Friday, March 30, 2012

So good to be back at IITB ...

So good ......

Vodafone, E&Y and Justice Kapadia .. conflict of interest ..?

Did the Supreme Court Chief Justice Kapadia led 3 judge bench exercise an error in judgement in deciding on exempting Vodafone from a Rs 11,000 crore ( $ 2.2 billion) tax demand by the Tax Dept by taking into cognisance a Due Diligence Report filed by Ernst  & Young (UK) report, when the Chief Justice's son was employed with E&Y (India) ?

Did Vodafone influence the E&Y (UK) report in the first instance ? The CJ taking into account this report while considering exemptions for Vodafone gives enough cause of reason to doubt the settlement of such a very big tax exemption issue. Vodafone claimed the transaction to be a structured FDI into the country, but in reality not a single penny had entered the country as FDI. Smells fishy !!

Quote : The government listed 121 grounds, each pointing to an error in judgment, to seek review of the January 20 order and said it was surprised by the apex court's decision to give relief to Vodafone on the ground that its offshore transaction was a structured foreign direct investment into the country when in reality not a single penny came as investment into India. : Unquote 

Should the CJ have recused himself from hearing this case given the conflict of interest in his son being employed by E&Y India ?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Vodafone-case-PIL-claims-conflict-of-interest-by-CJI/articleshow/11982851.cms

Will the common man get to know the truth behind this ?

ge..

GIC flat at Malabar Hill, Mumbai ..

Reached Mumbai this morn from Bangalore with family by goair.

Stunned by the size ... Drawing room of the 3600 sq ft flat of my sister Alice Vaidyan in Malabar Hill, Mumbai .. GIC flat ..

Ge..

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The rags to riches story of the richest Indian, documented through houses ..

Old living quarters of Dhirubhai and family
House of Anil Ambani, Seawind ..
Mukesh Ambani's Antilla on Peddar Road,
Mumbai ..



















Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar
                                                            - Ralph Waldo Emerson,


Some time back in March 2012, I was passing by Mukesh Ambani's residence "ANTILLA" on Mumbai Peddar Road. Could see a blot on the Mumbai skies rising like an awful creature from around the slums nearby ..

The $ 1 billion ( approx . Rs 5500 crore ) house which has 840 maidservants spread over 27 floors and app 400,000 sqft, living space ( bigger than the Palace of Versailles, near Paris) is presently LYING UNUTILISED. (third one..)

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/10/mumbais_1-billion_home_to_host.html

The reason .. VAASTU (superstitions related to the orientation / alignment ) OF THE STRUCTURE IS NOT CORRECT ..

So, THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE, LARGEST AND COSTLIEST RESIDENCE is presently lying vacant ( except for the maids) and will continue to do so ..

Let not Ambani forget his early humble beginnings , (.first pic, second floor, dirtiest quarter..)

Anil Ambani's Seawind, at Cuffe Parade ($700 million) is the other pic ..

Leaves our conscience really hurt ..! iS THIS the house of just one person from among the 1200 million inhabiting our country ??  Never in its history have we seen such a splurge of wealth, put to such great waste .. When Shah Jehan built the Taj Mahal , 300 years back, he had a firm purpose in mind !

This is the wealth Mukesh made / inherited, but does that mean he can splurge it the way he wants to ? Let us not forget that the society has played a major role in seeing that the wealth remains with him and it is but natural for the society to expect the money handed over by it to him as its custodian, be put to good use ..

When I met him on a couple of occasions in IIT Bombay in the late nineties, he had a composed, cool and dignified persona. Now, I do not know if it is the same person exhibiting this haughtiness with this towering, blotting concrete structure across the South Mumbai skyline .. because he could afford to do so ..!

Is it the outward demonstration of a narcissist mind ?? The darling of the moneyed class of Mumbai, does he make himself, through this senseless act, worthy of respect by the rest of the country ?

Story of Rockefeller and Mallya, Bangalore


ge..

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Afghan misadventure, a relook over 3 millenia - any lessons ? ..

Alexander , the Great tried to annexe Afghanistan around 200 BC and he had to withdraw on the rebellion of his soldiers, fell sick, went back and died in Greece.

Genghis Khan, tried a misadventure in Afghanistan around 1200 AD, again had to pay with his life. He was cremated in an unknown place in Mongolia, unknown even to this day !

The British empire, the land over which the sun never set, had to beat a hast retreat from South Asia, after a misadventure in Afghanistan, never ever to rise again .. meoooowing all the time ..

The misadventure of Russians in Afghanistan was paid for by their having to flee from the Hekmatyars and finally the breakup of the USSR into many small republics, only Russia can even come remotely near to its former glory ! Pop !!

The spoiled game of US in Afghanistan is waiting to unfold - history will tell what will happen.

The old confucius saying - Afghanistan is the place where empires go to die, could probably be true !

ge..

$ 2 trillion a year - damage to the oceans ..

Researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute have come up with figures that if climate change is not acted against now, the world will end up paying $ 2 trillion annually for damage to the oceans .. By 2010 AD, global average temps will rise by 4deg C.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/03/valuing-oceans 

Possibly this monetary figure will get more heads to turn and take notice !!

ge..

Babus ruined higher Education in India - Dr. P V Indresan

The floating bureaucrats ( IAS officers..)  with no accountability and loads of authority have actually ruined Higher education in the country.

For a faculty  an encouragement at the right moment in the form of grants, attending conferences etc.. is a good motivational tool.


Let us hope the govt realises its folly and let only committed faculty members take decision relating to education in the country henceforth.

ge..

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Politicians unite to hit back at team Anna - a blot on Indian Democracy ..



An open letter to our respected elected members of Parliament ..

It is very sad and a black day for Indian democracy to find our MPs, irrespective of party affiliation, have become intolerant of any criticism of their functioning.. The politicians realise that they get their powers only from the people. By getting elected they are not insulating themselves from the common man and deciding to do whatever they want for five years. If they think that way, I am really sad, our democracy and our representatives have not matured to represent the people. 

People are supreme, then comes the constitution and then comes whatever else.. Any criticism of how political parties nominate criminals for elections and to represent them, does not mean that the Indian public is against the political parties. It is giving them a chance to clean up their stable and get good people to represent them.. Let politicians take it as a corrective criticism from the people and the civil society, there is no reason whatsoever, to feel hurt or have umbrage about.. 

It is not only the elected representatives who are worried about the country, it is each and every citizen of this country .. If we do not correct our elected representatives, and if they go astray, who is to be blamed - only the people .. You are our creation, you get your rights from us, the people, if and only if and when we decide to give them to you. .

So our dear representatives, be cool, it is just another corrective action, just another control measure of the feedback mechanism installed by us to keep a tab on you. Please do not get upset and do not feel offended, we will control all your actions, we will advise you when you go astray, it is our bounden duty as a citizen of this great country to correct you. We cannot allow this great country to go to dogs because of some irresponsible people amongst you. Pl do not misunderstand our good intentions, we are there to guide you and correct you in your chosen duty ( out of your volition) to help run this noble country of mine .. Nobody has thrust this duty and task on you against your wishes, I am sure ..

Our vote to allow you to represent us do not in any way  give you the right to take the country down the drains.. Pl do not carry any such misconceived notions and thoughts in your brains. If we have elected you, we also know how to control you .. Pl for the country's sake, listen to our voice, the common man's voice. You will finish your loot, run to swiss banks and the like and get away scotfree, only we are there left to suffer your misdoings. How can we let that to happen to our great, noble and pious country .. 

Please do not misunderstand our good intentions, we will never ever allow you to go astray and permit such loot and indiscipline to happen ever again in our country !!

please for the sake of our country and its 1.2 billion people, at least start behaving now. No time is too late ! Do not be crybabies ..!!

ge..

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Afghanistan is where empires go to die - old Confucius saying ..

The old Confucius saying that "Afghanistan is where empires go to die" is so true ..

The prophesy is working to such precision .. We are all seeing the collapse and disintegration of of US facilitated by Obama .. ( how much a brave face Americans would put to salvage their hurt pride and ego ..) ..

Afghanistan has the uncanny ability to suck in empires and emperors over the years. Take the case of Alexander the Great in ancient history and Russia and US in modern history .. How much resources, people, money and material and armaments any country puts in Afghanistan, it sucks in everything and waits for more and more as if nothing has happened ..

Even Genghis Khan , just 800 years back, repeated the same mistake and he could not hold onto Afghanistan ..

Let India and China the new empires of the 21 st century not repeat history and make the same mistakes ..

ge ..

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Books ..

Here I am giving some quotations on books from the famous Unitarian Theologian, Dr William Ellery Channing, US (1780 - 1842)


It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours. 

William Ellery Channing  


How true is the above quote from Dr William Ellery Channing who lived in the eighteenth century ..

Reading books, of any kind, it does not matter - another quote :

The best books for a man are not always those which the wise recommend, but often those which meet the peculiar wants, the natural thirst of his mind, and therefore awaken interest and rivet thought. 

William Ellery Channing 

Even though Channing is considered a great Unitarian theologian and a thinker of his times, it is indeed surprising to find why he never opposed slavery and bondage of the people from Africa who were brought to US to work on tobacco and other farms.

ge..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An electric car soon from Chennai ..

Recently at the Renewable Energy exhibition at Chennai which I attended on 13 March 2012, I saw this electric car, indigenously developed in Chennai, called Carrieall, to hit the Indian markets by July-August, running at max speed of 80 kmph, working on 4-5 units of electricity to run a distance of 120 kms on a single complete charge of the batteries.. Costing 7- 8 lakhs INR, modeled on Santro Zing style, easily carries 4 people.

All standard accessories like AC, power steering, power windows, 2 gears ( not sure..), with standard tyres, and other consumables like lighting, brakes, brakes etc ....

Snaps are enclosed here..

ge..

Monday, March 19, 2012

Malayalam Wiki Sangamotsavam 2012, April 28,29, Kollam Chinnakkada Jilla Panchayat Hall ..

Malayalam Wikipedia contributors Annual Conference ... 

Click here for the link .. or here

inviting papers till march 21 for the mega 2 day event on April 28,29 at Kollam.

ge..

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How True, Bharat Ratna does not deserve Sridharan ..


How true, Bharat Ratna does not derserve Sridharan ..!! I do not know who has written this piece of material, but definitely it is worth its weight in gold ..

56 years in Govt service and to do some of the best, state of the art, impossible projects, which even the British dare not do even now.., were completed by Sridharan in record time, without any shred of corruption or favouritism,  bringing name, fame, laurel to the country besides helping it save thousands of crores of INR in penalties, delays and loss of opportunity costs does not deserve a Bharat Ratna .. ..

Instead, scoring a hundred centuries, playing for personal fame and money deserves Bharat Ratna .. ??

Pl read on ...

 

 Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan…..

 

The Bharat Ratna no one talks about

Dec 31st 2011
India had just lost the boxing day test match, with a day to spare. Star News was deciding who was the 'Match Ka Mujrim'. Others were wondering when Sachin will finally score that created in the boardroom, 100th hundred. If an alien visited India around that time and switched on the tele, he/she would have thought our world started and ended with cricket.
Pretty sad, considering an event that slipped  completely under our radar.
Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, affectionately called the 'MetroMan of India', bid adieu to his 56 year long career of creating 21st century monuments. His exit was a reflection of how he lived; simple, elegant and completely inconspicuous.
Just pause for a moment and think.
 56 successive years, in a single job, without a break.
 56 Years.
 In other words, Dr Sreedharan, worked continuously for a duration, in which an average Indian generally goes from the cradle to his/her grave.
And no one in the media was paying a tribute to this great man. They were not even talking about it. All they had was a silly ticker at the bottom of the screen, that said 'Dr Sreedharan Retires'. No ten thousand word articles, no special Dr Sreedharan shows, nothing. It was like, it didn't even happen.
 Fundamental question is, Why?
Is it simply because, Dr Sreedharan, is not your quintessential Indian Success Story?
 I mean, he is not a IITian, nor is he from an IIM. He is not from a minority community. He did not surmount racial and casteist prejudices imposed by the society. He did not fetch water at 4 in the morning and did not study under street lamps. He did not milk cows to pay for his education. He is neither an actor nor a singer. Neither is he a cricketer nor a cricketer who claims to be an actor.
He was just a simple middle class Indian, who went about his job.
In other words, he does not fall under any bracket that our media terms as 'an Indian Success Story'.
And according to the media, not an 'Indian Success Story' meant 'No tribute'. And this in a day, when even a guy like Chetan Bhagat will get a glowing biography on his life and times, the day he finally decides to stop writing.
OK, sod the the media. They have TRPs and paying news customers to take care of. But what about the government? They don't have to answer to anybody. And this guy dedicated his entire life to them. At least they can do something.
But No.
When names were being bandied about for the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor, everyone, from politicians to Dhanush,  had only one name, 'I am stuck on 99′ Tendulkar. Infact lobbying for that guy reached such epic proportions, that the government actually changed the award criteria to accommodate that actor.
And Mr Sreedharan, who triple checks all the existing criteria, was not even being mentioned.
The travesty is all the more acute if you consider what Dr Sreedharan has done for our nation.
Like
Date: 22nd of December in 1964,
Location: Rameshwaram town
For most of the non south-Indians, Madras and South India are interchangeable terms. But what you do not know is, South India also happens a favorite holiday spot for various cyclones brewing in the Bay of Bengal. And this South India is not Madras alone, but the entire states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
This geographical part of India has been hit by so many cyclones that nowadays meteorologists have run out of names.

For most of us, This is THANE
 
One such cyclone, hit the coastal town of Rameshwaram on 22nd of December, 1964. And it was a deadly one.
Not so long ago, south of Rameshwaram, there used be a bustling town called Dhanushkodi. It had its own post office, customs office and even a Railway Station. My bet is most of you wouldn't have heard about it. Why?
Because on that fateful night, the Indian Ocean swallowed the entire town. More than 2000 Indians were killed. The ocean even ensured that, a passenger train which was beginning its last journey of the day at 11.15 P.M, made its last journey ever. If you still can't imagine the ferocity of this cyclone, let me help you

Dhanushkodi, before and after
 
So where does Dr Sreedharan come in all of this?
As a sideshow, the cyclone destroyed the Pamban Bridge, the only bridge connecting Rameshwaram to mainland India. And this meant Rameshwaram was completely isolated. Considering the above cyclone something had to be done, and fast.
At that time, Dr Sreedharan was a Deputy Engineer in the Southern Railway. And this piece of wreck was in his territory. Indian Railways, gave Dr Sreedharan six months to restore connectivity to Rameshwaram. Which was asking a lot considering
Dr. Sreedharan, had to convert this

To

IN SIX MONTHS
Dr Sreedharan finished the job in ..FORTY SIX 1962 DAYS.
 
 
He took one month and 15 days to restore, THAT bridge, back to full operation. The bridge which was India's longest sea bridge for 96 years, till the Bandra Worli Sea Link was inaugurated in the year 2008.
Forty six days to restore this 2.3 Km bridge in a state where

THIS BRIDGE
took six effin months to restore after being washed away by a flash flood, in 2006.
There are some achievements that look cool, but once you get an award, you completely forget about them. And then there are some you won't forget, even if you suffer a total memory loss.
This was one of those things.
For all this trouble, Dr Sreedharan got a Railway award consisting of Rs 100 and an awful looking plaque.
 
The process of short-changing Dr E Sreedharan, began in 1962.
Even If Dr Sreedharan, sat and twiddled his thumbs for the rest of his life, he would have been considered a superhero for his bridge-building awesomeness alone. Fortunately for India though, he did not like twiddling thumbs. Packing his bags for his next assignment, he set off to Calcutta, where he became the chief designer of the Calcutta Metro. And then, getting bored of railways in general, he took charge of India's largest Ship building company, Cochin Shipyard. There he designed, built and commissioned India's first indigenously built Merchant vessel, the Rani Padmini, in 1981.

 

After building everything from trains to ships, Dr Sreedharan according to government rules, had to retire in 1990 when he completed 60 years of age.
But, when you are Dr Sreedharan, you don't have the plebian privilege of retirement.
He was asked to go to Mumbai, to take charge of what was then deemed to be India's toughest project since independence. It involved burrowing through basalt mountains, spanning kilometer long marshes and rivers and taking railways to a place where even the Britishers thought it was impossible. This region was the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, affectionately called, the Konkan.
The railway babus simply called this herculean venture, Konkan Railway. Naming things is not really their forte.

                          And slapped it with a pathetic logo
 
This is what Dr E Sreedharan had to do,
Lay 760 Kms of railway track, through a terrain
that had

                                                                                           
and this

infested with

and perennially at the risk of

 
And to do that, Sreedharan had to
1. Acquire 5000 hectares of land from 42,000 assorted land owners.
2. Build 2000 Bridges, both major and minor, across Marshes, swamps, rivers and backwaters.
3. Blast 92 tunnels, totaling 83 kilometers in length through Basalt, nature's adamantium and soft soil, nature's china clay. You need nuclear weapons and Arnold to bore through the former while the latter generally collapsed on itself, if someone as much as farted.
And then came the most difficult task in the Indian Index Of Difficult tasks
4. Dealing And Negotiating With The Chief Ministers, Home Ministers, Other Ministers And Their Chelas Of Four Different States.
And to complete all of the above tasks, Dr Sreedharan, was given 8 years.
It would be like Hercules being asked to accomplish his twelve tasks, blinded and with one hand tied to his back, in three days.

      Hercules
 
Needless to say, he would have failed.
Dr Sreedharan, supposedly retired and who qualified for Indian Railway's senior citizen quota, finished the job in 7 years.
Konkan Railway to me, is the second biggest achievement of Independent India, with the first being India remaining India. New standards will have to be invented, to realistically measure the impact of Konkan Railway on the Indian economy.
 
 
For starters
1. For the first time ever, three largest ports on the Indian coast, Mumbai, Karwar and Mangalore have a direct connection.
2. Travel time from the southern states to the north, have been reduced by upto 40 percent. The crummy old Nethravathi Express, used to take 38 hours to travel from Trivandrum to Mumbai.
Now, thanks to Dr E Sreedharan and the

KONKAN RAILWAY
the same train takes 22 Hours. A 16 hour reduction in travel time. And a 16-18 hour reduction in travel times of all trains going from Kerala,Karnataka, Goa to the North.
All the trains.
Try measuring the impact. Don't bother, you can't.
And new levels of difficulty need to be established to measure the difficulty of this task. The sheer number of architectural impossibilities overcome by Dr E Sreedharan and his team in making this wild dream a reality, is mind boggling. All I can do is suggest you to go here, here and here.
However, there is one thing that encapsulates what all the above links have to say
THIS IS THE VIADUCT OVER THE PANVEL NADI

Which basically is a Marsh

Between two Hills

And to traverse it,
The train has to travel at a height, which is as tall as

In other words,
Dr Sreedharan and his team, built a goddamn Qutub Minar, over a marsh, between two hills, just so that, a train could chug over it.
Need I say more?

You will see this wonder of Modern India immediately after Ratnagiri on the Konkan Railway. In the 15 kilometer stretch between Ratnagiri and Nivasar, there are 3 tunnels and 5 viaducts. The third viaduct is the Panval Nadi viaduct, immediately after the first tunnel. The exact sequence will be —->  Big Tunnel, Massive Gorge, Big tunnel again.
Dr Sreedharan though, never had the chance to taste his success. In December 1997, one year before the Konkan Railway was thrown open to traffic, he was shunted to New Delhi to head a new organization. It was created to find a viable solution to the traffic woes of the aam aadmi in the national capital.
This organization was called the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation.
Of all the railway systems in the world, building a metro is the most difficult in the world. Most difficult, becomes impossible, when you have to build that damn thing under and over a megapolis.
Impossible reaches 'You must be kidding me' levels, when that megapolis in question is Delhi and the country in question is India.

There are more people in this pic than there are in Canada.
Delhi Metro was not India's first metro. Calcutta has that honor. But Calcutta's 'I built my own metro' story, was one sorry tale
Sample this
1. It took 22 years to build the Calcutta Metro, A metro whose total length was 16.75 kms. In other words, Calcutta Metro construction dudes managed a grand average of, .76 kms a year.
2. The Calcutta metro suffered from debilitating shortages in almost everything. Shortages of funds, shortages in labour and shortages in everything else. The only they had in plenty was those damn shortages.
3. And it was harried by the parent, the Indian Railways, every step of the way.
If the Calcutta metro was any indicator, the 168 Kms long Delhi Metro would have been beset with shortages, harassed by the Railways and would have been completed in A.D 2083.
If ever there was a movie made about Dr Sreedharan's job, it would have looked something like this

But this was Dr E Sreedharan.
When he started off, he put in place some things that were never before done in the history of Indian mega construction projects
Like
1. His appointed himself as the judge, jury and the executioner as far as the Delhi Metro was concerned. No external influences were tolerated. And he took no prisoners. There have been stories were, people walked in with the traditional M.P recommendation letter, walked out of his office, with the paper in two different hands.
2.  After giving himself the power, he changed the tendering process, upside down. In a country, where opening a single tender on an average, took six to nine months, Dr Sreedharan got the job done in 19 days. YES, 19 Days.
3.  When confronted with the standard Government 'I am short of money' rigamarole, Dr Sreedharan did what any sensible government servant would do. He simply cut out the Government from the funding.
He single-handedly went and got a loan of USD 5 Billion sanctioned from the Japanese Bank of International Co-operation to fund the Metro. Now, 60 percent of the necessary finance secured, Government shut up and stumped up the remaining cash.
4. He then hired top International consultants from an assortment of countries, to cover for the lack of local talent, to supervise and execute the project.
For the first time in the History of India, the entire Delhi Bureaucratic circle was completely circumvented. That too, by one 74 year old dude from Kerala.
As a result
Phase one of the 5 billion dollar metro, was completed three years before schedule, entirely within the initially stipulated budget. And there was not even a single shard of corruption.
In India, that is the closest we can get to walking on water.
If someone had in 1998, said that such a thing would happen in India, He would have been given a priority ticket to Agra/Alibaug/Kilpauk or the nearest mental asylum.
Today, the Delhi Metro is complete and for the first time, Dilliwalas are enjoying the benefits of a full fledged suburban rail system that has a punctuality factor of 99.999 percent. All thanks to this man

Next time, any Dilli boy/girl tries to mock you or anyone with the moniker Madrasi, just mention the words, Metro-Sreedharan-Madrasi in the same sentence. The other side will shut up.
The successful execution of the Delhi Metro, made Dr Sreedharan the Tom Cruise of the Metro Rail universe. Every Indian city worth its salt, now wanted its own metro and Dr Sreedharan as its consultant.
One such city was Hyderabad. And the company executing that metro was a company called, MAYTAS INFRASTRUCTURE.
You know where this is going.
In September 2008, Dr Sreedharan, after observing as a consultant, sent the following report to the Planning Commission, Government of India
Making available 296 acres of prime land to the BOT [build, operate and transfer] developer for commercial exploitation was like selling the family silver. I fear a big political scandal some time later, as it is apparent the BOT operator has a hidden agenda which appears to be to extend the metro network to a large tract of his private land holdings so as to reap a windfall profit of four to five times the land price.
Planning commission, that plans little and develops less, as usual did not pay heed to this report. In fact they chastised Dr Sreedharan, for not backing up his allegation with necessary proof.
This is what happened, three months later

Remember how the scandal started? It started by Satyam Computers, arbitrarily taking over Maytas infrastructure, a company that was neither in IT, nor was a competitor. In fact the only link between Satyam and Matras was that it owned by Ramalinga Raju's sons.
And sensing that Maytas was in big trouble, he 'bought' the company to save it.
And Dr Sreedharan, predicted that the company was in trouble, three months before the world knew it.
So let me just encapsulate, if that can be done, on what Dr Sreedharan has done for the country
1. He restored India's longest sea bridge which was completely destroyed, in 46 days.
2. He designed India's first Metro.
3. Supervised the building of India's first indigenous Merchant vessel.
4. Executed India's most difficult project since Independence.
5. Gave Delhi wallahs, something called the Metro.
6. Predicted India's biggest corporate fraud, three months before it happened.
I don't know how the Bharat Ratna nomination thing works. But I believe you stand a chance if you have done something good for the country. Now tell me, what has Dr Sreedharan not done for the country?
I mean when you can consider a guy who sells a computer anti-virus on prime-time television for India's highest civilian award, Why is there not a whisper about a guy who has ensured 400,000 people on the western coast of India saw a train for the first time?
Or, was responsible for a sharp drop in road-rage killings in Delhi?
Come to think of it though, I really don't want Dr Sreedharan to get the Bharat Ratna. I mean, he will then join a club that is populated by people like Bismillah Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Bhimsen Joshi etc. No disrespect to them, but they were at best, paid performers who had negligible impact on the population of India. (Lata Mangeshkar in fact has had a negative impact. A flyover which will bring respite to thousands, if not lakhs, of Mumbaikars is not being constructed solely due to her 'privacy' concerns).
Dr Sreedharan should not be given the Bharat Ratna. Because the Bharat Ratna does not deserve a man like Dr Sreedharan.

 

Sachin who earned crores for entertaining sports lovers (only cricket) deserve a Bharat Ratna?

 

 

Always th ink positive ...

HAVE A GREAT DAY !!!!!

 

 

 

 



==============================

 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Should Dharun Ravi escape 10 years in prison ?


The suicide of Rutgers Uty, NJ student Clementi over his Indian-born roommate Dharun Ravi webcamming his encounters with an elder male in their common shared dorm room, and tweeting over it, has landed the judges in a very piquant situation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Tyler_Clementi

A very private incident which could have been settled at the Hall manager level in Rutgers, got blown up after the suicide of Clementi. It has ruffled many a feather among all parents of students of similar age.

The case of the delicate, sensitive nature of Clementi and the fact that he wanted to "cover up his gay nature" from Ravi, which Ravi knew beforehand and wanted to publicise with his friend Wei and others, was what aggravated the matter.

Will the judge indict Ravi to prison or not ? The next few days will be crucial if Ravi's defense is able to prove Clementi's suicide was not related to this issue..

More than whether the grounds of Invasion of privacy or hate crime will be used against Ravi and Wei, this case raises more issues on what constitutes "proper" Internet usage, "what" constitutes acceptable social behaviour and how modern technology has a very deep inseparable impact in the life and behaviour of our youngsters, both boys and girls ..

ge..

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Great resource for educators of the world from johnathan Chung ...


Johnathan Chung
Over 200 Free Online Educational Resources (v.2.3)

Warning: Very long post. Please open in a new browser tab.

Here is decades' worth of knowledge freely available online for those who love to learn. Links that fit under multiple categories are listed only once.

What are your favorite sites to learn from? What sites would you add to this list?

(View the original post for any future updates: http://goo.gl/8HLFw)

CONTENTS:

I. Top Picks
II. Universities and Higher Education (updated to v.2.0 on 1/27/12)
III. General Collections (updated to v.2.3 on 2/10/12)
IV. How-to & DIY
V. Studying with Peers
VI. Online Books, eBooks, & Journals
VII. Computers, Software, & Programming (updated to v.2.2 on 2/6/12)
VIII. Science & Math (updated to v.2.3 on 2/10/12)
IX. Logic, Words, & Memory
X. Languages
XI. Music (updated to v.1.2 on 1/26/12)
XII. History
XIII. Business, Economics, Finance, & Investing (updated to v.1.2 on 1/26/12)
XIV. Food, Nutrition, & Cooking
XV. Survival Tips
XVI. Documentaries & Film Studies (updated to v.2.3 on 2/10/12)
XVII. Other


===========

I. TOP PICKS

Khan Academy
http://www.khanacademy.org/

Academic Earth - Online courses from the world's top scholars
http://academicearth.org/

TED - Technology, Entertainment, & Design
http://www.ted.com/

MIT Open CourseWare
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/

Stanford Engineering Everywhere
http://see.stanford.edu/see/courses.aspx

Open Yale Courses
http://oyc.yale.edu/

About U. - Collection of free online courses from About.com
http://u.about.com/

Wikiversity
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Main_Page

YouTube EDU
http://www.youtube.com/education?b=400

The Open University - Study at the OU
http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/
http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/

University of the People
www.uopeople.org

University of Reddit
http://ureddit.com/

Open Culture - The best free cultural & educational media on the web
http://openculture.com/

VideoLectures - Exchange ideas & share knowledge
http://videolectures.net/

CosmoLearning - Free educational website with thousands of courses & documentaries
http://www.cosmolearning.com/


================================

II. UNIVERSITIES & HIGHER EDUCATION

Lecture Fox - Free university lectures
http://lecturefox.com/

Faculty Project - The best professors from the world's leading Universities
http://facultyproject.com/

Google in Education
http://www.google.com/edu/index.html

More Open Courses:

OCW Search - Find free university courses online
http://www.ocwsearch.com/

Open Courseware Consortium
http://www.ocwconsortium.org/

Harvard Extension School - Computer Science & Technology
http://computerscience1.tv/2010/spring/

Johns Hopkins University
http://ocw.jhsph.edu/

Kaplan University
http://ocw.kaplan.edu/

Notre Dame
http://ocw.nd.edu/

Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study
http://video.ias.edu/all

Tufts
http://ocw.tufts.edu/

Utah State
http://ocw.usu.edu/

ArsDigita University - Computer science and math lectures
http://aduni.org/courses/

UC Berkeley Webcast - Central service for online video & audio for learners around the globe
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/

UC Berkeley Video Courses - Free education online
http://education.jimmyr.com/

Capilano University
http://ocw.capilanou.ca/

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative
http://oli.web.cmu.edu/openlearning/

Delft University of Technology
http://ocw.tudelft.nl/courses/

Rice University Connexions - A place to view and share educational modules
http://cnx.org/

Stanford on iTunes U - Stanford-related digital audio content
http://itunes.stanford.edu/content/overview.html

UC Irvine
http://ocw.uci.edu/

UC San Diego Podcasts
http://podcast.ucsd.edu/

University of Chicago's Mind Online - Thought-provoking samples of critical thinking & debate
http://news.uchicago.edu/multimedia

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
http://www.uccs.edu/~math/vidarchive.html

University of Massachusetts
http://ocw.umb.edu/

University of Michigan
http://open.umich.edu/education

University of Southern Queensland
http://ocw.usq.edu.au/

University of Sydney - Podcast episodes
http://sydney.edu.au/podcasts/2011.php

University of Virginia - Podcasts & webcasts
http://www.virginia.edu/uvapodcast/

University of Washington - Computer Science & Engineering
http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/course-webs.html

Utah Valley University - Online courses & open educational resources
http://open.uvu.edu/

YouTube Channels:

Stanford
http://www.youtube.com/stanford

Stanford Class Central - YouTube summaries of Stanford's online courses
http://www.class-central.com/

UC Berkeley
http://www.youtube.com/user/UCBerkeley

University of New South Wales
http://www.youtube.com/user/UNSWelearning

Yale
http://www.youtube.com/yalecourses

India's NPTEL
http://www.youtube.com/user/nptelhrd


======================

III. GENERAL COLLECTIONS

Udemy - Take and build online courses on any subject
http://www.udemy.com/

Free Video Lectures - 800+ Online Courses and 19,000+ Videos from Top 30+ Universities on 35+ Categories
http://freevideolectures.com/

100 Intro Open Courses on Everything You've Ever Wanted to Learn
http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2010/05/12/100-intro-open-courses-on-everything-youve-ever-wanted-to-learn/

Annotum (formerly Google's Knol)
http://annotum.org/

InfoCoBuild's Free Education - Audio/video lectures for academic courses
http://www.infocobuild.com/education/education.html

IncrediCampus - Lectures and preparation/admission advice for college & graduate schoolshttp://www.incredicampus.com/

Learners TV - Thousands of downloadable video lectures on liberal arts, science, engineering, and more
http://www.learnerstv.com/

Online Education Database - 200 free online classes to learn anything
http://oedb.org/library/beginning-online-learning/200-free-online-classes-to-learn-anything

Infoplease - All the knowledge you need
http://www.infoplease.com/

MERLOT - Multimedia educational resource for learning and online teaching
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm

Internet Archive
http://www.archive.org/

101 Online Self-improvement Resources
http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/101-self-improvement-resources/

Alison - 300 free online courses at certificate or diploma level (sign-up required)
http://alison.com/

Teaching Resources:

The Orange Grove Digital Repository - Online library of openly available instructional resources for Florida's educators
http://www.theorangegrove.org/

Learner.org - Browse teacher resources
http://www.learner.org/resources/browse.html

Google in Education - Teacher Resources
http://www.google.com/edu/teachers/educator-resources.html


==============

IV. HOW-TO & DIY

WikiHow - The how-to manual that you can edit
http://www.wikihow.com/

How Stuff Works
http://www.howstuffworks.com/

Wonder How To
http://www.wonderhowto.com/categories/

Instructables
http://www.instructables.com/

Make Magazine
http://www.makezine.com/

How-to Help & Videos for Dummies
http://www.dummies.com/

VideoJug - Get good at life
http://www.videojug.com/

How to Create a Book in Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Books

Let's Make Robots
http://letsmakerobots.com/


====================

V. STUDYING with PEERS

Open Study - Study together
http://openstudy.com/

P2P University - Learn anything with your peers
http://p2pu.org/en/

Study Blue - Your digital backpack
http://www.studyblue.com/


==================================

VI. ONLINE BOOKS, eBOOKS, & JOURNALS

Google Books
http://books.google.com/

WikiBooks - Open-content textbooks collection that anyone can edit
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page

Project Gutenberg
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Planet eBook - Home of free classic literature
http://www.planetebook.com/about.asp

Open Book Project
http://openbookproject.net/

The Free Library
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/

Many Books - Ad-free eBooks
http://www.manybooks.net/

WorldCat - Collections & services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide
http://www.worldcat.org/

iBiblio - The public's library and digital archive
http://www.ibiblio.org/

LibriVox - Free public domain audiobooks
http://librivox.org/

The Assayer - Web's largest catalog of books whose authors have made them available for free
http://theassayer.org/

Amazon.com Free eBook Collection
http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_85650291_15?ie=UTF8&node=2245146011

Scribd - Reading and publishing evolved
http://www.scribd.com/

Textbook Revolution - Student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials
http://www.textbookrevolution.org/index.php/Main_Page

Directory of Open Access Journals
http://www.doaj.org/

eReaderIQ - Recent non-public domain freebies & price-drop alerts
http://www.ereaderiq.com/

Longform - New and classic non-fiction articles curated across the web
http://longform.org/

Flatworld Knowledge - The first and largest publisher of free & open textbooks
http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/


=======================================

VII. COMPUTERS, SOFTWARE, & PROGRAMMING

Google Code University
http://code.google.com/edu/

The New Boston - Step-by-step tutorials for multiple coding languages
http://thenewboston.org/

UDacity - CS 101
http://www.udacity.com/

PHP Academy
http://www.youtube.com/user/phpacademy

Better PHP
http://www.youtube.com/betterphp

Programming eBooks
http://appsapps.com/ebooks/

W3Schools - The world's largest web development site
http://www.w3schools.com/
http://w3fools.com/#what-should-be-done

Wired How-to Wiki - Teach a kid to program
http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Teach_a_Kid_to_Program

NetTuts+ - A large collection of coding tutorials
http://nettuts.com/

Tutorial Guide - The site for all your tutorial needs
http://www.tutorialguide.net/

Codecademy - Fun & interactive way to learn how to code
http://www.codecademy.com/

Free Technology Academy - High quality educational material based on free software & open standards
http://ftacademy.org/

Higher Computing for Everyone - Writing basic programs
http://www.highercomputingforeveryone.com/

HTML 5 Please
http://html5please.us/

Rails for Zombies
http://railsforzombies.org/

Ruby Warrior - Open source game to teach Ruby language
http://www.trybloc.com/courses/ruby-warrior/chapters/beginner#/1

Got API - Documentation search engine
http://start.gotapi.com/

Coding Bat - Online code practice in Java & Python
http://codingbat.com/

PySchools - Python programming language tutorial
http://www.pyschools.com/

Python Learn - Provides materials to learn Python on your own
http://www.py4inf.com/

appendTo - Learn jQuery and Javascript for free
http://learn.appendto.com/

Professor Messer - Free CompTIA A+ Certification Training Course
http://www.professormesser.com/

Lynda - Online software training videos
http://www.lynda.com/

Intro to Linux
http://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comments/bbnkp/ive_tinkered_in_ubuntu_before_but_its_the_primary/c0lzpwk

Stack Overflow - Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
http://stackoverflow.com/

DZone - Fresh links for developers
http://www.dzone.com/links/index.html

Project Euler - A series of challenging mathematical & computer programming problems
http://projecteuler.net/

Photoshop & Graphics:

Tutorial Hero - Photoshop & Flash tutorials
http://www.tutorialhero.com/

PSD Tuts+
http://psd.tutsplus.com/

Photoshop Tutorials
http://photoshoptutorials.ws/

Graphic Tutorials
http://www.graphictutorials.net/

Photoshop Pack Graphic Design Resources
http://www.photoshop-pack.com/

PSD FanExtra Tutorials
http://psd.fanextra.com/category/tutorials/

Vandelay Design - Photoshop Tutorial Hall of Fame
http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/design/photoshop-tutorial-tutorials/

Grokking the GIMP
http://gimp-savvy.com/BOOK/index.html

Video CoPilot - Tutorials for VFx & motion graphics
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/


==================

VIII. SCIENCE & MATH

Google Scholar - Stand on the shoulder of giants
http://scholar.google.com/

Scirus - The most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web
http://www.scirus.com/

Cite Seer X - Access scientific and scholarly knowledge
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/

getCited - Academic database, directory, & discussion forum
http://www.getcited.org/

Academia.edu - A place to share and follow research
http://academia.edu/

National Science Digital Library - Explore, share, create
http://nsdl.org/

Science Magazine Podcasts
http://www.sciencemag.org/multimedia/podcast/

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning - Science, Engineering, & Technology
http://www.nptel.iitm.ac.in/

KQED's Quest - Explore science, nature, and environment stories from Northern California and beyond
http://science.kqed.org/quest/

Freelance Teacher - Videos on physics, chemistry, math, & biology
http://www.freelance-teacher.com/videos.htm

FHSST - Free high school science texts in physical sciences & math
http://fhsst.org/

Free Science Lectures - Free Science Videos & Lectures
http://www.freesciencelectures.com/

Minute Physics on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics/featured

Physicist TV - Collection of science & documentary videos
http://www.physicisttv.com/

Educated Earth - Videos on astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, math, physics, and more
http://www.educatedearth.net/

The Science Network - Videos about science meetings and general science discussions
http://thesciencenetwork.org/

cK-12 Flexbooks
http://www.ck12.org/flexbook/

Paul's Online Math Notes
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/

Reddit's List of Useful Online Math Resources
http://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/bqbex/lets_list_all_the_useful_free_online_math/

Math, Better Explained
http://betterexplained.com/

Astronomy & Outerspace:

Space Engine - Free space simulation software
http://en.spaceengine.org/

Google Sky
http://www.google.com/sky/

NASA for Students
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/index.html

Scale of the Universe - Interactive Flash Animation
http://www.scaleoftheuniverse.com/

Statistics:

Vassar Stats - Concepts and applications of inferential statistics
http://faculty.vassar.edu/lowry/webtext.html

StatSoft Electronic Statistics Textbook
http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/stathome.html

Connexions Collaborative Statistics
http://cnx.org/content/col10522/latest/

Handbook of Biological Statistics
http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/statintro.html


=========================

IX. LOGIC, WORDS, & MEMORY

Mind Tools - Memory improvement techniques
http://www.mindtools.com/memory.html

The Nizkor Project - List of logical fallacies
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/index.html

Wikipedia's List of Logical Fallacies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

Wikipedia's List of Figures of Speech
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_of_speech

Tool Kit for Rhetorical Analysis
http://grammar.about.com/od/rhetorictoolkit/Tool_Kit_for_Rhetorical_Analysis.htm

KnoWord - Expand your vocabulary
http://knoword.org/

Vocabulary.com - Learn new words & explore language
http://www.vocabulary.com/

Brain Workshop - A Dual N-Back Game
http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/

Argument Mapping Tutorials
http://austhink.com/reason/tutorials/

Philosophy Bites - Podcasts of top philsophers
http://www.philosophybites.com/


=============

X. LANGUAGES

Basic Composition - Reading & Writing
http://www.basiccomposition.com/

BBC Languages - Beginner courses in multiple languages
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/

Foreign Service Institute Language Courses
http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php

Language Guide - Foreign language vocabulary, grammar, & readings
http://www.languageguide.org/

eLanguage School - Free foreign language lessons online
http://www.elanguageschool.net/

Free Online Language Courses via About.com
http://distancelearn.about.com/od/onlinecourses/a/freelanguage.htm

DuoLingo - Learn a language for free & simultaneously translate the web
http://duolingo.com/

Babel Nation - Learning languages online for free
http://www.babelnation.com/

Transparent Language - Language learning software & resources in over 100 languages
http://www.transparent.com/language-resources/languages.html

Survival Phrases - Learn essential travel phrases, tips, and insights
http://survivalphrases.com/

Talk to Me in Korean
http://talktomeinkorean.com/

Chinese Toolbox - Software for learning Chinese through reading
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com/

LiveMocha - World's largest language learning community
http://www.livemocha.com/

American Sign Language (ASL) University
http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/lessons/lesson01.htm

Handspeak - Sign language
http://www.handspeak.com/

Signing Savvy - Your sign language resource
http://www.signingsavvy.com/index.php


========

XI. MUSIC

Berklee Shares - Free music lessons from Berklee College of Music
http://www.berkleeshares.com/

Music Theory - Lessons, exercises, & tools
http://www.musictheory.net/

Ear Training & Music Theory Software
http://www.trainear.com/

Basic Music Theory
http://www.howmusicworks.org/

About.com Music Education - Music theory
http://musiced.about.com/od/musictheory/u/musiced_musictheory.htm

Teoria - Music Theory Web
http://teoria.com/

Ultimate Guitar - Lessons, techniques, & styles
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/

Justin Guitar - The best guitar instruction on the web
http://www.justinguitar.com/

Chorder - Chord fingering and guitar resources
http://www.chorder.com/guitar-chords/

Funk University - Assembly of Music's Finest
http://www.thefunkuniversity.com/

Play Bass Now - Lessons, licks, and low notes
http://playbassnow.com/

How to Play Piano
http://www.howtoplaypiano.ca/


===========

XII. HISTORY

Teacher Resources - Western Civilization (52 half-hour video programs)
http://www.learner.org/resources/series58.html

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Timeline of Art History
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/


=========================================

XIII. BUSINESS, ECONOMICS, FINANCE, & INVESTING

Investopedia
http://www.investopedia.com/

Google Advisor
https://www.google.com/advisor/home

Google Finance
http://www.google.com/finance

MarketWatch by WSJ
http://www.marketwatch.com/

Main Street - Business & financial headlines & advice
http://www.mainstreet.com/

Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner
http://ecorner.stanford.edu/

Value Based Management - Methods, models, and theories
http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/

Ludwig von Mises Institute - Austrian economics and praxeology
http://mises.org/

Foundation for Economic Education
http://www.fee.org/

Library of Economics and Liberty
http://www.econlib.org/


============================

XIV. FOOD, NUTRITION, & COOKING

Good Eats Fan Page
http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/GEFP/index.htm

Jamie's Home Cooking Skills
http://www.jamieshomecookingskills.com/

Chef Todd Mohr's Web Cooking Classes (YouTube)
http://www.youtube.com/user/ChefToddMohr

Nutrition Data - Self nutrition data; know what you eat
http://www.nutritiondata.com/

Nutrition.gov - Smart nutrition & practical tips
http://www.nutrition.gov/

Choose My Plate via USDA
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

The World's Healthiest Foods
http://whfoods.org/foodstoc.php

Calorie King
http://www.calorieking.com/

Start Making Choices - Simple ideas for living healthier on a budget
http://www.startmakingchoices.com/index.jsp

Eat Right Nutrition Tips
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206


================

XV. SURVIVAL TIPS

Off Grid Survival - Wilderness and urban survival skills
http://offgridsurvival.com/

Backwoods Magazine - Self reliance and self sufficiency
http://www.backwoodshome.com/index.html

Survival Topics - Your online survival kit
http://www.survivaltopics.com/

Wilderness Survival - Free info covering all aspects of survival
http://www.wilderness-survival.net/

Discovery's Worst-Case Scenario Video Clips
http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/worst-case-scenario/


===============================

XVI. DOCUMENTARIES & FILM STUDIES

Documentary Wire
http://www.documentarywire.com/

Factual TV - The documentary film video store
http://www.factualtv.com/

Documentary Heaven - Food for your brain
http://documentaryheaven.com/

Surf the Channel
http://www.surfthechannel.com/cat/61482.html

DocuWatch - Free streaming documentaries on Art, History, Science, and more
http://www.docuwat.ch/watch-documentaries/

Documentary Tube - Watch full-length documentaries online for free
http://www.documentarytube.com/

Documentary Log - Watch hundreds of the most interesting, popular, and full-length documentaries
http://www.documentary-log.com/

Documentary Stream
http://www.documentarystream.com/

Documentary Storm - Free streaming documentaries
http://documentarystorm.com/

Top Documentary Films - Watch free documentaries online
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/

Movies Found Online - Free movies & documentaries
http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/documentaries.php

Quick Silver Screen - Movies & documentaries
http://www.quicksilverscreen.ch/videos?g=5&mt=1

MVGroup Forums - An education in P2P (sign-up required)
http://forums.mvgroup.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MVGroup

InfoCoBuild's Books and Films - Science and Technology
http://www.infocobuild.com/books-and-films/science.html

Film Studies:

Film Studies for Free - Web archive of notable film studies resources
http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/p/open-access-film-e-books-list.html

Online Film and Movie Image Studies, PhD and MPhil Theses
http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/p/online-film-and-moving-studies-phd.html

Online Film and Media Studies Journals
http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/p/fsff-online-film-media-studies-journals.html


==========
XVII. OTHER

Advanced Yoga Practices - Directory for Main Lessons
http://www.aypsite.com/MainDirectory.html

Creative Live - A live, worldwide creative classroom
http://www.creativelive.com/


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