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!


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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.