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Forests beyond our reach: tribal healer Achappan Vaidyar

Forests beyond our reach: tribal healer

JABIR MUSHTHARI

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Achappan Vaidiyar

Achappan Vaidiyar

Tribesmen’s freedom to enter the forest to collect herbal plants and other medicinal material should be protected by the law, Achappan Vaidyar, tribal healer from Wayanad, has said.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a national-level tribal healers’ workshop and an exhibition of tribal medicines on the campus of the Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Kirtads) here on Friday, the octogenarian tribal healer said his community was finding it impossible to collect many inevitable medicinal ingredients as entry to the forest was restricted by authorities. Maintaining that they were not plunderers of forest, like many outsiders were, and wanted only a few inevitable medicinal plants to be collected from the woods, which they consider as their deity, the Vaidyar said centuries-old invaluable knowledge of tribal healing would be endangered if something was not done immediately in this direction. “Many of our men are persecuted for entering the forest to collect what they have been garnering from time immemorial,” he said adding that protecting the forest was their “responsibility and duty” more than anybody else’s.

The famed tribal healer, with a number of disciples spread across their tribe and with patients coming in search of him even from foreign countries, said that forest officials were not allowing their entry into the forest fearing that many of their (officials’) shady activities, including their furtive deals with tree fellers and forest looters, would come to light. “I know many cases of secret felling of trees that would cost lakhs of rupees from the very forest which the officials claim to be protecting,” said the veteran healer, who is also the chieftain and senior most member of the famous Ettillam family of the Kurichyar tribe at Palode in Mananthavady. Claiming that people with a variety of ailments, including asthma, sinusitis, and obesity were approaching him seeking remedy from one of the ancient healing methods of the country, the Vaidyar claimed that many high-profile officials, including judges and police officers, were his patients.

Observing that the ignorance of tribesmen was exploited by many people, he said the authorities should take measures to grant pension for tribal healers to enter the forest.

Achappan Vaidyar / Suresh Vaidyar (Son) contact Numbers:

04935 266 010, mobile 99 61 902 599

 

 

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The Real Reason Why We Should be Upset by Coke’s ‘America the Beautiful’ ad

Liberals should also be upset by Coke’s ‘America the Beautiful’ ad

 
By Jill Filipovic, The Guardian
Monday, February 3, 2014 22:32 EST
["A Young Men Drinking Soda From A Plastic Bottle" on Shutterstock]
 
 
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Coke’s Super Bowl ad tugged at our heartstrings with its diverse US portrait, but the goal is to get minorities hooked on soda

My favorite Super Bowl commercial last night was Coca-Cola’s #AmericaIsBeautiful. The spot, shot with an Instragram-filter aesthetic, featured a multi-lingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by children and illustrated with a diversity of New Americana scenes: a cowboy riding his horse, kids at the movies, teenagers on surfboards at dawn and breakdancing at dusk, headscarf-wearing young women buying food from a cart in Chinatown, two men in yarmulkes looking upon the newly-built Freedom Tower, a same-sex couple roller skating and hugging their daughter. I admit it, I teared up a bit.

And I braced myself for the predictable right-wing outrage. But perhaps those of us who care about inequality and racism should be angry, too. Coca-Cola’s diversity ad wasn’t purposed just to celebrate the reality of a multi-ethnic America. It was to sell soda to rapidly-expanding but vulnerable populations, even if that means contributing to serious health problems, exploiting divides in class and education, and exacerbating racial inequality.

 


If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing American the Beautiful in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come – doggone we are on the road to perdition.
The genius of the Coca-Cola company is that they made the racial aspect of soda marketing work in their favor with this ad. Conservative indignation came immediately, and Twitter exploded with objections to the spot. “We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS” pretty much sums up the complaints. Twitter, of course, is a great democratizer, and it’s easy to find some idiot saying just about anything. But right wing politicians and media got on board, too. Former GOP Congressman Allen West called the commercial “truly disturbing”, and opined:

One writer on the conservative website Breitbart.com said Coke used an iconic song to “push multiculturalism down our throats”, promoting a scenario in which “the United States of America is no longer a nation ruled by the Constitution and American traditions in which English is the language of government.” It’s easy to laugh at conservative bigotry and historical ignorance. The United States has always been a multi-lingual country.

English itself was an important from colonizers. Spanish has long been the predominant language in many parts of the United States, and many Spanish-speaking folks became Americans because the borders moved, not because they did. Most Americans today are the descendants of immigrants who certainly did not speak the languages native to the piece of land on which we now reside. And when you see someone get mad at multi-lingualism, it’s obvious you’re watching a racist fly their flag. Coca-Cola knew exactly what it was doing with this commercial. It knew it would inflame white conservatives, but, more importantly, it knew the commercial would align Coke with Latinos and other quickly-growing groups in the United States. So Coke expands its market share and promotes its product while endorsing a vision of a diverse, multi-cultural America. What’s the harm?

Unfortunately, the harm lands squarely on the bodies of kids and families with few resources. Educated, affluent white Americans are drinking less soda than they were a few years ago, and soft drink makers now rely largely on “heavy users” – those who drink several sodas every day – to keep their businesses booming. Heavy users tend to be in lower-income areas – places New Orleans, Louisiana and Rome, Georgia. Coke is trying to expand that model. Long dominant in Latin America – that region is Coke’s second-largest market – the company has been trying to capture the Latino market in the United States through target marketing. That is, of course, how businesses operate. But Coca-Cola’s model depends on consumers who drink significantly more soda than average – a habit that comes with a series of serious health consequences – and on targeting children, who will (ideally) be life-long Coke drinkers. Expanding populations mean new consumers.

American soda companies expanded abroad decades ago, and Coke has been especially aggressive at marketing its products to lower-income consumers who have enough extra cash to spend on a sugary indulgence. A crisis of conscience at his role in expanding Coke into impoverished Brazilian favelas caused one Coca-Cola executive to try and reign in the company’s practices; he was fired for his efforts. Coke has long been successful in Mexico, where it operates its largest independent bottling plant. That country is not only the second-highest soda consumer in the world, right behind the United States, but now has the world’s highest obesity rates (sinking the US to number two). In response to serious public health issues driven by soda consumption, Mexico recently implemented a plan to tax soda. Soda companies have launched a large-scale offensive against both the tax and any criticisms of soda. In the United States, efforts at securing more “heavy users” are especially pernicious when directed at Latino communities. One in four Latino households in the US is food insecure, compared to one in 10 white households. Of the top 10 US counties with the highest rates of food insecurity, nine are predominantly Latino.

 


Perhaps most disturbingly, younger Latinos face higher rates of developing diabetes than any other group: Latina girls born in 2000 have a
 more than 50% chance of developing the disease in their lifetime. Marketing to low-income and of-color populations works. In one study focused on New York City, researchers found that the proportion of African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who drank more than one soda every day was more than twice the proportion of whites. People living in households with income 200% of the poverty line or below were more likely to be regular soda drinkers than people in wealthier households. African-American New Yorkers were more than three times as likely as whites to drink soda frequently; Mexican-Americans were 2.9 times as likely, and Puerto Ricans were 2.4. It makes sense: Soda is a cheap treat that also provides energy and calories. It’s accessible just about anywhere. You can drink it just about anywhere. A low-wage worker needing to fill their belly or a kid looking for something tasty or a mom looking to treat her kids and feed herself on the run don’t have to go further than the drive-thru or corner bodega, and doesn’t have to invest much, in picking up a soft drink. But that doesn’t mean we should be applauding soda companies, even if their ads tug at our heartstrings and our liberal values. It means consumers should have more affordable options, corporate advertising of unhealthy food should be regulated more tightly and Americans should be collectively enraged at our obscenely low wages and lack of a comprehensive social safety net – the things that create unhealthy, perverse incentives for consumers. It means we should cast a critical eye when soda companies fly the flag of diversity, when, in fact, their product contributes to stark racial inequalities.Malnutrition rates are twice as high among Hispanic children as non-Hispanic children in the United States. Hispanic children are also more likely to be overweight or obese. Nearly 12% of Hispanic adults have diagnosed diabetes – by comparison, only 7% of non-Hispanic white Americans have diagnosed diabetes. Within Mexican-American and Puerto Rican populations, diabetes rates climb above 13%. African Americans, also target “heavy user” consumers for soda companies, have diabetes rates that hover around 12%.

Coke’s targeting of Latino and other immigrant populations is about as progressive as RJ Reynolds marketing menthol cigarettes to African-Americans or Phillip Morris hawking Virginia Slims to women – that is, not very. Before we applaud Coke’s advertising diversity, we should ask: do we really want Coke to diversify?

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014

Al-Jazari: The Mechanical Genius

Al-Jazari: The Mechanical Genius

Professor Salim T S Al-Hassani *

Al-Jazari was the most outstanding mechanical engineer of his time. His full name was Badi’ al-Zaman Abu-‘l-‘Izz Ibn Isma’il Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. He lived in Diyar-Bakir (in Turkey) during the 6th century H (late 12th century-early 13th century CE).

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Figure 1: Wash-basin in the form of a peacock described by Al-Jazari in Kitab fi Ma’rifat al-Hiyal al-Handisayya. Manuscript copied in Sha’ban 6002/ March 1205. (Source).

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Figure 2 a-b:

He was called Al-Jazari after the place of his birth, Al-Jazira, the area lying between the Tigris and the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Like his father before him, he served the Artuqid kings of Diyar-Bakir for several decades (at least between 570 and 597 H/1174-1200 CE) as a mechanical engineer. In 1206, he completed an outstanding book on engineering entitled Al-Jami’ bayn al-‘ilm wa-‘l-‘amal al-nafi’ fi sinat’at al-hiyal in Arabic. It was a compendium of theoretical and practical mechanics. George Sarton writes: "This treatise is the most elaborate of its kind and may be considered the climax of this line of Muslim achievement" (Introduction to the History of Science, 1927, vol. 2, p. 510).

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Figure 3: Model of a blood letting device as described by Al-Jazari and reconstructed in 1977. It measured the blood lost during phlebotomy (blood-letting) sessions, a popular therapy in the Islamic medieval world. Two scribes are seated above the device and their actions describe the amount of blood to be let. Currently on display in The Science and Art of Medicine (inventory number : 1981-1710). (Source).

Al-Jazari’s book is distinctive in its practical aspect because the author was a competent engineer and skilled craftsman. The book describes various devices in minute detail, providing hence an invaluable contribution in the history of engineering. British charter engineer and historian of Islamic technology Donald R. Hill (1974) who held a special interest in Al-Jazari’s achievements wrote:

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Figure 4: Al-Jazari’s water powered scribe clock brought back to life after 800 years by FSTC. The clock stands 1 metre high and half a metre wide; the scribe with his pen is synonymous to the hour hand of a modern clock. Click here to see the animation. (Source).

"It is impossible to over emphasize the importance of Al-Jazari’s work in the history of engineering, it provides a wealth of instructions for design, manufacture and assembly of machines."

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Figure 5: Picture of the internal structure of an automata for dispensating liquids. © JC Heuden at Virtual Worlds. (Source).

Al-Jazari described fifty mechanical devices in six different categories, including water clocks, hand washing device (wudhu’ machine) and machines for raising water, etc. Following the "World of Islam Festival" held in the United Kingdom in 1976, a tribute was paid to Al-Jazari when the London Science Museum showed a successfully reconstructed working model of his famous "Water Clock."

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Figure 6: The original drawing of the double action or reciprocating pump from Al-Jazari’s manuscript. Topkapi Palace Museum Library, Ahmet III, MS 3472. (Source).

Donald R. Hill translated into English Al-Jazari’s book in 1974, seven centuries and 68 years after it was completed by its author. Al-Jazari’s encyclopedic treatise includes six main categories of machines and devices. Several of the machines, mechanisms and techniques first appear in this treatise, later entering the vocabulary of European mechanical engineering. Among these innovations, we mention the double acting pumps with suction pipes, the use of a crank shaft in a machine, accurate calibration of orifices, lamination of timber to reduce warping, static balancing of wheels, use of paper models to establish a design, casting of metals in closed mould boxes with green sand, etc. Al-Jazari also describes methods of construction and assembly in scrupulous detail of the fifty machines to enable future craftsmen to reconstruct them.

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Figure 7: 3D model recreated by FSTC of the double action pump of Al-Jazari. Click here to view the animation. ©FSTC 2009.

And he was successful in that, for many of his devices were constructed following his instructions. The work by Al-Jazari is also unique in the way that other writers often fail to give sufficient details, because – amongst other factors – they were not craftsmen themselves, or kept their secrets, or if they were craftsmen, they could have been illiterate. Al-Jazari in this respect was unique, and this gives his work immense value. His book, Hill states, is an absolute wealth of Islamic mechanical engineering.

In their paper on "Mechanical Engineering during the Early Islamic Period" (published in I. Mech. E, The Chartered Mechanical Engineer, 1978, pp. 79-83), C. G. Ludlow and A. S. Bahrani have raised the important point that it is more than likely that there is more on the subject in some of the thousands of Arabic manuscripts in the world libraries which have not yet been inspected closely, and obviously require looking into.

Hill, too, constantly raises the two major issues with respect to the history of engineering in general, and that of fine technology in particular. He first states the fact that the field, which is absolutely immense, is yet largely unexplored.

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Figure 8: View of The Elephant Clock: Leaf from a manuscript of Al-Jazari’s Kitab fi macrifat al-hiyal al-handasiyya dated 715 H/1315 CE. (Source).

The other issue is related to fine technology. One of his concluding points states that "it is hoped that, as research proceeds, firmer evidence for the transmission of Islamic fine technology into Europe can be provided." Hill also offers some hints for such transmission. The most likely route was Spain. Such fine technology could have followed the same route as the astrolabe (itself part of this fine technology.) Apart from Spain, there were other possible lands of transfer: Sicily, Southern France, Italy, Byzantium and Syria during the Crusades. Hill is also right on a further account, that what will be seen in this work is just a fraction of the whole process, which, as with much else has hardly been explored.

The animation presented in figure 7 shows a virtual model of one of Al-Jazari’s water raising pumps. The details of this unique pump were obtained from his manuscript and Hill’s diagrams. We see two suction pumps in synchronous motion driven by a paddle wheel, which is driven by a water stream.

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Figure 9: 3D model recreated by FSTC of the Elephant clock. Click here to view the animation. ©FSTC 2009.

The other animation is for a 3D model recreated from the description of the elephant clock as described by Al-Jazari (see below fig. 9). Full details of this animation are given in the works authored by the author and his collaborators published in the book 1001 Inventions: The Muslim Heritage in Our World (chief editor Salim al-Hassani, Manchester: FSTC, 2006) and in articles that can be consulted online on www.MuslimHeritage.com (see especially the two special folders devoted to Islamic technology: Al-Jazari and Taqi al-Din).

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Figure 10: A table device automaton designed by Al-Jazari. Manuscript dated from the early 14th century (1315), copied in Syria by Farrukh ibn Abd al-Latif. Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper. © The Smithsonian Institution, Washington. (Source).

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Figure 11: A large ewer held by a kneeling female attendant in a domed pavilion designed by Al-Jazari: once the bird whistles, water pours into a basin below; a duck then drinks the used water and releases it through its tail into a container hidden under the platform. © The Smithsonian Institution, Washington. (Source).

* Emeritus Professor at the University of Manchester and Chairman of The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), Manchester, UK.

by: Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Fri 09 February, 2001


Related Articles:
The List of Al-jazari Articles Published on MH.com by: FSTC Limited
Some 800 years in the past, in 1206, a brilliant Muslim scholar died : Badi? al-Zaman Abu al-‘Izz ibn Isma?il ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. He was one of the most important inventors and mechanical engineers in the history of technology. His magnum opus book of mechanics, the famous Al-Jami? bayn al-?ilm wa ‘l-?amal al-nafi? fi sina?at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Useful Practice of the Mechanical Arts) was the most significant treatise of the Islamic tradition of mechanical engineering and a ground breaking work in the history of mechanics.

Al-Jazari: 800 Years After by: FSTC Limited
Some 800 years in the past, in 1206, a brilliant Muslim scholar died : Badi? al-Zaman Abu al-‘Izz ibn Isma?il ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. He was one of the most important inventors and mechanical engineers in the history of technology. His magnum opus book of mechanics, the famous Al-Jami? bayn al-?ilm wa ‘l-?amal al-nafi? fi sina?at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Useful Practice of the Mechanical Arts) was the most significant treatise of the Islamic tradition of mechanical engineering and a ground breaking work in the history of mechanics.

Al-Jazari’s Castle Water Clock: Analysis of its Components and Functioning by: Professor Salim T. S. Al-Hassani
The first machine described by al-Jazari in his famous treatise of mechanics Al-Jami‘ bayn al-‘ilm wa ‘l-‘amal al-nafi‘ fi sina‘at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Useful Practice of the Mechanical Arts) is a monumental water clock known as the castle clock.

Al-Jazari’s Third Water-Raising Device: Analysis of its Mathematical and Mechanical Principles by: FSTC Limited
Five pumps or water-raising machines are described by al-Jazari in his monumental treatise of mechanics Al-Jami’ bayn al-‘ilm wa ‘l-‘amal al-nafi’ fi sina’at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Useful Practice of the Mechanical Arts). The following long article is a detailed study of the third of these water-raising devices. The study presents a detailed analysis of the mathematical and mechanical principles of this sophisticated machine and explains its functioning. Further, the various components of the pump are reconstructed via computer assisted design. A profusion of 3D graphics and 3D animations show the device in different angles and helps in viewing it in operational mode.

Al-Muqaddasi and Human Geography: An Early Contribution to Social Sciences by: FSTC Research Team

FSTC Research Team

Recent scholarly interest in the genesis of social sciences in Islamic culture is a noteworthy shift. Until recent times, the development of these fields was credited exclusively to the modern Western tradition, especially to the 19th century birth of humanities. The ground breaking contribution of Ibn Khaldun was recognized; however, the author of the Muqaddima stands as an isolated genius. In the following article, an attempt is made to broaden the field by highlighting the contributions of several other scholars in laying the foundation of social sciences in Islamic culture. After a short survey on Al-Biruni and Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, the focus of the article is dedicated to the 10th-century Palestinian geographer Al-Muqaddasi, who touched on various subjects of interest to the social sciences in his book Ahsan al-taqasim fi ma’rifat al-aqalim.

Resources:
Al-Jazari’s Water Pump, by: FSTC
The animation shows a virtual model of one of al-Jazari’s water raising pumps. The details of this unique pump were obtained from his manuscript and D.Hill diagrams. We see two suction pumps in synchronous motion driven by a paddle wheel.

References:
The Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices of Al-Jazri by: Donald Hill
Al-Jazri Mechanical Devices, First published in 1974

The Tesla Roadster is a rocket. And all-electric, too

Sep 22, 2009 04:00 PM in Energy & Sustainability |
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By Mark Fischetti

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tesla-roadster“Are you ready?” the young driver beside me asked, as we sat in the two-seat Tesla Roadster
convertible, facing a straight, steep, quarter-mile road that rises
from the water of San Francisco Bay up the headland to the Golden Gate
Bridge. Then he floored the accelerator. I was driven into the
seat-back behind me—and I mean driven, like I was strapped into some
insane amusement park ride—for several full seconds as the car
accelerated and accelerated like a rocket up the climb. Only there was
no screaming flame blasting behind us. There was no engine roaring
either. I was being shot up this road so fast my emergency senses were
on full alert, yet all was eerily quiet.

The Tesla Motors roadster is an all-electric vehicle. Which means zero
emissions. There’s no engine, no fuel tank, just a deep bank of lithium-ion batteries
and a single-gear, direct-drive motor that hits maximum torque
instantly (that’s the beauty of electric propulsion). The car is
blistering fast; the sport edition goes from zero to 60 miles per hour
in 3.7 seconds. Not up on car specs? The Chevy Corvette, with a monster
6.2 liter, eight cylinder, 430 horsepower engine takes 4.6 seconds. The
Tesla accelerates faster than the Porsche 911. Faster than the Ferrari
Spider. The typical sedan takes a good 6.0 seconds or more to reach the
same speed.

The Tesla is not a one-trick pony, however. It has a range of 244 miles on a full charge,
which it has proven in real-world driving tests. It meets all the
standard safety requirements and looks and handles like any other
exotic roadster, particularly the Lotus: it is a low-slung, two-door,
hard-top convertible with tight cockpit seats and little room for much
else. The price tag is $128,500, which sounds like a lot until you
start looking up exotic roadsters, which can cost even more. If you
want to save some money for sushi lunches on the pier, you can buy the
regular Tesla Roadster for $101,500, but you’ll have to wait a full 3.9
seconds to hit 60 miles per hour.

Few people can afford this car, of course, but the pin-drop quiet
Tesla makes a loud statement: an all-electric car can compete with
gasoline roadhogs. And if they can do that, they can certainly make it
as mainstream vehicles. The Roadster is much more than a proof of
technology; it proves to the world that all-electric automobiles are
for real. The company has begun offering a four-door sedan for $49,900
that will be delivered in 2011.

Sales manager Dan Myggen gave me my ride outside the GoingGreen conference
in Sausalito, Calif. All day he took passengers for a spin around the
half-mile circle in front of the Cavallo Point hotel, then up the steep
road to the bridge. Every person who returned climbed out of the car
with a big smile on his or her face. It was impossible not to grin. The
car looks hot and rides hot. It’s a smile machine. Whether Tesla will
succeed commercially remains to be seen, but other startups are making
their own all-electric models, and the major car companies are diving
in too. Whether the standard claim that volume production will bring
down cost proves true also remains to be seen, but I can say with
certainty, now, that if anyone doubts whether all-electric cars can
compete: they can.

Credit: Courtesey of Tesla Motors

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alternative fuels,
electric cars,
Tesla Motors

Vatican offers Islamic finance system to Western Banks

Vatican offers Islamic finance system to Western Banks
The Vatican says Islamic finance system may help Western banks in crisis as alternative to capitalistm.
Friday, 06 March 2009 15:10

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Vatican offered Islamic finance principles to Western banks as a solution for worldwide economic crisis.

Daily Vatican newspaper, ‘L’Osservatore Romano, reported that Islamic banking system may help to overcome global crisis, Turkish media reported.
The Vatican said banks should look at the ethical rules of Islamic finance to restore confidence amongst their clients at a time of global economic crisis.

“The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service,” the Vatican’s official newspaper Osservatore Romano said in an article in its latest issue late yesterday.

Author Loretta Napoleoni and Abaxbank Spa fixed income strategist, Claudia Segre, say in the article that “Western banks could use tools such as the Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, as collateral”. Sukuk may be used to fund the “‘car industry or the next Olympic Games in London,” they said.

They also said that profit share, gained from sukuk, may be an alternative to the interest. They underlined that sukuk system could help automotive sector and support investments in infrastructure area.

Islamic sukuk system is similar to bonos of capitalist system. But in sukuk, money is invested concrete projects and profit share is distributed to clients instead of interest earned.

Pope Benedict XVI in an Oct. 7 speech reflected on crashing financial markets saying that “money vanishes, it is nothing” and concluded that “the only solid reality is the word of God.” The Vatican has been paying attention to the global financial meltdown and ran articles in its official newspaper that criticize the free-market model for having “grown too much and badly in the past two decades.”

The Osservatore’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, said that “the great religions have always had a common attention to the human dimension of the economy,” Corriere della Sera reported today

Internet rip-offs cause $265mn loss, Indians fifth largest victims with 0.36% US first with 92.4%

Internet ripoffs cause 265mn loss Indians fifth largest victims

Internet rip-offs cause $265mn loss, Indians fifth largest victims

Internet-based rip-offs jumped 33 percent last year over the previous year, causing a loss of $265 million to the victims, with the fifth largest number of complaints coming from India, according to a new report.

Internet-based rip-offs jumped 33 percent last year over the previous year, causing a loss of $265 million to the victims, with the fifth largest number of complaints coming from India, according to a new report.

Americans filed 275,284 reports (92.4 percent), claiming to be ripped off on the Internet, the highest number reported since the Internet Crime Complaint Centre, a partnership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Centre, began keeping statistics in 2000.

Canada came a distant second with 1.77 percent complaints followed by Britain (0.95 percent), Australia (0.57 percent) and India 0.36 percent.

“This report illustrates that sophisticated computer fraud schemes continue to flourish as financial data migrates to the Internet,” said Shawn Henry, the FBI’s assistant director of the cyber division.

At $265 million the total dollar loss from such crimes was $26 million more than the price tag in 2007, the Centre said. For individual victims, the average amount lost was $931.

The dollar loss has been on a steady increase since 2004, while the number of cases referred to law enforcement has decreased steadily since that same year.

Henry said the figures show the need for computer users, in businesses and in homes, to be wary and use sound security practices while using the Internet.

The centre said the top three most frequent complaints were about merchandise that wasn’t delivered or payment that wasn’t received, Internet auction fraud and credit/debit card fraud. Other scams include confidence frauds such as Ponzi schemes, cheque fraud, the Nigerian letter fraud and identity fraud.

One popular identity fraud scam used during 2008 involved sending e-mails crafted to appear as if they had been sent by the FBI. Sometimes the scammers went so far as to say the mailings were from FBI Director Robert Mueller himself, according to the centre.

The e-mails would ask the recipient for personal information, such as a bank account numbers, claiming the FBI wanted the information to look into an impending financial transaction.

One variation of the scheme, according to the centre, was to send an e-mail saying the recipient is entitled to lottery money or an inheritance and the funds can be moved as soon as bank account information is supplied.

The FBI has issued warnings about such scams in the past and Monday’s report included a new one: “The FBI does not contact US citizens regarding personal financial matters through unsolicited e-mails.”

AMU MBA Student Ahmad Faraz awarded by TCS

AMU MBA Student Ahmad Faraz awarded by TCS | TwoCircles.net

AMU MBA Student Ahmad Faraz awarded by TCS
Submitted by admin4 on 30 March 2009 – 10:18am.

* Indian Muslim

By TwoCircles.net news desk,

New Delhi: Ahmad Faraz, an MBA first year student of Aligargh Muslim University AMU, has been awarded with “TCS Smart Manager Award”. As part of the award he wins a cash prize of Rs 25 thousand.

It is notable that Tata Consultancy Services invites students of management institutes from all over India to participate online in a “Case Study Contest” where in a business problem is given to them and they are asked to provide practical solutions to challenging business problems.

The students in large numbers from institutes such as IIMs, IITs, NITIE, NMIMS and etc. participate in the contest but only one gets the award.

TCS had advertised a case contest which was on a retail organization facing terrorist attack. Faraz had sent an analysis and solution for that one month back and has been awarded now.

Noteworthy, TCS contest has importance because it includes higher qualified personalities of the country such as NR Naryan Murthy, the chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies, Nitin nohria, the Associate Dean of Harvard Business School, S. Ramodarai, the CEO and M.D. Tata Consultancy Services, Omkar Goswami, the Founder and Chairperson of CERG advisory and Gita Piramal, the India’s foremost business writer.

Prof. Javaid Akhter the chairman of the department of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University congratulated Ahmad Faraz calling it as proud moment for all AMU members.

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