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Monday, August 30, 2010

IITians, Doctors and the Brain Drain but What if....

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Though an old topic, but was thinking about this from some time and so decided to write about it. Should people who get highly subsidized education be allowed to migrate to developed countries? The legal answer is whatever - freedom it is !! Somebody might argue about the moral responsibility then the detabte will become too vague and subjective because ward officer is morally responsible to develop his/her ward, government doctor to provide equal quality of service to everyone visiting government hospitals and I can give 500 more examples in next 5 minutes !! So, lets not get into that...

What does this nation expect from an 22 years old fresh graduate, who has worked hard, prepared under tremendous peer pressure/ family pressure? Society/ family - creates tremendous pressure to get into IIT, followed by pressure to get good grades, followed by pressure to get good job and do well in life( some might argue who's forcing any bdoy to do well by the way? but that might be a topic for another blog entry someday).No wonder Pink Floyd is so popular within IITs...

So what about few hundred thousand Rs. of subsidy given by government of India to students at IIT/IIMs. I hope people are aware that until few years (and to large extent even now), government medical colleges charge fee as low as Rs.500 per semester. What about the 1/3rd rates at which politicians buys cars and computers for personal use and what about the 200% price at which government offices buys printers and same cars for public/office use. Do we have a plan to recover all this money lost in providing subsidies !!

One of my good friend once said that by paying income tax, we are promoting corruption!! Agree yes, but perhaps not a very positive thing to say about one's country. Some might argue that just because person X is doing wrong, we can justify the wrong actions of person Y. I dont agree. What happens when person Y do something good/positive, does it morally binds the person X do good? Not until we have more of X's and less of Y's

I strongly believe that good people are necessary for slow undercurrent kind of revolutions to happen. History though does not appreciate the average good people who do their jobs with honesty, pay taxes on time, help their neighbors, like good music, send their kids to good schools,loves to go out on weekends and don't throw garbage on street.

But what if we can create circumstances for reverse brain drain overnight. What if amongst 25 million Indians living abroad, 10% of most experienced, qualified doctors, lawyers, engineers, writers, poets, businessmen, social activists decide to go back return back to India tomorrow . Imagine 2,500,000 such good, qualified folks being sent back to India overnight. Increase the y's...fill the ecosystem with lot many good people in different walks of life. The number is small but lets take one step more. Lets distribute these folks evenly in 626 districts of India, implying approximate 4000 such folks in each district. Wow, what an addition now, aint it !! What's best about them returning back to India ! Their perspective, their diverse experiences, their ability to see things differently from a purely Indian perspective, their ability to follow rules and make others follow rules. So while we love, secretly hate, feel jealous of other cultures, there are lot many things besides 'widespread acceptance to premarital sex' in other countries and cultures as well, form which we can certainly learn a lot.

I have lived in pretty small towns(can be qualified as village as well)and if I imagine my town filled with 80-100 such folks, whoaa. If there were couple of good guys playing good guitar, running some good small, local companies, running schools and colleges with honesty and integrity, I might not have stepped out of my town. May be I might not be writing this blog then, may be, may be not.

I know of couple of not so positive elements in my town, who influenced 100 odd kids from my school and indulged them into not so socially acceptable practices. So I am sure 4000 such good reverse drained folks can influence millions of students,kids, parents, teachers, musicians and can tremendously add to the undercurrent which over a period of couple of decades can have humongous positive impact on the society. Utopia thoughts!!

Year 2111, A Brith/American writing similar article!! Dont believe me? Read on- Chaos the Only Order !!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Second hand revolution

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After spending a year working in Qatar, I returned to India in May this year ( dont take me for the stereotyped NRI holding bottles of mineral water in hand and cursing government as the Auto Rikshaw drove passed the crowded lanes and maneuvering past the stray animals and potholes !!) and I found a sea of change in almost everything. Though I get a daily dose of Indian soap operas and entertaining news channels back in Qatar, but still I couldn't envisage the volume of changes which I was seeing for myself.

Skeptics declared they are done, its saturated. And then it comes back and hit the roads again. This time its slightly different perhaps little less creative but still effective and serving the bottom, middle and even the top of the pyramid to varying extent. A glance over Hindi and English newspaper the first day and I couldn't stop wondering about how can they afford this..within 5 minutes of surfing through channels...I was taken by surprise and really started wondering how can they really afford this...who are they and from where do they came and started conquering THE 'customers'. What I am talking about ? I hope thats not a question in your mind ! Isn't pretty clear, out n' loud !!

Loaded with Swarovski crystal, chic looks and (hold your breath, if your head is still reeling in an in vain attempt to guess what it is !!) 2 MP camera, weighs less than 100 gms and price Rs.5000/- (approximately $110) !! Its the new mobile from Micromax and let me tell you that I am no mobile expert and this post is not about the review of Q 55, bling from Micromax, which by the way 'Twinkles'

The Indian consumer over past 6 months or lets say 1 year has been pampered by OEM's which otherwise used to sell the hardware to the big guys. Micromax, Spice mobile, Lava, Videocon, Onida and so many more companies launching new handsets almost every week. You think your Black/Blue Berry with QWERTY keypad is cool..beat this
"Presenting Lava B5 handset with world's first ABCD keypad" funny,bizarre,innovative..Surprisingly nobody thought about it before (including me- can you believe it :)) But ya I think the guy is right...finally we can't use more than 2 fingers (anybody already using the 3rd finger yet must meet me ASAP) on the mobile phone keypad the logic behind having QWERTY keypad in mobile handsets relevant? I would recommend carrying out some trials on mouse or cats perhaps and see how do they react to ABCD keypad !!

Surprisingly folks at Gartner agree with me, I swear I read this article only after typing the last paragraph !! Gosh...I should have written this blog the day I came back from India, which for the record was June the 6th 2010.