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Physically challenged people get Free Helping Aids in Delhi from Government

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar also took part in the programme

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A physically handicapped man. Wikimedia

New Delhi March 5, 2017: BJP MP from north-west Delhi Udit Raj, along with Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Sunday distributed free helping aids to hundreds of physically handicapped people here.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar also took part in the programme.

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The camp witnessed distribution of total 1,402 aids, including 74 hearing-related aids, 106 smart kits, 24 blind sticks, 85 motor-driven tricycles, 459 hand-driven tricycles, 372 crutches, 97 wheel chairs, and 59 walking sticks, among others.

In the programme, Raj addressed the problems of physically challenged people, which they face in getting registered to receive the benefits provided to them by the government under different schemes.

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The BJP MP requested fellow ministers to accelerate the process to remove the loopholes in the system.

He said that the central government was fully dedicated to the cause of supporting and empowering the specially-abled section of society. (IANS)

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Smart phone era ends, its time for Intelligent Phones

The mode of communication changed altogether with the arrival of mobile phones in our lives. It got wider and more meaningful once the world was exposed to smartphones.

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Intelligent phones
Many phones that are launched recently are more than a smartphone. Flickr

The mode of communication changed altogether with the arrival of mobile phones in our lives. It got wider and more meaningful once the world was exposed to smartphones.

However, changing technology parameters and fundamentals are calling for yet another disruption in the communication space — this time with Intelligent Phones.

Smart is not necessarily intelligent but intelligent is always smart. By this definition, today’s smartphones are not necessarily intelligent devices.

Here is why:-

A smartphone lets us do myriad of things in ways that bring efficiency, effectiveness and productivity in our lives — such as workplace communication.

With smartphones, we have been able to not only manage e-mails promptly but also connect seamlessly with people and friends on real-time platforms like WhatsApp that are more informal but quick and effective means to make critical decisions in a highly-competitive world.

Now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play an integral role in making the smartphones of the future.

Algorithm-based intelligence has already begun to percolate in premium smartphones. As adoption and usage evolve, AI will soon become a rudimentary thing in smartphones.

However, the present approach is about finding areas where AI has usage as stand-alone technology and for convenience, integrating it with smartphones makes it user-friendly. This, however, is not going to make the smartphone intelligent; it will only make them super or extra-smart — capable of doing more things.

An Intelligent Phone, however, is one which will have “thinking” capabilities and decide the next course based on the user’s preferences and priorities.

For instance, we now have several advanced capabilities in smartphones — but there are manual interventions that we, as users, have to apply, like enabling and disabling network capabilities. Why shouldn’t the smartphone be intelligent enough to decide which network capability to enable or disable based on usage?

Right now, if Wi-Fi is enabled, the cellular data goes into hibernation. Why can’t the phone decide which one to use based on several criteria like cost of data, application being used, type of data being accessed and so on?

If a user gets into a car, the smartphone should be intelligent enough to decipher through AI and connect to the audio system via Bluetooth. Similarly, the airplane mode should be enabled while someone is airborne.

All these may sound too basic as capabilities. These will not only bring comfort for the user but also have implications on battery consumption as well as in ensuring that there are no “loopholes” enabled which may not be in use in the device.

Smartphones have focused primarily on the applications and features they can support. It has not evolved to communicate better with the user as per his or her preferences and priorities.

One hindrance was the evolutionary phase of AI; but since AI has now become a reality, the device should add intelligence and move beyond applications and functionality. As the smartphone industry looks for innovation in a market that is near its saturation point, the Intelligent Phone could be a saviour for the industry. It could rejuvenate consumer interest and, hence, the market itself.

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393