The intentional clearing of forested land is called deforestation. Throughout history and into current times, forests have been cleared in order to convert the forest land to farms, ranches, or urban uses. While deforestation has greatly changed the world's landscapes, the greatest concentration of deforestation today is taking place in tropical rainforests. Deforestation not only results in more carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, but also threatens the world's biodiversity as these forests are usually home to many species of plants and animals.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines deforestation as the conversion of forest to other land uses (regardless of whether it is human-induced). "Deforestation" and "forest area net change" are not the same: the latter is the sum of all forest losses (deforestation) and all forest gains (forest expansion) in a given period. Net change, therefore, can be positive or negative, depending on whether gains exceed losses, or vice versa.

The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat damage, biodiversity loss, and aridity. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations, as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record. Deforestation also reduces biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing negative feedback cycles contributing to global warming. Global warming also puts increased pressure on communities who seek food security by clearing forests for agricultural use and reducing arable land more generally. Deforested regions typically incur significant other environmental effects such as adverse soil erosion and degradation into wasteland.

The resilience of human food systems and their capacity to adapt to future change is linked to biodiversity – including dryland-adapted shrub and tree species that help combat desertification, forest-dwelling insects, bats and bird species that pollinate crops, trees with extensive root systems in mountain ecosystems that prevent soil erosion, and mangrove species that provide resilience against flooding in coastal areas.] With climate change exacerbating the risks to food systems, the role of forests in capturing and storing carbon and mitigating climate change is important for the agricultural sector.

Credit : Wikipedia

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Important ocean habitats that offer us compelling evidence about the risks posed by climate change, coral reefs are large underwater structures made up of the skeletons of colonial marine invertebrates called coral. Also referred to as "the rain forests of the seas", scientists believe that one out of every four marine species live in and around coral reefs. This makes them one of the most diverse habitats of the planet, providing for a huge portion of Earth's biodiversity.

Each individual coral is referred to as a polyp. Coral polyps live on the calcium carbonate exoskeletons of their ancestors, adding their own exoskeleton to the existing coral structure. As the centuries pass, the coral reef gradually grows, one tiny exoskeleton at a time, until they become massive features of the marine environment.

Corals are found all over the world's oceans, from the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska to the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea. The biggest coral reefs are found in the clear, shallow waters of the tropics and subtropics. The largest of these coral reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, is more than 1,500 miles long (2,400 kilometers).

Scientists have explored only about 20 percent of the ocean's floor, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As such, ocean explorers continue to discover previously unknown coral reefs that have likely existed for hundreds of years.

Most of the substantial coral reefs found today are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old, according to CORAL. They are most often found in warm, clear, shallow water where there's plenty of sunlight to nurture the algae that the coral rely on for food.

Coral reefs cover less than 1 percent of the ocean floor — all the reefs combined would equal an area of about 110,000 square miles (285,000 square km), only about the size of the state of Nevada. Nonetheless, they are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems on Earth.

About 25 percent of all known marine species rely on coral reefs for food, shelter and breeding. Sometimes referred to as "the rainforests of the sea" for their biodiversity, coral reefs are the primary habitat for more than 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral and thousands of other plants and animals, according to CORAL.

Coral reefs are typically divided into four categories, according to CORAL: fringing reefs, barrier reefs, patch reefs and atolls. Fringing reefs are the most commonly seen reef and grow near coastlines. Barrier reefs differ from fringing reefs in that they are separated from the coastlines by deeper, wider lagoons. Patch reefs typically grow between fringing and barrier reefs on the island platform or continental shelf. The rings of coral that make up atolls create protected lagoons in the middle of the oceans, typically around islands that have sunk back down into the ocean.

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Many of our busy national highways cut deep through forests. Animals that cross these roads may sometimes get run over by fast-moving vehicles. To avoid this, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has built nine dedicated underpasses for wildlife on the national highway NH47 that passes through the Kanha-Pench forest belt.

The cameras installed in the underpasses have revealed that a number of wild animals use them. The animals, including tigers, used the underpasses mostly at night to cross over to the other side of the forest. While some stayed back to take a nap or to have some fun with their playmates, a few others prowled the dark underpasses hoping for a good catch!

The concept was first developed in France in the 1950s. It took off in the Netherlands, where more than 600 crossings have been constructed to protect badgers, elk and other mammals. The Dutch built the world's longest animal crossing, the Natuurbrug Zanderij Crailoo, an overpass that spans more than 0.8 kilometers (0.5 miles). Wildlife crossings can also be found in Australia, Canada and other parts of the world. The idea took a little longer to catch on in the United States, but wildlife bridges and tunnels began appearing there in the 21st century.

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The sacred grooves are the trees which are considered as socially, culturally, medicinally or religiously important. The common examples of sacred grooves are Ficus Religiosa (Peepal) tree and Ficus benghalensis (Banyan) tree. They are known as sacred groves because there are small shrines or temples inside them honouring local deities. They are pockets of forests where people are forbidden to cut the trees or disturb the animals for fear of angering the resident gods. They can only collect honey, twigs, medicinal herbs and litter.

Sacred groves are found in every state of India though they are known by different names. There are more than 20,000 sacred groves with the most - 5000-found in Himachal Pradesh. Some are small, occupying a few hectares, while others, like the Hariyali grove in Uttarakhand and the Deodar grove near Shimla, are spread over hundreds of hectares.

In Maharashtra they are called devarahi, in Karnataka, devarakaadu, in Rajasthan oran, in Himachal, devbhumi, in Kerala kaavu and kovil kaadu in Tamil Nadu.

The groves are extremely important because they are biodiversity hotspots. Not only do they contain hundreds of rare and valuable plants and trees, some of which are used in traditional medicines, but also different species of insects, birds and mammals. The trees help anchor the fertile topsoil and the litter provides valuable humus that local farmers cart away to replenish their fields. Ponds and streams run through these sacred groves helping to raise the water table.

Sacred groves have reduced in number and size over the years. In some groves, the trees have been cut to increase the space for religious activities - the shrines now attract too many pilgrims. Others have been taken over for cultivation. Unless local people become more involved in protecting and restoring them, sacred groves, and with them a treasure trove of ecosystems, will soon be gone forever.

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Forest bathing, better known as Shinrin Yoku in Japanese culture, is the practice of walking in the woods mindfully. In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature — no actual bathing required.

Anasuya Menon

Have you walked in a forest? Under the towering trees, with sunlight streaming down in thick long columns? Have you listened to the song of the birds or the sounds of a gurgling stream? Have you felt and probably smelt the fresh forest air? If you have done all of the above, you have forest bathed.

'Forest bathing' is nothing but. a mindful walk in the woods. The practice has its origins in Japanese culture, where it is called shinrin-yoku. The idea is to take in the forest through the senses. Being in the midst of nature refreshes the mind, energises and rejuvenates the body, says practitioners of forest bathing.

Re-connecting with nature

 The concept has caught on in India, especially in the past few years with nature groups organising forest-bathing tours to help people reconnect with nature. "Forest bathing is not activity-oriented. It is a contemplative process, where the participants are guided to take in the forest through their senses. As a guide, I only help participants experience the energy of the forest," says Dipika Sharma from Noida, who has been conducting forest bathing walks for groups in Delhi since 2019. "People are now increasingly aware of the therapeutic effect of nature especially after two years of being confined at home because of the pandemic," says Dipika, who founded Forest Therapy, an organisation that conducts forest bathing tours.

Introducing children to forest bathing would help them form a lasting bond with nature, says Verhaen Khanna, commercial pilot-turned environmental activist, who has been conducting forest bathing workshops for school and college students.

"When children are out in the wild, their instincts are most alive. It instills a sense of curiosity in them. While on these walks, children usually ask me a lot of questions about the sights, smells and sounds of the forest. At times, it might be about a strange insect they have seen or it could be about a sound they heard. They become very aware of their surroundings," says Verhaen. Being amid trees is also believed to boost immunity, says Verhaen, whose organisation, New Delhi Nature Society organises a variety of programmes for children starting from listening to birds to creating art, planting trees, mediation, tree climbing, yoga in the park and saving trees. "We have children as young as four years of age taking part. I have seen that children enjoy the time in the wilderness," says Verhaen. The most receptive are children in the four to seven age group. "They are very attentive. They are curious about snakes and spiders. We ensure their safety, of course," he adds.

The basic idea is to help children appreciate nature and understand how important it is to to be able to co-exist with nature. "We are also, in a way, helping them create memories. And the experience of a forest will stay with them for a long time," Verhaen says.

In addition to building a bond with nature, children also develop their personalities by learning how to interact with others in the group.

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Lakshmi Menon, an Ernakulam-based social entrepreneur and designer, has fashioned eco-friendly mattresses for COVID-19 patients from PPE scrap material.

When Lakshmi Menon saw a poor family sleeping on the bare ground, she decided to do something to help the needy. In March 2020, she conceived the idea of shayya mattresses made out of tailoring scrap.

PPE to the rescue

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, hospitals and First-Line Treatment Centres (FLTCS) in Kerala struggled to provide enough beds for patients. Mattresses became the need of the hour, each one costing between 500-700. When Lakshmi called up tailoring units for scrap to make shayyas, she discovered that they had switched to making personal protective equipment (PPE) suits for healthcare workers. A lot of scrap material is generated while making these suits. As it contains small amounts of plastic, it can be disposed of or recycled by a professional agency only something that many tailors cannot afford. So, they would get rid of the scrap by burning it, causing air pollution. Lakshmi then decided to create shayyas from PPE scrap.

These mattresses are easy to make, requiring no stitching. The scraps are braided together and arranged in a zigzag manner before their ends are tied together with scrap cloth. The resulting shayya is 1.8 m (6 ft) long and 0.7 m (2.5 ft) wide. Unlike a regular mattress, which is difficult to disinfect, it can be washed with soap and reused.

Jobs for local women

 Lakshmi employs around 20 local women who had become jobless during the lockdown. Each woman makes one shayya a day, for which she is paid 300. A shayya is sold at the same price to cover the labour charge. Around 700 shayyas have been donated so far.

Lakshmi's innovative project addressed three major issues - waste management, job creation and the lack of bedding for patients. It has t been recognised by the United Nations in their list of best practices. To enable NGOs, students, etc. to replicate her model, Lakshmi provides them with online training.

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From boosting creativity to instilling mindfulness, boredom can do much for your brains, studies suggest.

When was the last time you felt bored? Truly bored-where you had nothing to do, or didn't feel like doing anything? When you had to watch lonely clouds in an empty sky through your window or just wander aimlessly around the garden at home, picking at leaves or observing ants walking in a line up a wall?

Chances are that such instances of abject boredom would be few and far between. People today have fewer reasons to feel boredom as the avenues for entertainment and mental Occupation are plenty. While children of the eighties and nineties often spent some or the whole of their summer vacations dealing with various forms of boredom, children today often do not have time to get bored. They have activities packed through their vacations, they have the internet, OTT and video games to keep their brains constantly stimulated and entertained.

But do you want to eliminate boredom completely? Ask researchers.

How boredom can be good for you

Turns out that an idle mind is not the devil's workshop, after all. According to studies conducted by neuroscientists, boredom can be good for you.

Psychologists James Danckert and John D Eastwood in their 2020 book Out of my Skull: The Psychology of Boredom, say that boredom can push us to realize our potential and lead full meaningful lives.

 Without boredom there would be no daydreaming or no room for reflection, both essential for a healthy mind. Daydreaming is where creativity stems from Feeling bored is unavoidable, but it is not a judgment on one's character or ability, say researchers.

On the contrary, the very feeling could steer the mind towards ideas and creativity. Unstructured time (with no specific events on the schedule) can help children and adults come up with creative solutions to problems, improve social interactions and learn to develop a sense of self-contentment.

In one of his early writings, British philosopher Bertrand Russel advises parents to allow children the freedom to experience "fruitful monotony. This "doing nothing" would make them more inventive and imaginative, he says.

So, what exactly is boredom?

Boredom is defined as an emotional and psychological state when the individual has nothing particular to do and he or she feels that the period is dull or tedious. It is often described as an unpleasant experience. Imagine standing in a long queue at a supermarket or waiting for a bus or at an airport. Essentially, these periods of nothingness are usually described as boring.

In a classroom, for instance. Haven't you felt bored in certain classes? Well, you are not alone. Studies say it is perfectly normal to feel boredom in a learning environment when the subject being taught is too difficult or too easy.

Technology to the rescue

As soon as electronic devices took over, we have learnt to avoid boredom. We swipe away at our smartphones, going through our social media feeds, playing a game or just listening to music

Technology has had a huge impact on our capacity to feel boredom. It fills up empty time pockets of our lives so well that boredom sometimes has even come to mean the absence of technology. That said, overuse of gadgets has led to a sense of fatigue. How much can you play the same game? How much of other people's lives do you look at?

How to deal with boredom

Do not try to fight it. Accept it and let your mind wander aimlessly. Create a new routine. Each time you get bored, find a new activity to do.

Avoid quick fixes. Try not to reach out for your games or the TV when you are bored. Passive engagement will do great things for you.

Rest, refresh

Consider boredom as a period of rest for the brain. Leave a little time in a day to get bored. You might discover new hobbies and interests, leam to be mindful, or even leam something new about yourself. Maintain a book of boredom and note down the thoughts that come to mind. At the end of a week or month, if you flip through the pages, you would get fresh insight into your own mind.

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A U.S. start up is behind Terran 1, and could be a pioneering effort in the still-nascent commercial space industry.

Relativity Space is a Los Angeles aerospace start-up that builds rockets using advanced 3D printing technology.

Its debut rocket, the Terran 1, has completed pre-launch testing, ahead of a planned launch window beginning June 30. Originally intended to be ready by 2020, the project is running about 18 months behind schedule. The first rocket launch will carry no cargo and is purely a test flight. If successful, a second flight will carry a NASA payload-it is capable of lifting up to one tonne into low Earth orbit.

The Terran 1 is an intended stepping stone on the way to realising the Terran R, a reusable rocket currently under development, capable of carrying 20 times the cargo of the Terran 1, when it launches in 2024. In order to 3D-print large components, Relativity Space has created "Stargate" a system that it claims is the world's largest 3D printer of metals. It uses existing welding technology to melt metal wire, layer by layer, into precise and complex structures that have minimal joints and parts. The company says it will eventually be able to build an entire rocket (95% of which is 3D-printed) in two months. Traditional methods of construction take 24 months and use 100 times as many parts.

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Digital Marketing is a modern way of promoting brands, products and services using all forms of digital channels such as websites, email, social media, mobile apps, etc.

What's this career about?

Digital marketing is another name for online marketing. These days every business and company utilizes digital marketing strategies as people use their mobile phones almost all day, making it easier to reach potential customers.

There are different types of digital marketing some of which are:

SEO Marketing

SEO Marketing or search engine optimization, is one of the most widespread and in-demand skills in the digital marketing world. In essence, SEO marketing is all about designing and creating content to rank highly in search engines when consumers ask brand-relevant queries and industry-applicable searches.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a fast-growing vertical within digital marketing and can serve as a powerful tool in a business' advertising arsenal. In this specialty, you will develop content and advertising strategies that promote customer interest and engagement on a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

While social media marketing may get more media coverage, email marketing is still a core profitable aspect of modern business. Email Marketing sustains and increases business relationships, providing value for customers and engagement for the company. It can drive sales by circulating targeted content designed to appeal to a brand's customer needs and interests.

Content Marketers

Content Marketers create relevant, interesting, and timely content that appeals to and engages customers on all digital frontiers, from a brand's social media channels to its website. Often, this kind of marketing will also encompass educational and informative articles, whitepapers and other written work that establishes a brand as a thought leader in its field.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization is all about increasing the number of conversions - that is, the percentage of website visitors and potential customers who actually make a purchase, fill out a form, or otherwise interact with the site. A conversion rate optimization (CRO) professional may design website flow and structure to enhance conversion and interaction.

Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Pay-Per-Click Marketing means a company may pay large ad vendors like Google or Facebook for text or visual ad placement, aiming to pique searcher attention and ultimately drive sales.

These marketing managers first examine the needs and resources of the business or organization. Then they work with the editorial, commercial, marketing and technical teams to decide on a simple, effective, advanced and comfortable digital channel, which fit the business requirements. They need to ensure all campaigns are delivered on time and on budget. Later, they track what people are saying about a brand online, and help companies manage their brand image.

In small companies, one may have responsibility across all of these areas in some capacity, while in bigger companies, you may solely manage one area like e-mail marketing.

How do I get there?

As digital marketing pertains to knowledge in science, statistics, artistic visualisation and e-commerce, students of any field can take up digital marketing as a career. However, those with degrees in technology and/or marketing do have an upper hand.

A number of courses/certifications are available throughout India. The duration may range from few months to one year and eligibility is graduation. Some of these are: Google Analytics IQ Certification, Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification, Google Ads Certification, HubSpot Content Marketing Certification, Digital Garage: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Certification, HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification.

During the course, students learn about the various formats of marketing like displaying advertising, social media marketing, mobile and internet marketing, search engine optimization and marketing and website design and ways to use them in order to produce a higher response to online marketing efforts.

What skills do I need?

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Passion for online and media-rich, audio-visual products.
  • Experience in running and developing marketing initiatives in the online world.
  • Willingness to continue to learn about new methods and technology.
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Creative and aesthetic sense.
  • Ability to see things differently, innovative mind.


  • Indian Institutes of Management at various places
  • Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
  • National Institute of Securities Markets, Navi Mumbai
  • EduKart.com, New Delhi
  • Internet & Mobile Research Institute, Bangalore
  • NIIT at various places
  • Digital Vidya, Gurgaon

Employment profile

Successful candidates may work in the fashion and lifestyle e-commerce industry. Some of the target companies include ITC, Jet Airways, Max Life Insurance, Amazon, Kellogg's, Nestlé.

According to LinkedIn, the digital marketing industry is growing every year and has the greatest number of job openings. It's a thriving industry - today, countless consumers buy products based on the ads they see as they navigate search engines, scroll through social media platforms, and open e-mails. Businesses are increasingly spending a big proportion of their marketing budgets on digital marketing.

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No exams, no pressure, entering within the walls of schools with a smile, it's okay if you wanna relax, you learn human values, where building one's character is the main aim, and competing with each other is a bygone story. It is an education system that is surrounded by inspiration and motivation, and not the pressure of securing the first position. An education system that proves that racing against each other is not the aim but developing one's character is the new definition of the game.

It may sound like a dream school but Finland has made it happen and paved its own way towards becoming one of the best education systems in the world. Finland has proved that education must keep pace with time, thus providing a healthy environment for both learners and teachers.

Cheers to no exams!

While students over the world fear exams, students in Finland only have to worry about their overall growth, as they are graded on an individualized basis and a grading system set by their teachers. The Ministry of Education tracks the overall progress of an individual student. They have a voluntary test for students at the end of the upper secondary (high school) term known as the National Matriculation Exam.

Cooperation is the need

When you compete with others you reach nowhere, but when you compete with yourself you leave your footprints. This attitude has put Finland at the head of the international education race. Finland's educational system does not worry about standard merit-based systems. Their prime focus is on teaching students how to cooperate rather than training them to compete. They develop an environment of happiness, and harmonious and healthy learning.

School at an older age

Finnish students start their formal education only when they turn 7. They are given the scope for developing during childhood years by not being restricted to any compulsory education. It's simply just a way to let a kid be a kid. Finland prepares its children for the real world.

Finland's upper secondary school is a three-year programme that prepares students for the Matriculation Test that determines their acceptance into a university. This is usually based on specialities  that they have acquired during their time in high school. This is followed by a vocational education, which is a three-year programme that trains students for various careers.

A relaxed mind is the home of creativity

Finland's trend of teaching follows less stress and more care. Students usually have a couple of classes a day. Therefore, they get more time to eat their food, enjoy recreational activities and generally just relax. They can stretch out, grab some fresh air and decompress and beat the exhaustion of learning.

Teachers get the same relaxation hours. They have separate rooms and lounges to prepare for the day or just simply socialize. Teachers are humans, too, and need to be functional so they can perform to the best of their abilities.

More care

Finland's out-of-the-box thinking created the idea of keeping the same teacher for upto six years of their education. During this period of time, teachers get enough time to play the role of a mentor and a family member.

No compromise is made with an individual's distinctive needs. The Finnish education system believes that every child has different needs and is inculcated with different learning styles. They can accurately formulate their chart and progressive growth and as such, they nourish them and take good care to help them reach their goals.

Morning yawns welcome lazy minds

A calm mind brings inner strength to wake up early and get ready for school. Participating in a whole day of school and extra-curriculars are huge time sinks for a student.

For the holistic development of the child, you need them to be more energetic, and their sleep hours play a vital role. Keeping that in mind, schools in Finland start anywhere from 9:00 am and end by 2:00 or 3:00 pm. Research has shown that early start times are detrimental to students' success and prosperity, healthy minds and maturation. Providing them with proper relaxation and a longer break from learning is their priority. The comprehensive system is not there to ram and cram information into the students, but to create an environment of holistic learning.

Learning from Finland, we must not forget that we are building citizens for tomorrow. We have the grave responsibility of character-building to build a nation geared towards development. Generally, we are merely directing our energy towards training students for jobs not for a career. If they develop one here, they serve their talents to another country. Our young students are highly gifted, and it is time for us to point them in the right direction and optimize their talents with the right systems of education in these modern times.

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Geetanjali Shree has become the first Indian author to win the prestigious International Booker Prize for her "utterly original" Hindi novel "Tomb of Sand", a family saga set in northern India about an 80-year-old woman who travels to Pakistan to confront the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition and re-evaluates what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman and a feminist.

At a ceremony in London on Thursday, the 64-year-old New Delhi-based writer said she was "completely overwhelmed" with the "bolt from the blue" as she accepted her 50,000-pound prize, and shared it with the book's English translator Daisy Rockwell. The prize is split between author and translator equally.

"Tomb of Sand", originally "Ret Samadhi", is set in northern India and follows an 80-year-old woman in a tale the Booker judges dubbed a "joyous cacophony" and an "irresistible novel".

"I never dreamt of the Booker. I never thought I could. What a huge recognition, I'm amazed, delighted, honoured and humbled," said Shree in her acceptance speech. "There is a melancholy satisfaction in the award going to it. 'Ret Samadhi/Tomb of Sand' is an elegy for the world we inhabit, a lasting energy that retains hope in the face of impending doom. The Booker will surely take it to many more people than it would have reached otherwise, that should do the book no harm," she said.

Reflecting upon becoming the first work of fiction in Hindi to make the Booker cut, the author said it felt good to be the means of that happening. "But behind me and this book lies a rich and flourishing literary tradition in Hindi, and in other South Asian languages. World literature will be richer for knowing some of the finest writers in these languages. The vocabulary of life will increase from such an interaction," she said.

Rockwell, a painter, writer and translator living in Vermont, US, joined her on stage to receive her award for translating the novel she described as a "love letter to the Hindi language". "Ultimately, we were captivated by the power, the poignancy and the playfulness of ‘Tomb of Sand’, Geetanjali Shree's polyphonic novel of identity and belonging, in Daisy Rockwell's exuberant, coruscating translation," said Frank Wynne, chair of the judging panel.

This is a luminous novel of India and Partition, but one whose spellbinding brio and fierce compassion weaves youth and age, male and female, family and nation into a kaleidoscopic whole," he said.

The book's 80-year-old protagonist, Ma, to her family's consternation, insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

The Booker jury was impressed that rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Shree's playful tone and exuberant wordplay resulted in a book that is "engaging. funny, and utterly original", at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders.

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"I Am Prepared to Die" is the name given to the three-hour speech given by Nelson Mandela on 20 April 1964 from the dock of the defendant at the Rivonia Trial. The speech is so titled because it ends with the words "it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die".

April 20, 1964, saw Nelson Mandela, a 45-year-old member of the anti-apartheid movement, testify at the Pretoria courtroom as part of the Rivonia Trial. In his defence statement, the young lawyer declared that freedom and equality were the ideals for which he was prepared to die.

This speech became the rallying cry of the masses that shook the apartheid regime and set Mandela on the path to becoming the country's first democratically elected president 30 years later.


Apartheid was the most extreme kind of racism that the world witnessed. It started from 1652 when the Dutch East India Company landed in the Cape of Good Hope and established a trading colony in what is now known as Cape Town. This was a rest stop for ships travelling between Europe and India.

The Dutch colonists went to war with the natives to establish their control. This ultimately led to the creation of a new set of laws to enslave the aboriginals. When the British took over the Cape colony, the descendants of the Dutch settlers trekked inland and developed their own language, culture, and customs eventually becoming the Afrikaners, the first white tribe of South Africa.

The fall of the British Empire saw the Afrikaners claim South Africa for themselves. But to sustain their supremacy over the country's restless black majority, they needed new stringent laws. A formal commission was set up and an expedition was sent to different parts of the world including the Netherlands, Australia, and America with the purpose of studying institutionalised racism and its application. The government used this knowledge to build the most advanced version of racial oppression ever created.

Apartheid (means 'apartness in African language) was a police state, a system of surveillance meant to keep the black people under control. This policy was in place for nearly 50 years.

The art of persuasion

Most leaders are known for their rhetoric. Philosopher Aristotle lays emphasis on the art of persuasion through speech in his treatise on the subject. According to the philosopher, the true means of introducing change in a society can only be accomplished by deliberative rhetoric. A deliberative speech focusses on the future rather than the past or the present. Here the speakers present their audience with a possible future and try to encourage them to lend their support to their vision.

What cements the appeal of this kind of persuasive speech is the use of ethos (credibility), logos (logic and reason), and pathos (emotional connect), and Mandela's speech is an excellent example of this.

The appeal of Mandela

1 am the First Accused I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for several years in partnership with Oliver Tambo. I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961. (An excerpt from the speech "I am prepared to die”) By beginning his defence statement with an announcement of his educational qualification and contribution to the anti-apartheid movement, Mandela established his credibility. He took full responsibility for his actions and the disruption they led to. His demeanour exuded confidence in himself and in the cause he was fighting for.

"…The complaint of Africans, however,  is not only that they are poor and whites are rich, but that the laws which are made by the whites are designed to preserve this situation" (An excerpt from the speech "I am prepared to die")

This part of the oration justified the need for a movement against a government that used racial segregation as a weapon to divide society. His sincere dedication to the struggle of the African people and his willingness to sacrifice himself for the fundamental principles of freedom and equality made him a man of mythical proportions.

"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. (An excerpt from the speech 7 am prepared to die”)


  • Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla Mandela. The name Nelson was given to him by his primary school teacher.
  • In August 1952, Mandela and Oliver Tambo established South Africa's first black law firm, Mandela and Tambo.
  • July 18 is celebrated as Nelson Mandela International Day each year.
  • As the first black president of South Africa, Mandela took it upon himself to unite the country that had been divided along racial lines. According to him, sports like rugby promoted unity and fostered national pride.

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The hamburger first appeared in the 19th or early 20th century. The modern hamburger was a product of the culinary needs of a society rapidly changing due to industrialization and the emergence of the working class and the middle class with the resulting demand for mass-produced, affordable food that could be consumed outside of the home.

Considerable evidence suggests that either the United States or Germany (the city of Hamburg) was the first country where two slices of bread and a ground beef steak were combined into a "hamburger sandwich" and sold. There is some controversy over the origin of the hamburger because its two basic ingredients, bread and beef, had been prepared and consumed separately for many years in different countries before their combination. Shortly after its creation, the hamburger quickly included all of its currently typically characteristic trimmings, including onions, lettuce, and sliced pickles.

After various controversies in the 20th century, including a nutritional controversy in the late 1990s, the burger is now readily identified with the United States, and a particular style of cuisine, namely fast food. Along with fried chicken and apple pie, the hamburger has become a culinary icon in the United States.

The hamburger's international popularity demonstrates the larger globalization of food  that also includes the rise in global popularity of other national dishes, including the Italian pizza, Chinese fried rice and Japanese sushi. The hamburger has spread from continent to continent perhaps because it matches familiar elements in different culinary cultures. This global culinary culture has been produced, in part, by the concept of selling processed food, first launched in the 1920s by the White Castle restaurant chain and its founder Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram and then refined by McDonald's in the 1940s.This global expansion provides economic points of comparison like the Big Mac Index, by which one can compare the purchasing power of different countries where the Big Mac hamburger is sold.

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The U.K. will offer a new GCSE (General Certificate for Secondary Education) from September 2025 that will "offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it," said education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

The qualification will allow students to learn about organisms and their environments, as well as environmental and sustainability issues. Students will also develop skills for future careers in conservation, "from understanding how to conserve local wildlife to conducting the fieldwork needed to identify species"

Students learn about environmental issues already; this course will teach them about the history and evolution of species and the impact of life on natural environments.

Teen conservationist and wildlife writer Kabir Kaul, 15, said the course "will give my generation the knowledge and practical skills they need to value and protect the environment around them".

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Loganberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries. The loganberry (Rubus loganobaccus) was created in 1881 in California by American judge and horticulturist James Harvey Logan, when he planted two blackberry plants next to a raspberry plant, all of which flowered and fruited together. The 50 seedlings produced from this mix gave rise to larger plants, one of which was the loganberry. The deep red, conical shaped loganberries are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are processed into juice, syrup, frozen for jams or used for wine-making.

Loganberry plants are sturdy and more disease- and frost-resistant than many other berries. However, they are not very popular with commercial growers due to several problems which increase labor costs, since the plants tend to be thorny and the berries are often hidden by the leaves. Additionally, berries of varying maturity may grow on a single plant, making it difficult to completely harvest each plant. Loganberries are therefore more commonly grown in household gardens.

Loganberries are consumed fresh, or used for juice or in jams, pies, crumbles, fruit syrups, and country wines.

In the UK, fresh or canned (tinned) loganberries are often paired with English Sherry trifle, or their juice (or syrup) paired with the sherry.

Loganberry is a popular beverage flavoring in Western New York and parts of Southern Ontario, beginning there as a drink sold at Crystal Beach Park in Crystal Beach, Ontario. Even though the park has long been closed down, several companies still sell varieties of loganberry drinks through stores throughout the area, which are sold at several local fast-food franchises such as Mighty Taco in Buffalo, Sport of Kings Restaurant in Batavia, New York as well as at supermarkets. There are also milkshakes flavored with loganberry syrup.

Credit : Wikipedia 

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