Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Educational Loans

All public sector as well as private sector banks offer educational loans for the students aiming for higher education in foreign countries or in India, but due to global meltdown prospectus of jobs have declined, even peoples are getting pink slips and after finalisation of next central government the process of cost cutting will increase so what should be the precautions while you are taking loan. How do you know about it.

First of all it is very difficult to compare the rate of interest charged. It is common phenomena peoples think that private banks charges more interest but they provide loan and quickly without any hassles while government / public sector banks charges less interest but to getting loan from these banks is very difficult because of formalities involved and bureaucracy. Normally securities like your house, jewellery, fixed deposits, other assets are asked against disbursement of loan. In public sector banks may be you need to pay commissions (actually bribe) to the concerned authorities through the mediators.

Secondly are you sure what are the chances of placement after completion of course. What package you will got and what is repayment plan for loan availed.

Thirdly, does the bank offers any discount or charge interest as per availed period if you pay early or before completion of specified time period.

Frankly if you see all those things you will be not able to avail loan because it is a time consuming process and no bank will provide all this information. Actually when bank gives you loan, they shows that it is a obligation which irritates every person availing loan because he is paying interest and giving loan is a investment by bank so why they shows that it is a obligation?

Send me your views on same.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

India: Not a Land of Doers!

"India is not a land of doers"! Without inviting the wrath of my country fellowmen, let me state that these are not my words (but I agree with it 100 %, though. Sorry). This was stated by Naryana Murthy.

Ok, my mental agony began like this. Deepak from Bangalore sent me a link of his post that he published on his blog (Lamhe- The Moments): " Shame on Bangloreans- Keep it up". He started his post with this: "Its really a matter of personal shame, just 50% around voter turnout in Bangalore."

And the post continues to describe the apathy and indifference of our countrymen to the electoral participation. It is another fact that we Indians are first to criticize and lament the system!

I said: Depak, We know just to complain, criticize and curse! That is it! The youth of the nation has not been galvanized by the use of Information Technology to an extent that translates into  participation into the democracy. Yet, we never forget to complain!

Every one wants that we need Bhagat Singhs to be (re)born for the country, but not in my home!

To aptly summarize the situation in our country, let me quote a few phrases from the an interview with N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies: (source: Rediff)

●  The Indian society is a society of ideas. It is a society that has revered talk. In this society, articulation is mistaken for accomplishment. We are quite satisfied with our voice, with our writings. This is not a society that is focussed on execution.

● Here everybody wants to be an engineer, nobody wants to be a technician. So when a society does not value implementation, execution, what happens is you create more and more reports and nothing gets done.

For example, (Reliance Industries Chairman) Mr Mukesh Ambani and I gave two reports on how to improve the higher education system: one to (then prime minister) Mr Vajpayee and one to Dr Manmohan Singh.

Second, there has been the Knowledge Commission. Nothing has happened. Third, in 1998 I was a member of the IT Task Force -- which was headed by Mr Jaswant Singh -- and that task force submitted its report somewhere in 1999 0r 2000.

Nine years and I don't think even one suggestion has been implemented. And we made 108 suggestions! So that is why I am not a big fan of ideas in India.

● My brother-in-law is a famous professor of physics at Caltech and he tells me it is very easy to come out with an idea. But to validate that idea he and his doctoral students will have to work hard for six months, one year... sometimes two years. That takes 20 hours of work each day for two years. So it is important to come out with new ideas, but it is even more important to execute them.

● We are not a nation of doers; we are a nation which believes that our articulation is our accomplishment.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Google Maps Alphabet (Aerial Photos)

The first Google Maps alphabet, featuring all 26 letters, has been created from satellite images of natural features and buildings by Rhett Dashwood, a graphic designer from Australia.

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Recession in India

In view of election highlights by political parties and media we all have forgotten the problem of recession/global meltdown. I think in view of coming election government did not presented the clear picture of global recession to the nation and by use of government machinery put the pink slip process on hold as happened in the case of Jet airways. As per my views all the big companies/organizations are under pressure from government not to fire their employees and after new governments formed in centre, it will officially declare the recession in India and then the actual process of firing / cost cutting in companies will start which will increase the unemployment and we all knows that these corrupt and greedy leaders in association with bureaucrats don't have any plans to provide means of survival to the unemployed talented youths.

Profits of all the major MNC's operating in India have declined in recent quarters due to downward trend in financial scenario of whole world. Various measures are already put in place by all companies to cut down their cost. The major arm of cost cutting i.e. reducing staff will start as soon as new government takes place and all the political parties will start blaming each others for these unemployment scenario.

So dear friends please make sure you save at least 20%-25% of your earning so that you have sufficient resources required in bad time (may god save all from these bad time). Update yourself, sharp your skills, increase your talent so that your career goes upward.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cricket

Everyone in train, office, tea-shop, news channels, newspaper seen talking about Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket now a days. The discussions of each ball and every match is going. Various teams like Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings,Deccan Chargers, Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals have mix set of international and local players. All of these players are earning excellently. IPL event / matches are much much more than a sporting activity. Actually sports is only a part of IPL Event. I just want to say that bringing of too much glamor to Cricket will damage the sportsman spirit and kill the objective of playing sports.

If we look at the history of cricket then you see then in starting test matches are played and then the concept of one day started with 60 over and reduced to 50 overs and now T-20 matches shows the cricket is synchronizing and may lost is importance in coming decades. I am saying this because sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening and it is a universal truth so may be the sport of cricket have reached its heights and downward trend may be waiting for this popular sport.

Sharp Rise in Assets: Where are Income Tax Authorities!

The candidates for Lok Sabha elections are filing affidavits regarding their assets. Many of these are sitting MPs. How come their assets have multiplies astronomically in last 5 years? The public knows how much income a MP gets! How do we explain this?

What is the Income Tax Department doing? Are they chasing the candidates for this exposure?

Very logical question: How these MPs amassed this fortune? The country needs an explanation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rental Rate Hikes

Since last 3-4 fortnights I am searching for a taking a a two room set on rent in and around Old Faridabad and I found a very interesting fact about Property Dealers during the process. In Sector-28, one property dealer told me that rent for the two room set and three room set is equal and the range is around Rs.6000, while in sector-17 market one property dealer told that the range for two room set starts from Rs.5000 and in Sector-18 housing board colony the scenario is very robust, thanks to these property dealers who are increasing rate everyday and making clients fool. In starting day the rent for EWS is Rs.3000 after one week it is Rs.3500 and now it is Rs.4000 and about LIG flats one month ago rent is Rs.4000 but now it is Rs.5500. When I myself starts roaming in Sector-18 the rent is around Rs.3000 in starting which is negotiable and now it is Rs.3500 negotiable for EWS category. For LIG category the actual slab is around Rs.4500 now a days. In Sector-28 itself I found a two room set @ Rs.3700 which clearly presents the thinking of property dealers.

In other sectors the range is Rs.4000(negotiable) for two rooms. Actually if you goes to one dealer on first day he recommends a rate which is generally 15% more than the actual price and in next 2-3 days he will again increase it by 15% more and the cycle continues.

This virtual cycle crates a fictitious bubble which on burst creates a havoc as happened in the Real Estate (flats/bungalow/plots) markets. I also feels that due to fall in buy & sell market of real estate the focus of dealers are on rental market.

In case of the buyer/seller is an outsider (not local to that place) they provide him with totally wrong information. From some peoples I also listened that in case of sale of property dealers eats big chunk money by giving less amount to buyer and charging higher amount from Seller. They tells buyer that market is down and no seller is their and also mention weak points regarding his property and to the seller they says no their is no recession in real estate and mentions him advantages of owing the proposed property and tells him the rate which is much more than told to buyer. They keep his difference money in their pocket and also charges commission from both parties. I think it is purely against the moral ethics of business to eats money between deals, you should charges commission from both parties but should not take the money in between. It is also commonly known fact that property dealers are not having clear image, background, character.

It is worth to be noted that on Internet I was not able to found any property for less than Rs.5000 on most popular sites like 99acres, magicbricks and makaan.

Property Dealers in Real Estate sector are like the share market operators who sometimes create blunder is financial market and leads the real/small investors to surprise.

So do you have any idea which can break this virtual / fictitious rental rate hike cycle.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Most Richest Candidate in General Elections

The name of Mr. Deepak Bhardwaj came in news when he filed his nomination on Bahujan Samaj Party ticket from West Delhi. In his affidavit he declared the assets worth Rs.622 crore (the richest candidate fighting general election in 2009 till date). Mr. Bhardwaj has overtaken Mumbai builder Mr. Patadia, Independent candidate from Surendranagar in Gujarat whose assets are worth Rs.513 crore. BSP says since it can not provide funds to candidates to fight elections that's why the rich candidate has been given ticket.

Some other rich candidates are :

Congress’s L Rajagopal from Vijaywada (Rs 299 crore),
BSP’s Karan Singh Tanwar from South Delhi (Rs 150 crore)
SP’s Abu Azmi from Mumbai NW (Rs 122 crore).

In this election many old candidates/sitting MPs, MLA assets have increased many folds and most of the candidates fighting election in this election are crorepati so we can say Parliament is becoming the meeting place of crorepatis/rich peoples, then why all these candidates are saying they will serve the nation and upon victory will work for the betterment of common man, (all this is purely fictitious statement by this political leaders.)

The important point to be noted is what action is being taken to investigate the sources of funds/assets with these candidates. I think tax department is doing nothing as they have to work under these leaders after election.

If you know any of the good leaders who are fighting this election please mention his/her name here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Level of Journalism!

CNN = Politics
Program: Situation Room by Wolf Blitz
Discussion is on: Obama getting his new dog in the White House.
A supposedly 'dog expert' giving his views on various aspects!
In the back ground, the Obama family strolling in the gardens of White House with the new dog.
Captions being shown: "Obama's 100 days; The most popular dog in the world.

What an issue! CNN claims that it is equal to politics (CNN = Politics). What a topic to discuss in "Situation Room"! They kept discussing and out of disgust I switched off the TV set and starting focusing on the tea and pakoras that my wife had just prepared. This also happens when you have TV channels running for 24 hours! They have to show something, I believe!
This is today April 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM (Central Time).

Whistleblower Protection Act: Bring it in Private Sector also!

A few days back, as I watching the news on a local Chicago channel, the Illinois Governor Patt Quinn ( Governor is an elected official, hence equivalent to Chief Minister of an Indian State) announced that in order to encourage the phenomenon of whistle-blowing, some percentage of the money -if recovered - would be given to the whistle blower also. This I believe will encourage people to come out with more exposures.

The Illinois state has provided a website so that a person can get help how to expose corruption.

What does the term "Whistle blower" mean? The website tells us that: "A whistleblower is someone who exposes wrongdoing, fraud, corruption and/or waste."
The government provides protection to someone who exposes corruption (whistleblower): Whistleblower Protection Act.

Does India have Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA)?

Yes, it was enacted after a lot of public pressure and outcry.
One of the resource on internet says:

" Four years ago (2005?), India was rocked by the murder of Satyendra Dubey, a government engineer who exposed corruption in the national highway building program.

Two years later, Shanmughan Manjunath, a manager at a state-owned oil company, laid bare a scheme to sell impure gasoline. His body was found riddled with bullets in the back seat of his car. Is this what honest person should get in India.

After all, Satyendra Dubey may not have died in vain. His death was neither the first, nor will be the last that vested interests will perpetrate, but Dubey’s death uniquely galvanised nation-wide protest. That he was an alumnus of IIT mattered. IIT-ians across the world demanded action. Now at last, India has taken the first tentative step towards a full-fledged law to protect whistleblowers.

Finally on April 21, the Ministry of Personnel issued a notification granting immunity to all employees of the government except those in armed and intelligence services.

For the moment, the protector of whistleblowers will be the statutory office of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). A robust law is however, some years away."

What Further?
● In India, WPA is a welcome step. Indian government machinery is thoroughly infected with the virus of corruption. This will help fight the corruption to a certain extent. Make it more popular, and efficient! Make it simple!

● But it should be extended to private sector also so that more of Satyams can be prevented.

To conclude:
I also found a Indian blog dedicated to issues related to Whistle-blowing: http://whistleblowers.wordpress.com/

"If you must sin, sin against God, not against the bureaucracy. God may forgive you, but the bureaucracy never will!"— U.S. Admiral Hyman Rickover

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Co-ordination in Security Agencies

After terrorist attack in Mumbai, a lack of co-ordination between different agencies of state government, central government, various security agencies came into the light. A National Investigation Agency is also raised. Senior Bureaucrats & Govt. Ministers said that the co-ordination will be stepped up between all security agencies but as per news published in Times of India in first phase of general election naxalist / Maoists group attack on security forces at various location and many security personnel's killed and now the BSF says that its soldiers died due to lack of intelligence but as per home ministry official BSF (Border Security Force) did not followed the (SOP) Standard Operating Procedures laid down for naxal affected areas while CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) followed and reduced its vulnerability. In a point it is said that security forces did not got the enough time to co-ordinate with previous teams and understand the areas of their deployment. these all comments by individual agencies are showing their spirt towards the coordinated efforts.

I want to ask that is terrorist/naxalists/Maoists organization are better organized and have greater co-ordination between them in comparison to our security forces? If so then the working & operating methods of forces need immediate review and the current scenario is hinting the things in this direction.

All the bureaucracy / ego / red-tapism / selfishness is costing the nation the lives of its brave soldiers.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Model Code of Conduct

Since the announcement of General Lok Sabha Election the model code of conduct has come into effect and many action has been taken against the leaders who are going against the model code of conduct but since last three days the construction of road is going on road from Ankhir Chowk to Badkhal Flyover in Sector-21, which I think purely against the model conduct of conduct. I don't know whether our electronic & print media is aware about it or not and what the officers on election duty is doing.

Don't you think that this activity is purely against the rules.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The problem of Naxalism

Naxalism in many states of India is a very big issues in front of Indian government. Few days back the Nalco's bauxite mine (The biggest bauxite mine in Asia) in Orissa is attack by Naxalites and they killed eight CISF peoples. Naxal organisations calls for boycott of elections, they sometimes threat public transport system such as Indian Railway. Some of the main question related to Naxalism is as under :-

- What is the aim of naxalism

- Why they are growing

- What are their sources of funds to operate & running their activities

- Who are members of think tank of these naxal organisations

- Who is supplying arms to them

- Are they getting any political support

- How to stop them

I think government must try to engage more and more youth from naxal hits area in to security forces, give employment to them in public & private sector. The speed of development works needs to be accelerated at a very high pace and mid-day meal programme, primary education, Rural Employment schemes must be started on large scales in the tribal areas of naxal affects states. In Parallel Government should start crack down on top leadership of naxal organisation and their financial resources must be tracked and captured. It must be noted that during the anti naxal operation of security forces there must not be any political interference.

Actually government should take hard action against the problem of naxalism otherwise in coming future the nation may face the problem of naxalism as a problem of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East states. Government must learn from the action of Sri-Lankan government who almost finished the LTTE from their country. LTTE is known as one of the biggest and powerful terrorist group of world. I will say that nation only needs political will to finish the problem of naxalism.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Reservation Policy

Reservation is a big issue in India. What is the basic objective of reservation, why necessity of reservation arises. I am strongly against current reservation policy. Generally many peoples who are talented do not get proper opportunity to go ahead and someone with less talent goes ahead. Reservation must be given only to those peoples who do not have proper infrastructure & financial incapable to use their talent for betterment of society. Some big officers who are from reservation quota are are able to arrange good facilities for their wards but still they get reservation which is really injustice to the talented and needy peoples.

Reservation must be given to poor and talented peoples, It should not be on the basis of caste & religion. Caste and religion divides the society which leads to tension between different communities and we know about the communal riots in India in last 2-3 decades.

To fight against the reservation Medical students stand and started their protest but no political party came in support of them and neither any NGO, individuals, students from other streams came to support them.

The main point is absence of political support to these protesting students which clearly present the aims & objective of political parties. All political leaders and parties are just fighting to gain power, acquire money for themselves. They don't think about society and nation as claimed by them and they draw their manifesto to gain more and more votes.

I think current reservation policy must be stopped immediately and a national reservation policy must be drawn on the observation given by representatives from every section of society. I think we must invite some international experts for the same who do not belongs to India.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Political Corruption

We all want clean image, honest political leaders who can lead our country but as you know it is very hard because honest and clean peoples do not have the money for campaign and to distribute money to voters. Now a days voters make a team on the basis of their caste, community, religion etc. and put demands in front of candidates. Only those candidates who have the big chunk of money (money which earned through wrong means) with them can fulfill the wishes of these types of voters and later after getting victory these candidates work to get back their money which is paid by all voters(common man) in form of taxes. The money required for campaigning in a lok sabha constituency is minimal one crore although as per election commission norms it is only few lakhs rupees. If a candidate puts one crore rupees in election and also provide his time then after victory he will aim is to recover this one crore rupees plus the cost of time which is invested. Lets take another example when someone have worked for a candidate during his campaign, he is called worker, the worker may be giving his time or his time & money or time, money, contacts etc. After victory of candidate he ask the candidate to give him his part of slice by putting his men on government jobs or giving admission to his known in educational institutes or favour him awarding government tenders/contracts and the leader due to under obligation have to fulfil this thing and also to recover his own invested money. So the big questions is who is behind the corruption in politics.

 

I request all the voters to do voting without any greed and favour. Give your vote to the candidate who is clean and honest. Please don't vote on the basis of caste/religion it will lead to division in society.

 

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Democracy Index: India stands 35th out of 167

 This news source is heavily sourced form Wikipedia and Rediff news portal.

India is not a full democracy but a flawed one, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2008 Democracy index. The conclusion is drawn on the basis of the country's performance on 60 indicators which measure electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

The Democracy index ranks India 35th out of 167 countries, among other nations considered 'flawed democracies' including Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil.

Pakistan ranks at 108 out of 167.

The good news is that with an overall score of 7.8 out of 10, India is close to the category of 'full democracy' nations.

India's scores take a beating in the category of political participation and political culture. The index also points out that "unwieldy and sometimes uncooperative coalitions" often hinder economic reforms. Though government functioning scores decently, corruption and lack of government accountability drags down the score in this category. Hence, "uncooperative coalitions "dragged India down in this ranking! (That is why I say that bar must be raised for regional parties for a national participation otherwise they will continue to play spoil-sport!)

The Economist has in a study examined the state of democracy in 167 countries and attempted to quantify this with an Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy which focused on five general categories; electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

The countries are categorized into:

  1. Full democracies—scores of 8-10.
  2. Flawed democracies—scores of 6 to 7.9.
  3. Hybrid regimes—scores of 4 to 5.9.
  4. Authoritarian regimes—scores below 4.
Sweden scored a total of 9.88 on a scale from zero to ten, which was the highest result, while North Korea scored the lowest with 0.86.

According to Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index 2008:

# 1: Sweden

# 2: Norway

# 3: Iceland

# 4: Netherlands (Holland)

# 10: Australia

# 17: Japan

# 18: USA

# 21: UK

# 108: Pakistan

# 161; Saudi Arabia

# 163: Burma (Myanmar)

Last (# 167): North Korea


Methodology

As described in the report, the democracy index is a kind of weighted average based on the answers of 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted alternative answers. Most answers are "experts' assessments"; the report does not indicate what kinds of experts, nor their number, nor whether the experts are employees of The Economist or e.g. independent scholars, nor the nationalities of the experts. Some answers are provided by public opinion surveys from the respective countries.

  1. "Whether national elections are free and fair";
  2. "The security of voters";
  3. "The influence of foreign powers on government";
  4. "The capability of the civil servants to implement policies".
The details of this study can be found in this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

Unite against Criminal Candidates: Do not Vote for them!

Of course we know (literate as well as illiterate voters) that goons are ruling us. Some of the  political leaders have criminal records (hence we can call them criminals), majority are tainted: tainted by corrupt practices, nepotism, and favoritism and inefficiency. The charges against many of these leaders have not come into light or have not been proven! But the major perception is that the current herd of political leaders- spanning across all political parties - are self-serving.

Thus it is clear that 2 major diseases that afflict our democracy are: Criminalization of politics and lack of accountability.
Thus does this slogan make any sense: Vote and choose a clean leader? This voice has become very prominent particularly in these elections, thanks to the technology (blogs, text messages, social networks, twitter, TV and radio, etc). When all political parties are giving tickets to goons in these upcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2009, who do we choose? The dilemma is understandable.

Let me express what I feel on this issue:

Decriminalization of politics requires policy changes. Elections are a few weeks away, so we can not count on this. Whereas the public, NGOs, eminent social leaders and activists must continue their struggle to press for the electoral reforms on a national basis, for the current Lok Sabha elections, here are my simple formulas:

1. Vote we must. Each vote counts. We get a holiday from the government on this day (hence it makes much more sense to at least perform this holy ritual!). Meanwhile have we secured our papers for the eligibility to cast a vote?
2. Best value of vote: Let us make a pledge: Whatever political party I like, my vote will go to the best candidate among the current contestants. That means, who is least corrupt, who has shown interest in public affairs, who has done the best development work (may not apply on a newcomer), who has ignited least of the caste and religious passions. 
Hence, I will vote not on the basis of caste, creed and religion.
3. Vote for national parties:  Without sounding like contradicting my point # 2, I would urge to vote for a national party. These are Parliamentary elections, not assembly elections. The regional parties by securing tits and bits of LS seats will play the role of middle-men and will 'hang' the nation! They will always look for opportunity to stall the central governments even on regional issues (now think, is that justified?). They will be on big sale during festivals like "No confidence motion). 
4. Vote one and motivate another to vote: Let it be a chain reaction.
 It is generally seen that illiterate voters come out in good numbers and vote en-bloc or en-masse! No grudges! At least they are voting. But educated voters need to come out and vote. 


As I wrote yesterday that in the survey by The Economist , India stands at 35th out of 167 and we are classified as a "Flawed Democracy" and not even a full democracy: thus much needs to be achieved in that direction! Our struggle is long, but first step first: let us focus on these elections: try to choose the best lot!

# Cast your vote: each vote counts!
# Motivate others to vote. Wake them on the voting day!
# Let law-breakers not become law-makers!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pilibhit Drama

The comments by Varun Gandhi in a public election meeting invoked NSA ( National Security Act) against him. Now he is behind bars at Etah Jail in Uttar Pradesh.If we see teh scenario from starting it raises so many questions in my mind which are as follows :-

- First One is that District Administration acting on behalf of the central powers who might want to play a similar game as happened in Royal family of Nepal few years ago means to damage/end the carrier of Varun Gandhi.

- Secondly does history is repeating itself, as in the case of Mr. Sanjay Gandhi S/o Late Shri Indira Gandhi, Ex-Prime Minister of India, When Sanjay Gandhi publicly stands against the wrong policies & decision (according to him).

- It may be also possible that by highlight the issue BJP wants to attract more and more Hindu votes in view of its failures in construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya.

-May be media is highlight the issue more than required and taking this oppourunity for increasing their popularity and revenues

- BJP is trying to re-draw the Mr. Narendra Modi Victory in Gujarat in last election due to hard hindutva face of Mr. Modi.

- Mr. Varun & Mrs. Maneka Gandhi trying to implement the thinking of this father Late Shri Sanjay Gandhi who died in a accident due to unknown reasons.

- Madam Mayawati, BSP Leader may wants to take election benefit (making alliance with congress/shifting other castes vote banks in his favour) by posing herself as a strict administrator in front of Janta(Common men)

DEAR READERS,

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Reason of Corruption

We all knows about the corruption in our country. We talk about it, raise many question and wants solution of corruption which had very wide reach in the system. It is increasing everyday like anything and had its roots and branch in every department of the system whether private of government sector. But what are the reasons behind the corruption? Why does it happens? I think there are many reasons behind it some of which are as follows :-

- Inability to meet the basic requirements of life

- Greediness to become more rich

- Fear of survival against changing circumstances

- Wish to become more powerful

I think corruption is somewhere has its roots deeps in our history. The TIP given to waiter, INAM given to maid, festival gift given to sweeper/dhobi/guard/driver/others are all branches of tree of corruption in one or other way.

Lets take a example of Some Big Land Lord in a village in ancient era of India or pre independence. Landlords used to keep the lower class / middle peoples for households, farming and others jobs and takes lot of work from them without any defined time limits and criteria to pay, landlord used to pay them a very little/small amount against their services which is not sufficient to complete the daily needs of workers so they request something extra which is given to them in the form of small Inam/ little value Gift on Festivals/functions to show the kindness of landlords. Actually this is the stage from where corruption starts, with the passing time this inam/gift system after the work has taken form of bribe and its is now a part of system. So to remove corruption we need to improve the condition of lower class peoples by stopping their exploitation.

In modern times small class peoples are known as lower class/4th class peoples working in offices and still not getting proper reimbursement against their services to complete their daily needs by wrong means they tries to do earn some money. To become richer and more powerful senior officers take bribes and increase corruption due to their greed. They think that with the help of money and power they will be able to sustain themselves in case of any problem/tough time. In between senior officials/lower class middle level executives working feels that when everyone is earning by wrong (corruption) means so he also get involves in the same thing due to environment effect, stressful life and his wish to go upward.

To remove corruption we must stop exploitation of small peoples/lower class and Implement Anti-Corruption measures from TOP ORDER/Upper Class the results will definitely improve. Anti-Corruption departments performance must be analysed on regular basis by independent bodies whose members are from Government, NGOs, RWAs, etc.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Antarctic Peninsula - Ice Textures [PICS]

Amazing photos from The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula.

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Huge Antarctic Ice Shelf Headed for Collapse

The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008.

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Eye Blindness & Eye Donation

In large population of India many peoples are suffered from the problem of blindness. Many of these patients are not aware about the solution of the problem or feels that solution is not located in their nearby area and even many thought that it is not possible to restore their eye sight. Eye vision of many blind peoples can be restored by giving them the donated eyes but a large number of peoples are not taking initiative for registering themselves for eye donation due to religious views, less awareness, hesitations etc. Many times some peoples are not able to register because of formalities involved or don't have the time to go to the eye bank/hospital to register them so online registration facility for eye donation must be started. It may be available right now but I was not able to find it. In comparison to other countries India is far behind in eye donations instead of its large population.

Government/NGO's are working hard to fight this problem but results are not up to the mark. As per my observations, in small towns peoples are ready to donate but in big cities don't because of busy life or some other reasons as mentioned previously.

I think some eye donation camps must be organised like blood donation camps in big factories/corporate sector/colleges where a large number of peoples works and gather regularly.

I am in the process of doing the registration for eyes donation and I request all the blog readers to register for eye donation so that when you go from this world someone else can see the world through your eyes and in this way you will live even after your death. We should remember that Indian history/culture is known for its kindness and many of our religious leaders & famous kings in the history have donated themselves so lets come forward and keep our culture alive.

Dial 1919 in eye donation helpline.

Dear friends please come forward and post your ideas for eyes donations.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Unsafe Indians Roads: Personal Discipline + Stringent Laws Will Help

See this statistics: India, with just 1 per cent of the world’s vehicles, accounts for 10 per cent of the road fatalities worldwide and has the worst accident record.

Last week, Punjab's Cooperation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh died in a road accident. The media reports that his driver was driving the car at 110 KMPH at a bend. A day later, two dozen pilgrims die in a road accident as they were returning from Naina Devi. You might remember the tragic deaths of politicians like Rajesh Pilot who also died in road accidents.

Just some common and day to day observations:

1. Indians roads have become congested with so much trafiic that there is all around noise, pollution and choas.

2. Getting a Driving License is pretty easy: bribe the babu and you get it sitting at home without ever taking a road-test. Little do we realize that I may kill others or the babu realizes that ineligible candidate whom I am issuing this DL (even though my pocket is becoming fatter) may kill someone else!

3. We feel proud when our teenager (for discussion purpose, age 14- 15 years here) brother or child is handed over a scooter or motor-cycle or even a car and he/she takes on the cruise with a beaming face. We feel enormously proud that we have provided to our child what ever as parents we could do to improve his/her life! That false sense of pride! We forget that a teenager without eligibility for DL is not only a danger to himself or herself, more importantly to others: frankly this thought does not come to our mind! We are so much in love with our own kids that basic sense gets lost sometime!

4. We are aping the West as far as life style is concerned, but have we ever thought that western countries have stringent rules regarding issuance of DLs, traffic rules and regulations, pollution control and parking places. When we see the haphazard traffic and ruly driving styles on Indian roads, the question arises in mind: Are we civilized enough? Do we need the government all the time to tell us to obey traffic rules? Do not we have any character?

5. When stopped on a red light for crossing the red-light, why do we always try to influence the cop with our status (like being doctor or bank officer) for waiver? I did that, let me admit that! To save the penalty, we use our status? Is that ethical enough?

6. When driving on roads, our scorn for fellow passengers with less luxuries is many a time very obvious. We yell and shout at cyclists and riksha- wallas ! What kind of respect for fellow individual are we observing!

7. When there is breach of traffic rules, the money collected does not go to the treasury, but goes in the private pockets of
the police and their officers! Think about the money our treasury is losing!

8. Over-speeding is a habit with majority of people. Honk, honk: is an obsession with us!

9. On even the best of highways, people drive on wrong side. I vividly remember my personal incidence! I was driving with my family from Delhi to Jaipur in 1999. The Delhi-Jaipur highway was beautifully constructed (after seeing western countries, I still feel that highway was pretty good). We took a tea-break somewhere and as we got back on the highway, the road ahead was slightly curvy. In clear day light, on a national highway, there came a car dashing towards us from totally opposite direction (the highway was 4 lanes with a clear cemented divider) and in a blink of the eye, zoomed pass us. Since the road was curvy, both cars could not see each other from appreciable distance! It was just plain luck that the two cars were in different lanes! Otherwise there was no way to prevent the head -on collision! Nothing happened, of course but I still remember that incidence and shiver runs down my spine! Where does the government come in picture here? The craziness of people, I would say!

10. We construct roads and they are gone in next few months! Who siphons away the money? the public gets poor quality of roads as the money has gone to the govt officials, contractor and local MLA.

11. The traffic cop is standing on a busy intersection in a major metropolis-where the traffic has created a furnace of toxic gases. Does this traffic cop has any additional health safety measures granted by his employer? What additional insurance the govt has given to him for job-related health risks (occupational risks)?

This negative sounding critique does not mean that we can not improve upon! Our roads can be as safe, our traffic can be regulated. What is required: discipline, stringent laws, and a 'driving-character' that needs to be inculcated!




Stray Animals in India: Do We have any Policy?

Public concerns do not always refer to the issues of corruption, accountability, justice. Of course, these issues are very dear to Mission India foundation (MIF). Since my friend Krishnan - A GreenPeace corp- almost threatened that he would withdraw his support from MIF if MIF did not pay attention to environment ( Al Gore of Tamil Nadu!), my curious brain started roaming on Indian roads and I said to myself: "Got to take up a public issue, man!" And here we go: Apparently small and trivial issues sometime if paid attention look worth-discussing. Let us take this example of stray cattle.

India is home to approximately 60 million stray cattle. That sounds astounding!

What are the implication of stray animals:

1. They destroy the aesthetic beauty of the surroundings (without getting the wrath of animal lovers!).

2. They cause accidents on the roads, they may cause injuries to kids, elderly people.

3. They contribute to environmental uncleanliness, filthiness (think of pigs, dogs).

4. Monkeys play havoc with life, material and resources.

5. More importantly, they cause diseases like tetanus; dog bite can cause rabies / hydrophobia. Pregnant ladies in contact with cats can acquire Toxoplasmosis (the disease can affect the growing fetus adversely). Monkey bites have resulted in grievous facial injuries and even deaths. similarly, other zoonotic diseases are well known.

We are so immune to seeing the pigs, cattle, dogs roaming around that we think this is a part and parcel of Indian life! I had the same impressions until I came out to USA. Very different: No dogs, no pets roaming around without the chains! You do not see cows, buffaloes anywhere (of course, here also we get milk! But the animals remain where they are supposed to be: in the custody of the owner! Very basic Principal: "You own the animal, you got to keep it!" Hence, whereas baby-sitters are available here to take care of your kids, you can also find pet-sitters to take care of your pets when you are away from your home! Funny! Is not it!

Now I know that the American model of cattle-rearing is not possible to be emulated over India, but there must be some solutions that we need to find to check the menace of stray cattle. Any takers!



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two Party System: India is NOT Ready for That Yet

Mr. Kulbir Singh Chadha from Rajpura has urged in The Tribune that India should adopt a two-party political system. He writes:
"The time has come when we should wake up and vote for a candidate with a clean image. The impending political instability may hamper development. Past experience has shown that regional parties have not played a constructive role, rather they have time and again brought the nation on the brink of disintegration. We too should adopt a two-party system. The countries with a similar system have done well."

I am not against two-party system. Ok, here is my take on this: India is not ready for this as yet. The way our system works, if a 2 party system is introduced, it will open the flood gates for politicians and political parties to loot the country even more. Political parties operate without accountability, the governments continue to function without keeping their promises, they are not able to curb the corruption. Infact, 2 party system is, for practical purpose, already in existence in many states. Examples include of Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, etc.

The corridors of power in such states have amply demonstrated that people frustated with the incumbent government vote (say, DMK) them out to replace opposition party (say AIDMK). Over next 5 years, AIDMK's rule will be characterized by blatant corruption, muscle-tactics, nepotism, and non-development and shameless promotion of family rule. Frustrated, the voters will bring in DMK again after 5 years and DMK will do no different as far development is concerned. Haryana has seen this time and again; Uttar Pradesh since last decade has been held captive by the 2 political corporations: Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav. All this can be summed up by one term: "Revolving Door Democracy (ROD)"

Why people do it? Why voters vote in the same party after 5 years which had been thrashed out in previous elections? Why voters indulge in this The answer is very simple: voters do not have a choice.

Now think about applying this concept of 2 party rule over the Center. Let us assume, India opts for 2 pol parties, hence Congress or UPA and BJP or NDA. The country will see the political doors revolving around these 2 parties and they will give a hoot to the masses! Each party knows now that chances of winning the next Parliamentary elections are well 50 %, hence a culture of indifference to the issues will grow. The 2 parties will become political dynasties!

Yes, two party system is good if these reforms are put in action before. Some of the examples are:

1. The 2 major political parties must have a mechanism of intra-party democracy in place. Think about it: If Congress has become a family -rule, is there anything that I-the voter- can do about it? Nothing, whether I support Congress or not, I have no control over this! I am a helpless spectator watching this hype and hoopla. Similarly, do I know what are the financial assets of Congress or BJP? No, I do not because there is no mechanisms in place that show the things clearly.

2. The 2 political parties must evolve mechanisms how candidates are chosen for the elections. Since such mechanisms are not in plcae, what we see is that come elections and all of a sudden, strangers appear on the stage: Sanjay Dutt, sitting Member of Parliament Menka Gandhi handing over the rein to her son Varun Gandhi ( Is Pilibhit a Lok Sabha constituency or Menka's personal fiefdom?), or the public is made to gulp outsiders down their neck ( Sashi Tharoor). Or criminals re given tickets: I heard Sajjan Kumar and Tytler are being nominated by Congress from Delhi. Recollect Delhi Sikh riots!

In current scenario of our democracy, at least people have the option to vent their anger by selecting from many parties. Though multi-party democracy has its own ill- consequences (hung verdicts), but the pol parties remian under some restraint.

Implement 2 party system once we have placed sound check and balances in place. Without that, the pol parties will grow into political monsters!

PS: By the way, I was checking the official website of Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana for some data about the previous assembly and LS elections and strangely, no information was there . The icon 'Election Statistics' when clicked shows this message: page under construction. Babus are sleeping! Crappy ways are maintained the government websites in India and that speaks volumes of their commitment to further the cause of transparency and accountability!).


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Indian Army

Every year a big slice of whole budget goes for Defence sector, millions of taxpayers money is spent on the modernization of security forces but on Sunday, 29th March 09 in Hindustan Times Delhi edition reported that only 850 pouches of a bleeding control medicine has been purchased for soldiers fighting in Jammu & Kashmir. To read this news go to www.hindustantimes.com and check e-paper of 29th March 09.

As per the news approximately 100000 (one lac) soldiers are involved in counter-terrorism operations and soldiers are purchasing the medicine out of their own pocket or by making a fund in their unit/battalions. This medicine is readily carried by every soldiers of US forces working in Iraq and Afghanistan, then why not by Indian soldiers.

It is a matter of shame for the army, it should take care of its man-power in serious ways. Army is already facing a crunch of junior level officers and if this type of incident happens it will lower the morals of our fighting soldiers which will create a big problem.

Important point is that we should not forget that all the good/modern equipments are operated / used by humans only, if we have less number of soldiers and if we lost many of them in war due to non availability of medical facilities it is a matter of shame. Where that all millions of rupees of defence budget is going. Is the incident another indicator of corruption involved in Army. Few years back on TV, I listened the view of MP in Parliament that for getting the job of soldier/hawaldar/other ranks in army you need to pay bribe as per the rates slab decided according to ranks, and the common peoples pay that bribe by selling their lands/assets/home or by taking money from others. If the soldier fighting for the nation has these problem how he will concentrate on his ultimate aim (fight against enemies of our nation), in this scenario he will do all wrong works to repay loans or save his home, so the corruption system must be ended.

I am not much aware about the procedures of army/defence sector but i can say that some steps must be taken to remove this problem (corruption) so that our nation remains always safe from external enemies.

Medical facilities must be provided to soldiers on urgent/immediate basis to save their precious life and save the moral of security forces.

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