Thursday, November 30, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
The EAI arena seems to be getting heated up with offers and counter offers; adding additional features, freebies etc.
A word about webM's BPM tool (Modeler™/Designer™)- It is now interoperable with Eclipse™ and the models (business processes) can be exported to other BPM tools in form of BPML – which was not the case earlier.
Btw, Savvion was the first one to give BPM tools for free, during Gartner’s summit on BPM sometime back in March.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Till recently webMethods Inc provided two classes of integration tools, for B2B and EAI as separate product sets, which were mutually-exclusive. With the release of 6.x, a common platform for all the integration needs was provided.
Trading Networks™ (B2B tool) hosted in the Integration Server™ could directly link itself with Broker™ (message bus), which was not the case as before; thus helping orchestrate Models™ (Business processes) during runtime.
Version 6.x (v6.0.1 to be exact) laid the roots for SOA enablement, with a tool called ServiceNet and by default all the internal FLOW™/JAVA™ services were made available as web services. Of course, there were some issues with stability of v6.01 and v6.1.5 due to “composite” enterprise approach, which were stabilized by v6.5.
During Integration World 2006, hosted by webMethods, it was announced that Beta version of webMethods 7.0 would be released by Dec 15, while the GA is by mid-March. There was a major emphasis on the “Composite Enterprise Approach” with many tools performing focused-enterprise-tasks thrown in to the enterprise Fabric™. Tools like Optimize™ (BAM), Portal™ (B2C), Manager™ (BAM once again, but with heavy client) are all stabilized and rolled in to Fabric™.
The current way the Fabric™ is defined is very interesting -A weaver of all the Processes, Services, and Business Rules via web services into a Fabric for Enterprise. [As different threads when kneaded together gives a cloth (Fabric) of choice.]
The major themes of the event [Integration World 2006] apart from release of v7.x were SOA Governance and BPM.
Recently webMethods acquired Infravio, a SOA Registry and Governance tools company; adding the X-Broker and X-Registry features to its product suite from v7.x. For the starters X-Broker provides the intermediately/mediation services and policy enforcer in run time, while X-Registry provides the design time, change time governance. Obviously, the ServiceNet suite of products is deprecated and customers using the same are now automatically upgraded to Infravio suite.
Talking of SOA, security is always a concern/question. The good news from webMethods product suite is – there is support for WS-Security, SAML and X-509 tokens “out-of-box”. There was an interesting discussion during the focus group meeting as to how much of ‘out-of-box’ is their out-of-box. [Many can recollect that the migration tools for migrating EDI from Gentran/TLE etc were also out-of-box]
The Focus Group Discussion also provided an insight into what CIOs from the customers, SI representatives and Partners had to say about the SOA and Integration issues in webMethods context. Though there was nothing much to write home about, a glimpse at the most widely discussed topic during the discussion is worth mentioning here.
- What do you think of the greatest hindrance to SOA in your organization?
ii. The ownership and governance issues were rated the next biggest hurdle. True. Who is going to own which services? Else again everyone ends up where they started, multiple service providers for same set of services. Governance is definitely an issue, which is not technical, but organizational, which definitely was beyond the CIO’s purview.
iii. The definition or the border lines to demarcate where services should stop being coarse grained, so that the existing infrastructure can be leveraged. The same question was also asked a decade ago, when Object-Oriented approach took the enterprise by storm. How much of logic to abstract, how much to define in code?
iv. Finally it was the tool-enablement. Though the majority of the tools in the enterprise ecosystem were not their respective current versions [meaning not SOA-enabled] everyone was optimistic about a turnaround soon.
In general CIOs were not in a mood to be the first movers and were eager to know if someone else has done something in that space. The group was eager to take back any implementer’s learning, for helping the approval process from business for their own SOA initiatives. Unfortunately there were none in the group, who had any real-time experience.
It was TCS who made some comments in discussion that their SOLAR framework was best for SOA enablement; but they too did not have any live enterprise to showcase, save for a few POCs here and there. There would be interesting times ahead for all industry observers watching how webMethods can live up to the promises made about SOA.
There was an informative tidbit when someone said Integration Server™, itself was an ESB and one need not invest in buying a third party tool.
When all FLOW™ or JAVA™ are by default web-services and these services can internally invoke any business process, business rule or perform data translation/transformation services. As these services are hosted in Integration Server™ - by standard definitions of ESB, IS™ becomes an ESB.
Moving further into composite enterprise, from v7.x there would not be any technical differences between human-dependant business flows and normal business flow. It may be recollected that in v6.x and before, there were two tools to handles these two variants of business flow. The human dependant business processes were called WorkFlow™ with a separate server to help the users to login and work on the staged business process at their levels, while the normal business processes were called Models™ hosted on PRT-module of Integration Server™. This invariably had to be designed in two different design tools called Modeler™ and WorkFlow Designer™.
The distinction would be dissolved with Designer™ 7.x of webMethods. Both these genres of business processes are now hosted in PRT-module for runtime and are designed in a single design time tool Designer™. This design time tool has an Eclipse™ interface. The good news stops here, as one still needs the Developer™ for developing FLOW™/JAVA™ services.
This meager would help development and implementation of the complex business processes in a single view and also to avoid redundancy on the pieces of code used.
One thing that stuck out the most was the fact that told over and over ‘40% of webMethods customers were SAP™ customers’. Also SAP™ was positioned well in the overall event, with a separate technical track session to showcase the way webMethods can blend itself into SAP™ based Enterprise. Someone there murmured that the future Integration World event may be a separate track sessions in Sapphire event.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Friday, November 3, 2006
Your luggage and you, both will reach at destination with out much ado. No reconfirmation, no transit issues etc...
Wish, we had more of the same in real world integration too.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Some good pointers from the article....
1. "The Indian Software houses Infosys and Wipro - represent only a
small fraction of larger phenomenon."
2. Bajaj Auto, Bharath Forge, Cipla, Crompton Greaves, Dr. Reddy,
Hindalco, Infosys, L&T, Mahendra & Mahendra, ONGC, Ranbaxy, Reliance,
Satyam, , TCS, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Tea, TVS, Viedocon, VSNL,
Wipro are listed in the top 100 companies.
3. India has only 21% share while China is having 44%
My Question: When will the time bomb (China) explode and take away that
"English" edge over India to clean sweep the IT markets? (3)
My take: Why all the hype about the IT boom in India, when only 4 of the
21 companies are into IT services.... (1) and (2)
Friday, June 9, 2006
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Date: May 31, 2006 3:37 AM
The Chilean Government has approved the project to start this year, 2006. The only reason it hasn't started yet is because the farmers have got a temporary stay of execution. If they destroy the glaciers, they will not just destroy the source of especially pure water, but they will permanently contaminate the 2 rivers so they will never again be fit for human or animal consumption because of the use of cyanide and sulphuric acid in the extraction process.Every last gram of gold will go abroad to the multinational company and not one will be left with the people whose land it is. They will onlybe left with the poisoned water and the resulting illnesses.
The farmers have been fighting a long time for their land, but have been forbidden to make a TV appeal by a ban from the Ministry of the Interior. Their only hope now of putting brakes on this project is to get help from international justice.
The world must know what is happening in Chile. The only place to start changing the world is from here.We ask you to circulate this message amongst your friends in the following way.Please copy this text, paste it into a new email adding your signature and send it to everyone in your address book.
NO to the Pascua Lama Open Cast Mine in the Andean Corillera on the
Chilean-Argentine frontier.We ask the Chilean Government not to authorize
Pascua Lama project to protect the whole of 3 glaciers, the purity of
of the San Felix Valley and El Transito, the quality of the
agricultural land of
the region of Atacama, the quality of life of the
Diaguita people and of the
whole population of the region.
you can get involved.
Monday, May 29, 2006
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ARYA <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 29, 2006 10:00 PM
Subject:Quota row:meritorious students to return medals received for academic excellence
News for group:
Quota row: meritorious students to return medals received for academic excellence:
New Delhi/Bhopal/Kanpur, May 29 (ANI): Medical and engineering students, who have rejected appeals from Prime Minister, to withdraw their fortnight-long agitation against caste-based quota in higher education institutes, threatened self-immolation, if the Central Government failed to withdraw the controversial move.
Some meritorious students also announced to return medals received for academic excellence to the President.
The striking medical students in New Delhi were joined by their counterparts from across the country.
Anand Rai, general secretary of Madhya Pradesh junior doctors association, who was in the city to express solidarity with medical students sitting on hunger strike, said their medals did not hold any value after the government proposed quota.
"By returning the medals, we just want to show that these medals, which are in fact given as an encouragement for meritorious students, are of no use for us. By introducing quota, they are closing our roads for progress, so what is the purpose of our keeping them?" said Rai.
In Bhopal, protesting medicos staged mock public hanging and threatened to turn it real if government went ahead with the move.
"This is only a symbolic hanging, but if the government goes ahead with its decision to implement the proposed move, we'll commit suicide," said Ashutosh Dikshit, a protesting medical student.
Students at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) also went on a hunger strike to protest the government's decision to go ahead with the reservation plans.
Students said reservation, if at all is implemented, should be along economic lines.
"First of all, we are against any kind of reservation that is done on the basis of caste. If any reservation has to be done that should not be on the basis of caste or religion but on economic inequalities. This bill should be taken back," said Chandrashekhar Sharma, a protesting engineering student.
On Sunday, the Cebtral Government had assured the students that adequate facilities would be made available to the educational institutions before implementing the new move but the medicos said that the government was presenting them the same recommendations that they had rejected earlier.
The Central Government has stood firm by its stand to implement the proposed reservation from the next academic year.
Thousand of students across the country are protesting the government move to hike the number of seats for the socially backward classes in higher educational institutions.
The latest government move plans to increase the quota for lower castes by 27 percentage points, which would mean nearly half the places in state-funded medical, engineering and management colleges and Central universities would be set aside for other backward castes or OBCs.
But the general category students complain that they will have to compete more fiercely for the unfairly low portion of remaining seats if the quota move is implemented as expected by June 2007. (ANI)
We all know of Mir Jaffer, where did this Raja come from?? (From a pipe dream???)
Friday, May 26, 2006
It is necessary to first understand the entire "Matrix" in education. Even after 59 years of Independence, the following situation remains as far as the Human Capital Development of our country is concerned:-
- Drop-out rate in schools from KG to 10+2 is (including those who never attended school) 90% to 94%.
- China has about 1.80 million schools, while we have in India about 0.95 million schools!
- The "Governance" in Government run schools is very low. In many cases teachers are absent (15% to 40% absenteeism) from schools in rural and urban schools of India and are paid full wages and perks in spite of this! Studies have shown that even the poorest of the poor rather send their children to un-aided schools where fees have to be paid and not to government run free schools. The quality of schooling of such unaided schools is higher than Government schools although the salary of Government teachers is two to three times higher than the teachers of the un-aided schools.
- The existing Indian definition of Literacy (if you can write your name you are literate) needs to be amended to International Standards.
- As per the Ministry of HRD the present illiteracy is ONLY 37% or 430 million people, while as per UNICEF and UNDP it is nearly 60% or 650 million people. China has a Literacy rate of about 93% literacy.
- The first step of making India a knowledge economy is literacy and needs to be given A1 priority.
- The total amount spent on education is about Rs. 81,000 crores per year. 10% by the Central Govt. and 90% by the State Governments The Education Cess will collect another Rs. 7000 crores per year. This is about 3.3% of GDP. The MHRD has calculated that another Rs. 40,000 crores per year would be required only for additional requirements for Primary Education!
- We estimate that another Rs. 100,000 crores are required per year just to have reasonable quality of Primary and Secondary education, up to Class 10th., which is where the Central and State Governments should concentrate for the next 10 to 20 years, or till we have at least 95% Literacy and at least 80% of the population who are completing the High School stage or Class 10th.
- As per our estimates the total expenditure for education is nearly 8% of GDP, about 3.3% from Government and about 4.7% from private participation . This includes funding of unaided schools and colleges+ bribes and capitation fees + payment for students studying abroad + tuition classes +coaching classes +private I.T. & Software training institutes. Most of this private funding is confined to urban areas where only 30% stay.
- About 7% to 8% of the youth who finish the 10+2 stage (pre-university) enter the17, 600 colleges of India . 70% of all graduates are B.A. or Arts graduates. Is this relevant today? Most of these so called graduates are not-employable.
- Of all new employment taking place nearly 60% are self employed. About New Employment - 1% is with government, 2% with the private 'organized sector' and 97% with the 'unorganized sector'.
- Presently there is little connect between education and employment generation & quality of Life
- The employers associations, chambers of commerce and other business organizations are fragmented. There is no "National Common Minimum Program" for "education and training of manpower" in India. In most developed and developing countries the Chambers of Commerce (who represent the employers and business) Lead from the front.
- About 29 million people are added every year to the existing education system, which is like adding another Australia + Hong Kong + Singapore & UAE per year!
- Presently both the Central Government as well as the State Governments are running in Financial Deficits, of about 9% to 11% of GDP, so the question of additional financing for education will strain not only the existing budgets but also put pressure on other sectors, where funds are being presently allocated.
- "Licence Raj" runs all Higher & Technical Education in India. Let us Bench-Mark with USA, Germany and Japan, the three largest economies of the World account for nearly 50% of the world's GDP. Do their governments exert similar controls as we have in India? Can we learn from them? There is fierce competition between the institutions in these countries for excellence!
- China has about 900 Universities, while we in India have 372 Universities. Japan has 4000!
- In India, the fees of the courses, pay-scales to the teachers, appointment of the head of the Institution and the syllabus, are decided by the 58 or more Central and State-Government Boards of Education. Will this create innovation, excellence and world class students?
- The Coaching Business is getting bigger than the Education Business, entrance examinations for the IIT's, IIM's and a few prestigious management schools attract about 600,000 applications (who spend nearly Rs.2.00 lac each for pre-coaching, amounting to Rs.12,000 crores per year, for 6000 seats. These institutions spend hardly Rs.800 to Rs.1,100 crores per year, as their teaching budgets!
- While 75% to 85% the youth of the developed and developing world learn a skill or competence or trade between the ages of 14 to 35, by Vocational Education & training , in India it is hardly covers 3% to 5% of the population!
- India has about 5000 ITI's (Ministry of Labour) and about 7000 Vocational schools (Ministry of HRD), while China has about 500,000 senior secondary vocational schools !
- India has 300 million able bodied between the ages of 18 to 50, but they have no skill sets and therefore not employable! Employers in India are facing a huge shortage of skilled manpower. Wages and salaries in India, of skilled manpower are going up too fast. India will not be able to take advantage of the demographic profile of its population, if the youth do not receive relevant and quality Education & Training.
- We have not seen any co-ordination between the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of HRD as far as VET planning on a National level, is concerned
- We in India have NOT still appreciated the fact that, world wide, Education is 5 times or 500% bigger than I.T. or software!
- India can become an Educational Hub for the world and earn US$ 100 billion per year, after 10 to 20 years! We need to start now, but remove "Licence Raj" first, as was done for business in 1991! India has 7,700 foreign students while Australia has 513,000 foreign students!
- Because of the "Licence Raj" in Higher and Technical Education , it is estimated that nearly 70,000 to 90,000 students leave India every year for studying abroad. At any given time these 320,000 students cost the country a foreign exchange out flow of nearly US$9 billion per year or nearly Rs. 40,000 crores per year, enough to build 40 IIM's or 20 IIT's per year.
- The present problem of reservation will not solve the needs and aspirations of the youth. India needs a larger number of educational Institutions, seats and higher quality in the area of Higher & Technical education. Rationing, quotas and reservation can never address the actual situation. The Central and State governments are strapped for funds even for Primary and Secondary education. The solution lies in complete decontrol of all forms of Higher & Technical education; the same way as business was delicensed in1991!
If INDIA has to become a Knowledge Economy we need to do the following:
- Aim for 95% to 100% Literacy in the next 10 years
- Decontrol and involve the management of all primary schools to the local bodies such as Panchayats, Village Groups, Municipalities and local Citizen Groups. Allow the community to manage.
- Consider the use and issue of "Education Coupons" for school children, so that they can choose the schools of their choice and funding from the government, which would have been dispersed for the funding of Government run schools in rural and urban India, should be paid out. See www.ccsindia.org
- Scrap "Licence Raj" in Higher & Technical Education, after and including class 11th, to allow innovation, creativity and excellence in Education. See www.epsfi.org
- Ensure that 80% to 90% of the population in the age group of 14 years to 50 years goes in for some sort of relevant Vocational Education & Training. See www.wakeupcall.org
- Allow starting of Enterprise Skills Education , ESD, from Class 5th to the 12th. This will teach the youth about how the real world works. Only 100 hours per year required. Nearly 60% of the workforce in India is self-employed.
- Start Prevocational classes from Class 8th. Have Vocational Counsellors in all Higher Seconadary Schools. Upgrade all Higher Seconadry Schools for Vocational Education & Training.
- Have a dynamic interaction between all stake holders, Academia-Industry-Business-R&D-Chambers of Commerce-Student bodies-Parents organizations-Civil society and NGO's. Chambers of Commerce, who represents the employers and business, must lead from the front.
- Allow private finance and participation in all sectors of education, till we reach the goals as mentioned under item 8 in section one above.
- Allow tax breaks and incentives for private and NRI funding, for the next 20 years or till we achieve bench marks as mentioned under item 8 in section one above.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The price of reservation
P. V. Indiresan
For every transaction, there has to be entries on both sides of the ledger. A price has to be paid for the gains made by reservation. What is the price the beneficiaries of reservation pay? One price they have paid is lowered quality of education in state-run schools, inferior opportunities to learn; in consequence, endemic poverty too. Is that price worth paying, wonders P. V. INDIRESAN.
WILL QUOTA affect quality? - M. Govarthan
Usually, media memory is short. Most stories are forgotten at the end of the day; few last a week. Unusually, interest in the reservation controversy has not died down even after two months. Evidently, this controversy touches a raw nerve; people cannot get over their hurt easily.
Considering the degree of interest in the topic, there is surprisingly few hard facts known about the issue. IITs have had reservation for students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes for over 30 years. There is no public information of how the beneficiaries have fared, or how well they have performed in the profession compared to regular students, or compared to SC/ST students from other less prestigious colleges.
Tamil Nadu experience
Tamil Nadu has the longest experience with reservation. With almost 80 per cent admissions and posts reserved, it has the most extensive application of that device. The Tamil Nadu experience can be described both as a success and as a failure. It is a success because backward castes have wrested the leadership - both in the academic and administrative spheres - apart from acquiring total command of the political space. Not only have the backward castes taken command, they have also made Tamil Nadu one of the most successful States.
Reservation in Tamil Nadu can also be declared as a failure on two counts: Even after three-quarters of a century, the backward castes are unwilling to compete openly. There are third, even fourth generation beneficiaries of reservation who are unable to get over their dependence on the handicaps reservation provides for them. It appears, reservation is a crutch, not a remedy.
The success of backward castes in Tamil Nadu appears to be partly due to emigration of upper castes: There are few Brahmins, Mudaliars, Naidus, Pillais or Chettiars to contend with; quite a few have migrated out of the State. There is no analysis how far the loss of so much human capital has hurt (or helped) the State.
Yet, it would be incorrect to conclude that backward castes can never stand up to competition. Once again, we have no hard data to rely on. However, anecdotal evidence points to the view that competent persons among the backward castes never flaunt their caste badge; they want to be known and respected for what they achieve - they stand tall. On the other hand, weaker but ambitious persons make their caste a fetish. They make noise louder and frequently; they get noticed more often.
Consider the visibility of capable students in the job market. They know what they want. They get selected promptly and vanish from the scene after no more than one or two job interviews. The least competitive ones are unsure of where they can succeed. They try again and again only to be rejected. They are noticeable everywhere. Particularly when they wear the caste badge, they will be shortlisted even when not well qualified.
Fooled by noise
With competent students appearing but few times, the less competent ones appearing frequently, the latter appear to be far larger in numbers than they actually are. Logically, the proportion of competent backward castes must be several times higher than what they appear to be in selection committees. That is like the case of a farmer who ruefully remarked after promising to supply a thousand frogs "the noise sure fooled me!"
There is yet another reason why backward students under-perform. As a natural corollary of the Reservation Principle, teaching posts have been reserved on caste basis. That is a cardinal error. What poor students need most are the best teachers available, not the least qualified. Dr Sowell, a distinguished professor from Stanford, was once asked on his visit to Madras (as it was then) whether he would prefer Black teachers to teach Black students (Prof Sowell is Black.) His answer was, "I do not care whether the teacher is White, Black or Blue; I want the best!"
Quality teaching, the key
Unfortunately, this basic principle has been discarded by our policymakers, who have grossly under-estimated the importance of teaching quality. In the process, they have run down state-run schools. In the past fifty years, the population of Chennai has increased almost ten times. Yet, many schools run by the City Corporation have been closed for "want of students". In truth, it cannot be that the students, but the quality of teachers selected that was found wanting.
It is a recorded fact that discipline among school teachers has come down. Across the country, half the time teachers are not attending to class work at all. It is a fact that most students in Delhi's Corporation schools cannot do simple arithmetic - multiply two-digit numbers - even after five years of education. Yet, as one NIIT experiment has shown, given a chance, they can pick up computer skills on their own.
In the prevailing ethos of reservation, a person can get the benefits of reservation without making any payment in return. That contravenes a natural law that is colloquially described as "there is no free lunch". In engineering, such systems are known as "perpetual-motion" machines, machines that run forever without any input. For every transaction, there has to be entries on both sides of the ledger. A price has to be paid for the gains made by reservation. There is no escape from that law. Then, what is the price the beneficiaries of reservation pay for the benefit they get? One price they have paid is lowered quality of education in state-run schools, inferior opportunities to learn; in consequence, endemic poverty too. Is that price worth paying?
As one correspondent has pointed out, reservation is like declaring a boundary scored in a cricket game as a six if hit by a backward caste player. Such artificial boost appears beneficial. It may not be. As one SC student remarked: "I won a degree in the IIT but lost my self-image." How many students would have done better with their lives if they had been exposed to what they can master, instead of being subjected to a difficult drill for which they were not trained, we do not know.
How far has the Reservation Policy has helped the poor, has reduced the rich-poor gap? The average family income of SC students in IIM Ahmedabad is twice that of the others. Is that an exception, or is it true of other institutions too? That is the problem: We have no data on which to base reasoned decisions. Our political masters are unwilling to generate much needed information on this issue, nor or they willing to consider any alternative. At the same time, they have acquired the power to declare as constitutionally illegal any institution that operates on a caste-free basis.
Friend or foe?
Is everyone who promotes reservation a friend of the backward castes? Is everyone who questions reservation at university level an enemy of backward castes?
Who hurts backward castes more: Those who deny good school education or those who want well-run schools?
A proposal to identify and give special education to talented backward caste students has been before the government for over 25 years, and still finds no support. Strange are the ways of our democracy, of government of some people, by some people for themselves.
(The author is a former Director of IIT Madras. Response may be sent to: email@example.com)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
May 7, 2006
Dear Dr Manmohan Singh-ji,
This pertains to a special project, which I had conceived when I was working as Culture and Tourism Minister. The project, I thought, would have enlarged the dimensions of tourism, provided new insight into the origin of our civilisation, and attracted a number of scholars and
archaeologists to study the unexplored layers of our past. Unfortunately, it has since been given up.
Through this letter, I am approaching you with the request to intervene and ensure that the project is viewed in the right perspective and revived. I give below a brief backdrop of the project and the course that it intended to follow.
From the point of view of culture, the project was named as "A search For Lost Cities, A Lost Civilisation and A Lost River", and from the tourism point of view it was titled, "Travels Around Lost Cities, A Lost Civilisation and a Lost River". The river was Sarasvati and the civilisation was the one known as Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati.
There were five major objectives that the project sought to achieve:
1) To undertake extensive excavations of the Harappan settlements in the basin of the now dried-up Sarasvati, and build archaeological museums at the sites.
2) Set up small tourist-centres nearby.
3) Establish documentation-cum-multidisciplinary research units with attached pavilions, showing 5,000 years of Indian civilisation through large panel-photographs, 3-D models etc.
4) Make the newly created complex attractive for residents of the neighbouring towns and villages.
5) Open at each of the centres, a small window to the visitors.
The significance lay in the attempt to provide clear answers to some crucial questions, which I will answer one by one:
*Was there an Aryan invasion?*
It has been propagated by Western scholars and their Indian disciples that between 1,500 to 1,000 BC, there was an invasion of India by light-skinned nomadic tribes, the Aryans, which gave birth to the Vedic civilisation of India. But this hypothesis has no legs to stand upon.
The study of Colin Renfrew, a noted archaeologist at Cambridge University, not only debunks the theory propounded by Mortimer Wheeler but also points at the similarities between the Aryan Vedic civilisation and the Harappan one. Nor can the theory of invasion/migration provide answers to pertinent questions like: How come the 'Aryans', who showed strong attachment to lands, did not carry with them the memories of their previous homeland and nurse no nostalgia about their past? Is it not clear that the Rig-Vedic expressions like 'sabha', 'samiti', 'samrat', 'ranjan', 'rajaka', which indicate the existence of organised assemblies and rulers of different ranks, are relevant not to the nomadic invaders, but to the advanced urban society of the Vedic Aryans who were indigenous inhabitants of Harappan settlements? Was not the evolution of chariot more likely in the flat lands of North India rather than in the uneven terrain of the Central Asia?
The last nail in the coffin of the invasion/migration theory has been hammered in by the recent genetic studies, conducted by scientists in Calcutta with foreign scientists. They analysed the Y-Chromosomes of 936 men and 77 castes, and referred to the work of the international
research teams that found that the earliest modern human arrived in India from Africa, trudging along the Indian Ocean coast about 60,000 years ago. They concluded:
"Our findings suggest that most modern Indians have genetic affinities to the
earlier settlers and subsequent migrants and not to central Asians or 'Aryans',
as they are called".
*Nature of Civilisation*
When, in 1922, the Harappan civilisation was discovered, only two major settlements — Mohenjo-daro and Harappa — had been excavated and that too partially. On this basis, views were formulated about the origin of these advanced urban civilisations. It was given out that its roots lay in Mesopotamia. Subsequent excavations of more Harappan sites have shown
that these views and assertions were made without adequate evidence.
John Reader, a noted scholar of anthropology and geography, has pointed out that emergence of cities and civilisations in six widely separated places around the world — Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, China, Central America and Peru — was spontaneous and none resulted from contact with one another.
Excavations carried out by a French team, headed by Jean-Francois Jarrige, during the last 15 years, at Mehrgarh, Pakistan, have pin-pointed the beginnings of civilisation in India and shown that Indus-Sarasvati civilisation had no moorings in Mesopotamia or any civilisation outside India.
It has been rightly observed: "The people in Mehrgarh tradition are the people of India today". There are similarities between the social and religious practices of the Harappan people and the people of present-day India. For example, the spiralled bangles of the type found around the
figurine of the Harappan dancing girl can still be seen on the arms of women in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc.
Again, as was the case with Harappan women, 'sindoor' is applied by married women of Hindu families. Some other common features of the two periods are: the practice of worshipping trees, putting of Svastika symbol at the entrance of the houses etc.
*Did Sarasvati exist?*
There is ample evidence that supports the view that river Sarasvati once existed.
Literary: The Rig Veda mentions the Sarasvati about 50 times, describing it as "the best mother, the best river, the best goddess". The famous Nadi-stuti hymn mentions a set of rivers, including Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati and Sutudori (Sutlej) and places Sarasvati between Yamuna and
Sutlej. Its origin is indicated in the hymn that says: "Purest among all rivers and vibrant, the Sarasvati moves on from the mountains to the ocean, manifesting immense riches of the world…" She is also called the seventh "Indus Mother". Ancient literature also talks of when Sarasvati began to decline. The Mahabharata, the Aitareya and the Satapatha Brahamana refer to its disappearance in the desert.
Archaeological: In 1872, C.F. Oldham and R.D. Oldham undertook a detailed survey of the area where the Sarasvati and its tributaries were said to be flowing in earlier times. They concluded that it was once fed by the Sutlej and the Yamuna, and that it disappeared after the westward
movement of the former and eastward movement of the latter.
Geological: A group of scientists led by V.M.K. Puri and B.C. Verma, made a detailed study of the areas from which Sarasvati could have originated. They observed: "This river was in existence during the upper Pleistocene period as it was fed by glaciers that had descended to much
lower limits in Garhwal Himalaya than the present day level due to the influence of Pleistocene Ice Age."
Hydrological: After the Pokhran nuclear explosion on May 11, 1998, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre conducted tests to assess the impact of the explosions on the quality of water in the area around. These tests, interalia, revealed that the water in the area was potable, about 8,000 to 14,000 years old, came from the Himalayan glaciers and was being slowly recharged through acquifers from somewhere in the north. Separately, the Central Ground Water Commission dug a number of wells on and along the dry bed. Out of 24 wells dug, 23 yielded potable water.
If all that I have said is viewed in entirety, this is the picture that will emerge: the period 6,500-3,100 BC saw the growth of pre-Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation, corresponding broadly to the times when the Rig Veda was composed; that during the period 3,100 to 1,900 BC, the Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation prevailed and these were the times when the hymns of four Vedas were composed; and that 1,900 to 1,000 BC was the time of the late Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation which saw the decline and ultimate disappearance of the
surface water of the Sarasvati, forcing the people to move eastward towards the Gangetic plain.
While the puzzles of archaeology and ancient Indian history cannot be resolved with certainty, particularly with regard to Harappa where the script has not so far been deciphered, it could be stated with a fair degree of accuracy that the Harappan/Indus-Sarasvati civilisation was born and brought up on the soil of India and its people and Vedic people were one and the same.
A lot of additional work needs to be done to unravel a number of features of one of the most significant civilisations of the ancient world. Hundreds of sites in the basin of now the submerged Sarasvati need to be excavated. It was this need that the special project intended to meet.
This would also be of huge benefit to the tourism sector. I request you to recommence the special project. I am confident that the project, if implemented in the spirit it was conceived, would show new facets of India's past, new initiatives of her present and new visions for her
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Less than 9% of China's citizens have regular access to the Internet. There is one computer in China for every 20 people. There is one home computer in China for every 50 people. Less than 1% of China's population can reach the Internet via a mobile phone.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
In my first job out of business school with Hindustan Lever, as Area Sales Manager I had a team of over 20 unionized salesmen. I ran a Voluntary Retirement Scheme in my first year and then again in my third year by which time we were down to half the original team size. Yet we introduced new brands in the market, grew our sales and in general did well as a team.
In my third year I took over a small new business of hot beverage vending for Lipton (at that time a division of HLL). The business was small but growing rapidly as we expanded our city coverage. In Sales, Distribution and Service we had about 50 people. Of this the number of direct Hindustan Lever employees was 2. The rest were all outsourced, contract or distributor's employees.
I then moved to Infosys in the US and over my 11 years there, hired scores of employees onto the company's US payrolls. I also had to let go of some people for performance or other reasons. At all times, I was acutely aware that I myself was an 'At Will' employee. I could be fired with two week's wages without giving a reason. As long as the reason was not discriminatory (race, sex, religion etc.) I could not bring legal action upon the company.
My experience with the vastly different labour environment in both India and the US has driven home a very important lesson - a business exists to make money for its investors, not to provide employment. And that is, paradoxically, the best way to generate employment.
Let's take a look at how India's labour laws distort the business environment and harm employment and employees:
1. It discourages capital investment - particularly in service oriented industries. Investing capital means taking risks. Market risk - the risk that the business may not succeed - is a risk that 'comes with the territory'. In most countries, investors know that if their business fails in the market, they close down the business, sell off the assets at knocked-down prices, book the loss and take the remaining capital to some other investment opportunity. However, in India, failure, or a downturn, in the market also means that you are still saddled with the payroll costs because you can't restructure or layoff anybody. You can't exit the business because employees will lose jobs. That's something investors don't have to deal with in most countries. You look at so many rusting factories in every major city in the country where the factory owner has not been able to layoff employees even when the networth of the company has gone down to zero, and you wonder - what a colossal waste of assets. You also wonder - what do future investors think when they see these rust-buckets? More likely than not it's - 'That could be my investment 10 years from now.'
2. It provides no incentive for raising productivity through automation. Look at all the government offices or offices that have unionized staff like banks. To the last one, they opposed computerization. Why? because it could do the job faster and so it would reduce the number of jobs.
Yes it will and that is a good thing. Doing more work with fewer people raises productivity. Productivity raises incomes. The developed world's prosperity is entirely linked to higher productivity. Also higher productivity creates the surplus (or the profit) that can be invested to create more jobs.
3. If you want to produce a quality product or service it needs carrots AND sticks. With an employee who is not performing, you train, you mentor, you put them on Performance Improvement Plans. But in the end, the employee needs to know that if his performance does not improve he can lose his job. Without this freedom for businesses to manage for performance, it may be possible to compete against companies who are similarly hampered, but it is a clear disadvantage in the global market.
4. It pushes employment generation into the informal sector. In my second stint at Levers I would have loved to hire people directly into the company instead of outsourcing critical functions like Sales. With the Levers brand name as an employer we would have got great talent which would have been better for the company. However, Levers would not do that for a new business that could have failed leaving them with employees they wouldn't know what to do with. So all of the hiring was done by outsourced contract firms. Did these employees get the PF and benefits they would have got at Levers? I doubt that very much. I don't think these contract firms even paid any taxes since they were probably classified as Small Scale.
In summary, the current labour laws in India distort the business environment to where it reduces employment generation by discouraging investment, reduces income growth by discouraging productivity increases, reduces quality by taking away the freedom to manage for performance and pushes employment generation into the informal sector.
Whenever I bring this up with people in industry in India, I am given many reasons why this is not a problem. Someone says 'Only 20% of my workforce is unionized, I just work around them'. Another one will say 'If you really want to fire an employee for performance, it can be done.' But most of all the reason I get is 'But the economy is doing so well why do we need to think about redundancies and labour flexibility?' On the contrary, it is because the economy is doing so well that this is the right time for labour reform.
I believe this is the most important reform that government must now address. However, this is also the most difficult. Dismantling industrial licensing was like a walk in the park compared to this. With the government dependent upon the CPI(M) to stay in power makes it almost impossible to do major reforms. But major one-shot reforms aren't the right answer anyway. There should be a 10 year road map on labour reform. But starting now. Let's begin the discussion.
Monday, May 1, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Hyderabad engineer kidnapped by Taliban
Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said that Suryanarayana was working for the Bahraini company 'Al Mayyad'
which is into telecom and construction business in Afghanistan.
He said that the Government is in touch with the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan and the Bahraini company.
Suryanarayana was abducted on Friday evening while traveling from Kalat, the capital of Zabul, to Ghazni.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the abduction, but is yet to make its demands known.The kidnapping of Suryanarayana is the third incident in the last four months wherein an Indian has been targeted in Afghanistan.
The Taliban abducted Maniappan R Kutty, a Border Road Organization jawan and engaged in building of Zaranj-Delaram highway, four months ago. Three days after Kutty's kidnapping, his body was found in Kandahar province.
In February this year, Indian engineer Bharath Kunmar, working with a Turkish firm, was killed in a bomb blast in Farah province.
Indian doctors working in various hospitals in Afghanistan have also received threats from the Taliban, ousted from power in 2002.
New Delhi has taken up the issue of security of all Indians working in Afghanistan with Kabul at the highest level. The matter was also discussed when Afghan President Hamid Karzai when he visited Delhi earlier this month.
Narayana Murthy's views on staying late in the office
It's half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on... PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing... and who's at work? Most of them???
Take a closer look... All or most specimens are 20-something male species of the human race... Look closer... again all or most of them are bachelors... and why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
Let's ask one of them... Here's what he says... "What's there 2 do after going home... here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee.. thats is why I am working late... importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!
This is the scene in most research centres and software companies and other off-shore offices. Bachelors "time-passing" during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they've nothing else to do...
Now what r the consequences... read on... "Working"(for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture. With bosses more than eager to provide support to those "working" late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback,(oh, he's a hard worker... goes home only to change..!!).They aren't helping things too... To hell with bosses who don't understand the difference between "sitting" late and "working" late!!!
Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours. So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family... office is no longer a priority, family is... and that's when the problem starts... becoz u start having commitments at home too.
For your boss, the earlier "hardworking" guy suddenly seems to become a "early leaver" even if u leave an hour after regulartime... after doing the same amount of work. People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labeled
Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays... though) leave on time are labeled as "not up to it". All the while, the
bachelors pat their own backs and carry on "working" not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they wuld have to regret at one point of time .
*So what's the moral of the story?? *
* Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!! *
- Never put in extra time " *unless really needed
- Don't stay back un-necessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your
colleagues. There are hundred other things to do in the evening..
- Learn music...
- Learn a foreign language...
- Try a sport... TT, cricket.........
- Importantly Get a girl friend or gal friend, take him/her around town...
And for heaven's sake net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.
Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad:
*"Life's calling,where are you??"*
Please pass on this message to all those colleagues And please do it before leaving time, don't stay back till midnight to
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Saturday, April 22, 2006
The system called Merlin's Magic Castle is being used at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy. Amicia Elliott and Alexei Czeskis developed this idea and their idea won $8,000 in an entrepreneurial competition.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Interesting things to note.... now Islam in space, expecting celestial objects to follow Islamic Cosmic Rules.
Malaysian Govt. is spending money to send few Jihadis .... and want the satellite to follow some rules.....
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Friday, April 7, 2006
There is a saying in Telugu "Puli ni choosi Nakka vaathalu pettukundi" meaning, A fox got itself scars to become a Tiger. In other words, mimicking a Tiger doesn't make a Fox a Tiger.
That is what has happened today with me. In last few days there was a thread of mails going around in our center/practice, that today we will observe "Ethnic Dress Day". A self styled club was formed, names ranging from Hungama to eternity were suggested, and people were 'energetic'.
As usual, today I went to a meeting at a different location, in formal cloths (Friday dressing, of course) and then went back all the way to my home, crossing over my office, to change into ethnic cloths.
At home front, my wife was surprised to see me take out my old "marriage" day cloths, get them repressed, try them out etc and promptly commented, "Oh! Getting married again. Good riddance".
Well, landed up in office, when my plight started. Security personnel, administrative helpers etc started to giggle, as I walked toward office, after parking my vehicle. Our Telephone operator wished me with a tinge of smile than usual monastic way.
I can never forget the look on our SBU Chief's face, who was talking on his mobile, at his favorite smoking spot. (A kind of amused, bewilderment)
Upon entering our work floor, to my astonishment, I was the only one, in Ethic cloths. Rest all were in usual Friday dress and I was the only one who was "overly Ethnically dressed".
Imagine a near-quintal fellow like me dressed in White laalchi and silk "pancha" worn in traditional way (tucking in back, after taking the cloth between the legs)
Huh.. so much for the Tigers…. Wonder what happened to those "energetic" types, who are always in the forefront, even for a silly thing like saying a hello to boss??
Thursday, April 6, 2006
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
The Indian Financial year and Telugu New Year nearly coincided, so could not stop thinking that way, especially when my balance sheet showed me to be having a net worth of Rs. 56.80/-. (Of course, way better than last few years YoY).
Decided to do something to make a good buck and started my Web 2.0 Company, which will work on ALE (Ajax Linking and Embedding).
Name of the company is kuapr.com, synonym for pauper.com, but is it Web 2.0, so needs to end with an “r”. (Incidentally, kuapr is acronym for KUrnool Anil PRasad.) Now am waiting for the cash flow… :-)
Everyone's cashing in on it already, why shouldn’t I? (And you should try it too.) You can be the next Flickr, MySpace, Craigslist, YouTube, or del.icio.us or kuapr
Here's how it is done, in simple and easy steps*:
1. Dream up a Web 2.0 product/service
2. Give it a cool name
3. Add a catchy catchphrase [or a tacky tagline, whichever makes you sound cooler]
4. Sell your company to Yahoo!
[*Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.]
Friday, March 31, 2006
From the obvious supply chain, warehouse management, to disaster recovery, then it was road show..
Now, guess what.. it is a manhole… what next..
Pasco, bitcorn, and KDDI Network&Solutions announced that they will together develop a so-called Intelligent Manhole System. RFID tags will be embedded in manhole covers in order to support critical tasks in a disaster situation.
The tagged manhole covers are for example used to provide information about things buried underground like sewer pipes. Since the sytem is linked to a local government's GIS system, rescue workers can use a handheld RFID reader (possibly bluetooth-enabled) and mobile phones/PDAs to display the data stored in the tags as well as the relevant information from the GIS system (e.g., photo maps, scheme drawings of a city's lifeline infrastructure). Such an information system may help repair damaged lifeline infrastructure quicker.
btw, here's a photo collection of Japanese manhole covers.