Category Archives: News

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The initial trial data for the COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed in a joint collaboration between Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The data has been widely awaited as the world looks forward to some good news on the front of a vaccine that could shield people from the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has already infected over 14 million people worldwide and killed over 6 lakh. 

The potential vaccine is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response. The developers of the vaccine said this month they were encouraged by the immune response they had seen in trials so far and were expecting to publish Phase 1 data by the end of July.

How does the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate work?

When someone is infected with the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2), the reason it spreads in the body easily is because of the spikes on its surface. These spikes, known as the ‘spike protein’, allow the virus to penetrate cells and, thereafter, multiply. The vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, which belongs to a category called non-replicating viral vector vaccines, tries to build the body’s immunity against this spike protein. The idea is to create antibodies to fight this spiked surface so that the virus does not even have the chance to penetrate the cells. The vaccine uses a different virus — in this case, a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that infects chimpanzees — to carry just the code to make the spike protein, like a Trojan horse. The adenovirus, genetically modified so that it cannot replicate in humans, will enter the cell and release the code to make only the spike protein. The body’s immune system is expected to recognize the spike protein as a potentially harmful foreign substance and starts building antibodies against it. Once immunity is built, the antibodies will attack the real virus if it tries to infect the body.

Since the Covid-19 vaccine has been developed by a United Kingdom-funded university, UK will have intellectual property rights. Other countries such as India will need to enter into commercial deals or understanding via foundations such as Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). AstraZeneca also entered a deal with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses for low-and-middle-Income countries, with the first 400 million nicely before the end of 2020. It is not yet clear how many doses India will be able to land at first since the rollout of the vaccine will be subject to considerations that are commercial as well as that of equity. The World Health Organization’s chief scientist has described the Oxford vaccine as the leading candidate in a global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 people. More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to try to stop the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 600,000 people and ravaged the global economy.

BLUIS (Bhubaneswar Land Use Intelligence System)

The Bhubaneswar Land Use Intelligence System is a geo-tagged repository that would monitor and detect all government lands in Bhubaneswar. This will be done by using high-resolution satellite imagery. For safeguarding government lands from encroachments by land grabbers- the launch of BLUIS makes Odisha the first state in the country to use satellite technology and artificial intelligence. Any attempt to change the use of government land in Bhubaneswar, BLUIS will raise alarm and guide the enforcement staff to the exact location of encroachment. ‘BLUIS’ and ‘Litigation Management System’ are among the 8 Technology-driven Solutions that were launched under the 5T initiatives by the Chief Minister.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 8 July 2020 unveiled BLUIS which would monitor changes in all government lands in Bhubaneswar by leveraging high-resolution satellite imagery. Along with that, he launched 8 technology-driven solutions under 5T initiatives for Home and GA & PG Departments through video conferencing. Along with BLUIS, the chief minister launched applications like e-Pravesh, e-Bhawan, e-Atithi, HRMS 2.0, HRMS mobile app, LMS 2.0, ORTPSA to improve public services. The 5T Initiative (Technology, Transparency, Teamwork, and Time Leading to Transformation) model of governance, launched in August 2019, requires each department of the State Government to draw up an annual work-plan for faster, better public service delivery systems leading to achieve transformational goals. Launching the services, Patnaik said that the 5T model of governance along with Mo Sarkar has brought about a perceptible improvement in the quality of governance and has eased the delivery of public services.

Encroachment of government land in the capital city of Bhubaneswar will no more be easy for land grabbers as the Bhubaneswar Land Use Intelligence System (BLUIS), a web and mobile-based solution, launched by Odisha government would raise alarm over attempts to change the land use. According to the government, BLUIS is a geo-tagged repository of all the government lands in Bhubaneswar, created through high-resolution satellite imagery to detect all changes taking place on government lands.

Odisha becomes the first state in India to use high-resolution satellite imagery utilizing space technology and artificial intelligence to monitor government lands. The lack of transparency and accountability of the enforcement in the current mechanisms and the increasing encroachment of government lands in Bhubaneswar resulted in the development of BLUIS.

“Bhubaneswar is one of the fastest-growing cities in India witnessing land-use changes on a daily basis. In the process, precious public land is prone to encroachment. The present mechanism of detection and enforcement lacks adequate transparency and accountability,” a senior officer said emphasizing real-time monitoring. A mobile application would alert the enforcement authorities of any new construction on government lands. The GPS on the application guides the enforcement staff to the exact location. Evidence of enforcement is uploaded on the application as geo-tagged images and videos,” he said. As per follow-up action, a case will be filed for removing encroachment. The Litigation Management System, an online application to record information on legal cases and enable end-to-end communication between government officials and advocates during different stages of a case, was also launched. It provides a smart technology solution to monitor court cases from initiation, online appointment scheduling, and allotment of the case to government advocate for preparation and submission of counter-affidavit.

Biggest twitter hack In US

Some of the hackers, who cheat people and earn money always try to find ways to use the internet and social media platforms for their benefit. The earlier such hacks have been through online games, phishing, malware, smishing, insecure networks, physical security threats, etc. We all are aware of the very famous Ransom virus which affected a very large population. Over time, hackers change their ways to attack people and steal money.

The recent news is the twitter hack in the US of some billionaires. The Twitter accounts of Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West were among the tens of high-profile accounts that were hijacked last night. These accounts were then used to spread bitcoin scams and fool people into donating money through a link. Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among many prominent US figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam. The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Kanye West also requested donations in the cryptocurrency. “Everyone is asking me to give back,” a tweet from Mr. Gates’ account said. “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

“We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it,” the company tweeted. Twitter said that once they became aware of what happened, they “immediately locked down” hacked accounts and removed the tweets sent on their behalf. Twitter also limited functionality for all verified accounts, including those that showed no evidence of being compromised, while they investigated the issue. “We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely,” Twitter said. “Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues.”

Twitter also acknowledged that the hacks were a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully “targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.” Screenshots of the panel being posted by users are being taken down as a violation of Twitter policies. “As per our rules, we’re taking action on any private, personal information shared in Tweets,” said a Twitter spokesperson.

Some leading cryptocurrency sites were also compromised on Wednesday. Cryptocurrency platforms like Coinbase and Gemini falsely “announced” they had partnered up with an organization called CryptoForHealth, through their Twitter accounts. They claimed that the organization was going to provide people with bitcoin as long as they sent some to an address first. Other prominent Twitter accounts that were hacked were that of President Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian West, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Mike Bloomberg. Official accounts of Uber and Apple tweeted out a post that was a spam message. The spam message directed readers to invest bitcoin in the wallet address that was provided in the tweets and claimed that they would get double the money they spend.

Is Nepal the origin of Lord Rama?

On July 14, Nepal PM triggers a debate: “Where is Ayodhya, the origin of Lord Rama?”. The real Ayodhya lies at Thori in the west of Birgunj. India has claimed the Indian site as the birthplace of Lord Ram,” said Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday while rejecting the traditional “belief” that Nepali daughter Sita was married to an Indian Prince Ram.

Oli was speaking at an event to commemorate the birth anniversary of poet Bhanubhakta, credited with the first authentic translation of Valmiki’s Ramayan into the Nepali language. “The place called Thori, near Birgunj is the real Ayodhya, where Lord Ram was born. In India, there is a great dispute on Ayodhya. But, there is no dispute in our Ayodhya,” Prime Minister Oli was quoted as saying by his press advisor Surya Thapa. Politically, Oli’s comment comes as a refutation of India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s comment made last month when he had said India and Nepal have a “roti-beti” relation referring to cross-border marriages. However, Oli’s remarks have sparked off a debate on the “real” location of Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram and the capital of his kingdom as mentioned in ancient texts.

Condemning Mr. Oli for his remarks, BJP national spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri said that the Communists in Nepal will be rejected by the masses in the same way they have been in India, even as Left parties in India played with people’s faith. “Lord Ram is a matter of faith for us, and people will not allow anybody, be it Prime Minister of Nepal or anyone, to play with this,” he said in New Delhi.

Oral history, as compiled into the Ramayan by Valkimi, places Ayodhya in modern Uttar Pradesh. Ramayan tradition identifies Ayodhya as the birthplace of Ram for around 3,000 years, based on literary evidence. Lack of archaeological evidence has kept the debate raging for years. The statement, however, was not only opposed by Indian citizens but by Nepali citizens as well. Nepal PM has been taking many controversial decisions and  making controversial statements in the recent days, one of which was releasing of Nepal’s map with Indian city. While Oli’s unexpected territorial claim followed by allegations that India was behind moves to have him dethroned have been rejected by New Delhi, some have looked at it with suspicion even in Nepal, accusing Oli of playing the India card to hide his own government’s alleged failures. Oli’s recent claim about Lord Rama, too, has drawn sharp reactions from both inside India and Nepal.

However, clarification on the statement of Nepal PM has been given now. The Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought to shield Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s comments on Lord Ram from criticism by clarifying that he did not mean to debase the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears. The MFA said the remarks were not linked to any political subject and were not intended to hurt the feelings and sentiment of anyone. It added that as there have been several myths and references about Lord Ram and the places associated with him, the PM was “simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilization.” “As there have been several myths and references about Shri Ram and the places associated with him, the Prime Minister was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilization,” it added. The ministry further said, “It may be underlined that the tradition of celebrating Bibaha Panchami where a marriage procession coming from Ayodhya, India to Janakpur, Nepal takes place every year. The Prime Ministers of Nepal and India launched the Ramayana Circuit in May 2018, of which Janakpur-Ayodhya Passenger Bus Service is an important component. These facts signify the bond of time-honored cultural affinity between our two countries and peoples.”

CBSE result declared -what are the positives & negatives?

13th, july, 2020, the day CBSE declared the result of class 12th board examination, which were held haphazardly, only due to the ongoing series of a pandemic called the Novel Coronavirus. Students gave their sweat and hearts to perform gloriously in the examinations, some passed away with flying colors, but unfortunately some were unable to stand up to their own and the family’s expectations.

The total passing percentage of students has been recorded an incredible increase of 5.38% compared to 2019, and it touched the parameter of 88.78%. Where girls outshine the boys.

But, it was not the end of the session, as CBSE decided not to announce the merit list, which is a great step indeed. People were still worried and dumbstruck listening about a girl getting 100% pass percentage.

Consequently, every body have their opinion about the results declared. While some applaud the efforts made by students,as well as CBSE for declaring such positive results, some other group of people reckon that, it is an unfair decision or way to promote the students, i.e. without taking any examination.

The positives –

Amid the pandemic, when everyone panicked about the completion of the remaining examinations. The Central Board of Secondary Education, decided not to mention the names of the meritorious students, in order to lower the burden of competition among students, and more importantly the parents.

Also, it has miraculously swept away the mental pressure that earlier alarmed as a bell in the students’ ears. Along with lowered burden of competition, the news have not been exposed by the media like a wild fire, consequently avoiding all the stuff that was heard from the neighbors, relatives, family members, friends, and the teachers. Let’s take in other way, the pandemic proved to them, a saviour, a Messiah, the escape from all the problems that could have possibly bumped into them, then.

The negatives –

While there were many things that made everyone very happy and light headed. The other flip of the coin has to reveal something else;since teachers were the unable to gather at the centers to check out the copies,due to the norms set up by the government, the sheets were directly sent to them at their respective homes to fulfill the same,without any eye keeping a check on them, leniency was at its best. Therefore making it easy for the students to score more than what they really deserved.

It is clear that, the earlier batches who gave their sweat and heart to achieve the highest score, but, instead, the present batch was passed without any pressure among them,doing injustice to the previous ones. Ease in the checking criteria, will definitely result in an increase in cut off in many of the top universities of the country,making it difficult for them to nail the admission criteria in the top universities of the country.

Despite there being so much hubbub about the examinations and the consequences of those, the pandemic has proven the humans that, conducting the exams, along with classes, and many other things online is a new way to live our lives.

Mobile App ‘eBloodServices’

These days when all of us are dealing with pandemic COVID-19, it has been a very hard time for all of us and we all are contributing our parts to come out of this difficult situation. All of us are doing great as fighters. With the coming of problems, we all are thinking innovative and creative to come up with solution to it. One such step was to launch mobile app ‘eBloodServices’.Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on launched the eBlood Services Mobile Application, in partnership with the New Delhi based Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), on 25 June 2020 for easy access to blood to fight with the critical time of coronavirus pandemic.

This application is developed by the E-Raktkosh team of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing under the Digital India scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. The application will bring transparency and facilitate single-window access to blood services of the Indian Red Cross Society, officials said. This initiative would help the people to get the blood on time just by registering on the application. Also, people can demand up to four units of blood. Blood-related services are required by many people in the country as they face certain medical conditions in their families. With the help of eBlood Services App, four units of blood can be requisitioned at a time. Blood Bank will wait for as long as 12 hours for the person to collect it. The app will make it easy for those in need to request for blood units at IRCS NHQ.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said, “People who need blood can get registered on this app and know from where they will get blood.” Vardhan said, “In the last few months, I received several complaints from people facing difficulties in accessing safe blood. Many people require blood-related services regularly because of certain medical conditions in their families. Through this app, four units of blood can be requisitioned at a time and the blood bank will wait for 12 hours for the person to collect it.” At a time when the country is going through a pandemic, the mobile app will provide succour to all those who are in dire need of blood,” the health minister said. Users with this app can know the live status of blood availability at the national headquarters of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) blood bank in Delhi. He appealed to people to come forward to donate blood as their contribution is required more than ever now.

All 89 IRCS blood banks and 1,100 branches across the country have collected more than 1,00,000 units of blood through in-house donations and from around 2,000 donation camps organized during the lockdown. Also, more than 38,000 blood donors registered with NHQ Blood Bank have been contacted and motivated to donate blood. The NHQ Blood Bank conducted 55 blood donation camps collecting 2,896 units of blood. Blood has been issued to 7,113 patients which include 2,923 thalassaemic patients as well as to the government hospitals like Lady Hardinge (624 units) and AIIMS, Delhi (378 Units).The IRCS has served more than 3,00,00,000 cooked meals and provided ration to more than 11,00,000 families.

“Effectiveness Of Our Sanitizing Tools-Soap Vs Sanitizer”

Health has become an issue of concern especially during the prevailing pandemic of coronavirus. Covid-19 is increasing day by day due to it’s effectiveness of spreading by touch.We know that these viruses do require a host to be effective enough to perform function. But we do see that there is no such effective way out to be free from it. Scientists do believe that the best option to do so is to take precaution and preventive measures to fight this harmful virus. We know that this  virus spreads from person to person through contact or through any medium which helps this virus to be transmitted. The major area of concern for doctors and scientists who are helping us to fight it against this virus is the Mutation possibilities. Mutation are the gene changes in these viruses which occur whenever they replicate to other and future viruses. Their mutations are either due to environmental conditions which do help them to be adaptive to it or due to the complexity of their gene which does get different while transmitting. It is an area of concern since these viruses do mutate and with this mutation going on increasing it may happen that doctors may not be able to know about the virus even if it is present due to the old ways to detect them, this could surely be harmful for patients and this people near us. As we see that this virus is increasing and many people are getting affected by it, the possibility of its mutation also increases. 

But since we know that there is no such vaccine which could prevent and save us from its effect, the better way out is to use preventive measures. This mainly included maintaining a distance of 1-2 metre when we talk or even in the market. Use a mask and wash hands frequently. But the main question which still hits the mind of people is which is better Soap or Sanitizer? Since soap has been a part of human’s life for many centuries, sanitizer has also helped humans to remain clean and healthy. So are these both equally sufficient to fight against this virus or do we have better ways out in them to help us remain safe. 

So in this fight to find out which is better between soap and sanitizer, scientists did some of the experiments to find better results. For this they took bacteria known as E. Coli and rubbed in their hands completely. 

 

  • For the first case they took sanitizer. There were two conditions recorded in it. The first was to rub with a small quantity of sanitizer and record the result and second was to take an amount more than the usual quantity and record the details. 
  • For the second case they took soap. For the first experiment, they washed their hands for about 10 seconds and recorded details while for the second time they washed their hands for about 30 seconds and recorded the details.

 

The outcomes were really worth watching. Considering The first case, a sanitizer of less amount did clean most of the bacteria but a sanitizer with more amount cleaned almost all the bacteria over hands. Soap for about 10 seconds removed bacteria but rubbing for about 30 seconds did remove most of the bacteria as compared to 1st case of rubbing for 10 seconds. But the difference between soap and sanitizer and their comparison, sanitizer was found out to be more effective than soap in their results. Sanitizer was recorded to remove most of the bacteria while there were few left out even washing hands for about 30 seconds.

We do know that sanitizing either with soap or sanitizer both can be effective to be free from virus and bacteria, but sanitizers do have an edge over soap in their capabilities of performance. Washing hands with sanitizers thus can be effective enough to help any individual fight back this virus with other preventive measures also. We know it’s a difficult time and we all need to be aware about the do’s and dont’s and this need to be aware enough to protect ourselves as well as other people in our country and thus bring back everything back to normal and make our country and world better, safe and healthier. 

 

Will facebook Rival Instagram give tough competition to Tiktok after the launch of feature “Reels” in India

After the banning of Tiktok and 58 other Chinese apps in India, the demand for short video apps is increasing. This is the best time to grab this opportunity for the existing app companies as well well as to launch the new apps which provide a short video creation feature.

Though after the government banned TikTok in India other homegrown apps like ShareChat, Roposo, Chingari are also being used by the people of the country more, Instagram also takes the advantage of this situation and launches a feature of short video creation named “Reels”.

In Brazil, Germany and France are the countries where this feature is successfully tested. India is the next one.

This feature will be rolling out in India after 7:30 IST today. Just like IGTV, users will also have a Reels section on their profile page, where all their content can be viewed at once.

The feature Reels lets users create a video of 15 seconds or less. Users can also use creative filters on it, can share it beyond his/her followers. Similar to TikTok, Reels provide options like audio from Instagram Music library, speed, effects, and timer.

Shah says the product comes from the realization that 45 percent of videos on Instagram are 15 seconds or less. “We also realized that stories are not the only place where they wanted to share these videos as they wanted them to stick on for longer and be distributed beyond their followers,” he said in the video call.

The new feature lets users shoot video, add filters and music from Instagram’s catalog and share it beyond the platform. Users will be able to share Reels in Explore, and also on Feed with followers. There will be no monetization avenues for now.

To create Instagram Reels, a user would need to open the camera option in the app. After clicking on Reels from the bottom of the screen, the app throws up several easy-to-use tools to record and edit a 15-second video.

Creators can choose to use the in-app music tracks, or even use custom audio for their videos. There are also options to speed up or slow down parts of the video. There’s an Align option that helps creators maintain their position in front of the camera while recording multiple cuts in a single video. It also has an array of augmented reality effects that can be used to make videos more fun.

According to Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan, videos make up a third of all Instagram posts in India. Out of that, around 45 percent of the videos posted are of 15 seconds or less.

Calling Reels as the “future of entertainment,” Facebook’s Vice President of Product Vishal Shah said that the superior goal of Reels was to push Indian content creators and help them become potential “global stars.”

Instagram says that it has been working with popular content creators and public figures to populate Reels content. When the test starts rolling out, users can check out content posted by the likes of Ammy Virk (3.3 million fans on TikTok), Gippy Grewal (1.7 million), Arjun Kanungo (1.5 million), Radhika Bangia (5.4 million), RJ Abhinav (1.6 million) and Indrani Biswas aka Wonder Munna (630K subscribers on YouTube).

As of now, Instagram plans to learn more from the testing phase and from creators themselves. Monetization options are also expected to be introduced once Reels takes off in India. No official public rollout date has been announced yet.

MOTHER: THE TRUE WARRIOR

One-person on the frontline may have different names. When the entire universe bows down and love that person from the bottom of the heart, even if someone criticizes or tries to create rumors, still the word “mother” won’t fade away. The only person who loves without expecting anything in return, there’s nothing; comparatively, it’s priceless and cannot be quantified. She is the person who survives the aftermath of sequences of struggles in her entire life, beginning from discarded as a female child from birth itself.

A newborn in the caring hands of a mother.

Let us talk about the reality of a patriarchal society. Where the voices get suppressed, but now it’s reflected in the reports. According to the World Population 2020 Report released by UNPFA (United Nations Population Fund) conveys that in India, almost one-third of the total missing females in the world accounts for an estimated figure of 45.8 million people. The children below the age of 5 years, where one out of nine females foresees death due to early gender detection.

A girl child with this mother in a rural village in India.

This pandemic may heal nature, but not the people surviving in the nation, an increase in violence and discrimination is likely to be seen as a consequence of no income source. The practice of child marriage may have vanished, but there are still traces of such incidents where they tried to flout the laws. The technology may have been a boon, but when undauntedly used by the culprits to gender bias by ultrasound, it has crashed their compassion and dreams before it ignites.

A proud mother with her three daughters.

The developing countries are already trying to fight problems like reducing poverty, boosting literacy rate, abandoning illegal trade. Additionally, other matter of concern arises like child trafficking and drug abuse are acting as barriers to the roadmap to success. An abundant investment in terms of money as well as time from renowned leaders, influencers can save the lives of the hapless fate of being such a victim of unfortunate events.

One inspirational story I can share is about a small family where a baby girl enters their life. This incident may sound as a non-fictitious story, but in Mumbai, India, where after three years of marriage, god showers happiness as a unique member enters their life. A 32-year old father was happy to see his baby after ten days free of the contamination. The mother was a patient in the COVID ward in Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital. They are safe now and returned thanking the efforts taken by the hospital. These doctors and parents who abide by the guidelines do deserve appreciation rather than criticizing uselessly on the health system. The slow curve can take steady growth any day when we won’t be able to see each other, and the day isn’t too far.

Two mothers in a single frame. Such a beauty.

Even a mother can fall into depression; after all, she is a person like all of us. On a positive note, motherhood is seen over drugs while parenting their children. After testing it on rats, contributes the information in the research related to the infralimbic cortex, which is responsible for emotions, preferred the acceptance towards maternal behavior over other addictions. This action shows immense love for their offspring. We as a part of the nourishing society, we can pledge that we will never let their name die, and forever keeping her head upraised in pride.

Goa: The smallest state with magnificent surprises

Did you ever plan out for a vacation? If you’re in India, the first thought in your mind appears with yourself enjoying the beaches of Goa. But now, the lockdown restrictions are removed as of 2nd July 2020. If you can’t visit, don’t worry, being a Goan, I’ll take you on a virtual tour to the paradises in the state of Goa. Are you ready for the journey? Let’s go.

The foothills of Western Ghats in Goa

Imagine you are on the Hop On Hop Off Bus, a tourist double-decker bus initiative taken up by the Tourism Department of the state. I tell you the story about what is so unique here. Situated on the South-West of India with a beautiful coastline and people around 1.8 million are present in the area of 3702 sq.km. Being the smallest state of India, don’t go by numbers, it has surprises for you to fascinate with the flora, fauna and its natural biodiversity. Well, with two districts, Panaji is the capital where you will find the paintings of Mario Miranda on the walls of the Municipal Market.

A panoramic view of a beach in Goa

Okay, moving on further, don’t consider language as a barrier to communicate because English is also well-spoken with the national language Hindi. Still, the local languages most widely spoken are Konkani and Marathi. You may also find Portuguese influence in the monuments as well as in the cuisine. I’m sure you’ll be tasting out the mouth-watering food virtually too. The first thing in my mind is rice with fish curry made with love out of the Goan fishes freshly cooked, which are caught during the dawn.

Harvalem Waterfall, Sanquelim, Goa. Also, there are many natural springs present in the state.

Along with this, the famous Ross Omelet, which you will find at every street outlet and restaurant which is somewhat similar to Xacuti, but it’s a pork dish. Still, here it’s usually replaced with chicken or other vegetarian alternatives with local bread known as Pao. Other famous dishes here in Goa are Sorpotel, Vindaloo, along with some Feni, made from cashews or coconut, which may make you feel dizzy. After all, everyone usually comes here to enjoy the alcoholic drinks, but may put you in trouble if you drink them on the beaches. No problem if you’re a teetotaler; there are other alternatives.

The cruise boats with the construction of Atal Setu bridge in the background

We’re also flourished with one of the famous world heritage sites declared by UNESCO, Basilica of Bom Jesus. Also, there are other famous places like Fort Aguada, Se Catherdral, and even ancient temples like Sri Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla and other religions like Jain do have their establishments. Nonetheless, to mention, the beaches of Calangute, Baga, Anjuna are some of them. Also, you can go trekking at Dudhsagar Falls. The nightlife, casinos, and cruises are to be enjoyed if you fall into that category. The lavished exotic hotels are ready to welcome you always; even the people of Goa are amicable.

A glimpse of Church of St. Cajetan, Goa Velha

Let me give you an example, Dr. Edwin Gomes, the head of the medicine department of the famous Goa Medical College (GMC). He has done an incredible job recently by showing his gratitude by hugging more than 190 patients in the hospital after they were treated and found negative for COVID-19. The tour has come to an end, and I hope you visit the state and enjoy the moments.