Saturday, 28 June 2014

A Threat or an Opportunity ?



Unemployment in 17 countries of Euro Zone is climbing steadily over the years


Before the financial crisis of 2008 , it was 7.5 %


In April 2014 , it reached 12.2 % , with 19.38 million unemployed ( out of a population of about 330 million )


By Dec 2014 , it is expected to reach 20 million


Country-wise figures are as follows :



---------------------------------------------
Country                    % age Unemployed 
               Youth % ( 16-25 Years )
-----------------------------------------------------------

 Greece  ................   
27...........................................   62.5

 Spain   ..................  26.8.......................................    56.4

Portugal  ................  17.8  ......................................   42.5

Italy  ...................... 12  .........................................   40.5

Netherland ..............  6.5  ......................................    10.6

Austria  ................... 4.9  ........................................   8.0

Germany  .............    5.4  .........................................  7.5


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What does this mean to India  ?


*   If their own economies do not expand fast enough ( highly unlikely , in short term ) , to absorb their own jobless citizens , would these countries try to aggressively " export " their goods and services to developing countries like India  ?

That might affect our own employment  !


*    Should India open up its market to these countries ( FDI etc ) , in return for their agreeing  to liberal / unrestricted, import of Indian goods and services ?



Considering that NaMo is ,


*  an OPTIMIST ( remember , " glass half full with water and half full with air " ? ),

*  an astute Gujju businessman ,


I am sure , he will find means to exploit this situation to India's advantage  !


*   hemen  parekh  (  29  June  2014  /  Mumbai  )

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Friday, 20 June 2014

To Err is Human

To err is human

To forgive is divine ( provided it was a honest error )

All of us keep making errors , all the time

But rarely same " mistake " twice

Often , decisions taken at a point of time , turn out to be " poor " , with passage of time

Reasons are simple :

*  We never have all the information - relevant to the problem we are trying to solve - available with us , at the time of taking a decision

*  Even when most of such relevant info is available , we may not have the capacity / competence to " process " such info

*  As humans , we have our biases / prejudices , based on our previous experiences , which influence our decisions

*  Quite often , and often against our own better evaluation / judgement of a given situation , we are wrongly influenced by our peers / bosses / subordinates or even voters - all of whom have different expectations / vested interests !

*  Additional - and more relevant - information surfaces , AFTER we have taken a decision ( happens all the time  !  )

To encourage Babus and Ministers to take FAST decisions , Narendra Modi must insist that they carefully " Record " on the files :

* What info / data he wished was available for a better decision

* What different " views / opinions " were presented to him for consideration

* What " Data / Views " he would have obtained if he had more time

* Who all , the decision might offend

* What is the likely " Cost " of postponing that decision

And finally a declaration "

* This decision is not likely to benefit any of my near relatives / friends , directly or immediately

After all of this , if the decision appears to be " Wrong " in hindsight , it must be " forgiven " and treated as an honest error

To err is human  !


*  hemen  parekh  (  21 June  2014  /  Mumbai  )

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Paranoid About PA / PS

Why is Narendra Modi so paranoid about getting rid of the PA ( Personal Assistant ) and PS ( Personal Secretary ) , who served the Ministers in the ousted UPA-2 government  ?

Simple because ,

*  they were privy to all the scam-related decisions taken by their bosses

*  they know where those " lost " files are hiding

*  they know the identities of all the " middlemen "

*  they know who were the " beneficiaries " 


And , if they were not a direct party to those decisions or indirect beneficiaries , at the least , they failed to protest to their bosses

They failed to blow the whistle  !


Now , Modi is committed to starting a thorough investigation into all that murky hanky panky that happened during UPA-2 regime


And Modi knows that , if those very same PA / PS are still around , nothing worthwhile will ever come out !


They will stone-wall the investigations and hide the truth !


It will be a futile exercise !


Only fresh PA / PS , with nothing to fear , can cooperate in unearthing the truth


This is certainly a matter to be paranoid about  !


*  hemen  parekh  (  21  June  2014  /  Mumbai  )

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Is Smriti Irani listening ?




Apparently , no one ( or very few ) want to get into teaching


This is obvious from the number of faculty vacancies in AICTE approved institutions , as shown below :




Faculty…………………………………… Teachers Required…….  % age Vacancy



  • Applied Arts & Crafts……………………….  2,678…………………….. 56

  • Architecture and Town Planning………11,762…………………….. 51

  • Engineering & Technology……………..5,29,543……………………..28

  • Hotel Mgmt & Catering………………………..3245……………………… 43

  • Management……………………………………….61,610……………………..27

  • MCA…………………………………………………..  26,714……………………. 15

  • Pharmacy…………………………………………….31,421……………………. 20




Why such a poor state of affairs  ?


According to leading Educationists , some of the reasons are  :


  • Poor salaries in teaching profession

  • Stringent Quality Norms

  • Archaic Service Conditions

  • Little scope to earn thru consultancy

  • Very little Industry-Interaction / Internship

  • Poor Research facilities



Even as Smriti starts up a dialogue among the Stakeholders ( Students / Teachers / Educationists / Administrators etc ) ,in respect of formulation of a NEW EDUCATION POLICY ,  she would do well to frame an ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE ( Yes / No : True / False : Multiple Choice ) and upload it on her Web site for people to participate in thousands


What is wrong with our current state of Education and what needs to be done to fix it , can only emerge from such a REFERUNDUM



*   hemen  parekh  ( 18 June 2014 / Mumbai )

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Double Standards

Supreme Court has ordered some residents of Campa-Cola building in Mumbai to vacate their " illegal " flats
And asked Municipality to demolish these flats

Even though , the residents

> purchased these flats with their hard-earned , white money

> paid registration fees / stamp duty / Municipal taxes / water bills / electricity charges etc for 30 years

What was their crime ?

They were ignorant of the criminal conspiracy between the builder , corrupt municipal officers and quite possibly , equally corrupt Govt officers

And don't rule out the Most Corrupt of them all

The politicians  !

For this " ignorance " , the residents must now sleep on the footpath with their children and elders

Supreme Court says , " Ignorance is no excuse in law "

On the other hand , 53 Ministers of UPA-2 government , are continuing to occupy their Government-allotted bungalows in Delhi , even after ceasing to be Ministers

Many are no more , even MPs  !

Some continue to occupy their bungalows , months and even years after ceasing to be Minister/MP  !

Take Buta Singh , who ceased to be a Minister 18 years ago !

He refuses to vacate , for " Security " reasons  !

Or take Lalu Yadav , who will not vacate , since his wife Rabri Devi is undergoing medical treatment at AIMS  !

Now , make no mistake

They are NOT ignorant of the government rule that says , they must vacate their bungalows within ONE month of leaving office  !

Residents of Campa Cola building - and millions of Mumbai-Citizens , living in thousands of similar " illegal " buildings , are asking :

Why this Double Standard ?

Why cannot Supreme Court take Suo-Moto cognizance of 53 illegal occupants - but
 knowledgeable - Ministers and issue them notice to vacate  ?

Will Venkaiyyah Naidu , show some intestinal fortitude ( aka " Guts " ) and throw them out on 26th June , when their extended Notice Period expires  ?


*  hemen  parekh  ( 17 June 2014 / Mumbai ) 

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Sunday, 8 June 2014

MBAs All !



NaMo wants them all to be MBAs


Whether they are,


*    MPs         ( 282 of BJP  )

*    Ministers  (  45 of NDA-2  )

*    Minions    (  72  Govt Secretaries  )


He wants them all to be MBAs


ie :  Modi-fied  Business  Administrators


And , NaMo is the Dean of this unique Management College , where , he personally conducts classes and tells them ,


*  Think  Out-of-the-Box


*  Take bold - but honest - decisions


*  Act fast and clear all files within 4 days


*  Shun media


*  Avoid airing views / opinions on sundry matters


*  Contact him directly ( by phone/email ) for clarifications


*  Co-ordinate among themselves ( without GoM / E-GoM  )


*  Go out in the field and listen to people


*  100  % attendance in Lok Sabha - when in session


*  100 % absence from Delhi - when LS is in recess
    {  Go , visit your constituencies  }


*   Don't hire friends / relatives


*   Read carefully before signing any recommendation letter



God gave Moses , 10 Commandments


Janata has given Modi , 12 Commandments




*   hemen  parekh  (  09 June 2014 / Mumbai  )

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Friday, 6 June 2014

Bravo , Kshama Sawant !



On an average , Minimum Wages for unskilled workers all over America , are,
*  $  7.50 / hour


President Barack Obama has been trying for some time now , to  raise that to
*  $ 10 / hour


In the meantime , Mumbai born and educated engineer , Kshama Sawant , has persuaded State Legislators of Washington State , to raise this to ,
*  $  15 / hour



Bravo , Kshama  !



The Unskilled of Washington State will , no doubt praise you for now


But what happens if other US States do not follow suit  ?


All over the World , jobs have a tendency to migrate to places where these can be performed cheapest


Of course , that may not happen to " UN-SKILLED " physical effort jobs of Washington


If you want to dig a trench in Seattle , it has got to be dug in Seattle  !


But there is a real possibility that the excavator digging the trench was made elsewhere  !


And , it is a different matter when it comes to SKILLED MENTAL jobs , which can be performed remotely , with help of Internet


Successive American Presidents have tried their best to stop out-sourcing of such jobs to India - but , in vain


Simple enough reason :


*  Indian Software companies pay fresh software engineers , between $ 500 / month to $ 1,000/month


*  American companies pay 10 to 20 times , as much  !


As long as ,


*  Quality and Delivery ( of outsourced software projects ) are satisfactory


*  Cost difference remains attractive  ( even as Indian salaries rise ),


American companies will find ways and means to outsource to India


India does not have much advantage over Western Nations when it comes to factory-based manufacturing jobs because of our low labour-productivity


Although , may be 10 times more expensive , Western countries employ 20 times less workers ( for manufacturing same product ) - using better / faster / automated  machinery


And Western Manufacturers borrow funds at 1% - 2% interest rates , as compared to 15% - 20 % in India


In these matters ( of highly automated machinery and low interest rates ), it is not possible to catch-up with the developed countries , overnight


In long term , these factors are important for raising the contribution of Manufacturing in our GDP, from current 12 %-15 % to 25 %


But , in the meantime our State Policy ( - as will get manifested in Central Budget , very soon ) , must focus on exporting our BRAIN power



To do that , we need :



*   Computers - and related hardware


*   Country-wide Optical Fibre based / Wireless-based , internet broadband


*   Free tablet for every child ( approx 400 million )


*   E-learning of Software Technology



I hope, Mr Arun Jaitley is listening  !




*   hemen   parekh   (  07 June 2014 / Mumbai )

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Urban Renewal ?



An important aspect of urban renewal is to get rid of slums , by resettling slum-dwellers in better houses


Then convert those vacated slum areas into gardens


But slum-dwellers are unwilling to vacate their huts .


Why  ?


Over the past 25 / 30 years , the standard method was to move the slum-dwellers into some temporary , make-shift transit camps , pending permanent rehabilitation


But that promised " permanent rehabilitation " never came  !


Those who agreed to get shifted into those transit camps , continue to live there for generations - without any hope of ever moving into multi-story concrete buildings with running water / electricity / toilets


Given this broken promises , who would agree to shift out  ?


Second problem is availability of jobs nearby where they are forced to move - even if these buildings happen to be well-built , modern and permanent multi-storied buildings


Who would want to move to a better / permanent house , if it is 30 Km away from a work-place  ?


No one wants to spend 4 hours on the road every day , commuting to a place of work in dense traffic , riding a crowded bus / train  !


But most slum-dwellers would happily vacate their slums and move 150 Km away , if ,


*  It is a well built building with all amenities


*  It is a  permanent home ( - and not a transit facility  )


*  It is given FREE , on ownership basis


*  There is a job within 1 Km of the new home



This is exactly what China is doing , by building ONE brand new Mega City , EVERY 20 DAYS  !


And moving 250 million slum-dwellers into those cities over the next 20 years ( - nearly ONE MILLION people , EVERY MONTH  !  )


May be this is what NaMo was thinking when he dreamt of constructing 100 Mega Cities in next 5 years - at the rate of ONE city EVERY 18 DAYS  !


OLD  cities cannot " Re-new " themselves , until well-planned NEW cities are built first and ready to receive those old city slum-dwellers and offer them jobs



Only problem :



* Mega City of Dholera ( in Gujarat ) is under construction for over last 3
 years and expected to cost , Rs 70,000 Crores


* Central Government has neither the money needed to construct 100 cities,
nor the administrative / technical competence for such a project


*  Democratic Institutions are un-suited for taking bold / harsh /
 controversial decisions - then bulldoze !



It seems urban renewal will remain a mirage  !




*   hemen  parekh  (  05 June 2014 / Mumbai  )

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It is time for YOU to speak up - and demand that YOU are heard

By emailing this suggestion - incorporating your OWN improvements - to the following Policy Makers

(  Just multiple copy all the following Email IDs into the Recipient column of your Outlook and Copy / paste this suggestion in the Message Box ) :


    narendramodi1234@gmail.com; 38ashokroad@gmail.com;ajaitley@del5.vsnl.net.in; jayant.sinha19@sansad.nic.in;piyush.goyal@gov.in;nitin.gadkari@nic.in; spprabhu1@rediffmail.com;bandaru@sansad.nic.in;smritizirani@nic.in;nsitharaman@nic.in; ravis@sansad.nic.in;sureshprabhu@irctc.co.in;prakash.j@sansad.nic.in;secy-ipp@nic.in; amitabh.kant@nic.in; shaktikanta.das@nic.in; rsecy@nic.in; adhia1981@gmail.com; ceo-niti@nic.in; atul-chaturvedi@nic.in; uma.bharati@sansad.nic.in; d.pradhan@sansad.nic.in; rprudy.office@gmail.com; rudypr@rediffmail.com; eam@mea.gov.in; mosvks@mea.gov.in; mvnaidu@sansad.nic.in; mnaqvi@sansad.nic.in; rao.inderjit@sansad.nic.in; mljoffice@gov.in; sadananda.gowda@sansad.nic.in; ministerminority@gov.in; najmah@sansad.nic.in; minister-ca@nic.in; ramvilas.paswan@sansad.nic.in; gandhim@sansad.nic.in; akumar-alpha@sansad.nic.in; jpnadda@sansad.nic.in; hm.moca@nic.in; geete@sansad.nic.in; simratbadal@yahoo.com; ns.tomar@nic.in; rmsingh@sansad.nic.in; tc.gehlot@sansad.nic.in; dr.harshvardhan@sansad.nic.in