April 2014



Earth Global warming: A new NASA study shows Earth's climate likely will continue to warm during this century on track with previous estimates, despite the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming. Read more ....

Cosmic microwave background cosmic inflation: Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of today's best telescopes. All this, of course, has just been theory. Read more ....

Robotic fish Soft robots: Soft robots - which don't just have soft exteriors but are also powered by fluid flowing through flexible channels - have become a sufficiently popular research topic that they now have their own journal, Soft Robotics. In the first issue of that journal, MIT researchers report the first self-contained autonomous soft robot capable of rapid body motion: a "fish" that can execute an escape maneuver, convulsing its body to change direction in just a fraction of a second, or almost as quickly as a real fish can. Read more .....

Cartoon Cartoons and health: Researchers from the University of Southampton have shown that cartoons could be a beneficial way of educating patients and empowering them to cope better with their long term conditions. Read more ....

Razor clam Learning from animals: The Atlantic razor clam uses very little energy to burrow into undersea soil at high speed. Now a detailed insight into how the animal digs has led to the development of a robotic clam that can perform the same trick. Read more ....

Laurie Barge Life origin: How life arose from the toxic and inhospitable environment of our planet billions of years ago remains a deep mystery. Researchers have simulated the conditions of an early Earth in test tubes, even fashioning some of life's basic ingredients. But how those ingredients assembled into living cells, and how life was first able to generate energy, remain unknown. Read more ....




4

Uncle changed the subject. "But why did you address me as Mejokaka?"

"That! That's because you are Fatty's - I mean Usha's mejokaka. So, you are my mejokaka too. She is my friend, you know."

"Oh! You are Usha's friend? Where do you live?"

"There," Mintu pointed her fingers in a manner that did not indicate any proper direction. "Oh, my!" she exclaimed and ran back to the spot of the accident. The exercise book was still lying there. Mintu returned after picking it up. The exercise book was muddy and soaked in water.

The helping public, in its eagerness to make Uncle drink water, had also not spared the book. "Oh, they have spoiled your book! Were you going to school?"

"No, to buy this exercise book ...."

"New book! It is completely damaged!"

Mintu pretended to be sorry. "That's nothing. I will dry it."

Uncle may not like to lend his books but that that did not mean he lacked conscience. He realised that the girl had suffered the loss owing to him. He said with a touch of affection, "Come with me .... What is your name you said? Mintu? Come with me, I have plenty of exercise books."

"No, no. Why should I take your book?" Mintu said hanging her head as if she was feeling embarrassed.

Uncle, meanwhile, had reached his house. Mintu, of course, was with him.

"You wait here, don't run away. I will come back after changing into clean clothes," Uncle said and disappeared into the interiors of the house.

Mintu had no intention of running away. It was sheer bliss to be in a room with so many books. She could read the titles of the books through the glass doors of the cupboards.

Uncle, having changed into clean clothes, returned with a fat exercise book. But Mintu was unaware of his presence- she was lost in an enchanted world. It was as though she were standing outside Ali Baba's cave and all that she had to do was to utter those secret words which would open the door, and all the treasure would be hers.

But what were those secret words? Who would utter them?

The secret words were uttered by Uncle! He had been observing Mintu closely; he looked at her with a smile and said, "You like to read books, don't you?"

Mintu came back to earth with a start. There was joy, shame, amazement and gratitude in her eyes.

Uncle pressed the exercise book into her hands and said, "Take this. Whenever you wish to read books, you may come here and I will remove the books for you. But you will have to read the books here; I won't allow you to take them home."

It was as if a sea of happiness had started surging inside her, but Mintu checked her emotions and said softly, "No, no, why should you remove the books for me? You don't lend your books; why then should you give them to me?"

"Whoever told you I don't lend my books?" Uncle asked laughing out aloud.

"Usha told me. You are right in not lending the books; people do not take care of the books - they tear them, soil them."

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Some useful links for
your career:


  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu

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