29 March 2006

The baby is born! My brother a litle elder one is now a father. And happy new year. Its Yugadi Tomorrow in India.

23 March 2006

What is Capital Account Convertibility

Capital Account Convertibility
Many countries regulate the inflow and outflow of the capital in to its market. This basically means that the central regulatory body decides the amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as the amount of Foreign Disinvestments (selling of assets). This process obviously involves currency conversion. That is, foreign currency to local currency while investing and local currency to foreign currency (selling local currency). As the conversion is regulated this can be called Regulated Account Convertibility.
If the regulation of the currency conversion for investment is removed or in other words a full conversion of the local currency from and to other currency is allowed then the country is said to practice Capital Account Convertibility (CAC).
Under current rules, India's rupee is only partially convertible to foreign currencies. The central bank (RBI) allows a free flow of foreign exchange for trade in goods and services, but it regulates who may exchange rupees for other currencies for investment purposes and the circumstances under which they may do so. The current rules regulate currency conversion for foreign entities that want to invest in India and Indians who want to invest overseas.Although FDI in certain market is allowed without cap, disinvestments (Selling invested Rupee and converting it to foreign currency) at the moment is regulated by RBI, in India. The problem India may face is when rumours, calamities etc hamper investor confidence, they may sell all assets in Rupee and convert it to say Euro or Dollar. This forces the forex value of the Rupee down. (Such depreciation against major currencies increases the cost of imports).
Analysts worry that India is not yet ready for such a system. Many counties suffered during 'East Asian crisis of 1980s'. India did not face the problem as Account Convertibility was regulated.

Raghavendra Kattinakere S

A Rough Language Family Tree

This is my understanding of the Family Tree of Languages.

Thinking Dirt

Nobody is perfect. It s for us to control our thoughts and direct it to result in right action. Brain is a green room. Its ought to be dirty. If its clean nothing much comes out of it!

one has the right to think dirt, but not to act dirty. Remember anything pure is an extreme.

Improve rural sanittaion Kalam

Chennai Online News Service - View News

Why should we vote UPA out

I would vote against the UPA Government in the next elections. Subverting democratic institutions and ideals to serve its cause and destroying all opposition parties using all possible arms of government seems to be the only motto of this autocratic government.

1) I do not want a Naturalized citizen to rule my country. Definitely not directly let alone indirectly. When my own countrymen are corrupt how can we trust a naturalised citizen?

2) I do not want this country to be ruled by an intelligent person lacking leadership qualities and a support from his ministers directly to him. There is IAS cadre to do the intelligent job. Leaders have to delegate it. We want a wise leader.

3) Congress upon forming government dismissed several governors many of them from states ruled by a party other than UPA allies. It is easy for them to play a political game which they did in Goa in removing BJP government, Jharkhand in calling Sibu Soren a criminal convicted by court, and finally to cap them all in Bihar, Boota Singh, even though the apex court ruled against him in a humiliating manner, UPA let him hoist the flag and had to resign after an uproar thought the country. Where was mister sincere Dr Singh then?

4) Law minister who is supposed to protect law humiliated judiciary by taking a unilateral decision to let O Quatrochhi Defreeze his bank accounts in UK. Or simply he killed the Bofors kickback case.

5) Carried out a vendetta on Jaya Bachhan while most of the members are enjoying one or the other office of profit.

6) Now Sonia Gandhi resigns falling pray congress’s own design. And this when they realise that there is uproar against an ordinance. This government will not hesitate to change the rule of the game to win it.

7) We want a strong opposition so that people can have a choice. It’s about changing governments. We should change governments so that the entire nasty thing a government does comes out in the next term. To do that we need a party that can provide a stable government. Congress is killing all opposition there by harming Indian democracy.

8) It’s not that BJP or any other party will do a great job. We can elect Congress again to check any problem that other government may create.

9) UPA government is wooing minorities to get votes. They wanted to divide Armed forces by a census. Who is communal now?

10) People have risen above the old standards. No one will care for Yatras Advani might take. Strong credible actions will be appreciated, not the dramas.

11) People come and go to develop and remain prosperous we need to protect out system and institutions.

12) I appreciate Dr Sing’s economic initiatives, but I am sure his service will be available to the nation even while he sits in the opposition benches. We cannot afford help less prime Minster.

I would vote against the UPA Government in the next elections and wait for it to come sooner.

20 March 2006

A note on Labour Laws

A comparative look at Indian and German labour laws.

Normally, a set of Acts constitute the labour laws in a country. The common features are.

-Health and Safety
-Minimum Wage
-Payment of Bonus
-Maternity and paternity and vacations
-Insurance and Pension fund.
- et al

There are three legal entities: Employer, Employee and the Company. Most of the times the laws apply irrespective of the nature of the company. For example any firm/individual employing more than 20 employees is considered a factory according to Factories Act 1948, India. The Companies Act 1956 regulates different aspects of a company. (http://www.laws4india.com/corporatelaws/comp_act/ica_idx.asp, http://www.dgfasli.nic.in/html/dockact/rule1.htm). It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe and healthy working environment in any factory. This includes rest rooms and other facilities as may be required depending on the nature of the job. There is also a maximum working hour limit. In India it is 10.5 hours with 30 minutes of break after every 5 hours of continuous work and the total for the week may not exceed 56 hours. In Germany it is around 38 ours a week but the daily working hours may go up to 10.5 hours. There should also be an extra payment for every extra hour worked. The wage differs in different countries. In India any work done after 9 hours of work is considered a over duty.

There is no minimum wage specified in several countries, like in Germany. In India The Minimum Wages Act 1948 stipulates a minimum wage. However there is a minimum wage specified for immigrant high skill workers to avoid import of cheap labour. It is around 50,000 Euro per year in Germany.

There are 24 paid leaves per year in Germany and 21 in India excluding other holidays. In Germany there is also a 6 weeks of paid leave in case of illness. It’s around 15 days in India. There is no paternity leave in India as in Germany. Women get a 3-month maternity paid leave in India.

Payment of Bonus is compulsory in India according to Payment of Bonus Act 1965. There is also a compulsory Gratuity payment. More information is elsewhere (http://www.laws4india.com/labourlaws.asp). In Germany there seems to be no such mandate.

Pension fund must be through equal contribution by employer and employee to the Employee Provident Fund in India and to Social Security Organisation in Germany. This sum is around 12% of the gross salary. However Employee may choose to set an additional amount aside through a fund formed by the company for the purpose of pension. This is completely exempt from income Tax.
This amount is deposited in an account. Called EPF account in India and Social Security Number in Germany. In Germany this amount can be withdrawn, three years after the leaving the country if the employee is an immigrant worker. However only employee’s contribution shall be returned and the rest will lapse. The money will be immediately returned if the employee has not stayed in Germany for more than three months.

More information can be found on all Indian Acts here (Searchable by key words)

After receiving all these its the duty of the employee to work honestly for the betterment of the enterprise!

As part of Electronic Initiative on "civic responsibility and rights campaign"

Mr. Raghavendra S Kattinakere
Executive Trustee
Centre For Development Research
PMM Trust (R), Kattinakere
India, 577434

Dr Kurian The White Man

Dr. Verghese Kurien Father of the White Revolution in India quit as the head of GCMMF. He is credited with architecting Operation Flood -- the largest dairy development program in the world. Verghese Kurien, set up the cooperative dairy development, engineered the White Revolution in India, and made India the largest milk producer in the world. Born on 26th November 1921, Dr.Kurien graduated with Physics from Loyola College, Madras in 1940 and then did B.E.(Mech) from the Madras University. After passing out of the University, he joined the Tata Steel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur from where he graduated in 1946. He then went to USA on a government scholarship to do his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. When he came back to India, he was posted as a Dairy Engineer at the government creamery, Anand, in May 1949. Around the same time, the infant cooperative dairy, Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited (KDCMPUL), -- now famous as AMUL -- was fighting a battle with the Polson Dairy which was privately owned. Young Kurien, fed up with being at the government creamery which held no challenge, volunteered to help Shri Tribhuvandas Patel, the Chairman of KDCMPUL, to set up a processing plant. This marked the birth of AMUL and the rest is history.
Tribhuvandas Patel was assigned by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel the task of "making the Kaira farmers happy and organize them into a cooperative unit".
Dr. Kurien has since then built this organization into one of the largest and most successful institutions in India. The Amul pattern of cooperatives had been so successful that Dr. Kurien setup NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) to replicate it across India.
He also set up GCMMF (Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation) in 1973 to sell the products produced by the dairies. Today GCMMF sells AMUL brand products not only in India but also overseas.
Dr. Kurien's credits his success to the farmers of Gujarat. Says Kurien, "I was a 'foreigner' a Keralite if I had tried to do something on my own, I wouldn't have been able to do it. I merely provided the managerial component."
For his contribution to the dairy industry Dr. Kurien has received top awards not only in India but also overseas. Padmashri (1965) Padmabhushan (1966) Krishi Ratna Award (1986) by the President of India. Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1963) Wateler Peace Prize Award of Carnegie Foundation (1986) World Food Prize Award (1989) International Person of the Year(1993) by the World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Padma Vibhushan (1999)

--This is an edited excerpt

White Man

Dear Dr Kurien,The rural poor in India will remember you fondly for bringing what can be called the silverlining in their lives. Poor people make their living by selling milk to the nearest dairy. Rediff has done injustice by not even bothering to mention that you are the father of white revolution.Wish you a happy retired life. May your achivement inspire the youngsters and help develop the rural India whre 70% of Indians live.
Thank you Sir for your contribution.
RegardsRaghavendra K S

17 March 2006

What Is Democracy?

What Is Democracy?
Democracy, most of the time means elitist middle class governance imposed on the poor non-participant masses that unknowingly and with no choice, choose an elitist to rule them.Their own fellow humans look inferior to them, not by character but by what I call "The Middle Class Unconscious Design'. The blessings of middle class and the rich are just enough to suppress the desire of the poor to take their rightful share in the opportunity; it kills the sense of humiliation as warmth overwhelms. If not in the later days all democracies without any exception are elitist in the beginning; history shall prove it.
Having set the tone for what I may discuss and elaborate further, it is quite a necessary to note that this is not the second part of the 'Communist Manifesto'. Neither is this anything to do with the communist ideology of revolution. But is it not true that majority on this earth are poor? Are we (read, all of us) not, in anyway responsible for their plight?
The poor and the unprivilaged have lost the battle that they never knew, they were fighting; the previlaged won it subconsciously.

to continue...........

Family Planing

Should family planning be banned?
Composition of the population in a country is more serious an issue than we think it is. It is very important for the government to have a clear population management policy.
Banning abortion is not at all debatable. We must accept it and proceed further to look at the population control issue. Having only one child is out of the question. Having two children is what is being done these days even in the villages to some extent. Having three children as a policy is something that needs a bit of thinking.
Keeping in mind that an average family can not afford good education and food for more than two children, it is good to educate different members of the soceity especially the Muslims community about the importance of family planning to help improve their economic status. May be after 50 years we should think of having 3 children in a family. This would help us avoid the problem faced in Europe; aging.
Its not a constant decision that is necessary but a policy which does a scientific assessment on the population composition of our country and gives a suggestion accordingly time to time as may be appropriate.

Living Alone

I was ten when I had to stay away from my parents. Sixteen long years have passed, nothing has changed. I stay alone. When we are students, staying alone is not really a problem, as we do not have time to get bored. Once we are into a job, a sad routine begins. We either do not have time or we do not know what to do when we have time!
I used to read a lot. I kept telling myself "Oh, I can not get bored as long as I have something to read". You can not read when you have nothing else to do!
Over the years I have learnt that having good friends makes our lives easy. A genuine friendship has the ability, to replace lot of things in our life that we often lack. If your friend is a good cook, it can even replace home-cooked meal. Cooking can be fun a lot of times. Though It's demanding, I realised that cooking is all about mixing vegetables with salt and chilli! And lo I ended up adding a new cuisine to the list! I have often told a friend of mine, in Europe not to mistake my cuisine with any of Indian cuisines. I could not really go anywhere near any of Indian cuisines, but I could eat a very good food.
Planning what to do on holidays, setting a target to do something other than we usually do, are probably the best things, both to be occupied all the time and to be happy about it.
Sense of loneliness is more about how we take it. Memories have a great ability to take us out of boredom. I always keep few albums with me, wherever I go. Nothing can substantiate the power memories than these words of William Wordsworth;For often, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils.

16 March 2006

Hindu View on Christianity

Hindu View on Christianity: Hindu View on Christianity

Dear Patrick,

Like all the followers of the different religions Hindus adore theirs. But characteristically also respect other religions. Some even worship gods of other religions as theirs. However they also do not like their fellow Hindus getting converted to some other religion. This is a feature prevalent in all the religions. For instance Catholics do not like their fellows becoming protestant.

This sort of dislike is manifest by what can be called semi learneds. Hindus religious organizations do not make (by nature) attempts to convert others. They believe that all prayers reach the same god. However they like other respecting and following their traditions and culture, even though they do not convert to Hinduism. India a predominantly Hindu country has had some bad experiences with Christians and Christian rule. The native Indian Christians; Nasrani Christians were forcibly converted to Catholicism by Portuguese in 16th century. The Portuguese inquisition in Goa was a worst episode for Hindus.

All these have prompted to make Hindus think about Christians with some caution. However except for some fanatics, all others respect and treat Jesus as a Yogi or a Saint. Praying Jesus is not considered a blasphemy like in Christianity for idol worship. Hindus adore many sages and hermits almost as much as GOD. As Hinduism claims that we are all part of god and the sons of god; everything good is god.

It is also true that Christians have contributed to India and Hinduism by helping reform Hinduism and by bringing the western education system and establishing so strongly that it became a major force in India's freedom struggle and now in rapid development. This is either not known to an average Hindu or thought to be of less significance. It is also true with the conversion of low caste Hindus. Many low caste Hindus have benefited from it by coming out of discrimination by the upper caste Hindus. Note also that this very fact makes Christians untouchables to a Conservative Orthodox Brahmin (read upper class people). Although it has dawned upon these upper caste Brahmins recently, it still is in practice. I am sure this discrimination will fade away in a generation's time.

An average Hindu does not know much about Christianity. But most of them know about Jesus. To summarize, Hindus take everything western to be Christian and do not like the culture. Look at conversion, and do not like Christian organizations. Look at Jesus and his deeds and miracles they hear about him and respect him. Some do not like respecting him. But it’s hard to say that a right thing is wrong. Divinity overwhelms and the bias fades away; Find something in scripture to support their following.

Yekam Sat wiprah Bahuda vadanti (There is one GOD and clerics call it by different names). They pray Jesus with closed palms. I do it whether I like it or not. Truth alone triumphs.


Raghavendra S Kattinakere
Executive Trustee
Centre For Development Research
PMM Trust (R), Kattinakere
India 577434