Tuesday, March 24, 2009

India Should be Proud of Nano

It was JRD Tata who made air travel affordable to the common man. The history has been repeated with the launch of Nano. This time it Ratan Tata who realised the dream of million of Indians to own a car, at an affordable price. The middle class Indian finds it affordable even in these times of slowdown. Tata Nano is a great accomplishment of which all Indians should be proud of. There are two good reasons.

(a) Innovation: It is a vehicle fully designed, developed and manufactured in India. The car with an engine of 643 cc and a mileage of 23 kmpl, offers the comfort and luxury of the best car of its type in the world. The car satisfies all safety and emission norms. Besides, the company will be able to manufacture and export many vehicles.

The secret behind the Nano's performance is rather a simple engineering solution. The firing angles for the two cylinders are exactly 180 degrees apart, with both the pistons reciprocating exactly in tandem with each other. The result is a very impressive torque fugure of 48 Nm available from 2500 to 4000 rpm.

Just have a look at some of these cute features:
* Top speed 105 kmph; 0-60 kmph in 9 seconds
* BS III compliant, BS IV ready. It has lower emissions than the best selling 100 cc bikes in the country
* Seats four
* Turning diameter 8.0 m, parking easy

(b) Affordability: Even the idea of $ 2000 car was once ridiculed. The team Tata have proved all the doubting Thomas wrong. The Indian middle class nuclear family was kept in mind. Notwithstanding the statements of some environmentalists, the car is likely to reduce the road congestion and be environmentally friendly in the long term, if we consider that one car will replace at least two scooters. Besides, congestion is not am issue in rural India.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Negative Vote Positive Message

The forthcoming 15th Indian parliament elections will star 714 million voters, 17 million of whom are in the age group 18-35 years. When we compare these figures with those of the 1st parliament elections, which had 176 million voters, it could be said that the things have got bigger; but have they got better ?

Over the years, single party governments have been replaced by the multi-party or coalition governments, both at the States and the Centre. The ideology has been replaced by the unprincipled opportunism. Today's coalition looks like a heterogeneous condominium of political parties, widely differing in ideologies, desperately sticking to power. This is revealed by the fact that in the last parliament there were 125 MPs, i.e. 25% of the House, facing criminal charges, including rape and murder. No wonder we see the officials and the local politicians following the footsteps of their bosses in power. What should a voter do if he finds all the candidates equally undesirable ?

As per the provisions of the rule 49-O, stated in the 'The Conduct of Elections Rules', 1961, a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he does not want to vote anyone. Although the person’s right not to vote would be recognised in the total vote counting process, in no case would there be a re-poll. As of now, what rule 49-O will do is to register the person’s signature or thumbprint. This would also require the voter to reveal their identity, which goes against the system of secret ballot. Further, even if 49-O votes are more than the winning candidates’ votes, it would not negate the result. There is no judgment as yet on the implications of 49-O towards the upcoming elections and the barring of candidates from a re-poll.

There is a need to take a positive cognisance of the negative vote. This is an effective way to cleanse the politics. All nation-loving and the democracy-loving citizens and even the MPs should take a note and bring in the electoral reform to that effect

The new Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath, rightly advocated the elector's right not to vote. However that would have to be given shape through a legislation.

At present a person can write down on a piece of paper and give it to polling booth officials that he is not interested in voting. This violates the principle of secret voting. In order to provide this facility on EVM (Electronic Voting Machine), a separate law is required.

The legislation, if properly drafted, will mark a watershed in the electoral reforms. If the number of such negative votes is more than the votes polled by the individual candidates, the election may be canceled.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Masakkali



Masakkali ! Pigeons with clipped wings !! rightly describes the status of women in India.

In a country which boasts of female (nari) worship. Just take a look at the results of the survey reported by the Times of India

Majority of the women, working or housewives, do not decide how the money is to be spent or about the way of entertainment. The so called 'Lakshman Rekha' is drawn by the parents or the husbands (Dracula ?)

40% of the women surveyed accepted that the sexual harassment is common at the workplace.

Majority of them expressed that it is not safe travelling alone in the city, that they are discriminated, when it comes to pay and promotions

The average amount of wages earned by the women: Rs 29-37.7 per day, much below the statutory provision

Out of the total women married during 2005-06, 44.5% married before reaching the age of 18 years, quite against the law

The statistics is enough to reveal the status of women India

The celebration of Women's Day is all about restoring the honour of women in India.

Save India !!

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Vote for India

The schedule of the parliamentary elections in India has been announced. I view vote as a means to strengthen democracy. I have a three point programme for all voters, especially young voters:

(1) Exercise Your Constitutional Right: All eligible citizens must register and vote.

The intelligentsia in India have a strange apathy towards elections in general and voting in particular. Those who do not vote have no moral right to criticise the Government.

(2) Vote for Secular Politics: Eliminate those who seek vote on account of caste, creed, language, region and religion.

The governance can be improved only by choosing right candidates through the democratic process.


(3) Make the right choice: Vote for those whose character is above the board and those who speak for development only
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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.