Who is the Knowledge Commission working for ?

I did not notice this story earlier. It only came to me today while reading this post :

We have heard this story before. Remember the early 90’s stories of Indian software engineers only working on low end maintenance projects? Or the early 2000 stories that only low end call center work is outsourced to India? What Dr. Bhargava says is likely to happen. The first that will test the waters are going to be younger educational institutions, those that have little to lose & a lot to gain. The Ox-Bridge/ Ivy Leagues will come in much later. But why should we quibble? Does the color of the cat matter as long as it catches the mice? If the new entrants offer value, they will have a market. If not, they will need to go back to the drawing board and rework their India strategy. Any one who is under the mistaken belief, that all a foreign university needs to do is to set shop in India and every one will flock to it, needs to read about the struggle of MTV, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Pizza Hut etc. to gain market share in India. India is an extreme value conscious market. You need to get your value proposition right to crack the market and the same will apply to higher education.

The things our Government would have us believe !
If only we, as citizens, took the time and effort to understand these issues, we could dent such efforts from our government.


For everything else, there’s Mastercard !

How much is the square of 48 ?

Do you know how to calculate squares of numbers close to 50 ?

Do you ? do you ??? huh ??

I will do you a favour : read this :

When Bethe and Feynman went up against each other in games of calculating, they competed with special pleasure. Onlookers were often surprised, and not because the upstart Feynman bested his famous elder. On the contrary, more often the slow-speaking Bethe tended to outcompute Feynman. Early in the project they were working together on a formula that required the square of 48. Feymnan reached across his desk for the Marchant mechanical calculator

Bethe said, “It’s twenty-three hundred.”


Do you know who is Bethe ?
See, how many things you learn just by reading this blog !!!

Grandma stops traffic on Bannerghatta Road…!

Sometimes, I wonder where the will and wish to do good comes from. Is it the youth ? does it come from our exposure to other cultures ? is it from our extensive education ?

And then sometimes, I think not.

Don’t know what I am talking about ? Read this:

I was riding in a car on Bannerghatta Road. Work is finally getting done on that road to widen and pave it, so traffic was moving at a fast pace. As we passed an apartment complex on the left, I noticed an old lady with a red handbag making her way off the footpath and on to the road, probably in anticipation of a bus or to flag down an auto, I thought. But she did not stop moving. As our car passed her, she strode toward the middle of road, holding up her red handbag.

Read on…there are some things in this country of ours that just defy explanations !

Chalo India: Now, own Bollywood

Cutting the Chai writes about Moserbaer putting video pirates out of business in this informative piece:

A DVD for Rs 34! That would definitely be a cause of worry of the Pirates of Palika, who peddle their stuff for Rs 75-Rs 150. A VCD’s for a mere Rs 28. My neighbourhood DVD rental charges Rs 30 for a day. Looks like he’ll have to think of competitive pricing soon.

Like they say, “It happens only in India” !

The horrible world we live in…

India Uncut never fails to shock me…

Read this piece…I do not want to post any thoughts…I am left speechless.

If you’re straight, imagine one more time the dystopia gay Indians live in, where not just sex but love and companionship are elusive. Isn’t that criminal?

Thanks to Amit Varma for bringing this piece to us.
How insensitive can we humans be ?

Opening access to research

Quite an old piece but relevant today:

Rising journal costs restrict access to scientific research. Martyn Bull reports on a campaign to get institutions to set up free internet archivesIf the purpose of scientific publishing is to increase access to knowledge to enable further advances in science and technology, then researchers are not doing much to help. Too often they care more about the impact of publishing in a high-status journal than how many people might be able to read it.
The report advocates radical change in the scientific publishing process to prevent escalating costs and restrictive publisher agreements choking access to scientific research. It recommends that authors disseminate their research for free on the internet by storing articles in institutional archives, as well as backing a switch from “subscriber pays” to “author pays” publishing.

The SHERPA initiative is arguing that scholars put their research work on university/institution archives so the general public can access them free of cost.
My question is: how then, do the research scholars make money ? It is correct that journal costs are way too high. However, I do not think making the papers themselves free will help.

What are your comments ? Is that the way to go ?