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Odd-Even in Delhi

1 Jan

So today was the first day for Delhites to follow the odd-even formula for private cars. [See Appendix at bottom]

There has been said a lot for and against the initiative. Sadly, the tussle at Delhi between the state and the center (and their very organised and blind followers) colors every topic into something totally different.

Skipping that part, I will come to the point.

The pollution is REAL. So real that it can wipe out life, as we know it, from this planet. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, climate change is unpredictable, non-renewable sources are depleting and renewable tech is nowhere close to fill the gap.

So get off the unicorn guys and deal with it. Is odd-even sufficient to control pollution? Hell no.

delhi1

As per this graph vehicles contribute at most roughly 8%-10% to pollution. There share in more dangerous type of pollution like NOx and CO is definitely much higher, but this scheme of cars will cut at most 3%-4% overall, 12%-15% NOx and 25%-30% of CO emissions. And that is nowhere enough. The obvious question is, is it worth the pain then? Scroll 6-8 lines above and re-read- WE MAY LOSE THE PLANET. This is war guys. So every bit is worth the effort.

This scheme touches the common man. And it gets them into discussion on pollution, thus having a more responsible society. And then, we can work on more areas like Cleaner construction tech, the dust particles.

So this is a war guys. Delhi, you have got a govt that is trying (ignore the drama); please support this as you did today. You can set the example for the country and even for the world.

Another thing I would like to talk about- the commutation is not a stand alone process, there is an eco-system around it.

The offices who do not stick to uniform work hours and thus making car-pooling a pain in neck, the schools who try to run only big buses (or only on selected routes), the auto-rickshaws who do not use meter. There is an entire ecosystem around it and everybody needs to do their bit.

Offices and corporates, you can afford to be more streamlined. Please check your working hours, create a discipline in the system. Schools you should be next, I think the limit of distance should already have made it easier for you. But try another mile.

Govt, you have been working on disciplining autos, but this is required even more now. And buses, we need buses, luxury buses; comfortable, safe, easily accessible.

And engineers, boy we need you! We desperately need cleaner construction tech. Can we assemble pieces outside city and transport them? Can we cut down on construction time? We really really need to solve this.

Again, all the best Delhites. May we all be victors.

Appendix

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Mumbai ko ladkiyon ki izzat karna sikha denge

4 May

Oligvy makes a series of advertisements for Mumba Police with real officers to make Mumbai saafer for women. With a tagline of “Mumbai ko ladkiyoN ki izzat karna sikha denge”, the officers seem very aggressive.

 

It’s good for encouraging girls to come forward, but the second part of the ad when officers speak to boys, they seem angry and threatening them! Now this idea maybe flawed. When a society has to be changed, a threat must not be used unless a large part of the society is rotten- such as untouchables or racism. But in current case, the boys in general are not the source of the problem, in fact they can be used as a part of solution! Thus estranging boys in this case would not make a lot of sense.

Where the mind is without fear

26 Jan

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

RabindraNath Tagore

Compassionate India

3 Jan

I know, this’s a terrible problem. Whatever happened to that compassionate India- where people loved and cared for each other? Looking at the current India it seems like a fairy tale.
Fortunately, I have experienced a very compassionate society in my village. But I know that is a distant history now.

So, where did we lose our way? How we have become so cold hearted?

One of my friend had pointed out- a portion of the credit goes to the level of competition we have India. We learn that the road the victory can be reached only by defeating a million others. We lose the pursuit of excellence- and we just aim for being better- better than others. And we become Ok with that. Result- we build a society of followers. A society of robots- with little or no innovation.

We learn that it is ok to savor the victory while others are suffering. It is ok to enjoy 500 Rs popcorn at a multiplex when half of India is hungry for a plain piece of Roti.
 
We lose our compassion. We learn to ignore others and focus on ourselves.

And only we can’t be blamed; India has been so hopeless country in recent past which seemed to be beyond help. It was impossible for a handful to make a mark. So we turned our backs.
But there is hope. I see this upcoming generation is much more compassionate than the previous ones. Look at your friend circle volunteering or working for NGOs! If Facebook and Twitter reflect even 10% of our generation, look at the growing compassion.

And lastly Delhi- Whatever happens- we win something significant or not- for me more than anything, this is a celebration of compassionate India. Protesting to water canons at 5 degrees takes compassion. Uniting for the cause of one single girl takes compassion.

I will give you an interesting stat- Out of 100 males interviewed, 92 admitted they or their friends have teased girl in past (http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/78-Delhi-women-sexually-harassed-in-2012-Survey/Article1-983731.aspx), but now they are out protesting!

This perhaps is the ice breaker for our cold hearts.

-in hope for a more compassionate India.

Employability and us

27 May

India Ink: An Open Letter to India’s Graduating Classes http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/an-open-letter-to-indias-graduating-classes/

A friend complaining about jobs asked me, who is happy with his/her job? I said jokingly- “the one who is not doing it” and we high-fived.  Well, I know I could not have been more wrong. Employability is perhaps one of the biggest problem. Especially in a country like India.

I joined NIT Warangal, a prestigious engineering college and never had to worry seriously about a job like my neighbors or my cousins had to. We are the children of liberalization. Since India opened its markets, a surge in demand was always coming. So whatever skilled or semi-skilled labor came up, they got employment. But then more and more people start developing skill, the demand of talent starts hitting saturation, the expectations of the world rises… The world  is not going always to be as kind as it had been for past few years.

So, I am very grateful to my first job for teaching me manners. My managers were the best I could have dreamed for. They taught me how the real world works without crushing my dreams. One of the things I will always remember from my first ever appraisal is the praise I got. Not for my brilliance- brilliance is an everyday affair, but for my willingness to do something mundane, something routine.  This is probably the most important professional lesson I will ever learn.

So when the writer expresses his concern about employability I agree at once. It is time to improve the quality of labor in India. It is time to improve the quality so that we are not hired because we are economically cheap or the only way out, but because we are the best of the talents the world has ever seen.

Anonymous RTI

27 May

RTI or Right to Information act since its inception has done a lot to bring transparency. This does work. Especially at lower levels of governance like municipality, police station, block and district office- this has done a very good job to tame the “Babus”. But this has provoked violent persons too and RTI activists have been threatened, beaten and even murdered.

This is not going to stop the activists. But many people would like anonymity for protection against such elements. So, this site put up by Anand, Ritesh and their friends is a wonderful idea.

You can file your anonymously and the reply will be posted back on site. Visit http://getup4change.org/rti/ to file your RTI. You can participate in the movement, you can donate them or help in many other manners.

RTI anonymous on- Facebook |  Twitter.

Link

NCERT books online

11 May

NCERT books online

http://ncert.nic.in/NCERTS/textbook/textbook.htm?iemo1=0-10

NCERT has put up all their books in pdf format on their site. This is a wonderful move.

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