Scent of the rain

Short Story by Akansha Bhardwaj (Entry No. 4)

Strong winds blow my hair from my face, soothing my body. Giving me the feeling of someone being there, patting my head as if saying: “it’s okay”, “you’re okay”. Being in the rain, staring at the clouds, brings back the memories of those days where I used to slide across the rooftop with my brother, carefree and spirited. The scent of rain used to reach us way before the rain ever did. The excited giggles that used to fill up our home, the loud footsteps and shrieking, betting on who would reach the rooftop first, are now mere memories I look back on.

Were those the good days? I wonder, now standing on the very same rooftop with the absence of those footsteps and a presence of silence that defines my closed-off relationship with my brother, the same scent of rain brings me solace as if telling me to let go. And so, I step into the pouring rain. It feels nice, cold and warm at the same time.

My clothes stick to my body, and then I laugh. I laugh as I feel the rain around me, making me wish I was a child again. The rain does this to me, making me feel whole. I question myself did I change or was it, my brother, that now we won’t even look at each other? Did we finally grow up? Was this how growing up feels like? Is it time to let go of my childish wish for my brother to once again push me across this rooftop that now I stand on? The rain hits me hard this time, bringing me back to reality, me standing alone in the middle of my rooftop. I lay down and close my eyes, letting the rain and its scent make me feel safe again. That’s where I am now: a safe place, lying with my eyes closed with no worries about what tomorrow brings with it, where I can cry and blame it upon the rain. Ah, I think to myself, “if I could stop the time, now would be the perfect timing”. It feels ticklish, though now that I’m laying down facing those dark clouds, afraid of the thunders that are sure to come by any second now. I think to myself, “I better get up and head downstairs”.


“Are you planning on staying there forever?” I hear.


Keeping my eyes closed, I smile to myself, recognizing that irritating voice. If I open my eyes now, would he know that I had cried or would he too pretend to blame the rain? I hear footsteps. Not long after, I feel the warmth of a body lying down beside me. I turn my head and look at him. He sure did grow a lot, looking tired from the last time I met him. I feel him grabbing my hand and squeezing it.


“How did we end up like this?” he said.
We stayed like that for a long time until we could hear our parents shouting for us to come down.
We laugh hearing those familiar words.


“It feels nice,” he says, and hearing him say this, I could feel the melancholy leaving my body just like that.
“It sure does,” I reply, and as the thunder starts to hit, we get up to leave.
I turn back and look up at the skies and think, “maybe not that much has changed” the feeling of a hand squeezing mine, I turn back to look at my brother looking down at me with warmth in his eyes, and I smile back.
The scent of rain that lingers after the rain now holds memories of my home feeling whole once again.

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How far the news conveyed by the media is correct? A brief review.

In the primitive era, humankind was unaware of what was happening around the world. As soon as a science originated, the people could update themselves by communicating with the outer world.

Later on, the news media was introduced to the community.

The news industry comes from mass media that focus on delivering news to the general or a particular field. The media includes

  • Print media (in the form of magazines and newspapers).
  • Broadcasting (television, radio, etc.).
  • Recently via the internet (e-newspaper, news blog, live news streaming).

Today’s modern community gets stuck in a busy schedule. News media is the kind of a source to get people updated to the outside.

Thanks to the media that we are getting current status even within a while. Nowadays a smartphone with an internet connection can bring the whole world in the palm.

The news over the internet is spread in the blink of an eye without checking the authenticity. And the media is taking advantage of these facts. Although the news media developed a lot in the digital era, doubts remain over how accurate the media is.

TRP VS REAL NEWS

TRP (Target Rating Point) is a metric system that is used in digital marketing and advertisement to determine the “percentage of target audience reach at a time by the advertisement through the medium”.

If a channel aim at the high TRP then the channel needs to provide eye-catching stuff no matter it is relevant or not.

On the other side, the real, verified news may not incorporate gossip or rumor all the time to catch the public’s attention.

A major portion of resources comes from the advertisement and the TRP ratings. That is why to run the channel well, the media is becoming TRP dependent day by day.

What is Yellow Journalism?

Yellow journalism is not the pure form of journalism, rather a form of business. The main motto of this kind of journalism is only profit.

Nowadays, in India, most of the political news is spiced up and exaggerated by the media.

This is one of the common examples of yellow journalism.

Some common examples of yellow journalism in India:

  • Astounding headlines for increasing selling instead of validated news.
  • Spreading rumors and scandal selling.
  • Use religious strife as a tool of reaching the maximum audience e.g. Love jihad.
  • Sensationalism over the facts.
  • Try to focus on a particular side and being biased.

The media plays a crucial role in the development of society.

Influential or only TRP based news has a great impact on the youth as well.

In this time, media only aiming at the financial resource and that is required, undoubtedly but at the same time, the news media should also think about the nation and the country’s well-being.

Advertisement is also needed to get updated but a limitation should be required in case of news channels.

Social media is also a great medium for spreading news.

However, the form of media is, the accurate and legitimate news should be delivered to the nation.

-By Saswati Chattopadhyay.

How to flatten the curve of COVID 19 ?

Introduction:

With the spread of COVID-19, the world is facing an unprecedented economic, social and political crisis. Global leaders and experts said COVID-19 is and will be “the gravest challenge since the World War II.”

Korea is no exception in this global pandemic. Korea
had a surge of COVID-19 outbreak and virus started spreading at the local and community level. The number of new coronavirus cases increases exponentially peaking at 909 new infections on February 29.

But new case has dropped significantly.

Korea was able to successfully flatten the curve on COVID-19 in only 20 days without
complete lock down, which has had a huge impact on global economy, but maintaining a balance between quarantine and social distancing on one hand and continue with economic activities and production on the other.

What is the secret of Korea’s successful response?

ICTs played a vital role in fighting COVID-19 in Korea. Mobile devices were used to support early testing and contact tracing.

Advanced ICTs were particularly useful in spreading key emergency information on novel virus and help to maintain extensive ‘social distancing’.

The testing results and latest information on COVID-19 was made
available via national and local government websites. The government provided free smartphone apps flagged infection hotspots with text alerts on testing and local cases.


In the publication, we will present actual response measures of Korean government against COVID-19 using the latest ICTs and discuss how we can fight smarter against an invisible micro-pathogen.

We hope the information and experience of Korea may
provide a valuable solution to help your country and community combat COVID-19.

ICT helps SOCIAL DISTANCING:

Emergency broadcasting service (CBS, cellular
broadcasting service)

The Cellular Broadcasting Service, or CBS, enables government agencies to transmit emergency alert text messages on natural or man-made disasters to cell phones through mobile telecom carriers in Korea.

The CBS can send these messages without a delivery bottleneck when an emergency occurs because it does not use the general SMS text messaging system.

Moreover, it delivers messages to subscribers’ mobile
phones in a way such that a customized warning alarm only goes off in the disaster area.

In general, the system sends short messages with emergency alerts and guidelines for citizens. Messages are categorized into three types based on the severity of the disaster.

The most urgent emergency disaster messages such as an air
raid warning
and NBC warning are transmitted during wartime with the alarm sounding at a volume above 60 decibels, and it is impossible to ignore the texts.

The second highest-risk notification about emergent disasters sends an alert exceeding 40 decibels when a disaster occurs.

Finally, safety campaign messaging provides safety
notices.

Municipalities throughout Korea are putting every effort into curbing the contagion as they use the CBS to inform the public of the movement paths taken by confirmed patients and other related information.

Residents who receive COVID-19 emergency texts can quickly check if they have been anywhere that overlaps with the movement of a confirmed patient, allowing them to get tested quickly if necessary.

In this way, the CBS contributes to slowing the spread of the virus across the nation.

Smart Working:

A special website providing information of solution companies
for remote working

As services not requiring in-person contact are on the rise due to COVID-19,solutions needed for remote working and remote learning will be provided.


The Korean government opened a website to provide information about companies providing solutions for remote working and education and their products; related support will also be provided. The website was opened after a joint survey with the Korea Software Industry Association to identify business
demand and classifying more than 140 solutions by sector.

The website provides filtered search results of companies (company information, functions
and price of their products, etc.), and users can visit the company website for more details.

Information about free solutions is also available so that they can
be utilized for remote learning and remote working.

Smart working and social distancing (Holding virtual video
conferences)


A number of municipalities in Korea are performing their duties through ICT enabled real-time virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings as part of their efforts to implement strict social distancing measures to slow the spread of new infections.

Video conferencing can be a viable alternative to essential
in-person meetings due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It also helps to prevent
the spread of the virus by eliminating the need for physical contact between the participants.

Remote Education

Providing educational contents by the central government.

As schools have been shut down due to COVID-19, the Korean government is offering science content online to minimize interruptions in students’ learning and expand their opportunities for learning activities.

On March 9, the Korean government created a general information page on the science portal website.

ScienceAll, to introduce diverse online science content, which contains educational content for science, mathematics and software; immersive content for learning science (AR, VR); video clips, comics and quizzes about science.

The government also announced the launch of the page through a notification page for parents. After the information page was created, the number of users of ScienceAll increased by 1.04 compared to the week before and by 2.74 compared to January 2020, showing that more people are using the portal’s content.

As many universities are switching to online classes, instructors are facing problems due to being unable to offer students hands-on experience. To tackle this challenge, the Korean government created and released hands-on learning content using simulation software for 23 high-demand classes in (e.g. quantum
chemistry), in addition to currently available software and educational content.

Using the online simulation platform, EDISON, students will be able to get hands-on experience through simulation and access diverse content including videos, text and data, which is expected to increase the effectiveness of online learning.

Seoul City Office of Education’s efforts in remote education

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE), which has the largest number of students and education-related stakeholders in Korea, has established an educational infrastructure with the view to implementing a stable system of remote education that will be introduced nationwide.

The SMOE is taking a multifaceted approach to providing public schools with the support they need to cover the curriculum.

The SMOE has formulated and implemented the “Operational Plan for the Seoul Version of Online Classes,” which is designed to close learning gaps caused by the closure of schools , following the coronavirus outbreak and prepare students for remote learning.


For aspiring schools and teachers, the SMOE has introduced services via online learning programs such as Edunet, EBS Online Class, and Google Classroom.

It released and distributed an “Online Learning Management Manual” and used the Seoul Education YouTube channel to help teachers who encounter difficulties preparing for online classes.

Remote Medicare

The Korean government has temporarily permitted doctors to perform telemedicine from the end of February as part of preventive measures to avoid group contagion in vulnerable facilities including medical institutions and nursing homes.

In other words, patients can receive phone consultations and
have medicine prescribed without visiting medical institutions when the doctor considers it safe.

Remote medicine targeting confirmed coronavirus patients

Last March, telemedicine services were implemented in Moongyeong Seoul National University Hospital (North Gyeongsangbuk-do Daegu 3 Living and Treatment Support Center) for the first time in Korea, as there were clusters of confirmed coronavirus patients in Daegu City, Gyeongsangbuk-d.

The Moongyeong Seoul National University Hospital relies on video calls and electronic systems more safely and efficiently to monitor coronavirus patients hospitalized with mild symptoms.

Nurses ask patients detailed questions about their conditions via video calls through smart phones. The Moongyeong Seoul
National University Hospital established the same computer network as its main hospital to record patients’ medical examinations and treatments through telehealth video conferencing.

Medical questionnaires filled out by patients and X-ray scans are uploaded onto the computer.

Radiologists from Seoul National University Hospital, which is hundreds of kilometres away from Moongyeong see the video and enter the results into the computer database.


Backed by these services, the hospital has been able to check the symptoms of confirmed patients in real time and transfer patients with aggravated symptoms to larger neighbouring hospitals.

Telemedicine using apps (private sector)

In these circumstances, several start-ups have begun to develop telemedicine service apps. Patients can log onto the Meredith app, select the hospital they want to visit, and make an appointment to see a doctor.

They can receive remote medical advice via video call using the Telemedicine Treatment Room menu provided by the app. Prescriptions are sent to the pharmacy designated by the patient.

Doctor provides a service called Corona virus 119 where self-reporting their symptoms allows patients to receive medical treatment and prescriptions. Corona virus 119 service gives patients access to general diagnoses for a cough or cold alongside remote treatment and prescriptions for suspected coronavirus symptoms.

If an app user is suspected of being infected with COVID-19, they will then be connected to the 1339 hotline. There, they can receive a diagnosis and receive a prescription from a doctor by phone after filling out a questionnaire that screens for symptoms.

Telemedicine using apps leads patients to answer questions about their medical history through mobile devices. The services are highly convenient and efficient, while also preventing contagion that could occur during direct hospital visits.

Predictive Research on the Spread of COVID-19

The government is making full use of Korea’s research capabilities to support the decision-making process of the infection control authorities, such as, sharing data, for accurate and reliable prediction of the spread of COVID-19.

The Korean government is supporting predictive research on the spread of COVID-19 carried out by Korean researchers using diverse methods, by identifying and sharing data that can be used by researchers within the scope of data protection and also by helping researchers establish a professional network among them.

Such support will be useful for forecasting the macroscopic spread of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of response measures, which will be helpful when making decisions needed for infection control.

For example, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) used a supercomputer and Individual Simulation for Transfer Phenomena, KIST’s own modelling method, to analyse the effectiveness of disease control measures taken by the Korean government.

The results from the analysis shows that if social distancing measures had not been taken by the Korean government in the late February, the number of newly confirmed cases per day would have soared to maximum 4,000, indicating the importance of social distancing.

Creating apps related to COVID-19

The development of coronavirus apps is ongoing in Korea. During the initial stages of the outbreak, a university student created the “Corona virus Map” app which informs users of the movements of confirmed patients based on information released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Since, the virus has spread to dozens of areas across the nation and the outbreak has become prolonged, many start-ups have also developed apps, providing a wide range of information and functions.

The app “Now and Here” calculates a mix of risk factors in surrounding areas when users enter their commuting routes. Moreover, if users record their own routes, the app serves the function of comparing the user’s paths with those previously taken by confirmed patients or new patients diagnosed with the coronavirus.

If the user has been at the same place as a confirmed patient at a similar time, the app suggests when and where testing is available. The app Cobaek (an alert for coronavirus within 100 meters) sends an alarm when users are within 100 meters of a place that a confirmed patient visited.

With the alarm on, users are saved the hassle of checking the details of paths taken by confirmed patients. This convenient app has been downloaded hundreds of times. The app was then upgraded to the Cobaek Plus version with the addition of alerts for the availability of publicly provided masks at pharmacies.

Social service personnel from Gyeongsangnam-do produced an app tailored to the region that provides information on the movements of confirmed patients in the region. Using Google Maps, this app displays details on the movement and visits of infected citizens based on the user’s location and a coronavirus patients’ visits to different areas are clearly marked.

The app developers came to realize the inconvenience caused by having to check two apps to discover the paths taken by confirmed patients and locations selling publicly provided masks, despite increasing demand from residents for information on where masks could be purchased.

Accordingly, residents can now receive updates on both through a single app. The number of masks currently available at a given location is announced by color: green (more than 100), yellow (between 30 and 99), red (below 30), and grey (none available), and the information on mask sellers is automatically updated in accordance with the materials publicly released by the National Information Society Agency (NIA).

ICT facilitates COVID-19 TREATMENT:

Research to facilitate drug re-purposing

The government, research institutes and businesses have cooperated to identify candidate drugs for COVID-19 treatment through drug re-purposing, and conducted clinical studies with confirmed patients.

To secure treatments for COVID-19 as quickly as possible, the Korean government is supporting the re purposing of drugs to identify those that are effective against COVID-19. Compared to the development of a new treatment, which generally takes over a decade, drug re purposing only requires efficacy evaluation and can help find COVID-19 treatment in the near future.

To maximize the capabilities and resources of relevant agencies for effective drug repurposing research, the Korean government formed a drug repurposing council, composed of the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Institute Pasteur Korea, the Korea Research Institute of Bio science and Biotechnology (KRIBB), the Korea Mouse Phenotyping Center (KMPC), and Korea University.

Drug repositioning aims to validate the efficacy of existing drugs in cells (drug screening), provide the results to healthcare professionals, and test the repositioned drug to patients. Animal testing might be put in place for efficacy validation to provide additional information to healthcare workers.

Developing medicine using AI

Furthermore, the use of AI is expected to reduce the time required to develop medicine, as AI can learn and make deductions based on the virus and other medical data. Company D, which develops new medicine and relevant platforms through the use of AI, used deep learning algorithms to predict the interaction of drug and protein, and propose candidate medicine for the coronavirus.

Company D and the research team at Danguk University under Kang Geunsoo have used AI to analyze the antiviral drugs on the market to predict medicines that may be effective against the COVID-19.

The result of this study was published through a BioRxiv under the title, ‘Predicting commercially available antiviral drugs that may act on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Wuhan, China through a drug-target interaction deep learning model.’

According to the research, Company D and the researchers used pre-trained deep learning-based drug-target interaction model called Molecule Transformer-Drug Target Interaction (MT-DTI) to identify commercially available drugs that could act on viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2. The result showed that atazanavir, an antiretroviral medication used to treat and prevent

the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is the best chemical compound. In addition, the researchers also found that several antiviral agents, such as Kaletra, could be used for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Overall, the research suggests that the list of antiviral drugs identified by the MT-DTI model should be considered, when establishing effective treatment strategies for SARS-CoV-2.

Conclusion:

Humanity has usually been at war against each other. But this time, almost every country fight against the same enemy, an invisible micro-pathogen.

The success or failure of this fight will naturally be a measure of the overall capacity of a country, and will have great implications for global community and history. We hope this study will be a small but meaningful policy guides for the international community and especially those developing countries by sharing Korea’s experiences and countermeasures against COVID-19 over the past three months.

COVID-19 countermeasures taken by the Korean government will not be conclusive nor the Korean case cannot be a universal key for all countries’ fight against COVID-19. With that in mind, we can have following five lessons from the Korean government’s response to COVID-19 using ICT.

Finally, we should together make best efforts to turn the crisis into opportunity and make the best use of the cutting- edge ICT technologies in forefront of fight against COVID-19.

We should also work together by making every information gathered on COVID-19 readily available to all.

Any information on fight against COVID-19 is a public good, and it should be provided quickly to everyone in need and in their fight against COVID-19, as they must act and response most quick and swift manner. In this pandemic we are all connected, any wisdom and experience must be also shared quickly and fairly.

BY SHUBHAM KUMAR

Myths about Branding

branding myths

The definition of Brand building is to generate “awareness about your business using strategies and campaigns with the goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace.”

 A positive image and a standing outlook equals a brand success.

Branding can be broken down into three parts.

  1. Brand strategy: It defines rules,guidelines,on how and to what and to whom you communicate your brand message. A brand strategy is more important because it provides clarity about the competitive landscape, market position and custom expectations.
  2. Brand Image: It is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customer.
  3. Brand Marketing: It is the way you promote your products or services. It is not just about putting your logo and business name as many places as you can , rather it links to your identity, values and personality with communication to your audience.

Myths About Branding 

So the myths about branding are –

  • So one of the enduring myths of branding is their LOGO.
  • Having a logo does not mean you are having a brand. Logo’s are just one very small element of your company’s overall branding.
  • It is the symbolic representation of a company that makes your firm recognizable and familiar to others.
  • But branding is much more complex and encompasses many more layers. A brand is much more than a logo and it is one of the primary means by which a brand is known for, say it better or worse.              

One can spend a lot of money on branding ,but one does not need to be too much exhaustive as having a marketing agency, designer and  branding professional working  by your side who can improve and focus on those areas which need to be improved can actually be a cost-saving experience.

Customers now-a-days are much educated, informed, and keeps themselves updated with a brief information  about the day-to-day life.

They really do not bother about the shape,size,colors,shade etc which are using in your brands, but they do care about being easily recognizable in the market.

Rather they will appreciate simple, consistent and straightforward things.

If a person does not understands the actual values of your brands they will probably not purchase your products.

You need to have a positive attitude towards your customer, should be “friendly and responsive” because they actually care by the way you treat them, than the color of your logo.

Shayani Das

Read more about branding here – Link

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Article 21 and the violation of Fundamental Rights – A Brief Review

India is an independent democratic country. According to the Indian Constitution, every life has its fundamental rights. But the country’s current scenario says something else.

Some interruptions of the Indian constitution were always present since the beginning which might trouble the flow of our normal life and the irony is the nowadays violation is pretended to be normal.

Then what does a layman do if their fundamental rights are violated?

What will be the government’s step if the Constitution is disobeyed?

How far can it be said that the rules have been violated?

A bunch of questions are there and the answers have to be found for the sake of countrymen’s well being.

What is Article 21?

“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution has two rights:

  1. Right to life.
  2. Right to personal liberty.

Right to livelihood:

The right to life or livelihood is simply defined as a part of the Indian constitution which means one has its right to live in the country.

Right to privacy:

It was developed through a series of decisions over the past six decades.

Finally, on 24th August 2017, the Supreme Court declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution.

Right to shelter:

The Supreme Court declared that the right to life means the development in a civilized society. For an animal, it is the only protection of the body and in the case of humans, it is to grow in every aspect.

Right to medical care and health:

In Article 21 it was held by Supreme Court that, the right to health is a part of the fundamental right provided under the Indian Constitution.

It incorporates the provisions undertaking the quality of physical and mental health as well.

Right to education:

It comes directly from the right to livelihood. Being educated or literate is the basic right of all human beings.

Right to a healthy environment:

To grow in every possible way, a healthy environment is a basic requirement. That is why the right to a healthy environment also comes under the fundamental right.

Article 21

What are the fundamental rights:

Seven fundamental rights were originally documented by the Constitution.

  • Right to freedom.
  • Right against exploitation.
  • Right to freedom of religion.
  • Cultures and educational rights.
  • Right to property.
  • Right to Constitutional remedies.
  • Right to education.
Fundamental Rights

Current scenario and the violation of fundamental rights:

There is a popular term, rules are meant to broken and that is sometimes laughable if a school going boy does as it does not harm our society. But what if it affects the community?

Sexual harassment is a drastic violation of the fundamental rights that disobey the provision of Article 21 in the Indian Constitution.

It is also known that immediate action must be taken in favour of the victim, whose fundamental rights have been violated.

Despite knowing the consequences, the various forms of sexual assault such as molestation, rape has been taken place repetitively in the heart of the country.

These incidents always raise questions on the right to life or security.

Parents are always thinking about our well being and nothing is problematic regarding that. But the problem arises when they pressurize their child to fulfill their ambitions without listening to the children’s passion.

The rate of suicide in India is increasing day by day and most of them are students. Peer pressure is a critical thing that can even snatch so many young lives.

Do they have no right to lead their life with their own choice? Here somehow, the right to life has been violated pathetically.

Being educated is not a luxury rather a basic need to survive in life. Unfortunately, more than 10 million children are working as laborers in various fields.

Poverty in the country has become an obstacle in the way of education.

The saddest part is there are so many rural areas in our countries where a girl child is treated as the burden of her parents and they forced the girl to marry even before she becomes an adult.

These were the few cases of violating the fundamental rights and the list is never-ending.

This has been happening for a long period.

The third world country is developing in every field. It would be a magnificent step if the government takes such strict actions regarding the violation of fundamental rights.

-By Saswati Chattopadhyay.