If you are a parent .. by Azim Premji

    I just read this spledid piece of writing in STOI. This is written by Azim Premji, the Chairman of Wipro Ltd…

   If you are a parent, you have many aspirations for your child that may include him or her becoming a doctor, an enginner, scientist or another kind of successful professional. I believe these aspirations are driven by your thinking about your child’s future, and her centrality in your life.

   Since good education is often the passport to a good future, I presume it leads you to getting your child to study hard and do well in school exams. To bolster this, you send him or her for tuition classes. This would have primed your child for board exams and entrance exams, thereby leading to admission into a good professional course. Doing well at college increase the probability of landing a good job. And a good job means the child’s future is ensured.

   I am neither a psychologist nor and educationist, and what I will now state may seem counter- intuitive. I think that these aspirations and actions might be doing more harm than good to your child. To understand why, we need to re-examine some of our fundamental assumptions.

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Google goes talking with Google Talk – New IM from Google …!

As the speculations were going for some time, and Google executives even denying it … But the search giant has now stepped into the Instant Messaging field by launching its IM service christened Google Talk .. It was released today without any fanfare … But many people had already tried connecting to their servers talk.Google.com after some details were leaked that its based on Jabber .. So .. Continuing the IM review tradition, here is my review ..
      It is indeed based on Jabber / XMPP protocol .. I downloaded the beta and installed it.. The interface is nice and uncluttered is very light on resource usage ..
Google Talk Main window

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India stronger than China in long-term ..?

There was a recent article in news which stated some magazines saying India’s long term potential maybe greater than China’s .. I somewhy disagree .. Here’s why ..
Most of the observations in the report are based on the governing structure of China .. Whereas India is a democratic country, China has communism .. I believe that democracy is one of hindrance in development (Btw .. I am not a communist) .. Why ..? For the simplest of reason.. Consensus is not always right .. Its not always true that what majority of people believe must also be correct .. Another reason is that as a democratic state, India has to plan its economic policies on a so called “human face” .. The governments cant enforce strict economic policies all because they fear losing their electorate … So they have to deviate between people’s “welfare” and economic reforms .. Mind you its not always that both are mutually exclusive but most of the time they are ..

Now coming to second point .. The report states that China is facing a shrinking workforce due to one child policy .. And by mid century, India will have around 200 Million more workers than China .. Oh yeah .. Considering the rate of unemployment in India and low rate of literacy, this huge population will become a burden .. Having more population does not mean that you have more workers .. It mean you have to support more people … So if not the government gets serious about unemployment and illiteracy, we on the roads of doom … And btw .. I believe that making people self employed is much easier than creating jobs .. Although, they have taken some measures in this regard but they arent enough ..

The report further states that “China’s lack of innovation and its tendency to be wasteful” can be a major drawback in next couple of decades .. Did I hear “lack of innovation” ..? I remember reading about China having world’s biggest ethanol plant and is building another equally big .. China like most developing countries import oil for its consumption .. With the soaring prices and increasing dependibility, most countries are looking at alternate sources of energy .. Bio diesel is one of them .. While China is doing well in this regard, India (which has a strong potential with Jatropha) is on backfoot with it .. This lack of foresight isnt good for India …

Another thing is that while most of the people depending on agriculture for their living, but the contribution to GDP by agriculture is very low .. A reason for this India’s agriculture being dependent on monsoon .. So if monsoon fails, agriculture fails … So creating infrastructures so that farmers become less dependent on rains will be an optimum decision …

Anyways .. I dont disagree with everything in the report …. There are many things which are really a must read .. You can read it here

I conclude this with the last words of the article .. : What holds India back are red tape, rigid labor laws, and its inability to build infrastructure fast enough. With Beijing now pushing software and pledging intellectual property rights protection, some Indians fret design work will shift to China to be closer to factories.
Food for thought …?

Yahoo Messenger 7 Final Reviewed

After more than two months of beta testing, Yahoo! has finally released the version 7 of their popular instant messenger client Yahoo Messenger. .As I had already previewed the beta, I was eagerly waiting for the final release .. And I must say, I am not disappointed .. Most of the bugs are eliminated, and a lot of features are added .. So here it goes .. :

New features :

  • As Voice messaging heats up the IM battles, Yahoo has added the killer feature in YIM too … You can notice the change in the main window as its named as “Yahoo Messenger with Voice” .. A new button for Pc to Pc calling is added in the main window itself ..
    Making Pc to Pc Calls

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Change Service Providers, Keep your existing number ..!!

Yeah ..If recommendations put by TRAI are accepted, this can become a reality .. . In a recent consultation paper, TRAI has recommended introduction of Mobile Number Portability in India ..

What is MNP ..?
      It is simply a service which allows you to retain your number even when you change your service providers .. Currently when we change our service provider ..say from Idea to Hutch, the number gets changed .. Then comes the hassle of telling everyone that you now have a new number .. reprinting visiting cards .. and so on … With Mobile Number portability, you can keep your existing phone number even when you move to Idea from Hutch .. Convenient .. isn’t it ..?

Who will benefit ..?
      Pointless to argue, the subscribers will ..!! The main reason for most of the customer from switching service providers is the change of number .. and when he is free to interpolate, he can do so anytime he wants .. So the operators will have to bring quality service in their package if they want to retain the customer base … Ultimate beneficiary ..? the customer ..! ..

What can be the hurdles ..?
      Hmm… First is the cost involved .. The Service providers aren’t too optimistic about it cauz they will have to put infrastructure to manage all this .. and the increased competition too … If the user isn’t satisfied he will move on .. And then there are issues of who will manage the ported number’s registry ….
      Some other issues are that the callers wont be able to distinguished where they are calling ..? Like say a network X charges 1 Re per minute if the calls are made intra circle ..that is on X’s network .. but if the calls are made outside the circle, the charges are double .. So if the number is ported, the caller wont be able to distinguish whether he is calling intra circle or out of it .. This can create problems for the caller …
   Another is when the companies are putting trust on customers, they will put phone lock in periods before the user moves on to other service .. If the user changes the service before the lock in period is over, he will have to pay some penalty .. This will create some confusions among the customers as to whether they can “unlock” their phone or not as they have paid for the handset and its their property ..These “locked phones” are pretty common in US where Cingular’s phone are incompatible with other phone services unless they are unlocked ..
   And then … how will be the cost managed ..? Will the operators pass this cost to end users ..? It would be better to pass to the ported users and not on everyone …

      Anyways .. Even with so many difficulties, I think MNP will be a good idea .. Those who want interpolability will be willing to pay for it too .. So the costs can be managed … It will also take care of interoperability issues .. The main reason for my leaving Indicom was that not many networks supported it .. so if the numbers are ported, these issues will be solved tooo .. The TRAI paper unlike other government papers is a good read …So have a look at it and give your comments …