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Rahul Deshpande
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Rahul Deshpande

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The new Codiga Resource Recovery Center at Stanford will accelerate commercial development of promising technologies for recovery of clear water and energy from wastewater.
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Rahul Deshpande

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2012 Tour De France

2012 Tour De France was far from exciting. I got to follow the tour closely. Before the start, I did not have any particular interest in any cyclist. Alberto Contador was out on a doping ban for two years. Andy Schleck was not competing on injury. The only cyclists I would recognize were Fabian Cancellara, Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck and Alexander Vinokurov.

The first 7 days were predominantly flat. These stages saw Fabian Cancellara in yellow jersey. However, the noteworthy aspect was Peter Sagan. This young rider won Stage 1 (second day), Stage 3, and Stage 6. He finished at the same time as the winner in Stage 2 and Stage 4. Before the start of the race, Peter Sagan had made it clear that his goal was to win the green jersey and win a stage or two. He had won more stages than he had wished for. After winning Stage 3, he performed a running animation. He later said it was mimic of Forrest Gump played by Tom Hanks.

The first 7 days the star was clearly Peter Sagan. Even though Fabian Cancellara held the yellow jersey. An no doubt, I had become a fan of his. His performance in 2012 is phenomenal.

Now the mountain stages started in Alps. And the rankings would change. Climbers would come to the fore than riders. In Stage 7, Fabian Cancellara lost almost 2 minutes. And yellow jersey passed to Bradley Wiggins. He would retain it till the end. Stage 9 was time trial. Bradley Wiggins extended his lead over Fabian Cancellara by 57 seconds. Fabian Cancellara withdrew from the Tour after Stage 11 to support his wife to deliver their second child. In Stage 12, the peloton was led by Mathew Goss and Peter Sagan. In the final sprint, Goss obstructed Sagan. He was penalized 30 points and 30 seconds. Stage 13 was a flat stage. Peter Sagan finished it at the same time as winner Andre Greipel.

Stage 14 entered the Pyrenees mountains. 30 riders got their tires punctured as a result of nails thrown on the road. Cadel Evans got his his tire punctured thrice! Stage 18 was won by Mark Cavendish. This was his 22nd Tour De France stage win. Equaling the record with Lance Armstrong. Peter Sagan finished at the same time. Wiggins extended his lead in time trial in Stage 19. Stage 20 was the last stage of the race. It was won by Mark Cavendish. Peter Sagan finished at the same time. Bradley Wiggins finally won the Tour.

The highlights of the Tour:
Peter Sagan - the emerging star on the flats
Bradley Wiggins - showed his leadership throughout the race

I will be following both of them in the days to come.
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Narendra Modi exonerated in 2002 Gujrat riots by SIT

Supreme Court appointed SIT published its final report on role of Narendra Modi in Gujrat riots. Narendra Modi has been cleared beyond doubt of any wrongdoing. If we read his answers to SIT, it gives clear indication on what steps were taken by him during the riots.

However, the media has barely mentioned any of this.

During this entire episode, the role of electronic media must be questioned. Amidst unlimited freedom in India, the media has lost its sense to accurately report anything that actually happened. We see, hear the perception of media more than what has happened!

It seems to be on payroll of the party currently in power. Indian National Congress. Their blunders, inaction, divisive tactics are ignored under the name of secularism. (In fact it is pseudo secularism). All patriotic voices are muted. The media never projects anything positive about the country, its people. It just needs some sensational news to increase viewership. It is best not to get into their trap.

Here are some links to more analysis:
Sudheer's blog serious--fun: There are several parts to this detailed analysis.
http://serious--fun.blogspot.in/2012/05/2002-narendra-modi-part-4.html
http://serious--fun.blogspot.in/2012/05/2002-narendra-modi-part-3.html

Original report by The Hindu newspaper:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3401728.ece

The SIT report in the original:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/full-text-sit-closure-report-on-gujarat-riots/256419-3.html
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SIT final report on Gujarat riots 2002
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Rahul Deshpande

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O Rahul (Dravid)

The above bracket sums it all. I want to admire Rahul Dravid - the cricketer. I am not to write about how good he was and what are his achievements. There is whole lot written about him discounting eulogies. Some positive some negative.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/top-stories/Rahul-Dravid-announces-retirement-from-international-cricket/articleshow/12195477.cms

On 9-Mar-2012, Rahul announced retirement from cricket. It means so much for the Indian cricket. People are engulfed into eulogies and statistics.

Let me add my perspective.

To me, Rahul was the last quality batsman who played the game as per the technique. The previous great who could qualify was Sunil Gavaskar. And we do not see anyone on the horizon who can fit the shoes. There is an inherent beauty in watching the Test cricket played as per the technique. Rahul made us proud several occasions. The new generations will no doubt get more runs because of the number of matches played. (And where is Sachin? He has several unorthodox shots. And he makes full use of them. Whereas these two (Sunil and Rahul) would play as per textbook. Hence both were not equally flamboyant in one day cricket.)

He was the last of the well qualified gentleman cricketers from Karnataka. Srinath, Kumble, and Rahul. They were well educated despite being in cricket from early part of their careers. The pipeline is dry now. These days we have youngsters coming into cricket with money in bank early in their career. Education takes backseat.

He was nicknamed "The Wall" by Peter Roebuck for his ability to hold forte in difficult conditions. He gave confidence that one end will be held up. When VVS Laxman, Sachin, Ganguly primed, this resulted in superlative performance for Indian innings. He helped others grow.

He adopted his game to suit one days. A difficult proposition when one is established batsman with a sound temperament for the longer format. Initially he was criticized for playing too slow for ODIs. Later on he adopted to the format. And scored 10889 runs in ODIs.

He did everything possible for the team. Kept wickets, batted in different positions, as the team needed, bowled (yes he has one wicket in Test cricket and 4 in ODIs!).

There were several occasions where he distinguished himself with the sound technique. The most recently the England tour of 2011 and 2012. Where everyone else was seem to fall apart. But he scored 4 centuries in the series.

He was criticized for his technique in ODIs, or whenever he failed. Ups and downs are part of the career. They were temporary setbacks padded with some glorious phases. What is evaluated is class, temperament.

O Rahul, I am proud you played cricket for India. I am privileged to be able to watch your game. You gave me satisfaction of watching classical approach to Test cricket. Something which I missed watching Sunil Gavaskar. May someone carry the baton in the near future.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! For making cricket better by your contribution.
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Following is a beautiful link on education system on America. We all know that the strength of America lies in its ability to innovate, spot and groom talent, back the innovations to succeed. Finding and fixing the loopholes would be another step forward.

There are key lessons to be learned. I am trying to summarize in my words, the way I understand. This should be the applicable for any society.

Today there is no competitive advantage in knowing more than the person next to you.
The world values what you can do with what you know, not just what you know.
The current education in schools: the memorization of planets, state capitals, national capitals, the Periodic Table of Elements, maths tables can take the child only thus far.
Skill and will to succeed only determine a child's ability to think outside the box and innovate.

Core competencies that every child should master in high school:
- Critical thinking and problem solving (the ability to ask the right questions)
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability
- Initiative and entrepreneurship
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Effective written and oral communication
- Curiosity and imagination

America's economy is based on a) people spending money they do not have b) to buy things they may not need. This consumer driven economy needs to be transitioned to innovation-driven economy.

Five ways in which America’s education system is stunting innovation:
1. Individual achievement is the focus: Students spend a bulk of their time focusing on improving their grades. Innovation is a team effort. It requires some solitude and reflection. But the problems are too complex to innovate or solve by oneself.

2. Specialization is celebrated and rewarded: High school curriculum is structured using Carnegie units, a system that is 125 years old. Innovation requires cross disciplinary boundaries and exploring problems and their solutions from multiple perspectives.

3. Risk aversion is the norm: Today's education is compliance driven, and risk averse. The student has to figure out what the teacher wants. And the teachers have to figure out what the superintendent wants or the state wants. Innovation, on the other hand, is grounded in taking risks and learning via trial and error. Without failure, there is no innovation.

4. Learning is profoundly passive: For 12 to 16 years, we learn to consume information while in school. Innovative learning cultures teach about creating, not consuming.

5. Extrinsic incentives drive learning: Young innovators are intrinsically motivated. They aren’t interested in grading scales and petty reward systems. Parents and teachers can encourage innovative thinking by nurturing the curiosity and inquisitiveness of young people. It’s a pattern of “play to passion to purpose.” Parents of innovators encouraged their children to play in more exploratory ways. “Fewer toys, more toys without batteries, more unstructured time in their day.” Those children grow up to find passions, not just academic achievement, he says. “And that passion matures to a profound sense of purpose.

We as a country need the capacity to solve more different kinds of problems in more ways. It requires us to have a very different vision of education, of teaching and learning for the 21st century. It requires us to have a sense of urgency about the problem that needs to be solved.”

The educational system needs reinventing, not reforming.
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http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/india-launches-5000-km-range-agni-5-missile-successfully/472012/

India Launch Nuclear-Capable Long Range Ballistic Missile

India has test fired medium range missile. This is one of the important milestones in a) deterrent b) reaching to most parts of China. A similar milestone was achieved when the nuclear devices were tested in 1998.

There are arguments that China has superior missiles. The real point here is: if you inflict damage to me, I can inflict damage to you. This deterrent forces the adversary to think twice.

To be practical, the missile is going to take 3-4 years more to get inducted into the army. China has a much larger and more powerful stock of nuclear arsenal. It is trying to usurp no one other than US. Getting the missile through any of the advanced missile shield is another barrier that needs to be overcome.

Having the missile itself is not good enough. It needs to be backed by effective policies on sound usage of these missiles. Given the state of our political class, this sees to be a distinct dream.
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