Wednesday, 19 January 2011, 05:33 IST
Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 as an advertising company, Google today commands the largest internet search engine in the world. It has turned out to be a gigantic empire and is branching out into parts like email, news, price comparison (Froogle), cartography (Google Maps), literature (with Google Book Search), free telephony (Google Talk), and Google Earth, an incredibly detailed virtual globe. So far it has been able to have such an impact over people that its name is listed as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary. To be honest, there is nothing much to say about Google. Google speaks for itself.
When Jimmy Wales founded Wikipedia in 2001, he hardly thought that his creation will one day be considered as one of the most trust-worthy sources of information. What has made this free online encyclopaedia such a big success is that, it is open to everyone to read, and also to edit. Its 17 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. Today, Wikipedia is attracting 2,000-plus page requests a second.
Who thought that a site to connect students of a university with each other will become a tool that every internet user uses? But this is the story of Facebook, the most popular social networking site today. Facebook was was co-founded as a private company in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and classmates Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes. With its dynamic development system, almost any application is possible. Facebook therefor has many interesting features like Connect, the Facebook Developer Platform, Facebook Chat and so on.
Ever since its launch in July 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained tremendous popularity worldwide and currently has over 175 million users globally. Who is not on Twitter today? Starting from celebrities, to politicians to scientists, everyone has a twitter account and sending and reading messages called tweets. It is estimated that Twitter is generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day. Most businesses have twitter accounts as well to be more interactive.
Started as a hobby by two Stanford University graduates Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994, Yahoo! today is considered as one of the most visited and popular websites on the internet. On the back of its early success, Yahoo! branched out into email, instant messaging, news, gaming, online shopping and an array of other services. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine (Yahoo! Search), Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, advertising, online mapping (Yahoo! Maps), video sharing (Yahoo! Video), and social media websites and services. Although eclipsed by Google, Yahoo! still has its own image among the internet users.
Launched in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim as a user-friendly site to upload and share videos, YouTube has become one of the most popular sites on the net today, with claiming that 100 million clips are watched every day. Starting from homemade video clips to long-lost TV and film gems, YouTube is a place where people can upload and share videos. It has also taken off as a place for amateur film-makers to show off their talents.
Owned by News Corporation, this California-based social networking site became the most popular social networking site in the United States in June 2006. Although it was overtaken internationally by its main competitor, Facebook, in 2008, based on monthly unique visitors, MySpace is too effective and ubiquitous to ignore. As of June 2010, the social networking site has 66 million users all over the world. One of its interesting features is the ability to upload and listen to music, which has attracted 2.2 million new bands and artists to the site.
ebay was the website that brought the concept of online shopping and bidding industry for the first time. Ever since its launch in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and Michael Dean Johnson, ebay has turned out to be a huge shopping mall where people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide. It is now a multi-billion dollar business with operations localized in over thirty countries.
The recent controversy associated with it and its founder Julian Assange has created a big hype and has attracted attention of the whole world. The website may not that big yet, but the impact that it had on the world is shocking. The website has faced criticism from various governmental and non- governmental organizations, but the fact that makes it so influential is that this site gives you proof and the truth.
Starting with an office in a Seattle suburb with desks made out of old doors, Amazon today is the largest online retailer in the U.S. Founded by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore in 1994, Amazon.com soon diversified, selling DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, and toys. Amazon's continued dominance rests on price-slashing which has made it one of the biggest online shopping centers with new and old items available to the users at a simple click of a button.
I appreciate the article. Yes. All the sites you mention are doing excellent knowledge dissemination. In the Indian context SiliconIndia, rediff news and rediff BUSINESS are very popular.
Yaleenvironment360,Scientific American,naturenews,SciDev.net,Energybiz,ENER GY BOOM,Gizmag,Robaid etc. are all very informative and transmit latest knowledge and information in different fields.
My comments are published on subjects like Energy, Science & technology,Environment,Health,Forestry and General topics in International and National online newsletters such as naturenews 25, Energy Boom 40,Scientific American 25, Yaleenvironment360 6, REDIFF NEWS 440, SiliconIndia 230 , SciDev.Net 22 , gizmag 210, RobAid 90, SmartTechie 4 , Think digit 1 , Energy pulse 1, renewables biz 3 , The Scientist 1, Solve climate 1 , forum for the future 1 , World Changing 1, msn 6.
I transmit my comments along with the article to thousands of people and organisations around the globe.
This is a Knowledge and digital era. Internet and e-mail helped distance meaning less in transmitting information.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 19 Jan, 2011
Wikipedia - Where Knowledge is Free
Wednesday, 19 January 2011, 04:52 IST
Bangalore: How often have you noticed or cared to open the personal appeal from Jimmy Wales when you open a page of Wikipedia? Wikimedia said the appeal generated more than $430,000 in the first 24 hours. "This is the most money ever raised by Wikimedia in a single day and almost twice as many unique contributors in a single day, as well," a spokesman said.
This was the response of the numerous well wishers who want to keep the concept of Wikipedia alive and who share the similar dream with Jimmy Wales of a world where control of knowledge is in the hands of people everywhere, with basic works they can adopt, modify, and share freely without asking permission from anyone.
Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia has become the largest and most popular free encyclopedia on the internet over the years and by all means, it has glorified the real meaning of web by its free and broad dissemination of knowledge. Marking its 10th birthday, the online encyclopedia has launched its first overseas office in India, an attempt to strengthen its global access initiatives.
The principal idea behind the success of Wikipedia is that anyone can contribute and edit on the site and thus, the website attracts nearly 400 million visitors a month across the world. According to the experts, Wikipedia is the fifth most visited Internet site in the world. Nearly 17 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers globally. Around 15,000 reliable editors maintain nearly 3.5 million articles. The editors are unpaid volunteers.
Wikipedia is being run by the non-profit organization, Wikimedia Foundation which also operates related projects such as Wiktionary and Wikibooks. The site features no advertisements. The San Francisco-based website functions on MediaWiki, a custom-made, free and open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQL database.
20 percent of the site's content is in English and it plans to widen the range of topics and languages offered inviting more contributors from across the globe. At present, Wikipedia is available in over 270 languages and with the starting of the new office in India, the site hopes to add more Indian languages. The website is planning to expand its operations to Brazil, Middle East and Africa eying more editors with diverse backgrounds.
The online knowledge hub also has ties with 16 universities with an aim to engage more students and professors in its activities.
In 2010, the site operated on $8 million and with the recent fundraising campaign by found Wales, it raised over $16 million. Extending their support to its good work and to help to strengthen the stock of human knowledge, millions of Wikipedia contributors have shared ideas both online and in person that is expected to shape its future.
Wikipedia has not been without criticisms. A recent article on The Economist had pointed out that its 'crowdsourcing' form of content creation affects accuracy and is vulnerable to vandalism. Wikipedia's long survival with smooth functioning in its present form is questioned as the article notes that the number of Wikipedia's English-language contributors dropped from 54,000 in March 2007 to 35,000 in September 2010. A similar trend was also witnessed in some foreign languages versions as well.
However, Wikipedia is the first stop for information, a reliable source for researchers and its millions of fans hope that this unlimited source of free knowledge never ceases to exist.
I refer often Wikipedia.
I congratulate the Founder and its team for the excellent service they are doing in knowledge sharing and information disseminating.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 19 Jan, 2011SiliconIndia News
Indian firms spend less than 1 percent of profit on R&D
Monday, 17 January 2011, 16:11 IST
Bangalore: According to the recent survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, Indian firms spend less than 1 percent of their net profit on Research and Development (R&D) which continues to be lower than their global counterparts.
About 45 percent of the companies working in the sectors like automobiles, software and pharmaceuticals said that they spend less than 1percent of their annual profit on R&D, the survey said. Number of companies participated in he survey has not been mentioned by the chamber.
To increase the momentum of the product development and innovation, and boost their product amidst global competitors, around 27 percent of the companies have started working on investing upon Research and Development, finds the chamber. Majority of Chief Executive Officers are of the opinion that to become globally competitive, Indian firms have to start spending on R&D and focus upon new product innovation.
Government should take an initiative of formulating policies that would help companies to have more R&D centres and expand the existing ones so as to enhance research and Development activities in India. ASSOCHAM also highlighted that CEO?s of several companies emphasizes on making the Corporate Social Responsibility mandatory to strengthen the product of the company and make it more people friendly.
Among other issues ASSOCHAM draws the concern over decreasing skilled manpower in almost every sphere which is responsible for paralyzing the industry in country. Basic challenges faced by 46 percent company CEO?s in present scenario are the rising material costs and unavailability of skilled man force. The bottomline is companies should start taking investments on Research and Development activities more seriously so as to prosper in their related fields.
1: Yes. R & D Spending by Indian Industry is poor.
Here is an interesting analysis on the subject.
India’s record for R&D investments has not always been robust. While setting goals for the past several years to increase its R&D to GDP ratio to more than 1%, its actual performance has seen a stable ratio over the past several years at 0.9%. Of this spending, 0.61% is attributable to government R&D investments, which have been increasing over the past several years. Industrial investments in Indian R&D have risen 10% over the same period. The current total target for R&D as a share of GDP is 1.2% by 2012.
Also, India graduates almost twice as many college graduates each year as China. But only 2% to 5% of those graduates have basic vocational skills, compared with 96% in Korea, 75% in Germany and 68% in the U.S., according to Indian government reports. Similarly, only about 25% of the engineers graduated in India have the language skills, practical knowledge and cultural attitudes to work for multinational companies.
India has also acquired a significant amount of technology knowledge through its industrial acquisitions. Before Tata Steel’s acquisition of Corus, Europe’s second largest steel producer, the Indian steelmaker did not hold any U.S. patents. The Corus takeover brought with it more than 80 patents and 1,000 researchers, thus giving Tata immediate access to the technological capacity of the acquired firms.
India’s 11th Five-Year Plan for 2007-2012 stipulates a 220% increase for science and technology investments over the 10th Five-Year Plan. Part of this plan has resulted in the establishment of 30 new central universities, which will be owned and managed by the central government. Sixteen of these universities will be located in the 16 states that did not have a central university before. The other 14 will become world-class universities established across the country, starting in 2010, to build “disciplinary foci” and drive R&D. Each of these world-class universities will focus on one specific issue of significance to India, such as urbanization, environmental sustainability and public health.
Two private companies have also indicated they will build world-class universities of their own, with one company donating $1 billion to start the program.
The Indian government has also committed to doubling the number of Indian Institutes of Technology to 16 and establishing 10 new National Institutes of Technology, three Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, and 20 Indian Institutes of Information Technology.
India has also adopted a policy permitting foreign universities to enter the higher education system in India by establishing their own campuses or joint ventures with existing universities.
India’s technology strength is dominated by its services sector; 60% of its “knowledge-intensive production” comes from this area, according to the Indian Central Statistics Organization.
India’s exports are dominated by low-tech products; less than 20% of the value of its exports are classified as high-tech. However, India is still the world’s largest exporter of information technology products. India also has a strong pharmaceutical sector, with more than $20 billion in annual revenues, ranking it third behind only the U.S. and Japan, with a 10% share of the world market.
There are more than 5,000 pharmaceutical firms in India, employing about 340,000 people. The pharmaceutical industry is also one of the most innovative industries in India in terms of R&D spending and the number of patents granted in both India and abroad.
India accounts for about 25% of the world’s generic drug production and has 25% of the drug master files with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. India also has the highest number of FDA-approved production facilities of any country in the world.
India’s strength and weakness is its population. At 1.1 billion and with few population controls, it’s expected to surpass China within 10 years. Its literacy rate of 61% also compares unfavorably with many of its potential outsourcing competitors (China 97%, Singapore 92%, Taiwan 96%, U.S. 99%). There are more illiterate people in India than there are people in the U.S.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 18 Jan, 2011
Rural India, the treasure trove for MNCs
By Kukil Bora, SiliconIndia
Tuesday, 18 January 2011, 05:55 IST
Bangalore: Until recently, very few multinational companies had thought of rural India as a market full of potentials. But this old story of rural India has not been the same any more as many MNCs are foraying into India's rural markets, realizing that "India lives in villages" and that the country's rural consumers are steadily gaining more spending power.
Home to more than 600 million people and 128 million households, Indian villages have a huge demand base, and with this they offer a huge opportunity that MNCs cannot afford to ignore. Hence the change in the old scenario and India's backward backwaters are on the forefront of global corporate thinking.
Multinational companies like Toyota Motors, General Electric, Metro, Hindustan Lever, Coca-Cola, LG Electronics, Britannia, Philips and many other telecom companies have made their headway into the Indian rural market. Unilever was among the first MNCs to realise the potential of India's rural market. It first cracked the market in the 1980s with sachets of shampoo and soap that could be transported easily and sold in the village general store for one rupee each.
The story continued after that with cellular companies that were betting billions on the rural market. Today with a nation-wide rollout of new cellular towers and exceptionally low call rates, the demand for this "once-upon-a-time" luxury good has surged to a record height. People in rural India are now generating billions of dollars in revenues for the largely foreign-owned phone companies.
Although alluring, this rural market is not at all without problems. But the lucrative opportunities have made the MNCs daring enough to meet the consequent challenges of availability, affordability, acceptability and awareness of products. One more question that many companies might have faced is that for people who make less than 90 a day and spend most of their income just feeding their families, how to make a product affordable to them?
The answer lies in the fact that rural India has a lot of pockets of wealth, with each village having a few relatively wealthy families that are able to buy most things a city consumer can. With mixed success, many multinationals have tried out to these people who have a bit of cash.
It is the excitement about opportunities in the rural areas that has made the companies to create new products and services, with the consumers from those areas in mind. Phone companies, for instance, have created new services aimed at the hard-to-reach rural consumer such as dialling up music through their cell phone.
While Google is developing online bulletin boards that can be used by villagers that don't know how to read or use a computer, Hero Honda has a fleet of service motorcycles that can reach villages without roads. Coca-Cola uses a combination of TV, cinema and radio to reach 53.6 percent of rural households. LG Electronics, on the other hand, uses vans and road shows to reach rural customers.
This is what happening in those remote areas of India. MNCs are taking risks, trying their best to tap the market, but as in the world of business, attempts will not be successful very easily. Those who have figured out the right products, price and distribution model, will reach these consumers.
Reader's comments (1)
1: Yes. MNCs are turning more to rural markets.
Here is an excellent analysis on the subject.
Yet now there's a shift in how MNCs look at their entire rural India investments beyond CSR. With growth drying up in developed markets and their center of gravity shifting to emerging markets, MNC businesses in India are under pressure to prove that their rural strategies aren't just about doing well from a CSR perspective. They also need to show head office that these strategies are doing well from a business perspective. In short, the strategies must start delivering top- and bottom-line results.
After years of false starts, missed opportunities and flawed strategies, a number of MNCs' India businesses are getting close. Others already are there and are ramping up their rural investments. None can take that fine balance between doing good and doing business for granted, as Nokia, Coca-Cola and Max New York Life -- among the companies profiled in this special report -- show. And it's for that reason that at PepsiCo India, "our rural agenda has been driven by purpose and now is moving into performance," says Chadha.
For many MNCs, there's a lot more riding on their rural India performance than there once was as India's growth story spreads to the heartland. Two-thirds of the country's one billion consumers live in rural India, where almost half of the national income is generated. A report by Technopak Consultants and the Confederation of Indian Industries, a trade body, estimates that the country's rural consumer market generated US$425 billionof revenue, up from US$266 billion the previous year.
The big reason for the growth is that India's rural consumers are steadily gaining more spending power. The number of rural households earning less than US$760 a year is down from 65% to 24% since 1993, while those with an income of US$1,525 have more than doubled from 22% to 46%. Combine these factors with improved roads and other infrastructure in rural India to help products reach their markets, and it's easy to see rural India's attraction.
"We are finally beginning to see that rural India has cash and is able to spend at the same time," says Vijay Govindarajan, professor of international business at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, who is also the chief innovation consultant for General Electric. "This is a remarkable combination for companies."
But any company coming to India for the first time that thinks it will be easy to take advantage of that combination is mistaken. Rural India is hugely complex, not least because of its diverse pace of development. As a recent study from IMRB International, a research company in Mumbai, notes, some markets are big but not as affluent as other markets (Uttar, Bihar Pradesh) while some are affluent but not very large (Himachal Pradesh, Goa). Experts also say that strategies need to take into account the vast number of languages and cultural differences across India's hinterland, while keeping strategies highly flexible and adaptable.
It can mean developing products and services tailored specifically to the rural market. When LG entered India in the mid-1990s, numerous brands were vying for shelf space with hardly anything to distinguish them from competitors. The South Korean company developed two color television sets for the rural market, Sampoorna (which means "complete" in Hindi) and Cine Plus. At US$65 and US$107 respectively, the sets were priced slightly higher than the black-and-white televisions that other manufacturers were selling in rural markets and that had become obsolete in urban homes. LG was also the first to offer gaming with its cut-price TVs and menus in English and Hindi. Now LG has refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens targeted at price-sensitive consumers sold from hundreds of retail and distributor outlets across the hinterland, with rural markets contributing 40% of its revenue.
Much also depends on the sector and products sold. In fast-moving consumer goods, for example, MNC products are capturing a sizable portion of rural consumer spending in a number of areas, with year-on-year increases in rural spending in 2009 on MNC shampoos (70%), washing powder (60%) and toothpaste (112%), say researchers at IMRB. What's more, they say, the average spending on these products is growing faster in rural than in urban markets.
(Source: MNCs in Rural India: At a Turning Point
Published: May 06, 2010 in India Knowledge@Wharton )
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 18 Jan, 2011
India to get 50 more science & tech centers in 6 years
Monday, 17 January 2011, 13:58 IST
New Delhi: In a span of six years the government is planning to establish 50 centers of excellence in frontier areas of science and technology. These centres will work in biotechnology, bio-informatics, nano-materials and nano-technologies, mechatronics and high performance computing, among others.
A committee headed by C N R Rao has shortlisted 35 proposals from 30 institutions and 15 will be added later. They will be located in campuses of existing institutions, both government and private, and will have complete autonomy.
Institutions were selected on the basis of number of PhDs and post-graduate students in the last five years, number of publications in the last five years and profile of the leader of the group that submitted the proposal.
The centres will conduct courses at post-graduate/PhD/post-doctoral levels. They will also run short-term training programmes including summer and winter schools.
Reader's comments (1)
The Government’s plan to establish 50 centers of excellence in frontier areas of science and technology in the country is welcome and long due. Today it is excellence in frontier areas of science and technology and innovation that drives the country in advances in S & T and Economic prosperity.
Shri Kapil Sibal Union Minister for Human Resource Development; Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Communications and Information Technology strategy on Science and Technology excellence and innovations is worth recalling:
“Shri Kapil Sibal Union Minister for Human Resource Development; Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Communications and Information Technology said quality education and excellence in science research and Indian Universities, we have set out three generic principles that any new institute of higher education needs to embrace. They are providing access to educational opportunities to all who desire and need it; second, affordability by reducing financial barriers; and third, building quality and accountability to ensure that what is taught is relevant and at global levels, delivering good value for money. This is exactly what we are seeking to incorporate in the thirty new Central Universities that we are setting up.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the 98th Indian Science Congress at SRM University, Chennai in Tamil Nadu today, he further said, “The National Innovation Council (NIC) which will prepare a road map for the Decade of Innovation will help to have approach and methodology to create an inclusive and sustainable innovative Indian ecosystem.” Regarding higher education he said, “The Gross Enrolment Ratio higher education in is today around a mere 15%. Changing labour markets and demographics are driving a “new” demand for higher education. This has come mainly from two groups that traditionally were not known to attend universities: a “rising” lower-middle class and women. This will necessitate many more universities and colleges to be opened in the years to come which are estimated minimum doubling over the next decade. We must also broaden our skills base beyond a few centres of excellence and foster innovation on a national scale. We need to create and enhance our competitive edge. For this to happen, quality and merit-based education for the entire population is a must.”
To reduce the supply-demand gap in higher education and for gross enrolment in higher education, the Ministry has taken several steps to address both these aspects. Shri Sibal said, “An effective quality assurance system will be in place and provide a common frame of reference for students and others to obtain credible information on academic quality across institutions, domestic as well as international. The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010 has been introduced in Parliament to provide mandatory accreditation and creation of an institutional structure for the purpose. This is in accordance with the general principle of moving from an “inspection approval” based mechanism of recognizing institutions to a “verification assessment” method. A National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) will be set up to regulate higher education. An Education Finance Corporation will also be set up to refinance educational loans to students, especially from lower income families seeking to pursue professional courses, at much more favourable terms than available presently and also provide not-for-profit educational institutions access to low cost funds.
The Minister said that our goal is of Gross Enrolment in higher education should be doubled to at least 30% by the end of 2020, which in real terms means tripling of enrolments in the tertiary sector from around 13 million to 40 million. This will entail massive capacity building, both institutional as well as human. Besides enhancing the quantum of teachers and faculty in colleges and universities we have also to improve their quality.”
( Source: Quality Education and Excellence in Science Research in Indian Universities: Kapil Sibal, Indian Education Guide, January 3, 2011)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 17 Jan, 2011
Is practical experience compulsory in education?
By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia
Wednesday, 12 January 2011, 06:06 IST
Bangalore: "Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand," - said the great Chinese philosopher Confucius and today in this highly competitive professional world, this should be the mantra of modern educational system. The challenging job market has made it essential for students to gain real world experience prior to graduation.
Indian IT industry sees a lot of freshers coming to take jobs in the companies with zero practical exposure. This results a big challenge in form of lack of employability of the huge educated mass. We do not have an educational culture that provides research oriented as well as industry friendly learning. It is reported that nearly one in three entrepreneurs in India considers it 'somewhat difficult' or 'very difficult' to find candidates with the right skills. Nandan Nilekani, the former CEO of Infosys, rightly pointed out the fact that companies spent huge amounts on retraining programs by saying, "We spend 750 crore a year on educating and training our workforce. We are being forced to do what universities should have done."
Vivek Wadhwa, tech entrepreneur, academic, researcher, and writer wrote in a recent article in Business Week that although India and China graduate three to six times more engineers than does the United States, the quality of these engineers is, however, so poor that most are not fit to join the workforce. Indian industry has to spend large sums of money on retraining its employees.
Students especially in business schools in the U.S. are usually required to have a few years of professional work experience to enter into their graduate programs. Schools make it compulsory for students to enroll into voluntary services during the holidays. This provides the students an understanding about the work culture before they actually step into the professional world. It additionally provides them with the adequate soft skills as well.
It is a necessary lesson that we need to learn from the western education system. While this system (apprenticeship, internships, and cooperative education) supports the students to manage their small luxuries, the ultimate aim is to provide adequate practical experience in the profession they wish to pursue and to enrich other soft skills needed as they graduate out of school or college.
Heading the National Knowledge Commission(NKC), the Indian tech evangelist Sam Pitroda stated that it is necessary to scale up the pace of development, both in education and vocational training in India. He opined that to excel in the global competitive landscape, we need to upgrade our teachers and bring research in our universities with a focus on research laboratories.
Very few students pursue internships during their college in India because Indian educational system is focused more on marks than on students gaining practical exposure. In most of the developed countries, internships are extensively used as a tool to recruit talent. Because of the peculiar character of our educational culture, the private companies do not use internships as a recruitment model in India. In western countries, it is not uncommon for former interns to acquire full-time employment at an organization once they have enough necessary experience.
The Indian educational system should have a method to ensure practical applications of theories in the context of our social and economic structure. We should also understand that education is a continuous process and its basic structure should be updated according to the changes and developments occurring in the world. There should be a smooth transition from a rote-learning system to more of a practical exposure, skill and industry based education which helps students to understand the concepts better.
Reader's comments (5)
2: Yes. I agree with the contents of the article and It is a must.
Education should be an experience which leads to profit from experience in the development of disposition, attitudes and concepts. It should pay more attention to developing the person inside the student. Education should provide that creative urge for individual intellectual excellence and happiness and make the individual responsive and responsible to the society he belongs. Every walk of life gives scope for creative use of talents. In the course of creative problem solving, a problem can be transformed into an opportunity. The educational system today is churning out steriotypes,conformists and crammers and they get bored. Without the joy of creation, there is no freedom from boredom. Creativity is associated with wholeness, unity, integrity,the totality and the strong feeling of ethical responsibility. It is the integration of individual with the society. Education should lead to the collective promotion of the society as a whole and not restrict its objectives to promoting the individual advancement of the privileged few. Education should help creative participation of all. Education should promote a relationship between the individual and the society and the individual and his environment. It must develop in man the desire to understand the environment around him; love it, to act upon it and to transform it.
When we were students in high school, there used to be a CRAFT Class when trades like carpentry,weaving etc., were taught and given training. There is the need to revive this in High Schools which give hands on experience.
Also there is NCC and NSS in Colleges. A NATIONAL SCIENCE SERVICE PROGRAMME can be introduced in Science and Engineering Colleges where the students are given training in different trades. For example Chemistry students can be given training in water analysis, soil analysis and biology students in blood testing etc., During camps they can undertakake these which gives them practical knowledge. Engineering students can learn techniques suited to their discipline.
As World renowned Scientist late Prof.Y.Nayudamma put it,” Education is not for ‘relief’ but for ‘release’ of potential resourcefulness in man. Education is not to make the people wealthy but the people productive, to make people an asset and not a liability”.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 12 Jan, 2011
Reader's comments (7)
1: I was in Denmark for couple of years. I visited Danish Folke School and the training the students receive is excellent. They have their origin from NORWEGIAN FOLK HIGH SCHOOLS.
Here are details of Norway Folk Schools.
A year at a folk high school in Norway gives you a unique opportunity to be part of the Norwegian culture, learn Norwegian, and participate in an exciting learning community along with other young people from Norway and the rest of the world.
The first reaction most people have when they hear about Norwegian folk high schools is “I wish I had an opportunity like that!”. However, a few people react with a touch of skepticism. “A school with no tests and no degrees? What’s the point?” is a common question. But to characterize folk high schools in such a way is to miss the point.
Folk high schools in brief
Folk high schools are one-year boarding schools offering a variety of exciting non-traditional and non-academic subjects, as well as academic subjects. The idea of folk high schools is learning for life, an opportunity to grow both individually, socially, and academically in small learning communities. All students live on campus in close contact with staff and their fellow students. One important part of the folk high school experience is to form a community, in and out of class.
The whole person
The folk high schools do not grant degrees or conduct exams. They are a supplement to the regular education system, with the aim of nurturing “the whole person”. You develop knowledge in a subject you will make use of every day for the rest of your life: yourself. By taking away the pressure of grades and exams, you learn to motivate yourself. You choose the topics that interest you, for instance outdoor life activities, theatre, sports, music, creative arts, media and communications, just to mention a few.
Schools for all people
The term “folk high school” is a literal translation of the Norwegian word folkehøgskole. However, this translation may give you the wrong idea. Folk high schools are not “high schools” in the sense of upper secondary school institutions designed to prepare students for college or work through exams. Folk high schools are separate from the rest of Norway’s educational system. Students can be any age and can have any level of educational experience. Indeed, these are schools for all people, all “folk”. However, almost all students who attend folk high schools are young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
77 schools and many courses
You will have many choices about where to study; there are 77 folk high schools spread throughout Norway. Each school offers a unique curriculum, a program of subjects in keeping with the profile of the school and the qualifications of the staff. Students come from all parts of Norway as well. Diversity in the student body is highly valued, and everyone makes an effort to make international students feel welcome.
The folk high schools are private schools, but also receive government funding. The consensus is that a year at a folk high school is beneficial to both the individual and to society. Therefore, there is no tuition fee, not even for international students. Everyone pays for room, board, study trips, and teaching materials.
Folk high school, what we offer in place of a formal qualification:
It is important to emphasize that, by law, folk high schools conduct no formal examinations and issue no degrees. After finishing your school year, you will receive a diploma detailing what you have participated in. The folk high school have different courses from the regular education system in Norway.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 12 Jan, 2011
Elite white-collar criminals getting away scot-free: Murthy
Wednesday, 12 January 2011, 13:25 IST
Bangalore: Software icon N R Narayana Murthy has bemoaned that "elite" are going unpunished though they commit "huge crimes" in the country and saw it as "problem with this society."
When his reaction was sought on "large-scale white-collar crimes taking place in the country," the Chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies Ltd said there should be quick investigation based on data and facts and the media should not play it up.
"And there should be very heavy punishment which is commensurate with the benefit that those people have indeed gained. If you have quick, commensurate punishment, then things will be alright."
"Today, we have so many cases where elite...they just don't get punished even though they have committed huge crimes. That's the problem with this society," Murthy said.
He made the comments responding to questions from the media after a panel discussion on entrepreneurship and social change, organised by the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB), on entering its 10th year, at Infosys campus here last night.
Murthy did not discuss specifics but his remarks come at a time when corruption issues continue to dominate the country's political landscape.
He emphasised the need for all businesses to enforce code of ethics.
"Whether there are scams or not, it's extremely important to run your business legally, ethically. That's the only way to run the business. It has to be done like that. There is no other way," Murthy said.
He said it's "absolutely mandatory" to follow code of ethics because "that's the only way." "It's like saying: should I follow the rules of the road when I am driving. It's good for you, good for others, for everybody."
On tackling corruption in general, Murthy said: "We will have to get more transparent, fairer and have more open set of rules and implementation of rules so that you know that there is no chance for corruption."
He also said that those who occupy positions in the eye of the public - whether they are corporate leaders, or academic leaders or politicians or bureaucrats or journalists - have to conduct themselves as good role models "for our children because we want a better society."
Murthy termed the present situation in the country as "enigmatic."
While the country is experiencing 8.5 percent GDP growth and certain parts of the country are galloping making people happy, a significant part of India is still suffering.
He noted that 36 crore people are below poverty line, while 65 crore still depend on agriculture and related activities contributing only 20-21 percent to the GDP with their per capita income being a low Rs 15,000 - Rs 16,000 per annum.
Murthy said for social change to happen, every child must have decent access to education, health, nutrition and shelter.
On his expectations from the next annual budget, he said it would be better if the government looked at issues like basic education, making basic healthcare available and also focus on areas such as shelter and nutrition.
Murthy argued that large-scale jobs can be created through entrepreneurship, which requires an environment espoused not by socialism or communism, but by "compassionate capitalism."
"It's very, very important for us to create an environment where government becomes a catalyst, not inhibitor.....where entrepreneurs spend very little time eliminating friction with various agencies... where government becomes a transparent and efficient regulator..," he added.
1: Yes. Nararayana Murthy garu.
Once former Union Minister late Shri T.A.Pai said, IF A PEON TAKES MONEY IT IS BAKSHI,IF A CLERK TAKES MONEY IT IS MAMOOL,IF AN OFFICER TAKES MONEY IT IS CORRUPTION AND IF A MINISTER TAKES MONEY IT IS ELECTION FUND.
Also Noted Jurist Shri N.A.Palkivalaji said, FOOLS ARE COCKSURE WHILE WISE ARE WAVERING.
While corruption is a hobby in the west it is a way of life in developing countries.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 12 Jan, 2011
U.S. can overcome India, China challenge: U.S. scholar
Wednesday, 12 January 2011, 12:16 IST
Washington: The emergence of India and China does not mean the end of American economic and technological power, says a new book suggesting the United States should now leverage its many advantages.
Author Adam Segal, Senior Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a Washington think tank, analyses Asia's technological rise in the context of India and China's continued robust growth even as the United States struggles to emerge from recession,
In his book, "Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge", Segal questions assumptions about the United States inevitable decline, and explains how America can preserve and improve its position in the global economy by optimising its strength of moving ideas from the lab to the marketplace.
Segal explains that Asia's growth has been fuelled by its "hardware of innovation"-growing middle classes that will eventually outstrip the spending power of Americans, a cheaper labor force, more students studying to become engineers, and increased money pouring into research and development.
However, Segal maintains the region lacks a "software of innovation"-a cultural, social, and political framework that enables and sustains new idea generation.
India's main problem, he writes, is a decrepit educational system. "A 2007 government study rated two-thirds of [India's eighteen thousand colleges and universities] and found that 90 percent of the degree-granting colleges were poor or middling quality."
To buttress his argument, Segal also cites a survey conducted by China Daily that found sixty percent of graduates with doctorates admitted they had copied someone else's work.
Through his research, Segal concludes the United States has an advantage over Asia in the realm of the software of innovation.
"In America, your ideas can make you rich. Intellectual property is protected, and individual scientists are able to exploit their breakthroughs for commercial gains," he writes.
"It is time to realise that software in its most expansive sense offers the most opportunities for the United States to ensure its competitive place in the world."
The challenge is "to recover a culture of innovation that was driven underground, overshadowed by sexy credit default swaps and easy spending."
1: Yes. US is a powerful nation economically because of Innovations and encouragement for Innovators.
Here is a note on UN Innovations:
CES: Summit for Innovation and Economic Comeback, Gary Shapiro ,President & CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association,Posted: January 7, 2011 12:42 PM(The Huffington Post, January 12,2011):
“This week, the International CES is underway in Las Vegas, showcasing the newest innovations in consumer electronics.
The tradeshow will host more than 125,000 innovators, entrepreneurs, marketers and technology enthusiasts in what has become the largest gathering for consumer technology in the world. The CES also attracts government leaders from around the globe, including two U.S. cabinet secretaries and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.
For more than three decades, CES has played host to the unveiling of countless game-changing innovations including the VCR, camcorder, CD player, DVD player, HD radio, Internet-enabled television, 3D television, and augmented-reality video games.
As we enter this new decade, it is my hope that the excitement of CES, and the celebration of innovation, will serve as a signal that the U.S. economy is turning the corner after a difficult two years.
We're all ready for the great American comeback. It's time we restore our faith that democracy and technology can bring long-lasting peace and prosperity, if actively nurtured and governed by a public-private partnership committed to change.
At a time when politics has divided our nation, here is an area where we can unite: 96 percent of Americans believe innovation is important to the future of the nation, found a recent Zogby poll. In the same poll, 74 percent identified either small businesses or entrepreneurs as "most critical" to the future of the economy.
The entrepreneur, wrote the economist Joseph Schumpeter, is "the pivot on which everything turns." These business revolutionaries, many of whom will be at CES this week, are the agents of change - their ideas bring new jobs and economic prosperity, and they push our society forward. But they cannot singlehandedly lead the comeback.
We need lawmakers who will support a pro-innovation, pro-entrepreneur economy by following the policy roadmap I set out in my new book, The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream, which debuted here on the opening day of CES:
*Embrace international trade and open markets. As Congress returns to session this month, it should move to pass three long-stalled trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that would add billions of dollars to the U.S. GDP.
*Modernize visas so that the best and the brightest can not only study in America but can also stay thereafter and work in America. Foreign-born entrepreneurs founded more than half of all Silicon Valley start-ups created in the past decade, and they are crucial to the success of our economy's next chapter.
*Unshackle entrepreneurs and small businesses from costly regulations. Congress should encourage capital formation and investment in young companies - not pass laws that favor lawyers and lobbyists over entrepreneurs and their investors.
*Cut the deficit. No more Cash for Clunkers and bank bailouts, and forget about earmarks. The federal deficit eats 11.2 percent of the U.S. GDP. Cutting it involves hard choices, but we have to do it to preserve the hope of the American Dream for our children.
If government leaders fail to make clear-cut policy decisions that spur job growth and foster innovation, America's economic recovery will continue to stagger.With so many policymakers and business leaders from around the world at CES to see the game-changing innovations and meet the entrepreneurs and innovators behind them, this week is our chance to kick-start the conversation.
Beginning this week, in partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, we added the "World Trade Center Las Vegas" name to the Las Vegas Convention Center. CEA is proud to own the rights to this powerful indicator of the importance of trade, and equally proud to be affixing it to the building that reinforces the message that tradeshows means global business.
Let's make this week the summit for change, the place where entrepreneurs and government work together to write the next chapter in the great American comeback”.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 12 Jan, 2011
11 Gujarat institutes tie up with foreign varsities for R&D
Tuesday, 11 January 2011, 12:19 IST
Gandhinagar: As part of the first pre-summit session of 'Vibrant Gujarat 2011' eleven educational institutes and universities based in Gujarat signed MoUs with foreign universities and companies for Research and Development (R&D).
The ceremony was presided by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and the state's education principal secretary Hasmukh Adhia at the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar.
"Research is the essence for future development. I assure you that Gujarat has a society that will offer an ambience of risk-taking and entrepreneurship so that the fruits of research are enjoyed by common man," Modi told the delegates.
The foreign universities that signed MoUs include universities of California, Pennstate, Western Ontario, UCLA, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan (Canada), Kansas, Manuela Bertran, Thames Valley, Maryland and Papperdine. The MoUs deal with establishing centres of excellence and R&D centres, economic research, student and faculty exchange and research activities, technology commercialization and so on.
Reader's comments (1)
As usual Gujarat Government is always in the forefront in development and the present accent on collaboration with leading universities abroad in Research and Development is no exception.
Here is an interesting analysis on the scope for foreign collaboration in the fields of education and science and technology:
“Universities from Europe, the United States and Canada are beating a path to India hoping to collaborate with Indian higher education institutions - even though legislation to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India has yet to be passed.
Many analysts said the education collaborations announced this week with visiting university delegations from the UK, US and Canada were not just about education, but were strategic and economic as well.
"These countries need us as much as we need them," a senior Indian government official said.
"The US, UK and Canada are countries that Indians have traditionally flocked to for education. It is indicative of India's role in the global education scenario today that they are coming to India virtually in back-to-back trips we have never witnessed before," he said.
As a result of US President Barack Obama's three-day official visit to India last week, the two countries announced their first-ever higher education summit to be held in India in 2011, promising more joint projects and the possibility of involving the higher education sector in policy-level initiatives.
Obama's visit also coincided with a visit by a delegation of US higher education government officials and high-level administrators from 10 US colleges and universities, visiting India as part of the International Academic Partnership Program, funded by the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.
Following their American counterparts, Canada last week sent their biggest ever delegation of 15 university presidents on a seven day mission to India.
The Canadian universities announced funding for a series of India-specific initiatives valued at over CAD$4 million (US$4 million). These include the new Globalink Canada-India Graduate Fellowship to provide up to 51 scholarships valued at more than CAD$3.5 million for Indian students.
Both countries have agreed to collaborate on research in science and technology - a priority area for many of the countries interested in collaboration with universities in India.
On Friday India's Education Minister Kapil Sibal and David Willetts, Britain's minister for universities and sciences at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, also signed an agreement launching the second phase of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative.
Starting in April 2011, the new phase will comprise four strands of education collaboration -innovation and partnerships, skills development, leadership development, and student mobility and quality assurance.
"The challenges that our two societies face are increasingly global in nature and solutions will increasingly be found by working together," Willetts said in New Delhi on Friday.
While the UK is particularly interested in science and technology research ties and collaboration on vocational and distance education in India, US universities are keen to broaden the education experience of their own students by sending them to collaborating universities abroad and also to enhance their own visibility in India, which is a major source of foreign students to US universities.
According to the US Institute of International Education, which led the US delegation in India, "higher education institutions in the United States and India are increasingly seeking out partnerships with counterparts to enhance academic collaboration, expand curricular offerings, advance joint research, and prepare their students with the international experiences and cross-cultural tools needed in their careers."
The US' Carnegie Mellon University on Friday announced a major partnership in undergraduate engineering education with India's Shiv Nadar Foundation with a university campus in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
From June 2011 students will study at the institution following a curriculum designed by the top-rated US university, and taught by Indian faculty trained at Carnegie Mellon. They will also study at Carnegie Mellon's main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They will receive prestigious Carnegie Mellon degrees.
"The increased visibility of alumni in high level position in parts of the world such as Asia, particularly in India and China, promotes the value of these [overseas] institutions in those countries," an Indian student said.
Indian educationists welcome the moves towards more international collaboration even without setting up campuses in India - something that many overseas universities have expressed an interest in doing once the necessary legislation is in place. In particular India is interested in high-quality courses delivered by overseas institutions.
"Whether foreign universities will set up campus in India is a moot point. It should not stop Indian institutions and the Indian government from accessing expertise in specialised areas," said Janaki Rajan, a professor of education at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi.
For instance, India would need 95,000 teacher educators to train two million teachers to implement Right to Education Act, she said, referring to the law that came into force in April this year guaranteeing free, compulsory education to every child.
"We should seek partnerships with education departments in the world's best universities," she added.
India should also collaborate with foreign institutions to provide vocational skills, said Amitabh Mattoo, a professor of international relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
"In 10 years time India will have 550 million young people under the age of 25. If we have to take advantage of this demographic dividend, we need a massive expansion of public education. Vocational education plays a huge role in this." Mattoo said.
Referring to the Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, launched in 2009 as an education and science partnership, education minister Sibal said: "We have massive human resources that the world cannot ignore. Moreover, the aging countries of the West will need young qualified human resources in the coming years and they realise that India will fill the resource gap.
"It is in their interest to invest in higher education in India."
These developments strengthen the idea that Indian higher education is becoming globalised, no longer a national sector unaffected by international developments.
According to Sam Pitroda, adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on innovation and infrastructure, Indian education is passing through a phase similar to that of the Indian economy in 1990s: which went from an inward-looking model that did not have to rely on international trade, to a more globalised economy.
It's time to "deregulate education" and push ahead with the reform agenda", Pitroda said.
The Indian economy, expanding at around 8% a year, needs a large, trained workforce to sustain the growth momentum. It will need to step up research and development and innovation, which generally emerge from educational institutions, an area where India needs to catch up with the rest of the world.
Collaboration and internationalisation will be an important aspect of the growth in the country's higher education sector, experts maintain.
"Asia is rising in the 21st century both as an economic powerhouse and an intellectual hub. Higher education in India is on a reform path and it's essential for India to maintain its economic growth," Yale president Richard Levin said on his recent visit to India, adding that his university wanted strong ties with the country.
It is hoped Leading Universities and Institutes in South India also go in for collaboration in Research and Development with reputed Institutes and Universities like MIT,Harvard etc
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 11 Jan, 2011SiliconIndia News
Indians who sacrificed all to make their employees, slums IT-Skilled
By Eureka Bharali, SiliconIndia
Monday, 10 January 2011, 17:59 IST
Bangalore: When was the last time you heard an employee being fired because of non-performance? It's an everyday issue. Now, when was the last time you heard an employer selling his own property to ensure that the employees he fired are empowered with the skills they lack? That's exactly what Mohammed Yusuf Attar did. Commonly known as 'Prof. Yusuf Attar' of Synolog Systems, a distributor and supplier of computer electronics, today, Yusuf selects and enrolls slum people to make them IT skilled - a skill which has become the new norm for any career.
The real phase behind this generous act dates back to 2002, when Prof. Yusuf and his partner Shaikh Imran Salim established Synolog Systems. "After a point of time, we went hunting for professionals in the IT institutes found a bunch of them to work for us. All of them were had 12 to 18 months Diploma Certificate. Gradually, we realized their performance is unsatisfactory and even the feedbacks from clients began to deteriorate. That was the time when we thought of firing all of them and shut the company for some time," says Prof. Yusuf. The decision did not satisfy them. "It's an increase in unemployment. How would this bunch of kids really make it to other companies?" is the only thought that disturbed the two partners. And right at the next moment, they were up with an audio-visual tool to ensure their ex-employees are in the industry with the right skills.
The unskilled employees were roped in, Diploma courses in Computer Engineering and in Basic computer application were introduced - all for free under the banner of SIIT (Synolog Institute of Information Technology). Gradually, they expanded their reach to under-privileged slum-kids in schools and orphanages. Though it's free for the society, but the two partners did have to bear the cost, which went upto 22,500 per student for a single 10-month course. It took a toll on Yusuf and Shaikh to an extent that they had to invest their own savings and even put across their properties on sale. Did this deter them? No. Infact, they expanded it to educate more from the masses. They explored 10 schools, wherein they scanned 2893 students and finalized on 223 pupils. "Not everyone has a poor background and our course is meant to uplift the underprivileged," says Yusuf. Till date approximately 925 students had benefited from their free computer education program and many among them are employed with companies like SkyTronics, Sai Sales Infotech, QLC, Accura Infotech, Radiant Technologies, Printrade Issues, Abhinav Technical Institute, Entrosys Computers, SHN Solutions, YAS Technologies and ICON System.
But such societal acts, unless is all the time boasted with different marketing tactics, hardly gets noticed. And only after six years of continuous struggle, Yusuf and his team has finally got the attention of Aishabai & Haji Abdul Latif Charitable Trust and South Bombay Charitable Trust, who helped them with a better premise and some amount of monetary support. Yusuf is quite clear on his intentions - to make all the slum kids of Mumbai IT skilled. "In India, the highest number of slums exist in Mumbai, but there's hardly any interest on this part of the society. We are primarily concentrated on the slums in Govandi, Colaba, Wadala, Bandra, Khar, Jogeshwari and Worli," Yusuf maintains. He concludes with a remark that guides every humble man - "Just do your work without any expectations, as God sees it all".
1: Kudos to you Prof.Yusuf Attarji..
Why not the Government(Both Central and State),IT Giants like TCS,Wipro,Infosys,HCL besides International Foundations like BILL GATES FOUNDATION help such innovative IT Promotion projects.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 10 Jan, 2011
2.5 lakh panchayats to have broadband: Pitroda
Monday, 10 January 2011, 16:11 IST
New Delhi: Empowering villagers to get better services, about 250,000 panchayats would be connected through fibre optics and broadband connections within the next couple of years, advisor to the Prime Minister and telecom czar Sam Pitroda said.
"Our goal is to provide fibre to 250,000 panchayats. We have a plan in collaboration with BSNL, RAILTEL department of telecommunications, information technology ministry etc."
"Pretty soon we will have a detail plan which will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval," Pitroda, who is the advisor to the Prime Minister on infrastructure, innovation and information, said.
The connectivity will not only improve delivery of government schemes but will also empower people, he said while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi.
As the Chairman of National Knowledge Commission, he wished the recommendations of the commission 'should have been implemented earlier'.
"It has been delayed a little bit," he added.
The NKC, which was set up by the Prime Minister in 2005 with the mandate to suggest measures to transform the country into a knowledge society, has made several path-breaking recommendations, including a regulatory authority for education and setting up of 1,500 universities.
Pitroda also felt that with the changing times, teachers' role must change.
"Role of teachers must change. It cannot be the way it has been in the past. Teachers will have to be more of a mentor. I don't think the way we are thinking today is sustainable globally," he said.
He said students should also have access to the best of the teachers globally and acquire knowledge relevant to the present time.
Eminent professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh, speaking at the function, suggested the Indian diaspora should also be involved in policy formulation relating to the education sector.
Reader's comments (1)
1: Good move Sam Pitrodaji.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 10 Jan, 2011
NASSCOM proposes to train pre-final degree students
Monday, 10 January 2011, 16:44 IST
Hyderabad: NASSCOM, the industry hand of the IT sector has proposed to give training to pre-final degree students in Andhra Pradesh to start with. The main motive is to make them job efficient by the time they finish up with their graduation.The news is being confirmed by Rajiv Udyogasri Society (RUS) Chief Executive Officer D Srinivasulu.
About 2.2 million employers are working with BPO/KPO industry and the figure is expected to cross 10 million by the end of 2020, many of whom are taken as soon as they pass out from their respective colleges.Around 10 percent are fit to join the industry amongst them and rest needs training.
Government has decided to train some 30,000 students across seven universities which include Osmania, Kakatiya, Andhra, Visakhapatnam, Nagarjuna, Sri Venkateshwara and Sri Krishna Devaraya.
Main highlight of the programme is to attract students from rural areas and cost per student evaluated at around 1200 will be borne by RUS. Students from rural areas will be considered once again if they miss out on scoring required marks in the first session.
Reader's comments (1)
1: It is a welcome move by NASSCOM. Hitherto there is no way the Engineering students get practical and industrial training. In this connection our Engineering curriculum can follow German system.
In Germany at Post graduate level 6 months practicum and 6 months Thesis have to be done in an Industry. During that period the industry pays. This way the student has experience working in an industry. All my three children have done M.Sc at Darmstadt University, Germany.
AICTE can formulate guidelines and also the Universities to incorporate a practicum of 6 months for Engineering Graduate Students and Practicum and Thesis for Post Graduate Engineering Students.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 11 Jan, 2011
India lags behind in bringing quality research articles
Friday, 07 January 2011, 11:35 IST
Bangalore: If you take the output of research articles India is ranked among top 10 in the world. Whereas when it comes to the quality of the research articles it is marked among the top 20 list. It, however, lagged behind China and Brazil.
Michiel Kolman, senior vice-president, Global Academic Relations at Elsevier said that India was strong, based on leadership articles, in chemistry (35 percent), engineering (18 percent), mathematics and physics (11 percent) and biology (10 percent).
The most productive institutions in the country were the IITs, the IISc, and the CSIR institutions. The only university among the top 10 was the University of Delhi. Research was very strong in physics, chemistry, engineering, earth science, biology, biotechnology and infectious diseases in India.
The areas in which the nation needs to improve are computer science, social science, health sciences, medicine, and brain research. Almost all institutes had shown a steady growth in publication of research articles, but there was some catching up to do with the best in the world in terms of quality.
The country has to focus more on bringing out articles that are really quality oriented and the Top scientists in every discipline (based on quality articles) could be identified using the zoom in tool and narrowing subject-wise specialists. It would also help in identifying the strong areas of each university and explore the scope for collaboration between institutes.
Reader's comments (1)
I agree with the contents in the article.
Here is an excellent opinion on “The lack of quality research in India”, Satish V. Kailas , CURRENT SCIENCE VOL. 94 NO. 8 , 25 APRIL 2008
“When money was pumped in 20 years ago, the culture of publishing papers was ushered in. The money pumped in also created the haves and have-nots. People who had access to equipment did good research. The others continued what they were doing or just stopped doing things. As ‘publish or perish’ was the motto, even globally, those who published papers continued to publish even though funding in the 90s reduced to a trickle. This trend continues even today, but with other terms thrown in; the ‘impact factor’, the ‘citation index’, and now the ‘H index’.
The ‘H index’ is basically the number of papers cited that many number of times1. About 84% of the Nobel laureates in physics have an ‘H index’ of more than 30, clearly indicating that only consistent cutting-edge research can take you far. A multiple factor criterion, which included quality of education, quality of faculty, research output and size of institution, was used to rank universities around
the world, and only the ‘Engineering/Technology and Computer Science’ of IISc came in the top 100. A sad state of affairs indeed, even in terms of the quality of publications. The ‘publish or perish’ motto is also creating a dangerous
trend, where the faculty tell the students what to do, get the results, write papers and get them published. The faculty get
their promotions and become ‘successful’.
The research scholar, with say five papers, gets a Ph D degree, but is actually a ‘research coolie’ who does not
know how to design an experiment, analyse the results, write a paper or proposal, or present his work. In the real
world, this research scholar is a misfit and at best becomes a ‘research worker’. Such a trend exists in many laboratories
where the junior carries out the instructions of the senior. In the process a vacuum is created and when the senior
retires there is no one to lead the laboratories or organizations.
Patenting is a new mantra to gauge the worth of a person or his organization. In India, which spends less that 1% of its
GDP on R&D, the total money spent from 1995 to 2005 on R&D was around Rs 140,000 crores. About 80% of this is
from Government sources. The MNCs have spent around Rs 6000 crores (US$ 1.5 billion)4 from 1998 to 2003. Assuming
that they spent another Rs 6000 crores from 2003 to 2005, the total money put in by MNCs into R&D during the same period would be around Rs 12,000 crores. But out of the top 50 patents in the period from 1995 to 2005, 44 were from MNCs, four from Government laboratories and two from private Indian industries. A conservative calculation comparing the cost of a top 50 patent from a Government laboratory, Indian private industry and the MNC would
make a Government Laboratory patent 100 times more expensive and a private Indian industry patent 40 times more expensive than that of a top 50 MNC patent. Interestingly, the number of patents filed by Indians and ‘foreigners’ is not very different3. It is also a fact that
the same Indian people, with similar background, while working in an MNC become more productive. In the present
Government system we neither publish quality papers nor do we have quality patents. Something is seriously wrong”.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 07 Jan, 2011
Chennai students design nano satellite, to be launched April
Thursday, 06 January 2011, 01:09 Hrs
Chennai: A group of 54 engineering students from the city has designed a 10-kg nano satellite to monitor greenhouse gases (GHG) that the Indian space agency is planning to launch in April.
The students from the
With climate change becoming a cause of serious concern globally, the satellite will monitor GHG - mainly carbon dioxide - in the atmosphere. A grating spectrometer is employed for monitoring earth-based sources and sinks of anthropogenic and natural sources of GHG.
The students from 12 disciplines of engineering in the university have been working closely with the ISRO to develop the nano satellite.
A nano satellite is one that weighs less than, or equal to, 10 kg.
"The satellite is scheduled for launch in April this year with ISRO's Megatropics G satellite. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the national space agency for the project," M. Loganathan, former ISRO scientist who is heading the team, told IANS on the sidelines of the ongoing Indian Science Congress at the SRM University campus here.
According to Loganathan, the students are very passionate about the project and would work on it after their classes.
"Their classes get over by 4 p.m. and after that all of them hang on in the research laboratory for say till midnight to work on the nano satellite. It's their baby and an outcome of their hard work," he said.
The ISRO said the satellite has to be tested before it can be included as a payload.
The students have been wholly involved in the project, right from procuring components to assembling and testing the satellite.
Explaining the initial problems they faced, Sarwesh Narayaan, a mechanical engineering student, told IANS: "It was difficult to communicate technically as we all come from different disciplines of engineering, but we did overcome it as each of us had to understand the concepts of all the other disciplines before designing the project."
"All of us are multi-tasking, and an electrical engineer student in the group is also conversant with the concepts of mechanical, aerospace, electrical communication and information engineering. We have been solving each others' problem," Guruditya Singh, a final year student, told IANS.
It's the team spirit that keeps this group of 51 men and 3 women students going.
"Whenever we get some time, maybe over lunch or dinner or during weekends, our point of discussion is only SRMSAT. Each one of us enjoys talking about it and our sessions go on for hours. There is nobody junior or senior but a team, and our mantra is value for thought. A first year student can also give a good piece of advice to the group," said Anushree Mahapatra, a student of electronic and information engineering.
The conception of SRMSAT dates back to August 2008 when the vision of launching a student satellite was put forward at a seminar taken by eminent space scientist D. Raghavamurty.
"It is planned to make our first nano satellite as a SRMSAT bus so that further missions can be continued with different payloads that can be supported with this design," said Loganathan.
More and more students are showing interest in the space science.
In 2010, ISRO launched Studsat -- a tiny satellite built by 35 students from four engineering colleges in
During the golden jubilee celebrations of IIT-Kanpur last year, President Pratibha Patil handed over to the ISRO a nano satellite 'Jugnu' developed by students of the country's premier institution.
Other institutes have got in the act as well. A 3.5-kg satellite 'Pradhan' is being built by students of IIT-Mumbai. Students of
1: Congratulations would be Scientists and Technologists. I appreciate it. However there are so many pressing problems facing the rural people which need to be addressed in the field of Energy, Water, Health care etc., Why not the young students apply their mind to find solutions?
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 06 Jan, 2011
By Swikriti Singh, SiliconIndia
Friday, 31 December 2010, 17:39 IST
A founder or the leader needs to be dominant in the market to have a substantial market share. Founders like Narayan Murthy of Infosys and leaders like Pavan Vaish of IBM Daksh, Ratan Tata of Tata Group, Sunil Jose of Sybase and Sanjay Kalra of Tech Mahindra reached their respective positions by constant improvements on their products and innovations and convincing capabilities. The years 2010-12 are to witness the end of showdown of all these great leaders who led their respective companies in an extremely fruitful way which has resulted in the companies to reach where they currently stand now.
Narayan Murthy to resign as Infosys Chief in 2011
As the reign of Narayan Murthy comes to an end, India's second largest IT firm Infosys prepares itself to lose its parent figure and be led by someone else. He led the company for a period of 30 years. Murthy stated that Infosys has a lot of talented people and the next chief would be selected mainly on the basis of merit and competence. He also opined that Infosys has created a strong structure and is not dependent on any individual which has made Infosys the strong entity that it is.
Pavan Vaish to quit IBM Daksh in 2011
He is one of the co-founder and the CEO of IBM Daksh who plans to quit by February. Vaish had taken over as the CEO of IBM Daksh in 2006 and was responsible for providing strategic guidance and leadership to all client-facing business units and shared services. Vaish has been instrumental in the rapid transformation of the start-up into the global market leader that IBM Daksh is today.
Ratan Tata to retire in Dec 2012
The Tata group has set up a panel to find a successor to Ratan, who is due to retire by the end of 2012, and will look within the group as well as externally, including abroad. Ratan Tata is a symbol of corporate India's bold overseas push. Tata is a member of the small but prosperous Parsi community, known for its love of music and arts, and upholds the family reputation for treating employees fairly and not paying bribes. His successor will have a lot of responsibility as he would not come from the Tata family.
Sanjay Kalra to quit Tech Mahindra
Tech Mahindra CEO Sanjay Kalra has resigned from the firm after spending around six years in its management. Vineet Nayyar, who is the vice-chairman, will take over the operational responsibilities of CEO. Kalra was elevated to the position of CEO in June last year and is quitting at a critical time when Tech Mahindra, which took over scam-hit Satyam Computer Services and the two are set to be merged after Satyam's accounts are re-stated.
Sunil Jose to quit Sybase
Sunil Jose, Managing Director, Sybase India & Sub-Continent, has quit the firm, which was recently acquired by software giant SAP. Sybase officials further state that their business model and customer engagement remains strong as usual with the new top executive in place. Sybase India officials confirmed that Jayas Damodaran has taken over the reins as the MD and have also commented that Jose has quit Sybase purely to pursue career avenues. He had joined Sybase as MD for India and Sub-Continent in 2008.
As the biggies of IT have plans to take their steps back and relax after their years of continuous and persistent struggle which brought them name, fame and money, now is the time for their successors to come up and prove themselves so as to come out with unmatched records and take their businesses to newer heights.
Reader's comments (3)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 02 Jan, 2011
In some cases, master plans are yet to be readied like for IIT Rajasthan and Ropar. On the other hand, IITs at Mandi and Indore have advertised showing interest for preparing the master plans.
"The boundary wall has been made at IIT Ropar and an architect has also been appointed but the master plan is being made and will be finalised soon," said Surendra Prasad, director, IIT Delhi, the mentor institute of IIT Ropar.
Another issue is of the construction of the boundary wall which has not been completed in IIT Rajasthan and Mandi. At IIT Patna, 30 percent of the construction of the boundary wall is complete. The new institutes, most of which are operating from transit campuses also complain of the fact that architects have not been finalised due to which construction is getting delayed.
"The process is going on and the land has been allotted for the campus. However, the master plan is yet to be readied and we expect that to happen in four to five months. The construction is on and as of now, we are operating from our transit campus," added IIT Ropar director MK Surappa.
What is needed is sufficient funds to develop infrastructure,to recruit excellent staff and lab facilities.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 20 Dec, 2010
Infosys develops home energy system based on Intel's processor
By Anonya Roy, SiliconIndia
Thursday, 16 December 2010, 17:26 IST
Bangalore: Imagine a scenario where you, in a hurry to rush to your job, forget to switch off the fan and lights at home. You remember it only after reaching your office. You can't leave till work timings end and so your fan and lights keep running the whole day. And if you are in the habit of forgetting things like this, a huge electricity bill is sure to knock at your door at the end of the month.
However, it seems likely that the above scenario can be avoided thanks to Infosys, who has developed a Digital Smart Home Gateway, powered by Intel's Atom processor E600. The Gateway connects multiple home devices, letting consumers to manage the appliances from a Wi-Fi console, smart phone or remotely via the Web.
The system is build with keeping Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), utility, healthcare and telecom providers in mind. A reference design was showcased here running on the MeeGo operating system. The solution can be redesigned into customized energy management devices by OEMs and service providers who can either make new product line out of it or can offer value-added services on the existing devices.
The Gateway platform developed by Infosys enables real time monitoring capability. It has applications in various sectors including healthcare, entertainment, and energy management in homes.
As IT expenditure on the consumer space is outgrowing the enterprise market, this kind of platforms and products hold promising opportunities for the IT companies. Although Infosys will not directly reach out to consumers with its new innovation, it will bring the platform via its partners like health equipment manufacturers or utility makers.
Subhas Dhar, Head, Communication, Media and Entertainment business unit, Infosys said that they have filed for a patent for the Digital Smart Home Gateway. Infosys earns ten percent of its revenue from non linear business models and with this innovation, it could benefit all the more.
The Digital Smart Home Gateway solution has a host of connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, SD, USB, Zigbee, Ethernet and Audio, enabling its convergence over several technology networks.
In a world, where we want to get everything on the cloud making our work easier, the Digital Smart Home Gateway from Infosys looks like the perfect example for this.
1: Here is more information on the system.
Infosys : One tablet to rule your home! by Sriram Vadlamani (Source: The Gadget Fan)
Infosys has a grand plan. It predicts that all future homes will be digital homes with all pervasive gadgets. Why not make them smart? Infosys has a Digital smart home gateway to do just that. Infosys has developed a gateway which can be used to control all home devices through a single device. The gateway developed by Infosys is a software, hardware combination, which runs on Intel’s Atom E600 series processor and MeeGo operating system.
Think of it as a single set-top box for the entire home.
This new gizmo from Infosys is powered by 1.3Ghz Intel Atom 600 processor and 1GB DDR-2 DRAM. It has a 7-inch resistive touch screen interface with a display resolution of 1024×600. There is support for internal and external SD cards. SATA 3.0 compliant hard disks from 80 GB to 120 GB can fit it. It has Ethernet support, WiFi, four USB ports, Zigbee and Bluetooth. It can play videos in MPEG4 and MPEG2 format and a 2 megapixel camera will facilitate your web conferencing needs. The battery back up is one hour and Meego 1.0 is the operating system.
After looking at the specs, this looks more like a tablet and less like a set-top box.
A tablet to rule all your home devices, of which there will be many.
How does it work?
You might be wondering how could this be used. It would be the single gateway for any service provider to enter your house. You might have several different service providers already. The list might go something like this : telephone, broadband, DTH or cable, electricity, security systems and surveillance systems. All these services might have come up with their own proprietary hardware. Infosys Digital Smart Home Solution would replace all of that. IPTV providers now bundle three services – TV, Internet and Telephone through a single interface of a modem. Infosys Digital Smart Home Solution is extending that to a whole new level. It’s a IPTV concept on steroids. And you can control the interface through a smartphone or remotely through Internet.
Home energy management system, Automation and energy saver, Home RF monitoring dashboard, Home multimedia, Gaming and Entertainment center, Home knowledge center, Home security and surveillance center, Home communication center, Healthcare center and Home Irrigation (Infosys)
This would be a white label product from Infosys. Enthusiastic service providers can bundle up their services and sell to the consumers. That would pull Infosys off the distribution hook. A novel concept and a must-have gadget for future homes. It almost feels like the future is here. Yet few questions linger. How long will it take to arrive? How long will it take to adapt? Jury is out on both the questions.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 20 Dec, 2010
Kalam emphasises on need for innovators in rural areas
Thursday, 16 December 2010, 21:55 IST
"Deploying the youth of the region in mapping knowledge and experience will provide us a rich resource of existing knowledge which can be used by many people. These rural personnel will definitely become knowledge multipliers and make a difference to the villages they live," he said.
Kalam was speaking on 'Human empowerment through knowledge and skills' after inaugurating an International Working conference on 'Life Skills and Livelihood Skills-Challenges for Institutional Development' at the
Reader's comments (1)
I agree with you Abdul Kalamji on the need for Rural Innovations for the progress of the Nation especially in rural areas.
What can technology do for the masses? What can it do at the individual level? And what contribution can it make at the collective level?
Technology provides products and services to meet the potential human needs. It provokes techniques and tools for improving the production of known items, and methodology and means for producing new ones.: both of these can materially enlarge the returns from human effort, at the individual or collective level and bring about a change in life styles. The ultimate objective of the accelerated use of science and technology by the masses is the betterment of their socio- economic condition, or development and improvement in the quality of their life.
The quality of life is not easily defined. It depends partly on material progress, partly on physical well-being and above all on the measure of personal satisfaction and lack of tension in the society. The building up of attitudes to the appropriate exploitation of available resources and the ability to live at peace with the environment, can be greatly enhanced by proper utilisation of science and development of a scientific temper. The cultivation of an analytical approach, eradication of superstitions, and breaking off the strangle-hold of the past are essential for improving the quality of life. But this can be achieved only by large scale involvement of the people in action-oriented programmes, that can help demonstrate the interplay of cause and effect in productive endeavour.
For successful growth and fruition of newer technologies among the masses, it is necessary to engineer a climate for science, an environment in which co-ordinated endeavour, logical thinking and rational conduct enable the best utilisation of available resources. Science which is understood by the people becomes part of common-sense. And thus the speed of literacy, education and science leads to the elevation of social and cultural levels of the people.
Any revolution in the productive application of science and technology based on mass participation can take place only through deliberate upgrading of technological competence of technicians and skilled workers at all levels. The technological revolution of
Here is an interesting analysis on Rural Innovations in
Harvard Business Review, Blogs, Navi Radjou,
I just returned from a 3-week exhilarating trip to
So we visited all major Indian cities —
What struck us most during this field trip is that most Indian innovators — both large and small — are now single-mindedly targeting the rural market, which accounts for 70% of
Interestingly, Jaideep and I also discovered that many grassroots Indian innovators are farmers and villagers who have devised creative solutions to address their basic needs for food, shelter, and sanitation. For instance, Mansukh Prajapati, a potter and clay baker from the state of Gujarat has devised Mitti Cool, an ingenious refrigerator made entirely from terracotta (clay) that keeps water cool and fruits, vegetables and milk fresh for days — and yet doesn't use a single watt of electricity.
Mansukh isn't an exception. The Honeybee Network, which is part of the National Innovation Foundation, which supports grassroots innovations in
I strongly believe that the only way
Our Centre is deeply involved in Rural Innovations. We have such cost-effective devices like Vertical and Cylindrical Solar Water Heater, Simple Solar Drier, Hand operated Battery Charger, Pedal operated Washing Machine, Clay Covers for passive cooling, Energy conservation in Irrigation pump sets, Multiple Uses of Gas stove, Air cum Water Cooler, Horizontal table fan,in the Environment field Multiple uses of plants like Custard Apple,Sisal Agave,Water Hyacinth; natural pesticides etc.,
Our blog: www.drjagadeeshncda.blogspot.com
Nayudamma Centre for Development Alternatives
2/210 First Floor
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 21 Dec, 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010, 11:26 IST
"I am here in
"We are selling more and more books here. I would like more Indian readers and Indian friends. That is why I am here," the 71-year-old writer of books such as "Eye of the Needle" and "The Key to Rebecca" added.
"Asia and India, the markets of the future," said Follett, who is touring India to promote his new book, "The Fall of Giants", the first of an epic historical and political series, the Century Trilogy. The book has been published in
Follett is working on the second part of the trilogy that will be published in 2012.
The "Fall of Giants" is a chronicle of five families brought together through the dramas of the first World War, the Russian Revolution, struggle for voting rights for women and the horror of British mines in the 20th century.
"After writing 'World Without An End' (a medieval historical fiction), I wanted to write another book with that kind of sweep and scope. I thought of the 20th century. It is the most violent and dramatic century in the history of human race.
"We killed each other in an unprecedented rate in the 20th century. And yet it is a century of high ideals and democracy and freedom. There were groups within the society that demanded equality. For example, women. So, there is a contrast between high ideals and terrible slaughter," Follett said.
Follett, who has authored more than 30 books and is known for action-packed narratives set in an expansive canvas, began his career as a writer in the early 1970s and shot to fame in 1978 with "Eye of the Needle", a successful World War II drama.
The snow-haired portly writer is married to former Labour Party MP Barbara Broer.
Follett says readers across the world identify with his books. "It sometimes surprises me, but my books are enjoyed by people who have no experience at all of the kind of things I am writing about. For example, I am very popular in
The writer attributes it to the universality of a powerful narrative.
"The basic elements of a good story are completely universal. If you write about love, hatred, battle, revenge, growing up, getting married and having children - and killing your enemies, people all over the world understand it," Follett said.
"My grandfather Arthur Evans did exactly what Billy Williams does in the opening scene of the 'Fall of Giants'. At 13, he started to work in the coal mines," he said.
The novelist loves to write about World War II - and several books use the war as a core to spin fictional tales.
"The Second World War was a battle of good and evil unlike the cold war, which created tremendous international tension and for decades we all thought we were living on the brink of a nuclear holocaust and I think incidentally it also created the modern spy novels. That tension is what the spy novels are all about - James Bond stories and Len Deighton stories," he said.
The movelist, who was in the capital for a day Monday, divided his time between interviews and signing books at an interactive event organised by Om Books International before flying to Chennai.
1: The population at the time of the 2001 census was 49,138,831(
• Male: 23,922,144
• Female: 25,216,687
• Total: 49,138,831
1,166,079,217 (July 2009 est. CIA) 1,028.7 million (2001 Census final figures,)
Of course in
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 19 Dec, 2010
Researchers at King's College,
They found that women who ate a lot of allium vegetables (in the garlic family) had lower levels of hip osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in adults, affecting around 8 million people in
It causes pain and disability by affecting the hip, knees and spine in the middle-aged and elderly population. Currently there is no effective treatment other than pain relief and, ultimately, joint replacement.
A relationship is known to exist between body weight and osteoarthritis but this was the first study to delve deeper into how diet could impact on development and prevention of the condition.
The study, funded by Arthritis Research
The team carried out a detailed assessment of the diet patterns of the twins and analysed these alongside x-ray images, which captured the extent of early osteoarthritis in the participants' hips, knees and spine.
They found that in those who consumed a healthy diet with a high intake of fruit and vegetables, particularly alliums such as garlic, there was less evidence of early osteoarthritis in the hip joint.
To investigate the potential protective effect of allium vegetables further, researchers studied the compounds found in garlic.
They found that a compound called diallyl disulphide limits the amount of cartilage-damaging enzymes when introduced to a human cartilage cell-line in the laboratory.
Frances Williams, lead author of the study said: "While we don't yet know if eating garlic will lead to high levels of this component in the joint, these findings may point the way towards future treatments and prevention of hip osteoarthritis."
"If our results are confirmed by follow-up studies, this will point the way towards dietary intervention or targeted drug therapy for people with osteoarthritis," he added.
Reader's comments (1)
Yes. Garlic is well known for its medicinal properties. That is why it is widely used in curries in
Here is a thorough analysis of Garlic.
Origin and major types
The ancestry of cultivated garlic is not definitely established: according to Zohary and Hopf "A difficulty in the identification of its wild progenitor is the sterility of the cultivars", though it is thought to be descendent from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in central and southwestern Asia. Allium sativum grow in the wild in areas where it has become naturalised. The "wild garlic", "crow garlic", and "field garlic" of Britain are members of the species Allium ursinum, Allium vineale, and Allium oleraceum, respectively. In North America, Allium vineale (known as "wild garlic" or "crow garlic") and Allium canadense, known as "meadow garlic" or "wild garlic" and "wild onion", are common weeds in fields. One of the best-known "garlics", the so-called elephant garlic, is actually a wild leek (Allium ampeloprasum), and not a true garlic. Single clove garlic (also called Pearl garlic or Solo garlic) also exists, originating in the Yunnan
When crushed, Allium sativum yields allicin, a powerful antibioticand antifungal compound (phytoncide). It has been claimed that it can be used as a home remedy to help speed recovery from strep throat or other minor ailments because of its antibiotic properties .It also contains the sulfur containing compounds alliin, ajoene, diallylsulfide, dithiin, S-allylcysteine, and enzymes, vitamin B, proteins, minerals, saponins, flavonoids, and maillard reaction products, which are non-sulfur containing compounds. Furthermore a phytoalexin called allixin (3-hydroxy-5-methoxy-6-methyl-2-penthyl-4H-pyran-4-one) was found, a non-sulfur compound with a γ-pyrone skeleton structure with anti-oxidative effects, anti-microbial effects, anti-tumor promoting effects, inhibition of aflatoxin B2 DNA binding, and neurotrophic effects. Allixin showed an anti-tumor promoting effect in vivo, inhibiting skin tumor formation by TPA in DMBA initiated mice. Analogs of this compound have exhibited anti tumor promoting effects in in vitro experimental conditions. Herein, allixin and/or its analogs may be expected useful compounds for cancer prevention or chemotherapy agents for other diseases.
The composition of the bulbs is approximately 84.09% water, 13.38% organic matter, and 1.53% inorganic matter, while the leaves are 87.14% water, 11.27% organic matter, and 1.59% inorganic matter.
The phytochemicals responsible for the sharp flavor of garlic are produced when the plant's cells are damaged. When a cell is broken by chopping, chewing, or crushing, enzymes stored in cell vacuoles trigger the breakdown of several sulfur-containing compounds stored in the cell fluids. The resultant compounds are responsible for the sharp or hot taste and strong smell of garlic. Some of the compounds are unstable and continue to evolve over time. Among the members of the onion family, garlic has by far the highest concentrations of initial reaction products, making garlic much more potent than onions, shallots, or leeks. Although many humans enjoy the taste of garlic, these compounds are believed to have evolved as a defensive mechanism, deterring animals like birds, insects, and worms from eating the plant.
A large number of sulfur compounds contribute to the smell and taste of garlic. Diallyl disulfide is believed to be an important odour component. Allicin has been found to be the compound most responsible for the "hot" sensation of raw garlic. This chemical opens thermoTRP (transient receptor potential) channels that are responsible for the burning sense of heat in foods. The process of cooking garlic removes allicin, thus mellowing its spiciness.
Due to its strong odor, garlic is sometimes called the "stinking rose". When eaten in quantity, garlic may be strongly evident in the diner's sweat and breath the following day. This is because garlic's strong-smelling sulfur compounds are metabolized, forming allyl methyl sulfide. Allyl methyl sulfide (AMS) cannot be digested and is passed into the blood. It is carried to the lungs and the skin, where it is excreted. Since digestion takes several hours, and release of AMS several hours more, the effect of eating garlic may be present for a long time.
This well-known phenomenon of "garlic breath" is alleged to be alleviated by eating fresh parsley. The herb is, therefore, included in many garlic recipes, such as pistou, persillade, and the garlic butter spread used in garlic bread. However, since the odour results mainly from digestive processes placing compounds such as AMS in the blood, and AMS is then released through the lungs over the course of many hours, eating parsley provides only a temporary masking. One way of accelerating the release of AMS from the body is the use of a sauna.
Because of the AMS in the bloodstream, it is believed by some to act as a mosquito repellent. However, there is no evidence to suggest that garlic is actually effective for this purpose.
Medicinal use and health benefits
In test tube studies garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. However, these actions are less clear in humans. Garlic is also claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. In fact, countries where garlic is consumed in higher amounts, due to traditional cuisine, have been found to have a lower prevalence of cancer. Animal studies, and some early investigational studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. A Czech study found that garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals. Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Another study showed that supplementation with garlic extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol. The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells, a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling molecule.
Although these studies showed protective vascular changes in garlic-fed subjects, a randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found that the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline cholesterol levels.
According to the Heart.org, "despite decades of research suggesting that garlic can improve cholesterol profiles, a new NIH-funded trial found absolutely no effects of raw garlic or garlic supplements on LDL, HDL, or triglycerides... The findings underscore the hazards of meta-analyses made up of small, flawed studies and the value of rigorously studying popular herbal remedies."
In 2007, the BBC reported that Allium sativum may have other beneficial properties, such as preventing and fighting the common cold. This assertion has the backing of long tradition in herbal medicine, which has used garlic for hoarseness and coughs. The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup.
Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine levels and has shown to prevent some complications of diabetes mellitus. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician.
In 1858, Louis Pasteur observed garlic's antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity, although the majority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.
In 1924 it was found that garlic is an effective way to prevent scurvy, due to its high vitamin C content.
Garlic has been used reasonably successfully in AIDS patients to treat cryptosporidium in an uncontrolled study in
Garlic supplementation in rats, along with a high protein diet, has been shown to boost testosterone levels(Source: Wikipedia).
Posted by: Dr.A.jagadeesh - 19 Dec, 2010
Will Indian IT sector have a new face by 2015?
By Juby Thomas, SiliconIndia
Wednesday, 08 December 2010, 02:12 Hrs
Bangalore: It is true that from 1996 the Indian IT industry has witnessed a rapid growth. Starting from virtualization to the adjoining of the web and mobile devices, all these breath taking advancement has set the country at the forefront of a technological revolution for quite some time now with a globally renowned services sector and a competitive industrial scene.
1: Yes. IT is expanding in leaps and bounds in India.
IT software and services sector firms continue on their juggernaut roll, absolutely very much on track to meet the $60-billion exports target by the year 2010. According to Kiran Karnik, NASSCOM President, even $75-billion may not be too much to ask for, if the current growth rate continues.
Despite, an appreciating rupee, rising attrition and wages and fewer billing days, end-December 2006 quarterly results bear out this optimism and have posted a good show. Against this backdrop, delegations from Canada, Taiwan, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Wales, Australia and Malaysia are to converge on a three-day 15th Annual 'NASSCOM India Leadership Forum' on 7th February 2007 to focus on globalisation, innovation and leadership.
Over 120-speakers and 1,300 delegates are expected to attend the event, and there will be a special session by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a forum that will reflect on the globalisation of the domestic IT-BPO industry, with a strong focus on areas where the world can work in partnership with India.
It is the global delivery models (GDM) and global delivery centres (GDCs) that are working for all IT services firms, whether large or small and that are helping them de-risk their business. The global imprint of Indian IT firms is increasing, as India's major Goliaths i.e. Wipro, or mid-caps like 3i Infotech, Subex Azure, i-flex, Four Soft or Tech Mahindra enlarge their geographic base, acquiring additional firms in their domain areas, that has helped them post larger client wins. For instance, this quarter, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, TCS and Infosys all struck multi-million dollar deals and negotiated new contracts at billing rates that have increased 3-5% and more.
Having established themselves in the world of off-shoring / outsourcing, not even US Democrat pressure to restrict or ban outsourcing is expected to dent the top line or bottom line of the Indian IT sector. Those outsourcing to India will be driven by business concerns and cost-arbitrage, their top priority and not by the rantings and the ravings of a political candidate trying grab the vote bank.
As a result of these conducive conditions, Indian IT software exports business is well on course to be able to crow about achieving its ambitious target of $60-billion by 2010, NASSCOM's oft-repeated statement. As well, the Indian domestic IT market is also expected to exceed $15.9 billion in fiscal 2006-07, recording a 21% growth.
Software and services (IT-BPO) exports are expected to exceed $31 billion in 2006-07, a 32.6% growth over last year's figure of $23.6-billion. However, attrition continues to remain a sore point, and the dearth of IT engineers has forced the Indian and technology companies to recruit around 40,000-50,000 non-IT professionals and science graduates. Already, IT majors like Infosys Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tech Mahindra, GTL and Wipro Technologies are innovating by recruiting non-IT personnel for IT jobs and, whom they will be training to meet the shortfall.
While, India will continue to lead the supplier market showing a strong growth in Europe after its amazing success in US, countries like Brazil and Russia are emerging as strong contenders. However, NASSCOM is expected to shed further light on future strategies in this direction(Source: Offshoring Times).
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 08 Dec, 2010
When would India start encouraging its in-house Innovations?
By Suman Ravikumar, SiliconIndia
Monday, 13 December 2010, 06:46 IST
Bangalore: For centuries the Indian mindset has been about following the West. The 'I' in India always meant Imitation. But now Innovation has become the new mantra for all young Indians. But has the efforts of new innovations really paid off? In fact you could say "No" as only 12 to 14 percent (35) of innovations out of 250 were approved and were given patent.
Out of 35, 5 patents were given by the U.S. Government. The U.S. patent office did not charge innovators any patent fee when they heard that the innovations were from people who had no formal training.
There are several innovations that happen in the country and go unnoticed, and then there comes an NGO which nominates the individual, the individual wins a prize for his prized innovation and he and his revolutionizing innovation is forgotten in the same village where it had originated. Since many of these worthy innovations lie cocooned in their respective villages, hardly any of these breakthrough technologies see the light.
Why is that, in India, there is a congenital failure to identify innovation and creativity? Despite the lack of education, power and money, young guns have fought their way with limited resources and found a better and cheaper solution to address our problems, but still government shuts its doors away and discourages budding talents.
One such instance that has been ignored by our so called government is that of Chandrasekhar Panda and Saswat Swain, the two young minds of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) who have designed the first ever 3G technology-based data card that will provide high speed internet at a very low cost for rural people.
The 3G data card, named "iWEBLEAF", has been designed in such a manner that it can work on the spectrum of any telecom operator to provide high speed internet service all the time. They have developed the card in such a way that it is both Wi-Fi and 3G enabled. The data card currently has the capacity of providing 7.2Mbps speed on the 2G GSM SIM card besides providing internet access at 21.1Mbps.It also acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot hub, which will enable the end user to connect around 300 laptops and 30 mobile phones to the internet without using any cable connection.
This invention can be a breakthrough in providing mobile broadband connectivity to the people of the state.In India the biggest challenge for the telecom authority of India is to provide broadband in rural villages and remote areas of the country. The goal of the project is to drive a 'highway' of high-speed internet, which would unite 410 rural regions, where private telecom companies do not develop broadband internet infrastructure due to low demand.
"By using only 3 to 4 data cards, an entire village with around 150 families can be provided internet connectivity with a net spending of just Rs 900 per month. Similarly, an urban user will get high speed internet at just Rs 99 per month," said Panda.
"Using this data card, a person can get to view more than 150 television channels, free of cost without using any television tuner or additional gadgets. The user can also switch to different networks within 2 days." said Panda.
Currently the data card is priced at 1300. It can be used by both pre-paid and post-paid customers and the tariff plan that they offer is 274 per month for unlimited download and 99 for 2GB of download.
The data card price is expected to reduce to 900 if the State government extends its support. The one disadvantage of the innovation is that, the data card is completely depended on a telecom operator's spectrum and no telecom operator would like its customers switch to different operators so frequently.
The young lads are in talks with local operators in State and are hopefully expecting a positive response from them.
Though our Honorable President, Pratibha Patil has extended her support for the project, the State and the Orissa Government have not taken any action towards the R&D setup and budget plan of the innovation.
Reader's comments (1)
Innovation,Invention,Creativity are the pillars of growth of any country.For Innovations to thrive what is needed is IMAGINATION PLUS ENGINEERING. There are several problems facing rural areas which can be solved by Innovation.
Here are some exciting articles on INNOVATION:
Can we innovate?Satya Rao,Innovation Initiative,NASSCOM):
My favorite question nowadays at the office and outside is – Name the top 5 Indian Innovations in the last 25 years. Most people struggle and I rarely get an answer. Why is that? Does that mean Indians cannot innovate? The simple answer is – Of course we can!! But the harder thing to do is answer the question – Then why don’t we?
I have been doing some thinking about this myself and as someone who’s trying to spearhead the innovation culture, I have arrived at some simple truths. But before I dive into those truths, I need to destroy some myths too.
Myth #1 – Our karmic culture dictates our way of living. We believe in more than one life and therefore, the need to improve the current one is not an imperative. Wrong!! I don’t know a single Indian who doesn’t want to live a better life. We’re a big consumption engine today and we grow by the day. Why? Because, Indians want a better life and the good things that go with it.
Myth #2 – Indians are apathetic. We don’t really care about what’s happening around us. I’m sure we can all cite instances where the average citizen could have contributed and did not. But this too is fast becoming a Myth!! For the longest time we lived in a socialistic society and that framework dictated our thinking. We now live in a society where people believe that Individual endeavor can have an impact and that drives the thinking of people in all walks of life and discipline. Not everyone takes up a paying job or becomes an entrepreneur. People are becoming activists, reformists or politicians. Why? Because they now believe an individual can make an impact and on occasion transform society. This belief is fundamental to innovation. History shows that inventors don’t invent to make money. They invent because they believe their inventions can transform lives.
Myth #3 – You need to be technically qualified or a whiz kid to innovate. Wrong!! This couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s all about common sense. Don’t underestimate the power of common sense. Once you’ve an idea, you now need to reach out to those who understand the different elements of your idea and can help you to build on the idea.
For Indians, the process for innovation is no different than what it has always been for others around the world. The key is persistence and perseverance. We understand our market better than anyone else. But there are some challenges we need to overcome to embrace innovation:
Truth 1 – We need to transform our Education System – Our education system celebrates conformism. Non-Conformists don’t thrive in this system. Your success or failure is judged by the grades you score. Innovation thrives on non-conformism, questioning the norm and finding better ways to do things. Our education system needs to transform itself to nurture innovation and creativity. If you talk to a five year old today, you’ll be dazzled by his/her knowledge, exposure, ideas and cognitive skills. But by the time the child reaches the age of 10 or so, the system has suppressed a vibrant creative mind and supplanted it with a conformist mindset geared to reproduce by rote. In essence we are training the future generations to do what they’re told. We need to empower them to think freely. In my own experience, I have had to take apart and un-learn everything I held dear to me to create a platform for innovation and creativity.
Truth 2 – We have an Overriding Need for External Endorsement – I’ve heard this time and again and see it in action too. We have an almost undeniable desire to seek endorsement from folks in developed countries. The Japanese evolved by challenging conventional western paradigms and developing products which were unique and relevant to their context. Miniaturization emerged from this thrust. They weren’t waiting for endorsement from outside to believe in their innovations. We need to learn to de-link the notion of a viable innovation from an external endorsement.
Truth 3 – We need to Think World Class – We need to avoid Duality in strategy. We must innovate with quality in mind. For too long, we have had this duality in strategy i.e. export quality and domestic quality. You’re sounding the death knell on your innovation if you think you can palm off a poor quality product in our market. Save yourself some time and effort. Build a world-class product and see it succeed.
Truth 4 – Observation, Insights and an Open mind are the Key. Too many of us go through our day-to-day lives without questioning the status quo. Questioning the norm and asking why something needs to be a certain way is the key to innovating. The first step is to allocate 10% of your bandwidth to observation. It’s then important to list out those observations.
Truth 5 – We tend to shy away from taking Risks. The fear of failure and social indictment is so high that we shy away from risk taking. It is much easier to take an accepted product from another market and plug it in our market. But not all products that succeed elsewhere will click here. And that’s where the opportunity lies. Embracing failure is pivotal to Innovation. The learnings from failures are key to innovation. Take a look at the cash reserves of the large IT company’s in India and you wonder why they can’t put aside some of it to try out or test new ideas and innovations and see them through.
Truth 6 - Role Models and Story Telling – If you look at the success of innovation models or innovation breakthroughs elsewhere, they feed on the art of story telling. It calls for creating an aura around the innovation, the innovator(s) and the process that made an innovation possible. The Apple IPOD owes its success to both the aura behind the company, the founder Steve Jobs, the very basis of the idea and the way it’s been delivered. But storytelling is a pivotal part of the innovation exercise. We don’t do enough of that in India. We have excellent role models to talk about but they can only emerge if the storytelling is compelling. This is also tied into Truth # 2. We don’t need endorsement from elsewhere before we accept that a story is worth telling. The Story of the Dabbawallahs in Mumbai became a story worth televising only after top business schools abroad picked up on the story.
None of the above hurdles are insurmountable. Indeed most innovators must expect a certain amount of skepticism when they step out to pitch their idea. But that’s the true test of an innovators conviction and strength of character. If you get over that hurdle, you have a winner.
The Five Principles for Successful Innovation
Successful business innovations that drive growth are guided by the following five principles:
1. Vision to create new products, business models or processes that make a difference and create new markets
2. Systematic processes and rigor that stimulate creativity and learning to execute on the vision
3. Reward and recognition system for teams to take measured risks and experiment
4. Focus on clear and present customer needs, the market facts, and the intangible
5. Growth-oriented leadership that is decisive, inclusive, focused, takes risks, and has market expertise(Source:Creativity And Innovation Driving Business - Innovation Index)
How does Apple, the #1 innovative company in the world, innovate and create game-changing innovations such as the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad and more? What is Apple's secret recipe for innovation success?
What is Apple's Innovation Strategy and Innovation Process? Download these Apple Innovation insights, case study and report, and innovate like Apple... and think like Steve Jobs, the top innovator and CEO of Apple.
"There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote
that I love. 'I skate to where the puck
is going to be, not where it has been.'
And we've always tried to do that at
Apple. Since the very very beginning.
And we always will." —Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
Apple innovates through:
• Creativity and Innovation
• Innovation Process
• Innovation in Products
• Innovation in Business Model
• Innovation in Customer Experience
• Innovation and Leadership
• Steve Jobs
This Apple Innovation Strategy ebook provides insights, strategy, best practices, process, facts and much more...
Apple has built an Innovation Factory – one that harnesses unbridled creativity from its people, stimulating bold & enterprising new ideas, and launching successful, profitable new innovations... time and again! Apple leverages its diverse ecosystem of employees, customers, suppliers, partners & global networks, proven innovation process, and a winning culture that doesn't accept second place - to seize the new opportunities in the marketplace and grow its business... exponentially(Source:Apple's Innovation Strategy - Learn How Apple Innovates, Business Innovation eBook and Report).
Posted by: Dr.A.
Indian Villager became source of MIT tech idea
Monday, 13 December 2010, 11:59 IST
Bangalore: Mahatma Gandhi once said "The soul of India lives in its villages' and today a villager from Guwahati has made his vision true and acceptable to the world. Kanak Das, resident of a remote village near Guwahati has created a simple device which converts the shocks received by his bicycle into acceleration energy, so he doesn't have to peddle for a few metres after negotiating a pothole, reports Prashant Thakor of DNA.
Finally the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, U.S., has taken up by his idea and is conducting further research on how to channelize the energy created in shock observers of vehicle into the acceleration.
Anil Gupta, Professor at IIM-A, who presented his idea to the MIT said, "Kanak Das came up with this innovation to seek a solution to the bad roads of his village, and when I showcased his idea to the students of MIT, they immediately adopted it, as it can bring huge change in automobile technology across the world."
Bangalore: Mahatma Gandhi once said "The soul of India lives in its villages' and today a villager from Guwahati has made his vision true and acceptable to the world. Kanak Das, resident of a remote village near Guwahati has created a simple device which converts the shocks received by his bicycle into acceleration energy, so he doesn't have to peddle for a few metres after negotiating a pothole, reports Prashant Thakor of DNA.
Finally the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, U.S., has taken up by his idea and is conducting further research on how to channelize the energy created in shock observers of vehicle into the acceleration.
Anil Gupta, Professor at IIM-A, who presented his idea to the MIT said, "Kanak Das came up with this innovation to seek a solution to the bad roads of his village, and when I showcased his idea to the students of MIT, they immediately adopted it, as it can bring huge change in automobile technology across the world."
Reader's comments (1)
There are geniuses in rural areas. It is NGOs,Government,Scientific Bodies etc., which should help them to identify and support their creative thinking and ideas to blossom. Often we think rural is bad,urban better and foreign best. It is not always true. Are not TITAN Watches popular while cheap brands from China are available? I purchased 8 CFLs manufactured in India and they have been in use since 8 years while Chinese stuff which costs one third goes out of use in less than one year. As pointed out by me earlier, during 80s 50 Wind Chargers were imported by erstwhile DNES(Now MNRE) at an exorbitant price and installed across the country under NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION SCHEME. None of them worked beyond a year. On the other hand an ILLITERATE( BUT NOT ILL INFORMED) person using palm tree as tower made wooden blades(2) and changed the windings of the automobile generator to utilize the power for a fridge, radio and one tube light! It has been working since 20 years. I saw it and was amazed by the ingenuity of the GREAT INVENTOR (It is in Mandapam, near Rameswaram,Tamil Nadu).
Rural solutions in all cases need not come from MIT as TECHNOLOGY IS CULTURE SPECIFIC.
There are very good brains in IISC,IITs etc., But what is needed is COMMITMENT TO SERVE SOCIETY and COUNTRY AT LARGE.
For the last 3 decades I am striving hard to design, demonstrate and disseminate (basically a 3D approach) over 30 gadgets in RENEWABLE ENERGY, APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY, BIOTECHNOLOGY etc., some of them are popular in African Countries.
Media like SILICONINDIA, REDIFFNEWS, THE WEEK, INDIA TODAY etc., should bring to focus the rural innovations so that they get financial support for Commercialisation.
Ideas float around in bewildering numbers, and scores of designs, ranging from windmills to the spinning wheel, are available; papers are circulated stating the wonders of intermediate (not appropriate) technology what could be done, why it should be done, what must be done, and how the rural countryside can be changed if intermediate technology is implemented. Experts are called from abroad to tell people this.
In all this talk, there seems to be no place for the ideas generated by farmers and rural artisans A stand seems to have been taken that this transfer of technology for the socio-economic regeneration of the rural areas is a novelty for country-folk. But rural communities have survived for generations without any help in ideas and materials from outside. They have developed a low-cost technology of their own, suited to their own particular areas. It would be foolish to over look and take for granted methods used by farmers and artisans. When a ploughshare develops trouble on the field, when a bullock cart breaks down on the road to market, when a house collapses in a storm, the villager uses materials available in the immediate vicinity to solve his problem. It is the scientist who must see these problems as challenges that must be met if there is to be development in rural areas. It is clear that the villagers and scientists will see the problems of the villages quite differently, and it will not always be true that the projects proposed by the scientists will be meaningful to the villages. If projects are imposed on the villagers, they are likely to be skeptical and may well resist rather than co-operate with the programme. Rural Development Schemes, in the broadest sense, requires first a good sociological approach, and as much psychology as scientific knowledge. After all ‘country means people and not soil’.
As late internationally renowned Scientist Prof.Y.Nayudamma put it, our motto should be, MODERNISE THE TRADITIONAL – TRADITIONALISE THE MODERN.
Nayudamma Centre for Development Alternatives
2/210 First Floor
NELLORE 524 002
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 13 Dec, 2010
Indian origin kid wins 4511,000 for speech recognition
Tuesday, 07 December 2010, 23:57 Hrs
Washington: Inspired by the science fiction movie "I, Robot," two high school students, one of them an Indian American, have developed a speech recognition technology that has won them a $100,000 grand prize.
Akash Krishnan and Matthew Fernandez of Portland, Oregon, who developed a computer algorithm that can detect a speaker's emotions better than current technology, would share the team prize, the Siemens Competition for America's top math and science students announced Monday.
Krishnan, 16, and Fernandez, 17, watched "I, Robot," while taking a break from trying to come up with a project idea. The movie featured a robot that could detect when its user was stressed, and they decided to try to improve on the existing technology.
Their algorithm has a 60 percent accuracy rate, compared with about 40 percent for a previous system. They say their work could be used to improve computer automated phone systems, helping, for example, to tell if a caller was becoming irate.
"The duo built a computer algorithm that allows us to listen to an auditory signal from a human, analyse it and assess the emotional state of the speaker," said competition judge Gert Lanckriet from the department of electrical and computer engineering, University of California, San Diego.
"It can help identify if the speaker is angry, sad, bored, anxious or happy. They came up with a strong creative idea and brought it from theory into practice."
"Using an emotional speech database with 18,215 files and five emotions -- anger, positive, neutral, emphatic, rest-the team developed, trained and tested a classification engine to determine emotions from an input signal," he said.
Lanckriet said that their work could even be used to enhance
"In cell phones, most of the encoding is designed to ensure words are understood, but the emotional background of the conversation may be lost. Krishnan and Matthew's work could help ensure that the emotion comes through," he said.
Krishnan was not the only one in the competition who has his roots in India. Three other students of Indian origin-Santosh Narayan of Munster, Indiana, Nikhil Mehandru of Roslyn, New York and Sonia Prasad of Roslyn Heights, New York-bagged the fourth position in the team category in the national championship and were awarded a $30,000 scholarship.
1: Kudos to you both Krishnan and Fernandez. Such news brings pride to the country and inspiration to youngsters to be creative. Hearty congratulations.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 08 Dec, 2010
Internet will find its ways in remote areas of India by 2012
Tuesday, 07 December 2010, 23:55 Hrs
Bangalore: Soon internet will find its place in remote areas of country with the launch of 3G services. Village having a population of 500 people will be connected to broadband internet.
Speaking at the Internet and Mobile Association of India's (IAMAI) 5th India Digital Summit in Delhi on December 7, 2010, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman JS Sharma talked about the Government's upcoming broadband plan, the details of which would be revealed in the near future. A key point that he was willing to reveal about it though, was that the Government planned to have a strong focus on rural areas by encouraging development with local cable operators as one example, who could collect and operate networks in more distressed conditions than the organised sector.
"The national broadband plan will be out soon, and we will extend broadband connections to every village in the country that has a population of more than 500 people. By 2012, every gram panchayat in the entire country will be connected to broadband Internet, and we will reach every village with more than 500 people as early as 2013," he said.
For the Government, the key appeal to improving broadband access is that it is directly connected to economic growth and the development of other social indicators. Sharma likened it to building roads another project he has been involved with for the Government. According to Professor Rajat Kathuria of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), there was a direct relation between broadband penetration and the GDP. The causation has been firmly established by the research carried out by ICRIER, which shows that for every 10 per cent increase in Internet access, the state GDP grew by 1.1 per cent. Kathuria added that this was well below the increase as a result of mobile phone connections, and felt that the reason for this was because of a lack of broadband access.
"Penetration is abysmal," he said, adding, "The development of telecom can help all infrastructure development. Broadband access will change the frequency of access, and provide a definite boost, and once this hits critical mass, I believe it will be even more relevant to our development than the mobile phone has become."
Sharma noted, "We have all the ingredients for explosive growth in place, but if we do not use them properly in concert with one another, then we cannot hope to grow. For now, 3G services will be concentrated in urban areas, while we will drive fiber optic lines to rural areas. The whole infrastructure needs to be built up, and the way to do this is through value added services. We will incentivise and regulate this to push the growth of Internet access on various platforms."
Reader's comments (1)
Internet Usage and Population Statistics:
Gross Domestic Product:
GDP per capita is US$ 1,124 according to I.W.F.
India Broadband Subscribers:
5,280,000 broadband subscribers as of June, 2009 per ITU.
Indian internet users grow to 71 million: IMRB,The Economic Times
NEW DELHI: India’s internet community grew by a spectacular 42% in 2009 from a year ago, spurred by a rash of cheaper devices and affordable broadband plans that helped sidestep snags such as buttoned-up PC sales and a shrinking spread of cyber cafes.
The country’s total number of internet users grew to 71 million last year, according to an annual survey by market research agency IMRB and Internet and Mobile Association of India, available exclusively with ET. The survey has traced users who have used the internet at some point in time, an indication of the number of Indians who have gone online at least once in their lifetime.
Four out of five computer users and English-speaking persons in urban India are now hooked to the Web, said the survey that was conducted among 19,000 households, 68,000 individuals and 500 cyber cafes. “The growth came from reduced prices of cheap access devices like netbooks that are now available at around Rs 20,000,” says Internet and Mobile Association of India president Subho Ray.
Companies such as Dell, HP, Acer, HCL and Lenovo have all launched netbook models in India in the recent past. Gartner estimates that nearly 325,000 units will be sold in India this year. Indeed, the burst of such devices in the market couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, given that the customary contributors of internet growth in India were beset with their own problems.
PC sales, after years of giddy growth, were almost flat at 73 lakh units in India in 2009-10 from a year ago. And the country’s number of cyber cafes dropped from 235,000 in 2006 to 180,000 in 2009, according to Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI).
At least 37% of computer users still reply on cyber cafes to use the internet. Growing awareness about the benefits of internet usage and critical applications such as job search gradually shifting to online portals also helped in the rise in the number of users.
The study also says India’s active user base — comprising people who access the internet at least once a month — grew by 18% to 51 million from a year earlier.
However, the survey also offers salient data that are a counter against getting carried away by the other glowing trends. The number of users who possess an internet connection remains starkingly low at 14.6 million. Also, internet penetration is still measly compared to that of countries such as the US. China has over 360 million internet users followed by US at 227 million and Japan at 95 million.
Similarly, internet additions continued to be eclipsed by mobile subscriber additions that were ticking at 10 million a month last year. Users who access internet via mobile phones remains a meagre 2 million due to slow download speeds. Here, users who access online WAP portals pre-burnt into SIM cards are counted out in the survey.
Still, in many households, internet usage rose 70% to 15.7 hours a week from a year earlier, a pointer to the growing popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Proper laws governing cyber cafe industry will promote further adoption of internet in the country,” says Amrita Choudhary, Director at Cyber Cafes Association of India.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 08 Dec, 2010
Thursday, 02 December 2010, 16:35 IST
NEW DELHI: As he heads for crucial negotiations at UN climate change meet, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said
Trying to put across the message at the global platform that
"Let us not always keep talking of technology transfer," the minister, who will leave on Friday for
Ramesh pointed out that in nuclear and clean coal sector areas the country is doing exceedingly well and asserted that
Developed nations have been reluctant to transfer technology and the thorny issue threatens to hamper the climate change negotiations at Cancun as happened during last year's
"I think we should shelve our defensiveness, we should be bold, aggressive and pro-active. We need to take steps to be a leader in green technology in our interest as no other country will be affected (by climate change) as profoundly as India," he said at fifth Sustainability Summit here.
In the field of nuclear energy, he said,
"In fact two years from now world's only operating fast breeder reactor will be in
Similarly, in the clean coal sector "no country in the world is providing incentive as we are. We have the expertise and capabilities."
However, Ramesh was of the opinion that more needs to be done in the solar and wind sector where
"Climate change brings an opportunity and this is the fact that has been grasped by
"Those solution will not be only for the Indian market but for the world market as well," the Minister noted.
The 193-nation meet is striving to conclude agreements for mobilising funds for developing countries and giving them green technology to help them shift from fossil fuels.
1: I agree with you Mr.Jairam Ramesh.The time has come when we cannot be IMITATORS and should be INNOVATORS in GREEN TECHNOLOGIES and leader in the world.
Here are the views of US Professor Stuart Hart of Cornell University:
“India can lead world in green technology, says US professor, HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai, September 13, 2009:
Developing countries like
Hart is one of the world’s top authorities on the implications of sustainable development and environmentalism for business strategy.
He was in the city to speak on ‘Strategies and leadership for creating sustainable organisation’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries.
“The country must create environmentally sustainable way of living that’s affordable, and build livelihoods for the 700 million rural population that represents a silver lining. Helping curb migration to urban areas, this could be
Advocating the Green Leap Strategy — converging clean technology with people at the base of the income pyramid — Hart said a green economy would happen in developing countries like India, China and Africa, not in the US.
“Early incubation spaces are in developing countries. And
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 02 Dec, 2010
Friday, 03 December 2010, 01:26 IST
"Today, we in
Welcoming the renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati, who delivered the annual lecture, Singh said that the problem of 'brain drain' has been converted into an opportunity of 'brain gain'.
"We are drawing on the global 'brain bank' of people of Indian origin world wide", he said, adding Bhagwati was one of the shining stars of that community of global Indians.
The Prime Minister said that Bhagwati was among the first to study the phenomenon of 'brain drain' and identify its benefits for the country.
Noting that Bhagwati was among the architects of the World Trade Organisation and continued to guide it, Singh said Bhagwati and his wife were pioneers among economists who questioned the efficacy of the licence-permit control raj.
In his remarks, Vice President Hamid Ansari , apparently referring to the ongoing pandemonium in Parliament, said that founding fathers took great pride in the effective working of Parliament.
"It is in the arena of public debate that one looks back with a sense of nostalgia to the initial years of our Republic," he said.
He said that Bhagwati has addressed the issue of societal inequalities and has argued that any discussion of inequality has to be in a social and political context and can not be an academic or statistical exercise.
"The ambit of the term 'reform' goes beyond correctives to economic activity. To what extent have Indian reforms alleviated poverty and addressed inequality is a subject matter not just for the economists," Ansari said.
Observing that it would also be pertinent to explore the need for fundamental reforms in non-economic contexts, especially in governance, he said "we can ill afford the economic, social and political cost of not addressing reforms in these contexts."
The problem of brain-drain may be tacked in three different ways
1. Reversing the brain-drain
2. Making use of our scientists while they are abroad
3. By controlling and regulating the migration of our scientists going abroad.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 03 Dec, 2010
By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia
Tuesday, 30 November 2010, 06:51 IST
It's here the creation of three young innovative minds from the Sinhagad
Inspired by Pranav Mistry who has worked on the Sixth Sense technology, the boys also consulted James Powderly who lent them an open source software that they needed for the S.N.A.P Eyewriter. To make the price cheaper, they bought a locally made camera and used regular film.
The S.N.A.P. Eyewriter, uses a spectacle to navigate the computer screen. The students used a camera, Infra Red (IR) LED transmitters, an IR filter, eyeglasses and wire for hardware. The software detects and tracks the position of an eye and uses a calibration sequence to map the tracked eye. It also has an eye-drawing software which creates strokes on the screen. Although it works separately now, they have plans to release a combined version too.
The project report by the trio details the use of this device. It can be used for paralyzed people, who cannot move any other part of their body except for their eyes. It is a great relief for the paralyzed as it adds a recreational purpose to it whereby gaming experience can also be enhanced by replacing the mouse pointer with the eyepointer. On the future plans, they say the system can be used not only to write or draw but even to operate a wheelchair and any other robotics could also be controlled with it.
This is just the beginning by the youngsters, but this is really an eye opener for the economically privileged students in the reputed technical schools who can change the so-called 'undeveloped and poor
Youth Innovations was established to empower young people, and create opportunities for inclusion. Working with organisations from every sector, Youth Innovations creates a tailor made approach to ensuring effective youth involvement at every level.
Youth Innovations is also the home of some very innovative youth engagement tools that you won’t find anywhere else.
Since its inception, Youth Innovations has flourished and expanded to meet the needs of young people across range of sectors including youth empowered event management, national seminars and workshops, youth empowered marketing and media relations, and investment in Young Innovators.
What we believe in
Young people often there are barriers between them and service providers. This includes central government that passes law, local authorities that provides a house, a private company that runs a shopping centre or provides insurance , or a charity that needs volunteers.
Are you a Young Innovator?
If you are, this is for you.
Youth Innovations’ Young Innovators program invests both money and skills into young people with ideas, designs or plans that could be the next innovation.
You may have an idea for a business, but need some money and some expert advice.
You may invented something and need guidance to protect your ideas, and make something of it.
You may think you have found a gap in the market that you have the skills to fulfil, but lack the finance to get going.
We are here support you throughout your journey. Contact us in confidence, and find out how we can support you.
We are also always looking for skilled young people to join the team. If you think you’ve got what it takes to become and innovator, get in touch.
To find out more about Youth Innovations and what they can do for you:
Telephone: 07737 802163
Innovations in Civic Participation
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) is a non-profit organization supporting the development of innovative high-quality youth civic engagement policies and programs both in the
ICP is a leader in the global movement to promote sustainable development and social change through youth civic engagement. We embrace a positive view of young people that recognizes their potential to create beneficial and lasting social change in their communities through active participation in service opportunities.
ICP supports the field of youth civic engagement worldwide through a variety of functions:
II. Creates and Expands Global Networks of individuals and organizations committed to developing youth civic participation. ICP serves as the secretariat tot he leading network in global service learning in higher education, the Talloires Network, and to the only global national youth service organization, the International Association of National Youth Service.
III.Consults with Governments, International Organizations, and Other Clients on designing national youth engagement policies and programs, trainings and evaluation programs. For example, ICP has collaborated with the World Bank to show the positive impact of youth civic engagement on development.
IV. Conducts Research and Publicizes Information on youth civic engagement, especially national youth service and service learning, including in relation to Green Youth Service and Regional Capacity Building. ICP emphasizes information on quality practices and policy frameworks in order to enable greater impact and effectiveness. See ICP's Resources and Program and Policy Database.
V. Serves as a Financial Intermediary to support the development of innovative youth service programs and to promote the development of national youth service policies through small grants and award programs.
Innovations in Civic Participation
202-775-0290 (main) E-mail: email@example.com
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 30 Nov, 2010
It's You, who will drive the innovation within cos
By SiliconIndia Monday, 29 November 2010, 07:22 IST
New Delhi: The technological innovation in companies no more is confined to the tech experts hired on its rolls, but it goes beyond that and incorporates the new-age customers. Today the customers are informed and know what they want out of a product. The good thing about the whole scenario is that companies are looking forward to reactions and inputs from the customers; report Nupur Amarnath and Sunanda Poduwal of The Economic Times.
Take for instance, HTC's advanced feature called the polite ringer installed in the new models of phones by the company. The ringer lowers the volume of the phone when it comes in touch with your hand. Panasonic
There are many more examples where companies developed or revised their products based on consumer feedback. For the companies, feedback from their customers is no more a reactive opinion on product action but rather a more consequential proactive creation.
The process of company-customer interaction to build better products is moving online as well. Godrej has created a fully virtual world for consumer iterations. On similar lines, German car-maker Volkswagen runs a website wherein customers can contribute to the design process.
Almost all the companies are making use of social media to reach out to the consumers. Some of them, like
The end result is a happy situation for the both the company and the consumer. The products are better and benefit the end user thereby creating a good image for the company. The Lava Alpha phones with ABCD keypad are living example of what customer interaction could lead to. SN Rai, Co-Founder and Director, Lava Mobiles says of the innovation, "Our customers, especially in the Hindi heartland, who weren't computer-savvy, told us they had problems typing on the QWERTY keypads."
Customer intervention is commonplace now across all the verticals. This gives power to you, the consumer, to decide what is best for you and what you want the product maker to deliver. Use the power with responsibility and create better products.
There are some customers who have an eye for innovation and often write back to the Companies about the product and the improvement they expect.
In 1981 I wrote to a TOOTH PASTE Company to introduce plastic cap around the narrow exit of the tube as earlier there was metallic tube where some (Metallic formation0 material is formed which goes with paste. The Company acknowledged it and sent a 200 gm paste as Compliment by REGISTERED PARCEL.
Another Torchlight Company appreciated my design of two medium sized batteries in one to save material(as in those days 3 mdium cell transistors) were there. They implemented it.
I suggested to Union Ministry of Communications to introduce JUMBO Covers since 20 years. Later they were introduced (I sent my suggestion by REGISTERED POST).
Users are the best judges to evaluate any product. It requires in many cases common sense and open mind approach blended with an innovative inquisitiveness to look at producs critically. As Robert Kennedy said,YOU SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE AND WONDER WHY ,I DREAM OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE AND ASK WHY NOT. This is the spirit of Creativity,Innovation and Invention.
In an interesting article in Blog,Great Customers Inspire Great Innovations, Michael Schrage wrote ( Harvard Business Review,September 28, 2010) .
Professor John Anderson provided the broken model Newcomen steam engine that led directly to James Watt's invention of the separate condenser that helped launch the industrial revolution. Sackett-Wilhelm Lithographing was the steamily humid printing plant where young Willis Carrier successfully pioneered and prototyped his first industrial air conditioning technology. Busicom, a scientific calculator company, commissioned Intel to design a chipset for its new programmable calculators. That led directly to Intel's breakthrough creation of the microprocessor.
These customers and clients were integral parts and partners in the innovation process. The selective idiocies and idiosyncrasies of history unjustly minimize their role. Don't perpetuate that mistake. Emphasizing heroic inventors and innovators like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs while glossing over and effectively anonymizing the individuals and institutions who made their innovations into markets distorts reality and cheats the truth.
The most important link in the innovation value chain is an innovative customer. That is, a customer ready, willing, and able to adopt, adapt — and maybe even pay for — an innovative offering. Just as you don't have a performance without an audience, you can't have innovation without customers.
This innovation impetus differs markedly from Eric von Hippel's "lead users" or Geoff Moore's "chasm crossers." Those concepts are important but they don't address the everyday reality and opportunity for innovation. The essential question is who are the customers that come with the problem sets and parameters that push you to rethink, or redefine, your business? Which customers and clients does your firm celebrate as innovation partners — and why?
If you asked yourself and your colleagues which three clients were most likely to come with the most provocative innovation challenges with the greatest market potential, which would they be? The serendipity of selection surely plays a distinctive role. But, as Pasteur so acutely observed, "Chance favors the prepared mind."
Certainly, James Watt effectively leveraged his model opportunity and Intel's Ted Hoff and Federico Faggin were fortunate to recognize how a programmable chipset might be reconceptualized as a microprocessor. Strategic customers trumped strategic planning. That's a historical truth, not a business truism.
Real-world customers and clients, not abstract aspirations, instigate innovation best. A good problem is a great gift. Wal-Mart's incessant and relentless demands for "everyday low prices" transformed every supplier it touched. A ruthless connoisseur of cost-driven innovation, the world's largest company has fundamentally redefined product, process, and sourcing for consumer products.
Procter & Gamble discovered that Japanese mothers were the most demanding in the world when it came to diapers and disposables that wouldn't mark their babies' pristine and delicate skin. Japanese moms wanted more than good price and great absorptive qualities. Their parental pickiness changed how P&G designed and developed its Pampers worldwide. The "Japanese mother" expectation became a global standard for baby bottoms.
Solving the problem doesn't go far enough. Sustainable — transformative — innovation emerges from the ability to collaboratively explore alternative approaches. Watt, Carrier, and Intel didn't achieve their breakthroughs by solving problems for their strategic clients; success came from testing approaches with their clients. Whether business historians acknowledge it or not, that's equally true for Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.
As the saying goes, the one thing history teaches is that we don't learn from history. Just because business history short shrifts the customer and client contribution to innovation success doesn't mean businesses should. If you want to become a more innovative organization, don't hire more innovative employees, acquire more innovative customers. Your capacity to innovate matters less than your customers' and clients' willingness and ability to exploit it.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 29 Nov, 2010
Indian innovator wins $50000 at annual tech awards
Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 21:58 IST
California: M.G. Venkatesh Mannar, who fabricated the brand new idea to fortify salt with iron, won a $50,000 cash prize at the 10th annual Tech Awards in California, reports India West.
The Canada-based Micronutrient Initiative by Mannar gained the Nokia Health Award at the 10th annual Tech Awards gala. Mannar has developed a way to fortify salt with both iodine and iron in a way that makes better nutrition affordable to millions. His so-called Double-Fortified Salt, which endorses brain development and enhances health and productivity, protects 3.6 million people from anemia and iodine insufficiency daily in Tamil Nadu at a cost of two rupees per kilo.
Mannar estimates that 75 percent of India's women are iron-deficient. Adding to this, newborns need iron to boost brain development. This made Mannar and his fellow researchers to think about compensating this deficiency with salt, which will be taken in everyday whatsoever. "Those two deficiencies are widespread in India, because the nutrients are not in the food they eat, even in communities who grow their own food, the one ingredient they must always procure from outside is salt" told Mannar.
In another instance to make American Indians proud, Rajesh Shah of the Blue Planet Network in Redwood City, won the $50,000 Intel Environment Award for his project, the Peer Water Exchange, a unique online platform that allows more than 70 independent water groups in 23 countries to collaborate to learn from each other to implement small-scale water and sanitation projects. The project affects more than 300,000 people in local communities.
According to Shah, many water NGOs are forced to compete against each other for funding dollars, or they are crippled by microcredit schemes that demand interest rates of from 24-30 percent."The funding sector wants you to compete," Shah told India-West. "But we want to throw away the competition. We make competitors collaborators. The problem is so big that we need every possible solution." Another project making a deep impact in South Asia is the BBC World Service Trust, whose 'BBC Janala' (window) uses mobile phones as a way to bring English lessons to 1.8 million users in the farthest corners of Bangladesh - for the price of a cup of tea. BBC Janala took the $50,000 Microsoft Education Award.
Also Congratulations Rajesh Shah of the Blue Planet Network in Redwood City, for winning the $50,000 Intel Environment Award for your project, the Peer Water Exchange, a unique online platform that allows more than 70 independent water groups in 23 countries to collaborate to learn from each other to implement small-scale water and sanitation projects. The project affects more than 300,000 people in local communities.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 17 Nov, 2010
Net-savvy villager reveals $21 Million fraud
Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 17:59 IST
The amount involved in this scam is estimated at about 1 crore. 37 years old, Aslam Khokhar, who owns a betel shop in Kutiyana had just learnt to use computers and searched NREGA on Google where he found every detail of NREGS worked in his village area on the website and then he discovered the job card of a friend who holding a service in the Government. Then he found that there were doctors, teachers and NRIs, who were familiar to him as they were from the same village, being listed as 'labourers' on the site.
As per records, there are 963 NREGA job cardholders at Kotda village in Kutiyana taluka of Porbandar district. On papers, they have been paid over 95 lakh for their labour since three years. But in reality, none of them have ever participated in physically demanding activities like digging wells, building roads or actually received any money for the same purpose under NREGA.
Khokhar was immediately joined by Veja Modedara, an independent councillor at Kutiyana taluka panchayat and Bhanukant Odedara, a Congress worker to conduct door to door meetings with villagers whose names have been found on the website and after that, the trio revealed that neither of those people have ever worked on any NREGA site nor received any wages under the scheme.
Government employees are shocked to know about such a thing and they question about the possibility of getting a NREGA job card when they hold position in Government office.
[The Pioneer : Tuesday, November 10, 2009]
“RTI is a very powerful tool not only to expose corruption but also to bring social changes,” said Hemant Goswami, a social activist in conversation with The Pioneer. Hemant is associated with many NGO’s including Burning Brain Society, Citizens’ Voice and is also one of the founding members of RTI Users’ Association. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
How effective the implementation of RTI is in Chandigarh and surrounding areas?
If you are talking about the use of RTI by the common people, it is pretty good. However, if you are talking about the support of the Government and the implementation of the spirit of the RTI Act by them, the scenario is dismal. The situation in both Chandigarh and Haryana is equally bad. Chandigarh has not even complied with the April 2009 order of the CIC which provided for compulsory proactive disclosure and publishing of all administrative decision taken by the administration.
What are the challenges you have been facing in using Right to Information Act?
We have been facing resistance from all levels of the bureaucracy in providing information and even from the public servants of the level of the Governor. To ensure transparency in the office of the city administrator, I had to fight a long and bitter battle. The city administrator refused to follow the Right to Information Act and so I had to file a complaint with the Central Information Commission in January 2008. Finally favourable orders were secured in July 2008 and thereafter the office of the administrator was forced to appoint a CPIO and follow the RTI Act.
What are other hurdles in the way of RTI or do you think that things are otherwise on track?
We initiated a citizen’s project to fight corruption and named it ‘Mission Zero Tolerance’. Within one month of its initiation, the UT administration increased the fee for obtaining information by 500 per cent. I went to the courts and also fought the battle in public space. As a result of the legal action and mass movement, the administration had to reverse its decision to increase the RTI fee. This has delayed the results we were expecting from ‘Mission Zero Tolerance’. Still we were able to expose some massive corruption in many projects like the Film City, Amusement Park, Medi City and other big scams.
You made Chandigarh as the first smoke-free city by the use of RTI. Do you think more such social changes can be brought in by using RTI?
Sure. Why not? The experience of smoke-free Chandigarh is absolutely replicable and in-fact Chennai, Kottayam, Jaipur, Lucknow and some other cities are successfully using the same RTI strategy which I used.
How RTI is useful in exposing corruption?
RTI is a very powerful tool to expose corruption. But obtaining information is not the end-in-all. One should know how to analyse the information and then how to use that information to counter corruption. We managed to expose the corruption in land deals in Chandigarh, the Film City, Amusement Park, Sports Equipment scam, etc. all by using information obtained under RTI.
How did you expose corruption in such big land deals?
It was not easy and it took nearly three years to get results. In Film City, IT park and Amusement Park scam cases, I filed the first RTI application way back in April 2006. Against stiff resistance from the bureaucracy the complete information came after two years. Thereafter we meticulously analysed it and found scam worth thousands of crores in all such deals. A formal criminal complaint was made to the Central Vigilance Commission as well as Central Bureau of Investigation which found our complaints to be correct and has now recommended a detailed investigation by the CBI.
How much is the awareness of the public on RTI?
The awareness has increased a lot and more and more people are coming forward to seek information. However, the official apathy and the delayed response of the information commission to adjudicate RTI appeals and complain discourage people. Still the general public, right from villages to the corridors of power have learnt to use the RTI Act to expose corruption and undo the personal wrongs done to them.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 17 Nov, 2010
Saturday, 13 November 2010, 10:29 IST
New Delhi: Ravi Robinson has been in love with his rusty but dependable typewriter for 40 long years and the bonds still go strong. In the era of the futuristic i-Pad and compact and high-speed laptop computers, Robinson has no intention of letting go the rickety machine that is his sole source of income.
He is not the only one.
The clickety-clack of typewriters still rings the air at the old court complex, abutting the Parliament Street police station, where middle-aged typists sit under open tin sheds filing up legal documents and affidavits.
Though the government has done away with tests for clerks and stenos on typewriters, these 60-70 typists are among the last bastions for the mechanical device invented in the 19th century that had to finally give way to the computer.
Roibinson explains his marriage to the typewriter.
'I have been working here for the last 40 years. Typewriters still have their advantages as they do not require any electricity, are portable and easy to access,' Robinson told IANS.
He is confident that computers and laptops can never totally replace the typewriter.
Seated a few tables away, Joginder Sharma echoed the sentiment. 'All legal documents and certificates are typed. Anyway, I do this job to earn for my family,' said Sharma, a veteran of 22 years at the complex.
Both Robinson and Sharma feel that computer work needs basic knowledge, which may be beyond their capacity to learn at this stage.
But they frankly admit that they are emotionally attached to the machine.
Yet, despite such loyal users, the typewriters are inching towards extinction as various hi-tech gadgets and electronic equipment flood the market every day.
Until about three decades ago, typewriters were omnipresent -- in millions. Twenty years ago, India produced about 150,000 typewriters annually. Now, there is not a single manufacturer.
Despite the crunch, there are many still dependent on typewriters -- either for work or simply for the emotional quotient of the old machine.
Indeed, dealers and retailers repair and reconstruct old, dilapidated typewriters.
'Five years ago, typewriters accounted for 10 percent of my total sales. Now they only account for about 2-5 percent,' Sunil K. Chawla of Chawla Enterprises, which sells typewriters and other electronic equipment, told IANS.
He said there were many loyal buyers for second-hand typewriters.
Rajesh Palta, owner of Universal typewriters in central Delhi, said: 'Our business of selling second-hand typewriters is doing very well. We have customers who want them repaired because they have a certain emotional attachment to them. In fact people from the American and Japanese embassies have bought typewriters from us.'
The demand for typewriters mostly comes from courts, the army as well as paramilitary forces, according to the dealers.
One said that customers go for exchange offers, buying new typewriters over computers because they find them easier to work with.
'The older generation finds it comfortable to work on typewriters.'
Anil Sharma, 60, a retired defence ministry official, has preserved his old but well kept typewriter in his work room.
'It has a very special place in my life since it has been my faithful partner. It is in my houses so that I can see it each day,' Sharma told IANS.
Typewriters are indispensable. I still use my portable typewriter to type addresses on Envelopes and to take MULTIPLE COPIES using Manifold paper with CARBON SHEETS.
They don't need power (Manual Typewriters), maintenance is cheap (Only Ribbon cost).
They are portable.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 13 Nov, 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010, 17:16 IST
Bangalore: It is true that smartphones are gaining the market ground at a faster pace. The New statistics from Gartner hinted that media tablets - think Apple's iPad may test sales of mobile devices in 2011 as 54.8 million units are shipped. Since tablets emerge as one of the hottest products in technology, the debate is getting hotter on whether personal computer sales will get affected by this rapid growth.
As per the IDC reports the PC sales register 34 percent annual growth. Desktop PC sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of total PC sales at 15.6 lakh units, representing a 24 percent increase year-on-year. Sales of notebook computers grew at 61 percent year-on-year, recording 8.05 lakh shipments.
By 2011 Apple alone is planning 35 million to 40 million tablets. Therefore experts believe that by 2011 the tablet market will be around 55 Million. The tablet trend could get magnified as the market grows and the platform is embraced by businesses, schools and government. Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, a 35 percent increase from the third quarter of 2009.
Whereas, the PC shipment across Europe, the Middle East and Africa has already come down but there are different precautions that are taken by the PC makers to remain in the front raw of the battle.
Reader's comments (1)
1: Yes. The future belongs to Tablet Market.
Here is an interesting analysis on the subject:
Tablet PC and wireless market due for boom, says Goldman Sachs, Financial analysts predict massive expansion of data usage, by Brad Reed & Network World US & Published 11:40, 22 September 10( COMPUTERWORLDUK, THE VOICE OF IT MANAGEMENT):
Goldman Sachs' investment research arm expects a coming boom in wireless data consumption fuelled by 4G wireless services and the rise of mobile tablet computers. Goldman projects that wireless data traffic will account for the majority of traffic sent over wireless networks as measured by minutes of use equivalents starting next year.
From there, Goldman says wireless data usage will surge by more than six fold by the year 2020 even as wireless voice usage will remain essentially the same. In terms of revenues, Goldman expects wireless data to generate nearly triple over the next two years, shooting up to $205 billion (£131bn) by the end of 2012.
One of the big drivers for this growth in wireless data usage will be the rise of 4G wireless networks such as WiMAX and LTE. Goldman estimates that 4G data cards currently consume around 7GB of data per month, compared to 1.85GB per month consumed by 3G data cards and 1GB per month consumed by Apple iPads.
Goldman also says that it expects both smartphones and tablets to cannibalise traditional mobile phones and laptops over the next few years. So while Goldman estimates that smartphones today account for just under 20% of all mobile phones, by the end of 2014 they will account for just under 45% of all mobile phones. Similarly, Goldman expects shipments of tablets such as the Apple iPad to more than double over the next year, going from 16 million in 2010 to 35 million in 2011. Goldman says that it has been taken by surprise by the success of the iPad and other tablets.
"While we had always expected tablets to affect netbook/notebook sales beginning in 2010, cannibalisation is happening even faster than we originally expected," the firm writes. "We expect 40% of the 35 million tablet unit sales in 2011 to cannibalise PCs, with 20%... cannibalising notebook sales and 80% cannibalising netbooks."
Goldman also says that tablets are playing an increasing role in the enterprise setting. According to the firm's IT spending survey, 37% of enterprises currently support tablet computers, while another 19% expect to support tablets on their networks within the next two years. Only 33% of enterprises surveyed said they had no plans to support tablets at all in the future.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 14 Nov, 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010, 10:52 Hrs
New Delhi: In one of the largest such orders of its kind, Reliance Power, a part the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Thursday said it has awarded a $10-billion contract to a Chinese firm to provide power plants equipment of 32,000 MW capacity.
China's Shanghai Electric Corp (SEC) has been contracted to provide boilers, turbines and generators to Reliance Power's coal-based power plants, including the supply of 42 units of 660 MW each using what is called super critical technology.
"The strategic cooperation between Reliance Power and a leading global supplier like the Shanghai Electric Corp will enable faster project execution of our projects," said J.P. Chalasani, chief executive of Reliance Power.
"Shanghai Electric Corp's after-sales support will ensure higher availability and also assured maintenance support through the operating life of the our Projects," Chalasani added, soon after signing of the accord in the presence of group chairman Anil Ambani.
The financing for the deal is proposed to be provided by commercial banks, export credit agencies and other financial institutions in China, he said.
Among institutions which will provide financing are Bank of China, the China Development Bank (CDB), The Export-Import Bank of China (C-EXIM) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
Shanghai Electric will also provide long-term supply of spares, training of manpower, support for the operation and maintenance, erection, testing and commissioning of the boiler, turbine and generator and after-sales service.
The supply of the boiler, turbine and generator packages has already started and will be completed over the next three years, said a Reliance Power statement.
The Indian company on its own and through subsidiaries has a portfolio of 37,000 MW of power generation capacity, both operational as well as under development.
The company had earlier announced the conclusion of one of the largest fund-raisers in India that had helped the financial closure for two ultra-mega power projects of 4,000 MW each - at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Here is an interesting note on Power scenario in the country and the need for expansion,( Powering the People: India’s Capacity Expansion Plans, Sonal Patel, POWER,Business and Technology for the Global Generation Industry, May 1, 2009):
“The challenge is formidable. Despite progressive reforms, India’s electricity supply already lags 11% behind demand, and peak shortages surge as high as 17%. The quality of the power supply is also very poor, owing to unstable voltages and routine frequency excursions. More than often, state governments force the industrial sector to bear the brunt of power shortages to meet demand, crippling productivity and hampering economic development. The prevalent outages — which frequently last eight hours at a time — have also been known to cause violent skirmishes in urban areas.
A generation gap. Since 2002, when the government’s 9th plan ended, the gap between energy availability and requirements has widened, and peak demand continues to soar. India will need to add 92,000 MW before 2012 to eliminate these deficits and meet its economic goals. It has only planned to add 78 GW, however, and even this goal is unlikely to be met. Note that peak met and energy availability represent net consumption (including transmission losses). Sources: Economic Survey 2007; Central Electricity Authority
As well as being rapid and reliable, the supply expansion must also be affordable. Pointing to the yawning gap between India’s superpower economic aspirations and realities on the ground is the fact that its energy consumption on a per-capita basis (a factor loosely correlated with gross national product) ranks among the lowest in the world. In terms of electricity use, per capita consumption was only 480 kWh in 2005 — a quarter of China’s and 1/20th that of developed countries.
At the same time, expansion must not come at a steep cost to the environment. The country already emits 4.6% of the world’s greenhouse gases, making it the fourth-largest contributor, after the U.S., China, and Russia. Though it says it is concerned about climate change, India has pointed out that, considering it has 17% of the world’s population, those emissions on a per-capita basis are relatively low.
Securing its fuel supplies will be another primary consideration. Today, more than 50% of India’s power is generated with coal, and 10% is natural gas – fired. But, though India has the world’s fourth-largest reserves of coal and has recently made important gas discoveries, the power sector routinely suffers acute shortages of quality coal and gas. Because coal power’s dominance is unlikely to subside, as the Planning Commission recognizes, the country must step up coal production or importation and expand supply of the fuel to more than 2 billion tonnes (2.2 U.S. tons)/year based on the quality of domestic coal.
Sharing power. Though it was liberalized almost 20 years ago, India’s power sector continues to be dominated by the government. Today, state governments produce 52% of the nation’s power, followed by the central government (34%) and the private sector (15%). Source: Central Electricity Authority
State governments produce 52% of the nation’s power, followed by the central government (34%) and the private sector (15%). The industry’s other major players are also central government – owned: The National Thermal Power Corp. (NTPC), for example, accounts for 28% of the country’s capacity, while the Nuclear Power Corp. of India (NPCIL) owns all 17 existing nuclear power plants. The Ministry of Power also oversees key organizations like the national grid operator, Power Grid Corp., and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which conducts techno-economic assessments. The coal sector is also dominated by public sector institutions — as is the electric power technology manufacturing sector. Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. (BHEL), a holding company overseen by the Ministry of Heavy Industry, manufactured more than 60% of the generation units installed in the 1970s, and it will build many of the power plants planned in the coming decades.
India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy — perhaps the world’s only ministry dedicated solely to the development of renewable energy — evolved from a government agency created in 1982 to steer the nation away from its reliance on oil, following two oil shocks in the 1970s. The ministry pursues a similar mission today, pushing renewables to supplement the country’s coal-heavy portfolio. And it has been largely successful. In 2006 — before the ministry had been formally named — nonconventional sources of energy like small hydro, wind, solar, and biogas constituted less than 1% of the country’s portfolio. Today, 9% (14,224 MW) of India’s power is produced by these sources, and the 11th plan projects that this capacity will more than double
Doubling clean capacity. India currently has 13,880 MW of grid-connected wind, small hydro, biomass, cogeneration, waste-to-energy, and solar power plus 350 MW of off-grid power, including captive power plants. The 11th plan seeks to add 15,000 MW of new renewable power, including 10.5 GW from wind. Source: Ministry of New and Renewable Power
Wind power, particularly, has seen stellar growth. During the 10th plan, India saw the installation of 5.4 GW, against a target of 2 GW. With 9.8 GW, India now has the fifth-highest level of installed wind capacity, trailing the U.S., Germany, Spain, and China. Tamil Nadu boasts the most wind power (about 4 GW), followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka (Figure 13), Rajasthan, and Gujarat. But though these states are also expected to receive most of the 10.5 GW of new capacity called for by the 11th plan, experts say that India’s wind power potential of 45 GW in 13 states — and up to 100 GW with current technology — will remain relatively untapped.
Monsoon power. India’s wind-powered capacity has quickly grown to 9.8 GW, and it is set to double by 2012 per the 11th plan. Currently, 12 wind turbine manufacturers are vying for market share in this sector.The growth may have been fueled by federal tax incentives and tariff structures fashioned by state governments, but it has benefited exponentially from home-grown wind turbine manufacturers
India’s renewable energy sector is also seeing increased interest in solar power. Though India is located in the equatorial sunbelt and experiences 250 to 300 days a year of sunny weather, installed grid-connected and off-grid capacity has so far sprouted only a paltry 5 MW, its growth stunted mainly by cost concerns. The Ministry of Power is looking to expand solar capacity tenfold by 2012.
According to the U.S. Commercial Service, which recently organized a 14-company solar delegation to India, this target is achievable — with foreign investment and international cooperation. The Indian government is encouraging foreign investment, it said, by offering solar developers who build, own, and operate projects financial incentives of about 30 cents for each kWh produced.
The opportunities are abundant: India currently has 19 manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, and several large investments are in the pipeline. "There is a lack of technical expertise in installation, operations, troubleshooting, and other aspects of clean energy implementation," the service said in a statement to POWER. "There is demand for thin-film solar cell technology, technology for megawatt-scale power generation, and improvements in crystalline silicon solar cell/module technology. Building integration for PV and solar thermal systems is also an area of opportunity."
India’s grid-connected biomass, cogeneration, and small hydro generation options are also slated to see significant increases by 2012. Because the government has pledged to connect all rural villages under its rural electrification program by 2012, off-grid projects will also see tremendous growth (see web supplement. "This should translate into a seven-fold market increase for renewable power generation — from $3 billion today to more than $21 billion by 2012," the U.S. Commercial Service said”.
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 28 Oct, 2010
Siddaganga Institute of Technology
Friday, 12 November 2010, 01:54 Hrs
The Institute is one of the 14 Engineering Colleges under the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) a World Bank Project, administered by the Government of Karnataka in the state and is granted Academic Autonomy from the Year 2007-08. From the academic year 2007-08 the 1st Semester is run under the autonomous status. Its undergraduate courses are Accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), an Autonomous body of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi.
The Institute is spread over 65 Acres with greenery all over, and has a sprawling play ground for indoor and outdoor games like, Football, Hockey, Cricket and Basketball. It has 8 Hostels that accommodate nearly 2000 students.
The Sri Siddaganga Educational Society (SSES), Tumkur, the parent body of the SIT, is also running more than 130 Educational Institutions in Karnataka, and Revered His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamiji of Sree Siddaganga Mutt, is its President and Sree Sree Siddalinga Swamiji, is the Vice President of SESS and the Junior Swamiji of the Mutt.
The Institute has 17 Teaching departments, offering 12 Under-garduate and 7 Post-graduate programmes. The Dept. of Placement and Training, the Dept. of Library and the Dept. of Physical Education and the SIT Group of Hostels, offer other supporting services and facilities.
Vision: To develop young minds in a learning environment of highly academic ambience by synergizing spiritual values and technological competence.
Moto: Work is Worship.
Principals Message: Dr. Shivakumaraiah:
SIT was established in 1963 by a great visionary, His Holiness Dr.Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu the Revered President, Sree Siddaganga Math to produce honest, patriot and high quality engineers who can contribute to the nation building.Tumkur is a district headquarters, 70 kms away from Bangalore, the silicon city of India, on the NH-4 and is well connected to all parts by road and rail and enjoys the salubrious climate. The campus is spread over 65 acres in the midst of greenery.
An educational institute is not just about bricks, mortar and concrete, but about building character, enriching minds and enriching experience that lasts longer.
Life is not a set of instructions but is a saga of experiences and learning process. Engineering is no exception. This is where SIT steps in - To make the difference and where learning is not just a series of instructions but a passion.
With a students strength of about 4000 for 11 disciplines of engineering and a discipline of Architecture and MCA, MBA, M.Tech (in five disciplines), Ph.D (10 departments), the efforts are directed to accommodate and address the expectations of each student by enabling them to participate in seminars, workshops organised in and out of the institute.
Our graduates need technological knowledge and communication and analytical skills in order to be competitive at the global level. Our challenge is to ensure that each and every student is equipped with the knowledge and skills he or she would need to be successful at his/her workplace. In this connection, the institute is supporting the students to refine the necessary skills, attitudes and the aptitude towards the corporate placement process in the campus by arranging a series of programmes covering competitive tests, group discussion exercises and personal interviews, etc. from the experts.
Yes. SIT is an established Institute imparting different courses in a variety of disciplines. I visited the Institute to give a Lecture under TEQUIP. Perhaps,"The Siddaganga Institute of Technology (SIT), Tumkur, is one among the 130+ educational institutions run by the "Sri Siddaganga Educational Society", may be the only Educational Society in the country with a record number of 130 Institutions under its umbrella.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 12 Nov, 2010
Friday, 05 November 2010, 05:32 IST
Bangalore: This new line of compact wireless routers seems to be adding personal dimensions to connectivity. My Wi-Fi or Mi-Fi as it is christened; this device has opened the doors for a potential revolution of advanced Wi-Fi usage.
So pretty much technology related to connectivity are pinging up and what makes Mi-Fi stand out? Well is has already managed to beat Apple MacBook Pro, iPhone 4 and BlackBerry Bold 9700 to win gadget of the year by T3 magazine. And the reason for this is also the reason which can increase the scope of Mi-Fi as a potential connectivity hub - it is so tiny and, according to the New York Times' David Pogue, ridiculously easy to use. The device which can act as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots was introduced by Novatel Wireless and not to add, competition has already begun with all big names getting added up before the keyword such as Bell Mi-Fi, Vodafone Mi-Fi, Verizon Mi-Fi, Three Mi-Fi, Huawei Mi-Fi to name a few.
MiFi is an interesting new invention when we interpret it as a device that gives us a personal modem that will work just about anywhere. That's right - Our own signal. And Mi-Fi interests that particular person who sits in a coffee shop, which is a Wi-Fi hotspot using a laptop, with all that Wi-Fi experience getting ruined because of the many number of people using it simultaneously. The MiFi gets its Internet signal the same way those cellular modems do and with firms like Verizon to provide excellent 3G (high-speed) cellular data network you can access upto 5 GB of data any which way you want. It also makes the use of smart phones debatable since with a Mi-Fi to assist you an iPad can perform as an iPhone without a phone.
Mi-Fi will interest or in fact overwhelm its users in the coming days, if not the present responses are wrong and this will likely increase the new and advanced versions of this technology to pop up. The "cloud" of high-speed Internet connectivity that MiFi offers can be shared not only between users, but between devices such as laptops, cameras, gaming devices and multimedia players. Perfect for carpooling and relieving boredom in the back seat during that long road trip with kids - think Nintendo DS or Sony PSP - the MiFi will support up to five users simultaneously. It has got its own limitations too. Being a cellular modem, the user will be rather having low data caps. The packages as of now rate at $40 for 250 MB and $60 for 5 GB and are currently available in U.S. and Europe. Feedback on the total use, features and performance are still incomplete but claims are high as of now.
India has roughly seven million broadband users. Though this represents only a tiny portion of the country's over 400 million mobile subscriber base, telecom industry experts agree that with the advent of 3G more and more and more people will start accessing Internet via mobile. Thus the need for continuous connectivity will rise. WiFi mobile hotspots are all set to drive a new ecosystem of broadband connectivity. US telecommunication carriers Sprint, Verizon and Spain's leading telecommunications company Telefonica Espana have already taken the device to their broadband users.There is no doubt that MiFi will have takers in India. However, it is yet to be seen how soon it will enter into Indian wireless broadband space, since the company sources say that there are no plans yet to take it to the third largest mobile subscriber base in the world.
1: Yesterday it was Hi-Fi,Wi-Fi and now Mi-Fi.
More details on Mi-Fi:
MiFi is a line of compact wireless routers produced by Novatel Wireless that act as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. By back connecting to a cellular data network and front connecting to local Wi-Fi devices (up to 10m/30 ft distance), a compact wireless router creates a local area of shared high-speed Internet connectivity.
The first MiFi device was introduced in the U.S. in May 2009 by Novatel Wireless, and Novatel owns a registered trademark on the "MiFi" brand name in the U.S. The Novatel MiFi is also marketed as such in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Qatar, Kuwait, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. However, in the United Kingdom, mobile operator 3UK owns the "MiFi" trademark and markets a similar device from Huawei under the name.
Novatel MiFi 2200
- Limited to 5 Wi-Fi clients, such as laptops, cameras, gaming devices and multimedia players
- May be connected to a computer via a MicroUSB connection, though doing so disables the Wi-Fi networking, converting the device into a traditional single-client modem. (However, CNET has introduced a tweak to charge the device over USB while maintaining its functionality.)
- Includes GPS unit.
- Uses 3G data network (CDMA 1xEVDO RevA).
Novatel MiFi 23xx series
- Same functionality as 2200, plus:
- Billed as an "intelligent" mobile hotspot, includes processor and linux-based operating system.
- Includes an SDK (available here) for development of 3rd party applications to run on-board.
- Accepts SD card for in-device shared media storage.
- Uses 3G data network (MiFi 2352: HSUPA/HSDPA 900/1900/2100 MHz, MiFi 2372: HSUPA/HSDPA 850/1900/2100 MHz; both support GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz).
Usage around the world
MiFi devices are often co-branded by carriers who offer service for them.
Carriers offering MiFi
- Netcom in Norway
- Vodafone in Germany, Greece, Spain, Romania, Portugal, the Netherlands, Qatar, New Zealand, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia
- Digi in Malaysia
- MobileOne in Singapore
- Pelephone in Israel
- Polkomtel ("Plus") in Poland
- Vodacom in South Africa
- SK Telcom and KT in South Korea[
- Pannon in Hungary
- PCCW in Hong Kong
- Mobitel in Slovenia
- Bell Mobility, MTS Allstream, Rogers, and Virgin Mobile in Canada
- Zain in Kuwait
- Orange and Telefonica Moviles Espana in Spain
- Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Virgin Mobile in the United States
- 3 in Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
- Internode, via Optus, in Australia
- Iusacell in Mexico
- CAT in Thailand
- Qatar Telecom ("Qtel") in Qatar
- T-Mobile and Vodafone (in partnership with The Carphone Warehouse) in United Kingdom (marketed as "Novatel Wireless Intelligent Mobile Hotspot")
- Inter Communications & a2network in Japan
- Internode & Virgin Mobile in Australia
- Hutchison 3G in the United Kingdom and Ireland
- While AT&T does not offer the MiFi itself, the 2372 can be obtained elsewhere and used with an AT&T SIM card
- FarEastTone 3.5G in Taiwan
Obama meets farmers 'virtually' for peek at rural tech revolution
Sunday, 07 November 2010, 12:33 IST
Mumbai: U.S. President Barack Obama Sunday interacted with farmers from Ajmer through a video-conference link from here to understand how India was seeking to bridge the digital divide by reaching technology and services to the grassroots level.
Moderating the discussion at the St. Xavier's College here was the Chicago-based tech evangelist Sam Pitroda, while the young Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot was with the farmers in Kanpura village in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
Obama said he wanted to have a glimpse of the information technology revolution in rural India, how citizens were interacting virtually with local government bodies using internet and accessing information and services such as tele-medicine and e-education.
"Many of these innovations are because of public and private collaborations between the US and India," the US president said, giving the example of the green revolution in India in the 1970s where scientists of the two sides worked together for better seeds and irrigation.
Large screens were installed both at the college here and at Kanpura, some 25 km from Ajmer - a town famous for the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty - for those two sides to "meet and interact" with each other virtually.
Obama was visibly pleased when the village local body secretary Shiv Shankar said how his complaint about a faulty handpump over internet was rectified almost immediately - in a departure from the weeks that it would have otherwise taken in the past.
Similarly, healthcare worker Sunita Rathore explained how she could access digitised medical records of the villagers, especially children, to plan their vaccination schedules.
These apart, a student of management, Vipul Johar, told the US president how he was pursuing further studies via internet by downloading course material, sparing him the need to travel 25 km to Ajmer for the direct-contact classes.
Incidentally, both the moderators here and in Ajmer have been educated in the US.
Presently an advisor to the Indian prime minister on public information, infrastructure and innovations, Pitroda has studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology, while Pilot is an alumnus of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Kanpura was chosen not just because it falls in the constituency of Pilot, but also because a pilot project there has connected it with optic fibre network for online access to land records and birth certificates.
The village chief Jagdish Bairwa, 26, holds a degree in mechanical engineering.
Reader's comments (1)No doubt IT and e-Governance helped rural India. Especially Mobile Phones come handy for easy communication and to do business of vegetables,fruits etc.,
Here is an interesting article on e-governance.
“The irony is hard to miss. For a nation that has made its mark in the global IT space, India has yet to reap the benefits of IT as far as e-Governance is concerned.
The e-Governance statistics in the Indian context are disappointing. The World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report (2006-07) ranks India at 44 out of 122 countries, far behind countries like Tunisia, Qatar and the Slovak Republic.
There’s more bad news. The Nasscom report on information technology on the economy of India highlights that India has a low level of IT investment and minimal dispersal of IT capital among 30 countries evaluated.
e-Governance or the use of electronic means to facilitate interactions of Indian citizens and businesses with the government (state and central) as well as internal government operations is a powerful weapon, capable of driving extensive administrative reforms across the country, particularly in remote areas. Failure to use this tool results in governance ridden with inefficiencies, high costs and lack of transparency.
Tanmoy Chakrabarty, vice president and head, government industry solutions unit (ISU), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), says, “At the end of its five-year tenure, the government at the centre had accomplished only two out of 26 mission-mode (the highest priority rating assigned by the Indian government) projects.”
The first, the hugely successful MCA 21 programme, India’s first mission-mode project under the National e-Governance Plan, for the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has enabled 100 per cent electronic filing, electronic payment mechanisms, use of digital signature certificates for all transactions, and significant increase in the rate of compliance, among other things. The second, the Passport Seva programme for automating the passport issuance process, has also been awarded to TCS.
There has been a little progress in three other mission-mode areas that the central government had committed to. The first, the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) programme, seeks to create network connectivity across the states. While 12 out of 30 states have commissioned this project, the pace is still slow. Of these, TCS has completed SWAN in Tamil Nadu and is commissioning it in Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
The second initiative is the State Data Centre, a repository of IT infrastructure across different state governments that can enable the data centre to house data applications. Mr Chakrabarty says, “Only one out of 30 data centres has come up.” The status of the third initiative is equally deplorable. While the government had committed to commissioning 100,000 Common Service Centres by 2008, only about 10,000 have been commissioned.
The presence of an overarching central government policy document on e-Governance does not help matters. “Each state government,” says Mr Chakrabarty, “has the freedom to adopt the policy and to prioritise it at its own will.” Although states like Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are pushing their e-Governance agenda forward, the effort is far from satisfactory. Mr Chakrabarty adds, “The central government has mandated that 3 per cent of the total budget allocation per department must be spent on e-Governance. Sadly, a lot of money is returned unspent at the end of the fiscal year.”
Moreover, citizens have to contend with multiple portals relating to various departments in the same ministry. This silo approach to e-Governance, combined with outdated technology, conspires to create a system in which the benefits of IT do not percolate to the grassroots level and citizens are unable to have access to efficient services.
Most departments within the government follow a procurement-based approach when it comes to resolving their technology needs. The IT arms of various government departments follow the practice of purchasing hardware, software, services and networks from multiple vendors. “This,” says S Ramadorai, CEO and MD of TCS, “has resulted in disparate, often outdated systems, standards and technologies that cannot interface and consequently prove to be an obstruction to intra and inter-departmental information sharing and collaboration.”
The positive approach
The disparity between the goal and reality is glaring. But TCS, currently the market leader with a 32 per cent share of the Indian e-Governance IT services market, is optimistic about doing better. The company has extensive experience in successfully developing and maintaining replicable and holistic solutions in public-private partnership mode. The company plans to build robust e-Governance applications in India and then take them to other countries where TCS is present. Currently, 80 per cent of the government ISU’s revenue comes from India.
“We are working in three broad areas of focus: intra-government efficiency, relating to everything within the government; citizen service delivery, relating to citizens and fiscal administration, and revenue augmentation, related to the treasury and taxation,” informs Mr Chakrabarty.
TCS has already adopted an aggressive approach to induce governments to adopt e-Governance. “We are putting putting forward proactive solutions and promoting public-private partnership,” explains Mr Chakrabarty. “We believe that it is beyond the wherewithal of the government alone to complete the programmes. We are, therefore, reaching out to central and state governments, homeland security, paramilitary agencies, etc.”
TCS believes that the government must recognise the ability of IT to influence the way a nation goes about its daily business and its life. It knows that the greatest obstacles are often in the mind and it is these that must be eliminated if e-Governance is to become entrenched in the country.
“It is all a matter of changing the mindset, not about the cost of the technology.We need to remove the unwillingness to change and the inertia. This would entail a psychological rather than a technological effort. The cost of the technology could easily be offset by building the software once and deploying it repeatedly. That way we can pass the benefits of such reuse to customers.”
Mr Ramadorai agrees, saying, “For e-Governance to succeed in India, the most important change that needs to take place within government, at the central, state and municipal levels, is not an understanding of technology or an ability to leverage it or even the need to re-invent government processes and systems. It is all about changing mindsets. For e-Governance to make a tangible difference to the lives of the millions of unserved and under-served in our country, the government has to switch from a mindset of procurement where technology is seen as an input to one where it is focused on outcomes and services."
Mr Chakrabarty is excited about taking the benefits of IT to the masses. He gives the example of APonline, a bilingual portal that TCS created for Andhra Pradesh. This portal was accessed through 2,300 kiosks around the state by thousands of people who could not afford a computer. It generated employment for over 2,000 kiosk operators, who became the interface for providing information, payment services and interactive services such as applying for a caste or land entitlement certificate, or getting inputs on seeds or fertilisers, etc.
The cost that may be incurred by the end-user should not deter the government from initiating more such programmes. Successful e-Governance programmes have shown that citizens do not shy away from paying service fees if they are sure that technology will save them time and effort, and ease the process of accessing government services.
Mr Chakrabarty says, “Ensuring successful e-Governance is a matter of creating the environment for automation. The reason why projects often fail is that there is no perceived value of the before and after. You have to create a differentiator between the new programme and the current options available.”
There are no limits to the number of public-government interactions that could be transformed through e-Governance. Activities such as buying tickets, paying taxes, applying for passports and certificates, filing returns, etc could be offered as an e-service to citizens.
By bringing e-Governance to people’s doorsteps, these initiatives are enabling a quiet revolution in states like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. And while vested interests in the government are rightly afraid of the power that e-Governance could wrest from their grasp, people are realising that this is an idea whose time has come. Mr Chakrabarty says, “I think that people’s aspirations have to be met and a large mass of society will prevail over a few with vested interests. Slowly more states will adopt e-Governance.”
Encouraging e-Governance projects is particularly necessary during the global downturn because it has the potential to stimulate the economy. Mr Chakrabarty says, “India should focus on injecting more capital into e-Governance projects.”
Additionally, e-Governance allows people to re-skill themselves, to give up their mundane jobs and aspire for something more productive, thereby enhancing their quality of life. Mr Chakrabarty exemplifies, “If the railways could free up the clerks in their offices, they could be converted into ticket checkers on trains and create an environment where everyone travels with a ticket. The increase in the revenue could be plowed back into the development of the railway system.”
He adds, “The road to transformation would mean moving from vertical silo thinking to cross-boundary thinking and from one-channel service to multi-channel service. This will ensure that instead of duplicating costs we will be able to replicate our success stories.”
“To drive e-Governance,” says Mr Ramadorai, “the best tactic would be to first identify specific sources of cultural resistance and initiate specific action so that the enabling environment for success is created. Encouraging tech-savvy ambassadors and identifying champions at senior levels in government may be the way forward.”
Armed with expertise in areas such as taxation, citizen services, municipal administration and hospital management, etc, TCS hopes to transform governance and make it more responsive and accountable to citizens.”
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 07 Nov, 2010
Sunday, 07 November 2010, 12:44 IST
Mumbai: In remarks similar to what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also often makes, U.S. President Barack Obama Sunday said economic growth cannot be undermined as it was necessary to lift people out of poverty and asked young people to join public life.
"We should not underestimate how liberating economic growth can be for our country," the president said during an interaction with some 300-odd students from five institutions at the St. Xavier's College here, spending 45 minutes along with First Lady Michelle.
"I don't want any young person to be dismissive. Healthy materialism is good. But if all you are thinking about is material wealth then that shows a poverty of ambition," the president said.
Even Prime Minister Singh, with whom Obama shares a close personal rapport and holds in high esteem, often says in the context of poverty eradication: "Growth is not an end in itself, but a means to an end."
Obama also recalled his days as a community worker before going to law school and said: "What I understood was it is hard to preach to an empty stomach. If people have superior material needs like shelter, food and clothing, they need to be met."
The president, who was visibly pleased interacting with the 300-odd students, also had a message for them. He wanted them to get involved in nation-building, just as he said expected businesses to contribute toward this end.
"There is a healthy scepticism about politics. In the U.S. the people hold politicians in low esteem. Here in India, one of the big impediments to development is the fact that in some cases the private sector is moving much faster than the public sector," he said.
"I would just suggest that - I hope some of you - decide to go ahead and get involved in public service. This can be frustrating. It can, at times, be slow. You don't see progress as quickly as you would like," he said.
"But India's going to need you not just as businessmen, but also as leaders who are helping to reduce bureaucracy, make government more responsive and deliver services more efficiently."
Obama also pushed for collaborations between Indian and U.S. scientists - like in the 1970s for better seeds, which led to the green revolution, making India self-sufficient in food output.
"Innovations, green revolution are a result of cooperation between India and the US India can become a model for countries serving on food security," he said, soon after an interaction with farmers in Ajmer through video-conferencing.
"I heard directly from citizens through e-panchayat. They fought corruption, holding their government accountable. These lessons can be applied around the world. We must speak out for human rights that are universal."
Obama also gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi in the context of materialistic wealth.
"When I was at Gandhi's room (Mani Bhavan) it was telling that the only objects in the room were a mat, spinning wheel, sandals, a few papers and this man changed the history like no one else did in the 20th century in terms of the number of lives he affected."
1: Very timely advice to Indian Youth, President Obama. Your respect for Mahatma Gandhiji, his ideals and philosophy are matchless.
"Increase of material comforts, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth" -- Mahatma Gandhi
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -- Mahatma Gandhi
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 07 Nov, 2010
Monday, 08 November 2010, 22:39 IST
New Delhi: Barack Obama today became the fourth American President to address members of Parliament in India.
Obama's predecessors Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton had the honour of addressing the Indian Parliament.
Eisenhower, who was the first U.S. President to visit India more than 50 years ago, addressed the Indian lawmakers in the Central Hall during his official visit in December 1959.
It was then Carter to do so in January 1978, followed by Clinton in March 2000.
The other two American Presidents who had visited India while in office were Richard Nixon who had made a one-day trip in July 1969, and George W Bush in March 2006.
During his visit, Bush could not address Parliament, as several parties, including the Left, were strongly opposed to it. He made his speech at the historic Old Fort.
Reader's comments (1)
1: Obama’s trip is the first in many years by an American President to India in his first term. His two immediate predecessors — Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — visited India in their second terms in office. Clinton’s visit, which took place in the twilight of his presidency, was high on symbolism. It was the first visit by an American President to India in more than two decades. Jimmy Carter was the last to visit India in January 1978.
Bush’s visit, on the other hand, was loaded with substance. His administration removed perhaps the biggest thorn in the US-India relationship by offering New Delhi a civil-nuclear agreement.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 09 Nov, 2010
'I' in India is no more 'Immitation', it's 'Innovation'
Tuesday, 12 October 2010, 16:46 IST
Bangalore: For centuries the Indian mindset has been about following the West. Be it a new technology, literature, art, theater, culture or movies. The 'I' in India meant Imitation. India had the me-too mindset and would imitate every aspect of the west. China and Japan were the two other countries who aped America for its technology reports Sufia Tippu of EE Times.
India has realized that just imitating west cannot bring out the real innovations from Indian minds. Now 'I' in India stands for Innovation. Innovations in India are not a new phenomenon and, it only lacks due recognition also we need to keep in mind that India's infrastructure began to grow only three decades ago while other countries were already nurtured with the supporting ecosystem.
IT establishments are emerging with creative and potentially challenging ideas. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor and co-founder of Infosys Technologies said "tremendous confidence in the country among the younger generation. A lot of them are willing to take risk; they have understood the power of entrepreneurship and wealth creation."
When IT giants like Infosys , Wipro and Tata consultancy services zeroed on software business, several hundred startups followed in their footsteps, but only a few have stood out from the pack in terms of patented innovations.
India's best chances to make its mark on innovation may be in cleantech and other disruptive technologies that can improve the quality of life for the world's poor while enriching their inventors and investors.
One such invention along that vein, a low-cost, durable, prosthesis known as the Jaipur foot, has restored function to amputees the world over and is probably the best-known Indian innovation to have found a global market. Mitti Cool, the so-called village fridge. Invented by a potter, Mitti Cool is made from special clay (mitti) and uses evaporation to cool three or more storage chambers for water, fruits and vegetables.
A micro-windmill-based mobile charger that uses wind power to charge phones and laptops. Modified lanterns that produce light equal to a 100-watt bulb but run on kerosene, diesel or ethanol. The lamp has a wick coated with high-temperature materials, such as silica; a self-cleaning nozzle; and a special glass that reduces the chances of explosion.
These innovations show that India is a talent hub. Maybe these innovations did not grab the global market but it sure did fix the common place problems and also got the attention of the Indian market.
Reader's comments (7
In a very interesting article, Ideas Rule the World (ezine@rticles) Ola Olabimpe brought out the power of ideas:
“A very witty phrase, if you ask me. Going by the definition by Wikipedia; "an idea is a concept or abstraction formed and existing in the mind. Human capability to contemplate ideas is associated with the ability of reasoning, self-reflection, and the ability to acquire and apply intellect. Further, ideas give rise to actual concepts, or mind generalizations, which are the basis for any kind of knowledge whether science or philosophy."
So why do we say they rule the world? "Everything you see and touch was once an invisible idea until someone chose to bring into being."- Richard Bach. Like a dream, an idea sprouts up in the mind, flies around in our brains till its used or naturally fades out. The uniqueness and power that set apart any successful businesses or individual, starts with the kind of ideas they come up with(usually influenced by their state of mind, environ and situations).
It is not enough to have an idea, but it is a good start. To create a business, you need to come up with an idea. Then once you're in business, you need more ideas for design, engineering, capacity building, marketing, creative problem solving, customer retention, etc. Day in day out, you would need to think and generate new creative ideas to sustain the existing ideas. The accelerated pace of change and current ease of new entrants to new markets due to technological advances leaves no time to be sloppy in encouraging and nurturing ideas. The success or failure of a business could be could depend on just one idea or the timing.
Most companies are not short on new ideas, but they are short on ways to assess, prioritize, and execute those new ideas. For example, IBM existed when Dell took advantage of the internet and started online computer sales. Dell Computers had "an idea" IBM lacked and developing that single idea at that time, made Dell MONEY and a strong brand name. Ideas don't just bring you out of your shell, they possess the power to creatively stand you out.
Find great ideas? Basically, ideas are born by combining existing ideas to form an invention(e.g. "car" and "kitchen," = "mobile restaurant,"). Firms must enthusiastically welcome new ideas and suggestions. If an idea is given proper attention, it may become the hero in town, the next great marketing campaign, or even the perfect incubator for your next innovative product or service.
There are several instances in history where great ideas were born and have made success:
Finding solutions to a need gave birth to Crayola brand crayons which started as a need for a child friendly school instrument. To improve its business Garment Care (another laundry shop or better still a "glorified wash-man"), accepted Alder 's concept of "branding" and the success, we can tell. The famous Mark and Spencer wanted to be different from other retail stores in UK; today, miles away the Igbo*-boy in Tejuosho* market, sells with lines like "this one is original stuff, like Mark and Spencer". Post It Notes was created from the "failures" in a series of experiments in trying to create a heavy adhesive. Adapting to change has helped Madonna (the world known singer and business woman) keep a firm grip on her legion of fans. Despite all the critics surrounding her career, by incorporating the latest dance, music and trends into her own style, she has managed to retain her stage space in the entertainment industry, for decades. I remember banking in Nigeria was also very boring before Bond Bank(then)* and GTBank* changed the game thanks to Alder consulting. The lists goes on and on.
To build a strong brand out of businesses or individual you need to have a unique story to tell. The Einsteins, Gates, Dangotes*, Bruces*, Modelas*, had all made it because, Ideas Rules The World!”
The Eminent Engineer Sir M.Visvesvarayya pleaded for self-reliance and wanted the intelligence of the people, natural resources and available capital should act and interact with each other so that with cumulative effect,the country could make permanent progress. It is the skill and intelligence of the people – the human resource- that can maximize the returns of other resources like natural resources and capital. Resourcefulness of man is his best resource.
Character – Practical virtue
Character is not protective innocence but a practicable virtue. It is not fear of vice,it is love of excellence. Character is urged to find the meaning of life, of relevance, significance ,usefulness and the deep sense of social values. It is a sense the pulse beat of changing life.
Sense of social responsibility
The wealth of any nation depends on anything else in every walk of life of men and character and discipline, of quality of excellence. The best thing we can offer to the young is encouragement,opportunities,development of excellence,quality,character and discipline. A continued sense of social responsibility, a scientific attitude to life with a bold vision to see the best, courage and faith to face the worst, resilience to change, resistance to hatred and readiness to serve is needed by the youth..
Ideas rule the world according to Albert Einstein and THINKING PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD according to George Bernard Shaw. YOU SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE AND WONDER WHY AND I DREAM OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE AND ASK WHY NOT-Robert Kennedy.
Ideas float around in bewildering numbers, and scores of designs, ranging from windmills to the spinning wheel, are available; papers are circulated stating the wonders of intermediate (not appropriate) technology what could be done, why it should be done, what must be done, and how the rural countryside can be changed if intermediate technology is implemented. Experts are called from abroad to tell people this.
In all this talk, there seems to be no place for the ideas generated by farmers, rural artisans, A stand seems to have been taken that this transfer of technology for the socio-economic regeneration of the rural areas is a novelty for country-folk. But rural communities have survived for generations without any help in ideas and materials from outside. They have developed a low-cost technology of their own, suited to their own particular areas. It would be foolish to over look and take for granted methods used by farmers and artisans. When a ploughshare develops trouble on the field, when a bullock cart breaks down on the road to market, when a house collapses in a storm, the villager uses materials available in the immediate vicinity to solve his problem. It is the scientist who must see these problems as challenges that must be met if there is to be development in rural areas. It is clear that the villagers and scientists will see the problems of the villages quite differently, and it will not always be true that the projects proposed by the scientists will be meaningful to the villages. If projects are imposed on the villagers, they are likely to be skeptical and may well resist rather than co-operate with the programme. Rural Development Schemes, in the broadest sense, requires first a good sociological approach, and as much psychology as scientific knowledge. After all ‘country means people and not soil’. In order to bring science to the doors of those who need it we must make ‘school’ as nucleus and ‘students and teachers’ as participants.
There is a notion that Rural is bad, urban is better and Foreign is the best. Technology is culture specific. What is best in Newyork, Canberra, Tokyo etc., may not be meaningful in rural areas of developing countries. In our country during 80s 50 small Wind Turbines were imported at an exorbitant cost by Government of India and put across the country under a DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMME .None of them worked beyond a year. On the other hand an 8th class dropout designed a Wind Battery charger by changing the windings of automobile generator, using palm tree trunk as tower and making his own design of wooden blades. Near Mandapam, Tamil Nadu on the seashore. I saw in 80s and 2000,it was working. This is natïve genius. Unfortunately when an invention comes from top Educational Institutes and from Educated people, it is big news in Media both print and Electronic. But such an innovative, cost-effective design by this INVENTOR PAR EXCELLENCE go un noticed and rewarded. They are all unsung heroes.
I myself have over 25 inventions in Renewable Energy, Appropriate Technology which are popular in Africa and Asian countries (Except India). What is needed is RECOGNITION of INVENTIVENESS in Rural Areas and rewarding them. Though organizations like NATIONAL INNOVATION FOUNDATION, TePP(DSIR) initiated some efforts in this direction, they are piecemeal in a vast country like ours.
More and more avenues to promote Inentions/Innovations especially in the rural areas are needed in India.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 12 Oct, 2010
India looking at Obama's visit with hope, optimism
Wednesday, 13 October 2010, 20:34 Hrs
Bangalore: People of India are looking U.S. President Barack Obama's visit with great hope and optimism, and this will herald a new era of relationship between the two nations, Indian Ambassador to the U.S. has said.
"We look forward to President Obama's visit to India next month with great hope and optimism and as an opportunity at highest political level to steer our relationship onto a new higher plane," said Meera Shankar, Indian envoy to the U.S.
Addressing students of George Washington University, Shankar said the basic fundamentals of India-U.S. relations, regardless of any minor issue-specific differences, give confidence that the strategic dimension of this relationship would truly manifest itself in practical terms through joint efforts in all areas of cooperation, including at the international level.
"Both countries have the strong political will to move in this direction. We share common interests and concerns, and jointly seek to build our relationship as a long-term global partnership. Both countries have expressed conviction that enduring bilateral relations do not serve us only bilaterally, but also in meaningfully addressing new global threats and challenges," she said.Obama visit to India in November promises to be a landmark visit.
"We look forward to not only consolidating the enormous strides that we have taken in our relationship in recent years but also to set directions and lay out a vision for the future course of our strategic partnership. India and the U.S. hold regular and candid dialogue on Afghanistan and Pakistan; we exchange views and coordinate approaches on other developments in South Asia; we have commenced a dialogue on East Asia and the evolving Asian economic and security architecture. We discuss how we can work together for development of Africa," she said.
In the larger Asian and global context, both the U.S. and India have begun exploratory discussions on how they can work together to ensure the safety of the Global Commons -- including maritime security and protecting the domains of space and cyber space, Shankar said.
Nothing was a greater symbol and instrument of transformation in India-U.S. relations than the Civil Nuclear Agreement, she said adding that it not only addressed an issue which had constrained the full potential of the bilateral relationship but also created new economic opportunities to cooperate in the areas of civil nuclear energy, energy security, climate change and nuclear proliferation.
India has identified two sites for building nuclear reactors in cooperation with U.S. companies and we hope to commence commercial negotiations shortly. A new dimension is our Space cooperation with India's first moon mission, Chandrayaan 1, carrying a NASA payload which detected the existence of water on the moon.
"There are good prospects for expanding this cooperation in other areas such as exchange of data for weather prediction and climate change, space exploration and space flights," she said.
Seeking U.S. help in securing Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council, Shankar argued the need for the two countries to work together to reform the international architecture of global governance.
"We are already moving towards more representative mechanisms for global financial and economic management, but we need to reform the institutions that deal with political and security challenges including the UN. Security Council for which there is growing support," she said.
"This would not only enhance their legitimacy but also impact positively on the efficacy of these institutions. As a country of over a billion people, with one of the fastest growing economies and as a democratic nation, India is willing to assume its responsibility to meet the global challenges of our times," Shankar added.
Reader's comments (2)
US President Barack Obama’s forthcoming to India will be most historic. Obama will be the sixth American President to visit India after Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George Bush and the first to travel India during his first term.
Here is a lengthy agenda for strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries.
In the context of cyber security cooperation between India and the United States, that the interests of both countries can be fulfilled. For India, capacity building and research development has been cited as a clear objective through this cooperation, while the United States may feel the need to safeguard its interests given the large number of US companies engaged in outsourcing in India.
Strengthening U.S.-India Cooperation on Energy - A Clear Priority for Both Countries, Shravya Reddy wrote, ( September 25, 2010SWiTCH BOARD,NaturalResource Defence Council Staff Blog):
“On the east coast this week, I’ve seen momentum building on U.S.-India cooperation on climate change and energy in the lead up to President Obama’s state visit to India. Two events that I attended just this past week reflected heightened interest on this issue from policymakers and the public at large, as well as increased commitment to progress in this area by decision makers in government.
At a discussion on prospects for bilateral energy partnership, panelists Frank Wisner, Suresh Prabhu, Rick Duke and Jamshyd Godrej emphasized that a strong relationship between the U.S. and India was a priority for both countries, and that one of the most promising areas for strengthening bilateral ties was cooperation on joint energy initiatives. Everyone at the event, hosted by the World Resources Institute and the Confederation of Indian Industry, agreed that one of the most important agenda items for the conversation between President Obama and Prime Minister Singh is the energy-climate issue. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy Rick Duke highlighted that there were numerous joint programs on energy that the U.S. and India are already making progress on, and other panelists underscored that the focus should be on funding these and implementing these to their fullest potential, instead of adding on a host of other projects. At the same time, there was broad agreement with former Ambassador Frank Wisner’s observation that both countries should continue to work closely together on energy initiatives, since the success of such projects would add up and act as “ballast” for the bilateral relationship, even in the sometimes stormy waters of multilateral climate negotiations. One shared concern was that more information and communication about what both countries are doing on the energy and climate fronts is a critical need that is not adequately being met at present. The overall consensus was that enhanced U.S.-India energy cooperation is of mutual benefit, and that it is one of the best ways to keep fostering a relationship that is growing ever-stronger.
Also this past week, at a workshop on expanding energy access to the poor, a number of experts discussed the growing energy needs of the world’s 4 billion people at the “bottom of the pyramid”, and various ways to accelerate energy access for such populations. Participants agreed that to meet escalating energy needs – especially in a country like India where over 400 million people lack access to basic electricity, but where nearly 80 percent of the population lives on under $2 a day - traditional business models need to be turned on their head. Start-up companies need to first identify a need, then identify the lowest possible cost, and then engineer a product that meets that need. The event was organized by SELCO (a social enterprise that provides sustainable energy solutions and services to underserved households and businesses in parts of India), and co-hosted by the Citi Foundation and the UN Foundation. The vast majority of experts at the workshop were from the U.S. and India, and both sides were unanimous that the success of such innovative energy technology solutions in India (which could be a model for the rest of the developing world) requires initial impetus from capital-rich countries like the U.S. Giving people in India the kind of basic energy access that Americans enjoyed at the dawn of the twentieth century can be accelerated by both public and private investment, financing, low-interest loans, grants, and backing by entities with significant capital. SELCO, for instance (which makes and sells home solar PV lighting systems to households, and also trains local technicians, enabling them to provide maintenance and follow-up services) received seed funding from foundations and impact investment funds; today its revenues from sales exceed its operating costs, bringing in small but growing returns for its shareholders. As Secretary Deepak Gupta of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy noted, SELCO is just one example of what thoughtful investment from U.S. sources can do to improve the lives of the poorest people, as well as an example that investing in energy start-ups in India can be profitable and commercially viable”.
Another promising area for co-operation is Wind Energy and especially offshore wind farms.
Department of Energy’s report on a 20% wind energy scenario found offshore wind capacity could be 54 GW of the 300 GW envisioned. Offshore wind energy brings all of the positive economic and environmental benefits of onshore development, as well as some unique characteristics. The bigger Wind turbines of capacity 10 MW and more will certainly pave the way to supplement conventional Energy Sources like coal and petroleum in a big way.
It is hoped India being in the 5th position in Wind Energy in the world, enters the field of offshore wind farms.
There is a gigantic Windfarm project in USA underway:
When built out, the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines. That’s equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.
On Space Co-operation between USA and India, Peter Marquez, Director of Space Policy, at the National Security Council, announced:
“Looking to India as a ''great'' up and coming space-faring nation, the US said its newly announced space policy attached ''vital'' importance to enhance cooperation with that country.
"By and large, we are looking to India as a great up and coming space-faring nation to work with us," Peter Marquez, Director of Space Policy, at the National Security Council, told reporters at a conference call after the White House unveiled the new National Space Policy.
The new policy is designed to strengthen US' leadership in space and putting emphasis on greater cooperation with India in this field.
"We see that there's great potential there and we would love nothing more to continue to build upon the great foundation we have with India and expand that cooperation,"
There is wide scope to further strengthen this during President Obama’s forthcoming visit to India.
President Obama’s visit to India in November promises to be a landmark visit.
On bilateral ties between India and US ,United States' Assistant Secretary Robert Blake statement interaction with media will help the collaboration between the two countries during President Obama’s visit to India( June 3, 2010):
“It matters to the people of India and the people of the United States because we're going to be focusing not only on important bilateral issues that directly affect your security and prosperity, things like counterterrorism, which is so important to the security of both Americans and Indians.
But also very important issues like developing crop and weather forecasting. We're looking at ways to improve the supply chain in agriculture. We're looking at ways we can participate in improving agriculture in other countries.
We're looking at ways to improve trade and investment, which already has doubled over the last five years. But we have great optimism that we can do much more in the years to come. So all of those will bring concrete and immediate benefits to the people of India and the United States.
And also I think we'll be looking at these important global issues as well. About how the United States will cooperate on the global stage on important matters like climate change, food security, and nonproliferation.
What are the major policies that India and the US are focusing on? Can you elaborate?
Well, I think I mentioned some of those. Let me talk about the economic part of it. Jobs are a very important part of the future both for the United States and for India. There are a number of very important milestones, I think, that will be coming up in our relations.
One is the pending civil nuclear legislation, liability legislation, in the Lok Sabha which would open up the possibility of American companies exporting reactors and other civil nuclear technology to India to help meet India's very fast-rising energy needs.
Another important growth area is education where there's another bill pending that will open up India's education sector for the first time and allow American universities to come in and offer degrees to Indian students. That will be in addition to the 100,000 India students already here in the United States. So those are just two of the very promising areas of new cooperation between the United States and India”.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr..A.Jagadeesh - 14 Oct, 2010
Indian American sworn in as America's top science official
Tuesday, 19 October 2010, 11:19 IST
Washington: IIT Madras alumnus, Subra Suresh, has been sworn in as the Director of America's National Science Foundation (NSF), the top US science body with a $7.4 billion budget to support scientific institutions.
"We are very grateful to have Subra taking this new task," said President Barack Obama at the White House Science Fair Monday after Suresh was sworn in as the 13th NSF director by John Holdren, Obama's science advisor.
"He has been at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and has been leading one of the top engineering programmes in the country, and for him now to be able to apply that to the National Science Foundation is just going to be outstanding," he said. "So we're very grateful for your service."
Suresh, 54, was confirmed by the US Senate Sep 30, for a six-year term.
He has served as dean of the engineering school and as Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at MIT.
A mechanical engineer, who later became interested in materials science and biology, Suresh has done pioneering work studying the biomechanics of blood cells under the influence of diseases such as malaria.
From 2000 to 2006, Suresh served as the head of the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined MIT in 1993 as the R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and held joint faculty appointments in the departments of mechanical engineering and biological engineering, as well as the division of health sciences and technology.
Suresh holds a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and a master's degree from Iowa State University.
Suresh was nominated by President Obama to become the new NSF director June 8, in place of Arden L. Bement Jr, who led the agency from 2004 until he resigned in May this year.
NSF's current budget is $6.9 billion. For 2011 it has requested $7.4 billion, an eight percent increase over 2010, in support of Obama's goal of increasing the nation's total public and private investment in research and development to at least 3 percent of the gross domestic product.
Reader's comments (1)
What a great moment to hear ,” Subra Suresh, has been sworn in as the Director of America's National Science Foundation (NSF), the top US science body with a $7.4 billion budget to support scientific institutions”. Hearty congratulations Dr.Subra Suresh.
It is a most coveted position in Science Administration in USA involving huge funding. It is heartening to note that President Obama’s Administration has been appointing more and more Indian Americans in top positions.
I am sure the forthcoming visit by President Obama to India will be an historic one and pave the way for more and more economic cooperation besides Science and Technology between the two countries.
Details on National Science Foundation (NSF):
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health. With an annual budget of about US$6.87 billion (fiscal year 2010), the NSF funds approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States' colleges and universities. In some fields, such as mathematics, computer science, economics and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing.
The NSF's director, deputy director, and the 24 members of the National Science Board (NSB) are appointed by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the United States Senate. The director and deputy director are responsible for administration, planning, budgeting and day-to-day operations of the foundation, while the NSB meets six times a year to establish its overall policies.
Scope and organization
The NSF’s workforce numbers about 1700, nearly all working at its Arlington, Virginia, headquarters. That includes about 1200 career employees, 150 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 200 contract workers, and the staff of the National Science Board office and the Office of the Inspector General, which examines the foundation's work and reports to the NSB and Congress.
The NSF organizes its research and education support through seven directorates, each encompassing several disciplines:
• Biological Sciences (molecular, cellular, and organismal biology, environmental science)
• Computer and Information Science and Engineering (fundamental computer science, computer and networking systems, and artificial intelligence)
• Engineering (bioengineering, environmental systems, civil and mechanical systems, chemical and transport systems, electrical and communications systems, and design and manufacturing)
• Geosciences (geological, atmospheric and ocean sciences)
• Mathematical and Physical Sciences (mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and materials science)
• Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (neuroscience, management, psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics and economics)
• Education and Human Resources (science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at every level, pre-K to grey)
Other research offices
The NSF also supports research through several offices within the Office of the Director:
• Office of Cyber infrastructure
• Office of Polar Programs
• Office of Integrative Activities
• Office of International Science and Engineering
In addition to the research it funds in specific disciplines, the NSF has launched a number of crosscutting projects that coordinate the efforts of experts in many disciplines. Examples include initiatives in:
• The science of learning
• Digital libraries
• The ecology of infectious diseases
In many cases, these projects involve collaborations with other U.S. federal agencies.(Source: Wikipedia).
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 19 Oct, 2010
Indian philanthropy in education: U.S. benefits more
By Eureka Bharali, SiliconIndia
Monday, 18 October 2010, 05:54 IST
Bangalore: "The real power of money is the power to give it away". This quote has been preached once and again by our industry leaders, however, when it comes to putting it into practice, there's always a missing link - contribution for a real need. Philanthropic donations may fill pages of records of social responsiveness, for instance the recent activities of Anand Mahindra and Ratan Tata, the titans of Mahindra and Tata groups, threw light on their affinity towards their alma-mater Harvard. Mahindra donated $10 million, and Tata within a fraction of a month realized to dot the same line doling out a whopping $50 million for Harvard. As an alma-mater a biased affection can be understood, yet is it justified considering the lethargic funding scenario in Indian institutes?
The apathy of private funding in Indian institutes is quite visible from the fact that there has been no significant generosity bestowed upon them since years. The most prominent fundings were the $5 million and $1 million donation to IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai by Vinod Khosla, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and Avi Nash, Advisory Director of Goldman Sachs back in 2003. It is Infosys Chief Narayana Murthy, one of the noted alumni of IITs whose continuous contribution towards his alma mater has till date resulted in around $8 million contribution.
It was Murthy, who had once pointed out in IIT's CBS journal the high standards of the Indian institutes, whereby he acknowledged that merit is the only core factor to get admitted in them, unlike in many top notch schools of the West. "My son Rohan Murty wanted to do Computer Science at IIT. To do CS at IIT, you have to be in top 200 - he couldn't do that - so he went to Cornell instead. I do know cases where students who couldn't get into CS at IITs, but they have got scholarships at MIT, at Princeton, at Caltech," he reveals, which clearly pinpoints that institutes in India have a sole merit purpose. They are not guided by notions like "donate and get admissions reserved" - a trend which prevents them from being the family education hub of the elite class. Hence could this be the deterring factor for private donations, as top notch institutes of U.S. offer better degree options to a donor's family?
Scanning the pages of dole-outs by Indians reveal institutes like Harvard, Cornell being beneficiaries of these acts of gratitude earlier too. What everyone conveniently tends to forget is the importance of the home-grown universities which have maintained their high education standards amidst financial crisis. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal pointed out that the government continues to be the principal provider of funds for institutions that turn out elite cadres of engineers and management experts. This means that the IITs and IIMs are essentially driven by fee income from undergraduate students. For most comparable institutions anywhere in the world, fee income forms a small part of the funding pattern. For most of the part, it's non-fee income that drives the funding or in other words it's the generous private funding that builds them up.
There is hardly a rational contribution made by Indians towards the Western institutes. A deeper probe into Mahindra's donation shows his intent to make the humanities section of Harvard university more prominent, while at the same time he maintains that the support is in the honor of his mother, Indira Mahindra, a well known Indian author. Now, this turns on confusion as Indira Mahindra did not have any Harvard humanities background, hence, a better utilization may have been by funding the humanities department of an India based university. A grant of $10 million would have also helped in turning around the common apathy that people in India have towards a career in humanities. "This is a very sad, yet a true fact. People in India do frown upon people who take up further studies in social sciences and humanities as they don't see the value in it," says an Indian student in his blog post. Tata's contribution to support the broad range of executive education at Harvard, though is less ambiguous, yet fails to make an impact for a real purpose as Harvard stands among the top three institutes for management programs. Hence, a $50 million building with better facilities is just another addition to their campus with the Tata's name tagged on.
Reader's comments (5)
1: TATAs have established pioneering Academic, Scientific and Technological besides social and medical Institutes in India which won the Nation name and fame around the globe.
Among them are: Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Memorial Centre, JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre.
All the above institutes occupy prestigious position and are leading ones of world standards.
Indeed TATAs have sown the seeds of modernism and advances in all fronts including Education,Science and Technology.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 18 Oct, 2010
Indian Institute of Science:
What advances a nation or community is not so much to prop up its weakest and the most helpless, as to lift the best and most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country." It was this thought which motivated Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the Tata group, to conceive of establishing an institution of advanced scientific education and research, the like of which even England did not have, at the end of the 19th century.
Jamsetji Tata was convinced that national resurgence was only possible through multi-level industrialisation, higher education and scientific research. "He was a visionary who had personally established industries which were at the forefront of technology in those times. Besides, he donated half of his personal wealth (14 buildings and four landed properties in Bombay [now Mumbai]) for the creation of this institution," says Goverdhan Mehta, director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
After consulting several authorities in the country, Jamsetji Tata constituted a provisional committee to prepare the required scheme for the setting up of the Institute. On December 31, 1898, a draft prepared by the committee was presented to Lord Curzon, the viceroy-designate. Subsequently, at the request of the secretary of state for India, the Royal Society of London asked Sir William Ramsay, a Nobel laureate, for help. Sir William made a quick tour of the country and found Bangalore to be the most suitable place for such an institution.
At the initiative of the dewan, Sir K Sheshadri Iyer, the government of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the maharaja of Mysore, came forward with an offer of 372 acres of land, free of cost, and promised other necessary facilities. Thus Jamsetji Tata's original scheme became a tripartite venture, with the association of the Government of India and the Mysore maharaja.
In 1911, the Maharaja of Mysore laid the foundation stone of the institute and, on July 24 that year, the first batch of students was admitted in the departments of general and applied chemistry, organic chemistry and electro-technology. Since then, IISc has grown into a premier institution of research and advanced instruction, with more than 2,000 active researchers working in almost all the frontier areas of science and technology.
During past decades, Nobel laureate CV Raman, Homi J Bhabha, Vikram S Sarabhai, JC Ghosh, MS Thacker, S Bhagavantam, Satish Dhawan, CNR Rao and many others who have played a key role in the scientific and technological progress of India have been closely associated with the Institute.
IISc has helped create and nurture other laboratories and scientific institutions within the country. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Atomic Energy Commission were born here. In fact, Homi Bhabha wrote the proposals for creating both these institutions when he was part of the faculty of the Institute. The Indian space programme, too, was developed here. It also enabled CV Raman to undertake research in light scattering, which eventually won him the Nobel Prize in 1930.
Says Dr Mehta, "Jamsetji's vision was that the Institute should commit itself to the quest of excellence for the betterment of people. That has been IISc’s endeavour for close to a century: to be at the forefront of research for the benefit of humankind and the people of India. It is a not a one-time activity, but an ongoing process."
JRD Tata, the late chairman of the Tata group, took a keen interest in the Institute. He believed that it should contribute not just to science but to society as a whole, while emphasising the social relevance of science. "He took good care of the employees and even helped start the Tata Memorial Sports Club, which he regularly visited," says NV Raghavan, the Institute's public relations officer.
JRD paid great attention to the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, is continuing this legacy. In recent times, he has helped promote the Sir Dorabji Tata Centre for Tropical Diseases and assisted with the maintenance of the structure.
The world of science and technology has metamorphosed since the establishment of the IISc. The Institute has tried to keep pace, in terms of training its people and in its research contributions, which are widely recognised in India and abroad. "The contribution of institutes like ours should be judged on how they have enriched the intellect of science and technology in the country," says Dr Mehta. "We have manned some prestigious and nationally important missions and projects."
The Institute has also started the process of celebrating its centenary, while defining its goals for the next century of its existence. "My dream is to transform it into an international institute of science," adds Dr Mehta. "I believe we have done our best and maintained the vision of the founder. His spirit is still present here."
IISc, a deemed university, serves as a window to the external world to gauge the competence of research and development related to science and technology in India. It is housed at a 375-acre campus in Bangalore, and has 40 departments and centres pursuing R&D and teaching in all departments of science, engineering and technology. Its library, devoted to science and technology, is the largest in the country.
The Institute serves as a national consultant on issues pertaining to space research, electronic designs, power projects, civil constructions and environmental planning. It works in association with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Defence Research and Development Organisation on many projects.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Pre-independence India's scientific achievements were far ahead of its industrial successes. This was unusual for any country at that time, but there remained the need to improve India's scientific temper and strengthen the newly free nation's science infrastructure. These were the objectives that drove Homi J Bhabha and JRD Tata to pursue their vision of establishing the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) back in 1945.
Mr Bhabha — in the letter he wrote to the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust requesting financial assistance to get TIFR idea off the ground — talked about "creating a school of physics comparable to the best anywhere in the world." JRD, on the other hand, stressed the "progress" aspect while arguing the case for the institution. These visionaries, working together at a critical time in the nation's history, considered science an integral component to modern India's identity.
TIFR became the cradle of the country's atomic energy endeavour. The Institute wasn't just about science; it was also about discovering and delivering the benefits drawn from science to Indian society. Given that there was little scientific and industrial infrastructure at the time, TIFR came to play a crucial role.
The building of TIFR was quite interesting. Everything was done in-house, including the carpentry and such. We were at the frontiers of science, which meant that we had to create our own infrastructure. The fundamental research we were involved in then was of the atypical kind. Our early years were marked by this wide vision we had of what research needed to be done. What usually happens when you have so broad a vision is that you compromise on either quality or excellence. But TIFR managed to keep the course it had charted by making excellence intrinsic to its existence. This, to me, is one of the Institute's most remarkable triumphs.
We have done a large amount of experimental research that has blossomed into trend-setting initiatives. For instance, India's first digital computer was crafted at TIFR, back in 1957. This was a significant success by any yardstick. Today, you hear of technology that's spun off. In my reckoning, TIFR, more than any other Indian institution or industry, has spawned a variety of vital organisations.
In the years immediately following independence, India's goal was self-reliance. But, in terms of self-reliance there is a difference between science and technology. If you don't have a particular technology, you can try and develop it to, say, build a car indigenously. The Indica is a fine example of self-reliance. It does not look much different from other cars of its class, but its strength is that it is built indigenously. However, if the Indica had qualities its competitors didn't, then that would make it distinct. To make things indigenously and also make them distinct — that would be an extraordinary combination.
In science you cannot stop once you have crossed the indigenous hurdle; you also have to get to a given point before everybody else. Frontier science is about being the discoverer. If someone has discovered something, you cannot go to your lab and rediscover it.
Today, India has turned the corner. It is a more confident country and its infrastructure has improved tremendously. Catching up is no longer an achievement; we have to be up there with the best. Therefore, that part of TIFR's original charter — being at the frontiers of science — remains relevant, but being self-reliant and developing infrastructure is secondary. In that sense the continuity of the vision articulated by Mr Bhabha and JRD has been preserved.
TIFR now functions differently, and so it must. If it does not it will be frozen in an earlier time, which means it would fail in its mission. Some of our activities have changed down the years and this process will continue as we chart a new course that will, in its details, be somewhat different from the past, but still stay faithful to the original idea.
We are now trying to set a standard by saying that we are not going to applaud if our people repeat something that somebody else has done. We will only applaud if you are the first one to discover something. Earlier, to be able to produce something was an accomplishment of a kind. That is no longer true. But we had to go through that period to get where we currently are. An excellent institution must be able to rediscover and reinvent itself frequently. And that is one of the strengths of TIFR.
The Institute had many successes in the early years of its existence and that, in a way, was a problem. An institution is much more alert if it is in trouble. When an institution is doing well constantly, the high level of confidence generated can sometimes lead to complacency. For TIFR, a successful organisation by any measure, the question now is how to take an outstanding institution and make it truly exceptional. It's a more complicated struggle, requiring a new point of view and a course of action that's consistent with the times we live in.
We want to make sure we get the best people. This is a huge challenge because, financially speaking, we cannot provide the kind of salaries that some of our competitors around the world do. But we try to even the playing field as much as possible so that we can compete with the best. Apart from salaries, we provide a work environment that's as good as any other, and in some ways better.
Without funding you cannot do research. We have a steady source of funds, but there is a flip side to this equation. Steadfast support can make you complacent, so we have to ensure that support is earned, and not secured just as an entitlement. We receive tremendous backing from the Department of Atomic Energy, which takes an enlightened view of the long-haul factor. We have a beautiful campus and excellent infrastructure, with the finest machines and the latest technology equipment. Our libraries are among the best anywhere and we have good housing facilities.
Youth is the future, always has been and always will be. Given that reality, we have to understand, hard as it is, that the basic sciences are not an attractive career for today's youngsters. And youth are our lifeblood. If bright young people don't do science, where will our next generation of scientists come from? This is where we now have to concentrate our energies.
Earlier, we did not get involved in the education bit; we did not feel the need to. Our education system is not in good shape, particularly in the basic sciences, and — this is my personal opinion — leading institutions such as TIFR have been short sighted in not engaging with this system. It is a crisis that we have brought upon ourselves. University systems are in distress and we need to be involved there.
We are making a beginning in this sphere by starting an integrated PhD programme. It's our grand plan, a cradle-to-grave programme for students from 12th class upwards. We have a two-pronged strategy: first comes a 'nurture programme' for young students, followed by an advanced programme for graduates. Generally, our best and brightest students go to institutions such as the IITs, because they think that's the safer, more lucrative option as a career. But a large number of them may continue in basic science if we can compensate by having a first-class education programme.
Under the TIFR umbrella, the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education is putting in place the nurture programme for engineering students. We also want to capture students who go abroad for their MSc or PhD and take them into our own programmes. We have now become a deemed university and can give them the degrees they seek. To get young people and give them a quality education — that's the top item on my agenda.
TIFR has had a good run of more than 50 years, but the times are changing, the economy and society are changing. We have to adapt to this new era and we can do that by incubating our own original ideas. We may have grown a little too big, but in the frontier sciences largeness does not bring quality. We need to ensure that our centres have significant autonomy to forge their own destinies. The governing structure set up by the founders, with representatives from the Government of India, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Government of Maharashtra, is ideal. No one group dominates, which means the Institute can retain its autonomy.
Today everybody talks about being global, but TIFR has been global in its outlook since its birth. We have had some significant accomplishments. The GMRT telescope is one of its kind and the best in the world for what it does. Our scientists discovered a new class of superconductors. Many of our students have gone abroad to teach. We've had many distinguished visitors, among them Nobel laureates John Nash and Stephen Hawking. In a sense, we are the bridge between our community and the world.
We have to recognise that our original charter requires us to act differently. We have to set the highest standards for accomplishments, not third-world standards but the best global standards. This institute is uniquely placed to do this — and I believe we can do it.
• June 1, 1945: TIFR begins life at the Cosmic Ray Research Unit in Bangalore. Six months later the facilities moved to Bombay [now Mumbai] (Kenilworth on Peddar Road).
• January 15, 1962: Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurates the Institute's new 15-acre campus at Navy Nagar in Bombay.
• Initial research was carried out in the areas of cosmic rays, high-energy physics, theoretical physics and mathematics. Later, the Institute expanded its research umbrella to embrace nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, computer science, geophysics, molecular biology, radio astronomy and science education.
• TIFR's pioneering work led to it designing India's first digital computer (TIFRAC).
• TIFR has three schools (School of Mathematics, School of Natural Sciences, School of Technology and Computer Sciences) and as many centres (the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in Mumbai, the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics in Pune, the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore).
The Institute also runs four facilities: the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope at Kodad near Pune; the High-Energy Cosmic Ray Laboratory at Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu; the High-Energy Cosmic and Gamma Ray Laboratories at Pachamarhi in Madhya Pradesh; and the National Balloon Facility in Hyderabad
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Jamsetji Tata and his son, Sir Dorabji Tata, believed that the real purpose of industry was to go beyond the creation of wealth, to the building of a new society through the proper allocation of that wealth. It was from this vision that the Tata Institute of Social Sciences was born.
An American missionary, Clifford Manshardt, pioneered several urban community programmes in the chawls of Bombay near Nagpada in the 1920s. His initiatives where supported by Sir Dorabji Tata. It was during this time that the idea of an institute for social work took root. In 1936, the Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work was established for professional training in social work, in the premises of the Nagpada Neighbourhood House. Dr Manshardt was its first director. Though it was a diploma course, in the first year itself there were 400 applicants for 20 seats on offer. In 1944, it was renamed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Between 1936 and 1948, the School successfully worked to influence national laws and policies. "We pioneered programmes which were later enacted into laws by the Indian government, says TISS's present director, RR Singh, about the history of the Institute. "Our labour welfare and industrial management course was formulated because we believed labour problems needed attention. In 1948, the Labour Act was introduced. The concept of labour welfare in India directly evolved from the work of the Dorabji Tata Graduate School. It helped that these concepts were already part of the Tata culture."
The present campus of the Institute, at Deonar in Mumbai, was opened on October 6, 1954, by the then prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The year 1964 is an important landmark in the history of the Institute — it was recognised as a deemed university by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Since then the Institute has expanded continuously, both in educational programmes and infrastructure. It has responded to the changing needs of the social and educational system in the country and has gone far beyond its initial concern of social work education. What started as a small institution offering post-graduate diplomas in social work has grown into a university with diversified activities.
Today TISS is one of India's premier educational institutions. It trains professionals in human resources and social work, carries out research on social problems and social sciences, as well as publishes and disseminates this information for the benefit of society. It is also one of the few institutions in the country which undertakes field projects to demonstrate the workings of organised and systematic welfare measures. "We have never believed in pure classroom instruction," says Dr Singh. "Apart from teaching and training, the faculty participates in field-action projects. Over time we have formed units for research into child welfare and the sociology of education and urbanisation, among other subjects. The social justice budget and report was prepared with our help. This is a first for the state of Maharashtra and a great challenge for us."
Tata Memorial Centre
Tata Memorial Centre is a comprehensive centre for cancer research and treatment. It is a landmark on the global health map where about 60 per cent of patients seeking primary care are treated free of charge.
JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre
The flag bearer of the ecotechnology movement in India is the JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre, which is part of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. Established in 1996, the Centre was born of renowned agricultural scientist Dr Swaminathan’s conviction that an optimum blending of traditional wisdom and scientific endeavour that nurtures and protects the environment is the bedrock of truly sustainable development (Source: Tata Sons Ltd | The Information Company Pvt Ltd ).
Internet users to surpass 2 Billion this year
Wednesday, 20 October 2010, 10:59 IST
Banaglore: Internet users globally has doubled over the pas five years and it will exceed two billion this year, approaching a third of the world population, according to a United Nations agency.
"162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will be from developing countries, where Internet users grow at a higher rate," International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said in a report. "By the end of 2010, 71 percent of the population in developed countries will be online compared to 21 percent of the population on developing countries," it added. But developing countries need to build up high-speed connections.
"Broadband is the next tipping point, the next truly transformational technology," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure. "It can generate jobs, drive growth and productivity and underpin long-term economic competitiveness."
Access varies widely by region, with 65 percent of people online in Europe, ahead of 55 percent in the Americas, compared with only 9.6 percent of the population in Africa and 21.9 percent in Asia/Pacific, the ITU said.
Access to the Internet in schools, at work and in public places is critical for developing countries, where only 13.5 percent of people have the Internet at home, against 65 percent in developed countries, it said.
A study last week by another UN agency showed that mobile phones were a far more important communications technology for people in the poorest developing countries than the Internet.
Reader's comments (1)
1: One of the greatest successes in India has been INTERNET and MOBILEPHONES. Today everybody wants quick communication. I am one of the prolific users of INTERNET.
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail.
Most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film, and television are being reshaped or redefined by the Internet. Newspaper, book and other print publishing are having to adapt to Web sites and blogging. The Internet has enabled or accelerated new forms of human interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking. Online shopping has boomed both for major retail outlets and small artisans and traders. Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries.
The origins of the Internet reach back to the 1960s with both private and United States military research into robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer networks. The funding of a new U.S. backbone by the National Science Foundation, as well as private funding for other commercial backbones, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks. The commercialization of what was by then an international network in the mid 1990s resulted in its popularization and incorporation into virtually every aspect of modern human life. As of 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth's population used the services of the Internet(Source: Wikipedia)..
Here is a very interesting story on INTERNET SUCCESS and its Future:
Future Internet Success
Anyone who wants their website to do well nowadays must be very forward thinking. With over 2 billion web pages battling for the (relatively) small number of people online, the internet has become a cutthroat industry with developers resorting to desperate tactics to get more visitors. The simple fact is, though, that the way to be truly successful, is to be the first at something, and this is what webmasters should be looking to do.
Practically all the good ideas are gone. Unfortunately this statement is, in some ways, very true. There are still websites that innovate, but now that most of the offline shops and ideas have been taken online, it is only the real visionaries that can create completely new ideas to take online. Because of this, everyone else need to find other ways of innovating. Surprisingly enough, though, there are new markets which are emerging which are growing, but under-exploited. It is these new markets which should be embraced by today's webmasters.
China and India
One of the new markets which is quickly developing on the internet, is that for Chinese content. China is the world's most populous country with over 1.3 billion people, but only 33.7 million of them are online. Thats just 2.5%, compared to roughly 55% in the UK and USA. Its obvious, from looking at these figures, that internet usage in China is going to grow hugely over the next few years. Currently there are just over 500 million people online worldwide. Within the next 5 to 10 years, there could be that many people online from China alone.
Although Chinese web users have for a long time been regulated online (and the government still puts filters in place to stop them from viewing some sites) they are getting more and more freedom and hundreds of thousands of sites in Chinese have been set up. There is still a huge amount of information which is online, though, which is only available in English, and this makes it difficult for the Chinese to use it. There is a huge market over the next few years to market your website and information in China, so it might be time to consider finding someone to translate your website.
A similar view could be taken of India. Here, internet access is even less widly spread (only 5 million of the 1 billion people are online (0.5%). Hundreds of other countries around the world like China and India also have huge populations and will be massive markets once the internet becomes widly spread. A shrewd webmaster will begin thinking about targetting these markets soon.
This is a second market which is already gaining huge popularity, and will continue to do so over the next few years. Practically every developed country (for example the USA, Australia, the UK and other EU memeber countries) has an ageing population. Because people are living longer, larger proportions are over 60 and retired. Already, these people have begun to start using the internet, as it provides a huge amount of information without them having to leave home, and can allow them to keep in touch with friends and family easily.
Although many sites are providing information directly to older people (and they can easily use the majority of internet sites in their native language), there is still an emerging market which should be targeted. Aiming your site towards the older generation of 'silver-surfers' is much easier than translation. Things like offering alternative methods of payment, allowing larger font sizes, providing telephone numbers and postal addresses, can all improve the experience for older people and make them more confident about using your website.
There are many emerging markets, and to succeed on the internet you must be sure to consider and, in some cases directly target, them. This article has just covered two, but a bit of research can find many more. The internet will grow hugely over the next 5 years, and webmasters must be ready to take advantage(Source: FREE Webmaster Help.com).
Another phenomenal success in a vast country like India has been Mobile Phones. The so called ‘ILLITERATES’ (but not ill informed) use Mobiles Today. This shows the rural people will not lag behind in adopting what is best for them.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 20 Oct, 2010
Wanted: Corporate honchos for nation building
By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia
Friday, 15 October 2010, 07:25 IST
Bangalore: The question whether our political system is prepared for businessmen being inducted directly into government remains to be answered. Ever since Indian independence, many political leaders have initiated improved participation of corporate leaders in the decision making process of the country by placing them in charge of key government divisions. Although many failed to prove their corporate excellence in governance, India's overall economic prosperity, in many ways, is indebted to them. Nation building now mainly depends on the corporate honchos who are willing to render their service.
Jawaharlal Nehru had prominent businessmen like T.T. Krishnamachari, Shanmukham Chetty and John Mathai in his cabinet occupying key positions. Later, Rajiv Gandhi also had many excellent minds from the IT industry like Arun Nehru, Sam Pitroda and Arun Singh. They all had to part ways with the government due to difference in opinions.
Now as time went by, the political and corporate scenario of the country has changed. Politicians acknowledge the need for involvement of educated and successful business leaders in the development of the country and such leaders are willing to contribute their service for the country as well.
Sam Pitroda has been called back in 2005 and was first appointed as the Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission and then as the Advisor to PM on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations.
Manmohan Singh inducted Arun Maira who is the Chairman of Boston Consulting Group as a member of the Planning Commission. Arun quit the board membership of Patni Computers before joining the Commission. He also has served Tata Administrative Services for 25 years.
Shailesh Gandhi, who has been running a successful packaging firm with more than 500 employees and a clientele that included many blue-chips, had sold off his business to become a Right-to-Information activist. Few years down the line, he has been appointed as the Central Information Commissioner.
Military veteran Raghu Raman, CEO of Mahindra Defence Land Systems, a Mahindra-British Aerospace joint venture was appointed as the Mission Head, National Intelligence Grid. The government hopes that his experience both in military services and industry can be used for smooth flow of information among official agencies.
Nandan Nilekani, the former CEO of Infosys has been appointed as the Chairman of India?s ambitious UID project. He has assembled an elite group of software engineers, tech-savvy bureaucrats and biometric experts to run the show. Srikanth Nadhamuni, an engineer with 16 years of work experience with firms such as Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics and Intel, heads the unique ID technology team. Nandan?s team also includes Pramod Varma, an Infosys alumnus and V.P. Research & Chief Technology Architect at Sterling Commerce; R.S. Sharma, a bureaucrat; Wyly Wade, a World Bank consultant and Salil Prabhakar, a fingerprints specialist. Hundreds of techies with the leading IT firms have volunteered to be a part of the project.
The dream of inclusive growth can be realized only with the brilliant minds in the corporate world. The political culture has to reshape itself to accept the innovative ideas of the youth. The technological intelligence of the young workforce should be utilized aptly to make India a superpower in the next decade. If done so, then the days are not too far when the decision making body of our country will be a combination of people with political administrative expertise and corporate intelligence.
Reader's comments (11)
1: While Corporates can certainly help the country in policy matters, it is Engineeers,Scientists and Technologists that can take the country forward. Shri V.P.Singh(Former Prime Minister) had Prof.M.G.K.Menon as Minister of State for Science and Technology and Prof.Raja Ramanna as Minister of State for Defence.
Our First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited Dr.H,.J.Bhabha to join his cabinet. Of course he declined it for the good of the Nation to build Atomic Energy in the country.
In contrast to our Country, most of the Chinese ministers are either Engineers or Scientists. I was in Shanghai for an International Conference on Renewable Energy which was inaugurated by Chinese Vice-Premier. There was an exhibition. The Vice Premier spent two hours enquiring about the gadgets. I was amazed on the insight of the vice premier in Energy.
Educational Background of Some Chinese Ministers
Yang Jiechi,Minister of foreign affairs - holds doctorate in history.
Liang Guanglie,Minister of national defense - Holds the military rank as general.
Zhou Ji,Minister of education - with a doctoral degree, professor, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering
Wan Gang,Minister of science and technology - holds Ph. D degree in mechanical engineering, professor. Had been president of Tongji University
Li Yizhong,Minister of industry and information - Professor-level senior engineer.
Meng Jianzhu,Minister of public security - holds master's degree in mechanical engineering
Li Xueju, Minister of civil affairs - Post-graduate education
Wu Aiying,,Minister of justice - Post-graduate education.
Yin Weimin,Minister of human resources and social security – Post graduate education
Xu Shaoshi,Minister of land and resources - Master's degree in economics
Zhou Shengxian,Minister of environmental protection - Post-graduate education
Liu Zhijun,,Minister of railways -Postgraduate education, engineer
Chen Lei,Minister of water resources - Postgraduate education, master of engineering
Chen Deming,,Minister of commerce - Doctor of management.
Cai Wu,,Minister of culture - Doctor of law
Chen Zhu,Minister of health - Doctorate in science
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 17 Oct, 2010
Yale Legend in Leadership award for Ratan Tata
Tuesday, 19 October 2010, 08:58 IST
New Delhi: Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata will be conferred with the Yale School of Management's prestigious "Legend in Leadership" award in Mumbai later this month.
The award will be presented to Tata at a conference of renowned business leaders from all over the world who will meet in Mumbai Oct 25.
Organized by the Yale School of Management, the conference will see the world business leaders discussing "Leading Global Enterprises across Global Cities: Aspirations, Realities and Alternatives."
"No company and no living leader better embody the themes of this CEO Summit than the Tata Group in general and CEO Ratan Tata in particular. For roughly 20 years, he has brilliantly led one of India's most venerated family enterprises and India's largest conglomerate," said Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programmes and Lester Crown Professor in management.
Besides Tata, the participants in the summit include Rajan Mittal of Bharti Airtel, Udayan Sen of Deloitte India, FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra; K.K. Modi of Modi Enterprises; India John Flannery of General Electric India China; Rakesh Mohan former Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India; Rajeev Dubey, President of Mahindra & Mahindra, and Shachindra Nath of Religare Enterprises.
Past winners of the Yale Legend in Leadership Award include Alan Mulally of the Ford Motor Company, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, Robert Iger of The Walt Disney Corporation, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group, Roger Enrico of PepsiCo, John Pepper of Proctor & Gamble; Don Keough of The Coca Cola Co., and McKinsey founder Marvin Bower.
Reader's comments (1)
1: We are excited to know about conferment of the Yale School of Management's prestigious "Legend in Leadership" on you,Sir, The Nation salutes you on this occasion.
You are a legend.
Here is a profile of Ratan Tataji and his achievements.
Ratan Naval Tata (born December 28, 1937, in Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India) is the present Chairman of Tata Sons and therefore, Tata Group India's largest conglomerate founded by Jamsedji Tata and consolidated and expanded by later generations of his family. He is also the chairman of major Tata companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, The Indian Hotels Company and Tata Teleservices.
Ratan Tata serves in senior capacities in various organisations in India and he is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry. Tata is on the board of governors of the East-West Center, the advisory board of RAND's Center for Asia Pacific Policy and serves on the programme board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS initiative.
Ratan Tata's foreign affiliations include membership of the international advisory boards of the Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase and Booz Allen Hamilton. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the RAND Corporation, University of Southern California and of his alma mater, Cornell University. He also serves as a board member on the Republic of South Africa's International Investment Council and is an Asia-Pacific advisory committee member for the New York Stock Exchange.
• On the occasion of India's 50th Republic Day on 26 January 2000, Ratan Tata was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest decoration that may be awarded to a civilian.
• In February 2004, Ratan Tata was conferred the title of honorary economic advisor to Hangzhou city in the Zhejiang province of China.
• On August 30, 2005, it was announced that Ratan Tata was elected to the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, one of the leading research universities in the United States.
• In 2006 he received the FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism
• In March 2006 Tata was honoured by Cornell University as the 26th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow in Economic Education, considered the highest honor the university awards to distinguished individuals from the corporate sector.
• He was one of the recipients of the NASSCOM Global Leadership Awards 2008, given at a ceremony on February 14, 2008 in Mumbai. Ratan Tata accepted the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007 on behalf of the Tata family.
• He was listed among the 25 most powerful people in business named by Fortune magazine in November 2007.
• In May 2008 Mr Tata made it to the Time magazine's 2008 list of the World's 100 most influential people. Tata was hailed for unveiling his tiny Rs. one lakh car 'Nano'.
• On 26 January 2008, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian decoration.
• On 29 August 2008, the Government of Singapore conferred honorary citizenship on Ratan Tata, in recognition of his abiding business relationship with the island nation and his contribution to the growth of high-tech sectors in Singapore. Ratan Tata is the first Indian to receive this honour.
• In 2009 he was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire.
• He has also been conferred an honorary doctorate in business administration by the Ohio State University, an honorary doctorate in technology by the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, an honorary doctorate in science by the University of Warwick, and an honorary fellowship by the London School of Economics. He has recently received an honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Cambridge.
• In 2010, Ratan Tata was named one of the '50 People Who Matter 2010' by New Statesman Magazine
• Again in 2010, The Federation of the Indo-Israeli Chambers of Commerce, on August 6, bestowed the 'Businessman of the Decade' honour upon Ratan Tata(Source: Wikipedia).
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 19 Oct, 2010
Gates, Buffet favour small scale philanthropy
Saturday, 02 October 2010, 10:48 IST
Beijing: U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett said small scale philanthropy is "more admirable" than large scale ones.
"I particularly admire people who are engaged in small scale philanthropy," investment baron Buffett said at a press conference here.
"The two are very complementary, and it is great to develop them in parallel," Gates, the Microsoft founder, said when talking about small and large scale philanthropy.
Buffett and Gates, who have already persuaded 40 wealthy US individuals to hand over more than half of their fortunes, chaired a closed-door charity banquet with the Chinese wealthy Wednesday night.
They said the Chinese super-rich have "no reluctance" to talk about philanthropy.
"About 25 to 30 people among the guests talked about philanthropy. We talked about our own experiences in the US," Buffett said.
Gates noted that most of Chinese billionaires were the first generation in their family to accumulate wealth. They were not very familiar with the charity work, which was still at an early stage in China, he added.
Both Gates and Buffett believed exchanges among philanthropists were important in China to promote charity.
One can learn constantly by exchanging experiences of success and failure, Gates suggested.
Reader's comments (1)
1: I agree with you Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The greatest joy is in sharing. There are millions of philanthropists who established educational institutions, hospitals, old age homes etc.
In USA there are several Foundations established by individuals which are doing great service.
If the haves can spare even 1 percent of their income for some social service activities, poverty can be reduced to a great extent. There is an adage, THE MORE YOU GIVE - THE MORE YOU GET.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 03 Oct, 2010
India, China leading global recovery: IMF
Sunday, 12 September 2010, 10:48 IST
Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Saturday said major emerging economies like China, India, Indonesia and Brazil are leading the global economic recovery.
"Emerging economies have been sustained by strong domestic demand and the recovery of global trade. Major economies in emerging Asia -- China, India, and Indonesia -- remain in the lead, followed by Brazil in Latin America," said an IMF report on the global economic prospects.
The report said that the investment in the leading emerging economies is accelerating which is one of the main reasons for the economic growth and recovery.
"Fixed investment has begun accelerating beyond its 2009 momentum despite less stimulative policies, suggestive of an increasingly self-sustaining recovery," the report said.
The report also noted the subdued nature of economic recovery in European and the central Asian economies including the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Reader's comments (2)
Today a world suffering from the disparities of income and opportunities requires a new orientation to utilise the accumulated and growing knowledge of science and technology which can bring peace and happiness to mankind. The gulf separating the rich and poor among the nations as well as between the people of a country, is a challenge to science which must provide an answer by discovering techniques which will help a progressive narrowing down of these differences. The knowledge and application of science has the potentiality to reverse trends in the fields in which it has led to exploitation and injustice since it has placed stress on greater and greater economic production and consumption rather than on the needs of man and his integrated all-round development. The focus will have to be changed from being industry-based to being people-based. Science for the people, therefore will keep the interests of the weakest section as its priority and have man as the measure of its growth. Both peace within the community and world peace are directly connected with the right use of science. Therefore we have to aim at peace between the interests of the individual and the social interests of the total community, and between the interests of the human species with all the other forms of life and the total nature of which man is but one component.
The Indian society presents many incongruous dualities to an observer – ostentation in the midst of extreme poverty, sky-scrapers in the background of the sprawling slums, high level scientific achievements in the midst of crude and traditional ways of life and methods of working, etc. The traditional bullock cart is a monumental example of one aspect of this duality. Although we have made remarkable scientific and technological advances over the past quarter century in a variety of fields, the bullock cart design, which belongs to the previous century, has virtually remained the same.
Since independence, India has made rapid strides in every walk of life. Phenomenal progress is seen in its industrialisation, international trade, technical education, and scientific and industrial research.
However there is something amiss in Indian canvas. About 40 per cent of our people still live below the minimum subsistence level. Eighty six per cent of such people live in our villages. Two hundred forty million people in India live in utter destitution. Of them 200 million live in our half a million villages. It only proves that the rural people have not been brought into the mainstream of our national endeavour to contribute to the progress and share the fruits of our economic and industrial growth. It is true that a large number of these rural poor are illiterate, but not ill-informed however. These poor and illiterate people have learnt that a better life is not only possible for them but they have a right to better life. They cannot wait in line indefinitely for the better days to come. We have to plan and work in this direction so that better days for them could come sooner than expected. This is the imperative need of the nation and a challenge before all thinking Indians.
It is well recognised that science and technology are the propellants for progress and prosperity and catalysts for growth and development. The greater the capacity of a nation to generate, transfer and to utilise the technology, the faster is its growth, progress and prosperity. Technology flow should be coupled with financial flow. With the same capital, but with a twist in technology, greater outputs can be obtained. Technology not only brings about change in production system but also influences social relations in this system, changing the lifestyles, values and attitudes which in turn change technology. Technology is thus culture – specific. Therefore, the welding of capital, cultural and technology factors is essential for rapid development.
The major question is how can science and technology help to fulfill the expectations of people. In an attempt to catch up with the west, its modernisation and consumer civilization, we have only landed ourselves in the pockets of affluence, in a sea of distress and destitution. We now realise mere increased production is not enough; it should be coupled with the distributive justice. Economic development must be coupled with social development.
Social development is centered around man. The country is not just soil. The country is people. Development is really the development of the people, development of the capabilities in the people to be self-confident, self-competent, self-dependent and self-reliant: to live in harmony with the environment and to have a sense of values of human dignity.
The task of the leadership should basically be to modernise the traditional and traditionalise the modern. This task becomes more difficult in old countries like India imbued with traditions, taboos, superstitions, rituals, etc.
There is the need to adopt the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi,NOT MASS PRODUCTION BY THE MASSES utilizing huge manpower and local resources. Agro Industries are the answer for rural prosperity.
There are many trees which grow very wildly even with less water. To name a few, we have “Annona Squamosa (Seethaphal), Agave (Americana). The fruit of Annona Squamosa contains many seeds. The seed of the fruit yield 21 to 29 % oil. The characteristics of the oil are :
Sp. Gr. At 150 C 0.92116
N 600 D 1.4558
Saponification Value 181 to 183.3
Iodine number 85.6 to 88.2
R.M. Value 0.6
Poplenske Value 0.2
Unsaponification matter 0.2 %
The oil contains the following percentage percentages of acids.
These acids are used in the preparation of :
Oleic Acid: Soap base, manufacture of oleates, ointments, cosmetics, polishing compound, Lubricants, ore floatation, organic synthetic intermediate,
Linoleic Acid: Soaps, special driers, for protective coatings, emulsifying agents, medicine, foods, feeds, biochemical research.
Palmitic Acid: Starting point in the manufacture of various matallic palmitates, soaps, lube oils, water proofing.
Stearic Acid :Chemicals, especially stearates and stearic driers, lubricants, soaps, candles, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, rubber compounding, shoe and metal polishes, coatings, food packaging.
The oil in general is used in the manufacture of paints and varnishes.
There is Agave Americana . The fibre is used in rope making. In Philippines Fine Cloth under trade name DIP DRY is used to make shirts. The specialty of this cloth is water won’t stick to it and easy to wash. In Brazil a paper mill with entirely input from Sisal agave is in operation. The plant has also cellulose and sugar content and when putrified produces methane and as such can find use in Biogas plants.
Vacant land can be assigned to YOUTH ECONOMIC ZONES (a co-operative of 10 uneducated youth with about 10 acres each) with finances from Banks. There are successful COMMUNES in Israel.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 13 Sep, 2010
India's CSR barely visble? SiliconIndia's platform to strengthen it
Monday, 27 September 2010, 08:42 IST
Bangalore: We are so engrossed with our personal and professional lives that it leaves us hardly any time to think or do something about the less fortunate ones. Companies across the globe have the prime motive of making profit and run their business to grow big. Is it then a case of Objectivism as proposed by Ayn Rand, as a philosophy of living on earth, which the modern world is following?
Fortunately not! Even in the profit making businesses, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a primary duty. However, many activities by the corporates or individuals are never revealed, and hence they fail to enthuse the people at large. So, SiliconIndia will provide a new platform through their portal siliconindia.org to bring such activities to the limelight and encourage everyone to take their bits of learning from it and contribute more for the social good. "The CSR activities of TATA, Birla or Infosys, Wipro is always in the limelight. But think about a small firm addressing some local needs as a part of their social duties in some corners of North-East. It is to encourage such activities and empower the organizations more, our new platform is set into place," says Gunjan Sinha, Chairman of SiliconIndia.
As a part of CSR, Indian companies are spending about Rs.30,000 crore in a year, where the company indulges in sustainable or responsible activities that point to its good intentions as a corporate citizen. But when it comes to awareness even within the organization, there is a huge gap. Harvi Sachar, CEO of SiliconIndia explains, "When we talk to employees at the lower rungs, they are hardly aware of the any societal initiatives of the company and the case remains intact for corporate bigwigs. There is a huge need to spread these social activities, within the corporates, among the employees. Through siliconindia.org, we are striving for a well-spread awareness of each of these initiatives."
Along with the corporates, there is also the need to drive the attention towards a community which since long has been striving for the solution of every minute issue in the country - the NGOs. It's about two million NGOs operating in India, but the people with the funds are hardly aware of the majority of them. The new CSR portal will become a podium for every NGO to share their stories and get a mindshare of every corporate body.
The new venture of SiliconIndia will be a platform where different CSR efforts can leverage each others' resources and learnings to provide maximum help to their target communities in India. The program is also inclined to bring in more corporate sponsors for NGOs and also to attract more individual professionals as volunteers and donors.
Reader's comments (13)
1: I find the article interesting.
Nearly all leading corporates in India are involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes in areas like education, health, livelihood creation, skill development, and empowerment of weaker sections of the society. Notable efforts have come from the Tata Group, Infosys, Bharti Enterprises, ITC Welcome group, Indian Oil Corporation among others.
The 2010 list of Forbes Asia’s ‘48 Heroes of Philanthropy’ contains four Indians. The 2009 list also featured four Indians. India has been named among the top ten Asian countries paying increasing importance towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure norms. India was ranked fourth in the list, according to social enterprise CSR Asia's Asian Sustainability Ranking (ASR), released in October 2009.
According to a study undertaken by an industry body in June 2009, which studied the CSR activities of 300 corporate houses, corporate India has spread its CSR activities across 20 states and Union territories, with Maharashtra gaining the most from them. About 36 per cent of the CSR activities are concentrated in the state, followed by about 12 per cent in Gujarat, 10 per cent in Delhi and 9 per cent in Tamil Nadu.
The companies have on an aggregate, identified 26 different themes for their CSR initiatives. Of these 26 schemes, community welfare tops the list, followed by education, the environment, health, as well as rural development.
Further, according to a study by financial paper, The Economic Times, donations by listed companies grew 8 per cent during the fiscal ended March 2009. The study of disclosures made by companies showed that 760 companies donated US$ 170 million in FY09, up from US$ 156 million in the year-ago period. As many as 108 companies donated over US$ 216,199, up 20 per cent over the previous year.
Although corporate India is involved in CSR activities, the central government is working on a framework for quantifying the CSR initiatives of companies to promote them further. According to Minister for Corporate Affairs, Mr Salman Khurshid, one of the ways to attract companies towards CSR work is to develop a system of CSR credits, similar to the system of carbon credits which are given to companies for green initiatives.
Moreover, in 2009, the government made it mandatory for all public sector oil companies to spend 2 per cent of their net profits on corporate social responsibility.
Besides the private sector, the government is also ensuring that the public sector companies participate actively in CSR initiatives. The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has prepared guidelines for central public sector enterprises to take up important corporate social responsibility projects to be funded by 2-5 per cent of the company's net profits.
As per the guidelines, companies with net profit of less than US$ 22.5 million will earmark 3-5 per cent of profit for CSR, companies with net profit of between US$ 22.5 million - US$ 112.5 million, will utilise 2-3 per cent for CSR activities and companies with net profit of over US$ 112.5 million will spend 0.5-2 per cent of net profits for CSR.(Source: IBEF,India Brand Equity Foundation,June 2010).
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 27 Sep, 2010
India fails to make significant progress in MDGs
Thursday, 16 September 2010, 22:52 Hrs
Geneva: India has performed poorly in meeting the Millennium Development Goals despite sustained growth, with high levels of maternal and child mortality rates amidst very low public spending on health, analysts have said ahead of next week's UN summit on MDGs in New York.
India is not going to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)- sharp reduction in extreme poverty and hunger, improvement in maternal health, reducing child mortality, and HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases by 2015. The MDGs are both global and local, tailored by each country to suit specific development needs and they were adopted by world leaders in the year 2000. The deadline for achieving MDGs is 2015 and leaders when they congregate in New York will discuss the overall progress and what steps to take during the next five years.
A new report- 'Trends in Maternal Mortality:1990-2008' prepared by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA, and The World Bank suggests that India continues to have high maternal mortality as well as child mortality.The report says around 1,000 women die every day due to complications during pregnancy and child birth in the world. The risk of a woman in a developing country dying from a pregnancy-related cause during her lifetime is about 36 times higher as compared to a woman living in a developed countries. Though the maternal mortality (MMR) rate has dropped by 34 percent from an estimated 5,46,000 in 1990 to 3,58,000 in 2008, it continues to be a major problem in India with the highest maternal deaths occurring due to severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders and unsafe abortion.
"To achieve our global goal of improving maternal health and to save women's lives we need to do more to reach those who are most at risk," says Anthony Lake, UNICEF's Executive Director. "India has low investment around 3 percent in health" as compared to many African countries, which had decided to scale up investments for health to about 15 percent of GDP," says Michel Kazatchkine, the Global Fund's Executive Director. Kazatchkine, who visited India recently, told reporters that India has to increase its outlay for the health sector adding that the government is responsive to the needs in health and other social sectors.
The Global Funds has provided about $1.1 billion to address HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Though India makes an annual contribution of $10 million to The Global Fund, it managed to be one of its highest recipients. The Global Fund chief said he made a special appeal to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to increase India's contribution in line with its economic growth and change
Reader's comments (1)
1: India MDG Report 2009,
Fast facts from India’s 2009 MDG Report:
• The absolute number of poor in the country has declined from about 320 million (36 percent of total population) in 1993-94 to about 301 million (27.6 percent of total population) in 2004-05. With this rate of decline, the country is expected to have a burden of about 279 million of people (22.1 percent) living below the poverty line in the year 2015.
• All-India trend of the proportion of underweight (severe and moderate) children below three years of age shows India is going slow in eliminating the effect of malnourishment. The estimate of the proportion has declined only marginally during 1998-99 to 2005-06, from about 47 to about 46 percent and at this rate of decline is expected to come down to about 40 percent only by 2015.
• With 1.9 million tuberculosis cases estimated in 2008 India has one fifth of the world’s total. Globally India also made the most notable progress in providing treatment across the country’s entire population – in 2008 over 1.5 million patients were enrolled for treatment.
• During the past decade India’s forest cover has increased by 728 sq. km, access to improved water sources is up from 68.2 percent in 1992-93 to 84.4% in 2007-08 – in urban areas it has gone up to 95%. According to India’s MDG Report “India, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, has the lowest sanitation coverage”. Sanitation remains a major challenge and half the population does not have access to toilets – in rural areas this is as high as 66%.
• Going at the rate by which youth literacy increased between 1991 and 2001- from 61.9 to 76.4 percent, India is expected to have youth literacy of 82.1 by 2007 and 100 percent by the end of 2012.
• Gender parity in primary and secondary education is likely to be achieved though not in tertiary education. However, share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector can at best be expected to reach a level of about 24 percent by 2015, far short of a parity situation.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 17 Sep, 2010
Pitroda proposes a Rs.1,000-crore corpus to spur innovation
Friday, 10 September 2010, 01:45 IST
New Delhi: Putting a premium on innovative ideas to spur inclusive growth, technology evangelist Sam Pitroda Thursday envisaged a Rs.1,000-crore corpus to nurture a culture of innovation in the country.
The prime minister's advisor on public information infrastructure and innovation bounced the idea at the first-ever meeting of the newly-formed National Innovation Council, of which he is also the chairman.
Pitroda expected the government to pitch in with a 10-20 percent share in the creating the corpus, which, he hoped, would eventually grow to a size of Rs.5,000 crore with public buying its equities.
"This will not be a government fund. The government may contribute only seed capital to the tune of 10 to 20 percent. We are looking at a fund of size Rs.1,000 crore to begin with," said Pitroda, answering queries as to how the council would fund innovative ideas.
Dwelling upon the need to evolve an innovative bent of mind to spur inclusive growth, he said: "We do not have to solve the problem of the rich. They have the money and the power to get it solved."
"But, ironically, the best brains of the world are busy solving the problems of the rich, who do not have any problem to begin with," observed Pitroda, adding the panel would encourage innovation to solve the problems of the poor and the masses.
"We need to create a new model of inclusive innovation for India which can provide solutions for the people at the bottom of the pyramid," said Pitroda.
"India needs more frugal innovations that produces more frugal cost products and services that are affordable by people at low levels of income without compromising the safety, efficiency and utility of the products."
To promote the culture of innovations, the council decided to work on the suggestion by one of its members, film maker Shekhar Kapoor, to host a television show to highlight the achievements of real-life innovators at grassroot level in the country.
The council has the mandate to promote the culture of innovation aimed at achieving inclusive growth. While encouraging all important sectors of the economy to innovate, it is expected to take special efforts to facilitate innovation by micro, small, and medium enterprises.
Among other things, it will focus on innovation in public services delivery and encourage multi-disciplinary and globally competitive approaches for innovation.
The 17-member panel includes Planning Commission members K. Kasturirangan and Arun Maira; the former Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), R.A. Mashelkar; the former President of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, Kiran Karnik; Executive Director of Tata Sons R. Gopalakrishnan; and Biocon Chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
Reader's comments (2)
I fully endorse your efforts to promote Innovations Mr.Sam Pitroda.
Innovation,Invention and creativity are the pillars of progress.
1000 crores is peanuts in Innovations promotion.
In India Organisations like NRDC,National Innovation Fund,TePP(DSIR) are supporting Innovations. But these efforts are meager. In USA Private Entrepreneures like Lemelson Foundation, The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation in MIT , The Skoll Foundation ,etc., fund Innovations.There is Social Innovation Fund (SIF) in USA.
In India also Industrial Giants like TATAs,Birlas,Mahindras,Mittals,Reliance Group,IT Giants like Infosys,Wipro,TCS etc., can create an INNOVATION Fund to foster Innovations in the country.
India Innovation Fund (ILF) Promoted By NASSCOM & ICICI Knowledge Park (IKP) Achieves its first closing
• TCS ,IKP Trust, Department of Science & Technology(GoI) and Bharti Airtel are anchor investors in the fund
• First Closing corpus of Rs 40 crore which will be scaled up to Rs 100 crores
• India Innovation Fund (IIF) will operate as a stand-alone entity, managed by experienced professionals and overseen by Industry leaders.
NASSCOM, announced (5th November 2009) that the IIF which has been promoted by NASSCOM and IKP has achieved its first closing corpus of Rs 40 crores.
IIF is structured as a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered fund with the fund corpus being created through institutional contributions from firms representing the targeted investment areas of the fund. IIF is being managed by the IKP Investment Management Company (IKPIMC).
A unique feature of the IIF model is the collaboration of large, diverse institutions as anchor investors who not only provide the capital but more importantly provide the investee companies with market access and technology development guidance. It is also the first public-private partnership of this scale providing funding to entrepreneurs. The anchor investors of the IIF at the first closing are TCS, IKP Trust, Department of Science & Technology (GoI) and Bharti Airtel.
IIF, a first of its kind national initiative, is an early stage fund and has been created to promote Intellectual Property (IP) driven innovations in frontier or emerging technologies through patient investment. IIF will also endeavor to encourage technology entrepreneurship to enable innovative start-ups to reach a stage of self sustenance and growth. The fund is targeted at early stage companies in the ICT and Life Sciences sectors.
IKPIMC has appointed former NASSCOM President Mr Kiran Karnik as the chairman of its board. The board also comprises of Dr Bala Manian, a renowned serial entrepreneur with several successful start-ups in the US to his credit and Ms. Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, MD & CEO, IKP. The investments of the fund will be overseen by an investment committee constituted with eminent Industry experts such as Dr. Jai Menon, Director Technology & Customer Service Bharti Airtel, Mr Sharad Sharma, former CEO Yahoo R&D India, Dr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Director General ABLE (Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises), Government of India’s r and other investor representatives.
As of now, the following sectors have been identified as the key focus areas for investment by IIF:
• Automotive Infotronics & Intelligent Transport Systems
• Telecommunication Technologies
• Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
• Medical Devices
• Information technologies with multi sector application
These sectors have been identified based on the need for disruptive technology innovations to meet the increasingly sophisticated domestic demand in these areas and the potential for India based innovations to acquire a global footprint.
Charles W Wessner, Director, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The US National Academies (UNA) is an internationally renowned expert on early stage financing for new firms, leveraging PPPs for growth, university-industry clusters, regional development and science & innovation-based growth. He spoke to Taneesha Kulshrestha on the sidelines of a summit that announced the setting up of a US-India Innovation Forum between the UNA and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to share best practices in innovation between the government, academia and private companies of the two countries.( INTERVIEW : CHARLES W WESSNER “India has a pressing need for Innovation”(Nov 4,2006):
In the context of India, how critical is the need for innovation?
We live in a world that is getting increasingly globalised. The US needs to find ways of doing things more efficiently in a cost effective manner to be able to compete in a global arena. In the Indian context, the need for innovation is even more critical with its problems of illiteracy, healthcare, poverty among others. India has a pressing need to do things in a better and cheaper manner. For India, the challenge is to provide cheaper and better performing products and services for the bottom of the pyramid.
What do you think promotes an innovation ecosystem in the US and how could India go about doing the same?
The US business ecosystem provides the impetus to innovate by incentivising the process. The legal and social systems are geared towards recognising and promoting innovation as well. Innovation leads to wealth and we in America think that getting wealthy is a good thing. For instance, when a professor leaves a US university to start a company, he is praised widely unlike in countries like Finland where a professor leaving the Helsinki Institute of Technology is seen as stepping down from a position of prestige, even if he has started asuccessful company.
In the US, when the same individual comes back to the university after putting in 10 years in corporate life, he becomes even more valuable to the university. It is this churn of high value individuals that has bettered the university industry relationship in the US that has then enriched the innovation culture. Also, the US has a well-established culture of venture and angel entrepreneurs apart from government agencies that are willing to fund enterprises at the time they start up.
To establish a culture of innovation India could also look at reward systems that promote innovation. The government would have to play an important part in the same, especially for small business innovation programmes where funding is a major constraint. It needs a clear science and technology policy with a stronger intellectual property regime besides clearer laws in areas like bankruptcy such that an entrepreneur does not feel that once he has failed, he does not know where to go and feels pressured by debt.
What has been the US experience when it comes to funding innovation?
Recent research in early stage technology funding shows that most early stage funding comes from corporations, federal government and angel investors and not venture capitalists who form a small part (between 2.3-8%). Federal technology development funds complement private funds and are more important than we initially thought.
You favour awards over prizes and tax credits to foster innovation. Would you recommend the same for India?
Prizes are restrictive. Only one or two people can get a prize while more people can be given an award. Innovation needs to be broad-based and prizes make the selection of ideas narrow. As for tax credits, their cost on the economy goes deeper than a reward and they prove to be more high cost. Their effect is more diffused. Moreover, small-time innovators or startup have no revenues to speak of on which they can demand tax credits. Thus, the purpose of the tax credit is defeated.”
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 10 Sep, 2010
Pitroda's 'digital wallets' changing the concept of money
Thursday, 09 September 2010, 10:10 IST
New Delhi: Technology evangelist Sam Pitroda has another innovation up his sleeve and this time, he says, it will change the way people the world over look at money and carry out transactions by putting a "digital wallet" into mobile phones.
The inventor of the Casio Digital Diary, which was a rage in the 1980s, Pitroda's company C-Sam has developed a mobile money transaction platform that, he vouches, will transform today's concept of banking, credit cards, payments and money.
His latest innovation has also been explained in his new book - "The March of Mobile Money: The Future of Lifestyle Management" - that was released by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at the India International Centre Tuesday evening.
"Today all your credit, debit cards are put in an envelope and sent to you. In the future, your plastic cards will be digital and sent to your new address - your mobile phone," Pitroda said at the well-attended launch function.
"This involves the convergence of banks and merchants along with the user. And this is already happening. It is almost here."
Pitroda, who is advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on public information, infrastructure and innovation, says the inspiration for his latest invention was his wife Anu, who would spend hours writing cheque after cheque.
It was then he thought of the concept of "mobile money" that combines the cash you have in your bank account, credit cards, bank accounts, mobile phone and a secure transaction gateway all into a digital wallet of convenience.
The book has been co-authored by his long-time associate at the Chicago-headquartered C-Sam, Mehul Desai and published by Harper Collins.
Pitroda said the use of technology and communications in commercial activities can help transform a country like India, empower citizens, reach social uplift programs more effectively and bring about a drastic lifestyle change in both urban and rural areas.
With over 600 million mobile phone subscribers in India, this electronic version of the leather wallet can deliver personalised and secure services individually to a wide spectrum of users covering almost all sectors, he said.
In today's world, Pitroda said, more than 10 billion cards are produced every year. "The mobile wallet would, in the future, replace these cards, bringing down the cost of transaction and increasing efficiency."
Pitroda, who also chairs the National Innovation Council and headed the now defunct National Knowledge Commission, had filed a patent for the mobile wallet in 1994.
The technology, he says, is already present and used in some form in countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Singapore. This apart, a version of this technology - called iMobile - is also being used by ICICI bank.
The application of this technology - as has been with his numerous innovations, notably the Casio Digital Diary - seems simple.
To pay for a transaction, one has to navigate to the menu of a mobile phone and click on the designated icon. The phone asks how to pay, and one then clicks on the credit card. The transaction is done over a secure encrypted platform.
What is more, one can also plug-on this platform to a computer, see the history of transactions, the balance cash, the spending pattern, charts, graphs and even take a printout of receipts, said Pitroda.
"With mobile money, I can buy something from Brazil, pay in rupees, and charge it to my account in Chicago."
Reader's comments (1)
1: Introduction of digital wallets in India, a move by Sam Pitroda is welcome.
A digital wallet (also known as an e-wallet) allows users to make electronic commerce transactions quickly and securely.
A digital wallet functions much like a physical wallet. The digital wallet was first conceived as a method of storing various forms of electronic money(e-cash), but with little popularity of such e-cash services, the digital wallet has evolved into a service that provides internet users with a convenient way to store and use online shopping information.
A digital wallet has both as software and information component. The software provides security and encryption for the personal information and for the actual transaction. Typically, digital wallets are stored on the client side and are easily self-maintained and fully compatible with most e-commerce Web sites. A server – side digital wallet, also known as a thin wallet, is one that an organization creates for and about you and maintains on its servers. Server-side digital wallets are gaining popularity among major retailers due to the security, efficiency, and added utility it provides to the end-user, which increases their enjoyment of their overall purchase.
The information component is basically a database of user-inputted information. This information consists of your shipping address, billing address, payment methods (including credit card numbers, expiry dates, and security numbers), and other information.
A client side digital wallet requires minimal setup and is relatively easy to use. Once the software is installed, the user begins by entering all the pertinent information. The digital wallet is now setup. At the purchase/check-out page of an e-commerce site, the digital wallet software has the ability to automatically enter the user information in the online form. By default, most digital wallets prompt when the software recognizes a form in which it can fill out, if you chose to automatically fill out the form, you will be prompted for a password. This keeps unauthorized users from viewing personal information stored on a particular computer. for this reason main benefit of this type of wallet is that you do not need to complete forms. instead once you fill your account info in your client side wallet in first time, it is enough for other use.
Digital wallets are designed to be accurate when transferring data to retail checkout forms; however, if a particular e-commerce site has a peculiar checkout system, the digital wallet may fail to properly recognize the forms fields. This problem has been eliminated by sites and wallet software that use ECML technology Electronic Commerce Modeling Language is a protocol that dictates how online retailers structure and setup their checkout forms. Participating e-commerce vendors who incorporate both digital wallet technology and ECML include: Microsoft, Discover, IBM, Omaha Steaks and Dell Computers.
Upwards of 25% of online shoppers abandon their order due to frustration in filling in forms. (Graphic Arts Monthly, 1999) The digital wallet combats this problem by giving users the option to transfer their information securely and accurately. This simplified approach to completing transactions results in better usability and ultimately more utility for the customer (Source: Wikipedia).
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 09 Sep, 2010
Obama asks U.S. to buck up, cites India's and China's growth
Wednesday, 18 August 2010, 11:31
Washington: President Obama is all set to buck up the citizens of the U.S. to work hard and compete the fast growing economies like India and China. He has asked Americans to produce more scientists and engineers and return to manufacturing things themselves which would make them more competent compared to Indian and Chinese peers.
"We did not become the most prosperous nation on Earth by rewarding greed and recklessness of the sort that helped cause this financial crisis," he said speaking at a fundraiser for fellow Democrat Senator Patty Murray, who is in a tough race for a fourth term, in Seattle, Washington, Tuesday.
"We did it by rewarding the values of hard work and responsibility. We did it by investing in the people who have built this country from the ground up - workers and families; and small business owners and responsible entrepreneurs.
"We did it because we out-worked and we out-educated and out-competed other nations. That's who we are. That's who we need to be," he said. "Because right now, countries like China and India and South Korea and Germany, they are fighting as hard as they can for the jobs of the future."
"They're trying to out-compete us when it comes to clean energy. They're trying to out-compete us when it comes to producing engineers and scientists," Obama said. "And frankly, in some cases, they've been catching up and even propelling forward ahead of us."
"The United States does not play for second place. We play for first," he said recalling his remarks at his State of the Union address.
"We are going to rebuild this economy stronger than it was before," he said amid applause. "And at the heart of this rebuilding effort are three simple words: 'Made In America. Made In America.'"
"Instead of giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, we want to cut taxes for companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America," Obama said.
Obama also called on Senate Republicans to allow a vote on legislation to help small businesses, saying "now is not the time for political games." Obama criticised "a small partisan minority" that he said will not let the bill come to a vote, echoing the theme of Republican obstruction he has hit hard during a five-state fundraising swing.
Reader's comments (2)
1: The world's top four emerging markets, the BRIC countries of Brazil, China, India and Russia, will account for two-thirds of global economic growth over the next five years, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said on May 19, 2010.
Brazil is forecast to grow between 5.5% and 6% this year, China by 10%, India by 7% and Russia by 5.5%,
The four nations, which represent 40% of the world population, already accounted for about half of global growth between 2000 and 2008.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 18 Aug, 2010
India plans Innovation universities
Tuesday, 17 August 2010, 01:21 IST
NewDelhi:India plans to launch 14 Innovation universities across the country. These 14 new 'innovation varsities' the government has decided to set up will be unique in the context that each university's financial, academic and research structure will be different from the other.
"These universities will be innovative in their governance, in their financial structure, in their academics and research structure, in their content and in every other way," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said today.
The varsities will be unique institutions which will set benchmarks in academics, and more importantly, in research comparable to the best in the world, he said speaking at the golden jubilee celebration of IIT Delhi.
He said the rational behind setting up these universities is to support innovation and nurture a different mindset among students.
Reader's comments (1)
Kapil Sibalji your announcement of starting 14 Innovative Universities across the country is timely. Innovation, Scientific and Technological research of top order are prerequisites for the reputation of Universities.
About supremacy of US on Innovation Front here is an interesting Account:
Innovation May Help United States Meet Economic Challenges
New ranking says United States is unrivalled when it comes to innovating, 08 January 2009(America.gov Engaging the World, 08 January 2009),
The United States’ lead in innovation makes it better positioned to face future challenges than is any other country, despite current economic woes, according to a new study.
The U.S. economy was ranked as the most innovative in the world by INSEAD, a Paris-based business school, in its Global Innovation Index. Although the top spot for the United States is predictable, “the great extent of the lead is less so,” said Soumitra Dutta of INSEAD, who led the study, and Simon Caulkin of World Business magazine in an online article.
The United States was followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.
The study defines innovation as “the amalgamation of invention and creativity that leads to the generation of economic and social values.”
The index is based on a belief that a country’s (or territory’s) readiness to respond to challenges is linked to its ability to adopt, and benefit from, innovative technologies, bolstered human capacities, better organizational and operational capabilities and improved institutional performance. That is why its authors went beyond traditional measures of innovation, such as spending on research and development and number of patents. Instead, they assessed “pillars” of innovation, such as policies, infrastructure, technology sophistication, knowledge creation and competitiveness.
The U.S. economy offers a better environment for innovation and is more effective in exploiting it, the study says. It cites U.S. universities and research centers, which attract the best and brightest from around the world, and unparalleled funding opportunities as factors contributing to the U.S. advantage.
Dutta and Caulkin said, however, that first-class universities and plentiful funding do not by themselves explain a winning formula.
“It also takes a culture of diversity, optimism and meritocracy, in which individual background is much less important than the desire to succeed,” they said.
The study says the innovation leadership position held by the United States is not set in stone and that “Asia is set to redefine many aspects of innovation.” For example, South Korea, ranked 19th, has emerged with the most advanced broadband Internet society in the world.”
In most developed countries, the government's calling in a foreign university to carry out a national research program might inspire protests from local universities.
But in Singapore, it's how things are done.
Singapore's National Research Foundation—the city-state's equivalent to the National Science Foundation in the United States—tapped the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to join it in building a multimillion-dollar center to tackle pressing problems the society faces.
The rapid growth of information science and technology is increasingly challenged by limits on miniaturization and energy consumption. Progress needs innovative technologies and team efforts, since many of the most challenging scientific and technology problems are interdisciplinary, and it requires international collaborations as well as government-academic-industry cooperation.
Basic research needs government leadership on funding. The Japanese government has been the world leader in R&D investment, reaching 3.4% of GDP by 2006. In spite of the global economic recession, governments are still investing in innovation. As a developing country, Chinese national R&D investment increased from close to zero to 1.4% of GDP within 5 years during 2001 to 2006. Korea is also very aggressive in its national R&D investment, overtaking the USA and Germany and reaching 3.3% in 2006. Singapore has entered the league of R&D - intensive countries since 2005. Its national R&D investment is 2.8% of GDP in 2008 and targeting to reach 3% by 2010 and 3.5% within next 5 to 10 years. Singapore has become a strong R&D leader especially in the ASEAN region. To maximize the outcome of government S&T investment and accelerate science advancement and technology innovation, it's very important to keep a balance between technological development-oriented research and fundamental curiosity-driven research when governments make the strategic plans for national R&D investment. "There is a tendency to focus on technology stages ready to move forward and produce economic value. But much innovation - especially highest impact innovation - is ultimately rooted in deep scientific understanding," said Prof. Eugene H. Levy, Provost of Rice University.
It is time India gears up to promote Innovations on a massive scale by collaborating with leading Universities in US(Stanford,Harvard,MIT etc.,),UK, South Korea,Singapore etc., There has to be more funding from Private Industry like in USA and more University and Industry partnership.Kapil Sibalji,please ensure that Academic ,Scientific and Technological Excellence and Innovative advancement are the basic objectives of the proposed 14 Innovation universities across the country.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 17 Aug, 2010
Indian engineer designs matchbox-sized inverter
Friday, 13 August 2010, 05:10 Hrs
Bangalore: Subrata Datta, a Hyderabad-based engineer, has invented a matchbox-sized device that can power homes even during power cuts. The inverter can power TV, computer or fridge.
Datta, employed at the R&D Center, CMC Ltd, explained his device saying, "The V-inverter can be installed in and connected to the meter box of one's house. It can be controlled and regulated by the electric supply department. So whenever there's a greater demand for power, high voltage electrical gadgets like air-conditioners will automatically switch off. Only basics like fans, lights, TV, computer, refrigerator and life saving instruments would work by reducing the consumption of power in the entire neighbourhood."
The V-inverter does not require any secondary power source like the normal inverters or generator. This reduces cost, investment maintenance, pollution and emission associated with fuel-based generators, reg ular inverters and lead-acid batteries.
Installing this V-inverter is also very easy. The unit cost of the energy of the V-inverter power is less than general inverters or fuel based generators as it comes at the cost of regular supplied power.
Added Datta, "This load controlling device can restrict the crisis time consumption by each consumer, at a limited power output (150 Watt) to improve the balance of demand-supply ratio and avoid total power cuts."
Reader's comments (40)
1: You should have printed a block diagram of the device or at least a CLEAR PICTURE in Inset to see the device.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 14 Aug, 2010
India, U.S. initiate agreement in clean energy research
Sunday, 22 August 2010, 10:53 IST
Washington: India and U.S. has initiated the agreement for co-operation on a joint clean energy research and development center, which would facilitate research on a wide range of green power technologies.
The agreement, MoU for which was signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington last November, is considered a significant step towards strengthening cooperation between the two countries in an area of increasing national and international priority.
India's top diplomat in the U.S. Meera Shankar and Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy, initiated the Agreement for Cooperation on a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center yesterday, an official release said.
"The Center will facilitate joint research and development by teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and India on clean energy and related joint activities, needed to deploy clean energy technologies rapidly with the greatest impact," it said.
Reader's comments (1)
1: India and U.S. Agreement for co-operation on a joint clean energy research and development center, which would facilitate research on a wide range of green power technologies, is a welcome move for abating climate change and promotion of clean energy technologies.
Among the areas of co-operation between the two countries:
US is leader in Wind Energy Today with installed capacity of 35161 MW followed by China 25806 MW,Germany 25777 MW,Spain 19161 MW and India 11806 MW.There is vast scope for Advancement of Wind Energy in India in Modern Wind Turbine research, off-shore wind farms, small wind generators for decentralised power.
Tremendous research is on in US on Solar Energy especially in Solar PV, Concentrated Solar Systems,Solar Thermal Systems,Solar Ribbon etc.,. It is high time India acquired the most advanced solar technologies from USA.
Major development in Biomass technology has taken place in USA and India can gain from it.
Yet another area of research co-operation is ENERGY STORAGE.
High quality research in Solar Energy is taking place in excellent Institutes like MIT,NREL etc., and collaboration in this field with Institutes in India will be a major area of mutual interest.
India desires cleaner alternative sources of energy, like wind, solar, and nuclear initiatives. In particular, to reconcile domestic access-to-electricity disparities, India wishes to expand its nuclear generation of power with the help of USA US and INDIA collaboration can be termed as USI - UNITED SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVE.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 22 Aug, 2010