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Aung San Suu Kyi: Burma’s First Lady of Freedom

The special branch had chased us across the city for hours, through the haunted, betel-nut-stained streets of old Rangoon, past street-side tailors hunched over ancient sewing machines and open-air bookstalls selling worm-eaten copies of Orwell and Kipling. Unable to shake the latest batch of state security men following us by foot, we jumped into a wheezing taxi of mid-20th century vintage. The young driver’s eyes widened at the foreigners who hurled themselves in the back and ordered the car to move — fast. As we lurched into motion, he showed us where he stood by reaching into his shirt pocket and pulling out a laminated picture. It was, of course, of the Lady.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the 65-year-old Burmese Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was released from house arrest on Nov. 13, was not in the taxi with my two colleagues and me. But she is always carried in the hearts — and her image in the pockets, lockets and secret hiding places — of millions of Burmese. Among the most oppressed and impoverished people on the planet, they draw sustenance from this graceful woman who, armed only with the principle of nonviolent resistance, dares to stand up to the generals who have controlled Burma for nearly five decades. For 15 of the past 21 years, the military regime kept her locked up. But if the generals wished for Suu Kyi to fade into obscurity, they failed. Continued confinement turned her into the world’s most famous political prisoner. Emerging from her most recent stint of seven years in detention, she is just as determined to fight for the civil liberties of Burma’s 50 million people. "What we are calling for is revolutionary change through peaceful means," she told me when we recently met in Rangoon. "I’m not afraid to say it, and I’m not afraid to ask for all the help I can get."(See photos of Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom.)

The extent to which the junta has gone to try to foil the Lady, as Suu Kyi is fondly and universally known in Burma, is remarkable. For refusing to participate in a rigged election in November that the junta’s proxy party won, Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was stripped of its political rights. The NLD overwhelmingly won at the polls in 1990, which presumably would have made Suu Kyi the nation’s Prime Minister. But the junta ignored the people’s verdict then, and a new constitution contains clauses specifically designed to keep her from ever serving as Burma’s leader.

Since 1962, Burma’s battle-hardened generals have faced down communist insurgents, ethnic armies, even the Western governments that impose economic sanctions on the regime. But they still act as if there is no greater enemy than this slight woman with flowers in her hair. Their fear of Suu Kyi is not entirely misplaced. "We think our leader is the ideal woman, not just for Burma but for the whole world," says Aye Aye Nyein, a teacher and member of the NLD’s youth wing. "We Burmese live in a prison. She teaches us how to fight for our freedom." And the public’s desire for freedom, of course, is why security agents were hunting us, snapping pictures with telephoto lenses fit for Hollywood paparazzi. Earlier that day, a total of at least a dozen special-branch officers trailed us, calling in our movements on their cell phones.(See photos in "The Two Burmas.")

It took the taxi driver only a couple of minutes to figure out we had a tail. Pointing back at a car practically on our bumper, he grinned and gunned the engine. For more than half an hour, our high-speed chase wound through the streets of Burma’s moldering former capital, past the carcasses of Victorian-era government buildings abandoned when the junta mysteriously moved the seat of power to a remote redoubt five years ago. We circumnavigated the massive golden spire of Shwedagon pagoda, Burma’s holiest site, and careened by the hulk of Insein prison, where Suu Kyi was once jailed and where some of the country’s 2,200 political prisoners still languish.

Dusk was falling. Screeching through an open-air market, the taxi finally shook our pursuers. Gratefully, we bid our driver goodbye. He reached into his pocket again, offering me Suu Kyi’s picture as a gift. I was touched, but it was his talisman to cherish. I could leave Burma. He needed the Lady to keep him safe.(

An Unending Struggle
Her carriage is regal, her English accent impeccable. The blossoms she customarily wears in her hair never seem to wilt, even as everything else droops in Burma’s sullen heat. In the NLD office, with its intermittent electricity and maps of mildew spread across concrete walls, Suu Kyi floats like some otherworldly presence, calm and cool as others are flushed and frenetic. Ever since she was released in mid-November, Suu Kyi’s days have been divided and subdivided into one-hour or 15-minute increments, during which she has met a dizzying array of people: foreign diplomats, AIDS patients, NGO directors, local economists, U.N. officials and the families of political prisoners. She even chatted by phone in December with former First Lady Laura Bush, who had championed the Burmese cause.

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Released from House Arrest

But even as the world watches Burma with renewed interest in the wake of Suu Kyi’s release, she has not yet met the people with whom she most wants to talk. The regime has ignored her repeated offers for national reconciliation dialogue. Since releasing her, the junta has dealt with Suu Kyi by acting as if she didn’t exist, expunging mentions of her from the local press and hoping that, despite her busy calendar and the huge crowds that gather wherever she goes, she will somehow dwindle into irrelevance. "I wish I could have tea with them every Saturday, a friendly tea," Suu Kyi says of the generals, who refused to allow her dying husband one last visit to Burma in 1999. And if they turn down a nice cup of tea? "We could always try coffee," she says wryly.

Far from being a simple morality tale of good vs. evil, the Lady against the generals, what happens in Burma carries global significance. Jammed between Asia’s two emerging powers, China and India, Burma is strategically sensitive, a critical piece in the new Great Game of global politics. This is no totalitarian backwater like North Korea. Even though many Western governments have imposed sanctions on Burma’s military regime for its atrocious human-rights record, a new competition is unfolding in this crossroads nation: regional powers are scrambling for access to Burma’s plentiful natural gas, timber and minerals. Already, resource-strapped China is building oil and gas pipelines across Burma to create another vital artery to feed its economic engine. Beijing’s cozy ties with Burma have spooked democratic India, which has exchanged earlier condemnation of the junta for trade missions — a stance that earned President Barack Obama’s public disapproval when he visited India in November. For Burma’s top brass — who have at their disposal a 400,000-strong military corps and a record of institutionalized rape, torture and forced labor — democratic reform would mean not only ceding political supremacy but also surrendering the opportunity to siphon wealth from ever growing state coffers.(See photos of Burma’s slowly shifting landscape.)

Unlike South Africa’s apartheid government when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Burma’s dictatorship is not in its death throes. If anything, because of burgeoning foreign investment in Burma, especially over the past five years, the junta is even more entrenched than when Suu Kyi was last free, in 2003. Two previous attempts at popular protest have ended with the crackle of gunfire and the silence of a cowed populace. The most recent tragedy came in 2007 when soldiers ended weeks of monk-led protests by mowing down dozens of unarmed civilians.

The other foiled democracy movement was in 1988, when Suu Kyi found herself literally thrust on the political stage. The daughter of assassinated independence hero Aung San, she spent much of her early life overseas in India, the U.S., Japan, Bhutan and England. In the 1980s she was content to focus on academic research and serve as the mother of two sons and the wife of a British academic at Oxford. On picnics in the English countryside, Suu Kyi wore shorts and drank soda; she gave little hint of the democracy icon she would become.(See Suu Kyi in TIME’s top 10 political prisoners.)

In 1988 the dutiful Asian daughter went home to care for her ill mother. That Rangoon summer grew into Burma’s version of a Prague spring. The generals’ mismanagement had turned what was once one of Asia’s breadbaskets into an economic basket case, and students, monks and workers gathered by the hundreds of thousands to call for the regime’s downfall. The army fired on the protesters, some of whom tried to fight back. As the child of the revered general who had vanquished the colonial British, Suu Kyi thought she might have the authority to prevent further clashes. In front of half a million people, she made her first public address, mixing Buddhist values with Gandhian principles of nonviolent resistance. Less than a month after Suu Kyi’s plea for peace, the army unleashed another crackdown, killing hundreds. Two years later, the electoral victory of the NLD, the party she helped found, was disregarded. It was as if time stopped in Burma.

Multiple Fronts
Today, despite Suu Kyi’s release and the influx of foreign investment that has brought the occasional Hummer and day spa to Rangoon, Burma is still a country preserved in amber. Tropical totalitarianism is deceptive. In North Korea, the broad, desolate avenues and drably dressed citizens make for a perfect tableau of authoritarianism. Burma’s sprays of bougainvillea, its gilded pagodas and the sway of schoolgirls dressed in the sarongs called longyis all create a false sense of contentment. But life in Burma is not easy. Roughly 40% of the national budget is spent on the army, while just around 1% each is reserved for health and education. The new capital in Naypyidaw, which means "abode of the kings," was built with billions of dollars, even as nearly a third of Burmese live below the poverty line. For farmers, a hand-to-mouth existence is made worse by routine land seizures and orders to work without pay for the military. Even in Rangoon, power outages are as common as junta informants; both leave the populace in the dark. In a sign of just how removed the generals are from their subjects, confidential U.S. embassy cables released by WikiLeaks refer to the junta lavishing money on a nuclear program with alleged help from North Korea, while junta supremo Than Shwe pondered spending $1 billion on Manchester United at the behest of his soccer-loving grandson.

Although Suu Kyi’s moral imprimatur helped bring Western sanctions against the regime, the fact that many ordinary Burmese also feel their effects hasn’t escaped her. "I am ready to reconsider my support of sanctions if it’s for the benefit of all of us," she told me with surprising vehemence, countering critics who think her too unyielding. "I’m not afraid to consider change." Her openness will surely ignite further debate in Washington, where there is a growing recognition that sanctions on Burma, despite their moral appeal, have not worked.

But the most immediate revolution is needed within Suu Kyi’s party. Ever since the unfair outcome of the 1990 elections, the NLD has been stuck in a time warp, endlessly arguing over arcane policy and political theory even as many of its leaders get grayer and more stooped. There is a strange parallel between Burma’s geriatric opposition leaders, known as the Uncles, and the junta’s clutch of aged generals. In a 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks, an American diplomat in Rangoon bemoaned, "The way the Uncles run the NLD indicates the party is not the last great hope for democracy and Burma." Since then, a leadership reshuffle has reinvigorated the party to a certain extent, and Suu Kyi’s release has galvanized a new generation of political youth. But it’s no wonder that a younger NLD faction called the National Democratic Force defied the NLD’s (and Suu Kyi’s) call for an electoral boycott and contested the November polls. Suu Kyi says she’s not worried about a possible split in the opposition. "We are all fighting for democracy," she says. "Our goals are the same."(See more on Suu Kyi’s fight for freedom.)

Suu Kyi, a woman who first used a cell phone on the day of her release, says she’s committed to nurturing a new generation of technologically savvy political youth. "The advantage is they’re very electronic. They can communicate with the world," she says, referring to the NLD youth wing’s members who use Facebook to debate politics when there’s enough electricity to power computers. "Everything goes on the Internet. Did you know that?" The equalizing power of the digital revolution ties in nicely with the philosophy that has inspired Suu Kyi, that of Czech dissident and fellow Peace Prize laureate Vaclav Havel, who wrote of "the power of the powerless." "My very top priority is for people to understand that they have the power to change things themselves," she says. "Then we can do it together. Then we’ll be home and dry."

A Heavy Burden
It’s a lot to ask of one woman: rejuvenate her banned party, persuade the generals to talk, make the cause of Burma a global priority, minister to the sick, comfort the families of political prisoners. Serving as an icon of democracy is hard enough, without having to deal with the nitty-gritty of everyday political life. Add to that the real worry that Suu Kyi may be operating on borrowed time. "Our people are in and out of prison all the time," she says. "All I have to say is, ‘Is so-and-so in or out?’ and they know exactly what I mean."

For now, she is out. But there’s little doubt that if the junta sees in her any realistic challenge to its authority, she will be sent in again on whatever spurious charge the military can concoct. "I want to do as much as I can while I’m free," she says. "I don’t want to tire myself out, but we never know how much time we have."(See photos of decades of dissent in Burma.)

Beyond the possibility of rearrest, Suu Kyi’s safety is an even more fundamental concern. The army has shown it is quite prepared both to lock her up and to endanger her life. On three occasions, Suu Kyi and her supporters have been attacked by mysterious thugs, with resulting fatalities. "She is like her father in that she has no qualms about losing her life," says Win Htein, an NLD elder who was released in July after 14 years in jail. Suu Kyi gasps when I ask her whether she would consider wearing a bulletproof vest. "I wouldn’t dream of it," she says. "Then it would look like I’m trying to protect myself from the people who support me."

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Released from House Arrest

Suu Kyi may cherish her interactions with ordinary Burmese, but there is a distant quality to her, a sense that she lives most comfortably in her head, not among the crowds. Part of her remove is born of circumstance. She speaks proudly of being her father’s favorite child, yet he was assassinated by political rivals when she was just 2. For so much of her recent life, Suu Kyi has been sequestered from normal human contact; noble ideas and fine words have kept her company. While under house arrest, she obsessively read books ranging from biographies to spy thrillers. "People think that I had nothing to do [while in detention]," she says. "But I spent five or six hours listening to the radio every day. If you’re under house arrest and you miss one item, there’s no one there to tell you about it, so I listened very carefully." Even her taste in classical music speaks to her sense of discipline and composure. Mozart, she says, makes her happy, which is all well and good. But she prefers Bach. "He makes me calm," she says. "I need calm in my life."

Right now, Suu Kyi is in the eye of a storm, a place of deceptive tranquility. Rangoon is a city of whispers, and while the people I met there used different words — a honeymoon, a window, a reprieve — their hushed intent was the same: this, they felt, was the calm before the crackdown. The November elections were part of what the generals call a transition to a "discipline-flourishing democracy." One thing is certain: when the fig leaf of civilian government arrives in 2011, there will be no place in it for the Lady.

Still, for all her years of imprisonment and whatever travails may come, Suu Kyi considers herself lucky. It’s not because of the people’s adoration of her but because of their respect — a value she believes stems from a generosity of spirit. "In my life, I have been showered with kindness," she says. "More than love, I value kindness. Love comes and goes, but kindness remains." When her son Kim was in Rangoon to see her for the first time in a decade, his kindness came in the form of a gift, a puppy to keep her company. "He’s my guard dog," she jokes, even though the tiny mutt hasn’t shown much bark or bite. "He has an active tail and lets me know when someone is coming. That should be enough, don’t you think? A little wag of the tail?"



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Sample papers for Class XII(2010-‘11)

Sample Paper 1

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Sample Paper 3

Sample Paper 4

Sample Paper 1

Sample Paper 2

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Sample Paper 5

Sample Paper 1

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All Sets

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Sample Paper 1

All Sets

All Sets

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Computer Science
All Sets

Business Studies
All Sets


Courtesy: KVS RO, Lucknow

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General Guidelines and sample questions for CBSE Proficiency Test for Class-X

General Guidelines and sample questions for CBSE Proficiency Test for Class-X  

Mathematics   |   Science



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Top ten science breakthroughs of the year

Andrew Cleland, Aaron O'Connell, John Martinis invented a mechanical device that operates in the quantum realm. Photo: George Foulsham

Andrew Cleland, Aaron O’Connell, John Martinis invented a mechanical device that operates in the quantum realm. Photo: George Foulsham

A mechanical device that operates in the quantum realm tops the Sciencejournal’s list of advances in 2010.

Until this year, all human-made objects have moved according to the laws of classical mechanics. Back in March, however, a group of researchers designed a gadget that moves in ways that can only be described by quantum mechanics — the set of rules that governs the behaviour of tiny things like molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. In recognition of the conceptual ground their experiment breaks, the ingenuity behind it and its many potential applications,Science has called this discovery the most significant scientific advance of 2010.

Physicists Andrew Cleland and John Martinis from the University of California at Santa Barbara and their colleagues designed the machine—a tiny metal paddle of semiconductor, visible to the naked eye — and coaxed it into dancing with a quantum groove.

First, they cooled the paddle until it reached its “ground state,” or the lowest energy state permitted by the laws of quantum mechanics (a goal long-sought by physicists).

Then they raised the widget’s energy by a single quantum to produce a purely quantum-mechanical state of motion. They even managed to put the gadget in both states at once, so that it literally vibrated a little and a lot at the same time — a bizarre phenomenon allowed by the weird rules of quantum mechanics.

Science has recognized this first quantum machine as the 2010 Breakthrough of the Year.

They have also compiled nine other important scientific accomplishments from this past year into a top ten list, appearing in a special news feature in the journal’s 17 December 2010 issue. “This year’s Breakthrough of the Year represents the first time that scientists have demonstrated quantum effects in the motion of a human-made object,” said Adrian Cho, a news writer forScience. “On a conceptual level that’s cool because it extends quantum mechanics into a whole new realm. On a practical level, it opens up a variety of possibilities ranging from new experiments that meld quantum control over light, electrical currents and motion to, perhaps someday, tests of the bounds of quantum mechanics and our sense of reality.”

The quantum machine proves that the principles of quantum mechanics can apply to the motion of macroscopic objects, as well as atomic and subatomic particles. It provides the key first step toward gaining complete control over an object’s vibrations at the quantum level. Such control over the motion of an engineered device should allow scientists to manipulate those minuscule movements, much as they now control electrical currents and particles of light. In turn, that capability may lead to new devices to control the quantum states of light, ultra-sensitive force detectors and, ultimately, investigations into the bounds of quantum mechanics and our sense of reality. (This last grand goal might be achieved by trying to put a macroscopic object in a state in which it’s literally in two slightly different places at the same time — an experiment that might reveal precisely why something as big as a human can’t be in two places at the same time.)

“Mind you, physicists still haven’t achieved a two-places-at-once state with a tiny object like this one,” said Cho. “But now that they have reached the simplest state of quantum motion, it seems a whole lot more obtainable—more like a matter of ‘when’ than ‘if.’”

The other nine

Science’s list of the nine other groundbreaking achievements from 2010 follows.

Synthetic Biology: In a defining moment for biology and biotechnology, researchers built a synthetic genome and used it to transform the identity of a bacterium. The genome replaced the bacterium’s DNA so that it produced a new set of proteins—an achievement that prompted a Congressional hearing on synthetic biology. In the future, researchers envision synthetic genomes that are custom-built to generate biofuels, pharmaceuticals or other useful chemicals.

Neandertal Genome: Researchers sequenced the Neandertal genome from the bones of three female Neandertals who lived in Croatia sometime between 38,000 and 44,000 years ago. New methods of sequencing degraded fragments of DNA allowed scientists to make the first direct comparisons between the modern human genome and that of our Neandertal ancestors.

HIV Prophylaxis: Two HIV prevention trials of different, novel strategies reported unequivocal success: A vaginal gel that contains the anti-HIV drug tenofovir reduced HIV infections in women by 39 percent and an oral pre-exposure prophylaxis led to 43.8 fewer HIV infections in a group of men and transgender women who have sex with men.

Exome Sequencing/Rare Disease Genes: By sequencing just the exons of a genome, or the tiny portion that actually codes for proteins, researchers who study rare inherited diseases caused by a single, flawed gene were able to identify specific mutations underlying at least a dozen diseases.

Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Simulating the gyrations that proteins make as they fold has been a combinatorial nightmare. Now, researchers have harnessed the power of one of the world’s most powerful computers to track the motions of atoms in a small, folding protein for a length of time 100 times longer than any previous efforts.

Quantum Simulator: To describe what they see in the lab, physicists cook up theories based on equations. Those equations can be fiendishly hard to solve. This year, though, researchers found a short-cut by making quantum simulators—artificial crystals in which spots of laser light play the role of ions and atoms trapped in the light stand in for electrons. The devices provide quick answers to theoretical problems in condensed matter physics and they might eventually help solve mysteries such as superconductivity.

Next-Generation Genomics: Faster and cheaper sequencing technologies are enabling very large-scale studies of both ancient and modern DNA. The 1,000 Genomes Project, for example, has already identified much of the genome variation that makes us uniquely human—and other projects in the works are set to reveal much more of the genome’s function.

RNA Reprogramming: Reprogramming cells—turning back their developmental clocks to make them behave like unspecialized "stem cells" in an embryo—has become a standard lab technique for studying diseases and development.

This year, researchers found a way to do it using synthetic RNA. Compared with previous methods, the new technique is twice as fast, 100 times as efficient and potentially safer for therapeutic use.

The Return of the Rat: Mice rule the world of laboratory animals, but for many purposes researchers would rather use rats. Rats are easier to work with and anatomically more similar to human beings; their big drawback is that methods used to make "knockout mice"— animals tailored for research by having specific genes precisely disabled—don’t work for rats. A flurry of research this year, however, promises to bring "knockout rats" to labs in a big way.



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Sample Question Papers for Class XI (Science)






Courtesy: KVS RO, Bhopal

Sample Papers Physics for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Sample Papers Maths for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Sample Papers English for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Sample Papers Economics E for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Sample Papers Chemistry for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Sample Papers Biology for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Sample Papers Hindi for HalyYearly XI 2010-2011

Courtesy: KVS RO Chandigarh

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Google makes searching easier for students


The search engine Google has introduced a new feature that will help students filter the content they are searching for on the basis of ‘reading levels’, which means that they can decide whether they want to be offered material that is easy or relatively hard to read and grasp.

The feature has been incorporated in Google’s ‘Advanced search’, which is generally used to fine tune one’s search by setting a range of parameters like key words, date, region and so on.

The reading level settings can be found under the heading ‘Need more tools?’

Different options can be chosen in relation to the reading level: annotate results with reading levels; show only basic results; show only intermediate results and show only advanced results.

The option ‘no reading level displayed’ will display the search results as usual. Once the filter is set, different options can also be explored from the top of the page that displays the search results.

A search on the human digestive system, when set at the basic reading level, throws up more links of the kind that would be appropriate for school students. The difficulty levels increase as the options are changed to intermediate and advanced.

“For instance, a junior high school teacher looking for content for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at advanced reading levels,” said Google announcing the new feature on its official blog recently. .

Statistical models

A Google employee explained that the new feature was based mainly on statistical models built with the help of teachers.

Teachers helped in the classification of pages for different reading levels which were then used to build the statistical model.

This model makes it possible for the search engine to compare words on any webpage with the words in the model and come up with the reading levels.

So it is quite simple: if you are a school student looking for basic information set the reading level to ‘basic’ to get the kind of content you are searching for.

And if you are a researcher or a college student in the quest for more sophisticated content set the filters to intermediate or advanced, depending on your requirement. The search for information on the Internet has become a tad easy for students.


To limit your search results to a specific reading level, follow these steps:

  1. On the search results page, click Advanced Search below the search box.
  2. Next to "Reading level" within the "Need more tools" section, select your desired reading level (basic, intermediate, or advanced) or choose to show all results annotated with reading levels.
  3. Click Advanced search at the bottom of the page.
  4. At any time, you can click the X in the right corner of the blue bar beneath the search box to go back to seeing all results.


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In A Library. A poem by Emily Dickinson.

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is

To meet an antique book,

In just the dress his century wore;

A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,

And warming in our own,

A passage back, or two, to make

To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,

His knowledge to unfold

On what concerns our mutual mind,

The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,

What competitions ran

When Plato was a certainty.

And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,

And Beatrice wore

The gown that Dante deified.

Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,

As one should come to town

And tell you all your dreams were true;

He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,

You beg him not to go;

Old volumes shake their vellum heads

And tantalize, just so.


Emily Dickinson

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Liu awarded Peace Nobel


The 2010 Nobel peace prize was on Friday placed on an empty chair in Oslo’s city hall in a symbolic act to mark its award to Liu Xiaobo.

In the centrepiece of a simple, moving ceremony watched by an audience of 1,000 people, among them Norway’s king and queen and a clutch of fellow Chinese dissidents, the chairman of the Nobel committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, placed the citation and medal on a simple, blue upholstered seat on a small row of chairs to the right of the hall’s stage.

“We regret that the laureate is not present here today,” Mr. Jagland told the audience, who stood several times during the ceremony to applaud.

“He is in isolation in a prison in north-east China. Nor can the laureate’s wife, Liu Xia, or his closest relatives be here with us. No medal or diploma will therefore be presented here. This fact alone shows that the award was necessary and appropriate. We congratulate Liu Xiaobo with this year’s peace prize.” It is the first time since 1936, when the German journalist and pacifist Carl von Ossietzky was stopped by Nazi authorities from travelling to Oslo, that the peace prize has been awarded in this way. On three other occasions — Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, Lech Walesa in 1983 and Andrei Sakharov in 1975 — family members have had to collect the prize instead.

While Liu was jailed for 11 years last year for subversion, his wife remains under house arrest, meaning no one could collect the award for him.

The decision to award the prize to Liu, a former university academic radicalised by the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest — Mr. Jagland said the award was “dedicated to the lost souls of 4 June”.

In his absence, the Norwegian actor Liv Ullman spoke on Liu’s behalf, reading out extracts of his last public address, in December last year to the court which was about to jail him. Explaining his philosophy of protest, it has as a central message: “I have no enemies, and no hatred.” Several audience members wiped away tears during a section in which he described his love for Liu Xia.

The ceremony ended with a performance by a children’s choir — a request from Liu in the one message he was able to send from prison via his wife.


Courtesy: Guardian news Service

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Award for innovation


Special Correspondent

An online academic social networking project launched by Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom has won the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan’s National Innovations and Experimentation Award 2010.

Named ‘Library Junction: Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up!’, the project was launched earlier this year with the aim of creating an easily accessible and user friendly online teaching and learning platform connecting the library, students and teachers.

Library Junction ( utilises the popular social networking concept as a platform to reach out to the new generation library users and kindles their love towards books and reading. It facilitates collaborative learning, knowledge sharing and critical thinking. Developing information and media literacy skills among students and helping them to find, evaluate and use accurate and trustworthy information on the internet is also an objective of the project.

According to school librarian S.L.Faisal, project coordinator, there are more than 750 members on this moderated online social network including students, teachers and professionals from all over the world. The NCERT has also selected this project for implementation under the All India Competition on Innovative Practices and Experiments in Education For Schools and Teacher Education Institutions 2010-’11.

Mr.Faisal will receive the award from Minister for Human Resources Kapil Sibal on December 13 .



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“Library Junction” won KVS National Innovations and Experimentation Award 2010


An Online Academic Social Networking project “Library Junction: Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !”, launched by Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom has won Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan’s National Innovations and Experimentation Award 2010. The project satrted earlier this year with an objective to create an easily accessible and user friedly online teaching and learning platform which connects the library, students and teachers.

Library Junction ( utlilizes the popular social networking concept as a platform to reach out to the new generation library users and kindles their love towards books and reading. It facilitates collaborative learning, knowledge sharing and critical thinking. Developing information and media literacy skills amomg students and help them to find, evalate and use accurate and trust worthy information on internet has been also a main aim of the project.

Now there are more than 750 members on this moderated online social network including students, teachers and professionals from all over the world. NCERT has also selected this project for implementation under the All India Competition on Innovative Practices and Experiments in Education For Schools and Teacher Education Institutions 2010-’11. The project team has been expanded with expert teachers from different subject areas lead by the Principal, C.P.Kumaran and are ready to share their knowledge and clear student’s doubts on curriculum issues. The membership is open to all those who are interested in books, reading, libraries and the good use of internet.

S.L.Faisal, Librarian of KV Pattom (shift-I) is behind the conept and the coordinator of the project. He will receive the award from the Human Resource Minister (Chairman of KVS), Kapil Sibal on 13 December at a ceremony in New Delhi.

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How safe are social networking sites?


What began as an innocent friendship on a social networking site through extensive chat sessions turned bitter for Bhuvana (name changed), a 26- year-old IT employee, when after a virtual break-up her erstwhile ‘friend’ began stalking her.

“It was after months of sheer nightmare that I realised he was stalking me by continuously following my debit card swipe details,” she says. Bhuvana is one of the many victims of cyber crime perpetrated on social networking sites, often under the cover of fake identities and misrepresentations.

While live status messages, dozens of pictures, comments and chats might often validate a person’s cyber existence they also raise questions on security.

Police records show that in 2008, as many as 22 instances of posting objectionable content on a user’s profile, and acquiring information by breaching another user’s privacy were reported. In 2009, the complaints rose to 62 and in 2010, till October, there is a total of 64 such cases.

According to Central Crime Branch (CCB) sources, all reported cases were committed on Facebook, Orkut or MySpace, with Facebook topping the list.

Several parts of Section 66 of the IT Act 2008 are applied to cyber crime pertaining to social networking sites, depending on the intention of the offender that can vary from causing annoyance to the victim, to even intimidation or humiliation, says Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, CCB, M. Sudhakar.

The Cyber Crime Cell sees persistent stalking as an act of harassment, wherein a different Act is applied and the offender is jailed for minimum seven years, he adds.

Cyber crime on social forums ranges from acquiring somebody else’s identity by hacking into their account to acquiring a fake identity, Dr. Sudhakar says, adding that the punishment under such circumstances is imprisonment for a minimum of three years.

Seeking police help

A classic example of such an offence was that of accused M.P. Saifuddin,(27) from Kodungaiyur who deceived women through Orkut by posing as a top executive of a well-known bank. One of the victims, says a CCB officer, lodged a complaint saying that Saifuddin befriended her by chatting on Orkut and promised to marry her. Citing marriage expenses, he later collected jewellery weighing 15 sovereigns from her. Police subsequently arrested Saifuddin earlier this month after trapping him on Orkut.

Sometimes the victim feels too threatened to seek police help, especially when the offender is someone she knows, and the perpetrator comes back with a new plan of harassment, say experts, adding that many such cases go unreported.

The case of Ann Joseph, a college student here is a reminder of many cyber-safety concerns. “I went on to become a member on Facebook and was shocked to find that someone had impersonated me with a profile and had added some of my friends. There was even a photograph of someone which was tagged with my name,” she says.

Experts say issues such as jurisdiction, loss of evidence, cyber-sensitivity in police officers, relevant laws, and a speedy redressal process have to be looked into.

While most of the technical challenges that Cyber Crime Cell faces have been resolved, Dr. Sudhakar says tracing individuals operating from smaller cyber cafes that do not insist on taking down the details of the users, is a major hurdle which has benefitted many criminals.

Legal aspects

Another crucial issue, experts feel, is the law itself. The Indian Information Technology Act, 2008 (amended), they say, sees it just an “intrusion on to the privacy of individual”.

“If cyber stalking is done only to annoy the victim and does not result in serious offences, it is treated as a bailable offence,” says Debarati Halder, advocate and director, Centre for Cyber Victims Counseling, a non-governmental organisation. There needs to be more reforms in laws to tackle evolving crimes, especially when dealing with personal attack on individuals, she adds.

The variations in social networking usage across countries pose challenges to law enforcement.

“We are spanning boundaries here. Hence, what may be a punishable offence in one country may not be even a violation in another,” Dr Sudhakar says, adding that with no standardisation of laws, cases are viewed under different legal perspectives.

Moreover, users across the globe use different social networking norms, says Gaurav Mishra, network security expert and blogger. “While people from US, Europe, Australia and India tend to use their real identity, those in Japan, Korea, China and parts of South East Asia prefer avatars and pseudonyms,” he points out.

Most cyber crime victims are extremely reluctant to open accounts with social networking sites fearing past experiences, says Ms. Halder, observing that counselling and educating them on their legal rights is vital.

While many schools conduct cyber awareness classes for students and parents, the cyber crime cell, Dr. Sudhakar says, is trying to reach out by issuing cyber pamphlets, and showing movies in schools. To tackle the increasing number of college students falling under the thrall of hacking, the University of Madras and IIT-Madras conduct periodic cyber camps too. “It is important to explain the security threats while assisting senior citizens on the internet, because apart from women and children, they comprise the vulnerable lot too,” says Jayashree Jaichandran, an IT security counsellor.

What they say

M. Sudhakar

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, CCB

“In most of the cases, the cyber offenders are often friends or relatives of the complainant. Restraint while sharing information on the internet, and caution when it comes to lending your passwords, even to close friends, is what can ensure cyber safety. The Cyber Crime Cells work across jurisdictions, and hence victims should immediately approach the concerned officials to prevent further problems.”

Ashwini Nithyanandam

Internet user

“I’m a member on Facebook for a few years now and I have been very careful about what I post online. I use the settings provided by the website for its users to safeguard my personal information and photographs and I’m cautious about who I add as friends. I hear of incidents of hacking and posting objectionable content which happened to some of my friends and also read about such misuse on social network sites.”



    Vasudha Venugopal
    Petlee Peter

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