Welcome to my world, 'ente lokam'!

I, N Santhosh, invite all of you to my world, 'en lokam'. Hope you all find something worth watching, or reading here. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Aspiring Teachers, get rady for the Teacher Eligibility Test!

Having a BEd degree will no longer be enough to become a school teacher. Concerned over the dipping standards of teaching, aspiring teachers will now have to pass an eligibility test, and score at least 60% in the examination.

The Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) is a mandatory requirement for securing a teaching job in schools -- private, government, aided or unaided. TET will be conducted once a year separately by the state governments as well as the Centre.
In case, a state decides not to conduct the test, schools in that state/Union Territory will take into account the test conducted by the Central government. Validity of qualifying certificate will be decided by the state government/UT/Centre subject to the condition that it cannot be more than seven years. There is no bar on the number of attempts by an aspiring teacher for obtaining a TET certificate. Moreover, an aspirant can appear again to improve the score.
National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) will maintain the database, and be the repository of experts and resources that will be shared with state governments/UTs.
TET will have two papers with multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Paper I will be for those intending to become teachers for classes I-V. Paper II will be for those aspiring to teach between classes VI and VIII. Those interested in teaching from Class I to VIII will have to appear for both the papers.
For Paper I, candidates will be tested on five subjects-child development and pedagogy, language I (the medium of instruction) and language II (chosen from a list other than language I), mathematics and environmental studies.
Each section will have 30 questions of one mark each. Questions on child development and pedagogy will focus on educational psychology of teaching. Emphasis will be laid on understanding the characteristics and needs of diverse learners. Questions on language I and II will focus on proficiency, elements of language, communication and comprehension abilities. MCQs on mathematics and environmental studies will focus on concepts and problem solving abilities.
Paper II will have three compulsory sections on child development and pedagogy, language I and II. For mathematics and science teachers, there will be 60 MCQs of one mark each. For social studies teachers, there will be 60 MCQs of one mark each.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal Inaugurated!

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated India's first International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT)in Vallarpadam Island. This situates in the Special Economic Zone. The total cost of the terminal is estimated at around Rs 6,250 crore. The terminal after its completion will be able to handle four million units (twenty-foot equivalent units- TEUs) of cargo per annum. The first phase of the project is ready to handle one million TEUs per annum.

The project, which will be operated by Dubai Port World (DPW), aims to make Kochi a key centre in the shipping world, and reduce India's dependence on foreign ports to handle transshipment requirements.
Once fully developed, the ICTT, a part of the expansion project at the Cochin Port, would be the largest individual terminal in India. As part of the project, India's longest railway bridge 4.62 km long was set up over the Vembanad Lake, thereby establishing rail connectivity to Vallarpadam from the mainland. The ICTT is expected to generate additional employment opportunities, facilitate investment flow of around Rs 7,500 crore which may transform Kochi into an economic hub. The ICTT project was taken up considering the rapid growth of container traffic in India.

Due to lack of transshipment facilities in Indian ports, a substantial quantity of container traffic is transshipped through foreign transshipment terminals such as Colombo, Salalah, Dubai and Singapore, resulting in additional costs and delays ranging from seven to 10 days. The ICTT will provide facilities for handling mother ships and thereby obviate the need for transshipment of Indian containers through other countries.
While DPW has invested Rs 1,600 crore, an equal amount has been put in by the central government through the Cochin Port for providing road and rail connectivity in the first phase.

As per the agreement between the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) and DPW, the construction of the terminal, its equipment and operations will be the responsibility of DPW, while providing road and rail connectivity to the project site and deepening the shipping channels will be the responsibility of the port.
The dignitaries attended the inaugural function are Kerala Governor R S Gavai, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, Defence Minister A K Antony, Civil Aviation Minister Vyalar Ravi, Shipping Minister G K Vasan and Minister for Road Transport and Highways, C P Joshi. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the Chairman of DPW and Chairman of Dubai Port and Free Zone World, led the delegation from Dubai.
See Wikipedia for more Details

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rafael Nadal : World Sportsman of the Year!

Tennis star Rafael Nadal bagged the most prestigious ‘World Sportsman of the Year’ at the Laureus World Sports Awards. In this run he run ahead star footballers Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. The World Cup winning Spanish football side walked away with the ‘World Team of the Year’ trophy.

The ‘World Sportswoman of the Year’ award went to American alpine skiier Lindsey Vonn, who beat off competition from Belgian tennis ace Kim Clijsters, who won a second straight US Open and four other events last year, Serena Williams, and world number one tennis player Caroline Wozniacki among others.
Vonn had secured her third straight skiing World Cup and the Olympic Downhill gold medal last year. World number one Nadal — who completed a career slam last year by clinching the US Open, French Open and the Wimbledon to go with his 2009 Australian Open triumph — walked away with the top honours by pipping pre-awards favourites Messi and Iniesta. It was Nadal’s second after the Laureus Breakthrough Award in 2006.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011: International Year of Forests

Let's save our forests to save ourselves.
Yes, the year 2011 was also declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. The main intention is to raise awareness and strengthen the sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. Forests are an integral part of global sustainable development. According to World Bank estimates, more than 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. The forest product industry is a source of economic growth and employment, with global forest products traded internationally in the order of $270 billion.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that every year 130,000 km² of the world's forests are lost due to deforestation. Conversion to agricultural land, unsustainable harvesting of timber, unsound land management practices, and creation of human settlements are the most common reasons for this loss of forested areas.
According to the World Bank, deforestation accounts for up to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. FAO data estimates that the world's forests and forest soil store more than one trillion tons of carbon – twice the amount found in the atmosphere. The World Bank estimates that forests provide habitats to about two-thirds of all species on earth, and that deforestation of closed tropical rainforests could account for biodiversity loss of as many as 100 species a day.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, “Across the globe lie more than a billion hectares of lost and degraded forest land that could be restored”.
The Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests is the focal point for implementation of the International Year in collaboration with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organizations and processes.
Governments, regional and international organizations and civil society organizations are expected to create national committees and designate focal points in their respective countries to facilitate organization of activities in support of the International Year of Forests.

The International Year of Chemistry 2011: ‘Chemistry–our life, our future’

Friends, Chemistry enthusiasts and all men and women; let’s celebrate 2011 as ‘Chemistry Year’!
The International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) will commemorate the achievements of chemistry, and its contributions to humankind. This recognition for chemistry was made official by the United Nations in December 2008. Events for the year are being coordinated by IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
The theme of IYC2011 is "Chemistry–our life, our future," and it will focus on the “achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind.” It aims to raise awareness of chemistry among the general public and to attract young people into the field, as well as to highlight the role of chemistry in solving global problems. IYC2011 events are being organized by national chemical societies, such as the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Brazilian Chemical Society, the Society of Chemical Industry and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and by regional chemical federations, such as the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences and the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry.
The UN resolution calling for the International Year of Chemistry in 2011 was submitted by Ethiopia and co-sponsored by 23 nations. A case was made that chemistry makes a vital contribution towards achieving the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-2014.

World's largest passenger ship, Allure of the Seas!!!

MS Allure of the Seas, this is none other than the world's  largest passenger ship ever constructed!
Allure of the Seas is actually two inches longer than her sister ship, MS Oasis of the Seas.
The construction of this 'Queen of the ships' was officially began at STX Europe in Turku, Finland,
in February of 2008. She was named in May of 2008 after a contest was held to name her and her sister.
Allure of the Seas is 1,188 feet (362 m) long, has a tonnage of 225,000 gross tons, and
carries around 5,600 people. The ship features telescoping funnels, a two-deck dance hall,
a theatre with 1,380 seats, and an ice skating rink.
She left the Turku shipyard on 29 October 2010. Her home port is Port Everglades in Florida. These ships are owned by Royal Caribbean International.
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian / American cruise line brand
based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service
under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world
cruise market.