Nitish Kumar:Why I don’t like him anymore (continued)

I have been reading that ‘Babur’s grandson, Akbar, planted the “Lakh Bagh”, a mango orchard containing one lakh trees in Darbhanga, Bihar.’ What happened to that? Shershah and his sons built a number monuments that could have attracted thousands of tourists. Why didn’t it happen? A number of young technocrats open enterprises in Bihar, but none could scale it up to be a known entity in India. Why couldn’t Bihar create entrepreneurs in a large number? What is that for which I must like Nitish Kumar? Here is another listing of reasons that I don’t like Nitish Kumar who could have performed much more when he had full opportunity. But then he decide to break the very well performing alliance just for his personal ego, as he could not become the prime ministerial candidate of Election 2014. Here are some more:

@ Nitish Kumar humiliated Modi without any reason except for just pleasing the minority. And his lust for power has taken him to Sonia Gandhi and Lalu who have just one objective- to keep the power in the family. Even today, many doubt if Lalu will provide unconditional support to Nitish, as it is very clear from his utterances such as “When the BJP left him, he came to me. I made him CM. Humne inko bana diya.”

@ Nitish Kumar doesn’t know how to dream and think big for transforming Bihar into a developed and respected state. Perhaps he lacks that capability. Nitish Kumar has wasted his 10 years of rule and could not implement any worth mentionable project such as Mayawati’s Yamuna Expressway or Akhilesh Yadav’s Agra-Lucknow Expressway that will also be extended up to Ballia. Nitish Kumar could have connected the East-West corridor to Delhi-Kolkata GQ with a 4- or 6- lane highway. And then I could hardly find the promised industrial projects listed in large number on Bihar website in the ten year run of Nitish Kumar getting implemented.

@ Nitish Kumar though a product of JP movement had hardly the desired respect for JP Narayan or for that matter Dr. Rajendra Prasad. He hardly did anything noticeable to perpetuate their memories, as the caste of these great men does not own a great vote bank.

@ Nitish Kumar could not take any reformative step and corrective measure. Even today Bihar loses a whopping 54 per cent electricity that is either “stolen or lost”.

@ In Bihar, the state government records show that there are about 40 million people in the age group of 15 to 29 years of which less than 1 per cent had some sort of formal vocational training. Bihar exports its greatest human resources to all parts of India from Kashmir to Kerala to just humiliating menial jobs there as he can’t provide even that in Bihar.

@ Bihar can easily be the leader of the second green revolution of India. Nitish has not done anything significant to encourage the farmers to diversify in high-earning agriculture produces such as vegetables and fruits from its most fertile land or poultry and animal husbandry as resorted to by many states. Its productivity of agriculture produce is still lower, though Nitish Kumar kept on talking about the record per hectare production of paddy and potato. Nitish hardly took up any great irrigation project.

@Bihar is the third most illiterate state with 43.85 per cent population falling in that category. The quality of education at primary and secondary level in rural Bihar is just dismal. The kids come to the schools to have only their midday meal. Adult education has just vanished. Does it not cast a shadow on the effectiveness of the initiatives of chief minister Nitish Kumar in promoting education in rural areas?

@ The presence of non-agricultural enterprises in rural households is about 1.67%, minimal in Bihar.The meagre size of the registered non agriculture sector in rural areas indicates the inability to tap into the non-agriculture potential of the rural sector. Only with the large number of migrants poring money in Bihar, 6.9% of the households has members earning more than Rs 10,000 a month in Bihar.

@ Why does Bihar not appear with significant progress in e-governance as attained by other states? And many good things started get mired because the lack of maintenance, such as free Wi-Fi zone, multi-level parking, ghat beautification or the so talked of road along the Ganga.

@ The election campaign will be around the development one of Nitish Brand and the other will be the development associated with Modi. How will Lalu clan fit in the mission? Nitish will have to take all three– two sons and one daughter in his cabinet and allocate to them whatever portfolio they will seek, if they win.

@ Nitish Kumar can become tech savvy for winning election, but he hardly did anything to connect the schools digitally. Government teachers in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttarakhand are using WhatsApp groups to exchange knowledge and ideas with each other. The Karnataka Open Educational Resources platform is enabling teachers to create digital content. Why can’t the same is possible in Bihar? Nitish Kumar did hardly invest in training for teachers and school leaders in the effective use of technology.
As I understand Nitish Kumar has got the assistance of a team of 300 technocrats from IITs and IIMs for his election campaign. I wish after the election Nitish deploys them to 300 Panchayats to create action plans for improving the economic condition of the poor there and move ahead accordingly.

@ Nitish Kumar would have at least learnt from his new friend Kejriwal and done something significant in rural health care. Is it not a necessity to have a good dispensary with an ambulance in each panchayat with remote villages? I keep myself in contact with at least some villages in Bihar. When in those villages, I have discussed the necessity of a dispensary too. In none of those villages there is anything related to the public health in last so many years.

@ Nitish Kumar could hardly change the poor situation of open defecation in the state that causes many problems.Open defecation raises the risk of low birth weight, pre-term births and spontaneous abortions.Irrespective of household income levels, pregnant women without access to toilets at home were twice more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes – pre-term births, low birth weight babies, foetal loss, or stillbirths – than women who had toilets.

I shall like to end with two statements from two well-wishers of Bihar in a recent conference on ‘Resurgent Bihar':
1.”Rather than asking for votes by knocking on the doors, the JDU should ask whether schools and hospitals opened in the areas concerned. Instead of launching 160 Parivartan Raths, the BJP should have rolled out ambulances or Shiksha Raths. Today’s voters cannot be fooled by false promises,” said Anand Kumar Super 30, Patna .
2.”Bihar is far behind the national average in the sector of health education and quality of life. Resurgence of Bihar is not happening in agriculture and industrial sectors as well, nor in the villages,” Suraj Kumar, Chief Mentor, Neeti Foundation

I don’t like Nitish Kumar because he is too much political and he has not worked aggressively to take Bihar in the league of developed states.

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Make-in-India: Mobile Phones

If the media reports can be believed, many Indian and globally reputed companies will soon make India a phone manufacturing powerhouse. Announcement from Foxconn that wants to open 10-12 manufacturing facilities in India by 2020, is certainly a great news for electronics sector. However, the telecom ministry must facilitate it.

Here are the specific progress report of Make-in-India in mobile handsets.

1. Dixon Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd. that makes TVs, set-top boxes, DVD players, washing machines and induction cookers for top multinationals such as LG Electronics, Philips, Panasonic and Toshiba, is now setting up a handset factory in Noida with an initial investment of Rs 25 crore to make 700,000 units a month, and will start manufacturing in August.

2. Karbonn Mobile India Pvt. Ltd. that gets manufactured mobile handsets in China, plans to open an assembly line in Noida, to add another in Bengaluru and and then to start a factory in Hyderabad over the next 12 months.

3. Indian handset brand Celkon has opened its first manufacturing facility in Telangana’s Medchal Industrial Estate.

4. Videocon group would start manufacturing mobile handsets at its Salt Lake facility near Kolkata in a few months’ time.

5. Micromax, India’s second-largest phone maker, has started a plant at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand and is planning investments in Telangana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

6. Lava has so far invested Rs 50 crore to build a facility in Noida to assemble one million units a month. A second unit, with an investment of Rs 1,200 crore and a capacity of 10 million units a month, is on the drawing board.

7. Spice Mobility is investing Rs 500 crore in Noida to build a facility it says will be up and running by the next quarter.

And at the top of all, even Mukesh Ambani promises to enter phone manufacturing, if one is to believe his announcement at the launching of Digital India, where he said,”Reliance Industries will make an investment of over Rs. 250,000 crore in the digital space, including rollout of wireless broadband infrastructure and manufacturing of mobile handsets.”

And now even globally reputed companies in the sector are not far behind to make for the huge Indian market in India.

1. Samsung that has been manufacturing in India since 2006, has spent more than Rs 500 crore to add capacity at its plant in Noida.

2. HTC has finalised its `Make in India’ plans. The Taiwanese premium smartphone maker has entered into an agreement with Global Devices Network, which set up a manufacturing and assembling unit three months ago in Noida, to make the handsets on contract.

3. Japanese electronics giant Sony is all set to make in India, though the products will be contract-manufactured at Taiwanese maker Foxconn’s upcoming facilities in the country.

4. Chinese electronics major Lenovo is looking at the possibility of setting up a manufacturing unit for smartphones and tablets in India.

5. Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer, will begin its second leg of manufacturing in India by producing Xiaomi smartphones in a leased a facility in Sri City in southern part of Andhra Pradesh.

6. South Korean handset maker LG Electronics is looking to start manufacturing of smartphones in India once it gets to a 10% market share, which it estimates could be achieved by December.

7. Foxconn Technology is in talks to manufacture Apple Inc.’s iPhone in India in a move that could lower prices in the world’s No.3 smartphone market

8. Chinese phone maker Gionee plans a full-fledged factory over the next three years. Another Chinese handset maker, OPPO Mobiles will also soon announce plans to make in India.

Foxconn’s announcement is the most interesting development.

Foxconn (the company that’s most famous for manufacturing the iPhone) CEO Terry Gou has bigger plans that may help the sector to grow as global player. He has recently said, “(Foxconn) we will work with local brands and help them with design, and manufacture components locally, so that Indian brands can also start to export, right now India does not export.”

Naturally, most of these facilities, to start with, will be that for assembly operation. With the advantage of much cheaper labour, India will have some advantage. But for making India a significant player in mobile phone manufacturing, if the units for manufacturing components such as processors, cameras and touch screens must get setup soon. And the big manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung or Foxconn will have to allure component manufacturers to establish their plants in the electronics clusters, as Suzuki Maruti helped the growth of auto component sector.

The operation of the cell manufacturing companies will have to be cost competitive and commercially viable. Let us look at that.

“In 2011, KPMG compared India and China’s competitiveness in handset manufacturing. The landed cost of materials, it assumed, would be 10 per cent lower for the Chinese. While an Indian manufacturer would have to import 80 per cent components, the figure for a Chinese company would be only five per cent. Chinese labour, according to KPMG, was 1.8 times more productive. Power costs were 20 to 30 per cent lower while water was 30 to 35 per cent cheaper in China. These ensured that a mid-sized Chinese manufacturer with a capacity to make 20 million units a year would have a profit margin of nine per cent. For the Indian company, the figure would be 2.6 per cent.”

India will have to improve its labour productivity. The cost of finance, power and water must come down and be lower than other competing Asian countries such Vietnam. It must not be difficult. For record, Vietnam produced mobiles worth over Rs 2.5 lakh crore in 2014/15, that is 12 times more than what India produced. China makes phones worth 60 times more.

With only 68% of Indian rural households owning cell phones that too only the cheaper one and the urban Indians aspiring to promote to smart phones, the potential market in India is huge.

As Ravi Shankar Prasad wishes , “India will emerge as a parallel production hub to China for global markets in electronics manufacturing as the government shifts attention to boost the making of sophisticated, high-technology products in the country.”

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Finding Zero: Indian or Old Khmer

I have just finished a book ‘Finding Zero’ by Amir D. Aczel. It has been a real interesting reading about the re-discovery of the earliest zero of our system we have ever found.

A French scholar named George Coedès discovered a rock piece with inscription in the nineteenth century at Trapang Prei, site of Sambor On Mekong in Cambodia. It was from the seventh century, pre-Angkor period. Coedès first translated the inscription from Old Khmer into French and published in 1931. He assigned an identifying label K-127 to the rock carrying inscription. The inscription clearly bore the date 605 in an ancient calendar that began in the year A.D. 78. Its date was thus A.D. 683. This inscription bears the earliest zero numeral ever discovered.

Interestingly another zero that is one year younger than one on K-127, thus dating from AD 684, was found near Palenbang, Indonesia. This zero was two centuries older than the Gwalior Zero.

Gwalior Zero is a circle inscribed at Chatur-bhuja (Vishnu) temple in Gwalior, India, dating to the ninth century, had been widely considered the oldest version of zero in our system, the Hindu-Arabic. There is an inscription in the temple in Sanskrit on the wall of the temple that records that it was built in the year 933 of a calendar whose starting point was 57BCE. So the year the temple was built was 876CE. The numerals 933 used here are surprisingly similar to our modern numbers. The inscription also records that the land grant for the temple had a length of 270 ‘hastas’. The 0 in 270 is the oldest zero that can be seen in India today. So by 876 CE, the Indians had the crucially important use of a place-holding zero at their disposal I a number system that from our modern vantage point was perfect. Their system would have enabled them to compute in a powerful,efficient, and unambiguous way.

But K-127 disappeared during the Khmer Rouge’s rule of terror, when more than 10,000 artifacts were deliberately destroyed. The book is the story how Amir rediscovered K-127 in Cambodia. And finally got it placed in its national museum. Amir also explains how ancient Indian philosophy of ‘sunyata’ and ‘anant’ would have influenced the origin of zero.

After closely examining the two inscriptions, one can observe that while Gwalior Zero is similar to the zero we write today, Khmer zero is only a dot that is more similar to the present day decimal point.

One can easily understand that the zero in both cases must have been invented and used years or century before those numbers were inscribed on the stone slabs both in India as well as Cambodia. With almost all the knowledge of the ancient mathematics and philosophy moving from India to all the southeastern Asian countries, it will be injustice to deny giving the credit for the invention and use of zero to ancient India’s mathematicians.

While reading the book, I always pondered if the government and the intellectuals of India could have done hundred times more to restore the strong link that Indians had over the region expanding from Bali to Korea in North. I also wonder if some researcher or the members of Indian Historical Research. one day would find some earlier zero in undivided Indian mainland.

India must also try to get the dates of the Bakhsahali manuscript agreed to find the ownership of the first available zero India was the first to discover zero. The Bakhshali Manuscript is an Ancient Indian mathematical manuscript written on “birch bark” which was found near the village of Bakhshali in 1881 in what was then the North-West Frontier Province of British India (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan).The Bakhshali manuscript, which is currently too fragile to be examined by scholars, is currently housed in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and is too fragile to be examined by scholars.

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Nitish Kumar: Why I don’t like him anymore?

Nitish Kumar after working for a year or two for some low hanging items of development, went into full electioneering mode with a single objective of keeping the chief ministership of Bihar safe for himself by be-fooling the most illiterate, ignorant and backward people of the least developed state of the country. Nitish is no more a person focused for the growth and development of Bihar and eradication of its poverty.

@. Nitish has allied with family run parties such as Lalu’s RJD and Sonia’s Congress, both corrupt and with no faith in developmental politics.

@. Nitish will have to be casteist in company of Lalu, becoming messiah of Mahadalits, Muslims with Yadavs . Lalu might have agreed to have Nitish as CM but if he wins sufficient number of his own MLAs, he will certainly push out Nitish and run his own agenda. It will affect development and governance. It is not at all a natural alliance. The alliance hardly have faith in making Bihar a strong developed state.

@. Nitish from day one of his era has planned and worked to keep himself in the driving seat of the state. He kept on going on yatras all over the state with that single objective. He never talked about the improvement required in social setups and weaknesses of individual Biharis to improve the image of Bihar and its hardworking people.

@. Nitish certainly did a good work on law and order as well as road construction. But it became noticeable as the previous governments under Lalu and Rabri had created a ‘jungle raj’, and the situation had touched rock bottom.

@. Nitish could not promote any other city but Patna. Even Patna didn’t see the development that other capitals of Indian states have achieved. Gaya, Muzzafarpur, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga could have been improved to much better status. Gaya could certainly become a city of international attraction with an international airport linking SE Asian Budhhist countries.

@. Nitish could have encouraged yoga all over through the educational institutes through reputed Munger school of yoga. Instead he finds satisfaction by criticising Modi for getting Yoga an international event.

@. Nitish hardly did anything to make Bihar a ‘must visit’ state for domestic and foreign tourists with its Budhhist and Hindu circuits and yoga. Yoga could have been a big attraction and source of employment.

@. Nitish failed to encourage and take the traditional art such as Madhubani paintings to the national and international stage. Even his Litti-Chokha could not reach the Indian metros.

@. Nitish with Lalu are satisfied by declaring the people of Bihar as poorest and had hardly taken any out of the box policy to eradicate poverty through empowering. Can they feel proud when a Kashmiri driver tells them too that the agriculture and construction in Kashmir ( perhaps all over India) will collapse if Bihari workers move out?

@. Nitish has hardly done to train and skill its uneducated millions to get a better remuneration and respect in labour market. Is it very difficult to train masons, drivers, electricians, plumbers, tailors or cooks and housekeepers that the migrant workers from the state get engaged in.

@. Nitish didn’t do sufficient work to make solar and biomass electricity light every nook and corner of Bihar to improve the quality of life. If states like Gujarat and Rajasthan can do it, why couldn’t Bihar? Nitish hardly took up major irrigation project to take care of draught with so many rivers criss-crossing the state.

@. Some young entrepreneurs set up their startups in Bihar, but Nitish Kumar did not provide the required assistance and encouragement to scale up in a large manner to impact the economy.

@. Nitish and Lalu with all their clout in Delhi with Manmohan and Sonia hardly did anything to get the projects of the two railway loco plants in Bihar implemented that would potentially make Bihar a manufacturing state if properly executed.

@. Nitish hardly took a significantly large assistance step to encourage MSMEs that all backward states such as Orissa and Madhya Pradesh have been doing.

@. Nitish hardly took any initiative to get set up the proven models of good schools in rural Bihar, where one or more of schools such as Kendriya , Navodaya, or Kashturba Gandhi Vidyalayas are required in each block. As per the media, he was against them, when that can only be the way out to uplift the rural education. Every block of the state must have a good school of that proven model.

@. Nitish Kumar and Lalu have not taken any step to educate the people at large against the mass copying in all examinations in Bihar thereby damaging the image of Bihar.

@. Nitish did not do anything to attract good professional engineering and medical schools, nor he did anything to improve the older educational institutes of higher education to be in the national ranking. Today, Bihar depends totally on other states for good higher education.

@. Nitish Kumar didn’t do anything to stop rather his government encouraged the spread of country liquor shops even in the remotest nook and corner of the state. All the rural habitations of Bihar has lost its old culture, its traditional festivals and I now avoid going to even my own village. Nitish Kumar hardly did anything to involve all the villagers in running the Panchayats. Mostly, it is run by goons of different types with help of some of their sycophant followers.

@. Years ago, I used to get amazed when in my village every one had two questions for any unknown visitor: first what was your caste, and if the visitor happened to tell that he was employed, the obvious question bombarded was if he got some outside income (bribe). The condition is no different even today. Every one earning through wrong means, say bribes, is considered smart. All the hypes of the actions against dishonest employees has not changed the situations. Biharis have earned an image of corrupt. Nitish could not bring any change.

Nitish with Lalu can’t be the answer for the growth of Bihar. It is for the people to decide if they wish Bihar as state in the league of developed states or remain at the bottom of the ranking when all other Bimaru states but that with ‘B’as the first letter, racing ahead.
(To be continued)

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Our Vacation in Kashmir

सुना था, पृथ्वी का स्वर्ग हैं कश्मीर । कुछ महीने ख़्याल आया यमुना के साथ अपनी शादी की हीरक जयन्ती मनाने का। सोचा असली स्वर्ग तो देख न पाऊँगा फिर अपने देश में जो स्वर्ग है उसे क्यों न देख लूँ इस मौक़े पर । बिना किसी को बताये हुये सारी ब्यवस्था की और काश्मीर पहुँच गये, यमुना के साथ ।
First day: We spent the evening in a wonderful sikara ride in Dal Lake.

Second Day: Pahalgam We saw six points, the last the best, Baisaran with wonderful marvellous meadows with tall pine trees and snow clad mountains at distance at 8000 ft from sea level on ponies. The car journey through NH1 along River Lidder was pretty good through rice fields with going on rice transplantation and many shops of Kashmiri dry fruits of various types. We could also see Apple gardens and walnut trees. As I love the archeological sites, I stopped for Martand Temple while returning.

Third Day: Sonmarg along River Sindhu, a tributary of the main Pakistani river, Thajwas Glacier from distance through local Sumo. Except for the snow capped mountains, the experience was not very good, as we could not take the pony ride up to the glacier.

Fourth Day: We went to Gulmarg, good road NH1 and Gulmarg Road; real nice winding valley at 8000 ft from sea level. The drive up to the top for hotel was really wonderful because of the winding road and exciting scenes from the heights.

Fifth Day: Gandola ride up to second stage at 14500 ft from sea level in Gulmarg, up to base from the hotel by snow scooter. I wish there could be a better way to reach the base of the Gandola, and the facility could be more user-friendly for older people. The cleanliness and entertainment facility such as sledge cars at the top was not up to the mark.

Sixth Day: Visited an emporium and an artisan house in a village off Gulmarg road while returning to Srinagar.

I was talking with my driver in Srinagar who comes from a well-to-do family. He is on Facebook too. According to him, the centre does not help the state government so the roads are bad. I tried in my own way to convince him. But it appears a lot of marketing is to be done about the role of state. Srinagar could become Jannat, if Swachh Bharat Aviyan could get a special boost here. The help must come from all in community and particularly institution responsible and involved in the task- municipality, all DMs, IPS officers. Even army with that large a presence can assist. The schools and college must be encouraged to participate. People at large here are very intelligent.

June 13, 2015. I had two engagements while returning to Srinagar from Gulmarg. In the first I met a Kashmiri family of the artisan with wife and three daughters, that engages itself in the fine needlework on the famous pashmina shawls in a village off the Gulmarg Road. In the second I met the deputy director of tourism, J&K and complained against the dismal condition of services provided for thousands of tourists by the providers, and the government must intervene and improve it by providing a feedback forms on the front desks of hundreds of hotels. Both gave me some personal satisfaction.

Seventh day: June 14 (60th marriage anniversary), climbed up to Sankaracharya Temple 290 stairs, built at 1000 ft from sea level by, as some says by King Ashoka’s son Jaluka or Jehangir; Salimar Bagh built by Jehangir for his wife Noor Jehan, Pari Mahal of Dara Shikoh, the son of Shahjahan of Taj Mahal fame and ended with a Shikara ride in Dal Lake, 32 sq. kms in area with Char Chinari, its stationary house boats and floating boats of various types of vendors and shops.

I made two special entries in Facebook:
शादी के साठवें साल गिरह पर

सोने की रातें थीं
चाँदी के दिन
सपनों से बेहतर थे
बीते वे साठ साल
चलते, लड़ते, सँभलते
खोजते नई नई राहें
नये गीत
नयी प्रीत
……….
चलो आज भूलें सब
याद करें मधुर क्षण
मधुर सब
लिये आश….
बीत जाये
बाक़ी भी एेसे ही…..
2
June 14, 2015, Some Scary Experiences: The day being the 60th wedding anniversary, Our first programme was for visiting the Sankaracharya Temple. Yamuna had to stay back at the base station, as it meant to climb some 290 stair steps before reaching the temple. I was alone but took the decision to reach the temple. It is with a huge Lingam in a cave like crude structure. I realised that I was now nearing 76 years of my age and perhaps old by the definition based on age. It was tiring. I was getting breathing difficulty and I had to rest at the flat portions built in after every few stair steps. It was scary, as I was alone. At one point I thought of returning. But I got inspired by the people going ahead- the kids, young and old too – and going up. The last part of the day was to be in sikara for an hour in the evening in Dal Lake. We were enjoying the beauty of the lake. But ver soon, the wind became cool. It became a little too much windy soon and when the water splashed in the sikara, we got scared for a while. However, this time Yamuna was with me along with boat man. A second boat man also joined us to assist in steering the boat, as the owner was seeing the boat and the weather condition from the bank. Very soon we started enjoying it. Yamuna could not visit the temple. But in sikara we were together, got photographed in Kashmiri dress for remembrance, enjoyed the ride and also the Kashmiri kahwa at a floating shop.

June 15, Because of a tyre burst of an Air India flight on the runway of Srinagar Airport, all incoming and outgoing flights got cancelled. We had to stay in Srinagar.
जन्नत से अपने घर ….ख़ुशनुमा मौसम और यह चिपचीपी गरमी.. यही अन्तर है… पर घर की सागरोटी जन्नत में नहीं मिलती….

Kashmir Visit- a simple inference: Kashmiris can easily make the state most developed with highest per capita income. As the saying goes, ‘पहले शकल, फिर अकल’। शक्ल सभी की भगवान ने ही अच्छी दे दी है। Only if the Kashmiri parents start focusing on the modern education of their kids-both girls and boys, the state can go ahead of other states. They can get into all sorts of jobs in all over India. काश्मीरी बड़े हुनरवान हैं और घर से हाथ का काम कर हीं अच्छी कमाई कर लेते हैं परिबार के लिये, चाहे क़ालीन बुनना हो या शाल पर कढ़ाई करनी हो या लकड़ी या काग़ज़ की बस्तुयें बनानी हो। कब कुछ लोग इन्हें गुमराह करना छोड़ेंगे। होटलों में लडकें इतनी तमीज़ से बात करते हैं । हाँ, लड़कियाँ अभी उतनी तादाद में नहीं आ रहीं हैं।

Eighth Day: Yusmarg, about 65 kms from Srinagar, very mesmerising scenic huge meadow. As the story goes, Jesus Christ passed through Yusmarg valley. The “Yus” of Yusmarg is the short form of Youza or Jesus and marg means a meadow.

Near the villages of Naugam and Nilmag, about 40 kilometers south of Srinagar is a large plain called the Yuz Marg, the meadow of Jesus. It is said that from Murree, Jesus proceeded to Srinagar entering Kashmir from the pass now called Yuz Marg, and he rested at Aish Muqam, about 50 miles south of Srinagar, where a sanctuary was erected containing the horns of ‘God’s ram’ and a walking stick that is considered Moses’ stick, later used by Jesus. It is also here that some of the tribes of Israel are supposed to have settled after 722 BCE to live as shepherds, which is still a major occupation in the area today.

Finally, after a lot of worried moments we could get a flight from the airliner for June 17 at 5.15PM from Srinagar reaching Noida home by 9pm via Chandigarh. As my cell phone has a prepaid shim, I could not use it in Kashmir. J&K allows only the use of post-paid cell phone. But with pretty good Wi-Fi in hotels, I could remain in contact with Anand and Rajesh.

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Make-in-India:How China is Killing Manufacturing

I had been writing about the Chinese manufacturing since 2005 after I had visited US and read there a lot on the Chinese manufacturing during my stay of six months. Every developed manufacturing country then was tired of the Chinese fakes including India. Even the Baja Auto fakes were available in the Chinese market. This article however is based on an article that appeared in ‘India Today’. It has become more relevant after the ‘make-in-India’ campaign of Modi. It is also very important when a finance minister makes a statement on the country’s concern on its CAD. This article shows how Indian manufacturing sector has been spineless over the years.

Unscrupulous Indian traders are snatching the work from the hands of craftsmen, artisans, and weavers of India, are taking the samples from India to China, are getting manufactured the fakes in China, and importing them to sell to the ignorant Indian buyers. “The display at the small shop of Zhao Qingfeng, Yijie Crafts Company in the the Yiwu commodity market include the paintings and statues of more than half a dozen Hindu deities such a Tanjore-style painting of baby Krishna or the distinctive Saraswati-on-a-lotus portraits that are a common sight in many Indian homes. These paintings, crafted almost perfectly in Cangnan, one of the many bustling factory towns in Zhejiang province in China’s southern manufacturing heartland. From Cangnan’s factories, the gods and goddesses make their way to the sprawling Yiwu commodity market.

If there’s a “Made in China” product in your home, chances are it passed through Yiwu at some point along its Chinese supply chain.You cannot walk 10 yards through the Yiwu market without stumbling across a trader from India. Yiwu’s suppliers themselves say that trade with India, above all, drives their businesses. Every year, around 400,000 Indian businessmen descend on Yiwu, accounting for three out of every four foreign businessmen in the city. There are 250-odd Indian trading companies with permanent partnerships in Yiwu city, where around 1,000 Indians now reside permanently. Yiwu shipped $750 million worth of goods to India last year-more than any other country. Indian companies find it cheaper to send designs to a factory in rural Zhejiang and have products- whether a baby Krishna painting or custom-made furniture or children’s toys-shipped to Kolkata or Mumbai.” Is it an illustration of the success of the China supply chain or the failures of Indian manufacturing, or its murder by the India traders? The story goes further. It is actually common for Indian traders to be held in hotels as “collateral” while payments are due. There are traders from every corner of India patrolling the corridors of the Yiwu market, looking for bargains.

On a recent afternoon, spotted was a trader from Rajasthan procuring cartons of “authentic” Rajasthani jewellery from a Chinese entrepreneur. “All these foreign tourists who buy traditional jewellery in Jaipur,” the trader chuckled, “it all comes from Yiwu.”A trader from Chennai said there was now a factory in Zhejiang that was even producing “authentic” Kancheepuram silk sarees-Kancheepuram weavers had reportedly even been flown in to Zhejiang by an enterprising Chinese company for their brains to be picked -that were now being sold in Tamil Nadu to unwitting buyers (investigations into this company’s whereabouts did, however, prove fruitless).”

I want to ask if the ongoing business of these fakes is legal and if the government of India too encourages it. If not, why can’t the government take some effective steps to stop the business of these Chinese fakes? It’s done world over. Almost every developed country has experienced the menace of the Chinese fakes.

Today, electronic equipment comprises the bulk of China’s exports to India, but why it be followed by machinery, engines and pumps, organic chemicals, fertilisers, iron and steel, and plastics that have sufficient manufacturing know how and capacity in India? India has from April to December 2014 a trade gap of $37 billion. Surprisingly China imports from India mainly raw materials, though India exports a lot of sophisticated engineering goods to many developed countries too. Indian enterprises import because it’s easier. Over the years, the imports have gone on increasing. The government hardly showed any concern. Why should the Indian OEMs take the pain of developing vendors as Maruti Suzuki did it in initial period or when the government does not show any concern about the import of all sorts to any extent?

Today, as much as 80 per cent of power plant equipment for Indian projects is sourced from China, even though India has now sufficient manufacturing capacity and the quality is better. China is dumping them as those are available off selves because of over production. And further it is a known fact that the Chinese manufacturers provide all sort of illegal benefits to the Indian buyers that can’t be done by Indian manufacturers, particularly the PSUs.

In 2013-14, imports of products such as engine pistons, transmission drives and steering and body components totalled $2.6 billion and comprised 21 per cent of auto imports to India. India, on the other hand, exported parts worth only $300 million to China. Indian auto parts manufacturers have better brand image. Many of them are recipients of Deming Prize for quality. They export to many global auto manufacturers world over. But still they can’t export to China. The problem is more shocking for the aftermarket parts. “The aftermarket requirements of auto parts in India is estimated to be around $6 billion and over 36 per cent of this is counterfeit, mostly coming from China.” Here too the samples of the parts reach the Chinese manufacturers through traders who are importing the fakes. Why are the Indian OEMs quiet on this? The business of Indian spare parts manufacturers is dwindled.

Even a low tech item such PVC pipe and lightings are mainly Chinese in market. With demand for PVC pipes rising rapidly from irrigation projects, Chinese imports are handy. Why can’t the Indian manufacturers increase their capacity to meet the requirements? The large number of Home Town and Home Centre outlets of furnitures and fittings of Future Group are all imported from Malaysia. Why can’t the Future Group develop it from local sources if IKEA can do it? Why doesn’t the government raise even a finger?

Should not the government of India take some corrective steps for these skewed imports from China? How can the CAD be improved? How can the ‘Make in India’ happen? No amount of campaign can solve this dismal situation. The government must intervene.

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A Bihar Battle for Becoming Emperor

I don’t know why the recent political development in Bihar reminds me of the year when Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha had proposed a merger of West Bengal with Bihar. Dr. B C Roy agreed first. But very soon Dr. Roy could understand his mistake, and he retreated. The going-ons for a Janata Parivar alliance must take some lessons from history.

Historically, Nitish replaced the misrule or jungle raj of Lalu Prasad and his clan and ruled Bihar successfully with BJP.
But Nitish’s ego ran supreme and he broke the alliance with BJP in most unceremonious manner before the general election. Nitish has not understood the people’s mind correctly and lost poorly to BJP alliance in Lok Sabha poll in 2014.

Nitish also tried a sabbatical leave by putting Manjhi as chief minister. It must have been in poor taste if not for him but certainly for the people of Bihar. It was certainly a blot in Nitish’s political career. Manjhi has been removed unceremoniously. All those must have gone against Nitish. But then Nitish tried to form a grand alliance against BJP alliance. It appears to have failed. Mulayam has ditched. Now Nitish is trying to go to poll with an alliance or merger with his one time greatest foe Lalu Prasad.

Lalu Prasad has refused to commit Nitish Kumar as the chief ministerial face for the Bihar elections. Nitish forgets that Lalu now has two of his sons helping him in his politics of Bihar. A tough situation awaits Nitish. It will not be that easy to work with Lalu. Even if his alliance with Lalu wins (though the chance is little) and Lalu agrees to have Nitish as chief minister, Nitish will never have the same comfort as he was having with BJP as an ally. There will certainly be a second centre of power that will have its headquarter in Lalu’s family house with Lalu’s playing their own cards at different critical occasions. Bihar and its development will suffer.

I am sure the people of Bihar who though vote for caste in many cases, will play their cards intelligently and will understand the totally loose loose condition with Nitish-Lalu win. A BJP led alliance with full support from the centre will certainly serve the interest of the people of Bihar better.

Bihar needs a government that moves on real development in the state. It must focus on quality education that is not damaged by the exponential boom of coaching centres. All the institutions of higher educations- colleges, universities, medical and engineering colleges, skilling institutes, other professional technical institutes focus on quality teaching. Rogue teachers, students and goons are eliminated with a heavy hand. The government focuses on the growth of MSMEs to reach every village. Small land holders must be encouraged to shift from traditional crops to vegetables, fruits, fishery, commercial plantations and animal husbandry. All canals must be widened with solar parks on it and good roads on both sides. Panchayats must run effectively and a plan to reduce the number of family under BPL to zero over next ten years must be put in place. If not in all the parameters but certainly in some, Bihar must get into the category of better states where the people of the state love to live peacefully with all amenities and never think of leaving.

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