Thursday, July 30, 2015

Yakub Memon executed in Nagpur Jail

Yakub Memon, the lone 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict facing gallows, was hanged to death today after his last ditch attempts to get a reprieve failed early this morning in the Supreme Court.
Memon was hanged shortly before 7 am at the Central Jail here, top official sources said.
The execution was carried out about two hours after his lawyers last-gasp plea to get the death warrant stayed was dismissed by the Supreme Court in an unprecedented hearing that began in the wee hours and ended at dawn.
The body of Memon, who would have turned 53 today, would be handed over to his relatives who have been camping here in a hotel after completion of formalities.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to make a statement on the issue in the state Assembly today.
The Supreme Court decision came after a day of fast-paced developments on Wednesday when the court had upheld the death warrant and the President rejected Memon’s mercy petition a little before 11 pm on the advice of the government.
“Stay of death warrant would be a travesty of justice.
The plea is dismissed,” said Justice Dipak Misra, heading a three-judge bench, delivering the order in Court Room 4 which sealed Memon’s fate.
Memon's right to life
In a late night move, Memon’s lawyer mounted a last-ditch effort to save him from the gallows when they rushed to the residence of Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu and petitioned him for an urgent hearing to stay the hanging on the ground that 14 days’ time needed to be given to a death row convict to enable him challenge the rejection of his plea and for other purposes.
After consultations, the CJI constituted the same three-judge bench that had earlier decided on the death warrant issue to go into the late night plea.
Memon’s senior counsels Anand Grover and Yug Chowdhury said the authorities were “hell bent” on executing him without giving him the right to challenge the rejection of his mercy petition by the President as right to life of a condemned prisoner lasts till his last breath.
Grover said a death row convict is entitled to 14 days reprieve after rejection of mercy plea for various purposes.
Opposing Memon’s plea, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi contended his fresh petition amounted to abusing the system.
A death warrant upheld just 10 hours ago by three judges cannot be quashed, he said, adding the whole attempt appeared intended to prolong his stay in jail and get the sentence commuted.
Challenging rejection of mercy petition
Dictating the order for the bench, Justice Misra said ample opportunity was granted to Memon after rejection of the first mercy petition by the President on April 11, 2014 which was communicated to him on May 26, 2014.
He said the rejection could have been challenged before the Supreme Court.
The first mercy petition had been filed on Memon’s behalf by his brother.
Justice Misra observed that ample time was granted to the convict after rejection of his first mercy petition to prepare himself for the last and final meeting with family members and all other purposes.
“As a consequence, if we have to stay the death warrant it would be a travesty of justice,” the bench said, adding “we do not find any merit in the writ petition”.
The Supreme Court while pronouncing its order earlier on Memon’s petition seeking a stay on his execution yesterday had said, “We have not perceived any error in the death warrant issued by the TADA court on April 30 for the execution on July 30.
The bench said the AG had submitted that at the drop of a hat one can add new challenges and developments and expect the President to act in exercise of power under Article 72 and thereafter on rejection of clemency they would challenge that in a court of law.
“We will be failing in our duty by allowing so,” it said.
The court observed in the first glance the submissions made on behalf of Memon looked attractive but on finer consideration the case did not carry much weight.
Reacting to the order, Grover said it was a tragic mistake and a wrong decision.
The AG said the legal process has come to an end and it was not a question of victory.
(This article was published on July 30, 2015)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dressed-down Didi draws Gandhi parallels in UK

The above is a Headline of an article in today's TOI about Mamata's visit to UK. Of course I had stopped taking the TOI in my home but the newspaper vendor threw it by mistake instead of the Telegraph. I give an extract..
"Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister from Kolkata drew comparisons to none other than Mahatma Gandhi on the first day of her maiden visit to to Britain, braving a cold and dark British summer day in her everyday attire, white cotton sari and Hawaii chappals, with a casually draped shawl, her only concession to the weather."
Mahatma Gandhi had first come to London in the summer of 1931 to meet the British emperor, George V. 
Strict dress codes existed for those who wanted to meet the British Monarch. 
Before he left for London, and American journalist had asked him: "Would you change your attire before going to meet the British emperor?".
"No, it would be disrespectful to meet him in any other dress, because such would be inappropriate for me".
He entered the meeting in his usual white loincloth.
When he came out, Gandhi was asked whether he felt ashamed to stand in front of the emperor in his simple dress.
He had famously replied: " Why should I fell ashamed? The emperor was wearing enough clothes for the both of us"

Why should we compare only the dress?
Gandhiji was a man who believed in non-violence and Ahimsa while Mamata is just the opposite.
Gandhi always said the ends should justify the means while Mamata is willing to do anything to achieve her ends.
Gandhiji was very careful in spending money for he believed that he should not misuse the nations wealth. 
Mamata will use wealth to win elections like giving Rs 2.0 lakhs to  clubs in Bengal under the garb of cultural and sports development but actually to bribe them to help her party in rigging elections.
Mamata Banerjee is as far from Mahatma Gandhi as chalk is to cheese.
It is like saying the Mahatma Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are the same because they have the same title or Narendra Modi and Mahatma Gandhi are the same as they both come from Gujarat.
One was an apostle of peace and the other is ....................... I have no words to describe him.

Monday, July 27, 2015

What do you learn from PK and PIKU

Recently we have seen two pictures with similar sounding names, P.K and PIKU and what a difference between them.
PK,  brought in a fictitious character who may or may not exist as far as we earthlings are concerned.
However, the issues it highlighted were very important as religion has become a scourge in India.
The media, especially the electronic media, which is supposed to be enlightened are ones who give a push to these superstitious beliefs.
Have you seen the number of channels who become active during eclipses of the sun and moon with so called enlightened astrologers giving their take on what we should and should not do.?
Have you seen the channels propagating various  Yantras or books to give you everything, even the moon?
The other picture, PIKU, although the acting may have been good was outright boring.
It gave the story of a selfish old man, Shoojit Sircar, played by Amitabh Bachhan, who could think of nothing beyond his SHIT, to the exclusion of all else.
I don't know what people found in the picture but just after fifteen minutes I just had to switch it off.
To people like Shoojit Sircar, the old man and others who have the same problem, I have just one suggestion.
Without wasting time on various medications, allopathic, homeopathic or ayurvedic, go to the heart of the problem.
When the pipes at your home becomes choked, the plumber uses three processes.
He first pumps air with a hand pump.
If that does not clear it he either pours acid of some chemicals like drainex which removes the blockage.
If that fails he uses a rod, if the blockage is accessible and pushes it out.
Our human alimentary canal (food pipe) is also a pipe about 30 ft long.
It starts with the mouth wherein we dump all that we eat and drink.
It ends with the rectum where all the waste is held until it is pushed through the anus.
We keep the mouth end clean by brushing and flossing as it is this end which the world sees.
We have no control over the rest of the pipe as that performs by itself, by God's grace, depending upon the type of food we eat, in what quantities and how frequently.
However, it is the nether end of the pipe that creates all the problems of constipation, gas formation and piles and fistulas.
It is this nether end which creates all the discomfort for Shoojit Sircars.
This problem could be solved by using a self help enema kit which my family has been using for the last two and half years now.
It has rid me of constipation  and all gases as at my age,  Shoojit Sircar and every person above 50 must be knowing,  is a serious problem.
It has relieved me of my piles problem.
I go to sleep all fresh and also wake up all fresh.
I have attached a photograph of the set up at home.
These are available in Central Avenue, Kolkata or other shops where they sell medical equipments.
I got mine from Ahmedabad.
I would suggest to Shoojit Sircar and anyone else with this problem to use it last thing at night and first thing in the morning for a happy, constipation free, gas free and piles free life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Indian bribe takers not named in $3.9 mn Louis Berger bribery scam

Posted on July 21, 2015 from United states ι Report #15568

Washington, July 21 (IANS) Louis Berger International Inc. (LBI), a New Jersey-based construction management company, has admitted it bribed officials in India and three other countries to secure government construction management contracts.
But neither the company which last week agreed to pay a $17.1 million criminal penalty to resolve charges of bribing officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait, nor the Justice Department has disclosed the names of the bribe takers.
Two of the company's former executives also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with the scheme.
Louis Berger has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) and admitted its criminal conduct, including its conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, according to the Justice Department.
The company has also agreed to implement rigorous internal controls, to continue to cooperate fully with the department and to retain a compliance monitor for at least three years.
Richard Hirsch, 61, of Makaati, Philippines, and James McClung, 59, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and one substantive count of violating the FCPA.
Hirsch previously served as the Senior Vice President responsible for the company's operations in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
McClung previously served as the Senior Vice President responsible for the company's operations in India and, subsequent to Hirsch, in Vietnam.
The sentencing hearings for Hirsch and McClung are scheduled for Nov 5.
According to the charging documents, from 1998 through 2010, the company and its employees, including Hirsch and McClung, orchestrated $3.9 million in bribe payments to foreign officials in various countries in order to secure government contracts.
To conceal the payments, the co-conspirators made payments under the guise of "commitment fees," "counterpart per diems," and other payments to third-party vendors.
In reality, the payments were intended to fund bribes to foreign officials who had awarded contracts to Louis Berger or who supervised the firm's work on contracts.
A Louis Berger statement said "in total, the company self-identified and self-reported findings of misconduct in Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Kuwait between 1998 and 2010 totaling $3.9 million in bribes."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Is Growing Old Getting Tougher?

 - By Anisa Virji 

Jeremy Hunt, the UK Health Secretary, is asking young people to have the elderly over to their houses for a chat and a cup of tea, as a way to combat loneliness in their country. 

So appropriate. I've always thought people in the West were too individualistic, not caring about others, not letting people get very close, often distancing themselves from friends and family, obsessing about space and whatnot. 

How can you need to be so distanced that a government representative has to instruct you to connect with human beings? Shocking.

But is it really so far-fetched in our society? Are we not just a few years away from that kind of edict ourselves? Are we not a society moving in the direction of extreme individualism (or what Hunt calls 'atomised lives'), starting with our new habit of nuclear families, migrating away from our families, valuing money over relationships ('thank you for helping me, here is a hundred rupees'), so as to head in the direction of a disintegrating social fabric?

Are we going to end up in a society where our dead have nobody attending their funerals? This is what is happening in the UK now...

"That is around eight 'lonely funerals' every single day, half of which were for over-65s," Hunt said. "Are we really saying these people had no living relatives or friends? Or is it something sadder, namely that the busy, atomised lives we increasingly lead mean that too often we have become so distant from blood relatives that we don't have any idea even when they are dying?"

Do we need to keep this up till our government says, 'okay, now be a good person and go say hi to an older person once in a while?'

Our government is either not willing or able to carry the burden of caring for our elderly. In a study of 91 countries, India ranked a poor 73 in a survey by Global Age Watch Index. On all parameters for the elderly - health care, employment, enabling environment and income security - India ranked poorly. 

Being an aging Indian is tough. Considering we have one of the largest aging populations on earth, this is a very sad situation. But it wasn't always like that.

Do you remember the days when one of the values we were taught about ourselves as a culture was 'respect for elders'? 

The days when we referred to everyone our parents' ages as 'uncle' and 'aunty'. I think we probably still call people that, but I'm not sure we treat them like family anymore.

We imagine the elderly as 'wasting away', their good years behind them, but let's hope they are not. Because we will be there someday so it better still be a good life. 

The elderly don't just need us. We need them too. It is a symbiotic relationship. When we step forward to offer companionship, we get rewarded with wisdom. If we are looking for answers about where we want our lives to go, we can find answers in their life experiences. If we are to continue any legacy, that's who we get it from.

And not to mention, that if we let this culture of elderly care disintegrate, then it will come back to slap us in the faces when we become old and there is no one left to care for us. 

In response to Hunt's call one older gentleman Techie27 commented on the Guardian's online forum that: 

'They say when you retire you wonder how you ever had time to fit work into the day as well.

The "they" were work colleagues who had already retired. Now retired - I find myself repeating this adage to people who wonder if I'm bored and lonely.

The only thing that has become boring is the regular sleep and meal times ordained by the doctor. So bedtime no later than 2am - and up by 9am. Unfortunately that means the list of things to do just gets longer.

At least it rained today - which relieves me of the task of watering several people's gardens. It also means a respite from inflating paddling pools and footballs - or repairing water guns and model cars for the neighbours' children. Now please excuse me - so I can get back to some computer programming.

One day when I'm really old - there might even be time to watch the thousand DVDs that have been accumulated.'
What techie73 is trying to say here, and what other older people want to say, is that they may have retired from work, but they have not retired from life

They can still have full, rich lives. They can still contribute to society, learn new things, pursue their passions. What they need is an enabling environment, an environment where they are not discriminated against, where they are not condescended to, where they are not treated like they don't matter or have nothing to contribute.

If we want to believe that we are the kind of humans that have any measure of humanity, how we behave towards older people will reveal that to us. 

So before our government starts to dictate who we have chai with... like they are dictating what we eat (don't eat Maggi! don't eat beef!), and what we do (clean the streets!) maybe we should look at our own behaviours and figure out what we should be doing. 

Don't wait for an external diktat to do what you should be doing anyways, listen to your inner government. Ask yourself:

'What do you need to do as an individual, and as part of a society, to support people who have been caring for you, your society, and your nation, until now, so you don't wake up one day suffering from the aftermath of your own apathy?'

Support those around you who are older to pursue the things they want to do. 

Encourage the elders in your life to follow their passions, and enrich their lives with dignity. 

Connect with the elderly who live, perhaps alone, in homes around you; have them over for chai

Have conversations with people who have seen a lot more life than you... you never know, you might learn something from them that could change your life. 

The above is from Equitymaster, Common Sense Living In India. 
It is very pertinent in today's age where life span of people is increasing and children are moving out, sometimes abroad for a living. 
I would advise the old to take up a hobby or some work to keep them busy so that they do not feel unwanted and a burden to society. 
I have been blessed with employers who have retained my services at a reduced pace so that I am not overburdened and my interest in the share market keeps me busy right up to 10.00 PM.
I am also blessed with children who keep regular contact although they are thousands of  miles away.
I can only thank God for all His blessings!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mining baron at heart of Vyapam scam paid for travel of BJP, RSS leaders: Report

A mining baron arrested for being a prime manipulator in the deadly Vyapam scam had paid for the air tickets and other expenses of top BJP and RSS leaders, according to a 2013 income tax report.
The document shows a direct money trail between the billionaire, Sudhir Sharma and senior politicians, reports NDTV. Yet the matter was never pursued by state police investigators who had been investigating into the scam until the CBI took over this week.
Sudhir Sharma, whose business empire includes mines as well as colleges, had made “huge payments in cash for air tickets, travel bills, etc” including those for state party president Parabhat Jha and RSS’s Suresh Soni, the document alleges.
Diaries recovered in raids at Sharma’s house and offices also showed “payments for travel arrangements of important political personalities” like former MP Mining and Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma and now Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Pradhan had then denied the allegations, saying, “The party office booked my ticket.  I have no link to Sudhir Sharma.”
Sharma was arrested and jailed in July 2014 after six months of dodging arrest. His boss Laxmikant Sharma had been arrested one month before him.
As many as 48 people related to Vyapam has lost their lives in mysterious circumstances. The Vyapam scam is a huge admission and recruitment scandal involving politicians, bureaucrats and middlemen. Several politicians, including former state Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma, a host of officials and aspirants have been arrested in the case.
The above is from Janta Ka Reporter

Why, I will not waive my gas subsidy

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister
Sent by Students Against Corruption
Respected Sir Narendra Modi ,
You have asked the rich and affluent people of India to waive off their share of subsidy on gas cylinders used by them in their homes and help in nation building.
I, for one would definitely prescribe to your view and gladly do so. In return, I would like all of you esteemed gentlemen and ladies who run our great country to also reciprocate our generous offer. If only, every corporator, MLA, MP, and Minister could also waive off his gas subsidy, we the people of India would be very proud of you and salute you. You would be setting an example to the citizens of India.
• Most of you have declared incomes running into a few crores while contesting the elections.
• When will the day come when you will think of our poor brethren and waive off all the perks that you enjoy because of your position.
• When will you stop voting unanimously for a pay hike for yourselves, while bitterly fighting against all other issues in Parliament?
• When will we see you act as responsible citizens and fight over issues rather than take party based decisions?
Let me tell you, dear Sir, the Chancellor of a super power like Germany Ms. Angela Merkel rides on a public train to work, whereas in our country everyone from the Prime Minister, to the Members of Parliament, even down to the Zilla Panchayat President is allocated a car which is paid for from the coffers of our country which is filled generously by the tax payers money. You incur thousands of rupees worth of telephone bills, electricity bills, free accommodation in luxury bungalows, avail free travel on public transportation, go on foreign jaunts on flimsy excuses and we the people of India pay for it. When will you be a proud Indian and pay for all these facilities availed by you? You get admitted to luxury hospitals for even a headache and especially when a probe is launched against you for any misdemeanor. Even there, you get the best beds and facilities free of charge.
Pray, tell me, Sir “When will you pay for these privileges?” You travel in air conditioned railway coaches and fly first class in planes even when you are not on official duty. It is us, the citizens of India who pay the fare for you. Everyone, who is anybody, stakes his claim to fame by clamouring for “Z Class” security when the actual risk assessment for that person is zero. We, the people of India pay a fortune for your security. Alas, what a travesty of our times. That you who should be protecting the nation are being protected by the common man at his cost. There are people in India who cannot even afford one meal a day and do not even have the strength to complain about it. Sadly, while you enjoy a cup of coffee bought at a princely sum of Rupees One or a full meal at Rupees Twelve at the Parliament canteen in air conditioned comfort and cannot be bothered about these trivial issues. When shall you pay the full cost of a meal without passing on the bill to your countrymen?
Sir, I am just an ordinary citizen of India who dutifully pays his Income tax, Service Tax, Value Added Tax, Wealth Tax, Corporation Tax, Automobile Registration Tax and Property Tax which goes up to nearly 50 percent of our hard earned money while you enjoy the benefits of these taxes and live a privileged life because every citizen of India pays for your privileges. The day all of you forego and waive all the unnecessary perquisites bestowed upon you by laws enacted by you would be a proud one in our nation’s history. The day, you gentlemen who have been elected to power by the people to govern our nation become responsible citizens of INDIA will be a milestone in our history. That day, all of us will definitely waive off our gas subsidy.
Yours sincerely, 
An honest and dutiful citizen
Dear Citizens
Forward this msg to a minimum of twenty people on your contact list; and in turn ask each of them to do likewise.
In three days, most people in India will have this message.
This is one idea that really should be passed around.
*Reform Act of 2014*
1. No Tenure / No Pension: Parliamentarians collect a salary while in office but should not receive any pay when they're out of office.
2. Parliamentarians should purchase their own retirement plans, just as all Indians do.
3. Parliamentarians should no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Their pay should be linked to the CPI or 3%, whichever is lower.
4. Parliamentarians should lose their current health care system and participate in the same health care system as the Indian people.
5. Parliamentarians with tainted records, criminal charges & convictions, past or present should be summarily banned from the parliament and fighting election on any pretext or the other.
6. Parliamentarians should equally abide by all laws they impose on the Indian people.
7. All contracts with past and present Parliamentarians should be void effective 1/1/15
The Indian people did not make this contract with them. Parliamentarians made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Parliament is an honor, not a lucrative career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
No surrender of subsidies like LPG by citizens unless all subsidies available to MPs and MLAs withdrawn including subsidised food in Parliament canteen

The warts in different religions

Very Interesting facts!

1.  Christianity ….
One Christ, One Bible Religion… Right, now let us see the facts:

You know the Latin Catholic will not enter Syrian Catholic Church.
These two will not enter Marthoma Church .
These three will not enter Pentecost Church .
These four will not enter Salvation Army Church.
These five will not enter Seventh Day Adventist Church .
These six will not enter Orthodox Church.
These seven will not enter Jacobite church.
Like this there are 146 castes in Kerala alone for Christianity,
Each will never share their churches for fellow Christians. . !

Wonderful... ! One Christ, One Bible, One Jehova... ..What a unity!


2.  Now Muslims..!  One Allah, One Quran, One Nabi....! Great unity! Now let us see the facts:

Among Muslims, Shia and Sunni kill each other in all the Muslim countries..
The religious riot in most Muslim countries is always between these two sects.
The Shia will not go to Sunni Mosque..
These two will not go to Ahamadiya Mosque.
These three will not go to Sufi Mosque.
These four will not go to Mujahiddin mosque.
Like this it appears there are 13 castes in Muslims.
Killing / bombing/conquering/ massacring/. .. each  other !
The American attack to 20th Muslim land of Iraq is fully supported by all the Muslim countries surrounding  Iraq !

One Allah, One Quran, One Nabi....! What great unity !

All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims
. 60% of all victims of Muslim terrorism are Muslims themselves. In the recent Mujahdeen bomb attack in the Friday prayers in Khyber, all the hundred odd victims were Muslims, killed by a Muslim. 


3. Hindus 

1,280 Religious Books, 10,000 Commentaries,  more than one lakh sub-commentaries for these foundation books, 330 million gods, variety of Aacharyas, thousands of Rishis, hundreds of languages... still everyone goes to the SAME TEMPLE ...whether unity is for Hindus or others…?
Hindus never quarreled each other for the last ten thousand years in the name of religion. Only politicians had tried to divide and rule… Keep religion out of politics and India will be the most peaceful place on earth.
Hinduism, is not a religion in that it has not been started by any one person. 
It is a set of principles handed down to us by various sages during different periods in our history, which gives the secret of how to lead a peaceful life. 
The principles are  of two types. 
The Sanantan Dharma principles are true for all times and the Yuga Dharma principles change with time according to history and geography. Thus we see Hindus in different parts of India are vegetarians and meat eaters, according to geography.
We too have our caste system which has been distorted by the Brahmins. Originally the caste system was based on the personality of the person. All human beings are made up of three gunas - Satvik, Rajas and Tamas. The four castes were made according to the ration of the three gunas in a person. 
It was the Brahmins who made the system hereditary so that their children could continue to enjoy the special privileges given to them by society.
Now, reservations and quota politics has distorted the system so much that all morality has gone to the dogs.
The writer of the above differences, says that all Hindus go to the same temple.
It would be great if it was a fact.
Even now, 68 years after independence, the upper caste Hindus shamelessly do not allow the lower caste ones to enter their temples or even draw water from the common wells.
Then they object if these people join some other religion and arrange for "Ghar Wapasi"

Vyapam scam is not just about criminality but about wider societal rot

Posted on July 16, 2015 from Delhi, National ι Report #14369

The probe into the Vyapam scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation, it is to be hoped, will bring to book those who have committed assorted crimes ranging from impersonation and bribery to murder. But Vyapam raises some questions beyond culpability in individual crimes and these must be addressed as well.
The scarcity of seats in medical colleges is the most obvious problem. A surprising dearth of ethics in society at large that transforms normal, pious, hardworking middle-class parents and clever youth who impersonate actual candidates to take entrance tests into criminals who pay and take bribes is another.
The failure of the criminal justice system to punish anyone over the years is a third. The involvement of political leaders and their family members in carrying out and gaining from the scam is a fourth.
Shortage of Medical Seats…
The CBI probe will not cover these aspects of the scam. But for purposes of creating a healthy society, these are more important than nailing the guilty in the scam per se.
Why should medical college seats be in such short supply? What is the great difficulty in increasing the supply of medical seats? Cost is the normal answer. But this is not satisfactory. Since students and their parents are more than willing to cover actual costs and pay bribes over and above that, cost cannot be the constraint.
The regulatory bodies that sanction/recognise medical college seats seem to be at fault. They have a vested interest in keeping the supply constrained, in collusion with managements of the colleges that already operate and cash in on the scarcity of their commodity. This scarcity created by regulatory design must go.
The simplest way to raise medical education capacity sharply is to allow or mandate most existing hospitals to convert themselves into teaching hospitals. A functional hospital is the biggest element of cost in setting up a medical college. An engineering college, in contrast, is easily set up with rudimentary labs and strong imagination that lets students and faculty conjure up equipment that does not exist.
Engineering education in India, in any case, is not about getting students’ hands dirty in technology that works but about getting a quantitative degree that will help the kid get into an MBA course. Medicine is different. Students need to have examined patients, studied cases and so on.
The paucity of medical seats, especially at Master’s and higher levels, leads to these seats commanding huge premia. Having got their degrees paying extortionate amounts, doctors then are easily lured into making money through non-ethical practices, such as prescribing medicines of drug companies that pay them best and ordering investigations that are of little medical value but fetch them handsome commissions from the labs that execute them.
The solution the government is implementing to address the paucity of medical college seats is to open new franchises of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Instead, the focus should be on leveraging existing assets in the shape of functional hospitals by adding teaching and residential facilities to them.
There are no simple solutions to the other problems listed above. They are interlinked and have bad politics as the running theme. In India, politics funds itself through loot of the exchequer, sale of patronage and extortion, all carried out with collusion of the civil servants who get suborned in the process and can turn freelance agents of corruption on their own account as well.
…To the Seat of Power
Political funding should be overhauled to have transparent accounting. The beginning has to be with monitoring of expenditure at every level from the polling booth to the state and nation. Every party should declare its monthly expenditure each month. The figure should be open to challenge by other parties, NGOs, the media and other bodies. The Election Commission should moderate this dispute and arrive at a final figure. The party should then be asked to show the source of the income used to finance the expenditure.
Transparent accounting of political expenditure and income will clean up a whole lot of governance. Corruption will cease to be systemic and turn opportunistic, as in other parts of the world. This will allow the civil service to rid itself of corrupt practices and corrupt people.
The police and the judicial apparatus have to be expanded significantly. It should be possible to complete investigations and prosecution in a matter of months, rather than of years that accumulate into decades. The likelihood of crime being punished has some, even if not decisive, deterrent effect: aspirant PhD scholars will not pose as candidates taking the entrance test.
All this will contribute to creating amore ethical society. But a sense of being part of a single community whose well-being depends on the actions of every individual member, the bedrock of an ethical society, cannot evolve in a divided, hierarchical society where politics accentuates and manipulates divisions. The solution lies in better politics.
This article, written by T K Arun, was originally published in The Economic Times.
It is ironical that the above has been published in the Economic Times which is part of the Times of India Group.
This group is one of the most corrupt as far as political reporting is concerned and I had stopped taking this paper after its one sided reporting favouring the BJP during the run-up to the Delhi elections. I have still not allowed the paper (TOI) to enter my house.
Whether it is the Congress, BJP or any of the other political party, they are all the same and when we chose a person who has been accused of holocaust in Gujarat in the aftermath of Godhra,  to become our Prime Minister, we deserve what we are getting.
If during Gandhiji's agitation for independence, we had people like Narendra Modi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav, Mayawati, Jayalalitha, representing the British, India would never have become Independent.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Airport Security - Israeli Style

What a simple and brilliant idea! I particularly like the 'spare' seat announcement!!   How simple and effective!  This is common sense, people!     
  It's hard to beat Israeli technology! 
TEL AVIV,  Israel - The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners.
   It's an armoured booth you step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person.   Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials.  
  You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion.  Shortly thereafter, an announcement:   "Attention to all standby passengers, El Al is pleased to announce a seat available on flight 670 to  London .  Shalom!"   BRILLIANT!! 

Sent by Arun Shroff If it is not a joke, I welcome it and would request our Airport authorities also to implement it. There appears to be just one shortcoming in the plan.
The person should go into the chamber with his luggage.
If there is anything in that, then also the explosions will occur.