Category Archives: Uncategorized

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

A._P._J._Abdul_Kalam_in_2008Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam better known as A. P. J. Abdul Kalam 15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015), was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. A career scientist turned statesman, Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts.[1] He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.[2][3][4] He also played a pivotal organizational, technical, and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.[5]

Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress. Widely referred to as the “People’s President,”[6] he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.

While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83. Thousands including national-level dignitaries attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameshwaram, where he was buried with full state honors.

Kerala High Court

1024px-High_Court_of_Kerala_BuildingThe High Court of Kerala is the highest court in the Indian state of Kerala and in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. It is headquartered at Kochi. Drawing its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the High Court has the power to issue directions, orders and writs including the writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari for ensuring the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution to citizens or for other specified purposes. The High Court is empowered with original, appellate and revisional jurisdiction in civil as well as criminal matters, and the power to answer references to it under some statutes. The High Court has the superintendence and visitorial jurisdiction over all courts and tribunals of inferior jurisdiction covered under its territorial jurisdiction.

At present, the sanctioned Judge strength of the High Court of Kerala is 27 Permanent Judges including the Chief Justice and 12 Additional Judges.[1] Depending on the importance and nature of the question to be adjudicated, the judges sit as Single (one judge), Division (two judges), Full (three judges) or such other benches of larger strengths.

The foundation stone for the new multi-storied building now housing the High Court of Kerala was laid on 14 March 1994 by the then Chief Justice of India, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah. The estimated cost of construction was 10 crore Indian rupees.[2] The construction was completed in 2005 at a cost of 85 crore[clarification needed] Indian rupees. The completed High Court building was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Y. K. Sabharwal on 11 February 2006. The new High Court building is equipped with modern amenities like videoconferencing, air conditioned courtrooms, intranet, facilities for retrieval of order copies and publishing of the case status via the internet. The building is built on 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land and has a built-up area of 550,000 square feet (51,000 m2) over nine floors. The building has in it a post office, bank, medical clinic, library, canteens and such other most needed utilities and services. The High Court of Kerala has moved to its new building from the date of its inauguration, from the adjacent Ram Mohan Palace, where it had been functioning.

What Is the World’s Tallest Tree?

p02fqz79The tallest trees in the world are redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), which tower above the ground in California. These trees can easily reach heights of 300 feet (91 meters).

Among the redwoods, a tree named Hyperion dwarfs them all. The tree was discovered in 2006, and is 379.7 feet (115.7 m) tall.

Shortly after it was measured and deemed the world’s tallest, a writer for the New Yorker climbed close to the top and described what it was like to stand there.

“A wind had begun to blow, and the top of Hyperion swayed back and forth,” wrote Richard Preston. “The branches here were spindly, and were encrusted with many kinds of lichen.”

Other giant redwoods include Helios, which is just a shade smaller than Hyperion, at 374.3 feet (114.1 m), as well as Icarus (371.2 feet or 113.1 m) and Daedalus (363.4 feet or 110.8 m). The exact locations of many of these giants is kept secret to prevent vandalism.

A typical redwood lives for 500 to 700 years, although some have been documented at more than 2,000 years old.

The National Park Service says the redwoods’ great height is due, in part, to the favorable climatic conditions found in California, including mild year-round temperatures and heavy annual rainfall.

World Population Day

World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.

By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.

The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries. Since then, a number of  a number of UNFPA country offices and other organizations and institutions commemorate World Population Day, in partnership with governments and civil society.

P. N Panikar

P. N Panikar
P. N Panikar

Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker is known as the Father of the Library Movement in the Indian state of Kerala. Panicker led the formation of Thiruvithaamkoor Granthasala Sangham (Travancore Library Association) in 1945 with 47 rural libraries. The slogan of the organization was ‘Read and Grow’. Later on, with the formation of Kerala State in 1956, it became Kerala Granthasala Sangham (KGS). He traveled to the villages of Kerala proclaiming the value of reading. He succeeded in bringing some 6,000 libraries into this network. Grandhasala Sangham won the prestigious ‘Krupsakaya Award’ from UNESCO in 1975.

The Government of Kerala acknowledged his contributions and ordered that 19 June be observed, annually, as Vaayanadinam (Day of Reading) with a week-long series of activities at schools and public institutions to honor his contributions to the cause of literacy, education and library movement.

World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) occurs on 5 June every year, and is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. WED has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.

Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests.

‘Connecting People to Nature’, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet.

Vishu

Cassia fistula(Kanikonna)
Cassia fistula (Kanikonna)

In Kerala, the start of the Zodiac New Year—when the sun enters into Sidereal Aries, Ashwini nakshatra—is celebrated as Vishu. It is said that what one sees when one first opens one’s eyes on Vishu morning is an indication of what one can expect in the year to come. Thus on Vishu, effort is made to assure one opens one’s eyes before an auspicious image—the Vishukkani.

The Vishukkani setting consists of items such as rice, golden lemon, golden cucumber, coconut, jack fruit, Kajal, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror (Vaalkannadi), golden yellow Konna flowers (Cassia fistula) which bloom in the season of Vishu, holy Hindu texts, coins or currency notes, oil lamp (nilavilakku), and an image of the God Krishna.

While the festival is called “Vishu” only in Kerala, across India festivals sharing the same spirit- such as Ugadhi in Andhra Pradesh and in Karnataka, Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Bihu in Assam and Baisakhi in Punjab—are celebrated around the same time of year.

National Flower- Lotus

National Flower- Lotus
National Flower- Lotus

Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera Gaertn) is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.

It is an aquatic herb that is often termed as ‘Padma’ in Sanskrit and enjoys a sacred status among the Indian culture. It has been an integral part of the Indian culture from time immemorial. A prominent feature of the Indian mythology, the lotus is one with the Indian identity and represents the core values of Indian psyche.

India is rich in flora. Currently available data place India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. From about 70 per cent geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been described by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).

Kathakali

Kathakali
Kathakali

Kathakali is one of the major forms of classical Indian dance.It is another “story play” genre of art, but one distinguished by its elaborately colorful make-up, costumes and face masks wearing actor-dancers.

The fully developed style of Kathakali originated around the 17th century, but its roots are in temple and folk arts such as Kutiyattam and religious drama of southwestern Indian peninsula, which are traceable to at least the 1st millennium CE. A Kathakali performance, like all classical dance arts of India, includes music, vocal performers, hand and facial gestures to express ideas, and footwork. However, Kathakali differs in its style and incorporates movements from the ancient martial arts and athletic traditions of south India.

Like many classical Indian arts, Kathakali is a dance as well as acting. It is said to be one of the most difficult acts to execute on stage, with young artists preparing for their roles for several years before they get a chance to do it on stage. The actors speak a “sign language”, where the word part of the character’s dialogue are expressed through “hand signs (mudras)”, while emotions and mood is expressed through “facial and eye” movements. In parallel, vocalists in the background sing rhythmically the play, matching the beats of the orchestra playing, thus unifying the ensemble into a resonant oneness.

Integrated circuit

Integrated Circuits
Integrated Circuits

An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material, normally silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip resulted in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, cheaper, and faster than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC’s mass production capability, reliability and building-block approach to circuit design ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.

ICs were made possible by experimental discoveries showing that semiconductor devices could perform the functions of vacuum tubes, and by mid-20th-century technology advancements in semiconductor device fabrication. Since their origins in the 1960s, the size, speed, and capacity of chips has increased enormously, driven by technical advances that allow more and more transistors on chips of the same size – a modern chip may have several billion transistors in an area the size of a human fingernail. These advances, roughly following Moore’s law, allow a computer chip of 2016 to have millions of times the capacity and thousands of times the speed of the computer chips of the early 1970s.

The idea of the integrated circuit was conceived by Geoffrey Dummer (1909–2002), a radar scientist working for the Royal Radar Establishment of the British Ministry of Defence. Dummer presented the idea to the public at the Symposium on Progress in Quality Electronic Components in Washington, D.C. on 7 May 1952. He gave many symposia publicly to propagate his ideas, and unsuccessfully attempted to build such a circuit in 1956.

ICs have two main advantages over discrete circuits: cost and performance. Cost is low because the chips, with all their components, are printed as a unit by photolithography rather than being constructed one transistor at a time. Furthermore, packaged ICs use much less material than discrete circuits. Performance is high because the IC’s components switch quickly and consume little power (compared to their discrete counterparts) because of their small size and close proximity. The main disadvantage of ICs is the high cost to design them and fabricate the required photomasks. This high initial cost means ICs are only practical when high production volumes are anticipated.