Saturday, December 31, 2005

Prez's Speech at L N Mishra Univ. Convocation, Patna - Part 2


30-12-2005 :

Agriculture and agro food processing
As you all are aware, India is now producing about 200 million tonnes of food grains,
as a result of the first green revolution piloted by the political
leadership of Shri C. Subramaniam, the scientific leadership of Dr. M.S.
Swaminathan and willing farmers. India has now embarked on Second Green
Revolution which will enable increase in productivity and
diversification of the agricultural sector. The second green revolution
will have the farmers in focus, farming technology as the friend, food
processing and marketing as partners and the consumers as customers.
From now on to 2020, India will gradually increase the production to
around 400 million tonnes of grains. The increase in the production will
have to be done under the reduced availability of land from 170 million
hectares to 100 million hectares with reduced water availability. We
should also learn to diversify to meet specific consumer preferences,
export markets and also in the interest of ecological balance. This is
to be achieved through information access to all stakeholders and not
with central controls or restriction of movements of agro products.

In addition to this, there is a large potential in medicinal,
floriculture and aromatic plants in view of the large bio-diversity
potential of India. We have to aim at one billion dollar export
potential for all the three areas including orchids which can grow
naturally in certain districts of Bihar. Now I would like to discuss
interlinking of rivers which is very essential for Bihar.

Interlinking of rivers
Interlinking of rivers is essential for controlling floods and droughts, for making drinking water
available to all regions, for transporting goods and navigation, for generating more
cultivable land and generation of Hydel power. And above all the
networking of rivers will lead to environmental upgradation and national

Science and Technology can surely help in executing
such missions. India has its own remote sensing satellites and their
applications will help in large-scale survey from the source and river
flow pattern at various seasons. Optimum water routes, mapping of the
environmental profile can be evolved using virtual reality through
satellite and aerial imageries. The remote sensing satellites, which has
been launched namely CARTOSAT-I will give extensive mapping and
infrastructure for executing the interlinking of rivers. The defence and
nuclear technologies can be considered for the creation of series of
canals and pumping stations in mountain areas. This mission will have to
enlist all the connected departments of government, industries, academic
and research institutions. The interlinking of river mission is
particularly important for Bihar since North Bihar is flooded as soon as
Kosi river is in floods. It is only in 2005 we did not have this
situation when floods were experienced by many other States.

To permanently eliminate the problem of floods I would recommend
departments of Lalit Narain Mithila University to study the flood
patterns which have occurred during the last 30 years and prepare a long
term plan for containment of flood. In the Gangetic plain, I would
recommend the construction of layered wells in the entry points of Kosi
river from Nepal. These layered wells will store the floodwater at
different levels and will control the devastating effects on low-lying
areas. The water thus stored will be useful during shortage period. A
multi disciplinary team from this University consisting of students and
staff could be nominated for this purpose.

The PURA enterprises, agriculture and agro-processing industries and
interlinking of rivers will generate large scale entrepreneurial and employment
opportunities for the graduates and post-graduates completing their education from
this university.

Employment Generation through entrepreneurship
There has been substantial growth in our higher
educational system and we are generating over 3 million graduates every
year. However our employment generation system is not in a position to
absorb the graduates passing out from the universities leading to
increase in educated unemployed, year after year. There is a large
mismatch between the skills required for the modern economy and the
education imparted to most of these students. In addition, economic
growth and investments have not kept pace with the availability of human
resources. This situation will lead to instability in the social

We need higher education focused on and oriented towards
high value and productive employment opportunities. A three pronged
strategy is needed to make education more attractive, make it skill
imparting and simultaneously create employment potential ? how do we do

Firstly, the educational system should highlight the
importance of entrepreneurship and prepare the students right from the
college education to get oriented towards setting up of the enterprises
which will provide them creativity, freedom and ability to generate
wealth. Diversity of skills and perseverance in work makes an
entrepreneur. It should be taught to all the students. In addition,
college syllabi even for arts, science, and commerce courses should
include topics and practical where such entrepreneurship is possible.
Secondly, the banking system should provide venture capital right from
every village level to the prospective entrepreneurs for undertaking new

Thirdly, there has to be an economic pull for human
resources; for example generation of marketable products and enhancement
of purchasing power among the people through the implementation of
national missions. The educational institutions, Government and the
private enterprises should become facilitators for creating this
entrepreneurship scheme through the support of the banking system and
the marketing system. Entrepreneurs have to produce the competitive
products for becoming successful in their missions. I am sure that many
of you would explore the possibilities of becoming entrepreneurs and
become the employment generators rather than employment seekers.

In 1952 Prof Paul Henson Appleby of the University of
California in his detailed report evaluating public administration in
the various States of India presented to the then Prime Minster Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru, had concluded that Bihar was the best administered
State in India in 1952. Bihar has a cultural ethos which can enable you
to chart a new course for its progress; what is needed is a deliberate
will and an inclination to set aside short term self-destructive
priorities and programmes, and evolve an agenda based on honesty of
purpose, sincerity and a positive will to move ahead in every field. In
this noble task, the younger generation has an extremely important role
to play. You, disciplined and educated young members of the society,
have to carry the future on your capable shoulders individually and
collectively with single-minded devotion. I have no doubt that this is
possible and when this is possible, the future is bright and certain. It
should be yours for the asking. Your history has the foundation;
rebuilding the future consistent with that historical magnificence will
be a divine task ordained by the virtues of honesty, discipline and
sincerity. Evolve a coordinated vision based on these eternal values and
chart out a constructive agenda which will take the State irrevocably on
the road to a brilliant all-round future. I have no doubt that all of
you will devote yourselves to this noble endeavor.

Once again let me congratulate all the outgoing graduates and inaugurate the Women?s
Institute of Technology in this campus. My best wishes to all the
members of Lalit Narayan Mithila University for success in their mission
of promoting quality education in Bihar and development of enlightened

May God bless you!

Prez's Speech at L N Mishra Univ. Convocation, Patna - Part 1


30-12-2005 :

Empower the Youth to become Entrepreneurs
I am indeed delighted to participate in the annual Convocation of the Lalit
Narayan Mithila University and the Inauguration of the Women?s Institute
of Technology (WIT), Darbhanga. I congratulate the graduating students
for their academic excellence. My greetings to the Chancellor, Vice
Chancellor, Faculty Members, students and staff members of the
University for shaping the students for meeting the challenges in life.
During the last thirty three years this University has been meeting the
higher education needs of the districts of Darbhanga, Madhubani,
Samastipur and Begusarai. I would like to talk to you on the topic
"Empower the Youth to become Entrepreneurs". First let me talk about our
national mission.

Our National mission - challenges
Our nation is going through a major challenge of uplifting of 260 million people who
are below the poverty line out of our billion population. Also we have
to give better life for many millions who are on the border line of
poverty or just above the poverty line. They need a decent habitat, they
need work with reasonable income, they need food, they need speedy
access to health care, and they need education and finally they need a
good life and hope for a better future. Our GDP is growing at more than
7% per annum on an average. Whereas, the economists suggest that to
uplift the people from below the poverty line, our economy has to grow
at the rate of 10% per annum consistently, for over a decade.

Integrated action:
To meet the need of one billion people, we have
the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have
identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated
action: (1) Agriculture and food processing, (2) Education and
Healthcare, (3) Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport
and Infrastructure for all parts of the country, (4) Information and
Communication Technology (5) Strategic sectors. These five areas are
closely inter-related and if implemented in mission mode, will lead to
food, economic and national security of our country.

Engines for Growth:
Emphasis should be on full utilization of natural and human
resources of the nation to meet the demands of the modern society. We
should also remember that about 50% of our population consists of young
people with aspirations for better living. Value addition in
Agriculture, Manufacturing and Service sectors, building the national
core competence and technologies will lead to additional high income
employment potential. The engines for growth will be accelerated by
launching of the five national missions viz. water, energy, education
and skills, infrastructure and employment generation. In totality of
these five missions will enable achievement of 10% GDP growth rate per
annum. It is possible to do so with ecological and economic
sustainability. It is not the mission of governments. It is a collective
effort of big and small businesses, science and technology and academic
institutions, foreign investors, and many others who have confidence
about India.

With these aspects in view, we have already laid down
the road map. The priority for the government is to convert the road map
into various missions. It is to be done in a decentralized manner
allowing a greater role for private enterprise and local initiatives.
While converting the vision into different missions we seem to have many
thoughts and variety of routes to reach the goal. This is where there is
a need to have a coherent thinking among all the members of the society,
including the legal and law enforcement agencies. All of us have to
think that the nation is greater than an individual or an organization.
All of us should believe, that "we can do it".

National Missions and opportunities
Let me discuss some of the national missions that India
is giving thrust for achieving sustainable economic development for all
the regions of the nation. I am sharing these missions with the members
of the Lalit Narayan Mithial University, so that you can assist in
planning the participation of Bihar in the national development process.

First, I would like to discuss about PURA.

Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA)
The number of PURA units for the whole country is
estimated to be 7000. This envisages integrated connectivities to bring
prosperity to rural India. These are - physical connectivity of the
village clusters through quality roads and transport; electronic
connectivity through tele-communication with high bandwidth fiber optic
cables and wireless for last mile to reaching the rural areas from urban
cities and through Internet kiosks; and knowledge connectivity through
education, vocational training for farmers, artisans and craftsmen and
entrepreneurship programmes. These three connectivities will lead to
economic connectivity through starting of enterprises with the help of
banks, micro credits and marketing of the products.

Each PURA cluster will connect about 20 villages depending upon the region and
population and will cost about Rs.100 crores (~$20 Million). After
initial short-term employment during construction etc., we have to plan
for initiating actions for providing regular employment and self
employment opportunities in nationally competitive small enterprises in
agro processing, manufacturing and services sectors for about 3000
people. If the industrial/business parks are marketed well, they can
generate employment opportunities in support sector for about 10,000
people in that cluster. This will provide sustainable economy for the
rural sector. In this national mission, bankers can promote
entrepreneurship in the rural areas. This will lead to the removal of
urban-rural divide. This experience can become a model for other
countries to follow.

PURA as an Enterprise:
A large number of banks have entrepreneurial development programmes.
Banks have also been funding Small Scale Industries of different types in various regions.
The small scale industrialist is a promising candidate for becoming the
chief executive for managing the PURA complexes in an integrated way.
PURA enterprises can also undertake management of schools, health care
units, vocational training centres, chilling plants, silos and building
a market, banking system and the regional business or industrial units.
A new mission mode management style has to emerge for PURA enterprises.
It should not be looking for protective legislations to support them.
Rather they should be efficient to compete with others. This new PURA
enterprise needs partnership from the bank, educational institutions,
the Government and also the private entrepreneurs. Educational
institutions can train the entrepreneurs for managing the PURA in
colleges and the banks can provide loans to the entrepreneurs for
creating and running PURAs as a business proposition.

Since this University has started a Women Institute of Technology, I would like to
share with you a PURA Model which has been nurtured by a Women?s
Engineering College at Vallam, Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu.

Periyar PURA
This PURA Complex covers 65 villages near Vallam,
Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu involving a population of 3 lakhs. This
PURA complex has all the four connectivities - physical, electronic and
knowledge - leading to economic connectivity. The centre of activity
emanates from the women?s engineering college that provides the
electronic and knowledge connectivity. I understand that now five of the
Periyar PURA villages have been connected with Wi-MAX connectivity.
Periyar PURA has health care centres, primary to post graduate level
education and vocational training centres. This has resulted in large
scale employment generation and creation of a number of entrepreneurs
with the active support of 850 self-help groups. Two hundred acres of
waste land has been developed into cultivable land with innovative water
management schemes such as contour ponds and water sheds for storing and
irrigating the fields. All the villagers are busy in cultivation
planting Jatropha, herbal and medicinal plants, power generation using
bio-mass, food processing and above all running market centres. This
model has emanated independent of any government initiative. The
committed leadership has been provided by a Women?s Engineering College.

As you are aware, Bihar has 45,000 villages with nearly seventy
million people living in these villages. This will need creation of
nearly 600 PURAs in the whole of Bihar. Lalit Narayan Mithila University
can study the entire state of Bihar and work out the configuration of
the economically viable PURAs. Lalit Narayan Mithila University may
undertake establishment of PURA cluster in Dharbanga district in
partnership with Government, NGOs and private on the lines of Periyar
PURA. In the case of Bihar, since large numbers of farmers are depending
on agriculture, agro processing is an important area of rural
development which should become part of each one of the PURAs. These
PURAs can be run by the graduates passing out from Lalit Narayan Mithila

Prez's Speech at PU Convocation, Patna - Part 3

Another area, which is an employment
generator, is the health care industry. We have only one doctor for one
thousand eight hundred people, whereas in some of the developed
countries the doctor to population ratio is 1: 600. For providing
quality health care to all of our citizens, we would need at least
doubling the strength of doctors and paramedical staff in the whole
country. The investment for this need not necessarily come from
government alone. Hospitals can be setup by the private sector with
certain tax concessions and subsidized infrastructural support.

Setting up of 30,000 static tele-medicine stations distributed in
30,000 key locations, within the zone of 3 lakh villages and providing
20,000 mobile tele-medicine units will enable reaching of quality
healthcare closer to every home, which are connected to the district,
state government hospitals, corporate hospitals, super specialty
hospitals in the country. This is possible as India has a network of
satellite communication.

How to reach healthcare for the large numberof our population?
An innovative method has come into action in certain
states. This system provides free health cover to the citizens who are
members and pay Rs. 10 per individual per month as an insurance premium.
State and Central Government can sponsor this insurance scheme involving
matching contribution of Rs. 10 per individual per month. Such a cover
should be able to provide treatment for all types of diseases including
expensive open heart surgery to the members of the scheme. A consortium
is required to be formed, in Bihar between the Government, corporate
hospitals and NGO?s for providing integrated cost effective health care.
The scheme when fully operational can provide direct employment for
additional 48,000 doctors and one lakh paramedical staff in Bihar. Apart
from providing healthcare to citizens, these corporate hospitals can
attract large number of medical tourists to the state in view of our
competitiveness in treating complex diseases. Bihar can definitely
consider setting up of corporate hospitals in the Urban and Rural areas
backed up with the Healthcare scheme which I have suggested. Recently,
when I was in Kerala I saw a high tech hospital in a village called
Parumala where facilities exist for treatment of cardiac diseases,
cancer, TB etc. Next topic I would like to cover is small scale

Small Scale enterprises
Presently the small scale sector in the country has 12 million units employing
around twenty eight million people. Bihar has certain core-competence in the areas of
handloom, paper products, madhupani paintings, makhana, sugarcane, and
pisciculture. Bihar also produces Guava, mango and leechi. These are fit
candidates for agro-processing industry, including intermediate cold
storage sites. In some areas stone cutting is a big industry. There is a
need to produce value added stones for the export market. In addition
competence can also be created in the areas of electrical, mechanical,
chemical, computer accessories, computer hardware and Software. The
creation of such small scale industries in the region can provide
employment for over two million youth of the state.

Develop the spirit: "I can do it"
Dear friends, I talked to you so far about
Bihar?s unique core competence in various sectors and the necessity of
building capacities among students for undertaking nation building tasks
through the university education system. I have found that when the
students graduate approximately 10% of the students take up research or
some specialization. The remaining 90% graduates are looking for jobs
and they have to come out with the spirit ?I can do it?. The education
system should inspire the young to achieve this capacity. Graduates with
such a prepared mind can definitely be able to take up the leadership of
small enterprises with the assistance of venture capital provided by
banks. This will enable the nation to have number of employment
generators rather than employment seekers. It is important for the new
Bihar to make appropriate changes to the university education system
which will empower the young people of Bihar to take up an
entrepreneurial career.

Conclusion: "Bihar Vision: Developed State by 2015"
It is time that we all realized that crime does not pay; that
corruption does not pay. This only fragments the society and the economy
becomes directionless. What is needed is a total realization that
situation can be retrieved and one could look to a bright future. But
then it needs a vision and a collective will that can be put into
practice through coordinated, purposeful and positive endeavours. It is
time Bihar has a vision, ?Bihar Vision: Developed State by 2015?. We
should learn to look into the future, set objectives for the long run
and eschew all temporary, shortsighted and parochial tendencies and
objectives. The people of Bihar need to rise and be awake and I have no
doubt the rest of the nation will join them in such a noble task. This
will be possible if the people?s welfare is put as the basic objective.
Politically, socially, economically and culturally, a coordinated,
streamlined, harmonious vision for the future need to be spelt out and
worked for. I would urge all of you to work for such an objective with a
vision. In this noble but mammoth task, you the educated younger
generation has a crucial role to play and I have no doubt your concerted
action will bring back the glory to Bihar in all its sectors that it
used to pride itself in.

I congratulate the graduates who are passing
out from Patna University today and my best wishes to the members of
Patna University for success in their mission of providing quality
education to the youth of Bihar.

May God bless you.

Prez's Speech at PU Convocation, Patna - Part 2

Any University is judged by the
level and extent of the research work it accomplishes. This sets in a
regenerative cycle of excellence. Experience of research leads to
quality teaching and quality teaching imparted to the young in turn
enriches the research. Research brings transformation and development
and also enhances the quality of education.

Technology is the non-linear tool available to humanity, which can affect fundamental
changes in the ground rules of economic competitiveness. Science is
linked to technology through applications. Technology is linked to
economy and environment through manufacture of knowledge products.
Economy and environment are linked to technology, which promotes
prosperity to the society. We have to use innovation to generate high
value added products for becoming a global player. The research areas of
the Patna University must be linked to the priorities of the state and
the nation.

Employment generators
The most important sectors for sustainable national development are
Agriculture, Education, Healthcare,
Water and Energy. One of the ways by which the rural agriculturists
could increase their earnings is by value adding to the agricultural
produce by processing and manufacturing. The farmers, either
individually or through their co-operatives would market processed and
value added items instead of marketing the raw materials. This increase
in the value-addition taking place in the rural area itself is an
indicator of the society moving towards prosperity and knowledge era.

Dear graduating students, now you will be entering into the real
world of opportunities where you can be the employment generators as
discussed above through the capacity built in you by the university
system. There are five areas relevant to Bihar which I would like to
highlight on entrepreneurship and employment.

Bio-fuel generation
We have nearly 63 million hectares of wasteland available in
the country, out of which 33 million hectares of wasteland have been
allotted for tree plantation. Certain multi-purpose bio-fuel plants can
grow well in wasteland with very minimum input. Once cultivated, the
crop has fifty years of life. Fruiting can take place in these plants in
two years.

Bio-fuel plants grown in parts of the waste land, for
example, 11 million hectares, can yield a revenue of approximately Rs.
20,000 crore a year and provide employment to over 12 million people
both for plantation and running of the extraction plants. It will reduce
the foreign exchange outflow paid for importing crude oil, the cost of
which is continuously rising in the international market. The Bio-fuel
is Carbon neutral and emission free. The oil can also be used for soap
and in candle industries. De-oiled cake is a raw material for composting
and the plantation is also good for honey production. We should absorb
best of the technologies available worldwide and start commercial
operation immediately. One time investment needed for bio-fuel
plantation to production in 11 million hectares will be approximately
Rs. 27000 Crores. The capital equipment and investment in plant and
machinery can come from bank loans and private sector entrepreneurs. I
have seen the progress in bio-fuel plant cultivation, preparation of
seedlings, tissue culture and development of non-toxic hybrid varieties
in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. They have also worked
from processing of seeds to bio-fuel production by the indigenous design
and development of bio-fuel plants. Anand Agriculture University at,
Anand (Gujarat) has also made progress in the bio-fuel cultivation and
processing in Gujarat. Bio-fuel plants can be grown in a number of
states in the southern, western and central part of the country. The
Patna University can prepare a plan for Jatropha plantation in the waste
land available in various districts and also evolve a scheme for
creation of bio-fuel enterprises in the rural areas in Bihar. I would
recommend use of chour land in Bihar may be considered for Jatropha
plantation. Now I would like to talk about water harvesting.

Water Harvesting
Water harvesting should become mandatory for all. To improve
water table, we need to build check dams, develop water sheds, desilt
ponds and rivers, clear the inlets and outlets to the ponds and water
bodies and recharge the wells. If our rural areas are made to have the
operational water bodies, recharging of the wells will take place. The
task is totally labour intensive and nation wide implementation of this
scheme will provide employment for six million persons for more than
three or four years. The scheme will result in increase in storage
capacity of water bodies and create additional irrigation potential of
the land in the region and enhance agricultural productivity. This is
particularly applicable for Bihar to prevent flooding in certain low
lying areas. The next important area is wealth generation through fly

Converting the fly ash as Wealth Generator
As you are aware, the use of coal for power generation results in
increased quantum of fly ash production, which has reached about 100 million tonnes per year. All
out efforts are needed to utilize this fly ash not only from
environmental considerations, but also to avoid land usage for fly ash
dumping. Though there has been a steady progress in fly ash utilization
from 1990, we have a long way to go to reach the target of 100% fly ash
utilization. It is reported that the agricultural increase of grains is
around 15%, green vegetables 35% and root vegetables 50%, when fly ash
is mixed with the soil. Toxicity tests have proved that there is no
toxic element due to fly ash. But it has higher nutrients due to
increased availability of iron and calcium. The fly ash can become a
wealth generator by making use of it for producing ?green building?
materials, road, agriculture etc. Presently, the fly ash utilization is
in the range of 33 million tones per year and providing employment for
over 50,000 personnel. Full utilization of the fly ash stock, will
provide employment potential for three hundred thousand people and
result in a business volume of over Rs. 4000 crore. Since a number of
thermal power stations are available in Bihar, plenty of unused fly ash
is available in the state. The fly ash with certain processing can be
utilized by the farmers in the state for improving the soil productivity
in addition to its use in cement and green building industry. The next
topic I would like to discuss is Textile Industry.

Textile industry
Textile industry is very important for the Indian economy.
Garment export business is a low investment and large volume employment
generator. India is presently, exporting six billion dollars worth of
garments, whereas with the WTO regime in place, we can increase the
production and export of garments to 18 to 20 billion dollars within the
next five years. This will enable, generation of employment in general
and in rural areas in particular. By tripling the export of apparels, we
can add more than 5 million direct jobs and 7 million indirect jobs in
allied sector, including cultivation of cotton. Concerted effort is
needed in Cotton research, technology generation, transfer of
technology, modernization and upgrading of ginning and pressing
factories and aggressive marketing strategy. I would suggest Bihar to
undertake creation of large number of apparel parks in the rural areas
in collaboration with garment exporters. This will provide large scale
entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to the rural population.
This employment, supported by agriculture will increase the earning
capacity of the rural people of Bihar. Finally, I would like to discuss
about Healthcare.

Prez's Speech at PU Convocation, Patna - Part 1


30-12-2005 : Patna

Capacity Building for Entrepreneurship
I am indeed delighted to participate in the Annual Convocation 2005 of the
Patna University. I take this opportunity to congratulate the University
students for their academic performance. I greet the Chancellor, Vice
Chancellor, professors and staff for their contribution in shaping young
minds to work for the nation in multiple fields. I am happy to note that
this University has contributed substantially in the development of
higher education in Bihar over the last nine decades. I understand Patna
University has produced a number of brilliant academicians, technocrats,
administrators, doctors, social workers of eminence. The Patna
University has the distinction of having its alumni important
personalities like Mr. Hasan Imam, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and also the
present Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar. I would like to discuss on the
topic Capacity Building for Entrepreneurship.

Core Competence of Bihar
For the nation to develop, all the States have to develop. Bihar
has an important role to play in realizing this vision. We have to look
ahead with confidence and set our sights high to make Bihar the leading
example of resilience, growth, modernity and collective achievement. I
am personally optimistic about Bihar?s success in negotiating the path
of high growth especially because of the superior quality of human
capital that the State is endowed with. This human capital is spread in
many parts of the country and contributing in administration, management
and agricultural farming. From this we see that the core competence of
Bihar in multiple areas is available in Bihar for transformation of the
state into a development state. How can Patna University empower the
young people of Bihar through its educational system? Capacity building
with national development tasks in mind should be the focus of the
educational system.

Capacity Building
A good educational model is the need of the hour to ensure that the students grow
to contribute towards the economic growth of a nation. Can we sow the seeds of
capacity building among the students? There will be continuous
innovation during the learning process. To realize this, special
capacities are required to be built in education system for nurturing
the students. The capacities which are required to be built are research
and enquiry, creativity and innovation, use of high technology,
entrepreneurial and moral leadership.

Research and enquiry:
The 21st century is about the management of all the knowledge and information we
have generated and the value addition we bring to it. We must give our
students the skills with which they find a way through the sea of
knowledge that we have created and continue with life long learning.
Today, we have the ability, through technology, to really and truly
teach ourselves to become the life-long learners. This is required for
sustained economic development.

Creativity and innovation:
The management of knowledge in the 21st century is beyond the capacity of a
single individual. The amount of information that we have around is
overwhelming. The management of knowledge therefore must move out of the
realm of the individual and shift into the realm of the networked
groups. The students must learn how to manage knowledge collectively.
When the information is networked the power and utility of the
information grows as square as stated by Metcalfe's law. Information
that is static does not grow. In the new digital economy information
that is circulated creates innovation and contributes to national

Capacity to use high technology:
Every student in our colleges should learn to know how to use the latest technologies
for aiding their learning process. Universities should equip themselves with adequate
computing equipment, laboratory equipments, and Internet facilities and
provide an environment for the students to enhance their learning
ability. In the midst of all of the technological innovations and
revolutions we cannot think that the role of the teachers will be
diminished. In fact the teacher will become even more important and the
whole world of education will become teacher assisted and would help in
?tele-porting? the best teacher to every nook and corner of the country
and propagate the knowledge.

The aptitude for entrepreneurship should be cultivated right from the beginning and in
the university environment. We must teach our students to take
calculated risks for the sake of larger gain, but within the ethos of
good business. They should also cultivate a disposition to do things
right. This capacity will enable them to take up challenging tasks

Moral leadership:
Moral leadership involves two aspects.
First it requires the ability to have compelling and powerful dreams or
visions of human betterment. Moral leadership requires a disposition to
do the right thing and influence others also to do right things.

In sum, inquiry, creativity, technology, entrepreneurial and moral
leadership are the five capacities required to be built through the
education process. If we develop in all our students these five
capacities, we will produce "Autonomous Learner" a self-directed, self
controlled, lifelong learner who will have the capacity to both, respect
authority and at the same time is capable of questioning authority, in
an appropriate manner. These are the leaders who would work together as
a ?Self-organizing Network? and transform any State as a prosperous
State. The most important part of the education is to imbibe the
confidence among the students is the spirit of ?we can do it?. These
capacities will enable the students to meet the challenges of our
national mission of transforming the nation into a developed country by

Prez's Speech at Mahavir Hospital, Patna

30-12-2005 : Patna

Removing the pain of the children

I am indeed delighted to participate in the inauguration of the Paediatric Oncology
Department of the Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, Patna. I greet the organizers, distinguished doctors, guests
and dedicated nursing and paramedical staff on this important occasion.
I appreciate the missionary spirit and dedication of the institute team
in providing high quality and compassionate medical services and care to
all sections of our society. I would like to talk on the topic "Removing
the pain of the children".

Insights into Life

I would like to
share a few experiences of people and their pain and possible solutions.
Last year, I was at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology at
Hyderabad. I met hundreds of young scientists working on the genetic
origin and manifestations of diseases, particularly Cancer. The young
scholars very enthusiastically shared with me their knowledge of
molecular biology and cellular research. They told me about the
information encrypted on the DNA in the cell nucleus and how both
problems and solutions to the human lives reside on the software that
nature has embedded in each life it creates.

Cancer, unlike many
other diseases that come from the external factors, like infections,
life styles and other environmental and physiological stressors,
primarily emanates from within the cell. The life software embedded in
the DNA material gets mutated and starts growing in a way that is not
in-line with the surrounding cells. Many times when immune systems are
impaired, life turns against itself. The tragedy becomes unfathomable
when it happens at an early age. The intensified research in the area of
DNA coding, definitely will be able to provide the diagnostic and
treatment solutions.

Sometime back, I met one gentleman whose
6-year-old grand child was on periodic blood transfusion for
Thallasemia. The permanent solution, doctors told me was a bone marrow
transplant. The bone marrow of the child was not matching even between
siblings and the parents. Unmatched bone marrow transplant is not done
in India, I was told, and even in the West it is undertaken only in
experimental situations. I met the child who was unaware of the time
bomb that was ticking inside him. I prayed for him, for that was the
only thing I could do. What can we do to strengthen the doctors?
capabilities in such a situation? I think research on stem cell and its
application towards cancer treatment holds great promise. May be
clinicians getting involved in this research will lead to a

Affordable & Accessible Therapeutics

Treatment of
cancer is very often multi-pronged involving unique combinations of
radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Genetic diagnosis can help to take
good decisions while charting the course of therapy. On the drug side,
instead of looking for agents that kill dividing cells, researchers are
now looking for agents that encourage cells to get destroyed. Inside a
growing tumor, the blood supply can be made to run short suffocating the
deformed cells. Many drugs, called angiogenic agents, are now being
used. However most of these drugs are imported and are very expensive.
Industry-hospital-research institution consortia need to be established
to develop and produce the affordable indigenous products.

Optimization of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often hazardous. It
ends up destroying healthy cells in the vicinity and in the metabolic
path of the targeted cancerous ones. A firm in Pune has developed
algorithms describing interaction between normal cells, malignant cells
and nutrients. The algorithms also take into account the
Pharma-co-kinetics of the drug. Together with inputs on patient?s age,
height and weight and the type and volume of the tumor, the mathematical
model can design an optimal drug schedule, minimizing the side effects.
The type and volume of tumor can be automatically deduced by a
combination of imaging and laboratory investigations. Positron Emission
Tomography (PET) scans offer powerful techniques in this area. This is a
good example of how advances in many disciplines of science such as
Biomedical engineering, Image processing, control systems, mathematical
modeling and pharmacology are helping in the development of better and
effective treatment for cancer patients.

Recently, while I was in
Kerala, I inaugurated a project called Karunya Nilayam. As a part of
this project children in the rural areas are being screened and provided
total treatment for cancer. Since, Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, is starting
a Paediatric Oncology Department, I would suggest the Sansthan to
nominate a team of doctors to visit village schools and screen the
children. This will enable early detection of cancer. The detected cases
can be brought to the hospital for treatment. This will be a very
important dimension for treating the needy children of Bihar.

Paediatric Oncology
Unlike adults the childhood cases of cancer are
successfully treatable, as the type of cancers occurring in childhood
are more responsive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, the
success depends on the availability of adequate nutrition to the child.
Nutritional support should become part of therapy especially in rural
areas. This will decrease complications, improve immunological status
and improve survival. It is important that nutrition support is tailored
to meet the needs of the individual child.

Networking of institutions
There are a number of hospitals providing paediatric
cancer treatment in different cities of the country. It will be useful
to network these cancer treatment centers enabling exchange of
experiences among specialists leading to the delivery of best possible
treatment to Bihar children. This type of interaction will also generate
confidence among medical community to undertake treatment of complex
cancer cases. During one of my visits I found that cancer centers have
immunologists, physiologists and psychologists working together. This
model could also be followed by Mahavir Cancer Sansthan to provide
psychological support to the children facilitating faster recovery.

Creation of Paediatric Cancer Centre at Mahavir Cancer
Sansthan having 50 exclusive beds for children is a significant step
forward in dealing with the most challenging healthcare problem of this
region particularly of children. However, it is essential to have
connectivity of general practitioners with this centre to make a major
impact in terms of reaching the needy as well as helping them out. The
mission of offering the best available patient care, the most
sophisticated education to physicians and patients and be the leader in
the cancer research is indeed a very challenging task. This mission
demands highest of the human capabilities in intelligence, innovation
and perseverance. Above all a mind to serve the needy is important.

Let our new generation have good health and prosperity and not
succumb to the needless waste of human life. Cancer prevention and
cancer cure are indeed the twin challenges to the medico and health-care
community. Challenge transforms into mission of pain removal and thereby
provides useful life that is close to the God.

With these words, I
inaugurate the Paediatric Oncology Department of Mahavir Cancer
Sansthan. My best wishes to the Doctors and other members of this
Sansthan for success in their mission of providing quality healthcare to
the Bihar children.

May God bless you.


Prez's recent Visit to Bihar

Our President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam is simply superb.

He has impressed all of us, yet again.

His Support for Free Kids' Cancer Treatment at Patna is worth appreciating.

Few reports are:

Another Media Stereotype of Bihar and other states

Sagarika Ghose of IBN is having the guts to imply that BIMARU States' MPs are more corrupt than rest!

Read her nonsense here.

I have posted a comment on her site.

My Response to Sagarika Ghose (Please note that I had to limit my response as there were no more characters to be typed in)
Hi Sagarika

I find that you are unnecessarily linking the MPs' background to BIMARU States without any sound reason. You are saying that 5 out of 11 MPs caught in Sting Operations - Cobrapost + Star are from BIMARU States and hence, it is quite logical (in your opinion) to extrapolate that BIMARU States' MPs are more likely to do such mischief.

You have ignored other 6 MPs who are not from BIMARU State! Why such an omission? Why is it that you are looking at half of the MPs which meet your stereotype of BIMARU MP.

Let us assume that your inference is correct that BIMARU MPs are most corrupt. It implies that Non-Bimaru MPs are not so corrupt.

If we were to agree that Non-BIMARU MPs are not likely to be corrupt (less) then it would mean that these Non-Bimaru states will be free (relatively free) from corruption. Let us take a look at recent history:
Tamilnadu: Jayalalita has been accued in TANSI Case and her money-making ways are infamous.

Do you still think that it is BIMARU Thing

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Roots of Bihar's Problems and Task for Nitish

Nalini Singh has written an eye opening article in Indian Express about this topic.

Excerpt: But Laloo is not the root of Bihar’s rot. He is its perpetrator. Skewed relationships in the public and private space in Bihar predate him. Nitish Kumar understands this, and is aware that he will cover only a short distance on a tide of anti-Lalooism. His battle for Bihar is both structural and psychological, and success in one will feed into the other.

Read the report here

Friday, December 16, 2005

Highways in Bihar- CISF to gaurd East-West Corridor

National Highways project has been suffering from the onslaught of Criminals for long. It is an open secret that Politicians are also behind these activities and RJD is certainly promoting it in one way or other.

Now, Bihar has got 1 Battalion of CISF from Centre to protect East West Corridor Project

Reference: This news report

Prakash Jha syas that .Many of the powers-that-be in Bihar during the last regime were directly part of Kidnapping Mafia

Prakash Jha is publishing a book on Kindapping in Bihar.

He says:
"I've gone into the outsourcing of this racket...Many of the powers-that-be in Bihar during the last regime were directly part of it.

Read this report here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

What a Striking Similarity between Shahabuddin and Goutam Goswami, Ex DM of Patna

Both, Shahabuddin and Goswami are in jail and reading Swami Vivekananda's books!

Both are in their late thirties and sport a serious mien interrupted only by a moustache over thick lips. Both come from simple, humble backgrounds from Bihar's backyard. Both rose successfully to power and ruled their respective districts with great dexterity.

Read the report here.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

11 most dangerous people in Bihar

This Indian Express report does an excellent job of listing 11 most dangerous dons in Bihar which need to be resolved to make Bihar a safer place.

It does not include Shahabuddin and Pappu Yadav as they are already known to all.

Read it to get some more details.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Nitish doing a good job at Attracting Investment and Financial Help to Bihar

Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi have been doing a good job to impress upon Centre to bring the development funds and investment to Bihar.

They have decided to attend NRI Convention in Hyderabad in Jan 06

Read this report.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Naxal Threat is getting stronger in Bihar

This Report from Telegraph details the breakdown of Administrative Machinery in Bihar.

Exercpts from Report:

The Jehanabad administration stood virtually paralysed on that day. Although technology made it possible for even national television channels to start flashing the news of the Maoist strike barely an hour after the incident, security agencies failed to cut off the escape routes of Maoist rebels. Indeed, the first contingent of the paramilitary forces, or the special task force, remained immobile at the Jehanabad Zero Mile even three hours after the Maoists escaped, allowing a car carrying newsmen to move into town. So scared were the security forces of landmines that they eventually arrived at the jail half-an-hour after the newsmen. A solitary civilian official, possibly the sub-divisional officer, and his pistol- bearing bodyguard, both in a state of shock, were the only ones in the jail where a few inmates remained huddled in the darkness. The administration had the rest of the night to put its act together but till noon next day, it was a free-for-all inside the jail with prisoners, ordinary people and the newsmen moving freely in and out of the premises. It is not the jailbreak the administration should be ashamed of. It is their conduct after the jailbreak that was shameful and caused concern.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Glimmer in heart of darkness

Can’t say who will win this time but you surely can’t miss the first stirrings for a new deal in Bihar
Shekhar Gupta
Shekhar Gupta On the last day of polling in Bihar, the question you are asked, particularly if you are just back from there, is still the same that you would have been asked in the past many elections: is Bihar ready for a change?

Now, you can look at it in two different ways. Does change mean a defeat for Laloo and his RJD and the arrival in power of a new coalition under Nitish Kumar? Or does it mean a change of mindset and aspiration, from mere social justice, a voice for the lower castes to economic upliftment and dignity — or, to put it simply, bijli, sadak, paani and padhai (electricity, roads, water and education). If your spin is the first one, talk to exit pollsters. Howsoever large your sample, you have to be a real braveheart, or thoroughly reckless, to make a prediction in Bihar. The electorate is so split, so much vote is already committed one way or the other, so little can float and there is no knowing how much of this would swing how many seats. But stirrings of aspiration for a better life, better roads, a light bulb in my home, teachers in my village school, a doctor in my primary health centre may be, just may be, you have begun to sense that — this time around. Another thing you have begun to feel even more palpably is the belief that truly fair, fearless elections can actually be held even in Bihar.

We, the usual group of Limousine Liberals, a motley assortment of journalists, psephologists, bankers, executives and sometimes part-time politicians that trawls voting zones in each election, catches up with the real hero of this round in Bihar, the election commission’s observer K.J. Rao, in the circuit house of Bettiah, the district headquarter of West Champaran district. He is kind to us, but would say nothing on record. In fact, we can hardly hold him to a two-sentence conversation before his phone rings again, and while I would never violate my reporter’s ethic in never mentioning a word spoken off the record, I feel less queasy picking up snatches of his phone conversations, at least from one end. “OK, OK. I understand. No, please. I have decided. You will have a new SDPO before this afternoon. This one will be sent out.” I presume this is about some sub-divisional police officer who was not being compliant enough. Next. “Don’t worry. One company of ITBP will reach you this evening,” he says, gesturing to one of his aides to make sure it is done. Next. “No, no. No short cuts. Tell the collector to speak with me.” And so on.

What endure in my head are those three words, “no short cuts.” Once you get committed to that very short mantra you realise the power of one man. Just one man, a retired civil servant now re-employed on contract, not even an IAS officer, who has brought about a paradigm shift you never thought was possible in Indian democracy. A free and fair election in Bihar. You can ask whom you want. A villager from any caste, a local policeman or one among very alien looking patrols of Punjab Police, nine battalions of which have been deployed among a medley of central and other state police forces currently helping the election commission in Bihar. They tell this is the fairest election in Bihar’s history.

None of Laloo’s opponents have any complaints any more. In fact, they try hard not to compliment Rao so much that he begins to look partisan. We were witness to a particularly delicious moment. At his late afternoon rally in Motihari, L.K. Advani hailed the power of one man in ensuring a fair Bihar election and then bent sideways in mock pretence to ask what his name was. But he was far too rushed to wait for somebody to fill in and said something like, “what is his name... yes, K.J. Rao”, in such a hurry that you thought he needed to take some acting lessons from Laloo first. But he could perhaps be excused. It was well past four, all helicopters have to report back in Patna before 5 pm as no night-flying is permitted and, not to take any chances, his pilot had already turned on the rotors while he was half-way through his seven-minute speech.

But whoever wins will have the satisfaction of winning what is possibly the first fair election, or rather the fairest election in Bihar’s history. It is to this that many would ascribe the low turnouts this time. Nitish tells us not to complain about falling turnouts because Bihar no longer has booths that show more than 90 per cent voting, implying that these were captured in the past and ballot boxes stuffed. Laloo says the low turnout is because of the panic spread by Rao. But you ask the common man even in Champaran, bordering Nepal’s Maoist heartland and one of the most lawless zones in Bihar, and he will tell you the region has never been safer. The central forces are wonderful, they say. And you speak to district officials and local journalists and they tell you of the electrifying effect K.J. Rao’s firmness has had on the situation.

In the very colonial circuit house’s drawing room, Rao spends no more than a half hour with us, much of which is consumed by his cellphone, then says a breezy goodbye and bounds down the staircase, like a Montgomery out to take on Rommel in Al Alamein. How does a man of 63 have so much energy, so much dash, asks one of the bankers. He could have also added, and what drives him to do it at a salary of no more than 30,000 rupees or so a month? Of course, like all men who make a difference, Rao has his critics, notably in the IAS. He was around the last time also, so how come you people did not hail him such a hero then, they ask. The implication is, it isn’t just Rao who has made the difference. It is also the absence or Laloo from power in the state for more than six months.

Can a fair election change people’s lives in a place like Bihar? If you drive, particularly at night, you could get very despondent. You might occasionally spot a signboard telling you this is National Highway 28 but it really is a moonscape where you manoeuvre your way from crater to crater. After a while your body even learns to adjust to it. As you get out of a crater your body is instinctively twisting itself to endure the next. This is really far in the east, so the sun sets very early. And then it is total darkness, barring your headlights. You drive past one village after another in complete darkness, not even one bulb anywhere for miles. People are mostly indoors, and by seven or so it is all so quiet you wonder if you are going past ghost habitations with endless elephant grass and sugarcane between them. And yet you see creativity and talent in ornate words of welcome, figures of animals and gods painted outside baked-mud-and-dung walls of people’s homes.

Surprise of surprises, we suddenly find lights. In fact an entirely lit village called Dumaria. We make a stop at the local zamindar’s home, straight out of a 1960s socialist movie, including ten tiger trophies on the walls of its main hall (“all shot before 1960”). Except that the current scion sounds as frustrated as the commoners of his village might. Rananjay Shahi is a graduate of St Stephens and says he came back to Dumaria fired by idealism. But that was in the past. Now, there is very little confidence anybody can change anything. This village is better organised. It got power lines because of political clout and now some of the better off families collectively maintain not just their power supply, but even the branch line from the Gandak canal, which turns Dumaria into an island of relative prosperity.

But you cannot fix everything. This region is infested with cobras and kraits and you hear about the sub-divisional magistrate of nearby Narkatiaganj who was bitten by a snake. The closest place you could find some anti-venom serum was Patna, at least eight hours away on roads which were mostly even worse than NH 28. But the IAS knows how to look after its own. The chief secretary intervened. A doctor started from Patna by road with the serum just as the stricken SDO started from Narkatiaganj. They made a rendezvous midway in exactly six hours and the serum was administered successfully. A life was saved though it must have been a rather gentle krait to have given the man a full four hours.

Drive through Bihar and you will hear tales like these at every mile. But they all add up to one basic fact. The state may have cradled JP’s total revolution in the ’70s and Laloo’s social justice revolution in the ’90s. What it needs now is a spell of half-decent governance. So the most vital question of this election is one that no pollster can answer: will this change this time? Will the idea of social justice evolve into a yearning for better governance? We, the Limousine Liberals, will surely check it out on our next trip to Bihar. Let’s only hope it does not have to come as soon as this one did after the last one.

Kerala leads the way in e-literacy

Kerala is again showing the way to India - in area of e-literacy.

In Mallapuram, they have made 500,000 people e-literate. Some of these people were just 3rd grade pass. Most of people in this area are dependent on the money which is sent by their folks in gulf. Now, people are exchanging emails as well as paying bills in these centres.

Read the story here.

Siwan MP D-link may be probed

Friday Nov. 18, 2005, Patna: More problems are in store for Mohammad Shahabuddin, the RJD Member of Parliament from Siwan. In what could invite further trouble for him, the Bihar police is planning to probe his links with infamous gangsters Dawood Ibrahim and Abu Salem. The Portuguese government had recently handed over Salem to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged involvement in the Mumbai bomb blasts case.
Salem, a one-time close aide of international gangster Dawood Ibrahim, is also claimed to be the mastermind behind several other terrorist strikes in India.
Mr Shahabuddin is at present behind bars in Bhagalpur jail in connection with more than two dozen cases lodged against him with the police in Siwan and other districts of Bihar. A senior IPS officer at the police headquarters in Patna told this newspaper that “they could reopen” former Bihar police director-general D.P. Ojha’s report on Mr Shahabuddin’s “anti-national” activities.

Mr Ojha’s 70-page report, wherein he had alleged that the RJD Member of Parliament had close association with the D-company, is gathering dust in the police headquarters in Patna. “Shahabuddin has connection with Uttar Pradesh leader Mukhtar Ansari, Nepal leader Salim Ansari and other international gangsters,” the report had claimed.

It had been alleged by the former DGP, who recently joined the CPI(ML), that Dawood Ibrahim had received Mr Shahabuddin at Dubai airport when he was on his way to Mecca. he ex-DGP had quoted a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Mustaque Mohammad Aga and Bihar’s notorious Nand Gopal Pandey, alias Fauji, as claiming that the RJD MP received AK-47 rifles in 1996 from militants active in Kashmir Valley.

Alone in India - Not for Long

Just read this piece in washington post about Kate Crawford's India experience

The New Delhi train station seemed like a cross between a medieval army bivouac and a state park campground. It was after midnight. Family bands crouched around cooking fires or, curled in wool shawls, slept against mounds of luggage. People ate, bathed, brushed their teeth.

Traveling alone, I attracted a small band of followers as soon as I arrived at the station. The first enlistees, two red-smocked, officially badged suitcase wallahs, boarded my train before it stopped moving. Completely unbidden, one grabbed my suitcase, the other my tote. To carry the bags, they balanced them on their turban-wrapped heads like wacky hats.

"Where to?" one of the two, a slick dude, asked in TV English as he and several young followers fell in beside me. My hotel had told me to meet its driver at the train station's restaurant. So, like a savvy sahib, I commanded, "To the restaurant."

"Wimpy's?" asked the dude.

Wimpy's didn't seem enough like a restaurant, so I suggested one where people sat down. Our band of six embarked on a 10-minute march through the station's cavernous overpasses and out-of-the-way corridors. I wasn't worried, because my attention was fixed on the rapid growth of my retinue. Next, four rogue taxi wallahs, to whom I explained I already had a ride, joined our ranks. Each was followed by more tag-along boys -- a touts-in-training program, I guessed.

When the slick dude began to tell me how old my hotel was, I caught on. He was a go-to-another-hotel-where-he-collects-a-commission wallah.

My ride was not at the restaurant. Back we went to our starting point, where a long wait at the booking service elicited only a "Sorry, Madame."

Call me crazy, but I was having a great time. I figured this was the closest I would ever come to having my own entourage. Seven days into my three-week India trip had passed, and so far, exemplary ground arrangements by my tour operator had deprived me of this quintessential Indian travel experience.

A handsome, turbaned Sikh guide had met me at the airport. We'd eased down New Delhi's wide avenues, enjoying the lemon trees and sweet peas flowering in the roundabouts. Then an uneventful van ride on a smooth toll road had led me to Jaipur, from where I'd just returned.

Very nice, but this was India, land of the epic journey. India, where a 78-part TV series enacting the Ramayan -- which, along with the Mahabharat, is the Hindi Iliad and Odyssey -- drew 40 million viewers in the late 1980s. The India of the Mughal sultan's mobile palaces: dozens of tents, with silk-embroidered walls and Persian rugs, powered by hundreds of men, elephants and camels. Then there was Mahatma Gandhi's epic political journey, in which he walked 240 miles to collect sea salt to avoid paying the British tax.

Now, at the train station, my journey was about to attain epic quality. I was no longer taking it; it was taking me. My people -- I'd come to think of them that way -- decided I must call my hotel. We deployed to the fire-engine-red booth staffed by people who make calls for you, the public call office (PCO). My suitcase wallahs, however, nixed the PCO in favor of a cheaper pay phone nearby. I did not have the correct change, so my people enlisted a tag-along boy who disappeared with my 10-rupee note. When he returned with the change, I realized I had lost my hotel's phone number.

We returned to the PCO, where I shouted my hotel's name at the official telephoner. It was hard to be heard over the other shrieking telephone users. He put through a call and handed me the phone, but after a half-understood conversation, I gathered that whomever I was speaking to was not at the hotel. I wrote out the hotel's name. The telephoner recognized it right off and gave me one of those pity-the-verbally-challenged looks.

I was having trouble with English. The elegant, lyrical English spoken by many Indians bears little resemblance to my Midwestern twang. My last name, Crawford, is quite common, but at each hotel, the desk clerk would look at his reservations book with puzzlement and say, "Sorry, Madame." I'd point to my name and repeat, "Crawford." "Ah, Crawford," they would say. I started saying, "Crawford, as in Cindy, only shorter." In India, everyone knows Cindy Crawford.

Finally, I connected with my hotel. The driver, who had been waiting at Wimpy's, was coming back to the train station for me. PCO telephoner paid, suitcases aloft and ranks reduced by one hotel tout and his followers, we returned to where we had begun. When more calls, waiting and trekking didn't hook me up with the driver, I decided, hotel name written down, to grab a cab. A feeding frenzy began among the so-far-well-behaved rogue taxi wallahs. I headed for the prepaid taxi kiosk across from Wimpy's to purchase a set-fee voucher for a legal cab.

The rogues blocked my path, shouting, "I give you better price," "It's only for taxis to distant places like Agra" and the oh-so-Indian, "It's not working." Stunned, I froze. Then a man in a three-piece suit and matching turban broke through the swarm. He took my money, bought a taxi voucher, saw me into my cab and admonished me not to give the suitcase wallahs 200 rupees (about $4.50.) He said 50 rupees was sufficient. I gave them 200 anyway; I'd promised it to them. Later, however, I realized that holding up two fingers meant they wanted to bum a cigarette, not negotiate a price.

Fearing I might not be ready for Delhi, I took inspiration from what I'd learned of India's women. They suffer everything from virtual slave labor to dowry deaths -- the killing of a bride because her dowry was not large enough. But India also has a long tradition of powerful female figures -- women endowed with Shakti, feminine power.

Mythically, the warrior goddess, Durga, embodied Shakti. Historically, Queen Lakshmibai, the Warrior Queen of Jhansi, who died in 1858 leading her troops against the British, had it. More recently, Indira Gandhi twice led India's unruly republic, and in 2004 her daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi, carried the National Congress Party back to power.

Earlier on my trip, I'd met some not-so-famous female powerhouses. They exuded grace, smarts and serious authority. They wrapped their gorgeous power saris, hand-loomed cloth in muted colors, in the modern fashion. Unlike other women, they used few or no pins to keep the long swaths in place, thereby demonstrating their effortless mastery over every situation. Surely, I reasoned, emulating such women might help.

Lacking a power sari and the skills to wear it, I tried to dress for success in Delhi in an ankle-length khaki skirt, a long-sleeved blouse and a floral silk scarf swept over my shoulder. I used the woman-alone street smarts I'd been taught by an Indian woman: Walk quickly with firm purpose, look straight ahead, make no eye contact with touts or beggars and, most important, don't say anything. In India, even a firm "No!" is considered an encouraging word.

* * *

My next expedition, crossing Delhi's main Janpath Road, may not seem epic, but as I stood on its curb with traffic flowing in six lanes like the Ganges in flood, the other side seemed unreachable. Every lane had at least one bus, one truck or two cars. All remaining square centimeters were filled with bikes, scooters, auto-rickshaws and motorized carts. From the slowest bicycle with three passengers to the fastest Mercedes with just one, every vehicle moved as fast as it could whenever it could. Traffic slowed for cows, not people.

My plan was to cross from the luxe hotel where I'd lunched to the government-run crafts store. In hindsight, asking the hotel guard to point out the store was my first mistake. Whammo -- bring on the touts. As drivers bid against each other, the price of a cycle rickshaw fell from 50 rupees to 5 -- to be augmented by commissions from the stores where they would take me.

Then I made my second mistake. I said, "I'll walk." This elicited shouts: "There are better government stores," "It's a holiday -- the store is closed" and, closest to the truth, "It's not safe." Striding to the nearest intersection, I lost all but one tout, who continued to yell that I'd die crossing the road.

I spotted a woman in a power sari on the curb and positioned myself next to her. When she stepped off the curb, I stepped off the curb. When she slowed, I slowed. When she sprinted, I sprinted. And when she made it across, so did I. Encountering more touts on the other side, I remained tight-lipped and plunged on -- right into someone's private office. It belonged to a kind gentleman who directed me to the store next door.

Two days later, at 5 a.m., I was back at the train station. Fewer people slept and more washed as commuter hordes stampeded for jammed trains. This time, I'd managed to hire just one suitcase wallah and felt confident that he would get me to the right track, on the right train and into my assigned seat.

Imitating other women on the platform, I sat on my suitcase to wait. Even though I was covered like a nun, a dozen men stood around staring at me. This, I knew, would not be happening to a genuine powerhouse.

So, using a different approach, I pulled my scarf over my head and looked down at my right shoulder. The pose constricted my view, but I could still see the men's shoes turn and walk away. All except one. Curious about this persistent fellow, I inched up my head and recognized my loyal suitcase wallah.

Meek women might not inherit the earth, but I found out that if they play their scarves right, they can at least lay claim to a small portion of an Indian railway platform.

Kate Crawford is a freelance writer in Sebastopol, Calif.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mysterious Silence of Commies on Naxal Attack

Barring BJP, No other major political party has criticised the Naxal Attack in Jehanabad.

CPM- Prakash Karat is silent and is busy in UP.

CPI- A B Bardhan - Silence

CONGRESS - No Reaction

Why are they all silent? Why are they not condemning it? You can derive your answers :)

Punish the Ministers at Centre and State Level for Naxal Menance

Recently, in our Biharigroup, we are having some discussions about Naxal Memance.

Someone demanded that Govt should fire the officials! Why?

I think that it is time to fire ministers. Reason - These Politicians are the ones to gang up with Naxals to buy votes and secure their power. Due to their support only, Naxals are still growing when IB and RAW have warning GOI to take actions.

So, why should we blame poor officials? When police does not have Automatic Weapons and Vehicles then how can we expect to counter Naxals?

It is high time that we call the bluff of politicians.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Naxals attack Jehanabad - Display of their increasing strength

Naxalites have been a menance to Bihar and Jharkhand for long time and their merger with PWG has already made them stronger.

Yesterday's audacious attack on Jehanabad proves their might and failure of State Govt.

It proves that they are a real danger to INDIA and we need to crush them sooner than later. Of course, Congress is repeating the same tune which they played in Andhra.

Prakash Karat and Commies are all silent! they are Curse on India.

Read this indian express report to get more details.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Why Bihar still Matters?

Rajdeep Sardesai has done us, Biharis, a great service by writing this article:
Why Bihar (still) matters

He points out some interesting facts about Bihar:

1) But there is also another side to this out-migration story, which doesn't conform to the stereotype of the Bihari as a lower-end labourer or paan-chewing taxi driver. Whether it's institutions of higher learning like JNU or IIT, symbols of old power like the IAS and IPS or totems to the new information age like Infosys, Biharis today constitute one of the largest groups of skilled manpower in the country.

2)Indeed, Bihar today reflects a strange paradox: on the one hand, the literacy rate in Bihar is a woeful 48 per cent, well below the national average. On the other, Bihar's demographic profile shows a large population, especially in the creative age group of 15-34, which is benefiting from higher education and a sense of social empowerment.

3) Take another statistic. Bihar just accounts for four per cent of the national market with eight per cent of the national population. However, its foodgrain production is higher than the national average. Bihar's poverty level remains well above the national average at 42 per cent. However, annual remittances disbursed by the Patna general post office alone account for a substantial Rs 1,000 crore.

Thank YOU Very Much, Rajdeep.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Shahabuddin’s Arrest - Was it a surrender?

RJD MP Shahabuddin has been on the run for last 3 months and Suddenly, Police arrests him in Delhi!

Most likely this is a part of political game by Laloo who has got JPN Yadav to resign as well. UPA is also part of the game.

Read this story to get some more insight..

Friday, October 28, 2005

Need for Border Roads Organization's Participation in Construction of Roads in Bihar

NK Singh has written about "Blueprint for the new
Bihar Government".

He stresses that we need more participation from
Central Agencies to take up development projects in
Bihar as our state institutions are flawed.
Third, the experiment of having central agencies
implement projects as part of the compensation pocket
for partition of Bihar needs to be accelerated and
clarified. The initial goal was to cocoon these
projects from the deep-rooted malaise in institutions
at the state level, but there are subsisting
ambiguities regarding project implementation,
operation and maintenance.

Another point made by his is to press NHAI to complete
Highway Project.
Sixth, considering that Bihar ranks 11th among 15
states in the Infrastructure Index, improved energy
availability is crucial. Augmenting capacities,
improving distribution networks, the transmission and
distribution losses, unbundling electricity boards,
encouraging private investment at the distribution end
and setting up joint ventures for generation systems
close to the nearby coal pitheads is part of the
strategy. Ensuring smoother implementation of the
ongoing programme of the National Highways Authority
of India, coupled with upgradation of resources
available for state highways and effective utilisation
of funds from the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana,
needs close attention. The low teledensity reflects
the enormous scope for improvement even in the short

These points once again confirm the need for asking
Border Roads Organization(BRO) to take up Highway and
road construction work in Bihar.

Another RJD Politician is Arrested

Now that Exit Polls are indicating the Ravan Raaj of Laloo might be on the way out in Bihar, RJD has pressed Panick button.

RJD and Congress are attacking EC like anything.

They are going out of the way to get votes and distributing Cash & Liquor is on the top.

It is reported that Shakuni Chowdhary is arrested for distributing Cash in JPN Yadav's mother's constituency.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another Bahubali shows his power

There is a politican with criminal background, Dadan Yadav in Buxar who started his career in politics under the guidance of Laloo.

Over the years, he has become a BIG man; Now, he has floated his own party. But, that is not interesting and important.

His latest Vandalism is to beat the RJD Nominee from Dumaron. Read the story here.

This just proves the extent to which politics has been criminalized!

Chor Machaye Shor

Now that Non Bailable Warrants have been issued against Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav and his brother, Vijay; Police is raiding different parts of the districts.

In the meantime, JPN's Father is accusing SP of being vindictive.

Classic case of "Chor Machaye Shor"

Monday, October 24, 2005

Non Bailable Warrant against JPN Yadav

Few Days back, Police had arrested Vijay Yadav for creating disurbance on the day of Polling and intimidating voters. He was caught with cash worth more than 6 lakhs, firearms and IMF Liquor.

SP had chased him and caught him and his cronies after a long chase in a paddy field. Police lodged
a case against him and locked him under Non Bailable Sections of IPC.

After 3 hours, JPN Yadav reached Police Station and forced police to release his brother. Already SI has been suspended and Police Commissioner has been transferred.

Police has been trying to catch Vijay Yadav but he is on the run. In the meantime, he slapped a case against SP and other Policemen.

Now, Bihar Government has filed a FIR against JPN Yadav and his brother.

Of Course, Congress's Reaction is to ignore it.

Meanwhile, the Congress downplayed the arrest warrant against Yadav. "Until a court convict Mr. Yadav of being guilty, he must be presumed innocence," said the party spokesperson Anand Sharma in Delhi.

Anyways, Read the report here.

Another FIR Against Laloo

It seems that Laloo is in panic now.

Reports indicate that he is getting irritated and has threatened District Officials for not helping RJD.

Officials have lodged a FIR Against him. Read this report here.

By the way, Congress would still ignore it. All in the name of Democracy!

Down with this hypocrisy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

How about a common yardstick? - Eye Opening Article from Economic Times

We are all know the truth that Commies are big supporter of Laloo and Media is controlled by them. JNU Educated, Self-Proclaimed, Righteous are some of the adjectives which can be used for this gang.

During NDA Regime, They ran to the town about its alleged(?) attempts to saffronize all the institutions and general lack of respect for others' opinion.

This Same gang has defended Laloo and Mulayam + Sonia at umpteen times. But, now their farce is too obvious to go unnoticed.

Commies/Liberals are silent about the tactics being used in Bihar by Laloo and Digvijay. They are abusing EC Daily but our righteous folks are silent.

Why? Because, they can not utter a word to chastise their posterboy Laloo as it would be mean supporting what the other camp is saying about Laloo!

Economic Times has published a brilliant article on this DOUBLE STANDARD of MEDIA on Laloo.

Read it here.

Some interesting excerpts are:

The response of liberals to the Election Commission’s running battle with Lalu is no different. It be recalled that the NDA government took lot of flak when Narendra Modi tried to get the panel to suit his electoral calculus. There was angry drivel over the assault on the independence of EC.

The same EC has noted a series of election code violations by the Union railway minister. Lalu Yadav, who is not known for working within the confines of law, held a late night meeting with two senior officials of the CRPF tasked with the deployment of forces in election-bound Bihar. The EC, which was not satisfied with the explanation that the two officials had gone to the minister to discuss his security, asked the government to remove them.

It must be a source of concern for the norm-respecting PM. For, law and order, till last heard, was a state subject. If the minister had any doubts about his security, he should have spoken to the state administration. Imagine a scenario where defence minister Pranab Mukherjee asking the Army to take care of his security situation in his Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency!

But what is surprising is the sudden rush of liberals to defend Bihar’s secular icon. Instead of condemning the attempts of Lalu to suborn the system, they chastised the EC for “crossing its limits”. Double standards? But that appears permissible in liberal political discourse

CRPF Being Waylaid by Laloo - Some More Reports

Yesterday, I had posted the news about the nexus between Laloo and CRPF Chief.

Some more details are available in these reports:

This report states:

While Mr Lalu Prasad and Mohammad Taslimuddin do not need introduction,
Union minister of state for water resources, Mr Jai Prakash Yadav,is the latest “hit” with police.

The RJD-led Secular Democratic Front’s claims to establish a “rule of law” laid out in its joint manifesto, were exposed when the Water Resources Minister, Mr Yadav forced release of his
brother from police lock-up soon after he was caught intimidating as well as luring voters on polling day (18 October).

His brother, Mr Vijay Prakash is a RJD candidate from Jamui. That “might is right” was plain for all to see. Strangely, police released the minister’s brother on personal bond alone despite non-bailable sections imposed against him, which even the DGP, Mr Ashish Ranjan Sinha, called “unlawful”. Sources said police released the accused, arrested with arms and ammunition
and a good number of liquor bottles, succumbing to pressure from the minister. The transfer order of the concerned IG — allegedly involved in ensuring the release of the minister’s kin — given by the EC and also the EC’s order for a thorough probe, throw light on the “police-RJD nexus” — an allegation made by the NDA. The minister is an accused in the degree scam case
(No. 12/2000) lodged with the Vigilance and had to quit the Rabri Devi government in which he was an education minister after he was sent to jail.

CRPF Caught in controversy report is also worthreading

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Is CRPF Being waylaid by Laloo in Bihar?

Read this report:

excerpt from this report:

The letter said the information received by it showed that the vehicle and the driver were handed over by the CRPF to Arwal district police authorities and the latter released them and the cash found with the driver was also returned. On October 17, Chhiber was called by Bihar Chief Electoral Officer N K Sinha to his office for a report in the matter. Chhiber admitted that he and Alok Raj had gone to meet the RJD leader at the latter's residence in connection with the incident of seizure of RJD vehicle.

When told that this was a grave violation of the model code of conduct and asked as to why they had done so, Chhiber stated that "he had been asked by the DG to sort out this matter", the letter said.

So, CRPF DG asks IG and DIG to visit Laloo to sort out the issue??

How Low can Congress stoop to?

We all know the fact that Laloo has huge influence over Manmohan Singh Led UPA. Reason for this influence is: RJD has 24 MPs and without their support, UPA will bite the dust.

But, as a old national level party, Congress should have some sort of decency but their conduct is proving to be otherwise.

Sonia has sidelined Arjun Singh in this election of Bihar and entrustred another MP Guy to manage Congress' fortunes.

The way, Digvijay is singing the hymns in praise of Laloo makes me think that had Digvijay Singh devoted even half of his time to gods, he would met God himself. But, What a poor soul he is :-)

Pity that he is serving Laloo and Sonia with such devotion. Anyways, it is his life and he has every right to make use of it the way he seems right.

Coming back to the point, Digvijay Singh (and Congress) have become such a big votary of Laloo that it seems to be the case that Laloo has hired these 2 Congress leaders for his darbar.

Sonia came to Bihar and promised a NEW BIHAR. What the heck? We have seen what Laloo (and Congress) has done to Bihar in the name of Social Justice (Curse VP Singh for starting this malady) and Sonia asks Biharis to vote for Laloo to make a NEW Bihar.

She indicates that vote for Laloo and he will do a Kaya Kalpa! No, All he will do is to wipe out the face of humanity from Bihar and Congress will term it a DEVELOPMENT

Then, Laloo and Sonia go to town with claim that all blame for Bihar's ills should go to NDA as they were the last ruler in Delhi. Less I write about this, better it would be.

Now that, 1st Phase of Elections are over and it seems to be a Fair Election, thanks to EC and CRPF. Diggy and Laloo are crying foul and blame EC for LOW TURNOUT of Voters in Bihar". You can all see that it means that Booth Capturing and Rigging was not allowed and Digvijay cries.

All this makes me think about the fall of Congress. Then, INDIRA Gandhi comes to my mind who bent all rules to get ahead and there is no wonder that Sonia and Digvijay are following her footsteps.

Laloo does not have any dignity so there is no question of him being subjected to any expectation of Humility and Honour.

Congress lost its way long time back and now, in Bihar, they are setting new lows.

Read these news items and you will be wisened:

So much for the Grand Old Party of India and Manmohan Singh (the Honest PM without Any Control over his Cabinet)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Mau in UP Burns but Police does not dare to touch Ansari

Another Demi God of Indian Secularism, Mulayam Singh Yadav, says that Mau is a blot on UP.

But, he does not take any action against his supported Ansari.

Those who have seen the movie, Dev, would be able to recollect the scene of rioting in movie in which political leaders roam in Open Gypsies and take the law & order in their hands!

Read this report here.

Master of Decetion, Laloo, tries new tricks

As per this report by Varghese George, Laloo is projecting a different image this time.

What a pity that people are still buying his bullshit.

No wonder, we are in such a deep hole!

1st Phase of Elections in Bihar are tomorrow

Bihar is all set to witness another costly drama of elections tomorrow, 18th Oct, 2005.

Sonia and her Congress is having an affair with Laloo's RJD - all in the name of Secularism.

She has promised to build a New Bihar! Only God Knows what does that mean.

15 years of satanic rule of Laloo- will it end? Again, God Only Knows as we Biharis are too busy with our caste based lives