Thursday 31 December 2015

Kalpataru Divas

Kalpataru Divas Pranams and Prarthana!

"'I shall make the whole thing public before I go,' the Master has said some time before.
On January 1, 1886, he felt better and came down to the garden for a little stroll. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon. Some thirty lay disciples were in the hall or sitting about under the trees.
                Sri Ramakrishna said to Girish (Ghosh), 'Well Girish, what have you seen in me, that you proclaim me before everybody as an Incarnation of God?'
                Girish was not the man to be taken by surprise. He knelt before the Master and said with folded hands, 'What can an insignificant person like myself say about the One whose glory even sages like Vyasa and Valmiki could not adequately measure?'
                The Master was profoundly moved. He said: 'What more shall I say? I bless you all. Be illumined!'
He fell into a spiritual mood. Hearing these words the devotees, one and all, became overwhelmed with emotion. They rushed to him and fell at his feet. He touched them all, and each received an appropriate benediction. Each of them, at the touch of the Master, experienced ineffable bliss. Some laughed, some wept, some sat down to meditate, some began to pray. Some saw light, some had visions of their Chosen Ideals, and some felt within their bodies the rush of spiritual power."…

Challenges transform into Opportunity

Dr R A Mashelkar says  "When we are challenged and denied a technology, we perform." He elucidates it with :

We are, again, a peculiar country. When we are challenged and denied a technology, we perform. Let us remind ourselves about how India reacted to the denial of the supercomputers in the late eighties. Cray XMP-1205 was something that we needed for weather forecasting. It was not available for a variety of reasons – one need not go into the details. But Indian scientists were challenged. They met the challenge by using massively parallel processing computing technology to create a supercomputer. In less than three years that C-DAC was given, and within less than $ 10 million that C-DAC was allocated, the PARAM supercomputer was delivered. I remember reading the Washington Post, which said: "Angry India does it". Our problem seems to be that we are not permanently angry!

What would we really require for transforming India? Now here is the issue. People consider India as a 'land of ideas' but the USA as a 'land of opportunities'. That is why our young people with aspirations go to the USA, which provides them an opportunity to reach their own potential. I read some statistics the other day that 2 per cent of Indians, i.e. non-resident Indians, who work in those lands of opportunity outside, generate an economic output which is almost the same as India's economic output, which 98 per cent of us generate from within India. Our challenge is to make India a land of opportunity. That again requires a positivism and a faith in ourselves.

As I said, Indian talent will reign supreme in the twenty-first century. But it is not Indian talent alone that the world would be seeking, it will also be seeking the Indian way of life. With sharp demographic imbalances, the aged population in the western world would increase phenomenally. This will mean that the social security demands will increase. It is estimated that in some nations, this may be as much as 20 to 30 per cent of their GDP. Someone said recently to me that the only way to deal with these problems is by emulating India, namely, by adopting its joint family system. As you know, our joint families give a value of belonging and sharing that is almost epic in scope. That model is what the rest of the world is seeking. The world wants to go back to nature, back to yoga, back to Ayurveda, back to spiritualism. It is all "an Indian way of life".

The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra :
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Tuesday 29 December 2015

Amazing Indian Mind

Samartha Bharat Parva Pranams!

Dr R A Mashelkar gives the example of dabbawalas of Mumbai and what the CEO of GE says and makes it clear that our nation has great potentialities. The Intellectual Capital of India is superb. Let's further it by having Self Confidence which was the discovery Swami Vivekananda had while doing Bharat Chintan Parva on mid-sea Rock off Kanyakumari. During His Parivrajaka days, He observed that we lack in nothing. The only need is to have SELF-CONFIDENCE. And to give it to us, He went all along to Chicago and the history is known to us all. 

Again, those with persistent self-doubts will say that all this is a dream. It is going to take time. What do we do with the submerged part of the iceberg that is not visible today. It is amazing to discover as to how that part of the human capital that resides in this submerged part is also so resilient, so valuable and so innovative. Let me give you a startling example.

What do global giants like General Electric and Motorola have in common with a humble tiffin delivery network comprising 3500 dabbawallas, who deliver 1.5 lakh lunch boxes to the citizens in Mumbai each day? The dabbawallas have the six sigma rating or an efficiency rating of 99.999999, which means one error in one million transactions. This rating has been given to them by Forbes Global, the noted American business weekly. Now, these are largely illiterate dabbawallas. Their secret lies in a coding system devised over the years. Each dabba is marked in an indelible ink with an alphanumeric code of about 10 characters. In terms of price and the reliability of delivery, say compared to a Federal Express System, the dabbawallas remain unbeatable. Their business models have become a class room study in some management institutes.

By giving this one example, all that I am trying to convey is that the innovative potential of the people does not plummet to zero, when the people are illiterate or semi-literate. They necessarily have to innovate to survive and to succeed. There is a plenty of cheer there too. We must be prepared to discover it and salute it.

What we really require is self-confidence. It is rather ironical that when we are losing faith in ourselves, the rest of the world is looking to us for inspiration. One hundred major companies from the USA, Europe and Japan have set up their research, design and development laboratories in India in the last five years. Intel's design of super chip to GE's design of aircraft engines gets done in India today. As Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric (GE) said during the inauguration of GE's 1000 Ph.D. R&D Centre in Bangalore 'India is a developing country but it is a developed country as far as its intellectual capital is concerned. We get the best intellectual capital here - thanks to the amazing quality of Indian mind'. It is amusing, at least to me, that the confidence in the supremacy of Indian minds that the others have, we do not seem to have ourselves.

Monday 28 December 2015

Tip of Inceberg

Samartha Bharat Parva Pranams!
Dr R A Mashelkar further glorifies various aspects of India. He says :

India has the reputation of being a thinking nation for a millennium. Indian minds are great. But what about our mindsets? That is a matter of concern. Our mindsets are not positive. We are perennially in a state of self-doubt. We continuously ask ourselves, have we performed? Are we good enough? Let me take only one example of our science and technology (S & T). We keep on asking as to whether Indian S & T has delivered. We do not realize that India has achieved so much for so little. Our overall S & T budget last year was less than 3 billion US dollars. Do you know that Pfizer's R & D budget was over 5 billion dollars last year? For a national budget that was smaller than the budget of a single company, India has achieved remarkably well.

Take our space programme. Today, we design, develop, test and fabricate our own launches. We have moved from one sophisticated launching vehicle to another. We have moved from ASLV to PSLV to GSLV. We have done it without any help from anyone since no one will give us the technology in these strategic sectors for any consideration. We have launched 35 satellites (80 as on 15 Nov 2015) so far. Of them 17 are Indian launches, 23 are in orbit and 14 are geo-stationary. Not only do we launch our own satellites today but that of our foreign customers too including Germany and Korea. And all this is done for a budget that is just 7 per cent of a single company in the USA! Should we not be proud of this feat?

Let me move beyond science and technology and again come back to the theme that India does so much for so little. Only 50 per cent of our children go to school. Of them only 30 per cent go up to the 10th standard and only 40 per cent of them pass. That makes it 6 per cent-as against, say Korea, for which the corresponding figure is about 70 per cent. So, with 6 per cent we are talking about a tip of the iceberg. But what does that tip of the iceberg deliver? Last year, we exported 9.7 billion US dollars worth of software. Do you know how many contributed to this export? Only 50,000 software engineers. That is 0.05 per cent of our population, and it contributed to almost 10 per cent of our exports. The positive way of looking at it is that if the tip of the iceberg can deliver so much, can you imagine, what would happen, if the entire iceberg was lifted?