Saturday, September 19, 2015

How a rainbow works - Elocution speech by Harshi

  • A rainbow is a multi-coloured arc that appears in the sky as a result of bending and scattering of sunlight through drops of rain.
  • It occurs when it is raining in one part of the sky and sunny in another.
  • A rainbow cannot be approached or physically touched.
  • On ground, we only see a semi-circle or arc of rainbow, though it’s a full circle of light. 
  • However, from height such as on an airplane, it can be seen in a complete circle.
  • Due to its bow like shape and being formed mainly in rains, it is called as rainbow.
  • Sir Isaac Newton explained how a rainbow forms. He identified 7 colours that make up white light of Sun. These 7 colours are Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red (VIBGYOR).
  • All these colours are present in a rainbow in the order red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo and violet.
  • Normally when sunlight travels through the air we see white light. But when it enters through a raindrop, colours separate to make a rainbow at 42 degrees from the direction opposite to the sun. Each raindrop makes its own rainbow but it takes millions of raindrops for us to see a rainbow.
  • Earth is the only planet in the solar system where rainbows are possible.
  • No two people see the same rainbow due to change in set of raindrops being seen.

How weather changes - An article by Harshi for her school's magazine

If one thing around us changes every day, it is possibly the weather. One fine day it is pleasant, another day it is rash. Some days are warmer, while some days are cooler or rainy. Ever thought why it happens. Come! Let’s discuss.
Our planet, “The Earth” revolves around “The Sun”, the only star of our solar system. The changes in weather are caused by the sun. Sun gives us light and heat. But the amount of heat received from sun is not same everywhere on the earth, as our earth is tilted on it axis. This heat is absorbed in the atmosphere of earth. Due to this, air in our atmosphere becomes warm.
Air near the equator (line which divides the earth in two equal parts) is warmest as it gets more heat than any other parts of atmosphere. On the other hand, north and south poles are cold due to being the farthest points on earth. It means air is hot on some parts of the earth, while cold on other parts. Air warmed by the sun becomes lighter and rises upwards in a warm place. Opposite to this in a cold place, air becomes dense and sinks. Hot air creates low pressure regions, while cold air creates high pressure regions. Air flows from these high pressure areas towards low pressure regions, thus creating wind or air current. This is a continuous process as the heat of the sun is continually received on earth.
Seasons in the northern and southern hemisphere differ largely due this flow of air. In a high pressure region, water vapor sinks before it can form the clouds. So, the weather is sunny. In a low pressure area, water vapor rises and forms clouds resulting in a rain.
Since the earth is tilted, hence at different times of the year, different parts of the earth surface are closer to sun in comparison to other parts. Areas close to the poles have very short summer and long winters. Similarly, areas near the equator have summer all the year. In the southern hemisphere, summer comes when this part is before the sun. While, in the northern one at the same time, winter is there.
Therefore, we can understand that all kinds of weather happen because the air around the earth blows in so many different ways, when heated by the sun.
Our country is lucky enough to have all kinds of weather like summer, winter, rain and autumn throughout the year.

Harshi Baijal

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Election commission needs to be modernized

Voting has finished. Results are 1 day away. All are waiting and guessing. Meanwhile, although election commission should be congratulated for successful conduction of largely free and fair elections. Its efforts to reach each and every corner of the country irrespective of demographic constraints are commendable. 
Yet there are certain issues related to the handling of elections. And, these issues need to be addressed if we want active and substantial participation of public in the electoral process.
During these elections, there have been many complaints of erroneous voting lists. People's name are missing, though already registered. Take the example of Mumbai and Pune. In these two cities alone, almost half a million voters are missing from the list. What about rest of the country?
People have not been added to the list despite submitting valid applications. There have also been cases of transfer of votes from one place to another, people have not found their names in the voter list of new place and their names have been removed from that of old place. I was lucky enough to cast my vote in this election after transfer, but my name was not cleared from the list of my native town.
In my view, the overall process or procedure of voter registration is not transparent and is handled in a very ad-hoc manner. Why is it so that so much errors are there in the voter list? Can we call it a true democracy, when a large chunk of voters is left out of the process. It is very much required to revamp and modernize the age-old procedures of electoral process so that they are the reflection of today, not of past. Is online vote possible?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Open House at CDAC on the occasion of National Science Day

CDAC Mumbai is organising an Open House on the occasion of National Science Day(28th February, 2014) at its Kharghar, Navi Mumbai campus. This Open House will not only showcase CDAC products and projects, but also include Quiz Show, Programming Competition and Much More.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Why may AAP govt. in Delhi be termed as opportunistic?

Today Mr. Arvind Kejriwal took oath as the youngest CM of city state Delhi along with his 6 colleagues, thus forming first non-Congress and non-BJP, and first govt. of "AAM ADAMI", as termed by Mr. Kejriwal. Formation of AAP govt. in Delhi has been closely followed, debated and discussed not only in media, but in general public also. There is no doubt that AAP and Kejriwal have given rise to a new hope to common men that he/she also has a place in the political system of this country, he/she can also be the agent of change, and we can expect for a clean and good administration. But, this is to be noted that AAP has formed this govt. with outside support of Congress. This situation gives rise to certain questions. It can be asked - What kind of politics it is:  opportunistic or practical?
साध्य के साथ साथ साधन का भी पवित्र होना जरूरी होता है शायद, लेकिन राजनीति में सब जायज है| I know that they have all reasons to justify their decision - but any pact or coordination or alliance with Congress or BJP should be a strict no-no. Mr. Prashant Bhushan has said that sticking to a ideology narrows support base, while raising popular issues widens it. (Read This can be true in short-term, but an ideology is required to stay relevant in long term. So, what is the target of AAP? They have promised an alternative politics, but if govt. with Congress support is the end result, then God save us from this kind of politics. Once that moral high ground is lost, then you are no longer different from other parties that are already part of political spectrum. You are just another party following same principle - Say one thing, Do other thing. Every thing can not be fair just in the name of so called "People's will". Remember, sometimes this will can be very nasty, so what we will do then? - fulfil it. In democracy, people's will is most important, but it can not be supreme in all situations. That's why institutions are raised and nurtured leading to a healthy and participative democracy. In India, this has been achieved to some extent. But, our political system and establishment has all these years compromised it for their advantage leading to wide spread corruption, opportunism etc. It seems AAP is also going to be the part of this dirty game. Best of luck AAP! Best of luck Mr. Kejriwal! Hope you are the true agent of change.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why should Aam Adami Party be applauded?

On 8th of this month, a new star was born on the political landscape of this country - Aam Adami Party. It not only surprised the mainstream and old players of Indian politics as well as of Delhi, but also entire country, from its performance in Delhi assembly elections. Although, I have not been a die-hard fan of this party all the way through the entire election and been of the view - let them show where they stand, then will take a view because they parted with ANNA, took a different course that many didn't appreciate or support, a sting operation during the election campaign also created some confusion (now after the election, it can be termed as fake and a malign attempt after the results), but we can say that they have shown the way that common man aka mango man can also make a difference - जहाँ चाह, वहाँ राह। Just a bunch of few determined people, Just a collection of volunteers, no age-old history to boast-off, no claim of large cader of karyakartas - still such a splendid show, such a huge mobilization of votes (read people). Victory margin of Arvind Kejriwal's victory over Sheela Dixit (over 25,000 votes) show the extent of people's anger with Congress, current political scenario, failure of BJP to emerge as an alternative and to propose some thing new, something innovative before the public for tackling various issues. So THREE CHEERS to AAP its performance. In Kavi Dushyant's words - "कौन कहता है कि आसमां में सुराख़ हो नहीं सकता, एक पत्थर तो तबियत से उछालो यारों।"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Only vote bank matters

This is election year. For 2014, stakes are at their highest point. Every politician and political party will do anything, will go to any extent to be able to raise the toast of power. Both sides, in-power and in-opposition, are leaving no-stone-unturned in their quest to outsmart each other and turn the tide in their favor. It is often said, we are a mature democracy now and elections are issue-based exercise now. So will be the case with next election. One may think, gone are the days of polarization, casteism, communalism etc. and next election will be fought on the basis of bad governance of current government, inflation, corruption, national security, worst situation of economy etc. But, it is wrong. Corruption was never going to be the core issue for Congress and BJP both. It runs in their veins and put them in uncomfortable position, when questions are asked. Same is with other issues also. So, what to do? Best thing for any politician or political party is to distract and distort public opinion from core issues and try to raise non-substantial issues. Look, how smartly they are converting the entire debate in communal vs secular. On every front and forum, congressmen are playing their secular card to stop frightening Narendra Modi at any cost. BJP is also using him as a mascot who will put them in corridors of power. They are also using their dumped Ram mandir card. Look, what is happening is U.P.? V.H.P. is playing its cards there. They are trying to use Kishtwar violence for their own advantage. On the other side, Congress hopes to win votes by extravagant expense of tax payers' hard-earned money in the name of food security and other freebees. Other political parties are also not far behind. They are also dying to wash their dirty linen in these waters. Soon they will create a perception that both majority and minority are not safe in this country and they are the only messiah for them, so they should vote to them.

In their minds, they think they can use the public for their advantage. So, stakes are high for public also this time. If we think, as a democracy, we are mature enough now, then we will have to show it also through our vote. Time of change has come, but change should be for best, not for worst. We will have to use our vote wise. Sant Kabir Das has also said:

साधु ऐसा चाहिए, जैसा सूप सुभाय।
सार सार को गाही रहे, थोथा देहि उडाय॥