August 14, 2011

A nation which has bypassed its Father - DR. SUVARNA NALAPAT

Gandhiji (1928 Young India) said the seven sins are “politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and worship without renunciation of ego.”




August 15, 2011: Eighty three years have passed. These sins have multiplied. Nonviolence, truth, Brahmacharya and abolition of liquor were part of the national health and reconstruction programmes. The Mahatma's development programmes depended on his greater and broader vision of a self-sufficient healthy environment. He knew that spiritual health leads to intellectual, mental and physical health.


England learned vegetarianism from India. From the discussions and journals of the Vegetarian Society of England, Gandhiji learned its intellectual and mental implications and that taste depends not on the tongue but on the mind and the intellect. Man has to protect living things and nature for a healthy co-existence and survival of all races. Food is for health, not for mere pleasure. By experimenting, Gandhiji understood how right his mother was about vegetarianism and how observance made him spiritually, intellectually, mentally and physically happy and healthy.
India discovered Ahimsa in the prehistorical past. It is not just a spiritual religious observance. India's economy, cleanliness of towns, villages, streams and atmosphere, health, food sufficiency, and protection of the natural environment depended on a lifestyle of vegetarianism. The first planned cities during the Indus Valley Harappan times had battlegrounds, homes of leathergood professionals, scavengers and hospitals outside the city. Not just for aesthetics but for preventing environmental pollution.
In modern cities, wastes from hospitals, butcher shops and houses are disposed of on roads, in rivers, streams and everywhere; rats, pests, bacteria multiply and diseases spread. Successive governments have tried to stop this and protect the health of people but failed because we are increasing the pollution, changing lifestyles, and constructing multispeciality hospitals for preventing diseases in an undernourished population. Modern medicine tells us that red meat is responsible for several types of cancers and high cholesterol. How much state and individual money is spent on prevention and cure of these diseases?
Working in the Calicut Medical College Blood Bank Immunohaematology services, I came across the problem with HIV-AIDS control programmes. Promoting condoms indirectly promotes lack of emotional control. Even animals do have control and mate only while they are in oestrus in seasons. Man is the only animal showing unnatural sex desires. Abortions which are akin to killing an innocent life have become an excuse for killing female foetuses. Everyone wants free unlimited enjoyment of all physical pleasures at the cost of destroying values and humanitarian feelings. Householders had laws for controlling desires through vows like upavasa and brahmacharya during certain days and periods of life. Now we find all around violent assaults on women and property. We have forgotten how to control our desires.
Brain and neuronal channels work properly when we abstain from liquor and drugs. Responsible householders, citizens and national leaders should think of grass-roots level reasons. Psychiatric problems, depression, rape and other crimes increase when citizens have no mental or intellectual control over desires. People say Gandhiji is a misfit in today's world. Why is he considered a misfit? We want to indulge in pleasures of the senses, violence, eating flesh and drinking alcohol. Gandhiji is an obstacle to these. Personal needs should give way to national goals to grasp the value of his message and foresight, which unfortunately does not happen.


THE ONLY FIT LEADER
A good leader wants only the best for the entire world. Ultimately, people will recognise their folly, realise that Gandhiji was the only “fit” leader for peaceful co-existence of the world. Democracy is not just for making demands. Value-based education is essential for all strata of society for any nation. Gandhiji's bhajan music therapy controlled passions during the Freedom struggle. Neuroendocrine secretions, increase in T lymphocytes during music sessions make us resistant to pathogens. Simple life, high thinking, clean environment, agrarian food sufficiency for nutritional requirements — can we ever achieve these? “Nirbal ke bal Ram Eswar Allah there naam sab ko sanmathi debhagavan.” The prayer comes out of every heart concerned about the future of the world.
Everyone wants free unlimited enjoyment of all physical pleasures at the cost of destroying values and humanitarian feelings. We have forgotten how to control our desires.


(The writer is a retired professor and Head, Department of Pathology. His email id is snalapat@yahoo.com)

Guideline for buying AC's

Star cooling, trim bills
During summers, it is a trade-off between comfort and increased consumption. But in the last few years, there has been conscious effort to make air conditioners more energy efficient to optimise power consumption.
Peak summer is over, one would say, but the sun doesn't seem to know that. It beats down mercilessly still, as if it were April or May, and one is barely able to wean away from the air conditioners(ACs), even if one wants to. It is normal to have electricity bills creep up to four digits, and even if you don't want to, you end up fitting an AC in every room. Global warming is no joke, after all.
But it is not just about the money one has to pay. It is also about the fact that there is a power shortage, and conservation has become the byword. "The efficiency of the ACs are being continuously improved to get lesser electricity loads and give lower running cost to the consumer," says Ajay Bajaj, Business Head - Air Conditioners, LG Electronics.




Focus on conservation
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, set up under the Energy Conservation Act of 2002, introduced a star-labelling programme to ensure that all appliances reach a minimum level of energy efficiency. Depending on their energy efficiency they are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 and this is indicated by stars for easy understanding. The higher the number of stars, better is the energy efficiency.


Currently there are 12 products under the scheme, and of these, four products are under the mandatory labelling regime -- frost-free refrigerators, room air conditioners, tubular fluorescent lights (TFLs) and distribution transformers (DTRs). According to the National Productivity Council, in 2009-10, the entire Standards and Labelling Programme introduced by BEE has resulted in electricity saving of 4350.92 million units, equivalent to avoided generation capacity of 2179.31 MW. (Source: NPC Verification Report).


"Higher star ratings for air conditioners mean higher levels of energy efficiency, leading to less consumption of energy and lowering of consumers' energy bills," says Dr. Sandeep Garg, Energy Economist, who drives the Standards and Labelling Programme at BEE. "Assuming an air conditioner is operating for eight hours a day and five months a year, the broad cost saving per annum of a star rated AC with reference to a non star rated AC ranges from Rs.300 for a one star machine to Rs 2050 for a five star AC," he adds.


Energy-efficient appliances consume less energy and reduce household energy bills. For example, a three-star rated 1.5 ton AC would, over a year, use 320 kWh less than a 1-star AC in a Delhi home where, on an average, it is used for 1600 hours a year. Similarly, the savings for a 5-star AC would be 650 kWh in a year. The star label thus allows a consumer to decide whether he wants a 1-star AC or a 3-star AC or a 5-Star AC. "Both a 3-star and 5-star AC provide greater savings than a 1-star AC, but their costs are also higher; consumers get a trade off between the purchase price of the AC on the one hand, and the electricity bills due to the AC on the other," explains Garg.


According to the National Productivity Council, the estimated energy savings due to a star labelled air-conditioner is 1090.18 MU. The corresponding reduction in avoided generation capacity is 1455.89 MW.


The split
As Ravindra Zutshi, Deputy MD, Samsung India, points out, their entire AC line-up is Star rated, with 14 models being 5 star rated. A further improvement, he adds, "The new Invincia series of Split Air Conditioners comes equipped with Smart Inverter technology that saves up to 60 percent power when the AC is on and almost zero standby power when the AC is off."
Earlier, only split ACs used to come with the rating. Says Bajaj, "Window ACs, as compared to splits, have design limitation and hence it took time to come up with the 5 star rating in window models."


Garg adds that the star rating system determines the energy efficiency of all room air conditioners - window ACs and split ACs. "As per an industry estimate, 65 percent of the Indian air conditioner market is in the split AC segment, while the rest is the window ACs. While split ACs have more five star models, five star rated window ACs too have come into the market, thus widening the choice for buyers," he says.


Certified by BEE
The energy efficiency ratio of an AC depends on two factors: Cooling capacity (in BTU) and Power consumption (in Watts). Star rating is based upon the EER of an AC, which is cooling capacity divided by power consumed. To calculate EER in watts, BTU needs to be converted into watts. 12000 BTU is equal to 3517 watts or 1BTU = 0.2937 Watts or one ton = 3517 watts.
Explains Bajaj, "The cooling capacity of one ton AC should be 12000 BTU, 1.5 ton AC 18000 BTU. Some companies rate their air conditioners as 1 ton but actually their cooling capacity is less than 12000 BTU. So the BEE has brought into force star rating system so that the manufacturers cannot misguide the consumers."


BEE provides these ratings based on the test certificates submitted by manufacturers with reference to the respective national/international standards. For example, for air conditioners, the reference standard is IS1391.
Under its Standards and Labelling programme, BEE has set the energy efficiency standards for the appliances covered under the scheme. BEE has institutionalized and developed a strong delivery mechanism for energy efficiency services in the country and has carried out coordination between the various entities, Garg stresses.


With the success of the labelling programme, India saved 3039.1 MW of avoided capacity in 2009-2010, he adds.


Size does matter
While buying an AC, one is also bogged down by the tonnage requirement. The larger the room the higher would be the tonnage requirement of an AC to cool it effectively. A small room of 10m x 10m x 10m dimension would require a one ton machine to cool it effectively. A higher tonnage would mean more energy consumption and higher energy bills. However, energy efficient machines (with star ratings) would not only help conserve energy but also prevent inflated power bills. Thus, it is critical for consumers to look at star ratings of ACs before purchasing them, points out Garg.


Bajaj also stresses, "While it is important to choose an AC with higher star rating, it is equally important not to compromise on the cooling capacity, which is the primary function of an AC."


Garg cautions that the most important issue in deciding to invest in an energy-efficient appliance is to ensure that you buy an appliance of the size that you need. "A very large refrigerator - even if it is 5-star - does not make sense for a two member family, and will certainly use more energy than a smaller refrigerator."


AC buying now was never just about which model one likes (neither the model in the ad, nor the AC model). It is about size, and now, about how efficiently it conserves energy as well. While the efficiency being built in makes life easier for the consumer, there is also a need to be aware of which of the ratings work for the customer - where usage of AC is high, such consumers will do well to go for 5-star rated models to conserve energy and bring their electricity bills lower.


Courtesy:The Hindu - Retail Plus




August 1, 2011

RAMADAN


Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast.

During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. As a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.

Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.


During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained. The tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip. The eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things. The hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it. The ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words. The feet must refrain from going to sinful places. In such a way, every part of the body observes the fast.


Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person's body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one's self on the worship of God.


The whole month of Ramadan is a time of renewal and reflection. As the month winds to a close, we pray that the spirit of Ramadan, and the lessons learned during it, last for all of us throughout the year.


During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and participate in pious activities such as charitable giving and peace-making. It is a time of intense spiritual renewal for those who observe it. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking).