Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Raksha Bandhan-Strengthening the sacred bond of brother and sister

Raksha Bandhan - Celebrating the sacred bond of brother and sister

 Raksha Bandhan, popularly known as rakhi, is a festival observed to pay homage to the sacred and unconditional bond between brothers and sisters. It's an ancient Vedic festival which is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the month of Shravan (August). Raksha Bandhan 2013 will be celebrated with zest and vigour on August 21.
On this festival, as a ritual, a sister ties a colourful rakhi, a sacred thread that symbolizes love between siblings, around her brother's wrist. The festival starts by performing traditional aarti and concludes with prayers. Moreover, as a part of tradition, a brother presents his sister varied exciting gifts and vows to guide and protect her throughout the life. Gifts play a prominent role and symbolizes tokens of love and affection.

 The festivity of Raksha Bandhan has religious fervour and can be traced in the Indian mythology and history. Interesting instances pertaining to the celebration of Raksha Bandhan can also be found in ancient manuscripts. The celebration of this festival is all about paying reverence to emotions and the sentiments attached between siblings.
Raksha Bandhan is a festival of fervour and its festivity can be witnessed in other communities as well besides in Hindu and Sikh communities. Special events with fun-filled activities and bazaars are organised to observe the day. Markets and shops on the occasion are embellished with colourful and captivating designs of rakhis, gifts, sweets to celebrate the occasion. Rush of people to the shops are seen ahead of the celebration trying to find the best gifts and rakhis.
Rakhis are available in captivating design forms that include teddy bear, flowers, dolls and cartoon characters.
Online stores also display a striking collection of delightful rakhi gifts at attractive prices for the festival. Most online or virtual stores offer an extensive range of colourful rakhi gifts with the option to send rakhi to India or anywhere around the world ensuring prompt dispatch.
Another popular way of sending rakhi wishes is by sending and sharing animated and fascinating rakhi e-cards available online.
However, many think that traditional rakhi gifts are passé and people are opting for new gift ideas to amuse their loved ones. They seek for innovative gift ideas that are thrilling and sure to last lifetime.
Sending lovely and inspiring rakhi SMS is also a wonderful and popular way to celebrate the occasion and capture the moments. Numerous collection of rakhi SMSes are easily available online that are best to convey love and affection on the special day.
Banking on the popularity of sending rakhi SMSes, many service providers offer customized, graphic and a variety of rakhi SMS options to their customers to celebrate raksha bandhan. Moreover, the availability of sending a rakhi SMS in the language of one's choice has amplified its popularity.
Raksha Bandhan is the perfect time to show your love and affection towards your siblings and strengthen the bond.

Sakurajima volcano covers Japanese city in ash

One of the world’s most active volcanoes showed its ugly side this weekend, erupting and producing an ash cloud that spread out across one southern Japanese city.
Sakurajima, a volcano that sits in the background of the southern Japanese city of Kagoshima and is known for producing hundreds of small explosions per year, erupted Sunday in one of the volcano’s largest explosions in decades and perhaps the largest since an eruption in 1914, burying village homes in feet of ash.

 The plume from Sunday’s eruption reached 16,500 feet (more than 3 miles) before settling down over homes and businesses in Kagoshima and surrounding areas. The ash caused poor visibility and train delays in the city that sits just 5 miles east of the summit of Sakurajima. Residents who ventured outside were forced to wear dust masks to keep from inhaling deadly volcanic glass shards produced from explosive expansion of bubbles in erupting magma.
Some evidence from a YouTube video of the eruption shows what might be small pyroclastic flows generated from the explosion as well.

 On Monday, as the dust and ash settled, residents of the southern city were out clearing ash from their cars and the streets. There is, as yet, no word on what caused this larger-than-normal eruption, but some believe there was a collapse in the Showa crater or perhaps some gas-charged magma entered into the upper chamber.
The Associated Press reported a lava flow had also raced more than a half-mile down the mountainside, but later reports refuted that evidence. Still, this was the region’s largest eruption in decades and the 500th eruption this year alone.
No deaths or injuries have been reported with this latest explosion on Sakurajima.

 “The smoke was a bit dramatic, but we are kind of used to it,” a city official who requested anonymity told the Associated Press.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said there are no signs Sakurajima will produce an even larger eruption but maintained similar activity may continue. It had put up a warning people should not venture near the volcano for at least the time being.
Japan sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region that encircles nearly the whole of the Pacific Ocean and contains thousands of active volcanoes.  The most recent activity has been observed in Alaska where a trio of “Ring of Fire” volcanoes – Cleveland, Pavlof and Veniaminof – has been showing their fiery side as of late.

Veniaminof, an 8225-foot-high volcano that sits on the Alaskan Peninsula, became more active earlier this summer and is currently under a code “orange,” according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, which is operated by the USGS. That volcano has continued to produce elevated, sustained, seismic tremor levels and is being continuously monitored.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees-Jeff Haden

Good bosses care about getting important things done. Exceptional bosses care about their people. Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done. Exceptional bosses do all of the above--and more. Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them. That's why extraordinary bosses give every employee:
1. Autonomy and independence. Great organizations are built on optimizing processes and procedures. Still, every task doesn't deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (I'm looking at you, manufacturing.) Engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence. I care when it's "mine." I care when I'm in charge and feel empowered to do what's right. Plus, freedom breeds innovation: Even heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches. (Still looking at you, manufacturing.) Whenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.
2. Clear expectations. While every job should include some degree of independence, every job does also need basic expectations for how specific situations should be handled. Criticize an employee for offering a discount to an irate customer today even though yesterday that was standard practice and you make that employee's job impossible. Few things are more stressful than not knowing what is expected from one day to the next. When an exceptional boss changes a standard or guideline, she communicates those changes first--and when that is not possible, she takes the time to explain why she made the decision she made, and what she expects in the future.
3. Meaningful objectives. Almost everyone is competitive; often the best employees are extremely competitive--especially with themselves. Meaningful targets can create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks. Plus, goals are fun. Without a meaningful goal to shoot for, work is just work. No one likes work.
4. A true sense of purpose. Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork and esprit de corps that turns a group of individuals into a real team. The best missions involve making a real impact on the lives of the customers you serve. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for your customers, and even your community. And if you can, let them create a few missions of their own. Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care.
5. Opportunities to provide significant input. Engaged employees have ideas; take away opportunities for them to make suggestions, or instantly disregard their ideas without consideration, and they immediately disengage. That's why exceptional bosses make it incredibly easy for employees to offer suggestions. They ask leading questions. They probe gently. They help employees feel comfortable proposing new ways to get things done. When an idea isn't feasible, they always take the time to explain why. Great bosses know that employees who make suggestions care about the company, so they ensure those employees know their input is valued--and appreciated.
6. A real sense of connection. Every employee works for a paycheck (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a paycheck: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire--and with and for people who respect and admire them. That's why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help--those moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations. A true sense of connection is personal. That's why exceptional bosses show they see and appreciate the person, not just the worker.
7. Reliable consistency. Most people don't mind a boss who is strict, demanding, and quick to offer (not always positive) feedback, as long as he or she treats every employee fairly. (Great bosses treat each employee differently but they also treat every employee fairly. There's a big difference.) Exceptional bosses know the key to showing employees they are consistent and fair is communication: The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume unfair treatment or favoritism.
8. Private criticism. No employee is perfect. Every employee needs constructive feedback. Every employee deserves constructive feedback. Good bosses give that feedback. Great bosses always do it in private.
9. Public praise. Every employee--even a relatively poor performer--does something well. Every employee deserves praise and appreciation. It's easy to recognize some of your best employees because they're consistently doing awesome things. (Maybe consistent recognition is a reason they're your best employees? Something to think about.) You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize an employee who simply meets standards, but that's okay: A few words of recognition--especially public recognition--may be the nudge an average performer needs to start becoming a great performer.
10. A chance for a meaningful future. Every job should have the potential to lead to greater things. Exceptional bosses take the time to develop employees for the job they someday hope to land, even if that job is with another company. How can you know what an employee hopes to do someday? Ask. Employees will only care about your business after you first show you care about them. One of the best ways is to show that while you certainly have hopes for your company's future, you also have hopes for your employees' futures.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

UPSC releases dates for online filing of main exam forms

New Delhi,The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released dates for online filing of applications for the civil service main examination, an official statement here said.

"All the qualified candidates are advised to fill up the detailed admission form for the civil service main examination and submit the same online from Aug 20 to Sep 10," said the UPSC statement Saturday.
USPC declared the results for the preliminary examination Saturday. The mains examination is scheduled to begin Dec 1.
"No application under Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005 or otherwise will be entertained for procurement of marks, cut off marks and answer keys to the civil services preliminary examination," added the statement.
The civil services examination is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by UPSC for the recruitment to various government posts. The examination is conducted in two phases -- the preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers and the main examination, consisting of nine papers followed by a personality test.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Mettur Dam-the water level reaches 120 ft, the entire inflow will be let out

With the inflow crossing one lakh cusecs (cubic feet per second) on Saturday evening, water level in the Mettur dam was inching closer to the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 120 feet.
By Saturday midnight or early hours of Sunday, the FRL would be attained, going by the present inflow rate. The previous time the dam reached FRL was on December 2, 2010.
On Saturday, the level stood at more than 115 ft and the storage level was more than 83 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), against the full capacity of 93 tmc ft.
Also, 170 MW of power generation began on Saturday, against its installed capacity of 250 MW. Officials told The Hindu that the generation would be increased if the quantum of discharge went up in the coming days. From the initial discharge of 12,000 cusecs on Friday, it rose to 18,000 cusecs on Saturday. Official said it would increase to 25,000 cusecs by midnight.
Public Works Department officials pointed out that the inflow was only 40,815 cusecs when water was released on Friday for samba cultivation. But, it kept increasing since then. People living along the Cauvery were asked to move to safer places.
A senior official in Chennai said “as and when the water level reaches 120 ft, the entire inflow will be let out. It is expected that by 11 a.m. on Sunday, the quantum of discharge will be about one lakh cusecs.” The official added that Collectors of Salem, Erode, Tiruchi, Karur,Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, all lying on the Cauvery river, had been sounded about the emerging situation, apart from Cuddalore.

The world's top 10 Universities

Rank
Institution
Overall Score
#1  
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United  States                                                         
100
#2  
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
99.8
#3  
Harvard University
United States
99.2
#4  
UCL (University College London)
United Kingdom
98.7
#5  
University of Oxford
United Kingdom
98.6
#6
Imperial College London
United Kingdom
98.3
#7  
Yale University
United States
97.5
#8  
University of Chicago
United States
96.3
#9  
Princeton University
United States
95.4
#10  
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
United States
95.1