India and Innovation

The other day, while interacting with students of a particular institution,the topic for Group Discussion (GD) was,”Is India an Innovating hub?” A majority of the discussion was about how we don’t recognize talent and hence innovation doesn’t happen. Some about the rote system of education, while a minuscule agreed but were unable to support their arguments.

It would be worthwhile to hear Prof Nirmalya Kumar of LSE talk on ‘India’s Invisible Innovation’ at London Business School. He talks of the kind of innovation happening across India, which the world (and we as Indians) are unaware of. I understand the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) that companies sign and hence this cloak of secrecy. But we need to be aware and then we shall be Proud! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBX95Qb-Xoo)

The world stared in awe when we launched the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and numerous stories were doing rounds. Mr Basavaraj Handigund made a small video highlighting the wonderful facts of the mission succinctly. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unN4DzCGYsY OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INz6PgxRP70)

The number of  Indians winning prizes/ competitions globally for innovation is outstanding. Google awarded Team Indus $1 mn in Landing category in Google Lunar Xprize to land a robot in Moon. A £10mn Competition by BAE was organised “How to Stay Longer in air without refueling”. Under team leader Satiskumar Anusuya, cracked the Euro jackpot by generating energy from the vibrations of ac wings and store electricity. Two groups of students from a Mumbai-based engineering college won the global aero design competition in US. 15 year Saurabh Singh wins NASA Whiz Kid competition. Students from Ghaziabad won the NASA Space Settlement Design Competition, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. NASA received over 994 entries from 3,007 students belonging to over 21 different countries for this competition.

India is Innovating. Each time your mom puts up a dish on the table there is some sort of innovation happening. Jugaad is a good word. It’s in our DNA and hence with minimal resource we maximize output and think of various options. India is Innovating . Proud to be an Indian .

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Religious Tolerance

What is the percentage of Muslims in the Indian Army?

0% .. there are NO Muslims in the Indian Army. There are NO Hindus either.

There are only soldiers, Officers with the surname as Khan have often led Diwali Puja and Officers with Jain as a surname have often led prayers and sweet distribution on Eid. This is the Indian Army. We have one religion.

The religion is India.

WOmen SAFety (WOSAF) #78

Be Alert . Be Aware . Be Safe .

Be Alert.

Planning ahead helps you to be alert. Plan ahead. Plan a route out and route in. How will you return from the late night party? If you are having a drink or two, who will drop you? Have you pre-booked your cab? Being alert to the situation will avert being in an untoward situation. Alert to knowing which are the Bank ATMs on my route (they’ve 24/7 guard on duty), police station, their number, emergency numbers on speed dial, ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers – these are for the para medics to access should you be involved in an accident.

Be Aware.

Be aware of your surroundings. Make the phone call later. Walk briskly. Look around rather than walking with drooping shoulders, looking down. Your gut feel is correct; if you are uncomfortable, leave the place. Your sixth sense is telling you something, listen to it. Hone this skill with practice. Many women’s peripheral vision is up to almost 180 degree. Utilize this to forewarn you of danger. You can smell danger.

Be Safe.

Take measures to be safe. Majority of the times planning ahead can avoid such situations. Know certain basics of SITCON (situation control) and retain initiative always. Distract & disable. How to use your day to day things to protect yourself. Know the ‘soft spots’ that you can target. Bigger the person – larger the target, good! You can’t miss.

I’ll be posting my weekly tips on WOSAF here. My previous #77 tips are on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/colsengupta