The level of happiness of Indians rose to ecstatic when Parag Agrawal took charge as CEO of Twitter. According to a research report a few years ago, about 33% of immigrant bounded companies in America were started by Indians. About 25% of Engineering and Technology companies between 1995-2005, and about 33% of Engineering and Technology companies between 2006-2012 have been the contribution of immigrant Indians. Americans have also bought several of these companies for billions of dollars.
The dominance of Indians among CEOs of 30% of Fortune 500 companies, and one third of engineers in Silicon Valley companies have also been detailed in research reports. Management, Communication, Hard work, and Human Resources have been the chief causative factors responsible for the accomplishments of Indians.
Indians make up 1% of the American population ; and 6% of employees in the Silicon Valley area. More than 10 lakhs out of the 40 lakh Indians are scientists and engineers. In cities like Seattle Indian engineers make up 40% of those from other countries. It is no surprise then that Indians occupy positions in the higher echelons of specialists in many organisations.
The secret of Indian success is also not new. Management Guru, Corporate Strategist, Educator, and Author – late CK Prahalad ( Michigan State University) cited the following as our success mantra : undue importance to caste certificates, undue importance to birth and death certificates, fierce competition for space in schools and colleges, inadequate educational infrastructure facilities, and failure to recognise and accept abilities openly constituting the ‘barriers’ one needs to ‘break’ for progress in India from a very young age. Indians gain immense experience in healthy competition, tackling rivalries, and problem solving in every stage of life making them well equipped in these traits. It also constitutes the main stepping stone to a person’s success. On the flip side it gives rise to insignificant, inconsequential, and inessential pleasures whenever an Indian becomes the CEO of any American company in the idle hope that we will be the ultimate controller of American companies and even American economy. In effect it is not of any great importance either. Many may not be even be aware of the fact that long before anyone becomes the CEO they become “American Citizens” with their full belonging to our nation India less revealing.
It is against this background we should with pride view the contributions of the doyens of Indian industry through a different but rational prism. Ratan Tata, Rahul Bajaj, Venu Srinivasan, Mallika Srinivasan, Narayanamurthy, Asim Premji, Sridhar Vembu, Mukesh Ambani, Aditya Birla, Kiran Majumdar Shah, Anand Mahindra, Shiv Nadar, and other such Indian corporate giants afforded opportunities and employment to crores of Indians in diverse sectors economy like, Computers, Information Technology, Communication, Housing, Construction, Consumer goods, Renewable energy, Hotels, Entertainment, Media and the likes without being recognised or remembered ‘deservingly’. Instead we even go to the extent of criticising or even pouring scorn without any respect on some or many such individuals as Leaders of too big companies with an indirect hold on the governance of our nation as a whole. Aditya Birla employed 1.5 lakhs, Infosys’s Narayanamurthy employed 2 lakhs, Reliance employed 2.5 lakhs, Mahindra employed 2 lakhs, HCL employed 1.5 lakhs, Wipro employed 2 lakhs, Tatas employed 7 lakhs, TVS employed 60000, Bajaj employed 50000 and the list goes on. No less than 30 lakhs and even comparable enough to the Central Government Employee strength of 40 lakhs or so. We need to discept and debate if the immigrant Indian CEOs /employees in America had willingly accepted the positions offered or were compelled to accept jobs due to lack of the right opportunities and support for their talent in India.
Indian entrepreneur, GR Gopinath looks at this issue from his own perspective. He terms this as : ” Victory for America ; not for India”. His reason : ” Skills and enterprise of Indians have been utilised in a constructive manner by the Americans. India lost its ability to channel this expertise.”
At this juncture it will be worth looking at China and its manoeuvres on this issue. China has built on its own accord, on its own land hugely competitive organisations of high calibre in the world like “Alibaba, Ten Cent, Baidu, Weibo, Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, Great Wall Motors, Fox Conn and the likes with the right kind of opportunities, education, training, and experience with little brain drain. Chinese people are the sole beneficiaries of employment and sustenance. India needs to strive hard to encourage and establish Indian talent within its own land even while fully recognising the fact that China and India are nations portraying different governance structures and abilities.
India is a flourishing democracy ; its leaders are elected once in 5 years usually by the citizens democratically. India is also home to rule by a single party or a coalition group in both the Centre and States.
China is a one party nation; one party government ; prevailing 8 hour work day with employee welfare laws and schemes; no strikes or bandh ; no struggle or scuffle; no lockouts or obstructions ; no condemnation meetings; and no false propaganda against the Government (they are put down vehemently). Ability and capacity beget credit and acknowledgement, and prosperity can be attained within the nation itself.
It is still doubtful in our country if such promises and recognition are possible. It is also difficult to compare the two nations as each has its pros and cons.
Just like the beetles go where the flowers are, Indians will go to places where there are better opportunities. It is our natural law; it is in our psyche.
About 6 lakh Indians have adopted the citizenship of America and England in the last 5 years. There is a need to look into the reasons why it has happened. Research is also needed on the aspects of why and how Indians successfully start organisations in America.
Equality of Education and Job Opportunities within India ; Opportunity to start one’s own enterprise with ease and without any red tape ( less beaurocratic paperwork and officialdom) ; A system shorn of bribery ; Approval for business based on Single Window processing spontaneously ; Implementation of people welfare/progress plans and programs without political interference and Opposition – will be the key requirements to keep Indians within our shores and make India Great.
The above may sound ‘obvious’ and may even be dismissed easily. But, as the 30th American President, Calvin Coolidge, emphasised in his governance : ” Take care of the OBVIOUS ; 50% of the PROBLEMS will be taken care of themselves”.
” Dieu avec nous”
Tuesday, December 28, 2021 – 9.59 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” He is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive; but those who can best manage change”. – Charles Darwin.
( This is meant to be a short essay )
” Despite the many differences the fact that I am an” Indian” has been deeply entrenched in our minds inexorably linked to each other and unable to be treated separately ” – believed our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. But, Jammu and Kashmir was separated and accorded a special status prominently attributable to the immense people popularity enjoyed by Sheikh Abdullah inducing good faith largely. Today that status also remains repealed.
In another instance,, the obstinacy and pertinacity of Muhammad Ali Jinnah that the region highly populated by Muslims should be separated creating a new Nation, Pakistan, combined with the indirect support of the British could not prevent Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, and Vallabhai Patel from the formation of the new Nation, Pakistan. It took its birth on August 14, 1947.
That Pakistan took its birth as twins ( West Pakistan and East Pakistan) separated from each other by 1600 km geographically is its exquisiteness. There was no connecting Road from West Pakistan to East Pakistan. To go from East to west or from West to East one has to cross the Indian land or Indian skies. I cannot remember any other country divided into two regions geographically in this fashion in the World.
That East Pakistan could not sustain its cooperation with West Pakistan since its foundation because of differences in language, culture, and even physical characteristics of their people is not surprising.
The total land area of West Pakistan is 8.8 lakh sqkm. Its population is 19 crores. About 97% are Muslims and only 3% constitute individuals of other religion(s). Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, and Lahore are the big cities. People speak the languages of Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi.
East Pakistan or today’s Bangladesh has a land area of 1.48 lakh sqkm. Its population is 16.2 crores. About 83% of people are Muslims and Hindus constitute 16%. People speak the following languages : Bangladesh, Chakma, Hindi, Urdu, Bawm and other.
Punjabis and Pathans constitute predominantly the West Pakistanis. In the East it is mostly Bengalis. By their looks, appearance, colour, and configuration they are however different. For Bengalis their language and not the religion is prime. For West Pakistanis religion is prime.
The population of East Pakistan is more than that of the WEST Pakistan. East Pakistan also contributes 70% of the total Pakistan Export of Tea leaves and jute. But only 10%of the opportunities were afforded to East Pakistanis in Pakistan national military. It was against this background that a revolution erupted under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It made Ayub Khan lose his power and military General Yahya Khan took charge of Pakistan. But the situation on the ground did not much change.
Historians recognised and spelt out clearly that a combination of two regions with such disparate characteristics will not be sustainable only based on religion. History also has no such record of unification of contrasting geographical land areas.
There has not been any record of formal or systematic election processes from 1947 to 1970. Democracy did not blossom either. Only West Pakistan nationals enjoyed power and fame in Governance, Administration, Justice, and Authority. East Pakistanis were treated as second grade citizens..
The Pakistan Government in 1952 pronounced Urdu as its national language. Bengali speaking East Pakistanis resisted this proclamation strongly. A revolution began against this move of the Government. Thousands of young East Pakistanis lost their lives. This became its first Internal War against the Pakistan Government. The dead youth were celebrated as martyrs.
Severe Cyclone in 1970 created huge damage to people and prosperity in East Pakistan. Lakhs of people lost their lives. Authoritarian Pakistan Government did not pay any attention to Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation. The step motherly treatment meted out to East Pakistan triggered an angry and hate filled response towards the Government.
General Elections were held in late 1970. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League party captured 167 of the 169 seats in East Pakistan. Pakistan People’s Party led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto secured the largest single party status in West Pakistan. But it was unable to form the Government due to lack of coalition success.
It became proper for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to take charge as PM of Pakistan. Bhutto refused to yield. Military leadership also played against Mujibur Rahman. Yahya Khan was the military General then and he postponed the Parliament sitting. Under the pretense of initiating diplomatic conversations he prepared for an all out attack against East Pakistan. His singular objective was to control the revolution in East Pakistan. This led to the imprisonment of Mujibur Rahman in West Pakistan.
Dhaka rally of March 7, 1971, and the flag hoisting of March 23, 1971, (flag of Bangladesh) marked the beginning of a new Nation under the Leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Pakistan army began the war on East Pakistan killing nearly 3 lakh people ; wounding nearly 5 lakh people ; destabilising about 3 crore people ; and resulting in nearly 1 crore people fleeing to India crossing the borders. There was no limit to the atrocities let loose by the Pakistan Government under the “Operation Searchlight” to curb the Bengali Nationalist Movement in East Pakistan.
It continued for 7 to 8 months. International dailies and magazines covered the brutality let loose by General Yahya Khan’s military establishment. Except for India no other country came forward to express sorrow/worries leave alone showing even lip sympathy to the people of East Pakistan.
American Consulate in Pakistan sent information to U. S. Administration. Opposition leaders like Ted Kennedy even released warning messages.. But the administration turned a deaf ear to these and even sent the military ship, ” the Seventh Fleet” to the Bay of Bengal to prevent India from taking any action to salvage the people of East Pakistan.
Closely observing and analysing the situations developing in East Pakistan, the Indian PM, Indira Gandhi, established contacts with world leaders and submitted to control and stop the atrocities meted out to the East Pakistanis. It didn’t meet with any significant effect. America and China just watched the events ; Europe remained silent ; UN establishment could not stop the killings ; Only Soviet Union stood in support of India.
China regarded India as its enemy, and Pakistan as its friend. Indian leaders were quite aware that in the event of any India-Pak war, China will be on the side of Pakistan.
PM, Indira Gandhi, met with President, Nixon, seeking to prevent this oppression and brutality by Pakistan. Nixon replied, ” You shoot anyone crossing your borders.” Implicit in his reply was the fact that he will be in support of Pakistan only. The conversation led to a verbal duel with Nixon seriously admonishing the PM, Indira Gandhi.
Returning from America, Indira Gandhi sought to initiate manoeuvres of ” peace, friendship, and cooperation” with the Soviet Union. Internally in response to JP Narayan’s query of India’s response to the brutality in East Pakistan, a neighbouring nation, Indira Gandhi politely responded with these words : ” please wait for sometime patiently”.
Indira Gandhi then called General Sam Manekshaw to know if defence services will be ready for a war. General Sam Manekshaw replied, ” Always Ready”. Indira Gandhi wanted the first attack to be from Pakistan; and the end result to be India’s victory. This is what Finally happened, ” A VICTORY FOR INDIA”.
Yahya Khan began the war expecting the support of America and China on December 3, 1971. Pakistan Airforce attacked the Indian Airforce Site. They were destroyed and driven away by the Indian Airforce. India also retaliated with defeats to the intruding Pakistan Army in Kashmir. India then entered East Pakistan with its army ably supported by the ” Mukti Bahini” forces of East Pakistan and defeated the Pakistan army clearly. Indian Military Lt General, Jagjit Singh Aurora made a call and warning to Pakistan to surrender within 48 hours. Pakistan Lt General, AAK Niyazi and his army of 93000 soldiers surrendered unconditionally making this “WAR” the greatest “VICTORY” after the Second World War in history. The war was over in just 14 days. December 16, 1971, became the Liberation Day.
Celebrating this victory, Indian PM, Indira Gandhi declared in the Parliament, ” Bangladesh is now born ; Dhaka has become it’s Capital ; Sheikh Mujibur Rahman becomes the First PM of Bangladesh ; Greetings to the PM and people of Bangladesh “. She also added, ” Our Generals of Army, Navy, and Airforce together with their soldiers, and the Border Security Forces are responsible for our Victory ; Let us all bow to their valour and sacrifices “.
It was not surprising that the Indian Opposition Leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee held Indira Gandhi as the image of, “Mother Parashakthi” for standing up firmly to thwart the sinister moves of Pakistan. The combined attack of India’s military, Navy, and Airforce alongside the “Mukti Bahini” were responsible for the creation of Bangladesh. General Sam Manekshaw stands tall in the heart of every Indian..
The history of formation of Bangladesh is not an ordinary one. Religion, Language, and Indian Cooperation makes the triad constituting the establishment of a revolutionary “BANGLADESH”.
Creation of Bangladesh enhanced the pride of India in the WORLD. Today marks the completion of 50 years of the formation of Bangladesh. Even amidst the highs and lows of our relationship in these years we cannot forget the characteristics of our people resembling them just as water changes its nature from the nature of the soil it flows..
Some of those responsible for the murder of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have not been punished yet ; and the increasing voices against India and Hindus in Bangladesh are agonising and harrowing to say the least.
Bangladesh should prosper ; relationship between India and Bangladesh must also gain further strength.
This is the expectation of every Indian today..
” Dieu avec nous ”
Thursday, December 16, 2021 – 3.19 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Great countries are those that produce great people “. – Benjamin Disraeli.
The beginning of this decade (2021) marked the historic event in American history of an immigrant Indian woman taking on the mantle of the Vice-President, one could have never imagined. Records and accomplishments of immigrant Indians in America make the entire world discover and confirm the astonishingly impressive command presented by them. The latest entry into this brilliant, celebrated, and distinguished achievers is Parag Agrawal of ‘Twitter’ who became its CEO last week.
The academic and professional progress of Parag Agrawal (he holds a BTech from IIT Bombay ; and MS, PhD from Stanford University) leading to the credited recognition of CEO makes India proud as much as it makes the preference accorded to the talent and efficiency congratulatory in American society. The fact that Indians have been able to etch their impressions in most sectors of the economy besides being the leading CEOs of at least seven prestigious organisations cannot be easily dismissed.
If Sundar Pichai of Alphabet Inc. ( born June 10, 1972) ; Satya Nadella of Microsoft (born, August 19, 1967); Arvind Krishna of IBM ( born, 1962); Shantanu Narayen of Adobe Inc. ( born, May 27, 1963); Nikesh Arora of Palo Alto Networks ( born, Feb 9, 1968); Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks (born, March 27, 1961); and now Parag Agrawal of Twitter ( born, May 21, 1984) hold the CEO positions in organisations, many like them also hold their prestigious positions in Computer/Software organisations. About 30% of Future 500 organisations boasted Indian Leadership in 2018. It may have certainly been more now. This has to be viewed as the symbol of Indians transforming themselves as ‘Key Opinion Leaders’ in America, a pride in itself.
Gone were the periods when Indians leaving their shores seeking greener pastures in foreign land dubbed as “Brain Drain” in general discussions ( foreigners termed that as “Body Shopping” sarcastically). Now every family here wants to send its child/children abroad. Americans are bewildered, dumbfounded, and even frightened at the talent of Indians.
Even though the above facts make for India’s pride, the sadness behind this cannot be erased from our memories.
While America opens its doors for external talent, we do not take advantage of the same within our country in a glaring paradox. It cannot but be blamed on the misunderstanding and short-sightedness of our leaders. The respect and living comforts/conveniences that Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella have earned are sadly absent in India – also a bitter truth.
The hard work and effort put in by Indians in America cannot be understated even as it is glaring that the same talent, hard work, and efforts would not have given similar levels of success here. It is obvious that not fostering and nurturing the capacity to think; not providing encouragement and opportunities to fructify their thoughts ; and not supporting with financial and technical resources to put to fruition combined with large scale reservations to various categories of people stifle the success while leading to the export of the ‘talented’.
We do not have as yet any Premier Technical Institution(s) ; administrative management institution(s) ; and Universities in the list of First 100 institutions of the World. If some of those from these very institutions can make a refulgent glow in their careers abroad, it only sets our thinking wrong – a reality that strikes at the face of the educators and leaders.
Globalisation has given a tremendous fillip to the educational and employment opportunities abroad. And people are certainly migrating. If this continues our dreams of becoming a “Superpower” will remain only in dreams.
The educational and professional prosperity of such people – be it in the case of Indira Nooyi or Kamala Harris or Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella – would not have been possible in India. We could neither retain them nor could utilise their wealth of knowledge in India.
India’s Loss is America’s Gain.
” Dieu avec nous”
Saturday, December 4, 2021 – 8.39 p.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” India is a country with rich brains and unfortunately they brain drain”.
” CNN has suspended prime time news anchor, Chris Cuomo, ‘indefinitely pending further evaluation ‘ after the revelation of the improper nature of his relationship with aides to his brother, Former NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo “.
Chris Cuomo said, ” Family is more important than job”, while accepting some of the charges. It can’t be more than true and justifiable in life for everyone.
After retirement and even while announcing early/premature retirement in Sports, Movies, Entertainment and few other fields we are familiar with reasons emerging from individuals concerned about life, family, and retirement as priorities. Management students and personnel may have heard this aspect more frequently in LEADERSHIP and JOB DECISIONS.
Chris Cuomo’s case is different in that he has been suspended for his wrongdoing. But his reaction is common. There will be some investigations and soon a final clear decision.
I have this small account to record on this issue :
- 1. For a lot of time during his career at CNN ( since 2013) he has been gushing at his vibes into accomplishments at work, may be even at the expense of his family. He has been work centered clearly.
- 2. He has been a popular, very effective, and well regarded prime time news anchor at work in CNN.
- 3. I have been regularly watching the three some – Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon – for a few years now and I could not afford to miss Cuomo’s coverage, specially the following :
- (a) the news he continued to broadcast from his home when he contracted COVID – 19 in March ( sprinkling his own personal account of symptoms, testing, fears, and the nature of the spread). It was his family that stood by him strongly then.
- (b) the coverage based on his personal visit to the border areas looking at the life of migrants who had camped near US-Mexico border when the then President, Donald Trump, threatened to close the borders ; and
- (c) the pretty amazing and novel use of the Whiteboard with bullet points explaining the sequence of events like a well trained ACADEMICIAN during his prime time coverages .
- CNN can certainly move on without Chris Cuomo as would any organisation without any individual, howsoever, critical he is to business. No one is irreplaceable. Chris cuomo will now be focusing on winning the support of his team and other groups of people within the network. His job and career may change. But he will certainly have his family with him and for him it will be more important than anything else now.
- ” Dieu avec nous “
- December 1, 2021 – 12.29 p.m. (IST)
- Tidbit : ” God’s judgment is not like man’s judgment “.
A unique, unusual, and till now unfamiliar germ/pathogen – the Corona Virus – that entered the world creating a fearful and atrocious impact on human population has been accompanied by a limitless leap in technology the world had not witnessed before. That which took us along a plateau in its early stages has leapt on to the sky today with humans failing to match its speed.
We are now in a special ‘ new age’ period experiencing Neo Normal lives like never before.
” The only constant in life is change”, and that is reflected no better than the changes we observe in Information Technology today. What has happened since the beginning of this new millennium for 20 years has happened in 18 months. For good in some respects at least.
Even those who have not handled Information Technology in their daily lives have learnt to do that adeptly either by their own will or otherwise. And the business of IT gadgets and tools has been soaring to a new high. This marks the beginning of the Neo Normal.
- – There was this time when I used to send Greetings Cards to 10 or 15 relatives and close friends on festival occasions by post. Today with even 1000s of our personal contacts we are able to send Greetings together at one go in two ticks.
- – Instead of cheques for transactions we now use the instantaneous computer mode through GPay, … … and many other such payments. The giver and the receiver may not even know the bank account details of either but the chief enabler here is the phone number now.
- – Refrigerators where conventionally we have the freezer on top and vegetables /fruits shelf located at the bottom, has been reversed mutually to hold these now. Bottom mounted freezer fridge is the new development here.
- – OTT has now become the usual, popular viewing tool as opposed to movies in theatres.
- – Books and newspapers published in print has taken the route of e-publishing today.
- – 50 years ago we had a ‘watch’ for noting time ; a ‘ torch light’ for searching objects at night times ; a ‘ calculator’ for basic or even advanced mathematical calculations ; a ‘camera’ for taking photographs. Today, a simple smartphone makes all the above redundant and obsolete.
- – Typewriter has given way to voice calls and voice recordings on screens.
- – If we had pen friends earlier, we now have 1000 times more on Facebook whether we know and see them or not.
- These are some obvious tendencies by nature ; examples of our new disposition, making a perceptible impact on our lives. Concurrent with these are the changes in our lives we make to adapt to the new world. Common people have also been compelled to change their priorities to a different Base socially. We are the “system” ; We are the “change” – is the dictum now.
- ” Science and Consciousness making an orderly movement is the path to achieve the goal of ‘Neo Normal’ ” – according to Swami Vivekananda.
- – A new version of this reality is what is spelt out in ” METAVERSE”. It signifies the Virtual World we live in. This is the next big evolution in IT – ” the 3D Internet” – our Future.
- This, in fact was documented as early as 1992 in Neil Stephenson’s Science novel, “Snow Crash”. Using one’s own creation of ‘avatars’ to communicate, interact, and experience new adventures in several sectors is the crux of “Metaverse”.
- Steven Spielberg’s film “Ready Player One” (2018) where a Virtual Reality was designed to hide the keys to the fortune of an individual for which a teenager makes his quest aptly sets out this theme of “Metaverse”. Games like Roblox and Fortnite are based on this technology only.
- Changing the surrounding we are in to a new imaginary environment ; creating a feeling of ourselves being present in that imaginary environment making it a virtual world ; and to combine these images to hold the real world people in this virtual world constitutes the procedural algorithm in this technology.
- What has so far been happening only in Games today will be transformed to have ‘avatars’ created by human fancy live in this Meta verse. Facebook is now concentrating and engaging on this technology to bring to the fore neoteric interactions. Hence, it’s change in logo and name of the Company to “Meta Platforms Inc.” Significant to note is the fact that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, avers that “METAVERSE” will be the next breakthrough technology.
- The day is not too far for us, human beings in the real world, to create characters of our interest and to live, interact, and communicate with them in this Metaverse. This is expected to unfold experiences in in ever before imagined sites and bases. Sectors like Education, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Construction, Business and Governance are all priming up for this paradigm shift in interactions. Well, this is neither sudden nor quick /swift. May take a decade or more to be felt significantly.
- – Our Kings in olden days without any knowledge of the word, “Technology” created marvels with their innate abilities accomplishing great things.
- 1. Kallanai Dam (329 meters long and 29 meters in width ) was built on Canvey River, Tamil Nadu, India, by King Karikala Cholan in first Century A. D. It was built by cutting and placing rocks one over the other. Cutting rocks included punching holes into the rocks, inserting wedges into these holes, applying water and streaking. Astounded by the Dam, the British General and Irrigation Engineer, Arthur Cotton (1903-1999) called it the “Grand Anicut Dam” and following the same principles of building a Dam on a sandbed foundation, he built one in England.
- 2. The monumental, ornate, temple tower of Tanjore Peruvudaiyar temple in TamilNadu is 216 feet high ; Thiruvannamalai temple tower is 217 feet high ; Tenkasi Viswanath temple is 175 feet high – all built at least 100s of years ago, but without any serious damage until this day. On the contrary, we see buildings falling even as they are being constructed today. Metaverse can probably help guide, monitor, and consummate operations based on our imaginary structural diagrams, enabling necessary purchase and procurement of construction materials , and proper instructions howsoever remote one is placed.
- There were no Executive Engineers ; no Senior Engineers ; no Junior Engineers in those olden days. No contractors, not even benami contractors ; no family members seeking payoffs, discounts, bribes, or incentives. The objects and articles used in most constructions were those brought by the victorious Kings after their war with enemies of the day.
- Kings also a special mode of selection of land for construction that was amazing.
- 1. First, a pit of 2 feet by 9 inches will be made ; the sand recovered from the pit will then be put back into the pit ; if it fills the pit and leaves some excess sand, the earth is considered “superior” ; if it fills the pit exactly, the earth is considered “medium” ; and if it doesn’t fill the pit, the earth is considered unnatural and “evil”.
- 2. After selecting the land by the above principle, it will be tilled with a plough pulled by two bullocks. Sesame seeds, mustard, and lentils will be sown. If they sprout in 3 days the earth is considered “superior” ; if it sprouts in 4 days the earth is considered “medium” ; and if it takes 5 days or more the earth is considered unnatural and “evil”.
- 3. Cows and calves will be made to stay in the place for 2-3 days. Froth and milk oozing out is believed to clean the soil. Also, the chief architect should fill the area with Darbha grass and sleep on that for one night.
- Based on these principles of choosing the land, making it pure and sacred, the temples and other buildings built have made the structures stand firm beyond years, decades, or even centuries.
- If only those Kings had knowledge, experience, and access to today’s technologies what phantasmagoria of mystery could have been created by them is beyond anyone’s imagination. They would have probably created an “Ultra Metaverse”!
There is a price for everything in Virtual Reality. Even if one can get all these experiences through money and intelligence, the relationships and feelings cannot be bought easily. Even the greatest technology cannot be a substitute for the shrewd ability of decision making by Human Brain.
But, it certainly helps to enhance our search for knowledge and methods to face the new fangled changes to emerge in future. And there will certainly be great debate and discussions in the years to come as METAVERSE shines in the limelight to be the next 3D INTERNET.
” Dieu avec nous”
Thursday, November 15, 2021 – 6.09 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” The choices we make today create the future we dream of” – Kapil Tetarwal.
There is a general misconception in several quarters that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is primarily a work medium for technologically qualified personnel and data science experts. The answer is, however, a firm “No”.
AI actually lends itself to any discerning individual irrespective of qualifications but interested in : (a) making the world a better place ; (b) making people’s standard of living better than what is being enjoyed now ; and (c) solving problems in an interdisciplinary way utilising simple technologies and tools available to qualify and quantify information gathered from various sources. With short term courses one will do well to get a handle on tools and techniques of AI.
History records a number of studies and instances where the work carried out and inferences derived could be a part of AI studies without having been clearly designated as such.
My Study in brief :
A three year study I was engaged with beginning 1980 explored the incidences cum impact of Occupational Stress Management in industry (specially manufacturing sector) and the availability of limited scientific facilities for in-house monitoring, collecting, analysing, and interpreting relevant data in an attempt to assess the situation and to provide preventive solutions.
I had the luxury of sophisticated instrumentation in the Premier Institute I worked comparable to any leading institution in the world. ( This is quite akin to Computer facilities and Cloud for today’s AI ).
Coupled with scientific manpower it was possible to collect enormous amount of data – in that period data on 10000 individuals was supposed to be – in real life, work centered, human centered conditions and parameters from a range of industries as steel plants, textile Mills, manufacturing plants, assembly units, and power plants. (This is quite akin to Big Data in AI ).
The data collected was subjected to detailed analysis, and programs were developed to the interests of industries in assessing the risk status of individuals to health. ( This is quite akin to the algorithms written to analyse and create a graph /nomogram for prediction ).
- 1. Simple monitoring of stress parameters with instruments for the purpose which can be done by in-house personnel ( very economical and highly reliable ).
- 2. Small team with only three members to take relevant measurements saving time, resources, personnel, and effort.
- 3. Simple graphs, nomogram, and equations to help assess health risks and predict future to an extent.
- It did not occur to me to term that as an AI Study at that time since the term was not popular making its way in scientific investigations during that period.
- In retrospect when we go back to the details of the Study, the first thought that comes to my mind is that it could well be the prelude to AI Studies in that field from a developing nation. Much less sophisticated, much less tech induced, much less algorithmic, and much less revolutionary. But, it sure, was “data driven” and engaging. The study would easily pass for an AI part in today’s context.
- User Case : ” Netflix” : This considers the period prior to 2019 with special emphasis on 2018.
- Netflix is an international company that relies a lot on Content and Graphics catering to different mediums while adding value to its streaming service.
- Good value and engaging content are the chief driving factors of the company’s progressive actions. It centers on its principal focus on the process of ” delivering entertainment reimagined with tech”. Customers enjoy and get fully influenced to watch their contents of the video.
- Their movie titles are “stylistic” ;
- Their posters are “special” ; and
- Their images are “titillating”.
- These were the result of AI in their process of ideation and depiction. It was possible because of AI.
- To secure images for exciting and meaningful display to the viewers, they focused on three elements – focal point ; text placement ; and image clustering – and made effective variations with suitable algorithms.
- Focal Point : The chief area of the image like face, body, legs that the user is expected to view primarily is the focus here. (A focal point algorithm is used here).
- Text Placement : Deciding which is the correct place in a scene to put a text like, say, subtitles in a frame is the focus here. ( A text detection algorithm is used here).
- Image Clustering : Using different images with varying degrees of image cropping, resizing, colour correction, and title treatment utilising different characteristic qualities to make images more effective for different users globally is the focus here. ( Algorithms to determine a similarity in feel among groups of images is used here).
- Netflix has been successful in enhancing the enthusiasm of the viewers with these changes.
- ” Grouping the images and maintaining the image collection of more than 2 million has been the challenging task for Netflix with lofty hopes and aims down the road ” – admitted Netflix.
- Netflix also stood to gain profitably through the deals forged like : (a) Grey’s anatomy creator Shonda Rhymes ( $ 100 million ) ; (b) Ryan Murphy ( $ 300 million ) ; Netflix’s original projects already planned ( about $ 700 million) ; and (d) the highly valued ‘high 8 figure deal’ struck in May 2018 with Barack and Michelle Obama ( expected to be more than $ 65 million) which together can last several years.
- Reports then mentioned that Obamas were likely to create programs covering : ” Scripted series ; unscripted series ; docu-series ; documentaries ; and features.”
- Netflix had earned its mark with more than 150 million subscribers covering more than 190 countries by 2018- since unveiling its streaming services in 2007.
- Discuss :
- 1. What is the status of its competitive edge over rivals now? Specially after COVID-19?
- 2. How long can this revenue stream be sustained? Will it be impeded by any unforseen glitches or levels of enthusiasm of users?
- 3. Can this medium through AI be used to clear up the conflict and confrontation between nation(s) by focusing on the similarities of qualities of human beings in general?
- ” Dieu avec nous “
- Tuesday, September 7, 2021 – 9.59 p.m. (IST)
- Tidbit : ” Netflix’s ability to pass along price increases to customers without walking away is the sign of a great company “.
Angels from heaven sprayed flowers with their blessings on to New Zealand team in Southampton, UK, as they etched their proud name as the First Victor in the WTC match finals against India on June 23, 2021.
New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson’s heroic leadership prevailed.
I now turn briefly to post the key details I gleaned from this match.
India batted first and posted 217 in their first innings. New Zealand replied with 249. India registered 170 in their second innings. New Zealand made 140 for 2 wickets to earn the glory.
New Zealand made mistakes in the world cup one day finals in 2019 that was decided by the boundaries scored after the Super Over also ended in a tie. They seem to have converted their playing skills, mental, and emotional strengths considerably to secure this trophy. Kudos to the team, management, cricket board, and the nation. New Zealand proved that it is a “genuine contender” for the finals of this two year long cricket extravaganza.
Kane Williamson worked out his plan with exactness and details ( selecting the team on strengths and opportunities) to the highest degree ; he seems to wield a sort of extra human powers that makes him a great leader of this team. He brought energy, fullness, and details through his individual performance in both innings and there can be no doubt that this New Zealand team with his proud and motivated members will hold many more trophies in future. From 8th just 7 years ago (with only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe behind) to 1st (numero uno position) today has been “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” to imitate Winston Churchill’s words.
Figures 1 and 2 below depict the performances of India and New Zealand succinctly :
Five aspects are noteworthy :
1. New Zealand adapted better to the match conditions making the only two fifties ( Devon Conway in the first innings and Kane Williamson in the second innings) ; recorded the highest partnership ( 96 unbroken stand between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in the second innings) – which catapulted them to tip the scales in their favour.
2. New Zealand achieved excellent stability and solidarity by their tail enders ( last 4 batsmen posting a valuable 58 runs) in their first innings compared to a combined 51 in both innings by India. New Zealand made exciting fours and sixes during that time marking their aggression. They played a truly positive game setting the stage for the final overs. The players seemed to be mentally and emotionally striving for victory though it remained outwardly concealed.
3. New Zealand bowling has also been characterised by excellent control with better bounce and movement ; controlled accuracy by all the seamers ; and good speed and aggression – becoming effective in both controlling the flow of runs and taking wickets. Kyle Jamieson has been spectacular while trapping Virat Kohli in both the innings. Their bowling plan proved to be more than adequate and effective.
4. India on the other hand failed to judge the pace and movement either missing or taking a few blows with impunity. But for the opening partnership between Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in the first innings and the one between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane later ( both partnerships, however, could not touch the 100 mark while proving to be inadequate), and the lone and desperate streak of aggression from Rishab Pant in the second innings, Indian batting overall failed to accelerate when needed adding pressure to the batsmen consistently.
5. Ishant and Shami’s astute swing, pace, and variations were neutralised by the surprisingly ineffective performance of Bumrah lacking tight control throughout the match. New Zealand’s choice of four pace bowlers ultimately proved positive, definitive, and conclusive against the strength of the Indian batsmen.
New Zealand team proved victorious in David and Goliath fashion as they took the challenge better than India. They responded better to the difficult conditions and the hardships with resilience. This WTC Final has been a “Cricket Epic”. Even misses in the proceedings reinvigorated them. Only time can tell whether a Special Cricket Docudrama on this will be made by any film producer.
” Dieu avec nous”
Thursday, June 24, 2021 – 4. 09 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Expect New Zealand to hit the high spots beyond imagination in International Cricket sooner than later”.
” India has now become the centre of attraction globally as far as the 2nd wave of COVID-19 is concerned “. The second wave appears to be more virulent than the earlier one.
” America First ” USA , despite its initial nervousness, has now with its realisation that ‘he who hesitates is lost’ and after prudent reconsideration of its stand now come forward to help India through its supply of medicines/vaccines ; ventilators ; PPEs ; and other experimental devices as its priority. The role of America’s business organisations, the India Caucus, and legal experts in this change of policy by the Biden Administration wins plaudits from even the staunch critics.
For the two nations, ( USA and India) which have fought the wars on Smallpox, Polio, and HIV AIDS for nearly 70 years, the present joint effort to fight the COVID – 19 war comes as a great relief. France is ready to pitch in with its supply of 8 Oxygen generators, liquid oxygen tankers, electric syringe pumps, and breathing equipment. Thailand, Singapore, and Bhutan also have joined in our support . More than 40 countries have pledged emergency assistance to India.
Let me now allude briefly to three aspects for the worrying situation that India finds itself in today :
Figure below represents the three factors succinctly :
They are : (1) Supply and demand anomaly ; (2) Wastage ; and (3) False propaganda / fear.
( 1) Supply and demand anomaly : While 36% have been vaccinated in USA and 60% in Israel, India has not reached even 10% yet. India needs about 13 crore doses of vaccine per month to achieve its July, 2021 target. Local production of vaccines is now only 8 crores. Hence, the need for importing vaccines and as a first step Sputnik V has been granted permission. Reddy’s lab in Hyderabad will likely produce this vaccine at 85 crore doses per year. Besides these, Zydus Cadila’s plasmid DNA ( 10 million doses per month) and Bharat Biotech’s Intra nasal COVID-19 vaccine ( BBC 154) have achieved completion of phase 2 trials. The extremely large variations between supply and demand on one side and the Wastage of vaccines on the other hand constitute the deterring factors in effective control of COVID – 19. Out of the 10.03 crores of people vaccinated ( covishield) only 17145 have been impacted ; and out of the 1.57 crores of people who had the second dose only 5014 have been impacted. The statistics for Covaxin during the same period is as below : Out of 93.56 lakhs who received the first dose only 4208, and out of the 13.37 lakhs who had the second dose only 698 have been impacted. Hence, the proposition that vaccination is not completely effective is misleading and even dangerous. No one drug is 100% effective and there are always exceptions to the rule.
( 2) Wastage of vaccines have been blamed for the ineffectiveness of COVID – 19 control. At the national level it is 6.5% only. This too was a predominant factor in the first month only ( in January 2021 India started vaccination ) when the frequency of visits by people was low due to apprehensions and other such factors. Wastage was high in Telengana (17.6%) and Andra (11.6%). Subsequently however wastages have not been significant. More people participation and better awareness of the administrators of the vaccines enabled the effective use of the vials.
( 3) Propaganda in Social media that a self imposed quarantine for 15 days will be highly effective in controlling the spread of COVID – 19 is true and should never be opposed or criticised. Better than the widespread rumours of discouraging vaccination by false propaganda. India is neither America ( less populated and more technologically superior and administratively advanced), nor China which has an autocratic trend of control – both helping to contain the circulation of widespread rumours. It is not easy to forget the fear created amongst the public following the death of Tamil comedian actor, Vivek, a day after he was vaccinated. Prior to April 17 (the day of his death) about 2 lakh people were vaccinated each day in TamilNadu. In the three days after April 17 (the total for three days) it came down to 1.6 lakhs, a dramatic reduction. On the day of his death only 25500 were vaccinated. Assurances made by the State Government, Medical Experts, and analysts through all media fell on deaf ears, a revelation of the amount of fear and ignorance among people.
Vaccination is the only solution :
In many countries COVID – 19 has been effectively contained after ‘vaccination’. It makes “Vaccination” the only solution. The fact that only 0.02 – 0.04% overall remain affected even after complete vaccination is highly comforting. The 99.96% who have been protected cannot be neglected or sidelined. Misleading propaganda should be treated as a ‘national crime and evil’.
A new vaccine is emerging :
COVID – 19 vaccine is the exuberant call of the People today. Pfizer, Moderna , Johnson and Johnson, Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, Plasmid DNA, Intranasal .. .. and others are already existing.
Quite significantly, the vaccine candidate that is being pursued by world renowned researchers from the most prestigious institute in India, the “Indian Institute of Science”, Bangalore, India, is glaringly missing in news coverage. Yes, it has now only been tested in animals ( mice and Guinea pigs) but with an astounding result of 200 times ( yes, 200 times) generation of antibodies compared to those seen in human convalescent sera taken from people who have recovered from COVID – 19. Further, it is expected to be effective against new variants too. It can be stored at temp 2 – 8°C without requiring cold chain.
As at present they have been able to achieve this level of success with just Rs 3 crore in funding. Yes, they have now to go through Phase 1, Phase 2 human trials. But the preliminary success in phenomenal measures achieved already underscores the promise that this vaccine can do in India ; particularly with the second and the likely third waves of the pandemic threatening a progressively long term requirement for vaccines. The vaccine emerging out of the portals of a premier academic and research institution like the ” IISc” will not be driven by any commercial benefits. When it finally enters the usage status it will be the lowest priced compared to others for sure.
When fundings to the tune of several thousand fold are doled out to some companies, a funding of a just 100 fold will enable the researchers to accelerate the process with swift technological help from other institutions of the world for effective delivery.
While commending the team of researchers , if the Government accords top priority to this effort it may help solve the pandemic problem affordably in addition to holding the Indian talent flying high. That IISc has a formidable history of forging partnerships with highly reputed institutions and laboratories in the world is known .
At this moment the saviour triad for COVID – 19 will comprise the following : (a) Vaccination, (b) Face mask, and (c) Social distancing. There can be no relaxation of these strictly.
” Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – 15.29 p.m. ( IST)
Tidbit : ” If you are going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill.
The merciless killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, will remain as the ugliest outbreak of racism for all eternity in America and for the humanity.
The image of the terrible 9 minutes and 29 seconds when the White police officer, Derek Chauvin, forced his knee on the neck of George Floyd completely devoid of any semblance of humanity cannot ever be blotted out.
What happened on the footpath of Minneapolis city – the macabre human rights violation ; violation of the code by the Police department ; the cruel murder in broad daylight ; and the manifestation in terms of racism – has been an indestructible black spot that cannot erase the memory of that day in human history.
George Floyd was neither a terrorist nor a murderer escaped from the prison cell. His attempt to exchange a counterfeit $ 20 note in a shop led to his indictment on allegations of crime. Death cannot be the punishment even if that were to be his guilt. And the police department has no right based on American Law(s) to inflict that punishment.
George Floyd’s grievous and painful roar that “I am not able to breathe” when the White officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on George Floyd’s neck meant to inflict a torture of death punishment has awakened the entire Black Community and the consciousness of those against racism not just in America but in the entire world forcing them to take to the streets in favour of Justice. It caused the American pride a damage internationally.
When Joe Biden, then Democratic candidate for the President (2020) went to Houston and met the relatives of George Floyd, his assurance, “pledging that without spreading hatred, I will try to heal the wounds of racism” became the chief factor that put him on the top of the race for Presidency – eventually succeeding.
Last Tuesday, American court (Jury) while confirming the three charges – second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter read the Verdict. Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder.
Subsequently in Washington, New York, and other states Americans started celebrating the Verdict in processions.
Events reinforcing that America still has not got rid of racism have been happening and are happening. A few minutes before the Verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin a 13 year old girl was fatally stabbed and another 13 year old girl was charged with causing her death in Winton Hills. In 2014 Eric Garner was wrestled to the ground in a chokehold by a NYPD officer and later pronounced dead in a hospital ; the death of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by the Police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri ; the killing of the 12 year old, Tamir Rice by Timothy Loehmann, a white police officer on November 12, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio ; Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old African American woman was fatally shot in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13, 2020 by white police officers – are just some to cite here.
Accused getting released from the charges, and negotiations with aggrieved families to settle the cases are some practices mostly followed in such cases.
It will take three weeks to formally announce the sentence in Derek Chauvin’s case. A maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, or a minimum of 12 years and 6 months in prison is the expectation.
A permanent solution to this problem of violence lies in making the police reform bill passed in the Congress into “Law”.
The Bill aimed at criminal reforms lays emphasis on responsibilities and accountabilities of police at national level for such incidents plus restraining the ease of exemption from such cases. What will happen to the Bill in the Senate is eagerly awaited.
George Floyd killing teaches a few lessons for us too : 1. The case has witnessed the Verdict being delivered within a year of the killing ; 2. The last, dying, words of George Floyd has been recorded clearly vouching for the happening ; 3. Police department did not make any attempt to safeguard the accused ; 4. The head of the police force has himself admitted that Derek Chauvin breached the Rules of Thumb in the case.
Contrary to these, in India, deaths in police custody, encounters, police violations, higher authorities in police force and the government making their efforts to protect the accused and such other criticisms are not totally erroneous.
What is needed is a responsible and accountable partnership between the Police Force and the Judiciary.
Everyone’s mind is yearning for Leadership and Moral Clarity in these situations.
” Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – 12.51 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed for ever ; the yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself”. – Martin Luther King Jr.
If former PM, Dr Manmohan Singh (UPA) gave a boost furthering the interests of foreign institutions, the present Government lays the strip of red carpet for them to walk on.
Having opened the banking and insurance sector already raising the limits of foreign investment is not inappropriate. Even to raise the question of whether privatisation is necessary or not is incomprehensible.
When the world including the communist nations have already progressed towards privatisation, it will be unacceptable for India to act with a different economic outlook.
The Insurance ( Amendment) Bill, 2021, has been passed in the Lok Sabha on March 22, 2021, (Rajya Sabha had already passed the legislation) and sent to the President for approval. It is now certain that it will be made a Law. This is not a matter of surprise since this has been announced in the Economic survey last month.
The Bill enables the increase of foreign investment limits in an insurance company from 49% to 74%.
While public insurance companies receive capital resources from the Government, the Bill seeks to present a level playing field for the private insurance companies to receive funds from foreign investors. This has also been stated clearly by the FM, Nirmala Sitaraman.
Malaysia, Thailand, and China have recorded higher insurance growth rates than India specially in the last 10 years. ( Malaysia, 4,72% ; Thailand, 4,99% ; China, 4,3% ; and India, 3,76%).
Life Insurance growth has already decreased. The population-premium ratio has increased in India. It still falls below that compared to Malaysia, Thailand, and China.
Presently there exist 24 Life Insurance Companies and 34 General Insurance Companies in India. The number of persons working in the private sector is 24 lakhs (both employees and agents) and those in the public sector is 17 lakhs. The growth in this sector, however, is not impressive when compared with other Asian Economies. Statistics also reveal the lack of awareness to insurance in general and the lack of the right frame of mind to register oneself for Insurance.
The main reason attributed to this has been traced to the poor growth of expansion of the companies through branches extensively.
The significant part played by the Health Insurance and agricultural products insurance contribute to the level of growth achieved as at present. The expectation is that the private insurance companies can expand their activities to spread their net further.
The increase in foreign investment is ‘conditional’ upon utilisation of the insurers’ money within the country.
More the number of institutions engaged in Insurance, less will be the Insurance premiums cost benefiting the customers is also one of FM’s expectations.
A fact that is brought to the fore from the records is non-utilisation of 49% FDI earlier in this sector ; and the low figures of investment by foreign investors. It reveals the unusual behaviour of foreign investors in general. If the increase in FDI to 74% can reduce this hesitancy it will be a good result.
Be it the Public or Private sector ; be it the local or foreign investor – a larger coverage of the Insurance Sector geographically and population segment wise will, sure, enhance the ‘job opportunities’ for youth and ‘protect more people financially’ .
Isn’t this a matter of pride, happiness, and delight, springs to our mind(s). Let’s wait and watch.
“Dieu avec nous ”
Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 9.03 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Both terrorism and insurance sell fear – and business is business “. – Liam McCurry.