Category Archives: India

Interesting facts about India

10 interesting facts about India

There are so many interesting facts about our country India.  India is one of the most amazing countries in the world.  It is a country having fascinating beauty, marvellous history, great culture, rich diversity and weird things.

The country has a unique combination of eastern and western values.  Foreigners are always curious to know about this country and they long for visiting India once in their life.  Here are 10 interesting and incredible facts about India.  Although these facts are not so popular, yet they provide interesting reading.

1. The second-largest English speaking country

 

This is unbelievable but an interesting fact to learn that India is the second-largest English speaking country after the USA.  English is one of the official languages of our country.  The United States of America has the largest population of English speakers in the world.

According to Wikipedia, the USA has about 28 crore English speakers, whereas a population of more than 12.5 crores speaks English in India.  The credit goes to the large population of India.  Another interesting fact is that 6 crore people speak English in the United Kingdom to whom India owed this language.

 

English speaking countries
Image: Castle Europa

2. Winner of all Kabaddi World Cups

 

The game of kabaddi was originated in India.  The Kabaddi World Cup is conducted by the Internation Kabaddi Federation.  The competition has been previously contested in 2004, 2007 and 2016.  India has won all the tournaments.

The next world tournament will be organised this year and will you guess who will be the winner!  India is also the champion of the second Women’s Kabaddi World cup held in 2016.

 

Kabaddi
Image: Hindustan Times

3. A floating post office

 

The world has only one floating post office nowhere than in India.  This floating post office is situated on Dal Lake in Srinagar.  Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah inaugurated the post office on August 2011.

This innovation is the main attraction for tourists visiting Srinagar.  The post office has also a philately museum containing huge collection of unique stamps. The post office offers services of internet facility and international calls.  It functions on all days including Sundays during the tourist seasons.

 

Floating Post Office
Floating Post Office, Dal Lake

4. A special polling station for a single voter

 

The temple priest Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas lives in a very small village Banej in the midst of Gir forest, Gujrat.  He is one of the very few humans to reside among wild creatures.  The Election Commission of India has set up a special poll booth for him in the dense and isolated forest of Gir.

Bharatdas would otherwise have to travel 120 km to reach the nearest poll booth.  The setting up of a special poll booth for a single voter proves the great democratic spirit of India.

 

Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas
Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas | Image: Shoppirate

5. Madhopatti – Village of IAS officers

 

Madhopatti is a small village in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh.  However, the village is, in the true sense, ‘the incredible India’.  The reason is that the village of only 75 households has given the country 47 IAS officers.  They are offering their services in ISRO, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the World Bank.

 

Madhopatti
Image: Patrika

6. The highest cricket ground in the world

 

The Chail cricket stadium of Himachal Pradesh is the highest cricket ground in the world.  It was built by Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala in 1891.  The pitch of the stadium is 2444 meters above the sea level.  After the independence of India, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh donated the stadium campus to Chail Military School and Government of India.  The ground is also used for playing football and basketball.

 

Chail cricket ground
Chail Cricket Ground

7. India’s first rocket was transported on a bicycle

 

ISRO launched its first rocket in 1963 from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Kerala.  The light-weighted rocket was very small and it was carried through a bicycle.  The office of VSSC was originally a local catholic church.

The reason to select the church as rocket launching station was that it was located on earth’s magnetic equator.  The cattle shed of the church was the laboratory for the scientists.  Ex-President Mr Abdul Kalam was one among the scientists for this project.

 

India's first rocket
India’s first rocket | Image: Twitter

8. World’s biggest family         

 

Ziona Chana of Mizoram has overall 181 members in his family.  He is blessed with 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.  His family lives in a 100-room, four-storeyed building.

The whole family lives in the proper discipline.  They grow crops for their food requirement.  All his wives claim that there is no rivalry among them and they all love him.  Being the husband of 39 wives, Ziona is interested in marrying more women even from America.

 

Ziona Chana with his family
Ziona Chana with his family | Image: Daily Mail

9. World’s first hospital train  

 

The Indian railways donated the country a seven coach hospital train namely ‘Lifeline Express’ in 1991.  It provides medical and surgical healthcare to doorsteps of rural patients who are unable to reach a hospital.   The train originates from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai.

The train is facilitated with two operation theatres with world-class equipment.  Till date, the Lifeline Express has treated about one million poor people with free of charge.  Nearly 2 lakh doctors all over the world have tendered their services in this unique hospital.

 

Lifeline Express
Lifeline Express | Image: Newsd

10. Switzerland observes science day in honour of Mr Kalam

 

Ex-President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam visited Switzerland on 26th May 2006.  He was a renowned scientist of India.  He is popularly known as the father of India’s missile programme.  Considering his vast expertise in science and technology, the Swiss government has declared 26th May as science day in honour of his visit.

 

A P J Abdul Kalam
A P J Abdul Kalam

So, these are a few interesting facts about our country India.  The list may be bigger than it.  Some facts increase our curiosity to learn more about India while others make us feel a sense of pride.

15 major contributions of India to the world

15 major contributions of India to the world

India is a land of great culture and civilization.  Science and technology were much developed in ancient India.  It is a country which has a marvellous legacy to the world.  There are wonderful contributions of ancient and modern India.  These gifts of India changed the world and paved the way for modernisation.

Here are 15 great contributions of India to the world in different fields that make every Indian feel proud of the country.

1. University of Takshashila and Nalanda

Takshashila was the first university in the world.  The university flourished in the kingdom of Gandhar from 600BC to 500AD.  At one time, more than 10,000 students from Greek, Syria, China and Babylon studied in the University.  68 subjects including Vedas, philosophy, medicine, politics, astronomy, warfare, dance, mathematics were taught in this institution.  The legendary scholars like Kautilya, Vishnu Sharma, Panini and Jivak were the glory of the university.

university of takshashila
The University of Takshashila | Image source: Navbharattimes

Nalanda University was one of the most illustrious learning centres of India.  The university was built in the 5th century by the emperor Kumargupta in Bihar.  It was devoted to Buddhist studies but subjects like fine arts, astronomy, politics, the art of war and medicine were taught.

2. Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the natural treatment of diseases.  Charak, the father of medicine introduced Ayurveda to the world 2500 years ago.  Today Ayurveda is gaining fast acceptance as naturopathy in the world.

Ayurveda, Charak
Charak: Father of medicine

3. Mathematics

India introduced the number zero which was invented by Aryabhatta.  In the sixth century, Budhayana explained the concept of Pythagorean Theorem.  He calculated the value of pi (π).  Shridharcharya, in the 11th century, put forward the quadratic equation.  India also introduced the world to the decimal number system, part of trigonometry and calculus.

4. The theory of the atom

The atomic theory was devised by Kanad, one of the notable scientists of ancient India, long before John Dalton.  He speculated the existence of anu or a small indestructible particle.

Kanad-father of atom theory
Kanad-Father of Atom Theory | Image source: Mystery Of India

5. Game of snakes & ladders, chess and cards

In the 13th century, a poet-saint namely Gyandev created the game of snakes and ladders.  Ancient Indians called it Mokshapat.  The game was played with cowrie shells and dice.  The ladders in the game represented virtue while the snakes indicated vices.

Similarly, the game of chess is believed to have originated in India in the Gupta Empire during the 5th century.  People called this game as chaturanga.

Card game, also called suits was played in ancient India with the name karidapatram.

6. Surgery

Shushruta is known as the father of surgery.  2600 years ago, Shushruta and his team conducted several surgeries like cataract, urinary stones, caesareans, plastic surgeries and fractures.  Almost 3000 surgeries had been performed and nearly 120 surgical instruments had been invented by the time.

Shushruta, surgical instruments
Surgical instruments used by Shushruta

7. Contribution of Indus Valley Civilisation

There are several revolutionary gifts of Indus Valley Civilisation to the world.  Around 2000 B.C., people used ornamental buttons in Indus Valley Civilisation.  These buttons were made from seashell and some of them were carved into the geometric shapes.  Similarly, flush toilet and ruler measurements were invented in this civilisation.

8. Yoga

Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India.  It is mentioned in Rigveda and developed around 5th BCE.  The renowned philosopher Swami Vivekananda and later Yoga Gurus from India introduced yoga to the western countries.  Yoga was also listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

9. Binary numbers

Binary numbers system is used to write a computer program.  In this system, only two numbers or symbols are used, typically ‘0’ (zero) and ‘1’ (one).  The Indian scholar Pingala developed a binary system for describing prosody in 2nd century BC.

10. Shampoo

Shampoo was originated in the eastern Indian regions by the Mughal Empire.  People used it as head massage, consisting of natural oils and fragrances.  It is interesting to know that the modern shampoo was first introduced in Britain by a Bengali entrepreneur Sake Dean Mahomed who belonged to Bihar.

Apart from these, there are several gifts of modern India to the world.  Some of them are:

11. Rocket Missile

Rocket science developed initially in Mysore in the empire of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.  The technology was used as weapons against the British.  Later, the Britishers took samples and developed it.

First rocket missile
First rocket missile | Image source: The Daily Star

12. Crescograph

It is a device used for measuring the growth in plants.  Crescograph was invented in the early 20th century by an Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Crescograph
Crescograph invented by Jagadish Chandra Bose

13. Universal Serial Bus (USB)

We all are familiar with the term USB.  This device was defined and developed by an Indian American computer architect Ajay V. Bhatt.  Credit also goes to him for Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP), PCI express and various chipset improvements.

Ajay V Bhatt
Ajay V Bhatt | Image source: Darpan

14. Pentium chip

The Indo-American scientist Vinod Dham is known as the father of Pentium chip.  He contributed to the development of Intel’s Pentium microprocessor.

Vinod Dham
Vinod Dham | Image source: Facebook

15. Fibre Optic Communication

Narinder Singh Kapani is an Indian born American physicist.  He is also known as “Father of Fibre Optics”.  He was named as one of the seven “Unsung Heroes” by the Fortune magazine.  Optical fibres are used in voice, data and video transmission technologies and also in medical purpose such as endoscopy.

Narinder Singh Kapani
Narinder Singh Kapani | Image source: Twitter
Ranu Mondal

Ranu Mondal: Journey from railway platform to singing studio

This is the era of social media.  If a person has talent, nothing can stop him or her to earn name and fame.   Social media play an important role to bring out the talent and skill of any person before the world.  The power of social media is such that it can make an ordinary person a big celebrity.  Such is the story of Ranu Mondal.

Ranu Mondal was once a helpless woman and was earning her living by singing at a railway station.  Then a video of her singing an old song went viral on social media and she became a star overnight.

The life of Ranu Mondal is no less than a fairytale.  The 59 years old woman belongs to Ranaghat, West Bengal.  In her 20s, she would sing in a local orchestra club.  The audience called her Ranu Bobby after her performance in singing the song from a superhit Hindi movie Bobby.  In this way, she would earn some money.  However, she was forced to leave singing as no family member supported her musical skill.

Later on, she was married to Babul Mondal.  After the marriage, the couple shifted to Mumbai.  In an unfortunate incident, her husband expired and she returned to her village Ranaghat.

Ranu was living in extreme poverty.  She has also one daughter.  Life of duo got worsened.  A desperate Ranu started singing old Hindi songs at Ranaghat station and in return, people would offer her some food or money.

Her daughter disliked her singing at the railway station.  She left her mother and didn’t contact her for 10 years.  Ranu was leading a life of a beggar.  Only then a software engineer Atindra Chakraborty entered her life and made her destiny.  He noticed Ranu’s melodious voice.  Atindra made a video recording of her song and posted on his Facebook account.  In the video, she is seen singing the evergreen song “Ek pyar ka nagma hai”, originally played by famous vocalist Lata Mangeshkar.

 

Atindra with Ranu | Image: Janbharattimes

Very soon, the video went viral on many social media platforms and her voice was appreciated by common people and big celebrities.  Knowing her singing talent, Sony Entertainment TV Channel invited her to ‘Superstar Singer’ reality show.  She impressed everyone present in the show with her mellifluous voice.

Himesh Reshammiya, the famous Bollywood singer proved to be a second destiny maker for Ranu.  He offered her for a song in his upcoming movie ‘Happy Hardy Heer’.  Himesh soon recorded a song ‘Teri Meri Kahani which also became much popular on social media.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Himesh Reshammiya (@realhimesh) on


Today, Ranu has become a singing star.  She has got offers for songs from several music directors and contracts for musical concerts.  After Ranu’s popularity, her daughter has returned to her and the affectionate Ranu has wholeheartedly embraced her daughter.

 

Image: Instagram

Ranu’s talent is beyond explanation.  Such talent is rarely seen.  Credit also goes to Atindra Chakraborty and Himesh Reshammiya who noticed her charismatic voice and made the way of success for her.  Had her family supported Ranu’s singing skill, she would have become a renowned vocalist much earlier.  However, it is said that everything happens at the time fixed by destiny and Ranu’s good time has come now.

Other countries that got independence on August 15

Other countries that got independence on August 15

Today India is celebrating its 73rd Independence Day with great proud and fervour. Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort and talked about various key issues like article 370, article 35A, the constitution of Chief Defence Staff, triple talaq, the launch of new Jal Jeevan scheme, population control and the target of a five trillion $ Indian economy.

The Prime Minister appealed the nation to visit at least 22 tourist places of the country by 2022 so as to promote tourism in the country. He called upon citizens to use cloth bags instead of plastic ones to minimize environmental pollution.

He also asked farmers to use chemical fertilizers in the least quantity in the fields. At the end of his address to the nation, school children were very excited to shake hands with the Prime Minister.

India got the freedom on 15th August 1947 after the slavery of nearly 200 years from British rule. On this day, we remember Indian freedom fighters and take an oath to contribute to the development of the nation.

 


However, India is not the only country to mark Independence Day on 15th August. There are five other countries that got independence on this date. Let’s have a glance at these countries of the world.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The country is also known as DR Congo, the DRC, Congo-Kinshasa or simply the Congo. It has been named after the river Congo which flows across the country. This central African country got freedom from French colonization on August 15, 1960. The Republic of Congo had come under French rule in 1880.

North Korea

This is an East Asian country constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea, a Soviet Union administered zone, gained independence from Japan on August 15, 1945, after the latter’s surrender in World War II. However, the government was formed after three years in 1948. The country was officially named as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

South Korea

The US administered zone- South Korea was established in 1948 when the efforts of unification of Korea failed. South Korea is a highly developed country in the world. Korean citizens enjoy the world’s fastest internet connection speeds and the longest years of tertiary education in the world. The country celebrates the day of independence as Gwangbokjeol (the day of light returned).

Bahrain

Officially the Kingdom of Bahrain is an island country of Persian Gulf. The country declared its independence from the British colonial rules on August 15, 1971.

Liechtenstein

This is the world’s sixth smallest country. Liechtenstein got freedom from German rule on 15th August 1866 and celebrates the occasion as a national day since 1940. The country is bordered by Switzerland and Austria.

Canines win heart by showing yoga moves

Canines win heart by showing yoga moves

5th International Yoga day was observed on June 21 across the world. In India, around 15 million people performed yoga in different postures. ‘Yoga for the heart’ was the theme of this year that India declared.

Grand Yoga events were organized at different places in the country. Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi led 40, 000 yoga enthusiasts at Prabhat Tara ground in Ranchi.

The Indian army performed yoga day at Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield. Border Security Forces took part in yoga on horseback in Gurugram, whereas NAVY personnel did yoga on INS Sindhudhwaj.

Besides these, ministers, CMs, celebrities, school children and lakhs of citizens participated in yoga practice in different parts of the country.

However, the most touching moment was when army dogs showed yoga moves. These dogs won the heart of millions who saw their pictures and videos. The pets innocently followed their master’s yoga asanas. Truly speaking, they vindicated the yoga theme for this year.

Yoga is a derivation of Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means “to unite”. Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition and a valuable gift to the world. It brings harmony to the mind and body. Yoga is helpful in the overall development of the body.  Yoga was listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

The United Nations Organisation declared 21 June as International Day of Yoga. The day was first proposed by the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi at UNO. He suggested the day 21 June which is the longest day of the year.

All animals are legal persons

All animals are legal persons and citizens their guardians: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Animals are the companion of human beings. They are helpful in many ways. They provide us with food. We use many animals for transportation. Pet animals help us relieve from tension and anxiety.

Despite being the importance of animals, they have to face human cruelty. When animals suffer pain, they are unable to respond like us. But they have the same emotions as we have. So, who will speak on their behalf when they are victimized?

Certainly, we humans will have to stand by them! In this regard, Punjab and Haryana High Court has delivered an exceptional judgement for the welfare of animals.

The Court has observed that animals are not property. They have a legal right to live with dignity and honour. All citizens of the state are their “In Loco Parentis” (in place of parents).

The judgement says:

“The animals should be healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour without pain, fear and distress. They are entitled to justice. The animals cannot be treated as objects or property.”

 

 

It means we have the responsibility to ensure their welfare and protection. It will be our duty to see that animals live a healthy and comfortable life in a safe environment.

The Court issued several directions to the Haryana government so that there may be no harm to animals. Moreover, It banned the use of sticks to avoid causing bruises or swelling on them. The Court fixed the load to be carried by animals. Citizens should provide their animals with water every two hours and food every four hours.

However, the Court’s order does not imply that citizens should give up non-vegetarian food.

This is really a landmark judgement. This will incite the citizens of Haryana to safeguard the welfare of animals. We must welcome the decision of the Court.

It would be better if the Supreme Court of India passes such a decision. In this way, whole citizens of the country will be duty-bound to ensure the safety and dignity of animals.

Masked Aadhar Card

Masked Aadhar Card: A greater way to prevent data theft

Aadhar card issued by the UIDAI is an important document for Indian people.  It is used for KYC, photo identity proof and availing so many government benefits.

However, carrying the Aadhar card is risky as it contains the 12 digit Aadhar card number which is most sensitive.  If the card is misplaced or stolen, we are afraid that this number can be misused without our information.

The most threat is that by any loophole in the system, our hard-earned money can be stolen from the bank account.  The reason is that bank accounts are mandatorily linked with Aadhar. 

But there is no need to be afraid as the UIDAI has come up with a new feature which is called ‘Masked Aadhar’.   A masked Aadhar card contains all the demographic information like name, date of birth, address, photograph and QR code.  The difference is that only the last four digits of Aadhar number are visible whereas the remaining digits are shown as crossed.

 

 

This masked Aadhar card can be used as photo-identity proof at all places where there is no need for showing our Aadhar card number.  Only for getting the subsidy and availing other government schemes, we will have to carry regular Aadhar card.

We can, easily, download the masked Aadhar card by visiting the official website of UIDAI.

So why carry regular Aadhar card if we have the option of Masked Aadhar card!  It is a great way to strengthen the security of our identity and to avoid getting data theft.

 

Threats of fake news

Threats of fake news during Loksabha elections in India

With the decreasing price rate of smartphones and internet data, the number of smartphone users has rapidly increased.  Social media apps and websites have become a major source of sharing news and information.  Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter are some most popular social media apps and websites

But, these apps and websites are also being used for sending misinformation.  Such information being political in nature may be in the form in false news, photoshopped images, morphed audio or video, photo of the famous person tagged with a fake message or twit.

A large number of people whether urban or rural, are still new to smartphones.  They are unable to differentiate between fake and true news.  Such pieces of fake news are provocative and aggravating.  After reading them, we are filled with anger and hatred.

 

fake news

 

Loksabha elections are being carried out in different phases in India.  Fake news circulated on social media platforms can influence the voters.  It is alleged that the presidential election of the USA in 2016 was influenced by the distribution of misguided information on social media apps and websites.

Our government in collaboration with social media platforms is taking stern action to curb the propagation of fake news.  These apps and websites trace for fake news and after verification delete such pieces of false news and information.  Persons involved in spreading fake news are booked under law.

As a responsible citizen, we can also take an active role to stop the spread of false news and information.

To like, forward or share any piece of news or information is considered to give consent to it.  So we should ignore such information which is provocative or hateful as it may be fake.

We must cross-verify any news or information through a trusted news website on the internet ahead of sharing it.  Similarly, we can verify the authenticity of an image by uploading it on google image.  If it shows no result or any source, the image is false and fabricated.

This is the season of loksabha election of the world’s largest democracy. we should not get influenced by such fake news and ensure that our valuable vote goes to the most appropriate candidate.