10 Feb 2015

Delhi Elections 2015 : A Hypothesis

A hypothesis: BJP has orchestrated its own defeat in Delhi..
Reason: To shift the popular focus from rising questions about Modi Govt's non-performance to performance or non-performance of a future Kejriwal Govt..
Spoiler: Though may have orchestrated its own defeat, but could have never planned for such a humiliating defeat..

18 Mar 2008


The other day my search, across the alleys of an intriguing maze called the internet, led me to ‘discover’ some interesting facts of an equally interesting sport called Table Tennis (a sport that I used to excel in back in my school days). I felt a deep urge in me to share them with u though I usually resist from making such posts (this time probably my nostalgia got an upper hand)...

Ø In the early 1970s the People's Republic of China(PRC) invited American table tennis players to a tournament in the PRC. This marked a thawing in relations with the United States that was followed up by a visit by U.S. president Richard Nixon. The popular media therefore dubbed this visit "Ping Pong Diplomacy".
Ø Multi-talented sportsman Maxwell Woosnam, an Olympic and Wimbledon champion at lawn tennis and one-time captain of the England national football team, once defeated actor and film director Charlie Chaplin at table tennis while playing with a butter knife instead of a racket.
Ø At the 1936 World Championships contested in Prague, two defensive players took over an hour to contest one point.
Ø Table tennis inspired the first commercially successful video game, Pong. In 2007, Rock star games made one of the first true simulation by releasing Rock star Games presents Table Tennis
Ø Soviet rule once banned the sport because it was seen as carrying significant risk of eye damage.
Ø Certain world-class players can impart spin approaching 9000 RPM on table tennis balls.
Ø More than 30 table tennis companies exist around the world, making a full line of accessories from rackets to warm-up suits.
Ø A man in Hawaii has invented a three-player table for table tennis, calling it "Tri-Pong"

P.S. - if u happen to find this post of not much interest or rather boring pleeeeese ignore it and forgive me for trying to push the burden of my nostalgia on u...

28 Feb 2008

WEST BENGAL: When Ignorance Is Not Bliss!!

Friends, if the very subject of this entry fails to generate interest in you, I request you to kindly read on.. Here, we are not talking of the West Bengal we so well know, drawing all its legacy from the numerous contributions to the freedom struggle, an endless supply of intellectuals it has produced, the famous ‘Bengali Babus’, or the most successful land reforms experiment in India, neither we are talking of Nandi gram, Singur or Bird Flu that has brought the media’s focus back to West Bengal nor are we discussing the intricacies behind the 30 years of the Left Front rule. Here we are discussing the 3rd largest economy of India and the story of a Resurgent West Bengal that is in many ways leading the path of a ‘Resurgent India’. A further reading can surely help break a few stereotypes and enable us to have a more accurate and well informed understanding of one of the most important states of India and its proud people..
Now let’s have a peek inside the growth story that has turned it all around. West Bengal (hence forth to be referred as W.B.) has registered a high growth rate in real State Domestic Product (SDP) over the past 8 years and is one of the top ranking states in terms of growth in per-capita income (5.72% in ’04-’05 as against the corresponding national figure of 5.2%). It has attracted FDI of $119mn (’04-’06) spread over 178 new industrial units and according to volume of exports ranks 7th. Widely known for its equitable distribution of resources and an egalitarian social structure its performance according to HDI indices is especially impressive in literacy rate and life expectancy at birth. W.B. is also one of the most urbanized states and the sheer volume of its market (with a population of about 8 crores) makes it an attractive investment destination. The raising incomes and boom in urban renewal and economic activities have turned it into the 3rd largest sate in terms of savings. Its rural market too is undergoing a paradigm shift and is blessed with enormous potential in agriculture, farm produce, food processing and agro-based industries..
Agricultural sector in W.B. that supports 57% of its populace is blessed with a rare combination of 6 agro-climatic zones that make it among others the #1 in meat production, one of the largest producers of fish and the 2nd largest tea producing state. It also leads in the production of potato, rice, edible oils, pine apple and banana, though problems in this area regarding modern marketing mechanism and proper methods of preservation to bring down wastages remain. Floriculture in the state is also thriving with huge exports to countries like Netherlands, U.K., and those in the west Asia. While the rest of the country is going through enormous distress in the agriculture sector (read farmer’s suicide), W.B. has largely remained unaffected..
Not withstanding some glitches and hiccups the state government’s plan of re-industrialization has faced, W.B.’s industrial sector is ever growing. The proof in this regard is the massive investments it is attracting and has steadily become one of the favourite destinations for investors. The Sajjan Jindal group is setting up a 10mn tonne capacity integrated steel plant here- the largest of its kind in eastern India; this is apart from the 7 more steel plants coming up in the state. Global auto majors like TATA Motors, Telcon, Ashok Leyland and Urals (Russia) have already made or are considering huge investments in the state. Its more than 32,000 IT professionals working in over 233 companies here have put W.B. on the global map of IT expansion, with the government’s ambition of helping it become one of the 3 largest IT destinations of India. The services sector including IT contributes 57.15% of the SDP. The Retail sector too is experiencing a boom due to huge markets in nearby eastern and north eastern India..
Confirming the multi-dimensional nature of its growth story sectors like real estate, petro chemicals and power are also on a higher growth trajectory. The boom in the real estate have seen several high profile projects coming up in important towns like Kolkata, Siliguri, Asansol and Bardhman including the Indonesia based Salim Group’s Calcutta West International City (having the largest FDI in a township project in India). The state also accounts for 4% of India’s petroleum products and 13% of her polymer production. Growth in this sector is far more impressive in terms of both investment volume and number of units being set up. In the power sector WBPDCL is the only power company in the eastern India with a surplus capacity that enables it to export power to other states, mainly to those in North India. Even infrastructural support for backing this growth story is impressive and is ever expanding..
Though I’m neither a leftist nor a regionalist and certainly not an upholder of all the wrongs that has taken place in Nandi gram and Singur, the growth story of my state has certainly impressed me. This has compelled me to share it with you, my friends, in a bid to put forward the picture of a new and resurgent W.B. and a few facts that are largely ignored or unattended to even by the people of the state. So W.B. and its people have lot more than its rich legacy and here is an increasingly thriving and prosperous state that is and will certainly be one of the front runners in the growth story of a resurgent India, which is due to become a global power soon..

· Frontline (Feb 29, 2008)
· Indian States at a Glance-West Bengal ’07-‘08 (PHDCCI)
· Issues of The Hindu and The Times Of India

8 Oct 2007


A big sorry to all my frnds for playing this waiting game with u.. actually i'm just a bit too busy with some other activities.. but promise to catch on with u guys very soon, possibly in the 2nd week of the next month..
thanx 4 bearing with me..

19 Apr 2007


If you are then possibilities are high that you are a Civil Services aspirant (no prizes for guessing the reason though). Like the thousands others I too was anxiously waiting for the outcome of a particular judgement regarding the disclosure of various facts by the U.P.S.C. Though fully aware that the judgement would arrive only by the mid-day (of 17th April) my anxiousness knew no bounds and led me switch on the T.V. set tens of times since the early morning. Among others, the curiosity of finally having a peek into the heavily guarded dark alleys of a system so powerful kept me up. My repeated encounters with the television set finally bore fruit and upon knowing the outcome my happiness knew no bounds...

Even if you are not a Civil Services aspirant- you still have a reason to smile. Smile for an evolution, a (+)ve change and a triumph of openness and transparency. Every knowledgeable person will definitely agree that for better governance lashed with a corruption free and an egalitarian environment access to information emanating out of a regime marked by openness and transparency is an absolute necessity. The movement towards transparency and accountability has a fairly long history. What began as a struggle against a secrecy centered colonial administration has come to be a struggle against our own democratically elected ‘sarkar’. The Supreme Court judgement way back in 1978 in the Meneka Gandhi v/s U.O.I. case conferring Right to Information(RTI) as a fundamental right was a shot in the arm for the movement which went on to see a major milestone with the enactment of the RTI Act in the year 2005...

Since then powered with the newly acquired statutory right the movement picked pace and slowly but steadily has lit up numerous secrecy prone dark alleys in the administrative sphere of our country. The latest being the foray into the administrative secrets of ‘the mother of all examinations in India’-the Civil Services examination (better k/a the IAS exam). History stands witness that when ever the people try claiming their rights- the (mighty) system hits back, but usually it’s the people, armoured with a strong determination and a ‘never say die’ attitude, have the last laugh. In the case in hand a number of C.S. aspirants filled petitions under the RTI Act seeking disclosure of certain facts regarding the exams. Even though the CIC threw its weight behind the candidates it got dragged up to the Delhi H.C. where the Court ruled in favour of the candidates and ruled that the desired information viz., individual scores, cut-off marks, answer sheets, model answers and scaling methods(?) needs to be published within a fortnight. The contentions of the U.P.S.C. that the aforesaid revelations will do it irreparable damage and hit at its efficiency and efficacy stands rejected...

What does this mean to the candidates? Candidates now will have clearer targets before them, they no longer need to shoot in the dark and above all learn from their past mistakes and try improving their skills to the desired levels. Moreover it will usher in a reign of openness and transparency in the U.P.S.C. administration and hopefully will help revive its of-late dwindling credibility. This landmark judgement will surely have a domino effect and will definitely percolate down to numerous other spheres of administration in our country. The U.P.S.C. has always been a model of uprightness and professionalism in recruitment related services, albeit the few hiccups, this landmark judgement will surely raise its head again with pride and this time round pride not only about its traditional uprightness and professionalism but also for its overall open and transparent functioning...