Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let us join Anna in his struggle for strong Lokpal

While going through some newspaper headlines today, it appeared to me that there is an attempt to belittle Anna. Look at the following:

उपोषण गुंडाळले , 'जेल भरो' ही रद्द : सकाळ २९ डिसेंबर
असा घसरला अण्णांचा टी आर पी: सकाळ २९ डिसेंबर
मोक्याच्या क्षणी अण्णा हटले: म. टा. २९ डिसेंबर

Our press  friends should not forget that fighting for corruption is not only Anna's responsibility. The rampant corruption in every walk of life affects common man today. It is the responsibility of all of us to fight it.

No political party is genuinely interested in bringing strong Lokpal. Can anyone deny the fact that whatever is being discussed today in Parliament is only due to the agitation spearheaded by Anna.  

Let us join Anna in his struggle for strong Lokpal


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

India Government: Take iniriative on robotics

The Government of India need to take an initiative on robotics. Here is an example from National Science Foundation (NSF), USA

The goal of the National Robotics Initiative is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people. Innovative robotics research and applications emphasizing the realization of such co-robots acting in direct support of and in a symbiotic relationship with human partners is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purpose of this program is the development of this next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas. It will address the entire life cycle from fundamental research and development to industry  manufacturing and deployment.  Methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula and research to gain a better understanding of the long term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activity are important parts of this initiative.  Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations is strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and technology development, deployment and use.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

The God of IT

I give a Steve Jobs' quote someone posted on my Facebook page today: "Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know, what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary". Almost every innovation in IT that we see today can be attributed to Steve. He is the Rockstar! the God of IT!!


Friday, September 30, 2011

TRAI regulation to protect mobile/landline phone customers

The Indian telecom Industry with nearly 900 million subscribers is the second largest wireless market in the world. Low tariffs and direct reach to consumers has made SMS and direct calling one of the most cost effective ways of selling services and products. However, telemarketing has brought with it serious issues of invasion of privacy and has become a major irritant to customers.

To holistically curb this growing menace and effectively regulate unsolicited commercial Calls and messages, TRAI has notified "The Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2010". All the provisions of regulations come into force from 27th September, 2011. 

Customers (landline and mobile) who do not want to receive commercial communications can dial or SMS to 1909 (toll free) and register in either of the two categories:
Fully Blocked Category- stoppage of all commercial Calls/SMS
Partially Blocked Category- stoppage of all commercial Calls/SMS except SMS from one of the opted preferences 

For registering option using SMS, for 'fully blocked category', write "START 0" and send it to 1909. For 'partially blocked category', send SMS 'START' with one or multiple options from the list of seven categories. 

There are at present 7 preferences to choose from- Banking/Insurance/Financial Products/Credit Cards-1, Real Estate-2, Education-3, Health-4, Consumer goods and automobiles-5, Communication/Broadcasting/Entertainment/IT, Tourism-7.

For example: To receive messages relating to only Health products, then send SMS "START 4" to 1909. Similarly, for receiving messages relating to Real Estate and Education, send SMS "START 2,3" to 1909.

To obtain more information visit: TRAI


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scientists in public life

I do not think science-driven issues are well represented in the nation's governing body. I also feel the need for a larger scientific or researcher presence in governing bodies. However, in order that it happens, the scientists will have to change their attitude towards the general public. The other day, I was watching a top nuclear scientist of the country replying questions on nuclear safety to the representatives of the general public. I must say that the the attitude of the scientist was not correct. There was an air of superiority and arrogance in his responses,  which in fact gave him a poor personal image. The scientists must realise that the laws of science are not known to public but their fears are real. They must be more understanding and compassionate, that is what makes an illiterate politician popular among the public.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Electoral reforms

Adarniya Anna Ji
You rekindled the fire amongst the Indian citizens. After the father of nation, you showed the path to the man on street; the peaceful way to protest for his rights. Yes! The battle is only half won!! You have already declared on the behalf of all of us, the next item on the agenda: the electoral reforms. I request you to consider the following:
(a) Compulsory voting.
(b) Right to reject all candidates contesting election.
(c) Right to recall an elected representative.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ganesh Festival (गणेशोत्सव): revive the vision of Lokmanya Tilak

In 1893, Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual domestic Ganesh festival into a large, well-organized public event. Tilak  popularised Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival in order  to bring unity among the people and to generate nationalistic fervor  against the British colonial rule.

Time has arrived to revive that spirit again but for different reasons. Let us celebrate the Festival to spread the message of purity in public life. To banish corruption, of all kinds, from our personal life. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hollow promises on Lokpal

"Why is the Indian government adamant about 
keeping junior officers out of Lokpal?
The answer lies in the fact that money made at
lower levels is channeled directly to political parties"
Arvind Kejriwal
"Too many hollow promises"
The Times of India, Pune, India
July 12, 2011

The cat is out of the bag!!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do not diminute Baba Ramdev's contribution

Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding the recent agitation against corruption launched by Yog Guru Baba Ramdev, the contribution of Baba in developing the science of Yog and bringing it to the doorstep of common man cannot be ignored.

The emphasis in Baba's teaching is on performing Pranayam (controlled breathing). The course includes few Pranayams and Yogasans. Baba calls it as Pran-Yog. The principal among Pranayams are Kapalbhati and Anulom-Vilom. Some people accuse him of corrupting Patanjali Yog. The bogey of vitiating the  "purity"  of the science of Yog is also raised. However the argument is untenable as millions have benefited by the Pran-Yog, in terms of curing the diseases, some of them incurable by the allopathy.

Another important contribution to the credit of Baba Ramdev, he brought the science of Yog, in particular Pranayam, to the common man.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indians poor but India not poor

"Indians are poor but India is not a poor country", said one of the Directors of Swiss Bank. He says, Rs 280 lack crore amount of ill-gotten money is stashed in Swiss Banks, sufficient to fund taxless budget for 30 years. It can yield 60 crore jobs. It is sufficient to build 4-lane roads to all villages from Delhi. Sufficient to pay Rs 2000/- to every citizen for next 60 years. India will not need any World Bank or IMF loan.

Even presuming this report is exaggerated, it should be enough to open our eyes.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lok Pal or Lok Mar?

The draft Lokpal Bill, in its current form can only be be termed as draconian

The Lokpal in the Bill enjoys the authority of Police and Judiciary. That is not justifiable. Are we trying to create parallel government?

The Lokpal shall have the authority to confiscate property, cancel government tenders and contracts, remove government officials from the job. It is accepted that the politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus is the root cause of most corruption in the country. However unlimited power to Lokpal is a dangerous proposal. What is the guarantee that the Lokpal does not misuse his authority?

The current bill requires discussion on much wide scale. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It should not be forgotten.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Singer from the heavens

                                Narayan Shripad Rajhans alias Narayanrao, one of the greatest Marathi singers and the stage actors was called Balgandharva  by Lokmanya Tilak. The Marathi movie portraying the life story of the great maestro has just been released. Producer and art director Nitin Desai, his team and Sibodh Bhave playing the lead role make a tremendous impact. I do not want to add another movie review. Watching the great personality on the screen, I noticed two things.

                               Years back, I read a critique stating there are two categories of artists, first those who live for art and second those who use art for living. Balgandharva is a perfect example of the first and the rare category.

                               I felt, there is divinity attached to his life story. Narayanrao was an example of a sthita pradnya (steady wisdom) purusha (Sanskrit), as described in Bhagvad Gita; one who treats happiness and sorrow in the same spirit or sukh-dukhe same kritva (sanskrit).

He was a singer from heaven, truly.  


Monday, May 2, 2011

India! Rethink on nuclear installations!!

There are reasons to believe the Indian government's declaration that the country's nuclear installations are safe is "hasty and technologically superficial". There is a need to appoint an independent agency to investigate the process as well as safety aspects of the existing and future, i.e. Jaitapur, nuclear installations.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Idols

My attitude towards the professional and technical work is greatly inspired by the Head of the Research Institute, where I began my career. I emulate his style even today. The three basic aspects that I learned from him are: (a) an organisation should work by the system and not by the individuals (b) systems approach to management brings transparency and (c) at the work place there are only two categories of people: those who work and the remaining who don't. The real test of management is to inspire maximum number of people to do useful work. My research work is inspired by three great personalities. Out of them, two are eminent professors who inspired and guided me to work in the area of utilising industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete. The third is also an eminent professor who guided and inspired me to work in the area of fuel cell technology. I owe much of professional achievements to these four great personalities.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Come cricket! India needs a Malinga!!

Wah kya nazara tha!! 11 Indian tigers dancing with Sachin on their shoulders. ICC World Cup is an achievement of Team India. It was the most precious gift the team mates and we Indians gave Sachin. The match is over; both the teams played their best. We need one Malinga in Indian team; let us appreciate. Remember how Malinga was cheered when he played for Mumbai Indians last year.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Test that will put all engineers at par

The thought came in my mind after reading a news report. It is reported that the Medical Council of India (MCI) has proposed common test that could be taken by any medical graduate (MBBS) in the country as an additional qualification. The test aims at putting all doctors at par, whether from AIIMS or otherwise.

An excellent idea indeed!! With plethora of medical colleges offering degree  on the one hand and large number of cases of wrong diagnosis and bad treatment at the hand of doctors, on the other, make common man sceptic about the competence of medical practitioners. Such a common test conducted at All India level shall, to some extent, put such doubts at rest. 

It may be mentioned that an almost parallel situation exists in the engineering profession. The graduates from IITs and other reputed institutions think they are better engineers than the ones coming from relatively less known colleges. The serious aspect is that affects the job prospects of engineers. An additional qualification, on the lines similar to what has been advocated by the MCI, shall help bring all the engineers at at par. That will end discrimination on the basis of the institution.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good luck India

Many may not like this comment, but look at it this way. Whole India plays just one game. With an exception of Sachin, could we really make any lasting global mark in cricket? Look at our consistently poor performance in Asian Games and Olympics. What importance do we attach to sports at the national level? The national players of other games do not even get proper remuneration. With this state of affairs, I doubt whether our young generation could be attracted and motivated towards sports. Cricket is always associated with media hype; most of that is associated with commercial reasons. World Cup! Good Luck India!!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bring in systemic changes PM


It is time to bring in systemic changes PM

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the home minister of India said, "I think we should take serious note of concerns expressed by captains of industry and business. There is indeed a governance deficit in some areas and perhaps there is also an ethical deficit."
This is a very serious comment by a person seating in the government. If we loose on the ethical base of our actions and the governance, what is left? What is government doing to improve the situation?? I think systemic changes must precede all administrative reforms. 

Appoint a permanent commission (like UPSC, Election Commission), with adequate constitutional authority, to continuously review all systemic provisions in the public administration. The Commission should be authorised to review all provisions of law, administrative systems and procedures and bring in permanent  changes across the board. 


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reflections: Food Food

Food Food: The celebrity Chef, Sanjeev Kapoor has  launched India's first Hindi 24x7 Food Lifestyle Channel 'FOODFOOD'. It will feature, for the very first time, Hinglish content that will be produced and packaged in India, making the shows relevant to the Indian audience. In order to connect to their audience in India, FOODFOOD will feature shows about food and food lifestyle like 'Sanjeev Kapoor's Kitchen', ' Firangi Tadka ', ' Sirf 30 Minute ' and Ready Steady Cook. Prominent personalities form the entertainment and food industry such as Chef Chinu, Chef Harpal, Chef Rakesh Sethi, and more will feature as part of the varied offerings on the channel. FoodFood is also the first Indian channel that's entirely shot in high definition.

It is indeed fun watching this channel. All those who love food must watch FoodFood.

Governance by Mafia: There are three tapping points in a state's distribution chain from where cheap kerosene meant for sale through ration shops is diverted, more often than not, in collusion with civil supplies officials and police.
Although quite disturbing but not surprising. All public dealings appear to be full of rackets. Why not legalize rackets and mafia dealings. That will save trouble of investigations.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reflections: walking with national flag

Walking with national flag: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday arrested six Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and separatists, who were heading towards the Lal Chowk here to hoist the national flag on the occasion of the country's 62nd Republic Day.
The incidents on the eve of republic day, which occurred in the Indian State of J&K, pained every Indian. One political party tried to gain mileage, exploiting the current situation in J&K. Instead of dealing with the situation politically, the governments at the Centre and the State treated it as a law and order problem and created a huge mess. In that process they actually supported the goal of political parties exploiting the situation. In addition, they also sent a wrong message to the general public. The public asks: Are we required to obtain permission to walk with the national flag in our country?   

Efficient solar cells:  The researchers have demonstrated a new solar cell design that can not only convert the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical energy, it is also practical to make using common manufacturing techniques in the semiconductor industry. 
The efficiency of solar cells currently available is low. One of the reasons is it cannot use the full spectrum of light (all frequencies) for the energy conversion. The new, multiband photovoltaic device based on gallium arsenide nitride is highly efficient and practical to produce.

Bring systemic changes to improve law and order:  The gory killing of additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane has shaken the country.  
One after another, such gory incidents occur and public becomes meek spectators. At times we wonder whether this country is ruled by mafia, some on the chair and some supporting it from outside. We know again some inquiry committee will be appointed and the incident will be coolly forgotten, like those earlier. Nothing tangible can be achieved unless we bring in systemic changes. No political party speaks about it.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reflections: Biological revitalizing process - Autophagy

Autophagy: Greek word  for self-eating—is an efficient self-cleaning, biological revitalizing process used in our bodies. When cells face adverse conditions such as nutrient depletion, the autophagy process commences to enclose a portion of its own cellular constituents and delivers it to the lytic compartment (named lysosome in animals, vacuole in yeast and plants) for reuse. Oh! What a system!!

Kursi aur Corruption:  Embattled Suresh Kalmadi has been sacked as the Chairman of the CWG Organising Committee to enable an "unhindered" probe into alleged corruption, bringing an unceremonious end to his tenure which was plagued by scandals and controversies.Kalmadi''s close aide Lalit Bhanot was also removed as the Secretary General of the OC with immediate effect, almost three months after the sporting extravaganza was held here amid a spate of unsavory controversies. A step in the right direction. As a member of Parliament Kalmadi should have resigned long back. His image has taken an immense beating.

Indian Companies, Foreign Managers:  Indian corporate houses hiring foreign managers -Career news- Mumbai: Call it reverse outsourcing or local talent hunting, but high-tech Indian firms have been hiring foreigners as part of their long-term growth. This is a welcome development. It will help improving corporate culture in India.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Reflections: Mile Sur .. ..

Mile Sur: Pune, Jan 24 (PTI) Doyen of Hindustani classical music Pandit Bhimsen Joshi passed away this morning in a private hospital here after prolonged illness.He was 87. The message of national integration propagated by Paditji through his famous song: Mile Sur Mera Tumhara .. .., has become a legend.

Sabarimala Tragedy: In our country only politicians take advantage of such tragic incidents for mud-slinging. In fact, all such incidents should be followed by thorough investigation by expert team, with regard to the causes and the remedial measures. The report should be made public. What is important is bringing systemic changes across the country, so as to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Hoisting National Flag in India:  More than 2,000 police personnel have been deployed on the Jammu and Kashmir-Punjab border to ensure no one enters J&K to hoist tricolor in Lal Chowk (Srinagar) on the Republic day. It is indeed surprising to see Indians are required to fight to hoist national flag in India.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reflections: Shadow of China

(A) Shadow of China: For India, the implications of this Sino-American detente are challenging for two reasons. First, it reinforces the notion that the key geopolitical axis runs through Washington, DC and Beijing. This bipolarity is not rigid, but it is solidifying as the main strategic centre of gravity, leaving India to emerge as a kind of meso-power that cannot disturb Sino-American parity. Thus, US-India relations might not experience significant changes, perhaps resulting in a sense of the drift that worried many Indians prior to Obama’s visit at the end of 2010. In addition, the payoffs from the Obama visit might seem less impressive from an Indian perspective going forward, than they appeared in the immediate aftermath.

Second, India might worry more about how the “new normal” in Sino-American relations affects Chinese calculations vis-avis India and Indian interests in Asia. With parity and core stability achieved with the United States, will China feel more confident and assertive on other issues because the United States might not be prepared to intervene seriously against China? What is emerging between China and the United States might generate negative externalities for India in terms of its relationship with China, specifically an increased Chinese sense that it does not have to acknowledge any kind of parity in how it deals with India. This outcome would have a ripple effect across Asia, perhaps encouraging countries to perceive India as a second-rate power in its own neighbourhood. Not helpful for a country that believes it deserves a permanent seat on the UN Security Council because of its global importance.

 The shadow of China is bound to become bigger with the new new normal. The US experience in the past suggests that it is likely to work further in that direction, even at the cost Indian interest in the Asian subcontinent. We should be prepared to see worse of China and as a side effect, emboldened Pakistan in future.

(B) Forestation of Deserts: The Sahara Forest Project, which aims to create green oases in desert areas, has signed a deal to build a pilot plant in Aqaba, near the Red Sea in Jordan. With funding from the Norwegian government, the team plans to begin building the pilot plant on a 200,000 square metre site in 2012. The earth has an abundance of sunlight, seawater, carbon dioxide and arid land that could be used for profitable and sustainable production of food, water and renewable energy, while combating the greenhouse effect through binding CO2 in new vegetation in arid areas.

(C) Mobile Number Portability: The much-awaited mobile number portability has finally become a reality, empowering consumers to change mobile operators conveniently while retaining the same number. Experts view it as a great step forward for the consumer, as it enhances the choice and brings in more competition and better services.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reflections: cold fusion

Hopes about cold fusion have been raised once again by two Italian researcher who claim to have fused atomic nuclei at room temperature. Cold fusion has been a holy grail of physics for decades. If it could be achieved, it would be a cheap, clean, and limitless energy source. The whole world watches as to whether this becomes a hot (cold) news or another damp squib

In India, the practice of film stars entering politics is not a new phenomenon. It has been in vogue for quite some time. Many film stars have started their second innings with a transition from films to politics. Whether we talk of southern film stars like N.T. Rama Rao and M.G. Ramachandran, or their Bollywood counterparts like Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna, the film industry has time and again made its presence felt in India's political scene. In India, all netas are basically abhinetas, no wonder if some abhineta becomes a neta. The question is if this is an unwelcome trend, why do people vote such people to power. We only get the government which we deserve.

A private high school teacher, who also used to tutor a minor girl, has been arrested on the charges of sexually exploiting the student for about a month. It is high time law is amended to provide exemplary punishment to rapists.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Reflections: 21 January 2011

The Clause 69 of Information Technology law has been modified. The police have been authorised to tap email account or internet chatting of those against whom investigations are in progress for serious charges.They only require permission from the State or Central Government. This provision is bound to be misused, going by the previous experience. As a precaution, the law should be further amended. Instead of government, it should be mandatory for police to seek permission from the court of law. 

The honorable Supreme Court of India has asked the Government to bring back black money stashed abroad. The news is grabbing headlines since past few days. The Government appears to be reluctant.

The Indians reportedly rank 7th on the global scale in the G-math test. What about the lakhs of below-average engineers and doctors turned out year-by-year by the substandard institutions? The higher education in the country is indeed in poor state.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Ushering into issue-based politics

All elections in India, at national, regional or local levels, are mostly fought (and won) on non-developmental issues. This is the pattern till date. However recently concluded Bihar assembly election is an exception. Nitish Kumar was voted back to power by majority vote. This fact is accepted even by his opponents. How Nitish brought such a sea change in the general pattern and whether that could be a model for issue-based politics for the future, are the questions. In order to arrive at an answer, we need to analyse how the general pattern got established in the country.

Traditionally, Indian society is stratified on the basis of caste, language and regions. The individuals or the group of individuals occupying positions in the front of caste, linguistic or the regional domains, tend to dominate others in the lower rung. Such social injustice is perpetrated over the years and as a result it gives birth to social unrest in different sections of society.

Such social stratification and attendant social injustice are not the phenomena observed in India alone but is also observed in other parts of the world,where people are seen voting on the ethnic lines or express preferences on the basis of skin color.  

The democratic system of election provides a legitimate vent for such unrest. Thus the affected individuals tend to choose a party, which at least seemingly, fights for the cause of such socially deprived or aggrieved groups. Thus ushering into issue-based politics shall require mitigation of social injustice in the first place and that is what the Chief Minister Nitish did in the Indian State of Bihar. Once the social factors become irrelevant, individuals shall look towards and vote for development. After all, who does not development!


About Me

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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.