News got published in Indian express July 5th, 2013.. Good that my country is evolving in a scientific way..

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/robotic-soldiers-working-in-groups-to-be-reality-by-2023-drdo-chief/1137981/2

Robotic soldiers working in groups to be reality by 2023: DRDO chief

Robotic soldiers that work in groups could be a reality in a decade from now, according to Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor, Secretary, Defence and Director General R&D of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Chander was speaking at the first international conference in Advances in Robotics-2013 (AIR 2013) that began at the Research and Development Establishment (R&DE) Engineers here on Thursday. Emphasising on the increasing importance of robotics in unmanned warfare scenario, Chander threw light on India’s advancements in robotics for military purposes.

He said the prime challenges of the future will be to integrate robots to work together in a formation, for which he said we need an integrated plan. “Here, the role of the industry is very important to turn prototypes into products,” he said. Emphasising that India needs to master the development of sub-systems of robotics such as controls, sensors, flexible materials, jam-proof communication systems, he called for increasing their pace of development in the country.

Chander also emphasised the importance of robotics in Low Intensity Conflict as well as civilian non-combatant operations. Talking about UAVs, Chander said that trials of Rustom- I are complete and that of Rustom II will begin soon.

AIR 2013 has been jointly organised by R&DE and Robotics Society of India. The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt. of India. While delivering his address he brought out the importance of robotics and automation nationally in various applications varying from atomic energy, space, defence and industrial automation. He stated the use of robotics in handling hazardous materials like explosives, infectious biological threats, and radiological materials.

He talked about the third industrial revolution that is driven by internet, digital manufacturing, robotics and the desire to develop green technologies. He suggested that DRDO should encourage as well as guide academia and industries towards directed basic research. He also suggested that robotic society should build a Robotic Grid using the virtual lab supported by high speed internet based LAN Knowledge Networks to accelerate the interactions of scientific community, academia and industries.

S Sundresh, Chief Controller R&D from DRDO Headquarters provided an insight to the combat engineering applications specifically for handling hazardous objects, mine detection, surveillance and reconnaissance. Manjit Singh, Distinguished Scientist from BARC and President of the Robotics Society of India briefed the delegates on the need and importance of the society.

Three very distinguished scientists from the US, Italy and Japan shall be delivering keynote addresses in the conference. The conference is being attended by more than 250 delegates from all over the world. Over 30 industries and R&D establishments will showcase their products and research outcomes in the area of Robotics. A special session showcasing the ongoing research projects at various R&D laboratories (DRDO, ISRO, BARC, CSIR) in the country is being held concurrently.

Organic food…

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/going-organic/article4750177.ece

Good food is not just a privilege of the rich. As people are discovering what a powerful impact food has on health, they’re realising how important it is to ask where your food comes from, and how it is grown. Over the last ten years the market has responded to this change in different ways. The most interesting response has been a feisty wave of idealistic, energetic small businesses. All run by people who’re fuelled more by ethics than economics. Hopefully this is just the beginning. Organic food may not be mainstream yet in Chennai, but thanks to businesses such as these, it’s more accessible, affordable and attractive than ever before. Shonali Muthalaly and Anusha Parthasarathy track the trend.

Vaer

After working on it for a year, Kayalvizhi Raja and Shriram Narayanan launched Chennai’s first organic vegetable website on April 1, inspired by an organic farmer in Tenkasi. “He told us how he had major health issues, all of which were resolved when he converted his farm into organic,” says Kayalvizhi.

They find farmers via the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University. “Lots of farmers take courses and register with them. So, if we want grapes, for example, then we find people who grow them, and directly buy from their farms.”

Kayalvizhi says, “We want to make organic food affordable. Our greens are Rs. 20 a bunch. Which is the same as the regular market price. And delivery is free.”

Their stock changes ever day. “My only marketing source is Facebook… So if I get something new I put it up there. It’s usually sold out by the next day!”

Vaer encourages people to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables. “We offer a mixed box of mangoes. Even if people order just one variety, we try and send a couple of different types along with their order, complimentary.”

The biggest challenge, she says, is educating customers. “Yes. Organic food doesn’t stay fresh for long. But that’s a good thing. It means it’s chemical-free.”

Vaer focusses on local foods in their ‘Country Special’ section, such as coconut palm sugar, karuppu kavuni rice and ragi pappads.

Address: www.vaerorganic.com

Phone: 094446-67070

Organic Green Store

Cramped, chaotic and bristling with a fascinating range of goodies, from fragrant cold-pressed oils to jars of nutty ghee, the Organic Green Store has fans across the city. Hemalatha, who started it in 2009, says she got interested in organic food after she had a baby. “I wanted to give my child food that was healthy and safe,” she says.

Today, they buy from about 20 farmers across the State. Her customers, who come from as far as Vellore, are loyalists thanks to the quality of her vegetables, many of which arrive in packages bearing the names of the farms on which they were grown. “People love our papaya, which comes from Mettupalayam,” she says.

The Organic Green Store is also known for its cold-pressed oils: coconut, sesame and groundnut. “The oil comes from different sources, depending on the season,” says Hemalatha. “Groundnut, for example, is sometimes from Udumalpet, sometimes Coimbatore.”

With two outlets, one in Anna Nagar and one in Periyar Nagar, they deliver vegetables on Saturdays.

Address: No. 2, B-Block, 2nd Avenue, Chinthamani, Annanagar, Chennai-6001020

Phone: 96262-78090

ReStore

Started in 2008, ReStore is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. Radhika Rammohan, one of the founders, says the idea was to “connect with the sources of our food. To know where it’s coming from. To support local organic farmer.” She adds that they decided to work as volunteers to encourage more people to get involved, and bring down the cost of the products.

They work with 25 individual farmers and about 10 organisations that help farmers. In addition, they support around eight businesses that make organic value-added products. Around 70 per cent of their food comes from within Tamil Nadu, and the rest from the neigbouring states in an attempt to reduce food miles.

Specialising in traditional grains, they offer a range of millets. Their ‘multigrain kanji mix’ made with red rice, millets, thinai, samai, samba wheat, etc. is one of their signature products. Besides vegetables, they stock foods such as organic jaggery, handmade peanut butter and freshly made sambar powder.

ReStore also organises a vegetable and fruit bazaar on Tuesday and Saturday between 12 noon and 7 p.m.

Address: ReStore Adyar Centre, No 27/ 10, 2nd Main Road, Kasturba Nagar, Adyar, Chennai-600020

Phone: 044-24430093

Dhanyam

Dhanyam began in 2010 with the idea of becoming a one-stop shop for organic goodies. It offers a range of groceries, vegetables and fresh fruits, all organic. “I was always interested in organic food and found that there weren’t many outlets in the city. And even the ones that were there were dark, dingy and not professionally run. That’s when the idea for Dhanyam originated,” says co-founder Madhusoodhanan K. The store gets fruits and vegetables twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday) from farms in Kodaikanal, Tirunelveli, Erode, Gummudipoondi and Coonoor. Some fruits such as grapes and pomegranates come from farms in Karnataka and Maharashtra. “We have seasonal fruits which means we’re selling a lot of mangoes now. But on an average, papayas and bananas sell well because they’re available year round,” he says. While Madhusoodhanan agrees that the price is higher when compared to the regular fare, he points out that it isn’t a deterrent. “People come for different reasons — health, environment and better taste. When you are sure about this lifestyle, the changes in price doesn’t matter.”

Address: Dhanyam is located at No.24, North Boag Road, T.Nagar

Phone: 28157654

Sunday Shandy

P. B. Murali (along with his friend Ranganathan) has been an organic farmer for the last 22 years and has spent the last 10 years selling organic fruits, vegetables and produce at Luz Church Road, under the banner ‘Sunday Shandy’. “We had the market on Sunday initially but since it interfered with my farm activities, it has now been shifted to Friday. The other days, I sell packaged organic products,” he says. Pineapples from Nagaland, apples from Himachal Pradesh and sweet lime from Krishnagiri… Murali sources his organic products from all over the country. “Once people get used to the taste of organic fruits, especially, it’s hard to go back to the regular ones,” explains Murali, “I specialise in organic mangoes and grow mostly Alphonso, Banganapalli and Imampasand varieties on my farm.” Murali also sells unprocessed milk every Wednesday.

Murali’s shandy is held every Friday between 3 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.

Address: No.177, Luz Church Road, Mylapore

Phone: 93806-91203

http://www.dealsinchennai.com

Happened to read the article in “The Hindu” today regarding the “Letter of Intent” is not legally binding. This raised my eyebrows..Every student sits for placement in the college/recruiting camp. When they got recruited, the whole family and friends are happy on hearing their news. Until now, I have heard about fraud recruiting agents in the country, now not legal recruiting papers from the company itself is not valid for the job. Ethical standards are not followed in the company as well. Its a disturbing phenomenon. 

Below is the published content:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/letters-of-intent-not-legally-binding-says-hcl/article4661199.ece

Implication: job offers made at campus selection are not final

IT major HCL, which has been making headlines after industry freshers took to the streets opposing their recruitment policies, has in its formal reply to the State Labour Department said the letters of intent (LOI) given to the campus hires is “legally non-binding”.

“Candidates represented/referred in the complaint were issued legally non-binding LOI whereby they were merely short-listed for suitable opportunity, which may arise with HCL, in line of job openings and demands from time to time,” the letter states. HCL submits that the issuance of LOI is only “one of the steps in the recruitment process”, thereby implying that job offers made during campus recruitments are not final until appointment letters are sent.

Most companies hire in the seventh semester, and the final appointment letters are only given at the end of the course. During their agitation, the students had submitted that having been promised a job in HCL, they had not sat for recruitment drives of other companies and had lost crucial opportunities.

HCL, in its letter, points out that given the non-legally binding nature of the LOIs, there is no legal case against it. It points out that there is no “employer-employee relationship between HCL and any candidate and in the absence of such a relationship the complainants have no locus-standi to file the complaint”.

Maligning reputation

Imploring the Labour Department to reject the complaint and withdraw the notice, the letter claims that the company has been “repeatedly targeted by persons taking undue advantage of the situation”, and with the intention of maligning the reputation of the company. It also suggests that those who have lodged the complaint do not represent other candidates.

The company submits that it has on-boarded 1,000 candidates who were issued letters of intent and to 200 others, who are slated to join over April and May in the IT Infrastructure Management line of business. It may be recalled that when the HCL issue first came to light, the company offered the engineers, recruited for HCL Technologies, jobs at HCL Infrastructure. Several candidates rejected these jobs saying that the jobs paid much less than the jobs they were offered, and were not in the domain that they had applied for.

The delays, as HCL has said in previous statements, are attributed to the “constrained-growth in the IT services industry”. The company also points out that the situation has created an industry-wide delay in job openings.

Labour Department officials said they are considering the next course of action. “We will talk to the complainants and tell them about this response. Legally, we can intervene under the Industrial Disputes Act if a section of the workforce supports this complaint. In this case, there is no precedence for such a thing and we will have to consider what step we can take on this.”

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Successful Living

Early this year I had a chance to see the Dalai Lama when he was on his Australian Tour, I have to say he surprised me with his words of wisdom and sense of humor, I’ve kept a close eye on him and have come across these great rules by the Dalai Lama himself, Here they are.

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Living

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:

-Respect for self
-Respect for others
-Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Jan 22, 2013- LinkedIn post..

How to Spot the Five-Tool Superstar

January 21, 2013
 
 
In baseball, the holy grail for any talent scout is the discovery of the five-tool player — a player that can hit for average, hit for power, run, throw, and field. Willie Mays was the classic five-tool player. He could beat you with his bat, his arm, his glove and his legs, and he oftentimes did:

Over the years, one of the questions I’ve been asked most frequently is “What skills should I look for when hiring great talent?” The answer I give is the same I would to any indivdual looking to advance his/her career. As in baseball, consider this five-tool framework:
1. Technology vision

Bill Gates understood the implications of Moore’s Law and subsequently envisioned a day in which there would be a computer on every desktop; Marc Andreessen appreciated the potential of the internet well before his browser made it accessible and usable by everyone; and Elon Musk recognized that advances in energy storage might one day make it possible for the mass production of high performance electric vehicles.

In a world where business success is increasingly determined by innovative breakthroughs — where software allows companies to reach hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in milliseconds; where technological advances mean product creation and iteration happen at previously unseen rates — one of the most valuable skills is the ability to understand where technology is headed and what’s possible as a result. What made Wayne Gretzky great, as he once famously acknowledged, was the ability to skate to where the puck was going, not to where it had been. The same can be said of a visionary technologist.

2. Product sensibility

As valuable as a vision for technology can be, without a clear understanding of how that technology can be applied to meet the unmet needs of customers, that vision will be limited to great research papers, futurist journals, and symposium speeches. Substantially greater value accrues once that technology moves from a place of theoretical understanding to a practical application that ultimately delights customers.

Having great product sensibilities is perhaps best illustrated by Steve Jobs. The Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad are all examples of manifesting advances in technology in simple, intuitive, and beautifully designed products that changed people’s lives and fundamentally changed the world.

3. Business acumen

Developing a product in high demand is not enough. Just ask the countless consumer web companies of the late 1990s whose plan was to lose a dollar on every sale but make it up on volume.

The truly great, lasting products don’t just meet consumer needs — they are built on sustainable, long-term business models that mutually benefit multiple players within their respective ecosystems. Take Google for example.

Building on the work of Bill Gross’ bidded search model at Overture, Google added a clickability variable that would reward the most relevant sponsored search ads (the ones searchers were most likely to click on and transact with) and penalize the least relevant. With the introduction of relevancy into the prevailing search advertising model, they created a powerful virtuous cycle and one of the most successful business models ever. Consumers with commercial intent could find exactly what they were looking for, advertisers could utilize ROI analytics and bid rationally for placement, and Google realized a massively scalable source of profit they could reinvest in improving existing products (search index comprehensiveness, algorithmic search quality) and developing and/or acquiring new ones (e.g. Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Android).

4. Leadership

You can have a clear understanding of where technology is heading, an uncanny sense for how to turn that technology into a must-have product, and a Midas-like instinct for creating value. However, if you can’t effectively communicate your vision and attract and retain world-class talent to execute it, you’ll have nothing more than a plan. To realize that plan, you’ll need to lead.

For me, leadership is simply defined as the ability to inspire others to achieve shared objectives. Managers tell people what to do; leaders inspire them to do it.

To inspire, you’ll need clarity of vision, the courage of your convictions, and the ability to effectively communicate both. This holds no matter the size or stage of your company: Start-ups need to inspire new recruits to join the team, VCs to invest, and existing employees to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds; more mature companies need to explain to new and existing talent why they’ll be able to have disproportionate impact on already well established platforms, convince decision makers to take intelligent risks, and educate external constituencies, e.g. Wall Street, the press, etc., on where the company is heading next.

Regardless of where your business is in its life cycle or how successful it has been to date, you’ll need the right leadership to ultimately realize its full potential.

5. Resourcefulness

As important as the previously mentioned skills are, I would trade them all for the ability to get s*&% done.

Every individual and every team, no matter how skilled, is eventually going to experience obstacles — running out of funds, the inability to scale a key piece of technology, a shift in consumer sentiment, a new entrant in the competitive landscape, naysayers within the organization — if it’s worth doing, you will always find yourself hitting walls. With that in mind, the most valuable people I’ve worked with are the ones that use sheer force of will to go around those walls, climb over them, or just flat out knock them down.

There’s a great scene from the film “Apollo 13” that embodies this approach. The movie depicts the real-life series of events in which NASA attempts to return the manned Apollo 13 spacecraft to Earth after experiencing a series of potentially catastrophic failures (“Houston, we have a problem”). Through sheer ingenuity and determination, all three astronauts eventually make it home safely. This clip captures the resourcefulness and determination that made it possible:

Whether it’s in baseball or business, the true five-tool player is a rare find — so much so that most successful teams don’t have any five-tool players, let alone multiple players with more than one skill. What the best teams have are individuals who recognize what capabilities they have and which they lack, and subsequently complement one another such that in the aggregate, they have the ability to draw upon all five tools.

Rather than simultaneously strive to achieve excellence in all five areas, start by selecting one where you not only have the aptitude, but also possess the passion to continuously improve and master that ability over time. Being superlative at any one of the five tools will make you valuable to any team; two or more will make you a star. All five and one day you just may find yourself mentioned with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos among the pantheon of modern day business greats.

The below questions are good  to evaluate at each and every project.  This information is taken from Jan 18,2013 linkedIn news…

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Over the past 30+ years as a recruiter, I can confirm that at least two-thirds of my hiring manager clients weren’t very good at interviewing. Yet, over 90% thought they were. To overcome this situation, it was critical that I became a better interviewer than them, to prove with evidence that the candidate was competent and motivated to do the work required. This led me on a quest for the single best interview question that would allow me to overcome any incorrect assessment with actual evidence.

It took about 10 years of trial and error. Then I finally hit upon one question that did it all.

Here’s it is:

What single project or task would you consider your most significant accomplishment in your career so far?

To see why this simple question is so powerful, imagine you’re the candidate and I’ve just asked you this question. What accomplishment would you select? Then imagine over the course of the next 15-20 minutes I dug deeper and asked you about the following. How would you respond?

  • Can you give me a detailed overview of the accomplishment?
  • Tell me about the company, your title, your position, your role, and the team involved.
  • What were the actual results achieved?
  • When did it take place and how long did the project take.
  • Why you were chosen?
  • What were the 3-4 biggest challenges you faced and how did you deal with them?
  • Where did you go the extra mile or take the initiative?
  • Walk me through the plan, how you managed to it, and if it was successful.
  • Describe the environment and resources.
  • Describe your manager’s style and whether you liked it or not.
  • Describe the technical skills needed to accomplish the objective and how they were used.
  • Some of the biggest mistakes you made.
  • Aspects of the project you truly enjoyed.
  • Aspects you didn’t especially care about and how you handled them.
  • How you managed and influenced other, with lots of examples.
  • How you changed and grew as a person.
  • What you would do differently if you could do it again.
  • What type of formal recognition did your receive?

If the accomplishment was comparable to a real job requirement, and if the answer was detailed enough to take 15-20 minutes to complete, consider how much an interviewer would know about your ability to handle the job. The insight gained from this type of question would be remarkable. But the real issue is not the question, this is just a setup. The details underlying the accomplishment are what’s most important. This is what real interviewing is about – getting into the details and comparing what the candidate has accomplished in comparison to what needs to be accomplished. Don’t waste time asking a lot of clever questions during the interview, or box checking their skills and experiences: spend time learning to get the answer to just this one question.

As you’ll discover you’ll then have all of the information to prove to other interviewers that their assessments were biased, superficial, emotional, too technical, intuitive or based on whether they liked the candidate or not. Getting the answer to this one question is all it takes.

Story of an irrational..

Posted: January 11, 2013 in Daily talk

Today morning, when I read Kiruba’s blog (http://www.kiruba.com/2013/01/i-only-have-1500-weekends-to-live-thats-it.html), it reminds me the days of Master thesis time i.e., Oct. 2005 – Apr. 2006. I was doing my thesis in Xalted networks, Bangalore. I was staying with Govindarajan and Sridhar at Konappana Agrahara, Bangalore. Mostly every day morning, I was woken by a mobile call of an elderly person from our family. She cries over the phone call and asks me to take steps to talk to her daughter as I was the only person talking to them from our family. I vehemently understand their emotions and tried to take steps to talk to their daughter even then she was in India for some period of time. My friends used to ask me why such an elderly person shows her emotions to you. Even I tried to speak to my Uncle(s) to solve this issue, resulted in vain. That time, I used to mention my friends that for a life of mere 7000-10000 days more, they made their daughter-in-law  not to speak to her mother. During that time, I felt, sometimes these people are mere human without its values.  Of-course, this helped me a lot to sculpture myself how one should handle a family not like the negative opinion of my family members. Personally, I don’t like speaking to the persons who has negative mentality than taking account of negative happenings for a course of an action.  Many times, I don’t bring any of my family relatives to decide an action in my life.  After reading Kiruba’s blog, it gives 100% more confidence to me that I am align with few people in this world on certain ideologies.

I am not proud of myself or show-off myself that I am so matured at the age of 25. However, all the credits ascendingly goes to my mother, father, teachers and the society whom I consider as equal as God of learning . They helped me how to handle the pressure, negative speaking people, etc., in this world. Above all, my next task is to teach those values to my son. May be it shouldn’t be a herculean task. Let’s try with the strength receiving from Lord Hanuman.