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Books to read in April. Pixabay

As the year heralds the season of warmth, one may be tempted to spend sunny afternoons inside, in the company of good storytelling. IANSlife curates a list of reads you can curl up with this summer.

‘Happy Moments’ by Meik Wiking


Happy memories do not have to be reserved for big life events. Drawing on global surveys, behavioral science experiments, and data gathered by The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Meik shows how we can turn ordinary experiences into something extraordinary. Whether it’s eating dinner at the table rather than in front of the TV, exploring a new part of your neighborhood, or planning how you’re going to celebrate your small wins, this book will help you find the magic in every day, and create memories you will cherish forever.

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‘Marriage in the Time of Corona’ by Arbind Bhatia

The book from the list of reads follows the travails of an affianced couple over a fortnight as they struggle to tie the knot in early 2020 — a watershed time in global history, when the horrific effects of the Coronavirus pandemic are just making their presence felt worldwide, and nations follow one another into lockdown mode, much like dominoes falling in tandem. The groom is a westernized Sikh of Indian descent, who has returned to his birthplace for his nuptials with his Buddhist Thai bride in tow. After two failed previous attempts at getting hitched, this is now their third attempt to wed.

However, even this is in jeopardy as the bride’s family is prevented from attending as travel restrictions begin to shut down the world, and other crises create more hurdles in their path. Flashbacks interspersed throughout the book highlight the relationship history of the couple. Events during the chaotic fortnight showcase familial relationships and interactions in the backdrop of inter-religious marriages, and their marked lack of acceptance in India, even in these contemporary times.

‘All You Need is Josh: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Conviction in 21st Century India’ by Supriya Paul


‘All You Need is Josh: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Conviction in 21st Century India’ by Supriya Paul. IANS

In a world filled with cynicism, few stand tall, carving their own path to success with courage, determination, and grit. All You Need Is Josh brings to you stories of such unique individuals across India e of the aspiring astrophysicist who wanted to walk on the moon; the first person with a disability to top the civil services examinations; the domestic help who is now a published author; the army officer who amputated his own leg; the transgender woman who was expelled from her house; the Dalit child bride who now runs a business worth Rs1,000 crores, and many more. Filled with anecdotes and life-changing missives, these stories will remind you that it does not matter the circumstances into which one is born what matters most is having the josh to overcome all odds and chase your dreams.

‘The Tonic’ by Mayur Sudhakar Sarfare

Set in the year 1992, The Tonic is an emotionally wrenching tale from the list of reads, an unlikely friendship between Masher and Raem, two young outcasts with psychological deficiencies. We see through their eyes what the riots do to them and the people of Bombay, which mysteriously connects decades later to the life of a media tycoon cum atheist, who has genocidal plans for the religious! Mumbai, 2017: Reymerg D’Souza, a media tycoon and powerful militant Atheist, harbors an ominous plan to cleanse the country from religion. Avantika Das, an investigative journalist, partners with a suspended cop to embark on a perilous journey to expose Reymerg’s darker agendas.

ALSO READ: Picks From The Literary World: Books On Leadership And Entrepreneurship

Back in 1992, two young misfits are drawn together by the ravages of an approaching Hindu-Muslim riot. Masher, a diffident teenager with a speech disorder is forced into participating in an annual elocution contest held in his school. During this period, he befriends Raem, a twenty-one-year-old recluse of foreign descent, who gifts him a packet of mysterious chocolate pills. The pills magically begin to embolden their lives. They begin to win moments and people. A Tonic that turns them from being misfits to Stupefiers.

‘Billions Under Lockdown: The Inside Story of India’s Fight Against Covid-19’ by Abantika Ghosh

When WHO first declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, there was a great deal of apprehension about how India – the country with the highest TB cases and diabetes, inadequate health infrastructure, and a population of 1.3 billion – would fare. Between the Janata Curfew and the first vaccinations, massive machinery has been working as seamlessly as possible to make sure that, despite some missteps and missed infections, India conquers what has been the greatest challenge the world has encountered in decades. (IANS/SP)


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In the Indian atomic energy sector, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Officials of the Indian space sector, both serving and retired, are of the view that the space sector's organisational structure is expected to mirror that of India's atomic energy sector.

They also said that senior officials of the Indian space agency should address the employees on what is happening in the sector and how it will pan out so that uncertainty and confusion are addressed.

In the Indian atomic energy sector, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is at the top, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is the sectoral regulator while the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (both power companies), the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd, the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd, and IREL (India) Ltd are public sector units (PSU).

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The Bhabha Atomic Energy Centre (BARC), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) are the premier research and development (R&D) organizations and there are several DAE-aided organizations.

While the DAE is headed by a Secretary (normally from the R&D units) who is also the head of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the R&D centres and PSUs are headed by different persons.

Similarly, the government that has started the space sector reforms seems to be replicating the atomic energy model, several officials told IANS.

"The Central government's moves in the space sector seems to replicate the atomic energy model," an official told IANS.

Currently, the Department of Space (DOS) is at the top and below that, comes the private sector space regulator Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with various R&D-cum-production (rockets, satellites and others) units.

The sector has two PSUs - Antrix Corporation Ltd and NewSpace India Ltd.

Unlike the atomic energy sector, the Secretary of the DOS and Chairman of the Space Commission is also the Chairman of the ISRO.

As part of the space sector reform measures, the government has set up IN-SPACe as a regulator for the private sector players.

"Ultimately there will be only one sectoral regulator. There cannot be two regulators - one for the private sector and other for the public sector. Who will be the regulator if there is a company that is floated in public-private partnership," an official asked.

"It is good that there is a separate sectoral regulator outside of the DOS and the ISRO," an official said.

The recently-formed PSU NewSpace India has been mandated to build, own satellites, rockets and also provide space based services and transfer ISRO-developed technologies to others.

ISRO Chairman and Secretary DOS K.Sivan has been saying that ISRO will focus on high end research.

As a result, the positions of Secretary, DOS and Chairman, ISRO may not be held by the same person.

"Looking forward, there are possibilities of the government coming out with a voluntary retirement scheme for ISRO officials and merging its various production centres with NewSpace to synergise its operations," a former senior official of ISRO told IANS.

"But there is one issue in this proposition. For ISRO, the production centres are also its R&D centre. Both production and R&D are interwoven. One has to see how both will be separated to be housed under ISRO and NewSpace India."

Meanwhile, the minds of ISRO officials are filled with uncertainty and confusion about their future which is linked to that of their organization.

ISRO Staff Association General Secretary G.R.Pramod had told IANS that there is "uncertainty all around about the future of about 17,300 employees of ISRO".

"The ISRO top management that includes the Chairman and the Heads of various centres should come out openly and address the employee concerns at the earliest," an official added.

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The micro-blogging platform already covers explicit instances of abusive behaviour

Twitter has announced to ban sharing of private media, such as photos and videos, without permission from the individuals that are shown in those images.

The micro-blogging platform already covers explicit instances of abusive behaviour under its policies, the expansion of the policy will allow the platform to take action on media that is shared without any explicit abusive content, provided it's posted without the consent of the person depicted.

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"Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person's privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm," Twitter said in a blog post late on Tuesday.

"The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities. When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorised private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options," the company informed.

Under the existing policy, publishing other people's private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs, is already not allowed on Twitter.

This includes threatening to expose private information or incentivising others to do so.

"There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals," Twitter said.

When Twitter is notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorised representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, it removes it.

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India's IT spending is expected to reach $101.8 billion in 2022, up 7% from the previous year.

Driven by a surge in digital transformation owing to the pandemic, the IT spending in India is forecast to total $101.8 billion in 2022, an increase of 7 per cent from 2021, global market research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

In 2022, all segments of IT spending in India are expected to grow, with software emerging as the highest growing segment.

Spending on software is forecast to total $10.5 billion in 2022, up 14.4 per cent from 2021.

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While experiencing a slower growth rate than 2021, spending on software in 2022 is forecast to be nearly double of what it was pre-pandemic.

"India has experienced one of the fastest recoveries despite being one of the worst hit regions in the second wave of the pandemic in early 2021," said Arup Roy, research vice president at Gartner.

As hybrid work adoption increases in the country, there will be an uptick in spending on devices in 2022, reaching $44 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent from 2021.

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