Thursday, January 28, 2010

Whose job is it anyway ?

The Supreme Court of India, on 27 January 2010, sought the status of availability of night shelters for homeless all over the country. Living in the open is gross denial of the right to live with dignity is the view expressed by the apex court. Whose job is it anyway ? It is shameful to see that the apex judicial body of the country has to take a note of such aspects. Our leaders may as well trash this as another instance of judicial over activity. More than six decades of independence, where is the Republic ?


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Monday, January 25, 2010

Beware colliding particles


The particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes. Earlier it could not be shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, predicts the formation of black this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole.

The key to forming a black hole is cramming enough mass or energy into a small enough volume, as happens when a massive star collapses. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, mass and energy warp space and time or space-time, to create the effect we perceive as gravity. If a large enough mass or energy is crammed into a small enough space, that warping becomes so severe that nothing, not even light can escape. The object thus becomes a black hole. Two particles can make a miniscule black hole in just this way if they collide with an energy above a fundamental limit called the Planck energy.

Choptuik and Frans Pretorius of Princeton University simulated such collisions, including all the extremely complex mathematical details from general relativity. They modeled the two particles as hypothetical objects known as boson stars, which are similar to models that describe stars as spheres of fluid. Using hundreds of computers, Choptuik and Pretorius calculated the gravitational interactions between the colliding particles and found that a black hole does form if the two particles collide with a total energy of about one-third of the Planck energy, slightly lower than the energy predicted by hoop conjecture, as they report in a paper in press at Physical Review Letters.

Although Choptuik says that the LHC is unlikely to make black holes, the research in this area should be immediately stopped even if there is slightest, remotest possibility.

Ref: Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes, by Adrian Cho, ScienceNOW Daily News, 22 January 2010


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Glacier of mistake

The IPCC Chief, R K Pachauri has declared that he has no plans to resign over the so called "Glacier Mistake". Why should you ? Mr Pachauri, when others are allowed to continue with "Mountain of Mistakes".

While admitting the mistake as 'human error', the IPCC Chief has assured that adequate care would be taken in the furure. Why was it not taken earlier ?

The image of IPCC has received a dent. It is quite possible that the reports produced by IPCC shall be viewed with suspicion in the future, however 'robust' they may be claimed, for all of us know that a 'mistake' is known only when it is 'detected'.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Right to education

The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act was supposed to be a giant leap towards universalization of education in India. However, it has acquired the dubious distinction of being the only fundamental right that exists just on paper.


More than seven years after the Constitution was amended in 2002 to make free and compulsory education to children in the age group of 6-14 a fundamental right and over four months after the historic Right to Education Bill was passed in Parliament, in August 2009, both the legislations are yet to be notified. Without notification, which is a mandatory step, the right to free and compulsory education remains just a goal.


The school dropouts are maximum in the age group of 6-14 years. The primary reason is economic. The implementation of the bill will help parents who are unable to educate their wards for economic reasons. It will also put a check on the child labor. The amended version of the Bill, makes special provision for the physically or mentally challenged children.


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All this has to change some day

The reports on the plight of India hockey hit the newspaper headlines everyday


If I understand correctly, the present crisis in Indian hockey is on account of non-payment of the normal dues to the players. It appears to be some sort of bureaucratic bungling. It must be happening to other games too. Since hockey is our national game and this time the players refused to budge, the issue seems to have drawn media attention. Pathetic !!


The other day Prime Minister Sh Manmohan Singh mentioned about freeing science from the bureaucratic clutches. Well, who stops him doing that ? He runs the country ! I remember, few years back, Sh Bajpai, erstwhile Prime Minister, also expressed similar feelings. Are they indeed helpless before the powerful bureaucracy or just the crocodile tears ? one wonders. It only shows that the persons in power can play with everything, even judiciary, Rathore (DGP) case is a classic example. A good democracy always has checks and balances on the use of authority by the public servants.


All this has to change some day. In democracy, the ultimate power lies only with people, provided they exercise it through ballot box. But in a country like India, where voting percentage never exceeds 60%, most candidate get elected on the support of the minority of the population. In such situation, expecting accountability from the elected representatives will be asking for too much; bureaucrats only fall in line.


Should we think about changing our national game ? I am not clear as to how these so called "national" things were decided earlier; say national game, national bird. Going by the logic, the game which is played and popular nation-wide should become a national game. Hockey certainly does not qualify that test. Why not collect national level statistics through census ?


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Friday, January 8, 2010

Friend

Friend .. ..

Is an anchor for sinking ship

Always with you, when there is none

Never misleads, calls spate a spate

For friendship is thicker than blood

Friendship is a friendship is a friendship


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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.