Sunday, March 30, 2008

MGOCSM one-day conf at St Mary's Orthodox Church, Jalahalli, Bangalore.. 30 march 08..


It was very pleasant to be heading for Jalahalli early morning at 7.20 AM from Electronics city Bus stop. Having finished a late night function with students at Xavier Inst of Management, it was difficult getting up at 6.30 in the morn. Still I wanted to make to to Jalahalli as my long time friend and associate, Fr Philip Kurivilla was to conduct the qurbana at Jalahalli and also co-ordinate a one day conf of MGOCSM from city churches there. It took me almost 2 hours to reach Gangamma circle, Jalahalli to attend the early morn Qurbana at the St. Marys Orthodox Church, Jalahalli, Bangalore.

Fr Philip Kuruvilla is very closely associated with the MGOCSM movement for many years being the Secretary of All India MGOCSM for many years. My association with philiachen extends to the days when he was deciding on entering the seminary at Kottayam. It was with a group of boys and girls from the Tech auxilliary wing of MGOCSM from College of engg,.trivandrum, who spent a week at Ranni Perunad ashram, that I first met him at the ashram. he had come there to spend a year of his life to help make the decision of leaving a comfortable life in Kolkata as the only heir of a business magnate to taking up priesthood of the Orthodox Church. Since then we have met at diff places.He also stayed with me for a night at my house in goa engg college campus when he had come to Panjim church to conduct a one day retreat of MGOCSM almost 12 years back.

Today in the church the conf started with an exciting song session directed by Jikku and his team of enthu colleagues from the Jalahalli church. Fr Philip did a role play sort of game where the delegates for the conf were divided into three groups representing the Catholics, Protestant and orthodox.They were made to analyse diff topics from the perspective of the three major Christian denominations like faith, baptism, the Holy chrismation (mooron), prayers for the dead, venerating Mother Mary, the offering and acceptance of communion between diff communities and so on. It was very informative for all of us. The  members enjoyed the role play game as it helped the delegates gain insight into the subtle differences and similarities between the three main faiths.

Fr Thomas Ninan, Programme co-ordinator of the Substance abuse, HIV and AIDS in Delhi delivered a good and absorbing talk for the youth on spirituality.

After lunch, the conf continued with song sessions and dumb charades, but sadly I had to leave the fun and merriment.

It was a great feeling to be involved in providing some guidance for the young MGOCSM members and to give in return something to the movement from which we elders have benefitted a lot !!

George Easaw 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

China, Potala Palace and the Dalai Lama - the problem areas of the world..




Potala Palace, the 1000 room palace, seat of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, UNESCO world heritage site, is a marvellous structure. After deserting it in 1959, fearing reprisal from China after the annexation of Tibet by China, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetans scattered all over the world, are waiting for that day when they can all reunite in their motherland. Built in 637 AD as a apalec and later converted to the Potala palace in 1645 AD.

China meanwhile, trying to quell any unrest in Tibet are already using brute force to silence protestors which have resulted in deadly violence. China has accused the Dalai Lama of playing politics and even gone to the extent of calling him a liar, as if the Chinese are far removed from any politics and has only the Tibetan's interest foremost in their minds.

The forthcoming Olympics in August 08 in Beijing is the right time for the Tibetans to make their demand for a free Tibet heard and felt in international circles and fora.

Will China be able to resist international pressure to amend it's ill devised ways ? It has already given enough warnings to US to keep off Tibet and has openly rejected any dialogue with Dalai Lama. Pres Bush asking the Chnese President Hu to initiate dialogue with Dalai Lama was like Pres Bush taking steps to have talks with former Pres Saddam of Iraq before he was tried and killed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Antartica ice starts giving way....



An iceberg which was on the west cost of Antartica, Wilkin's ice shelf, more than 1500 years old, about 440 sq km area just gave way yesterday to disappear into the waters of Antartica. It was in 1989 earlier another 1000 sq km had just disappeared.

Considering that the summer ice melt is common in this part, the Wilkin's ice shelf of such a vast area is not such an out of the way phenomenon. It is a grim reminder of things to come....
 
George Easaw

26 March 2008: The world's first Document Freedom Day




Today is Document Freedom Day: Roughly 200 teams from more than 60
countries worldwide are organising local activities to raise awareness
for Document Freedom and Open Standards. To support the initiatives
surrounding the first day to celebrate document liberation, DFD
starter packs containing a DFD flag, t-shirts and leaflets have been
sent to the first 100 registered teams over the past weeks.

In a world where records are increasingly kept in electronic form,
Open Standards are crucial for valuable information to outlive the
application in which it was initially generated. The question of
Document Freedom has severe repercussions for freedom of choice,
competition, markets and the sovereignty of countries and their
governments.

"We are very happy about the response and activities that teams around
the world have scheduled," says Ivan Jelic, DFD Coordinator.
"Activities we have heard about range from local speeches and
information events through to prizes being given to governmental
bodies that adopted good policies in the field of Document Freedom and
Open Standards. It will be a challenge to document everything that is
taking place today."

"Who controls your valuable information? This question has become
central for the distribution of power and wealth in the networked
society," explains Georg Greve, president of FSFE. "Document Freedom
is about giving you control of your information, it is about giving
governments control of their public records, and it is about freedom
of choice. You can give yourself that freedom today by switching to
one of the many Free Software applications that support the Open
Document Format and that run on many different platforms!"

A list of Free Software applications that support ODF is available at

http://documentfreedom.org/Applications

Greve concludes: "Along with many others around the world, FSFE's
teams in several countries will be spending the day distributing
information about Open Standards and Document Freedom. My greetings
and gratitude go to everyone participating in this global effort,
particulary FSFE's young Serbian team who did the main work on DFD
regardless of a very difficult local situation!"

How you can get active

The Document Freedom Day is a collaborative effort.

You can make a difference by linking to http://documentfreedom.org,
generate your own artworks or use the ones available at

http://documentfreedom.org/Artwork or generate your own.

You could also print out some of the DFD leaflets at

http://www.documentfreedom.org/2008/DFD_Starter_Pack#Leaflet

and give them to your co-workers, family or friends. And if you feel
creative, consider taking pictures or small video testimonials that
show the world what Document Freedom means to you!

About the Document Freedom Day

The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for Document Liberation
with roughly 200 active teams worldwide. It is a day of grassroots
effort around the world to promote and build awareness for the
relevance of Free Document Formats in particular and Open Standards in
general.

Document Freedom Day is supported by a large group of organisations
and individuals, including, but not limited to Ars Aperta, COSS,
Esoma, Free Software Foundations Europe and Latin America, IBM, NLnet,
ODF Alliance, OpenForum Europe, OSL, iMatix, Red Hat, Sun
Microsystems, Inc., The Open Learning Centre, Opentia, Estandares
Abiertos.

The list of DFD supporting groups can be found

http://documentfreedom.org/Who

The list of DFD Teams is available at

http://documentfreedom.org/Category:Teams

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
of the FSFE.

http://fsfeurope.org

--
Regards,

Ivan Jelic

-

0

The Jaguar is wild ?? It is tamed and truly Indian ..








Yes, the Jaguar is no more wild , it is truly tamed and very much Indian. The only visible change is that from the stables of the coloniser, it has crossed over to the stables of the colony ..

Yes, the luxury car brands and pride of the British, Jaguar and Land Rover, which have been with the US automaker Ford for the past eighteen years, has now changed hands and has been taken over car by the Indian auto major, Tata Motors as of Wednesday 26 March 2008.

A very true statement, that patience pays !!  It is only now a matter of time before the other majors and auto giants too are gobbled up !!

Slowly, the foundations of the pillars of cultural and Industrial supremacy of the West, acquired through the colonising and Industrial revolution route for the past four centuries from Asia, are shaking, to the dismay of many !!

Indeed a humbling experience each nation has to pass through at one point or other in it's growth cycle.


That one at the top is my car from the same Tata stable. Tata Indica Xeta, Petrol Version, colour is artic silver. I am proud to have my second car from a global auto maker.

ge..

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gururaj Deshpande at XIME ..



It is indeed a great thing to meet one of the richest NRI Indians  and I was fortunate enough to listen to him and have lunch with him.

It was 24 th March 2008 and XIME played host to one of the richest NRIs ( a real techie to the core , not a coding techie or tech coolie.. !!)

Gururaj made his billions when he sold his company Sycamore networks in 1999 for $4 billion. He and his wife together manage the show. Both are alumni of IIT Chennai. They have contributed about $ 100 million to IIT Chennai besides setting up the Deshpande Centre for Innovation at MIT, Boston with a generous contribution of $ 20million.

---------------------
from the internet ::
Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande co-founded Sycamore and has served as chairman of the board of directors since Sycamore's inception in February 1998. He also served as treasurer and secretary from February 1998 to June 1999 and as president from February 1998 to October 1998.

Before founding Sycamore, Dr. Deshpande co-founded Cascade Communications Corp., a provider of wide area network switches. From October 1990 to April 1992, Dr. Deshpande served as president of Cascade and, from April 1992 to June 1997, he served as Cascade's executive vice president of marketing and customer service. Dr. Deshpande was a member of the board of directors of Cascade since its inception and was chairman of the board of directors of Cascade from 1996 to 1997. Dr. Deshpande also serves on the board of directors of Airvana, Inc., a provider of network infrastructure products used by wireless carriers, and as chairman of the board of A123 Systems, a leading supplier of high-power lithium-ion batteries.
---------------------

Gururaj has a great passion for social entrepreneurship when he is not designing optical communication networks.. A great philanthropist, he takes great interest in helping the socially downtrodden in the society, providing the mid day meals. Akshay Patra.

A down-to-earth person, Gururaj is very much into the new product development domain in a digital world, while his famous co-brother, the Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys, N R Narayana Murthy helped redefine the services domain in the country.

Whle speaking at XIME, he was very much passionate about the potential of innovation in the new world and the new high power Lithium-ion batteries which his latest company A123 systems is designing and which is being embraced by the automobile majors of the world, set to redefine the energy scene in the world.

People in the photo are Mr Deshpande, Mr Shenoy former Chariman, Board of Governors, XIME and former Chairman, ABB and Prof J Philip, President of XIME.

ge..

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

India, the second biggest wireless telephony player ..


Good news for Indian mobile users and players.. With majors like Vodafone and Virgin entering the market, the market is hotting up with new subscriptions and superior technology and cut-throat competition, ultimately benefiting the customer the most. With value added services, the India customer stand to benefit the most. Where in the world can you talk to your loved one, any time of the day, for 10 mins from Kerala to Jammu, almost 3000 kms away for just 10 rs, ie. 25 cents !! Let us not forget the initial contribution of earlier PM Rajiv Gandhi and the Chairman of the Telecom Commission then, Sam Pitroda, now the Knowledge Commission Chairman, who really helped bring telephony to the masses by bringing in superior telecomm technology and telecom exchanges to the country, by encouraging indigenous research in telecommunications.

The efforts and steps taken then has started to bear fruits now. There will nobody else happier than Sam to hear this news.

India is set to overtake US as the third largest wireless telephony (mobile) player in the world. Growing at a rate of about 8 m new subscribers every month and with a total of 251m subscribers, as of Feb 2008, it is set to overtake US by mid April, which currently has 250 m subscribers and growing at about 3m subscribers a month. By mid april,08, India will have almost 300 m wireles subscribers and will be second only to China which presently has about 500 m + subscribers and is growing at 7 m new subscribers a month. (TOI)

george..

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Friday and easter ..2008 ..

Good Friday and Easter, 2008 ..

Good Friday has always been a day of mourning for Christians - this is the day of rememberance Jesus' crucifixion on the cross. For Oriental Orthodox Christians of the world, especially the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christians of India, this is the day of sobre celebration of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. this year Good Friday and Easter Sunday fall during the weekend of the third week.

Actually the celebrations start fifty days before the Easter Sunday.   That is the start of the lent season when Christians across the world, start enacting Jesus' going to the desert and observing fast for forty days. During this period, Christians do not take milk / Non-vegetarian food and some of them even do not take food, observe fast, till afternoon. As a layman, I have observed this fast, though not rigorous, for the past many years. More than discarding food, it gives me enough control over my life, being able to control the mind, emotions, feelings through food intake, which in turn also controls the mind, speech, actions, comments about others.
Lent season is thus a period originally assigned by our forefathers of repentance, suffering and penance. It is also the period when most of the people take new promises.

One of the main differences between the various denominations of Christians is the intensity and outward show during much of the celebrations. Orthodox Christians have always believed in keeping the celebrations sobre and elegant while various other denominations, shout at the joy of Jesus' presence by their side during prayers. This outward show more than often results in people mininterpreting the good intentions of the chuch.

George Easaw

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chinnu and silky ..


This is a lovely snap of Chinnu and our Labrador Retriever dog, Silky at our house in Peermade during Jan 08. The place where  we stay in Peermade is by the side of the stream / tributary of the Periyar. The old Peermade bridge , built when the Kottayam Kumily road (KK Road) was initially built got old and is now no more motorable. A new bridge has been built and the KK road ha been diverted over that bridge. During the rainy months of June - September, the stream is full and it is a real treat to watch the water gushing out from under the bridge.

Our immediate neighbour is advocate Sabu Thomas of the Peermade sessions court. The house where we are staying belongs to Varghese Sir from the Peruvanthanam post office. The rent is Rs 2000/- p.m. A cool and lovely place it is quite old constuction but decently built.

In a few weeks we will be leaving the place for Bangalore. Pranap Govindan and his wife from MBC College of Engg will be the new occupants of the house.

George Easaw

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Lai and the saviours of the world !!

Remembering My Lai ...

Forty years back on 15-16 March, 1968, the so called glorious US troops, considered saviours bringing pece and prosperity to the world, after raping, mercilessly slaughtered about 500 villagers in th South Vietnam town of My Lai.  The villagers consisted  of mostly women, children and elderly. It was the presence of mind of a helicopter pilot Colburn, who landed his helicopter between the senseless, marauding US troops and the hapless villagers which saw the end to this massacre.

The fact that finally US hopelessly lost the war in Vietnam, six years later which it entered as a saviour is a shameful and different story.

History brings to the fore true colours of civilizations and people !!  I grew up and still vividly remember seeing these ghastly photos in the newspapers and the Life magazine around early seventies!! !!

The two photographs which shook the conscience of the world at My Lai... Villagers after being raped by the marauding, senseless US troops, minutes before being mowed down by US bullets...

George Easaw

Monday, March 10, 2008

Agri-loan waiver, pain or promise??

The Rs.60,000 crore agri-loan waiver, peanuts or a bane for the economy ??

Every year industries are handed over tax concessions, corporate tax rate cuts and to top it loan defaults are waived off. The Central and state government employees are given out doles amounting to thousands of crores in the form of DA increases for continuing their shabby, inefficient and in some case corruption in government service. From 2000-04, Central govt wrote off about 44,000 crores, with this list topping to record levels when NDA govt was to move out. This is not discussed anywhere, no budget speeches talk of this massive drain on the exchequer, nobody sheds crocodile tears for this massive write-off. No budget speech mentions of this dran, because this is a dole to another person from the same high economic bracket as the speaker making the budget speech and so on. The beneficiaries are mostly very well-to-do industrialists who have siphoned off the money for some unaccounted businesses or to their swiss bank accounts.

The forward community of Indians, while discussing the govt write-off of Rs. 60,000 crores have been discussing whether this was really deserved by the farmers, who will support them again next year, whether it was attacking the symptoms of the agri loan defaults than the causes..

Let us analyse these in detail.

Writing off bank loans is the part of action initiated by the government to reassure the farmers that if nature is unfavourable to them, the Central govt is concerned and will do it's best to save them from debts. It is a sort of unwritten guarantee given to the farmers. In other words this works out as a subsidy which ensures that the farmers  continue working on the farms, or in other words continuing to support the backbone of the country. Even though it is a fact that agriculture contributes just 18 % of the GDP of the country, consider the percentage of population which depends on it for livelihood, almost 70 percent.

The other comforting factor is that the rs 60,000 crore writeoff which the govt has announced now is going to the banks who otherwise would have spent more than double that amount trying to recover these loans from the farmers. It is only in the case of advances to Industry that write-offs are more common as there is high greasing of palms possible.

Consider the masive subsidies the developed nations are pouring into their agribusineses and how thay are supporting their farmers. Considering that this waiver is just peanuts !!



--
Kind regards,

George Easaw 

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

victory at Gabba ..

The drubbing the proud Aussies received from the hands of Indians was pathetic !!

--
Kind regards,

George Easaw 

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Beer distribution game - learnings .



Learnings from the Beer Distribution game (A MANAGEMENT SIMULATION GAME OF THE DISTRIBUTION SIDE OF A BEER DISTRIBUTION CHAIN) 
  1. The need to collaborate between the different players in the supply chain to reduce the total supply chain costs.
  2. The presence of leadtimes for supplies between entities adds to the complexity of the supply chain. Not to mention of longer leadtimes !!
  3. The backordering phenomenon, whereby unmet sales are not lost, but met in a subsequent period also adds to the complexity of the ordering and distribution in the distribution chain.
  4. The presence of many players adds to the confusion as they add their own leadtimes, shortages to the supply chain and make it unwieldy.
  5. Non-availability of customer demand at the retailer for the upstream entities of the distributor and manufacturere adds to the complexity of forecasting.
  6. The wholesaler having to meet the demands from the two retailers has to decide on his rationing process in events of stock shortage during distibution. Also he has to keep track of the downstream demand and supply processes, with the resultant shortages, adding to th complexity of th process.
  7. The wholesaler was observed to be playing the key role in the chain as they were shared the customer demand by the retailers and were in turn directing the distributors how much to procure and the manufacturers how much to manufacture, in order to keep the supply chain costs of holding and shortage low.
  8. Even though the teams were aware of the finite horizon of the game, they were unmindful of the fact that unsold stocks at end of horizon are a burden. These excess stocks incurred heavy obsolescence costs and caused the supply chain costs to shoot up.
  9. For very short changes in demand at the customer end, the manufacturer had to deal with vey high variability of production, incurring heavy costs of outsourced/borrowed machine time, revised raw material procurement plans, holding, transportation costs etc. This is also another contributor to the costs of the supply chain. This effect is popularly called the Bullwhip effect ( variance amplification in orders placed as one proceeds upstream in a supply chain).
(feel free to add anymore learning from the game on a new page)
Given these facts of the game and the learning gained, if the game is played yet again, how would you respond. The aim is to keep the total supply chain costs low.
Write your points seperately on a sheet of paper and submit when the game will be played yet again.

Instructor : George Easaw

Monday, March 03, 2008

India tells US the facts of the Indo-US nuclear deal..


It was very heartening to hear the Indian Foreign Minister Pranap Mukherjee mention in the Indian Parliament today, the 3 rd of March 2008 regardng the Indo US nuclear deal.

In very simple terms the Minister made it clear to the representatives of the Indian people in Lok Sabha that, what rights and obligations are due to India and expected from India due to the deal are only based on the 123 agreement betwen India and the US and not based on the Hyde Act, which was enacted in the US Congress subsequently. We are not interested in knowing whether the Hyde Act was a subversive act to torpedo any Indian plans to assert itself. The Hyde Act is only for the US Congress and Senate to worry about. If the US Sec of State Ms. Con Rice is reading too much into the Hyde Act and how she expects India to comply with it, she is  outrightly misinterpreting it to her convenience. She is free to do it to any extent she so desires, as long it does not concern us.

Not that even if US agrees to go back to the 123 Act to give US businesses a boost, India would ever budge from it's stand of not giving up it's sovereign right to decide when to use the nuclear weapons if a need arises, the very process of bullying is evident in the statements and actions of US statesmen and decisionmakers.

And we Indians never believe that the people sitting in Capitol are interested only in US interests and not bilateral interests between India and US. We Indians also do not believe that the same decisionmakers at Capitol are so dumb as to think and initiate actions unilaterally unmindful of the future global economic, commercial and strategic equations.

--


George Easaw

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another great budget by P Chidambaram ..


One guiding factor in the budget presented by the Finance Minister this year is the concern for socially weaker sectors in the society and more especially the farming community who have been doing so much to the country. The announcement of the Rs. 60,000 crore waiver of farmers loans is something unheard of in earlier budgets. That can be made up with just two years of profitable running of the Indian Railways, by proper utilisation of it's resources and infrastructure.

Laffer curve effect is a very special phenomenon observed. As the tax rates are reduced, the tax collecton a s a whole increases. Last year when the taxes were reduced, the complaince and hence collection increased by almost 40 percent. This year the collection is supposed to be much more.

The Laffer curve tells us that tax revenues have increased with decreasing tax rates and there is an optimum level of tax rates at which collection will be maximum. Laffer , a Raegan time economist, attributes this not to his own work but to a 14 th century Islamic scholar Ibn Kaldun and more recently to Maynard Keynes.

--
Kind regards,

George Easaw

Why and How of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) .. ??

We have very frequently come across the term Standard Operating Procedure. What exactly does this mean ? Should we try to fo...

My popular posts over the last month ..