Friday, October 31, 2014

modi, the great disruptor

using innovation theory from clayton christensen of harvard to decode the modi phenomenon. and also how he's the anti-nehru


Modi, The Great Disruptor

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October 30, 2014 21:21 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph: PTI Photo'Modi, focused on youth and their aspirations, has articulated a truly disruptive change: One of hope, of duties rather than rights, of standing up to the world instead of being bullied by it,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.

As I write this on Diwali day, an Indian prime minister spent the day with the troops on the Siachen glacier. Furthermore, Narendra Modi cancelled all celebrations, and instead visited victims of severe floods in Jammu & Kashmir. In addition, there is speculation that he will soon visit the shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala. All these, if I am not mistaken, are first-time acts for Indian PMs.

And they are symbolic: He is thanking the soldiers whom the nation owes a debt of gratitude; he is telling Kashmiris on this most important festival in the Hindu calendar, that they too are part of the national fabric despite the fact that some of them are religious fanatics and separatists; and by going on the difficult climb up vertiginous hills to Sabarimala he will reaffirm that he is a humble, ordinary Hindu, the chaiwallah taunt that he deftly turned into a badge of honour.

Modi is a thoroughly 21st century leader, who knows the power of symbols and of the Internet. He realises that whatever he does will be instantly analysed and judged by hundreds of thousands of both his loyal supporters and critical detractors.

For instance, within minutes of his government announcing that it wouldn't be able to reveal the names of those who had secret Swiss accounts, even long-term fans criticised him on Twitter and Facebook.

The age of instant communication has made it possible for the PM to, in effect, reach out directly to the people without the usual paraphernalia of press conferences, press releases, weighty op-eds and talking heads discussing big things on television. He is going over the heads of the intermediaries, rendering them largely superfluous. And about time too: I read somewhere that there is a G-37, a gang of the same 37 'experts' in Delhi who are trotted out to analyse anything and everything on television chat shows, including things they have absolutely no knowledge of or experience in.

And Modi is undoubtedly a Great Communicator. In full flow in Hindi, he is a spell-binding orator, mesmerising even someone like me who knows little Hindi and no Urdu. He has the audience in the palm of his hand, and he can make the language dance, sing, do somersaults, whatever he pleases. He has a magnetic personality, somewhat akin to Apple founder Steve Jobs with his 'reality-distortion field.' You want to believe in him, and you do. Modi is larger than life: and it is not just Indians who fall under his spell.

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

on the reverse string of pearls, vietnam, and containing china

my firstpost piece is at http://www.firstpost.com/world/modis-overseas-ambitions-vietnam-and-the-reverse-string-of-pearls-to-contain-china-1781389.html

Events in the recent past have made it clear that the Narendra Modi government is serious about India's military and geopolitical ambitions. It is a truism that a blue-water navy that can project power over long distances is a necessity for any major power, especially one with global ambitions. Equally, it is clear that any power worth its salt has to deter other powers from doing things that would hurt its geopolitically.

In this context, Vietnam becomes significant for India for several reasons. It is clear that India's most important enemy is China, which has embarked on a 'string-of-pearls' strategy to surround and contain India in a "South-Asia" ghetto of sorts (incidentally, the Chinese have been the most enthusiastic propagators of that meaningless term in an attempt to dilute India's fairly good and historical brand, while they aggressively push the 'Greater China' brand, notably not an 'East Asia' brand.)

PM Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Agencies

PM Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Agencies

Vietnam is possibly the most potent of China's neighbors in terms of military skills; at any rate it is the only one to have defeated China in battle recently. In 1979, China invaded Vietnam (coincidentally while India's then foreign minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was visiting Beijing, in what amounted to a diplomatic slap in the face for India). But the battle-hardened Vietnamese were more than a match for the Chinese, who were forced to withdraw with a bloody nose.

Secondly, the Vietnamese are currently victimized by Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, which the Chinese consider their private lake, where they have deemed a vague "9-dash line" citing obscure old maps as the limit of their exclusive economic zone. In effect, they claim most of the sea, putting them in conflict with Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan (which has historical claims to some of the islands) and everybody else with interests there.

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Quick links: Inequality, Bird Rescuers...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

patel birthday as national unity day overshadows indira death day

this is pretty clever of the NDA. appropriate patel, diminish indira.

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

virendra parekh on how indira was not a great PM

"rapid spread of ROL in china": ah, that's the whole point isn't it?

hard to imagine a worse combo: superior hans + supercilious RoL

why india should worry about china's submarines. but hasn't

china's scary plans for submarines (wsjo)



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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Use Supply-Side Economics to Tackle Inflation, Not High Interest Rates

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wants interest rates to be lowered in order to stimulate economic growth, but RBI chief Raghuram Rajan wants to keep interest rates high, in order to bring inflation lower still:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-10-28/turn-on-the-taps-in-india

Anyone can see that India's inflation is not due to hyperactive demand from the masses and an overheating economy. On the contrary, inflation in India is due to lack of production - we just don't produce enough of the things that we need, and that's what's driving prices high, not excessive demand. The way to address this is through policies aimed at growing the supply side of the economy. High interest rates only constrain the economy as a whole. We can't keep treating legitimate demand as excessive.

Quick notes: Rise of ISIS, Pankajism...

  • Obama did nothing: How Iraqi 'Fat Cats' and a liberal US president watched ISIS gain strength. PBS Frontline's 'The Rise of ISIS' airs on Tuesday night.


  • The Problem With M/s Mishra and; Roy: Pankaj admires Jamaluddin Afghani and his fantasies of Muslim power and its conquering warriors so much, he promoted him as one of the great thinkers of Asia in his last book. This is a recurring pattern. Strong men and their cults  become heroic and admirable when an “anti-Western” gloss can be put on them, especially if they are not Hindus.


  • Ramnad Address: This is the motherland of philosophy, of spirituality, and of ethics, of sweetness, gentleness, and love. These still exist, and my experience of the world leads me to stand on firm ground and make the bold statement that India is still the first and foremost of all the nations of the world in these respects.

    I have heard it said that our masses are dense, that they do not want any education, and that they do not care for any information. I had at one time a foolish leaning towards that opinion myself, but I find experience is a far more glorious teacher than any amount of speculation, or any amount of books written by globe-trotters and hasty observers. This experience teaches me that they are not dense, that they are not slow, that they are as eager and thirsty for information as any race under the sun; but then each nation has its own part to play, and naturally, each nation has its own peculiarity and individuality with which it is born. Each represents, as it were, one peculiar note in this harmony of nations, and this is its very life, its vitality. In it is the backbone, the foundation, and the bed-rock of the national life, and here in this blessed land, the foundation, the backbone, the life-center is religion and religion alone. Let others talk of politics, of the glory of acquisition of immense wealth poured in by trade, of the power and spread of commercialism, of the glorious fountain of physical liberty; but these the Hindu mind does not understand and does not want to understand. Touch him on spirituality, on religion, on God, on the soul, on the Infinite, on spiritual freedom, and I assure you, the lowest peasant in India is better informed on these subjects than many a so-called philosopher in other lands.

    I have said, gentlemen, that we have yet something to teach to the world. This is the very reason, the raison d'ĂȘtre, that this nation has lived on, in spite of hundreds of years of persecution, in spite of nearly a thousand year of foreign rule and foreign oppression. This nation still lives; the raison d'ĂȘtre is it still holds to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality.

Monday, October 27, 2014

NDTV/Prime time show based on prof vaidya's book India Uninc--


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vaidyanathan R <vaidya@iimb.ernet.in>
Date: Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Subject: NDTV/Prime time show based on my book India Uninc--
To: Vaidyanathan R <vaidya@iimb.ernet.in>


 

For Information  to watch: Book as a serial:

 

A series based on my book  India Uninc –in NDTV profit/Prime with my interviews as introduction  on  27th[10/30PM]/2nd November[ 12 noon]and in  conclusion on  Oct 31st [ 10/30PM] / 16th Nov [12 noon] – Also  MoS-Ms. Nirmala  Sitharaman  

 

 

On every day from 27th to 31st at 10/30PM

 

And repeat at noon on 2/9/16 th November at 12 noon

 

Details below

 

 

 

Here are the details for the NDTV Prime/Profit show.

 

EPISODE 1 – Monday 27th 10.30 PM

 

Segment 1 -  Shot in APMC market, Vashi

-          Introduction to the series. What are Non-Corporate Small Businesses (NCSBs)?

-          Important statistics on NCSBs

-          Case studies

o   Shop owner

o   Vegetable seller inside the market

o   Small street vegetable seller

-          Interview with Kirti Rana, President, Navi Mumbai Merchant Chamber

-          Highlight the financing shortfalls faced

 

Segment 2 – Shot in IIM Bangalore

-          Interview Prof R Vaidyanathan, IIM Bangalore

 

EPISODE 2 – Tuesday-28th  10.30 PM

 

Segment 1 -  Shot at Crawford Market, Mumbai

-          Key statistics on Non Corporate Small Businesses

-          What kind of support are NCSBs getting from banks?

-          NCSBs share in total bank credit

-          Benefits to NCSBs by proper funding channels and low interest rates?

-          Case study of several stove & lanterns business owners

 

Segment 2

 

Interview with GM SBI SME Dept. – Dev Prasad Majumdar – on problems faced by Banks in lending to NCSBs

 

 

EPISODE 3 – Wednesday-29th 10.30 PM

 

Segment 1

-          Bringing in Govt. angle

-          FM budget speech byte

-          Intent of Govt., formation of Committee

-          Goals of the Committee

-          Voices of different people from the Oct 14th National Conference on Small Business Finance in New Delhi

 

Segment 2

-          Interview with Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister, MSME Ministry

 

 

EPISODE 4 – Thursday-30 th 10.30 PM

 

Segment 1

-          We will talk about the massive funding (both foreign and banks) that has gone into the corporate sector between 1991 and 2011 and increase in the contribution to GDP growth has not been much

-          Bank of Baroda Interview with ED, Ranjan Dhawan – about the problems banks face while lending to NCSBs and how can banks be enabled to increase lending.

 

Segment 2

-          Interview with Praveen Khandelwal – will talk about problems, possible solutions and agenda of the action committee

o   Details about Action Committee for Formal Finance to Non-Corporate Small Businesses

o   Possible solutions that are being examined

o   How will the new financial architecture be structured

-          Interview with Mahesh Bakhai, General Secretary, Stove & Lantern Association – talks about how the lack of credit is impacting small sellers and manufacturers and what are the possible solutions

 

 

EPISODE 5 – Friday-31st 10.30 PM

 

-          Interview MoS, Nirmala Sitharaman

-          Prof Vaidyanathan interview – Talking about the creation of a new financial architecture and what it entails.

 

 

Repeat Telecast schedule:-

 

2nd November (Sunday):

1st Episode : 12 pm to 12:30 pm

2nd Episode: 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm

 

9th November (Sunday):

3rd Episode : 12 pm to 12:30 pm

4th Episode: 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm

 

16th November (Sunday)

5th Episode: 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm

 

 

Regards

Prof R.Vaidyanathan

 

 

  ____________________________________________   

  R.VAIDYANATHAN                                       

  PROFESSOR OF FINANCE                                           

  INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT

  BANNERGHATTA ROAD                              

  BANGALORE

  INDIA --560076

  TEL: 91-80-2699-3086

  FAX:91-80-2658-4050

  e mail:vaidya@iimb.ernet.in

 

 

 

 

 

******************************************* Disclaimer ***************************************************
This email message, its content and any files transmitted with it are intended solely for the originally intended addressee(s) and may be legally privileged and /or confidential. If you have received this email in error or otherwise, please delete it and contact the originator immediately. You should not copy or forward it on or otherwise use the contents, attachments, or information in any way without the express permission of the originator. Any such unauthorized use or disclosure may be unlawful.




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thanks
rajeev

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: The Godhra Riots, Postscript, the Masterminds


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nicole Elfi


Dear Rajeev,

I felt compelled to do this "postscript", I hope you'll like it! feel free to circulate.

 

It is also available online at:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/244384543/The-Godhra-Riots-Postscript-The-Masterminds-Nicole-Elfi

 

Warmest regards,

 

Nicole

 




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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: please post J&K e book firstpost on yr blog thanks.


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

Thanks Rajeev. Here is the post.
 

On 26 October 1947, the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir formally became a part of the Indian Union. Pakistan never accepted the decision of Maharaja Hari Singh, who was legally empowered to sign the instrument of accession, as final. It has repeatedly tried to use force and terrorism to change the status quo, in the process muddying the issue.

Whenever the issues of J&K's accession to India and Article 370 are raised, emotions run high. Information is cherry picked, arguments are aggressive and thus, a meaningful discussion becomes impossible.

 
Everything you wanted to know about the Jammu & Kashmir Problem by sanjeev nayyar 26/10/2014
To download E book http://www.firstpost.com/ebook_download.php or mail me shall send you E book pdf file.
 

 

For easy reading essay is split into ten parts. Matter covered in each part is given below.

Part 1 deals with Accession of J&K to answer the following questions: Can Maharaja Hari Singh be accused of procrastinating on whether to join India or Pakistan? Why has India not held a plebiscite in J&K? Did the British provide tacit support to Pakistan in POJK and Gilgit / Baltisthan? Why was J&K important to Pakistan? What is the importance of Aksai Chin (part of undivided J&K) to China? Can the Accession of J&K to India be reversed?

 

Part 2 focuses on answers to questions on article 370: Was J&K the only State to draft its own Constitution? Was Article 370 promised at the time of signing IOA? If Article 370 is repealed, would J&K cease to be part of India, as the National Conference and some separatist groups are claiming today? Could Nehru have forced the State to merge with the Constitution of India like other States? Could Nehru's Government have cleared J&K of Pakistan occupation? Is Article 370 a temporary provision? What are the provisions of Article 370 in brief? Is it correct to justify Article 370 by referring to exclusive provisions of Article 371?

 

Part three seeks to answer questions on the first elections in J&K and Sheikh Abdullah's arrest in 1953: Was any Census conducted in 1951 before deciding the Electoral Districts? What was the basis for allocating seats between Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions? What were the results of the 1951 Election? What about the 1952 Agreement and Sheikh Abdullah's arrest? Why was Sheikh Abdullah and 25 others arrested in 1953? What about the new Constitution and 1957 elections?

 

Part 4 tells us about the order of 1954. It asks which parts of the Indian Constitution apply to J&K and raises an important question on whether Article 35A forms part of the Constitution.

 

Part 5 talks about which laws not applicable in J&K. Does Article 370 prevent anyone from buying property in the State? What about women's rights in J&K?

 

Part 6 focuses on who is a Permanent Resident of J&K? What are benefits conferred to Permanent Residents and implications thereof?

 

Part 7 talks of the population and delimitation of constituencies. What is the region wise population since 1951? What are the comparisons of population and Census numbers post 2001?

Have assembly seats been manipulated to give Kashmir valley control of the legislature?

 

Part 8 looks at lopsided development of Jammu and Ladakh. We also ask, why are some separatist leaders against return of Pandits to the Valley? Why are Kashmiri Pandits reluctant to return to the Valley? It also gives details of how residents of Jammu and Ladakh regions are discriminated against.

 

Part 9 looks at State Finances. We can look at questions like these: is the state of J&K discriminated against by the Centre? What do the state's budget numbers for the years 2009-10 to 2014-15 suggest? What is the breakup of Revenue Expenditure for the years 2009-10 to 2014-15?

 

Part 10 is a summary and conclusion and seeks to answer the question: Is there a solution to Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan would not be satisfied?

 

Also read -

1. What did the Kashmiri Pandits go through in 1990. To hear in their own words http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/hum-log/video-story/221781

2. Arms seized from Kashmiri Militants – displayed by the Indian Army at an exhibition organised in 1998 at Veer Savarkar Memorial, Shivaji Park Mumbai. http://www.esamskriti.com/photo-detail/Arms-seized-Kashmiri-millitants.aspx

3. How many died during the Kashmiri Terrorist Movement http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/How-many-died-in-the-Kashmiri-Terrorist-Movement-1.aspx

 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
To unsubscribe write back



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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Why is India Averse to Bonds?

Why is it that India is against cultivating a bond market for infrastructure financing?

http://www.financeasia.com/News/391538,india-set-to-unleash-wave-of-debt-funding.aspx

Nanodegrees - The New Remedy for Education?

Online education provider Udacity has come up with the concept of "nanodegrees" - specialized training in a hi-tech skillset which prepares you for a specific "new economy" job, in a shorter-duration and lower-cost format:

http://www.skilledup.com/blog/faq-udacity-nanodegree-hype-hope/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/business/economy/udacity-att-nanodegree-offers-an-entry-level-approach-to-college.html

https://www.udacity.com/nanodegrees

http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2014/09/24/e-learning-startup-udacity-raises-35m-to-launch-nanodegrees/


Various NASSCOM people have been proposing similar ideas for "boutique schools", etc in India as a similar approach.

Circumstantial evidence that Satyarthi is a Gunga Din

I've seen several Indians posting congratulatory messages on social media, in exultation over the Nobel "peace" prize being awarded to Kailash Satyarthi. 

I'm allergic to these fraudulent NGO Jholawallah types. AirWind Khujliwal, Susan "Arundhati" Roy, Maoist courier dog Binayak Sen, Sundeep Pandey - the Naxalite dog - an incomplete list of "eminent" sepoys - who have betrayed India for a few bones thrown their way by forces inimical to the nation.

Fine article by Arvind Kumar listing some pieces of circumstantial evidence indicating that the Nobel laureate is diseased with Gunga Din syndrome; my gut instinct all along.

goo.gl/iDQkmO

jagannathan takes pankaj mishra to the cleaners

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jeb Bush May Run for US President

Jeb Bush, the younger brother of former US President George W Bush, may be considering a run for the US presidency in 2016:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/27/us/the-bushes-led-by-w-rally-to-make-jeb-45.html

I've been liking Rand Paul a lot, but Jeb Bush could be another good choice. He had a good track record as governor of Florida, and was considered by his father to be the son more suited for politics. Assuming that Hillary Clinton gets nominated as the Democrat candidate, either of these men could have good prospects.

Brazil's Rousseff Wins Re-Election

Brazil's left-leaning leader Dilma Roussef was re-elected to office over her rival Aecio Neves:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/26/us-brazil-election-idUSKCN0IE03L20141026

Oh well, more investment inflows for India then, since the rest of BRIC is seen as having dimming economic prospects. India is considered the lone star among BRIC nations right now:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/102214/india-eclipsing-chinas-economy-brightest-bric-star.asp

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/india-like-cleanest-among-dirty-shirts-cartica-capital-114092500211_1.html



I still can't get over the fact that all the same culprits shrieking against "evil right-wing" politicians in Asia -- I'm talking about NYT, Economist, Financial Times, etc -- have been just as loudly shrieking against Leftist politicians in Latin America. Ah, the imperial imperatives of the Atlanticists. How frustrated they must feel right now.

Indian Hiring Surge; Mishra Keeps Shrieking

Indian jobs data shows a hiring surge is taking place, as employers now move past the period of uncertainty which limited their expansion plans:

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/110bVIhFkN5QwsuP2reKPM/June-quarter-sees-a-surge-in-hiring.html

IMF has now removed India from its 'Fragile Five' list:

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/india-off-fragile-five-list-says-international-monetary-fund/article6535530.ece

Meanwhile, Pankaj Mishra continues shrieking like the sky is falling:

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/HagYgmfKsotesXNpO4l6hP/Why-Narendra-Modi-is-a-small-man-with-big-dangers.html

http://www.firstpost.com/india/behind-pankaj-mishras-rants-pathology-self-hate-hindu-phobia-1772105.html

Quick notes: Rafale, Diwali pollution...

  • Russian Envoy: "Rafale fighters India is buying can't match Chinese fighters"


  • Sukhoi-30-MKI: A Fighter Jet, Once Relied Upon by Air Force, is Now a Concern


  • Pollution in Delhi 5 times higher than normal after Diwali: "The 24-hours average of PM10 was recorded at 427 mg per cubic metre and PM2.5 was at 278 mpcm, almost five times higher than the prescribed standard of 100 mpcm and 60 mpcm respectively."


  • Study Links Soy to Lower Sperm Counts: Even small amounts of soy products may cut a man's sperm concentration


  • Soda May Age You as Much as Smoking: The extremely high dose of sugar that we can put into our body within seconds by drinking sugared beverages is uniquely toxic to metabolism


  • Gone Off the Rails: Capitalism in crisis amid low growth and growing inequality


  • Kumar Gandharva: Mangal Din Aaj

  • Mangal din aaj, Banna ghar aayo 
    Such an Auspicious beautiful day it is, for He has come home 
    Aanand man-bharaa, baanwari bhayi mai to 
     heart filled with happiness, I have lost my mind with Joy 
    Banna ra mukh dekhan sahelyo mil aayo 
    To see his face, I came with all my friends (women folk) 
    Gaavan lagi geet, baanwari bhai mai to 
    I started Singing this song..For my love has driven me mad 
    Mangal din aaj 
    Such an Auspicious beautiful day


  • Russians embrace Hinduism: Disciples of Sri Sri Ravishankar, they embraced Hinduism some time back and are zealous to spread the values enshrined in the religion across India’s countryside.


  • The Sanskrit Heritage Site: Sanskrit-French dictionary

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tata Nano Attempts Comeback Thru Power Steering

Tata's Nano, originally heralded as a miracle of frugal innovation, has ended up being passed over by brand-conscious Indian consumers, but a new version with power steering hopes to make a comeback in the marketplace:





Note that this is an electro-mechanical power steering system based on a brushless motor co-developed with Bosch. At least they've avoided old-generation hydraulics for the more reliable latest-generation technology.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Google Exec Breaks World Skydiving Record with 'Space Jump'

Google exec Alan Eustace broke the world skydiving record by jumping from a height of 135,890 feet after being hoisted to that altitude on a helium balloon:

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/googles-search-czar-just-smashed-felix-baumgartners-sky-dive-record/





I think that ISRO should consider trying experiments like this, in order to validate its spacesuit design for the Human Spaceflight program. This type of feat doesn't involve incredibly hi-tech equipment, and India has already sent large balloons to the upper reaches of the atmosphere before:

http://www.indiatimes.com/boyz-toyz/extra-large/indias-first-indigenously-developed-stratospheric-balloon-penetrates-into-mesosphere-122378.html


UPDATE: It looks like India was involved in this after all - our very same Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) which launched its own balloon to the mesosphere also worked on this latest space jump project:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/paragon-completes-record-breaking-near-192900419.html

  • Sreenivasan Shankarnarayan, Scientist in Charge (retired), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR): Since its inception in 1970, the TIFR Balloon Facility, located in Hyderabad, India has been used extensively by the Scientific Community from within the country as well as from abroad. All of the balloons for the StratEx program were manufactured by Balloon Facility off the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad, India. Balloon Flights carrying payloads of scientific experiments in Cosmic Ray, X-Ray, Gamma Ray and Infrared Astronomy, Astrobiology as well as Atmospheric sciences have been launched from this facility with several important and interesting results being obtained. TIFR is unique in that it has all aspects of Scientific Ballooning i.e. Balloon Design and Fabrication, Payload Integration with Telemetry, Telecommand and other instrumentation, and finally Balloon Launch, Tracking, Data Collection, Balloon Flight Control, as also Payload Recovery, under one roof. For more information please click here.

If TIFR's unique expertise in high-altitude balloon experiments was the basis for this latest space jump, then why can't such endeavours be undertaken in India also? We already have these useless racecar teams like "Force India", etc, which provide no benefit to the country. However, an annual "space jump" event in India could continue to raise the profile of the country in relation to spaceflight, while also conducting useful experiments. We could even claim a bit of the space tourism market with such low-cost space jumps, or at least the extreme adventure sports market. How many people around the world are there who would love to suit up in a spacesuit and travel to the edge of space? Plenty of them would gladly queue up and pay up -- especially if they could boast of contributing to the development and testing of spacesuit technology. Why can't TIFR's expertise be usefully monetized here?

Can Big Data Revolutionize Farming?

An article discussing data mining and analytics as a potential disruptive force which could radically improve agriculture:

http://www.producer.com/2014/10/is-data-the-next-disruptive-force-in-the-world-food-supply/

Since the Indian govt is busily applying information technology to so many aspects of governance, it might focus more attention on applying the fruits of information technology towards agricultural productivity, since farming is a mainstay of the Indian economy and India is a food-constrained country.

Iran, Pak Exchange Border Shelling

Iran and Pakistan have exchanged artillery fire on their mutual border:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29752082

Another NYT Hit Piece

Pankaj Mishra seeks to earn a xmas bonus for himself, and the NYT gladly gives him a platform:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/opinion/pankaj-mishra-nirandra-modis-idea-of-india.html?_r=0


Mishra's ranting demagoguery against "fascism" not only targets Modi, but now extends to Swami Vivekananda. Take a look at the comments section for the article, and you'll see it triggered a lot of outrage.


Just as a contrast, it's worth reading another op-ed piece NYT has published regarding Brazil's upcoming elections:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/business/in-brazil-election-a-stark-choice-on-economic-direction.html

As we can see, while the NYT never misses an opportunity to support regressive Marxist politicians in India and Asia, it absolutely loathes any politicians with similar views in Latin America. Note that the same economic policies advocated by Modi in India which the NYT criticizes and despises, are fiercely defended by the NYT when expressed by right-wing politicians in Latin America. So we can see that the NYT practices a cunning policy of double standards. When critiquing politics in Asia, then the NYT fiercely defends leftism and strongly condemns economic liberalism. But when it's politics in Latin America, then the NYT goes in the exact opposite direction, defending economic conservatism while fiercely attacking socialists.