Nations have progressed with Innovation and Creativity since the olden ages. Where does India stand and can we regain the glory if the consensus is that we have lost the edge ? This is just a concise reflection just to accend our minds and not meant to be an exhaustive analysis and interpretation.
I strongly believe that the “way to progress and prosperity is as plain as the way to ‘market’. It just depends on two things : ‘Industry and Frugality.’ Make the best use of both, but never waste time and money. Without industry and frugality, nothing can succeed; with them, everything can be attained.” ( I am frugal but not grudgingly niggard though in life ) Sounds simple, isn’t it ? But true. Here’s the substantive :
U.K. held the lead over the world for a long time in history. Industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th Centuries propelled it forward. Electricity invented; Textile mills boomed; Railways and Ports flourished ( Ports traded on seafood exports/imports ); Excellent Civil engineering (British became famous for that); Cambridge and Oxford Universities stood in the fore front. They combined well with industry to bring about the transformation.
After the World war I and World war II, U.S.A. took the lead with its industrial revolution and innovation on the ascension. Hoover Dam, Golden Gate bridge, Sears Tower, California to east Coast network, Highways, Aircraft, Boeing, Automobiles, Combustion engines, Computers, Internet are just a miniscule part of the growth. Harvard, Stanford, and Yale became prominent and integrated well with the industry. BSD, DEC, Unix, NASA Space program, Hardware SPARC, IBM, and software giants like the MS, Oracle, Cisco .. .. added the catalysts to progress. U.S.A. had taken the lead ( and is still leading ) over the World.
Can India replicate and take the lead in future and if so when ? Jawaharlal Nehru envisioned Public sector as the growth engine of India ( BHEL, SAIL, AI, BARC etc) to put India on the International map. Despite good initiatives and aggressive persuit what we witness today is cankerous corruption, nepotism and cronyism pervading all sectors of economy stoking the CULTURE of Personal Aggrandizement in the Society. India lost its hardware to Taiwan and South Korea. Chinese are galloping with focus on Infrastructure, Dams, Roads, World Class cities making a mockery of our attempts ( I remain humble even while admitting this ). The best known Indian Products still are “Yoga”, “Ayurved”, and “Vedanta” philosophy that is original. Ancient Indians took pride in their inventions of Numeric System, Zero, Surgery, Astronomy, Mathematics, Algebra, Trigonometry etc., We now seem to desperately depend on ready made or quick fix research done by others and to translate here. Is it lack of innovation or Creativity ? Where are the new marketable software or development ? Have they deserted our shores so soon ? Have we created a ‘halo’ around people from IITs and IIMs ? Even before these institutions we had promising institutions/universities in Thompson’s College of Engineering, Roorkee; Guindy Engineering College, Chennai ( formerly Madras); Bengal Engineering College, Seebpore; Banares Hindu University nurturing and fostering excellent practices and thinking in the minds of the discerning. Einstein, Edison, Graham Bell and the likes were not educated or trained in Harvards and Stanfords. Where do we actually stand today/now ? What needs to be done immediately ?
Reflect and ponder !!!
” Dieu avec nous ”
Friday, Novembar 8, 2013. 10 .00 a.m. (IST )
Can Social media excite and influence Voting ? Does it have the power to move the emotions of voters ? Can Social media really cause wild enthusiasm among Voters ? Will Social media Campaign become an attribute or parameter influencing the choice of voting ? When will Social Media be firmly in a position to choose our next Legislator ? These are the questions weighing upon the spirit and mind of digitally literate voters who make up 85 to 90 million (not negligible when one considers the persons these voters in turn can influence) in India. This number is also set to explode in future.
Use of social media is on the rise. I see young school children in growing numbers taking to Social Media and they are likely to attain voting age in 4 – 5 years. I am also delighted to see Seniors and Elders on social media in good numbers. I need not have to say anything about the well-known – the ‘au courant’ YOUTH of our country who hold the ace to transform attitude, attution, and action amongst the polpulace.
That Social Media presents excellent prospects in blending a party’s insights with motivational messages, is evidenced by major elections in a couple of developed nations in the last five years. The major Digital Tools are Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. “About 90% of Senators and House members (in U.S.A.) have Twitter accounts as do more than 45 Governors and 35 World Leaders” – says Laurence Cruz, an analyst and contributor. That is the crux. Myths regarding Social Media are also getting demystified with each passing day. PROOF : In the aftermath of the Boston Bomb Blasts (April 15, 2013) people took to Social Media and a general analysis of the postings revealed that the comments/postings were “restrained & generally accurate” reflecting the true impact of Social Media to a Cause. This, however, was not the case in the Connecticut shoot out (December 16, 2012 ) last year. Social Media is turning to be more positive; becoming more ‘responsive; responsible and rejuvenating.’ POLITICS is no different than People’s cause and LEADERS should be ready to embrace and benefit from it.
Here’s my take : 1. In the short term, in India, in the 2014 Elections Social Media effect may not be high or stellar. But in the long term i.e. by the end of this decade – say in the 2019 Elections – any party can only afford to ignore Social Media at its peril. 2. Announce the selection of Candidate(s) via Twitter. ( Barack Obama announced his running mate Joe Biden’s selection in 2008 via Twitter, Obama made extensive use of it in 2012.) 3. Use digital platforms as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube liberally to promote policies and mould the minds of citizenry as a sculptor will mould the clay. 4. Use YouTube Videos to cite the challenges the nation is facing and the candidate’s plan(s) to tackle them effectively. 5. Be FIRST and Be RIGHT too. 6. Push yourself to be BETTER; Grow further; and not fail your Constituency; Remember, SOCIAL MEDIA is the best CATALYST. 7. Also remember that at least 10 friends are swayed by each individual’s Facebook posting. It is a small stimulus producing large vibrations. ‘Many a little makes a mickle’ – certainly not to be disregarded. 8. By the election(s) of 2019, for sure, TWITTER will even replace our 9 p.m. Prime Time news order. 9. It will also not be surprising if these Social Sites become the major Advertising Sites by then. 10. Every candidate will be posting photos to Instagram (now a part of fb ); posting images to Pinterest; Use Tumblr and Google+ ; favorite message filled songs on Spotify.
When Candidates struggle to keep up appearances and keep down expenses, this ‘ON-LINE FRENZY’ will serve a cocktail of ambrosia and elixir and boost their spirits.
Social Media will positively influence Voting. It has the sure power to move the emotions of voters. Social media will, sine dubio, enthuse voters and be of consequence. Social media campaign will be a parameter of assessment by the voters. Future legislators will be chosen by voters with Social Media playing a prominent role.
” Dieu avec nous ”
Idea Tidbit : Computer Scientist(s)/specialist(s) have an excellent opportunity to explore “BIG DATA” with its modern Tools for collecting, culling and analyzing the voluminous data obtained from Social Media data and throw valuable insight into VOTER BEHAVIOR. This is likely to be the NORM in future with increasing voter awareness, assessment and activity. It is a goldmine in waiting for the Computer Scientists/specialists. Sadly, I am neither a Computer specialist nor a competent enthusiast.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013; 11.10 p.m. ( IST )
November 5, 2.38 p.m. (IST) , from Sriharikota, ANDHRA PRADESH, india launches its maiden satellite to Mars – Mars Craft or Mangalyaan as christened here – , an Interplanetary Mission. (As at 3.25 p.m. now everything is according to plan says ISRO, the Contractor).
A 300 day, 485 million-mile journey; Worth Rs 450 Crores; 1350 kg Robotic Satellite; Payload mass 15 kg; Power : Solar cells.
Success will mean India will be the FOURTH Space Agency in the World to have sent a mission to the Red Planet. U.S.A.; Russia; and Europe being the other three agencies to have achieved this before.
According to NASA there have been 51 missions so far by some countries, only 21 have been considered successful.
Experts describe this as the cheapest Inter Planetary Mission ever to have been undertaken in half a century of Space exploration (India).
Mission holds Quintuple Objectives : 1. A sensor to track methane gas (a sign of possible life); 2. Color camera(s) for taking pictures; 3. Thermal Imaging Spectrometer to map the surface & mineral wealth of the planet; 4. Analysis of martian Atmosphere; 5. To spot any new ways for future.
This is a boost to India’s status in the World Space arena.
Will this be the defining moment in our aim to beat China in the space race, many are already pondering. Remember : A Russian mission carrying a Chinese satellite to Mars failed in November 2011. Japan failed in its attempt in 1998.
When we succeed we should see if (a) we can engage in collaborative International Deep Space Missions; (b) we can develop Technologies for Design, Planning, Management, and Operations of an Interplanetary Mission; (c) whether the 300 day journey can be compressed further. These three factors, I feel, will be critical to Future explorations/missions.
Naysayers are already out to undermine the intent and worth of this exploration. Strepitant clamour is already filling the air freely with questions as (a) Is it necessary ? (b) Are there not issues critical for more attention ? Hope these will be submerged when the mission starts delivering even an iota of what was promised. Also, when this starts igniting the young minds in Space Science & Space Journeys.
Launch is successful; Journey sure is long; Space programs and space applications get a boost; Verdict remains to be passed; And, ‘a coup sur’, every Indian can be proud of this moment.
The “Tale of Mangalyaan” is a salute to all those involved in this arduous effort. It is a mission “well-defined; well-derived; well-developed; well-desired; and well-directed”.
Judgement as of now : “Path Defined; Race Run; Only Rights to be Conferred.”
‘Dieu avec nous’
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 4.05 p.m. (IST)
This is my Diwali presentative thoughts for you :
1. “What to look for in Management Graduates for employment ?” – asked a participant in a discussion with me.
My Answer: Three key capabilities to look for are – (a) Look for candidates who can apply Logic, Intuition, & Commonsense ( I termed it “LIC” for short) to solve problems in a pragmatic manner irrespective of whether they had a MBA degree or not; (b) In fact candidates with such aptitude as above complemented with knowledge/interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Maths ( STEM) will be the real need for Industry, Business, Commerce, Health, Sports and others; (c) Education & Training today needs to focus on developing the holistic & Integrative profile of students ( remaining Connected is the mantra ) so as to get themselves fit for a variety of interactive scale of jobs.
A participating student added a fourth characteristic which I phrase in my words here : “On the job training during the course of the management program for at least SIX to EIGHT EFFECTIVE MONTHS on a live problem/project with ‘avant-gardiste’ outlook and not limited to being a tirocinium as is often held.”
2. A topic that heats up the academics in discussions often is whether there is any Indian University waiting to be the Harvard of U.S.A.
My Answer : Yes, a direct reply to this is possibly the “Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.”
“What India needs is Pluck & Scientific Genius.” – Swami Vivekananda said. He also emphasized on the need to have three things among Youth for Education : “Heart to feel; Brain to Conceive; & Hands to Work.” We have in our own shores a Premier Institute of Education & Research in “The Indian Institute of Science” ( in the salubrious environs of Bangalore ) whose students are epitome(s) of these prescient qualities. One simply needs to emulate the “practices” of this Institution to be a true Learning Force & Power in the reckoning.
3. It is expected that the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI ) will allow 7 to 8 new Banks in January 2014. 26 Financial & non-financial entities have applied for approval already. RBI has stipulated as one of the conditions – “Sound Credentials, Integrity, and Financial Soundness for 10 years as the established FIT & PROPER Criteria” – to arrive at the short leet from the applicants.
My Point : Public/citizenry to ponder if “Cases pending with CBI, Enforcement Directorate, and Income Tax Department(s)” will fall under the category of Sound Credentials … … stipulated by the RBI. The straightforward answer to this is a FIRM ‘NO’ as the terminologies’ literal and commonly perceived usage would imply. Central Bank (RBI) holds the Final Word on this, however . Two factors need to be looked in to : (a) Will permitting those candidates with cases pending amount to SAFEGUARDING them even before the roll-out ? and (b) Is it akin to giving undue Rights and Preferences to Candidates while allowing them to continue with their own ‘internal modeling’ of functions – a la prestidigitation – that must have caused the irregularities with little regard for their true state of affairs ?
RBI is seized of this matter. There is still breathing time left.
4. Leadership Commandments for acquiring skills :
The “Ten Leadership Commandments” I set for myself – and Lived, Living and shall Live through my life at Work, in Home, and in my Community :
1. Acknowledge mistakes boldly; 2. Promise less but do more; 3. Aim at Perfection, so you can achieve Excellence; 4. Take a position on any issue firmly even if it is unpopular; 5. Be honest in all your dealings and stick to the schedule (time-frame); 6. Always plan in advance what you’ll do for the day, week, and month; 7. Tell always the truth even if it is difficult; 8. Live and conduct business within means and core, so you can afford more experiences; 9. Learn to meditate and practice meditation daily; 10. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier.
5. Ten Commandments of Health for Leaders :
The “Ten Commandments of Health” I set for myself – and Lived, Living and shall Live through my life at Work, in Home, and in my Community.
1. Never lose interest in Life and World; 2. Eat sparingly and at regular intervals; 3. Take plenty of exercise, but not too much (Walking is a good exercise); 4. Get plenty of Sleep; 5. Never allow yourself to become annoyed; 6. Set a daily schedule of life and keep it; 7. Get a lot of sunlight ( My apartment is exemplary on this characteristic ); 8. Drink as much milk as will agree with you; 9. Use natural medicines and products; 10. Don’t overdo things.
I have been religiously following these commandments I set for myself and I have personally overcome even dreaded ailment(s) for more than 14 years. I have only drawn for treatment funds solely ‘ex propriis’ – (No Government, Private, or any other form of allowances ). ‘Health is Wealth’ – pithy adage says. Never fall prey to greed and go at uncontrolled pace as the person, “who amassed wealth by spending his health; and with might and main he tried to turn around spending all his wealth just to get back his health !” Is this the Quality of Life we aspire to lead? Ask yourself !!!
“Dieu avec nous”
Friday, November 1, 2013; 10.25 p.m. (IST)