Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random Musings

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

In my last post I said I would blog everyday. But that is too Utopian.

The last few days were like complete dry days (not in the sense of alcohol but with respect to ideas). It was like one of those few patches where ideas were hard to find. And whatever I could think to blog was too personal. Well, I am kind of coy person and many would feel I am shy when you have a conversation with me. But the best part is I can blog about "What to blog?" and so I move from my physical introvert character to a complete extrovert online being.

I have started the post by one of my favorite poems. I don't remember when I had first seen this poem in school, but I do remember that I understood nothing from it the first time. Now when I understand the power of choice the poem has much more significance. A song which is in tune with the theme and also one of my favorites "The boulevard of broken dreams" by Green Day.

Now with the continuous net connectivity in F Hostel (except when there is a power cut for a few minutes) many of my friends have taken up blogging. And some of my friends always wonder about my persistent online availability on GTalk/Yahoo Messenger. The past two weeks was complete addiction to www surfing sites like,, NY Times, WSJ, TOI, looking for bloggers with same interests as mine, watching olympics on You Tube, ad infinitum. That has now been under check and with the sessional test coming up next week I hope it remains so.

As I was about to end this post this is what I find on my Orkut home page........

Today's fortune: You and your partner will be happy in your life together

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Independence Day Post

A very Happy Independence Day (Indian Independence Day 15th August) to one and all.
2008-1947 = 61 years of political independence for India and how much we have progressed in these years?? Let's do a quick check and enumerate the things India accomplished during these years:
  • India became an independent country in 1947 and it's constitution came into force on 26th January 1950. Thus India became republic and also the BIGGEST DEMOCRACY in the world, which in fact was an audacious move.
  • India is the second most culturally, linguistically and genetically diverse geographical entity after the African continent and sustaining 61 years of such diversity itself is a monumental achievement.
  • Although being a young country India was the co-founder of Non-Alignment Movement and maintained friendly relations with both USA and USSR during the cold war.
  • During this period India has fought four wars against Pakistan (feel very sorry for that) and one against China.
  • Indira Gandhi became the prime minister in 1960s and 1970s the first female to do so in India and USA is still hopeful for their Mrs. President.
  • India demonstrated it's scientific and technological might by conducting Nuclear tests in 1974 and also around this time Green revolution and operation flood made India self reliant in food and grains.
  • Also India was one of the very few countries to possess satellites and plan for space programs.
  • Then came in the era(1990-91) of economic reforms the benefits of which we are still reaping. India was benefited by the emergence of IT and Software based industries.
  • The 21st century saw the emergence of India as an economic giant with GDP growing at around 8%.
This seems a long enough list for the day. There are many more events that make every Indian proud. But we must not be complacent with 61 happy years, we have newer challenges cropping up.

"Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?" Mohandas Gandhi.

My next post will be "My vision for India...." an assignment we have for economics.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

UMPPs..... a chimera

The net is back in our hostels and its awesome. So beginning this August I plan to write atleast 1 post every day (just joking guys ;) maybe every week
Ok now moving on to the title UMPP is Ultra Mega Power Projects. People who are not aware what this means click here. If you are lazy to redirect, UMPPs are power plants with capacity greater than 4000 MW (MegaWatts of electricity). The honorable Government of India plans to ameliorate the starving power scenario in India by starting up such humongous projects. Now if I look at this from a perspective of a common man I am very happy. Atleast the ever lasting problem of load shedding will be over. We will have access to electricity continuous without any disturbances (except in some cases like rains and floods) But wait a minute...... being an engineer esp. electrical :) I cannot just look at the jolly side of the scene.
These projects would be coal fired and will be located throughout India to provide power to all states. But what about Global Warming? I find it hard to understand why go for thermal when the entire world is venturing out into Non-Conventional energy resources. An official document (found here) says the UMPP will attract investment to the tune of Rs. 15,000 Cr each. That means people (the industries) will be investing 15k * 9 cr for puffing out more CO2 That amount will be equivalent to something China invests in Wind and Solar Power.....great going Indians!!!!
What I feel is we are wasting capital on something which is not at all worth investing. With due to respect to the policy makers, I feel this amount could have been used for development of non-conventional resources (wind, solar, fuel cells, tidal, geothermal). This kind of short term planning (in sense that it will provide power for the current population without any regard to the environment) is seriously anti-engineering and is deterimental to the future population.
Being an electrical engineer (a quarter of engineering days are still left!!!) I understand developing such high scale projects is good considering the "Economics of Scale". But people it's high time we give a serious thought to the problem of global warming and climate change.
Instead of focussing on UMPP we could have tried for solar and wind (more info on solar here)
People all over the world are going for micro grids and distributed generation and we are scaling up!!!
Anyways the bidding has started and around 3 projects have already been awarded (1-Tata Power, 2-Reliance Power) This post was meant not to criticize any of the policy makers but just to make people realize there are other options available and more importantly these are under-utilised in India. May be I' ll talk about micro grids and distributed generation in my upcoming posts.

People from non-engineering background I am sorry for the engineering verbiage. But you must remember electric power is indispensible from any one and we all have a part to play in our endeavour of mitigating the climate changes. My post on that can be found here

And now about final year in NITC: may be some other time and some other post......(".....time and space are related..." did Einstein say this?)