An Open Letter to PM: Industry and Academia

I was the batch-mate of Prof. BB Pandey at IIT, Kharagpur. I had met him first on the day I had gone to IIT, Kharagpur with my grandfather for the interview, well back in 1957. I joined Mechanical Engineeing while he chose Civil. I joined industry, he continued with academia. But we remained contact. Pandeyji is a devoted academician. I giving below his letter to PMO. I wish PM calls such people and hear them.

BBPandey, Advisor, Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy,Civil engineering Department, Professor(retd) and Ex-Head, Civil Engineering, mob:9434054439; 21st April,2015

Honourable Sri Narendra Modijee
The Prime Minister of India
Sub: Taking India to new heights by utilising IITs, NITs and other academic and research Institutions
1. I feel happy that you are making all-out effort to bring industries from abroad to make India a manufacturing hub and thereby creating huge job opportunity for young men and women apart from large economic benefits that may accrue from it. It is also well known that the foreign firms will never reveal their secrets and key parts of machinery will always come from abroad. There is very little chance of any technology transfer to Indian engineers.
2. It is therefore, necessary to utilise intellectual capability of our talented young men and women so that they develop and invent new products and make India a developed nation . The students of IITs are very talented since the best young talents join IITs after a very tough two stage screening process. As per my 50 years of long experience at IIT Kharagpur as a faculty, I feel confident that students of IITs can develop anything from robots to rockets if they are motivated to do exciting problems. Students of varied specialisations live in hostels and this is their strength which even professors do not have. Any development needs knowledge of diverse subjects and joining hands with experts in different areas should be the way out. IIT Kharagpur is the first in the chain of IITs and the very first film on the IIT Kharagpur(the only IIT then) made by Film division of India in 1957 shown in different cinema halls in India clearly informed the public that IITs would produce engineers who would make everything needed by India from aeroplanes to big ships; and India would be self-sufficient. But this is still a distant dream. Even IITs import equipment at a great cost which possibly they could have made with some joint effort and liberal funding. Sufficient investment in coordinated time bound research with a set milestone has not been made in India and we have been falling far behind other countries at a rapid rate. We are importing many things which can be easily made in India if we make honest attempts. MAKE IN INDIA slogan is to be implemented. If scientists and engineers of different specialisations join hands, there is nothing we cannot do. In spite of efforts by Directors, most engineering and science disciplines of different Institutes in India are compartmentalised and interactions among them is limited unlike top universities of the developed countries. Individually we are highly knowledgeable, but collectively we count little and we have yet make impact towards making India a developed country.

3. I suggest that all the Ph.D. and master’s research in IITs and other top Institutes should be on live problems facing India with clear objectives so that we become richer year after year by investment in research. Unlike Indian universities, our students find research in USA and Europe very exciting because they work on live problems . Such problems are more difficult than an invented problem for thesis work. Direct contribution to the wealth of the country in terms of science and technology, products, knowledge should get major emphasis and not merely working on publication oriented research with costly imported equipment. If the Government does not utilise IITs in a big way by providing fund for solving live problems, professors will invent problems requiring less funds for Ph.D. and Master’s theses which may not have direct impact on society though trained man power is always an asset. Sponsored research projects produce good output.
4 We build roads that are damaged in one rain. This is repeated again and again. There is something wrong with our standards. I myself deal with road related matter and framed standards on behalf of the Indian Roads Congress responsible for making standards for Roads in India. The government should involve IITs and other academic institutions in a big way.
5 Faculty of academic Institutes should be given good salary and all activity connected with sponsored research and industrial consultancy should be part and parcel of the academic activity. Funds collected can go towards fees ,assistanceship, repair of equipment, housing, medical facility etc for scholars etc.

Yours faithfully

Prof B.B.Pandey,IIT Kharagpur,West Bengal April 21,2015

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Make in India: Aircrafts

Be it Boeing, Airbus or recently in news France’s Dassault Aviation, all will have a win-win situation by setting up manufacturing facilities in India, may be, by roping in an Indian partner to jointly manufacture aircrafts in different categories. India though has agreed to buy 36 Rafales from Dassault, as its next step it may pursue the French firm to sign up an Indian partner and form a joint venture company in which the local firm could own up to 51 per cent stake. The JV firm could execute the contract to supply the remaining planes. Tata can be one of the good prospective local players with lot of expertise in aircraft components. Tata can be a player in manufacturing of helicopters too that are required in pretty good numbers in the entire region.

Even for civil aircrafts, India and it’s region,the fastest growing one in the world with huge market makes the Make-in-India strategy a commercially viable proposition. For example as per one estimate, ‘India would need 1,600 more aircraft over the next 20 years – that’s explosive growth. India’s 400 million strong middle class – by far the biggest in the world, hanker for efficient connectivity between district towns to state capitals, and then with the metros of the country and the destinations abroad. All this creates demand for better air services. Mahindra with a small aircraft manufacturing company in Austalia in its fold and its intention to extend that manufacturing to India, can be good vendor for locally flying machines.

With China and Pakistan, the unscrupulous neighbours for our peace loving democracy, a similar high demand will persist in airforce machines too. HAL may focus on such machine. The success of Tejas must have given confidence of manufacturing competitive products for airforce.

India is also strategically located as manufacturing base with advantage of having huge talented human resources for R&D and design centres, obvious because of the so many development centres of big MNCs in manufacturing sector. India facilities can supply to the entire region.

A growing number of reputed business groups, Tatas, M&M, Bharat Forge, Wipro as well as new entrepreneurs such as Dynamatic Technologies, Aequs, Titan’s Precision Engineering are already setting up facilities for manufacturing components for sector and are ready to be reliable vendors for aviation sector. Dynamatic supplies flap track beams for the A330 family of Airbus long-range jets. Dynamatic will soon supply directly to Airbus and thus become the first Indian private sector company to become a global Tier-I supplier to Airbus.The outsourced commercial aerospace manufacturing appears to be taking root in India. Wipro has invested Rs 60 crore in its new seven-acre facility in Bangalore. Mahindra Group has invested $70 (Rs 420 crore) million in its Bangalore facility. Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), Tata Sons’ subsidiary for its aerospace and defence business, has invested in an aerospace manufacturing facility in Adibatla, near Hyderabad. Tata Advanced Systems Ltd produces the Sikorsky S92 fuselage (main cabin) as a single source in India. It also rolled out the first cabin for S92, a four-bladed helicopter in November 2011 and the company has produced more than 80.Mahindra Aerospace plant in Bangalore will assemble components and aerostructures in sheet metal, machining, and special processing. It is doing simple to complex detailed parts and doing sub-assemblies, and can start doing larger aerostructures. Wipro makes actuators for landing gears.Titan’s Precision Engineering Division makes machined components for aero engines and engine accessories. Its customers include the UTC Group (a Tier-I supplier), Prat and Whitney, and Rolls Royce, among others.

As reported, “Airbus plans to increase its Indian outsourcing from $400 million to $2 billion in next five years.” May be the next step for Airbus will be to start the aggregating facility in India. Moreover as reported in media, “Airbus is willing to set up final assembly lines and establish supply chains and related infrastructure for military transport aircraft and helicopters in India. Airbus Defence and Space has submitted a joint proposal with Tata to produce the modern C-295 aircraft in India as a replacement for the ageing Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force.The division also plans to develop and manufacture electronic sensors with a partner in India and has advanced discussions to support Hindustan Aeronautics’ (HAL) combat aircraft programme.”

HAL facilities with the type of management and its past record will not be able to meet the total critical requirement of the nation. It still continues to manufacture everything in-house and has failed to develop the required number of reliable vendors for its product lines. It will require a re engineering of its facilities based on different product categories- military operational, helicopters, transport planes. It will have to have integrated design and development centres with each of the divisions. I do’t know under government if HAL can become a global class player in aircraft manufacturing.

All these factors must make the global players in aircraft manufacturing to set up their aircraft aggregating assembly shops in India.

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Meghdootam Park Needs Make-up

Noida Authirity must endeavour to make Meghdootam Park a model park with world class facilities that include the toilets too. It must become a topmost landmark for Noida and must be good enough to attract all the first time visitors/tourists to Noida to come to Meghdootam Park and to enjoy its uniqueness. As it seems, the development work suddenly stopped as the Mayawati Raj ended. Few suggestions are here:

1. It must create a light and sound programme based on the theme of Kalidas’ ‘Meghdootam’ to be shown once in the week to start with. Music system must also play some times both the Sanskrit, Hindi audio of Meghdootam besides playing the best of the bhajans of all Indian languages or its tunes instead of one that is played now which are perhaps by local artists.The music system must be extended through all along the outer and inner tracks. The amphitheatre must organise dance drama/show on Meghdootam.

2. An officer must be appointed to oversee this park work in Noida Authority for cleanliness, may be a common one that may include the RWA Centre/Club near by. There are two already built structures on the two sides of the main gate that were perhaps to have Meghdootam Park inscribed in English and Hindi. It should be completed nicely.

3. The park should have a rose garden and a corner with exotic and medicinal plants integrated in it. NA must build a separate small structure in one corner for store instead of using a toilet complex as store.

4. The covered trash bins are either maintained and kept covered or removed all together. All the covers of electrical panels must remain closed.

5. The water falls must run at least on the two days in a week. All the housing associations around the park must have water harvesting system feeding the park after recycling, if required.

6. All roads and roadside filth around the great park must get removed more frequently, and the temporary structures of the vendors demolished by police or NA in actions against unauthorised structures, must be removed.

7. The frontage of the park must not have any more super structure. It should remain vacant and green with plants or be used as ground for kids for playing instead of the park premises being used for practising football or cricket.

8. Let NA appoint a professional Indian consultant to come out and implement the action plan to take Meghdootam Park to a theme-based global class park.

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बिरोधी दोस्तों

हे बिरोधी दोस्तों

किस का बिरोध है मुझसे
अगर है भी तो मुझे कहो
क्यों बनते हो देश का बिरोधी
रोकते हो उस रथ को
जो आज निकल सकता है
सबसे आगे
करोडों की अाकांक्षाएें
पहियों में समाई हुयी,
कोटि और गति देने
का साहस लिये कंधों में,
कोटि कोटि और हैं
ब्यस्त साथ देने को
यही था मत उनका
न बरगलाओ, न बहकाओ
साथ आओ अपनी कहानी बनायें
अब दुनिया देखे
हम बहुत उन्हें देख लिये
आओ अपने बल पर
अपना सूरज चाँद बनायें……
“भव्य मन्दिर बन रहा है
श्वेद का जल दो….

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My Views from My Scrap Book

Arun Jaitley Let the banks pull up the reality sector to get the projects completed in time and will quality norms, as the bank finances both the builders as well as buyers. Quite a bit of NPAs of the banks because of this sector too.
If the college requires a minimum of 70-80 percent attendance as mandatory, why should it be made mandatory for middle, secondary and higher secondary classes? The same should be true for the parliamentarians, otherwise they must shun talking about building discipline.
All the teachers of IITs must develop a common course materials for different subjects in categories such as elementary, mature, higher for all six years of specialised training and education in universities of (2+4) years. The students must pursues a minimum credit hours from all those courses for Bachelor and MS Degrees. Instead of general colleges teaching humanities and science subjects. A new way should be followed for the higher education, such College of Science and Apllied Science, College of Languages, College of Physical Sciences, College of History and Historical Sciences, and so on….
With the limitation and difficulties for land acquisition, the future projects of irrigation must be made with multi purpose usages. While the irrigation canal is built, it may also provide for installations of solar panels on the top of it as done in Gajarat. The two sides of the canal can have at least 4- lane roads all along its length connecting the habitations along it. In the same way, two permanent pit can take utilities such electric cable for power, or glass fibre cable for Broad band internet or gas line. Many innovative changes will have come with the progress of the new age technologies.
Airtel shows an ad where some young men are shown giving a mechanised vehicle for ice-cream sales as when they were kids the vendor gave them ice creams or ice balls free. I don’t know how many such cases would be there, but it is certainly a great gesture to be emulated by other young men who can afford it.
Sharad Yadav is in news for wrong reason. Yadav made a sexist remark. Perhaps he never knew to use the right words. I don’t know why these old politicians who are obsolete in every respect not leaving the arena for younger generation. Mulayam, Sharad, Lalu all must leave the active politics or shown the way as Modi did for Advani and Joshi.
The most basic in weaponry-the family of small arms comprises of rifles, pistols, carbines and light machine guns. Every now and then the local media report about the local rural/ semi-urban craftsmen such as blacksmiths are manufacturing these arms replicating some foreign brands. If they can produce, why can’t the talents of organised sectors can do it if they are offered the opportunity. Basically there are relatively simpler mechanical devices produced with special machine tools commercially available in open market. Technologies are pretty much known.Wouldn’t it make sense to set the goal that within two or three years, we will begin manufacturing the best contemporary family of small arms in the world at the least cost? Let the world be flooded with the Indian version of the Kalashnikov! However, I am of opinion that the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Ordnance Factory Board and the Defence Public Sector Undertakings- all require some sort of re-engineering.
There are always a high and low point in one’s professional life. For our former PM, Manmohan Singh is also true. I do’t know what would be highest point. Perhaps it was his role in liberalisation in early 90s, if I join the group that does not want to give that credit to PVNR. But the worst point has come now with a summon from a court. And no one but he himself is to be blamed. As Sekhar Gupta writes, he could have resigned.
The government must come out with a strict policy on unauthorised constructions and encroachments in metros and cities, small and big. Left to politicians and police, some day some so called deprived ones will construct jhuggies, shanties in and outside the Rashtrapati Bhawan too. Politicians such as Mamta Banerjee will authorise and legalise constructions on all the pavements as recently done in Kolkata and on platforms besides in the railway land on both sides of tracks all over the country.

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Controversial Land Acquisition Bill: Some View

Land Acquisition Bill for fertile agricultural land
1.(A) must restrict the temptation by the entrepreneur to demand adhoc and excessive land for the facility. (B)The facility must explore multi flooring and modular for future expansion. (C)The company must not treat the land as its property to make money in future, as it has happened with closed units that was leased huge amount of land by then government almost free, as it happened with factories of Hindustan Motors.

2.Landownership for infrastructure such as port, road or irrigation canals must for all the time remain with central government with a special police department to eliminate encroachment with strict laws for encroachment.

3. Highways must have plantation only on the dividing spaces of the up and down lanes and not on sides to accommodate future widening without uprooting the trees.

4. Encroachment law must ensure the avoidance of mushrooming of unauthorised structures on government land. Building for an off the road infrastructure of utility must be the part of built in initial design. No filthy future construction along the road on both sides must be part of road planning. This can avoid of building of bypasses again and again after some years and the huge social cost.

5. Rural housing of BPL categories must be on government land and high rising units of two sizes with common quality infrastructure, otherwise it is only creating future eyeshore. Multi storied structures may also result in better social equity and integration. BPL families must be encouraged to plant trees of commercial and own it to provide them some security. All around big metros huge multi-storied dormitories are built with all infrastructure facilities to accommodate flux of migrant workers to avoid mushrooming of shanties and future unauthorised colonies.

6. Vast fowl land on the side of highways should be used for industrial clusters instead of fertile agriculture land. For example, a good use of such land was made to build first IIT in Kharagpur. Tata Motors would have preferred to use that type of land instead of selecting Singur.

I wish many such anomalies are considered to save the nation’s limited fertile land

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रात की तन्हाइ का आनन्द

रात की तन्हाइ में
किताबें कुछ ज़्यादा कह जाती हैं
कवितायें कुछ ज़्यादा
गुनगुनाती हैं,
गुदगुदाती हैं
कहानियां कुछ अपनी बीती
याद दिलाती हैं
अहसास कराती हैं
कुछ ग़लतियों की
जो जीवन बदल
सकती थीं
दर्शन सहज सुगम बन
कुछ राह बदल देता है
सब ओर के सन्नाटे के आलम में
दीवारें, छत, एवं फ़र्स पास
और आ जातीं हैं
बहुत कुछ दर्शाते हैं
अनजानी लकीरों से
परिचित चेहरों में बदल बदल
कुछ याद दिला
जातें हैं
छः दसकों से ज़्यादा का है
यह सिलसिला
हर दिन अभी भी रहता है
रात की तन्हाइ का
कुछ नयी राह पाने का
चलता रहे यह सिलसिला ़़़………

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