Thursday, December 31, 2015

Shanthigiri ashram visit .

Last evening got a great opportunity with the Chief Secretary of Kerala to visit Shanthigiri ashramam, near Vembayam, Trivandrum. 

It was a great secular Christmas and new year celebrations addressed by Orthodox bishop,  Catholic priests and kerala state Chief secretary, Dy speaker, Legislative Assembly Mr Panniyode Ravi and former MP Peethambara Kurup ..

With sylvan clean, green surroundings and organic farming, honeybee rearing, masala powder manufacture, schools, HSS, sidha medical college  etc. the campus has about 200 inmates with 1000 families staying in nearby places.

This is a great example to make societies self reliant, intelligent,  tolerant and peaceful .. Great demonstration and  experience of inter-religious tolerance. Moreover, there were no religious leaders' idols or pics at the ashram, which believes in spirituality, not religiosity ..

A higher level of intelligence, unattained by many of us, including myself,  because of our narrow thinking  .. Getting Mahatma Gandhiji's ideals into practice in the twenty first century energy hungry, digital and information world..

Wishing all of you a very contented and peaceful New Year (as wished by our CS) ..

Ge

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

To stall the wipeout of a civilization. .

It required the advanced kerala society (advanced than the rest of India), its equally progressive leaders from a dynamic and vigilant political system to ban drinking.

An equally concerned judiciary to upheld this desire of the community, to foresee and help stall the breakup of families, decay of a society, culture and eventual wipeout of a civilization. 🙏👌

The eventual aim of a progressive society is its development and survival ..

George

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Can the IS demon be laid to rest ?

Can this victory be replicated elsewhere in Iraq and Syria to lay the demon of Islamic State to rest ?

Have Arab states supporting IS  started getting the heat ?

http://m.firstpost.com/world/significant-step-forward-us-hails-iraqs-victory-over-islamic-state-in-ramadi-2563444.html

BBC report on who is with and against IS. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29074514

Before the cancer of IS metastises to other countries, it is high time the world gives full support to Iraq and Syria to see them off.

Cults like IS can never gain foothold in democracies, which is again a lesson to Arab countries to start shift to democracy for a bright future for their homeland, if they so wish !

IS came out of repression of Sunnis. Such repression does not happen in a democracy.

Monday, December 28, 2015

NASA the big brother ??

Eventhough NASA tries to browbeat India, it is surprisingly and shamefully dumbfounded when it comes to cost-performance-innovation comparison !!

US succeeded to enter Mars only at its third attempt, while ISRO had a smooth sailing at its very first attempt at Mars with demonstrably superior technology, command, manoeuvre capability, all at one tenth cost of NASA missions.

Shame on NASA for being cruelly silent on Mangalyaan's unbeatable cost innovation .and maneouvre capabilities ... NASA can learn a lesson or two from its humble Indian competitor.

With Astrosat launched and solar mission ready from 2017-8, India is confidently having the upper hand and technology to take on any fry from anywhere.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nikhil and Ambika, Star singer season 6 stars ..

Our close friends and neighbours from Bangalore, Nikhil and Ambika, stars of Star Singer season 6 !! 


Music and lyrics - Nikhil and Rajeev Alumkal, singers - Nikhil and Ambika.






Nikhil's youtube channel ..

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Partying on Christmas eve .

Are celebrations, partying, drinking and revelry on Christmas eve really a Christian practice ? Are we through these actions  being loving, unselfish and of service to the unfortunate and downtrodden in the society ? Certainly not.

Do not know where the materialistic, selfish and pleasure-seeking  believers of that poor baby born in the manger, are taking us ? Be bold and firm to say no to all revelry and selfish, materialistic pursuits.

Christmas is not a time     of being selfish and of drinking and enjoyment. It should be a time of sharing and giving, wiping a tear or two from others' eyes. 

How many of us have the moral courage, substance and fibre to stand against these evil practices in our society ?

It in not christian-like, it is just the agenda of a materialistic western  world that is being pushed through .. Very very unfair, unethical and against our ethos and culture .

God bless you !

Paris 2015 and beyond .

The Paris climate accord has decided to restrict global warming by 2 deg, by the turn of the century.  Earth's atmosphere can take upto 3200 Gigatonnes of CO2 to restrict to this 2 deg rise. So far since dawn of humanity and Industrial revolution, we have pumpes 2000 Gigatonnes into the earth's atmosphere. 

At the present pace of development and Industrial activity on earth resulting in CO2 emissions, we would exhaust the permissible extra 1200 Gigatonnes of CO2 in 30 years, ie. by 2045 AD. 

This is what the Paris climate accord discussed but could not reach any binding limits and promises by China, US and India, the three top gross global polluters, in that order.

If we are not ready for accepting binding limits, we need to either restrict our energy consumption or increasingly switch to renewable sources.
Creating an awareness is the first step.

If the example of the technologically far superior Kochi International airport in Kerala, India, the first and only international airport in the world handling annually 7 million passengers, to be energy-neutral and running 100% on solar energy, could be followed up by the other so-called developed countries of the world, considered the tipping point for global solar energy acceptance, we can tackle or even put in reverse gear global warming to a great extent.

George ..

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

E Sridharanji ..

Even after going on retirement from GoI at age of 79, United Nations took our own METRO MAN, at age 82 as Advsor for Sustainable Transport for another 3 yrs. 

An Indian to be honoured by the international Time mag, as one of Asia's heroes and with the Technocrat of the year award in 2003.

Already a Padma Vibhushan awardee, Bharat Ratna is the next big award waiting for him ...


Some of my earlier writings / links..

1. The Metro man .. 

2. Article in The Hindu .. 

3. On the UN - HLAG-ST 


We, the proud citizens of the country, who are so fortunate to have such a great project Manager in the country and who has worked tirelessly for building superlative mass transportation projects in the countrty. From Kolkata Matro, Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro for the country, surprising even the defence establishment with the reconstruction of the Pamban bridge in 45 days in 1964, after a devastating cyclone hit and destroyed the Pamban bridge connecting mainland India and the island of Rameshwaram in the Soutern tip of India (though the defence establishment wanted the devastated bridge to be commissioned back in 6 months time) are some of the greatest honours to his credit. 

He worked without fear or favour and with utmost dedication to the country, wish to place this demand to the Union Government and the cabinet to consider E Sridharanji to the award of the country's top civilian honour Bharata Ratna. 

george..

Monday, December 21, 2015

Prof. Peter Ferdinand Drucker's great quotes..

Justice (retd.) Katju on the selfish IIT graduates. .

Very very true. Justice (retd.) Katju of the Indian Supreme Court could not be any better.. As he says similar high qaulity education in US would put one behind by at least $50,000 worth loans.
 

It is in spite of our "smart" brain drain, that India is progressing by leaps and bounds .. 

While the cream from IIT migrate abroad, these brainy students keep their personal interests in mind than the interests of the society which gave them this opportunity.Even though some of them may have the plans to study and acquire more knowledge abroad with firm plans to return after some years, it is found that most of the time this does not happen. They are trapped in the comforts and luxury of a developed economy. A whole generation is trapped !!

The sad part is, we can pardon them en masse, if they acquire more skills and knowledge in foreign shores and contribute to the general upgradation of the knowledge in the world. They gradually wilt out getting caught in the commecial world. None of the have ever been smart enough or hardworking to get a Nobel prize winning research or invention.

The final wish of everyone who are in India would be to create many more GE or Google from India or create more Nobel prize worth Intellectual property !

ge..

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Entrepreneurship quotes from Drucker ..

Entrepreneurs, by definition, shift resources from areas of low productivity and yield to areas of higher productivity and yield. Of course, there is a risk they may not succeed. But if they are even moderately successful, the returns should be more than adequate to offset whatever risk there might be.
 ----------------
DuPont, for 130 years, had confined itself to making munitions and explosives. In the mid-1920s it then organized its first research efforts in other areas, one of them the brand-new field of polymer chemistry, which the Germans had pioneered during World War I. For several years there were no results at all. Then, in 1928, an assistant left a burner on over the weekend. On Monday morning, Wallace H. Carothers, the chemist in charge, found that the stuff in the kettle had congealed into fibers. It took another ten years before DuPont found out how to make Nylon intentionally. The point of the story is, however, that the same accident had occurred several times in the laboratories of the big German chemical companies with the same results, and much earlier. The Germans were, of course, looking for a polymerized fiber—and they could have had it, along with world leadership in the chemical industry, ten years before DuPont had Nylon. But because they had not planned the experiment, they dismissed its results, poured out the accidentally produced fibers, and started all over again.
 ----------------------------
In the early thirties IBM built a high-speed calculating machine to do calculations for the astronomers at New York's Columbia University. A few years later it built a machine that was already designed as a computer—again, to do astronomical calculations, this time at Harvard. And by the end of World War II, IBM had built a real computer—the first one, by the way, that had the features of the true computer: a "memory" and the capacity to be "programmed." And yet there are good reasons why the history books pay scant attention to IBM as a computer innovator. For as soon as it had finished its advanced 1945 computer—the first computer to be shown to a lay public in its showroom in midtown New York, where it drew immense crowds—IBM abandoned its own design and switched to the design of its rival, the ENIAC developed at the University of Pennsylvania. The ENIAC was far better suited to business applications such as payroll, only its designers did not see this. IBM structured the ENIAC so that it could be manufactured and serviced and could do mundane "numbers crunching." When IBM's version of the ENIAC came out in 1953, it at once set the standard for commercial, multipurpose, mainframe computers. This is the strategy of "creative imitation.
 ----------------------
The creative imitator looks at products or services from the viewpoint of the customer. IBM's personal computer is practically indistinguishable from the Apple in its technical features, but IBM from the beginning offered the customer programs and software. Apple maintained traditional computer distribution through specialty stores. IBM—in a radical break with its own traditions—developed all kinds of distribution channels, specialty stores, major retailers like Sears, Roebuck, its own retail stores, and so on. It made it easy for the consumer to buy and it made it easy for the consumer to use the product. These, rather than hardware features, were the "innovations" that gave IBM the personal computer market.
 ------------------------
The companies that refused to make hard choices, or refused to admit that anything much was happening, fared badly. If they survive, it is only because their respective governments will not let them go under.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ISRO PSLV C29 with Singaporean satellites Teleos I ..

India has launched 6 satellites for Singapore from Sriharikotta on PSLV C29. Teleos I at 400 kgs is the biggest. 

The puny state of Singapore finally gets on the space map.

Even though Singapore has 2 academic  institutions ranking better than India in Times education 2015 global uty rankings, they are babies in space science, waiting to be handheld by India.

The launch as usual was just picture-perfect ! India surges ahead both in terms of technology and cost innovation. There is no space power in the world that can match India's cost innovation. 

ISRO Chmn Kiran Kumar (l) with Kunhikrishnan





When India launched Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission at 10% cost of a comparable NASA missio, Maven, the world sat up and took note. 

When India sent Astrosat, our observatory in space which  has almost 40% capacity to catch signals from deep space (aperture size) of Hubble, the cost of construction and launch at $45 million (less than 1%) compared to cost of NASA launch of Hubble, 1990 cost of $2500 million and 2015 cost of $4600 million, the world is shocked ..

NASA will find it extremely difficult to compete with the cost leaders India in space science. Read this blogpost.. When NASA had to abandon its Apollo missions and Space Shuttle mission due to exhorbitant costs, the same fate may not befall Indiaas we do missions at 1% to 10 % costs.. We cannot yet afford to chestbeat on our achievements !


Singapore, new baby in space !!
NASA will need some guidance and handholding in future deep space launches, if they wish to compete with India. If ego is the problem which prevents them from approaching India and seeking its guidance and help for handholding in cost innovation, then NASA and US space expeditions are doomed for ever !

India can hold its head real high ! Kunhikrishnan, (right in pic) SHAR centre Director is such a lucky person !!

There are several firsts in this flight

1. first time the fourth stage rocket was reignited after being switched off, before launching the satellites, to test the viability of launching satellites in different orbits

2. this is the 50 th launch from Sriharikotta range

3. so far 57 foreign satellites have been launched, which includes 4 US, 5 British satellites

4. this year so far, 3 Indian and 17 foreign satellites have been launched from SHAR centre

5. ISRO commercial arm, Antrix Corp has so far helped the following twenty countries to place their satellites into orbit.  Great Britain, US, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Korea, Switzerland, Singapore, Turkey and Argentina.

After my classmate P. Kunhikrishnan has taken over as Director of SHAR centre, Srikarikottta, there is renewed enthusaism and confidence in the air and we believe, ISRO is set to conquer greater heights. Our Chandrayaan 2 and solar missions which is to happen in the next three four years, is hoped will be resounding successes, putting us far ahead of the rest of the advanced nations of the world and allowing India to take permanent, peaceful leadership of the world. (though the western world would still not offer us permanent membership of the Security Council of the United Nations, which we know is a silent instrument of the western world to establish their hegemony of the world)

The economic history of the world 2000 years back ..
Forget US, even most of the European nations were fries then.
All those who doubted India's resilience to bounce back, who were poorly informed of the history of this great land,  in spite of British colonialism (over our land) for 300 years and US' and european colonialism (over our people) for the last 55 years, will get an opportunity to think again and be part of this great civilization and culture that is India. And a big welcome to those who have returned to their motherland..

In the meantime, let us welcome Singapore, new baby in space !!!

george.

Thank God for his blessings .. (Mal..)

നാട് കാണാനും ഉല്ലാസ യാത്രകള്ക്കും കാഴ്ചകള്‍ ആസ്വദിക്കാനും
പലപ്പോഴും പല സ്ഥലങ്ങളിലേക്കും വിനോദ കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളിലേക്കും
പോകുന്നവരാണ് നമ്മളൊക്കെ . ഇടയ്ക്ക് എപ്പോഴെങ്കിലും അവസരമുണ്ടാക്കി
ഞാനും നീയുമൊക്കെ സന്ദര്‍ശിക്കേണ്ട ചില കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളും സദനങ്ങളും ഇടങ്ങളും ആലയങ്ങളുമുണ്ട്

1) ആശുപത്രി

2) വൃദ്ധ സദനങ്ങള്‍

3) ഭ്രാന്താലയങ്ങള്‍ / മാനസിക രോഗ കേന്ദ്രങ്ങള്‍

4) ബധിര മൂക വികലാംഗ മന്ദിരങ്ങള്‍

5) അഗതി അനാഥ മന്ദിരങ്ങള്‍

6) മാരകവും ഭീകരവുമായ രോഗം ബാധിച്ചു മരണം കാത്തു കിടക്കുന്ന
രോഗികളുള്ള വീടുകള്‍

7) ശ്മശാനങ്ങളും കല്ലറകളും ഖബറിടങ്ങളും

ഗുണങ്ങള്‍ ഒരു പാടുണ്ട്

1) നാമെത്ര ഭാഗ്യവാന്മാന്‍ എന്ന ചിന്ത ഉണ്ടാകും

2) അഹങ്കാരത്തിനു ശമനം വരും .

3) മനുഷ്യന്‍ ശക്തനാണ് . എന്തിനും പോന്നവനാണ് . പക്ഷേ ഒരു നിമിഷം മതി തകരാന്‍ എന്ന തിരിച്ചറിവിന്

4) നില വിളികള്‍ കുറയുകല്ല കൂടുകയാണ് എന്ന അവബോധത്തിന്

5) ഇന്നല്ലെങ്കില്‍ നാളെ നമുക്കും വരാം ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു അവസ്ഥ എന്ന ചിന്തയ്ക്ക്

6) മരണത്തെ പേടിച്ചു കഴിയുന്ന നമുക്കിടയില്‍ ഒന്ന് മരിച്ചു കിട്ടിയെങ്കില്‍ എന്ന് കേഴുന്ന മനുഷ്യരും ഉണ്ട് ഈ ലോകത്ത് എന്ന അനുഭവ സാക് ഷ്യത്തിന്

7) കാരുണ്യത്തിന്‍റെ കണ്ണുകള്‍ തുറക്കപ്പെടാനുള്ള വഴി

8) ഒരു സാന്ത്വനത്തിന് പോലും വലിയ വിലയുണ്ട്‌ എന്ന തിരിച്ചറിവിന്

9) ഒരു മനുഷ്യന്റെ ഏറ്റവും വലിയ സൌഭാഗ്യം
മരണം വരെ ഒരു കേടുപാടും കൂടാതെ അവന്‍റെ അവയവങ്ങള്‍
അവന്‍റെ കൂടെ നില്ക്കുകയാണ് എന്ന തിരിച്ചറിവിന്

10) ദൈവം തന്ന അനുഗഹങ്ങളെ ഓര്‍ത്ത് അവനെ സ്തുതിക്കാനുള്ള മനസ്സ് ഉണ്ടാവുന്നതിന്

11) മാരകവും ഭീകരവും വേദനാ ജനകവുമായ രോഗങ്ങളെ തൊട്ടു കാവലിനെ തേടാനുള്ള ചിന്തയ്ക്ക്

12) ഒരു വാക്ക് കൊണ്ട് ഒരു നോക്ക് കൊണ്ട് ഒരു പുഞ്ചിരി കൊണ്ട്
കഴിയുന്ന എന്തെങ്കിലും സഹായം കൊണ്ട് അപരന്റെ വേദന കുറച്ചെങ്കിലും കുറച്ചു കൊടുക്കാന്‍ കഴിയുന്നതൊക്കെ ചെയ്യും എന്ന ചിന്തയ്ക്ക്

13) പണം ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ എന്തും ആവാം എന്തും നേടാം എന്ന അബദ്ധ ധാരണയുടെ അവസാനത്തിന്

14) എല്ലാ സുഖവും സൌകര്യങ്ങളും ഇട്ടേച്ചു ഒടുവില്‍ വന്നു കിടക്കേണ്ട സ്ഥലം ഇതാണ് എന്ന തിരിച്ചറിവ്

15) ഈ ജീവിതം ഒരു മായാ പ്രപഞ്ചം ആണ് പക്ഷേ ഇത് വെറും നൈമിഷികമാണ് , നാം വെറും യാത്രക്കാര്‍ മാത്രമാണ് എന്ന ചിന്തയ്ക്ക്

16) അനുവദിച്ചു കിട്ടിയ ജീവിത്തിലെ ഓരോ ദിവസവും എത്ര മാത്രം
അനുഗ്രഹമാണ് എന്ന ചിന്തയ്ക്ക് , അവ സാര്‍ത്ഥ മാക്കണം എന്ന
തീരുമാനത്തിന് !

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google and it's Innovation mantra ..

 Google and its Innovation Mantra:
The story of innovation has not changed. It has always been a small team of people who have a new idea, typically not understood by people around them and their executives.
                                                     —Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google
Which all Google apps do you use ?
Whenever anyone thinks of innovation, one of the first names which flash through our minds is Google.  Google, in contemporary times, is said to be the greatest innovator in the digital domain. Be it search, email, blogs, Google drive, Google forms, photos, Google docs, maps, navigator, my tracks, Google talk, hangouts, scholar, clock, news, Google Plus, Google Analytics, android, Youtube, chromecast, or calender, Google touches each of us in very many ways.

How Google works !
A thought which always crossed our mind would be - how does Google manage to come out with so many great ideas, implement them, make them great successes and finally monetize from them ?

What is the unique culture, shared passion, innovative mindset that makes Google stand out from the rest of the crowd ?

What does Google do to its processes, how does Google motivate its employees and what sort of a nourishing and enriching environment does Google provide its employees to ensure so much of innovation coming out of it, something like an innovation mill churning new ideas and applications, almost every three months, ideas we never thought even existed or existed but made simple, cheap and easily accessible and usable by Google ?

Google docs which democratised and simplified word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, data storage and dug the grave for Microsoft Windows, is one of the greatest Innovations for people who deal with data, meetings, presentations etc..

Gone are the days of pendrives, scanning for viruses  etc.. All our relevant professional data and material are on the drive. How easy it is now to get a survey done through Google Forms ! Google analytics makes keeping track of hits, analysing forms data etc all so easy these days ..

One-to-many communication made possible by blogging through Blogspot is one of the best ways for one to communicate with colleagues, students, friends, well wishers and the public even to this day.

Some of the points specific to the culture of innovation and passion at Google could be attributed to the following aspects. They are being classified here depending on whether they are physical/environment related, Psychological / emotional Intelligence related, Lean Operations related, Technical related, Customer related and employee related.

I. Physical / environment related
     a. think big, but start small 
      b. scan the surroundings, events, people, occasions etc for ideas 
      c. be a platform - either operating system or browser or Google 
           earth etc.. so that anybody, anywhere can apply their ideas,
           skills, passions to produce new products and processes
      d. plan it big, aim to be at least ten times bigger or better, 
           as Google says think 10X ..


II. Psychological / Emotional Intelligence related
    a. be quite open about sharing one's ideas, thoughts and products
     b. be passionate about the mission
     c. collaborate with others organisations / team members passionately
     d. enable blue-sky thinking, ie. let imagination bring ideas, 
            but proceed to final stages of mature implementable ideas 
            based on data
     e. be ready to fail 
     f. FAIL FAST 
     g. learn most from failures, 

III. Operations related
     a. continuous improvement is the key to success, not instant success
     b. use the 70/20/10 principle, ie. 70% of Google's efforts would be
          dedicated to core areas, 20 % effort in areas related to core 
          areas and the last 10% areas unrelated to the core areas


IV. Technical related
     a. try out technical ideas / insights for novelty and the cutting edge

V.  Customer related
     a. focus on the user, not the competitor or money, revenue will 
         come later

VI. Employee related
     a. hire people with the right attitude for growth and innovation

Some of the grey areas which Google has not ventured into and could make a big difference are

1. enabling global Internet penetration (through Project Loon) and
2. Massive Open Online Courses (to enable affordable global learning and exchange of knowledge)

It is hoped that the reader would find the links given here useful and gratifying in the search to understand the innovation process better and to track,  as an organisation how the global innovation leader Google, manages innovation and remains the global leader in the digital domain.

References :
1. Laura He, Google's secrets to Innovation, Forbes Magazine (International edition), March 2013, Last accessed 15 December, 2015. 
2. Wojcicki, Susan, Eight Pillars of Innovation, www.thinkwithgoogle.com, July, 2011, Last accessed 14 December 2015.
3. Kathey Chin Leong, Google reveals its nine principles of Innovation, http://www.fastcompany.com, November 2013, Last accessed 14 December 2015.
4. Creating a culture of Innovation, apps.google.com, Last accessed 15 December 2015. 

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