Thursday, October 6, 2011
It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.
You could also say that it's a book about intuition, except that I don't like that word. In fact it never appears in "Blink." Intuition strikes me as a concept we use to describe emotional reactions, gut feelings--thoughts and impressions that don't seem entirely rational. But I think that what goes on in that first two seconds is perfectly rational. It'sthinking--its just thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision-making that we usually associate with "thinking." In "Blink" I'm trying to understand those two seconds. What is going on inside our heads when we engage in rapid cognition? When are snap judgments good and when are they not? What kinds of things can we do to make our powers of rapid cognition better?
Researchers at the University of Arkansas are studying a new field of fossilized dinosaur tracks, including one set that appears to be from a large three-toed predator, the university said on Wednesday.
The tracks were found on private land in southwest Arkansas and provide a window into the life forms that roamed the area as long as 120 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous period.
“The quality of the tracks and the length of the track ways make this an important site,” said Stephen K. Boss, who led the project.
The research effort is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Based on the rock in which the footprints were found, researchers have a good idea of what the climate would have been like, Boss said.
“Picture an environment much like that of the shores of the Persian Gulf today. The air temperature was hot. The water was shallow and very salty,” Boss said. “It was a harsh environment. We’re not sure what the animals were doing here, but clearly they were here in some abundance.”
Some of the tracks in the field have not been documented before in Arkansas. The researchers’ work will expand knowledge about dinosaurs that roamed the area and the climate during the period.
The tracks from the three-toed dinosaur are about 2 feet (0.6 meters) long by 1 foot (0.3 meter) wide and likely are from Acrocanthosaurus atokensis, one of the largest predators ever known. There are also prints from sauropods, large, long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs. Other sauropod tracks have been found in the state, including at a site near Nashville, also in the state’s southwest.
“Through tracks, we can learn all sorts things about dinosaur biomechanics and behaviour,” said University of Kansas researcher Brian Platt, who is taking part in the program. “Dinosaur bones can be dragged away by animals or swept out to sea. But we know that about 120 million years ago, dinosaurs walked right through here.”
The grant from the National Science Foundation enabled a team of researchers to spend two weeks studying the site. They used traditional tools, including hammers, chisels and brooms, but also cutting-edge technology to record images, take measurements and map the site.
Rock samples from the site can also shed light on the conditions under which the dinosaurs lived.
“Because we see footprints here, we know that this surface was at one time exposed to the elements,” said Celina Suarez, a postdoctoral researcher at Boise State University who will be joining the faculty at the University of Arkansas in the fall of 2012.
Researchers can calculate how much rain fell and how much moisture evaporated. Using data from this site and others, scientists can learn more about the climate in general and work to predict the planet’s future climate.
“This site will add to the knowledge of both the animals and climate of the Early Cretaceous,” Boss said. “Scientists will be studying these data for many years.”
Is distress migration on a massive scale responsible for one of the most striking findings of Census 2011: that for the first time since 1921, urban India added more numbers to its population in a decade than rural India did?
At 833.1 million, India's rural population today is 90.6 million higher than it was a decade ago. But the urban population is 91 million higher than it was in 2001. The Census cites three possible causes for the urban population to have risen by more than the rural: ‘migration,' ‘natural increase' and ‘inclusion of new areas as ‘urban.' But all three factors applied in earlier decades too, when additions to the rural population far outstripped those to the urban. Why then is the last decade so different? While valid in themselves, these factors cannot fully explain this huge urban increase. More so in a census in which the decadal growth percentage of population records “the sharpest decline since India's independence.”
Take the 2001 Census. It showed us that the rural population had grown by more than 113 million since 1991. And the urban by over 68 million. So rural India had added 45 million people more than urban. In 2011, urban India's increase was greater than that of rural India's by nearly half a million, a huge change. The last time the urban increase surpassed the rural was 90 years ago, in 1921. Then, the rural total actually fell by close to three million compared to the 1911 Census.
However, the 1921 Census was unique. The 1918 Influenza epidemic that killed 50-100 million people worldwide, ravaged India. Studies of the 1921 Census data say it records between 11 and 22 million deaths more than would have been normal for that decade. There was also the smaller impact of World War I in which tens of thousands of Indian soldiers died as cannon fodder for Imperial Britain in Europe and elsewhere.
If Influenza left its fatal imprint on the 1921 enumeration, the story behind the numbers of the 2011 Census speaks of another tragedy: the collapse of millions of livelihoods in agriculture and its related occupations. And the ongoing, despair-driven exodus that this sparked in the countryside.
The 2011 Census captures only the tip of an iceberg in terms of rural upheaval. The last time urban India added more numbers to its population than rural India was 90 years ago and that followed giant calamities in public health and war. Yet, without such conditions, urban India added 91 million to its 2001 total, against rural India's 90.6 million. (Table 1). Nor can this reversal be fully captured by the factors Census 2011 cites as driving the urban increase. Take ‘migration.' In public debate, ‘urban' is often equated with big metros. This conjures images of massive waves of people from villages heading straight for the big metros. And this flow, you will be assured, is falling. (Vital data on this will emerge only next year and might surprise us).
The Census data, however, do not convey the harshness and pain of the millions trapped in “footloose” migrations. That is, the desperate search for work driving poorer people in many directions without a clear final destination. Like Oriya migrants who work some weeks in Raipur. Then a couple of months at brick kilns in Andhra Pradesh. Then at construction sites in diverse towns in Maharashtra. Their hunger, and contractor, drive them to any place where there is work, however brief. There are rural migrations to both metros and non-metro urban areas. To towns and smaller cities. There are also rural to rural migrations. There are urban-urban migrations. And even, in smaller measure, urban to rural migrations.
Flight from agriculture
Neither the Census nor the National Sample Survey is geared to capture the complexity of India's migrations. A migrant in the Census is someone counted at a place other than his or her last place of residence. This records a single move — not multiple migrations. So it sees only the tip of the mobility iceberg, missing footloose migrations altogether. What we do know from Census 2001 is of the flight from agriculture. Between 1991 and 2001, over seven million people for whom cultivation was the main livelihood, quit farming. That is a mind-boggling figure. It suggests that, on average, close to 2,000 people a day abandon farming in the country. Where do they go? Nothing in employment data suggests they get absorbed in decent work in bustling cities.
What about ‘natural increase' (the difference between the numbers of births and deaths in a population)? That does not explain the switch around in rural-urban increases either. Indeed, the rate of natural increase has declined in both rural and urban areas. Still the urban population and towns get bigger and bigger.
As Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India Dr. C. Chandramouli puts it: “Fertility has declined across the country. There has been a fall in numbers even in the 0-6 age group, as a proportion of the total population. In fact, in absolute numbers too, this group (now 158.8 million) has declined by five million, compared to the previous Census. This would suggest migrations as a significant factor in urban growth. But what kind of migrations we can only ascertain or comment on when their patterns emerge more clearly. The Census in itself is not structured to capture short-term or footloose migrations.”
We also get an extraordinary picture when viewing what demographers call the ‘Urban-rural growth differential.' The URGD is simply the difference between the rates at which rural and urban populations expanded in each decade. It is also a rough and ready index of the extent of rural-urban migrations. The URGD in the 2011 Census is 19.8, the highest in 30 years.
‘Natural increase' does not then account for the growth in urban numbers. Certainly not for the 30 per cent rise in urban population in the States. Thousands of towns today have far larger populations than they used to have — but not due to natural increase. The reason is migrations on a massive scale. Rural folk still outnumber urban people by more than two to one. In the 2001 Census, rural family size (5.4) remained bigger than urban family size (5.1). Also striking, States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar show massive falls in growth rates in 2011. In the 2001 Census, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were “the two States with largest number of net migrants migrating out of the state.”
The other factor cited by the current Census for the turnaround is interesting. “Inclusion of new areas under ‘Urban'.” The number of ‘statutory towns' has gone up by a mere 241 since 2001. Compare that with the preceding decade when they rose by 813, or more than three times that number. (A ‘Statutory town' is an urban unit with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee.)
There is, however, a boom in the number of ‘Census towns.' In the decade 1991-2001, Census towns actually declined from 1,702 to 1,361. In the 2011 Census, they nearly tripled to 3894. That is stunning (Tables 2 and 3). How did this happen? And what is a ‘Census town?' This is a village or other unit declared as a town when: its population crosses 5,000; when the number of male workers in agriculture falls to less than 25 per cent of the total; and where population density is at least 400 per square kilometre.
At the very least, this means the male workforce in agriculture has collapsed in thousands of villages, falling to less than a quarter of all workers. So the farm exodus continues. What might the 2011 data on cultivators show us when it is out late next year? It could show us that the numbers quitting cultivation since 2001 might equal or exceed the over seven million dropouts of the previous decade.
We are celebrating one more Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 and at least today let's compare the India of the Mahatma's dreams with the India we made. Gandhiji said: “I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people, an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women will enjoy the same rights as men. This is the India of my dreams.”
In the India we made, we have successfully deprived the poor of their voice in its making. We have created an India where more than 17,000 farmers commit suicide every year. We have created an India in which 830 million people live on Rs. 20 a day.
We have built our country in a way that we have at least three bomb blasts in our major cities each year and the bodies of innocent people are blown apart. Gandhiji said Indian culture is neither Hindu, Islamic, nor any other, wholly; it is a fusion of all. But in December 1992 we taught him that Indian culture is wholly Hindu and we gained perpetual mayhem; we have exacerbated the already volatile communal harmony.
Intoxicating drinks and drugs are the greatest means to fill our national exchequer, did Gandhiji know it? No, he knew only how to oppose a government. He did not know how to run one. Therefore in governing our country we can learn nothing from him. We can't even imagine an India where there is no place for intoxicating drinks and drugs.
And women enjoying the same rights as men — it is not even a subject to be discussed for us Indians. We are not even ready to allow the female foetus to be born, let alone women enjoying equality. We are successful in decreasing the number of girls to every 1000 boys in the 0-6 age group to 914 in our latest census.
Our structural inequalities, state violence against the deprived and downtrodden people and the violence of religious intolerance are more intense than ever before and therefore Ghandhian principles are also more relevant than ever before. As Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in The Discovery of India, the unhappy, dispossessed millions haunted Gandhiji and everything seemed to revolve round them.
The ambition of the Father of the Nation was “to wipe every tear from every eye.” And what our ruling elites together with the haves are doing today is extracting as much tears from the dispossessed millions as they can.
While the parochial and divisive forces made us the most fragmented society, the corporate leanings of our successive ruling establishments have made us the helpless victims of the market forces. As a nation, the real India — the India of toiling masses and farmers — stands dejected and deserted. The real India today desperately needs a Gandhiji to fight communal hatred, poverty, female foeticide, the corporate onslaught, the corrupt bureaucrat-politician nexus and the ‘shining' India of the rich.
As shunning all kinds of violence is the dire need of our age, it is apt to conclude, quoting in detail an experience of Gandhiji from his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth: “Long before I undertook the education of the youngsters of the Tolstoy Farm I had realised that the training of the spirit was a thing by itself. I saw, therefore, that I must be an eternal object-lesson to the boys and girls living with me. They thus became my teachers….One of them was wild, unruly and quarrelsome. On one occasion, he broke out most violently. I was exasperated. I never punished my boys, but this time I was very angry. I tried to reason with him. But he was adamant and even tried to overreach me. At last, I picked up a ruler lying at hand and delivered a blow on his arm. I trembled as I struck him. I dare say he noticed it. The boy cried out and begged to be forgiven. He cried not because the beating was painful to him; he could, if he had been so minded, have paid me back in the same coin; but he realised my pain in being driven to this violent resource. Never again after this incident did he disobey me. But I still repent that violence. I am afraid I exhibited before him that day not the spirit, but the brute, in me.”
Ever since I saw Nalanda for the first time as a child, I was completely bowled over by the vision it offered to humanity. I dreamt of bringing the great institution back to life, some day. As I continued to visit Nalanda through my teenage years, the idea of an outstanding centre for higher education at the great centre of ancient Indian civilisation, in Bihar, gripped me more and more. When Chief Minister Nitish Kumar approached me about helping them build a new institution near the old site, I was impressed to see how close his own vision was to what I had hoped would happen one day. I hope to see that dream being realised — at least the initial stages of it — before long. The fact that Bihar also has a lot of economic problems, including persistent poverty, makes it even more necessary for the new Nalanda to offer educational opportunities for the useful arts (such as information technology, environmental studies and management), without undermining the more abstract investigations.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
मेरी दृढ धारणा है कि तुममें अन्धविश्वास नहीं है। तुममें वह शक्ति विद्यमान है, जो संसार को हिला सकती है, धीरे - धीरे और भी अन्य लोग आयेंगे। 'साहसी' शब्द और उससे अधिक 'साहसी' कर्मों की हमें आवश्यकता है। उठो! उठो! संसार दुःख से जल रहा है। क्या तुम सो सकते हो? हम बार - बार पुकारें, जब तक सोते हुए देवता न जाग उठें, जब तक अन्तर्यामी देव उस पुकार का उत्तर न दें। जीवन में और क्या है? इससे महान कर्म क्या है?
Monday, August 29, 2011
Many shipping through the laws of British colonial domination imposed by the U.S. commercial business.
Britain's monopoly on both tobacco and rice.
Through the laws of 1732 and 1750 with copper and iron smelting furnaces were ordered to close.
Britain believed that the British Parliament is supreme, therefore, in the context of the United States can make any law.
Nobility and gentry were opposed to the movement.
About 80,000 left the United States after independence nobility.
Native Red Indians were spared.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The impressive growth of the Indian Leather Sector over the past four decades from being a traditional rural and artisan based, inward-looking industry in the 1970s, to a modern, sophisticated, outward looking industrial sector in this decade. Pragmatic Government policies coupled with daring entrepreneurship displayed by the private sector placed the industry in the present status.
India has the largest livestock population in the world with 21 per cent. India has the largest livestock population in the world with 21% of world cattle and buffalo
and 11% of world goat and sheep population. Added to this are the strength of skill manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environment standards and the dedicated support of the allied industries.
The leather industry is an employment intensive sector, providing job to about 2.5 million people, mostly from the weaker sections of the society.
Women employment is pre-dominant in leather products sector with about 30% share. Though India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments in the world, India accounts for a share of close to 3% in the global leather import trade of US$ 115.58 billion(2009).
Strength of Indian Leather Sector
* Having own raw material source – 2 billion sq. ft. of finished leather produced annually.
* Some varieties of goat/calf/sheep skin available in India are unique in quality.
* Strong and eco-sustainable production base
* Modernized manufacturing units
* Trained/skilled manpower at competitive wage levels
* World class institutional support for design and product development, HRD and Research & Development
* Support of ancillary industries like leather chemicals and finishing auxiliaries as well as machineries
* Presence in major markets throughout the world
As per a quick survey report of 4th All India Census of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) (2006-07) conducted by the Ministry of MSME, there are 26,741 registered Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and 62,574 unregistered Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in this sector in the country.
Leather Products Segment
· Tanning sector – Annual Production 2 billion sq. ft. accounts for 10% of world leather requirement. Indian colours continuously being selected at the MODEUROPE Congress.
· Footwear sector – Second largest footwear producer after China. Annual production 2065 million pairs. Around 1950 million pairs (95%) are sold in domestic market. Footwear export accounts for 44.32% share in India’s leather and leather products export. The footwear product mix are of gents 54%, ladies 37% and children 9%.
· Leather garment sector – Second largest producer with annual production capacity of 16 million pieces. Fourth largest global exporter. Accounts for 12.60% share of India’s total leather and leather products export.
· Leather Goods and Accessories Sector
· Fifth largest global exporter. Annual production capacity - 63 million pieces of leather articles, 52 million pairs of industrial gloves and 12.50 million pieces of Harness & Saddlery items. Accounts for 24.68% share of India’s total leather and leather products export.
Major Clusters of Leather & Leather Products
The major leather and leather product clusters in India are Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab and Rajasthan. Besides this, there are some minor clusters in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
· Chennai Cluster – Chennai Cluster includes tanneries and product manufacturing units located at Pallavaran, Chromepet Vandalur and Madhavaram. The leather products manufactured in these clusters are finished leather, leather footwear, footwear components, leather garments, leather goods and leather gloves. Besides, there are clusters at Ambur, Vellore, Ranipet, Digul and Erode in Tamil Nadu.
· Agra Cluster – Footwear is the main product manufactured in Agra Cluster. Agra footwear industry has approx. 5,000 units out of which approx. 60 units are fully mechanized, 150 units are semi-mechanized and remaining under the cottage and household category. Agra footwear industry has an installed capacity of producing approx. 2,50,000 – 3,00,000 pairs of footwear (all types) per day. Approximately 35% of the total population of Agra is dependent (directly or indirectly) on the shoe trade industry which provides employment to approximately six lakhs people.
· Kanpur Cluster – Kanpur is a major centre in India for producing Harness and Saddlery goods and safety boots apart from finished leather. Jajmau area of Kanpur city is known as a major leather and leather product manufacturing and exporting cluster. The major leather products manufactured in this cluster are finished leather, leather footwear, footwear uppers, leather goods and Harness and Saddlery items.
· Kolkata Cluster – Leather industry in West Bengal is mainly concentrated in and around Kolkata. The main strength of Kolkata cluster is leather goods which includes hand bags, wallets, purses, pouches, fashion gloves, industrial gloves, travel & luggage bags and all other small leather goods. Kolkata accounts for 60% of the total Exports in leather goods sector. Apart from leather goods, finished leather by chrome tanning process and chappals and sandles are also manufactured in a large quantity.
· Mumbai Cluster – There are about three leather clusters in Maharashtra viz. Andheri (East), Kolhapur and Bhiwandi. Andheri (East) where most of the organized SSI units are scattered, are engaged in production of leather footwear, ladies sandles and leather goods. Kolhapur is famous for kolhapuri chappals.
· Delhi Cluster - Over 50% of the country’s export of leather garments is produced in Delhi. Likewise over 55% India’s total production of non-leather footwear is manufactured in Delhi and the National Capital Region. Apart from this, leather footwear, leather accessories are also manufactured in this cluster.
Schemes implemented by Ministry of MSME for the benefit of Leather Sector
Technical consultancy and training programmes – Providing technical consultancy services and organizing product oriented entrepreneurship development programme in the field of leather and leather product sector at various places of the country through its field offices i.e. by MSME – DIs. Further, under the administrative control of Office of DC(MSME), there are two Central Footwear Training Institutes (CFTIs), Agra and Chennai functioning as autonomous institutions. Both the CFTIs are equipped with state-of-art machinery and equipments of footwear designing, manufacturing and teaching facilities. Both the institutes are organizing various long-term and short-term training programmes on footwear designing and manufacturing, out of which the two years diploma in ‘Footwear Design and Production’ is accredited with the International Textile Institute, U.K. Both the institutes also provide design development, pattern cutting & grading and common facility services to the footwear industry for getting their job done. The trainees passed out from these institutes are serving at various levels in the country or have started their own enterprises.
Cluster Development – Under the micro and small enterprises cluster development programme, 20 leather and leather product clusters have been identified for development.
Technology upgradation – Some of the components of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) like Design Clinic, Lean Manufacturing, Marketing Assistance etc. are relevant for the leather sector. Under the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS), the financial assistance by way of 15% capital subsidy (limited to Rs. Rs.15 lakhs) is provided to MSEs on inductions of well established and improved technology in leather and leather products sector. Presently, there are 196 machinery/equipments approved for getting subsidy assistance under CLCSS. (PIB Features)
*Director (Leather), Office of the Development Commissioner (MSME), New Delhi
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Acting upon fear is what make people die inside and get old from the outside, esp. in their eyes.
We never forget about our dreams, we just decide to get old or not to.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”
“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”
“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”
“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”
“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”
“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”
“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”
“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”
“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.
“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart.
“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.
“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”