Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deepavali greetings

Best wishes to all Hindu brothers on Deepavali in the Gregorian year 2014.

May this be a harbinger of peace, prosperity and happiness to you all.

Our nation and civilization is faced with many challenges, including existential ones. The world is going through turbulent times, triggered by the rise of extreme medieval ideologies. India cannot remain immune from these for long.

For the first time in many decades, Hindus around the world are energized with hope and pride due to the epochal victory of nationalist forces under the dynamic leadership of Narendra bhai Modi.

Let us spare a thought also for those less fortunate than us - Hindu Minorities facing persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and many parts of India proper and destitute Hindus with poverty forced upon them by 1300 years of slavery, 7 decades of Nehruvian Stalinism and targeted by Missionary vultures for soul harvesting.

Fwd: India warns Pakistan of more 'pain' in Kashmir fighting+China makes greater contribution to global growth than the U.S+Nepal India put seal on Power Trade Agreement

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar

Shubh Deepavali and best wishes for Vikram Samvat 2071.
Suggested Diwali Resolutions – 1. We must export Arms and Missiles as a matter of State Policy. 2. We must promote indigenous manufacture of defence equipment. 3. We must finalise defence contracts to make up for the 10 lost years. 4. We must refer to Tibet as Chinese occupied Tibet, Akshai Chin as Chinese occupied J&K, POK as POJK and Gilgit/Baltisthan as Northern Areas. 5. We must convince Media to stop being obsessed with Pakistan. 6. We must work towards reducing infiltration from Bangladesh and smuggling of cows thru our borders. 7. We must singularly work towards reviving Economic Growth. 8. We must have more colleges and schools in Arunachal Pradesh, have more Arunachali Scouts teams and improve border patrol. 9. Infrastructure and border patrolling in Ladakh needs to be top class. 10. We must stop being defensive about J&K, the word Plebiscite. and more.
1. How did Modi manage to do so much in the U.S. on a fast? by k p nayar 22/10/14
'The prime minister had 35 structured meetings during those 70 hours, not including the now well known speeches at the Madison Square Garden, the US-India Business Council and the Council for Foreign Relations plus the appearance at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. How does anyone do so much on an empty stomach? America is still waiting for an answer.'
2. China's hi-speed trains for California 22/10/14
My take – The Chinese will not rest till they capture the U.S. economy.
3. China makes greater contribution to global growth than the U.S. 22/10/14
4. India warns Pakistan of more 'pain' in Kashmir fighting 21/10/14
'The gesture by the US has distressed India as the new project is to be launched in Gilgit-Baltistan, which India perceives to be illegally occupied by Islamabad.'
My take – India must start working on a Plan to review and possibly rescind the Indus Water Treaty. India cannot honor signed agreements (recently told that treaty was never signed) when Pakistan refuses to. For starters India must use all water the Treaty allows it to.
6. The Jihadi proliferation politics in Bangladesh by by Upananda Brahmachari21/10/14
'There were over 30 religious militant organizations have set up their network in Bangladesh since 1989 with the central objective of establishing an Islamic state, as per source. They are hundred percent Islamic and follower of Allah, Quran and Muhammad. All of them have given armed training to their members to conduct ultimate jihad against Kaffirs and non-Muslim civilization.'
7. India objects to 'Million March' for Kashmir independence 22/10/14
'Thousands of people are expected to participate in the rally that shall begin at London's Trafalgar Square and culminate at Prime Minister David Cameron's office at 10 Downing Street on Oct 26. '
My take – this might be a good time to negotiate hard with the Chinese on import of critical items, at the same be aware of dumping by China.
9. Nepal India put seal on Power Trade Agreement 22/10/14 Nepal must now focus on developing Transmission Lines. Sinha said: "Nepal can purchase power directly from hydro projects or from India's open market (where the price is fixed through bidding)."
My take – Hope Implementation is Right. GMR must not do a Maldives Airport deal in Nepal. India must work towards providing Bijli and Petroleum products to Nepal 24 by 7.
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Technology and Inequality -- MIT Tech Review

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Atanu Dey

This is a fine article. However, it is long. Worth reading. 

Technology and Inequality
The disparity between the rich and everyone else is larger than ever in the United States and increasing in much of Europe. Why?
By David Rotman on October 21, 2014

e signs of the gap—really, a chasm—between the poor and the super-rich are hard to miss in Silicon Valley. On a bustling morning in downtown Palo Alto, the center of today's technology boom, apparently homeless people and their meager belongings occupy almost every available public bench. Twenty minutes away in San Jose, the largest city in the Valley, a camp of homeless people known as the Jungle—reputed to be the largest in the country—has taken root along a creek within walking distance of Adobe's headquarters and the gleaming, ultramodern city hall.

The homeless are the most visible signs of poverty in the region. But the numbers back up first impressions. Median income in Silicon Valley reached $94,000 in 2013, far above the national median of around $53,000. Yet an estimated 31 percent of jobs pay $16 per hour or less, below what is needed to support a family in an area with notoriously expensive housing. The poverty rate in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley, is around 19 percent, according to calculations that factor in the high cost of living.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Need for Coal De-Nationalization

Organized labour in many sectors don't represent the masses, but are simply running an organized racket, using their position to create bottlenecks and deprivation for everyone else - Coal Indian Ltd is an example of that:

Monday, October 20, 2014

2016 Rajya Sabha Elections Are Key

The 2016 Rajya Sabha elections are crucial to enable passage of more reforms, since a number of seats are up for grabs at this time. Right now, BJP's strength in the upper house are poor, and Congress is able to block pro-reform measures:
Congress, having 68 MPs in Rajya Sabha, had forced the government to send the bill to a select committee of Parliament for further examination without extending any solid reason for doing so. The Congress's move in August, as interpreted by political observers, was just to delay passing this key legislation for a couple of months as it did not want to give Modi a handle to scale up his pro-reform position when he was to land in the US in September.

 Typical Congress - always shafting Indians, just to help themselves.

Govt Switching Into Reform Gear?

With the latest regional elections out of the way, the govt seems to be wasting no time to rolling out some significant reforms. The govt's weakness in the Rajya Sabha is a key roadblock that has to be overcome, in order to ensure that further reform legislation is able to make it through undiluted.

The Modi Dividend

Hopefully the new BJP govt is now in a position to really start pushing ahead on substantive reforms. The opportunity must not be wasted.

Deregulation of fuel is necessary and beneficial for an energy-constrained economy like India's: 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crew Module Sent to Sriharikota

The Indian Crew Module to be launched on the upcoming LVM3-X1 suborbital flight at November end, is being sent to Sriharikota where it will be integrated with the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle:

Pump War?

Friedman comments on the conspicuous drop in global oil prices:

Well, it's good for our economy, anyway - the only downside being Putin leaning towards China at our expense, to shore himself up. We'd better make use of the oil respite to get our economic reforms rolling.

Congress Crushed as BJP Wins in Haryana, Maharashtra

The Congress Party has been badly routed as the BJP comes out strongly ahead in Haryana and Maharashtra:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Australian Tony Abbott's Strong Stance on Terrorism

Tony Abbott of Australia has passed some very tough laws on terrorism - why can't we Indians do this too?

Bill Maher on Pakistan

Bill Maher and David Frum opined about Pakistan's extremism, while bootlicker David Milliband (of British Labour Party infamy) rushed to defend his precious vote bank:

Meanwhile, eminent Pakistani scientist Pervez Hoodhboy opines on Pakistan's hollowness in its attitudes towards science and scientific achievement:

Modi Govt End Diesel Price Controls

Thankfully, the Narendra Modi govt has taken advantage of the recent respite in oil prices and inflation to now end price controls on diesel:

A return to market control over fuel prices will remove a huge deficit contributor, and create an impetus for more efficiency in fuel markets. Modi needs to keep up the momentum, so that he can continue to draw in capital inflows into the country, and fuel even faster growth. Economic growth is likely to be above 5% for this year, but we can do better - India has to, if it's going to throw off the legacy of Nehruvian basketcasery. 

Quick notes: Diamond trade, Mini-forests...

Aadhaar : The Basis of All Existence

The Supreme Court says Aadhaar is not mandatory for public services. Yet, like the Congress government, Modi too is forcing the biometric ID

In what was supposed to be an alternative and optional identification document, an increasing number of procedures now have Aadhaar as a mandatory requirement:

VIJAYAWADA: It is mandatory for people to have the Aadhaar card for their vehicle registrations from October 4

In many states, registration of deeds, such as rent agreements, cannot be done without Aadhaar card

In many states, marriages cannot be registered without Aadhaar Card 

HYDERABAD : For the first time in the country, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in coordination with Election Commission of India (ECI) proposes to link Aadhaar unique identity card

PM wants Prisoners to have Aadhaar Cards

Department of Telecom wants to mandate Aadhaar Cards as additional address proof
Department of Telecom to use the Aadhar card as valid proof of address for mobile subscribers - See more at:

Department of Telecom to use the Aadhar card as valid proof of address for mobile subscribers - See more at:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Brahma Chellaney On Who Calls The Shots in Pakistan

Chellaney spells out what's been up with Pak's misbehaviour lately and why:

Could India Suffer an Ebola Pandemic?

It's something worth worrying about:

MOM Snaps Olympus Mons

ISRO's Mars Orbiter snaps a nice picture of the highest mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons, which is 3 times higher than Mt Everest. Other mountains like Arsia, Pavonis and Ascraeus can be seen along with the Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the solar system:

Meanwhile, the GSLV-MarkIII will launch at end of November / start of December:

my rediff piece: why it is time to scrap NREGA

'How many people have been skilled up and thus able to escape from needing to be in NREGA?'

'The true success of NREGA would lie in its irrelevance -- that is, people no longer need it as a crutch.'

'NREGA should enable them to climb out of poverty and stand on their own feet.'

'But this is expressly forbidden by NREGA rules. Skill development, which is what India needs more than anything else, is outside the purview of NREGA,' points out Rajeev Srinivasan.

There is a last-ditch effort to force India to save one of the most ridiculous legacies of the United Progressive Alliance government, its National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. It makes no sense because it doesn't do skill development, routinely transfers public funds into private hands, and creates hard-to-break dependencies.

But most of all, I liked the letter-writing campaign in its support.

I was amused to hear that 28 'eminent economists' had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi telling him, in effect, that the heavens would fall if NREGA were to be touched.

I was reminded of two similar letters: One from 47 'scholars' (the 'Witzel letter') supporting an obscure pedagogue in a California lawsuit, and another from 40 'Nobel Prize winners' in support of Dr Binayak Sen, who was accused of aiding and abetting Naxalites.

The trouble with all these letters is a logical fallacy of 'appeal to authority.' It is as though by waving these people's credentials about, the proponents can cow down and browbeat into submission even the legitimate concerns of any opponent. But, in fact, the named people may a. not be authorities at all; b. may not be authorities in the subject matter under discussion; c. may have no idea about the proposition and simply signed off under pressure from a zealous proponent.

In exactly the same vein, the brave 28 economists are attempting an 'appeal to authority,' based not on their knowledge of development economics on the ground in India, but merely on their degrees, academic positions, or some such. I have not done a background check on them, but I suspect most of them are from the Jawaharlal Nehru University stable of extreme-Left economic thinking, and therefore their neutrality is suspect. These are people who gained from the status quo ante, and they would like to preserve it.

... deleted the rest

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fwd: Why Germany is so much better at training its workers - Lessons for 'Make in India'

skill development a major issue in india as well. vocational training is sneered at by us, unfortunately.

also, i guess this is not considered child labor? even though they start around age 10?

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Putin Throws India Under Bus, Exports Major Weapons to China

Putin is discarding any considerations for India, as he gets ready to sell some of Russia's most powerful weapon systems to China:

Let's see how much he regrets his decision when China annexes Siberia.