Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Indian Railway

By the word run a train we mean a vehicle with motive power running on metal rails.

" The Stockholm and Darlington Railway" (1825) is recognised as  the starting of railway age, because they were the first "Railway" to use a steam locomotive and iron rails to haul a load. It was a load of 38 carriages laden with passengers and goods ran between Stockton and Darlington. The railway line was actually commenced in 1821, but it took 4 years to complete construction.

Prior to this in 1801 Richard Trevithick made the steam carriage and in 1804 constructed a locomotive to haul a 10-ton load not on the rails but on the roads.

For other countries the list is as follows:

Now let us see about India.

       The core of the pressure for building railways in India came from London in 1840s. For a century thereafter the basic policies and ultimate management of the Indian Railways were issued from London. The British built railways in India in order to intermesh the economies of the two countries. The building of railways in India brought about unintended as well as hoped for consequences in economic, political and military front. The new railways tied the the different parts of India together more closely than ever before.

       Some mention should be made of the role of Indian businessmen played in the early years. There were Indian merchants , both in Calcutta and Bombay who took an interest in founding of the railways. The most prominent of these was a remarkable Bengali merchant Prince Dwarkanath Tagore , grandfather of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. Dwarkanath's firm Carr, Tagore & Company, is reported to have offered in 1844, to raise one-third of the capital required for a railway from Calcutta northwest to the coalfields above Burdwan. After Dwarkanath's premature death a few tears later the other Indian businessmen played only a passive role. The conception, promotion and launching of India's railways were all British. ( Daniel Thorner 1955)   

      The Railway Age dawned in India on 16th. April 1853, when the first train ran from Bombay to Thana, a distance of 21 miles(33.81 Km.) For some years before that the idea of building railways in India had taken concrete shape with the Court of Directors of the East India Company in London. The East India Company had obtained a foothold in India as a trading company, but gradually lost most of its privileges it had enjoyed as an instrument of commerce. It had , however been made responsible for the governance of India under the supervision of a Court of Directors in London. The final authority lay , of course , with the British Cabinet, who acted on the advice of its special Board of \control for Indian Affairs. There was a Governor General at Fort William in Calcutta, having superintending authority over the administration of India.
       The first proposals for construction of railways in India were presented in 1844 to East India Company in London by, (a) East Indian Railway Company headed by R.McDonald Stephenson, and (b) Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company.

       George Stephenson the great British Locomotive inventor was one the first Directors of GIPR and his son Robert Stephenson was appointed as the consulting engineer based at London.

        Both E.I.R. and G.I.P.R were incorporated in England for the purpose of constructing railway lines in Calcutta and Bombay presidencies respectively. Though GIPR company was formed in 1844. George Stephenson could not see his Locomotives run on Indian soil as he died in 1848.

       Lord Hardinge was the Governor General of India at this point of time. He considered the proposals from political, military and commercial point of view and thought that Court Of Directors of East India Company should liberally give assistance to private capitalists, willing to make railways in India , without waiting for proof that the construction of railways in India should yield reasonable profit. The Court of Directors in their suggestion that the first attempt should be made on a limited scale due to some difficulties, deliberated as under,

1. Periodical rains and inundations;
2. The continued action of violent winds, and influence of a vertical
3. The ravages of insects and vermin upon timber and earth work;
4. The destructive effect of spontaneous vegetation of Underwood
     upon earth and brick  work;
5. The unenclosed and unprotected tracts of the country though which
     railroads would pass;
6. The difficulty and expenses of securing the services of competent
     and trustworthy engineers. 

How do you feel about these apprehensions about 150 years ago ?

The development of railways in India started on all sides after successful initial projects in the west and the east.

West : On 16th April, 1853 the first railway on Indian sub-continent ran over a stretch of 21 miles from Bombay to Thane . The idea of a railway to connect Bombay with Thane, Kalyan and with the Thal and Bhore Ghats inclineFirst train run in Bombay first occurred to Mr. George Clark, the Chief Engineer of the Bombay Government, during a visit to Bhandup in 1843.The first Indian train steamed off from Bombay(Bori Bunder) to Thane  on 16th. April 1853, at 3:30 P.M. "amidst the loud applause of a vast multitude and to the salute of 21 guns." The train consisting of 14 carriages was hauled by three locomotives named Sultan, Sindh and Sahib with 400 VVIPs The formal inauguration ceremony was performed on 16th April 1853, when 14 railway carriages carrying about 400 guests left Bori Bunder at 3.35 PM.

     In the East :

       The Survey from Calcutta to Delhi was carried out by Mr. Stephenson during 1845-46. The construction of railway line from Howrah to Raniganj was sanctioned only after 3 years. But by the end of 1853 61 kms. of line was ready upto Pandooah. Two historical incidents denied  EIR , the first position in history of railways in India.. The Locomotive Engine and the carriages for both the  trains of Bombay and Howrah were despatched from England almost at the same time, but the ship carrying the loco for E.I.R. (HMS Goodwin) was misdirected to Australia and the other carrying the carriages for Howrah  sank  at Sandheads. Otherwise Howrah would have had the legacy of running the first train in India. The Locomotive Engine and the carriages for both the  trains of Bombay and Howrah were despatched from England almost at the same time, but the ship carrying the loco for E.I.R. (HMS Goodwin) was misdirected to Australia and carriages for Howrah  sank  at Sandheads.  The other problem faced was that the line was aligned through Chandernagore (Chandannagar) which was a French territory at that time. The settlement of this dispute with french rulers of Chandernagore also took considerable time. The Locomotive reached Calcutta via Australia and a trial run was made on 28th. June 1854. The coaches for the first train was however manufactured by two Calcutta based companies Steward & Company and Seton & Company. Otherwise Howrah would have had the legacy of running the first train in India. 

           The first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hooghly, (click) a distance of 24 miles, on 15th August, 1854. Thus the first section of the East Indian Railway was opened to public traffic, inaugurating the beginning of railway transport on the Eastern side of the sub-continent. 

          From 15th August 1854, the company ran regular services, morning and evening, between Howrah and Hugli with stops at Bally, Srerampore and Chandannagar. The fare ranged from Rs.3 by first class to 7 annas by third class. The main booking office was on the Calcutta bank, at the Armenian Ghat, and the fare covered the ferry to the station. At the Howrah end, the station consisted of a tin shed and a single line flanked by narrow platforms, somewhat to the south of the present station building constructed between 1901 and 1906.

       In the South the first line was opened on Ist July, 1856 by the Madras Railway Company. It ran between Veyasarpandy and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles. the first line was opened on Ist July, 1856 by the Madras Railway Company. It ran between Veyasarpandy and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles.

      In the North a length of 119 miles of line was laid from Allahabad to Kanpur on 3rd March 1859. The first section from Hathras Road to Mathura Cantonment was opened to traffic on 19th October, 1875.

         The first locomotive built in India : The F-734 built in 1895 by the Ajmer workshop of the Rajputana Malwa Railway. Earlier some locomotives were assembled using spares supplied with fully assembled locomotives which were imported. This locomotive with outside connecting and side rods was used on Rajputana Malwa & Bombay Baroda & Central India Railway systems.

          These were the small beginnings which is due course developed into a network of railway lines all over the country. By 1880 the Indian Railway system had a route mileage of about 9000 miles.
( Source : Old Eastern Railway Magazines of 1953)

Here are some of the many commemorative postage issued in India for different occasions of Indian Railways.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

History Of Sachin

 There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One, Sachin Tendulkar. Two, all other batsmen. - Andy Flower

If one were to ask what is Indian Cricket Team’s most prized possession, the answer would be unanimous – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. But he is not just Indian team’s most prized possession. He’s also Cricket's most prized possession.
 And now, with the completion of his 100th international ton, he has gifted the world of cricket, and cricket lovers, a moment to cherish for an entire lifetime. It will be impossible to see any other cricketer achieve such a feat ever. This is exactly what separates Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar from other 'cricketers'.

The man has been playing astounding cricket for the last two decades and is still nothing short of a blitzkrieg! He refuses to age or get less aggressive with time. Still a bowler’s worst nightmare (bowlers like Shane Warne and Glen McGrath stand in testimony to this); Sachin is also known for his sportsmanship and gentlemanliness.

He has emerged as a source of inspiration to crores of Indians exhorting them to rise above mediocrity and can single-handedly elevate the mood of the nation.

Can Sachin Tendulkar Walk on Water?

Not difficult to make his fans believe that Sachin can walk on water who might also probably believe that he has X-Ray vision and can stop trains. The man has been elevated to a Godly status in India and his worshippers can be found almost everywhere.

 Born in Mumbai to Ramesh Tendulkar, a novelist and Rajni Tendulkar, who worked in the insurance sector Tendulkar was soon identified as a cricket prodigy. It didn’t take him much time to embark on his cricketing journey and he became a mentee of Ramakant Achrekar in his early years. There’s an interesting incident from his kid-years: When he was young, Tendulkar would practice for hours on end in the nets. If he became exhausted, Achrekar would put a one-Rupee-coin on the top of the stumps, and the bowler who dismissed Tendulkar would get the coin. If Tendulkar passed the whole session without getting dismissed, the coach would give him the coin. Young Sachin got thirteen Re 1 coins from his coach and he considers them his most prized possession.

Tendulkar started to make his presence felt as he touched teenage. He was being talked about in the Mumbai cricketing circles. Many started predicting that the boy would be the next big thing in cricket. There’s a legend which goes around that Sachin would make bowlers shed tears while he played for his school, as he would refuse to get out.

The world came to know about Sachin in 1989 when a 16-year old ‘genius-in-making’ put on his batting gloves for his first international test match.
Despite a humble start in his first two series (against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively) he hit first test ton against England in 1990 (119 not out) and then there was no looking back. The little genius now has a plethora of records in his kitty; some are the ones which other players can only dream of achieving.
As Lord Rama is to his devotees, Sachin is so to his fans. He’s taken to be an embodiment of righteousness in cricket. Known for his high personal integrity and honesty, every time he ‘walks’, it becomes ‘A Walk to Remember’.
Even though it took him 70 ODIs to get his first century in the limited-overs edition of the game, Sachin is just a hundred short from making a ‘century of the centuries’ in the International cricket (tests and ODIs combined). Sachin’s most memorable ODI inning (which is also the most memorable inning in the history of ODI cricket) came against South Africa.
 The master scored an unbeaten 200 on 147 off 147 balls and Indian went on to maul the Proteas by 153 runs. Sachin’s greatness touched new heights and so did his humility.

One can safely assume that Sachin is the greatest batsmen to have ever walked on this planet.

Over the course of time it has been Tendulkar's rare combination of mastery and bravado that has enchanted aficionados and crowds alike. One of the most striking aspects of the master is his hunger for more. He has achieved numerous milestones in his journey but every time he makes a record he starts focusing on reaching the next level.

The master batsman has had his share of rough form. Several injuries have dotted his career line. Critics committed the misdemeanour of wiritng him off. But he remained undeterred. Like a true gentleman he let his action speak louder than his words. The way he regains his form has gagged the critics on several occasions. One can only marvel how he continues to march on against all odds.
 Critics and media have tried hard to find skeletons in his cupboard only to fail miserably. Tendulkar is a man of impeccable integrity and would always be one. Few can match his off-the-field stature, let alone his on-the-field stature. A mere request from him on Twitter could generate Rs 1 crore for the ‘Crusade Against Cancer’ foundation he is associated with. For his fans (the number runs into millions and they don’t give a damn about the critics and the media), he’s a demi-god, a colossal figure capable of pulling of miracles.

Sachin is known to live a cagey life due to the cult following he has attained. He is known to put on disguises to move about on streets, drive his cars in the dead of the night for the fear of a crowd following him like mad and take his family to Iceland for holidaying. As Peter Roebuck observes, “The runs, the majesty, the thrills, do not capture his achievement. Reflect upon his circumstances and then marvel at his feat. He is a person whose entire adult life has been lived in the eye of a storm."
 There’s something singularly special in the master blaster. Beneath the helmet, under the disorderly curly hair, inside the skull, there’s something beyond our interpretation. There’s something which enables him to rise and shine above others and reach those territories of the sport that, forget us, even those fortunate enough to play on the same pitch as him cannot even fathom. The man is the embodiment of endurance and true grit.

We fail to fully decipher his recipe for success. We can’t figure out how a 37-year old cricketer stays at the top of the game for 20 years and continues to be a bowler's worst nightmare. All we know that he is a man who pulls off a jaw-dropping feat every now and then.

The team at MensXP extends its heartiest congratulations to Sachin.  (Entertainment,

Friday, 26 October 2012

history of olympics

According to legend, the ancient Olympic Games were founded by Heracles (the Roman Hercules), a son of Zeus. Yet the first Olympic Games for which we still have written records were held in 776 BCE (though it is generally believed that the Games had been going on for many years already). At this Olympic Games, a naked runner, Coroebus (a cook from Elis), won the sole event at the Olympics, the stade - a run of approximately 192 meters (210 yards). This made Coroebus the very first Olympic champion in history.

The ancient Olympic Games grew and continued to be played every four years for nearly 1200 years. In 393 CE, the Roman emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games because of their pagan influences.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

History ofThe π

The History of π

In the long history of the number π, there have been many twists and turns, many inconsistencies that reflect the condition of the human race as a whole. Through each major period of world history and in each regional area, the state of intellectual thought, the state of mathematics, and hence the state of π, has been dictated by the same socio-economic and geographic forces as every other aspect of civilization. The following is a brief history, organized by period and region, of the development of our understanding of the number π.

In ancient times, π was discovered independently by the first civilizations to begin agriculture. Their new sedentary life style first freed up time for mathematical pondering, and the need for permanent shelter necessitated the development of basic engineering skills, which in many instances required a knowledge of the relationship between the square and the circle (usually satisfied by finding a reasonable approximation of π). Although there are no surviving records of individual mathematicians from this period, historians today know the values used by some ancient cultures. Here is a sampling of some cultures and the values that they used: Babylonians - 3 1/8, Egyptians - (16/9)^2, Chinese - 3, Hebrews - 3 (implied in the Bible, I Kings vii, 23).

The first record of an individual mathematician taking on the problem of π (often called "squaring the circle," and involving the search for a way to cleanly relate either the area or the circumference of a circle to that of a square) occurred in ancient Greece in the 400's B.C. (this attempt was made by Anaxagoras). Based on this fact, it is not surprising that the Greek culture was the first to truly delve into the possibilities of abstract mathematics. The part of the Greek culture centered in Athens made great leaps in the area of geometry, the first branch of mathematics to be thoroughly explored. Antiphon, an Athenian philosopher, first stated the principle of exhaustion (click on Antiphon for more info). Hippias of Elis created a curve called the quadratrix, which actually allowed the theoretical squaring of the circle, though it was not practical.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

History Of Mathematics

Every culture on earth has developed some mathematics. In some cases, this mathematics has spread from one culture to another. Now there is one predominant international mathematics, and this mathematics has quite a history. It has roots in ancient Egypt and Babylonia, then grew rapidly in ancient Greece. Mathematics written in ancient Greek was translated into Arabic. About the same time some mathematics of India was translated into Arabic. Later some of this mathematics was translated into Latin and became the mathematics of Western Europe. Over a period of several hundred years, it became the mathematics of the world.
There are other places in the world that developed significant mathematics, such as China, southern India, and Japan, and they are interesting to study, but the mathematics of the other regions have not had much influence on current international mathematics. There is, of course, much mathematics being done these and other regions, but it is not the traditional math of the regions, but international mathematics.

By far, the most significant development in mathematics was giving it firm logical foundations. This took place in ancient Greece in the centuries preceding Euclid. See Euclid's Elements. Logical foundations give mathematics more than just certainty-they are a tool to investigate the unknown.

By the 20th century the edge of that unknown had receded to where only a few could see. One was David Hilbert, a leading mathematician of the turn of the century. In 1900 he addressed the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris, and described 23 important mathematical problems.

Mathematics continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. There is no end in sight, and the application of mathematics to science becomes greater all the time.