Monday, November 23, 2009

The Green Deal

With a week or two to go for Copenhagen Summit 2009, I am skeptical about the outcome of this crucial summit. The recent failure of Barcelona meeting indicates the indifference in the international community regarding the action plan to be included in the upcoming summit. The summit, seen as a successor to Kyoto protocol will decide the future course of action in our fight against climate change. But at this moment, I can see the looming crossroads at the Copenhagen with no final agreement.
The growing discontent between the developed and developing countries is a matter of concern. It’s agonizing to watch the blame game being played. On one hand, the developing countries charge against the developed ones for not stepping up to the challenge, the promise they made to protect climate change. On the contrary, the developed countries want the leading developing countries including China and India to be included in the fixed emission cut agreement. With no side willing to lose their respective stand, it will be interesting to watch whether this summit will be concluded successfully or will the Kyoto protocol be extended beyond 2012.

But what’s more important to know is that whether our industries are ready to take up GREEN BUSINESS? Can they ensure technical support to the global decision makers? In my view, the aspiring global business leaders are well aware of the potential of the green deal. With so much efforts being already put in exploring the other forms of energy- such as wind, tidal and solar etc on a large scale, I am no less confident that the innovative human brain will come up with some life saving ideas. The only major blockade I see is the expenditure that will be incurred on the research and development. As the majority of the economies ease out of the serious recession, can they afford the costs of managing the climate change, is one big question? Even though the organization is willing to spend trillions of dollars, the governments round the globe are concerned about incurring more debt. The only solution that lies before us is the growth of global economy. Even the finance ministers of various countries have acknowledged the fact that economic growth will enable them to address the mounting deficits. The cost of this green deal may be considered too high but the decision to remain blind-folded can cost our very survival.
We are left with no choice, rather it has become imperative to reconsider our decisions, come over pity issues and address the global issue seriously. No doubt, we’ll encounter many severe challenges in finance and resources, but managing the climate change demands a commitment and a long term involvement from all governments. The developed countries can take up the leadership role. It’s the time when we, the inhabitants of this planet, open our eyes and take bold steps, be a part of this earth saving campaign and contribute in whatever small way we can. If we don’t rise up to the occasion now, we’ll be digging the graves for our future generation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unending Debate on Indira

In last few days I came across as many as 15 articles on late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. And was bewildered to see the ongoing debate about her legacy even after twenty-five years of her assassination. To be specific the debate between her DEVI AVATAR and her DEMON face.

To many of her well-wishers and admirers, she was an avatar of MA DURGA who liberated BANGLADESH from Pakistan’s stronghold. The charismatic leader who raised the slogan “Garibi hatao” and abolished privy purses, something, we have recently witnessed being implemented by present UPA government too. To her credit is the nationalization of banks, which helped India to withstand the effect of recession recently much better than the other countries. One cannot take away the credit from this legend of keeping the nation united in the most intense moments of South Asia when there were predictions about India’s break-up in west .

True, she did impose the infamous Emergency, one of the shameful chapters of India’s history; during which democratic rights were suspended, many were jailed and media too was not spared. Or the ‘license raj’ that was seen as savior of aam admi but turned out to be a pernicious and led the corruption creep into the administration machinery. Her own insecure feelings tempted her to declare her inexperience son, as her effective second-in-command. But the Bluestar operation, seen as the most heinous crime by her critics, in which the army stormed into Golden temple, Amritsar, stirred the emotions of many Sikhs. And that ultimately led to her assassination at the hands of her own security guard.

In this ‘Gandhi vs. Gandhi’, I don’t know who is right or who is wrong? Her decisions were not always right. But no one can deny the fact that despite of the flaws, she came back with a thumping victory in 1980 elections, which showed the faith people had in her and they saw her as their only hope. While the blots of Emergency, legitimizing dynasty in politics will always remain, one must give her the credit for introducing a vibrant electoral process, keeping India intact and her foreign policies. The flaws would not take away the appreciation for the good work she did and vice versa.

And so I guess this debate will go on… In my view, it would be solely wrong to restrict her character to any one of the above mentioned avatars as I feel there was a transition from devi to the authoritarian figure. One can witness the different forms of her from a charismatic leader to an autocrat and perhaps the most powerful and strongest prime minister, India ever had!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


With my growing love for new technologies these days,i decided to follow my friend's footsteps and share the news about the technologies which will mark an impact in near future.

In their quest to find answers, experts have demonstrated that the future of medical discoveries, environmental challenges, energy deficit, all lie in collaborating through Cloud Computing.

With Cloud Computing, users have been able to access data, share expertise and high-end infrastructure from around the world, and vice-versa. The resources are shared through a public platform like the internet. Several companies like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, etc have invested heavily as they reach out to users.

Cloud Computing companies have customers of three kinds -

* Infrastructure-as-a-service: Option of renting and utilizing computing power and storage capacity of vendor's quality.

* Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Vendors license particular services to subscribers on-demand and once the contract expires, the services are disabled.

* Platform-as-a-Service: Here a developer is given the opportunity to utilize various web-tools to build and host applications.

The Cloud (other computers in the network) does have its pros and cons in this formative stage. Its advantages include,

* Better performance by PCs in the cloud network, as fewer processing will be loading in each individual PC, the rest on the Cloud.

* No more spending on computer upgrades, instead services of another high-power PC can be made use of.

* Lesser hardware and software required, so costs of maintenance are tremendously lowered.

* Permanence of data, as all information stays in the cloud, even if you experience a hard-disk crash.

* Sync with experts worldwide on multiple projects and avail optimum results through the Cloud.

* Work from any PC and on the move, with the availability of internet access.

Cloud Computing also has some drawbacks like,

* The over-dependence on the providers.

* The reliability of the vendors.

* Protection laws in different countries vary. For eg, according to EU data protection regulation, personal information cannot be transferred outside the European Economic Area.

* Threat of unauthorized access to confidential data.

* Requires internet throughout and near-impossible to work with dial-up connections.

The concept isn't entirely new and is evolving even today. In the recent past, several variations have been introduced through 'Grid' and 'Utility Computing'.

- Grid Computing is a virtual super-computer formed by a cluster of computers in concert, each performing complex tasks.

- Utility Computing is a format in which subscribers are charged based on their usage, similar to the way in electricity is charged.

As new developments take place with increasing frequency, the world is on the brink of transition.