Sunday, March 29, 2009

Structures Contest @ Galaxy

For the uninitiated, Galaxy is the Intra-IIT Kanpur cultural festival. The event used to happen on a mega scale till about seven years back when the intense rivalry between hostels, resulting in ugly fights, became its nemesis. This year the event is being revived on quite a large scale. Even though the competitive spirit is not as strong as the folklore about the olden times tells us, still I would say that the spirit is quite high.

One particular competition that has the most stories attached to it and used to be the most competitive is the structures event. This year again the competition is back and looking at the work going on today for the structures I could feel the intense competition.

The Hall 5 team was building a mammoth Trojan Horse and took almost 6 - 7 hours to transport the structure from the hall to the auditorium grounds, a distance of less than a kilometre. This should give you an idea of the effort that people are putting in for the competition. The structure was shifted by human power involving only the students and nowhere any wheels were being used for the transport. I was reminded of the stories telling us of students who walked upside down even at the peril of their eyes becoming all red with blood. I also realised that this is the event that tests the true engineering skills and sheer human spirit.

Now the teams have till tomorrow evening to assemble their structures and put everything into place. A twist in the tale was brought by the late night rains. Lets see how teams protect their structures and if they were prepared for this eventuality. This is one competition that promises to go down to the wire.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The festival controversy

Once upon a time in a land far away called IIT Kanpur there used to be two festivals. Actually the institute celebrated quite a few of these festivals but these two were the special ones in the sense that they were chosen to be clubbed, becoming a part of a controversy threatening to become a Kashmir-like issue.

Let's come to the point. IIT Kanpur is planning to club its Science and Technology Festival, Techkriti and the Business and Entrepreneurship Festival, Megabucks. This is being done because it is felt that the students are spending way too much time in the organization of these festivals and hence their number needs to be reduced. So far so good. Though I do not understand the logic behind the combination of Technology and Business Fests - come on guys, don't tell me that Kharagpur clubbed what-ever and what-ever to create Kshitij. Do you need to emulate the wrong doings of others?

Even if we go ahead with the merger, the next issue that arises is of the name. What should we name the festival - should it be Techkriti or Megabucks or something very different from either of these two names? The honorable Students' Senate at IIT Kanpur went ahead and decided that the new name should be completely different from either of these. If we can't maintain the brand value of both the fests, do we need to lose both of them? We can keep the brand which has more value and is older. When we create a new name, we are starting from absolutely new grounds. Companies and students do look for the brand name of the festival and only IIT Kanpur is not enough. When you talk to companies they talk about Techfest and Kshitij and don't only refer to them by Bombay and Kharagpur.

Some people talked about a new name for the festival so that the departments of Humanities and Management do not feel left out. I give it to you guys. Don't you realize that ultimately we are a Technology institute. Even a split of the numbers would tell you - be it students or faculty or courses. So let's not lose focus. Techkriti has been our mainstay festival and we cannot afford to lose it. Consider the situation when someone asks to change the name of the Cultural Fest, Antaragni because literary events from Alfaaz and movie related Umang events are being conducted in Antaragni. Won't it be hilarious? Similarly it is very very foolish to change the name of Techkriti.

In fact, Megabucks initially started out as a part of Techkriti. Moreover, if we look at the meaning of 'Techkriti', it very well conveys the theme of the new festival as well. 'Tech'-Technology and 'kriti' for creativity, innovation and spirit of creation. This is exactly what we are trying to do in the new festival.

Another interesting aspect to consider is the Golden Jubilee celebrations of IIT Kanpur. In this year when we should be consolidating on our existing festivals and in fact go on to hold them with great pomp and show, we would be scrapping two existing festivals to create one new entity which has never been heard of before. What do I say? Should I even say something?

I can still go on ranting about it. But what's the point. The people in power are like the politicians of the country - taking their own decisions and conviniently ignoring the opinion of the people. In fact, there was a mail sent out in this regard by the President of the Students' Gymkhana which smelt of anger against a particular group of people.

The worst part is that the trouble won't end here. Even if we manage to decide against a name, the actual organization of the festival might turn out to be a battleground. Each side would be trying to get as much space as possible. I would just pray for the festival and hope that God injects some brains into the Students' Senate and help them come up with very clear guidelines for the festival and hope that these guidelines are based on sound logic.

The following part of the post appeared first in the comments. Then I decided to include it in the main post as well.

Talking about the post, Nitin brought about another issue. He said that Techkriti focused not only on technology and science but also on design and other areas promoted by the institute. This was evident by the animation and other design contests organized during the festival.

Another valid point that came up during the discussion was that if the long run was being considered, clubbing entrepreneurship events into Techkriti made more sense and people would come to associate it with the business events as well. If the senate felt that in the longer run people would come to know of the new name, then it would be a much better idea to introduce Megabucks back into Techkriti. In fact, the Bio-Business Plan contest and the Olymbiz could be made a part of Megabucks under Techkriti.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

IITs, IIMs largest source of business leaders

Reading the Economics Times in the morning today, I came across an interesting article. Actually more than interesting, the article boosted my ego. After the initial ego boost, it also provoked thoughts as to what was to become of me in the future. Will I be able to better what was being written in that article? I know, enough of beating about the bush. Let's come straight to the point. The article, in a line, said, "If you are a CEO of one of India’s top 200 companies, there’s a 50/50 chance that you call either IIT or IIM your alma mater, a study by executive search firm, EMA Partners International, shows.". The whole article can be read at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4290530.cms

As an after-thought, one really needs to see what was the basis of this write-up. Generally, all such articles have very little scientific basis. Anyways, even crap can make you feel good about yourself.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Big Bang Theory

The show is awesome to say the least. With every episode I become a bigger and bigger fan of the comedy. Can't really pin point it to one particular thing. I think the whole setup is awesome. The sexy-dumb blonde Penny, the overly intelligent yet stupid Sheldon, the lost in between Lenard, the Jew (have no words or adjectives to describe him) Howard and finally the girl-shy Indian Raj all add to the charisma of the show. I could also attribute my fascination to the fact that I see a bit of me in all the male characters. :P

Watch the show guys! Its totally worth it.

Wear Sunscreen

I saw this video in somebody's gtalk status message and really liked it. Listen to it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=IN&hl=en-GB&v=xfq_A8nXMsQ This is a nice motivational video. I really believe in a lot of things that this song says. Here are the lyrics:

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99:

Wear sunscreen! If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.

Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you whenyou were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


The song is really awesome and there are many parts which I simply love. In fact, the more I look over the lyrics the more I realize that I actually love the whole song. Sink into it guys.

General Musharraf in a tight spot

Many things have been going around me and I have been thinking of posting a lot of stuff. But somehow I get caught up in one thing or the other and I end up posting nothing.

First of all look at this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP9JCusfje0
This shows an Indian Muslim asking questions to General Musharraf. Take a look at this yourself.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Interview Experience - 4

From the west we move to the far east. This time the interview was not all that feel good as on earlier occasions. Anyways, since I have this blogging bug these days so I will go on to post this one too. In fact, there were 2 separate interviews and the second one was awesome so I will post that one too.

I was supposed to report at 2:00pm and I reached there by 1:40pm. There were a couple of babus sitting there verifying the certificates. If this was to be done before 2pm they should have made this known earlier. Then they started asking for photocopies of the certificates which was outrageous since they had nowhere asked for them in the interview letter. Anyhow I managed to get all of this done before 2 and reached the GD place in time.

The topic for GD was "Life is a fantasy. Reality is revealed through dreams.". A fish market GD with nothing good coming out of it. The panel stopped us 5 minutes into the GD. Then the GD started again. But was finally stopped after 2 minutes. Then everyone was asked to summarize. I could only enter once in the GD. My summary was logical and good. So overall I would rate my overall GD performance as average.

I was the first person to be interviewed by a panel numbered 17. The interview in short was weird. There were 3 panelists - let us call them P1, P2 & P3.

P2: Who is the director of IIT Kanpur?
Me: (answered)

P2: You are from Kanpur?
Me: Yes

P1: (Starts a discussion about industries in Kanpur and why they died.)
Me: Chip in with points

P1 & P2: Why don't people like you do something for Kanpur?
Me: Talk about an NGO - Parivartan but he is not very satisfied.

P2: Are you interested in politics?
Me: Yeah - decently.

P2: What happened in the Orissa assembly yesterday?
Me: (Clueless)

P1: Did you read the newspaper today?
Me: Sorry. Came by train in the morning. Did not have a chance to look at the newspaper.

P2: Ok. What is happening on the national scene?
Me: Talk about Third Front.

P2: Who are the Prime Ministerial candidates from the Third Front?
Me: Some blah.

P2: Which party does Jayalalitha belong to?
Me: Answered.

P2: Who is the Chief Minister of Karnataka?
Me: (No answer)

P2: What is roughly the age of Karunanidhi?
Me: around 80

P3 jumps into the action now.

P3: What maths courses have you done?
Me: Differential & Integral calculus.

P3: What is the difference between slope and gradient?
Me: (No idea whatsoever. First year course - don't remember shit)

P3: Relationship between normal and tangent.
Me: (No clue)

P3: But you have done these courses.
Me: Talk about being confident of picking all this up in a day's notice.

Then we get into a discussion on the usefulness / futility of exams. I ask him to probe him in Computer Science.

P3: Ok what is the time complexity of calculation of factorial?
Me: Order (n) where n is the number.

P3: In terms of digits of the number?
Me: Exponential - trying to explain him the math behind it.

P1: Ok. Your parents are both from Science background. What is their influence in asking you to go for a management degree?
Me: Some blah blah. Talk about venture and stuff.

P1: Since you are mentioning the venture so much - What do you believe are the two most essential things required for a venture?
Me: Talks about idea and team.

Px: What are the places to visit in Kanpur?
Me: Talk about Bithoor and stuff.

P2: Mythology. Culture. What do you know about Indian culture?
Me: (Blank)

P2: You have done sociology. Introduce Indian culture to a westerner.
Me: (Take some time) Some useless crap. Give one example of whatever I had read in the books.

They nod that the interview is over and I get up. I am walking towards the door when P3 starts talking.

P3: What was your percentile? What all calls do you have?
Me: Told.

Finally I walk out and the worst interview in this series is over.

After that I go to the second panel and wait for a couple of hours as I was the last guy to be interviewed by that panel. I must say before starting that this interview was awesome and if they don't like me after this interview then no one possibly can.

Again there are three panelists - P1, P2 & P3.

Starts off with some discussion about my master's and bachelor's degree in computer science. Then talk about my job offer.

P1: Why don't you go and work for that software firm? It will give you the right direction.
Me: Some blah. Talk about venture and stuff.

P1: Ok. So what are your interests? Technology?
Me: Yeah. (Take out my cell phone and flash it in front of them) Then talk about more gadgets that I have and generally how I got addicted.

P2: Ok so what is going to be next big thing in 5 years?
Me: If I knew I would be marketing that. :P Then talk about final goal being integration of human brain and technology. Only incremental improvements seemingly feasible in the next 5 years.

Some discussion follows.

P1: Ok. What else?
Me: Contemporary fiction. (Define it)

Px: Is this what is contemporary fiction?
Me: Not really. But that is what I read. Though I have even read Arudhati Roy and stuff.

P3: Ok. Tell me the story of God of Small Things.
Me: Some blah blah.

P2: Have you seen some changes in Google in the recent past?
Me: Talk about changes possible in the page ranks. Give my opinion too.

P2: Have you used amazon.com for buying stuff?
Me: Yes

P2: What is the recommeded items thing?
Me: Describe it with a couple of examples.

P2: What is Softare Development Life Cycle?
Me: I don't know.

Then I start blabbering something. P3 also chips in and finally I give them a satisfactory answer. They seem pretty happy and impressed.

P1: (Jokingly) What is the funda of this beard?
Me: Tell him something.

P1: Oh this is like a gate pass.
P2: (Smiling) It also gives you a managerial look.

Then they look at each other and finally the interview was over. When I walked out of the room I was feeling very satisfied, more so because of the debacle in the previous interview.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Interview Experience - 3

This time I was interviewing for an institute in Western India. As is customary with every interview, there was a hint of nervousness in me. Moreover this being an early morning affair I felt a little disadvantaged, I being a nocturnal creature. With the reporting time at 8:45 I reached there at 7:30. A couple of people had arrived even before me.

The process started a couple of minutes late with the arrival of a prof who announced the list for a panel. I was on that list but I was the last guy interviewing with that panel. Generally the notion is that the last guy interviewing with a panel gets the least time and attention. So I was a little disappointed. Anyways, we were all taken upstairs and asked to wait till the rooms were setup. This particular institute asked the candidates to write a small essay in about 10 minutes. People had noted that this was the most stressing thing with most people unable to complete the write-up. But I could not believe my luck, when I saw a prof roaming with the topic in hand and showing it off coolly. Apparently, he was holding his stack of papers with the bottomside up and the topic was there for all to see. Now the only thing was that this could be a trap. Still I had to start thinking in case this indeed was the topic.

Soon we were called in and asked to put in our papers in order. Then the essay topic was put up. It was the same as I had seen earlier - "Democracy is the best form of governance". I was also excited with the topic because a couple of days earlier I had a discussion with ashkd on this same blog about democracy. So starting with Abraham Lincoln's quote, I discussed the positives and negatives of democracy. Finally I ended with opining in favour of democracy and with a couple of suggestions to make it better. I felt it was an ok writeup which would just serve the purpose.

Now it was a long wait for me. I was feeling bored outside with others trying to get into the interview mode or trying to read up more and more for the interview. After about 45 minutes Kunal (one of the dudes from IITK), the first guy on our panel was through with his interview. And then Ruchi (again from IIT K) also came in. She had her interview in afternoon. So we all decided to go to Barista. I think now that it was the wisest decision possible. Helped me calm my nerves given that I am a cold coffee guzzler. And I was back in time with the person slated before me just waiting for his turn to walk in.

Soon it was my turn to go in. I straightened my suit and got ready with the folder in hand. I walked in and was shown the seat. There were 2 panelists - let us call them P1 and P2. They had my forms in their hands.

P1: So what do you beside academics?
Me: Talk about reading contemporary fiction - Chetan Bhagat, Bhaduri, Raheja et al.

P1: Why? What do you like?
Me: Blah blah.

P1: Have you read all of Chetan Bhagat?
Me: Yeah.

P1: Which do you like the most and why?
Me: Five point someone. Some more blah blah.

P1: (Looking at the form) What is this BQC? Bournvita Quiz Contest?
Me: Yes. Went on to the Quarter Finals on TV and then lost out.

P1: So you interested in quizzing?
Me: Was. Now in college I am more into programming and organizing festivals. Talk about Techkriti marketing.

P2: What did you do with all that money?
Me: Blah Blah.

P2: You won this GD contest. Was it a national level thing? How many teams?
Me: Some more blah blah.

P1: Ok you have your interests in technology and have all the experience. Then why MBA?
Me: Blah blah - I serve the old wine in a new bottle.

P2: What is your degree in M.Tech.?
Me: Computer Science and Engineering

P2: No specialization? In Madras they have B.Tech. in Civil Engg and M.Tech. in some specialized area.
Me: Some blah blah.

P2: Ok do you have some industrial training as well?
Me: Yeah. Talk about Microsoft internship.

P2: What exactly did you do there?
Me: Some blah about setup and stuff.

P2: So you actually went there?
Me: Yeah.

P2: How many interns in all?
Me: On this project just one. Overall 11 people from India.

Then some more discussion about the work that I did follows.

P2: Though it is trivial. Still tell me about the optimization conditions in a single variable function.
Me: (Trying to be smart) Talk about point of inflection and 2nd diff being zero. I draw some curves and try to explain. Some discussion follows.

P2 is in deep thought now.

P2: Ok. Draw the graph of x to the power 4.
Me: (Doing the math and trying to draw the graph.)

P2: Do the math later and draw the graph first.
Me: (Draw it)

P2: Now does your condition not fail? Why?
Me: Yes. In this case we need to go to the third derivative and so on.

P1: (jumping in) I am not a technical guy but please tell me the slope of the graph at the points that I have marked.
(Hands over a piece of paper to me with a simple graph and 5 - 6 points marked on it)
Me: Tells him the slope and the points of non-differentiability.

P1: (to P2) Anything else?
P2: No.

P1: Do you have any venture ideas?
Me: Not really. Then I talk about my thesis work and its potential as a venture idea.

P1: How many venture ideas come out of Mtech research? Why?
Me: Blah.. blah..

P1: Ok. Thanks. Pick up 2 toffees for the long wait.
Me: (Pick up toffees and walk out)

After the interview I decide to hang around for a while and after 5 minutes P2 walks out. I walk towards him and he starts talking.

P2: You had an AIR of 124.
Me: Yes. 126.

P2: Why did you take five year programme at Kanpur?
Me: Four year thing was over before that. And some more blah.

P2: Ohh. How many seats in Kanpur? When did it close?
Me: Some blah.

P2: So Kanpur is nationally the first choice then?
Me: Yes.

Me: Ask him about his profile.
While he is answering Abhiraj, THE dude from IIT K, comes from behind - "Interview ho gaya?" (Interview over?)

Me: (Nodding) Yeah.
Then Abhiraj realizes the situation and backs off a little.

P2: So you guys together?
Me: Yeah. We are from Kanpur so waiting for each other.

P2: Ok.
Me: Thanks.

And finally the whole interaction with the panel is over. Overall a decent experience. Was able to talk about a lot of stuff that I would have liked the interview board to know.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kanwal Rekhi's talk

During the blogging spree during Techkriti'09, I had mentioned about the talk given by Kanwal Rekhi and also written about a few points that he had raised. I later realized that there was a lot that I had not written about and that was worth discussing. I am copying the relevant content from the earlier post and adding the new points that I now believe should have been mentioned earlier-on itself.

For the uninitiated, he is a very famous entrepreneur and was one of the people responsible for the rise of Silicon Valley. Complete bio can be read at - http://www.asianpacificfund.org/awards/bio_rekhi.shtml. He came across as a very on-the-face guy who was not afraid of speaking what he truly felt. There were quite a few things that I liked in his talk.

One great anecdote was about the image that Indians had in the 1960's in the US - it was of snake charmers and beggars. A prof called him and offered assistance since he came from a third world country. When Dr. Rekhi aced the test, the prof warned him against cheating. On the second test, the prof stood behind Dr. Rekhi and observed him throughout the test. When Dr. Rekhi aced the test again, the prof congratulated him - for excellent cheating skills.

Coming back to serious talk, he took Japan as an example and showed that it was not growing due to lack of entrepreneurial activities and due to the excessive discipline followed by the Japanese. He said that entrepreneurs were the creators of wealth. They were able to able to do because they were full of unrest and were the breakers of discipline. He then connected to India and said that India in the first 50 years could not progress because we had a wall around us. The competition is really good for growth. Talking about the differences between managers and entrepreneurs he said that the entrepreneurs were visionaries and thought about getting gains of 10x instead of 10%. They also had to be the generalists forming the link between the various departments. The final thing that he mentioned that recession was as good a time to venture out as any other time.

During the talk he had raised a lot of points about the Indian economy that I really found valid. He said that people in India will remain poor till the time the economy is agriculture driven. He did some simple math to prove his point. In the US, only 2% of the population survived on agriculture. Hence this 2% population earns from the food expense of the rest of the 98% other people. Hence a farmer would earn about 49 times the food expense of an individual. Come to India, 60% of the population is involved in agriculture. That effectively means that 60% of the population is going to earn from the food expense of the rest of the 40% of the people. That essentially would leave a farmer two-thirds time the food expense of an individual. The difference is mind boggling - 49 times v/s 0.67 times.

Another interesting thing that he mentioned was about the early leaders of free India who had studied at Oxford and other universities in UK. They believed that socialism was the way to go because that was they had learnt at college. But what they did not realize was that socialism was fine for England, not so much for India. England was getting money from its colonies and then only the issue of fair distribution of wealth was left - hence socialism. But in India, there was no wealth. What would socialism do in India? The wealth had to be created first before it could be distributed. Hence, according to him, in the post-1991 era India has progressed much more than it had in the previous 40 years.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Windows auto-update

Why does this auto-update have to auto-restart the computer? You go off to sleep thinking that some job would be completed in the meanwhile and you get up to find that the so very intelligent windows has restarted the computer in the middle of the whole thing. Can these windows people ever imagine how badly it hurts a guy who has not restarted his machine for over 100 days.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Awesome spirit

Just watch this video and look at the spirit of the man. There was one other time when I had felt the human spirit so strongly. That was way back in class 4 in school. A class mate of mine won the school open 1500m race defeating all the known athletes from standards 10, 11 and 12. The words of the commentator ring still in my ears - "Look at the spirit of the little girl". That was one time and the next one is this.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WebMurga

www.webmurga.com - This is the link to follow. A senior of mine - the world-famous Abhishek Anand - has launched this own venture. This has been a dream project for him and I have seen him bust his ass continuously for around a year. Finally his perseverance has paid off and his site is up on the web. Go check it out!

Mindless advertising

Continuing with the previous post, I was reminded of the new campaign that the Congress is about to launch. It is about to take credit for all the good that has been happening in the recent past including credit for Abhinav Bindra's success as well as Slumdog Millionaire. What are honchos thinking? Does the congress want to celebrate the fact that it has been in power for almost close to 60 years and yet these slums exist? Does it want to celebrate the fact that Congress itself is the reason for these slums? Or does Congress want to celebrate the fact that in spite of being in power for 50 years it has done only so much for sports? God only knows.

Advertising by Governments

I have been wondering about this for quite a while and have not been able to find any reason for the above - advertising by the governments. Why does the Govt of India need to air adverts in India showing how much the country is progressing? If it were a political party doing it, I would understand. But, a government? Isn't it hilarious? Unfortunately, the people in power don't find it funny and before each elections the political party starts airing these ads with big portraits of their leaders and pass it off as a government expense. So sad is the state of affairs in India.

This came to my notice first with the India Shining campaign launched by the then NDA Govt. Now it is a Congress campaign. And recently I saw an ad by Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government on Aj Tak - a national channel, promoting the progress made by the state of Uttar Pradesh under the Mayawati rule. At least, have the courage to bear the expense from the political party's coffers. Not to say that the political parties collect money in a legitimate way. Recently there was a case about a murder in connection with collection for party funds and hardly anything was done about it. Coming back to the UP Govt ad, it ran for almost a couple of minutes. If the money that is being spent these ads were diverted to development, for each run of the ad we could change the life of a couple of poor kids (or maybe, even more) forever. But the government is meant to boast about its so-called accomplishments rather than actually doing anything on ground.

Another thing that I have noticed of late, given that the elections are around the corner, are the full page ads that are given in national dailies proclaiming the inauguration of one service or the other in some place. The ad will contain half a page of pictures - of both central and state ministers from that area. It feels so irritating to see tax payer's money going down the drain with no constructive use whatsoever.



I would propose that a legislation should be brought that the Governments should not be allowed to advertise about their achievements or inauguration of a scheme or something. But then, I realise, who will bring about this legislation?