Brighter side: The authorities have set up six separate grids covering five to six houses, which will provide electricity for 12 hours
Villagers celebrate after electricity makes way in to their homes
It has taken 68 years for the people of remote Lankarchey Brok village in the cold desert of Kargil to see the electric bulbs glowing.Thanks to the solar energy, the village located at the altitude of 14,500 feet has been electrified for the first time post independence. The villagers had been using oil lamps, candles and solar lanterns to light up their houses in the last seven decades.Sponsored by a private company and coordinated by Kargil Renewable Energy Development Authority (KREDA), the village has been virtually off limit from the mainland due to its geography and terrain.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a population of over 150 people, the Lankarchey Brok village houses around 28 households who have been living in abject poverty.”It is a small village which had no lights since independence. It is for the first time that all the 28 households will be lit-up by the solar energy. They have been using lanterns and solar lanterns for few hours. Now they would get the electricity for 12 hours at least”, Kacho Hassan Khan, district development commissioner, Kargil, told dna.Under this initiative, the authorities have set up six separate grids covering five to six houses each for uninterrupted power supply. “Each grid has two batteries which provide power supply five to six houses. It is an initiative of a private company and government’s KREDA has also rendered its help to them”, said Khan.What has brought cheers to the villagers was the lighting up of the streets in this remote hamlet. “We have installed street lights to light up this village in Sanko block. We hope that the kids of the villagers will be able to study since their houses are now electrified”, said the district collector.After achieving the incredible feat, Jammu and Kashmir government has set another goal of laying cables for regular power supply in this remote hamlet.”The village is located on a very high altitude and power supply could not reach there. Now we hope to lay the cables in next few years and bring the village on the electricity map of the state,” said KhanJ&K government is also starting work on the prestigious five megawatt solar power plant from next year in the Kargil district. “We have identified the land for the project. We hope to start work on it from next year,” said Khan.
The controversy over the rewriting of history textbooks notwithstanding, former President A P J Abdul Kalam says fair research is needed in this regard and any such rework attempt should not be made by “people running the show” but by people of academic excellence.
The controversy over the rewriting of history textbooks notwithstanding, former President A P J Abdul Kalam says fair research is needed in this regard and any such rework attempt should not be made by “people running the show” but by people of academic excellence.He is also of the view that value-based education and proper parenting can help in curbing crime by juveniles.”History books were mostly written by the rulers who ruled this country. So one must do research, fair research, and find what had historically happened,” said Kalam. “Books must be well researched and properly written. They should not be written by people who are running the show but by people of academic excellence,” said the 83-year-old, who was India’s 11th President from 2002-2007, in an interview.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He, however, feels that books related to science and technology need to be updated frequently as new information is “coming everyday”.”Science and technology has made great progress. A few decades ago, no one knew about Internet. But now we have to add that. Now a new type of communication is coming – 95 Ghz W band. So the syllabus has to be updated as technology changes, methodology changes,” said Kalam, who was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1997.He has come up with a new book Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future, co-authored by his close aide Srijan Pal Singh. The book provides several nuggets of his life besides advice for young people on careers in areas like robotics, aeronautics, neurosciences, pathology, paleontology and material sciences.On curbing crime by juveniles, he says value-based primary education, good parenting and knowledge from teachers are very important.Kalam says that the biggest challenge for the scientific community is earthquake prediction. For this, an integrated team of geologists, material scientists, physicists, and remote sensing satellite experts, rock formation experts and oil exploration experts has to be formed.”Research has to be done using multiple parameters. It has to be a combination of geology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and information technology,” he said. “This is a big challenge. But going by the damage caused by earthquakes, research is very much essential. A multi-nation effort is required,” Kalam says. Kalam, who came from a poor background, worked as a newspaper boy to complement his father’s income. He had some great teachers, who he remembers fondly. One of them, Sivasubramania Iyer, he says, gave him an aim in life.”One day, the topic of discussion in our class of 65 was ‘how birds fly’. He (Iyer) went to the blackboard and drew a sketch of a bird with a tail, wings and head and explained how a bird flew.”The same day he took us to the Rameswaram seashore where we saw dozens of seabirds flying. My teacher said, ‘Look how the birds are flapping their wings, now see how they change direction using their wings and tail. What is the locomotive force behind this flight – it is the life energy of the bird’.”The teacher told the students that the same principles make an aircraft fly and within an hour of the lesson, Kalam learnt how birds fly. According to Kalam, that single lecture transformed his life and led him to make a profession out of his passion: rocket engineering and space flight.Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future, published by Penguin Books, is the result of a number of interactions the authors had with students, teachers, professors and other people across India and abroad.