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July 14, 2020

Essay : Digital Revolution - 5G Technology in India

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Is India Ready for 5G Technology ?

The methods of communication between humans, their methods of acquiring knowledge, working, thinking and other interactions have all changed in recent years due to the availability of the interne supported by the worldwide mobile revolution. The current level of technology which has been standardized in mobile communication is termed '4G' or 4th generation. But the current work ethos and expectations of people demand a better technology in which they can connect to multiple wireless technologies, networks, terminals and applications, all simultaneously. The situation also demands that we should be able to switch between each of them and still remain compatible with earlier technology generation devices such as 4G, 3G or even 2G. This latest technology has been named as 5G, or 5th generation wireless systems.

5G networks may be defined as advanced mobile communication technology networks which will have low latency, meaning that they will be optimized to process a very high volume of data messages with minimal delay or latency. These networks are designed to support operations that require almost real-time access to rapidly changing data. Some of the characteristics of and performance expected from such networks includes: upto 10 GBPS (Gigabits per second) peak data rate: a hundred times improvement over 4G networks, 1-millisecond latency, 1000X bandwidth per unit area, upto 100X number of connected devices per unit area compared with 4G, 99.999% availability, 100% coverage, 90% reduction in network energy usage, very low power consumption by devices and very high network reliability through the use of superior router and switch technology.

The above information is tentative, as the actual features of 5G technology are yet to be finalized. As the system will be used all over the world ultimately, the specifications will be spelt out by the specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies, called the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It is likely that these specifications will be finalized before the end of 2019 so that the technology can be launched in 2020 in some countries. 

To understand the need for 5G technology, we should understand how its features are an improvement over the speed and features of 4G and 3G technology. To be labelled as 3G, a network is required to meet a set of technical standards for speed and reliability, and must offer peak data transfer. rates of at least 200 KBPS (kilo-bits per second). However, current 3G networks offer peak data transfer rates of 2 MBPS (megabits per second) or more. On the other hand, a 4G network must offer peak data rates of at least 100 MBPS for high mobility users such as those traveling in cars, trains etc. The speed of 4G networks should increase to at least 1 GBPS for low mobility users such as pedestrians and stationary users. In contrast, 5G networks will offer peak data rates of at least 10 GBPS.

Due to the increased speed, 5G networks will support high speed applications such as Internet of Things (IoT), which are either not available or available in rudimentary form in 4G or 3G networks. Such networks will enable a massive improvement in Telemedicine technologies, enable effective remote surgery, enable self-driving cars, open up new possibilities in Drone technology and also make home broadband customers happier as their network speed will become more than three times faster. 5G will enable critical control of remote devices, broadband experience anywhere and anytime, as well as smart vehicles, transport and infrastructure. It will help incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into our daily lives. 

There are a number of critical requirements to be fulfilled for a 5G network to replace a 4G network. This includes the requirements for handsets to be used. An important requirement for the 5G network is backward compatibility with 4G and 3G handsets. This means that older 4G and 3G handsets should be usable on a 5G network, of course with reduced functionality and speed. Similarly, a 5G handset should be usable on older networks with reduced speed and functionality. 

Another requirement for 5G networks is that they should be able to support all communication needs from low power LANs to WANs with the right latency and speed. Thus they must be designed to allow simple virtual network configurations to better align network costs with applications needs. This new approach will allow 5G mobile network operators to be used for IoT applications by being able to deliver cost effective solutions for low broadband, low power applications. 

The 5G handsets will be significantly different from the current 4G handsets, according to most manufacturers of handsets. Although no manufacturer has finalised the design of these handsets because the specifications of 5G networks have not yet been frozen by ITU, some features not available in 4G handsets will be required. Some of these are as follows :
  • Distributed Antenna System To maintain the data speed required for 5G, handsets will have a number of antennas in them, instead of a single antenna in 4G handsets, for receiving the data and processing it faster. 
  • Additional Cameras and a Projection System For Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications such as online games and IoT functionality, the handsets will need a projection system and additional cameras.
There are a number of challenges in deploying the 5G networks. New equipment with faster computing and data transfer ability will need to be developed by the mobile service providers. It will be then used to upgrade their underlying hardware countrywide in order to provide 5G speeds. As this can't happen overnight, they would use the 4G infrastructure to eventually migrate to 5G. However, the frequency allocation for 5G networks is in a different frequency band than 4G, being in the millimeter wave region, i.e. from 28 GHz to 100 GHz. In addition, new software applications (called 'Apps') will need to be developed to provide the additional functionality which 5G provides. Thus, ev( n when 5G networks are deployed, it will take the telecom companies abcut two years to achieve the speeds and functionality 5G promises. 

India is getting ready to welcome the advent of 5G technology networks in the country. The Government of India has established a forum to develop the roadmap for the launch of this technology in 2020. It has also allocated 2224 crores for the creation of a 5G testbed to be established in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and an IIT. The government has already started providing high speed broadband internet services in rural and urban areas. Under the Smart Cities Project of the Union Government, a number of cities have been identified to be developed as 'Smart Cities' and one village in the state of Rajasthan has been selected for development as a 'Smart Village'. These will require 5G technology networks for proper and efficient functioning. The IoT applications of 5G networks will need to be extensively used in such places.

Private sector telecom operators are also gearing up to launch 5G services within six months of being allocated the necessary spectrum for this purpose. However, these' service providers will need to upgrade the basic networks from microwave to fibre, as fibre has an immensely larger data carrying capacity. The existing microwave technologies can no longer support the required capacities. In addition, mobile network operators will need to deploy more cell sites to bring 5G applications to every user. Therefore, current Indian telecom networks have to travel a long road ahead to meet the requirements of 5G. They need to overall their networks to leverage the full potential and vast possibilities of 5G technology. 

A bright future awaits India after implementation of 5G networks starts, as this technology will enhance the capabilities of the people significantly by taking care of routine tasks. The analytical Indian minds can then start finding solutions to more complex problems such as rising environmental pollution, effective management of waste and other similar issues.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Standardised made as a standard to be followed by all users
  • Ethos atmosphere
  • Compatible able to be used
  • Real-time to be used as soon as it is generated
  • Peak maximum at any time
  • Router and switch critical equipment used in networks
  • Tentative temporary and may be changed later on
  • Spelt out finally given
  • High mobility moving at great speed
  • Internet of Things connection of computing devices with objects through the internet to enable these objects to be controlled from far away
  • Telemedicine diagnosis and treatment of patients from far way by using technology
  • Remote far away
  • Broadband a high-capacity transmission technique
  • Smart able to operate without human intervention
  • Artificial Intelligence computer systems which can perform tasks requiring human intelligence
  • Backward compatibility ability to be used with earlier versions of the system
  • Virtual network network allowing control of computing devices through the internet
  • Align Match
  • Antenna aerial
  • Augmented Reality computer-generated images and sounds that integrate the real world
  • Virtual Reality computer-generated images and sounds that are entirely self-contained
  • Upgrade bring up to a higher level
  • Countrywide throughout the country
  • Migrate shift
  • Forum group of experts
  • Roadmap plan of action
  • Testbed equipment used for testing new machinery
  • Microwave wireless technology currently in use
  • Fibre cable technology with high capacity using glass fibres 
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
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July 11, 2020

Letters for IBPS & SBI PO Descriptive Paper 2020 : Manager's Letter to Customer Regarding Opening of an Account in Bank

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Letter : Assume that you are a Branch Manager of State Bank of India (SBI), Ameerpet Branch, Hyderabad. You received a letter from customer named Aamir asking about the necessary papers and other details required to open a Saving Bank Account in your branch. Write a letter to him giving the necessary information.

Letter Format from Branch Manager to Customer

Dear Aamir,

Refer to your letter dated 10th July 2020, we are enclosing the necessary forms for opening a Savings Bank Account. Kindly return them to us after completion. To hasten the opening of your account, it is advised you to visit the Bank personally with forms provided you. The forms should be duly filled in, so that necessary formalities can be completed on the spot.

For the best services,

Yours Faithfully,
Branch Manager
State Bank of India (SBI)
Ameerpet Branch

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Essay : Indian Government's Digital Platforms playing Important Role during Covid 19 crisis

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It is imperative for governments to provide accurate, useful and upto-date information to people, particularly through times of crisis. During COVID-19 pandemic, Indian government’s use of digital technology and providing information on national portals, mobile apps or through social media platforms is the game changer to reach to the masses. Timely information, direct money transfer to the poor, needy and vulnerable groups can help save many lives and at this point the digital apps developed by the government are playing an important role in responding to the crisis. The Prime Minister also while addressing the nation on 12th May, 2020 gave a call for ‘self-reliant India’ and mentioned how with direct benefit transfer during corona crisis, government has been able to transfer funds directly to the actual beneficiary accounts and able to curb corruption and leakages.

Aarogya Setu App

The ‘Aarogya Setu’ App enables people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the coronavirus infection. It calculates this based on people’s interaction with others, using cutting-edge bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence. Once installed in a smartphone through an easy and user-friendly process, the app detects other devices with Aarogya Setu installed that come in the proximity of that phone.

The App can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive. The App is helping the government to take necessary and timely steps for assessing risk of spread of COVID-19 infection, and ensuring isolation where required. The App’s design ensures privacy-first and the Government, after apprehensions from some people has assured users about the data safety and security of the app. The personal data collected by the App is encrypted using stateof-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention and is available in 11 languages.


The Government of India has launched a WhatsApp chatbot so that the citizens can get instant and authentic answers to all of their queries related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Users have to drop a ‘Hi’ on the number +91-9013151515 or can call on the MyGov Corona Helpdesk to get answers to pertinent queries such as the symptoms of the deadly disease, nearest COVID-19 testing facility.

Corona Kavach

It is a COVID-19 tracker application, created by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This application provides users with realtime location of infected users who have activated the ‘Kavach’ feature.

COVID-19 Feedback

This application has been developed by the centre to get direct feedback from people who have undergone coronavirus treatment in the country.

COVID-19 National Helpline

A 24x7 National Helpline number +91-11-23978046 and toll-free number 1075 have been launched where people can access corona related information by the government. Also, the centre has an e-mail id: to attend to queries of people related to the disease.


Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an app called ‘SAMPRAC’ to enable tracking people under quarantine. It is a software that includes an app that can be installed on the smart phones of the infected COVID-19 patients. It is a server-side application that is used by the state authorities to track the patients. The system enables geofencing, AI-based automated face recognition (between selfie taken during registration and subsequent selfies sent by the patient), and would have the capability to display the information to the state officials on a map which can be colour-coded to depict hotspots and containment zones. Honest usage of this app can give them an option of home isolation instead of isolation in a government facility. It is expected to drastically reduce the overhead of tracking every patient under home isolation, thereby reducing the load on the state machinery. The officials can easily track the violators and can also perform random checks. The violators would be show  in red on a map if they break the geo-fence or their selfie(s) does not match; in blue if their smartphones stop sending periodic updates; and in green if everything is found satisfactory.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

It is a scheme by Government of India to transfer the benefits and subsidies of various social welfare schemes like LPG subsidy, MNREGA payments, old-age pension, scholarships etc. directly in the bank account of the beneficiary. The government’s technology-driven direct benefit transfer (DBT) has been crucial in implementing PM Garib Kalyan Yojana that was rolled out to provide relief to the poor and vulnerable amid the COVID-19 crisis.

About 20 crore women from low income groups having Jan Dhan account were given direct benefit transfer of Rs. 500/- per month for free with Rs. 10,025 crore already transferred. During the lockdown, direct benefit transfer of Rs. 2,000 each was provided to 8.19 crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme. 8 crore beneficiaries of Ujjwala LPG scheme have been offered 3 cylinders free of cost. 2.20 crore building and construction workers received financial support worth Rs. 3,950 crore because of DBT. Besides, 6.81 free cylinders reached Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries  and over 12 lakh EPFO holders benefitted from the withdrawal of non-refundable withdrawal advance, which amount to Rs. 3,360 crore.


The Survey of India (SoI) has developed an e-platform that collects geotagged information on the nation’s critical infrastructure in order to help the government and public health agencies take critical decisions in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. The platform has geo-located information of hospitals, testing labs, quarantine camps, containment and buffer zones as well as information on biomedical waste disposal sites. The mobile based application, called SAHYOG, works as a key tool in helping community workers carry out the government’s objectives of door-to-door surveys, contact tracing, deliveries of essentials items and to create focused public awareness campaigns. This platform and app have been created to enhance the efforts of the government in improving its response system at this crucial time. The platform strengthens the public health delivery system of the State and central governments and subsequently provides the necessary geospatial information support to citizens and agencies dealing with the challenges related to health, socio-economic distress, and livelihood challenges.

Some other technology apps developed by the government and playing an important role during COVID- 19 crisis are :

Bhim App

BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is an Indian mobile payment app developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It was launched on 30th December, 2016 and helps in facilitating e-payments directly through banks as a drive towards cashless transactions. Transactions on BHIM are nearly instantaneous and can be done 24/7 including weekends and bank holidays. BHIM also allows users to check the current balance in their bank accounts and to choose which account to use for conducting transactions, although only one can be active at any time.


It is a card scheme, conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India to fulfil the Reserve Bank of India’s vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions. IRCTC Through the mobile app by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) consumers need not stand in long queues and can book e-tickets from home. GeM It is an e-commerce portal or the government e-Marketplace, which has been created to allow government departments to buy their requirements from various vendors without cash or physical payments. 


UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is a Government of India all-in-one single unified secure multi-channel multi-platform multi-lingual multiservice freeware mobile app for accessing over 1,200 central and state government services in multiple Indian languages over Android, iOS, Windows and USSD (feature phone) devices, including services such as AADHAAR, Digi Locker, Bharat Bill Payment System, PAN, EPFO services, PMKVY services, AICTE, CBSE, tax and fee or utilities bills payments, education, job search, tax, business, health, agriculture, travel, Indian railway   tickets bookings, birth certificates, e-District, e-Panchayat, police clearance, passport, other utility services from private companies and much more.


It is an online education programme initiated by the Government of India to achieve the principles of education policy by providing access, equity and quality. The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. The Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy. It is done through a platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from Class 9 till postgraduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the country have participated in preparing these courses which are available free of cost. These courses are of great help to learners as they have been designed by one of the best faculties from India and follow four quadrant approach to learning.

Thus, by installing and using the government apps, Indian citizens can save time, money as these apps are proving to be of great help during COVID-19 pandemic, playing a significant role in responding and reaching to the needy and vulnerable groups.

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July 10, 2020

How to Make Good Decision for Success

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Every Success or failure is the result of decisions made or not made. No wonder then decision-making is the most important taks a person takes at work or in life. An organization can flourish only when its people makes and execute good decision in a finely and effective manner.

Today, with the deluge of information at their disposal, people are much better equipped to make quality decisions. But even then due to certain unseen thinking traps and organisational bottle-necks decision makers often falter paving the way to bad decisions and poor outcomes.

Since bad decisions more often then not prove to be costly, it is important for you to spot the traps and bottle-necks beforehand and devise ways to overcome or fix them.

Awareness about different thinking process that we can get into can help us guard against them. Quite often we tend to give more weight to the first information that we receive. Initial impression or past experiences tend to colour our thought over a subject.

This can be highly misleading at times. Therefore, while trying to arrive at conclusion you must always approach a problem from different angles.

Focus on your goals and objectives. Ask yourself if your current stand will take you to your goals or is it likely to become a barrier in future. It is an absolute emergency. But sometimes it become too late.

Selection gets tougher as the number of choices increase. But laziness to choose can cost you much more. Force yourself to choose instead of sticking to status quo.

Information always forms the basis for your awareness. You must train your eyes to spot the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. For this purpose, you must constantly question your assumptions and look for conflicting evidence.

A good decision yields good results only when it is quickly and effectively implemented. You must also focus on getting the buy in for your decision from all quarters. Clear accountability is essential for sucessful implementation. To bring the decision into action, you must define without any ambiguity and confusion what needs to be done when and by whom. The information about what works is always present before you. All you must do is to carefully gather, process and use the information without succumbing to psychological biases. Good luck :)

Sagar Chandra Vadlamani

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July 09, 2020

Essay : Aadhar Card - A Necessity or a Burden

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Essay on AADHAAR A necessity or an obligation?

The government made it mandatory in March 2016 for an individual to link Aadhaar number with bank account, PAN number, mobile number and receipt of benefits from other government services. The Aadhaar had not been mandatory for government schemes till that time.

The Aadhaar programme was initiated in 2009 by the Government of India and comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The Aadhaar data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory body. Aadhaar is the world's largest biometric identification system with 1.23 billion holders as of 18th March, 2019. The Aadhaar is a 12 digit number assigned by UIDAI. Aadhaar is generated when an individual's biometric data (photograph, iris scan and fingerprint) and demographic (name, date of birth, address) information is provided. The Aadhaar is issued free of cost. It acts as an identification proof and (by many agencies) as proof of residence. Aadhaar, however, is not a card of citizenship; therefore even migrants can obtain it.

The government had intended to make Aadhaar mandatory for all government services and for availing benefits of government welfare schemes. The mandatory use of Aadhaar can have the benefits like 
  1. It can help the government in better identification of government schemes; bogus 'ghost' beneficiaries can be eliminated. 
  2. It can help government save crores of rupees which are lost due to leakages and corruption. 
  3. The Aadhaar will provide an identification card to the people mostly from rural and poor background who lack proper documents and in the wake of this are not able to avail many government benefits. The Aadhaar will provide these people an identification document to open a bank account, to avail loans, to get passport etc. 
  4. The Aadhaar will help in bringing transparency, efficiency and efficacy in the system. The quality of services and reach of the services to the beneficiaries will both improve. 
  5. Government initiatives such as DigiLocker, BHIM App, DBT scheme, pensions etc. can be availed if one has an Aadhaar number. 
Aadhaar is seen as a necessity because it can prove to be a milestone in improving the quality of our services and schemes and also reduce the cost of subsidies. It is because of these benefits that the government is stressing on making Aadhaar mandatory and also brought the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. Originally, the Aadhaar card was supposed to be voluntary, but this Bill made enrollment compulsory if one wanted to avail benefits from government services. The Bill contained a blanket 'national security' clause, a clause bound to induce misuse. This provision and other provisions in the Aadhaar Act made various persons file writ petitions in the Supreme Court against it, as they felt that the Aadhaar was more of a burden on them and had been forced on them.

In its judgement on all these writ petitions given on 26th September, 2018, the Supreme Court declared the Aadhaar to be constitutional and said that it could be brought in as a money bill. The court also ruled that the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes should continue and also upheld the validity of linking Aadhaar to PAN cards. However, the court held that linking of Aadhaar numbers to bank accounts was unconstitutional.

The majority judgement of the court also struck down Section 57 to the Aadhaar Act of 2016, holding that private companies cannot insist on Aadhaar numbers from citizens to provide services. This is good news for people fed up of being asked to produce an Aadhaar everywhere they go, at banks, phone companies or even to access private buildings.

When the Aadhaar programme was initiated in 2009, it was said that the enrollment under Aadhaar will be voluntary but, with the Aadhaar Act, it had been made mandatory for linking with bank accounts, which was not acceptable to many in a democratic country India. There are people who have many other identity proofs such as driving licence, office IDs, PAN card, passport etc. They do not feel the need of another identity card. They see Aadhaar as an unnecessary pain for them.

Apart from viewing Aadhaar as a burden, it is also a cause of concern for some of them. Many people are concerned about privacy, of their personal information, as Aadhaar number generation requires biometric information too. They fear that their personal information can be misused by the state in normal circumstances and by non-state actors and other countries in case of cyber attacks and cyber crimes. At present, India does not have adequate infrastructure to ensure the safety of the online information/data received under the Aadhaar project. 

The concerns of the citizens about their privacy, misuse of data, leakage of information etc. are some of the points which hinder total acceptance of Aadhaar by people. That is why the Aadhaar Bill was challenged in the Supreme Court. Despite all the concerns, Aadhaar is seen as an important initiative and a unique opportunity for improving our government system, our quality of services and service delivery. It is a move towards more citizen-centric governance and a move to make the life of people easier. 

Difficult Words with Meanings :

  • Statutory permitted by law
  • Biometric identification automatic identification of a living person by using the person's physical characteristics
  • Iris scan electronic scan of the eye for identification
  • Demographic identification details like name, date of birth etc
  • Migrants people from other countries who have shifted their residence to India
  • Ghost having a false identity
  • Leakages sums of money removed illegally
  • Transparency clarity
  • Efficacy capacity to produce the desired effect
  • DBT Direct Benefit Transfer for hanging out government subsidies
  • Citizen-centric based on the needs of the people.

shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani

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July 08, 2020

Memory Techniques for Competitive Exam Preparation (Top 6 Tips to Study Fast & Easily)

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Many competitive exam aspirants have been asking us to share memory techniques to study fast and remember everything easily. So today we are sharing some techniques which will be useful for your exam preparation. Happy Reading :)

Top 6 Mnemonic Techniques for competitive exam preparation

Although it can be the easiest to remember those things that you understand well, sometimes you must rely on rote memory. Mnemonic techniques are more specific memory aids. The following techniques can be used to facilitate such memorization.

1. Acronyms

Acronym is a method in which you form acronyms by using the first letter from a group of words to form a new word. This is particularly useful when remembering words in a specified order.
Acronyms are very common in ordinary language and in many fields. Some examples of common acronyms include NBA (National Basketball Associations), SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), BTUs (British Thermal Units), and LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). What other common acronyms can you think of? The memory techniques in this section, for example, can be rearranged to form the acronym "SCRAM" (Sentences/acrostics, Chunking. Rhymes & songs. Acronyms, and Method of loci).

I have used acronyms extensively during my student years. to a very useful end result, For example I used the acronym BHAJSAB to remember the important rulers from the Mughal dynasty — Babar, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjahan. Aurangzeb and Bahadui Shah Zafar.

Let us suppose that you have to memorize the names of four kinds of fossils for geology : I) Actual remains, 2) Petrified, 31 Imprint, and 4) Moulds or casts. Take the first letter of each item you are trying to remember: APIM. Then, arrange the letters so that the acronym resembles a word you are familiar with: PAIM or IMAP.

Although acronyms can be very useful memory aids, they do have some disadvantages. Firstly, they are useful for rote memory, but do not aid comprehension. Be sure to differentiate between comprehension and memory, keeping in mind that understanding is often the best way to remember. Some people assume that if they can remember something, then they must "know" it, but memorization does not necessarily imply understanding. A second problem with acronyms is that they can be difficult to form; not all lists of words will lend themselves equally well to this technique. Finally, acronyms, like everything else, can be forgotten if not committed to memory.

2. Sentences/Acrostics

Acrostics are quite like acronyms, in the sense you use the first letter of each word you are trying to remember. Instead of making a new word, though, you use the letters to make a sentence.

Here are some examples : 

My Dear Aunt Sally (mathematical order of operations: Multiply and Divide before you Add and Subtract).

King Phil Came Over for the Genes Special (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Genus, Species) can be used by the biology students to remember classification of plants and animals.

In medical college one commonly used acrostics to remember the names of the eight wrist bones is — She is too pretty, try to catch her.

Can you think of other examples? Like acronyms, acrostics can be very simple to remember and are particularly helpful when you need to remember a list in a specific order. One advantage over acronyms is that they are less limiting. If your words don't form easy-to-remember acronyms, using acrostics may be preferable. On the other hand, they can take more thought to create and require remembering a whole new sentence rather than just one word (as is the case with acronyms). Otherwise, they present the same problem as acronyms in that they aid memorization but not comprehension.

Exercise : Practise Using Acrostics
  • Try making up a sentence (acrostic) to remember the five mnemonic techniques discussed in this section. 
  • Now come up with acrostics for the main sections of a chapter from one of your textbooks. 

3. Rhymes & Songs

Rhythm, repetition, melody, and rhyme can all aid to memory. Are you familiar with Homer's Odyssey? If you are familiar with the book, then you know that it is quite long. That is why it is so remarkable to realize that storytellers who would rely solely on their memories would narrate this epic, along with many ancient Greek stories. The use of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition helped the storytellers remember them. You can use the same techniques to remember information from courses. For example, even the simple addition of familiar rhythm and melody can help. Do you remember learning the alphabet? Many children learn the letters of the alphabet to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." In fact, a student demonstrated how she memorized the quadratic formula (notorious among algebra students for being long and difficult to remember) by singing it to a familiar tune!

Using these techniques can be fun, particularly for people who are creative. Rhymes and songs draw on your auditory memory and may be particularly useful for those who can learn tunes, songs, or poems easily. Like the other techniques in this section, however, they emphasize rote memory, not understanding. Also, when devising rhymes and songs, don't spend too much time creating them. Use these techniques judiciously and don't let them interfere with your studying. 

4. Method of Loci

The Loci method was used by ancient Greek orators to remember their speeches. In modern parlance, it is also called the Journey Method. It combines the use of organization, visual memory, and association. Before using the technique, you must identify a common path that you walk. This can be the walk from your dorm to class, a walk around your house, whatever is familiar. What is essential is that you have a vivid visual memory of the path and objects along it.

Once you have determined your path, imagine yourself walking along it, and identify specific landmarks that you will pass. For example, the first landmark on your walk to campus could be your dorm room, next may be the front of the residence hall, next a familiar statue you pass, etc. The number of landmarks you choose will depend on the number of things you want to remember. Once you have determined your path and visualized the landmarks, you are ready to use the path to remember your material. This is done by mentally associating each piece of information that you need to remember with one of these landmarks. For example, if you are trying to remember a list of mnemonics, you might remember the first—acronyms--by picturing SCUBA gear in your dorm room (SCUBA is an acronym).

You do not have to limit this to a path. You can use the same type of technique with just about any visual image that you can divide into specific sections. The most important thing is that you use something with which you are very familiar.

Exercise: Method of Loci 
  1. If someone reads a list of unrelated words to you, just once, how many do you think you could remember? Give it a try. Have someone read a list of 10 words to you at a slow but steady pace (about 1 word per second). Rather than using any of the memory techniques presented here, simply try to concentrate on the words and remember them. How many words did you remember ? 
  2. Now take a few minutes to identify a path or object that you can use in the method of loci. Familiarize yourself with each of sections of your path or object. Mentally go through each of the loci (locations) and visualize them as best as you can. Remember, it is important to be able to visualize and recall each location readily. Once you have done this, have your friend read you a different list of words. This time, try to create visual images of the words associated with one of the locations. This may not come easy at first, but with practice you should be able to create these visual images more readily. If you find that you are facing difficulty in coming up with the images quickly, practise on some more lists until you have improved. Chances are, when you become familiar v. ith using this technique, you will be able to remember many more words (maybe all 10 items). 

5. Chunking

This is a technique generally used when remembering numbers, although the idea can be used for remembering other things as well. It is based on the idea that short-term memory is limited in the number of things that can be contained. A common rule is that a person can remember 7 (plus or minus 2) "items" in short-term memory. In other words, people can remember between 5 and 9 things at one time. You may notice that local telephone numbers have 7 digits. This is convenient because it is the average amount of numbers that a person can keep in his or her mind at one time.

When you use "chunking" to remember, you decrease the number of items you are holding in memory by increasing the size of each item. In remembering the number string 64831996, you could try to remember each number individually, or you could try thinking about the string as 64 83 19 96 (creating "chunks" of numbers). This breaks the group into a smaller number of "chunks." Instead of remembering 8 individual numbers, you are remembering four larger numbers. This is particularly helpful when you form "chunks" that are meaningful or familiar to you (in this case, the last four numbers in the series are "1996", which can easily be remembered as one chunk of information). 

6. Practice Makes A Man Perfect (or closer to it anyway)

Okay, it may not be a mnemonic, but repeating is still a great memory aid. Remember the children's game "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...." As each new object is added, the old objects are repeated. People can often remember a large number of objects this way. When remembering a list of things, you might try a similar concept. Once you are able to remember 5 items on your list without looking, add a 6th, repeat the whole list from the start, add a 7th, and so on. It can be quite intimidating to see long lists, passages, or equations that you are expected to commit to memory. Break up the information into small bits that you can learn, one step at a time, and you may be surprised at how easy it can be. You might even utilize grouping techniques, like those discussed earlier, to form meaningful groups that you can learn one at a time.

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Essay - Juvenile Delinquency in India : How to Deal with It ?

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Essay on Dealing with Juvenile Delinquency 

  •  Meaning of the term juvenile.
  • Transformation of Juvenile Justice Act of India. 
  • Significant changes in the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. 
  • Law criticised by child rights and women rights activists. 
  • Supreme Court monitoring the implementation of this act. 
  • Conclusion.
Juvenile Delinquency means the habitual committing of criminal acts or offences by a young person, especially one below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible. Most legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles, such as juvenile detention centres and courts. The history of juvenile justice in India dates back to 1980s when the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 was enacted by the Parliament to provide care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent juveniles. Under the Act of 1986, Section 2(a) defined the term juvenile as a "boy who has not attained the age of 16 years and girl who has not attained the age of 18 years". Meanwhile, India signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989, which treated a person as a juvenile who is below 18 years of age.

Crime by juveniles is a harsh reality in India. In recent times, juveniles are found to be involved in most heinous of the crimes such as murder and gangrape. It is a disturbing trend and society as a whole is anguished by such criminal acts by children. Many experts believe that the present law is inadequate to deal with the situation and we need changes in it so that for heinous crimes juveniles may also be tried and punished as adults.

The juvenile justice policy in India is structured around the constitutional mandate prescribed in Articles 15(3), 39 (e) & (0, 45 and 47, as well as several international covenants, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the UN standard minimum rules for administration of juvenile justice. 

This paved the way for an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 in India and hence, Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 was enacted. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India.

This act has been further amended in 2006 and 2010. In the wake of Delhi gang rape (16th December, 2012) the law suffered a nationwide criticism owing to its helplessness against crimes where juveniles get involved in heinous crimes like rape and murder and then they were spared harsh punishment as they were juveniles. In 2015, responding to the public sentiment, both the Houses of Parliament in India further amended the bill that lowered the juvenile age to 16 and proposed adult-like treatment for juveniles accused of heinous crimes. The Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014 was passed by the Parliament in December, 2015 and it became the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. It came into force from 15th January, 2016.

Some of the provisions of the act are as follows
  • The act replaces the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. It addresses children in conflict with I and children in need of care and protection. 
  • The act permits juveniles between the ages of 16-18 years to be tried as adults for heinous offences. Also, any 16-18 years old, who commits a lesser i.e. serious offence, may be tried as an adult only if he is apprehended after the age of 21 years. 
  • The act introduced the Judicial Waiver System' which allows treatment of juveniles, in certain conditions, in the adult criminal justice system and to punish them as adults. 
  • The heinous offences of 16-18 years are given the option of trying to a children's court (Court of Session) after preliminary evaluation. • Juvenile Justice Boards ( JJB) and Child Welfare Committees (CWC) will be constituted in each district with atleast one woman member. 
  • The major change in this act was that now the punishments were severe instead of the normal rehabilitative and reformative approaches towards offences committed by the juveniles. 
The government believes that the provision will help to address public disgust over the perception that young offenders are getting away with light punishment after committing crimes such as murder and rape. However, the implementation is a very serious concern and Supreme Court of India is monitoring implementation of the act in judicial proceedings. 
No one is a born criminal. Circumstances make him so. Sociocultural environment, both inside and outside home, plays significant role in shaping one's life and overall personality. Some of the most common causes which are associated with juvenile crimes are poverty, drug abuse, anti-social peer group, easy availability of firearms, abusive parents, family violence, child sexual abuse and role of media. 

Poverty is one of the biggest causes which forces a child to get involved in criminal acts. Also, role played by social media today which is having a more negative than positive imprints on young minds.

Children are considered to be gifts from God and are greatest personal as well as national assets. We as individuals, parents, guardians and society as a whole have a duty that children should be allowed and provided opportunity to grow up in a healthy sociocultural environment so that they could become responsible citizens, physically fit, mentally alert and morally healthy. It is the duty of the state to provide equal opportunities for development to all children during the period of their growth which would reduce inequality and ensure social justice. The state as well as the society has a responsibility towards our children in the sense that they would not become wayward and remain in the social mainstream; hence, 'care and protection' must be the main motto and not 'punishment'. 

Difficult Words with Meanings :

  • Rehablitation act of restoring something to its original state
  • Delinquent tending to commit crime
  • Ratify sign or give formal consent to
  • Contemplate observe or examine
  • Vulnerabilities quality of being hurt very easily
  • Mandate an official order to do something
  • Paved to make progress easier
  • Incompliance the act of yielding easily
  • Repeal to summon back or recall
  • Heinous wicked or abominable
  • Apprehended arrested or taken into custody
  • Regressive returning to a less developed state.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani

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July 05, 2020

India - Pakistan Relations and Pak's Role in Kashmir

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Essay on Indo-Pak Relations and Kashmir

The unrest in Kashmir, and the violence there, are the result of a series of deceits and aggressions by Pakistan, as follows :
  • It has provoked four wars :
    1. The initial one in 1947-48
    2. The 1965 war
    3. The 1971 war and
    4. The Kargil war of 1999
  • It has supported and promoted terrorism in India, especially in J&K, by terrorists trained and funded by its intelligence agency ISI, and its Army, most of the terrorists being non-Indian citizens. Some recent examples are the Parliament Attack (2001); the Mumbai terror attack (2008); in 2016-17, attacks on Pathankot Air base; and attacks on Uri and Nagrota bases of the army. 
  • Though it was agreed, in the Shimla Agreement of July 1971, that both nations would treat the Kashmir issue as a purely bilateral one, it continues to try to internationalise the issue using political, religious (and even terrorist acts) tools; 
  • Active support, funding training and providing human manpower for terrorist organisations, such as "Jammu and Kashmir Libertion Front" (JKLF), "Hizb-ul-Mujaheeden" and several other terrorist organizations. 
  • Providing refuge to terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed, who has a bounty of $10 million announced by USA and JKLF "President" Amanullah Khan.
  • In 1999, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee undertook a journey by bus to Lahore to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif. The "Lahore Declaration" was signed in February 1999 to 
    • Start a dialogue for solving all issues between the two countries and 
    • Not to interfere in each other's affairs. 
  • The Pakistanis reponded by the deceitful Kargil invasion, with the military objectives of cutting NH 1A (that joins Kargil and Leh) and occupying Indian Territory south of LOC (Line of Control). The Kargil War ensued, which India won, forcing Pakistani withdrawal from the areas they had occupied. 
  • It has ceded a part of J and K, the 1942 sq km Shasgam Valley to China. 
The upshot of all this is the two nuclear nations (both have nuclear weapons) remain hostile, and a permanent peace between the two seems elusive for the reasons largely revolving around Kashmir, as follows :
  • Jinnah then, and Pakistan even now, believed and believe in the "two-nation theory", of separate nations for Hindus and Muslims and, apart from strategic reasons, claim Kashmir because of its Muslim-majority population. This is not at all acceptable to India and is, in fact, anathema to it because of its belief in secularism and a secular state, as evidenced by its Muslim population of 15%.
  • As Pakistan commentator Khaled Ahmed has noted, Pakistani nationalism comprises 95% of "India hatred". They call it Islam because that is how Pakistanis have learnt to differentiate between India and themselves. The hatred extends to banning Bollywood movies.
  • The real power in Pakistan lies with the Army. The raison d'etre for its pre-eminent position is the threat from "enemy" India. Democracy and elections are a farce, as elected governments have no say in Pakistan's policy towards India, and Pakistan Army's budget. (In any case, Pakistan has had several military coups and many Generals like Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Pervez Musharraf have ruled the country). Whenever an elected government tries to make peace with India, it is deposed, as the case of Nawaz Sharif twice, once after the Kargil War and once recently.
  • Peace with India would hugely undercut the Army's importance and its budget. Ayesha Jalal, a Pakistan historian, wrote in her book The Struggle for Pakistan, that 'in 1973, a disproportionate 90% of the federal budget went to military ends'. The Pakistan Army today is also Pakistan's largest company, having shares in businesses ranging from clothing to ships. It has, therefore, often been said that every state has an army, Pakistan Army has a state!
  • Pakistan is over invested in Kashmir, calling it Pakistan's "jugular vein", and "partition's unfinished agenda". It also seeks revenge for its humiliating defeat in the 1971 war wen Bangladesh became independent and India took over 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war (whom India graciously returned). 
  • Hatred towards India and the Kashmir issue also serve to unite Pakistan in the face of both Baluchi and Sindh Secessionist movement. 
Conclusion : In conclusion, peace between India and Pakistan seems implausible, at least in the medium term future, especially as the Kashmir issue seems intractable in view of the interests of the all powerful Pakistani Army, and its spawning of terror and unrest in India, especially Kashmir.

Unfortunately, as the ex-Prime Minister Vajpayee quoted, "we can change our friends, not our neighbors", stands true in our condition. 
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    July 03, 2020

    Essays for Competitive Exams 2020 : Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Programmes in India

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    Essay on Farmer Welfare Schemes of India

    Indian farmers hae always needed welfare programmes to help them survive due to the numerous problems they face in earning their livelihoods. Successive governments have implemented many schemes and programmes over the years, but farmer distress remains. That is why farmers remain poor and farmer suicides continue. Thus, we should first understand the various problems farmers face, so that we can comprehend better the prospects of success of the programmes for farmer welfare which the government has initiated.

    The first problem the Indian farmers face is fragmented land holdings. Most Indian farmers are small farmers with economically unviable small and scattered agricultural land holdings. The major reason for this is our inheritance laws, due to which land belonging to the father is equally distributed among his sons after the father passes away, causing it to be fragmented. Such farmers cannot take advantage of economies of scale.

    The second problem faced by farmers is scarcity of inputs or their high cost which does not determine finished product costs. Good quality seeds, manures and chemical fertilizers are either costly or their availability is limited.

    The third problem is that only one-third of the cropped area in India is under irrigation. Irrigation is the most important agricultural input in a tropical monsoon country like India where rainfall is uncertain, ureliable and erratic.

    The fourth problem for farmers is non-remunerative prices for their finished products, the crops. In the absense of marketing facilities, small farmers have to depend upon local traders, moneylenders and middlemen for the disposal of their farm produce, which is often sold at a throw-away price.

    Another problem which causes distress to small farmers is spiraling debt traps caused by scarcity of finance. Although there has been a steady increase in the flow of institutional credit from banks and cooperative societies to agriculture over the years, it is still inadequate. The reason is inflexibility in the conditions on which loans are given and the inability of such farmers to complete the documentation required.

    Some of the problems mentioned above are due to the farmers' own poor awareness and education. Most small farmers are illiterate or poorly educated. They are also not aware of details of the institutional finance available to them. Thus, completing the required documentation remains a challenge. So they take the easy way out by borrowing the required finance from the local money-lenders, traders and commission agents.

    Successive governments subsequent to independence have tried to help such farmers with various schemes. The first such scheme, launched in 1952, was the Community Development Programme CDP), in which overall development of rural areas with people's participation was planned. The next was the Intensive Agriculture Development Programme (IADP) to provide loans for purchasing seeds and fertilizers to farmers in 1960. A large number of schemes and programmes of various types were implemented in subsequent years with some earlier schemes being merged with or subsumed in programmes made subsequently. Some of these were solutions to other problems faced in rural areas, including reduction of poverty, increase in employment and development of rural areas. However, many of these suffered from various flaws, due to which the intended benefits were only partially achieved. 

    In the recent past, several state governments have waived agricultural loans as part of their efforts to win over farmers in distress. Political parties have also been demanding for a Centre-sponsored national-wide loan waiver. However, loan waivers have many negative consequences. First, whether the benefits of the waivers will reach those who really need them is difficult to determine. Further, the waivers could significantly impact a state government's finances. In addition, the working of banks gets affected, as the farmers willing to repay the loans may not do so in the hope that the loans will be waived soon. Thus, we need to move away fro such measures and take up concerted and urgent reforms in capacity building in agriculture by addressing issues in marketing, pricing, credit and extension services. 

    With the present government coming into power in 2014, the scenario changed significantly due to a diligent analysis of the earlier failures and revamping of some of the schemes accordingly, besides introducing more practical schemes whose implementation is ongoing. In May 2018, the government made a commitment to double the farmer's income by the year 2022. In pursuit of this objective and their commitment to improve the farmers' lot, the schemes and welfare programmes introduced by the present government are as follows. 

    1. Soil Health Card 

    The card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil after it is tested in a laboratory, as well as recommending what is required to improve its fertility. Thus, it prevents indiscriminate use and wastage of chemical fertilizers. 

    2. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) 

    The scheme aims at promoting sustainable agriculture through climate change adaptation measures such as integrated farming, soil health management and synergising resource conservation. 

    3. Neem Coated Urea (NCU)

    NCU slows down the release of fertilizer to the soil and makes it available to the crop in an effective manner. It reduces the cost of cultivation and improves soil health management. 

    4. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sanchai Yojana (PMKSY) 

    It was launched in July 2015 for providing complete solutions in the irrigation supply chain, i.e., water sources, distribution network and farm level applications. It also popularizes micro irrigation by providing a Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) for encouraging public and private investments in micro irrigation. 

    5. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

    It promotes organic farming in the country, as organic products fetch a higher price in the local market besides having export potential.

    6. National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)

    It provides an e-marketing platform at national level and supports creation of infrastructure to enable e-marketing. This innovative market process is revolutionizing agriculture markets by finding better prices for agricultural products.

    7. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

    PMFBY is a premium based scheme under which a farmer has to pay a maximum premium of 2% for Kharif Crops, 1.5% for Rabi and Oilseed crops, as well as 5% for annual commercial  horticultural crops. The scheme facilitates prompt claims settlement in case of a crop loss due to unforeseen circumstances or natural disasters.

    The above schemes are an improvement over previous schemes due to the provision of transferring the money given by the government directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries which are linked to their Aadhar numbers. This ensures transparency and eliminates corruption.

    In the recent union budget 2020 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on 1st February 2020 announed 16 points action plan for farmers, towards the goal of doubling farmers income by 2022. The government allocated 2.83 lakh crore rupees for agriculture and allied activities, irrigation and rural development in 2020-21 budget. Further, she proposed comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts in the country. She added that agricultural credit target has been set up at 15 lakh crore. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) to be expanded to provide 20 lakh farmers in setting up standalone solar pumps. The milk processing capacity to be doubled from 53.5 million tonne to 108 million tonne by 2025. Though these are small steps in the right direction, it remains to be seen how these are implemented.

    In conclusion, we can definitely say that the State and Union governments must communicate better the benefits of the schemes to farmers. They should send teams of volunteers to rural areas for explaining the benefits to farmers and persuade them to apply for the schemes. Further, instead of loan waivers, they should give incentives to farmers for timely repayment of the loans. The present government has already made a start in this direction. Finally, the governments must implement the schemes effectively so as to benefit the targeted beneficiaries suitably.

    Shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani

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