All posts by Kashish Chauhan

Are we living lives dominated by technology? Does it rob us of our people skills?

It was a week of truly longish, unplanned blackouts. The pillar box was hit by a truck, and power went off in a block of buildings. Our world plunged into non-connectivity during the day and total darkness at night.

Ever notice how when there is a blackout, everyone goes outside? We flatmates met and introduced ourselves, though we’ve lived a few feet away from one another for months. In that break from our frenetic schedules involving mobiles, Internet, video games and TV, we connected with people. We had no idea when we’d see “light”, so we talked about “coping” and soon realised we all sounded happy.

We talked of a time when grandma didn’t depend so much on electricity, dad remained supremely efficient without a cellphone, our aunts brought all the local gossip from temple visits and weddings, and not from websites. We talked of buildings without ugly power grids or cellphone towers, of fewer road accidents, riding bicycles, of clean ponds and parks.
A teacher from a digitally modern school told us this story. “A computer techie messed up our server system,” she said. “It was near-disaster! Our computerised attendance register was gone, and so were LAN, mark sheets, teachers’ notes, question papers, classroom material, presentations and a lot of the students’ work.” But that lasted only for a day, she said. The teachers woke up to the challenge and roped in kids to do the “paper work”. Together they prepared the teaching aids, kept the attendance record straight and wrote lesson plans for the coming week. “The kids said they were very happy to do the work,” she said. “I felt I got closer to a lot of them.”

What neurologists say

Neurologists already talk of how our brains are shaping to respond to a “gadgetised” life. A micro-chip induced life could blur our view of the line between living and non-living machines, they warn. We already see an example of this when we try to give directions on the phone. Somehow even simple directions have become rocket science, the caller half following what’s said and calling a dozen times till he reaches the door. Is it because constantly interrupted by digital intrusions, we’ve lost the capacity to analyse, plan, remember and execute work? Does gadget dependence take away our confidence in our abilities?

“Electronic devices, like pharmaceutical drugs, have an impact on the micro-cellular structure and complex biochemistry of our brains. And that, in turn, affects our personality, our behaviour and our characteristics,” says Professor Susan Greenfield in her book. “It’s pretty clear that the screen-based, two-dimensional world that so many teenagers — and a growing number of adults — choose to inhabit is producing changes in behaviour. Attention spans are shorter, personal communication skills are reduced and there’s a marked reduction in the ability to think abstractly.” The games-driven generation interprets the world through screen-shaped eyes, she insists. It’s almost as if something hasn’t really happened until it’s been posted on Facebook or YouTube.

Psychologists tell us that we could be raising kids who live only for the thrill of the computer-generated moment. They are in danger of detaching themselves from what the rest of us would consider the real world, they say. As for us, we live in a world so technologically dependent that even a computer crash gives us many anxious moments. . Question is: Should pleasure be defined by the endless hours spent in front of a computer console? Should it be defined by our giggles at online comics?

Connecting with people

In a business-centred existence, there is probably no going back to a pre-computer age. That age will demand that we do more of our work ourselves; information won’t travel so quickly, and medical science may get frozen. But consider this theory: If all modern technology shut down and we were forced to live without e-appliances and gadgets, we’d adapt. It might signal more face-to-face time with people instead of emails and texting, might mean more walking and knowing what goes on in our neighbourhood. We might come out of the “lonesome boundary of life” that teleworking creates, and stop to smile at our neighbour, rather than at a shadow appearing on a pixellated screen. Some of us might even start a campaign for the rights of pedestrians.

Another forwarded messege

I recieved an messege on my whatsapp
  which included the interview of Dr Girdhar Gyani, the convenor of a task force on COVID-19 hospitals, taken by the Quint. It talks about the oncoming stage 3 of the pandemic on the country. Dr Gyani, who’s the founder of the Association of Healthcare Providers, was part of a video conference of healthcare professionals with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March. In the interview, he pointed out the fact that government does not have enough PPE kits so it is only checking patients that have all the three symptoms together – coughing, breathing problem, and fever. If the patient has only one of the symptoms, then they are not being tested. He continued by suggesting that the government needs to re-strategize or the country will soon reach the 3rd stage. He also mentioned his concerns about transferring the patients from hospital to hospital without the virus spreading.
The message created the curiosity to fact check the same,
Procedure followed to check the message is:
• Name of the journalist and the date. The journalist was Poonam Aggarwal, and has written articles like “Delhi police abandoned us on the road: Migrant Labourers”.
• I checked if there were any articles written by Poonam Aggarwal on 26th March 2020(the date given in the article), and we found the same article.
• I checked the logo and website of The Quint for its authenticity.
• We verified the given facts in the interview, regarding the number of cases so that more credibility could be established.

Post Article 370, 378 Terrorist Killed January-May This Year.

A total of fifty terrorist from have been killed from the beginning of the year 2020 in Jammu and Kashmir. The list of terrorists includes commanders of Jaish-e-Mohmmad (JeM) and Lashker-e-Tioba (LeT) which are credited to one of the most wanted terrorist groups in the country. The commanders from the groups were killed in counter firing, the officials said. According to officials, sevneteen security forces personnel lost their lives while fighting against the terrorists in the union territory. It is also believed that the militants also killed four civilians in the last four months. From the fifty terrorists killed this year, eighteen were said to be killed during the nationwide lockdown from 25th March in order the control the spreading of coronavirus across the country. Seventy-eight terrorists were killed in January-May this year as opposed to 101 being killed in the same period in 2019. The number of terrorist incidents, however, dropped from 223 to 78 in the same period.The officer said the recent increase in encounters and operations by security forces was not unusual and should not be seen in isolation as the focus was on stopping young boys from joining the terrorist ranks.
So far this year we have been successful in stopping 20 boys who could have joined terrorist groups. Pakistan is leaving no stone unturned by pushing fake propaganda and old messages to recruit them. Avinash Mohananey, a former Director General of Police who has also worked in Kashmir, shows angry against the government said the most significant part of continued terrorism was the ongoing local recruitment.Officials said that Pakistan continued to push terrorists and weapons from across the border and it did not wait even a single day as the snow melted . According to UAPA cases Article 370 was neither the problem nor a solution to militancy, the source is Pakistan. A clear-cut strategy is required as Kashmiris did not react violently react to 370. The next step is how to win the people over, but it cannot be done by killing them and without reviving the political process. The solution does not lie in violence.

Inching towards a colourful world


Emanating as a hashtag, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is now a full-fledged movement aimed at curbing police brutality against african americans.
Initially a movement which was limited to the US, it has experienced an upsurge in recent times. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other black civilians in the US have sparked a contagious rage. Cities as far as London, Berlin, Melbourne, and Tokyo have seen huge demonstrations in solidarity with the growing BLM uprisings.
Protests demanding racial justice in the wake of these recent deaths, have left America and the rest of the world infuriated by racial violence and energized to end discrimination.
It’s not just about police brutality. Each sphere of life is affected by such prejudices. Even during natural calamities and pandemics people of colour are more vulnerable due to the pre-existsing inequities that disadvantage them making them more susceptible to severe illnesses, or even death.
Amidst the protests, petitions and proposed policies, the change,though not enough, is visible. While we can see a rainbow beginning to shine through the fog of racism, there is still a long road ahead to traverse.
Coming home, the BLM movement in the US is a great opportunity for India to introspect its own past and present. While we lend our voice to that campaign, we must also attempt to question our own biases in terms of caste, creed and gender.

Can you imagine being in your home and not a part of it ?

Article 370 was the medium of keeping Kashmir connected to India, giving it special status i.e their own constitution, flag etc.
“In the last five years, we have made all the necessary efforts to ensure peace in J&K . We are committed to overcoming obstacles, providing adequate financial resources to all the regions of the state.” – the BJP manifesto for  the national polls read.
I suspect that removal of Article 370 was a win-win situation because of the these succeeding aspects:
Indians can now buy the land in Kashmir and invest, which would channelize the youth energy into productivity.
Literacy rate which is 67.16%(2019)  will grow as other Indian too can attain government  jobs as teacher’s, doctor’s etc.
Social prosperity which leads to a feeling of one nation through one single citizenship.
Student’s can now go to Kashmir and get certified from their Universities, giving other students more competation. This is the big time when J&K enter the mainstream and becomes  the part of nation’s collective growth.

No need to panic.


The world is living in a state of panic as everyone is following safety guidelines to ensure that they do not get infected with coronavirus.
The World Health Organization said that “emerging evidence” suggests that the virus may be airborne. There was panic as people wondered whether the precautions currently being taken are enough.
To clarify things, an expert has recently said that people do not need to panic over the findings. He clarified that the studies cited by a group of over 200 researchers have said that the virus can be “at least temporarily” airborne, and it does not mean that the virus is all around us and will infect everyone.
DG, CSIR, Rakesh Mishra has said that keeping in mind the latest developments about the possibility of the virus being temporarily airborne, people should wear a mask for a longer period of time and continue to take other precautions such as social distancing.
Precautions to take

  1. Maintain physical distance
  2. Avoiding rooms where multiple people are present, especially those lacking aeration such as AC rooms,
  3. Avoid gathering in closed spaces
  4. Wear a face mask at all times while outside
  5. Wash your hands regularly and properly with soap and water
    Saying that the virus is only six-months-old, Mishra said that it would be too early to say that we know enough about the virus. However, whatever we know will help in treating infected patients, he added.

RUPALI SAHU .

Searching- Movie Review

SEARCHING
Searching is a 2018’s social media mystery directed by Aneesh Chaganty, where a father desperately uses every facet of the internet to find out his missing daughter .
Starting on an empty window desktop, to creation of two accounts David (father) and Pamela (mother), the beginning of a new family computer showcases videos of family baking, dates of pam coming back from the hospital, birth and growth of Margo. Pam dies due to cancer and this incident lingers heavily over David and Margo(daughter).
One afternoon, Margo goes out for a study session at her friends house and tells her father that she would do a sleepover at her place. In the midnight Margo calls David a several times but he could not take any of the calls as he was slumbering. Next morning when he called her back, she did not answer. He got more anxious when he noticed that she had not taken her laptop along, which she would cling to, the whole day. Thirty seven hours after David’s 16 year old daughter goes missing without a single lead, he decides to file a missing report and team up with a detective(Debrah Messing).
David’s (John Cho) character was super relevant and real. I could see the annoyance in his eyes when he wasn’t able to find any clue about his daughter. He searched about every small character who would have hints about Margo. But all they had to say was, ‘Sorry, We cannot help you, we don’t know her much’.
Later, when this became a trending news, the same characters were seen crying, making videos and talking about how much they loved her. This draws a notice towards the hypocritical nature of people.
When things and people become popular, people tend to show concern. However they hardly get affected otherwise.
From the very beginning, the movie has a musical store that keeps you know in fictional narrative.
The movie used the name of applications such as Google, Facebook etc for which the movie had to pay. The editing of the movie took one and a half year, so as to make sure the audience can be served with some good content and definitely a lot of suspense.
The ending of the movie has a lot that keeps you bind. You will be wanting to know what happens next. If Margo is alive or dead.

Legality of lockdown



P.M. Narendra Modi declared national lockdown on 24th March 2020 to prevent the spread of global pandemic COVID-19 (Coronavirus) which at initial level started from Wuhan, China. The Ministry of Home Affairs published the official notification, imposed the lockdown and issued guidelines under S/6 and S/10 of the Disaster Management Act.
The terms ‘lockdown’ and ‘curfew’ are not legal terms but are used to restrict the fundamental right of movement under Article 19 (A) of the Indian Constitution. The closest understanding of ‘lockdown’ can be elucidated from the Epidemic Diseases Act (EDA).
The various provisions of Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 are also being imposed to control the current outbreak.
Impacts of disobeying the national lockdown:
● Disobedience of public servant – S/188 IPC.
● To ensure spread of dangerous disease – S/269 IPC.
● Malignant act of spreading dangerous disease – S/270 IPC.
● Escaping “quarantine” – S/271 IPC.
● Curfew – S/144 CrPC.
Declaring the COVID-19 outbreak as a “notified disaster” is a first-of-its-kind measure taken to increase the scope of government powers to make quick administrative decisions to fight this disease.
Therefore there are a number of words that aren’t a part of law but has to be used to get the law imposed.

Interstellar- Movie Review

Do not go gentle in the good night- Prof. Brand- character of the movie directed by Christopher Nolan.

Interstellar is 2014’s ambitious movie with good space drama  . It is a complicated film with layers of real world science mixed with a mind-bobbling fictional narrative . The movie portrays our planet at some unspecified time in future running out of food, and public is starving for food. Professor Brand (Michael Claine), in the meantine, starts devising plans to save humanity. He has two plans.

Plan A comprises harnessing fifth dimensional physics and using gravity in order to launch a  space station or stations big enough ,to transport the entire earth’s population safely away from the dirt and dying crops.

Plan B – to shoot a bunch of embryos into space in order to start a new colony from scratch- requires the first generation to be raised by an astronaut ,second by third and so on .

A team of explorers travel beyond this galaxy through a newly discovered warmhole to discover whether mankind has future among the stars.

Christopher Nolan – Director of the movie- has really played well with the camera. His films are imaginative , fun, exciting and big. There are  moments of brilliance , for long stretches  my eyes remain glued to the screen and mouth dropped open. I got goosebumps at a couple of times. The space  sequence was just mind blowing and some visuals actually made me feel I’m in space, but at some point of time, I felt  like there were huge ideas in the minds of filmmaker that conveyed relevant messege; rest, hwever, just mixed up.

I genuinely liked Cooper’s (Mathew McConaughey) character. He was terrific ,his family life  ,the entire setup was well set-up .The father-daughter emotional connection was so real that it kept me engaged in the whole movie. If that were not there, this would would have been a soul-less space exploration movie. That relationship gives the film much required warmth and humanity. The launch into space, CGI and entire mission was seamlessly incredible .

The music, on the other hand, was so intense that at some point I felt like I’m a part of the movie out there.

It was really engrossing to see a robot character- TRASH- that was clever as well as entertaining .

The themes of the movie are:-

What our place in life is!

What are existence is!

and what our purposes is !

which is really well depicted.

It would be really fun and exciting to know that which of the Professor Brand’s plan would work- Plan A or B? 

Media literacy

I attended the media literacy Lecture by Frank W Baker and learnt that , nothing indeed can be more important today,  than MEDIA LITERACY.
It is really disheartning to know that India is the hub of Fake news , video’s and information. Being the future, this is solely our responsibility to ensure that what we see or read is authentic and from a credible source.

I sum up the following points from his lecture.

When in doubt , check it out !

*MEDIA LITERACY*  is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyse, evaluate, create and participate with a variety of forms from print, video to internet.
It aims to increase students understanding and enjoyment of
– how media works
– how they produce meaning
– how they are organised
– and how they construct reality.

*Fake news is the “cancer of our time”*
Because teens get their news more frequently from social media site’s ( Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc) rather than directly from news organisations.

*Q. HOW SOCIAL MEDIA MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY REAL NEWS ?*

Researchers said:
” People viewing a blend of news and entertainment on a social media site tended to pay less attention to the source of content they consumed- meaning they could easily mistake satire or fictional for real news”
           – Source: Science News, March 2020

*LATERAL READING*- Act of verifying , what you are reading.
It is the process of consulting third-party sources to help verify authority and reliability of the source.

*For example*- an image located in a post on Facebook on March, 25 ,2020   came up that COVID literally stand for Chinese Orignated Viral Infection Disease
      Whereas
COVID-19 is an abbreviation of the “coronavirus disease 2019” where
CO- stands for Corona
VI- virus
D- disease

and number 19 reflects the year ,disease was identified that is 2019.

*Q. HOW TO RECOGNISE A FAKE STORY ?*

-distinguish between a news and option.

-check the URL of the website you are reading news from!

-check the published date and time.

-check the author or journalist – as often fake stories do not have name mentioned of the author.

– For health information go to
CDC.GOV  or  WHO.INT

-fact check what you are reading websites like
• Snopes.Com
•Annenberg’s Factcheck.org
•Duke University’s Reporter’s Lab

-to find out the real image you can use
• reverse image search on Google
TinEye.com

–  search if other news outlets are reporting it.

–  ask experts.

– *slow down or don’t share.*

*DEEPFAKE*- is a process where your face is edited and is placed on someone’s else face.
• women’s are mostly the victim’s of pornography in such cases.

* Signs of fake video’s*

– simple composition , looking straight forward.

– weird blending along the outline of the face.