Archive for August, 2006

August 25, 2006

Rumor about AIDS…

got recent FWD from friends about AIDS spreading via pineapple to 10year old boy.
thought publishing my reply would be useful to someone..:

if you behave with ethics & values or with common-sense then nothing to worry about. also, you share responsibility to educate your co-workers, your society..

The summer of 2006 saw a rumour similar to the panipuri/pineapple one at work in the off-line world. Police in Qufu, China, were called upon to investigate a story that someone had injected watermelons grown in Fanji (a town in the Linquan county) with HIV-tainted blood. Linquan watermelons normally fetch higher prices than do those from other regions, and the farmers in that area had earlier in the year registered a trademark and established an association to protect their pricier watermelon crops. Once afoot, the false story served to drive down the price of Linquan watermelons, and sales of the fruit quickly declined. As one Linquan farmer reported, prior to the rumor’s appearance watermelons he’d harvested sold out, but after the rumor had spread only a small fraction of his crop was bought. Police suspect the whisper was started by someone looking to reap commercial benefit.

The rumor about HIV being passed to a ten-year-old boy via his eating of food items echoes a theme found in other urban legends, that of dread disease contracted by random innocent parties engaging in what should be safe activities — for example, AIDS acquired via a prick from a needle affixed to the handle of a gas pump, by ingesting HIV-laden blood added to restaurant ketchup dispensers, through eating pizza to which HIV-laden semen had been added; flesh-eating contagion passed on the skins of bananas imported from Costa Rica; and Weil’s Disease contracted via soda cans encrusted with rat urine. Such rumors are society’s way of expressing its disquiet about having to co-exist with dread contagion even in medically advanced times

HIV is not an airborne or food-borne virus, and it does not live long outside the body. Even if small amounts of HIV-infected blood were consumed, stomach acid would destroy the virus

If HIV could be passed on as easily as described in this warning, there would almost certainly be well-documented reports of such incidents. There are more than 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the world along with millions of food outlets of every description. Given these statistics, if it were possible for consumers to be infected with HIV via contaminated takeaway food, such infections would be quite common, and health authorities would advise restrictions for HIV positive food-service workers.

Thus, the claims in the message should not be taken seriously. In fact, this message is reminiscent of an earlier, and completely bogus, AIDS story that claims HIV infected blood has been deliberately placed in the ketchup dispensers of fast food outlets. Such stories serve no purpose other than to spread unnecessary fear and alarm and add to the many damaging misconceptions surrounding HIV and AIDS Bogus warnings such as this should not be passed on to others…

Please Live not in Fear but in FAITH…

August 23, 2006

Outsourcing debate – Don’t get sore, get smart…

THE political heat around outsourcing has cooled as the threat it once seemed to pose to western service jobs has diminished. The emphasis now is on improving the process of outsourcing, both at home and offshore. In other words, if you have to do it, try and do it better. This book is a good place to start learning how—especially the penultimate chapter. Called “Five Key Areas to Focus On”, it looks at financial engineering, legal issues, communications, human resources and tax.

If these sound like the sort of areas you would focus on in mergers and acquisitions, don’t be surprised. For Jean-Louis Bravard is a former investment banker who now works for EDS, a leading outsourcing firm, and he brings his banking experience to bear on the subject, arguing that outsourcing should be treated much like M&A, for which it is in many cases a substitute. That means fully involving the company’s top executives in outsourcing decisions, and expecting outsourcing to be subject to the same “degree of public and shareholder scrutiny” as M&A. It also means looking at many of the same things when judging whether a deal will work or not.

By and large, the authors shy away from the political hot potato of offshoring. When they do touch on it, it is to do little more than make the case for using third parties, such as EDS, IBM or Accenture, for all an organisation’s outsourcing requirements. Why tussle with the onshore/offshore decision, they ask, when it can be passed over to experts (such as EDS) to decide for you where to locate your operations?

The authors make an important distinction between offshoring and outsourcing—“most of the processing industry in India still consists of in-house captive operations owned by the businesses that use them”, they say. In other words, they are operations that have been sent offshore, but have not been outsourced to a third party. The authors then leave any further debate about offshoring for elsewhere.

Diana Farrell, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, the consulting firm’s in-house think-tank, was one of the first to take the heat out of the issue. Initially, she pointed out how limited is the data on the phenomenon. In a report last year, the institute said that “the debate about offshoring has been fuelled by anecdote rather than fact.” It then set about gathering data which, in turn, suggested some limits to offshoring.

It estimated, for instance, that only “13% of the potential talent supply in low-wage nations is suitable to work for multinational companies”, and it cited three main reasons for this: the lack of language skills; the limited capacity of the educational systems of the offshoring hosts to impart practical skills; and the lack of cultural fit. Other evidence of limits—this time to the demand for offshoring rather than the supply—comes from a recent survey by Proudfoot, another firm of consultants. It found that over three-quarters of the companies it surveyed had no business functions carried out offshore; just over one-third had no business functions outsourced at all, neither at home nor abroad.

Now Ms Farrell has written an article called “Smarter Offshoring” (published in the June 2006 issue of the Harvard Business Review). Echoing Mr Bravard’s title, it pleads for a more thoughtful approach to offshoring. She argues that “the most popular offshore sites for service functions are overheating.” It is time, she says, for companies to look “beyond these hotspots and to base investment decisions not just on costs but also on talent, markets, strategic aims and appetite for risk.” Much as you would with M&A.

From Economist

August 18, 2006

HANSDEHAR – The First Knowledge Village of India…

One Indian village has connected itself to big wide world via village website thanks to local people interest & effect. throught this website you can see Hansdehar’s Village life – residents names, jobs, shops, drainage/electricity, health care. I understand most of residents are yet to surf net since internet is distance dream but not so far.

I believe this first would take them touch with external world and escalate local problems.

Hansdehar’s lifestyle is no different from most of other village in india but people are making effect and step forward.

we in big cities/NRIs busy running behind material world would at very best speard this information(/word-of-mouth) for not just to crediting Hansdehar village’s effect also this would be role-model for other villages in india.

August 16, 2006

Solar energy for your home..

Interesting.. just recently we indians started talking about Solar energy for domestic use but much sunny countries(like Greece) this has been very common. Recently read about Solar usages & ways.

In summer time. Fans are working overtime, the refrigerator is cooling gallons of water and air conditioners are sucking the heat out. Your electricity bill in summer is almost double of what you pay in winter.

Wondered if solar energy can power all your gadgets, lights and cooking devices? Energy can be converted from one form to the other.Of course, a small portion of energy gets lost in the conversion process. Much the same way, the solar energy can be converted to electrical energy in two ways.

Direct method – Electrical energy is produced directly using solar cells or photovoltaic cells. The incident light on the solar cells causes current flow in it. Several such solar cells are cascaded to produce sufficiently large amount of current (at a low voltage) that may be useful for a meaningful application . The output of the solar panel is connected to a battery through a charging circuit . The amount of power that can be stored in the battery or the number of electrical gadgets that can be powered varies depending upon the size of the solar panel. The battery, typically a 12 or 24 volt battery is connected to a sine-wave or pseudo sinewave inverter to produce the 220volt AC required to drive electrical gadgets. There has been no significant development in this technology for reducing the cost of solar cells. So, it calls for a significant initial investment. Electric cars, domestic lighting and electrical gadgets at home can be powered by such a system.

Indirect method – In the indirect method, the heat is collected by large arrays of reflectors that canalise the solar heat onto a long water line.The water gets heated to a temperature that turns water into steam. The steam thus generated, propels a steamturbine (a prime mover to a thermal power generators ).
The rotation of turbines attached to the alternator (alternating current generator) produces electricity.

Using solar power to heat water, cook food and power electrical gadgets is a safe, clean and efficient energy solution . The initial set up cost may be high but in the long run you’ll reap the profits.

Govertment should introduce Solar-Friendly-Policies for builders and domestic consumers, for agriculture usage to setup & use Solar system to reduce growing energy problem.

Company in Gujarat got 1000crore deal to export solar cells. Its shame we export but dont use it..

August 7, 2006

To Save or Not to…!?

got an interesting forward NEO-ECONOMICS: “Saving is Sin, Spending is Virtue”
made me wonder is really Saving is Bad ?? did some googling to validate this & to find different view on this..

Neo-Economics theory underlines.. that what keeps the economy going is consumption expenditure. It is generally held that spending, rather than individual saving, is the essential condition for production and prosperity. Saving is seen to be detrimental to economic activity, as it weakens the potential demand for goods and services.

Economic activity is depicted as a circular flow of money. Spending by one individual becomes part of the earnings of another individual, and vice versa. If, however, people have become less confident about the future, it is held that they will cut back on their outlays and hoard more money. So once an individual spends less, this worsens the situation of some other individual, who in turn also cuts his spending.

A vicious cycle is in place: The decline in people’s confidence causes them to spend less and to hoard more money; this lowers economic activity further, thereby causing people to hoard more, etc. The cure for this, it is argued, is for the central bank to pump money. By putting more cash in people’s hands, consumer confidence will increase, people will then spend more, and the circular flow of money will reassert itself.

All this sounds very appealing. Business activity shows that during a recession, businesses emphasize lack of consumer demand as the major factor behind their poor performances. Notwithstanding this,

  • can demand by itself generate economic growth?
  • what about production of goods and services ?
  • Are we to take them for granted?
  • Are they always around, and all that is required is demand for them?

it would appear that what impedes economic prosperity is the scarcity of demand. But is it possible for the general demand for goods and services to be scarce?

at given time, the amount of goods and services available are finite but people’s demand is infinite. Most people want as many things as they can think of. What thwarts their demand is the availability of means. Hence, there can never be a problem with demand as such, but with the means to accommodate demand.

for example – For instance, when a baker produces bread, he doesn’t produce everything for his own consumption. Most of the bread he produces is exchanged for the goods and services of other producers, implying that through the production of bread, the baker exercises his demand for other goods. His demand is fully covered—that is, funded by the bread that he has produced. Demand cannot stand by itself and be independent; it is limited by prior production. It is the production of bread that permits the baker to procure various goods and services. Bread is a baker’s means of payment. What limits the production growth of goods and services is the introduction of better tools and machinery (i.e., capital goods), which raises worker productivity. Tools and machinery are not readily available; they must be made. In order to make them, people must allocate consumer goods and services that will sustain those individuals engaged in the production of tools and machinery.

This allocation of consumer goods and services is what savings is all about.

savings become possible once some individuals have agreed to transfer some of their present goods to individuals that are engaged in the production of tools and machinery. Obviously, they do not transfer these goods for free, but in return for a greater quantity of goods in the future.

Production of goods ready for consumption requires the use of capital goods, that is, of tools and of half-finished material. Capital comes into existence by saving, i.e., temporary abstention from consumption.

Since saving enables the production of capital goods, saving is obviously at the heart of the economic growth that raises people’s living standards. Saving and the resulting accumulation of capital goods are at the beginning of every attempt to improve the material condition of man; they are the foundation of human civilization.

now, in today world’s – introduction of money will not alter the essence of what saving is all about. Money fulfills the role of a medium of exchange. It enables the produce of one producer to be exchanged for the produce of another produce. a baker exchanges his bread for money and then employs the obtained money to buy other goods and services, implying that he pays for other goods and services with his bread. Money only facilitates payment.

Another important role of money is to serve as a medium of saving. Instead of saving goods, which must be stored, people can save money. In the world of barter, perishable goods are difficult to save for too long. These difficulties are resolved by the money economy.

Through money, people channel real savings, which permit economic activity to take place. Thus, the saving of money by one individual supports the production of another individual, who in turn, by exchanging his produce for money, supports a third individual. Likewise, when a company issues stocks or bonds, the money received for these financial instruments enables the company to buy real savings— goods and services—which will enable it to pursue planned objectives.

When money is saved and then invested it is used to buy or build capital goods. Any of these projects puts as much money into circulation and gives as much employment as the same amount of money spent directly on consumption. Saving in short in the modern world, is only another form of spending.

Without saving and successful endeavours to use the accumulated savings wisely, there cannot be any question of a standard of living worthy of the qualification human.

again taking Japan as example – where the high savings rate that has ranged between 15 percent and 20 percent was blamed for the economic slump. What is happened in Japan is not the result of “too much saving,” as suggested by many experts, but rather of too many loose fiscal and monetary policies that continue to destroy households’ savings. The misguided policy of lowering interest rates to almost nil is a major catalyst behind the destruction of real savings.

By means of the artificial lowering of interest rates and monetary pumping, the Bank of Japan has been diverting real funding away from wealth-generating activities toward wealth consumers, and in the process has significantly weakened the potential for economic growth. Hence, the only way to prevent the current economic slump from developing into a galloping depression is to abort the present loose fiscal and monetary stance. Furthermore, the size of the government must be cut to the bone in order to enable the private sector to channel savings toward wealth-generating activities.

Conculsion : Savings enables the expansion of the flow of production of goods and services, not demand. so no effective demand can take place without prior production. If it were otherwise, then poverty in the world would have been eradicated a long time ago.

true is every individual aspires to have a good and comfortable life. What always thwarts these aspirations are the means that have to be produced. Any attempt to create an illusion that people’s wishes somehow could be accommodated through the monetary presses is sooner or later shattered by reality—the reality that it is not possible to get something out of nothing.

August 4, 2006

NRI’s send home an amazing $21 Billion

According to a study by investment bankers, J.P. Morgan, India is the largest recipient of remittances by overseas workers, estimated at $21 billion — up from almost 150% since 1995. The JP Morgan study reaffirms Reserve Bank of Indian figures released recently that found remittances were double the amount of net foreign institutional investor inflows and one-fourth of the merchandise export earnings of the country.

The study reports that stock of deposits by NRIs amounts to around $32 billion or 23% of foreign exchange reserves. Portfolio and real estate investment has been largely concentrated in the IT space.

While the report notes that the Indian Diaspora can act as a “powerful catalyst”, even helping India realize and perhaps exceed its aspiration of 10% annual GDP growth, the onus for better capitalization lies on the Indian government.

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