Saturday, May 26, 2007

MGOCSM one day conference at MBC, 27 May 07.

Theme - Prepare to meet your God. - Amos 4:12

Date - 27 May 07

Venue - St Marys Chapel, MBC, Kuttikanam, Idukki, Kerala.

Timings - 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM

Inauguration : Rev. Fr Dr. V M Abraham, All India Gen. Secretary, MGOCSM.


Programme

Prayer Song - 10.30 AM - MBC MGOCSM choir

10.35 AM - Icebreakers - Introduction of members

11.00 AM - Welcome Speech - Dr. George Easaw, Professor, Head, Mech Engg Dept.

11.05 AM - MGOCSM Choir

11.15 AM - Bible Reading - Amos Chaper 4

11.20 AM - Leadership session - Leader Fr Dr. V M Abraham

12 noon - Group Discussion - Role of Spiritual movements in moulding student personality.

1 PM to 1.45 Pm Lunch recess

1.45 - 3 PM - Group Activities

3 PM - Presentation of group findings

3.30 PM - Send off to Dr E V Mathew, Principal MBC., Speeches by Fr Tiju Ipe Dean (students), Prof (Rtd.) Dr. George Eapen, Bursar, MGOCSM office bearers and Dr E V Mathew.

4.30 PM - Vote of Thanks - Ms Christina George..


End of Conference

Al students desirous of attending the conference are requested to contact the Conference Secretariat at 0924-931-9335

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Achummava ... great job .. !!

Demolition in full steam.. congrats Achummava ..

The past one week has been very momentous in Kerala history. Encroachments of govt land, belonging to the different departments, are being evacuated by the Revenue dept and police officials right through the state. It is very interesting news as this is the first time that any government is taking firm steps in the history of Kerala to take up demolitions and evacuation of encroachments in such a big scale.

Nobody expected the likes of Abad group, BCG group, Varkeys or Shenoys to bite the dust and be ridiculed and booed by the public watching the demolitions. It was an expression of pent up anger, frustration and public disillusionment at encroachment of govt / public land by the rich, powerful and the influential in Kerala society.

Every day the people are reading and watching with great interest and (glee) when the news of the demolitions coming up on TV and the print media.

It is publicly known fact that all these encroachments would not be possible without the active and tacit support of corrupt govt officials and politicians. It is a sad reflection of the erosion in societal values by these parasites of the society. While a faction of the ruling party is hell bent on demolitions, another faction, is trying to protect these wrongdoers by coming out with statements against the special party set out to remove encroachments and coming up with statements against the CM.

SCMS Kochi, near Kalamassery which today boasts of the best management school in the state, is sitting on sixty cents of land unlawfully encroached and reclaimed from the Periyar. The institute which was started as a parallel college in the seventies now boasts of huge infrastructure at two campuses and a third one coming up in Coimbatore. If the govt demolishes that site, it is going to send out the real govt intentions on the demolitions. Rivers of the land have been blocked and being filled up, water logged lands and fields are being filled in different parts of the state. Al this is being done by private parties to satisfy their greed. Many top real estate establishments will bite the dust in the coming days.

It appears the govt operation is on a massive scale with evictions being reported from many parts of the state. This may take several months. Finally the common man will be able to reclaim what is his common property, the land, hillocks, rivers , lakes and the natural beauty of Kerala.

If it is to this scale in Kerala, imagine the rest of India !! Chennai and Bangalore will be stinking and node deep in corruption !!

The traders in Kochi are on a day's strike as they want more time to demolish the constructions they have illegally built !!

What a bunch of jokers !!

george..

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ills of ragging ..

Ragging these days has acquired a demonised image due to the wrong interpretation of the word and the sadist nature of the people engaged in this cruel act. It has acquired an image causing severe emational and physical damage and fear to the victim and his family, leading many a time to suicides, attempted suicides and deserting the institution.

When I was a student, ragging had it's different dimensions but not such a cruel and sadist face. The form of ragging then was the informal introduction with the seniors, - harmless icebreakers, which was enjoyable. I even remember to this day how I was ragged in the College of Engg, Trivandrum by my seniors in 1981. During that time ragging was existing only in Professional colleges. These days we find ragging is very common even in arts and science colleges. Some of the higher classes in some prestigious schools in the country have some form of this inhuman way of introduction.

It is just the right time for the Supereme court of the country to interfere and put the onus on the Institution to take action and file FIR with the nearest police station in case of any incident of ragging in their institution, even if there is no written or oral communication of such an incident from the aggrieved party. The threat of culpable negligence likely to be charged against the Institution authorities against any inaction on their part, fearing maligning institute reputation, makes ragging a very severe offence.

The committee which was formed to suggest recommendations to this inhuman initiation procedure in educational institutions under the chairman ship of R K Raghavan, former head of CBI, makes ragging an offence under the Indian penal code and changing the Indian evidence act by shifting the burden of proof from the victim to the perpetrator , waiting for passage by Parliament, is evidence of the serousness the govt has given to this form of icebreakers between the seniors and the freshers in educational institutions.

Forming anti-ragging squads, anti-raging committees, mentoring cells for senior students in the institutions and monitoring cells at different levels of society is required to cleanse the Indian society of this evil - the harmless ice-breaker between seniors and freshers.

george..

Low-cost Airlines and aviation industry in India..

India has at present four private low cost airlines Air Deccan, Spicejet, Indigo and GoAir and Air India Express, from the Indian stable, which runs low cost flights also out of the coutry. Out of the total 32 million passengers who travelled by air last year, one third, almost 9.4 million travelled by low cost airlines. I do not know what is this proportion in other countries. The pioneers in low cost airlines is the United Airlines of US.

Air Deccan continues to be the leader notching almost 61 percent of this market. Air Deccan and it's founder Capt. Gopinath still seem to keep it's focus hard on catering to the economy class passengers or the middle class of the country and also the first-timers. Eventhough the Railways is giving them a good run for their money by reducing the first class fares in Railways, people seem to prefer air over rail considering the time factor. ( even then the railways is making huge profits with better passenger, freight and infrastructure management. Last year Railways profits of rs. 20,000 crores or US $ 4 billion is a historical first for any public utility in the world bringing laurels to the Indian Railways and it's key man-in-charge Lalu Prasad Yadav. We even had top business universities with their profs and students queueing up outside the Railway Bhavan in New Delhi to have an audience with Lalu)

Eventhough low cost airlines is doing well regarding numbers, it is not so rosy a picture regarding their bottomline. The private low cost airlines together made a loss of Rs. 320 crores last year, while the govt sector Indian made a profit of Rs 20 crores.

A shakeout is imminent in the low cost airlines market, even though new players from the South are waiting to enter the market very soon.

Recently the biggest aeroplane, the 880 passenger capacity A 380 was in New Delhi and Mumbai, courtesy Kingfisher Airlines. The aviation market is still upbeat about the potential of this sector of the economy, considering the pending orders worth hundrds of billions of dollars with Boeing and Airbus.

Rosy picture ahead for this sector..

george..

Thursday, May 17, 2007

GD Forum at MBC .. Smart city and Munnar..

The group discussion forum ( GD Forum) at MBC started functioning yesterday, Wednesday in MBC. We had two topics for discussion and eleven students participated.

The first topic Smart City - boon or bane, got the participants all echoing in one voice that the govt needs to interfere and set up some units with govt control so that the future of the park is assured. While some argued that it may not be possibl;e for the govt to enter into the IT area, it should at least exercise good control over the park and see that it does not die a natural death.

The park exists solely on the trust that the IT companies coming there will bring in outsourced jobs / new development projects to the park. In case they do not, the park will just die out.

Orthopaedic surgeons and psychiatrists etc will find good job in kochi given that smart city will stay. The psychological and social impact the software job is to bring to the Kerala society is a grave one and needs to be closely looked at by sociologists.

"Munnar evictions, the conflict of private interests and the state interests", was the other topic of discussion which generated much heat. While the majority were of the view that the buildings are on govt land and should be demolished outright without any questions asked, some were of the view that the buildings have already come up and damage had already been done. Let the govt sieze the buildings and ask KTDC or so to manage them. Else it will be a wasteful exercise, doing good for nobody. It is a fact that the builders have encroached on govt land, they deserve no mercy. In fact while writing this post, the Supreme court has refused to stay the demolition process on govt land.

It is not that the government is totally free of blame. It is govt lethargy, inaction, complicity and corruption which made them close an eye to all such unauthorised constructions earlier. Also the govt never had a concrete plan for Munnar's growth as a tourist destination. The govt has failed miserably in stopping this construction at the first place.

The govt has all along been harping on projecting Kerala as a tourist destination. Without the required infrastructure to stay in Munnar how can the govt plans materialise ? Is it ia sin on the part of the entrepreneurs to spend their own money and start the resorts to woo the tourists ? Most of the land documents have been transferred three or four times. The complicity of the builder in the encroachement process thus cannot be proved, in most of the cases the builder may be innocent...

As the CM has declared, it does not matter whether the cat is white or black as long as it catches mice.. (originally said by Deng Xiao Ping of China), the job is being accomplished neatly by the committee appointed for the purpose and govt land is being reclaimed ..

The claim by the former ruler of Munnar that her forefathers had leased the land to John Munroe around 1870s and was leased to the Kannan Devan group has been accepted by the govt of India and Kerala, adds a new straw to the whole issue.. The land which govt reclaims may actually go to the royal family, thousands of acres.

Let us wait and see.

george..

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Smart City .. for the greater Malayali good..

Last Sunday, the CM V S Achuthanandan and T-com authorities were in Trivandrum and the proposal for the Smart City project IT park was signed by the Chief Sec, Ms Lissie Jacob and the Chairman of T-com, Dubai.

At last after lot of noise and fight, the project is to be implemented with changes, minor or major for the benefit of the Malayali.

While the UDF proposes all such new projects, for common good, the LDF find all sort of plausible excuses to delay the implementation, often by violent means or strikes, hartals etc, and use it to their advantage by getting them implemeted during their rule.

The same thing happened regarding the World Bank loan which was a baby from the UDF, got thwarted and delayed and finally got implemented without any changes by the LDF. Actually they are stealing the glory due for UDF - basking in someone else's glory !!

It is very difficult to find any new and innovative projects from the LDF stable except for continuation from the UDF.

Whichever party implemets the reforms, it is no problem . The political parties and politicians need to understand that Kerala needs to reform and necessarily it will, else the people will throw them out. There is a limit to how long the people of Kerala can accomodate these parasites of the society.

The good aspect of Smart city is the development of associated software parks and the opening of new software development buildings by IT majors like Infosys, Wipro, TCS and so on in and around the Smart city area in Kochi. The necessary development of related infrastructure like good roads, bridges, transport facilities, schools, hospitals, hotels , a burden of the state will now be looked into more seriously. The growth in real estate in and around Kochi is simply mind boggling....

Everything is good for the middle class, but who cares for the poor man ??

Eventhough a late realisation that Malayalis, educated, can never be blue collar workers or technicians in their own land, (they will do anything and toil like hell outside the state) , software development will see the stop of the outflow tide of skilled and educated workforce at least for now.

The Smart city is a terrific oportunity and needs to be well handled. Trade Unions and work to rule agitations will drive away entrepreneurs from the state. We need to develop a culture of being proud of whatever job we do, not being satisfied with just Gulf money or hawala money. That is not a permanent phenomenon, just temporary.

Let us help build a properous Kerala, irrespective of affiliations and inclination, caste, colour or creed, where Malayalis can find employment within the state and need not go to far away places for earning their bread and butter. For example, Tamil nadu , whichever party comes to power it works for the betterment of the state and not fight over petty issues .. And see where it has reached now, it is at least ten times more industrialised than our state. The sad part is that most of the driving force is from Malayalis who have migrated.

Let the Smart city project be the forerunner of good tidings to come to Kerala and the average Malayali.

George Easaw

Friday, May 11, 2007

E-learning at MBC ..

E-learning is an interesting concept (also called distance learning by electronic means) as it enables asynchronous learning for different students at different places and at different times.

About a month back I started the first e-learning site for MBC at http://elearning.mbccet.org

It was at that time that I fell ill with slip disc and hence could not continue much to make the site richer. The site is still under development and it is hoped that very soon in the next two weeks, the site will cover a couple of subjects. One for the eighth sem comp science students, elective called, e-commerce and the other one for the fourth sem electronics and comm students titled, reliability and humanities.

he site www.mbccet.org will also be developed to reflect the present state of the college.

A free email for every student is also planned, in the mbccet.org domain. Since the site is launched on a linux server, it has got lot of features and free software available for the students. For example, the e-commerce package of open commerce and zencart will give the students terrific exposure to setting up an e-commerce site.

It is possible to launch individual homepages at the site like http://yourname.mbccet.org ( ie. we can start as many subdomains, unlimited.. for public use.)

The only point is presently the site is of 5 GB size which can be expanded.

The Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of MBC College and it's secretary Saju Elias sir has been very helpful in extending all financial help for the setting up of the site.

We are also planning to open a new domain www.mbccet.ac.in which will truly reflect the academic nature of the institution.

george

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Munnar evictions .. for public good ??

Munnar evictions:

The past couple of weeks we have been reading in the papers about the Munnar evictions. Yesterday the revenue secretary had submitted the report to the cabinet which has been accepted in toto by the cabinet. VS has also used the opportunity to give a blow to the pinarayi faction by installing his favoutites like Pramod Kumar IAS, Rishiraj Singh, Raju Narayana Swamy etc in the enquiry and demolition panel and administration of the district. The CPI and Pinarayi are angry but i think this time VS will have his way. They cannot afford to make their displeasure public, lest the public construe or misconstrue something else.

It is quite unfortunate that yesterday, 9 may, it was the poor landless people who were targeted and were evicted from the places they have occupied. Even though they showed the necessary records, fake or not, to the officers, the demolition process was initiated. It is ok if demiloition was going ahead with full steam, irrespective of affiliation, affluence and influence. The public hope it will continue with the same tempo against the mighty, rich and politically influential people. Then only can we say justice is being done. The press meet of VS was funny with his disclosing that unauthorised constructions , the team will "thallipolikkum".

It is ok to demolish temporary structures but what about structures which have risen two to three floors high? does it need to be demolished or transferred to the govt ? does it serve the purpose of protecting Munnar's pristine beauty and virgin surroundings. The govt needs to take a very sensible view rather than "thallipolikkaling" all structures there..

The transfer of Idukki district collector and other officials and the suspension of more than fifty govt land revenue dept official shows the earnest desire of VS to cleanse the system of bad elements. But how far he will succeed, given the pressure of pinarayi and CPI is the big question.
Political parties are in a damage containing / limiting mode, while the public is observing. This is a great moment of reckonoing for CPM and VS in particular as he is batting charges that he talks one way while in opposition and other way when in the CM's chair.

Let us wait and see.

george..

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why I love Teaching ..??

Why I love teaching ?

Teaching is an art which does not come to everybody. It is a blessing. Partly I believe it comes from your hereditary makeup and partly from your desire to learn more and teach others.. Anybody with a bent of mind to help others and be of service to others in society according to me would also be good at teaching. I am not sure how strongly I can make that statement.

If one has a humble mind and a desire to learn more, he will be helped by God to be of service to others. I also believe that it is God who finally decide what one should be at and how good he can perform his selected task.According to Eastern traditions, not all could teach and a teacher had a noble position in society. He was respected more than anybody. There is also a famous saying in Malayalam which goes this way, vidhyadhanam sarvadhanaal pradhaanam , meaning educational asset is the most important of all assets.

After serving in the industry for a couple of years at the beginning of my career during 1987-89, I switched back to academics, teaching at the Govt College of Engineering, Goa, as I found that was my cup of coffee. I loved interacting with people and particularly youngsters and teaching them or updating them on whatever i knew. In the process, I found that my knowledge in that area increased too. That is another great thing about teaching. As some famous person has told, teaching is learning a second time. When we try to teach somebody a concept, our own basics get brushed very well and we gain lot of insight in the area. This will cause us to develop more interest in the area.With the grace of God, I could finish my Post Graduation in Industrial Eng and then go on to the Indian institute of Technology, Bombay, India to do a Ph.D. in 2004 in the area of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. Getting the higher qualification has definitely improved my knowledge and also the quality of my teaching. I am now very eager to learn and acquire more knowledge which is helping me to keep busy with lots of reading and writing.

A teacher needs to have a very humble mind. Even the lowest qualified person whom you meet can definitely teach you lot more facts of life and secrets of life than what you can get from the best books, the best institutes or the best teachers. If we are humble enough to realise this truth, the sky is the limit in the learning and teaching process.

A professor once remarked, I have learnt lot from books, still more from my teachers but the maximum from my students. Keeping healthy interaction with students and allowing their imagination and a questioning mind soar is the best way to keep abreast of developments and think creatively in your area.

After finishing PhD, creating knowledge for the world to progress is the task entrusted on me. And I promise that till my last breath, I shall be doing that. Not only creating new knowledge, also helping to disseminate this new knowledge and other knowledge which I acquire from elsewhere, to others.

george..

Life at MBC, Peermade ..

Life at Mar Baselios College of Engineering, Peermade, Kerala.

This is the engineering college in the self-financing sector set up by the Malankara Orthodox Church. It's aims are noble, to produce the best engineers and to make them socially and spiritually responsive and enriched.

MBC peermade is a cool place. After joining here in Oct 06, I find both the students are faculty are cool.... Eventhough the students here are not academically that bgreat brilliant, they are promising good students, capable of great things. Almost all of them are capable of reaching great heights, except for some students. It is a truth of life and we have to accept that. It is there in all walks of life.

The last odd sem (Oct 06 - dec 06) I taught Humanities and Economics for the 3 rd sem comp science students and the same subject again for the 5 th sem electrical engg students. This even sem (feb 07 to june 07) i am teaching the 4 th sem Electronics and comm students and applied electronics and instrumentation students the subject of Reliability and Humanities, the humanities part being shared by the Librarian, Mr Kumar, who is also an Economics graduate and an MBA. I also engage the partial load of E-commerce elective for the 8 th sem comp science students with jojymon from comp science.

The college has terrific potential for growth and terrific goodwill among the public.

The discipline among the students is lacking a bit. Discipline is very vital for the functioning of any institution. Only with good discipline can there be academic growth and excellence. The teaching faculty are hard working, sincere, resourceful and have good potential.

The college can be taken to great heights with time and proper investment of funds, effort and dedication. With propoer leadership and good discipline, the college can be raised to the status of the best technical institution not only in the state of Kerala, but also in the country. It is a great and challenging task, but not difficult.

Aim at the stars, at least you are sure to hit the moon. Keep our sights high, very high and work hard to achieve it. The joy is in working to achieve our goals. Sure the rewards will not desert us.
If we put hard work, nobody on earth can take away the rewards of that hard work from us. The end is going to be truly marvellous and exciting. Never lose sight of the goal !!

800 students, eight faculty families and fifteen single teaching faculty share the campus with me.

My kids are getting good education at the St Pius X ICSE school at Kuttikanam (of course with lot of tutoring and coaching from our side.., lest they miss out on life, opportunities and competition..). Jobin is entering 10 th and chinnu 3 rd. Jobin plays cricket with the college students in the evenings, chinnu with her friend ananya.

Social life is missing here at Peermade. But the environs is great. With cable TV, good comm and transportation facilities and the internet, in this flat world, Kuttikanam is not far from civilization !The climate is terrific. They say for eight months in a year, Kuttikanam is a miny Swiss town, less the chocolates !!

Great weather and the few people around are quite helpful. WE go occasionally for long car rides in the surrounding places. In January we had been to Iddukki dam, and Thekkady with our relatives.

My wife Anila basically likes a calm surroundings and so this place fits in to our requirements. Since I am aiming at institution building, with the full support from the management of the church to help build this institute to world class levels, this set up is ideal.

If Indian industries can go global, why can't Indian academic institutions ? I am not talking only of IITs and IIMs, even MBC can be a world class leader in technical education, I am sure.. With proper team work and a motivated faculty and supporting staff, it is possible..

This is my goal and vision for this college which I am aiming to achieve. Fortune favours only brave and hard working people.. And I am sure to achieve it, so confident, with God's blessings !!

george

The World is Indeed Flat..

The World is Flat ... - Thomas Friedman, Penguin Books, 2006

Thomas Friedman
This is the title of a fantastic book which I happened to read some days back while undergoing ayurvedic treatment at Sahyadri Ayurvedic Hospital at Pothupara near to MBC CET . As the title suggests, it talks of how the world has got flat ( a term coined after the author Friedman's interview with Nandan Nilekani, CEO of Infosys) with the globalisation of the past ten fifteen years.

Thomas Friedman of the NY Times, has illustrated with great clarity and understanding with lot of cases of how the different companies in different countries are collaborating with each other in today's world and benefiting out of the process financially, socially ( offering employment and an upward shift in the standard of living of the middle class in the developing and the new age economies of China and India).

The breaking down of the Berlin Wall, the release of the WWW browser Mosaic from NCSA and Netscape Navigator by Mark Andresseen, the open source / free software revolution, with the example of how the Apache web server (which runs on seventy percent of web servers in the world) was developed, how Bill Gates though clandestinely from the Macintosh machine popularised the windows GUI, the outsourcing, off shoring etc happening in the world have been some of the ten flatteners of the world. ( as illustrated in the book)

He also talks of how people are striving in the developed countries to remain untouchables ( in the modern digital world, if your work cannot be digitised you are an untouchable..!!) eg. dentists, journalists, doctors, drivers, sweepers and so on. Accountants, software engineers, design engineers (excepting the site engineers), radiologists are the touchables !!

,The book is aptly titled " The history of the globalised world of the twenty first century." - dealing with contemporary political, social and economic issues of the developing and developed world..

A must read for everybody wishing to be upward mobile in this globalised world and to have an impartial view of the merits and demerits of globalisation. Even Joseph Steglitz' book on globalisation does not give such a "developed, developing and less developed world" positive perspective of globalisation.

The discussion of the Walmart and Dell supply chains in the book was very interesting !!

george..

My classmate Parameshwaran from IAF and his passion for agriculture ..

S. Parameshwaran has been my  classmate from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum during Mechanical Engineering under-graduation. He ...

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