Parking Meter - BangaloreThe Hi-Tech city of Banglore has a parking meter at Brigade Road. The funny part is its a manned by a person who puts the coins. So why have a parking meter in the first place? Its better to have a person writing a receipt.

The problem is that people want to get Hi-Tech but not everyone knows how to use it. And when the parking meter was installed, people didn’t have the coins and also people didn’t know how long they are going to park. If they don’t know how long they are going to park, they don’t know how much money to put in.

We have a similar situations with the vending machines. I think India is the only country where we have vending machines operated by humans then why have vending machines in the first place?

AMD has launched a low cost PC targeted at markets such at India.

We have to wait and watch to see at what price this will be launched in India. Prices are likely to go down as volumes Increase.

This device runs Windows CE, if they used Linux instead, they could have reduced prices even further.

From Om Malik’s Blog, its seems that Apple had outsourced the mp3 encoder and controller chip of the IPod to PortalPlayer which has a huge development center in India.

India is not only a destination for doing cheap outsourcing but also innovation is happen!

Striking the roots of Corruption is important.

– There is no Accountability. If a person’s car or a citizen gets hurt
because the road are not proper, no one is held responsible. If the
citizen walking on th road who is being affected or the car owner who
has paid road tax, can hold the agency responsible then someone is

– Today a government job is considered to be very stable job. You often
hear that someone got suspended or transfered due to corruption. You
never hear someone lost his job. There is no fear about anything since
they know no one or nothing can take away the jobs.

– Most of the systems that still exists were designed by the British and
they continue to be so. The British were ruling India so they always
looked at Indian with suspicions. Government employees were paid
salaries based on how many mistakes/defaulters they found.

This attitude remains today, income tax officials look upon tax paying
citizen’s like all of them are evading taxes. They don’t look at the
people who don’t file returns at all. If their attitude towards tax
paying citizens is that they are contributing, which is helping the
country and paying their salaries too, then things will change.

– Reduce complexity. Like Dr. Nani Palkhiwala had said “We need a
Ministry of Simplicity” . Look at ways on how to simplify things rather
than complicate things.

An example: I was one caught by a Traffic Police for missing a signal. I
accepted my mistake but refused to bribe, and was willing to pay the
fine. He refused to take the fine, said I have to go 5 Kms away to the
Traffic Police booth and pay the fine. The fine couldn’t be paid the same
day too. It had to paid anytime after the next day and within 15 days.
It had to be paid between 12 Noon and 5 PM, which means I have take
leave from work or send someone to go and pay the fine.

It easy to pay the bribe and so difficult to pay the fine!

A friend of mine, sent me this.

  1. The number of companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, at more than 6,000, is second only to NYSE.
  2. Four out of 10 Silicon Valley startups are run by Indians.
  3. With 800 movies per year, India’s film industry overshadows Hollywood.
  4. The organised lottery market in India is US$7bn (2% of GDP).
  5. India consumes a fifth of the world’s gold output.
  6. Indians account for 45% of H1-B visas issued by the US every year.
  7. Growing at 6%, in 25 years Indian GDP (on a PPP basis) will be at the same level the US is at today.
  8. Six Indian ladies have won Miss Universe/Miss World titles over the past 10 years. No other country has won more than twice.
  9. Bank deposits in India roughly equal 50% of its GDP OE again, among the
    highest in the world.
  10. Indian Railways is the largest railway network in the world under single management.
  11. India has the third-largest army in the world, nearly 1.5 million strong.
  12. India is the largest producer and consumer of tea in the world,
    accounting for more than 30% of global production and 25% of consumption.
  13. India is the world’s premier center for diamond cutting and polishing.
    Nine out of every 10 stones sold in the world pass through India.
  14. India has the highest number of annual bulk drugs filings (77) with
  15. India is home to the largest number of pharmaceutical plants (61)
    approved by USFDA outside the US.
  16. India’s Hero Honda is the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, with 2002 production of 1.7m units.
  17. Other than US and Japan, India is the only country to have built a
    super computer indigenously.
  18. Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world, with a staff of
    1.6 million people.
  19. It is the second-largest cement-producing country in the world,
    producing more than 110m tonnes.
  20. Of the Fortune 500 companies, 220 outsource their software-related work to India.
  21. There are 8,500 Indian restaurants in the UK, 15% of the country’s
    total dining-out establishments.
  22. India is the largest democracy in the world, with nearly 400m voting in the last national elections.
  23. India has the second-largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world. 24* India has the third-largest investor base in the world.
  24. According to the Gemological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds.
  25. The Kumbh Mela festival, held every 12 years in the city of Allahabad, attracts 25 million people OE more than the population of 185 of the 227 countries in the world.
  26. The Indian city of Varanasi, also known as Benares, is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.
  27. There are 3.22 million Indians in the US.
  28. Indians are the richest immigrant class in the US, with nearly 200,000 millionaires.
    India is ranked the sixth country in the world in terms of satellite launches.
  29. There are over 70,000 bank branches in India – among the highest in the world.

Sounds nice so I posted it but what is important to note is that we have a long way to go.

HBS Working Knowledge has an nice article about: It’s India Above China in New World Order

I often spot mistakes in newspapers and movies, specially Times of India and Hindi movies. These are glaring ones and I wonder how others don’t seem to notice it, may be I have an eye for details.

I was watching Gadar on Sunday with my folks and this time my mom spotted the mistake! In that movie there is a scene where Amisha Patel and Sunny Doel are hiding/running for days, then they are escaping Pakistan by Train and they have lots of fights en route where Amisha Patel is in the Train Engine putting coal to fuel the engine. Soon after that she gets shot from one of the villian’s and in the next scene shes in the hospital, unconscious, dying… At that point my mom started laughing.

Amisha Patel is in the hospital with complete make up! lipstick, blush ons, eyeliners, etc. When did she get time do all that during the running? Cant the movies be more realisting by avoiding such glaring mistakes?

In a recent speach which Sir APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India, gave while inaugurating International Institute of Information Technology, in Pune.

He said:

Think different

I would like to narrate an event that took place in Rashtrapati Bhavan a few months back when I met Bill Gates, the CEO of Microsoft. While walking in the Mughal garden, we were discussing the future challenges in Information Technology including the issues related to software security. I made a point that we look for open source codes so that we can easily introduce the users built security algorithms. Our discussions became difficult since our views were different. The most unfortunate thing is that India still seems to believe in proprietary solutions. Further spread of IT which is influencing the daily life of individuals would have a devastating effect on the lives of society due to any small shift in the business practice involving these proprietary solutions. It is precisely for these reasons open source software need to be built which would be cost effective for the entire society. In India, open source code software will have to come and stay in a big way for the benefit of our billion people. I2IT has to play a major role in this national mission. ”

Thank you Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for embracing open source. We welcome you in the community.

Bombay, now know as Mumbai, was a cluster of 7 Islands more than a 150 years ago. Then Mumbai was not beyond Mahim and neither was the western surburbs, where most of the population (including me) lives today. There was no bridge to connect Mahim with Sion. The cost of building this was estimated to be Rs.100,000. A lot of money then and the government didn’t have that kind of budget. When Lady Avabai Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, wife of the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy heard about this, she felt this was needed. 150 Years ago she had the vision that Mumbai would be beyond Mahim where more than 10 million people live today.

To fulfill her vision, she donated the entire sum from her personal wealth. The only condition was that no toll would be charged to citizens for its use by the government. Initially the cost was estimated at Rs.100,000 but as the work commenced in 1842 the cost escalated. When the initial sum was exhausted and the work was about to stop, she extended her gesture of goodwill by donating an additional Rs.57,000.

One visionary I must say, I have great respect for people like her who do things for others without expecting things in return. A lot of people may have the money and the capacity to do such things but how many can leave behind their selfish desires and do things for the society?

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