Saturday, August 1, 2009

Insult to Former President

Honesty is viewed as weakness today. Our former President, Shri APJ Abdulkalam was insulted by a foreign airliner at our airport. How the foreigners dare do it in our own soil? They got the courage knowing well that our politicians are opportunists devoid of pride, integrity and honour. And also knew that if it is US they will even kneel down.

The incident took place on 21st April and the authorities hushed it up for 3 months till the lid was blown up by some patriots when they took up it in Parliament. Why no action was taken immediately and kept it a secret?

The men in charge of Presidents security and his protocol personnel were responsible for this shame. They should have informed the airlines well in advance the journey of Dr. Kalam and his status as VVIP and sorted out all the problems. Secondly once the airlines insisted for physical check they should have immediately informed the Bureau of Civil Aviation or any authority and should not have allowed our former President to undergo this humiliating experience. And another important question. Why was he arranged in foreign airlines rather than in our national carrier Air India? Now the airlines have apologized, stating in the same breath they have not done anything wrong but only their duty. Will their apology wash away the national disgrace?

Dr. Kalam, being a thorough gentleman did not care much but it was our duty to guard the honor of former President and thereby our nation. Our earlier gentlemen presidents, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. Radhakrishnan did not have to face such ordeals as the values were not denigrated then. We dont need honest Presidents but shrewd ones who can hold the Bills and bargain for good living and security after retirement.

Self Financing Colleges

Union Minister Kapil Sibal seems to be really serious in clansing the education system in India. He asked UGC to direct all deemed universities to file all the details about them. Let us wait for the mystery about the deemed universities unravel.

Kerala education minister can do the same thing in Kerala. We have a lot of Self Financing Colleges and nobody knows how many. Some have agreed to abide by the Government admission policy and some are on their own.Neither the Govenrment nor the university exercise any control over them. Some claim protection as mnority institution and some as deemed univsersities. Same Faculty may not be qualified and sometimes the qualified ones may be shown as teacher many colleges simultaneously.

All these SFCs should be asked to have websites showing infrastructure availability, assets,funds and resources and information regarding admission criteria and process of admission,fee structure, faculty position,nature of appointment,faculty's names and photographs,visiting faculty and all needed for a student to know. Like UGC proposes to do the University website should have a link to the web sites of all the colleges to facilitate the students for easy reach. After deemed universitite Mr. Sibal will turn this side, why cant we do it today?

Global Investors Coming to Kerala

The memories of the catastrophic end of the earlier Global Investment Meet are still live in our minds. It came with much noise and celebration promising flow of billions of dollars making Kerala an El Dorado. Forget the billions not a single paise came as investment here so far. Another pompous show in the name of investment is in the offing. This time a little change in the name, World Investors Meet to be held on 24th and 25th in Kochi. All the development corporations or agencies of the Government of Kerala are in this conclave.

Everybody knows that considering the unique geographical features, (Kerala is full of streams, rivers, lakes, hills, and forests) and because of the dense population it is ideal only for small industries. Land cannot be procured for large industrial units like in Singur, which had become the Waterloo of West Bengal Marxist party. Our predecessors having this vision have started industries suited to our condition and which produce our essential requirements. Most of these factories are in public sector and are now either closed or on the verge of closure. What we need is to revive these factories rather than going for new big industries.

All the existing units are viable and will cater to the basic needs of Kerala which will contribute a lot in the economic growth of our state. M/s. Kerala Soaps Ltd. can easily produce all the soaps needed for Kerala and Kerala Detergents & Chemicals can meet the need of detergents for washing clothes. The products can be sold through rations shops and other cooperative public distribution systems. Kerala Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. can produce most of the medicines supplied to Government Hospitals which at present we buy from outside on exorbitant costs. We need a lot of clothes for school uniforms, as linen in hotels and hospitals. Even with all our textile mills working in full steam we may find it difficult to meet the demand. Further many existing units can diversify. M/s.Travancore Titanium Products can start manufacturing Paint,M/s. Kerala Ceramics sanitary wares and M/s. Alind electric wires and cables, all in huge demand in Kerala. TELK, KEL can produce transformers and like and United electrical all types of meters. A lot more can be done in other units with innovative ideas.

This time investers seem to go to rural areas also, with search of land in progress. We had many industrial estates and mini-industrial estates in rural areas which are now lying idle. Why cant we revive it instead of going for new units? If the intention is genuine and real estate business is not the hidden agenda let our developers woo the investors improve the existing facilities.