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Neelakantha Bhanu Prakash, who emerged as world’s fastest human computer by winning the Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sports Olympiad in London earlier this month, is all set to embark on a mission to eradicate mathematics phobia both in India and abroad.
The 20-year-old Hyderabadi, who became the first Indian and also the first Asian to win the gold in the 23-year-old history of the Mind Sports Olympiad, has ‘vision math’ to eradicate math phobia across the world and make it lovable.
He believes that the coveted title has catapulted him to a position where he can be a brand ambassador to change the very way mathematics is perceived in the country.
“In India my vision is to eradicate math phobia to encourage experiential mathematical learning. All of this can happen and will happen when there is one person who people relate to and that is something which I would want to be,” Bhanu told IANS.
This maths prodigy is keen to make brain training a daily and popular culture like gym culture for physical fitness.
A graduate in maths from St. Stephen College, Delhi, Bhanu emerged the winner at Mental Calculation World Championship, which saw competitors from 13 countries vying for the top honours on August 15.
“They were all selected on the basis of their past performances. Since I hold few world records I was also invited. This time because of Covid-19 it was an online competition but it was lengthier and tougher. This is the first time that somebody from Asia won the gold medal at this competition and it was a proud moment for India.”
He feels excited as he will use the spotlight on him to change things around and to make sure that children learn maths as fun.
He is keen to be a game-changer like a badminton star Pullela Gopichand or chess champion Viswanathan Anand who with their historic victories changed the landscape of these games in the country.
Stating that India currently has had no icons in mathematics, especially after the social media boom, he believes that as a good public speaker he can inspire millions of kids to not only take up maths but also be good at it.
“This accreditation stamp makes things much more oriented give him a recognition can beat brand of change not only at the helm of calculation or sports but mathematics as an education field
Bhanu is of the view every country should have two goals in education – literacy, and numeracy. He believes that while in literacy India managed well with hefty programs enough to cater to people to learn at least one language, there was hardly anything in numeracy.
He wants mental calculation to be encouraged as a sport. “The reason is if math is an ocean, the first wave is arithmetic. If you can quickly maneuver this, it will give you the confidence to do well in mathematics at large. My aim is not to make people do quick calculations. The quick calculation has its own interest but at the end of the day vested interest of the country lies in having mathematic professionals who ace technology, engineering, and global domination in terms of research and a lot of other things,” he said.
He feels that maths phobia and arithmetic phobia can be eradicated through games and through mathematical and mental calculations.
“Games are the first step towards leading kids in not hating mathematics,” said Bhanu, who holds four world records and 15 Limca records for being the fastest human calculator.
He rubbished the argument about why one should do calculations when there are calculators.
“You don’t do calculations to be quicker than a calculator. Usain Bolt doesn’t run because he doesn’t have a car. The calculation is flaunting of mental fitness. The calculation is brain gym, otherwise, we will become mentally obese,”
He believes fear of maths can be removed from the minds of students when math is made fun. He said a beginning in this direction could be with the government-sponsored math academies.
“Child is an art. But he develops a fear of maths because we have tested them too often on tasks we don’t mean anything to them. Playing with numbers actually is fun.”
The world’s fastest human-computer was a mathematical whiz kid when he enrolled himself for the SIP Abacus program when he was given. He completed 9 levels of Abacus, Grand Master program offered by SIP Academy. He went on to win the International Abacus Champion 2013 and National Abacus Champion 2011 and 2012.
His start-up Exploring Infinities (EI) is working with 60 government schools in Telangana.
“I founded the start-up to boost up children’s cognitive development and to popularize mental arithmetic with novel games through workshops and courses in schools,” the world’s fastest human-computer said.
He is also running some programs in countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, and Indonesia.
He pointed out that these are individual programs and he wants to do something on a larger scale by forging tie-ups with governments. (IANS)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery