Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trump: India Can Check Pakistan

US presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to de-nuclearize Pakistan, and thinks India could be key to keeping Pakistan in check:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

rajeev column in swarajya about silicon valley style innovation in india

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

stop feeding the crocodile, says rajiv malhotra

A new humanities discourse around India has to be created from scratch. The existing one, is beyond repair. 

Recently, Narendra Modi's visit to Silicon Valley was attacked in a petition by US-based academicians led by scholars like Wendy Doniger and Sheldon Pollock. Over 80 per cent of the signatures were by Indian 'sepoys' joining the bandwagon. As a rejoinder, there emerged two counter petitions supporting Modi, each signed by much larger numbers of US-based academicians, who were also mostly Indians. This clash between the two camps of Indians is important to analyse because they represent two entirely different constituencies.

and here's my old piece on a similar thread:fear of engineering

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Sunday, September 20, 2015

From IAF Cutbacks, A Possible Defence Gap?

India has been cutting back on combat jet procurements, as per the more recent announcements in relation to Russia and France - but will that create a vulnerability that neighbors like China or Pakistan could take advantage of?

I'm sure the disloyal Congress Party would like nothing more than another Kargill to crow about. If they thought they could get away with it, their people would even quietly ask the Chinese to attack, in the hopes of scoring a political embarrassment.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hardik Patel, Latest Agent-Provocateur

Hardik Patel seems to be the newest demagogue and agent-provocateur after Arvind Kejriwal, aggressively trying to instigate mob violence over the issue of caste quotas to create instability in Gujarat. It's not merely ironic, but overwhelmingly obvious that quotas are a creation of the Left, and not of the BJP - and yet the flunker Hardik has targeted BJP with his anti-quota agitation.

As the Modi govt does the right thing by bringing to bear overwhelming state force against these obvious agent-provocateurs, the same Left-wing opportunists who like to claim that Modi did nothing to stop riots in Gujarat, are now pulling a 180 to complain about Modi's heavy-handedness against the current rioters in Gujarat. Yet of course none of these Lefties will comment on whether they support Hardik's cause.

I'm reminded of the underhanded tricks played in Egypt's elections. Because Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy was in a position to sweep the Egyptian elections, the kleptocratic establishment backed the rise of an ultra-fundamental Salaafist party to steal votes away from Morsy and weaken his electoral victory.

Congress has tried to use Patels against Modi before, such as in the previous Gujarat elections when Modi stood for re-election. Likewise, their hands would seem to be all over the latest hijinks being seen in Gujarat. As the Romans used to say - Cui Bono - Who profits?

It's amazing that more Patels aren't speaking out against Hardik Patel and his crooked poliical opportunism.

Quick notes: Diesel trouble, Mining royalties...


Friday, September 18, 2015

GSLV-D6 Onboard Camera Footage

Here's a short video I found featuring onboard camera footage from the recent GSLV-D6 flight. This is the first time onboard camera footage has ever been released by ISRO to the public. The footage features a view from an internal camera mounted inside the cryogenic upper stage looking downward past the engine bell towards the stage below. It's similar to the kind of scenes made famous from NASA's Apollo footage of Saturn-V stage separations during ascent.

So you'll see more action from 0:30s onward, where the cryogenic upper stage separation occurs. You can see the lower stage being discarded and falling back toward the Earth. We then also see the ring-like interstage which gets discarded -- as it floats away, you can see a small white disc to the right of it, which is actually the Moon.

Meanwhile, work continues on the Chandrayaan-2 mission planned for 2017, which will send a lunar lander and rover to the Moon's surface. Here are comments from ISRO chief Dr S Kiran Kumar:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

State-wise Economic Rankings

We all hear about India's place on various country ranking lists for economic performance, investor friendliness, ease of business, corruption, etc. But the fact is that these nationally-averaged statistics don't show the regional variation that exists from place-to-place across India. The Indian Commerce Dept is now publishing regional/state-based statistics which show the leaders and laggards within India on a state-by-state basis:

There need to be more good ways to clearly identify the winners and losers, which will allow investors to route their capital to the most promising contenders, so that the laggards will also feel the pressure to reform themselves. India's economy and population are very large, and there are some jewels which shine out from the sea of crap. These gems present valuable opportunities for good return on investment, and are more capable and worthy of attracting foreign investment.

After all, why should everybody suffer because the laggards are bringing the entire average down?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quick notes: Cyber-defense, Megapolis...

  • Cisco router break-ins bypass cyber defenses: So far 14 instances of the router implants in India, Mexico, Philippines and Ukraine have been found. "This is the ultimate spying tool, the ultimate corporate espionage tool, the ultimate cybercrime tool," DeWalt said.. Routers are attractive to hackers because they operate outside the perimeter of firewalls, anti-virus, behavioral detection software and other security tools that organizations use to safeguard data traffic. 

  • Megapolis: The story of transformation in Sri Lanka

  • River linking: Andhra Pradesh links Godavari with Krishna

  • The Hindu on Modi's Silicon Valley visit: On pro-Modi.... and on anti-Modi

  • Welcome move: Foreign lingo may go in CBSE schools

  • Maharashtra: Only Marathi-speaking people to get autorickshaw permit

  • What makes you you: You are not your brain or your body

  • Skip the Anti-Bacterial Soap: Regular Suds Work Just as Well

  • Academic fraud:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Quick notes: Language exchange, Tulsi genome...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Can Blockchain Tech Boost E-Commerce?

In an era where the US Federal Reserve and other central banks everywhere are increasingly intervening to manipulate monetary valuations, can a shared ledger technology used by the much ridiculed crypto-currency Bitcoin find new life as a facilitator of E-commerce?

India's rapidly evolving mobile economy is going to make digital money more important. Will socialists and other control freaks tolerate the use of e-currencies that exist outside of state control? As Jaitley has alluded to, the elimination of cash and the rise of digital transactions means elimination or curtailment of the black economy. But what ways will socialists and hawala-types find to throw a wrench in the works?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trump vs Iran

India will be affected if Donald Trump becomes President of the United States - particularly in regards to Trump's antagonism towards Iran. Indeed, there is no country on the planet whom Trump hates more than Iran:

Meanwhile, India is dependent upon Iran for its Central Asian security policy. Christine Fair of Georgetown University has argued for greater US acceptance of Indo-Iranian cooperation:

If Trump becomes president, we'd better watch out for him attempting some radical things, including ditching the recent detente policy towards Iran in favour of him patching up relations with Pakistan, which would neither be in America's nor in India's best interests.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quick notes: Heart in the gut, US-bound Doctors...

  • Stomach Bacteria Shape Cardiac Health: Bacteria living in a person's gastrointestinal tract can influence the health of their heart by affecting their weight, blood lipids and cholesterol levels

  • Return to India: Govt may not issue US-bound Doctors the "No Obligation To Return To India" certificate any more.

  •  'Around 7-8 men raped us in a day sometimes': Nepalese rape victims rescued from Saudi diplomat's house speak out

  • Arab 'refugees': US to increase number of refugees by 5K next year

  • Hate crime: Elderly Sikh-American brutally assaulted in US, called 'Bin Laden'

  • India needs multi-lingual policy: Current language policy of the European Union holds a classic testimony on how linguistic diversity should be celebrated and not cursed.

  • Cleaner way: Gurgaon to mark September 22 as 'car-free day'

  • Wetland destruction: Govt. cancels allotment of land for thermal plant, resumes land to the same company for setting up industrial zone.

  • Get grounded: Meditation Techniques For People Who Hate Meditation

Monday, September 07, 2015

Quick notes: Soldier's general, Pilfering Indian treasures...

  • The real hero of 1965 war: Lieutenant General Harbakhsh Singh, GOC, Western Command, disobeyed the then army chief and took on a superior Pakistani armoured column.

    In his book In the Line of Duty: A Soldier Remembers, General Harbakhsh has written: 'Late at night on the 9th of September, the chief of the army staff rang me up... his advice was that to save the whole army from being cut-off by Pakistan's armour push, I should pull back to the line of the Beas river. Pulling back to the Beas would have meant sacrificing prime territory in Punjab including Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts and would have been a far worse defeat than that suffered at the hands of the Chinese in 1962.'  The move would have also resulted in bidding goodbye to the entire state of J&K and the army's 15 Corps that had performed extremely well over there.

  • The Subhash Kapoor case and the plundering of India's past: The mentality of colonialism which in essence says: 'We have a right to these objects; they are the world's patrimony not just one nation's patrimony. We are better able to protect them than the natives.' That's the kind of attitude with which these things have been traditionally acquired by American, British and other institutions. 

  • How India's tax system helps cigarettes flourish: Cigarettes were 175 per cent more affordable in 2011 than in 1990, according to the WHO, all because real incomes have been growing at a faster clip than taxes on cigarettes. Cigarette-price rise = demand drop.  It’s a simple equation, which can greatly help stub out smoking, according to the WHO.

  • Ummah Impotence:

Friday, September 04, 2015

Quick notes: BankMobile, GenZe...

  • Banking revolution: A mobile app launched by Indian-American banker Jay Sidhu and his daughter Luvleen can revolutionise the global banking industry.

    BankMobile has succeeded in becoming the fastest growing bank in the nation. Average deposits per branch have grown by an unheard of 500% per year and deposits have soared to 5.6 Billion. Every customer has a dedicated personal banker and a litany of fee free services from nationwide ATM access to text based P2P and Picture Bill Pay. You can lock or unlock your debit card with a single swipe and check your balance without the hassle of a full login process.

  • Manipulation in NSE: Loophole helping a few speculators?

  • GDP: India Will Overtake France In 2017: Merrill

  • Jaguars Are About to Get a Lot Cheaper: XE sedan starting at $34,900. Looks like a potent threat to BMW 3-series.

  • GenZe: Mahindra to debut in US market with scooter

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Quick notes: No bull, Indian paparazzi...

Jim Rogers Quits India

Flamboyantly media-minded investor Jim Rogers has abandoned his stake in Indian equities, saying that Modi's govt has failed to deliver on expectations:

"God gave you everything. And then, he also gave you Delhi to mess it all up"- Jim Rogers
Well, even though Rogers is over-hyped (not least due to his own efforts), I think it's good for Modi and Jaitley to keep hearing the chorus of disappointees, because this will force them away from any "India Shining" reverie, and compel them to face ugly realities. The disloyal opposition (Congress Party & Co) are hell-bent on blocking any and every possible reform legislation. The new reformist Modi-Deng era cannot fully proceed while the old Sonia-JianQing still continues to tarry around and cause political mischief. Like a system undergoing phase-change, India's economic temperature will likely stay plateau'd until a political transition has been fully completed.

But since India's less globally-integrated economy also has significant thermal mass / inertia, the gathering global slowdown may take more time to affect it than other countries. Some Indian exporters will be hit, but old-economy Indian companies may still continue enjoying their captive markets.

Furthermore, it's legitimate to consider whether a gathering global recession might send more customers towards India's cheaper labor costs. After all, even while decision-makers are more risk-averse in a recessionary climate, competitive pressures will still always exist, and Indian service-providers aren't such an unknown quantity to the world as in the past. So even the squeeze of economic downturn may itself push customers towards a cheaper Indian option. India's manufactured goods are generally on the lower-end, and these may find greater appeal among those with whom money is tighter.

please sign petition if you are US faculty, alumni/ae


I just signed the petition, "Members and Alumnae of American Universities: Oppose Prejudice and Fear-mongering in the "Faculty Statement on Narendra Modi's Visit"."

I think this is important. Will you sign it too?

Here's the link:


prof rajeev

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Quick notes: Sureshbhai Patel, El Niño...