also have Microsoft Office applications. Thus, a cell phonealmost doubles as a personal computer. The cell phone isof immense help when one is stuck in an emergencysituation and needs help. It is also very easy to track theexact location of a cell phone and thus, tracking criminalsbecomes possible for the police in some cases. It is alsoused by institutions or companies to conduct detailedsurveys.
Many young entrepreneurial brains have devised newand innovative ways of using cell phones. Some vegetablevendors in Delhi have begun to take their orders on cellphones and deliver vegetables at the doorsteps. Manycompanies are promoting their products by sending massSMSs. Today most of the orders, be it for a pizza or abulk supply of manufactured goods, can be placed through acell phone. In fact, Ideal Cellular, one of India's premiertelecom companies, promotes itself by suggesting (as acomic relief) various innovative ways to use cell phoneslike use of mobile numbers as people's identity in lieu of names.
The concept of education through cell phones, i.e. m-learning, focuses on constant mobility of the learner. M-learning basically implies that the plethora of untailoredinformation available on the Internet or through theother services that a cell phone offers, can be gatheredby the learner instantaneously with the help of a cellphone.
Recendy, Microsoft announced the release of new mobilehotmail SMS service, which will enable all the hotmailusers to receive and read e-mails as also reply throughSMS. This will be useful for India's over 600 million cellphone users, only 18 million of whom have GPRS-enabledcell phones. As and when recommendations made by theTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) inAugust 2008 to permit Internet service providers to offerunrestricted Internet telephony, are cleared by thegovernment, the charges of domestic long distance callsare expected to halve and those of international calls areset to fall to a fifth. The much anticipated 3G technologyhas also arrived in India, which will earn much higherrevenue for the service providers due to its value-addedservices. The technology, intended for multimedia-enabledand smart phones, provides up to 3 Mbps speed fordownloading, video broadcasting, stock transactions, e-learning, Internet surfing, fax services, etc. Thus, the
arrival of latest technologies and services is making cellphones a much more comprehensive machine as comparedto earlier versions.
However, cell phones have come to be blamed for a lotof troubles like disturbance caused by them in classroomenvironment, official meetings, formal functions, in a flightand cases of vehicular accidents when people drive whiletalking on phone. But these problems have cropped up due tohuman negligence and non-adhcience to rules. These can beprevented with a little effort or alertness. Another strand of argument is that cell phones are considered to be anintrusion of one's privacy as they can easily be hacked to stealone's personal information. Besides, it can also compromiseone's security as the user's exact location can be traced bytracking his/her cell phone. Further, camera-enabled phonescan be used to take one's offensive photographs withouthis/her knowledge and can later be morphed. What is more,scores of researches have revealed that excessive use of cellphones can cause tumours and cancer.
Cell phones can also pose threats to national security.One example of this is the recent BlackBerry controversy inIndia. Two BlackBerry users can exchange encryptedmessages which cannot be decoded even by Research InMotion, the makers of BlackBerry. The Government of India is of the opinion that this service can be misused bycriminal elements, and hence it has made it clear that if the manufacturers do not work out a solution to thisproblem, this particular service will be blocked in India.Concerned with security issues, the Department of Telecom had disconnected about 24 million Chinesehandsets in 2009 as they did not possess the InternationalMobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, which allowslawful tracking of a particular handset. It is also knownthat cell phones were also used to coordinate the 26/11Mumbai terrorist attacks. In the light of national interests,these security issues must be handled with greater vigilance sothat untow
ard occurrences could be avoided.
Cell phones have become a part and parcel of our lives,affecting all sections of the modern society, in one way orthe other, transforming our lives in myriad unimaginableways. Being the speediest mode of communication, ithas ousted all its rivals from competition in no time. Ithas evolved far more than what it was intended to be; ithas intensely touched our lives and hence is definitely aboon.
INDIA'S WILDLIFE HERITAGE
India is extremely fortunate to have been blessed with avast range of wild flora and fauna by Mother Nature. If not