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Science, Signs and the History of Time!

My late father was a child prodigy, a Gold Medalist in Mathematics, and a Geophysicist by profession. An extremely analytical and objective person, he was also an amateur Jyotishi (Vedic Astrologer). He would never predict anything for anyone but often people came to him from far and wide, just to seek advice. Whenever I’d ask him to teach me something he’d say, “There is a time for everything. When the time is right, Jyotish would come to you”.

In the late autumn of 2010 he took ill and told my Mom that she alone would have to stand by their children and that he wasn’t going to be around much longer. Six months later, he was gone. Not a day goes by without me regretting, for not having spent more time with him.

In January 2016, a Nobel Laureate of repute in Chemistry, made a statement to the effect that dismissed Astrology as BOGUS. What piqued my interest was that while my father, saw Mathematical patterns in all aspects of the universe, how could a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry find it to be a bogus field. Vedic Astrology is largely Mathematics. It has more books and far older ones than chemistry; some that even date back to several thousands of years. In the Vedic era, Jyotish Vidya (knowledge) was the highest form of education, given to the mature and responsible.

Something inside me caught fire that day.

I picked a Vedic Astrology book, from my late father’s humongous library, that same evening. Something I’d started several times earlier and could not continue after a few pages. This time was different though. I think this is what Papa meant. It was time. It started to make sense.

Eight odd months on, I have barely scratched the surface on Vedic Astrology, yet everything makes sense. It’s an ocean of sorts. Extremely detailed and methodical. Whereas the Western system of education begins with the knowledge of the external, the Indian system begins with knowledge of the self. I was fortunate enough to have been brought up in this environment and allowed to deep dive into a priceless pool of collective Vedic scripts. And time spent in the West gave me a broader perspective.

Knowledge of the self, revealed in mathematical abstractions and complex grids, is not on the menu for the curious bystander. It demands commitment, yielding rich dividends to the earnest seeker who can put in hours with unflinching sincerity, bordering on reverence.

Old questions resurfaced. I used to wonder why, when the whole system is changed to a metric system, why not ‘Time’ as well? Of all the things we measure everyday, Time is the most important one. Without Time, nothing would make sense. Or can it?

Think about it.

Time is one concept that connects us to the universe, in a measurable way.

The day begins with sunrise and ends with sunset. Then appear a Moon, Planets and the stars. While Maharishi Brighu (Vedic sage of Treta Yug) did document Uranus and Neptune, these Grahas were considered remote and unviable for Jyotish wisdom.

From ancient times, the Shani (Saturn) Temples in India have a place for the Navagrahas (nine planets) as well. These Navagrahas are Chandra (Moon), Mangal(Mars), Budhh (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Surya(Sun) and the imaginary planets Rahu and Ketu. Now, the weekdays days are based on these seven physical Grahas. By Astronomy, Sun is a star and Moon a satellite. So it’s not arbitrarily picked. This is Astrological. The names of the days of a week are the names of the Grahas. The order is not the same as the astronomical order in the Solar System either. The order is determined by the speed of the Graha, relative to the observer. So Moon is the fastest, and Sun the slowest to complete a relative circle around the Earth, in a year.

Future of Supply Chain Technology – Next 3-5 years?

By Dhananjay Prasad

Establishing a great network without technology!

Today we talk of the best of the communications technology. A mix of multiple technologies has made the world a lot more connected and simpler to navigate. With powerful computing assets, hardware & software products, ease of accessibility, cognitive computing, automation, supply chain modules for retail, products, delivery tracking, etc. are making things easier for the day to day operations managing Billion Dollar worth of businesses, spread across several locations. However, between 1949 and 1993 (a duration of 44 years), when technology was still evolving the world actually witnessed one of the best optimized and effective delivery and distribution network / systems with efficient timelines, being managed by an individual who ran his show across several locations resulting in a massive business operation and personal wealth.

While one would hate to be talking about such business that is illegal and categorized as a criminal offence! After watching NARCOS I was curious and intrigued. The NARCOS ad on Facebook and other channels tells the story of the famous Drug Lord and how he built the empire, how he managed efficiently, how he tracked various aspects of business, how he was tracked by DEA and his enemies to the diminishing end days. You start watching the Season-1, Episode-1 for 55 minutes and you get addicted to know entire story. It captures your imagination in so many ways that you just don’t leave it till you reach the very end of season-2. This non-fiction, Netflix Originals picturize’s the rise and fall of Medellin (Columbia) drug cartel. All this circles around the Drug Lord “Pablo Escobar” and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of United States trying to catch him.

The massive execution and technology challenge!

How Pablo (Columbian Drug Lord) along with his Cartel, infiltrated US borders with a huge reach?

  • There were no GPS mechanisms….
  • No supply control and delivery technology….
  • Still crossed borders un-noticed through perfect route optimizations….
  • All managed with small and short coded paper slips….
  • Delivery timeliness with accuracy…that puts someone’s life at stake….
  • Best of the Logistics management… Believe it or not? –This is the FACT.
  • Obviously very interesting! Is it not??? ONLY technology used was Satellite Communication!

Technologies Pablo would look at, if this was Today’s world! A Few of them:

  • Route mapping and planning for within and outside city movements – End to End Logistics management for effective and minute visibility
  • Route congestion resulting in delivery delays and eventual death for not meeting timelines – Predictive and automated route planning software
  •  Vehicle movement – App based solution with GPS tracking
  • Delivery delay alert and subsequent mapping – App based, Geo controlled real time alerts for checking actual delays to update
  • Alerts for delivery cancellation due to any risk – Comprehensive dashboard for alert notification
  • Avoid theft / misplacement of delivery boxes – RFID based solution stuck on all delivery boxes for remote tracking on a real time basis.
  •  Shipment tracking and acknowledging receipt –  Mobile based gadgets used as end device and money receipt acknowledgement.
  • Various SOS Alerts like police check post notification or any raids – GPS tracking for various routes and end devices sending alerts with single touch device.

If a human could do it then, where will the world be with all the technology in the next 3 – 5years?

There are several technologies available today which were not available those days like geo-fencing, geo-coding, route planning and real time tracking software, supply chain management, etc. Non- availability of these solutions during those times still provided cartel the defined success in smuggling the illegally traded drug.

However, this still sends triggers to our minds that more and more research needs to be done, due to various scenarios still not getting tracked and works purely on mental calculation, locational knowledge and guess work and may be luck. In the right direction of thinking of managing such a business by Pablo, he was by far the best in terms of Logistics management.

(Disclaimer: While we all sincerely condemn the unlawful and illegal deed, this article should be read for the analogy between past efficiencies and current technology, This is NO Promotion and warns everyone of getting involved in such activities.)

Budget 2017 : Fasal bima should curb farmer suicides!

We are moving aggressively towards an increasingly fragmented and de-globalized world with President Trump at the helm of the erstwhile superpower. As I heard Trump’s proposed visa policy that would undeniably hit the IT/ITeS sectors, I was hoping our government would preempt some of that unforeseen hit. It was heartening to hear the Hon. Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley announce an increase of 24% in rural agriculture and allied sectors to INR 1, 87,223 Cr. Agriculture, the only surefire way to sustainable growth, unless we do fundamental innovations.

Among the many firsts, moving the budget to February might have been an election gimmick, but coincided well with the Vikram Samvat season change and Vasant Panchami. If nothing, it is an auspicious day. Merging the railway budget with the main budget is probably the biggest breakaway from the colonial legacy since 1924. Proud of the government taking some of these bold steps, aligning with the present day needs and hoping these steps do lead to fruition of the intended results.

The highlights that caught my attention especially in the agriculture budget, was income security for farmers and push to increase production. Commitment of the government to double farmers incomes in the next five years is a HUGE positive. We are an agriculture economy, eventually. The target for agricultural credit for 2017-18 is set at 10 lakh per farmer and the special efforts to ensure adequate flow of credit to the underserved and remote areas. Eastern states and J&K. Implementation will be key. Additionally, if this can be addressed in J&K, it might help alleviate the employment challenges too. Sixty days interest waiver on cooperative credits should be a blessing for the farmers. Fasal Bima Yojana increased from 30% of cropped area in 2016-17 to 40% in 17-18 and projected to 50% in the subsequent year might be the single driver to reduce the farmer suicides.

Given climate change and rapidly changing landscapes, Soil Health Cards have rightly gathered momentum. The government plans to setup mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Plan to setup 100 minilabs by qualified local entrepreneurs, who would be provided credit -inked subsidies, certainly a step in the right direction.

With a dedicated micro-irrigation fund will be set up by NABARD to achieve the goal of ‘Per Drop More Crop’, intent to double the farmer’s income in the next five years doesn’t seem hollow.

National Agricultural Markets to be increased from 250 markets to 585 and assistance of upto INR 75lakhs for cleaning, greening and marketing facilities probably the single biggest step for ensuring better market linkages for farmers, in the times to come.

Geotagging all MNREGA assets and putting them in public domain has established greater transparency and confidence in people, of the intent of the government.

The single biggest assurance on commitment to infrastructure development might have been the pace of road construction that has gone up from 73Km/day in 2011-14 to 133Km per in 2016-17.

Even as the open-defecation-free villages rose from 40% in 2014 to 60% in 2017, as claimed by the Hon. Finance Minister, the budget increase in housing and electrification schemes will be drivers of growth in agriculture and commodities over the next couple of years. Nothing works better for people than a consumer market turning to a producer’s economy. No point in making projections and plans without resources. The commitment to train 500,000 people in masonry by 2022 might be a bellicose target for a potently aggressive economy.

Overall, it was a good budget, which starkly missed specific plans for children and education in rural areas. Implementation remains key.