Monday, August 23, 2010

A Drunk Car

It is an offence to drive a car after a drink but what if it is the car, which has had a glass! In medieval Europe the car would have been sentenced with imprisonment. They did jail a pet dog if it bit anybody.

However, we consider ourselves civilized and do not penalize the dumb animal as its action is a reflex action and not a deliberate act. But such a plea would not be admissible with a human driver even if it turned out that the drink was forced down his throat. Such a plea would, however, be tenable in a drunken car since others have forced the drink down in its tank. Nor would be the men whom did this would be held responsible of any misdemeanor since the liquid was fed into the car as a substitute combustible material to drive the vehicle. Even if the car were to be the latest self-driving car it would not be held culpable for the simple fact that it purred on smoothly and did not commit any misdemeanor.

Mr.Martin Tamney who heads a team, which has developed this substitute material from alcohol and appropriately named it Beautamol says that this material has as much energy as petrol. He confidently asserts that in another couple of years cars running on beautamol would hit the market and they would hit it quite hard. What is more the employment of this substitute would not need any elaborate changes or additions to the tank for the switchover.

The team from the Napier University of Edimborough developing this biofuel has already applied for a patent for it. It claims that it is more efficient by almost 30% the ethanol. The team was working on it for the last two years. And the beauty of this is that this technique of conversion of liquor into beautamol has been in use over a century.

I remember an incident of some fifty years ago. When our car in which we friends were out for a Eat, drink and be merry suddenly stopped and to our chagrin we found that the tank was empty. Nobody had bothered to check up it it was full when we started and now the pump was nowhere miles around. But we had enough and to spare drinks. One of us frustratingly suggested that we should feed it to the car, which would make her forget that the tank is empty and make it move. But even in our desperation we had not lost our heads that much.

If only we had listened to the suggestion we would have been the pioneers in the matter of development of beautamol fifty years ago.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Doctors prescribing patients for their own health.

Everybody of us knows that when we go to a doctor very few of them have dispensing arrangements in their dispensary. They normally write down the names of the medicines, which we should take as per frequency noted against them. In some cases by way of friendly caution they also ask us to obtain the provisions from a particular chemist suggestively throwing the shoulder suggesting that you do that at your own risk. Who can dare to defy the doctor’s advice? I do not know whether you have seen the Chemist noting down the name of the doctor in a long notebook. Even if you had you might not have thought anything much about it.

I cannot vouchsafe for it but there is buzz among patients that this is meant for keeping an account of the doctor wise prescriptions subsequently to finalize an account of commission to be paid to the concerned doctor. Had you cared to devote a little thought to this you would have understood the throwing up of shoulders by your doctor when you mentioned name of a chemist other than the one recommended by him. The recent reports are that the doctor leaves it entirely to our discretion the shop from where we desire to purchase the prescriptions indicating that there is an implicit understanding between the doctors and the chemists at large on the cuts.

However, you will find that this is nothing if you learn that despite specific legal provisions prohibiting doctors recommending the products of any specific medicine company the doctors are doing it brazenly and openly. In fact, the records show that at least 159 doctors who knew of this prohibition have endorsed products of medicine companies. This list includes the names like Dr. Ketan Desai,former president of the Medical Council of India who had taken initiative in brining this prohibition by the MCI. It also lists Mr.G.Samaram its current national president as also the present national secretary Dr/.Dharam Prakash.

In fact in 2008 the Central Working Committee of the IMA signed with Pepsi to endorse Quaker Oats and Tropicana juices and the another MOU with the Dabur to endorse its Odojmos gel and lotions.This endorsement will be in operation till March 2011 and it has brought in Rs. 2.25 crores revenue for the IMA. This works out to about one lac per each member. This amount is supposed to cover the frequent foreign trips the doctors have to undertake. This despite the fact that the MCI regulations specifically prohibit the members to claim any travel allowances from the companies for their travel expences.The quantum of punishment for breach of its rules has been put at penal esasure from the registry for one year . However, no action has been taken against anybody so far. When MCI was confronted with this fact it brazenly responded by saying that IMA is outside the purview of MCI. It reassured that, despite this MCI would initiate action provided a list of such recipients. However, in spite of furnishing a detailed list with names, addressed etc. of the 159 doctors, as aforesaid no action has as yet been initiated.

This is an open case of defiance of prohibitory regulations of which there is a specific record available.

What can you expect from doctors who are not so officially listed and where the exchange is under the table.

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If you are unfortunate to fall ill, you have to depend more on your inherent resistence and god’s grace for you cannot but be sure that the medicines prescribed have only your indisposition as the frame of reference or the commission received.

The East India Company lives again in India

We read in our history books in schools that Queen Victoria took away the reign and rains of India from the East India Company and we thought that that was that. Of course we never looked into what happened to the company thereafter thinking that it must have rolled up its activities and that was that.

We should have known better. We did not do so when the Company entered India. We were lost in establishing new kingdoms and conquering more territories and looked almost pityingly at these people with the scales in their hands and asked only for permission to open shops in India. We did not appreciate or even care that in fact they were weighing us in their scales and then artificially tilting the scale this or that way like the monkey in the Aesop’s fables they ate away most of the butter and claimed whatever remained at the end as their commission.

They did leave India being forced by their own people to quit (not us forcing them out) However, they left a legacy of weighing everything in terms of profit and loss. We forgot the legacy of Damaji Pant of Mangalwedha who at the risk of brining upon himself the wrath of the Sultan opened the godowns of corn collected as taxes and allowed the starving people to help himself or herself. The godowns in Kolkata overflowing with rice were kept locked up despite the fact that the poor starved to death before the closed doors. Mind well, these godowns were not of the East India Company or even of the Britishers but of Indian like you or me. Yet the profit motive, which drove the East India Company to force the farmers to cultivate opium and indigo plants in the 19the century to meet the growing demands for it in China, was our models. Even now with all our tall talks of altruism wheat is rotting in the godowns or for lack of them stores in the open in leaked or directly falling rain water we cannot see our way to rather distribute it before it rots away completely to the starving millions. We rather tend to boast our capacity of exporting food grains where at one time we depended entirely upon imported grains. As they say every forth roti of our meals came from American wheat and we were ridiculed as living from American what to mouth.

We have reversed completely our once dearly held values-Best Farming, Medium Trade and Lowest Service. Now almost everybody is after getting qualifications to catch a well-paying post preferably in a MNC, never mind if it is engaged in exploiting India. Trade, not licit trading but one entirely motivated by profit is our high priority. Agriculture comes last. There also the emphasis is on cash crops never mind if we will have to revert to the days of eagerly waiting for foreign ships bringing food grains.

And that East India Company is staging a comeback here. It is small satisfaction that this East India Company is now owned by an Indian financier Mr.Sanjay Mehta.In his introductory speech he even lauds the East India Company saying that ‘the world would have been a different place if East India Company was not there. ‘The East India Company,’He goes on,’ was the Google of its time. It controlled the world’s navigation routes it way the online giant controls many information routes today. The East India Company’s input in the world was massive.’ If he was to believed the East India Company is one of the most recognized brands in the world with over two billion people aware of its history. If this is so Indians like me are indeed ignoramus who had consigned it to the dunghill of history. He further adds that he hopes to capitalize on and retain the East India Company’s brand ‘which he describes as of impeccable pedigree and enviable heritage.’

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Be on your guard! The East India Company is staging a comeback. If I were Mr.Mehta I would have at least changed the name of the Company to dissociate it from all the unhappy memories (for India) of the past.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is not Leh part of India?

Is not Leh part of India?

We proudly declare that Kashmir is part of India. We have special affinity to Ladakh part of Kashmir since Buddhist mostly populates it. And Buddhism is akin to Hinduism. In fact, we have been insisting that Ladakh should get internal autonomy in Kashmir so that each and every measure initiated by Srinagar need not automatically cover Ladakh but it would be able to refuse to apply it or agree to apply it only in such modified form as it would not militate against it predominantly Buddhist culture. However, this has not been accepted and consequently has always been a point of contention between the region and the rest of Kashmir.

This consideration for the region is understandable. It is not necessarily against Srinagar but only a desirable measure for reassuring the local people that all the laws passed there would not automatically apply to it and if any part or the whole law was felt to be detrimental to the cultural set of the region it would have the power to qualify its application to the extent found necessary. This is purely a demoicratic measure and does not even remotely suggest any secessionist tendency.

The recent devastating cloudburst not only caused an unimaginable human tragedy, but a massive economic disaster in this tourist paradise, where re-building the damaged infrastructure may take a minimum of two years. There had been a huge loss of men and materials.

It reminds us of the earthquake in Bhuj. According to press reports of the time and especially of Mr.Deshmukh of the RSS, Sangh volunteers, swayamsevaks, already highly organized into local chapters, reached the affected region even before any official program was set in motion by the RSS. They were instrumental in assisting the emergency hospital set up in the Jubilee Grounds in Bhuj, which treated so many of the injured. "The biggest job our workers have done," said Deshmukh, "is the extraction and cremation of over 3,500 bodies from the rubble." Even on the 50th day after the quake, they were still doing this, extracting rotting bodies. They also distributed 2,000 truckloads of relief material. At its peak, 25,000 RSS workers were engaged in rescue and relief operations

However, we have not had any such reports in relation to the Leh cloudburst. Except for the recent appeal by Mr. Advani advising BJP MPs/MLAs contribute Rs. 10,000/- each out of their salaries we have not come across any information of any such assistance extended by RSS per se . We have heard of volunteers who frequently went on tour to these areas and some of whose friends have been caught in the calamity proposing a visit to the affected area for rendering such help as they could to the affected people and especially their friends who had gone on tour and are stranded there. There was also a general appeal in Mumbai to working people to contribute one month’s salary for the relief funds. It is clear that the economic cost of the disaster may run into several hundred crores if one takes into account the damage to both public and personal property.

Thus the appeals made so far are for financial contribution except those of the friends of the tourists. There are no initiatives, not even proposals for running to the rescue of our affected brothers in Leh. This absence of any warm response to the affected people there in Leh, appears very strange to say the least compared to the warm response to the Bhuj tragedy. In fact, the mere fact that the accession of Kashmir of which Leh (Ladakh) is a part, to India is in dispute should not stand in our way to help them. If anything, such apathy would only spoil our claim over Kashmir. Then again as already stated the majority of people affected are Buddhist even if that is immaterial. Even if they were to be Muslims as some of the affected people certainly are they were part of an area which has acceded to India ,maybe the accession is in dispute-one sided dispute. Nor can it be the case that RSS does not advertise its efforts. It also did not proclaim its relief operations undertaken by it in Bhuj from their rooftops but they were nonetheless concrete and palpable. If indeed such proposals were under preparation they would not have failed to come out in the press.

All this looks very strange. As against this the news from Pakistan indicates that Muslim volunteers entered the areas devastated by rains with help before the governments nominees reached there. Of course, these volunteers were not in a position to offer much on account of the limited resources at their credit but the affected people appreciated their initiative. In fact, Pakistani papers report that the Government’s response towards relief work is rather inadequate. Perhaps the volume of the tragedy is indeed beyond its resources though a number of philanthropic organizations the world over had shown readiness to join the relief operations with men and materials.

We have also received similar offers and while these are welcome the main burden would have to be borne by us. Shri Krishna reminds me of the holding the Govardhan Mountain up balancing it on his little finger. He did not expect any help from the cowherd friends of his but nevertheless they also supported it with their sticks. I do not see any such sticks raised in Leh whereas there many of them in Bhuj!

Is Leh not a part of India?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

lenovo Y330 worst laptop

I have bought lenovo Y330 ideapad laptop in September 2009. Previously I have used Dell inspiron 6000 for 5 years and old compaq.

I changed my laptop to get something new on board although my dell is working nice even today. But the lenovo (chinese made) was just scrap product

1) Wireless was not working at many places .. I had done many trips to the dealer... Trial and error and it was quite frustrating to consume time on such issue.
After a lot of efforts and time I got it working after some tweaks.

2) The Battery backup is very low just 1 hr. After complaining a lot .. they gave me new but scrap battery. Which gave 40-50 mins backup.

now I am again stuck with these people to get good battery. They have replaced battery 2 times but still its giving backup of 40-50 mins. The officials have confirmed the same and are going to give me new battery again.. (God knows whether this fourth battery which lenovo shall give will be proper or not)

3) Meanwhile the CD / DVD writer was not working .. after bugging a lot in softwares ..going back to dealer only to find that this optical drive is faulty and which was replaced later. Thanks for the dealer who had given me replacement drive for time being.

I would strongly suggest dont buy lenovo ANYMORE.
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