Oct 25, 2007

The Waste Dumping Story

Earlier this week, I got this link from a friend. It tells about an incident where customs authorities seized some containers at Cochin, which were supposed to contain brown paper mix, but actually contained municipal waste from NewYork.. These are a few more subsequent links from other media [1] , [2] and [3] . The third link cites the name of the company which 'exported' this waste as 'Belsun Corp' .

I dug in a little bit into this using Google. I couldn't find the any website for this 'Belsun Corp'. However, this link gives details about its operations in NewYork. It seems it has been in operations since 2000 ( How much Garbage would they have 'exported' to India ?? ) . However, the striking thing is that its president seems to be an Indian ( Sanjay Kedia ) .A google search on Sanjay Kedia listed threw even more interesting results . Now, there is no way that we can conclusively establish that the 'infamous' Sanjay Kedia and the Belsun's Sanjay Kedia are same. After attending the Statistics classes by Prof: Shankar Venkatagiri @ IIMB , I know the pitfalls of going into such generalizations and gut feel even based on comparable backgrounds .. Hence , I'm a little bit reluctant to conclude that both Sanjay Kedias are same based on those Google searches.

However, another Google search on 'Belsun Corp' resulted in this link .Thats a PDF filed with SEBI - Securities & Exchange Board of India by an Indian company , Sarju International .They claim that Belsun is their subsidiary . Whats the most disturbing from these facts are that, this actually seems to be a big racket organized by Indians themselves to 'import' garbage from abroad to here ( as if the garbage here is not enough ) . As I've heard all political parties are up in arms in Kerala against the "imperialist western world" for dumping their waste to developing nations ( Have they declared a Bandh ?? ). Little do they realise that Indians themselves form an integral part of this racket.. Obviously as developed cities pay people huge money to dispose their municipal waste, it is an extremely lucrative thing for people to collect money from there , import municipal waste to here and throw it here and there in cities like Cochin. The Cochin firm which handled the 'client operations' is 'Kochin Kadlas' ( no worthy google links for this )

Though belatedly , SC has criticized Center over its failure on issues like this . I sincerely wish at-least this issue is well-handled & implemented.. These municipal waste could be one of the main sources of diseases like Dengue & Chikungunya which spread far and wide across the southern states sometime back.

India has enough waste to dispose or reprocess..Why for a few bucks these people are doing all this nonsense, which'll ultimately cause great harm to themselves ? In this connection, its worthy to read about Alang , the largest ship-breaking port in the world itself located in Gujarat. The wikipedia link has enough information about that.. Alang is another instance where the cost-advantage and lax environmental regulations bring money, but cause great harm to the Nation.

( Updated later: All Google Ads appearing for this post seems to be from various waste-management companies.. This is the first time I'm getting such a high correlation between the content in the post and the Ads appearing. I never knew that this waste management is such a thriving industry in the West.. Who knows how many Belsun Corps are there among these ..Sigh!!! )


Oct 18, 2007

Any takers for Vidya Balan :-) ?

Quoting the ubiquitous Masala news paper - TOI report about Vidya Balan, "does she have anyone special? Nobody. That’s because most of the people I work with are either married or have girlfriends. So I guess I will have to look outside the industry more sincerely, she says." .... Well..by any chance is she looking towards software sector :-) ? ..

Also read this link too. Quoting TOI again "I've been single for too long:Vidya" ... Tempting ..Isn't it ?

PS - I love the way these people
report and make masala news :-)

PPS - Current music - " Pal pal pal pal ...... "


Oct 16, 2007

NITC - Code of conduct

Couldn't resist posting about this.. Got a mail in NITC alumni group about the 'code of conduct' published recently in NITC..The document link is this

Some quotable quotes from the pdf ..

1. "Students are expected to spend their free time in the Library/Reading Room.
They shall not loiter along the verandahs or crowd in front of the offices or the
Campus roads. Students should refrain from sitting on places such as parapets,
stairs, footpaths etc"

Sitting in Raj-path & "looking around" used to be one of the favorite time pass of NITC'ians (or CREC'ians ) from long time back itself.. I wonder who's going to enforce this.. Are they going to appoint someone who'll chase out the students from Raj-Path in a typical school master style ?

2. "NITC Campus is a “Smoking free Campus”. "
-- I didnt know that :) ..I'm not a smoker, but I really don't find anything wrong in someone smoking within their confines.

3. "Silence shall be maintained in the premises of the Institute "
-- The best way to do this would be to appoint a class leader and ask them to note down the names of students who break the silence and hand it over to the director himself ..God save them :)

4. "Possession or consumption of narcotic drugs, tobacco, alcohol and other
intoxicating substances are strictly prohibited in the Campus and hostels."
Drugs, yes they should be banned .. Alcohol, I don't think. But then thats a highly subjective opinion.

5. "Politically based students’ and other organizations or outfits are not allowed
in the Campus. Students are strictly prohibited from organizing, attending or
participating in any activity or agitation sponsored by politically based
-- A point which I agree whole-heartedly .. If there is something that still differentiates NITC from other engineering colleges , its the absence of strikes for totally ridiculous reasons.

6. The most funny one .. " The possession, distribution or
exhibition of any item by any means which is per se obscene is prohibited
within the Campus or on any property owned/ managed by the Institute. "

-- For people who don't know the facts : Be it anytime, its very easy to locate a humongous
collection of categorized porn ( by any variety - x, xx, xxx, actors , country , type ...... ) in any engineering college LAN . So, if your son comes and tells you that he hasn't seen any porn movie or part of it in his 4 yrs of engineering college life, there are 3 possibilities

(a) He's lying
(b) Something is wrong either physically or mentally with him
(c) He's trying to be extremely ethical and is likely to be a very big failure in life unless he changes himself . ( this is perhaps the most problematic category )

A Tail-piece

Nobody would succeed in life just by scoring a very high CGPA or by getting a top-notch job..If that is your sole aim in college,you are on an awfully wrong track.. Infact to succeed( or rather survive ) in corporate world itself, you need skills to understand , interact and work with people. I believe my biggest gains from NITC was the ability to interact with different people, different situations, and handle failures.. I wouldn't say I've been extremely successful in that..But those lessons still stays with me.. Life is not all about meritocracy..There is much more to it.

By churning out an academically supernatural, but otherwise dud 'species' , college would be doing much harm to the students than good.


Oct 13, 2007

Media Conclave @ IIMB - Vista

This thing came at a moment when I’m nurturing an idea of blog-based media business. And I couldn’t afford to miss this.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.. And spoiling is catalyzed when the cooks are individually great, but kind of fiercely independent .. This started with a topic something like this – “Media, for public good or for business“. The first 10 minutes was something like a typical IMS / TIME GD with some individually great speakers, who spoke great from their perspective, but lot divergent from the central theme.. Perhaps an exception was Business World head Jehangir Pocha

Not surprisingly, Arnab Goswami of Times-Now, was quite pro-business.. In between Arnab’s speech, I tend to get a doubt whether this is an extempore or a discussion :) . News channels and news media are basically businesses – Not something that I can digest completely -- with morality and ethics in which they should operate. Even his examples of one-off instances of ethics and morality failed to impress me.

Sohail Seth spoke in a typical Khushwant Singh style. Arrogant, laced with humorous ( lurid ?? ) comments, yet quite honest :).
Jehangir was quite level – headed in his views..

Some of the questions which came in discussion –

Should media really invest in reporting the news or does media have a responsibility to change the society ? – I believe yes, but how many of the media channels invest in that?

Is media justified in entering into equity arrangements with businesses? Or in general, is a pro-profit socially responsible media kind of an oxymoron?

Towards the end of the meeting – quite the same impression that I had initially itself. Moderator asks something, Arnav answers something totally different – the content impressive – audience applauds -- but has no connection with what the moderator Sonny Abraham asked for. I wonder what would Rajdeep Sardesai / Barkha Dutt have done if he/she was the moderator :)

Career options in media – Jehangir’s take is that the scope is more for entrepreneurs. .Hmmm.. good :).

To sum it up , individually the content was impressive, but collectively not good.

Quotes of the meet -- “A man is as young as the woman whom he feels“ -- Sohail Seth. :)

“You can’t be half pregnant in case of ethical media” – Again Sohail Seth :)


Oct 11, 2007

Iphone - Hands on experience finally !!!

Finally I got to operate an iphone.. And man..what a device..No wonder ppl queued up in front of Apple stores to buy this .. The safari browser, video/audio quality, touchpad keyboard, image quality...everything.. all looks too good..

So, my next phone has to be this or Google should come out with their G-phone soon :)

Oct 8, 2007

Latest 'Acquisition' from Landmark

The picture shows my latest collection from Landmark.. Thanks to my team mates for gifting me Landmark coupon as a b'day gift :) .

Any opinion / comments about any of these books are welcome..

The books are

1) India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha
-- Heard lot of good reviews..And I being a history buff couldn't neglect it :) . Supposed to be an authoritative book on Independent India ..

2) The McKinsey Mind by Ethan Rasiel and Paul Friga ..
-- Any comments from any MBA grads / students ??

3) The Mind of a Strategist by Kenichi Ohmae
-- Suggested umpteen times by our strat-management professor Rishikesha Krishnan.. When u admire the classes of a teacher so much, its quite natural that u'll end up buying these .. Finally I bought it after the term got over :)

4) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
-- I know its quite popular, but haven't had the opportunity to read it yet..

5) The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
-- This is a book for which I might write a review soon after I finish reading it..Have read lot of quotes and excerpts from this book..And they were quite thought provoking ..
Its supposed to be a classic political book ..

--- Only tough thing is, I've to find time to read all this :(


Oct 7, 2007

Review: Online Casino Blue Book

Sponsored Review : Online Casino Blue Book

you ever wondered why people are addicted to gambling ? When you see James Bond movies like Casino Royale , where people splurge cash like anything , have you wondered whether this level of a gambling really happens ? The answer is a resounding yes... And the site that I'm reviewing has got lot to do with being a gateway to online gambling :)

Best things that I liked about this site

The simple game explanations..Baccarat, black jack , poker ..and so on
-- When Daniel Craig won Poker in Casino Royale, how many of us truly understood that game ? Hunting for online tutorials is a pain..These people have a nice intro to all those popular casino games.. No matter what people say, I love learning card games .. And whenever I get some free time, I'm going to learn these things..

2. Online Casino Links
-- I don't have money or credit to gamble.. Hence I cannot test those..But they have a seemingly good collection of top casinos ( online ) refreshed regularly..They are promising welcome bonuses..But I'm yet to try those..Those dollar figures are somewhat astronomical to me :)

3. Individual casino reviews ( available through sitemap )
-- This appears good..and I had a quick look at some..They seems to be writing from a neutral perspective.

Whats still lacking in site

Histories, strategies, advanced casino game guides ( atleast good links to those ) .. Also, maybe getting a VISA/paypal certification would bring in better reputation.

Also, a google search of online casinos does not throw up this anywhere in the top..Understandable as it is a new site..However, the surprising thing is that there are no sponsored advertisements in Google Search for Online Casinos, which means bidding for 'Online Casino' through adwords should be easy.. I guess with more marketing , this site can do better.


Oct 4, 2007

Review Me: Does that work ???

I knew my blog is reasonably popular..But I didnt know that its popular enough for web-masters to get their site reviewed through my blog..Sometime ago I signed up in ReviewMe!, partly out of curiosity , partly because I had some free time.. Yesterday, someone placed an offer through ReviewMe!, to review their site through my blog..And the promised amount is 20$ .. ( which is almost equivalent to 800/- Rs ) .. Just curious about this particular site..Has anyone tried ReviewMe! before ? And do they pay as they promise ? Their payment terms promise that once the total amount that they owe us crosses 25$, they will pay..Now for thats just completing this review and scouting for another review through their site...But still skeptical about their payouts..Anybody had any prior experience with this ? Please comment here or mail me if you had any experience with ReviewMe!. Anyway I'm giving a shot..Will be putting up the site review soon..