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Education and Rural Women A report on the other side of India

Hidden India: Kallanai Dam Oldest irrigation SET INDIA FOUNDATION system

Health: HIVAIDS World


AIDS Day December, 1

Science & Technology: Why Pluto Page 1 is not a planet?

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Table of Contents

Cover story SET INDIA FOUNDATION Hidden India Kallanai Dam

: 03 : 05 : 07

Sci & Tech Why Pluto is not considered as a planet? Health HIV AIDS (World AIDS day) : 08 : 10

Post Box International Anticorruption Day : 12 Our Earth Water pollution Black Page Education and Rural Women : 13 : 15

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C. Rajagopalachari
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December

1878 25 December 1972), informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. Rajagopalachari founded the Swatantra Party and was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. He vehemently opposed the use of nuclear weapons and was a proponent of world peace and disarmament. During his lifetime, he also acquired the nickname 'Mango of Salem'. Rajagopalachari was born in Thorapalli in the Salem district of Madras Presidency (which is now Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu) and educated at Central College, Bangalore and Presidency College, Madras. In 1900 he started a legal practice that in time became prosperous. On entering politics, he became a member and later President of the Salem municipality. He joined the Indian National Congress and participated in the agitations against the Rowlatt Act, the Non-Cooperation movement, the Vaikom Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience movement. In 1930, Rajagopalachari risked imprisonment when he led the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha in response to the Dandi March. In 1937, Rajagopalachari was elected Premier of the Madras Presidency and served until 1940, when he resigned due to Britain's declaration of war on Germany. He later advocated co-operation over Britain's war effort and opposed the Quit India Movement. He favoured talks with both Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League and proposed what later came to be known as the C. R. Formula. In 1946, Rajagopalachari was appointed Minister of Industry, Supply, Education and Finance in the Interim Government of India, and then as the Governor of West Bengal from 1947 to 1948, GovernorGeneral of India from 1948 to 1950, Union Home Minister from 1951 to 1952 and
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as Chief Minister of Madras state from 1952 to 1954. In 1959, he resigned from the Indian National Congress and founded the Swatantra Party, which stood against the Congress in the 1962, 1967 and 1972 elections. Rajagopalachari was instrumental in setting up a united Anti-Congress front in Madras state under C. N. Annadurai, which swept the 1967 elections. Rajagopalachari was an accomplished writer who made lasting contributions to Indian English literature and is also credited with composition of the song Kurai Onrum Illai set to Carnatic music. He pioneered temperance and temple entry movements in India and advocated Dalit upliftment. He has been criticised for introducing the compulsory study of Hindi and the controversial Madras Scheme of Elementary Education in Madras State. Critics have often attributed his preeminence in politics to his standing as a favourite of both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Rajagopalachari was described by Gandhi as the " keeper of my conscience".

Subramanya Bharathi
Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati (December 11, 1882 September 11, 1921) was an Indian writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist and social reformer from Tamil Nadu, India. Popularly known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar, he is a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry. Born in Ettayapuram of the then Tirunelveli district(presently Tuticorin district) in 1882, Subramania Bharati studied in Tirunelveli and worked as a journalist with many newspapers, notable among them being the Swadesamitran and India. Bharathi was also an active member of the Indian National Congress. In 1908, an arrest warrant was issued against Bharathi by the government of British India for his revolutionary activities forcing him to flee to Pondicherry where he lived until 1918. Bharathi is considered to be one of the greatest Tamil poets of the modern era. Most of his works were on religious, political and social themes.
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General medical camp: Elangadu


After our visit to Udhavum Karangal, Chennai, the Young Indian Society (YIS) conducted a free general medical checkup camp in Elangadu village, Thiruvannamalai district, on May 31, 2011. This camp was supported by Regenboog India Foundation, a Thiruvannamalai based NGO. A special mobile clinic with their technicians, headed by Mr. Madhanmohan (CEO, Regenboog India Foundation) participated in the camp. A special team of well experienced doctors; Dr. Kumar, Dr. Chandrika, Dr. Ramalingam, and Dr. Abdulkuthoos from Indian Medical Association, Vandavasi, treated the participants. More than 160 villagers attended the camp and benefitted greatly from this camp.

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Hidden India: Kallanai Dam


Kallanai (also known as the Grand Anicut) is an ancient dam built across the

Kaveri River in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Located at a distance of 15 km from Tiruchirapalli, the dam was originally constructed by the Chola king Karikala around the 2nd Century AD and is considered to be one of the oldest water-diversion or water-regulator structures in the world which is still in use. It still stands as a symbol of Dravidian Engineering.

The idea behind constructing the dam was to divert the river to the delta districts thereby boosting irrigation. The dam was re-modeled by the Britishers during the 19th century AD In 1804, captain Caldwell, a military engineer was appointed by the British to make a study on the Kaveri river and promote irrigation for the delta region. He found that a large amount of water passed onto the Kollidam leaving behind a small volume for irrigation purposes. Caldwell initially proposed a solution by raising the dam and hence raised the dam stones to a height of 0.69 m, thus increasing the capacity of the dam. Following this, Major Sim proposed the idea of undersluices across the river with outlets leading to the Kollidam River (Coleroon) thus preventing formation of silt. The dam is still in excellent repair, and supplied a model to later engineers, including Sir Arthur Cotton's 19th-century dam across the Kollidam, the major tributary of the Kaveri. The area irrigated by the ancient irrigation network is about 69,000 acres (28,000 ha). By the early 20th century, the irrigated area had been increased to about one million acres.
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Why Pluto is not considered as a planet?


Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has been a bit of a puzzle: It is smaller than any other planet - even smaller than the Earth's moon. It's dense and rocky, like the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars). However, its nearest neighbors are the gaseous Jovian planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune). For this reason, many scientists believe that Pluto originated elsewhere in space and got caught in the Sun's gravity. Some astronomers once theorized that Pluto used to be one of Neptune's moons. Pluto's orbit is erratic. The planets in our solar system all orbit the Sun in a relatively flat plane. Pluto, however, orbits the sun at a 17-degree angle to this plane. In addition, its orbit is exceptionally elliptical and crosses Neptune's orbit. One of its moons, Charon, is about half Pluto's size. Some astronomers have recommended that the two objects be treated as a binary system rather than a planet and satellite. These facts have contributed to the long-running debate over whether to consider Pluto a planet. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), an organization of professional astronomers, passed two resolutions that collectively revoked Pluto's planetary status. The first of these resolutions is Resolution 5A, which defines the word "planet." Although many people take the definition of "planet" for granted, the field of astronomy had never clearly defined what is and is not a planet.

Here's how Resolution 5A defines a planet:


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A planet is a celestial body that is in orbit around the Sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. Pluto is relatively round and orbits the Sun, but it does not meet the criteria because its orbit crosses Neptune's orbit. Critics of the resolution argue that other planets in the solar system, including the Earth, have not cleared the neighborhood around their orbits. The Earth, for example, regularly encounters asteroids in and near its orbit. Resolution 5A also establishes two new categories of objects in orbit around the sun: dwarf planets and small solar-system bodies. According to the resolution, a dwarf planet is: A celestial body that is in orbit around the Sun, has sufficient mass for its selfgravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and is not a satellite. Small solar-system bodies are objects that orbit the Sun but are neither planets nor dwarf planets. Another resolution, Resolution 6A, also specifically addresses Pluto, naming it as a dwarf planet. Not all astronomers support Resolutions 5A and 6A. Critics have pointed out that using the term "dwarf planet" to describe objects that are by definition not planets is confusing and even misleading. Some astronomers have also questioned the resolutions' validity, since relatively few professional astronomers had the ability or opportunity to vote. Here's how the two resolutions classify the objects in orbit around our sun: Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Dwarf planets: Pluto, Ceres (an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter), 2003 UB313 (an object farther from the Sun than Pluto) Small solar-system bodies: Everything else, including asteroids and comets

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Health & Lifestyle

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)


World AIDS day (December, 1) The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. As the infection progresses, the immune system becomes weaker, and the person becomes more susceptible to infections. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It can take 10-15 years for an HIV-infected person to develop AIDS; antiretroviral drugs can slow down the process even further. HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (anal or vaginal), transfusion of contaminated blood, sharing of contaminated needles, and between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Key facts
HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 25 million lives over the past three decades. There were approximately 35.3 [32.238.8] million people living with HIV in 2012. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV. Sixty nine per cent of all people living with HIV are living in this region. HIV infection is usually diagnosed through blood tests detecting the presence or absence of HIV antibodies. There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives.

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In 2012, more than 9.7 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low- and middle-income countries. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient. Immune function is typically measured by CD4 cell count. Immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections and diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off. AIDS is defined by the development of certain cancers, infections, or other severe clinical manifestations.

Signs and symptoms


The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the stage of infection. Though people living with HIV tend to be most infectious in the first few months, many are unaware of their status until later stages. The first few weeks after initial infection, individuals may experience no symptoms or an influenza-like illness including fever, headache, rash or sore throat. As the infection progressively weakens the person's immune system, the individual can develop other signs and symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea and cough. Without treatment, they could also develop severe illnesses such as tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, and cancers such as lymphomas and Kaposi's sarcoma, among others.

Transmission
HIV can be transmitted via the exchange of a variety of body fluids from infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water. (Diagnosis & Prevention will continue in the next edition) (Courtesy: WHO)

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International Anti-Corruption Day


International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003. The Convention states, in part, that the UN is: "concerned about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, undermining the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law" and delegates to the Convention the power to: "promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively... promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption and promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property" Your NO counts campaign The "Your NO Counts" campaign is a joint international campaign created by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to mark International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December) and raise awareness about corruption and how to fight it.

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Water pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities. Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels (international down to individual aquifers and wells). It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated of 580 people in India die of water pollution related sickness every day. Some 90% of China's cities suffer from some degree of water pollution, and nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, developed countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well. In the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent of assessed stream miles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent of assessed bays and estuarine square miles were classified as polluted. Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such as drinking water, or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earthquakes also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water.

Category
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Surface water and groundwater have often been studied and managed as separate resources, although they are interrelated. Surface water seeps through the soil and becomes groundwater. Conversely, groundwater can also feed surface water sources. Sources of surface water pollution are generally grouped into two categories based on their origin. Point sources Point source water pollution refers to contaminants that enter a waterway from a single, identifiable source, such as a pipe or ditch. Examples of sources in this category include discharges from a sewage treatment plant, a factory, or a city storm drain. Nonpoint sources Nonpoint source pollution refers to diffuse contamination that does not originate from a single discrete source. NPS pollution is often the cumulative effect of small amounts of contaminants gathered from a large area. A common example is the leaching out of nitrogen compounds from fertilized agricultural lands. Nutrient runoff in stormwater from "sheet flow" over an agricultural field or a forest are also cited as examples of NPS pollution. Contaminated storm water washed off of parking lots, roads and highways, called urban runoff, is sometimes included under the category of NPS pollution. However, this runoff is typically channeled into storm drain systems and discharged through pipes to local surface waters, and is a point source. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

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Black page

Education and Rural Women


India dreams of becoming a superpower by 2020, but quite ironical is the fact that the country whose population has crossed one billion mark, has literacy rates quite comparable with the underdeveloped countries (and in some cases even less than these countries). The literacy rates for male and female (according to 2001 census) stands at 75.85 percent and 54.16 percent respectively. While the male literacy rate in urban areas is about 86 percent, rural female literacy rate is just 46 percent (2001 census). Several plausible reasons explain this difference. The first and foremost of course, is the way the parents perceive the female education. Since the very beginning the role of female is confined to domestic work and looking after children. The tradition of settling at husbands place after marriage, does not offer enough incentive to parents for spending on girls education. A boys education is far more important as it enhances the chances of his being employed. Another reason is the prevalent trend of early marriage in rural areas. In most villages, girls education, rather than being seen as an incentive is seen as a liability. It is difficult to find a groom for an educated girl. These are not the only reasons responsible for the low level of female education. Though one cannot deny that gender inequality is, by and large, responsible for the situation, but several other factors also work in this direction. Very often, the parents who are willing to educate their daughters are discouraged by the absence of school within the surrounding area and it is not considered safe to send girls to another village to study. However, this is not true for most of the villages now. But even in villages where there are schools, the standard of infrastructure is abysmally low, be it management of classes, student-teacher ratio, availability of text books, or even furniture, these schools lack in every sense. This discourages the parents to get their children enrolled in these schools. There are incidences of under qualified
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staff being employed in educational institutions. The meager salaries that are offered by the government do not provide enough incentive to attract the talent to these schools for employment. Grimmer is the condition of scheduled caste female education. The recent figures show that the scheduled caste female literacy rate is dismal 19 percent (2001 census). This shows that the age old discrimination based on caste is still prevalent. This is really disheartening and shows that in spite of numerous schemes being launched by the government, the downtrodden classes still face social stigma and there is a lot to be done for the upliftment of these classes. However, talking of female literacy, one cannot ignore the achievement of southern states in terms of female education. The states performance in terms of social indicators is often proportional to economic growth. But in Indias case rich states like Punjab and Haryana have lower literacy rates as compared to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Kerala has performed really well since 1990s in fields of health and education, mainly due to the matriarchal pattern of their society. Himachal Pradesh has also managed to do significantly better than other states in relatively shorter span of time. Major credit for this goes to the political action in the state. The success of governments initiatives often depends on the cooperative action of the community. The illiterate people are often unable to put pressure on the state governments and school authorities, and so, they can easily get away with the blame. Huge amount provided in the budget for expenditure on education does not reach to the grass root level due to the endemic corruption. Thus lack of accountability is often responsible for ramshackle infrastructure of government schools. Education, under nutrition, and gender discrimination are all interrelated. For example, infants health depends on the care taken by mother during pregnancy which in turn depends on her education and also the education in the community. Further, an educated mother is better equipped to help her children in studies. So, there is a need for change in the social attitude of rural people towards women. Also, the standard of government schools infrastructure needs to be raised. The salaries of staff should also be raised to make them more committed. (Courtesy: The Viewspaper)

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