From: S G Naravane
Thursday, December 31, 2015
From: S G Naravane
Will india make it – 2016? From jugaad to innovation
The start-ups, the unicorns … the result of a transforming India as well as what will transform India
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The start-ups, the unicorns … the result of a transforming India as well as what will transform India
From: S G Naravane
In India, what we have, thanks to Aadhaar and the India Stack, are open platforms that can be mass-innovated upon
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Fwd: 2015 was a tipping point for six technologies that will change the world; Who will be the new startup stars in India?
From: ramnath narayanan
2015 was a tipping point for six technologies that will change the world
By Vivek Wadhwa
To the average person, it may seem that the biggest technology advances of 2015 were the larger smartphone screens and small app updates. But a lot more happened than that. A broad range of technologies reached a tipping point, from cool science projects or objects of convenience for the rich, to inventions that will transform humanity. We haven't seen anything of this magnitude since the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. Here are the six:
1. The Internet and knowledge
In the developed world, we have become used to having devices that connect and inform us and provide services on demand, and the developing world has largely been in the dark. As of 2015, however, nearly half of China's population and a fifth of India's population have gained Internet connectivity. India now has more Internet users than does the U.S., and China has twice as many.
Smartphones with the capabilities of today's iPhone will cost less than $50 by 2020. By then, the efforts of Facebook, Google, OneWeb, and SpaceX to blanket the Earth with inexpensive Internet access through drones, balloons, and microsatellites will surely bear fruit. This means that we will see another three billion people come on line. Never before has all of humanity been connected in this way.
This will be particularly transformative for the developing world. Knowledge has always been a privilege of the rich; tyrants rule by keeping their populations ignorant. Soon, everyone, everywhere, will have access to the ocean of knowledge on the Internet. They will be able to learn about scientific advances as they happen. Social media will enable billions of people to share their experiences and help one another. Workers in the remotest villages of Africa will be able to offer digital services to the elite in Silicon Valley. Farmers will be able learn how to improve crop yields; artisans will gain access to global markets; and economies based on smartphone apps will flourish everywhere.
2. Doctors in our pockets
All of this has been made possible by advances in computing and networks. In a progression called Moore's Law, computers continually get faster, cheaper, and smaller, doubling in speed every 18 months. Our $100 smartphones are more powerful than the supercomputers of the 1970s—which cost millions of dollars. With faster computers, it becomes possible to design more powerful sensors and artificial-intelligence (A.I.) systems. With better sensors, we can develop sophisticated medical devices, drone-based delivery systems, and smart cities; and, with A.I., we can develop self-driving cars, voice-recognition systems, and digital doctors. Yes, I am talking about applications that can diagnose our medical condition and prescribe remedies.
In 2015, smartphone-connected medical devices came into the mainstream. Most notably, Apple released a watch that, using a heart-rate sensor and accelerometer, can keep track of vital signs, activity, and lifestyles. Through its free Research Kit app, Apple provided the ability to monitor, on a global scale, the use of medicines and their efficacy. Microsoft, IBM, Samsung, and Google too, as well as a host of startups, are developing sensors and A.I.-based tools to do the work of doctors. These technologies are expensive and geared for the developed world; but companies in China, India, and Africa are working on inexpensive versions. The sensors that these devices use, and the computing and storage that A.I. systems need cost very little. Previous generations of medical advances were for the rich; now all can benefit.
3. Bitcoin and disintermediation
One of the most controversial technology advances of late is Bitcoin, an unregulated and uncontrolled digital currency. It gained notoriety for its use by criminals and hackers and the fall of its price from a peak of about $1100 to $250. Yet, in 2015, it gained acceptance by retailers such as Overstock.com. And the technology that underlies it, blockchain, became the basis of hundreds of technology-development efforts.
The blockchain is not useful just for finance. It is an almost incorruptible digital ledger that can be used to record practically anything that can be digitized: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, medical records, contracts, and votes. It has the potential to transform the lives of billions of people who lack bank accounts and access to the legal and administrative infrastructure that we take for granted.
Ten hopes for the new year: Who will be the new startup stars?
Economic Times| December 25, 2015, 4:56 am IST
By Vivek Wadhwa
They will be able to learn about the latest advances in science and technology, obtain Masters degrees from top universities, learn best practices in agriculture, sell their crafts and services to the world, and demand better governance. Never before has India — and the rest of humanity — been so connected.
In the 2020s, a billion Indians will have access to —and will be able to afford — the most advanced health devices, robots and 3D printers. By 2030, the most remote corners of India will have abundant clean energy through solar cells and battery storage units.
This is not science fiction. It is all happening. And just as Indians are leading scientific research and technology companies in the US, they will be doing this at home — without any government assistance and despite all the obstacles that they face. They will be solving not only India's problems, but also those of the rest of the developing world.
A few years ago, I wrote about how India is about to undergo an internet boom and create billiondollar companies and people thought that was unrealistic. India now has several billion-dollar startups, whose value is about to reach in the tens of billions of dollars.
What's making this possible are technology advances, in everything from smartphones to medicine to solar. These are being powered by the progression of computing: Moore's Law. Every year, computers get faster, cheaper and smaller. And they become more widely available, as smartphones have become. Our smartphones are already more powerful than the supercomputers of yesteryear.
With faster computers, it becomes possible to design new technologies such as sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. With better sensors, we can develop sophisticated medical devices, drone-based delivery systems and smart cities. With AI, we can develop self-driving cars, voicerecognition systems and computer systems that can make humanlike decisions. With acombination of smartphones, AI and sensors, we can develop digital tutors and revolutionise agriculture.
Almost everything is becoming digital — information technology (IT). And India has tens of millions of experienced IT workers, many of whom are tired of working for western corporations and are ready to branch out on their own to solve problems.
Just as Flipkart and Snapdeal took advantage of the nascent e-commerce opportunities, thousands of others will. They will create marketplaces for rural artisans to design and create custom crafts for customers worldwide; apps for fruit-sellers, sweet shops and restaurants to showcase their products and take orders from neighbourhood customers; tools for merchants to provide services and delivery.
India's sharing economy will also bloom, not only in taxi- and three-wheeler-sharing, but also in cycle-rickshaws and buses. And then in skills, education and personal goods. We can expect the informal economy — labourers, technicians, maids and painters — all to be offering their services through apps. As a result, quality, wages and availability will increase since ratings systems will lead to increased accountability.
With Aadhaar having provided an identity to hundreds of million people who had none, we will see digital currencies and virtual banks, as well as crowdfunding of local ventures, houses and education. A new digital economy will emerge that allows communities to uplift themselves.
Fwd: Flight to Lahore Modi’s masterstroke+Obama invites Modi, Nawaz to Nuclear Security Summit+The Lahore Summit: The Nuclear Angle + MORE
From: Sanjeev Nayyar
to unsibscribe write back
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Fluid Social Relations
- They have spent more time thinking about this as a group than we have. The Left thinks as an institution (thanks Ben Shapiro) and the Right thinks as an individual.
- Since they are aware of the inconsistencies in their argument they have built the argument in a circular way so that the irrational side of each argument is removed (the old smoke and mirror tactic) from the immediate vicinity of the argument itself.
The patriotism and dissent folly
Monday, December 28, 2015
- Padmashree Warrior takes on Elon Musk: Tesla rival NextEV taps her to run U.S. operations.
- China Emission Standards: So Tough Honda Will Have All Hybrids By 2025
- IIT-Madras develops low-cost air purifier: Chennai's air quality index is around 55; Delhi, with an index of 313, falls under the 'very poor' category.
- Presstitutes: Unnecessary outrage over Air India's vegetarian menu.
- Zuckerberg's Indian Mousetrap: If every telecom company in India gave a free Facebook Messenger option, there's virtually zero hope for an Indian version of a QQ or WeChat, homegrown Chinese instant messaging services with functionalities that are streets ahead of what Zuckerberg has to offer.
- Akhand Secularistan: Imagine India with 55crore Muslims.
#AkhandBharat is a terrible idea. SAARC trade bloc, perhaps. Political union a dangerous fantasy— Minhaz Merchant (@minhazmerchant) December 27, 2015
From: Atanu Dey
Subject: Economically Speaking -- Podcast archives
Saturday, December 26, 2015
PM Modi's visit has shored up Moscow's insecurities, but a transformation in India-Russia relations awaits
Surprisingly, Narendra Modi held off a visit to Russia, a country most hold to be India's most vital international partner, for 18 months after taking office. Of course, there had been earlier opportunities to meet with his Russian counterpart, in Fortaleza in July 2014 during the Brics summit, in Ufa in July 2015 during the Brics and SCO conferences, and in Brisbane in November 2014 during the G20 meeting, but an official bilateral trip to Moscow has come slower than expected. In the same time, the Indian prime minister visited France and the United States twice, indicating what many see as India's changed priorities and the new-found friends that come with it...
However, the importance of Russia to India is far greater than a few arms sales. A pale shadow of the Soviet Union, Russia today still possesses enviable diplomatic clout, an excellent yet severely underfunded military-industrial technological complex, large deposits of natural resources, and a formidable military.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
the guardian (British Newspaper)
How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing)
From Interstellar to Batman and Star Wars the venerable religion has been the driving philosophy behind many hit movies. Why?
Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars … is he really a Hindu?
Interstellar's box office total is $622,932,412 and counting. It is the eighth highest-grossing film of the year and has spawned an endless raft of thinkpieces testing the validity of its science and applauding the innovation of its philosophy. But it is not so new. The idea that propels the plot – there is a universal super-consciousness that transcends time and space, and in which all human life is connected – has been around for about 3,000 years. It is Vedic.
When the film's astronaut hero (Matthew McConaughey), declares that the mysterious and all-knowing "they" who created a wormhole near Saturn through which he travels to save mankind – dissolving his sense of material reality in the process – are in fact "us", he is simply repeating the central notion of the Upanishads, India's oldest philosophical texts. These hold that individual human minds are merely brief reflections within a cosmic one.
McConaughey's character doesn't just talk the talk. He walks the walk. So, the multidimensional tesseract – that endlessly reflective prism he finds himself in as he comes to this realisation, and in which he views life from every perspective – is the film's expression of Indra's net, the Hindu metaphor which depicts the universe as an eternal web of existence spun by the king of the gods, each of its intersections adorned with an infinitely sided jewel, every one continually reflecting the others.
"Look at the first Matrix movie," says producer Peter Rader. "It's a yogic movie. It says that this world is an illusion. It's about maya – that if we can cut through the illusions and connect with something larger we can do all sorts of things. Neo achieves the abilities of the advanced yogis [Paramahansa] Yogananda described, who can defy the laws of normal reality."
Rader's latest movie, a documentary about Yogananda, who was among the first gurus to bring Indian mysticism to North America in the 1920s, has been a sleeper hit in the US. The film documents how influential Hindu philosophy is in American culture, with contributions from the likes of the yoga-devoted hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. "There's a big pent-up demand," thinks Rader. "There are a lot of closet spiritualists who are meditating, doing yoga, reading books and thinking about a bigger reality. And now they can come out and say, 'Yes, I'm into this.' Steve Jobs read Yogananda's book once a year. He bequeathed a copy of it to everyone who attended his memorial. It helped inspire him to develop products like the iPad."
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
- 12 Minutes of Yoga for Bone Health: Yoga builds bone mineral density after menopause, a multi-year study at Columbia University shows. Unlike allopathic remedies for osteoporosis, yoga’s side effects include “better posture, improved balance, enhanced coordination, greater range of motion, higher strength, reduced levels of anxiety and better gait.”
- Santa stupidity: US holiday lights burn more electricity than a developing world country does in a year.
- Lalu fires off at bullet train: "PM should explain the viability of Bullet train project".
- Syed Imad Hasan: Techie held in Hyderabad for illegally confining female colleague
- Unhinged: 50 percent of survey respondents – Democrats and Republicans alike – say they would be embarrassed to have Trump as president, compared with 35 percent who say Clinton would be an embarrassment as president.
Monday, December 21, 2015