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India doesn’t have shortage of role models, we just don’t look around!

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Bharat Ratna Prof. C N Rao

Source: The Hindu businessline

In the process of emulating our role models, we become a bit like them. I say a bit, because not everyone succeeds in reaching the heights of Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Ratan Tata or Azim Premji. I said Bachchan, Tendulkar, Tata or Premji but not Prof. C. N. R. Rao, because I am not sure, how many Indians recognize his name. I suspect the small fraction of readers who indeed recognized his name thought of the news of the scientist who alongside Sachin Tendulkar, got the recent Bharat Ratna; but not much more than that. I suspect only a small fraction of us know about the many accomplishments of Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao. Some newspapers called Prof. C. N. R. Rao the Tendulkar of Indian science but sadly not the other way around; with Tendulkar being called the Prof. Rao of Indian cricket. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Sachin but Prof. C. N. R. Rao had a longer, much more impactful innings for the country and is still going strong.

When Was The Last Time You Met A Person With A Scientist As Their Role Model?

Why is that most of us know so less about many real heroes of modern India? Are we missing a culture of science and innovation? Why is that the land, which once led the world in innovation for millennia, is now missing the culture of science? Are we planning to continue being a follower nation, only providing cheaper services and cheaper production facilities, due to lower labour costs or are we planning on becoming a first world nation that aces the world in knowledge and innovation? We all recognize India cannot be a global player without being a leader in science and technology but without Indians entering scientific endeavours in large numbers, how do we plan to accomplish it? By science and technology, I do not mean becoming a physician or an IT professional or a practitioner of a well-established technical profession. I mean how many Indians are choosing to be innovators in science and technology fields, including those of health care and information technology, amongst several others, equally if not more important ones, such as quantum physics, nano materials, epigenetics, cancer biology and neuroscience etc.? Practitioners are indeed needed but innovators are what India is direly lacking.

In addition to the lukewarmness to science in the national psyche, political apathy, due to lack of immediate votes tied to the improvement in science has also resulted in undermining scientific growth in our country. Unless science comes to the centre stage of Indian agenda, we can kiss goodbye to the dream that this century will belong to India. We can still dream on about it but without making science and technology front and centre, the dream would just be a fanciful one, akin to Bollywood stories of an abject poor guy winning the heart of a beautiful princess.

For those of you who managed to read till this bit, I will return to the exceptional national hero, I talked about in the beginning of the article: Professor C. N. R. Rao, as an example of what kind of individuals hold keys to Indian transformation. Despite its entire infrastructure, social and political problems, what still makes India an exciting and promising venue to do science, owes in a large part to the tenacity and exceptional leadership of Prof. C. N. R. Rao. He has been behind the scene orchestrator of establishing and improving several world-class science institutions and has been guiding Indian science policy as the chief scientific advisor to several prime ministers. His science accomplishments are equally as many as his institution building ones. A protégé of one of the greatest minds of the last century, Linus Pauling, Professor C. N. R. Rao is a structural and solid-state chemist, who manages to reinvent himself every few years and retains a ceaseless curiosity at the age of 79 years. He is most known for his work on materials with interesting electrical conduction properties. High-temperature superconductors are very low electrical resistance materials that achieve this property at less extreme cold temperatures. Colossal magneto resistors are materials that change electrical property in the presence of a magnetic field. Both these materials are finding increased application with every passing day in modern technology and the development of both these have benefitted from his immense contributions, just as has the field of compositionally controlled metal-insulator transition substances. Not satisfied with being a leader in these fields alone, since his late fifties, at an age when other scientists are getting ready to retire, he has been making India count at the word stage in nanomaterials. Somehow between all his scientific research and institution building, he and his equally enthusiastic family members, find time to devote to science education and outreach.

Maybe the long due award of Bharata Ratna to Prof. C. N. R. Rao, an honour that has been conferred previously on only two other scientists, reflects a change in the attitude of the Indian government towards science. If India has to rise, then emphasis on science needs to continue on and increase further, irrespective of the turnover of politicians in power. Also, equally if not more needed is the change from grassroots in the form of a culture of scientific curiosity, healthy scepticism, imagination and daring spirit that is a must in the recipe of making an ace scientist.

Dr. Sukant Khurana is a New York based scientist, artist and writer of Indian origin. His basic research involves neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, sensory perception, addiction, learning and memory, while his applied research extends into many areas of drug discovery and problems of the developing world. Both his visual art and writing explore the issues of modernization, displacement and identity.

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5 Ways to Strengthen Sibling Bond

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siblings relations

Blood is always thicker than water. This is one of the most appropriate proverbs one can find.

Blood relations always prove to be the most important and everything fades away when it comes to your own blood. Sibling bond is one of the closest bonds one can have.

During childhood any child with a sibling can understand that bond and feel the closeness on that bond. In Spite of endless fights, disagreements, siblings love each other the most and are very protective of each other.

It is very easy to maintain this bond while you are younger and living together, the challenge comes to maintain that bond while you grow up and start moving towards your own social and domestic life. Here are some tips how you can strengthen your sibling bond while still handling your work, social and domestic life:

1. Plan Holidays Together:

Make a pact that every year you all will get together and plan a holiday either with family(if married) or just all the siblings together. it will make sure that you are taking time out for yourselves and not getting faded in everyday life.

2. Have a Private Group Chat:

Siblings can make sure that you all initiate private group chats and make sure you share your everyday routine, happiness, problems etc in order to keep everyone in the loop of your life.

Group chat makes sure that you are catching up on each other on an everyday basis and is a constant part of each other’s lives.

3. Send Gifts to Each Other:

Siblings can plan to send each other gifts on different occasions that will help in building a close relationship with each other. Sometimes, it is possible your sibling might be based far away or in a foreign country. There are so many online platforms available where you can send a gift to your siblings whether its online birthday cake delivery or online rakhi delivery etc. everything is available on online portals.

4. Help each other in Reaching Goals:

Siblings are the most important people who can push you towards your goal. Siblings can encourage each other towards what is the best course to take for a bright future. Sometimes a sibling can recognise your potential much faster than you yourself can. Thus it is important that you share your goals and aspirations and listen to each other in order to go forward in your life.

5. Cultivate Friendship:

It is very important that siblings should cultivate not only sibling bonds but become best friends and should be able to confide in each other. This is only possible if they work on developing only  siblings but a friendship bond. A good friendship will ensure that it becomes very easy for siblings to communicate with each other and discuss any issues they might face. It is important that the friendship is of a level that when one sibling needs help they should reach their sibling in the very first course.

So, these were some tips that can strengthen your singing bond. If you follow these tips, you can make sure that you will become best friends with your siblings and will have a great relationship despite a life of your own.

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A Historical exploration of Khajuraho

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khajuraho temple

The UNESCO world heritage temples of Khajuraho are situated in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Built by the kings of Chandela dynasty during 950 to 1050 AD, these exquisite temples were lost to the world from 13AD onwards till they were discovered by the British in 1838 under the cover of dense date palm trees.

 This collection of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples are Khajuraho temples are famous for art on stone. Variously described as living temples, Temple of Love and consisting of unique erotic sculptures the Khajuraho group of temples are considered by many to be the pinnacle of India’s temple art. The temple complex creates an eclectic mix of spirituality, eastern philosophy, architecture and cultural heritage.

Khajuraho is best visited during winter on account of its extreme climate. Summer months can be very hot. The famous Khajuraho Dance Festival is held in March and attracts visitors from across the world.

 Khajuraho is well connected to major cities by train and by air. The airport is 5km from the city centre and links to Delhi, Agra and Mumbai. It is best recommended to use a trusted cab service provider like Savaari, where you can make an online booking by downloading the Savaari App.

Western Group of temples.

 The Western group of temples have the largest of the temples and are richly decorated and form the main area of attraction

  • Lakshmana Temple – The temple dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is the oldest of the Khajuraho temples and has some the finest sculptures that can be seen in India.
  • Kandariya Mahadeo Temple – This Shiva temple is covered with beautiful carvings, sculptures and frescos that are known for their beauty, grandeur and finesse.
  • Devi Jagdamba Temple – This relatively dainty temple dedicated to Goddess Jagadamba has three bands of sculptures and the uppermost layer has some of the most erotic sculptures that Khajuraho is also famous for.
  • Chitragupta Temple – One of the rare temples of the Sun God in the country.
  • Vishwanath Temple – The temple is unique for its colossal bull statue dedicated to Nandi, the favourite companion of Lord Shiva.

Eastern Group of Temples

  • Parsvanath Temple – The Jain temple shows an eclectic mixture of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim influences in its three roof architecture.
  • Ghantai Temple – This Digambar Jain temple has a beautiful frieze inscribed on stone depicting the 16 dreams as seen by the Mother of Lord Mahavira. The temple though gets its name from the remarkable pillars, carved with chains and bells.
  • Brahma Temple – Among the oldest temples in Khajuraho, the temple is built entirely using granite and sandstone and dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

 Southern Group of Temples

  • Chattarbhuj Temple – Situated 3 km from the main city, the temple is the only one in Khajuraho without any erotic sculpture and faces west. Best visited during the sunset, the temple is known for the intricate and beautifully detailed four-armed idol of Lord Vishnu.

Do remember to attend the Light and Sound Show conducted in the Western group of temples that describes the horary past of these beautiful monuments.

Khajuraho is surrounded by other places of interest, such as the Panna National Park and the Ranneh Falls. Do plan your visit and hire outstation or local cabs from the airport to visit these temple complexes.

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Explore the royal city of Mysore

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Call it the Heritage City or the City of Palaces, the city of Mysore still emanates a feeling of au royale even in a 21st century India. A place of heritage for royal families, sultans, and legendary names in history, every corner of Mysore is steeped in stories of victory, power, and grandeur. A tour of this majestic city is only justified when you explore the royal heritage of the City of Palaces.

Getting there

Conveniently located on the southern edge of the Karnataka State, Mysore is easily accessible from major cities. It takes about three hours to travel the 152 KM distance from Bangalore to Mysore.

History and Heritage

The city of Mysore served as the capital for the Kingdom of Mysore between the 1300s until 1956. These six centuries saw the kingdom change hands of rulers and kings, from the Wadiyar Dynasty, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. But the common element of all the rulers was their penchant for art and culture. Under their patronage, they contributed to the city’s visual and cultural glory which earned Mysore the fame of Karnataka’s cultural capital.

A royal tour

If you want to experience the regal side of Mysore, you cannot but miss these structures of historical and architectural significance. You can join a heritage walking tour to explore the city on foot, or head from Bangalore to Mysore by car and stop by at monuments, palaces, and museums and learn about the legends that made Mysore. You can start your walk from the Town Hall, built in 1884, as a tribute to the first Dewan of the city.

mysore-palace-598472_1280

Mysore Palace- The official residence of the royal family of Wadiyars, the palace itself is a work of marvel. An overwhelming blend of   Indo-Saracenic, neoclassical, Indo-Islamic and Gothic architectural works, the Mysore Palace is a breathtaking sight. Built in 1912, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts delicate works of mirrors, stained glass, mosaic and more. On any given day, you will find more tourists here than even at the Taj Mahal. Every Sunday, the palace comes alive with 97000 light bulbs bedazzling its façade and the premises.

Lalitha Palace– Yet another heritage building, the two-storied Lalitha Mahal sits on a ridge at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, which makes for a great vantage point. The palace was transformed into a hotel and offers a royal stay. If you truly want a feeling of royalty, then a stay here would be an experience.

Jaganmohan Palace– One of the seven prominent palaces of Mysore city, is a stunning work of ancient Indian architecture with intricate interiors and exteriors. The palace, transformed into a royal art gallery since 1915, houses paintings of the royal family, art by Raja Ravi Varma and an array of rare and antique musical instruments.

Museums- Stop by the Rail Museum to explore the archaic steam engines, the Maharani’s saloon, and other railway souvenirs. There’s also the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion showcasing more than 6500 folk artifacts from all parts of Karnataka. The Folk Art Museum, one of the most visited in the city, is also known for its collection of toys, models, and figurines.

Crawford Hall- Built in 1947, this is a must visit historic structure in Mysore. The royal palace is now known as the Mysore University but still renders a rich heritage to its ambiance.

Small, medium or large-scale, every historical building and monument of Mysore has a majestic touch to it. And such architecture speaks of its glorious past, which has left traces for the modern civilization to explore.

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