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Showing posts from October, 2011
Timely Vaccination Can Protect Precious Little Lives from Vaccine-preventable Diseases—Save a Child, Save a Life, and Save a Dream.

A Global Community of Over 7 Billion

The global human population has crossed the 7 Billion mark today.. Significantly, it has taken just over 2 centuries for the global community to grow 7 times of their size from around 1 billion at the beginning of the 19th century to over 7 billion in 2011, and we may well double ourselves over the next century. A global community of over 7 billion. Remarkable progress, but grave challenges ahead. Read more on Insights.

Blame Game over Child Deaths

Another example of lack of proper child health care facilities is on display in some cities of West Bengal. Rather than playing the blame game over death of infants, efforts must be made to identify the root causes and initiating remedial action to save precious lives. Recently, the state of Uttar Pradesh was in the news for several encephalitis deaths. No blame game over child deaths, please.

Explore Before You Visit

Want to visit a popular store or restaurant. Pause for a moment. Take a look online. You may well have chance to view the interiors of the destination, before you plan a visit. And if you own a business, you have an opportunity to take business promotion to a new level. Google has introduced a new concept under street view, wherein the company allows select businesses to showcase their interiors by applying for a photo shoot. The company has introduced the concept in select cities across six countries. Way to go!

Still in this Age

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Festival of Lights

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Indian Grand Prix - Will F1 be the Game Changer?

India is all set to host the first Formula One (F1) Grand Prix. The success of the F1 racing event, would firmly place India, best known for cricket, on the world's sport map. It would open the door for organizing more international sporting events in the country, and encourage other sports as well. On the flip side, the cops will have additional challenge of stopping late night rash driving by youngsters on city roads.

Is the fight, Off the Rails?

In one of my previous posts titled "Cautious Optimism", I had emphasized on the need for civil society to tread with caution. By declaring the fight against one particular political party, they are in danger of derailing the fight against corruption. They have also provided opportunity for their critics to question their credibility. Instead, the team could have focused on creating awareness among people at the ground level, which was the next logical step and could have helped in fighting the menace. But then, nothing is perfect in this world. It's still early to reach conclusions.

Pak to Join India as Non-Permanent Member of UNSC

The Asian rivals will share the space as non-permanent members of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during 2012. India's term, which started in January 2011 will expire in December 2012. Pakistan will serve the two year term from January 2012 to December 2013. We can expect cooperation between the two countries at the international level. More significantly, five of the ten non-permanent members of the UNSC during 2012 will be from Asia and Africa with the entry of Pakistan, Togo and Morocco. The other two members from the region being India and South Africa. So, in 2012, we can expect greater Afro-Asian cooperation at the UNSC.

New Takeover Code in Place from Today

We can expect a flurry of activity in the coming months as the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI)'s new Takeover Code becomes operational from today. While promoters with less than 25% state would be striving to retain their control, acquirers would be plotting to takeover target companies. We can expect heightened private equity activity in the Indian market. It would be interesting to watch the response of the major Indian corporates in the new scenario. Expect a tug-of-war between the promoters and acquirers. The action begins now.

The On and Off Approach

The time has come to adopt a more decisive approach towards internal issues plaguing the country. While there is no arguing that issues such as creation of small states, and dealing with insurgency are complex issues, the "on and off approach" has not helped in resolution of regional disputes. Procrastination only sows the seeds of dissatisfaction among those who feel neglected or alienated, which is again passed on to their future generations. Unsettled issues also result in economic blockades affecting the lives of the common man. We can't afford to have economic blockades in any part of the country. Proactive engagement and decisive steps are required to resolve sensitive regional issues whether those in the North, the North-East or any other part of the country, and shift the focus of all regions towards growth and development.

India - Looking East, But Long Way to Go

India is finally beginning to flex its muscles and implementing its Look East Policy. The oil deal with Vietnam unfazed by Chinese objection to oil exploration in the South China Sea augurs well. However, China still has the edge in the region. While we may be enthusiastic over the oil deal, the Vietnamese media has given more coverage to the five-day visit of the ruling party leader to China, which has resulted in signing of several five-year deals for enhancing trade ties, training and education and cooperation between the Communist parties of both countries. India needs to be more proactive in the region and engage in long term relationships to strengthen its strategic interests, and to balance the growing Chinese influence. The India-Vietnam Friendship Year 2012 provides an opportunity for the country to enhance ties and reach out to the people of the South-East Asia nation.

83 and Still Batting

I am no fan of Mr. L.K.Advani or his ideology, but his spirit at this age, still aspiring for that evasive Prime Ministership and unilateral announcement to start another rath yatra, his attempt to revive the party, which he began today, does deserve attention. He choose to start his yatra from the den of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, another aspiring Prime Ministerial candidate and perhaps more acceptable face of the NDA. It does not matter, whether he is able to change the party's fortune, what matters more is the spirit and the gest.

Wonder, why can't young tech-savvy politicos use their knowledge and skills for the betterment of the country? Perhaps, our young leaders lack the oratory skills, which connected people to political stalwarts and former Prime Ministers such as Mr.Atal Bihari Vajpayee, late Rajiv Gandhi, and  late Indira Gandhi. Well, we can always hope.

An Interesting and Influential Decade Ahead

Vladimir Putin's seemingly apparent Return to Kremlin, his Eurasian Union proposal, the increasingly aggressive and self-assertive China, the crisis in the Middle East, unresolved Afghan issue, the Rising India, the inward and outward dilemma of the U.S, increasingly self-enlightened Western Powers and turbulence in the Middle East may well alter the dynamics of the global politics. Despite the proposed U.S withdrawal from Afghan, the Af-Pak region could continue to be the center of attention. With slow and steady structural changes, African countries may well began to exercise more influence by the end of the decade. Certainly, an interesting and influential decade is right in front of us, with far-reaching implications to watch out for.

Child Deaths Cause for Concern, Need to Improve Public Health Care System

Electronic media deserves appreciation for bringing to light hundreds of encephalitis deaths in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh over the past few months, and thousands over the last few decades. Rather than procrastinating and resorting to blame game over the child deaths, immediate efforts must be made to limit further casualties. Questions remain as to why the local media, health care centers, and elected representatives did not highlight the issue in the way, it should have been for so many years? While the country has federal structure of governance, we have not leveraged the same for timely and efficient delivery of public health care, proper sanitation and drinking water facilities. Usually, spread through insect bites or contaminated water, viral encephalitis results in inflammation of the brain and may cause death. Child health care must be given top priority. The success of polio vaccination program, must be replicated to limit spread of other diseases. There is no magic …

Africa and the Middle East share the Nobel Honor

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. It takes strong determination and courage to stand for women empowerment in that part of the world, and the Nobel Prize Committee has rightly honored the three distinguished women. Extreme poverty and high adolescent rate remain a challenge for the West African country of Liberia, while gender disparity and high population growth rate plague Yemen. Nobel honor would certainly encourage further efforts to facilitate education, social justice, economic empowerment, right to vote, and ensure participation of women in the electoral process.

Signs off @ Just 56

Whether it is Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, the great thing about them and many other achievers is that they made their mark quite early in their age. Personal Computers, iPhone, iPods, and iPads are becoming part of daily life for millions across the world. It's sad for the world to lose Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, Inc. at just 56. However, he will continue to inspire many to develop innovative products for years to come. The visionary bid adieu to the world on a day, when India launched world's cheapest computer tablet, 'Akash'. May he rest in peace. Hope, our researchers and scientists find cure for cancer, that affects millions, both rich and poor across the world at the earliest.

Just An Attempt to Draw

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Save the Green Cover, Save the Hills, Save the Treasures of Nature, Before they are referred in stories as 'Once Upon a time'.

Rail journey, Language barrier, Diabetes, Children, Conversation, Sharing and Unity in Diversity

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According to World Health Organization (WHO), around 346 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, the chronic disease, which may also cause damage to other parts of body and even aggravate many other ailments. India may well have the largest number of patients suffering from diabetes. Changes in lifestyle, growing consumption of junk food may all contribute to the growth of the menace. Not surprisingly, heart disease and diabetes are becoming common in all families. I will discuss non-communicable diseases (NCDs), some time later. But today's blog post deals with language and communication. Then, what made me began today's post with diabetes. During a recent rail journey, I encountered two old couples, one hailing from Central India, and the other from Tamil Nadu. While the former were uncomfortable in speaking English, the latter had problem speaking in Hindi. But, both families had one thing in common - the evil diabetes. And, that became the source of conversation. I…