Thursday, March 29, 2007
The book is about the concepts of modern therory of the sub-atomic world and the quest for the "Grand Unified theory." He speaks in very simple and clear method which makes the book all the more interesting.
Brian is one of the experts in the domain of "String Theory", this is thought to be "The Theory" that would lead us to a better understanding of the universe and find the single theread that could bind all the theories togather and give an explanation to all the observations using this single theory.
Brian has a very clear understanding about the concepts of Physics. I just love the way way he has expalined the concepts of relativity.. hez made it more clear than other books which I have read. He doesnt follow th eusungl style of assuming we send one person into space and things like that, but rather uses simple analogies to get the concept clear. The other part where he shows his brilliance in explaining the concept of plank's constant. He then gets the concepts of dimentions that are curled up and things like it to explain the string theory.. as this theory has in itself 11 dimentions!!!, but he makes it look easy by the way he explains.
He later goes on to inform the reader about the differnt parts of this string theory and their various implications. He also gets a small amount of science to make information more complete.
If you like physics and want to know much more about the modern developments in the latest attempt of grand unified theory... this is a must read... Nothing like it for a beginner. I advise you to go have a go at this book if you love physics.
This is an inspirational book in a lot of ways, but I sometime feel he is too idealistic and we must understand that not all these things are going to work as easily as he has mentioned in the book. He has started a foundation... to implement the dream that he has seen through this book.. and his success is mostly limited to West Bengal. I think it takes us to think over again and understand that though the idea that he has given is nice one it takes much more to implement it.
He tries to be over motivating... and seriously I think he has failed to convince me. His ideas are nice... but not in complete synch with my lines of thought. I would take it up with a pinch of salt, rather than just go by what he says word by word.
A nice book to read.. to think out of the box to a certain degree, some new ideas suggested, some open problems of the nation brought out.. but they I feel are not complete solutions that he has sugested.... go ahead and read in case you love to read and knoe more....
The book is a bit heavy if you dont have the patience to read though it. The vocabulary is good. I would advice not to search for links between the various essays and to look at them indivisually. Dont even attempt searching for a flow, you can easily start hating his style of narrration. If you dont read this book at a stretch and get some time for yourself to digest what he has told, this will be a good book, with all its knowlege and experience that is open to the world.
Dr Amartya gives the book the touch of an expert.. he has written it in a very verbose manner and one in which not many can follow. The book deals with a lot of topics and give a very broad view of those concepts. He has given some descrion about Ravindranath Tagore.. who seems to have had a lot of affect on his life. He deals with some nice and interesting concepts like the Sino-Indian relations and others. A very knowledeable book to read.. but be cautious that you expect that it is going to be hard for you in case you think it is for timepass... you will be utterly mistaken.
The book is about a persons thought process and his nostalgic recollection about the days he had spent earlier in the same call center job. I personally feel there is a lot of cook up in the story and nowere do we feel that there can be a genuine one, the ends up by introducing a unknown God who will speak to all of them in the cab whn it land in some big pit!!! what more can you expect to be cooked up in the story?
Well I feel the message that he wants to give to the people is just that dont worry to take up a new venture and just dont bother about that risk you are going to take up.. its always worth the effort.
This book in not as good as the first book by the author named - "Five Point Someone". Which was a instant hit among the readers in college... that one looked more realistic. Overall a disappoint to those who expected this book to be to the earlier ones standards.. looses way behind.
He starts off with the reason he has this speculations, the expansion of the univese, the background radio wave radiations that where one the first clues in this direction, the various experiments that were conducted to know the origin of this radiations, the Doppler effect and its use in estimations.
He then starts off realing with the situations that exsisted for the first 3 minutes, he continues on with this speculations of the contents what he calls as the recipe of the universe (the various sub-atomic particles that where in the state) the reason why they were in that state, how they combined to form various other sub-atomic particles. This journey through the composition of the universe is very exciting one. He explains these situations in frames dealing, which makes it more like a photographic explanation. The has written it very nicely. He leaves the speculations of the first hundredth of a second so as to get the people to understand it better and later on reveals his understanding of this small time frame in a very nice way.
He concludes the book with a whole new prospects let to the reader to think in a fresh manner.
Over all a very well written book with a lot of information for those interested in the birth of universe.
Its an inspiring story to know about the person who started off from a tiny village in Rameshwaram and is now the First citizen of India, staying in NewDelhi.
The book gives a detailed account of the life of this great man, right from his birth to his education, his dreams, his work and then his acievements.
Some people feel, the book becomes less of his life story and more of the scientific milestones of the Indian defence. But that is what his life is about.. his life is all about those marvellous achievements that are part of Indian Defence now.
The book is a very motivating one, and gives a lot of messages to those who read it. The main message that I got from this book is - "Chase your Dreams".
When you look at the chapters where he mentions about his mentors like - Satish Dhawan, Vikram SaraBhai, you realize how great these people were. How they nurtured young talent. This is exactly what I feel is missing now a days. The most touching instance for me in the book is that in which, the destined launch was flopped. It was a gr8 leadership lesson that I picked through this instance from the book.
You can find many more such instances in the book which are worth reading.
A very informative book regarding the times and period of the Nazi Europe, it also give an insight into the mental thought that comes to any girl.
A tribute to the sufferings of those who were victims of the Nazis, this is a lot more than just an account of it. The detail description of how Anne's family spent their time in hiding, just waiting to get the Nazi domination weaken, but it was it was their bad luck that this did not happen and their hide out got to be known.
A nice book to know about Europe and the plight of the people under the Nazi, the thoughts that come to a young girl, her feelings... A nice diary to read... and gain some insight.
It is more of a discussion of this thoughts and the things he had picked up in his life. His moral values and principles that he stuck to and the reason why he adopted to those beliefs.
The book is rather slow moving, and not very easy to finish. We come to know about his thoughts in great detail.
He stops narrating his life story at a point where he feels that the wolrd has seen him more closely.. so the narration is just till the point where he thinks that people have not seen him much closely. There are a lot of things that you can look forward to, in knowing his life.
The most striking thing in reading the book is his way of thought, not all that great to start off his life.. but as he goes on his nature of sticking and believing in the traditons gave him a new dimention.
If you are intrested in knowing something about this gr8 personality... this is a must read.
Again this being his first book I feel the thoughts are not as clear as in his other book - the turning point but still feel this has a lot of matter in it. The comparison and the introduction tho the different philosophies of the east, the various believes that these possessed, and the way they could be paralleled in the modern world are very good topics to think about.
He tries alomost convincingly to a great extent to draw parallel between the modern concepts of physics like the unity of matter, space time, dynamic universe, quark symetry with the philosphical thoughts of eastern - hinduism, buddhism, taoism, Zen and many more.
This book is worth a read when you have time and feel you have an interest in these things...
In this book - "The Turning Point", Capra tries to make it clear to the pople reading the book that the wold is nearing a a point in all the fields which he calls the "Turning Point". This Point is to be negotiated very well to get the maximum leverage of the situation and make the inveitable situation that necessiatate a change more pleasing and happy direction provider by just being ready for the change. This change which Capra points out need us to change our way of tought, form the traditional caresian view to the more wholistic view of life. It needs us to understand the subject not just as a peice that functions independently but as one which is intricately coupled and affected by every single thing in the universe.
From his first book I feel his way of writing has improved a lot and is now more intelligible to the reader. I loved the economic section the most personally, I think this is because he has told somethigns that I did not know prior to that.. the science section.. being a science student I feel I knew what he was attempting to pass on to me and so did not feel that section to be all that exciting.
The book is very informative to most of the people, but the only compalint I have against the book is he repeats a lot of the ideas may be coz he want to get the point to the reader at any cost. Over all a good book that gives us a broader view in life, but must bear with repetition of ideas a lot of times.
Kitty has written a very nice biography of this great scientist. The way he started his career, the way his first wife stood as a support to him and made him.
The book is about his story.. his quest for the theory of everything - aka "The grand unified theory". A very nice and facinating book. Reading this book get more regards & respect to Stephen than ever before. Read it if you want to have a peep into the life of this genius whose appearance inspires shock and pity take all of us laughing to where the boundary of time and space lies....
The book is about his stuggle in life, the way he had risen from just a Marketing executive to just a step below Ford Jr. The way he got thrown out of Ford motors and then working for Chrysler. The world is sure not to forget him for gettin the motor company - Chrysler, out from bankrupcy and the way he recoverd all that was lost. He might be forgotten for his dedicated effort to Ford but not for the Chrysler... its taught me a lot in life... it has given me some lessons that I will like to keep along all through my career.
This is the book I read after "Made in Japan" and it was great to compare the two, great people. I for one liked the way Lee preformed his business than Akio. I dont know why but feel Lee is more closer to me than Akio in my thought and my views.
I liked reading this book, an inspiring life story... Think it would do good to any one who would like to get some motivation from real stories in life.
He starts off with Einstein coining the eqation, then the implications that the eqations meant to the world. The history behind the Atom bomb, the way the Germans intenstions were broken down just by a few brave youth, the way this changed the course of the World War.
He carries on the implications of the great equations in simple terms and attempts explaining the relevance to the universe and things like it.
A very well written book not just for the techies but aslo for the common man, almost minimal num of equations being mentioned in the book. Very well written.
This book in a must read for all those who want to know something about this famous equation... this is both for techies and not so techie people alike. Just go ahead and read it.
The book is about a shepherd who is directed by a gypsy fortune teller to a dream in life and the rest of the story is about how he goes on achieving his dream. The best part of the story are the notable sentences that I would like to put down here:
It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it...
To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation.
God only rarely reveals the future. When he does so, it is for one reason: it's a future that was written so as to be altered.
It's not what enters men's mouths that's evil, it's what comes out of their mouths that is.
The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.
Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
...at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the worlds greatest lie.
...there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, its because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. Its your mission on earth.
We have to take advantage when luck is on our side, and do as much to help it as its doing to help us. Its called the principle of favorability. Or beginners luck.
This is an inspiring book, and worth reading... I recomend it to every one.
No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it.
This book is about a person called "Railway Raju", who is a shrewd and currupt tourist guide thinking only of his profit most of the time. He lives by his wits and loves a extravagant lifestlyle when he can afford it. He falls in love with a beautiful dancer. More by chance than by skill he seduces her away from her husband, a lonely writer who is obsessed by the local rock carvings, and transforms her into a public celebrity.
Raju makes and looses fortune and finds himself in Jail - and though a series of hilarious and ironic circumstances becomes one of India's great holy man.
This is a nice book to read, a lot of vocab to pick up and a nice narration style to immitate. Just go ahead and read it once, you will like it.
The book seems to be inspired by the KBC (Kaun Banega Carodpathi) series. The book is narrates in a very captivating way. The language is studded with good use of the vocabulary by the author. Some times it seems like a Bollywood film story, may a film can be made form this one.
The author narrates the story, assuming he is a person sitting in the hot seat. This guy is not all that so called "college educated" people. All that he knows is his practical experience, he answers all the question on his way to fame using his experiences in life. Some of the narration makes the story go from the formal Q & A style to the presonal grude and things like that - which makes it very filmy.
It also gives a hidden message - we dont need to know everything in life... just think relating to the past experiences and most of the time that would be enough to get you to the next step.
Is a nice book to read just for time pass, not all that knowledge driven one, just read for fun.
This was one of the first autobiographies I have read, I loved reading the book. It was my first exposure to the wolrd outside though a book.
It is a nice book that gives the way this awesome Japanese company has taken over the world. He speaks about the way the company started off after the shackels to which Japan was grounded after the World War 2.
There are a few nice points to pick up form the book:
- the enterpreneur spirit
- the management strategies that he followed in the course
- the agility to accept change, and be nimble
- the Japanese economy
- the Emphasis on quality by Japanese industries
- the natural build up of the industries for low power consumption and the effect it had later on.
- the American economy
- the Japanese competition and its spirit.
The thoughts that he appreciates regarding the current economy.
The overall philosophy of the book is a must need for those planning to be enterpreneurs in the future.
There is a saying "Change is the only permanent thing", this book adds on to that statement. It prepares us with the thought that we have to adjust to change.
The story has 4 characters mainly.. Sniffy, Scuffy, Hem and Haw. Each of these symbolizing the different types of people that we see in the world. Those who realize the changing world early, those who get into action once the realization is done, those who fail to take up and adapt change, and finally those who take some time to realize and then eventually accept and prepare for change. Most of the people fall into the last category as I have seen, and analysed.
The book speaks about the fear that almost every person has to get out of the secure world that he creates and come out into the whole new world and face the it head on. This is the lesson I learnt.. don't be frightened to change... you change or you perish.
I recommend all read this book at the earliest, analyse and then see what is that we have to do to change and take use of the opportunity that is provided to us.
The style of writing make reading all the more fun as you feel - that’s the way I like to speak.
Some of the suggestions made to take care about elders made a lot of sense to me.. felt that would have made a lot of difference in case it was followed. I liked the pun that was intended in the last topic... I made the guess right at the beginning, as there was a mention of "yep he is a doctor".
The narration has been exceptional and captivating in these articles. The lessons about financial management, self-independence are worth taking note of.
Thanks Sangeethaji for this wonderful collection.
I would suggest every one read it at least once... they will make no mistakes. (some of the pages were not printed thanks to some goof up by the publisher... well still a lot to worth reading.)
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Basin Area (in km²)
Drought area in the basin (in km²)
Contribution of state (in TMC)
What they demand
What TN demands
2007 tribunal verdict
The Kaveri Dispute
The waters of the river Kaveri has been the bone of contention of a serious conflict between Karnataka and the state of Tamil Nadu. Over the years, the dispute has become increasingly complex both due to the stubborn stances of the parties involved.
While TN historically enjoyed a vastly grater usage of waters compared to Karnataka, Karnataka on the other hand sees it as a grave in justice that has been forced upon it.
After decades of negotiations failed the Govt. of India finally constituted a tribunal in 1990 to look into the matter. The tribunal has been hearing arguments of all the parties involved for the last 16 years and yet, a settlement has eluded the dispute.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal gave its verdict on Feb 5th, 2007, Allocating 419 TMC of water annually to TN, 270 TMC annually to Karnataka, 30 TMC to Kerala, and 7TMC to
After a reference to the Govt. of India, permission was accorded to
After independence in 1947, and the reorganization of the states in 1956, Coorg the birth place of Kaveri became part of
By the late 60s, both states and the Central government began to realize the gravity of the situation as the 50 year run of the 1924 agreement was soon coming to an end. Negotiations were started in right earnest and discussions continued for almost 10 years.
While discussions continued, a Cauvery Fact Finding Committee (CFFC) was constituted. The brief of the CFFC was to inspect the ‘ground’ realities and come up with a report. The CFFC came up with a preliminary report in 1972 and a final report in 1973. Inter state discussions were held based on this report. Finally in 1974, a draft agreement which also provided for the creation of a Cauvery Valley Authority was prepared by the Ministry of Irrigation. This draft however, was not ratified.
While these discussions went on, the irrigated lands of TN had grown enormously while those of Karnataka (1973 from
In 1976, after a series of discussions between the two states and the Central government chaired by Jagjeevan Ram, the then Irrigation Minister, a final draft was prepared based on findings of the CFFC. This draft was accepted by all states and the Government also made an announcement to that effect in Parliament.
Tamil Nadu came under President’s rule soon after that and the agreement was put on the backburner. When President’s rule was lifted AIADMK came to power in TN and the dispute took a new turn.
The TN government rejected the draft agreement which was ratified with its own consent. It now started insisting that the 1924 agreement had only provided for an extension and not a review. It began insisting that status quo be restored and everyone go back to the agreements of 1892 and 1924.
This however, did not cut ice with Karnataka which had throughout maintained that those agreements were partisan and had been signed between unequal partners.
When Karnataka began constructing the Harangi dam at Kushalnagara in Coorg, it again met with resistance from the TN govt. TN went to court demanding the constitution of a Tribunal. It also demanded the immediate stoppage of the construction work at the dam site.
As a result of TN’s protest, Karnataka had to fund the construction under the non-plan head and this led to strain on its finances.
Later TN withdrew its case demanding the constitution of a tribunal and the two states started negotiating again. Several rounds of discussions were held in the 80s. The result was still, a stalemate. In 1986, a farmer’s association from Tanjavur in TN moved the Supreme Court demanding the constitution of a tribunal. While this case was still pending, the two states continued many rounds of talks. This continued till April of 1990 and yet yielded no results.
90s and Beyond
As the eighties drew to a close and into the nineties, the bilateral negotiations between Karnataka and TN were not going anywhere. To make matters worse, both states had unilaterally continued to expand their irrigated area without any consensus. While TN's irrigated area had grown to 28 lakh acres, Karnataka's had grown to 11.2 lakh acres.
The Supreme Court then directed the government headed by Prime Minister V.P. Singh to constitute a tribunal and refer all disputes to it. A three man tribunal was thus constituted. The tribunal was headquartered at
The four states presented their demands to the tribunal as under
· Karnataka - claimed 465 TMC ft as its share
· Kerala - wants 99.8 TMC ft as its share
· TN - wants the flows to be ensured in accordance with the terms of the agreements of 1892 and 1924
Interim Award and Riots:
Soon after the tribunal was set up, TN demanded a mandatory injunction on Karnataka for the immediate release of water and other relief. This was dismissed by the tribunal. TN now went back to the Supreme Court which directed the tribunal to reconsider TN’s plea.
The tribunal reconsidered TN’s plea and gave an interim award on 25 June 1991. In coming up with this award, the tribunal calculated the average inflows into TN over a period of 10 years between 1980–81 and 1989–90. The extreme years were ignored for this calculation. The average worked out to 205 TMC which Karnataka had to ensure reached TN in a water year. The award also stipulated the weekly and monthly flows to be ensured by Karnataka for each month of the water year. The tribunal further directed Karnataka not to increase it irrigated land area from the existing 11.2 lakh acres.
Karnataka deemed this extremely inimical to its interests and issued an ordinance seeking to annul the tribunal’s award. The Supreme Court now stepped in at the President’s instance and struck down the Ordinance issued by Karnataka. It upheld the tribunal’s award which was subsequently gazetted by the Government of India on 11 December 1991.
Karnataka was thus forced to accept the interim award and widespread demonstrations and violence broke out in parts of Karnataka and TN following this.
In the violence that ensued around 20 people were killed and dozens injured. This instance of rioting remains the worst case of violence in Karnataka's history and the losses were estimated at around Rs 19 crore. Thousands of Tamil families had to flee from
The Crisis of '95–'96
In 1995, the monsoons failed badly in Karnataka and it found itself hard pressed to fulfill the interim order. TN approached the Supreme Court demanding the immediate release of at least 30 TMC. The Supreme Court refused to entertain TN's petition and asked it to approach the tribunal. The tribunal examined the case and recommended that Karnataka release 11 TMC. Karnataka pleaded that 11 TMC was unimplementable in the circumstances that existed then. T N now went back to the Supreme Court demanding that Karnataka be forced to obey the tribunal's order. The Supreme Court this time recommended that the then Prime Minister, Mr. P. V. Narasimha Rao intervene and find a political solution. The Prime Minister convened a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the two states and recommended that Karnataka release 6 TMC instead of the 11TMC that the tribunal ordered.
Karnataka complied with the decision of the Prime Minister and the issue blew over.
Constitution of the CRA
Karnataka had all through maintained that the interim award was not 'scientific' and was inherently flawed. It had, nevertheless, complied with the order except during 1995–96 when rains failed. What complicated matters was that the Interim award was ambiguous on distress sharing and there was no clear cut formula that everyone agreed upon to share the waters in the case of failure of the monsoon.
In 1997, the Government proposed the setting up of a Cauvery River Authority which would be vested with far reaching powers to ensure the implementation of the Interim Order. These powers included the power to take over the control of dams in the event of the Interim Order not being honored. Karnataka strongly protested the proposal to set up such an authority.
The Government, then made several modifications to the powers of the Authority and came up with a new proposal. The new proposal greatly reduced the executive powers of the Authority. The power to take over control of dams was also done away with. Under this new proposal, the Government set up two new bodies, viz., Cauvery River Authority and Cauvery Monitoring Committee.
The Cauvery River Authority would comprise of the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of all four states (
The 2002 high drama
In the summer of 2002, things once again came to a head as the monsoon failed in both Karnataka and TN. Reservoirs in both states fell to record low levels and inevitably tempers rose. The sticking point yet again, as in 1995–96 was how the distress would be shared between the two states. The tribunal had overlooked this crucial point when it gave the interim award and it had returned once again to haunt the situation.
A meeting of the CRA was called on 27th August, but TN Chief Minister walked out of the meeting. he focus now shifted to the SC which ordered Karnataka to release 1.25 TMCft of water every day unless CRA revised it. Karnataka started the release of water but pressed for another meeting of the CRA which was fixed for 8 September. The TN Chief Minister this time boycotted the meet due to insufficient notice. A minister from the cabinet attended it. The CRA revised the Court's order from 1.25 TMCft to 0.8 TMCft per day.
This time the Karnataka Govt. in open defiance refused to release water. TN escalated to the SC and Karnataka release water for a few days, but stopped it again as protesting farmers committed suicide by jumping into the reservoir and the protests seemed to take a dangerous turn.
The center now stepped in and asked Karnataka to release the water. This also however, fell on deaf ears. The SC meanwhile, in response to TN's petition asked the CRA for details of the water release and water levels in the reservoirs. TN flatly refused to grant permission to inspect its reservoirs and this move, coupled with the earlier boycott or CRA meets came to severe criticism from all quarters. TN chief minister finally gave in. the SC ordered Karnataka on 3 October to comply with the CRA and resume the release of water.
Karnataka once again refused to obey the orders TN slapped another contempt petition on Karnataka and soon it degenerated into a “free for all” situation. The belligerence soon hit a crescendo and while some groups in TN called for a stoppage of power from the Neyveli Power station to Karnataka as a tit-for-tat measure, a Pan-Tamil militant outfit (a month or so later) went ahead and blasted a major power transformer supplying power to the neighboring states of Karnataka and TN.
The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S M Krishna on the other hand, fearing that the situation might spiral out of control, embarked on a padayatra from
In the meanwhile, TN's contempt suit on Karnataka came up for hearing on 1 November. The Karnataka government, by now saw the spectra of a harsh rebuke and action by the SC, as a last effort to salvage the situation, decided to resume the release of water while at the same time compensating its own farmers for the loss. The SC deferred the case to 15 November and on 15 November, while reserving its comment on Karnataka, censured the TN Chief Minister for attacking the CRA and the PM and ordered TN to tender an unqualified apology. TN complied with it and tendered the apology.
By now, with Karnataka’s resumption of water release, compensation of its farmers and the first signs of the arrival of the N-E monsoon in TN, frayed tempers were on the wane. A couple of months later, the SC in an exceptionally stinging censure, pulled it up the Karnataka government for its defiance of the Courts. The Karnataka Chief Minister tendered an unqualified apology and soon the dispute blew over.
Most importantly and equally unfortunately, once again the dispute had blown over without any agreement being reached on the issue of 'distress-sharing'.
The term of the tribunal was initially set to expire in August of 2005. However, in the light of the many arguments the court was yet to hear, the tribunal filed a request for extension of its term. The extension was granted and the tribunal's term was extended for another year until Sep 2006.
Early in 2006, a major controversy erupted over the 'Assessor's report' that was apparently 'leaked' to the press. The report had suggested a decision which Karnataka summarily rejected. Another major controversy erupted when just a couple of months before the September 2006 deadline, the tribunal recommended the formation of another expert committee to study the 'ground realities' yet again. This was unanimously and vehemently opposed by all the four states party to the dispute. The states contended that this move would further delay a judgment which has already been 16 years in the making. None the less, the new expert committee was formed and carried out its brief.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal announced its final verdict on February 5, 2007.
According to its verdict, TN gets 419 TMC ft of Cauvery water while Karnataka gets 270 TMC. The actual release of water by Karnataka to TN is to be 192 TMC ft annually. Further, Kerala will get 30 TMC and Pondicherry 7 TMC. The government of Karnataka unhappy with the decision filed a revision petition before the tribunal seeking a review.
This article is about the present Prime Minister of India: Dr Manmohan Singh.
A story from humble beginnings
The country's present Prime Minister - Dr Manmohan Singh, a man of high moral standing and accomplishment.
Dr Singh was born on September 26, 1932, to his parents Gurmukh Singh and Amrit Kaur at Gah, a small hamlet in Pakistan. At the dawn of Independent India in 1947, Manmohan Singh, aged 13, displaced by the partition, came to live with his parents in Amritsar, India.
Dr Singh has been noted for his academic accomplishments. He is in fact the most qualified Prime Minister India has ever received since independence. Here are some highlights of his academic career:
- Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh,
- 1952 stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University, Chandigarh,
- 1954 Wright's Prize for distinguished performance at St John's College, Cambridge, 1955 and 1957
- Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge, 1957
- DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa)
- PhD thesis on India's export competitiveness
Dr Singh has served the nation in various capacities. From a humble beginning with his grit and patience has achieved a lot. He has a wide array of experience. Here is a small career map, of our Prime Minister.
He started off with a academic career i.e. teaching as a profession:
He served in the following capacities as teacher (Senior lecturer, Economics, 1957-59; Reader, Economics, 1959-63; Professor, Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1963-65; Professor, International Trade, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1969-71; Honorary professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 1976 and off late even Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1996) and Civil Servant
Dr Singh has held a lot of distinguished posts in his life here is a lift of these:
- 1971-72: Economic advisor, ministry of foreign trade
- 1972-76: Chief economic advisor, ministry of finance
- 1976-80: Director, Reserve Bank of India; Director, Industrial Development Bank of India; Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, Asian Development Bank; Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, IBRD
- November 1976 - April 1980: Secretary, ministry of finance (department of economic affairs); Member, finance, Atomic Energy Commission; Member, finance, Space Commission
- April 1980 - September 15, 1982 : Member-secretary, Planning Commission
- 1980-83: Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-Japan joint study committee
- September 16, 1982 - January 14, 1985: Governor, Reserve Bank of India
- 1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of governors, International Monetary Fund
- 1983-84: Member, economic advisory council to the Prime Minister
- 1985: President, Indian Economic Association
- January 15, 1985 - July 31, 1987: Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
- August 1, 1987 - November 10, 1990: Secretary-general and commissioner, south commission, Geneva
- December 10, 1990 - March 14, 1991: Advisor to the Prime Minister on economic affairs
- March 15, 1991 - June 20, 1991: Chairman, UGC
- June 21, 1991 - May 15, 1996: Union finance minister
- October 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
- 1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the ministry of finance
- August 1, 1996 - December 4, 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary standing committee on commerce
- March 21, 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha
- June 5, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on finance August 13, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on rules Aug 1998-2001: Member, committee of privileges 2000 onwards: Member, executive committee, Indian parliamentary group June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
- Aug 2001 onwards: Member, general purposes committee
- Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge, 1956
- Padma Vibhushan, 1987
- Euromoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year, 1993;
- Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year for Asia, 1993 and 1994
- 1966: Economic Affairs Officer
- 1966-69: Chief, financing for trade section, UNCTAD
- 1972-74: Deputy for India in IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform
- 1977-79: Indian delegation to Aid-India Consortium Meetings
- 1980-82: Indo-Soviet joint planning group meeting
- 1982: Indo-Soviet monitoring group meeting
- 1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Cyprus
- 1993: Human Rights World Conference, Vienna
Economic reforms and ascent to power
One of the more non-political faces of Indian politics, Dr Manmohan Singh is best known as the "liberator" of Indian economy. As the Union Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao government (1991-96), he liberalized the economy to put India on the path of globalization.
Singh served as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India in the late 1980s, and was elevated to finance minister in 1991 by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.
Dr. Singh is widely regarded as the architect of India's original economic reform programme which was enacted in 1991 under Rao's administration. The economic liberalization package pushed by Singh and Rao opened the nation to foreign direct investment and reduced the red tape that had previously impeded business growth.
Opposition and 2004 election
Dr. Singh stayed with the Congress Party despite continuous marginalization and defeats in the elections of 1996, 1998 and 1999. He did not join the rebels in a major split which occurred in 1999, when three Congress leaders objected to Sonia Gandhi's rise as Congress President and Leader of the Opposition. But Singh continued to stay on as a leader within the party, most notably helping to revamp the party's platform and organization.
Singh secured the nomination for prime minister on May 19, 2004 when President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam officially asked him to form a government.
Tenure as Prime Minister
Singh's image is of a formidable intellectual, a political leader of integrity, someone who is compassionate and attentive to common people, and as a recognized technocrat. Singh's administration has focused on reducing the fiscal deficit, providing debt-relief to poor farmers, extending social programs and advancing the pro-industry economic and tax policies that have launched the country on a major economic expansion course since 2002. Singh has been the image of the Congress campaign to defuse religious tensions and conflicts and bolster political support from minorities like Muslims and Christians.
The Indo-US Nuclear Deal
Dr. Singh is known as a bold leader. He made it clear in his address to Parliament in 2006 regarding his Nuclear Deal with US. He said he believed in taking India to new heights. Energy scarcity is hampering progress of the country. The speech gave signal of a new Manmohan Singh, who compelled his fellow parliamentarians to take a step forward for India's sake. He reminded them of the fears and anxieties that existed when he announced reforms in the early 1990s. Finally, the whole parliament, including the leftists, gave him support on the nuclear issue
The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of 'attitude' on life.
It's where you begin.
It's the foundation you build your life on.
It is more important than facts.
It is more impotant than the past, than money, than circumstances, than failures.
It,s the key to approaching education and achieving success.
Its more improtant than appearance, giftedness, and skill.
It means more than what other people think or say or do.
It will make or break a company, a church, a home, a team.
It is the heart of a champion.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past; we cannot chage the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thng we can do is play the one string we have, and this is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 person how I react to it.
And so it is with you.
Dont wait to see what happens; take the initiative to make something happen.
We are in charge of our attitudes.
A research in companies found out that most of the company heads when asked - "If there is one thing that you would like to change among your employees what would that be?", replied - "attitude". This shows how important attitude is. Attitude is the way we perceive - very similar to mindset. Attitude can be the one single factor that can make or break things.
There is another story.. About a carpenter. All along his professional life we was known for his workman ship. After about 20 yrs of work he wanted to quit and communicated his intent to his employer. The employer agreed that he could quit, but wanted him to complete building one more house; the carpenter reluctantly agreed to work an started working but did not work to his peak level and there by made a sub standard effort to build the new house. Once complete, the carpenter asked his employer to have a look at the new house, the employer held out the keys to him saying "You have been serving me sincerely for so many years, I am gifting this house to you as a token of appreciation.". The carpenter later realized his mistake having worked sluggishly in his last assignment; If only he had the attitude to work with same interest even in his last piece of work, he would have made a fortune... with the best of his masterpieces to be all his own. This shows how a small slug in the competence and attitude can make a very great impact.
It is the attitude that actually works to make an impact is one which gives us the initiative to take up risks, to take up challenges, to see opportunities where others see obstacles. Once you have the attitude and the appetite to achieve something in life; there is no holding you back, you will be motivated from within, to take up the challenge, to perform against odds, to expand your limits, to innovate, to be a leader. The more higher you want to reach, the fuel needed is attitude. Incentives and other factors of motivation fail when they are not combined with the right attitude. Attitude is one which gives you the guts to face odds, to look for places where no one ever before has tried.
It is "The substance" that has been the base of any success story, that we see today. A success story is a story about the attitude that visionaries have, their relentless struggle to achieve success. We all have in us a attitude, we have to get it to the right dimension to make it a success story, to make it big in life. Work to get the right attitude, all the remaining shall follow.
Types of attitude:
Attitude can be positive or negative:
Positive attitude lifts the spirit, it moves you up, motivates you, creates the urge to reach on the top, and generates the ability to take up risks, and propells you at high speed toward the goal that you have set. It creates a amazing satisfaction in finding new things, it manifests itself into the enthusiasm that is the kindling fire to any work, it then converts into a power to sustain the effort and reach higher in the goal.
Negative attitude pushes us to the abyss, makes us complain in even the simplest of issues, it turns the spirit of team work off, it generates a fear of failure, it makes us find a fault in ecent he most perfect creation, it never gives us satisfaction, be begin to crib in all things that we do.
So what do we do if we have a negative attitude?? This is the most important thing.
To generate a positive attitude from negative attitude we have to gain in confidence thatz the first act. Negative attitude would have degenerated you so much that you don’t find even a little confidence in what we do, then how do we obtain it; it can be with a lot of effort by us.
Once we diagonise that we are having a negative attitude, a large part of our work is over (yes this is the most difficult part, realizing that we suffer from a negative attitude).
How do we realize that we have a negative attitude? Simple, just look for the above symptoms that are characteristic of negative thought. Just take a break, loose yourself in observing your self, the way you think, the way you react - this will help diagonise yourself. Now that we have diagonized the problems, we can think about moving towards the positive attitude.
As told earlier, confidence is the worst casualty of negative attitude... so the first step is to improve self confidence. How do we do that? Well, just look back and see what you do best, what is that which most people have complemented you about? If you have found it, then do it again. Appreciate yourself on having done it well, and then choose something that interests you more, do those well appreciate yourself for it. Continue this way, in the work you do. The confidence that was lost is built up again. Once we have this foundation; just build on this in a systematic and regular way. Yes, systematic and regular, this is very important. The system in itself is a process that would act as a medium to grow a positive attitude.
Once we do this over a period of time, we turn to be optimists; the pessimism that was prevalent in us so much dies out. We reinvent ourself; this is what keeps us moving forward.
Attitude is the key to success, it the diffrence between win and loss. So friends, lets be up with loads of positive attitude, let it spread like wild fire, it is wake the enterprising spirit in us, let is give us a goal and motivation to reach it.
Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is the founder and chairman of Virgin group, a highly diversified business conglumerate. Down in this article I wish to present a brief biographical sketch of this maverick and unconventional business icon.
Sir Richard Branson is a flamboyant British entrepreneur with a seemingly insatiable appetite for starting new business. His internationally recognized brand "Virgin" is splashed across everything from credit cards to airlines to music "mega stores". Branson continuously seeks new business opportunities and loves a good challenge, especially when he enters a market that is dominated by few major players.
Sir Richard Branson was born on 18 July 1950, Shamley Green, Surrey, England.Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School (now Bishopsgate School) until the age of 13. He then attended Stowe School until he was 15. Branson has dyslexia, resulting in his not having been a good student. He was the captain of football and cricket teams, and by the age of 15 he had started two ventures that eventually failed: one growing Christmas trees and another raising budgerigars.
Sir Richars's talents began to show themselves during his later school days. Seeing the energy of student activism in the late 60s, he decided to start his own newspaper. not particularly unusual, except his paper was intended to tie many schools together. It would be focused on the student and not on the schools. It would sell advertising to big business and feature articles by members of Parliament, rock stars and movie celebrities. That was the business plan of the 17 year old - Richard Branson put together with his friend, Jonny Gems. The rest is history. The head master of Stowe, where Richard and Jonny were students wrote: "Congratulations, Branson. I predict you will either go to prison or become a millionaire".
When he was 17, he opened his first charity, the "Student Valley Centre". Branson started his first record business after he travelled across the English Channel and purchased crates of "cut-out" records from a record discounter. He sold the records out of the boot of his car to retail outlets in London. The name 'Virgin' was a selling point because records were sold in a new condition.Branson eventually started a record shop in Oxford Street in London and, shortly after, launched the record label Virgin Records with Nik Powell. Branson had earned enough money from his record store to buy a country estate, in which he installed a recording studio. He leased out studio time to fledgling artists, including multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield.
Virgin Atlantic Airways, started in 1984, is now the second largest British long haul international airline and operates a fleet of Boeing 747 air crafts to New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, and Tokyo.In 1992, the Virgin Music Group -- record labels, music publishing and recording studios -- was sold to Thorn EMI in a $1 billion US deal, to keep his airline company afloat.The airline was founded on the concept of offering competitive and high quality first class and economy services. The airline holds many major airline awards and recently earned "Airline of the Year Award" for the third consecutive year.
In 1997, Branson took what many saw as being one of his riskier business exploits by entering into the railway business. Virgin Trains won the franchises for the former Intercity West Coast and Cross-Country sectors of British Rail. Launched with the usual Branson fanfare with promises of new high-tech tilting trains and enhanced levels of service, Virgin Trains soon ran into problems with the aging rolling stock and crumbling infrastructure it had inherited from British Rail. The company's reputation was almost irreversibly damaged in the late 1990s as it struggled to make trains reliably run on time while it awaited the modernisation of the West Coast Main Line, and the arrival of new rolling stock.
Virgin has acquired European short-haul airline Euro Belgian Airlines, renaming it Virgin Express, and subsequently merging it with SN Brussels. It also started a national airline based in Nigeria, called Virgin Nigeria. Another airline, Virgin America, is set to launch out of San Francisco International Airport in 2007. Branson has also developed a Virgin Cola brand, but is now retreating only to the UK market, and even a Virgin Vodka brand, which has not been a very successful enterprise. As a consequence of these lacklustre performers and perceived obscure accounting practices, the satirical British fortnightly magazine Private Eye has been critical of Branson and his companies
On September 25, 2004 Branson announced the signing of a deal under which a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, will license the technology behind Spaceship One to take paying passengers into suborbital space. The group plans to make flights available to the public by late 2009 with tickets priced at $200,000. The deal was mostly financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and the American aeronautical engineer and visionary Burt Rutan.
Branson's next venture with the Virgin group is Virgin Fuel, which is set to respond to global warming and exploit the recent spike in fuel costs by offering a revolutionary, cheaper fuel for automobiles and, in the near future, aircraft. Branson has stated that he was formerly a global warming skeptic and was influenced in his decision by a breakfast meeting with Al Gore.
Branson has been tagged as a "transformational leader" in the management lexicon, with his maverick strategies and his stress on the Virgin Group as an organization driven on informality and information, one that is bottom-heavy rather than strangled by top-level management.
In addition to his own business activities, Richard is a trustee of several charities including the Virgin Health Care Foundation, a leading health care charity which is responsible for the launch of health education campaign relating to AIDS. The foundation has also become involved in a lobbying campaign called Parents Against Tobacco, which aims to restrict tobacco advertising and sponsorship in sports.
Branson also launched the Virgin Health Bank on 1 February 2007, offering parents-to-be the opportunity of storing their baby's umbilical cord blood stem cells in private and public stem cell banks after their baby's birth.
On 9 February 2007, Richard Branson committed to a $25 million prize for a practical plan to reduce greenhouse gases and global warming. Branson will judge the contest along with 5 other environmental campaigners, such as Tim Flannery and Al Gore. The entrant must present a project unlike technologies being currently developed.
He is one of Britain's best-known entrepreneur who combines his enthusiasm for running the Virgin group of companies with his love for high-risk, high advantage world record breaking attempts
Richard Branson has been involved in a number of world record-breaking attempts since 1985. In 1986 his boat, "Virgin Atlantic Challenger II" rekindled the spirit of the Blue Riband by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest ever recorded time. This was followed a year later by the epic hot air balloon crossing of the same ocean in "Virgin Atlantic Flyer". This was not only the first hot-air balloon to cross the Atlantic, but was the largest ever flown at 2.3 million cubic feet capacity, reaching speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h).
In January 1991 Richard crossed the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada, the furthest distance of 6,700 miles. Again, he broke all existing records, with speeds of up to 245 miles per hour in a balloon of 2.6 million cubic feet.
Between 1995 and 1998 Richard Branson, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett, made a number of attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. In late 1998 they made a record-breaking flight from Morocco to Hawaii but were unable to complete a global flight before Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in Breitling Orbiter achieved the first circumnavigation in March 1999.
Richard received his knighthood for his service to entrepreneurship in 1999.He lives in London and Oxfordshire, UK and is married to Joan, has two children - Sam Branson and Holly Branson.
Some time back I was thinking if I had to write articles or not... I thoughts that were holding me back were... what if I don't present my Idea in a pleasing manner? What if some one finds some mistake in it? What if some one makes some thing better than this? Then I started with the thought.. Well there will be some one who has done these things earlier, why should I do some thing new? Why should I not follow that.. I might be happy with agreeing 90% with some one!! Then why should I write it... well let think about it some other time.. if needed I will write.
All through the dilemma - "To write something that was original to me or not" I was PROCRASTINATING. Searching for the perfect and internally possessed by the "Fear of Failure". This is the actual enemy that prevents us from achieving what we are capable of. We keep pushing things till we realize that we cannot push it any further.. till we have no escape from doing some thing by compulsion. Well in the above scenario it's not all that serious but still has a message for the bigger scenario... "The point of compulsion".
When you are compelled to do something.. I personally feel we don't give it our full effort.. We do it in a half hearted effort more with the thought of having to get done with it than just doing it by will. This leads to imperfections.. This leads to incomplete and sub standard work. and sub standard work always leads to dissatisfaction amongst those who expected the work from you... this will coax them to complaint about your effort, intern triggering the cycle again - the cycle of PROCRASTINATION.
Well what is PROCRASTINATION?
Procrastination is the deferment or avoidance of an action or task and is often linked to Perfectionism. For the person procrastinating this may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of productivity, the creation of crisis, and the charging of others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments. While it is normal for individuals to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological or physiological disorder.
Harold Taylor defines procrastination as the intentional and habitual postponement of an important task that should be done now.
As mentioned above in the definition and explanation section, procrastination is not always bad, it good to delay a decision till we are clear about it, and there by make a better and more sound decision, but this should not push the decision indefinitely - there is definitely a breaking point beyond which we cannot procrastinate.. Knowing this limit is very important to use procrastination to an advantage. This is not just with regard to decisions that we take on procrastination, it applies to the work we want to do.
We try delaying the work till we feel comfortable.. What exactly if the comfort level? Where does this end? Where does procrastination become an enemy from a friend?
This decision can be taken only by practice; it is as a product of our habit and experience that we can determine when we have reached the limit of procrastination. Its this procrastination in decision making that can help us make a better analysis and assessment.. But if we miss the stipulated time frame, we loose all things.. We lose the whole purpose and then we incur huge losses. Evidently the limit can only be got by practicing and looking at the surroundings and at the situation more carefully.
Well how do I stop Procrastinating too much?
Humm.. this we have to understand really well. Procrastinating might have got to be a habit... and habits are hard to change.. still we follow some steps to reduce procrastination to the appropriate extent. Let me try to do this in a bit of organized manner - i.e. dealing with the reason and then giving suggestions to handle them...
Procrastination can be analysed by their root and some suggestions are noted down here. We can classify these tasks into two broad class:
we have to realize that rarely unpleasant task turns out to be as bad as we think they are. We can schedule these tasks to the beginning of the day... this will help us finish off these tasks at the earliest. On completing them give your self regards for having completed them.
Something looms ahead of you: starting a small business, getting a job, preparing the annual budget. The job is too big or will take too long to do now, so you put it off.
The solution here is to break the large job into small manageable ones over a time frame.. Plan and complete a start-up task, no matter how small.
People delay because they can't make up their minds. Determine a time for making a decision and the criteria for making it. Share your deadline with someone else.
Fear of failure (lack of self confidence)
People don't want to face the consequences of failure, so they delay. (Some people suffer from fear of success too!)
Develop a clear mental picture of the completed task and how you will feel at that time. Maintain a focus on the end result, not just the process. Remind yourself how good you'll feel when you're finished. this helps improve your confidence ..and pushes you to perform.
Lack of interest
You are tired or lazy. You're just not very interested in the task. This is one of the most paining reasons as it has the feel - "I can but I wont".
Reward yourself for accomplishments. Go out for special lunches when major projects are completed. If you don't earn the reward, don't take it. Schedule the task of fun and enjoyment for when you will be at your peak, that will keep the enthusiasm.
People delay because they want to get perfect. Set deadlines for yourself. Tell other people your deadlines and encourage them to check up on you. Maintain your high standards, but recognize that sometimes 80% for you may well be 100% for someone else. Don't spend hours conducting a detailed cost breakdown when a rough estimate would suffice. This is to set bench mark for your performance.. its better to have our goals high so that it exceeds the expectations of the person who is inspecting you. This increases you confidence as well.
Hostility towards a boss
People delay because they don't like the person who assigned the task.
Review with your boss what exactly is needed. Clarify the expectations. Make a game out of unpleasant tasks. Give yourself points, or do a running commentary on yourself as you do the task. Just make it a fun working the task that's the Idea.
Distraction, lack of focus
Sometimes losing concentration causes delays.
Create a to-do list with priorities, Block your time for projects, As you get distracted from a work project, make a rule that you are not allowed to move out of your chair, make a call, surf the net, pick up a book etc. until you return to your task. Complete something. Make a very small task for yourself and finish it. Then, make another one.
Tailor your environment for work. Close your door, clean up the clutter on your desk.
Remove distractions such as water coolers, snacks, in-boxes, coffee machines and magazine racks.
If you work at home, treat your office as an office. Don't go out to lunch before lunchtime or watch television before the end of the day.
Tell your family that you are not to be disturbed in your home office.
These are for the solution part of the problem of procrastinating...... I believe can help us get out of this habit.
After going though these suggestions now I always believe in "Let the thought of fear not take away the Joy of success later". I think in these lines most of the time. If I loose I don't loose the lesson. I may look childish in my attempts but, I am ready to learn like a child. This is my Inspiration.. this is my style of life now. Its been exciting ever since I took to this style.. I have been happy really happy now.
Look into and let me know if these strategies have helped you reduce the delays due to Procrastinating and made you proactive.