Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Learning to live if you are 50+

*Dr Aloysius LOH:*
*An interesting article.*

Life can begin at 60, it is all in your hands! Many people feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, after 60 years of age, owing to the diminishing importance given to them and their opinions. But, it need not be so, if only we understand the basic principles of life and follow them scrupulously. Here are ten mantras to age gracefully and make life after retirement pleasant.

*1. Never say I am aged' :*
There are three ages, chronological, biological, and psychological. The first is calculated based on our date of birth; the second is determined by the health conditions; the third is how old we feel we are. While we don't have control over the first, we can take care of our health with good diet, exercise and a cheerful attitude. A positive attitude and optimistic thinking can reverse the third age.

*2. Health is wealth:*
If you really love your kith and kin, taking care of your health should be your priority. Thus, you will not be a burden to them. Have an annual health check-up and take the prescribed medicines regularly. Do take health insurance coverage.

*3. Money is important:*
Money is essential for meeting the basic necessities of life, keeping good health and earning family respect and security. Don't spend beyond your means even for your children. You have lived for them all through and it is time you enjoyed a harmonious life with your spouse. If your children are grateful and they take care of you, you are blessed. But, never take it for granted.

*4. Relaxation and recreation:*
The most relaxing and recreating forces are a healthy religious attitude, good sleep, music and laughter. Have faith in God, learn to sleep well, love good music and see the funny side of life.

*5. Time is precious:*
It is almost like holding a horses' reins. When they are in your hands, you can control them. Imagine that everyday you are born again. Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is ready cash - use it profitably. Live this moment; live it fully, now, in the present time.

*6. Change is the only permanent thing:* We should accept change - it is inevitable. The only way to make sense out of change is to join in the dance. Change has brought about many pleasant things. We should be happy that our children are blessed.

*7. Enlightened selfishness:*
All of us are basically selfish. Whatever we do, we expect something in return. We should definitely be grateful to those who stood by us. But, our focus should be on the internal satisfaction and the happiness we derive by doing good for others, without expecting anything in return. Perform a random act of kindness daily.

*8. Forget and forgive:*
Don't be bothered too much about others' mistakes. We are not spiritual enough to show our other cheek when we are slapped in one. But for the sake of our own health and happiness, let us forgive and forget them. Otherwise, we will be only increasing our blood pressure.

*9. Everything has a purpose:*
Take life as it comes. Accept yourself as you are and also accept others for what they are. Everybody is unique and is right in his own way.

*10. Overcome the fear of death:*
We all know that one day we have to leave this world. Still we are afraid of death. We think that our spouse and children will be unable to withstand our loss. But the truth is no one is going to die for you; they may be depressed for some time. Time heals everything and they will go on

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Kerala- the hub of green activities ??

Innovative, progressive and pioneering *Green / sustainability initiatives* from Kerala which are going to be models worth emulating for other states in India, if not for the whole world -

1. Kochi International Airport - World's first and only International Airport (India's third largest) running 100% on solar energy on a 27 MW solar power plant operating from Kerala, India

2. World's first and only Carbon-neutral village (all carbon-intense human activities are offset by suitable carbon reducing and low carbon footprint activities) is coming up at Meenangaadi village in Wayanad Kerala by 2020 with the active participation of the villagers and full support of the state government of Kerala

3. For the first time in the world, The newly introduced Kochi Metro Mass Rapid Transit System is turning to be truly green with 25% powered by solar energy having it's own Rainwater harvesting plant

4. To top it all and simultaneously working to reach the Prime Minister's goal of 100 GW solar energy generation by 2025 AD, floating solar panels and solar energy powered boats are also under experimentation.

5. And now India's first electric powered buses are being tested in the three major cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode with a noble intention of reducing the Carbon footprint of public transportation systems in the country, reducing CO2 emissions.

With the active support of the people and a caring political and administrative setup, in spite of it's many shortcomings, green energy initiatives are really progressive and has far-reaching positive consequences for an informed society.


Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Toyota Kirloskar gets ISO 21000 certification in Food Quality !!

Toyota Kirloskar Motors Ltd Bidadi near Bangalore India made great news by end of May 2018 when they announced that they had secured the ISO 21000 2005 certification for Food Quality and Safety Management System.

Naturally everyone would be interested in knowing what motivated Toyota to go for this challenging ISO certification in food processing ?

All of us know about the core competency theory as a harmonised combination of multiple resources and skills that distinguish a firm in the marketplace and becomes a foundation for establishing the company's competitiveness.(click here to know more). The core competency theory was proposed by late Prof C K Prahlad of the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan with Gary Hammel in 1990. For example, General Electric's core competence is in high technology electrical and mechanical parts, that of IBM is in the area of computation.

Core competency theory, Late Prof. C K Prahlad,
pic courtesy Bizztro ..
One of the propounders of the core competency theory, Prof. Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahlad studied Physics at Loyola Chennai ('60), went to IIM Ahmedabad for a Management degree and finished with a DBA from Harvard Business School in 1975. His initial stint of 4 years with Union Carbide in India was responsible for many of his path breaking thoughts in the Management field.

What we observe in Toyota is a deviation from the core competency of Toyota in automobile production. 

1. Toyota's core competence is in world-class automobile manufacturing. Why did they go for certifying their food preparation and safety management system which is a major deviation from their core competence area of automobile manufacturing ?

2.  Maintaining Food Quality and Safety Management system is a major task all by itself. Why did Toyota have to undertake this additional burden on itself when it is very clearly evident it is not going to give them any cost advantage or market advantage ?

As an answer to the above two questions, the only options available before us is to understand what constitutes lean in the first place.

1. Lean is all about improving value to the end customer, reducing wastes and in the end reducing costs to the manufacturer or service provider. Poor quality food reduces employee efficiency and working morale.

2. Lean is also very much concerned with having great concern for their employees, nurturing them, guiding, hand holding and enabling them to reach greater potential. Offering them great quality food is part of the game ..

3. There is great scope of learning for the rest of the world to from the much acclaimed Toyota Production System as to how they can reduce wastes in food processing from the procurement, preparation, processing to consumption stages. 

4. Toyota is very much concerned with continuous improvement or Kaizen, enabling better food processing systems in the future.

5. It will also be an eye opener for the rest of the major food processing companies of the world to learn how to manage food raw material suppliers and the raw materials supply chain. 

6. This is also likely to bring Toyota innovations and concepts like SMED, Poka yoke, Jidoka to the food manufacturing supply chain for the benefit of the global food processing industry.

There is thus great scope for the rest of the world to learn and benefit from the selfless Toyota experience of providing not only the best workplace and work environment for the employees, but also the best food preparation standards and environment as an additional bonus.
Naturally what we Indians are interested in knowing is  - whether ISO 21000 is special only to Toyota Kirloskar plant in Bidadi, Karnataka India or do all Toyota plants across the world have similar food quality certification standards as an extra step to perfection in Lean manufacturing and to show genuine concern for the employees of the organisation ?

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Work hours of Bengaloreans, metro GDP and Metro rail implementation..

Mumbai, Marine Drive, pic courtesy Conde Nast Traveler India.
An average Bangalore techie  or office goer works a minimum of 48 hours weekly or 180 hours a month, which is  2160 hours a year. An average Mumbaikar works about 3315 hours annually and is the highest in the world as per a UBS study (53% more than an average Bangalorean). Mumbai is followed by Hanoi, Mexico City, New Delhi and Bogota in Colombia.

Considering the commuting time in Bangalore, of approximately 80 hours a month or 960 hours annually, the total time a Bangalorean spends on official purpose is app 3120 hours a year. 

The majesty of Bengaluru, courtesy Quartz India
If the transport woes of Bangloreans are solved by MRTS, well maintained and wide roads, orderly law obeying public, Bangloreans could put almost 44% more time productively into work. 

Given the Metro GDP of Bangalore of $80 billion (PPP), the fourth highest in the country after Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, if the transportation woes of the technology and texrtile workers of Bangalore is solved partially, it could result in at least a 25% increase in Metro GDP to $100 billion surpassing Chennai.

This brings to the focus why we need early and quick metro rail connectivity in Bangalore, lagging for the past eight years .

George ..

Saturday, June 02, 2018

A visit to Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore ..

A great Economist, the world will remember ..
Prof. Samuel Paul, former Professor of the prestigious Harvard Business School, Economist from the World Bank and Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from 1970-78 founded the Public Affairs Centre in Bangalore in 1994.

Yesterday, the first of June 2018, the Operations faculty and students of semester 3 of Operations stream from Alliance University Bangalore, a strength of 12 members, visited this  popular NGO in Bangalore, India's first and only Carbon-neutral campus, the Public Affairs Centre, PAC on Jigani Bommasandra road.

It was a treat for everybody. After initial introductions, we were treated to a presentation where we came to know of all the activities of Public Affairs Centre Bangalore.

Public Affairs Centre is an NGO which is catering to the needs of the public in terms of undertstanding the impact of various public policies of the government and how it is impacting the end user, the public. They carry out studies for various state governments and international organisations too.

The pics from the PAC campus ..
The centre has an employee strength of 32. The most important point why we visited the centre was to see how PAC could implement and is carrying out the maintenance and running of India's first and only Carbon-neutral campus. In other words, all the Carbon producing activities in the centre are 100% offset by activities that do not emit carbon-dioxide. Click here to read about the world's first carbon-neutral village coming up in Meenangaadi, Kerala, India by the year 2020.

For example, the 9.9 KW solar panel on the rooftop of the main building takes care of all the energy usage in the building on weekdays. During weekends, they sell the energy generated to BESCOM, Karnataka Government's energy distribution agency and earn an average amount of Rs 7000 every month.

What struck us most was the green building which houses the administrative section of PAC. With natural illumination and excellent cross ventilation, it was very cool entering the building. We never felt the need of any fan or electric bulbs in the campus during day time.

The entry to PAC ..
The Jigani area has no organised piped water and no connection to Cauvery water. Since there is no organised govt water pipeline, borewells have been put up by all houses and commercial organisation around the area for meeting their water needs. This has resulted in lowering of the water table to about 600 ft. The campus has its own rainwater harvesting system which charges the water table for the whole area. Bunds have been built every 25 metres across the sloping contour of the land to allow the rainwater to seep naturally to the ground than runaway and lost for ever. It is hoped by the positive actions of the centre, the whole area will have a raised water table in the next four five years.

With an average rainfall of 86 cm during the two rainy months, ie. 60 days in a year, this area of 2 acres can collect theoretically a volume of 7 million litres of rainwater, ie. 7,000 cu metres. They have huge water collection tanks dug up in the campus. This water is used throughout the year for all toilet and gardening needs of the PAC. The PAC also has a very beautiful garden.

A proud inmate of PAC ..
The best natural way to gauge how environment friendly the campus is if you can see butterflies and birds in the campus. We were indeed surprised to find the nest of the red whiskered bulbul  inside the premises of PAC.

The wet waste/green waste in the campus is composted and used as manure for the vegetable garden, plants and shrubs inside the campus. The dry waste is collected and given to the corporation for proper disposal.

It was also a great surprise to find an independent weather station which monitors the temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, solar irradiance etc on the campus. This is part of a network of 20 such weather stations across Bangalore which gives weather prediction alongside the government agencies and remains as a private cross-checking mechanism of government data on the climate.

The Alliance U team with PAC staff ..
One of the interesting sights inside the campus was the more than 100 year old tree ecosystem in the campus and around which the administrative building is built. This tree ecosystem is actually 4 trees living together as one. The PAC authorities have taken great care not to cut or destroy this natural bonding of a hundred years between these four flowering trees and is an indication of how strong they care for the environment.

The 4 tree combined ecosystem in the PAC campus
After a brief nature-walk around the campus, we assembled back in the conference hall on the first floor at 4.15 PM. After the collection of feedback and a session of very useful, positive interactions, with promises and assurances of future collaborations and opportunities for internship on sustainability and carbon-neutral issues, we were ready to leave. Prof. Alluri proposed to the centre to take up up NET-ZERO concepts of sustainability as the future mission of the centre. The visit was very fruitful and we look forward to PAC authorities visiting our green campus in Anekal soon and take the collaboration forward.

The foresight of Prof. Samuel Paul almost 24 years back in setting up the Public Affairs Centre as an agency to fight for good governance, ensuring transparency and honesty in public transactions and acting as the middle man in ensuring effective use and disbursal of public resources, the contribution this centre can give to the Karnataka society and India in general in the coming years is going to be great.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

NASA GRACE mission and dwindling global freshwater reserves .

The 2002-2016 NASA and German Aerospace Center joint collaboration project, GRACE Mission (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) has found 34 regions around the world where an approximate amount of 32 billion tonnes of fresh water has moved out from the dry middle latitudes showing multiple areas of growing dryness while higher latitudes and tropical belt regions see an increase in fresh water reserves.

Copyright Bill Rankin
This shift as observed by the GRACE mission is not due to climate changes but human induced actions like massive blocking and redirecting of rivers and other actions (for eg. unplanned ground water exploitation).

Northern India and Northern China has seen massive drying of water storage systems over the past fifteen years of the study.. 

Copyright Bill Rankin
Has global population been playing an interesting role in this depletion ? The two pics show the distribution of population across the world, latitude wise and longitude wise (the world map is in the background).

About 88% of global population live in the northern hemisphere, with about half north of 27 deg N latitude and the other half south of this latitude. Similarly we find, more than 50% of the global population live between 60deg E and 120deg E longitude.

The fresh water availability problem will exacerbate especially in the Northern hemisphere and between 60 and 120deg E longitude, when global population from the present 7.6 billion grows to 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100 at approx. 83 million every year or 2,27,400 every day !!  (UN 2018 data, medium projections). 

Click here for the link .. 

Hope we are able to come up with a solution

George ..

Friday, May 18, 2018

Greatness of Indian civilization that has withstood the test of time ..

Civilizations and cultures have come and gone, disappeared, leaving very little for us to learn from them. Be it the Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Mesopotamian, none of them could live upto the values they propounded. All of them simply srumbled.. But only the great Indian civilization of millenia has been able to retain it's essence and meaning over thousands of years. What is the underlying flow of values that have guided Indian civilization and culture over the past eight to ten millenia ?

As Swami Vivekananda exhorts us, Indian culture is a living demonstration of the acceptance of and respect to other beliefs and traditions, and as Mahatma Gandhi says  of secularism, it is sarvadharma samabhavana .. 

To understand the real purpose of our life on planet Earth, as former US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy exhorts his countrymen, let us also ask the same question to ourself, let us not ask what our country can do to us, but what we can do to our country ? Our former President Dr Abdul Kalam asks us to identify and understand the purpose of our life on this planet !! 

How can we care for our brethren and our fellow brethren on planet earth and how can we help make it a more safer, healthier, peaceful and loving place to live ?

George .. 

Learning to live if you are 50+

*Dr Aloysius LOH:* *LIFE AFTER 50* *An interesting article.* Life can begin at 60, it is all in your hands! Many people feel unhappy, h...

My popular posts over the last month ..