Friday, January 30, 2009

Nano laptop’ set to take computing to rural India

DAY BEFORE yesterday, I was at Purulia in West Bengal and met Sakina Khatun, Ruksana Khatun and Tyab. These children were trying out their little fingers on a laptop. Though it was not theirs but belonged to the assistant labour commissioner of the district, who was happy to share his laptop with these kids. These children are part of child activist programme being run by district labour department, district administration and Zila Parishad, which is providing an opportunity to voices of children who were once child labour but are now back in school. But in the coming days things may change, may be they have a laptop of their own.

This has been made possible by National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. It is set to unveil on Feburary 3, a ’nano laptop’, which will cost only Rs 500. A boon for many in India and will help in taking the power of computing to interiors of the country. This has been made possible due to efforts of students of Indian Institute of Technology, scientists in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT-Madras and Semiconductor Complex, a Public Sector Undertaking. Though it may take some time till the dreams of the little kids may get realised but nevertheless, it is a great hope in coming days.

The National Mission on Education through ICT has been envisaged as a centrally-sponsored Scheme to leverage the potential of ICT, in providing high quality personalised and interactive knowledge modules over the Internet/intranet for all the learners in Higher Education Institutions in anytime, anywhere mode. The mission plans to extend computer infrastructure and connectivity to over 18,000 colleges in the country and growing appropriate e-learning procedures, providing facility of performing experiments through virtual laboratories, online testing and certification, online availability of teachers to guide and mentor students
Contributed by Anil Gulati

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Photoblogging getting trendier

- Anil
If you feel you have a ‘photo-bug’ in you, photo-blogging on the internet could be your way to show the world what you are. It is about sharing and publishing photographs on specific themes on the blogs. It is expressing oneself through photographs..

BUT IT does not mean that it is without text. Text accompanies photographs but is all about the photograph or supports the photograph. It is the photograph which is essentially conveying the message; be it nature, pets, flowers, birds, travel, city or street food. If you feel about something passionately, photo blog is your way of sharing that feeling. Thanks to digicams and mobo phones, photo blogging is getting trendier. There are many ways one can photo blog.

One can have one’s own domain weblog; alternatively, one can create a free photo blog on sites like or Now with many social websites offering numerous options one has immense potential for photo sharing. Sites like flickr, merinews, fotothing and fotolog come to one’s mind. Uploading is easier and faster but one has to upload in a size recommended by the site. There are some theme-based sites like which are devoted to nature. On many of these sites, one can contribute only one picture a day, but they attract visitors with similar interests who comment on your creativity. With an individual blog, how much and how frequently you want to load and control the layout and display is for you to decide. You can load the photograph in its original size too but you will need a broadband connection. If one has an individual domain one needs to make it popular and push it on search engines so as to attract traffic to it.

With packages like piccassa and many others available on the net, you can easily work on your photographs, make them look better. With options provided by blogging and social sites it is getting simpler and popular. One other reason why it is getting trendier is that it has the power to showcase your talent or just share your feelings on the net not only with your friends but also many others you do not even know about. Some caution and ethics are needed for photoblogging. So you have to take the consent of the subject of the photograph, if you are taking his or her photographs and using them. Sites like, and help you share your photoblogs with others and make them popular. As it happens, no rule applies to blogging; probably its success owes it to this major factor. So it is not that photo blogs will use only photographs; any blog or any entry may use photographs but to be listed on various photoblog sites and marketed as photoblog, one needs to use photographs as the central theme.