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Showing posts from May, 2012

"Two Visionaries"

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Captioned 'Beyond Words', have a look at this rare picture of two greats from opposite ends of the world, taken 82 years ago.
Source
"In this rare photograph from The Hindu’s archives, Helen Keller, the blind American author and labour rights activist, greets Rabindranath Tagore at a meeting in New York in 1930."

A Not-So-Golden Paradox

One is always surprised at the preoccupation with gold, the infatuation, craze and passion for the yellow metal in India, and elsewhere. The WGC (goldDOTorg. Ha Ha.) happily encourages any and all kinds of marketing gimmicks, including the kind about which Raji ranted in blessed-if-you-buy-jewellery-day.
Staying in Kerala, you simply cannot avoid lengthy TV commercials and full-page newspaper ads by gold 'supermarkets' (how vulgar that sounds!). Nor can you miss seeing driver-distracting, really loud hoardings and flex boards. Since women model the trinkets, it seems as though the model, the ad agency and the advertiser are happy to cover much more of the skin with metal than with cloth. You will end up wondering if metal looks best without other wear around hindering the view.
So there is demand. And there are sales. Implies that people have money to acquire that metal.
The number of gold loan sources is also up. Both banks and NBFC's. One implication is that gold loan i…

Internet Haves and Have-Nots

We now have (further!) official confirmation of the Digital Divide in India.
Hardly 6% of households in urban India households have an Internet connection.
This figure reads as 0.4% for rural India.
Does this indicate infrastructure falling short or inability to afford the minimum (by today's standards) technology? Or a dismal combination of both?
Any talk of inclusive growth is at best laughable. You and I have the luxury of exploring 4G, e-social networking, shopping and seeking entertainment online when other 93% of our city and country cousins are nowhere near this kind of digital empowerment.
Read Internet revolution bypasses rural India: Survey.
To the average Internet-empowered home, the connection has become somewhat of a necessity. But among all the gigabytes that we devour daily, let us spare a thought for others for whom the Net is still a distant dream or a last priority.
And also hope that the Government's policies for empowering citizens digitally works in logical propo…

Life after the Civil Services Exam?

Every year, we read stories about young, successful civil service aspirants with professional degrees and how they cracked their exams and interview. What happens to them later? Say a year down the line, after their training at the elite Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administrationand when they reach their coveted assignments and postings.  
Does their zeal last? On reading the success stories, it is easy to think of a future where the bureaucrat does his job well and sincerely, without fear or favour....
IAS 2012 Toppers Shena Aggarwal and Prince Dhawan want to work for society
IAS TOPPER Rukmani Riar : fired by desire to do social service

Sincere wishes to the soon-to-be national administrators. Will they redefine 'Babus' and 'Babudom' to better emulate Bapu and his ideals for the sake of the nation?

More from the Coconut Tree

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The entire coconut tree and its constituents are usable during their lifetime and indeed in their afterlife.
Here are a few products originating from the coconut tree. (bark, as well as coconut shell). You'll get to see plenty at craft shows and handicraft outlets. These pictures were taken at the Shantigiri Fest 2012. One only wishes that they were even more ubiquitous, and replace plastic to any extent possible...
You should be able to make out rolling pins, all kinds of ladles, candle-stands, pen holders, fruit forks, chiratta puttu maker, incense stick holders, key rings...


Let's celebrate coir

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At the Santhigiri Festival 2012, there is plenty of stuff to browse and spend a useful few hours. One pavilion showcases everything about coir, including the rugged machines needed to process the raw material, the wheels and looms that make and weave the stands into sturdy cordage, and the attractive end products from winter wear jackets to carpets, and from foldable umbrellas to rugged furniture, and geo-textiles (download brochure about coir geo-textiles)








If you are interested to find out more about coir, visit Coir Board Central Coir Research Institute Directorate of Coir Development