchayat in a village just a few kilometers north, to get themselves photographed and get their fingerprints registered. Their eyes were also tested. The Babus told them that all these details would be printed on a card that would come from the post office. Pavan told all of them to keep that card (called Aadhar) safely. But that was used only once when the bank Babus came. Ramu Chacha heard on the radio that the Bara Adalat (Supreme Court) in Delhi has now addressed their concern. It is unknown to Ramu and his fellow villagers that the Aadhar card is wrong. It is wrong because all their information is stored on that card. But Ramu could not follow what was wrong in it. The details of the money that helped him buy the radio was also stored on that card.Gagan, son of his elder brother, knows many things. He even goes to towns to walk with political Babus. Gagan explained to Ramu Chacha what privacy is and how the Aadhar system was breaching his privacy. Not only Ramu, but all villagers must thank the Bara Adalat for securing their right to privacy. This is what Rameshwar explained to Kalu Miyan while relieving himself in the fields. Maybe Kalu Miyan was suffering from constipation and did not seem thankful to the Bara Adalat.When Kalu Miyan and Ramu Chacha were busy in a remote village in the morning, it was time for the senior Sarkari Sahib (government official) to get ready for work. He had just returned from his morning walk and barely had any time left to glance through the newspaper. He must reach office now before nine – a trouble that started when Narendra Modi came to New Delhi from Gandhinagar. Not only must he reach office on time, but there are also new slogans nowadays – “Make in India” and Ease of Doing Business. What hurts the senior Babu more is that his boss, Mr. Burden Remove Boast travels the world, gets photographed with Modi, tweets his achievements, and sends all papers to him, the Hump Ahmed. When well-paid officers from foreign companies visit him, the poor man has little option and maintains a smiling face. Like the man who laughs poor Hump can never express his problems to anybody.On his table is a proposal for a big MNC, which is keen to venture out in the Indian market. As such there is no issue now that the confusing language kept in the notification has been done away with few months back. The Sahib knows of the brand and uses the same given to him by the Indian franchise of the company. The issue is one of level playing field. If the MNC opens its store, the poor Indian franchise will lose his revenue. Shouldn’t the Government act as a guardian for the Indian business person? Instead, the Prime Minister is busy going abroad and talking to these MNCs.But Hump Sahib knows how not to bend easily. He has to ensure fairness for all. Leaders come and go, but Sahibs are constant. What can the leaders do without the Sahibs? And what is the incentive Hump Sahib may receive from the MNC? A mere thank you, one supposes. Now Hump Sahib is not interested in easing it anymore; let the Prime Minister keep shouting his Mann Ki Baat.By the time Kalu Miyan and Ramu Chacha were ready to tend to their respective fields, and Hump Sahib had finished his second cup of coffee brought by his servant, it was time for anchor Rubbish Desai to call his stringer in Bihar. Rubbish wanted a big breaking story on how Modi’s Swatch Bharat data on toilets were rigged and how Kalu Miyan, Ramu Chacha, et al. were still using the village green. He has also lined up the well-known guest who will explain how this Government manipulates all information with active support from the highest office. Meanwhile, Rubbish receives a call from his reporter from the capital. The young lady has access to a senior Sahib, who tells her how the Government is slowly killing the Indian entrepreneurs to promote MNCs. With two news night top stories frozen, Rubbish went for his lunch at Machan where there is a Tunisian food festival to celebrate this year’s Nobel Prize. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Govt to help unemployed women of Alipurduar

first_imgSiliguri: The state government have taken various initiatives to support the unemployed women of Alipurduar financially and help them earn a living through independent means.’Karmateertha’, an association has been inaugurated by Tanmay Biswas, Block Development Officer of Madarihaat area, on Wednesday in Alipurduar.The association is located at Beerpara block in front of Madarihaat Jaldapara Lodge.PD Samrat Nandi, deputy of the District Mission Management Unit and Jay Ranjan Dutta, National Rural Livelihood Mission Nodal Officer of Beerpara block were present at the inauguration ceremony along with Biswas. Nine stalls have been set up for the working women from the Self-Help Group. The government is mulling modification of ‘Karmateertha’ into a shopping complex where the workers will be handed over shops of their own to sell their own hand-made stuff. “We have the government’s full support to help the women and make them independent. At present, nine stalls have been arranged so that they can immediately start working and in the future, the government will assist them whenever they require help,” stated Biswas.last_img read more