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June 1, 2017 / subramanyam

Achche Din

Last week the NDA – 2  government led Shri Narendara Modi completed 3 years.  We had some channels doing the mood of the nation surveys, many others are giving us the non-stop coverage on Cows and other related issues .   However, not many channels bothered to give the actual facts and figures on how the government fared in the last 3 years.

Here are  the details on the how the government performed some vital areas.

Number of Village left Unelectrified
2014: 18452
2017 : 3937 
Grameen Vidyutikaran – Minister : Piyush Goyal
Number of new LPG connections
2004 – 2014: 5.3 Cr
2014 – 2017 : 6.95 Cr
Ujjawala Yojana – Minister : Dharmendra Pradhan
Electronic manufacturing in India
2014: ₹11,198 Cr.
2017: ₹1,43,000 Cr.
Make In India – Minister : RS Prasad
Mobile Banking in India
2013-14: 94.7 million
2017: 722.2 million
Digital India – Minister: RS Prasad, Manoj Sinha
Sanitation Coverage
2014: 42%
2017: 64%
Swachh Bharat Minister : Narendra Tomor
Ease of doing business in India
(Ranking by World Bank)
2014-15: 142
2016: 130
No Minister, Credit Goes To NITI Ayog led by Amitabh Kant
WEFs Travel and Tourism Ranking
2014: 65th
2017: 40th
Incredible India Minister : Mahesh Sharma
Solar Power Generation
2014: 2,621 MW
2017: 12,277 MW
Renewables Minister: Piyush Goyal
Optical Fibre Network (Including Rural)
2013-14: 358 Kms
2017: 2,05,404 Kms
Best Accomplishment – Minister : Manoj Sinha, Past : RS Prasad
Rural Road Construction
2011 – 2014: 81,095 Kms
2014-2017: 1,20,233 Kms
Super Speed of Road Minister : Nitin Gadkari
Coal Production
2013-14: 462 Million Tones
2016-17: 554 million Tones
You will be happy to know that Now Coal Thermal Project are getting cancelled because of Solar, We are surplus in both – Coal and Renewables  Minister : Piyush Goyal
New toilets Construction
2013-14: 49.76 Lakh
2016-17: 2.09 Crores
Swachh Bharat – Minister : Narendra Tomor and Venkaiyya Naidu
FDI
2014: $24.2 USD
2017: $56.3 USD
Liberal and Open Economy Minister : Arun Jaitley
GDP Growth
2014: 6.6%
2017: 7.1%
Minister : Arun Jaitley
Fiscal Deficit
2013-14: 4.6%
2017: 3.2%
Incredible Show of Fiscal Discipline
Minister : Arun Jaitley
Inflation
2014: 11%
2017: 4%
Once again The Boss of Performance Minister : Arun Jaitley
Electrification in Railway doubled 
Speed of Doubling of Railway line is twice in Congress time 
Super Trains like Mahanama, Gatiman, Tejas and Humsafar launched 
Cleanliness to providing Internet at Stations to Redevelopment of Stations 
Status of Railways has also improved sharply for sure 
Minister : Suresh Prabhu

 

For Sure these ministers are doing a great job a applause to all of them.  This has been one of the best governments that India has ever witnessed.

 

Source : Forward on WA.  I verified most of the facts and they are true.

May 25, 2017 / subramanyam

My First YLP…

Some two months ago there was a Facebook post from Ravi Teja, the Club growth director of District 98 ToastMasters. The post spoke about an opportunity for a new Youth Leadership Program (YLP) program in Hyderabad and Ravi was looking for volunteers. As I was not a part of any YLP before, I volunteered to be a part of this one.

Soon I was added to a WhatsApp group, and we had an invite from Ravi to be a part of the first meeting. I am an indolent guy and the weekends make me more slothful than usual. I turned up 30 mins late for the first session. Thanks to Ravi who was patient enough to keep up with me.

The surprises began as we started for the first meeting, I was pleasantly surprised to know that Prashanti, a relative of mine,  was one of the persons who was spearheading the initiative. We drove for about 40 mins and reached KGNMT@Hydershakote in Hyderabad. KGNMT in Hyderabad houses children/teenagers who are forced to stay away from their parents. The reasons vary from case to case, in some cases, the parents would have committed some crimes, in some cases, the kids would have lost a parent or both the parents, in some cases, they are rescued from trafficking, etc.

Now meeting these girls and their councilors was in itself an experience. While I was still preparing as to what to do, thinking as to how to approach the kids? How to speak to them etc … Ravi announced that I would lead the YLP here. He did ask me before, but I accepted it before knowing the school and the kids.

I had mixed feelings when I had to take the session on CC2 the next week. However, the Neophyte’s serendipity (don’t blame me for sounding like Shashi Tharoor, but I was as confused as these words are :-)) came to my rescue. To my luck, each of the girls there was very supportive, and they were receptive to whatever I said. To begin with, they were all very shy and making them speak even for a minute was a huge challenge for me. However, there was something in these girls that made me go there every week. The dedication they showed, the sincerity with which they asked questions, the way they supported each other were amazing.

I spent six weekends with these girls, and every week the only thing I did was to ensure that a session on CC speech will happen and each of the girls would speak. The Almighty was gracious, and He ensured that people like Sai, Vamshi and Jayashree garu were there with me and gave their wholehearted support.

Those girls were indeed determined to learn the art of public speaking; they made notes of almost everything I spoke and gave their best shot every week. The girls started with speeches in Telugu. In the first two weeks, it was tough for them to make a 3-minute speech. Session after session, week after week I saw small changes happen. One week a girl would surprise me with a wonderful speech, the same girl would disappoint me the next week by running away from the dais. A girl who was eloquent in her Telugu speech would try a speech in English the next week; someone else would come up with a topic that would make my eyes go moist etc..

 In the midst of all this, one constant thing across the program was that the girls were hell bent on improving themselves. the co-operation I received from Vamshi, Sai and Jayashree mam in this regard is invaluable. I thank them for all the insights they gave and the way they added value to the program.

In the last session that we did on this Sunday (21-May-2017) we had ten girls giving their speeches. 4 of them gave their speeches in English. Every girl spoke for a minimum of 5 mins and did their speeches at a CC5 level. They were equally good with table topics and evaluations.  In fact one of the girls almost chided Vamshi for not following some tenets of CC4. My joy knew no bounds that day. I was euphoric to see the girls give such excellent speeches and awesome evaluations. Their thoughts on the contemporary subjects and events were amazing. They shared their views on Nirbhaya, the greed of humanity, child marriages, child labor and various other issues. In fact, this YLP helped me listen to the best speech I ever heard on mother and the motherly love.

As the YLP ended last week, I was left with mixed feelings.  Nevertheless the journey was indeed satisfying.

IMG_20170521_144944.jpg

Ravi is clicking the Selfie, Vamshi is standing behind him, the  woman with bright smile is  Jayashree mam and your’s truly is holding the white board. 

There are a few moments in our life that fill us with extreme satisfaction, and then the words fall short to describe as to what we experience then. YLP was one such thing for me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank Ravi, Prasanthi and the girls @ KGNMT for giving me this opportunity. Thank you very much.

May 1, 2017 / subramanyam

UK’s new problem.

At the outset, my intention is not insult anyone or religion.  However, if some one abuses others using their religion that is definitely unacceptable to me.  That is the sole reason behind this post. 

Now Check this video, look at the way this man was speaking about the way he wants the people in London to be dressed. This is shocking to say the least,  Is this what happens when a community turns into the majority in a place.   Why won’t the laws of land apply there ?

Look at the audacity with which this man speaks to the reporter who is trying to interview him.  Can the UK act against these maniacs who are trying to control the life of others just because they have become a majority in one place.

Then we had this fight in the train where the women  were commented upon and abused.  Good that those women fought back.

Here is what person who put up the video wrote as description for the video.

Excluding all of these racist comments that some bigoted idiots have put online, I must reiterate that I was there and it all started when the white girl noticed the somalian girls steering at her and making comments under their breaths, after a while the white girl asked them, ‘Why do you keep on looking at me?. The Somalian girls responded by saying, ‘We’re free to look at whoever we want’, the 2 parties then started arguing about this for nearly 10 minutes and neither of them backed down. After a while the white girl said ‘ I’ve dealt with many people like you and I won’t be intimidated’. When the Somalian girls heard the White girl say ‘People like you’, they assumed she was talking about their religion or race, they then said’ What do you mean people like us? Somalian? Muslim?? Well you’re nothing but a ‘White Slag’. When I heard the term ‘White slag’ I was shocked and that’s when I started filming. To be honest, I filmed this to show the ignorance of people. Ignorance knows no colour or religion.

I concur with her that Ignorance is playing a big role in this sort of situations.  However, I believe that brainwashing people that they belong to a superior faith and everyone else is inferior is also playing a huge role in this sort of incidents.  This is an alarming situation that Britain has got to deal with immediately,  else things are bound to get out of control for the nation.

April 26, 2017 / subramanyam

Protests of Farmers from TamilNadu : My Musings.

I have great respect for Tamils. While I was never a resident of TamilNadu, I tried learning Tamil and a thing or two about the land that was ruled by the great Cholas and Pandyas.

The unity of the Tamils and some wonderful leadership from the likes of Rajaji, Kamaraj, Anna, MGR ensured that TamilNadu was far ahead of the other southern states post-Independence. Populism reached it’s peak during the regimes of Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa. Now that Amma Jayalalithaa has left the world and Kalaignar Karunanidhi is out of active politics, the state seems to be headed for turbulent times.

We saw protests for Jallikattu and the way things could have gone out of control if not for the quick action of the then CM. Then we had the Cola ban; now we see the protests by the farmers. Of the three, the protests of the farmers is a tough one to understand.

See, Agriculture is a state subject. So anything with respect to Agriculture must be solved at the state level. These farmers were protesting near Jantar Mantar instead of the state capital. This is the first difficult thing to understand. They resolve to acts like stripping themselves naked, drinking urine, etc. which are terrible acts and unexpected from self-respecting farmers. Then, they called off the protest when their Chief Minister gave them assurance and not the central government. Isn’t it puzzling? You start the protest expecting the center to talk and call it off when the state government talks.

Now, let us look at the major demands of the farmers.
1. 40000 crore rupee package for the drought relief in Tamilnadu.
2. Waiver of Farm Loans
3. Interlinking of Rivers.

Let us look at each of these demands.

1. Drought Relief: It is true that TamilNadu is facing a drought-like situation. However, 40,000 crore packages for drought are unheard of. It is considered a huge achievement if a district manages to get 100 crore rupees for drought relief. The Center has already released 2200 crores for the drought relief. According to TN government websites, paddy is cultivated in 25 lakh hectares in the state. When you look at the funds sanctioned it is close to 9000 Rupees per Hectare. Now instead of questioning the state government as to how these funds were spent why are the farmers questioning the center?

2. Waiver of Farm Loans: This is totally a state subject. The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have waived off the loans for their farmers in 2014. Since then they have been allocating Rs. 5000 Crores to 10,000 crores in every budget for loan waiver. In UP, BJP promised that they would waive the loans if they come to power. Once they came to power, the union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has clearly said that the waiver will come from the state government only and not from the center. Again, someone has clearly misguided the farmers, and they were protesting at the JantarMantar for this.

3. Interlinking of Rivers: The center is working on this and is encouraging the state to start on this. AP has already interlinked Godavari and Krishna rivers using Pattiseema. It is true that Interlinking of Rivers was a project that Shri Vajpayee ji envisioned and that can definitely change the face of the country. The center might be working on it, but a lot more is desired from the NDA-2 on this.

What could have happened: Honestly the way the TN government worked here raises serious doubts. The political instability in the state seems to be taking a toll on the people now. See, the central government of India launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana for farmers to ensure their crops by paying only 2% of the insurance cost; This scheme protects them from all disasters as well all natural calamities. The schemes had a rousing reception in the country, and we had 3.9 crore farmers enrolling for it for the Kharif season of 2016. In contrast, we had only 16056 farmers in Tamilnadu who joined this scheme. Whom do we blame for this, the political instability in TamilNadu or the Government machinery (employees and departments) who should have ensured that the farmers get enrolled?

Also, it is not just TamilNadu but the entire country that is heading towards the water crisis. The excessive dependence on Paddy is making it even more challenging. How many of us know that it takes 2500 liters of water to get one KG of rice. A few decades ago, people had many other kinds of cereal that complemented rice in the regular lunch. Today we are becoming more and more dependent on rice and are paying a huge price for it. Now, even after we know these stats, how many of us or how many governments have the guts to go back to the farmers and convince them to have a crop holiday paddy ? Close to none isn’t it?

Again, both the DMK and the AIADMK have been spending humongous amounts on populist schemes.  We have that happening even today.   Can we ask these governments to cut down on SOPS (I am not saying that sops need to be eliminated, all I am saying is cut down say 30-50% on these areas) and invest money on saving water and improving irrigation.

Instead of speaking about all these, the media is happily telecasting these protests; they are trying to play with emotions, stoking passions and are even trying to bring in the North-South divide. Some are saying that the Tamil Pride is getting hurt. I request them to think beyond emotions and look for the solutions to resolve issues.

Coming back to the farmers, there are many allegations that some of these people are not farmers. The story on Sheik Hussain and the photoshoot of India Today actually raise doubts on these people. However, I do not wish to blame the farmer who grows food for all of us. I want the false blame games to end and help be done to the deserving people of TamilNadu.

It is pretty easy to stoke passions and emotions, the trouble, they would never give a solution.  When you get to the table for a solution you will realize the humongous effort that needed to wipe the every tear from every eye.  Blaming the central government, Modi, the north south divide are nice to hear and will definitely appeal to the masses, however, it would be nicer of we can come up with the solutions to handle the crisis that are looming on all of us.

References :

http://www.tn.gov.in/crop/AreaProduction.htm

https://www.pgurus.com/india-today-caught-for-presstitution-in-fake-photo-shooting-of-tamil-farmers-in-noida/

http://postcard.news/pm-narendra-modi-not-meet-protesting-farmers-delhi/

Balaji Viswanathan’s answer on Quora.

April 23, 2017 / subramanyam

India is getting ‘Modi’fied

Here is a quick update on NDA’s achievements over the last 2 years and 11 months. 
Promise of 2014 as you asked for – In Numbers (3 Year Statistics) –
1. Villagers asked for Good Roads – 1,20,653 KMS constructed
2. Cities asked for Highways – 22 KM per day averaged in 3 years
3. Indians asked for Sanitation (Bathrooms) – 4 crore + Toilets constructed leading to 62% coverage
4. Women demanded LPG – 6.87 crore LPG Connections given out of which 2 crore given to poor FREE leading to 71% coverage.
5. Indians demanded complete Financial Inclusion – 30 crore Jan Dhan Accounts Opened.  More than 6000 crores of money back in the banks due to this.
6. Traders asked Funds – MUDRA gave funds to more than 6 crore People worth 5 lakh crore till Now.
7. Youth asked for smooth financial Transactions – Government gave BHIM App, Aadhar Enabled Devices, 2.2 million POS Machines
8. Indians shouted – Tackle Corruption
Government linked all Government Services to Aadhar.  4.2 crore Fake Ration Cards Stopped.   3.16 crore Fake MNREGA Job Cards removed, 3.3 crore Fake LPG Connections removed and 87 Such Government System combined to Aadhar and saves more than 50,000 crore Money to Government.
9. People asked for Electrification
13,000 Villages out of 18,452 Villages Electrified are Now getting Electrified.  Almost 250 villages getting electrified per week.
10. You asked for Energy Conservation
23 crore LED approx Done, 15 lakh + Street Lights changed
11. Youth shouted Why Not Renewable Energy ? – Government responded Roaring with 10 GW Solar Energy leading Renewables to 50 GW Energy approx.
12. People wanted Transparency
Government made whole Government Online – All Auction Online, All Procurement Online – Every Program and Scheme Online
13. Farmers asked – What is for us ?
Government said – National Crop Insurance (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bheema Yojana) to safeguard You from Any kind of Damage – 3.3 crore Farmers Joined.  All they need to pay is 1.5% to 2% and they are insured against all damages,  this includes natural disasters like earthquake and all too.
Government said – National Agriculture Market – E NAM – Over 2 crore Farmers are getting Good Prices for their Produce 300 Mandi Gets connected
Government said – Get Soil Health Card 5 crore + Farmers get Soil Health Cards
Government increased MSP and Build Chain of Cold Storages and Food Processing Units all across Nation. Government target to double their income.
14. Soldiers asked What You did for us – Government said – OROP fulfilled, Amount of money given to Martyr increased by 1.5 times. New Missiles, New Warships, Bullet Proof Jackets, New High Quality Guns and Most Importantly Free Hand !!
There are many such things – Everyone must with facts analyse and compare it with previous Government Performance. This Government is far far ahead in Performance compare to any Government of Past History.
But As PM Narendra Modi says – This is New India, New Aspiration, New Ambition, New Heights, Miles To Go Miles To Go, Yes Miles To Go !!
This government will keep on setting the benchmark and raising the bar.
Source : Received as a whatsapp forward.  I checked some of the facts and added a few extra details.  The data that is available in the public domain seems to be only that of 2016, in some cases we donot have  data till Dec 2016 too.  Hence some of the numbers here seem to projections based on the last years numbers.   However, they seem to be in line with the achievements of the last year. 
April 18, 2017 / subramanyam

The Flame of Anahata :: My Take

Having read the book “The Divine Command”, I was waiting for the next book in “The Comeback Warrior” Trilogy. Well, Saranya has penned the second book and it is “The flame of Anahata”. I completed reading this book today and here is my review.

Here is the blurb of the book.

“They turned to see his tears of love wiping away her blood of agony…”

Diya throws Suraj’s proposal back in his face, leaving him broken-hearted. Why would she Anahatado so when she loved him desperately?

Suraj finds his Guruji unconscious beside a cave clutching the warrior Indrajith’s diary. His heart-rending love story then unfolds. Being trapped in a web of emotions, Indrajith endured the pain of his lost love, hurting himself and trampled Deepali’s hope for his adopted brother… Who was he?

Sealed for centuries and holding the Mann-Parivarthana astra, the cave is besieged by evil now. But all attempts to unlock it go futile. Faced with baffling hints, Suraj’s intelligence is sorely tested. What is the potent power required to break through that Paanch-Dost-Gupha?

THE FLAME OF ANAHATA!

Will the fire of love ever flicker in the hearts of Diya and Suraj?

Before I delve into the review, I would strongly recommend any reader to read the first book of the Trilogy “The Divine Command”  before picking this book up, it is not mandatory but reading the first book would give the reader the context of the story.

The book begins with Diya rejecting Suraj’s proposal; this comes as a shock to the readers as we see love blossoming between them in the previous book. Suraj is thrown off balance with the turn of events. However, his work ethic and sense of duty overpower the tribulations of his emotions. He sets out to the Himalayas along with his team to complete a work related project. What does he encounter there? What are the secrets of his past life? Why did Diya refuse the love of “The Comeback warrior”? Read the book to get all the answers.

The plot oscillates between the past life Suraj and the present one. The chapters on the past life of Suraj and AshurShashak are amazing. You just get absorbed into the book and its contents as you read these chapters. The author brings out friendship, love, romance, loyalty, royalty, kindness and many more emotions to life in these pages. These chapters are indeed excellent.

Saranya Umakanthan

The Author — Saranya Umakanthan

In the first book, we donot get to see the events and incidents that shaped the lives of protagonist and antagonist. Here we get to see the details of the lives of Indrajit (past life of Suraj) Asur Shasak, the antagonist and others. Good job by the author.

Coming to the pace of the book, I found it a little tough to dodge the first few pages but say after 5% of the book, the story really picked up and the book was unputdownable. The author uses simple English and that’s the icing on the cake. I also liked the concept of positive energy overpowering the negative energy and the importance of having a heart filled with love.

I donot have much to complain regarding the book. The concept of Anahata and the Anahata Chakra is introduced quite late in the book. I felt something that has got to do with the title could have been brought a little earlier.  I respect the author for the research that went into the book, the yantras and all the details regarding Anahata.  However, all this comes late.  For a significant amount of time, the reader would not know what Anahata is all about. Again, this is my personal opinion, and I might be wrong. The author might have done this to foster curiosity in the minds of the audience; I am just voicing out my opinion.

That was one minor issue in this fantastic book. I am waiting for the third and final part of the trilogy. Do pick “The flame of Anahata” when you have time. It is a nice and enjoyable read.

You can buy the book here.

Click on the image to buy the book.

April 16, 2017 / subramanyam

The Five “Va’s”

Came across this fantastic Sanskrit Shloka recently. This Shloka gives us 5 important things that can make or break us when we speak to others.  They are in the order in which they are perceived.

వస్త్రేణ వపుషా వాచా విద్యయా వినయేనచ
వకార పంచభిర్విప్రో పూజితో నాత్ర సంశయః ||

Vastrena vapushaa vachaa vidyayaa vinayenacha

vakara panchabhirviprO pUjitO naatra samsayah  ||

Let us look at each of them in good detail now.

The first one is “Vastra” , Wearing a good dress is really important.  It is the first thing that the audience would observe, you dress needs to be clean, if possible well ironed and something that is in sync with the message you wish to deliver.  Again a distracting dress can be a liability.  Hence use this tool judiciously.  Don’t have an extravagant and appealing or an appalling dress.  Have a simple and decent one.  Remember that the dress is the first pull for the audience and a neat and distraction free dress can establish that basic connect for you.

The second one is “Vapusha”. Vapusha actually means appearance.  In this specific context I would like to call it as the way you use the dais.  Standing at one corner and delivering a speech might not be the best way to deliver a speech.  You ought to move across the stage.  As you own and walk across the dais, display elegance, your body needs to convey to the audience that you actually are enjoying experience and this makes them more receptive to you.

Then “Vacha”  or the voice.  The voice/tone of the speaker must be sweet and it should be something that the audience like and identify themselves with.  I am not saying that it must be a sing song voice or so.  All I am trying to say is that harshness in the voice might switch people off.  Should one speak harshly and in a domineering way we would obviously lose interest wouldn’t we?  A shrill voice, a fast paced speech and a queer pitch too kill a speech and would turn the audience off.  Hence maintaining a good tone, pace and pitch for the speech are extremely important.

The fourth and a very important one is “Vidya”.  Don’t take vidya as education in this case.  Take it to be knowledge.  Once the audience  realize that you are looking good and enjoying your stage time they would definitely look for the content you speak.   How well you speak depends on how learned you are, hence reading well an recollecting that content well are of primordial importance in your speech.  One needs to read well,  one needs to read fiction, non fiction and classics when one has time.  All this would help one handle any topic very easily.  Read more and read wide.

The last and most important one on the list dear friends is “Vinaya”.  As we all know Vinaya would mean humility.   Having good clothes, nice appearance and a good voice and a good education are all blessings we have in our lives and we ought to count them.   There are many people out there who donot have any of these.  Shouldn’t we be thankful to the Almighty and our parents who gave all these to us.  The greatest of the orators were humble souls to  begin with.  A Gandhi, A Mandela, A Swami Vivekananda or a Martin Luther King were all humble when they addressed the masses and we all know the impact they had on the people who heard to them. Let’s make humility our second nature and not restrict it to the speeches alone.  Forget the speeches this one quality can take us places.

Friends as I conclude I would like to repeat the five  Va’s  that are important for our speeches.  Vastra — the clothes we wear , Vapusha — our appearance , Vacha — our voice , Vidya — our education and Vinaya — the humility are all extremely important for our speech.  If erred in the first one  vastra, you can cover it up with the Vapusha , Vacha , Vidya and Vinaya , if got both Vastra and Vapusha wrong you can do some thing with the other three.  You can still handle it somehow even when you get your Vacha wrong, however, never err with last Vidya and Vinaya, that can be suicidal for your speech.

Have a fantastic week ahead.