Indian gender ratio worsens—yet all is not bad

India’s national census results were out back in February. And while it shows a much expected rise in population making us well nigh the world’s most populous nation, contributing nearly 17.5% and with a mere one million short of the Chinese, we have something else to think about: female feticide.

Over the past years, our male child to female child ratio–given as girls per 1,000 boys–has been well below the average of 952. In the 1992 census we were at 945 and in 2001 we fell to 927. Ten years later, we are at a mere 914 girls per 1,000 boys. Continue reading

Munnar and INO: Day 3

Today is my last full day at Munnar. Tomorrow morning I head further south to the proposed India Based Neutrino Observatory site near Theni, Tamil Nadu. While the first half of today I spent mostly in the resort, typing, reading &c. I spent most of the later part of the day driving around the mountains, exploring parts–or rather paths–that I had only been to a few years back when I had spent about four days in this very place, in this very resort and in a room neighbouring the one I had been in previously. Like the last two posts, here are the pictures:

[You can also see Days 1 and 2 here: ←Day 1 ←Day 2]

Munnar and INO: Day 2

Nothing much went on today. Remember that lovely thing from yesterday? Well I decided I can’t forget it. So I’ll live with it. And yet, do not ask me to expand on it.

I awoke and typed out a couple of pages of my script and then readied myself quickly to do nothing through the day. I decided that since I was on a holiday, I would rather do nothing (by nothing I refer to writing my script and reading some books) than go sightseeing. The point in taking a vacation is to cut yourself off from your daily schedule, not make things more rigid. So I was at my informal best and seemed to like it.

By afternoon, I was hoping to go out at least for an hour or two so I set off on a drive. Not stopping where everybody does or visiting places tourists frequent, rather just driving. It looked like six o’clock when it was actually three and began raining like I was in a rainforest. It happens. And not everything  can go right all the time.

So these were some pictures I managed to click with my tablet. (My camera wisely chose to stay back home.)

[Also visit ←Day 1 and Day 3→]

Munnar and INO: Day 1

Today, at 3 o’clock in the morning, (I am not very certain of the time because I’d just awoken and I have absolutely no idea if I even glanced at my watch!)  I readied myself and set out on my four-day trip to Munnar, a hill station in Kerala, South India–popularly called the Switzerland of the East–and a quick drive by the proposed site of the India-based Neutrino Observatory which lies near here.

I am a travel fanatic and I’ve been wanting to get certain (lovely) things out of my mind lately and relax; and then I’m an aspiring physicist: anybody can put two and two together to realise this is quite the dream vacation for someone like me. There’s the serene, tranquil ambience of this beautiful, almost untouched place which lies in the range of the tallest mountain peak in India, south of the Himalayas. Added to this is the world’s largest experiment on neutrinos being planned nearby, which appeals to the physicist in me; and I think it’s a place any physics enthusiast would want to see even if not participate in. I am in no position to do that right now, considering my somewhat limited knowledge. Continue reading

Shutter: majestic

A view that captured me on my way to Munnar. Majestic is the one word I could associate with this. Part of the Munnar ranges in Kerala, this is actually the foothills of the set of mountains that rise over halfway through the height of Mt Everest. You can read more about my trip to Munnar and the proposed INO site here.

View other Shutter: photographs here.