Bhuwan's Ramblings

Monday, August 28, 2006

to vote or not to vote

hello election officer, how are you?

please check my identity, take my signature and stamp my hand.

I am here to not vote!

I came to know recently that the Indian constitution allows any individual the right to 'officially' not vote any candidate. This is given in section 49-O if the conduct of election rules, 1961. Now, the question that arises is: if you have decided not to vote any candidate then why should you spend all the time and energy to go to the polling booth, especially when there are innumerable things of international importance that you can do, like TV, cricket, movies, browsing internet, and chatting!

I think it is about taking part in the democratic process, whose success depends on the number of people that are involved. It is important to make the contestants know that they cannot be elected just becoz a better choice is not available.

According to some believers ... in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

kabhi alvida na kehna

What intrigued me most about this movie was not the story line or the actors, but the fact that inspite of very negative reviews this movie made more than a million buck in the USA over the first weekend after release. By the second weekend I found myself standing outside the theater with the movie going to start in a few minutes. The theater was very full by most hindi movie standards in US.

If you are looking for a serious movie that tackles the subject of human feelings trapped in the institution of marriage, then this is a thumbs up ... and off and on the movie will bring a smile too! Karan Johar has approached the subject in a very subtle manner, further enhanced by good performances.

I strongly feel that the movie is not trying to glamourize divorces or marriage break-ups, instead, it is trying to understand the mechanism of relationships that would help couples understand their own situation ... and ... who knows maybe save a marriage or two!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Indian Space Research Organization

ISRO is one organization that I highly respect. I am sure one of the biggest contributor in this is my interest for space research and exploration. In addition to the INSAT, IRS, PSLV and GSLV space programs, ISRO is moving towards scaling new heights considering their plans for India's first lunar vehicle, Chandrayaan - 1, and a reusable space shuttle that would reduce the cost of space missions to about 1/10th of the current levels.

What makes me more proud about this organization is new articles like the one I read a few days ago - The Indian Space Research organization's (ISRO) satellite-based search and rescue network has helped save 30 crew of a Panama registered ship `Glory Moon.' This is a big example of how various technologies are connected and are multi-faceted. Space research program is not just for exploring the unknown that lies beyond the Earth, but to understand how this can affect us in a positive way and make this planet a better place to live.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"smokers need not apply"

Based on a Times of India report an Irish call center specified in their job advertisement that smokers will not be hired. Since EU anti-discrimination laws cover only four areas (age, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation) companies are free to put other conditions while advertising jobs. I personally feel that smoking during work hours (including people who walk in to an enclosed work place after smoking) leads to discomfort for a majority of people. The periodic need for taking a break to smoke hampers the concentration of not only the smoker but also the other team members. In my personal opinion it also shows a weakness in the smoker to cope up with pressure or stress without using an external stimulant.

It is important for both smokers and non-smokers to realize the myths and facts about smoking. For more information about different countries the world bank provides and excellent website.

Since, smoking is mostly started at an early age (adolescence), it is important to understand the patterns in schools and colleges such that steps can be taken to eradicate smoking. A Youth Tobacco Survey in New Delhi in 2001 by HRIDAY showed that about 10% students (boys 11.1% girls 8.8%) of classes 8th - 10th in the private schools had used tobacco at least once and about 4.5% (boys 5.5% girls 3.1%) were currently using tobacco products. The figures for adult smokers in Delhi is estimated to be about 32% for men and 7% for women.

My First Post

My first post is about the Delhi Metro Rail, which is the convergence of my passion for Delhi, the city where I grew up; transportation, my professional field; metro rail, a state-of-the-art system that promises to steer economic growth and DMRC, a non-government style government of India enterprise!!

At this point, while we celebrate the success of the completion of the first phase of the metro network consisting of 62 km and gear up to complete the next phase before the commonwealth games in 2010, it is important for us to learn from past experiences and constantly improve by regenerating ourselves, our thoughts, approaches and technologies.

The Delhi Metro Rail Website provides more information about the Delhi Metro including information regarding the Right to Information Act. Delhi Metro Yahoo group is a common place for discussions by metro enthusiasts from around the world.