Showing posts from April, 2010

Universe and barbs!

Universe and barbs!
[ My comments are at the end] Apr 30, 2010 10:45 AM in Basic Science | 2 commentsStar physicists trade barbs over cosmological modelBy John Matson [Photo][Photo][Photo][Photo]A tony social club in midtown Manhattan is not the place one might expect to find a verbal sparring match between famous physicists. But that was the case April 23 at the Harmonie Club, whenAlan Guth and David Gross had a feisty off-the-cuff debate about Guth's model for the dawn of the universe. Perhaps in keeping with their genteel surroundings, the two kept their jabs mostly playful, but a few may have stung nonetheless.

The exchange took place at a physics symposium hosted by the City College of New York (CCNY) at which both Guth and Gross gave lectures. Guth, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology renowned for his role in developing the concept of cosmological inflation in the early 1980s, had just given brief remarks introducing some of the concepts he would co…

Why PPP does not take off on Indian Railways!

Risk management and mitigation is the key.
India has quite well advanced in designing sound PPP models. One need not re-invent.
The actual hurdle is mental attitude. For some reason our finance and audit wings as well as many executives suffer from a complex; private party should not be allowed to get benefit from working for railway. Excessive fear that we may give away some undue benefit to the private party is at the back of our minds holding us back.
It was more than 3 decades ago some dynamic officers in Board tried hard to create a professional costing expertise within railways to make a proper planning and execution of works and manufacturing of rolling stock. But it died after a two year effort.
Any new project of railway construction is not a rocket science -- it is like any other civil engineering project. SO long as we do not have to do under traffic block conditions, the risks can be estimated and mitigated during construction phase.
But even here, our planning and execution…

Indian Railways and India!

Indian Railways suffer from one basic deficiency. Insecure ministers and more insecure bureaucracy formed by technical branches and non-technical personnel, with technical ones acting more bureaucratically and non-technical persons acting to be more technical on technical issues, each branch acting in self-interest not related to Indian Railways as a whole, and doing their best to pull each other down.
This show is watched with amusement by the rest of the Ministries in Delhi manned masters of all they see in India who also control the cadre of Indian Railway higher management through the Establishment Officer processing the case for Appointments Committee. There is scant respect for us over there. The stubbornness typical of insecure child is what is commented upon.
The Planning Commission's attitude to railways is typically summarised in comments of Montek Singh, who said if there is one ministry he dare not advise, it happened to be railways. They are simply stubborn, is their …

Fool-proof UID? I am concerned.

The other day Sri Nilekani assured the press that UID will be fool-proof while signing an MOU with AP government agencies for getting the work done on a pilot project basis.
The proven performance of government in issuing iris based ration cards, simple photograph based voter cards gives reasons for serious concern and the confidence of Sri Nilakani may be unwarranted. Million plus bogus ration cards cry out.
Even a genuine person with UID will get into identity crisis because multiple agencies are involved the way Nilekani is signing MOU s and it will be a nightmarish situation with poor accountabily and complex paper trail and practically absent audit trail, compromising data integrity quite seriously.
Finally undesired elements will manage the cover of UID properly to further complicate the situation because of poor loosely administered process involving multiple disparate contract based data collection and entry.
Ultimately UID may become more an abused process to authenticate illegal…

Our Generation has failed the nation!

For a nation to hold on its own with honour:
Three ingredients are needed..funds, honesty and integrity. in the reverse order. Mere funds lacking the other two ingredients produce only black money economy, arms trade and Naxalism or maoism in tribal areas, and organised mafia gangs in urban areas, with full secret political support too.Poor continue to live as in the Moghul period suffering both the Government, contractors and the Maoists, choosing the lesser evil, as the circumstances dictate.Humans survive based on the intrinsic Darwin principle adopting to the environmental forces which they may like or dislike.A few sensitive intellectuals let out hot air but cannot do much. Like slavish Jews under Egyptians dying while building pyramids , there were intellectuals then also amongst them consoling them, should we look for a Moses to lead the poor out of their plight? Or like Rang De Basanti heros groups of youngsters have to put an end a to a few in power, only to be tagged as terr…

India and ACD technology- insulting ridicule to technology development!

B. Rajaram, FIE., FNAE Fmr. MD Konkan Railway and Inventor of ACD technology.
Herndon, VA 20170 USA.
Dt 5th April 2010
Dear Hon'ble Minster of Railways Ms Mamata Banerjee,

Didi, you are a very rare occurrence in political space because of your simplicity and honesty to truly serve the poor. These qualities endear you to all honest and hard working public servants and I deeply respected you with whom I could deal frankly and never hesitated to say the truth even if it is not liked.
But for your courage and confidence in my work, the railways ACD net work invention of world class, would have been killed at the inception itself.
Indian Railway never produced a world class technology since independence. We spend so much of funds on RDSO, but we have nothing innovative of world class to export from RDSO or even to be used on Indian Railways. We just import. RDSO is used to assist to import. These are facts which you can easily verify.
For the first time we have successfully develope…