Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The other day I was reading an article on Carbon footprints and after visiting the site www.carbonfootprint.com, I was just amazed to find how each of my actions is contributing to the emission of green house gases, mainly CO2 into the atmosphere and adding up global warming. GHG (green house gases, the main constitutent being CO2) is essential for the earth to be hospitable as without these gases this planet would have been inhospitable at negative two degrees C. It is too much of CO2 in the atmosphere that is causing the damage.
I found that the daily ten km commute to my institution if taken by public transport over a year would be three times less polluting (0.5Tonnes CO2 emission a year) than when I take my own car (1.5 Tonnes CO2 emission a year). My simple and spartan life style is also contributing to another 0.5 Tonnes CO2 a year to the atmosphere. If I fly once from Mumbai to New York and back, it would already have contributed to 3 Tonnes CO2 more into the atmosphere, hastening the process of global warming that much more, contributng my mite to global degradation.
The devil is breathing down our neck and we need to take urgent actions to tackle it, the sooner the better. But how, is the great question..
There are two approaches to the problem. One is to take some precautionary measures and the other is to take some measured anticipatory action.
In West Bengal we had apprehension of bird flu spreading and as a measured anticipatory action to prevent the flu from spreading to other birds and through birds to humans and to other parts of the country, we have culled thousands of birds. Likewise we can have measured anticipatory actions to check global warming. That includes among others, developing less polluting and very efficient modern technologies using fossil fuels, or develping alternative energy sources etc..
Precautionary measures is resorted to by the affected entity, in all likelihood, the people. Like the people of West Bengal have stopped consuming chicken as a precautionary measure to check th spread of the bird flu virus HI-N5
The former approach is active while the latter is passive.We need active policies which will stop the harmful effects of global warming than the passive policies of taking precautions and doing nothing to check the problem at the source.
The greatest fear of global warming and the consequent rise in water levels is out of fear of the collapse of the West Antartica ice sheets which rest on the ocean floor and protrude a km or more out of the water surface. When melted it can cause water levels to rise by as much as twenty feet, which can bring catastophic damages all over.Researcher say this may not happen this century, but, it will !! The floating huge icebergs are already part of the water level and it's melting will not lead to any rise in water levels.
What is the best constructive approach which can help solve the problem. This is bothering researchers the world over and will continue for the next many years, till a solution is found to this gnawing problem.
(part source TOI)
Sunday, January 27, 2008
It is said that Indian economy is very closely intertwined with the world economy. It is true in many respects. The sub-prime crisis in US , which made many Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in India sell their part holdings and book profits to make good their losses incurred in US, caused the markets to come down crashing from dizzying heights .. ( nobody is that much bothered of the quick profits for the common investor when his stocks went up like bullets !!) And no doubt the FII investors are like honey bees, they are sure to return to india sooner than later. Once they have made good their losses elsewhere, they will come back to India, because this is where the money is..
The slowdown in the US economy precipitated by the crisis is causing slowdown in US investments in otjer parts of the world. The Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, had to announce a stepping down of the growth projections of the Indian Economy from 8.9 percent to 8.5 percent, because of this slowdown in the US economy. It is a matter of no doubt, that the US economy is indeed leading the growth and stagnaton of economies the world over, so vast and spreadout is it, after all !! (Not sure how long it will hold on, before the power axis gets shifted to the trimodal axis of Japan, China and India.)
It is in this context that Indians have virtually caught world attention by coming up with two GREAT innovations over the last fornight ! One was the introduction of the comapct sub-$2500 petrol car for small families.. Initially to be introduced in the Indian market and later on in other parts of the world, the market segments it can service and the hopes and aspirations it can satisfy of the two-wheeler generation who can think of a viable and economic upgradation to a four-wheeler is great !! There is a ready market of a million-plus in India itself, who can gobble up this contraption with great ease, not to forget of the markets elsewhere.. Even though, Suzuki, the biggest smal car manufacturer in the world so far, was initially sceptical of the sub-$2500 introduction citing safety reasons, it has preferred to wait and watch this new product to hit the world markets very soon.
The other innovative product to come out of India during the past wek was the $350 compact 7" monitor laptop PC (Mileap X) from Hindustan Computers Ltd (HCL). Working with solid state devices, ie. no moving parts at all, this Ubuntu Linux OS machine has a powerful office suite, openoffice and a powerful Firefox web browser to match, an 8 MB flash drive as the HDD and a 512 MB RAM to enables it to do simple browsing operations, wi-fi connection, simple office applications, presentation facilities and so on.
The promise it holds up to the 200 million plus, student and youngster population in the country is mesmersing !! Forget about the rest of the world waiting !! This innovation attains great significance after the much hailed and hyped Prof Negrponte(MIT) -Intel joint effort failed to take off citing economic unviability.
These two new products are just the begining, more new and innovative products are on their way. The Indian tiger has fnally woken up an has started roaring (unlike the other Asian tigers whose roars became mews in the 80s after the FIIs withdrew their money causing the markets and currencies to go for a real tumble !!)
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Most managers are often found to spend very little time reading and even less time writing reports. Most of their interactions are verbal. This is very true for managers in operations-intensive settings and in industry in general. For this reason, the development of verbal skills is given a high priority in the course of Operations Management and Strategic Operations Management. This is especially true in XIME.
The classroom can be considered to be the laboratory in which you can test your ability to present your analyses and recommendations clearly, to convince your peers and friends of the correctness of your approach to complex problems being discussed inside the clasroom, and to illustrate your ability to achieve the desired results through the implementation of that approach. Through the many interactions we have carried out in the previous classes and by taking you through the class of Remedial English and Managerial Skills, we are more than convinced of this ability of students from XIME. Most of you are great communicators, by now.. You have to demonstrate this with the combination of the right dose of analytical bent of mind and the application of an intellectual approach to the discussion in the class. When you do this, it makes our assessment all the more easy.
Some of the criteria that we will use to judge effective class participation for grading purposes include:
- Is the participant a good listener?
- Are the points made relevant to the current discussion? Are they linked to the comments of others?
- Do the comments show clear evidence of appropriate and insightful analysis of the case data?
- Is there willingness to participate?
- Is there willingness to test new ideas or are all comments "safe"?
- Do comments clarify and highlight the important aspects of earlier ideas and lead to a clearer statement of the relevant concepts and issues?Is there willingness to test new ideas or are all comments "safe"?
- Does the student contribute overall to the learning process in the class ?
The above procedure will be followed for evaluating class participation of students in future in XIME...
Friday, January 25, 2008
I was impressed by another session on Neuro Linguistics Programming given by Mr Andre, from Portugal. He took us through the workshop on NLP and we were totally impressed by how our thought processes changed after the six turns of 360 degrees we were supposed to do. When i started with my aim of teaching at one of the best b-schools in the world, after some three turns, I found that the goal was getting clearer and clearer for me with the path very well defined. It changed the way I looked at the prospect of teaching at the best b-school and made me think that it is very much possible for me. Focussed working, original thinking and hard work, writing and creative thinking can take me close to my life ambition. I know now, it is not an unsurmountable task, very much within reach and sooner than later, I will achieve that.
I want to read more about NLP and induce more students into this field. Also I want to see that I am able to incorporate this creative thinking into my teaching mechanism at XIME.
Monday, January 21, 2008
No offense meant, Easaw, I am not sure if that is the case, that is all.
Go Ron Paul!
George Easaw wrote:
All the hype surrounding the prospect of Barack Obama becomng the first non-white President of the US will just go up in thin air when the major states go to electing their party nominees during the first week of February. These are the very states who do not believe in allowing a non-white man to become the next President of US. And they have a compulsive excuse, the people voted so..
The common man and the educated electorate in US needs to be more accomodative of the less fortunate and looked down upon communities.
. The US democracy is still immature and it will still take many more years to allow a non-white to be the President by popular consensus.
Unlike in India where not only a person from the oppressed community and minority has already become the President, but Prime Ministers too...
US still has many things to learn from other countries, specially India..!! the incipient fear of a falling dollar, nonetheless.
George EasawHomepage : http://groups.yahoo.com/list/cet86
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Sunday, January 20, 2008
The common man and the educated electorate in US needs to be more accomodative of the less fortunate and looked down upon communities.. The US democracy is still immature and it will still take many more years to allow a non-white to be the President by popular consensus.
Unlike in India where not only a person from the oppressed community and minority has already become the President, but Prime Ministers too...
US still has many things to learn from other countries, specially India..!! the incipient fear of a falling dollar, nonetheless..
An innocent, yet selfish, political move to corner a share of national glory for his party leader Vajpayee, Advani has out of sheer selfishness caused irrepairable damage to the whole process of selection and conferring of Bharat Ratna in the country.
The statement has set the bird out of the cage, publicising the secret desires of political functionaries to corner, though ineligible, a share of national glory, as a matter of convention and precedence !!
Advani will never ever talk to the press on this matter again !! The cat's out of the box ..!!
Times of India was quick to come up with the list of people in the history of India who have refused state awards for some reason or the other. Even though only one RSS leader, Dattopant Tengdi, has refused Padma Bhushan, the reason appeared very strange, unless his mentor and RSS hard core ideologue Dr Hegdewar and Golwalkar were awaded Bharat Ratna..
Andiyodadukkumbazhe maangayude puli ariyathullu.. ( only when one nears the seed, can we know how bitter the mango is..)
It was a pleasant surprise for me to meet HG Rev. Dr Zachariah Mar Theophlos, Metropolitan of Malabar diocese conducting the holy qurbana at the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral , Johnson Market, Koramangala on 20 January 2008.
My thoughts went back twenty five years to my days in the Orthodox Students Centre, Spencer Junction, Trivandrum, where I was staying during my second year of Engineering at College of Engineering, Trivandrum. My Assistant Warden Deacon M C Cherian, was here conducting the Holy Qurbana n Bangalore Mar Gregorios Cathedral as His Grace Dr Zachariah Mar Theophilos .. !!
A very simple yet attractive and forceful personality, what caught my attention were the points he made out in the mid-sermon speech and also while he addressed the junior and senior members of MGOCSM ( Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Students Movement)
The most important point he made out was regarding learn the ABC of life. What is this ABC ?? Avoid Bad Company ...!!! How true it is.. Very often we get into bad company while in school and college and the immediate result is a botched result sheet or low grades in the exams. From there when we move ahead in life, we find the bad company attracts us like magnets and follows us wherever we go.. making us do bad things and be part to bad speech and thoughts, spoiling a good future ..
How can we get ourselves out of these bad things ? Keep good company. There is a famous saying in Malayalam, which goes this way, " Mullapoombodiyettukidakkum kallinumundaam oru sourabhyam ".
Usually when we get Metropolitans speaking at the church, they invariably make references of verses from the Holy Bible. HG never made a single mention of the Holy Bible in his mid-sermon speech nor at the end speech with MGOCSM members. Cool.. The Holy Bible contains verses which exhort us how to lead a happy and peaceful life of use to others and community. Accepting the fact that the Bible is the Word of God, for a person who knows the Holy Word well, it makes great sense to speak out about the meaning of those verses through examples and deeds than speak out those verses themselves.
The second point made out by HG (His Grace) was regarding the migration of believers , both students and families into other temporal Christian beliefs, mostly of Pentecostal and born-again variety. According to him they are like the mad dogs we see on the road. If it bites you, you are sure to catch rabies, if it is not possible to bite you, at least give you a good lick, so that if not immediately, slowly you will get rabies and die a terrible death. The bite refers to the brain-washing which they do on innocent, hapless believers who go to them in search of some peace. Little do the believers know of the deep abyss they have fallen into, but by then it is too late..!! There is no way one can climb out of this abyss ..
The third point made out was regarding the drinking culture among the believers of the church. This trend is observed heavily among the believers in Kerala than among the diaspora spread out in different parts of the country and abroad. For instance , Malabar , the beautiful and famed sea coast of North Kerala, made famous by the traders of yesteryears, the landing of St Thomas in 52 AD in Cranganore and Vasco De Gama in 1498 AD in Calicut, is now only Mala ( meaning mountain ) and bar ( drinking joints). It was interesting to note that upto fifty percent of Church-goers and now heavy to moderate drinkers.
What can drinking cause .. ?? It makes one feel merry for that session lasting two or three hours, helping one forget reality and be in a different virtual world. Instead of actually identifying and attacking the problems of life, it is only an effort to run away from problems. Frequent drinking sessions result in mounting problems without a solution and results in an unhappy married and family life, pushing one into deeper abyss of problems in life from which there can be no coming out. A lost life..!!
It was really a blessing to hear a totally different and practical sermon from HG this morning. It definitely made my day and the whole week ahead. HG did not forget to mention about some of the social work being done by his diocese and the request for financial help for these activities.. The Mar Baseliose Balika Sadanam, for example. HG' email is email@example.com
From addressing MC Cherian shemmachen to seeking blessings from a Holy Father, the experience spaced twenty five years apart will indeed be memorable.
( I have tried to preserve the essence of the sermon, though some of the illustrations are mine ...)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
One in 2000 gets justice - Bilkis Bano .. Will the other 1999 be protected by Gujarat ??
It finally took the high court in Maharashtra under the orders of the Supreme court of the country to try the case relating to the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and murder of her relatives , which happened in Gujarat, and convict them. In all about eleven people protected by the Gujarat government and police were convicted. First time in the history of Indian judiciary was such a conviction happening..
A shame on how state courts should functon .. It is clearly understood how even the judiciary of the state of Gujarat has been pressured to doctor the documents, witnesses and admnistration of justice with regard to cases relating to the human genocide and rape of fellow Indians in Gujarat in February - March 2002 ..
A shame for the people of the land of Gandhiji and for the political party which is driving all this mass frenzy in the name of majoritarianism and fundamentalism. Let no other state of India have this demeaning fate ever ..Let no other state in India indulge in trading in justice in this shocking manner
The courage of this illiterate woman from Randhanpur village in Gujarat to persistently follow the case and to get the conviction of her rapists after six long years is indeed great and amazing ... !! The travails continue for the other 1999.
By winning the third test, the Indian cricketers have shown the world that if a fair match is played under non-intimidatng and non-sledging conditions, we are unbeatable.
Good work, team India. You have shown the grand children of murderers and rapists where they stand in the world of fair play and sportsmanship..
Friday, January 18, 2008
Tata Nano, the $2500 car and the man behind it, Ratan Tata, the scion of Tata Sons.
The past week has been very monumental in Indian Industry. India stunned the world and the most popular small car manufacturer in the world, Suzuki, by introducing the Nano. Costing only $2500 (INR 100,000) this single innovation has opened the flood gates of hopes and aspirations of a 100 million plus, average and below average middle class population in India to own a four wheeler.
Another India IT product manufacturer HCL, stunned the world, especially after Intel withdrew from a very ambitious project of offering the sub $100 laptop citing uneconomy and non-viability, by offering the real cheap laptop, (INR 14,000, app. $350) targetting the huge 200 million plus, youngsters, college and highschool going populaton in India.
Tata is also planning to open assembly centres for Nano across the country offering employment to thousands of young men. The knocked down kit of Nano will be assembled by these people in these assembly stations. This is a totally new and innovative concept, on the lines of mass production started on the Model T motor car by Henry Ford in the 1900s.
This is delayed product differentiation which is effected near to the final end user, the customer, a supply chain concept, which was popularised by the HP deskjet supply chain model in collaboration with Stanford University. This is how Tata is planning to make economical cars as this brings in huge cost benefits to the customer, making the supply chain both efficient and at the same time effective.
There is no stopping this Juggernaut ..!!!!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
LTTE had over the years grown from being a political outfit to fight for the freedom right of self determination of the Tamil speaking population of the North and East of Sri Lanka, to one which was exisiting to continue the terrorist activities of Velupalli and his cohorts. Using totally inhuman activities, like enrolling children to the armed forces, using human shields against the Sri Lankan army, eliminatng leaders of similar Tamil freedom orgainsatons who would threaten Velupalli's authority, to arbitrarily breaking the ceasefire pact to it's advantage and crying for international intervention when the going against it was getting tough, LTTE has tried and exhautsed all the dirty tricks in it's baggage.
Now with all it's resources getting destroyed or exhausted and internatinal funding for it's terrorist activities drying up gradually and international support for self determination for the Tamils losing it's support and sheen, they only have themselves to blame for this pitiable situation.
India's intervention in 1987 - 91 to help the Sri Lankan govt find a peaceful soluiton to the crisis facing the nation at that time, can now be said to be bearing fruits. Cause we have never believed in supporting any activity which threatened the unity and integrity of any country, be it ours or theirs. The breaking of East Pakistan to Bangladesh included..
The days of the greatest terrorist and terrorist group in this part of the world is numbered. It is all over, LTTE, better lay down your arms and join the Sinhala mainstream, you still have a future there..!!
This report was a good one from a student of first year of PGDBM at Xavier Inst of management, Bangalore, Merin Jose, doing her winter project of 3 weeks, in an old age home Hannah Bhavan run by sisters ( from Orthodox church) in Ayemenem, kottayam. Very impressive work....
MID TERM REPORT FOR SUPA
This winter I had the fortune of working in an old age home. My first experience in an old age home… the only picture of such homes so far has been what has been painted by books and movies. However, the experience by itself was very different. To begin with, this is not an old age home for old couples. It is an abode for lonely women who due to various circumstances landed in this nest- to protect and to be protected. In fact, what's very unique about the place is that some of the inmates, themselves, are responsible for various duties such as cooking, cleaning, caretaking of the other inmates and so on. Moreover, yet another distinctive feature is that save a handful of inmates who pay for their stay, a majority of the inmates have been abandoned by their kith and kin.
The Old Age Home is set in a beautiful village in Kerala called Ayemenem… a village that was introduced to the world by Booker Prize Winner, Arundhati Roy, who dedicated her prize winning novel, God of Small Things, to this beautiful country side.
Hannah Bhavan is a Christian Charitable institution founded by the sisters of the Bethany Convent, which belongs to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Its mission is to serve as a haven for the aged and destitute women of the society. This home was donated by the late Mrs.Annamma Cherian in 1986. The Convent commissioned three nuns, namely, Sr.Yulithi (superior in charge), Sr.Martha and Sr.Feba, who till date are responsible for the place and work tirelessly to make the home a better place to live in. Their efforts have helped raise this home, which was initially a small building with hardly 3-4 rooms; into what it is today, an abode that can house nearly 40 people. The Hannah Bhavan started functioning in 1992.
Presently, it consists of 65 cents of land and about 10 rooms. Each room consists of 2-3 inmates and is equipped with a bathroom, wardrobes and a table.
In the initial days of my visit, I concentrated my efforts in making myself as well as the people of the Home mutually comfortable. Once, this process was completed I began to observe their daily activities, management structure and their fund flow.
- Daily Activities
The huge bell in the chapel chimes at 6:30-7 in the morning and that's when life at Hannah Bhavan begins. The three nuns associated with the home begin yet another day's journey that's filled with a lot of challenges. They take turns to milk the cows and find pleasure in spending time with nature in the form of collecting eggs( from the numerous hens that they own) and gathering the produce for the day from an area that has been cultivated by them. In fact, the land almost always yields as much as it takes to fulfill the daily needs of the Home. Some of the inmates who work in the kitchen are then woken up and together they get the show on the road so that they can serve breakfast to the other inmates on time. These inmates who assist the nuns are mentally challenged and are on medication. However, they are physically fit and so have been trained over the years to do everything that is within their capabilities. Breakfast is served around 9 A.m. Due to the ailing condition of most of the inmates; breakfast is served in the rooms. After breakfast, a few of the assisting inmates prepare the other inmates for bath, a few attend the laundry and the remaining prepares lunch. There is a recreation room equipped with a television and in order to prevent the inmates from sleeping during the day( and staying awake in the night) they are allowed to watch T.V.At around 12 a small prayer is held in the chapel and all the inmates are welcome to attend it. After lunch, while most of the inmates go in for a siesta, the nuns have no rest. They have to milk the cows, settle the accounts for the day and deal with several other issues that require their attention. However, they go about all their tasks with absolute passion and commitment. It is very heartening to see them tackle both, the trivial complaints of the inmates and well as serious issues such as shortage o funds, with ease.
- Management Structure
They do not have a rigid organizational structure as such. The Hannah Bhavan officially belongs to the Bethany Convent but they do not interfere with the workings of the Home, the management of which is the sole responsibility of the three nuns.
- Fund Flow
This institution carries out its activities solely based on the occasional donations that they get from various sources. Their daily need for vegetables is mostly met from their cultivated land. They sell some of the milk to nearby houses and earn a small amount in this way. Moreover, they have struck a deal with a utility shop whereby they order in bulk from the shop and in return the shop supplies them with their needs even in months when the nuns do not have funds to pay them. Thus, it's a win- win situation for the shop owner has to himself a loyal and good customer and the nuns have a permanent source of supplies to ensure that even in those unfortunate months when they run out of funds they can still serve the inmates. In addition, a large amount of money is spent on purchasing medicines for the inmates.
ACTIVITIES THAT WERE CARRIED OUT SO FAR
- Met up with potential donors
- Enhanced Public awareness by distributing brochures to all potential sources of fund and support
- Proposed ideas that could help generate a permanent source of income for the home- such as selling greeting cards and easy to make food items
- Studied the organization structure and recommended changes
- Motivated an inmate to write an article which is soon to be published in the Malayala Manorama
- Planned a recreational activity which is to be conducted soon
- Got the consent from a television channel to feature a document about the Home
- Approached the social work department of a reputed college and got them to associate with the home and provide all the help needed.
- Conducted a presentation in Rotary Club to increase awareness and raise funds.
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