Monday, June 26, 2017
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Boeing to usher in pilotless jets thanks to AI

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Boeing to usher in pilotless jets thanks to AI

Ahead of the Paris Air Show, commercial jet maker Boeing said that pilotless jetliners were a possibility in the not so far future. Drones are already making their presence felt in various fields. 2016 being one of the safest years for the aviation industry may also be giving confidence. The manufacturer may be looking at niche markets hitherto not well served which may benefit from point to point services enabled by artificial intelligence (AI).   

Pilotless Flying. Nothing Artificial About IT

Musk is not Elon in leveraging artificial intelligence. If Tesla’s Khan can, Boeing being Boeing surely can. The only caveat is that even driverless cars have had their trials and tribulations before becoming relatively mainstream. Even now, we see some accidents/ death due to the gaps in the software (artificial intelligence). That is understandable because the AI is built on the concept of improving with more inputs/ feedback over repeated uses. Mistakes and subsequent mistake proofing are intrinsic to the development of a robust AI asset/ ecosystem.   

Pilotless Benefits: Of the Cat’s Whiskers, catnaps and Whiskeys

A pilot’s job is no doubt a very responsible one and stressful to boot. They may hence be forgiven for their ‘arrogance’. On its part, AI seems a natural evolution to Information Technology, nothing artificial about it. But till such time that this pilotless technology becomes mainstream, pilots can continue to be the cat’s whiskers.  The positive takeaway for the average flyer is that he or she need not worry much about cat naps being taken in the cock-pit or whiskeys being downed.

Related Reading

Boeing to leverage drone technology for jetliners

Yogi se Yeddyurappa tak. Lucknow taken, Karnataka to be BJPlured?

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Yogi se Yeddyurappa tak. Lucknow taken, Karnataka to be BJPlured?   

Amit Shah, BJP’s master strategist has indicated the leader in the May 2018 elections for the Karnataka assembly. Mr. Yeddyurappa, ex-Chief Minister would be face of BJP. This may not have come as much of a surprise to many. But it definitely raises some uncomfortable questions.

Yeddyurappa, a prominent symbol of corruption by power

There have been allegations aplenty about the abuses of power by Yeddyurappa. His closeness to and dealings with the infamous Reddy brothers had put BJP on the backfoot in Karnataka.  This was also a strong reason behind the Karnataka electorate voting the BJP out of power. If the BJP again stoops to pick Yeddyurappa to conquer Karnataka, it would only confirm that even for the BJP, politics trumps governance.

What a Fall, after choosing Yogi in UP    

The BJP’s choice is all the more glaring after it famously chose a young and dynamic leader like Yogi Adityanath to govern Uttar Pradesh. The BJP’s senior leaders have also been highlighting the corruption free three years’ governance at the Centre. One has to admit in all fairness that this has been one of the ‘most working’ governments in recent times. 

But Yeddyurappa’s choice doesn’t show the BJP in great light. The BJP may not wish to take much risk with the only state in South India with some amount of traction. It is also amongst the largest states from a GDP perspective. There are some reports indicating it has overtaken Uttar Pradesh recently to be number three in the Indian GSDP rankings. Only TN (a relatively close second) and Maharashtra (a very strong first) are bigger economically.  

Yogi, Yeddyurappa and Edapaadi Palaniswamy (TN)

If BJP does win Karnataka, it would add to its list of heavyweight states under its governance. It already has Maharashtra, UP, Gujarat Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the Top 10 (GDP wise). If the BJP loses, it would almost certainly be due to the yeddy currents of its own making.  

One’s take without batting an eyelid is that Yogi will ensure Karnataka and TN don’t have it easy. It will take the southern states some doing to keep UP from overtaking them. A healthy competition between states is good for India. Jai Ho! If 

Related Reading

BJP’s CM face in Karnataka

Reddy and Yeddy

Statewise GDP 

Moody’s downgrades China after 3 decades. phir bhi Beijing bahut dhoor hain

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phir bhi Beijing bahut dhoor hain

Moody’s downgrades China after 3 decades

Moody’s has downgraded its rating of the Chinese economy for the first time in 30 years. Moody’s has resisted this move for sometime. But the increasing pressure on the Chinese system is beginning to show. The dragon is not moving/ progressing as it used to, a decade ago. Experts opine China appears a bit over leveraged. The downgrade may not have much impact on the ground, but could certainly be a point for Xi Jinping to think about. The five yearly restructuring of the Communist Party is also due this year.

Phir Bhi Beijing bahut Dhoor Hain

The Indian economy is growing faster than the Chinese in recent months. The Government after a few months of uncertainty over demonetization is again moving ahead with restored confidence. The UP electoral victory has definitely given fresh wind to the BJP government’s sails at the centre. 

But it would also be sobering for us all to realize that we have a lot of catching up to do. China slowing helps, but we have no time to take it easy. Beijing being agressive commercially. militarily and politically not to mention its bullying postures on border issues, leaves India with little option. It is not whether India needs to catch up, but when.

The sooner India reaches closer to China in economic strength, the easier it would be counter China. Economic strength no doubt would also help us build military muscle more easily. As US President Roosevelt famously guided, carrying a heavy stick is important. We can then speak softly, without being considered weak.           

Go, Nitin Gogoi, Go. Neat work. Why ‘darr’ ?

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go Gogoi, Neat work. why 'darr'

Go, Nitin Gogoi, Go. Neat work. Why ‘dar’ ?  

Army Officer Nitin Leetul Gogoi has recently been honoured by the Indian Army for his ‘innovative’ action which saved lives. Gogoi had tied a local kashmiri youth to the army vehicle while trying to rescue poll officials. He acted ‘practically’ when opposed by stone pelting Kashmiri youths. The youths were about to burn down a polling station with civilians trapped inside. Seeing one of the locals tied to the vehicle, the mob/s avoided throwing stones and let the army vehicle / men pass unharmed. 

Why the fuss?

Human Rights Activists and the ‘Azadi’ demanding stone-pelters believe Gogoi should not have exposed the local youth, Farooq Ahmad Dar, to danger. Danger of what? Getting hit by stones which the other youths were pelting on the army vehicle.

Is it ok to pelt stones and assault army men who are not authorized to shoot or use force on local Kashmiris? Looks like, to these souls criticizing Gogoi. 

What finally happened? 

The army vehicle was able to reach the polling station which had been surround by the mob and was able to rescue the officials. The mob was on the verge of burning down the booth. Thus, lives were saved without any harm to Farooq Dar.

Why pick Farooq Dar?

Gogoi claims Dar was one of the leaders of the mob. Dar says he is innocent. He says he is an artisan earning only Rs 3000 per month and needs to support his aged mother too. He says the army had put him to grave danger by using him thus. One wonders why a guy like him (fragile socio-economic situation) is hanging around with stone pelters. 

Dar claims he had come to that location to exercise his right to vote as an indian Citizen. This, despite the calls for boycott by pro-Azadi elements. Dar feels cheated because he has now been used as a ‘human shield’.

Is the logic of ‘Human Shield’ tenable?

Rioting youths in Kashmir have used human shields (women and children) to fire or throw stones at the Indian Army. Did Gogoi or his men use Dar in like manner? On the contrary, Dar was used only to protect Gogoi and his team from the locals’ stones….. And to reach the polling booth in time to save the officials. The Army is not authorized to use force or fire against Kashmiri civilians.    

What is the long and short of the incident?

It is possible that Dar is indeed a proud and loyal Indian who had come to do his duty as a citizen and vote. But if this were the case, he should have been prouder to have enabled the rescue of polling officials. The fact that he was unharmed proves that he is one of the rioters or that Gogoi’s understanding of the situation was practical or both of the above. 

Having said the above, there have also been some incidents (including the infamous Kunan Poshpora atrocity) which will remain a permanent blot. The problem is that a few cases like these (genuine or otherwise) have also been used by vested interests to help fan anti-India rhetoric. 

In ending, it is with irony and sadness that we note the following. The youth of Afghanistan is finding huge benefits of associating with/ leveraging India. But our Kashmiri lads are being deluded into destroying their own lives.      

Related Reading

The Shame of Kunan Poshpora 

Bombay HC Bench vindicates faith of Bilkis Bano in Judiciary

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Bombay HC Bench vindicates Bilkis Bano's faith in Judiciary

Bombay HC Bench vindicates Bilkis Bano’s faith in Judiciary

The Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of the accused in the Bilkis Bano case. The Court has also set aside the acquittal of two doctors and five policemen for hampering the course of justice. These judgements though delayed may give some solace for the victim and doughty fighter, Bilkis Bano.  But no amount of ‘judicial intervention’ however just, will wipe away the misery and trauma that Bilkis and her husband have gone through.

Related Reading

http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/aug/07spec1.htm

Removing the Red Beacon VIP Culture. Shed Light Shoulder Laypeople

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Removing the Red Beacon VIP Culture

The Prime Minister Mr Modi and his BJP government deserve a big round of applause. They have done something most of us would not have dreamt possible. The common man is going to be  treated at par with politicians, government officials etc on India’s roads. The so called VIPs will now be grounded.

Go with the flow now

They will no longer have the privilege of whizzing past their fellow citizens. Among whom could be many normal commuters, sick patients, expectant mothers, or even students anxious to reach in time for their exams. VIPs have to go with the flow now, however maddening it may be.

This move would also bring the powers that be, more in touch with the harsh realities facing the average Indian. One move will have many attendant benefits. The time spent in traffic will hopefully open the eyes of law makers and officials to the many ways they could change things for the better. Being in the sun and rain even if inside  air conditioned cars could probably give them additional time. Added time and context to feel where the common citizen’s shoe pinches irrespective of whether he or she has footwear or not.

The perk is my personality

For many of the peoples’ representatives and officials this move may have come as an unpleasant surprise. A significant proportion of these anyway would have had little to show for their role/ post other than the red light on their vehicles. 

From the first of May this year, only the police,  the ambulance and essential services will now be authorized to use a light (blue beacon) on their vehicles. 

Many MPs , MLAs,  not to speak of (even educated) officials also generally have a good time wasting public money on electricity, travel accommodation etc not only for themselves but also for their  hangers on. They must surely be worried now. The red light  embargo may just be for starters. More changes could be afoot to minimize wastage of public money.

In ending, No surprise this, but more surprises in store?

One thing makes one wonder about this development. Why has it  taken India almost 70 years since independence to do away with this abominable VIP Culture. 

It probably  takes an egalitarian tea vendor Prime Minister to serve these beneficial policies. Obviously thinking of the well being of the masses is not everyone’s cup of tea.

 

TTV Dhinakaran dancing. Stage has a few nails. FERA, Bribery Charges, Leads from Income Tax Raids await him

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The 'Bhava' before getting bombed or nailed

The Bhava before getting bombed or nailed 

One could fault TTV Dhinakaran on a few things. He is one of the coolest ‘operators who is still free to operate. Not many good things can be heard of him. But irrespective of the image he has built, one cannot fault the smile on his face. It definitely brings one on your

Azan awakens Sonu Nigam and a debate arises

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Hassan Nisar on how Muslims fare in India

Azan awakens Sonu Nigam and a debate arises

The social media has been rife in the past few days with citizens raising their points of view either supporting or denouncing Sonu Nigam’s tweet. Sonu Nigam has made the ‘mistake’ of complaining without too much camouflage and without too much political correctness. He said he was being disturbed by the neighbourhood mosque. He also said

Chennai Anna Salai – Cracks after Cave in sparks fresh concerns

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Road Caves In yet again in Chennai due to Metro Rail work

Cracks after Cave In spark fresh Concerns 

The cave in, two days ago on Anna Salai, the arterial road of Chennai is telling. The incident is also ‘yelling’ at authorities, hoping they would listen. A few cracks have been seen near the place today. Will they help crack officials’ apathy?

Not that the authorities really need this. There have been cave ins earlier too, months back. But somewhere they got buried amidst the other challenges Chennai and Tamil Nadu have been witnessing over the past 12-18 months.  

Metro site issues not Isolated to Chennai or India

There have been cave ins due to tunneling in Bangalore/Delhi too. There have been cave ins even in the infrastructure empire of the Chinese. Therefore one may give some benefit of doubt that some gaps might be possible in these engineering projects, though not unavoidable.

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Shenzhen China – Metro Site Cave In – courtesy- getty images

But the worry also is that the project managers do not seem to be learning from these experiences. Instead of on a Sunday, had the recent cave in happened on a week day in full traffic flow, the human casualty would have been very high. The traffic congestion would have also hampered rescue and damage reduction efforts.    

Ill Equipped??

The officials have invested in equipments to spot possible cave ins. But they are not used because of daytime traffic.  These tools can work in daylight only. Which competent official authorized purchased of these high value assets? This purchase met ‘Whose’ expectations? Not vey difficult questions to answer surely. Intelligence or Integrity or both cave in, long before the road, one guesses. 

More than ever we need a National Level Project Safety and Quality Management Institution. As India gets ready to up its ante on more industrial and Infrastructure projects, thanks to a determined Centre, there is a threat of disasters waiting to happen.

Holy Cows of Mindless Project Clearance

If we can hold the management of Union Carbide responsible for criminal negligence, most of the projects currently on way and their managers are no less guilty of similar charges. Projects are being shoved down locals’ throats like at Neduvasal. Without anyone really understanding the threats and the risk mitigation needed.    

Protecting cows is less of a threat for India than protecting the Holy Cow of mindless project clearance without adequate safeguards.

Related Reading

Guangzhou, China:  Metro Site Accident

Sandalous ! Shiv Sena moves Privilege Motion in Lok Sabha to force Airlines to fly MP Ravindra Gaikwad

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Shiv Sena ties privilege motion on airlines barring Ravindra Gaikwad

Shiv Sena moves Privilege Motion in Lok Sabha

The Shiv Sena has issued notice in the Lok Sabha to move a privilege motion against the airlines in India for not flying its MP Ravindra Gaikwad. The Shiv Sena wants airlines like Indigo and AirIndia to ferry him. The airlines have in the past few days not entertained his requests for tickets. They have also taken a stand to cancel even the tickets issued by

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