Archive for July, 2003

Netaji Birthplace in Cuttack

July 9, 2003

I had the pleasure of visiting Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthplace. I
never knew it was in Cuttack
. I was very happy to note that my former
student & the Collector of Cuttack, Mr Ashwinin Kumar Vaishnaw, IAS, was
instrumental in getting this place “recovered”. It was an inspriring place no

There is so much money that goes into digitization of all kinds of things;
will some one in IT Ministry take care to preserve the rich heritage of
Netaji’s birthplace digitally & make it available to the countrymen at large?

(deep feelings on the visit to Netaji’s birthplace today)

Foundations that do India proud

July 8, 2003

I had the satisfaction of visiting the Padiatrics Block of the Government
Hospital in Bhubaneshwar that was built by Infosys Foundation
(Mrs Sudha
Murthy told me about it; this was inaugurated by President Kalam last month).
What is satisfying about this development is the contribution that IT is
making to India – like Rockafeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Bill &
Mellinda Foundation in USA our own Infosys Foundation and Azim Premji
Foundation are not only creating wealth but sharing it too. May their tribe
! As Swami Vivekananda said in 1899, one hundred such
(and the passionate individuals like Sudha Murthy behind such
Institutions) will change the face of India

Nielson starts tracking song sales over the Net

July 7, 2003

With Nielson starting to track sales of music on the Net (thanks to million
songs/week of sales over Apple iTunes site), the music industry reaches
another milestone
. In addition to cassette sales, CD sales, and DVD sales,
downloaded music forms yet another channel for selling music. It is no longer
an experiment in e-commerce; it is “business as usual

Cuttackorissa Site is great – Individuals can make a difference

July 6, 2003

I was pleasantly surprised with the richness of the site, a site created with
passion by the young IAS office of Orissa Cadre Mr Aswini Kumar Vaishnaw,
currently Collector & District Magistrate, Cuttack. It is a well-designed
site, that is more of a portal (one stop window), rich, dynamic and
interactive. Apparently it is developed at throw-away cost and maintained with
near-zero cost, all pointing to the fact that resources are never a
problem, but resourcefulness is!

The soul of IT

July 5, 2003

The reason why IT clicks in India has something to do with the algorithmic
thinking that is part of our culture.
Our 6+ year old children being able
to make out the “raga” of a song after listening to 20 second audio
clipping or a mere humming of the song amounts to incredible “pattern
recognition” skills, when you realize that there are thousands of songs that
are set to several hundreds of “raga”s. Similarly the “rangoli
patterns that our girls in the 5+ age group internalize amount to pattern
synthesis. Our wealth of cultural works, the majority of them using poetic
form (as opposed to prose form in other parts of the world) show a remarkable
ability to do constrained-problem solving – for example, many “sloka“s
are set to “chandas” like “anushtub” where the words have to be
so chosen that the “matra” is maintained. There are documented 60,000+
“sahasranama“s that combine 1,008 names of a deity that must be
compressed into 108 “sloka”s set to particular meter. It is not for
nothing that our children steeped in Indian culure excel in IT – that is the
soul of IT

(Part of my talk to District officials in Cuttack)

Harry Potter sets a record in India too

July 4, 2003

Harry Potter books not only create e-commerce record but 70,000 books sold on
Day 1 in India tells you that our youngsters too read books! It is just that
there are not many of us who write compelling books that get the children

Indian Railways come close to the customer

July 3, 2003

As part of my visit to Orissa during July 4-10, 2003 I had the direct
experience of using Indian Railway Catering Corporation’s web site
( I did NOT use it to book
my tickets online. But I used it effectively to check status of availability.
It gave me the position for several days further to my planned departure. It
had provision to “look up” codes for destination, train numbers etc. Since I
bought the tickets on June 30 and train timings were to be revised from July
1, it was convenient to look up the train timings before my departure on July
4. It is comprehensive, fast, easy-to-use and simple – all key elements of

SAP CEO Visit to Bangalore

July 2, 2003

Dr Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP visited Bangalore on June 30, 2003.

IT in Dairy Applications

July 1, 2003

India Today is the largest producer of milk. Indians today are the
largest “code writers”. Can IT & Dairy professionals come tohether & create
“milk & code” which can translate to “milk & honey” on Bangalore