Thursday, 20 October 2011

faculty shortage

I hear from people in the US that there are no jobs and many people with PhD are looking unsuccessfully for academic jobs. There are a lot of reports that the IITs are facing a huge crunch in terms of faculty in recent years.
Why is there no match? Surely many of the jobless PhDs are Indians? Are they unwilling to join IITs? or are there no Indians in the list of jobless PhDs?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

roads

"If ever a good road is laid, there must always be a government agency ready to dig it up the next month." First law of civic administration.
This is as fundamental as the first law of thermodynamics....at least in Hyderabad.
I have spent a fortune on bearings, nuts and bolts, not to mention shock absorbers in the last two years....nuts and bolts for my neck too!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Snobbery or just proud of one's alma mater?

A few days ago, I was listening to the ever entertaining Mani Shankar Aiyer on being a Stephanian. He had, at some earlier date, spoken disparagingly about Hans Raj college and Ajay Maken. The fact is, the alumni of certain colleges do have this sense of superiority.
Now specially with the cutoffs for Stephens being what it is, perhaps this is more so. I have seen it in the few Stephanians I knew years ago. It's due I think, to the general perception, the long history, the record of its alumni.....many things. It's a cultural superiority that they feel ("You see, in the Brothers Karamazov Dostoyevsky deals with the existential questions in a different manner than he does in Crime and Punishment" and the "you" in question goes "Duh")
Does this sense of superiority translate directly into achievement? I don't know. The achievers from St Stephens may have attained the same heights even if they had gone to Hans Raj. Who is to say they wouldn't have?
By Mani Shankar's own admission, it didn't amount to much in his own case.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A post that does not surprise me. The initiative to have a repository of PhD /other theses, will not be welcomed by universities. In most universities, specially now since the UGC has made it necessary for lecturers to have a PhD if they are to get their pay scales, people work for a about a month or two every year and after two or three years, get a PhD. The theses so produced will now be up for all to see!
Are you surprised?

Friday, 7 October 2011

cheapest computer

We have the cheapest car, the cheapest computer............
Now how about cheapest food?
Even a middle class person like me is getting anxious about going to the supermarket.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Telengana

Many people have the tendency to avoid facing problems.......in fact all of us have done it-some more some less number of times. I suppose the government believes that if they pretend not to hear the noises from Hyderabad, it will all go away.
Giving the people of this region a separate Telengana may not be difficult, but what about Hyderabad? I do not see any way in which Hyderabad can be resolved. Infrastructure in Hyderabad is pretty good..Hyderabad gets better domestic power supply than Bangalore...roads are better(were better with a recent setback thanks to AP TRANSCO)....rail connectivity to Secunderabad is good..........the airport, though far from the city is excellent. Where will Andhra find another city to match this? The money in Hyderabad is with the people from Andhra, they have invested in the city, but the land was bought by them from the locals at absurd rates ....... some even at Rs 10 per sq yd. The locals claim that this amounts to exploitation of their land resources. The arguments are endless............if only some political party had the foresight and had developed this region in the last 40 years.......
The down side of democracy is that there is no advantage in long term planning..........30 year plans do not garner votes........

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

when old age creeps upon you

I have a laptop that works at its own pace. It doesn't like to be hurried and likes to do things one at a time. It does not like me opening more than one tab on the mozilla.....what's the rush? you can only read one page at a time.............
Unfortunately, of late I have also become like my laptop.........can't multitask as I used to......my mornings which were like a one man orchestra have become sedate --- if I make tea, taht's all I do-- then I start the breakfast etc..a proper queue is maintained. As a result, I get late for work on a regular basis and drive like a formula one competitor out of the house much to everyone's dismay.
I am neither old enough to maintain a totally sedate lifestyle, nor young enough to manage multitasking with aplomb.... still, I hope this state lasts long.

Monday, 3 October 2011

GM crops

This link from Abi's blog makes me wonder if the GM crop advocates are reading it. In the case of earthquakes, the tendency of the government and its scientists would be to curb panic in the face of repeated tremors. That is perhaps understandable. Earthquakes are not in human control, so the call they had to take was just on the nature of response.
In the case of GM crops, the scientists are introducing some gene into the environment without knowing the consequences. It is not just a matter of responding to an imminent disaster, but possiblility of creating one. The honest thing to do is to say we don't know the long term consequences of GM crops because we haven't had them long enough.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Stress

The last month has been so stressful. I think most mothers undergo terrible stress when their grownup children are going through a tough time.
When your child is two, his troubles are easily mitigated and you feel good....a scraped knee, or a lost toy...but in their adulthood, it's really bad...one cannot make it 'all right' and one feels helpless.
I know no young person believes this, but usually, life goes on and one is fairly happy overall whether one gets what one wanted or not.

Vedic people

In my school days, the Aryans populating India were of central Asiatic origin who entered India from the north west. Then there was this hu...