Monday, June 28, 2010

Emergency - Between August 11th and 25th

The National Herald, the daily paper in Delhi started by Pandit Nehru, wrote an editorial then praising the one party system in African states like Tanzania as being no less virile than the multi-party system. The paper observed:

The Westminster model need not be the best model, and some African states have demonstrated how the people’s voice will prevail whatever be the outward structure of democracy. By stressing the need for a strong Centre the PM has pointed out the strength of Indian democracy. A weak Centre threatens the country's unity, integrity, and very survival of freedom. She has posed the most important question: If the country’s freedom does not survive, how can democracy survive?

On 25th of August, the same news paper wrote:

“The PM has made it clear in recent days that there will be no attempt to establish a one party system in this country and that she is not thinking in terms of a constituent assembly or a new Constitution. As far as the party system is concerned, the one party system, however well it might answer needs theoretically, will not be forced; it can come about only in the course of natural evolution, and at present there is no such prospect.”

Uma Vasudev, a journalist, after citing this statement of the Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi), asked L.K.Advani, "What happened between August 11 and August 25?"

His immediate answer was : “Mujib’s assassination on August 15”, he added: “That gave her a shock; and made her realize that the kernel of Democracy must be maintained.”

Summary: On August 11th, The news paper started by Jawaharlal Nehru emphasized that, there should be a single party system in the country (so that Indira Gandhi can rule without any obstacles). On August 25th, Indira Gandhi gave a contradictory statement that, there was no plan to introduce single party system. L.K.Advani says, the difference in just 15 days, is because of the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (President of Bangladesh) on August 15th.

Source: Memories of the Emergency

Friday, June 25, 2010

Obituary - 35 years back

Obituary section on 27th June 1975 - Bombay Edition of Times of India

D'Ocracy - D.E.M.,
Beloved husband of T.Ruth,
Loving father of L.I.Bertie,
Brother of Faith, Hope, Justice
Expired on 26th June.

35 years back, on the same day, Emergency was declared on June 25th 1975 at night. That was the first time, when the president has taken an important decision on the advice of the Prime Minister alone (without the cabinet). The Home Minister Kaasu Brahmananda Reddy came to know about it only after Indira Gandhi intimated to the president. All other Cabinet Ministers came to know only the next day at 6 AM during the cabinet meeting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Potti Sriramulu's Fasting

After Potti Sriramulu started his fasting on 1952 October 19th, Nehru announced in Rajya Sabha that, if all parties agree, they are ready to form Andhra State without Madras. But, Potti Sriramulu wanted Andhra State with Madras. He did not agree to the proposal by Nehru, and continued his fast-unto-death. After the death of Potti Sriramulu, Andhra state was formed without Madras.

I have already mentioned my comments on the similar one in the interview between Vundavalli Arun Kumar and Jaya Sankar.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bhavathah nama kim?

A Sanskrit teacher is teaching Sanskrit, and for all the students, it was their first class in Sanskrit.

Teacher: mama naama vasuvaj. mama naama vasuvaj. bhavatah naama kim? (My name is Vasuvaj. My name is Vasuvaj. What is your name?)

Student: mama naama kim.

Teacher: mama naama vasuvaj. bhavatah naama kim? (My name is Vasuvaj. What is your name?)

Student: mama naama kim.

Teacher: mama naama vasuvaj. eshah naama krishnah. bhavatah naama kim? (My name is Vasuvaj. His name is Krishna. What is your name?)

Student: mama naama kim.

Teacher: mama naama vasuvaj. eshaa naama radhaa. bhavatah naama kim? (My name is Vasuvaj. Her name is Radha. What is your name?)

Student: mama naama kim.

Later on, the teacher realized that the student's name is Kim.

Told by my Sanskrit teacher Sri Vasuvaj.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Physics Experiments - Corporate Policies

For all those who have done physics experiments would have remembered getting the results. Even if few people have not done it, still, they would have seen their classmates doing it.

For those who do not know the meaning of getting the results,

Physics experiments are to verify the theories mentioned in Physics. For example, an experiment can be verifying that gravitational force is 9.8 m/s2. When they do the experiment, they observe readings in the given experiment. After that, they apply certain procedures by using few formulae and finally get the result of the experiment.

Before doing the experiment, the student knows what the answer he/she should get. Due to experimental errors, it is not possible to get the exact answer. So, (in this case) it may vary from 9.3 to 10.5. If the student does not perform it properly, it may vary from 6 to 15. So, many does reverse engineering. First they fix the final result. Generally, they don't fix at the exact value. Since, it will not look realistic. Once they fix the final result, they calculate what should be the values in the last but one step. Once they get those values, they calculate the values of it's previous step, and finally, they will calculate what the observed values should be, and write that in their records. From the observed values (not the real observed values, but the values that they got by reverse engineering), they apply the formulae, and finally they get the value which they wanted. In this process, they get whatever the value they want.

Recently, I came to know that, it is not just students, but also many companies follow this procedure.

One of the biggest software companies of India does almost the same for giving promotions. Every year, few days before their annual review cycle, they announce the criteria for the promotions for that year. And within few days, they will announce the list of the people who got promotions (whoever satisfied that criteria). If anyone wants to get promotion, it is simply not in their hands. Since, they announce the criteria at the last minute, and those who had already done those things would get promotion, and others will not. The correct way should be, they should announce the criteria and if anyone follows that for that year, then next year, they should get the promotion. But, what this company does is, they announce the criteria, and if anyone had done that in the last year, they would get the promotion. They have a reason to do like that. They have some budget, and within that budget, they will calculate how many promotions they can give. Then, they get the details of all the employees, and what each person has done in that year. Then, they will come up with the criteria, for which the no.of employees satisfy the criteria is almost same as the no.of promotions they can give, and give promotions to everyone who satisfies that criteria.

I heard that there are companies which gives ratings to other markets based on some formula. Few companies gets the formula, and just optimizes on it, and gets the best rank, eventhough their services/products are not so good. They said, it is because of that reason, why so many A star rating companies also went down during recession.

For ratings like Best Employer etc., sometimes, the organizers disclose on what criteria they provide the ranking. If a company has huge cash reserve, and wants to get good brand name, then they just work on that criteria, and gets good rank. I heard from one senior employee of an MNC that, the HR of that company worked hard on the criteria, and they became the Best Employer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Politicians Way of Solving Problems

Chetan Bhagath has explained the way of solving problems by politicians in a very simple way in his book, The 3 mistakes of My Life.

It is like two customers go to a restaurant and the manager gives them only one plate of food. And if you want to eat, you must fight the other guy. The two guys get busy fighting, and some people tell them to make amends and eat half plate each. In all this, they forget the real issue - why didn't the manager provide two plates of food?

Our politicians do not provide enough, and within the limited resources, they will bring hundreds of acts and policies and they make people to fight each other in those hundreds of acts, and people forget the real issue that, if enough resources are provided, it would solve the real problem.

If we take higher education, government has complete control on it, and it does not allow everyone to provide services in education. There are many students who would like to study, but, there are not enough colleges for all of them. So, to solve that problem, government introduces many things and there will be many acts like the following.

  • Reservations based on caste
  • Reservations based on locality/NRIs
  • Minority Colleges
  • Acts for the number of seats in each college
  • Acts for the admissions of the students in the colleges
  • Acts for the management quota
  • Acts for the fees structure in the colleges

People and political parties spend a lot of time in debating all the above and everyone forgets the root problem. If they just allow enough no.of colleges with open competition, it would solve the original problem, and the government never need to solve any other pseudo problem. But, that make politicians go out of job, so they don't do it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Unfair Practices of Mobile Companies

Tata Indicom has started unlimited plan within their network. If anyone recharges with Rs.299, they get unlimited talk time for one month. With that unlimited talk time, they can talk for 30 minutes everyday within their network. After 30 minutes, they charge nominal price of 50 paise per minute. On sundays, they can talk for 60 minutes. If we calculate the charge in the plan, it turns out to be approximately 30 paise per minute. It is same as any other plan by any service provider.

There are many service providers who just subscribe to the value added services without taking confirmation from the customer, and enable it and charge the customer every month. If the customer calls customer care and asks them why they enabled that service, they would say that, customer received the call, accepted it, and it was enabled. There are many instances where the customer never receives the call, but, the customer care says, they received the call and accepted the offer. The unsubscription from the service is so complicated that, a normal uneducated person cannot do himself/herself. Many times, they are not even aware that, they were charged.

These mobile companies are thinking that, since the consumer is ignorant, and nobody is going to file any case against them, they can just say whatever they want. Even if anyone files case against them, still, because of slow speed at courts, and not so severe fines, the company can easily escape.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Capitalism Increases Inequality

Communists criticize that, Capitalism increases the inequality between people, and the difference between poor and rich is huge. I agree to that. Since Capitalism encourages better services/products, people who provides better services/products will become richer. If we follow communism, everybody will be at the low level, and everybody would be poor. So, there will not be any inequality in the society, and the difference between poor and rich is insignificant.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Using Multiple Messengers For a Single Account

If you are using multiple messengers to connect to a single account, then you might be facing problem with the status (Available, Away, Busy etc.). It may not set the correct the status automatically, because of the differences in different messengers. In that case, except for the primary messenger, if all the other messengers logs in invisible mode, then the status would be displayed properly. Make sure that, you are using the latest versions for all the messengers and it's plugins. Sometimes, the bugs in the old versions may cause issues in the status.

Thanks to Tanneru Kameswara Rao for helping me in this.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How to Control Corruption?

Many people suggest to do the following to solve the corruption problem.

  • Speedy Justice
  • Confiscation of properties
  • Throwing them in Jail
  • Getting them out of job/politics

While solving any problem, we have to find the root cause of the problem, and what we are trying to achieve by solving that. We should come up with the systematic changes to solve it, and not just few incremental changes. The main problem that people face (related to corruption) is, People had to bribe to get any service done. The ideal solution is, people should get all the services without any bribe. We should change the system in such a way that, we don't need to use Police or Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to reduce the corruption.

Let's take an example of Telecommunications.

Till 1999, to get any telephone connection, one had to bribe the employees of BSNL, and even after that, they used to get the connection after a month or two. At that time, the long distance STD charges were Rs.16 per minute. After the telecommunication reforms, private operators were allowed to serve. By 2003, everyone could get a phone of private operators just in 10 minutes without any bribe, and STD charge was dropped to Rs.3.50. This change was not a small improvement. It was a drastic improvement. This change has come only because of open competition in telecommunications. The private operators want profit. They can get profit, only if they provide better service to the consumer. So, all the private operators started providing better and better services, and at the end, the consumer is benefited significantly. Eventhough BSNL is a multi billion dollar company and has been there for a very long time, still the players like Airtel, Reliance and Vodafone have got more share in cell phones than BSNL. Now, how many people are bothered about corruption in BSNL?

In this reform, government has not done anything like introducing extra employees in ACB, or replacing the employees of BSNL with sincere employees etc. Government just brought open competition, and everything automatically got changed. Corruption Control and Development go together. We cannot do only one and not other. If we develop, it will automatically control the corruption. Reducing the corruption without development is not possible.

Eventhough not directly related to corruption, we have the following problems.

  • The house rentals in certain locations are very high just because they are near to big companies.
  • Traffic is a very big problem. It takes a lot of time to travel.
  • Global warming is increasing, and we have to reduce it as much as possible.
  • Transport cost is very high.

All the above problems can be solved very easily by allowing private operators in bus services. If a family can travel comfortably at any time, from any place to any other place by using public transport, then many people would prefer to use public transport rather than their own transport. Everyday, many people are getting injured in bike accidents, and many people do not like to drive for one to two hours in traffic. But, they had to do that, because, the transport is very bad. In any city, at peak time, one cannot even think of getting into the city bus, no need of speaking about sitting in the bus. There are many people who are ready to pay more than city bus price for a comfortable travel. But, the government is not providing more buses, and not allowing private operators to provide the same. If there is open competition, then the no.of buses will increase, and people will get better service, and many people will start using public transport. By that, no.of vehicles on the road will decrease, and by that, problems of global warming and traffic will also reduce. If the transport is good, and if one can reach the destination in less time, then the employees do not need to stay very near to the office, and rentals will be stabilized.

Whatever revolution we had in telecommunications, we should bring in Transport, Education, Power Supply and in every other field to develop and at the same time to control the corruption.

Many people think that, what can a common man do? Vote is a big weapon that every indian has. By voting for a party which can improve the society, they can definitely bring the change. But, many people are thinking that, how does my vote can change? The fact is, everybody is thinking like that. If everyone just votes for a political party, which can change the system, and asks their friends/relatives to vote for that party, then the entire state will develop, and there will not be any place for corruption. Other than voting for the right party, a common man does not need to do anything more to reduce the corruption, and anything less will not be sufficient.