Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brain for gain

All IIT, IIM and other brains, beware! All politics is for power. Just get it, whichever way possible! That is the Indian political ethos. So do not waste your time in the corridors of power. If you are genuinely interested, follow Gandhian Model of social service.


*

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Travesty


The "travesty", that was how the British Prime Minister David Cameron described the release of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on Saturday, 13 November 2010. In Myanmar she was popularly known as "The Lady". 

'She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma (Myanmar) and around the world,' the US president said, calling the release 'long overdue.'

India have welcome the release of Suu Kyi
The daughter of Myanmar independence leader General Aung San, 65 year old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was detained for 15 of the past 20 years, after she won the 1990 elections by landslide but never allowed to assume power by the military junta.The proxy party floated by the junta has won the recent general elections.

Suu Kyi's dignity and courage in the face of injustice have been an inspiration to many people around the world.

May almighty give her long life.

* 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh Ba Obama



The commercial capital of India, was converted into a fortress. Huge police force and every inch of the city was sniffed. The head of the most powerful state on the earth visited the city

The Obamamania is unique, quite unseen during the visit of President Bush and Clinton. The threat perceptions then were quite different.


The relations between the two large democracies were never so good.The beginning has been made by Republicans (Bush) and carried forward now by the Democrats (Obama). Although traditionally Democrats have never been in India's favor. Obama's visit has heightened our expectations. There are many things at stake. The political and media hype is due to these expectations.


We want US to appreciate threats to India's security, both internally and externally. Our recent experience  in Hedley's case has not been good. We require free flow of intelligence information, especially on the terrorists.


Sino-Pakistan nuclear deal is worrying India. India wants US to explicitly state its opposition to the deal.


China poses a bigger external threat to India, in comparison to Pakistan. We wanted Obama to visit Tawang. That would have automatically confirmed US support to India's sovereignty over  Arunachal Pradesh.


India also wants firm US support for India's permanent seat in the UN Security Council.


We know, finally, Obama would do what is in the interest of USA. Indian leaders should understand. Do not expect others to fight our battle.



*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Politics of Academics



Prof. Chaitanya was walking briskly on the lawn with his daughter. At the age of 52 he maintained good health. After going home he would do Yoga and Pranayam and his daughter always joined him.

At home he found his wife, Priya, was waiting for him.

There was a phone call from some Prof. Jairam. He will ring again. She said.

Chaitanya knew Prof. Jairam was contesting for the post of Dean in the University. This time Prof. Chaitanya was a contestant for the Board of Studies (BOS) elections for civil engineering.

Twenty five years back, after obtaining Doctoral degree form the University of Leeds, he returned home and joined the University. All these years, he taught almost all core subjects, but the Theory of Structures was his favorite. He also had good number of publications in the reputed international journals published by Elsevier, American Concrete institute (ACI) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In the University, he had made significant contributions developing the structure and syllabi of the civil engineering subjects.

While he was going through the newspaper headlines, telephone rang. He lifted. Prof. Jairam was on the other side.

How are you prof ! I heard you are contesting for the BOS, he asked. Yes I am, said Prof. Chaitanya.

You should support me. You know, I have support from the Rashtriya Jatiwadi Party. Our College Chairman has also promised financial support, Prof. Jairam was obviously elated.

Prof. Chaitanya could not understand the connection between the political parties and the university elections. The elections used to be conducted every five years. Since past few elections, he saw the role of political parties and their affiliations was growing. Money also played role in the underhand dealings, whispered in the University circles. Prof. Jairam was an active member of the political party and was hardly seen in the academic circles. Prof. Jairam obtained Ph. D. from a Deemed University. Prof. Chaitanya still remembered Prof. Jairam’s open defense of the Ph. D. thesis. While he made the presentation, Prof. Chaitnaya felt that he had seen similar work published in the ACI Journal. In fact, he actually checked it in the library and found that was true. He was also present for the convocation. There was not a single academician on the dais, except the poor (!) Vice Chancellor and the Dean. It was all occupied by the ruling party members at the Centre and the State.

Prof. Chaitanya always felt that there should be no elections for the University statutory bodies. Instead, eminent persons from within the University, industry, public and private organisations should be selected on these bodies.

It was a Sunday. Prof. Chaitanya contacted all the voters personally and over phone. There was another contestant aspiring for the post of Chairman BOS, Prof. Anand, fielded by Prof. Jairam, his colleague from the Deemed University. Monday was the election day and the votes counting was scheduled on Tuesday.

Tuesday evening Prof. Chaitanya returned home from the Votes Counting Centre. Priya didn’t ask him the result, it was written in his face. He had lost. 

In a country where politics occupies the academic stage, quality of education remains a far cry.

*
     

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't play firecrackers

Every year during Diwali, crores of rupees are burned in the name playing firecrackers. Burning firecrackers emit sulphur dioxide, which is a poisonous gas. and a major pollutant. It also leaves in atmosphere harmful metals compounds of chromium and lead. Huge quantity of litter is left on the ground, that takes days to clean. In manufacturing firecrackers, mostly children below 14 years are employed. Every year, hundreds of people die of burns and fires created by the firecrackers. All this for a few moments of thrill. Is that really worth ? Think !!  

*

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Helmet for an Oath


 
                 The traffic in Pune is unmanageable. The roads and their maintenance is poor. The traffic monitoring and control is also bad. The number of accidents on the road is on the rise. The majority of the deaths due to accidents are due to serious head injuries. Keeping that in mind, few months back, the traffic police made it compulsory for all two-wheeler riders to wear helmet. Surprisingly the common citizen opposed it. Yeh Punekar hain bhaiya ! The local politicians were not far behind. They supported the opposition looking at the general public opinion. So, the rule remains only in the book and followed only in breach.

                 Sharad Bapat,  an innovative techie from Pune has started a website and there is an offer. He wants citizens to come forward and take an oath to wear helmet and the techie rewards them with Rs 500/-. It pays partially towards the cost of the headgear. What an idea !

                 We see ministers, judges taking oath while taking the charge of new office. The witness in the court of law is also required to take an oath. Why oath ?

                  I think an oath puts a moral binding on the individual. It is a verbal commitment. In fact, following a commitment depends on one’s value system, verbal or written notwithstanding.

                  Initially though  some citizens, especially youngsters, will be attracted by the money offer but later the oath shall put a moral binding on them. Even if 50% follow the oath, it will be good.

                  Thus from every angle, this is a welcome initiative and Sh Sharad Bapat deserves both cheers and congratulations. 

This is what Sh Sharad Bapat has to say:

“It will be a win-win situation. Interested parties will get their advertisements, our stickers will bear their name, they will be on our website and most importantly, people will wear helmets”


*

Sunday, October 17, 2010

सी मो ल्लंघन


सी मो ल्लंघन
यं दा  विजया  दशमीला  करा  सी मो ल्लंघन
माणसा  माणसा त  भेद  कर णाऱ्या  प्र थां चे
स न्मान  करुनी सर्व मायबोलींचे,  मराठी सम
ओलां डू नी  सीमा  प्रान्तांच्या, मुक्त भ्रमण करुया
भारत  भूमि  असे  माय अपुली
सर्व देशवासी असती बांधव अपुले
जयहिंद 
 
**




































 

















Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rescue Indian farmers

The role of micro finance companies offering loans to the poor has come under the lens even as a farmer, under pressure to repay his debt, committed suicide in Nizamabad district on Wednesday. In Guntur, a woman attempted to end her life, as she was upset over her humiliation by MFI (micro finance institution) agents. And in yet another case, two members of a self-help group were booked in Srikakalum over the suicide of a woman on Tuesday.

Private micro finance institutions' (MFIs) vision of "eradicating poverty" is far removed from reality, say finance experts. They say MFIs are no better than moneylenders, who lend to the poor at a higher rate of interest, or almost the same as a moneylender, and turn this into a profitable venture. Banks, which are meant to reach out to the rural poor but choose to fund MFIs instead, have only contributed to the debt crisis the poor are facing in Andhra. 
 
The controversy sparked by suicides and harassment of the rural poor by micro finance institutions has the Self-Employed Women's Association (Sewa) founder and Ramon Magsaysay award winner Ela Bhatt worried. But some of the steps being proposed by CM K Rosaiah to check the MFIs like limiting the interest rates charged by the MFIs to 8% and make as non-bailable offences the employment of coercion and unethical practices to recover loans from the rural poor appear to be far from reality.

"The MFIs are charging an interest rate of up to 50% at present. And they themselves are taking loans from banks at more than 11.5%. How can the state persuade RBI to ensure that MFI interest rates for loans be restricted to 8%? Secondly, the unlawful practices resorted to by the MFIs can be dealt with by the existing sections of IPC. The government should work out effective steps instead of making such populist assertions," said a micro finance expert.

*


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Is the UIDAI database vulnerable?


Assigning a unique number to every citizen (or resident) is definitely a good effort. The UID can be put many useful applications. The legal provisions of heavy fine and life imprisonment, if implemented properly, are enough to deter the miscreants. However it is the responsibility of the Head: UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani and the Government to clarify and put to rest all doubts regarding the safety and probable misuse of huge personal data collected by UIDAI.


Why is the UID criticized by some people?

The main criticism of the UID is based on privacy concerns. The project is criticized because, unlike Western countries, India is not known for stringent data protection laws and the opposing group fears data theft and selling of the vital information to a third party by corrupt officials. Apart from this, they argue, it's an individual's right to protect his or her privacy from any unlawful interference, even by the state. Article 21 of the Constitution, the Hindu Marriage Act, the Copyright Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and the Code of Criminal Procedure all place some form of restrictions on the release of personal information.

Is it mandatory or voluntary?

Considering privacy concerns, UIDAI has kept provision of voluntary registration at enrolment camps to obtain the number. Critics, however, argue that once the programme gets linked to welfare programmes, the PDS system and availing of various services, it will lose its true voluntary nature. Hence, it's also important to have stringent laws to prevent denial of service in such situations.
   

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ayodya opportunity

India awaits its Ayodhya moment on Thursday, almost 18 years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 that placed the country on a communal volcano which has periodically erupted from time to time. Today, individuals, parties and organizations who appealed for peace, hope the court verdict won't lead to another eruption.
The court may not resolve the row over whether a temple predated the mosque at the disputed site, but will certainly cast some light on the title claims.
There is hope that the moment will pass off peacefully. The optimism stems chiefly from two factors: The issue has lost the potency it once had. It is also felt that while many of the partisans in the temple-mosque dispute have moved on, the youth have only a faint memory of the wrenching fight for the disputed site.
It also gives all an opportunity to arrive at a negotiated settlement.
*

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Replace bullets with pellets

Kashmir is boiling. The newspaper reports show stone pelting people and gun wielding arms men. With every person killed by the bullets, the strife increases further. The separatists have been given a ready made tool to divide the people. If the people pelt stones, do we really need to kill them ? I think security men should be given pellets instead of bullets. The killer shots should be used only when absolutely necessary.

*

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Daji Kaka’s Ganapati



                        Daji kaka was on the morning walk on the street of Pune City. It was a Sunday. The preparations for Ganeshotsav (a festival of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of lord Shiva and the deity of prosperity, celebrated in India and particularly in the state of Maharashtra) were in full swing. He saw a pendal (temporary shelter usually made of timber, to install the Ganesha idol) under construction and that put him on the memory lane.

                        Pune city is traditionally known for its Ganesha festival celebrations. He was just 12 year old when Gandhiji launched Quit India (civil disobedience) Movement in 1942, against the British rulers. The Ganeshostsav in those days used to be different. His father was actively involved in the movement and used to tell Daji that the public celebration of Ganeshotsav was started by Lokmanya Tilak (Indian freedom fighter and social reformer) in 1893 to spread the message of independence from the British colonial rule, among the common people. The ten-day festivities – music, plays, public speeches - in those days were full of fervor for independence.  Today he was 80 years old.

                       He saw some workers were digging the street to fix the wooden pillars. After the festival, these pot holes will be a nuisance for everyone driving or walking on the street. He heard the shrill sound of some movie song being played in front of the pendal site. Even at his age, he was a fan of songs from modern Hindi movies. However he didn’t see any relevance of those songs for the festival. He walked few steps and saw a familiar site. It was a flex-board poster of a local leader, put up by his followers. The poster showed a life size photograph of the leader along with those of his followers, some fifteen in number. Good launching pad! He quipped. Does Ganeshotsav today fulfill the purpose for which it was started by Lokmanya, he asked himself ? The chain of thoughts continued and he reached home.

                     He saw his grandson, Hemant was playing cricket on the street. Removed his footwear and he entered the drawing room. Jayashree, his daughter-in-law came with a glass of water. He took a deep breathe and said Jaya, I think the Ganshotsav has lost the purpose. Jaya new the angry old man, did not say anything. It has become a launching pad for goons in the politics. He saw his grandson keeping his bat in the corner and run in the kitchen after his mother. He went for bath; as his friend Hari said he would visit in the afternoon.

                     After the lunch, he and his son Vinayak were watching TV. Daji saw Hari approaching his house. Retired executive engineer and two years older than him, he was a chronic patient of asthma and high blood pressure. How are you? Harry (that was how Daji would call him). Not well, said Hari. These loudspeakers, dB (sound) levels are so high. My B.P. has shot up. Hemant came out of the kitchen and joined them.

                     Grandpa, why do we sink Ganesha idol in water? I feel so sad. Why can’t we retain it for the next year? That will also save us money. Daji looked towards him. Do you know what the idol is made of ? Plaster of Paris, our teacher told yesterday, Hemant replied. It doesn’t dissolve in water, Hari said. Daji knew, Hari remembers technical details, age notwithstanding. So if we do not sink the idol that will also save us from the huge water pollution. Isn’t it a revolutionary thought? said Daji, as Vinayak and Jayashree watched.

*
                    

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gurudakshina



In ancient India, under the gurukul system of education, the pupils used to reside at the teacher’s (guru) place (ashram). Before that the guru used to formally accept a pupil as his disciple (shishya) and after that the education was offered free of cost. In most cases, the gurukuls were supported by the ruling king. At the end of the term and after successful completion of the learning, the pupil would ask the guru, what he would offer him as a gurudakshina (fees). Here is a story of a modern guru who was offered a car as gurudakshina by his students.

Pratap Sir was walking to his college with a mixed feeling of happiness and sorrow. He was happy because he was to retire today after 35 years of his service as a teacher. Throughout his career he was known as an honest and upright teacher. Somewhere deep in the heart he also felt sorrow because he would miss all colleagues and especially the students. He reached the college dot at 0955 h. The send-off function started at 1000 h. And lo ! there was a big surprise. His students offered him a brand new car as a parting gift. They looked so happy. All of them had contributed towards the purchase. Pratap Sir was also happy to note the gratuitousness of the students. He didn’t know driving. After the finale, one of the students drove him home in the car. The car was shining, parked in front of his house.

Sushma, his wife greeted him as soon as he stepped out of the car. Neighbors came one by one and congratulated. His only daughter, Aditi, an engineer, worked in a private company. She came home in the evening. As usual she smiled at baba (father) and asked whose car was that. Pratap told the story. She didn’t seem to be happy. It was quite a surprise for him.

In the evening, he opened the topic on the dining table. He asked Aditi, how did she like the car. Baba you shouldn’t have accepted it, said Aditi forthrightly. We are living in the age when the integrity of the educational institutions and the teachers is in doubt. The other day, did you not read the news of one educational institute assisting the students in copying during the examination. And last year? You remember, some parents took morcha (procession) to your college because their wards were not allowed to copy. Accepting this gift you gave a chance to your detractors doubt your integrity. How will you respond, if someone accuses you accepted the car from the students as a gratification for allowing them to do some illegal work?

The seriousness of the issue was effectively brought home by his daughter. Pratap Sir felt befallen. He couldn’t sleep whole night. In the morning, when he sat in the bed and prayed, something dawned on him. The gloom vanished.

After finishing the morning chores, he rang to one of his students to come home. He asked the student to drive the car to the nearby anathashram (orphan house). He gifted the car to the ashram. His heart was filled with satisfaction and pride, while walking back home.

*

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cranberry against Staph infections

ScienceDaily (2010-09-01) -- Expanding their scope of study on the mechanisms of bacterial infection, researchers have reported the surprise finding from a small clinical study that cranberry juice cocktail blocked a strain of Staphylococcus aureus from beginning the process of infection.

The data was reported in a poster presentation at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in Boston on August 23, 2010, by Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The virulent form of E. coli that Camesano studies is the primary cause of most urinary tract infections. Strains of S. aureus can cause a range of "staph infections" from minor skin rashes to serious bloodstream infections. One particular strain, known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a growing public health problem in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions because it doesn't respond to most antibiotics.


*

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nuclear liability bill



The “Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010” is presently under consideration of the Indian Parliament. The changes sought in the draft forwarded by the Parliamentary Standing committee need to be carefully looked into.

Suppliers liability: The formulation of Clause 17 (b) proposed in the amendment is worse than the provision contained in the original bill. The new amendment proposed by the government would require proof that sub-standard equipment or material was "consequence of an act done with the intent to cause nuclear damage". Practically speaking it is impossible to prove such an ‘intent’. It would make it impossible to ascribe liability to suppliers of equipment for nuclear plants. It goes against the formulation suggested by the Standing Committee, which does not require any such proof on the intent of the supplier.

Operation of nuclear installation: The standing committee had categorically recommended that there will be no private operator of nuclear installation. After the experience of Bhopal gas tragedy and its aftermath, the government should not allow any private operator for the nuclear installation.

Limit on compensation for accidents: There should no limits put on the compensation. The compensation must be commensurate with the extent of damage.  


*

Nanoscale DNA sequencing could spur revolution in personal health care

ScienceDaily (2010-08-21) -- In experiments with potentially broad health care implications, researchers have devised a method that works at a very small scale to sequence DNA quickly and relatively inexpensively. That could open the door for more effective individualized medicine, for example providing blueprints of genetic predispositions for specific conditions and diseases such as cancer, diabetes or addiction.


*

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Warmest year-to-date global temperature on record

ScienceDaily (2010-08-17) -- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature made this July the second warmest on record, behind 1998, and the warmest averaged January-July on record. The global average land surface temperature for July and January-July was warmest on record. The global ocean surface temperature for July was the fifth warmest, and for January-July 2010 was the second warmest on record, behind 1998.


*

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pranam Guru


On this day of Gurupurnima, I offer my obeisance to the Guru, the teacher. 

The parents were my first Guru. Since then, in the walk of life, I learned many things from many people. They were not necessarily my seniors. On this day, I remember them and offer my respect. 

Just watch people around you with an open mind and you will find good qualities in them and so many things to learn. 

It is so beneficial being a student for lifetime. 

Once Shri Ramakrishna told his disciples, watch your Guru in the day and also in the night and then only call him Guru. He was talking about the spiritual Guru, the one who takes you on the right path. 

There are many who teach us practical aspects of life, they are also our Guru. 

A Guru could be a historical figure like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or Swami Vivekanand. He may not be a human being or could be even an inanimate object. 

As long as you find something to learn from Him, he is your Guru. 

And then I bow before the greatest Guru of all, the Almighty.  

*

Friday, July 23, 2010

Misuse of IPC article 498 (A)



The women in India suffer from domestic violence. The Article 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code has been specially prepared to protect such suffering women. According to the provisions of the Article, the Police are required to immediately arrest the perpetrators of violence, as mentioned by the victim in the FIR.

However, many times it is seen that the legal provision does not fulfill its desired goal. That is on two accounts, (a) payment of huge compensation to the victims and (b) misuse of the article by the some women, especially educated women in the urban areas, to settle personal scores against their male counterparts.

According to the principle of natural justice, culprits can be set free for the want of evidence but innocent should never be punished. However, when the article is misused, innocents are punished by way of arrest and jail. It is rather surprising to see that the Police are not required to carry out any enquiry, before the arrest. Whomsoever named as perpetrator by the woman in the FIR, that is taken as an adequate ground for arrest.

                   That the Article is being misused to take revenge on males, has been observed the Bombay High Court also. All are equal in front of law. However the Article 498 (A) appears to be unjustifiably skewed against the males, as he gets no protection by law. The following amendment is suggested to the Article:

“In case the allegations are not proved and the malicious intent is established by the court, the woman filing the FIR must be arrested immediately and tried under the relevant provisions of law”.

Spy cam evidence


*

Time-tested ways to improve employee accountability



It is said that at any point in time in an organisation, only 20 % employees contribute towards real growth.


One may say that accountability in an organization exists when all employees can be depended upon to do what they have acceded to do without any exceptions. It is often an innate commitment that comes from an employee—it is not something that can be written, recorded and signed.


If people are what make the organization, then getting the right people for the job makes all the difference.


Here are a few time-tested ways of making employees accountable for their actions:

• Go for a one-on-one approach
• Target specific goals for each team member

The one-to-one approach shall help building individuals expertise and make him responsible member of the team.

*



Monday, July 19, 2010

Tips for good resume and interview



Resume Myth: Your resume should emphasize your past accomplishments.

The resume that gets the job or interview is targeted with the specific opening in mind. if your past experience does not match up with the job you're applying for, your resume is doomed for the trash bin. Recruiters won't take a 2nd look.

Resume Tip: A long resume doesn't ooze with accomplishment.

Lengthy and verbose resumes aren't eye catching and don't impress recruiters. Remove any unnecessary words and bullets so you, at most, have 2 pages. Editing and revising your resume to show you qualify for the position is the key and involves going through your past line-by-line and deciding what to emphasize and what to leave out. 


The mistake that job applicants make frequently:

The most common mistake made by job applicants is not knowing the true purpose of a job interview. If you miss the one, your entire interview will be off the bull's eye and your chances of getting hired will be slim to none.

Most people think an interview is answering a bunch of questions. The job applicants practice their answers over and over to prepare for their interview and during the interview they just spit out their rehearsed answers. There could not be any worse approach to an interview!


Five things to do when you get  job offer:

1. Ask for the offer in writing

2. Ask any outstanding questions you have in your head and get the offer modified, if required

3. Negotiate

4. Ask for time to think it over if you are not sure about something

5. Listen to your inner voice
 

 


*

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pareto 80:20 rule




According to the Pareto Principle 80% of the effects of a situation come from 20% of its causes. It is also known as the 80:20 rule. Many have experienced it in the real life. In other words, an individual who carries out certain activities, (20%) accounts for a majority of the individual's happiness and output (80%).


Have you ever applied this rule, professionally or personally? How successful were you in applying this rule?


In my opinion, one should strive to strengthen 100 % of the activities, only then it will be possible to maximise output from the 20 %.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kashmir: Peace stone’s throw away ?



I heard someone say, “The reason so many protestors are throwing stones in Kashmir is because they truly believe PEACE is only a stone's throw away
  
And then I also read a twit from H. H. Dalai Lama, “If we continue to approach problems from the perspective of temporary expediency, future generations will face tremendous difficulties”, which I quickly re-twitted

Every time there is unrest in the Valley, conventional measures, like curfew, calling army, are immediately initiated. Nearly two decades have now passed. Number of positive steps, such as declaring a massive financial package, have been taken by the Government in this period. However nothing works. Reason ?

I think people do not appreciate the intentions behind these positive measures and substantial section of population continues to support the militants. May not be for their cause but probably out of frustration. That calls for totally different approach to peace

I think any measure that goes to win the hearts of Kashmirees should work and bring tangible benefits. The Government should be seen doing that.

Give a chance to peace, it is just a stone’s throw away !! 

*

Monday, March 29, 2010

Make Marathi first language till SSC in Maharashtra



I learned the first lesson in Marathi from my mother, who was a great fan of Na Si Phadke and Vi Sa Khandekar. 

In school, Marathi was my first language till HSC and I still remember the enthusiasm with which our teachers taught us Tutari (ek tutari dya maj anuni .. .. remember Harishchandrachi F ?) and  Zapurza (Keshavsut), the parts of Yayati (Khandekar). The introduction to Marathi classics in the school created interest and later grew unabated. Any one who wants to truly learn and appreciate the language should begin with Dnyaneshawar, Tukaram, Ramadas; not to forget Moropant, Vaman and Raghunath Pandit. 

Some of the contributors to modern Marathi are Ha Na  Apte, Pra Ke Atre, Na Si Phadke, Vi Sa Khandekar, Pu La, Sane Guruji, Kri Pra Khadilkar, Gadkari, Kirloskar, Deval, Ga Di Ma, Kusumagraj, Keshavsuta, Balkavi, Mardhekar, Bha Ra Tambe, Shanta Shelke, Vinda Karandikar and so on; the list is endless. 

In fact, I am fortunate to get at least basic introduction to the majority of the work of these personalities, through text books, even before HSC and so did the other students in our times. The condition of Marathi in Maharashtra today is not good. There are various reasons for the sorry state of affairs; less importance given to Marathi in school teaching is one of the major. The Marathi Sahitya Sammelan is expected to deliberate upon these issues and give recommendations to the Government. 

I suggest a simple legislative measure: make Marathi first language till SSC in Maharashtra, irrespective of the Board. Over a period of time, this single measure shall bring a sea of change. 

*

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Communication


The importance of communication must be understood by everyone, irrespective of the age. We need to communicate effectively at work place, at home, to our distant friends or relatives. Internet has made the world smaller and opened new channels of communication. Some people believe that internet friendship or relationship is meaningless, as it can be ‘deleted’ just by pressing a ‘button’. I don’t believe. Cheaters don’t require internet to cheat on the relationship. Remember the story of Raja Harishchandra? He kept the promise made in the dream. So it all depends on how much we remain ‘committed’ to our relationship, whether internet or otherwise. I find commitment is a personality trait.


I am not an expert but experience tells me that for any meaningful communication or dialogue between two individuals, two essential conditions must be fulfilled.


Firstly, a good healthy relationship based on understanding and mutual trust. That will create a climate and desire to communicate with each other.


Secondly, once the communication begins, for its sustenance, a minimum level of response must be maintained by both sides.


If any one of these conditions is not met, the communication is likely to diminish, vitiate or terminate.

*

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

These ‘Days’


The celebration of ‘Days’ appears to be western style, but Indian tradition is not far behind. The mechanical way in which we celebrate our festivals like ‘Padva’ and ‘Bhaubij’, they could be as well called as Husband’s Day of Brother’s Day, respectively. Barring the commercials like ‘Chocolate Day’ etc., the Days generally symbolize different relationships that all of us cherish. In my opinion, celebrating a Day offers us an opportunity to take a stock of the relationship it symbolizes.


Take the example of ‘Women’s Day’! On this day, all of us must ponder over our relationships with women playing different roles in our life: mother, sister, daughter, wife, colleague or boss. Are we thankful and gratuitous to all these individuals for their services or guidance? We Indians are hypocritic on this score.


Whilst we never get tired singing songs praising these relationships, but in practice our record is very poor. The rising graph of crime against women illustrates that aspect. Today’s news tells me that on average three women are molested in the National Capital, every day. Disgusting, sub-animal behavior !!


The fact remains that the status of women in India, where we are taught to worship Goddess, has not changed from the ancient times of Sita Mai, Draupadi, till date.


*


Friday, February 26, 2010

Evaluation of inclusive economic growth

Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, is the main contributor to the pre-Budget Economic Survey for 2009-10. The 420-page document, tabled in Parliament on 25 February 2010, has on its cover a diagram depicting the concept of “coupons equilibrium”, a theory that plays an important role in providing the micro-foundations for Keynesian macroeconomics. Dr Basu turned a new leaf, defining the parameters to evaluate the inclusive economic growth, so important for the country like India. Here are the parameters proposed by Basu:


(a)Economic growth: Instead of GDP measure the growth in per capita income of the bottom 20% (quintile) population.


(b)Food coupons: Help the poor directly, instead of trying to control process. He suggests that the subsidy on the food should be given directly to the household or the farmer, respectively, instead of giving to the public distribution system or the fertilizer manufacturer.


(c) Labour rights: Create market conditions that result in greater demand for labor sothat their demands can be realistically met by the market forces.


(d)Food inflation: During the periods of high food inflation, release small quantities of food grains in multiple locations at prices substantially below the market, instead of distributing grains through millers and traders.


(e)Cost cutting: Instead of managing then nitty gritty, create conductive environment to manage the costs.Justify Full


(f) Social awareness: Spread awareness about the positive social qualities for progress. Societies endowed with personal integrity and trustworthiness have natural advantage geared to progress, as the third party regulation is not needed.


*

About Me

My photo
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.