Archive | November 2013

My Pithy Reflections before Speaking !

     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 put Voters Wise ? ( India Elections )

     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 )

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – India – “Promise of Prosperous Progress.”

     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)

   

 

    

 

    

Diwali India Special – Motivating Musings !

     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)