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Monday, September 29, 2014

Decoding the Modi !!

"You have given me lot of love"

The audience surged on their feet but he was unstoppable.

"The kind of love has never been given to any Indian leader,ever.I'm grateful to you.And I will repay the loan by forming an India of your dreams"

There was a sense of rejuvenation amongst the crowd of 18000 plus people of Madison Square who had come  far and long just to hear Modi.True to their expectation Modi did not disappoint them.

So what exactly pulls an Indian towards Narendra Damodardas modi ? 
To understand this I took the help of my year long research where I tried to track his mannerism, his nature, his approach, his body language, speeches, tone of his voice, his media interactions, how he treats his subordinates and superiors and his style of politics of course.When I look back now, he has excelled beyond expectation on the way he has dealt with people and portrayed himself in public.There is only one reason why he is so popular.This is because he knows "the art of connect".Now to be able to successfully connect there are 100's of ways.One of those ways is definitely hard work so it is just not the image or aura surrounding him.He has successfully walked the tough path right from the time he was chief minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots to being the Prime minister of the largest democracy of the world.He was always there at the right place at the right time and speaking the right words.He spoke not what he wanted to speak,he spoke what the Indians wanted to hear.They were anyways starved since long to hear their Prime minister speak.

It was a cold morning of mid September in Minneapolis USA.I like any other engineer NRI was browsing through the news of what was happening in India.Ending weeks of suspense and back room discussions the BJP finally named Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.One man was definitely not impressed, LK Advani, the veteran BJP leader and ex deputy prime minister of India.This was the turning point as I see in Modi's career and what followed next was series of incidents and coincidences which actually cleared all his obstacles to glory.Here is what happened next.

The Reader 
One of the great skill of PM modi is not being the best leader(this only time will tell).Many people don't know that he is a great reader and a fantastic researcher who spends every free minute of his life either reading or researching about people,history,situations problems and difficulty's.Wherever he goes if he sees a solution to a problem he has read somewhere he actually registers it in his mind.Once registered he uses it in appropriate forums whether it is for any policy decisions or at any public event.

The Orator
This is one unique quality of his amongst all the politicians that I have heard till now which actually pulls people towards him.When he speaks he make sure he is heard.Period.He calls a "Foreign Direct Investment to a "First develop India" which is so self explanatory of his vision for the future."Minimum government,Maximum governance","Acche din","Sabka saat Sabka Vikas" are some of the creative pieces of language which was effectively used to attract and mobilize people right from the campaigning during elections to giving out a sound message in minimum words.Why go so far in past, if you analyze his speech at the Madison square there were numerous moments of his literary acumen which not only displayed his oratory skills but also connected instantly with the crowd.Like he said "What does a common NRI need, he just wants his Visa would get processed with little hassle" Now I being a NRI myself and spent considerable time in US I know this is the pulse of all NRI's in USA.Anything positive related to Visa/Green card/PIO actually connects them instantly and if it comes from their PM all the more good.This is what is called oratory strategy when a PIO(people of Indian Origin) reform is not announced through a press briefing but instead delivered by the PM to the direct beneficiary in a foreign land.

His knowledge of economics also impresses me at times.If a PM talks about demographic dividend in public I am sure he has done extensive research on this.When Modi says 65% of Indian population is youth he is actually hinting at a huge potential opportunity.What he is trying to say(and of course did not say) is these 65% youth under WAP(working age population between 15-65 years of age) are actually going to work hard,earn their salary and give taxes to the government which in turn is going to fuel our GDP and used in constructive government policies.Compare this to china who has a aging population(thanks to their 2 child policy decades ago) and maximum people are now entering an age where they would no longer earn or capable of giving taxes.
Hats of to modi who coined the "Make in India" term.There is a huge significance and background to this initiative.India's manufacturing sector is in real mess.Any country's GDP is decided by 3 sectors namely agriculture,manufacturing and services.What we are seing today is that our services sector is actually balancing the negativity around manufacturing and agriculture based output.Once you "Make in India" you are not only compensating the balance,you are actually creating mass jobs.This is true, India doesn't need more engineers they need more industrial workers,carpenters,drivers,plumbers,sweepers etc i.e if they want to have mass employment and run the economy. In china the balance is perfect and thats why you have an iPhone made in China/Honk kong etc generating huge employments.
Now was this trend not seen by previous Prime ministers specially by our great economist Manmohan Singh.Yes he did but you got to give it to Modi who actually reached out, publicized and used his enormous charm to try attract as much investments in India.You need to create a positive vibe and atmosphere around India to actually attract the best and who best other than Modi to live up to the challenge.He is honest when he says India with a billion people and favorable demographic dividend is actually a hub for markets from where the demands rise.When there is a demand there is bound to be supply.

Brand Modi and Social Media
There is no denying the fact that Modi is just not a name or the PM,he has become a brand in himself.With every positive and trending brand comes a huge responsibility i.e to maintain that brand and not let them fall.Take for example an iPhone.What will happen if one fine morning you read in news that all your personal emails have been hacked and worst almost all iPhone's are impacted.Certainly as a brand Apple this is the worst nightmare.Modi is one such brand where he has dedicated team of professionals who work tirelessly behind the scene right from the time he has been chosen as the BJP's PM candidate to his daily PMO activities.He has a strong technical team who maintain not only his Social media pages but also publicize his vision,thoughts and ideas about the future.The one common mantra is "Stay out of controversy or controversial topics and never include yourself in public debates comments and discussions" This has been faithfully followed by not only modi but his team also.Team modi never brags or outrageously publicize modi, No.They just remain neutral and give out facts and regular updates about modi.

Embracing Technology
As I said Modi is a man of vision.He saw it long back that this century belongs to those who can adapt to new technology and make best use of it.If you talk about India being a young nation and then fuse it with the telecom and mobile revolution in India,the result is easy accessibility to Facebook and Twitter in hand.Our favorite pastime.We as humans are so much interested to know what is going on in others life.
When you bring Modi to Facebook and twitter you just brought PMTP(PM,technology and People) together.The result is dramatic.Modi instantly becomes the most followed leader in social media after Obama.It is just not Facebook, Team Modi has made his own website where he connects with the people directly and involve them by asking for ideas,suggestions,inputs etc.

No Political Opponents
This is a known fact.Right from the elections to even now politically he does not have any opponents who could give him a fight or run for the money.Rather no one even attempted to give it a try.During the peak of the elections,rallies after rallies he went on dominating his opposition with his trademark jibe of "Shehzada"(Prince referring to Rahul Gandhi).Mr Gandhi tried his best to defend or attack but ended up being the joke of youtube and viral videos.In short people of India or voters never got an option or choice.This is called Monopoly of the market.If you ask me "Yes I love Modi" but will you always love him "I don't know,maybe yes maybe no till I find another Modi".

Journalist and Media
The more I research on his relationship with media the more I get impressed.He has not only outsmarted the news media with his intelligence but has maintained a dignified relationship with them.It surprised me to realize that the stature of Modi has reached a level that anything negative(even false) by any media or journalist would invite dramatic backlash even in US.(referring to seasoned journalist Rajdeep Sardesai being heckled in Times square).There was a time in UPA regime were the babus and ministers happily leaked news stories to their favorite media often embarrassing the Manmohan singh government.Modi has no time for such indiscipline and has strictly instructed all his ministers and civil servants to talk only when it is needed and that too via the National DD broadcaster.So its not surprising that you no longer see the famed spokeperson orators of BJP like Ravi Shankar Prasad or Smriti Irani in Arnab's news hour debate.Simple rule, less you talk less is your chance of landing in a trap or controversy.Surely Modi does not want to see his ministers in so called "Breaking News" because of their comments in public.The result is everyone including journalist and media houses want a pie of him but he likes to elude them all.Surely you don't get a "Modi" you get to "earn" him.So popular he is,if you don't give him a prime time your rival channels definetely will,in short eating away your revenue and business.It is a vicious circle.This makes me wonder the state of our fourth pillar of democracy.It is all about money and business indeed.I still love my good old friend Doordarshan.

So is it all a Image,brand or a make good feel created artificially through a calculated well planned strategy ?

Frankly speaking no one knows the answer.Modi has raised the expectations of Indians world over.He gave us something which we long lost that is Hope,hope for a better future hope for a better India.As a true patriot I trust him when he says "I haven't taken a break of 15 minutes since I became the PM" and I know he is saying the truth.He is committed to the people of our country and for a better future.He is making all the right noises which is required at this time.As he comes out of his honeymoon period of governance and his words are backed up by constructive actions on the ground it would not be long that we would live in "India of our dreams"

Am I BJP supporter or a Modi fan, "No". Am I influenced by his media portrayal or exemplary speeches,"No" but do I trust him, "Yes I do,I have not lost my hope"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Weeping Sky !!

Waking up early in the morning was never my cup of tea.26th July 2005 was no different.Somehow I got up quite early as I my mom reminded me that I had to visit my University by afternoon to get some documents.With a packed day in mind i got up reluctantly and looked out.It was a beautiful morning with clouds showing all the flavors of the monsoons.It wasn't raining or a matter of fact even drizzling. But who cares, we the people of Mumbai are so used to monsoons and rains, our life never stops.We not only move on, we walk we run and we don't stop.This city of dreams on the West coast of India over looking the Arabian sea is a paradise for every loyal mumbaikar as we say. Little did I know,in less than 12 hours the face of my city will change forever.Not even in my wildest dreams I would have thought the devastation and havoc the Rain God would have showered on us in a single day.

Everything was planned for the day.From the suburbs of Malad where I stayed I had to visit the Mumbai University in Santacruz, collect my eligibility certificate and then head back home.Sometimes the best of the plans is shaken by some divine intervention.It was one such day.As a young boy who had just passed out of high school, public transport was my luxury and also the most dependable friend for travel in mumbai. I catch a bus to local suburban station and wow I see no rush at the ticket counter.I thanked god.For those of you who don't know, Mumbai was one of the most densely populated cities of the world and I was actually attempting to go towards the downtown side in peak morning office hours. Empty ticket window was first welcome sign.I quickly buy my ticket and move to platform 2.Here again I was second time lucky, a starting train from Malad is a very rare occurrence.I just grabbed the opportunity and hopped on to the train and thanked God for being generous once again.I booked my slot in the train which would make the best position for alighting once I am in Santacruz station.Anyone who has travelled in local trains in mumbai knows which side of the coach or the door you need to stand to make your exit as smooth as possible.In no time the train was filled with a army of people,but I was still doing good.I reached santacruz station,boarded a bus to university and I reached my final destination in record time.Wow ! There is no bigger pleasure in mumbai if you successfully reach your destination in record time after juggling through multiple public transports.

My next surprise was waiting for me in University.The last time I had visited the university I had to spend almost 3 hours for a 5 minutes job.Certainly i was not having very nostalgic memories in my second trip, I just prayed I am done here fast and run away back home.By now I could see thick clouds hovering above me and it had started to drizzle.But what else do you expect in a monsoon season of July, I had my umbrella anyways.I went in the campus and showed my receipt to a clerk and in 2 minutes i got the certificate in my hand.I signed a register and in 5 minutes i completed my business in university.I was not only shocked but happily surprised on the fact that how on earth was it possible for me to sort my business in 5 minutes.Has the productivity of the employees improved overnight ? This was the same place where i had spent hours a day before for the very same task.I just couldn't thank god for all the positive surprises in store for me that day.I somehow started feeling his presence,I know he existed.

The time was 11.15 am.It had started to drizzle by then.I took refuge in my umbrella and started to walk towards the bus stop where I would be getting my bus headed to Santacruz station.Meanwhile the drizzle just got converted to a proper south west monsoon rain that Mumbai is famous for and in any rainy season it was difficult getting a public transport to take you back home.I realized my day has finally started.Somehow I got the Bus I was looking for.It went on its route inviting passengers and taking them to their destination.While the rains just didn't stop, I could see the usual municipal corporation's claim of being "Monsoon ready" just wash down the drain.By now the suburbs were already in 2-3 feet of water but as I said we are so used to it.I took 45 minutes more than usual time in my bus journey to station and I was expecting it.However I convinced myself knowing that the drainage system of Indian railways were far better than the roadways and no one in earth could stop me from reaching malad. Overconfidence as I say had always put me in tricky situations before.

I had taken a return ticket to Malad which means I didn't need to stand in any line.It was already 12.30 PM and I had started to get hungry.I started to plan and my calculations told me that even if I get a train at 12.40 PM I would reach Malad by 1.10 or so and can quickly eat something from the station. Little did I know that this calculation of mine would soon be washed off like a tide of waves.Unaware of what was to happen,I waited for my train. Luck was still on my side and I got my train to Borivili at dot 12.40 PM.From there started my never ending journey.

The distance between Malad and Santacruz was 14 kms and it passed through total 6 stations including both the end points.The next scheduled stop was at Vile-Parle.Things were looking good inside the train.Outside it was monsoon as usual and incessant rains.After Vile-Parle the train stopped in a signal just 4 minutes before reaching Andheri. A routine stop as I believed but somehow the train refused to move even after halting for 20 minutes.By now I was not getting good vibes about situation outside but certainly Monsoon as the trouble maker was never in my mind.When I looked outside the window I saw people walking on the tracks towards both sides.Funny did it seem,I wondered what made them so adventurous to walk on the track when they could be safe from the rain inside the train.My fun didn't last long though, when i suddenly realized the sound of the electric locomotive coach i was in suddenly parked to rest.There was no usual noise and I realized,in last 10 minutes no train has either overtaken us nor has gone in opposite direction.Meanwhile the count of people outside the train seemed increasingly getting more as compared to inside.It was then I realized that there is no point staying inside and waiting, rather why not have a walk in the monsoon.I still had only fun in mind.

By now the time was 1.20 pm and I already exceeded my calculations with still 12 kms of my journey left.I joined millions of people in tracks and started to walk.It was only then that i realized, there were numerous trains ahead of us who had to halt because of the tracks being submerged beyond operational levels.I wondered what lies next for me.I also started to walk with my umbrella in hand and guess what.The rains still haven't stopped.It took 45minutes for me to reach the next station i.e Andheri station.I walked on to the platform to rest a bit.The time was 2.10 PM.Even then I had not estimated the magnitude of rains.Meanwhile I had change of plans.I thought of taking Bus to Malad instead of train.When I walked on to the platform I just could not recognize where was the track and where was the platform.Water was already flowing at Knee level.Still I somehow managed my way out of the station.What I saw outside was my first checkpoint of reality and reality bites.All the traffic was halted and people had either abandoned their cars or were simply stuck where they were.Water gushing out of everywhere and entering all the parking lots and shops in vicinity.It was a Mayhem outside.I realized this decision of mine would backfire and traveling via road was a bad option indeed.I returned back to Andheri station.The time was 3PM by now.

The year was 2005 and telecom revolution had still not spread so widespread as it is today.I was just a student who passed out of school.Certainly i was not armed with a cellphone or any other mode of communication I could use to ring back home.I tried my luck outside Andheri station but all shops were either shut or telephone lines disconnected.People didn't have power forget landline.I could no way tell my parents back home that I would be reaching late.Meanwhile at Andheri station the water had reached above knee level and I decided before it crosses waist height I must walk.My strategy was to take decision's one station at a time and contemplating my  future course of action after i reached Jogeshwari the next station.I started my journey once again.The walk began over the tracks.One thing you can be sure of walking on a track is that you would never find potholes or unnecessary craters where you can fall or get injured.This was for obvious track safety reasons.So however deep the water is I was convinced my leg is going to land on a solid surface.With that trust in mind I started walking.I was just 5 minutes into my walk and I saw civic officials in their trademark yellow raincoat with big BMC signage over their arm.They were on the tracks directing people and escorting them via a safe route.Walking between the tracks was safe however walking between two parallel tracks can be risky as there could be unexpected empty drains that can test your legs for sure.It was here the BMC and railway staff came into help.They nicely guided everyone through the right way over the tracks.Somehow I reached jogeshwari tired and hunger eating me from inside.

I gathered strength and decided there is no point waiting more and started walking once again.While I walked I got the first shock of my life.Between Jogeshwari and Goregaon lies a railway overhead bridge which runs over a part of drainage.It was almost 300 meters long and straight.Wow the seemingly uninteresting bridges we see while sitting inside the train is now actually the Bridge of life.It was going to be a difficult choice.The rules of the game were set by the civic officials.We were supposed to close our umbrella while walking on the bridge to maintain our body balance and were strictly instructed to not look down while we walk.I followed the instructions and started to walk.But then I looked down also and what i saw below was very disturbing.The water was flowing so swiftly and it was like a horizontal waterfall.There was one person who just got washed away in front of my eyes.It was not the best of the sights to see.Somehow I reached the other end of the bridge and I never looked back.I just walked.The time was almost close to 5 PM and I had not eaten anything since morning.

Somehow I gathered strength and continued my journey in more than knee deep water.I walked I walked and I just walked.After another 2 hours i.e by 7 PM I finally reached Malad station.The first thing I searched was for a Public telephone and this time I was lucky.I called up home and my mom was so relieved to hear my voice.The first instruction she gave me was to hang in there and find the nearest home of friend and stay there for the night.But somehow I didn't like the idea as I saw a Bus which was going to my destination ready to leave in 10 minutes.I told my mom that I am taking the bus back home after eating something from the station.The line got disconnected soon.I ate to my hearts delight at the station,had a cup of tea and started my journey with new energy.While I took out my wallet i realized all my currency notes were wet beyond recognition.The shop owner was nice enough to accept the wet and soiled notes from me.Coincidently I met my school friend Ujjwal Rokde also at the station.We both stayed at the same locality and were headed in the same direction.I was overjoyed of the fact that now I have company.

We boarded the bus at 7.20 PM comfortably seated in our seats.We still had 8 Kms to travel.This was my next mistake and once again in my overconfidence I underestimated the havoc the non stop rains would have potentially caused.Oblivious of the rational facts and any logical reasoning I and my friend started our bus travel back home.After traveling only 2 Kms our bus came to a standstill halt.The Sky was still crying loud and what I saw outside was no land, just water water everywhere and once again only people walking.This time I wasted no time and we started walking.The road outside was filled with cars and other transport vehicles.Everything was still and worse there was no power and electricity to guide us.Luckily the moon still had some light to show us the way.Again I had the same dilemma.Which side of the road I am supposed to walk.On the sides filled with water or in the center line over the divider.This was the most difficult part as the roads had numerous potholes with uneven surfaces, we were bound to get injured in dark.We still walked and saw a group of volunteers who had managed to tie a rope between multiple street light poles over the road divided and we walked holding on to them.As I wished my problems would end soon there came my next challenge.Again a road over bridge above a semi river.The problem now was that the river was flowing above the road with a ferocious intent.Again the BMC had tied solid ropes between the start and end points and we walked holding on to the ropes tight.We crossed the river what was till yesterday called a Road.Still 3 kms short of our destination.We reached a second check point and I called up my home to let them know that I am walking back home.It was the Malawani stop.

The magnanimity of the rain has still not sunken yet and I and my friend were literally enjoying the walk.It was 9 PM. It was time for the next shock.Suddenly I see a transport truck from my Naval base(where I reside)going the opposite direction.I was like what a foolish man he is traveling in a direction in this rain with no guarantee of reaching his destination for at least next 2 days.I had seen the road and the train situation.With current infrastructure there was no way anyone could travel in this rain and hope to reach his destination in time.My friend Ujjwal knew the driver and we in our best of joyous and playful mood went to the driver and started to chat.We thought we will ask and convince him to reverse his truck and go back,so that we could also get a trip back home.I told him "Bro what are you upto in this rain.Go back home and enjoy with your family man.You might as well earn some extra bucks from us for giving us lift back home"

What happened next shook me and made me numb for sometime.The driver replied with a straight face "Sir, in my truck lay 2 coffins of civilians who died because one of our campus walls fell over them.I know I am stuck now but its my moral duty to make sure these bodies reach their home tonight".I was speechless and finally i realized the gravity of the situation and tragedy of this monsoon.I payed my respect and started to walk again.This time very silently.

The time was 9.40 PM.As I approached just 500 meters to my destination I saw my dad walking towards me.He had literally started to walk in the streets of Mumbai in search of me.It was real luck i saw him on the way.The first thing he did was to hug me and then we walked back the final leg of our journey.If we would not have met like that then he would have continued to walk looking out for me.After my 11 hours of journey I knew this was not the best of things to do.Finally I reached home.Mom was overjoyed to see me.There was no power at home but still I could see the spark in her eyes,the joy of reuniting.

My sister who was working in Bandra did the smart thing.Instead of having an adventure she stayed back at a friends place.But such was the tragedy of the monsoon,she could only return back after 2 days.I woke up the next day waiting to get hold of the newspaper to know what had happened to the city of dreams while I was having my adventure.It was not worth the wait.The newspaper never came the next day for obvious and understandable reasons. 

26th July 2005 the city came to a standstill for the first time.994 mm of rainfall claiming more than 5000 lives leaving a trail of destruction behind.Many lost their life and their livelihood.Still in this times of despair there were number of real life hero's.The BMC guy on tracks,The Radio Jockey of a popular channel providing real time updates, Armed forces distributing relief materials,the unknown hand who pulled people before they were swept away and of course the determined driver who chose to carry the coffin.He always had a choice.In times like these the people of this city came together to help.

Its been 9 years now since I had this experience and all the memories still intact....Meanwhile it still rained but Mumbai never stopped !!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

News to Use

As Promised in my last Blog here is the list of News topics which is either making lot of noise since last 2 years and their learnings or certain factual topics which helps us in understanding lot of recent developments in India and around the world.Each and every topic will help in connecting the dots(as mentioned in my previous blog) while reading newspaper.

  1. The Arab Spring -  Learn about Arab world, 22 countries and capital, locations in world map, literacy rates, Arab league, Suez & Panama Canal, Tunisia, "Spring of nations", Revolts in Libya,Tunisia,Egypt and Yemen and their Rulers.Then Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi, Syria(and so Russia Support), Turkey.Global repercussions - Jasmine revolutions,Anna hazare movement.
  2. Global Outsourcing Industry - Outsourcing, Insourcing, Offshoring, Reshoring, Jack Welch, internet & Bandwidth, Philippines, Infosys - growth and decline, TCS story, IT industry - software, services, ITeS BPO, hardware.
  3. Eurozone Crisis -  European union and their members, fiscal and Monetary union, securitization, ECB, EFSM, EFSF, ESM, sovereign default, Credit rating agency,Masstericht criteria, Iceland bankrupt, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece crisis.
  4. Money & Markets - Risk, Return and Investment, shares, MF's, PF's, PPF's, Debentures, equity, Bulls & Bears, debt, derivative monetary and commodities market, Gold, Indices, Regulatory bodies.
  5. Sahara scandal - Shara companies, ponzhi schemes, SEBI, latest updates,  bank run
  6. Banking - Banking History, banks, bank nationalization, RBI, PSU banks, RRB's and pct sector banks, Repo, CRR, SLR, CRR,NPA's and worry, Vijay mallya willful defaulter.Raghuram rajah's policies.
  7. Labour market situation - Malthusian theory, WAP, NAREGA, demographic dividend, manufacturing sector, India v/s China, SEZ.
  8. Kashmir Conflict - History and Mythology, rulers and kings, independence scenario and partition, UN role, Indo pak wars, India Pak rulers and confrontation, Kargil, Water conflict.
  9. India's Missile Program - Missile, Rocket, Nuclear weapons, types of Missile, surface to surface etc, Launch vehicles, launchers, cruise missiles, Brahmos, propulsion, warhead, Ballistic missile, Prithvi, agni, Akash etc facts and statistics, DRDO and other organization, APJ abdul kalam, 1945 US atomic bombing.
  10. Global warming - Climate, green house gases, atmosphere, deforestation, Ozone, International treaties, Montreal protocol, IPCC, UNFCC, kyoto protocol, Bali roadmap.
  11. Communism -  concepts and definitions, Marxism, Leninism, Naxalism, cold war, karl marx, Das capital, Proletariat, stalinism, Maoism, Korean war, Cuba.
  12. Capitalism -  Mercantilism, Britain, US, Capital, types of Capitalism, key thinkers, Adam smith, John menard keynes, friedman.
  13. Food Security Bill 2013 -  Indian agri facts, land holdings, crops and patterns, land statistics, Ministry of agriculture, ICAR, food corporation of india, PDS operations, food security bill.WTO doha round
  14. Economic reforms of 1991 - Narsimha rao, manmohan singh, nationalization of banks, fiscal and revenue deficit, balance of payment, FDI and FII, FERA and FEMA, MRTPC and CCI,delicensing, disinvestment, decontrol, NEP,.
  15. Poverty - world bank, IMF, new BRICS bank, absolute and relative poverty, Poverty line, BPL, PPP- Purchasing power parity, Least developed countries,  MDG's of the UN, India China statistics.
  16. China - history of china, Republic of china,  chines communism, Polit buereu, PLA, cultural revolution, Tiananmmen square massacre, China facts and figures, honking, Taiwan
  17. Entrepreneurship -  ideas, innovations, Apple, Facebook, Risk, uncertainty, sweat equity, angel investors, business incubators, kondratiev waves, capital, funding, venture capitalists.
  18. Review of indian economy every 3 months - get the fresh statistics and government policies affecting economy like high import duty in gold, dollar fluctuation control, RBI policies and impact, inflation, GDP growth, Quantitaive easing, Import & Export story, Current account deficit, slowdown, trade deficit, rainfall and impact on agriculture, liquidity, remittances, IIP, organization and bosses like WTO, RBI,SBI etc
  19. Cyber wars and cyber crimes & PRISM project - hacking, fraud and impersonation, DDOS, trojan, virus, worm, PRISM project and Snowden, debit credit card frauds.
  20. Indian states and telegana movement -  history of indian states from independence, state reorganization act 1956, KC rao, now telengana status.
  21. Atomic energy and weapons -  Atoms, fusion, fission, IAEA, NSG, NPT, CTBT, Nuclear weapons state, nuclear reactor, TRIAD, nuclear disasters - chernobyl, Fukishima.
  22. Shale gas revolution - shale gas, natural gas, sedimentary rocks, methane, fossil fuels, fissility, US shale gas production, impact on OIL countries of middle east, 
  23. Judiciary - PILS, PIL history, landmark judgements, judiciary and legislative confrontation,.
  24. Handheld technology revolution - Mobile, google glass, internet in mobile, apps,.
  25. Coalgate scam - coal, coal facts, CIL history, captive coal blocks, the scam.
  26. US recession 2007 - capitalism, black swans, bail out, wall street, credit risk, CDO, CDS, QE, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, sub prime loans, AIG lehman brothers, housing bubble and its impact world over.
  27. Global Employment scenario and trends - types of employment, unemployment, recession, statistics, indian labour force.
  28. 2G scam - electromagnetic spectrum basics, Dept of telecom, A raja, DMK party, spectrum auction, first come first serve policy, National telecom policy 2012,  A raja and scam, Nira radia, telecom companies, etisalat, telenor, Kannimozhi, essay group, Supreme courts rulings,.
  29. Population - world population statistics, religious population, languages, urbanization, rural poors, demographic transitions, fertility rate, chinas 1 child policy.
These are the list of topics I could think of as of today.I would add more topics as I figure out more.

The NEWS Story

When we look back today we all have a very memorable childhood to feel good about.Those were not the age of Xbox and virtual reality and life was much simpler and not technologically advanced.Children used to play outdoors more and they actually met childhood friends in person and not via social media as we see today.Once indoors the options and choices were far limited.You either study,sleep or enjoy fighting with your sibling's.I was no different.Once I was done with my school activities of the day I used to observe my dad,how he spends time indoors after his day in office.One thing that caught my eye was his strict timeline of watching NEWS at 9 PM.During those days we just had the luxury of 2 channels.DD as we say, Doordarshan to be exact and its sister entertainment channel DD metro.Thats how my love affair with NEWS started.I used to patiently watch DD news at 9 and Mr Suneet Tandon used to be the news anchor.News meant News and not crappy debates like we see today in mainstream private media channels.I was only 8 years of age then and my dad saw my interest in knowing whats happening in India and around the globe.But what he did next shocked me and kind of made me wonder what is he upto.He insisted me to watch NEWS for 20 minutes and in the next 10 minutes make notes on my own and then present before him the news summary and boy !! He meant business which means there was no escape.

When I look back today,this exercise not only made me familiar with what was happening around the world,it also helped me in retaining many facts.The next best thing that came out of this exercise was my ability to summarize,conclude and present a picture of whatever I had learnt previously which in turn gave a big boost to my presentation skills.

Over the years I have only bettered this art of NEWS reading and I am proud to say that since my childhood i have always made it a point to spend a hour of my daily time reading newspaper.Thats how my day starts and I hate to go to bed without having my daily dose of news. With experience I have realized that reading newspaper is a skill which needs to be developed.I am no saint which means i did ample mistakes while reading a newspaper.I read everything and never knew the art of selective reading

If you are new to this area then there are some inherent question you are supposed to ask yourself.

Why do you want to read a newspaper ?
There has to be a reason for everything.Find out your reason for having a newspaper in your hand early morning.

Who are you ?
Whenever you have a set of newspaper early morning before starting to read ask yourself Who are you? Are you a student who is studying for competitive examination, are you a young MNC employee, are you a guy who is from rural india, are you a senior government employee, are you a bollywood celebrity or are you just a casual reader.There can be many such classifications.

Knowing Who and Why makes you know what you are supposed to read.The classification mentioned above is all mutually exclusive and ideally there is no need for any category of people to intrude in each others space.The only exception to this is the student who is reading news to keep himself worthy to fight in a competitive examination.India is a young nation and so competition is ruthlessly high,therefore this category requires more pain and discipline as compared to others.Let me talk about other categories briefly before coming back to discuss in detail "the students approach"

If you are a MBA student or a manager the one thing you should definitely read is the Economic times.You should know the macro economics of the country the GDP, growth rate of different sectors and its impact on economy, mergers and acquisitions, quarterly results and performance of companies, financial policies of government and many more.The list goes on.So when you have a newspaper in hand this is what you should be reading first and then go to different sections like local news or political news.The extent to which you read depends upon time availability as well as relevant area of impact in ones professional area.For Example a manager in an investment bank and a manager in a manufacturing company will have their own area of relevance in any news story.

If you are a IT guy keep yourself abreast with latest news in technology sector, government policies impacting field of IT and telecommunications etc.If you are bollywood personality or in a profession which directly or indirectly depends on this sector then your interest would naturally be inclined more towards your own world of page 3 news and world of cinema.Having said that I see today's breed of stars keeping themselves more abreast with national and political changes happening in our country which certainly is a welcome sign.

As you see this question of Who you are is really important.Time is restricted and certainly it is not advisable to spend more time engulfed in newspaper reading something which is of no use to you in your career or work or in future.Encroachment or intrusion in an area where you don't belong is a disaster you would to like to avoid.

Let me shed more light on the "Students approach" and by student i mean just not any other student.A student wanting to read newspaper is the one who is fighting it out in a very fierce competitive world and rigourously preparing for clearing that one interview, that one GD, that one lasting first impression which could make or break his life or career.Trust me keeping yourself abreast on whats going around your economy and country would definetely give you the edge.So how to start or where to start ?

Rule 1 - Never read or watch News because you want to clear an xyz exam.
Yes I mean it.Thats a wrong approach to do a right thing.Just as some wise man has said that "You need money for living and you don't live because you have money.". Same way if you want to build a long term relationship with the newspaper you are holding in your hand,read and enjoy it,then only you would develop interest.Do not just simply read because somebody told you to read it to clear some exam and same way never stop reading once you achieve your goal.

Rule 2 -  Never read News, Read Issues.
Remember one thing, the newspaper in your hand will never have xyz topic in isolation.It is always a series or a story which is being created daily and you are just getting daily updates.For example if you want to enjoy reading a news which says "India's GDP is on track" then you should know the background of India's growth story since independance. If you want to read news on stock market crash you should know other global factors influencing stock markets.

Rule 3 -  Facts and figures.
Any news in newspaper in isolation is actually a fact or a starting point of an issue.Say one morning you read CAG has unravelled a corruption scandal of 10,000 crore in coal block allocation.This is a fact which you should know because todays' fact becomes tomorrows issue and that is exactly how the coal gate scam/issue was born after series of such facts and figures were unravelled.

Rule 4 - Learn to connect the dots.
You should with experience learn to connect two differently or visibly unrelated stories by connecting the dots. For example the high dollar and Rupee fluctuations in 2013 was actually somehow related to 2007-08 subprime mortagage housing crisis and recession that happened in USA.Try to link up stories.It really helps in GD and interview.

Rule 5 - Read the Reader,Read the Writer.
Be aware of the fact that different kinds of newspaper have different approach on reporting a news.There are journalist's who are very critical, there are news correspondents who have a style of writing and may or may not be critical of some news.When you browse through different newspapers for reading the same news you will see the stark difference in the headline, the tone of language used or the way a news is showed to you.There are news papers who may be aligned to a particular ideologies but still are factual in their reporting.So always keep a open mind while reading newspaper and you should be aware of the fact that we all are human's and we make mistake's.So never trust any news in totality.Back it up with confirmation from other sources.This is specially relevant while reading editorials.

Rule 6 - Eliminate the Weed
If you are a student about to write competitive exams then there is no reason you should hold the newspaper which shows Page 3 news.Remember time is limited and you really don't need to waste time reading things thats of no relevant use to you.Understand that any private newspaper is also a business entity and rules of market comes into play which means if there is any news which a casual reader would love to read say "amir khans shocks the world in PK poster" this will definitely be published and highlighted in a manner which is visible and enticing for people to take notice and buy that newspaper.Remember it is a matter of choice.Learn to ignore.

Rule 7 - Ignore political debates on remarks and allegations by one person on another.
Please understand on a normal sunny day when there is no earthquake or Tsunami and everything is nearly perfect even a routine high tide will make news.In this world of 24*7 media coverage they have to survive showing something, such debates involving political or non political personalities accusing and defaming each other on national television has become a normal routine in India.As a student such news program hold no factual significance on ones career or any competitive exams.

Rule 8 - Use Technology
Download app of the news channel or newspaper in your phone you are associated with.Read the headline and decide if you want to read the story.Read on the move and try connecting the dots.Make best use of technology.Remember it is always a matter of choice whether you want to use a Temple run App or a News app on the move.

Rule 9 - Talk the Read
Always discuss with your friend and peers on what you have read in newspaper.The more you discuss and talk on the topics, the more it is retained in your brain to be effectively reproduced in any interview or group discussion.Plus people around watch you and would appreciate the knowledge you have on matters which are of prime national importance.

Rule 10 - No pain No gain
Learn to be patient with newspaper.If you are a student who is trying to read newspaper for the first time trust me it will pain a lot.Initially I used to loose my temper reading so much.But I was patient and I went on reading.Today I read 3 newspapers in a day i.e the Hindustan times,Times of India and DNA and yes i have mastered the art of reading only news that is worth reading.

Meanwhile even after 19 years my dad still watches 9 PM news.No one dare steal this slot from him and I too happily join the party :)

(My next article would be on the kind of NEWS that is making noise since last 2 years)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Smile :)

This one i had written on 28/08/2001 just three days after my B"day.I was in 9th standard and was very happy to get 5 greeting cards from 5 different gals of my class for my 14th B'day.Of which one greeting caught my attention and impressed me a lot.At night 13.30 hours when i was studying physics,i thought of taking a break.Well the result is in front of you...Read on.....

Today I will teach you physics
With some lyrics..
Though it has nothing to do with physics,
I will surely teach you physics...
You would have heard of force of attraction...
Well its the product of Mass * Acceleration..
But for me its the product of,
Peace and Smile..
which results in complete happiness
with the unit P.S/s square(P-peace,S-Smile,s-seconds)
For the world it would be wealth,
But for me its both health and wealth..
The biggest advantage of a Smile is
that you dont need to run a mile,
with a file to get it..
Its ready made,
It comes from one's heart of hearts..
I dont know whether
I have any force of attraction,
But i know your that smile
itself attracts many people..
Thus you have that force of attraction,
You have that Gravitational force,
in your face...
which attracts people to its base..
In my opinion for every Question 
a smile should be given..
And for evry answer a smile
Should be returned...
I am very happy because
You always smile..
and now you would be very happy
to be first in my test..
as you really ran a mile
to get onto that smile...
Thus entering my file........
Thanks :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Over the Years...............

This Poetic verse that m posting is written on 23/01/09 for a sweet friend of mine.It was a special occasion,It was her 21st B'day...

Over the years you made me realize
what friendship is...
Over the years you showed me
what the world is...
You were nowhere near when i wanted you
But you were never far whenever i needed you
Over the years i realized many things
we cried,we smiled,we cherished this world together..
We created what they call "Moments"
which is ever alive the moment we think of each other,
one more year,One more Birthday..
Still going strong...
Still taking the best of words out of me.
I am not being generous with my words or gifts.
Its just that,Over the years,
I keep on discovering a nice human in you
and its my way of saying THANKS
and respecting the mankind in you..
Its not that Only you,who is the lucky gal as you say
to experience all the good in me..
Over the years its the lucky me
who with you have so many experiences to share..
Well my words tho will keep on flowing,
like a free bird tasting the fruits of freedom..
Somewhere i need to stop..
Not because i want to..
But because i have to..
But what to do....
Over the years,
This is one thing Which i could never undo...
Over the years,i realize,
Over the years i realize.....

Happy Birthday friend :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Modest Ambitions of a Ambitious and Ambigous Deepak

" Oyeeee !!! Cant you watch the ball mate !! its a goal..".... Pavam is what i feel for the small kid for whom the goal was too big to defend.Its been an everyday routine for me to watch the same small kid and his inability to stop the ball from crossing the post.Poor kid gets bullied by his seniors evry weekend.Someone please bring sense to other players and reduce the goal post...but No....brainless we humans,senseless our was anyways not a English premier league.Just a funny Gully Football...
    Welcome to Utsav chowk,kharghar..the exact place from where i watch these kids playing their game of life.So much passion...Weekends are sort of relaxation time for me from work and is also a period of extreme loneliness.i stay good 3kms away from Utsav chowk and often on every holiday i start walking from home in evening to Utsav Chowk and spend some time out there.It was yet another Sunday and i happened to reach Utsav chowk at 6pm,calmly sitting on the cemented seat looking at this majestic structure which resembled no less than an replica of some roman architecture with beautifull waterfall in between.The sound of this flowing water does give a musical sensation to my ears.Facing this landmark architecture i do vent out my deepest anger,happiness,anguish and evry other emotions in this world...
     It was just like one of those Sundays being seated alone...Suddenly a voice calls me..." Excuse me..I am deepak,do u come here today,hello,,,i come today,can i talk now with you"....Astonished i can be to notice this guy who was also sitting few meters away to my right..alone..and trying to start a conversation with me.He was a short guy with a very modest looks and his attire resembled that of a typical village guy who have come to this mega city Mumbai for a job.His english was totally broken with no respect to English Grammar.He could have spoken to me in hindi but he chose English for reasons best known to him.Well in any case i was surprised...From a distance of 10 meters he askd me..."I want to talk.Can i speak now?" i said "Sure"..he got up and sat next to me... From there starts an intresting conversation...he started off.."Hi i am deepak,what you name?"...i said.."hello deepak myself Dipin..Dipin Nair"....
      He starts his story by telling about himself..." I want to talk in English and that is my ambition"... i speak in English in almost every other second and i never gave a thought to it that speaking in English can be an ambition also.Well i never shared that opinion with him and allowed him to complete.That was probably the first and the last time i interrupted him even in my thoughts.I ask him in hindi as i thot he might be better comfortable in that language to speak with me.i ask him..."English ambition kyu hain tera?? " meaning why does he have English as an ambition...He replies...rather requests.."please i want to speak in English.You also talk in english with me"....i said...Okkkkk,,,cool again....he continues.."i am a cook in the Cafeteria of AC patil college of engineering.i am in the Chineese department and make Noodles and fried rice everyday for students"...i think wow...a chineese departmant for cooking noodles...but i do understand what he meant rather than what he said...he continues next which does catch me off guard.." I am not Happy.,,," i askd "Why?".... he says..."for how long will i cook..i want to suceed and get promotion.i want to learn english and get better jobs" i wondered how learning english can help a guy who anyways have to cook and earn...then he says..."I want to become a Salesman and for that i want to learn English...I was rejected at many places coz of lack of my communication skills" Then i ask him " So what are you doing to achieve your goal??" He replies in a very happy tone..."I am going for classes..English my class got cancelled and so i am here in utsav chowk" and then happily he shows me his notebook in which he practises his english....i opened the book and it just turned me looked like the notebook of Ishaan Awasthi of Tare Zameen par fame...The letters were litteraly Dancing...but i then look at deepaks face.He was more than happy to show me what all he learnt in his class.His dedication in his aim really touched and moved me.i cudnt resist myself...i askd him..."how much do you earn as a cook in the college Cafeteria??" he says..."3000 Indian Rupees"...i asked him how much did he pay for the english class..he says.."1000 rs per month for 6months"...i was shocked.i never saw someone who gave one third of his salary to learn english and that to become an Salesman...pity did i feel for him or any case he in no ways showed that he enjoyed life less than me...Our conversation continues and he tells me more about himself,his family in madhyapradesh,his sisters and his responsibilities towards his family,how he gets up at 5am in the morning and reports to the college all i gave a patient hearing to this stranger..i encouraged him,i spoke with him...i taught him how i got a descent command over the language...verbally whatever i could say to motivate him i did.....after an hour he got up...he said .."its time for me to go..It was nice speaking to you Dipin, i will try to implement whatevr you said to me...i want to earn good,i want to learn English..."
He says bye to me and he leaves to his small house....
My mind starts working now.I start thinking...How some small goals can be as big as Life for sometimes we humans do forget what we have and start cribbing for what we dont have....such is life's Dearies.......
one month from that day i happened to be at utsav chowk again.this time to attend the Sivmani's Concert which was part of navi mumbai Festival.there was big crowd...Admist the cheers and clap one hand taps my shoulders...i look back..a voice says.."Good evening are you..??" it was deepak..."I am fine and doing good.How are you...??" i replied...but aftr hearing my reply that i was doing good  he suddenly got lost in crowd.i heard a vague bye from him..he came to me noticing me from far just to say hie and wish me...
I wish him all the best in life....i never met him in any of the sundays after that.. hope to see him soon.....