Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Health Threats of Climate Change

Health Impacts of Climate Change
Changes in the greenhouse gas concentrations and other drivers alter the global climate and bring about myriad human health consequences. Environmental consequences of climate change are such as extreme heat waves, rising sea-levels, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and droughts, intense hurricanes, and degraded air quality, affect directly and indirectly the physical, social, and psychological health of humans.  For instance, changes in precipitation are creating changes in the availability and quantity of water, as well as resulting in extreme weather events such as intense hurricanes and flooding.  Climate change can be a driver of disease migration, as well as exacerbate health effects resulting from the release of toxic air pollutants in vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with asthma or cardiovascular disease.
Certain adverse health effects can be minimized or avoided with sound mitigation and adaptation strategies. Strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change can prevent illness and death in people now, while also protecting the environment and health of future generations.  Mitigation refers to actions being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance the sinks that trap or remove carbon from the atmosphere. Adaptation refers to actions being taken to lessen the impact on health and the environment due to changes that cannot be prevented through mitigation. Appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies will positively affect both climate change and the environment, and thereby positively affect human health. Some adaptation activities will directly improve human health through changes in our public health and health care infrastructure.

Health Impacts

Climate change is expected to affect air quality through several pathways, including production and allergenicity of allergens and increase regional concentrations of ozone, fine particles, and dust. Some of these pollutants can directly cause respiratory disease or exacerbate existing conditions in susceptible populations, such as children or the elderly. Some of the impacts that climate change can have on air quality include:
·         Increase ground level ozone and fine particle concentrations, which can trigger a variety of reactions including chest pains, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion, as well as reduce lung function and cause inflammation of the lungs
·         Increase carbon dioxide concentrations and temperatures, thereby affecting the timing of aeroallergen distribution and amplifying the allergenicity of pollen and mold spores
·         Increase the frequency of droughts, leading to increased dust and particulate matter

Adaptation and Mitigation

·         Mitigating short-lived contamination species that both air pollutants and green house gases, such as ozone or black carbon. Examples include urban tree covers or rooftop gardens in urban settings
·         Decreasing the use of vehicle miles traveled to reduce ozone precursors
·         Utilizing alternative transportation options, such as walking or biking, which have the co-benefit of reducing emissions while increasing cardiovascular fitness and contributing to weight loss.  However, these activities also have the potential to increase exposure to harmful outdoor air pollutants, particularly in urban areas.

Heat-Related Morbidity and Mortality

Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can cause heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat stroke, and death, as well as exacerbate pre existing chronic conditions, such as various respiratory, cerebral, and cardiovascular diseases.  These serious health consequences usually affect more vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, and those with existing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.  Socioeconomic factors, such as economically disadvantaged and socially isolated individuals, are also at risk from heat-related burdens.  As global temperatures rise and extreme heat events increase in frequency due to climate change we can expect to see more heat-related illnesses and mortality.  Public health systems need to be prepared for extreme events and responses will demand a concerted effort among the public health community, the medical establishment, emergency responses teams, the housing authority, and law enforcement in order to quickly identify and serve the populations vulnerable to extreme heat events.

Health Impacts

·         Increased temperatures and increase in extreme heat events cause heat exhausting, heat stroke, and death, especially in vulnerable populations.
·         High concentrations of buildings in urban areas cause urban heat island effect, generation and absorbing heat, making the urban center several degrees warmer than surrounding areas.

Mitigation and Adaptation

·         Heat early warning systems and proactive heat wave response plans
·         Increased air conditioning use
·         Decreased time spent outdoors during extreme heat events
·         Increased use of sun-shielding clothing

Vector borne Diseases

Vector borne diseases are infectious diseases whose transmission involves animal hosts or vectors.  Vector borne diseases, such as malaria, are those in which an organism, typically insects, ticks, or mites, carry a pathogen from one host to another, generally with increased harmfulness (virulence) of the pathogen in the vector. Vector borne diseases that are found in warmer climates and vulnerable due to global trade and travel. 

Health Impacts

·         Changes in temperature and precipitation directly affect Vector borne diseases through pathogen-host interaction, and indirectly through ecosystem changes and species composition.
·         As temperatures increases vectors can spread into new areas that were previously too cold. For example, two mosquito vectors that carry malaria are now found at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mitigation and Adaptation

·         Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to influence local ecological environment, thereby altering the life cycles of certain disease vectors and animals 
·         Preserving forests and wetlands to affect ecology and transmission cycles 
·         Developing and implementing early warning systems to reduce exposure to environmental hazards and limit susceptibility in exposed populations

The Chief Software Architect
Bill Gates is an American business magnate and computer programmer who is the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company. Since the company’s formation in 1975, Gates has held several positions including those of the chairman, CEO and chief software architect. One of the most famous entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution, he has been consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people starting from 1987. Born as the son of a successful lawyer, Bill Gates was encouraged from a young age to be competitive. Bright and curious, he developed an interest in computers while in school and wrote his first computer program as a young teenager. After completing his schooling, he enrolled at the prestigious Harvard College though he did not stay there long enough to complete his studies. He dropped out to pursue his passion in computers and teamed up with Paul Allen, a former schoolmate, to form Microsoft. The company proved to be highly successful and within years Gates became an internationally known entrepreneur. Currently the wealthiest person in the world, he is a renowned philanthropist who along with his wife has created the charity organization "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”. He has also authored and co-authored several books.
Childhood & Early Life:
Born as William Henry Bill Gates III on October 28, 1955, he is the son of William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His father was a prominent lawyer while his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate Bank System and the United Way. He has two sisters. He studied at the Lakeside School where he developed an interest in computing. He was just 13 when he wrote his first software program on the school’s computer and by the time he was in high school he, along with some of his friends, had computerized their school’s payroll system.
His future business collaborator, Paul Allen, was a senior at Lakeside. At the age of 17, Gates teamed up with Allen to form a venture called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor. He graduated from high school in 1973. He was a National Merit Scholar and scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT. He enrolled at Harvard College later the same year. As a college student he spent a lot of time on the computers though he was not much interested in studying other subjects. His friend Allen suggested that Bill drop out of college to start a business.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen collaborated to found Microsoft (initially called Micro-Soft) in 1975. In the beginning they adapted BASIC, a popular programming language for use on microcomputers. It proved to be a success and they continued to develop programming language software for various systems. In 1980, the duo was approached by International Business Machine (IBM) with a proposal that Microsoft write the BASIC interpreter for IBM’s upcoming personal computer, the IBM PC. Microsoft created the PC DOS operating system which they delivered to IBM in exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000. Soon Microsoft’s operating systems became very popular and the company introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS. Over the following years Windows came to dominate the world’s personal computer market acquiring over 90% market share. The company saw phenomenal financial success, and being the company’s largest individual shareholder, Bill Gates amassed a great fortune. Microsoft introduced Microsoft Office in 1989. The package integrated several applications like Microsoft Word and Excel into one system that was compatible with all Microsoft products. The success of MS Office gave Microsoft a virtual monopoly on operating systems for PCs. In the mid 1990s when the use of the internet spread throughout the globe at an alarming speed, Gates focused Microsoft on the development of consumer and enterprise software solutions for the Internet. Windows CE operating system platform and the Microsoft Network were among the innovative solutions developed during this time. In January 2000, Gates stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft though he retained his position as chairman. He created the new position of Chief Software Architect for himself. Over the next few years he gradually transferred his duties to others at Microsoft and started spending more time in philanthropic works. He stepped down as Chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, and currently serves as technology advisor to support CEO Satya Nadella.
 Major Works:
Bill Gates is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, the multinational technology company which is today considered one of the world's most valuable companies. It is the world’s largest software maker measured by revenues
Awards & Achievements:
In 2002, Bill and Melinda Gates received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged. Gates received the Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute in 2010 in recognition of his achievements at Microsoft and his philanthropic work. Bill and Melinda Gates jointly received India’s third highest civilian honor Padma Bhushan in 2015 for their foundation's philanthropic activities in India.
Philanthropic Works:
 In 1999, he donated US$20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the construction of a computer laboratory which was named the “William H. Gates Building” in his honor. Along with his wife, Melinda, Bill Gates formed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF or the Gates Foundation) in 2000. It is the largest private foundation in the world and aims to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty worldwide. In 2010, Gates along with fellow billionaire investors Warren Buffett, and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed the “Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge”, committing to donate at least half of their wealth over the course of time to charity.


The Lottery

            Throughout history, certain traditions and rituals have been able to dictate human behavior, even to the point where the person loses their sense of morality. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” tells us the story of a small, American town, set in the former half of the 20th century. On the outside, this settlement seems quite normal. It had roughly three hundred people, most of whom were farmers. The postmaster, Mr. Graves, was the leader of the town, seconded only by Mr. Summers, who owned the local coal business. However, despite the quaint atmosphere, this deceptively tranquil village has a single unscrupulous blemish. Every year, on the 27th of June, a lottery is held in the town. Despite the connotation, winning this lottery renders the individual far from fortunate. This lottery, in which every town member must participate, determines which person will be stoned by his fellow residents. This horrendous action is the result of a ritual which had been integrated into the society during previous generations. The townspeople had long since forgotten the significance, most of the details, and original intent of this ritual. They only remembered that every June 27th, they were to hold a lottery for the whole town, and brutally murder the winner.
Perhaps one of the most powerful attributes of tradition is its ability to induce obstinacy among its followers. Throughout the inhabitants of the town were unwilling to change even the slightest detail involving the lottery. When Mr. Summers suggested using a new box, due to the fact that the current one had deteriorated greatly, the citizens adamantly refused, because the box was supposedly made with pieces of the original box that was used when the first settlers of the town inhabited the region. Even in its weathered condition, this black box was a symbol to the town of the impending doom which awaited one unlucky individual every year. The townspeople were also very reluctant to switch from wooden blocks to paper slips as means of drawing for the lottery. However, with much persistence from Mr. Summers, the townspeople eventually conceded, because the town had grown too large for each piece of wood to fit in the box. The townspeople were also unyielding in the proceedings of choosing the lottery slip. Only on the rarest of occasions was a woman allowed to choose the slip for her family; it was customarily the job of the husband, or a son who was of age. This is demonstrated when Jane Dunbar’s husband was unable to attend the lottery due to a broken leg. It was very apparent that Jane felt out of place when she was drawing her ticket. The Watson family was fortunate enough to have a son who was old enough to draw for his father. The crowd favored this much more than a woman drawing, as they told Jack “Glad to see your mother’s got a man to do it.” The villagers were also very stubborn that the lottery remains a tradition in the community. The lottery had become so ingrained into their culture that they those who did not practice it to be uncivilized. Old Man Warner compared abolishing the lottery with living in caves and refusing to work. The surrounding villages which chose to end the lottery were referred to as a “pack of young fools” by him as well. Old Man Warner represents the most devout followers of a tradition. Though they do not seek leadership positions, they are resolute that if things have been practiced a certain way for a long period of time, then these thing ought not to be changed. Old Man Warner was upset with the fact that Mr. Summers was being jovial with the residents as they selected their lottery slip, because he believed that it was inappropriate for the lottery to not be held in an austere manner. He was also irritated with Nancy Hutchinson’s friends’ apprehension at the thought of her being the winner. Mercy and compassion clearly had no placed in the lottery.
The second, and most noticeable trait of this ritual, is its dehumanizing effect. The winner of this lottery is stoned by his own town. Friends and family show extreme callousness as they join the bloodthirsty crowd to stone one of their own. Moments before the lottery began, Mrs. Hutchinson had a friendly chat with Mrs. Delacroix. However, when Mrs. Hutchinson had been declared winner of the lottery, all previous illusions of friendship between the two had been erased. Mrs. Delacroix was sprinting towards her with the largest stone she could find, excited to have the chance to slaughter one who, just the day before, she would have called friend. As disturbing as this may be, it is not nearly as unnerving as the betrayal among family members. It is clear that these families had no love for one another. Rather, they saw each other simply as pawns which would reduce the likelihood of their being chosen at the lottery. Mr. Hutchinson’s final words to his wife were “Shut up, Tessie”. Mrs. Hutchinson, when she sees the possibility of herself being chosen, immediately tries to lessen her chances by asking that her married daughter choose as well. Her children, rather than expressing dismay over her imminent death, show pure jubilation when they see that their lives are spared. Towards the end of the story, children and adults alike join in stoning Mrs. Hutchinson. Even Little Dave, who may have been as young as five years old, was given pebbles to throw at his mother. This shows the desensitizing of murder which to town implants in the youth. From the time they can walk, kids were taught to join in the slaying of a human being, whether it was someone who they didn’t know, or a member of their own family.
This short story illustrates how tradition has the power to influence our lives in such a way that we lose the ability to know what is right and wrong. These people were conditioned to murder one person each year, simply because it was the way things had always been done. While there are also favorable aspects of ritual, they are not depicted in the short story. Jackson clearly strived to show the reader how dangerous tradition can be.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


The Greatest Resource – Education
Ernst Friedrich Schumacher (1911 – 1977) was an influential economist-philosopher and systems thinker. “The Greatest Resource – Education” is extracted from his book “Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered”. He talks about education as our greatest resource: when it deals with and gives answers to the deeper questions about who we are and what our place is in this universe, then education is our greatest resource.
Schumacher starts out by indicating that people usually look at education as the answer or the key to all kinds of problems or challenges. Men have lived and multiplied wherever they have found their means of living on every part of the earth. They have built great civilizations in the course of time and have disappeared and have become a cause for new civilizations that have arisen as a new form of cultures. The fact is that it is the man who is the primary resource for all the economic development but not the nature on this planet. The key factor of all this development is the sudden outburst of men’s daring, initiative, invention and constructive activity in all fields at once. It is strengthened through education which is the most significant of all resources. 
           No civilization has ever flourished without organized education. We believe that education is the residual legatee of all our problems.  Strong and better education would bring solution to all our problems such as nuclear dangers, new abuses of genetic engineering and the new temptations of commercialism. As the modern life is becoming more complex, it is the need for everyone to become more highly educated or we ourselves could vanish from this planet. 
         It is evident that the global situation at present calls for prodigious educational efforts. Education is a means of prosperity. Hence, we must educate ourselves or we shall be destroyed. Sir Charles Snow talked about two cultures which had greater impact on our lives. According to him, the two cultures are two polar groups… one pole is the literary intellectuals and the other the scientists. He deplores that there is a big gap between these two groups. He wanted this gap should be bridged. It could be to get world-class scientists and professionals to research high-class design and development. Later, many of the other scientists, engineers, politicians, administrators and the entire community should be trained to have a social sense what the scientists are mentioning. Lord Snow tells that the scientists are never exhausted to explain the fruits of their research and innovation is ‘neutral’. It depends on how the humanity makes use of it for their enrichment.

             E. F. Schumacher points out that modern people face many problems thrust upon them by the advancement of science and technology. So, there must be strong education to cope with these problems. Science and Engineering produce ‘know-how’, but the author says that ‘know-how’ is an unfinished sentence because it has got no end. Potential education could help to finish the sentence. The purpose of education should be the transmission of ideas of value and of what to do with our lives. It could be foolhardy to put great powers into the hands of unreasonable people. The whole mankind would be in mortal danger if we tend to uses science and technological knowhow destructively without wisdom. More education could only fill the ignorant minds with wisdom. We are no doubt the inheritors of ‘Dark Ages’ and it is only our mental make-up could pave the way for better life on this beautiful earth.

A Dilemma: A Layman Looks at Science
Raymond Blaine Fosdick (1883-1972), lawyer, public servant, and author, was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of a high school principal. He was a lifetime disciple of Woodrow Wilson. Raymond B. Fosdick  in the lesson  ‘A DilemmaA Layman Looks at Science’  says  that  science  should  be used only for the constructive purpose and not to be  aimed  at  the degeneration of the society. August  6,  1945,  a  day  of  unfortunate,  on  which  the atomic bomb  was  dropped  on Hiroshima  brought  home  to all of us about the significance (or) importance of science in  human  life.  Mankind  was frightened by science and bewildered  by  its  enormous  power.  This  instance  has realised the mankind how unequipped we are in terms of ethics, law, and government, to know how to use it. The author says that science  is based  on  truth and should spring from the noblest attribute of the human spirit.
There are certain inventions that can evoke both positive and negative responses. Invention of radio, automobiles, penicillin, radar and jet propulsions shall be aimed towards the betterment of the society rather  than  creating  ugliness and desolation. The gifts of science,  the  author vehemently  feels, should not blow our civilization into  drifting  dust. The  research  andTechnology  yield  right  fruits  when  they  are  related  to  human welfare.
Science is the search for truth. But it is the same search for truth that has brought our civilization to the brink of  destruction.  The  writer  strongly  feels that research shall be subjected to some kind of restraint if it is not linked  to human constructive purpose; it is really  disheartening  to  read  about  that  leading scientists associated with atom bomb saying that one should  not hold  back progress because of fear of misuse of   science.
Fosdick says that some inventions are purely accidental and the scientists never had any evil intentions while discovering them. For instance Albert Einestein never thought of atom bomb while working for his transformation equation in 1905. Yet, from this it has come out one of the principles  upon which atom bomb is based. Similarly sulphur drugs and mustard gas which are offshoots of German dye industry  was  not  created  to  deal  with  either  medicine or weapons of  war.  Willard  Gibbs, was  a  gentle  spirit  whose  life  was spent in his laboratory at Yale University, had never dreamt that his research  in the mathematical physics might have even a remote  relationship  to  World War I & II. These discoveries are classic examples  where  the gifts  of science  can  be used by evil men to do evil even more  obviously  and dramatically than it can be used by men of goodwill to do good.
The author concludes that the towering enemy of mankind is not science but  war. Science  merely  reflect  the  social  forces  by  which  it is surrounded. When there is peace, science is constructive and when there is war, science is perverted to destructive ends.  Our  problem  therefore  is  not  to  curb  science but to stop war- to substitute law for force and international government for anarchy in the relations of  one  nation  with  another.  He  feels  that  our  education should be  based  on  tolerance  understanding  and  creative intelligence that should run fast enough to put an end to the evil effects of the science. Formally, Science must help us but the decision lies within ourselves ie., the sole responsibility  is of human beings.

Cultural Shock: Adjustment to New Cultural Environments

Culture shock tends to be an occupational disease of people who have been suddenly transplanted abroad. Like most ailments, it has its own symptoms, cause, and cure. Many people have suffered from it. Some never recovered, and left their field. Some live in a constant state of such shock. Many recover beautifully. As it will be clear from the implications of Dr. Oberg’s article, the state of culture shock in which an individual lives will have great bearing on his temperament and witness.
Culture shock happens suddenly by the anxiety that results from losing all our familiar signs and symbols of social interaction. These signs are part of our daily life shaking hands, introducing to people, inviting, suggesting and making purchases with words, gestures, facial expressions and so on. The customs and norms to which we acquaint as we grow up are as much part of our culture. It’s also like the language we speak and beliefs we accept. This discomfort knocks him down and brings frustration and it can be sure that he is suffering from culture shock. He feels nostalgic which could only bring him back to reality.
According to the author, there are some symptoms of culture shock. They are excessive washing of hands, excessive concern over drinking water, food, dishes and bedding. Individuals greatly affected by culture shock. They cannot live in a foreign country. The author analyses that there are four stages of culture shock. During the first stage (honeymoon stage), he is attracted by the new nationals and their polite association, and he would be pampered and petted. It is a pleasant abroad experience. Slowly, the individual has to cope with the real conditions of life. It is the second stage where he becomes hostile and aggressive towards the host country.
The hostility grows out of the troubles such as maid trouble, school trouble, language trouble, house trouble, transportation trouble and shopping trouble etc… The people of the host country are indifferent and unsympathetic to his worries. Then he blames the host country joining with his cocktail countrymen. This is a peculiar habit of an individual in a negative manner. Later, he succeeds himself to get around and acquaint himself to the new cultural environment. He is convinced that he has to carry his own cross in this stage. His attitude gives him confidence to interact and get around in a new social environment. The individual begins to accept the customs of new culture as just another way of living in the fourth stage. With a complete adjustment he begins to enjoy the new customs.
The nature of culture shock points out to the real experiences of the individual on a foreign land. It arises from not knowing the language, strange customs, the consequent frustrations and anxieties. He cannot live satisfactory life until he gets over culture shock. The author says that the wives are more affected by the culture shock than their husbands.
Once the individual learns to respect the new culture believing that they are one, he feels comfortable. This attitude is ethnocentrism. This common element brings all nations together and avoids the differences. It is a simple matter to acquaint oneself with new culture. The ability to communicate friendly recovers him from culture shock. Understanding new culture is essential but it does not mean that one has to forget his own culture. He must be patient, sympathetic and understanding to get over culture shock.


Dr.Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October, 1931 at Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram district of Tamilnadu. He came from a humble background and started working at an early age to support his family. After completing school, Dr Kalam distributed newspapers to financially contribute to his father Jainulabudeen, who was a boat owner.  He did his secondary education at Schwartz high school in Ramanathapuram, He studied physics at the St Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, from where he graduated in 1954 and did Aerospace Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai in 1960.
After passing out as a graduate Aeronautical Engineer, Kalam joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore as a trainee, and later joined as a Technical assistant in the directorate of Technical Development and Production of the Ministry of defense. In1960's Kalam joined the Vikram Sarabhai Space Research center at Thumba in Kerala. He played a major role in developing the first indigenous satellite - launched vehicle.
Dr Kalam joined Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist and started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army. He was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, he was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed Rohini satellite near earth's orbit in July 1980.
 In 1982, he rejoined DRDO as director and conceived the integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) for five indigenous missiles : Nag, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul and Agni. He is popularly known as the 'Missile Man of India' for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He played a pivotal role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. Dr.APJ. Abdul Kalam has established an advance technology research center called 'Research Center Imarat' to undertake development in futuristic missile technology areas. It was perhaps the most satisfying achievement for Kalam during the missile years. Dr. Kalam has also served as Principal Scientific Advisor to the government of India during 25th November 1999-10 November 2001. Later, he quit the job and took over the job as distinguished professor at Anna University.
On July 25,2002 , Dr .A.P.J  Abdul Kalam was sworn in as the 12th president of India by Chief Justice of India Shri B.N.Kirpal in central hall of parliament at an impressive function telecast live across the parliament at an impressive function telecast live across the country.        Dr .Kalam took the oath in the name of God as a 21 -gun salute boomed in the background. Dr Kalam was the third President to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna, before becoming the President, the earlier two were Dr Sarvapali Radhakrishnan (1954) and Dr Zakir Hussain (1963). He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government.

Dr. Kalam a bachelor is connoisseur of classical carnatic music. He plays rudra veena in his leisure. He wrote poetry in Tamil, his mother -tongue. Seventeen of him poems were translated into English and published in 1994 as a book entitled “My Journey”. Among the many books written by Dr Kalam, few of them are: “Wings of Fire”: An Autobiography in 1999, “Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within” in 2002. Dr Kalam advocated plans to develop India into a developed nation by 2020 in his book “India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium” in 1998. He reads the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita with equal devotion. Dr. Kalam is by no means a miracle man .His advice to the youth of the nation is to “dream dream and convert these dreams into thoughts and later into actions”. He also advises people to think big. We are a nation of a billion people and we must think like a nation of a billion people.  Only then can we become big.

Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman

The Great Indian physicist Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, popularly known as C.V Raman, was born on 7th November, 1888 at Trichirapalli in Tamil Nadu. His father was a physics teacher and so it was natural that Raman developed love for this subject. He was a brilliant student from the very beginning. As a brilliant and promising lad, he passed his matriculation examination at the young age of 12 from Madras University.
His parents wanted to send him England for higher studies but his poor health did not allow it. He studied at Hindu College, Visakhapatnam and Presidency College, Madras. He obtained his post-graduation degree in physics in 1907 with the top position. During his student period he conducted many researches and published his papers in many reputed magazines. In the same year, Raman got the first position in the Financial Service Examination and was appointed as the Assistant Accountant General in Calcutta. There he came in contact with an eminent scientist named Dr. Amritlal Sarkar who was Secretary of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. This contact with Dr. Sarkar proved a turning point in the life of this young scientist.
His interest in physics was deep and lasting and so he continued his research work in his spare time in the laboratory of the Association. He published his research results in the leading journals of Calcutta, which were in regard to the subject of propagation of light. These original research papers were of great scientific significance. When these came to the notice of the then Vice -Challenger of Calcutta University, Sir Ashutosh Mukharjee, he appointed him Professor of physics in the University. During his stay at the University he continued his research with much more devotion and won immense honour and recognition as a physicist.
He was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1924. He discovered the “Raman Effect” in 1928. For it he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930. He became the first Indian to win this prestigious honour. With this award, his reputation increased by leaps and bounds and many Universities and institutions of repute honoured him with Ph D and D.Sc. degrees. In December, 1927 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for demonstrating that the nature of X-rays undergoes a change when passed through a matter.
This effect came to be known as the “Compton Effect.” Encouraged by this discovery, Raman continued his experiments and ultimately proved that light rays can also be scattered. His discovery enabled for the first time, the mapping of possible levels of energy gains of molecules and atoms of a substance and thus discovered their molecules and atomic structure. This discovery of the scattering of light led to the development of a simple alternative to infra-red spectroscopy, namely, Raman Spectroscopy. He also gave us the scientific explanation for the blue colour of the sky and the ocean. He explained that the blue color of the ocean was as a result of the scattering of sunlight by the molecules of the water. He travelled widely abroad delivering lectures about his discoveries and researches. In 1933 he became the Director of the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore. In 1943 he founded the Raman Research Institute at Bangalore. He was knighted in 1927. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954 and the International Lenin Prize in 1957.

Homi Jehangir Bhabha
Homi Jehangir Bhabha was a multifaceted personality - scientist, visionary and institution builder.  He was born on October 30, 1909 in an illustrious family with a long tradition of learning and service to the country. Bhabha was exposed to fine arts, music and painting, which moulded his artistic traits.
Bhabha was intelligent, hard working and sincere student. After finishing schooling, Bhabha’s parents sent him to Cambridge University, UK for higher education in mechanical engineering. After completing his degree in 1932, Bhabha continued his research at Cambridge University. His first paper appeared in 1934, based on theoretical explanation of shower production in cosmic rays. His name is associated with Bhabha scattering, which involves relativistic exchange scattering of electrons and Bhabha-Heitler theory, dealing with production of electron and positron showers in cosmic rays.  Thus, it was no surprise that at a young age of 31, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society, London. Bhabha rubbed shoulders with great physicists like Bohr, Pauli, Dirac, Cockcroft and others, who later became Noble Laureates. This period was crucial for Bhabha for capacity building and leadership qualities.
Bhabha was on vacation during 1939, when  the second world war broke out and he could not go back abroad to continue his research. He then joined Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore as a Reader in Department of Physics, headed by Sir C. V. Raman and set up a cosmic ray research unit.  Raman had great admiration for Bhabha and at Nagpur Indian Academy meeting in 1941, while introducing Bhabha, he said “Bhabha is a great lover of music, a gifted artist, a brilliant engineer and an outstanding scientist. He is the modern equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci”.  It was from Bangalore in 1944, Bhabha wrote his historical letter to the Tata trust for support in setting up a centre for research work in nuclear science, which could play a central role in the development of nuclear energy. There was a clear similarity in vision between the great Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata and Bhabha with respect to the need for education, scientific research and human resource development for economic prosperity. Subsequently, in 1945 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) was formed and large scale research in physics, chemistry, electronics and mathematics commenced. 
Bhabha was instrumental for the formation of Atomic Energy Commission in 1948 and the Department of Atomic Energy in 1954 and he chalked out a focussed research and minerals exploration programmes for nuclear energy. He was such a visionary that he had realized the importance of nuclear power programme way back in 1950s and enunciated a three stage nuclear programme so as to meet the energy security of the nation.  It consisted of utilization of natural uranium, plutonium and abundant thorium resources in thermal, fast and advanced nuclear reactors with closed fuel cycle.  He also had balanced perspective on the role of other energy resources such as coal, oil and solar. A significant factor that contributed for the growth of nuclear sciences and its applications was Bhabha's rapport with the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who reposed complete confidence in him.  This was possible because Bhabha had the deserving credentials and his passion matched with Nehru’s vision of modern India. There was a great synergy in thinking between Nehru and Bhabha with respect to industrialization and scientific research, evolving hand-in-hand.
Bhabha gave utmost importance to the development of quality human resources. The commencement and continuation of BARC Training School for the scientific manpower over the last 50 years is a real tribute to Bhabha’s foresight on quality manpower. Bhabha, a person of perfection, purpose and excellence, ensured these qualities in all his endeavours viz., research, management, buildings and environment. His total conviction, never-accepting mediocrity, never compromising on excellence, meeting the challenges head-on with confidence made him a unique personality. Bhabha was a great scientific manager and followed the mantra of right man for the right job.
Bhabha had received many prestigious national and international awards and recognitions. In 1954, he was conferred with Padma Bhushan award for outstanding contributions to nuclear science. In 1955, he was elected as the President of the first International Conference on the 'Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy', organized by the UN at Geneva.
At a young age of 56, Bhabha suddenly passed away in 1966 due to a plane crash in Switzerland. A vibrant and robust organization, that he had left behind with many signal achievements in nuclear science and technology as well as a dedicated and talented pool of human resources, bears testimony to the visionary zeal of Bhabha. His life was an example for all of us, which stood for ‘deserve, desire and demonstrate’.
Message for youth
Bhabha’s life is an example of pursuing individual passion with a national perspective and purpose. If he chose, he could have gone abroad after the Second World War and pursued his scientific research and perhaps, could have even won Noble prize in physics. But, he chose to stay back to serve the country. He channelized all his scientific pursuits to develop scientific institutes with an aim to serve the society. He blended his individual vision and passion with that of the Country.  Today, we have world class institutes and the Departments like Atomic Energy and Space, thanks to Bhabha’s foresight and vision.  Thus, his life message to all of us is ‘do pursue the passion of your life but with a vector or direction of serving the country and making it proud with your contributions’.      


What happens if you take a rich magistrate's son and make him learn in a village school sitting besides the sons of servants and fishermen? He'll hear tales of birds and animals that make him curious about Nature. And that makes him one of India's first scientists - Jagdish Chandra Bose.
Botanist and physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose was born in Mymensingh, India (now in Bangladesh)on November 30, 1858. He was educated first at the village school in Faridpur, where his  father was a magistrate, Bhagwan Chandra Bose. Later he migrated to St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta at the age of thirteen. There he met Father Eugene Lafont, who was very interested in promoting modern science in India. He later went to the UK, where he got degrees from the universities of Cambridge and London. He also met Prafulla Chandra Ray, another pioneer of Indian science.
He came back and was made a Professor of Physics at Presidency College on the Viceroy's recommendation. However, the principal and other faculty, who were White, were very racially biased against him and gave only an acting appointment. He was offered one-third the salary of the school's white professors, and in protest at this slight he took no salary at all for several years. They denied him any laboratory facilities, but he carried on his research work, buying equipment with his own salary.
He remained at Presidency for his entire career, where he assembled the first modern scientific research facilities in Indian academia. He conducted landmark research of the response of plant and animal life to stimuli including electricity, light, sound, and touch, and showed how water and sap in plants and trees is elevated from roots due to capillary action. He invented the crescograph, an early oscillating recorder using clockwork gears to measure the growth and movements of plants in increments as small as 1/100,000 of an inch. His 1902 paper "Responses in the Living and Non-living" showed that plant and animal tissues share a similar electric-impulse response to all forms of stimulation, a finding which challenged conventional science of the time, and also showed that even inanimate objects — certain rocks and metals — have similar responses. In a 1907 paper Bose established the electro transmission of excitation in plant and animal tissues, and showed that plants respond to sound, by growing more quickly in an environment of gentle speech or soft music, and growing more poorly when subjected to harsh speech or loud music.
Prior to his plant and animal experiments, Bose spent several years experimenting with electromagnetic waves, and conducted successful wireless signaling experiments in Calcutta in 1895. The invention of radio is usually credited to G. Marconi, but a comparison of their records suggests that at certain points of Bose's radio research, he was about a year ahead of the Italian scientist. In Marconi's first wireless trans-oceanic transmission in 1901 a mercury auto coherer was a key component of the receiving device, and while Marconi made no acknowledgment of Bose at the time, subsequent research has shown that Marconi's auto coherer was a near-exact replica of a mechanism invented by Bose, who explained it in detail in a demonstration at the Royal Society of London two years earlier.
Bose was the first Indian scientist to be widely respected as an equal in the halls of western science. When he demonstrated his mechanisms for generating and detecting radio waves in a January 1897 lecture before the Royal Institution in London, it was the first such lecture given by an Indian. He was elevated to knighthood in 1917, and in 1920 he became the first Indian elected to membership in the prestigious Royal Society. Bose, who came from a fairly affluent family, had no particular interest in the profit potential of his work, and refused to file patent claims. A patent was filed by friends in Bose's name for his 1901 invention of a solid-state diode detector to detect electromagnetic waves.
He founded the Bose Research Institute in Calcutta in 1917, which continues to conduct scientific research. He was a contemporary and friend of the poet Rabindranath Tagore. In 1937, Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose breathed his last. In the pages of history are recorded the glorious achievements of many great men whom the world recognises, loves and respects. Such men prove to be a true asset not only to their own countries but also to the world. Their lives become a message and a source of inspiration for generations to come.
Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose was one such personality who became immortal in the field of science. He was not only a scientist par excellence, but also a warm human being and a modest personality. Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose was worthy and illustrious son of our motherland whom the nation feels proud of. He brought various laurels to our country. Immense hard working capacity, patience and simplicity were hall­marks of his personality. Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose was a creative and imaginative scientist, a connoisseur of literature and a great lover of nature.

Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan, a poor uneducated Indian, was one of the greatest and most unusual mathematical geniuses who ever lived, was born on 22nd December in 1887 in Erode in Tamilnadu. He grew up in Kumbakonam where his father K. Sirnivasa Iyengar worked as an accountant in a sari shop. His mother Kamalat Ammal was a house wife and also sang songs at local temple. 

Srinivasa Ramanujan started his schooling in 1892. He did not like school though he completed high school and tried twice to obtain a college education. But he failed both times because he was so obsessed by mathematics that he simply could not spend anytime on other subjects. He started excelling in mathematics. He came to think of his results or the source of his incredible outpouring of mathematics.

Early Life:
In 1909, when Ramanujan was 22 years old, he married 9 year old Janaki and took a clerical position in Madras Port Trust Office to support her and his mother who lived with them. While working as clerk, Ramanujan continued to pour out math results on wrapping paper in the office. He was tied up with mathematics in such a way that he forgot event to eat. His wife and his mother used to feed him at meal times so that he would continue writing while he ate. 

Education & Research:
Fortunately, both the chairman and manager of  Madras Port Trust Office were engineers who recognized his extraordinary mathematical talent. They urged him to send his results to English mathematics. He wrote to HF Baker & E.W. Hobson of Cambridge University. Both returned his letters without comment.
Then on 16th June 1913, he wrote to G.H Hardy. He invited Ramanujan to come to England to study with him  Ramanujan accepted his invitation and arrived at Trinity college in April 1914. Hardy characterizes Ramanujan as a very great mathematician full of paradoxes, who defies all judgment. Ramanujan worked very hard in collaboration with G.H Hardy. He used to work 24 to 36 hrs at a stretch and collapse and sleep for 12 hrs or more at a time. As he was a vegetarian it was difficult for him for food in England. It resulted that he was affected by mysterious illness that might be vitamin B2 deficiency caused by his poor diet. He returned to India in 1919. He died a year later at the age of 32. 

Ramanujan left behind 3 notebooks, which he wrote before coming to England and which are filled with as many as 4000 results. GH Hardy showed a colleague of his Ramanujan’s strange letter which was crammed with as many as 60 mathematical theorems and formulas stated without any proofs. He made a significant contribution to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions.