February 2007


Through in a bit of chaos, an elephant, some cricketers, some more chaos, crowds, loud noises and what do you get?

I think Nike could have been more creative.

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Today we celebrate the National Science Day.

The Government of India, way back in 1986, at the initiative of the National Council for Science and Technology communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST), declared 28 February as the National Science Day and Instituted National Science Popularisation awards. In addition to remembering with gratitude the contributions of the renowned Nobel Laureate, C.V. Raman, the Government stands committed to inculcating a scientific temper in all so that overall development of society can be achieved. For several days (upto a month), either starting or culminating on this day, special meetings, functions, debates, lectures, seminars, competitions and so on are organised with a view to giving impetus to science popularisation activities. In addition, NCSTC, DST installed the following awards, to recognie and honour outstanding work in the following areas

  1. Best efforts in science popularisation
  2. Best S & T coverage in newspapers
  3. Best S & T FILM
  4. Best efforts in science popularisation among children
  5. Best S&T toy/Do-it-yourself kit

Subsequently the awards were rationalised and their number reduced to three. The selection for the awards has been on the basis of work done during the past five calendar years. They have been given away every year since 1987.

The National award for best effort in science popularisation is presented to either an individual or an institution for outstanding work in science popularisation.

The National Award for best S&T coverage in mass media (RS. 50,000) has been instituted to honour an individual OR an institution for outstanding contribution to S&T coverage in mass media – print, radio, television, or film.

Finally, the National Award for science popularisation among children (Rs. 50.000) is awarded for best efforts towards popularisation of science and promotion of scientific temper amongst children. This again can be presented to either an individual or an institution.

Well what do you do on Science Day?

The Smart City project had included the following agreements with the previous UDF government led by Umman Chandy:

  • Handing over the successfully running Info Park to TECOM
  • Cheap land price (“The consideration for the lease shall be Rupee One (Re 1) per acre per annum, payable annually in advance”)
  • Only 25% of the total land for IT, rest for Real Estate business of TECOM (read this along with the land price they were asking for)

TECOM had also played some business games. They spread out the word that they are going to step back from the project and the mainstream media and the pseudo-intellectuals started to cry over it in the name of ‘development’. But then after a while, seeing that their tricks are not going to work, TECOM came back to the talks and agreed to some of the LDF led government demands. This was painted as a sacrifice of DIC (Dubai Internet City) by most of the media, but I really do not find any reason for that. I don’t know if the TECOM CEO Abdul Lateel Al Mulla or any other company officials have any ancestral origin of Kerala or any other emotional contacts as such to make this ‘sacrifice’ for Kerala.

Anyways, the result of the hard stands of the Achuthanandan government has helped to achieve the following:

According to the new proposal, Infopark will not be handed over and Kerala would lease around 210 acres of land to DIC for around Rs.800 million ($17.2 million) and no free land will be given to it. Also there is an increase in the State’s holding to 26 per cent from 9 per cent.

At the same time it is a failure of the government and the media here in Kerala that they had not explained about the controversial demands of TECOM that helps only the company, not the state.

Like all other ‘development hungry Keralites’, I was also keen on seeing Smart City project in action and hadn’t really thought about the TECOM demands. Even my vote went to Chandy’s candidate in the last elections. But the recent developments leaves a question as to why the Umman Chandy government had not considered even some negotiations with TECOM and why was he too keen on agreeing to the demands of TECOM which I mentioned above?

 

There are a fair amount of stray dogs in our area and after Swetha’s timely post, I did a bit of reading on it. Specially as my daughter voiced some reluctance to use a particular road because of the numerous dogs in that lane. I discovered a disturbing statistic. According to WHO figures, one person is bitten every two seconds by a dog in India and one person dies every 30 minutes from rabies!
To make matters worse, I realised there there is a shortage of the rabies vaccine all over India. Here are news reports from Maharashra, Kerala, and Manipur.
And this situation when rabies is a fatal disease. As this Bharat Biotech site says:

1) Once clinical symptoms have occurred, the disease is almost invariably fatal.
2) Although all age groups are susceptible, Rabies is most common in people aged below 15 years, with 30%–50% of post-exposure treatments given to children aged 5–14 years.
3) Rabies is currently an incurable disease. No tests are currently available to diagnose rabies infection in humans before the onset of clinical disease.
4) Treatment should therefore be implemented promptly in every case suspected of infection with rabies virus. To prevent a fatal outcome, therapy must be initiated before the virus reaches the central nervous system and clinical signs appear.

So what is our government doing about the shortage of this life saving vaccine? A recent TOI report (I couldn’t get it online) says that the Union and State governments are squarely to blame for this sorry situation. Apparently we have enough vaccine being manufactured, but the problem is of supply! This is what the report says:

Six of the institutions (which manufacture the vaccine), including the government-run Pasteur Institute of India at Coonoor have an installed capacity to produce 197 lakh doses of ARV. In 2005-2006, while they produced 134 lakh doses, the demand was for 112 doses. The following year the figures were worse. As against the production of 169 lakh doses (till Aug 2006) the demand was for 27.5 lakh doses and the supply to hospitals was less – at 0.7 lakh doses…the figures clearly show that the production of ARV is quite high. The real hitch is in the supply chain…

Groan. Why do we have to put up with this inefficiency from the government?

(Photo sourced from dogexpert.com)

Ganesh

I understand Lord Ganesha is known by 108 different names. I wrote ‘I understand’ because I did some ‘google’ing and found this. Why my sudden interest in Lord Ganesha? Its because I happened to spot him dancing in Ireland, but was unable to answer some of the questions my Irish friends asked regarding him. Yes, Don’t go back up 2 lines and check if you read it right, it was ‘I happened to spot him dancing’. Surprised?? Well, he was also playing Uileann pipes some time later and No, I haven’t been drinking too much of Guinness. Oh Yes, speaking of Guinness, his beloved vehicle, the ‘mosik’(mouse), was playing an instrument and enjoying a pint of Guinness.

Ok, I know you must be wondering if I’ve totally lost it. I haven’t. I did spot Ganeshji, doing all that I claimed he was at….Victoria’s way.

Victoria’s Way is Irelands largest and most spectacular  Sculpture Park. Spread out over 22 acres, it contains 14 major black granite sculptures. The theme of Victoria’s Way is the hero’s Journey, whereby the sculptures show stages of the path to self-completion and ultimate happiness. There is a meditation path for the spiritually inclined and a philosophic maze unique in Europe.Built as a place of recluse, the park,Victoria’s Way, is inspired by all that is spiritual in the modern sense of the word. So the Ganesha sculpture is seen playing Uileann pipes or even dancing, at times. The park offers a wonderful blend of the modern and the traditional.

Read on about Victorias way, the man behind the sculptors under ‘leisure’ section here and about who else you can spot at the Park and how to get there.

My post on ChristianAggression.org created a lot of noise. There were some relevant voices but most were from people who were looking for an opportunity to vent their long bottled up sense of insecurity.

As my set deadline of March 1, approaches, I thought it would be a good idea to make a concluding note on the topic. I hope this will put aside the false filth and threats that have been targeted against me.

For a start, I have communicated my concern and complaint to my MP, who is taking up the matter with the concerned ministry. I will make sure whatever happens will be done without any additional publicity for the concerned hate website.

A few of the commentators on that post questioned my patriotism and loyalty to the nation. I frankly don’t care. I don’t think there is any reason to prove anything to these insecure individuals and organisations.

Rahul GandhiThis experience has however taught me Hinduism is under threat. Not only by ‘god women’ who treat our national flag like a floor mat. But from organisations like Hinduunity.org who seems to more concerned about what Islam, Christianity and Rahul Gandhi are doing than HinduUnity itself.

HinduUnity.org is a disgrace to Hinduism. What does spreading filth about Rahul Gandhi raping a woman got to do with Hinduism or Hindu unity? Aren’t these people tarnishing they image of six millennium old religion?

Here is their tagline, “If the love for my country Bharat is considered Hindu Militancy, then so be it !!

This is sad.

Oh, HinduUnity.org is based in the US run by Americans too. Ironic, isn’t it?

When ever we hear about attrition rate rocketing skywards, we blame the younger generation. Its there demoralised approach towards the work, the resignation that comes as part of the higher salary that was offered, their fast life and utter dis-regard to values. We blame them heavily. We put the blame entirely on them.

No way the entire crown is not at fault. Attrition is also a direct result of senseless managers and deaf employee-grievance system that are there in many companies. Nita pointed out that banks are now hiring senior citizens, but that wont solve the problem if the companies don’t tackle this menacing managers.

I can site many such incidents, where the employee left b’coz the manager was senseless. He failed in understanding the employee, failed to understand the work pressure. Rather than supporting the employee the manager ended up pressurizing the employee, finally he/she ended up quiting. They morally degrade you if you don’t go the way they want, they pull you down, they expect you to work late through the night and be at your desk the very next day morning without fail. You give them the right reasons for not meeting the target and they don’t just understand.

My views are of one who is in the IT industry and I’m facing this ‘Menacing Manager’ everyday. He just made me work and work, he never had to give us work literally, he showed us facts and figures and told us to meet that target. I found myself working till 9pm everyday and coming back the next day at 8:30 and working again. I had the realization quite recently.

What did I do? I ended up fighting with him practically at every meeting for what I wanted. What can he do at the max? Release me from this project, I’m more than happy.

Taking such a resort puts much at stake. What if there was the opportunity of an on-site opportunity or a good hike coming your way? Will you still fight or continue to obediently do what your manager sets for you. I chose not to sell my soul to the devil, and be honest to myself and earn what is rightfully mine.

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