Friday, June 22, 2007

US heritage body wants Ram Sethu preserved

World Monuments Fund, an international preservation organisation that brings out World Monuments Watch List of endangered sites, has said that the Government of India should be made to realise that it’s more valuable to preserve Ram Sethu than demolishing it.

Marilyn Perry, chairman of the Fund, said in an interview on the sidelines of the function to release the list of endangered sites of the world in its New York Madison Avenue office that the Federal Government could consider sending scuba divers underwater to collect sand deposits and analyse them in the laboratory. “The government could leave the disputed area untouched and make it as a tourist attraction by sending tourists in glass bottom boats to see what’s inside the sea.

That could compensate for whatever is the revenue loss of diversion. They could also invite international team of scuba divers to come and take underwater photography and tests to find out whether the rock formations still exit. It’s easy to demolish but hard to construct anything again,” she said.

Agreeing that the Fund is not a world policeman and its requests may fall on deaf ears, she said an alternative vision of the value which government officials may not see should be created. “They often only see the water and the revenue and not the archaeological importance beneath the sea. The organisers of the movement could use mass media such as television and also make a film and show to the people to create awareness. We have to create enough documentation that the bridge was ancient and that it’s sacred to both India and Sri Lanka as it demonstrates historic connections. Instead of being frightened of the national government, the organisers should mobilise local people to support the movement. You always need local support and can’t do anything without them.”

On listing Ram Sethu as an endangered historical monument, she said unfortunately the nomination for this year was already over. “The question is how to find a mechanism in this case to publicise it extensively to gather public opinion. We need to know how the Sri Lankan government and people feel about the demolition. There is no question of wrong and the right in any issue and the answer is finding consensus. How much can we save or are there any alternatives to the project without destruction? The government could be made to realise that it’s more valuable to preserve the site. Often, the Fund may not be able to convince the governments as we do not don policemen’s role. We could not stop the construction of a dam in Turkey as the government would not listen to us. The dam would flood some of the great archaeological sites yet the government was adamant,” she said.

Bonnie Burnham, president of the Fund, said the movement against the project should be tenacious in getting the public voice heard. “If we could convince the Federal Government on Taj Mahal, which would have been affected by developments, I am sure we can find a way out for this issue too. Fortunately, lot of heritage bodies in India came together and provided their support to stop an action that would have had an adverse impact on the world monument. Joint voices really do make a difference. The organisers should rope in bodies like INTACH,” she added.

“In India, I hope there will be a much greater development of NGOs at local level. There is no more awareness now and private sector can really play a role. Heritage of India is too rich for the government to take care of by itself. Voice of the private sector will have a clout on such matters. In India as of now, it’s really not easy for foreign NGOs to get established due to extremely laborious legal process. There are not strong incentives for philanthropy. Changing laws related to both the issues would have a huge impact and there is very strong interest among foreign NGOs to get involved with India’s heritage. There is no infrastructure that supports the government efforts. No community exists that does not have something important to say on Indian heritage,” she added.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Five e-mail habits that waste time and cause problems

Few communications tools give you as much exposure as e-mail. Unfortunately, mistakes in your e-mail will receive that same exposure as well. Depending on who sees your e-mail, your job, reputation, or career could suffer. Fortunately, avoiding these mistakes is easy. Here are five e-mail habits that annoy me (and maybe you as well), and what you can do differently. I’ll share another five in my next article.

#1: Vague or nonexistent subject line

Professor Woodward, who taught me contracts last year at Temple University Beasley School of Law, gave me one of the most useful pieces of advice I have ever received. “When arguing a case,” he often said, “make it easy for the judge to rule in your favor.”

Apply that same principle to e-mail. That is, make it easy for recipients to know what your message is about. If you’re like most people, you have an in-basket that summarizes your incoming messages, probably by date, sender, and subject. Don’t you love it when you can get the information you need simply from the subject line? The sender has made it easy for you and has saved you time.

On the other hand, how often have you received an e-mail without a subject or one that’s labeled, for example, “Phone number you requested.” Why couldn’t the sender have said, right in the subject line, “The phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx”?

When sending an e-mail that concerns a particular person, give details in the subject line, along with the name. For example, if Joe Brown has been promoted, make your subject line “Joe Brown has been promoted.” Do not use only the name as the subject. If you send out an e-mail with just the subject “Joe Brown,” recipients may mistakenly believe that Mr. Brown has passed on.

In the event you do need to transmit such sad news, be explicit. For example, say “Joe Brown RIP” or “Passing of Joe Brown” or “Joe Brown [year of birth] - [year of death].”

#2: Changing the topic without changing the subject

Have you ever read an advertisement for an item that’s on sale, then gone to the store only to discover that that item is sold out? By law, the store has to give you a rain check, because of abuses in the past. In the old days, the store would simply try to sell you something else instead, a practice known as “bait and switch.”

E-mail users employ bait and switch all too often, usually out of laziness. For example, you send a note to a co-worker about subject 1. That co-worker later needs to send a note to you on subject 2. However, instead of creating a new note and labeling it “subject 2,” he or she simply replies to you, discusses subject 2, but keeps the subject line as “subject 1.” Annoying, isn’t it? When you send e-mail, make sure the subject line matches the actual subject. If you’re going to send a note via a reply, change the subject line to match the actual subject.

A few months ago, during a period of really cold weather, a neighbor sent an e-mail to all the residents of our development regarding a neighborhood telephone directory, and titled it “neighborhood directory.” A half hour later, I received a reply-to-all message from another neighbor with the subject “Re: neighborhood directory.” When I accidentally clicked on that message, I read that the sender’s heater had broken and that he was asking to borrow blankets and kerosene heaters. He did get what he needed and did later get his heater fixed. However, had he given his note a better subject heading, he might have had a faster response.

#3: Including multiple subjects in one note

Covering multiple topics in one note involves less sending and hence less e-mail traffic and volume. However, your recipient might overlook one or more of those topics. It’s better to keep to one topic per message.

#4: Sending before thinking

When you were small, your mother probably told you to count to three before responding to someone (mine told me to count to 10). Why did she say that? She knew that answering before thinking can lead to problems.

Make sure you really mean to say what you’ve written. People can interpret your words differently from what you meant. A statement made in jest to someone via e-mail may have a greater chance of being misinterpreted than one made in person. Also, be careful about reacting and replying too quickly to an e-mail that upsets you. As Proverbs 12:16 says, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.”

I’ll talk more about it in a future article, but legal implications offer another reason to think before sending. E-mail can be subject to “discovery” by attorneys for a party that might be suing your employer. That is, the things you write in your e-mail could end up in the hands of those attorneys and could be used as evidence against your company in a trial. So before you send an e-mail, imagine that you’re on a witness stand having to explain it.

#5: Inadvertent replying to all

Before hitting Reply To All, make sure you really need to do so. Does everyone need to see your response? Does your response benefit everyone else? Or are you sending merely a private response or addressing a personal issue with the sender? In these situations, it’s better just to do a simple Reply. Otherwise, your private disagreement becomes public (and embarrassing) knowledge.

Be aware that if you receive a message because you’re part of certain message groups (e.g., a Yahoo group), your reply might go to everyone in the group even if you just hit Reply.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these mistakes? The good news is that once you recognize these issues, it’s easy to address them.

Baat Niklegi to phir door talak jayegi

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


SARAJEVO,Bosnia – Bosnian promotional film “Enjoy Life” produced by Refresh Production has won the first prize at the Second International Festival of Tourist Film, which took place in the historic city of Plock, the capital of region Mazovia in Poland.

The Festival featured over one hundred films from Austria, Denmark, Japan, South Africa, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey... Apart from the films on tourism, the Festival also included roundtables on the role of tourism as an integrative industry that connects people, civilizations and cultures and helps to understand them better.

The symposium “Future of tourism in Europe and promotion of countries and regions through tourist films” focused on the topics of expanding and improving economic in the economic sector.

See the Video

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Now, BIHAR govt plans to make 'waves'

A bicycle mechanic, Raghav, recently made waves by sending radio waves from his small shop at Mansurpur village in Vaishali district. The "Radio Raghav" FM station was an instant hit among people residing within 10 km radius of Mansurpur village.

Now, realising that radio is a powerful mediun to interact with the masses at the grassroots level, the state government is seriously planning to launch its own FM stations — community radio stations (CRSs). The state government has already prepared a pilot project with the help of IIM students. The technological know-how is being prepared by students of IIT (Kanpur) and IIT (Mumbai).

To begin with, the state government has selected 10 schools of Patna and Nalanda districts to operate these FM stations. These schools would transmit the programmes, the contents of which would be prepared and developed at the Soochana Bhavan. The government would help these schools in obtaining FM frequency from the information and broadcasting ministry.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, during his visit to IIM (Ahmedabad) in November, 2006, had talked to some of the students there and had asked them to prepare a blue print for community radio stations. Nitish had said such radio stations would bridge the gap between the state headquarters and the villages, by using cost-effective means of information through entertainment.

State information and public relations department (IPRD) secretary Vivek Singh, who is monitoring the creation of community radio stations, told TOI that it would be a powerful medium to communicate with the people.

The IPRD secretary said the IIM team, comprising management professor Rajnish Sinha and IIM (Ahmedabad) students Kaushlendra, Abhishek, Irfan and Rahul, has worked out the financial viability. These students have also given presentation before the secretaries of different departments, including MM Jha (HRD), Anup Mukherjee (rural development) and special secretary (CM secretariat) Chanchal Kumar.

According to the plan, the schools will be stake-holders while the principals concerned would be presidents of the school community radio stations. Though the initial cost of setting up a transmission centre is estimated between Rs 5-6 lakh, the IPRD secretary said, students of IIT (Kanpur) and IIT (Mumbai) are being approached so that the transmission cost could be reduced.

The state government is planning to set up 800-1,000 community radio stations, having services in Bhojpuri, Magahi, Vajjika, Maithili and Angika.

Patna girl in final round of Indian Idol 3

The melodious voice of this Patna girl has shot her to fame following her entry into the final round of Sony's Indian Idol 3 programme. In the final round Deepali, a Patna Women's College student, will compete with 12 other contestants.

Needless to say, her feat has brought immense joy to her parents Rita Kishore and Dinesh Kishore, the latter a sub-inspector attached to special branch of the Bihar police.

Interestingly, Deepali wanted to become a radio jockey. But given her performance in the Indian Idol show, it'll not be surprising if she ends up as one of Bollywood's most-sought-after playback singers. "Deepali is now aiming at becoming a playback singer in Bollywood. For her, the sky is the limit now," her parents told.

Besides giving credit to their daughter and her trainer — Sony's music director - both Dinesh and Rita also showered ample praise on people who voted for her through SMSes in the piano round. Deepali was among the 10 finalists among 28 contestants in the Piano round held in mid-May and which was telecast from June 1 to 9.

Her parents said programme panelists Udit Narayan and Alisha Chinai, music director Anu Mallick, lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar and special guest Kailash Kher all appreciated Deepali's musical talent.

"But Alisha had special praise for her," chipped in Rita with a sense of pride.

The final round is set to be interesting given that there would be two wild-card entries, besides a finalist from Indian Idol 2, Jolly Das, who couldn't appear earlier due to illness. While the two wild-card entries will perform on June 15 (Friday), Deepali will have a brush with other contestants in the subsequent programme.

Deepali, in fact, was selected from among 5,000 contestants during the audition held at Kanpur from March 12 to 14. Post-selection she was among the 128 contestants in the preliminary round.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Manilas Jipneys

Patna rice

Patna rice, a variety of the species Oryza sativa, and one of the varieties of long-grain white rice, is extensively cultivated in the Indo-gangetic plains, in and around Patna, capital of Bihar state, India. Patna rice is known for its elongated kernel with grain length greater than 6 mm, and has been used as staple food by the local people for thousands of years. Sometimes, Patna rice is also called Parimal rice locally.

This mildly flavoured rice comes from the Bihar region of the Ganges plains. It has a robust, long and narrow, opaque grain that keeps its shape well for curries. Basmati rice is closely related to the Patna rice but has a stronger aroma. Patna rice is the most esteemed in UK and USA and is the highest priced rice in the grocery stores.

The Mughal chronicler Abul Fazal who collected the various types of rice grown in the Gangetic belt has described the rice cultivated in Patna in glowing terms. William Fullarton of Skeldon UK made his fortune by dealing in Patna rice. He chose to name the hamlet of the coal mining workers he built in East Ayrshire, Scotland as Patna.

As at one time, most of the rice sold in Europe came from this region, Patna Rice is also sometimes loosely used to mean any long grain aromatic rice.

Another example of long-grain rice is American long-grain rice which include Carolina rice. It is believed that Patna rice was the first type of rice cultivated in America [1], and acquired the name Carolina rice. The seeds of Patna rice were taken to America, grown in Carolina and exported to Britain before the American Civil War. Thus the term Carolina rice is also sometimes used to denote this variety of rice.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Indian Idol-Meiyang Chang - Meri Saanson Mein Basa Hai

Remember Sanjaya Malakar from American Idol. Out of the blue he had become house hold name in USA. Meiyang Chang is going do same in india?. I think he is already one of the top contestants in Indian Idol. This third generation chinese from India is a dentist by profession who is popular for his good looks and he also sings very well. Overall looks like he has got a pleasant personality. (Don’t know somehow Indian idol site says “Contestant from China” though he himself had said that
he is third generation Chinese in India)

Udit Narayan who is one of the Judges had said that Chang had sung the song even better than Udit himself after hearing the song from chang which earlier was sung by Udit Narayan in a movie. Can have a look at the Chang’s Performance in the below Video.