Weekly Digest #5
Updated: Oct 17, 2020
THE PAPERLESS PRESS
August- 8th 2020
The Weekly Digest.
-The Indian Army:Women finally get a permanent commission-Pages 1&2
-Cover Story-Online School, The Impact on teachers-Pages 2,3&4
-Happiness quotient from around the world-Pages 4&5
-Pandemic Passions!- Pages 5&6
-The Weekly Changemaker Show:With The Paperless Press-Pages 6&7
-Did you know?- Page 7
-Photo Mania-Page 8
-From The Literary World-Page 9
-Our other endeavours-Page 10
-The Weekly Deep Dive-Page 10
-The Cooking Corner:With Vanya Bhandari-Pages 10&11
The Indian Army: Women finally get a Permanent Commission
By: Agastya Rao
The Indian Army is the pride of the nation. It is one of the most powerful armies on this planet. They protect India from threats on external fronts and are also the first to step up and take charge in case of internal threats like natural disasters and unrest. However, amidst all the strength and camaraderie, one issue that has cropped up over the years is the absence of women from the combat wings. Women have been part of the Armed Forces’ medical corps, engineering, education, legal and other select corps, but apart from the Medical Corps, women did not have a permanent commission in the Indian Army. This meant that women could serve in the army for 4-5 years! Whereas men could get a permanent commission. In the rest of the world, there are countries that have allowed women in all wings of their defence forces, including the USA, Israel, Norway, Canada etc.
Clearly it was time for our country to catch up too, but why did it take this long for this change to come about? Here is our happy report-
The Supreme Court recently allowed women officers to obtain a permanent commission in the Indian Army. I have to say, this should have come a long time ago. 73 years after becoming an independent nation, women have finally been allowed to get a permanent commission. (Note - the case before the Supreme Court was only about permanent commission and command roles for women in the army’s non-combat wings).
Women have been serving in the Indian Army for years, but only as SSC (Short Service Commission) officers, except for the Army Medical Corps where women have risen up to the ranks of Lieutenant Generals!
The Supreme Court Of India said that the center did not allow women in the Army because of Gender Stereotypes. The Constitution says that every citizen of India is equal, it does NOT depend on Caste,Creed Gender etc. Until everyone in India is treated equally we have no right to even call ourselves a developing country.
However, even though the verdict brings gender equality slightly closer, women are still not allowed in combat positions in the armed forces. Whereas, in the Police there are about 1.85 Lakh women policemen, and roughly 29,000 in the paramilitary forces too.
This is a good step in the right direction. The fact that it took 73 years for this to happen proves how many more miles we have to go towards ensuring equality. This has really got me thinking. Can we really call ourselves ‘developing’ until we overcome all these hurdles?
Online Teaching - The Impact on Teachers
Celebrating a month of The Paperless Press, we are doing almost a full circle to our first ever cover story!
By: Abhimnanyu Rao
In way back when, in The Weekly Digest#1, we talked about the hardships of online school on students, and while that article still holds true, this is not what I am talking about today. Students of the world, when you are feeling tired, and when your eyes feel like they are going to fly out of your head, when your head feels what you assume is combustion, do you remember that there is someone on the other side of the screen? There is the one constant, someone who has been through as much trouble as you, someone who had to unlearn everything he/she knew on how to teach you and figure out how to put it all on a screen. If you think I am talking about teachers , then…(cue drumroll) you were right!!!
Our teachers are heroes right now, in a time where we were all more confused than we have ever been, and Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne (I know, Different universes and all… ) are stuck in home quarantine, our teachers pulled through, and also pulled us through with them. All of us students were confused about our future, but we must not forget that teachers were too. Our teachers were suddenly told that they had to start school online, and they had to learn years’ worth of online teaching methods in a super short timeframe; and figure out how to use a plethora of resources, in just a few days. They were faced with an impossible task -having information thrown at them, trying to practice making ‘Padlets’, creating a ‘Nearpod account’ exploring the functions of ‘Zoom’ and ‘MS Teams’, and a plethora of other tasks.
We all forget that Teachers are not only teachers, they are someone’s children, maybe someone’s parents, someone’s sibling, someone who has to look after their own house, and they also have a life of their own! Teachers have to do all of this, and that too, in uncharted waters. They are walking blindfolded over hills and valleys, climbing mountains no one could ever see the peaks of before, they are teaching us ONLINE. No one has ever done anything like this before, but unlike us, they have to do more than just learn. They are learning how to do this, teaching us our school syllabus, destroying their eyes by being on video calls the whole day, and then checking assignments that are again as pdfs on a screen. We are all in the same boat here, and we all need to understand that.
No human being on Earth understands how this works, and everyone faces the same issues. Teachers also depend on WiFi to have their classes, teachers also have connectivity issues, teachers also have headaches, teachers also have to do work, teachers are also trying to figure out how to go about this, teachers also feel unsure about what is happening, teachers also get unnerved by this pandemic, and teachers are also afraid of what the world may look like after this blows over. Regardless, teachers put on a brave face for you every day, they smile, even though they have concerns of their own, they become ducks; calm and smooth above the surface, but frantically paddling underneath.
The Paperless Press spoke to two teachers to hear their views. Ms Sumala Misra, Senior Maths teacher at Shiv Nadar School Gurgaon explained to us in detail. In her words, “Teachers were thrown into the online mode of classes overnight even before a proper closure of the session 2019-20. We started the new session without having met our new set of students. Teachers and students both started afresh.... only that both were learning. We adapted our teaching pedagogy soon and our students helped us in the whole process.
We didn’t have the time to train and the transition was abrupt. The change was too rough for us as much as for the students. Added to that were the whole household chores that came on is with the lockdown. But our days became so busy that we hardly got any time to rest. We took classes, we attended to all domestic chores and then we trained ourselves with the new online platforms and apps. We craved to go back to school as in this new mode we have no cut off time. There was no session break and the summer break we got, we used each day of it in attending webinars and training in the effort of honing our skills. The meaning of teaching changed all across the globe and we teachers have to be on our toes to keep ourselves up to date with the changing needs of teaching and learning. In these four months we have come a long way and I believe we are doing pretty good. The credit goes to our students who have grown so responsible overnight and have taken the ownership of their learning. They are considerate towards the teachers and understand the struggles the teachers go through. Their parents have played an important role in this whole transition as they are the ones who ensure the physical logistics and emotional readiness of the children to attend classes. These are testing times for one and all and we all take it in our stride. This too shall pass.” Mrs Richa Bhardwaj, PGT, Delhi Public School Rohini, summed it up very well, by saying, “Online teaching has been the most productive on the job training of teachers. It has forcefully digitised the teaching community .The professional commitment and expertise of teachers has grown both horizontally and vertically. These times have once again taught us that nothing is impossible. Be it assemblies, celebrating special events, webinars, PTMs or even exams - everything is online. As we move ahead, apprehensions regarding how well we can deal with technology is giving way to confidence. The journey has been difficult, but enriching.”
To sum up, teachers are humans too, so remember that they are as affected by this pandemic as you are, and cut them some slack. If you get your Unit Test marks a day late - it’s okay, if you see an error in you notebook correction - it’s not the end of the world; and if the next time you see a teacher, remember to give the brave face some meaning, remember to give the headaches a stronger cure, remember, to say THANK YOU!
HAPPINESS QUOTIENT FROM AROUND THE WORLD
-Women finally get a permanent commission in the Indian Army (For more info, head to page 2 for our article)
-Mumbai traffic lights now have female figures on them, to promote gender equality. No more stick figures of men on traffic lights. Hey, women use the road too, you know - have been doing so since forever; glad it’s being acknowledged.
-American Actors Chris Evans and Mark Kassen and entrepreneur Joe Kiani have started their own political website. This website focuses on being a bridge and a point of connectivity between voters and their representatives. This cool platform provides information, discussions between Representatives of different political parties, and making voters more aware. For more information visit them at-A Starting Point.
-Bridger Walker, the boy who became somewhat of a celebrity after he saved his sister from a dog attack (read more about him is our previous Issue) celebrated the festival of Rakhi. His sister tied him a rakhi this week. Culture has no boundaries!
-Rhino poaching has reduced by 53% since the start of the year. While it is sad that it took a pandemic for this positive result, we are willing to celebrate even the smallest good news.
- A killer whale who was in the news for carrying the lifeless body of her newborn calf for 17 days (and 1000 miles), is pregnant again, as per scientists in Washington State, who got this information from drone images. Fingers crossed for the mama to be.
By: Mihir Rao
Have you ever been asked by someone if you have a hobby, and you replied with the fact that you did not have any time? Well, with Every Bad News, there is always good news! Just like I said, with the pandemic,
Everybody is following their passions. Some people are baking for fun, and some people want to read the book they never had the time to read! Even spending time with your family is like the hobby that you never had the time to do! Even I am following my hobby of playing the piano..
Hobbies may not just be for fun, they may be learning a new language or skill! I’m sure a lot of children (including me) learnt how to do many chores around the house! I also want to say, Hobbies are not just that now. They have become a coping mechanism for us to deal with the hardships in life.. Right now, these ‘Hobbies’ have become the best way to keep yourself HAPPY!
You may not think that you have a ‘hobby’, but hobbies come in all sorts of varieties! For some people, it may be learning a new skill, or baking, but a hobby could even be listening to music and spending time with your family! Some people have started cycling long distances every week - exploring parts of the region they never could before. I have followed my passion and just like me, many other people who I know, like my mom, who loves German, and my dad, who has taken an interest in cooking, and us, the writers of The Paperless Press, followed our passion in the time of corona!
To conclude, hobbies, may have been nothing more than a conversation item, but in these times,
The Humble Hobbies we had, have now become Pandemic Passions!
The Weekly Changemaker Show:With The Paperless Press
The Mihir Vardhan Interview:Part 2
The Paperless Press welcomes you to The Weekly Changemaker Show.Last week we showed you part 1 of our interview with Mr.Mihir Vardhan, whose inventions are helping our nation during the pandemic.He started 3-d printing face shields for doctors. After that he went ahead and made many disinfectant machines for our colony. He also donated them to the Indian Army and The Government Of India. He is going to go to the University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.His videos on YouTube have more than 100,000 views!
Welcome to Part 2-
Q:What is the most fun thing you have built till now?
Ans: I have built a couple of fun things, one of them is the Dog Ball Launcher (see pic below). I am not so great about painting and making things look fancy. This is a launcher I made for my dog, Scotch. It launches tennis balls in the air, and Scotch jumps to pick the ball up, and brings it back to me.
I think that, right now during this pandemic, engineers can come up with a lot of solutions, and being an aspiring engineer myself, I figured there must be something else I could do. So I started researching into 3D printed valves that would allow one ventilator to support two patients. I spoke to a few medical experts and they said they didn’t need it then. So I thought of other options. I had a skill set that I wanted to use, and that’s when I stumbled upon Ultraviolet light (UVC). UVC had been used for decades before this, in hospitals and ROs. I was curious to know if it could be used against Covid 19. I looked at research papers and that’s where the Terminator came up (more details in last week’s edition). Right now there’s a lot of confusion among UVa, UVB and UVC- UVA and B are what we get naturally from the sun, but those don’t have germicidal properties. There’s actually a lot of ways science can be applied, and honestly it isn’t a boring subject at all, if you give it a chance and pay attention.
Q10- How are you dealing with the lockdown, has the uncertainty about visas and rules for college students making things?
Ans - Every 12th grader really looks forward to the five months between school and the start of college, because those are months when they are completely free. We had plans to go to Goa and of course, that didn’t happen. But I always wanted to build stuff- whether it was a comical robot or a ball launcher for my dog, or terminators for colonies - that’s what I enjoy doing and that’s what I have managed to do. So, from that point of view, i am very lucky that I am having a great time. I sleep at 3 am, wake up at 10 am; and just build in the rest of the time. But this bliss is coming to an end, as my college is about to start. It definitely hurts that I can’t be in the US for the start of my college. Visa offices are not open, there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen, but honestly I can’t complain because everyone is trying their best.
Q12- Lastly, we know our readers want to know this- Tell us more about your dog -Scotch.
Ans. Scotch is an English cream retriever. When he came to us as a puppy, he was a bit frightened but he soon learnt the ways of the house. When he was little, we had created a little barricade to keep him safe; so he would sit on my bed and watch me build things. I had heard that dogs have sensitive ears and don’t like the sound of hammering etc, but he would just sit and watch amid all the noise. Our didi recently had a baby and because of the lockdown, they have been living with us. It’s really cute how protective Scotch is about the baby. He has changed our lives for the better and I am glad I am part of the World Spa doggie community. You guys are very lucky to have two dogs - Cookie and Leo.
Thank You for your time, we hope you keep inventing and we hope that Scotch continues with his antics.
Did You Know?
By Abhimanyu Rao
There has recently been an outbreak of Salmonella in The United States and Canada. Guess what the culprit is! Onions. Hard to believe, but true. So clearly, onions make people cry in more ways than one. We hope everyone affected by the illness recovers soon.
“Coffee: the world's biggest ‘brewt’ ”
Photo Credit- Agastya Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
A.Amazon Prime Video:
The Bourne Identity-13+
Marvel’s Agent Carter
C. Apple Tv+
Lost in Space
From The Literary World:
Looking for Books? See how we rank this week’s top book-
By Agastya and Abhimanyu Rao
Born To Run by Michael Morpurgo:
We humans aren't always the kindest of beings on the planet - the number of abandoned dogs one sees is heartbreaking. This book looks at the traumatised life of a greyhound, who was named ‘Best Mate’, then ‘Brighteyes’, and finally,’ Paddywack’, by different owners. He was rescued by Patrick from drowning in a canal, then was kidnapped and sold to a dog racer, for whose step daughter Becky, it's love at first sight! When she realises the fate of all dogs when they can't race anymore, she runs away with Brighteyes. After some ups and downs, Brighteyes is found by an old widower named Joe, whom he loyally accompanies to a week-long campaign to prevent the demolition of an old age home. He quickly becomes the mascot of the protest, and finally gets to live the happy life he deserved. (U/A- Some sad scenes, animal cruelty,kidnapping,some alcholism)11+
Visit these pages to see some of our other endeavours!
Visit A Dogs Daily Antics to laugh your heart out with crazy captioned dog photos!
Visit TheChinappaChannel to see some quirky but nice videos that will make you roll with laughter
The Weekly Deep Dive-
By Agastya Rao
-The Stone Laying Ceremony of the (Controversial) construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya began.
-A new virus has hit China- the Tick Borne virus. With another virus on their hands, and the Bubonic Plague turning up in Mongolia, 2020 might just be the most historic year yet. This has to be a wake-up call for the government. Let's hope for the best!
The Cooking Corner-
By Vaanya Bhandari, 13
Want to travel to France from the comfort of your home? Why not try our Basic Crepes recipe, it's easy,fun to make and mouth wateringly delicious!
1 Cup flour
½ Cup Water
¼ Tsp Salt
2 TBSP Melted Butter
(Makes 6-8 crepes)
Step-1.Whisk the flour and the eggs together.
Step-2.Gradually add in the Milk and Water
Step-3.Stir to combine it.
Step-4.Add the Salt,Butter and beat it until it is smooth
Step-5.Pour the batter in large scoops onto a frying pan.
Step-6.Enjoy with our suggested toppings-
Fruits- Blueberries,Strawberries and Bananas,or any others
Any homemade or store-bought jam, preserve, conserve, or marmalade
Anything else you think you want to have with it.
Before You go-
Please tell us what else you would like us to write about.
A Note To Our Readers:
We thank our readers for helping us in our endeavours. Our mission is to spread awareness of what is going on around the world from a child’s perspective. Our aim is to bring happiness and hope to people when they have none, the lockdown has broken us, torn us apart and has exacted a mental and physical toll on us. We hope that you stay safe and sound in these uncertain times. We welcome as much feedback as you can give to help improve our articles. We hope you enjoyed this issue! Keep smiling and please spread the word.
We are working hard to move to a new hosting site, which should be up and running in the next couple of weeks.
-Team Paperless Press
We hope this issue brightened up your day!
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