Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Only Constant in Life is Change - Patomi Yepthomi, Assistant Professor, Department of English

APJ Adbul Kalam’s sudden demise on Monday has left the nation shocked and in mourning. An unexpected incident like this makes us reflect on the fact that while life is short, it is also long enough for us to make an impact just like APJ Abdul Kalam did as the Former President of India, a great scientist and a noble and inspiring human being. Everyone undergoes change in their life and they each react differently. It may be the loss of a loved one, a new job, a different place or a new task. While some transition quicker, others have a harder time accepting the changes that they face. In life, we may not always be in control of our circumstances, but we can certainly choose how we react to it. They say that the only constant in life is change, and the sooner we realize it, the better prepared we will be to live our lives to the zenith. Sometimes all we need is a little push out of our comfort zones and the determination to face reality head on.

The Only Constant in Life is Change

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most adaptive to change.”- Charles Darwin.

The fact that change is inevitable in every aspect of life has been a significant factor in the process of human civilization. Whether we accept it or not, we all have to go through periods of change at some point. It is a necessary element of growth and in a way inherent in the laws of nature that changes may take place every now and then. We get so accustomed to things being in one particular way that we feel worried and scared when things change. Our minds create an imaginary zone in which a person feels comfortable, but if we want to broaden our vision and upgrade our life, then it is a must to break this comfort zone and to adjust ourselves with new circumstance and ideas. If we have been complacent with the happenings around us, maybe it is time for a change. For instance, if there is someone seeking job transition, they are probably in a career right now doing the same thing for quite a long time. Though they are very good at these jobs, they have become complacent, and it doesn’t challenge them anymore. They desire to do more and do something differently.

We only want certain things to be different, and in other things we are hesitant to bring the change. No matter how we perceive the need of change, necessary or unnecessary, we cannot prevent it from happening. The society or the environment we live in change, our relationships changes, if not entirely, the circumstances change, our feelings change and nothing is ever exactly the same each moment. Therefore, it is more important to find ways to deal with change, rather than ponder on whether or not it is necessary. The best way to handle change is to be flexible and not resistant. When we begin to realize that change is not something to be feared and avoided, we can learn to let go of the fear of change and the part of us refusing to change and often causing stress. Sometimes, day to day changes can be subtle but, in sum, can make a significant impact depending on how we address or not address them. We should adapt ourselves to the changes around us and be vigilant about changing trends.

Change is the motivating force that helps us realise that we should never become complacent and accept mediocrity. It makes us grow as a person and makes our life interesting. The willingness to get out of the comfort zone and learn continuously as a way of adapting to the changed surroundings makes a key difference between thriving individuals and the less motivated.

There are times when we have no control over what is happening in our lives and our surroundings. Then there are other times when we become the thoughtful leader or the force driving that change and this is when we are prompted to decide on how to come up with a proactive approach to the situation. There is a well known Chinese proverb that says that the wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher. This is where we have to stop being the victim and blaming others. We have to take up the responsibility for our happiness, take control and not put such power into the hands of another person. We should be change-ready individuals and have flexible culture sharing certain traits that allow us to progress and not stay stagnant. We need people who are able to quickly evaluate and shed weaknesses and build strength in new avenues. The negative things we hang onto will not serve any purpose. The more we begin focusing on more positive things, the more we’ll start attracting positive situations.

The most important thing to remember is that we are only humans and at times we will fall to our weakness and take poor decisions. However, we can supplement to that by quoting “life is a learning process” and we need to dust ourselves off and get back on track and take it up from where we let off. Eventually, we will change our habits entirely and no longer feel the urge to make those poor decisions. Successful people aren’t successful because they have managed to rid themselves of all their flaws, weaknesses and poor habits. Rather, they have gotten to know themselves so well that they sense any potential stupid decisions before they make them. They then outsmart themselves and don’t give themselves the chance to make those mistakes.

If we are to live a free and prosperous life, we need to change beyond the usual expectation, and the challenge is to revolutionize attitudes in a race against time. Life would be easy and smooth if we avoid changes, but if we are determined to pursue a more challenging and interesting life, set aside the grievances of the past and do not hesitate to make the necessary changes - the habits, beliefs, cultures, attitudes, social order, etc. that have lost their utility, and have become a barrier to the enhancement of a progressive culture.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Balancing Act with Nature - Heninle Magh, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce

Global warming is one of the most urgent challenges that our planet is facing today. It represents the fundamental threat to all living things on earth. Our actions, many times unconsciously, cause us to contribute towards speeding up global warming. We have to realize that we all share the same earth and its resources with other species that keep the ecosystem balanced; and if this balance is gone, then the life of every single species is threatened. Today’s writer reminds us that we too must play a part in addressing the problem of global warming to help restore the balance of nature.

Balancing Act with Nature

Global warming refers to the increase in the global mean temperature which is due to increase in concentration of ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation. Over 100 years the Earth’s temperature is rising between 0.4 and 0.8 °C, and it can be agreed that the planet is in fact warming up. Many climate scientists are carrying out Global warming research and studying the changes resulting from Global warming that are creating severe environmental problems. Global warming is a burning issue and its effects could be severe if it is not dealt with at the right time. Though Nagaland is not one of the most polluted areas in India but still we can see the effects in the form of widespread landslides and heavy rainfall. According to observations made over the Eastern Himalayas in 1996, there is an increase in rainfall during the monsoon season. Nagaland, being in this part of the Himalayan range is also experiencing the increase in rainfall. Another reason for the increase in temperature in Nagaland is also due to Jhum cultivation. A total of 70% of people still depend on agriculture, and burning down of crops destroys animals and species of that habitat. Some steps can be taken to avoid deforestation and start afforestation; practice the new technique of farming and strict norms must be followed.
We also witness a deep and wide landslide at the KMC dumping area in NH-39 just before reaching Kohima town. The once sinking zone has now become a valley now. This is just one example but still, there are many roads connecting different areas in Nagaland which are still under risk. Most roads in Nagaland are cut across the mountain ranges, without culverts and proper drainages, making the roads carry the entire water flow from above, to accumulate or flow to a concentrated outlet stream, causing flush floods.
Over the years, there is unprecedented and unhealthy rise in the growth of the automobiles, with the expansion and the rapid rise of population especially in towns like Dimapur and Kohima. It has resulted in the mismanagement and food wastages contributing to the already mounting Pollution and Global Warming. The Logging and unorganized felling of trees in and around the town area is also one of the major contributors to the ever rising increase in the Mercury and the rapid increase in the temperature and eventually leading it to Global Warming on a Large Scale.
Here are top ten facts which can help stop global warming in the state:

  1. Replace the regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
    Reason : CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb.
  2. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
Reason: Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  1. Do not leave appliances on standby
    Reason: Use the “on/off” function on the machine itself. A TV set that’s switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.
  2. Move your fridge and freezer
    Reason: Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own
  3. Cover your pots while cooking
    Reason: Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers. They can save around 70%
  4. Take a shower instead of a bath
    Reason: A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximize the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.
  5. Plant a tree
    Reason: A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%.
  6. Eat less meat
    Reason: Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one
    of the greatest methane emitters
  7. Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
    Reason: You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car maintenance.
  8. Protect and conserve forest worldwide
    Reason: Forests play a critical role in global warming; they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere-deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Therefore, our efforts and devoted contribution to reducing Global Warming is very urgent. We have one world and one environment and thus, let us do all we can to protect it so that our future generations can live in this beautiful planet.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Say Yes to Life & No to Tobacco - Daniel M. Khan, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

“Smoking kills”. “Consumption of tobacco is injurious to health” - A statutory warning we see everywhere. But are these warnings making the desired impact? Despite efforts to check this harmful addiction, it continues to end millions of human lives every year. It’s time we made ourselves accountable for every life that is lost. We need to get personally involved in addressing this issue not just for our health and well-being, but also for the sake of our future generations. Gariphema village has taken the lead by declaring itself as the country’s first “tobacco-free village”. Tetso College is also a tobacco free zone, and likewise many other schools and institutions are following suit having realized the imminent health hazards that consumption of tobacco possesses.

Say Yes to Life & No to Tobacco

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.     3 John: 2

“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choices, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.” Tobacco use is one of the major preventable causes of death in the world with the World Health Organization attributing over four million deaths a year to tobacco. Smoking and smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco) involve two major issues: the great harm to health and the problem of addiction. Researchers have identified more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke; of these, at least 43 cause cancers in humans and animals. Tobacco use is a global plague or epidemic among young people. Experts are predicting 1.5 million smoking deaths in India by 2020.

Some grim statistics from the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS) in India highlights the danger tobacco use poses:
  • ·     Current tobacco use in any form: 34% of adults; 47.9% males and 20.3% females.
  • ·      Average age at initiation of tobacco use: 17.8 with 25.8% of females starting use before the age of 15.
  • ·      Among minors (age 15-17 years), 9.6% consumed tobacco in some form and most of them were able to purchase tobacco products.

The state of Nagaland, with 57 per cent of tobacco users, is the second highest consumer of tobacco in the country, second to Mizoram. As per the Nagaland School Oral Health Survey 2014 report, 28.3 percent of school going children are smokeless tobacco users while 14.8 percent are into smoking habits and 41.2 percent children are engaged by parents to buy tobacco. Cigarette accounts for 26.3 percent as the most common form of tobacco consumed in Nagaland followed by other ghutka products. District wise comparison revealed Dimapur as having the highest number of tobacco consumers followed by Kohima.

Tobacco use and addiction usually begins in adolescence. A number of factors influence the use of tobacco by children and teenagers. Some of these are the family history of tobacco use by elders, peer influence, experimentation, easy access to such products, personality factors, underlying emotional and psychological problems, accompanied risk-taking behaviors and the aggressive marketing strategies of the tobacco industry. Despite thousands of programs and strategies to reduce the use of tobacco among youths, the use of these deadly products continues to bring devastating consequences in every family.

Does the Bible say anything about smoking or use of tobacco? Is there any verse in the Bible which says smoking is bad or is a sin? These are some of the common questions asked by the young Nagas as an excuse to continue in the destructive habit of using tobacco/smoking.  True, the Bible does not say anything about smoking because the use of tobacco isn’t that old. It was only in 1492 that Columbus discovered smoking. Surely God made the tobacco plant for other better purposes than to be smoked. Although smoking was unknown during the ages when the Bible was written, the Bible does provide principles that definitely apply to smoking. But the Bible commands us not to allow our bodies to become "mastered" by anything. "Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything" (1 Corinthians 6:12). Though smoking is undeniably addictive; we must not allow ourselves to be enslaved by it. It is extremely important to conquer both the chemical and psychological aspects of a smoking addiction. Success will begin when our desire to please God becomes stronger than the craving to smoke.

Later in the same passage we are told, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Can it be said that smoking is truly honoring God with your body? (1 Corinthians 6:20) Can a person honestly smoke "for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Can smoking be considered "beneficial"? (1 Corinthians 6:12) Obviously No! Smoking has been proven to be such a health hazard that each packet of cigarettes must, by law, bear the message, “Warning! Smoking is injurious to health.” Obviously something hazardous to the health cannot possibly enhance or build up the body (God’s holy Temple) or glorify God.

Romans 14:21; 15:1-2, teach us not to offend our fellow Christians but while smoking harms oneself, passive smoking or second hand smoke have proved to be equally harmful. A report by WHO warns: “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.” While it is true that a smoker has every right to smoke, he definitely doesn’t have the right to harm others with it. Every person does have the right to breathe clean air and that’s the way God intended it to be.

Genuine love moves us to follow the Bible’s admonition: “Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.”—1 Corinthians 10:24. The Bible says we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 19:19), and it also teaches that “Love does no harm to a neighbor…” (Romans 13:10). It is certainly not an act of love to smoke around other people exposing them to the deadly effects of cigarette smoke. Even studies conducted among babies and children of varying ages whose parents or caretakers smoked show that they exhibit higher rates of lung diseases and other respiratory problems than those with nonsmoking parents. It is also well established that tobacco use by parents or elder siblings increases the likelihood that a child begins smoking. It is certainly not how one would demonstrate one’s love for a child or sibling.

Considering the enormous health hazard accompanying tobacco addiction, it is very important to develop preventive strategies to reduce tobacco consumption. As a Christian Society we cannot stand as mute spectators while our younger generation makes choices that are destructive; instead educational institutions must start a tobacco free zone by creating an environment that encourages anti-tobacco beliefs and behaviors and adopt some of the anti-tobacco policies and programs recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Families can also establish homes as smoke-free places, remind older children that they are role models for younger family members and provide anti-smoking education and refusal skills education at home.

Proverbs 22:3, 6 says, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty…Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” God urges parents to learn His ways and then "teach them diligently to your children"—every day and at every good opportunity.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Why You Should Choose Commerce Stream- Amar Ranjan Dey, Assistant Professor of Commerce


“The first degree result of Nagaland University under the semester system has been declared. Congratulations to all who’ve cleared and become a graduate. As per the result, taking all the different streams of Arts, Science and Commerce stream into consideration, Commerce had the highest pass percentage followed by Science and Arts. So, after this passing their exams, what is next? As is the trend in Nagaland, many of our students will probably be seeking a government job. But with the number of youth who are graduating every year, compared with the number of job vacancies, many will not get a government job. The fact that so many people are graduating every year without enough jobs being available is only going to increase the number of unemployed people. At times, I strongly feel that the wrong choice of stream after Class X may be one of the reasons for unemployment for many students. Along with the stream, students should also focus on the stream where employment opportunity is high. In my opinion, commerce may be the preferable stream where the above average student can thrive, and pursue the rising demand for professional commercial management of finance and accounts in the corporate or business world.”

Why You Should Choose Commerce Stream 

Globalization, privatization and liberalization has witnessed drastic changes in education, educational institutions and education systems. As economies offer opportunities year after year, management education is experiencing a boom in its growth. After a century, Commerce education in India has somehow provided a ground for development of management and other ancillary subjects. Management, accounting, finance, banking, transport, trade, insurance are some such areas which sprang out of Commerce and developed their own disciplines under the broader umbrella of Commerce. With growing opportunities due to liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG), there has been a considerable increase in the demand of commerce education throughout the country. But, the scenario looks gloomy for Nagaland when we compare Nagaland with our neighbouring states and the country as a whole. As I was reviewing the enrolment booklet of NBSE for the last five years, I came to know that approximately 10 percent of students took admission in the commerce stream followed by 17-20 percent in science stream and 65-70 percent in arts stream during these five years. As a stream of study, commerce can be studied right after 10 years of schooling. After the 10 years of school – Commerce is available as an option in 10+2 or the Higher Secondary levels. This paves the way for higher studies in commerce related subjects. This implies that the scope for commerce education might not be understood and we are still following the traditional educational path, i.e. the bright and intelligent should pursue science and the rest should take up arts. But, can we imagine what percentage of mark is required to get admission in Sri. Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi or St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. These colleges have cut-off marks which range from 90%-97% for admission every year. It simply indicates that bright students are just as eager to take up commerce stream as our people seem to want to take up Science stream. Therefore, there is a need for more awareness programmes regarding the scope and prospect of commerce education specifically in a career centric point of view so that our students make the right decision. The educational policy makers of our state should also think about this matter seriously without much delay.

While pursuing courses in the field of commerce, one can acquire the knowledge of business and trade, nature and fluctuations in the market, basic of economics, fiscal policies, industrial policies etc. The concept of commerce consists of a wide range of inter-disciplinary branches including Accountancy, Business Administration, E-Commerce, Finance, Economics and Marketing. Since the Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies among the third world countries, the need for talented professionals who can contribute towards the growth of the economy, is increasing. To serve the purposes, many commerce colleges in India are imparting quality education. After completing the course in the field of commerce and management, students can encourage joining any private or government organisation as a specialist in any of the streams of commerce and they can also pursue professional courses such as Chartered Accountant, Costs and Work Accountant, Company Secretary, Chartered Financial Analyst. A graduate in commerce can undergo careers in Financial Analyst, Tax Consultant, Financial portfolio manager, Financial analyst, Fund manager and security dealer and also a good entrepreneur etc. Commerce graduates can further pursue careers in Management such as (i) Personal Management, (ii) Production Management, (iii) Financial Management, (iv) Marketing Management, (v) Material Management, (vi) Hotel Management, (vii) Hospital Management, (viii) Tourism Management, (ix) Event Management, (x) Export-Import Management.

Commerce education provides immense opportunities to the students for employment but due to lack of employable students the advantages are not being taken to its fullest extent. Here the participants viz. university, colleges, faculty, students and society at large, along with the regulatory body and Government are equally responsible for the state of affairs today. All need to come and work together selflessly to bring positive change in the interest of the students towards nation building - the key objective of education. Finally, I urge the student community of the state who are studying under 10th standard to choose the right stream keeping in mind their area of interest and the demands of the current trend.


Friday, 3 July 2015

Our Lives and the Better Half - Judy Dimhoihkim, HOD of Education

Growing up, the world around us begins to change. In what seems like the world changing before us, more often than not, it is actually our own views and priorities in life that are changing with time. So, what are our priorities now? In the competitive adult world, look around, and we find that everyone is busy trying to climb the ladder of success. Higher promotions, larger contracts or bigger pay rolls have largely come to define the word success for us. But what about the better half of our lives, our personal fulfillment? In our quest for success, have we ever thought about what we might be losing out on? A hectic life prone to monotony in which we don’t even have the time to sit back and celebrate the little joys of life with our loved ones. Being successful in life is a wonderful feeling but what an even greater joy it is when we can share it with the people who matter to us.

Our Lives and the Better Half

We all want to be amazing, successful and be regarded as an important figure in the society. So while we seek success and are addicted to it, our relationship is at stake. The close knit family, loving and fun-filled friendship diminishes. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious, competitive and seeking material wealth. But is it worth to risk the bond and the priceless relationships we have? This is one important question we need to reflect upon in this techno-savvy and competitive age. In the hustle and bustle of the 21st century, it is more important than ever to have a meaningful relationship. The world today is highly competitive and everyone is addicted to success. Different profession demand different working hours and commitment. One’s success depends upon the amount of time one is able to devote and the deeper one engages in the work, and then comes the reward in terms of promotion and attractive packages. However, in the meantime we shy away from giving quality time to our loved ones. The result is, there appears a gap in our relationship with our family, friends and people who matter to us. The parent-child relationship is no longer healthy. It is surprisingly sad to learn that some parents are ignorant about the standard in which their children are at school. We are so immersed in our work that we neglect working on our relationships with others. Aristotle said that man is a social animal. This implies that we need others to celebrate good times with, provide comfort and solace in bad times and help us cope with the loneliness, symptomatic of the modern age.  It is tragic that while we achieve higher positions in life and in our career, our relationships have sunk lower and lower to an extent where it wreaks havoc in our lives.

There is a big spike in divorce which is in part caused by a breakdown in communication. Among many factors, one cause of this is when both the players fail to invest in the relationship. It’s more alarming to see the rate of depression in children with working parents who are devoid of parental care and love for whom parenting is an alien term. Research reveals that a family that eats together have lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, depression, as well as higher grades and self-confidence. In a tribal family, dinner time is when the family members indulge in conversations, exchange ideas and share their thoughts.  It does not mean that this is not the practice in other family set ups, but to suggest that this is particularly true with regard to a tribal family.

We are too preoccupied with our jobs, never spending quality time with those around us. How often do we sit back and think about the amount of time we have invested in our relationships? It might be a popular belief that when one reaches the pinnacle in his/her career or profession one earns happiness. Granted the success brings with it happiness but the happiness one feels will leave much to be desired without people who share the same intensity of joy, pride and happiness in the achievement. Our satisfaction in life is linked with our relationship with others, especially close ones. Let’s not forget that the more we succeed at relationships the more successful we will be in life with all of them. Success depends on the ability to connect with others.

Work will never end but our life will. Finding the right balance between work and building relationships might seem a daunting task, given the sacrifice one has to make, but the benefits to our well-being are worth the effort. So friends (who are workaholics) let’s set a time to shut off work, block out our work calendar at times for nurturing friendships and cultivating relationships with loved ones. Take time to celebrate major milestones, achievements and birthdays of family and friends. Once we find this balance we’ll find enormous benefits; less stress, better relationship and better quality of life overall. Dear readers, if you want to be happy in life beyond the professional work you do, you have to enhance your relationship with people who matter to you. When we let our work take center stage in our lives long enough, we begin to feel terribly out of touch with the people we care about. Let’s consider re-arranging our priorities. If your work has taken over, it’s time for you to take a stand and regain control of your life. There are many ways we can leave work in its rightful place and spend time focusing on improving our personal life. There is a world of wisdom left to be unearthed. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” 

The Missing Principles in Naga Society - Zuchano Khuvung, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Moral and ethical values as social categories are crucial for generating a sound culture in any given society. However, people tend t...