Sunday, 16 February 2020

Blockchain Technology-New Technology in IT Field


In December 2018, a child named Divit was given a birth registration certificate prepared using blockchain by the New Town Calcutta Development Authority in West Bengal. The data of the certificate prepared in this manner cannot be altered improperly. One significant example of this is the application of blockchain for citizens in India. States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana have also started using blockchain for health, land and birth registration, online purchases by the government and so on. The common question is how is the internal structure of the blockchain? What are its main components?
           
A blockchain is a list of ordered and linked blocks. Each block has two parts - the header of the block and the body of it in which multiple transactions are written.

Transactions by users are recorded in the block as a transaction. The data contained in each block, such as the heading and the set of transactions, are calculated using the SHA256 cryptographic 'hash' algorithm, which is a complex mathematical process. As the key is needed to open the closet or box, the block needs a hash to read. The hash is made up of 32 bytes. In the header of each block is noted the hash of the block next to it, the own hash of the block, at which time this block was written or modified. The next block is called the parent block. Each block has only one and only parent block. The link here is similar to the 'next block hash' link or link to attach the newly created block to the next block, so that the newly created block is joined using a link to the next block. Thus, multiple blocks are linked together using a link to form a chain.

            The first block is called the Genesis block, and then the next block links to the block exactly ahead of it. As shown in the figure above, the last block of the blockchain, the most recent block, can be moved backwards to the first block - the Genesis block. This way the information contained in all the blocks can be read. Blockchain can be saved as a simple file or data base.

            Any minor changes to the part data of a previously written block are immediately recalculated using the hash SHA256 cryptographic 'hash' algorithm of that block. Suppose that the data in block # 1 was slightly modified. So the hash of that block will change. This changed hash must be modified as a 'block next to the hash of the block' in the block next to block # 2 and this will change the hash of block # 2 itself. Now the 'hash of the next block' field in block # 3 must be recalculated and reformed. Thus, all the next blocks, starting from block # 1 to the end, will have to be modified, which will have to do a huge amount of computational calculations. This will require a powerful computer as well as electricity to operate it. Here, it becomes clear that if a blockchain has multiple blocks and any part of the initial block has to be modified, that task becomes very difficult.

            The concept of blockchain is comparable to geology. As the top two to four inches of the surface of the soil changes gradually depending on the changing season, the soil geography does not change or remain stable for centuries, just like in the blockchain, there is an improvement due to the recent rotation of a few recently written blocks. According to one conclusion, the top six blocks in the blockchain are seen to be changing, but the blocks below hundred or thousand or so remain as stable as the lower levels of geocache.

            For example, we take hospitalized patients and their transactions with various agencies. The patient has to make transactions with doctors, laboratory, drugstore, hospital, blood bank, insurance company, etc. If the hospital is operated on a hospitalized patient, the hospital will have all the records, but it should also be reported to the insurance company. If a patient is examined for his blood in a blood bank, the report should be reported to the doctor, hospital, insurance company, etc. Thus, if all the relevant units were to be transparently reported on the various medical treatments being performed on the patient, the medical history recorded by the treating doctors, hospital operations, the medicines provided by the drugstore or the expenses incurred to the patient would have to be done under the contract. Payments as well as all records related to them can be recorded in the ledger of the blockchain Hey. You can keep a copy of every ledger here.

            The main thing here is that when the operation is done by the hospital, it will have a note in the hospital ledger, but unless all the relevant units of the doctor, blood bank, insurance company, drugstore etc are officially authenticating the transaction regarding the operation, the ledger is near all the units. The copy will not have a note on it. If all unit ledgers have to record patient operation records, consent should be given to all units. All units or users of the blockchain have the protocol to consent to the transaction by which the transactions in the blockchain are officially authenticated. This is because of the transparent information that users associate with that method. Because of this, there is no place for transparent information that can be accessed by users connected to that system, as well as for any obscure or incorrect information.

            As mentioned in previous articles, computers that are part of the blockchain, transacting and keeping a copy of a shared ledger are called nodes, and there are three main types:

1. Full node: which implements all blockchain rules in a rigorous manner, which implements a smart contract on transactions made by users. Full node has a copy of the entire blockchain database, ie ledger. The hospital, blood bank, drugstore, insurance company, doctor, etc. mentioned in the above example can be viewed as a full node.
2. Light Node: It receives transaction details from the full node and stores the transaction to a certain extent.
3. Minor Node: is a full node and processes the process of officially attaching the blockchain to the blockchain as it is filled with transactions.
The blockchain is divided into four types based on its usage:
1. Public Blockchain: Anyone in the world can read the data written in the blockchain, send the transaction, and, if agreed, the transaction can be approved. Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. are an example of a public blockchain.
2. Private Blockchain: A blockchain typically created for a single company or group in which only a predetermined user can send or share information or transactions.
3. Permitted Blockchain: Here only some users and groups are allowed to authorize transactions as part of the blockchain. The main purpose here is to provide additional security. An example is a cryptocurrency called Ripple.
4. Consortium Blockchain: Although it is a private blockchain, it is here that more than one company, rather than just one company, is formed for its own group. All members or nodes here have the node allowed to authorize the transaction, while all other members of the group can read it.

Recently, Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Government of India, has said that a document is created to provide the necessary infrastructure at the national level in view of the various appropriations of blockchain and its capacity. Research on the 'Distributed Center of Excellence in Blockchain Technology' project along with organizations such as C-DAC, IDRBT, etc., is working on an experimental basis, which is funded by the Ministry. As part of this project, property registration has already been done on the basis of blockchain in Shamshabad district of Telangana state. The Center will set up a blockchain framework to test various digital assets or documents such as certificates issued by universities, sales documents prepared by companies or companies, registration of vehicles or hotels, etc. Such a framework will be an important guide for software companies to use blockchain in various applications.


                                                                                    Dr. Sheshang D. Degadwala
                                                                                    Head of Computer Engineering Department
                                                                                    Sigma Institute of Engineering

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Employee Perspective: Is Customer really “The King”?





“At the very outset, let me start off by acknowledging that we were at fault and we not only apologize for the regrettable incident, we have also taken action,” IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh wrote.
About the incident
  • The incident on the Delhi airport tarmac took place on October 15 and it started with ground personnel – Juby Thomas asking passenger Rajiv Katiyal not to abuse.
  • The passenger continues to walk towards the shuttle bus and a voice can be heard asking the ground personnel to stop him.
  • After this, Thomas can be seen pulling him out of the coach. Second ground personnel Sahiv Sharma indicates to the bus driver to depart to the airport terminal.
  • A scuffle suddenly breaks out between Thomas and Katiyal.
  • The video which went viral doesn’t show who made the first move.
  • Sharma tries to restrain the passenger by putting his arms around Katiyal’s chest.
  • Katiyal later breaks free from his grip and attack Thomas and grab him around his neck. In the ensuing fight he falls onto the ground and Thomas is seen with his hand on the passenger’s collar bone.
I’m sure, our memory can recollect this infamous IndiGo incident (whose video went viral) of barbaric customer handling few months back. Recently, in one of my marketing lecture, I was explaining concepts of “Customer Relationship”“Customer satisfaction” & “Customer Delight” sighting this incident. These phrases along with – “Customer is King” & “Customer is always right” are widely used terms in business world.
These philosophies are on top list in induction training programs for all the new joinees. Even mid to senior level managers in sales and other business functions chant it frequently”. Still, such incidents often come in media. So a question struck my mind – Are these metaphors (invented seven decades earlier) still powerful & relevant enough in enriching relationship between employee and customer and achieving organizational goals?
Customer (noun) is one of those few words, that has become part of our daily lexicon & we use it as a symbol of superiority in the marketplace. The origin of the word customer is the Latin – “consuetudinem”, coming from one’s habit or custom – or, someone’s customary practice do something repeatedly.
As per psychology, each word generates uniquely strong emotion in human mind. Generalization of words like customer in place of “people” has resulted in low EQ (Emotional Quotient) & high MQ (Materialistic Quotient).
I remember a scene from Munnabhai MBBS movie where professor addresses a half dead patient as subject several times in his lecture. Annoyed by this tag, Munnabhai shouts – “Kya subject subject laga rakha hai, doesn’t he has a name? You see in the climax, the patient is miraculously cured just because of love and care shown by Munnabhai.
Even greats like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs address their customers as people…..
Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted they would have asked for a faster horse.”
King (adj.) symbolizes superiority, authority and power to make or break things. In a nutshell, “Customer is King” epitomize customers as someone whose birth right is to exert control and influence the market by making any demands they want, rejecting anything not liked. It still holds true from strategic & marketing perspective as customer has become more fickle minded, provided they have lot of options available suiting their needs.
Steve jobs once told Business Week: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
But do you think “Customer is King” metaphor still valid from employee perspective? Following are my observations arguing, it has run out of course now…
  • In reality it’s humans, who play role of customer and employee simultaneously. Human behavior has gone through sea change over past decades, thanks to technology and associated social revolution.
  • As a developing economy, India’s 65% (approx.) of population is young (15-59 years). Most of urban young population has basic financial stability and this has made them – independent with high self esteem & risk taking ability, full of aspirations.
  • Highly pressurized work environment & rat race for survival has altered employees’ behavior considerably. They’re now more pruned to short temper, aggressiveness and so on…
  • The paradox is that working for a King also reflects - slavery, tyranny, apathy, arrogance and inferiority in mind of employees. It generates fear which compels them to accept customer as king. (Relationship blossoms with genuine feeling of love and care and not under coercive atmosphere)
For an employee, a lot is at stake when he deals with the king. He always carries a feeling of uncertainty that a customer (whom he calls king) is the one deciding his fate. This results in state of mental choking. It creates a dangerous state where an employee working for 10-12 hrs a day feels strangled for freedom and fresh air.
This state was visible in IndiGo incident where a communication brawl turned into a physical assault. The incident has been and must be condemned. But in the end, it was a reaction from 3 individuals who were in different mental states. However, this philosophy has turned more heat on employee than on customer. We must acknowledge that at ground level, a human is interacting with human. A human which has countless emotional states any moment based on his inner and external stimuli. We need more humane philosophy to enhance satisfaction and strengthen relationship with existing and prospective customers.


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Disabilities



The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes the following definition of disabilities:
“Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives”.
Who has never seen someone who is not able to see, to speak, to hear, to walk etc; someone with an impairment? Some were born with while others acquired later in life. The disability may be permanent or temporary.
There are many different kinds of disability and a wide variety of situations people experience. Here, we give an overview of the common ones.

1.    Vision impairment
Vision impairment refers to people who are blind or who have partial vision.
When talking with a person who is blind or has a vision impairment:
·    Always identify yourself and any others with you;
·    Ask if the person requires assistance, and listen for specific instructions, however; be prepared for your offer to be refused;
·    If guiding a blind person, let him/her take your arm, rather than taking his. Describe any changes in the environment such as steps, obstacles;
·    If the person has a guide dog, please remember the dog is working and should not be patted, fed or distracted.

2.    People who are deaf or hard of hearing
Hearing impairments can range from mild to profound. People who are hard of hearing may use a range of strategies and equipment including speech, lip-reading, writing notes, hearing aids or sign language interpreters.
When talking to a person who is deaf or hard of hearing:
·    Look and speak directly to him/her, not just to the people accompanying him/her, including interpreters;
·    Speak clearly and use a normal tone of voice;
·    If you don't understand what a person is saying, ask him/her to repeat or rephrase, or alternatively offer him/her a pen and paper.

3.    People with mental health conditions
Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that affect the mind or brain. These illnesses, which include bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and personality disorders, affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.
A person with a mental health condition may experience difficulty concentrating, which can sometimes be a result of medication.
When living with a person who suffers from mental illness:
·    Try to avoid overly stressful situations wherever possible so that his/her condition is not exacerbated.
·    Provide clear and thorough explanations and instructions, in writing if required.
·    Ask the person how they would like to receive information.

4.    People with intellectual disability
A person with an intellectual disability may have significant limitations in the skills needed to live and work in the community, including difficulties with communication, self-care, social skills, safety and self-direction. The most important thing to remember is to treat each person as an individual. A person with an intellectual disability is just like everyone else.
When living with a person who suffers from an intellectual disability:
·    Treat him/her as you would like to be treated;
·    Be considerate of the extra time it might take for a person with an intellectual disability to do or say something;
·    Be patient and give your undivided attention, especially with someone who speaks slowly or with great effort;
·    Allow more time and greater flexibility for training.

5.    People with acquired brain injury (ABI)
Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to any type of brain damage that occurs after birth. The injury may occur because of infection, disease, lack of oxygen or a trauma to the head. The long-term effects are different for each person and can range from mild to profound.
It is common for many people with ABI to experience:
·    Increased fatigue (mental and physical);
·    Some slowing down in the speed with which they process information, plan and solve problems;
·    Changes to their behaviour and personality, physical and sensory abilities, or thinking and learning;
·    May also have difficulty in areas such as memory, concentration and communication;
·    A person with an Acquired Brain Injury does not have an intellectual disability and does not have a mental illness.
When living with people with ABI:
·    Provide clear and thorough explanations and instructions;
·    Minimise stress to maximise concentration and performance;
·    Give verbal and written instructions or try giving examples to illustrate ideas and summarise ideas;
·    Allow more time and greater flexibility for training.

6.    People with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is an umbrella description which includes Autistic disorder, Asperger's syndrome and atypical autism. Autism affects the way information is taken in and stored in the brain. People with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and other activities. Many people with an autism spectrum disorder also have sensory sensitivities, i.e. over or under sensitivity to sight, touch, taste, smell, sound, temperature or pain.

7.    People with physical disability
The common characteristic in physical disability is that some aspect of a person's physical functioning, usually either their mobility, dexterity, or stamina, is affected. People with physical disability are usually experts in their own needs and will understand the impact of their disability.
When living with people with physical disability:
·    Always ask before offering assistance;
·    Be at the same level when talking with the person;
·    Never assume that a person with physical disability also has intellectual disability;
·    Ask permission before touching a person's wheelchair or mobility aid.

By Mr. Kamagate Yaya, Intern. Marketing in Sigma Group of Institutes - Vadodara.
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Monday, 2 December 2019

Pollution


Pollution
Pollution is a degradation of the environment by the introduction into the air, water or soil of materials that are not naturally present in the environment. It causes a disruption of the ecosystem, the consequences of which may include the migration or extinction of certain species unable to adapt to change. Often due directly or indirectly to human activity, pollution can however result from natural phenomena such as a volcanic or solar eruption.


1.    Types of pollution
Air pollution
There are two types of air pollutants, primary and secondary. Primary pollutants are emitted directly from their source, while secondary pollutants are formed when primary pollutants react in the atmosphere.
Water pollution
Nutrient pollution is caused by wastewater, sewage, and fertilizers. The high levels of nutrients in these sources end up in bodies of water and promote algae and weed growth, which can make the water undrinkable and depleted oxygen causing aquatic organisms to die.
Land and Soil pollution
Land pollution is the destruction of land as a result of human’s activities and the misuse of land resources, while Soil is polluted through leaking underground septic tanks, sewage systems, the leaching of harmful substances from landfill, and direct discharge of waste water by industrial plants into rivers and oceans.
Pollution by type or pollutants
We can list industrial, radioactive, electromagnetic, thermal, light, spatial pollution, noise etc. Noise and light pollution will be discussed.

2.    Causes of pollution
Air pollution
·    The burning of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity produces both primary and secondary pollutants and is one of the biggest sources of air pollution;
·    The fumes from car exhausts contain dangerous gases and particulates including hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide. These gases rise into the atmosphere and react with other atmospheric gases creating even more toxic gases;
·    According to The Earth Institute, the heavy use of fertilizer for agriculture is a major contributor of fine-particulate air pollution. Ammonia is the primary air pollutant that comes from agricultural activities. Other agricultural air pollutants include pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. All of which also contribute to water pollution.
Water pollution
·    Industrial waste is one of the main causes of water pollution, by creating primary and secondary pollutants including sulphur, lead and mercury, nitrates and phosphates, and oil spills;
·    In developing countries around 70% of their solid waste is dumped directly into the ocean or sea. This causes serious problems including the harming and killing of sea creatures, which ultimately affects humans.
Land and Soil pollution
·    Rain and flooding can bring pollutants from other already polluted lands to soil at other locations;
·    Over-farming and over-grazing by agricultural activities causes the soil to lose its nutrient value and structure causing soil degradation, another type of soil pollution;
·    Landfills can leach harmful substances into the soil and water ways and create very bad smells, and breeding grounds for rodents that transmit diseases.
Pollution by type or pollutants
·    Noise pollution is caused by household sources, social events, commercial and industrial activities, and transportation, while light pollution is caused by the prolonged and excessive use of artificial lights at night that can cause health problems in humans and disrupt natural cycles, including wildlife activities;
·    Sources of light pollution include electronic billboards, night sports grounds, street and car lights, city parks, public places, airports, and residential areas.

3.     Effects
Air pollution
·    High levels of air pollution can cause an increased risk of heart attack, wheezing, coughing, and breathing problems, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. It can also cause worsening of existing heart problems, asthma, and other lung complications;
·    Like humans, animals can suffer from a number of health problems due to air pollution, including birth defects, reproductive failure, and diseases;
·    Air pollution causes a number of environmental effects such as climate change in addition to the effects on humans and animals.
Water pollution
·    By far the biggest consequence of water pollution is the death of aquatic creatures, which can disrupt the entire food chain;
·    Nutrient pollution can cause toxic algal blooms in drinking water sources that create toxins that kill fish and other aquatic animals. Direct exposure to this toxic alga causes serious health problems in humans including neurological effects, respiratory problems, stomach and liver illness, and rashes;
·    Bodies of water that are near urbanized areas tend to be heavily polluted by dumbing of garbage and chemicals, both legally and illegally, by industrial plants, health centers, and individuals;
·    Nitrates, caused by fertilizers, also contaminate drinking water and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, babies who consume water that is high in nitrates can become seriously ill with blue-baby syndrome, which causes shortness of breath and blue-tinted skin, and can lead to death if not treated early.
Land and Soil pollution
·    Contaminated land and soil can cause various problems on the skin, respiratory problems, and even different kinds of cancers;
·    Deforestation is the biggest concern when it comes to land degradation and soil erosion. Clear cutting of vegetation and tree cover creates harsh conditions that destroy ecosystems and habitats. Deforestation also creates an imbalance in atmospheric conditions, reducing the amount of carbon that is naturally taken out of the atmosphere. This is a serious problem considering that most pollution created by people is carbon based.
Pollution by type or pollutants
·    Noise pollution can cause stress, anxiety, headaches, irritability, hearing loss, and sleep loss resulting in decreased productivity;
·    Too much light causes eye strain and stress, harming our eyes and decreasing our quality of life. Light pollution also causes a decrease in the hormone melatonin that helps us to fall asleep, resulting in restlessness and fatigue;
·    Many mammals, insects, birds, and reptiles are photoperiodic meaning their movement, mating, growth and development, and eating cycles are regulated by natural light patterns. Light pollution can interfere with these natural behaviours and cycles, causing a decrease in wildlife populations.
Conclusion
Pollution needs to be dramatically reduced because it is destroying the environment we live in, contaminating our food and water, causing diseases and cancers in humans and wildlife, and destroying the air we breathe and the atmosphere that protects us from harmful ultra-violet radiation.
Protecting the environment is a long and daunting task, requiring continuous planning, governmental policies, and public and industrial participation. However the result of ignoring the problem will be catastrophic and life as we know it will begin to end.
By decreasing waste, implementing recycling policies, banning dangerous agricultural chemicals, and developing safe renewable energy we can significantly reduce the amount of pollution going into the environment annually and increase our quality of living.
It is the responsibility of every living person to protect the environment. Everyone is entitled to clean air to breathe, water to drink, and public lands to enjoy.
By Mr. Kamagate Yaya, Intern. Marketing in Sigma Group of Institutes - Vadodara.
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