Monday, February 27, 2012

Now a Self Financing Engineering College by Communist Party

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Starting from the academic year 1992 till today, especially when Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) was ruling Kerala, how many working days were lost in schools and colleges across Kerala due to strikes by SFI, student wing of CPI(M), in protest against starting self financing engineering colleges in Kerala? During my engineering days there was even a relay hunger strike by SFI that lasted more than a month against the new self financing engineering colleges. Hundreds of government cars, buses were damaged by the striking SFI comrades bringing huge loss to the state exchequer. Few youngsters lost life in SFI’s so called struggle against these self financing colleges. 
Now can you believe, the same Communist Party and SFI, is starting a self financing college - M Dasan Institute of Technology - in Kozhikode (Calicut)? What an irony! See this news (in Malayalam).
Is this news shocking? If you know the past history of Communist Party that has a record of committing “historical blunders” only to be corrected later, you won’t be shocked at all. The party that was not ready to accept initially that India got independence from British on August 15th, 1947, party that supported China during the Indo-Chinese war in early sixties, the party that opposed the introduction of computers in early eighties (now all party leaders uses the latest electronics gadgets) this is what we can expect from them. At least now let their leaders admit that opposing self financing colleges was another “historic blunder” of communist party and make a vow that from now onwards party will stop making any more historic blunders. 
I know lot of my friends who took part in SFI agitation against self financing colleges will be reading this post. Like to know their views now that Communist party itself has decided to start an engineering college in self financing sector.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Your View on Sachin Tendulkar's Retirement Talk....

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The media - both print as well as visual has one hot topic - when/why/how should Sachin Tendulkar retire from International Cricket. Every so called expert has view of their own and debates goes on. What do you call think? Join this poll...

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nineteen New Engineering Colleges in Kerala – What a Stupid Move by Government!

Kerala government has given permission to open another 19 new engineering colleges this year. This move comes when over 12,000 engineering seats remained vacant in various engineering colleges in Kerala during last year. With the entry of 19 new engineering colleges, the total number of engineering colleges has increased to 162 colleges. In 1992 the state had 7 engineering colleges including REC, Calicut and in a span of 2 decades another 155 colleges were added. 
My house in Trivandrum in 8 kms from Trivandrum City and in walkable distance there will be two engineering colleges now. Things have reached a stage in Kerala that whoever clears Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in Plus Two with minimum possible marks get to choose the colleges and branch of engineering. I feel if this trend continues we will soon find auto drivers, carpenters, masons and even day laborers having engineering course completion certificates. 
Following are the new engineering colleges sanctioned by the government:
  1. Akila School of Engineering, Kozhipara, Palakkad
  2. North Malabar Institute of Technology, Kanjanhad, Kasargord
  3. Vidhya Institute of Science and Technology, Kilimanoor, Trivandrum
  4. Nest Institute of Technology, Karivallur, Kannur
  5. K V M College of Engineering and I.T, Cherthala, Allapuzha
  6. Focus Institute of Science and Technology, M.G. Road, Trissur
  7. Aryanet Institute of Technology, Mundur Palakkad
  8. Mookambika Technical Campus, Muvattupuzha, Eranakulam
  9. I.L.M College of Engineering, Kezhillam, Perumbavoor
  10. Cochin College of Engineering and Technology, Valanchery, Malappuram
  11. Cochin Institute of Science and Technology, Muvattupuzha, Eranakulam
  12. Eranadu Knowledge City Technical Campus, Manjeri, Malappuram
  13. St. Thomas College of Engineering and Technology, Mattannur, Kannur
  14. A C E College of Engineering, Pachallor, Trivandrum
  15. Pinnacle School of Engineering and Technology, Anchal, Kollam
  16. M. Dasan Institute of Technology, Ullesheri, Kozhikode
  17. St. Gregarious College of Engineering Devalokam Perla Kasargord
  18. Muthoot Institute of Technology and Science, Puthenkurishu, Eranakulam
  19. I.E.S College of Architecture, Chittilapally, Trissur
When government gives importance to quantity than quality, be ready to see more engineering colleges mushrooming in Kerala in the days ahead.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is it Ethical for Newspapers to Carry Such Advertisements?

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Almost every day I see an advertisement of Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) in leading newspaper advertising their BBA and MBA program with the tag line “Dare to think beyond the IIMs”. I subscribe to “The Hindu” and almost every day I see this advertisement in the newspaper – sometimes even a full page. Couple of advertisement that got published…
Now UGC has issued an advertisement long back warning that IIPM is not a University nor it has the right of conferring or granting degrees as specified by UGC. UGC further says that IIPM is neither entitled to award MBA/BBA/BCA degree nor it is recognized by UGC. In short what it means is that students graduating out of IIPM are having a degree not recognized in India. Here is the UGC advertisement that appeared in leading newspapers. 
Now my question – is it ethical on part of a newspaper to publish the ads of IIPM knowing well that they are awarding a degree that is not recognized in India. Is it ethical for leading newspapers to forget their social obligation for some quick bucks? What do you guys think of it?
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Monday, February 20, 2012

“Story of Stuff” Documentaries I Love to Watch!

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"Story of Stuff” – a documentary series critical of excessive consumerism and promotes sustainable growth. Filmmaker Annie Leonard wrote and narrated the film, which was funded by Tides Foundation, Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, Free Range Studios and other foundations. Free Range Studios also produced the documentary, which was first launched online on December 4, 2007. Here are few of them that I can watch any time of the day.
The Story of Stuff
The Story of Cap and Trade
The Story of Bottled Water
The Story of Cosmetics
The Story of Electronics
Story of Stuff – Citizens United vs FEC
The Story of Broke
Eye Opener, right?

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Piravom by-election – Predict the winner…

Stage is set for Piravom by-election. Election on March 18th will decide if Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will have a majority of four members or two members in Assembly. The UDF candidate is Anoop Jacob, son of former minister T M Jacob, whose untimely death caused this by-election. The LDF candidate is M J Jacob, who is contesting in Piravom for the third consecutive time. Whom do you think will win this election that has the potential to change the political landscape of Kerala politics?

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why America Needs Skilled Workers from India and China

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President Obama after sending the annual budgetary proposal for the fiscal year 2013 to Congress said that he does not want US companies to look for skilled and educated workers from India and China in field of engineering, technology and science. Mr. President – this is not going to happen any time soon. Let me tell you why. 

Mr. President, have a look at the ratio of American students to ratio of Indian and Chinese students doing Ph.D. in best schools across US. It will be close to a miracle if you can see an engineering department in any school that has 25% of Americans as Ph.D. scholars. During my five years of my Ph.D. in Arizona State University (ASU), I have seen an Indian, a Bangladeshi, a Jordanian, an Egyptian and a Mexican all graduating with their Ph.D degree with my guide as advisor but not a single American. Mr President, just go to any graduation ceremony of top engineering schools in US and see for yourselves how many Chinese and Indian students are awarded Ph.D. degree and how many Americans are getting it. 
Almost all the cutting edge research happening in various schools is mainly due to the efforts of Indians and Chinese Ph.D. students. You take these students out of equation and I am sure majority of the research activities happening in major Universities will stop. Now where do these students who graduate with their Ph.D. go? Companies will be competing to hire them as they have knowledge in latest technologies thanks to their Ph.D. No company may want to wait to get non-existent  American while you have properly trained Indian and Chinese from good schools graduating out every year. 
Now coming to jobs in IT sector – I have seen employees of outsourced companies from India like Infosys, Wipro working for over 12 hours a day and also working at odd hours to deliver a product to American client or fix a bug in the system so that by the time Americans wakes up they have a perfect system in place. How many Americans are willing to work for over 8 hours a day and that too without getting a cent as overtime pay? Majority of Americans will prefer to make burger in Burger King for 8 hours a day rather than work as a software engineer that demands updated skill set and long working hours. 
Majority of Americans always wanted jobs in their comfort zone (like week-ends off, no official work after 5:00 PM etc) and these jobs/research works outsourced/taken by Indians and Chinese are kinds of jobs much away from the comfort zone of Americans. Unless a cultural and mental revolution happens in US, she has to depend on skilled workers from India, China and other countries for existence. That is the truth and a political statement by US President is not going to change this truth. What do you all think?

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Monday, February 13, 2012

DNA ads Inspiration for “The Hindu” Ads?

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I happened to see these ads from Daily News and Analysis (DNA) newspaper for their after hour edition that got published sometime in August 2011. Doesn’t it look very similar to online ads by “The Hindu”?

Enjoy!

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Monday, February 06, 2012

How to Write a Good Research Paper?

I came across this video in YouTube. This is a presentation by a professor in Oklahoma State University about how to write a good research paper. A good reference for all students and teachers who want to write quality journal papers. It tells you the do's and dont's of writing a peer reviewed journal paper. 


Wasn’t that useful?

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Times of India vs The Hindu - Ad War Continues....

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Last updated: 13/2/2012 - 9:00 AM: 
The advertisement war between the “The Hindu” newspaper and “Times of India” is heating up. After the release of few videos making fun at each other, we get to see print advertisements daily these days taking a dig at each other. I will be tracking this advertisement war between these two newspaper giants here.
The latest ads from The Hindu...
The ad that appeared in The Hindu on 13/2/2012
The ad that appeared on The Hindu on 10/2/2012
This one appeared on 8/2/2012 newspaper.
Times of India response to The Hindu Advertisement:
The Hindu advertisements:

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Why Tamil Nadu Fears a New Dam at Mullaperiyar

Vellore, my home for the last two years in Tamil Nadu lies on the bank of Palar River. This river originates from Karnataka and after flowing for 93 km, enters Andhra Pradesh where it flow for 33 kms and then flows through Tamil Nadu for 222 kms. River Palar has no water for the entire stretch it flows through Tamil Nadu - the reason, being the construction of so many check dams in 33 km stretch in Andhra Pradesh. (I was told by farmers that there are 30 check dams in 33 km stretch in Andhra Pradesh). 
Being specialized in Water/Wastewater Treatment I often get to meet with people residing on the banks of Palar river in Tamil Nadu side. They narrate their struggles for clean drinking water and water to irrigate their crops. They have lost all hopes as they know that neither Tamil Nadu government nor Supreme Court is going to help them. Majority of them no longer depends on agriculture for their livelihood and also excess sand mining and dumping of pollutants from leather industry has made pure drinking water a scare resource for the people along the Palar belt. 
Why am I talking about Palar now? Palar and Cauvery are the two interstate rivers that flow into Tamil Nadu from Andra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively. Palar has gone dry and Tamil Nadu is at the mercy of Karnataka government for Cauvery water. Water from Mullaperiyar dam is the only interstate water on which Tamil Nadu government has full control now. It is quite obvious, from the past experience with Cauvery river and Palar river, that Tamil Nadu government and its people fear that once a new dam is constructed and Kerala government takes control of it, they may be deprived of water by the Kerala government. What happens if the Kerala government at that time, after the construction of a new dam, suddenly decides not to give water to Tamil Nadu? The bitter experiences of the past have made the Tamil Nadu government and people not rely any more on promises. 
I feel for any amicable solution to Mullaperiyar dam issue, the existing “feeling of betrayal” sense prevailing with the Tamil Nadu government as well with the public of Tamil Nadu needs to be addressed. They have a feeling that they are constantly betrayed by their neighbors with regard to water sharing. 
Kerala wanted to protect the people living downstream of the dam in case the existing dam fails and Tamil Nadu wants continuous supply of water. Let a new dam be constructed under Tamil Nadu’s supervision and let Tamil Nadu be given full control of it after it is constructed. Can’t this solve the Mullaperiyar dam issue forever?

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