Pokhran II was a fizzle????

Santhanam ‘S claim:  Pokhran II was a fizzle. It did not produce desired yield.

But Why Now? Why after 11 years of the test?

I do not Doubt Santhanam Integrity. As a scientist, he is free to disagree. The question is why now.

My reason- By making such statement he is trying to create a faction and public opinion that will ensure India does not give up her right to conduct more test (if necessary) by signing some stupid treaty (CTBT)

Dr Kalam Statement: Pokhran II was a success. The desired yield was obtained. However, subsequent review of the test was done by Santhanam. (sic)

So what’s the controversy?

As a science student I might conclude that my observations/experiments were successful but on reviewing it later it may be possible that my inference or deductions can be insufficient.

Dr. Kalam Never ruled out that possibility. And it is not necessary that all scientists may have same opinion about such a complicated test.

So what is a big deal? If Mr. Santhanam feels that the test were not as successful as he thinks…Fine but what does he propose.. Should we conduct more tests? What other alternatives have we got? Are they adequate? What could be the consequences if we go for further testing?

Instead of debating on that we like M 0 R 0 N s are fighting over whether NDA is good or UPA?

Instead of focusing on solutions we always try to rope in new controversy and will fan the fire for vested interests.

No wonder we are called the world’s largest Mobocracy!!!

Inflation and the stupid Economist

Child Psychologists say that a man who has got 20 years of formal education, has irrevocably lost or damaged 70% of his IQ. I have completed 18 years of formal education by 10 + 2 + 4 years (and 2 years in kinder garden) so I must have lost 63% of my IQ. Hence I have no qualms in saying “Main panchvi pass se tej nahin hoon” ( I am not smarter than a 5th grade kid.) Having said that, I hope the readers will spare me for my stupidity and mistaken concepts regarding Inflation and Economy.

Though I don’t have much of an IQ, I have my basic chemistry intact and a little bit of common sense.
Basic crude oil Refining

Basic crude oil Refining

As seen from the image, petrol being lighter and more volatile, distills out first at about 120˚C while the diesel comes out much later at 270˚C. Obviously more energy is required to extract diesel from crude oil and as such it must be more costly. However in India we get Diesel at about INR 34 and Petrol at about INR 50. Diesel is subsidised, as India being an agro-based country needs diesel for tractors, tube wells etc.

If that’s the case then I don’t understand what the Under Performing Alliance prime-minister and the famous economist Dr. Manmohan Singh means by “subsidy cannot be given forever”

Does he mean to say that Diesel prices will be raised by about INR 15? Does he mean to say that the successive government knowingly gave the Oil companies huge losses and deliberately planned a situation where they don’t have funds to buy crude oil? Does he mean to say that in last 60 years none of the oil companies ever made a profit? And ONGC being rated in Fortune 500 is a hoax?

Unfortunately, facts tell otherwise. In Pakistan, as on 16 March 2008 petrol was INR 39.64 where as Diesel was at 24.59 INR. In 2002, petrol in India was costlier by 22% and 45% compared to Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively.

Anyways, as I said I am no economist, so before starting this post I looked up to the dictionary to know what the term subsidy means. Well, Webster defines subsidy as “a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public”. Unsatisfied with the definition I referred a second one and it defined the word more precisely as “an amount of money that the government pays to help reduce cost of product or service”.

Obviously the whole and sole aim of subsidy is to reduce the cost of product, so if the world wide oil prices are increasing, the best buffer can be to reduce the taxes on the fuel. And it is a well known fact, that if taxes are removed from petrol and diesel their prices will fall in India irrespective of the current state of the world market.

It follows that our government and Dr. Manmohan Singh thinks that leaving a tax of INR 20 on an item priced at INR 100 whose production cost is at INR 1 is also a subsidy and it cannot go on forever.

To show the greatness of our economist and our budget planners, let’s look at a very simple item. Milk in India costs about INR 20 while as a Soft Drinks are priced at INR 30 a litre or INR 42 per 1.5 litre. And before you jump to say that Soft drink is a Luxury while milk is a necessity, I haven’t finished yet. Mineral water is at INR 10 per litre!!!

Now, does the government thinks that drinking water is not as big necessity as that of milk? Or it simply wants to state that two litres of water are equivalent to 1 litre of milk? And don’t you think that 250 ml of carbonated water ( 1.5 litre of soft drinks) should be made cheaper???

It is pretty strange that we will fight with our grocer for charging 50 paise extra, fight out in court to avoid paying a rupee extra over MRP but never ever utter a single word when the government makes us pay through our nose in name of inflation. Like I said, we all have had formal education and has lost our IQ somewhere during our education.

So, what’s wrong if we pay more? We are making our country developed, Right? No wrong again!!! Let’s see how we spend the money! 5-year plan is turned into a 50-year plan of corruption. So our Under Performing Alliance (UPA) government takes pride in the sucess of the “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna”. It is simply a waste of money. It’s an insult to labour and mockery of intelligence.

What kind of road do they build? Is it a pitched road? a concrete road?NO. It is a road that is made of clay. Motorable during summers and with monsoon it disintegrates, and the next summer the process is repeated again. Why can’t they sanction a pitch road?

I guess, our Prime minister has done a PhD.and thus has more than 20 years of formal education and has lost more than 70% of his IQ. He is incompetent to make his own decisions and thus needs guidance in everything he does. And the God Sent guidance in form of Under Performer’s Alliance chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi!!!

Point to Ponder Over Raj Thackeray

I agree that this post on the speeches by the MNS chief Raj Thackeray has come quite late but I intended it to be delayed as my first response is quite impulsive and need not be of any wisdom. Now I do not claim that the post contains unquestioned knowledge, deep thinking or wisdom but obviously it would be less inflammatory, less impulsive which makes it worthy of a look.( mind you not read) The second reason for the delay was that I intended to do a lot of research before I write this one. (And for a change I did that but forgot to take down the notes.)

If you have been following “The Hindustan Times” you must have not missed an excellent article on the issue by Vir Sanghvi I too, in my last post tried to make a subtle point with my sarcastic humour, which to my great regret went unnoticed.

Now statistics tells us that about 22% of the mumbai population is of UPites while Biharis comprise about 3%. So, one can agree that to some extent the north Indians are a burden on the city’s infrastructure. I, therefore takes Raj Thackeray’s words on the face value and agree that North Indians should leave the Mumbai, but before I do that I have some issues.

Going by your logic, Mr. Raj the Gujratis must leave Mumbai before Biharis and ultimately the city should be handed to the handful of fishermen community which were the original inhabitants of Mumbai.

Let’s even forget the above logic. Mr. Raj Thackeray is the elite leader of India, so as a commoner I am sure I have twisted the fact to suit me! And Mr. Thackeray is right when he asks the North Indians to leave, but let’s look at the facts again. Mr. Thackeray says we provide cheap labour and hence we are depriving the “sons of the soil” of their livelihood. Again during the entire protest period your target group were daily wage labourers, and the Taxi drivers. Though you spoke against the white collar jobs but you did not target them. Evidently, they are of secondary importance to you!

Hitler in his Mein Kemph said on the very first page The German people have no right to indulge in colonial policies until they have brought the brothers of the same motherland under one Reich (Sic). If it’s true then by the principle of duality, if you have to move your own people out of your home, make sure, the illegal aliens are turned out first.

I want to ask Mr. Raj Thackeray as to why no campaign was targeted towards the illegal Bangladeshi immigrant before targeting the North Indians. Dharavi the largest slum of Asia,is in Mumbai and a majority of them are illegal immigrants working as petty labourers and often unlawful activities. Yet almost every tenth house sports the MNS flag in Dharavi. These illegal immigrants have got their fake voter cards and huge vote bank for any political party in the city.

So, my dear Mumbaikars and Indians, wake up if we can’t see the true colour of these politicians and keep on falling in their dirty traps and electing them time and again. We will be proving the SOB Winston Churchill claims right that India in 50 years will be ruled by 3R’s Rogue, Ruffians and Rustics!!!

Where is my Right to Education gone?

There is no such Right to Education that is defined in our constitution, but this question raised in my mind when the other day I was reading the newspaper and my eyes fell on an article which said that careers of 171 students pursuing MBBS from Maharashtra was in jeopardy due to the mistake of Director General of Health Services. These students happen to score less than 50 % in Science (physics) and had come to Maharashtra through 15% quota of the all India seats. The Maharashtra CET eligibility requires candidates to have more than 50 % in Science subjects.

Though the country is again in mid of quota war, I want to ask both the pro quota and the Anti quota lobby, where is it written that a person scoring less than 50% in science cannot become a good doctor? The government is playing dirty politics for last 60 years or so and no one has raised any question on it.

The JEE requires 60% cut off in HSC (+2 ), the JMET cut off is 60% in graduation, CAT has a cut off of 50% in graduation, Technical entry scheme has a cut off of 60%, SCRA requires a second a class as minimum condition. I don’t understand is it fair? It is a common knowledge that some boards are easier to score than others. Similar is the case with the universities, yet there is no governing body that ensures that candidates don’t have to lose to others just because they happen to be from a different university where it is hard to score.

Even if assuming that gradation of marks are same across every board and university, It is unfair on the part of the government to allow such eligibility criteria. If a university says that I am a graduate at 40% then I should be treated as one. Why am I shut door for further education? Why am I being denied my right to education? If I am ineligible for pursuing my Post Graduation, just because I don’t have 60% then the passing criteria should be made 60% and not 40%. Why does a university award me a graduate degree when I deserve none? Is it not better to lose a year than being denied education for the rest of my life!

We have a passing percentage at 40%. Making cut offs at 60% essentially means denying a third of the section a chance to compete. We have the world’s largest pool of graduate which essentially means that this policy of the government is shutting doors on a third of the world’s most efficient work force. What right has the government got to do it? The armed forces have no right to cry over the shortage of officers when they themselves turn away one third of the prospective candidates.

Who the hell says that I cannot become a good soldier if I don’t have 60%? If academic excellence itself decides the suitability of a candidate for a job then why are these entrance tests conducted? Is it a mockery of merit? Or is it a money minting ploy? CAT scores are accepted by over 80 colleges in India. If I am ineligible for further education across every country, why do we make hue and cry over “brain drain”? If I have no brains then obviously there can be no “brain drain”! It can only be “donkey drain?”

Why am I made ineligible? Why am I denied my right to compete.? If you recognize the university, then you must also recognize that I am good enough to pursue further courses even if I score 40%. If I am not good enough, as thought by the government and such bodies, what difference will it make if I compete. I will always end up at the bottom of the merit list, but if I am good enough, why am I denied a chance? Academic excellence can be a criteria for selection process but it has to be the last criteria and cannot be the first one.

If the IIM’s say that they do it because they cannot handle the number of candidates, it does not amount to an excuse. You people charge over 1000 INR from each candidate for forms, which at maximum will cost 30 rupees. OMR sheet about 10 rupees, postage of admit cards and score cards 12 rupees ( 10 rupees postage, 2 rupee for the paper ), and about 20 rupees on invigilators per candidate (invigilators will not get more than 1000 rupees for invigilation) . If you cannot handle more candidates even after making a profit of about 900 INR per candidate, and you claim to be the best management college in India, bloody well resign! Burn the IIMs it does not teach you anything. You do not deserve to teach anybody.

If you think I am right even 1% then why don’t we say together, Quota or No Quota I want my Right to Education!!!

Anecdote on Thackerays

I remember it was about five years ago, when Shiv Sena resorted to violence on “The sons of the soils” issue. The “Marathi Manoos” took laws into their own hand. The Thackeray brothers beat up the North Indians from UP and Bihar coming to take the railway recruitment board exams. They went on record to say that such incidents will be repeated if priority is not given to the “Marathi Manoos.” Shiv Sena at that time shared power at the centre as a partner of NDA.

The following year, the government changed, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav became the railway minister. The railway recruitment board exams were held again in Mumbai but this time there was adequate protection provided in form of CRPF and other para-military forces. And the Thackrey brother (Raj if I am correct) went on record to say, “Hinsa kisi bhi samasya ka samadhan nahin hai hamen baat-cheet se masle ko samjhana chahiye.”

It is for you to decide and choose Thackeray as your leader. You all are wise enough!!!

Ps: For those looking for proof of the statement, I admit I have none. At that time I didn’t think it was important enough!!!

Respect the National Flag.

The National Flag of India was adopted in its present form during an ad hoc meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India’s independence from the British on 15 August, 1947. It has served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter.

Indian National FlagIndian law says that the flag must at all times be treated with “dignity, loyalty and respect”. The “Flag Code of India – 2002”, which superseded “The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950”, governs the display and usage of the flag. Official regulation states that the flag must never touch the ground or water, be used as a tablecloth or draped in front of a platform, cover a statue, plaque, cornerstone etc.

Come January 26th and the whole country is riding on the waves of patriotism. And why not? Aren’t we patriotic? Every corner, every crossroad, every shop, and every car sports the TRICOLOUR- THE SYMBOL OF OUR SOVEREIGNTY. The spirit of a True Indian.

And what on 27 th? Gone is the republic day and gone with it is our patriotism, and like True Indian we unceremoniously dump the national flag to the dustbin that is if we are a responsible citizen, or in most of the cases it is thrown on the road, in the gutter, or left to be trampled upon by the lucky patriots. In keeping with true spirit of the Indian Culture we do not even hesitate to tear it after all its just the tricolour. The lucky few flags that are left untouched by the “True Indian” hang midway down the pole mourning the rape of the “symbol of free India”.

I request to all the people of India, please do not show our patriotism in a single day, keep it also for the remaining 364 days. Our national flag deserves a much better treatment than this. It needs to be respected all the year round, every day and every moment. If we don’t respect it who will ? Please don’t buy tricolour if you cannot handle it.

Rest in Peace, Sir Edmund Hillary

My life is not so much stepping on top of a peak that has never been stepped on before, or traveling to the South Pole, but, rather more, the building of schools and medical clinics for the very worthy people of the Himalayas.

-Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary with Tenzing NorgayIt is indeed a shame that while we are discussing over racism and the stupid Symonds… a man who fought against racism all his life took his last breath. But, this other “Gora” did more than you and I can ever talk about, he showed it in his actions. He was a legend in his own right. He was Sir Edmund Hillary.

Sir Edmund Hillary passed away on 10th January 2008 at the age of 88. He was the first man who “knocked the bastard off” (read Mount Everest) in 1953. Five years later in 1958, he reached South pole as part of Commonwealth Trans-Antartic expedition. In 1985 he accompanied Neil Armstrong in a small twin-engined ski plane over the Arctic Ocean and landed at the North Pole. He was thus the first man to reach both poles and Mount Everest. That truly makes him a world citizen – atleast geographically.

But there was more to Sir Edmund Hillary than his larger than life feats. He was not great because of his achievements but because with the humbleness he handled the success. For many years he refused to disclose on who reached the everest first and insisted on sharing it with Tenzing Norgay. This speaks volumes of the character of Sir Ed. Ironically we don’t have even a photograph of this great man on the world roof. (Tenzing did not know how to handle a camera!)

In his effort to repay the Sherpas for their help this man set up a Himalayan Trust which built two hospitals, 20-odd schools and a similar number of health clinics for them. He raised funds by traveling all around the world and lecturing. He led a jetboat expedition, titled “Ocean to Sky”, from the mouth of the Ganges to its source in 1977. He was New Zealand’s high commissioner to India in 1985.

He was a prolific author and speaker, always willing to lend a hand to good causes. People who interacted with him found him to be an extremely pleasant personality who was quick to make others comfortable regardless of their age, status or background. He opposed commercial climbing and was extremely critical of the New Zealander Mark Inglis and 40 other climbers who, in various groups, left British climber David Sharp to die in May 2006.

He was a true gentleman and a Hero of his times. I request the readers to maintain a two minute silence as a mark of respect to this great gentleman.

Read more:

The CAT Marking – Not so Simple!!!

So all those who thought they have belled the CAT successfully – Congratulations. A word of caution- don’t get complacent. Get a back up plan. And for all those who thought they have lost it. Relax results aren’t out yet!

Having said that, I wish to emphasize that this post is not at all a lecture from any coaching institute. It is based on some facts that most of us missed or overlooked.

Firstly, all those coaching institutes which you rely for your preparations are all crap. That is not to say that you must not join them, but a simple fact that what may work for you may not necessarily work for me.

Secondly, don’t go by the cut-offs they tell you as they are as wild guess as you and I can make. I estimate a score of 105 will get you a call from IIM A. My analysis is based on the fact that in CAT 2006 IIM A called candidates which had atleast 25% (and not percentile) in each section and 35% overall. Given the fact that CAT 2007 was tougher than CAT 2006 this score can even be lower.

Thirdly, don’t trust the answers the IMS, Career Launcher & Time etc. publish on their website. They are no one to provide solution or analysis to the paper. Their analysis is just as good or as bad as mine. This is evident from the fact that even the answers provided by these institues differ from organization to organization. Eg: The question “mistrust/distrust” in the verbal section of CAT 2007 has different answer in each of the sites of Time, IMS and Career Launcher.

123.JPGFourthly, and most importantly, if I am correct even though CAT 2006 had a couple of wrong questions, it was never officially accepted by the IIMs. Now on the face, it wouldn’t make much difference but as you can see from CAT scorecard of 2006 . The percentage marks for each section are given in decimals (upto two decimals)!!! Now, by CAT 2006 marking scheme, if 25 questions carry 4 marks each and 1 mark negative for each incorrect answer, the maximum you can score in each section is 100. There is no way you can score in decimals hence YOUR PERCENTAGE CANNOT HAVE A DECIMAL VALUE IN ANY SECTION but quite a lot of students got their sectional percentage in decimals.

Hence it is quite evident that CAT marking is beyond what is told to us. It has something which is beyond +4 and -1 rule. Something of which we are not even aware. And this hidden and untold marking rule can have a significant effect on your score!!!

Is our Judiciary too noble or is it simply scared?

A SC bench, comprising of Justices A.K. Mathur and Markandey Katju, in a 22 page judgement has opened the Pandora’s box. It has admitted that the judiciary has erred in the past by usurping power of the executive.

In a 22 page judgement in which the SC overturned the trial court and the high court’s rulings on regularizing certain employees of a private golf club. The two judges devoted 15 pages to retaliate the judicial norms which in the main, underlines that judges as umpires are meant to uphold laws, not create them. The bench added that in order to maintain independence of judiciary, judges must exercise restraint, and honour the seperation of power among the three wings of governance, as mandated by the constitution.

“The constitution trade off for independence is that judges must restrain themselves from areas reserved for separate branches.”

The bench derived strength from the recent speeches of two former Chief Justices J.S verma and A.S. Anand. Referring to the interference of SC in the Jagdambika Pal case in UP in 1998 and Jharkhand in 2005 the bench said,

“In our opinion these were matters pertaining exclusively to the executive or legislative domain. If there is a law,judges can certainly enforce it, but judges cannot create laws and seek to enforce it.

If judges act like legislators or administrators, it follows that judges should be elected like legislators or selected and trained like administrators. This would be counter-productive. The touch stone of an independent judiciary has been its removal from the political or administrative process.

The remedy is not in the judiciary taking over the legislative or executive functions, because it will not only violate the delicate balance of power but enshrine in the constitution but also because the judiciary has neither expertise nor resources to perform this function.”

It said the popular reason – that the legislature was not doing enough – was not good enough for judicial activism. “Even assuming this to be so, the same allegation can be made against the judiciary too because there are cases pending in court for half a century as pointed out by this court.”

The SC said the judiciary which has been entrusted with great power of declaring the legislative and the executive, should exercise these power with “utmost humility and self restraint.”

On the face, it looks as a great piece of judgement from SC who openly admits its mistakes but this has left huge confusion among judges. So much so that the two-judge bench of SC, comprising of Justices S.B. Sinha and H.S. Bedi declined to hear a PIL, which they had been hearing for last four years and reffered the matter to CJI for guidance!!!

The smaller issue over here is what constitutes “Judicial Activism” and what exactly is “Judicial over reach”? who is going to determine the limit? And who is going to supervise that judicial activism does not result in judicial over reach?

The larger issue, on our hand is this being a democracy with more of mobocracy. The voting over here is still based on caste lines.So much so that the politicians openly ask for votes because they belong to certain caste which often results in election and re-election of unsuitable candidates. They even openly declare that a certain caste is their enemy. The irony of democracy is that even a fool can become a leader!!! And India has numerous examples to prove it. Caste politics means a donkey will become a leader instead of a lion simply because the donkeys outnumber the lions! The consequences will be that a law will be passed in which being carnivorous will be banned leading to the starvation of the lions and numerous carnivorous species disturbing the ecological balance.

In such a scenario, is it really wrong to have a judicial over reach? The judiciary has been entrusted with great power of declaring the legislative and the executive – very True. My question is what is the main objective of the three wings of the government? Isn’t it to build a just, strong, self-reliant, developed nation rather than the role associated with the three wings?

As one of my friend once pointed out, “we can change our path, methods and ways to reach our objective but we cannot change our objective to stay on our path.” Is judicial activism another methodology for proper governance or is it another “myopic” step that needs to be cut?

Another angle can be that, the judiciary is simply scared? The judgement says,

“If the judiciary does not exercise restraint and over streches its limits, there is bound to be a reaction from politicians and others. The politician will then step in to curtail the power or even independence of judiciary.”

Is SC scared that its activism may back fire to curtail its power which will lead to greater oppression and injustice? The SC considers itself as umpire, but sadly India is not a game of cricket! There have been several instances in which the SC has to revert its verdict because the legislature passed a law to get judgement in its favour ( for both political gains and vote bank). Is judiciary afraid that the politicians of today will not hesitate to usurp its power and its independence by changing laws with a two-third majority?

Is Judiciary afraid of the consequences or is it simply being too Noble???

Sources: Times of India dated 11/12/2007 and 12/12/2007

Ps: Your comments are appreciated and wanted.