Sunday, February 20, 2011

Opportunities in Spectrum & Black Money

The on-going tussle in spectrum and black money may be turning murkier everyday, but the two ‘resources’ present a golden opportunity in India today. The history of black money is almost as old as mankind and in India too it dates back to ages. But spectrum is relatively new and the recently unearthed spectrum allocation scam has inducted more black money into the Indian economy than any other single exercise in the past. The yet to be constituted JPC may or may not succeed in unlocking the secrets of spectrum allocation and its related scam, but there are immense opportunities for some good offshoots latent in the present confusion. If only our politicians and law makers are imaginative enough, some novel ideas and institutions can be setup for the betterment of Indian nation and society. Let me present just two of them.

Spectrum for Religions

India is a secular nation and as envisaged by its founding fathers, all religions shall be accorded equal respect. Yet we find appeasement of the so-called minority religions and its rights crossing the limits many times. One of the most irritating practices indulged by all factions is the amount of noise pollution generated in the name of religion. Another one is the number of TV channels that have come up in recent times for propagation of religions. Under the guise of so-called comparative studies a major part of time by each religious channel is spent on finding out the demerits and weaknesses of other religions, rather than criticizing and denouncing the evil practices within one’s own religion. All this can be changed by a few reforms.

In the revised allocation of spectrum that is imminent, I would suggest a few MHz to be reserved for the various religions. With a mobile penetration of about 80% in India, all the call for prayers and religious announcements can be easily made over the mobile phones rather than creating noise pollution for the entire society. Each one can setup his or her mobile phone to receive the religious calls depending upon his or her religious preference. And the various mobile operators may also offer it free or at negligible charges. Similarly, the religious TV channels can also be allotted spectrum to operate within a certain range, perhaps at a much lower cost, with the strict conditions to deal with only their own religion. Comparative study of religions is purely an academic exercise and must be limited to the four walls of academic institutions.

National Conscience Fund

Black money of Indians in various foreign banks is estimated to be more than 25 lakh crores of rupees. Most of these accounts have been created by the swindlers themselves, but there are many which are inherited. Even worse is the case of inheritance with out even the beneficiaries being aware of it. Staunch denial by many celebrities is based on this simple fact or by using this as a convenient excuse. The entire civilized world is turning against the Swiss style banking systems and days are not far off when all nations will be willing to share the details of foreign accounts. Indian government will get the longest and most shocking list of illegal account holders in foreign countries. Investigations into the source of such funds must definitely follow, but a simple step before that can prove highly productive.

Indian government must immediately set up an Indian National Conscience Fund (INCF) for various reasons. All swindlers must be given a few months time to transfer their ill-gotten money into INCF if they so desire. And once the swindlers’ list is available from the various foreign countries, all the inherited wealth must also be transferred to INCF under intimation to those who inherited it knowingly or unknowingly. A simple legislation may be necessary to setup INCF and operate it without any unwanted judicial interference. Such a permanent INCF can also go a long way in channelizing a good portion of our black money into nation building activities. But our legislature and legislation must make it double sure that Rajas and Kalmadis do not hijack such an INCF also.

Indian nation would have literally become the world leader and a model democracy for all nations by now if we had erudite and imaginative legislators. The bane of Indian democracy is the growing number of career politicians with no knowledge other than petty politics and conducive family backgrounds. A few revolutionary legislations and innovative administrative steps can bring about unimaginable changes and strengthen our secular democracy beyond all our imagination.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pranic Engineering

Since time immemorial, Civil and Mechanical have been the two basic engineering fields that have caught the attention of mankind. Both the fields of engineering knowledge have contributed in no uncertain terms to our progress and development from being aborigines to becoming the modern Man. Electrical engineering came in later with the invention of electricity and then followed Chemical, Electronics and Information Technology as offshoots of the existing filelds. And thus for a long time now we are stuck with the three basic branches of engineering viz. Civil, Mechanical and Electrical. Time has come to think of enlarging the scope of engineering to the living world also. We are at the doorsteps of creating life of our own in the laboratory (though a victory over death is almost impossible and far away). We have emerging fields of limited scope like Genetic, Biotechnology and Biomedical engineering, but the need for an all encompassing new field is a necessity now. The Sanskrit word for life is prana and what can be more apt than Pranic Engineering as the best name for such a new field of engineering that deals with all engineering aspects of life and living.

Pranic Engineering can become the fourth basic field of engineering that would complement Civil, Mechanical and Electrical to cater to our entire engineering needs. Atleast a section of our Engineers in the not-so-distant future would be dealing with novel engineering scenarios like ‘living’ tools and fabrication of body parts. As life and living are involved, the question of ethics and values would be of paramount importance in the field of Pranic Engineering. Engineers who have so far dealt with only non-living raw materials will be called upon to handle materials that have life within or that could sustain life. Sustaining life by manufacture, modification and mending of body parts will become a joint effort of engineers and doctors rather than doctors alone as of now. Once we are able to recognize each Man as a combination of three or four distinct systemic parts (Body, Mind and Soul), Pranic Engineers must be dealing with sustainability of the tangible Body part of Man. Doctors were doing this so far, but we definitely need engineering involvement if we are to incorporate the concepts of spare parts, interchangeability, genetic manipulation, cloning, artificial life etc., into the field of Medicine.

Body Spare Parts

For an alien to this world of ours, it would be utterly puzzling to watch the thousands of dead bodies that are buried or burnt away everyday when thousands of others are also dying for want of parts from the very same bodies. It is an unpardonable mistake and an utterly illogical practice to dispense away human dead bodies without making any use of its valuable components that may save and sustain the lives of those who are struggling for life. When Man has even proved his capabilities in cloning and genetic manipulations, the argument of those who attribute God’s involvement in the management of post-death physical dead bodies looks irrational and idiotic. To avoid controversies and religious arguments, let us leave aside the question of Mind and Soul after one’s death. Let us leave it to the secrets of Nature to deal with these two aspects of Human life once the body has been overrun by death. In any case, both are invisible and whatever happens to the invisible components need not bother us in our practical lives. But human body is different and it must be treated so.

Human body is a valuable tangible part and it must be used to the maximum extent just like the dead bodies of all other living beings. Each and every part of a human dead body is invaluable for a limited time and we are still wasting it without putting it to any use. Even in the twenty first century we are directionless when it comes to a scientific way of handling human dead bodies. Religious rituals must concentrate on the Mind and Soul parts of our makeup and leave the tangible body to the doctors and Pranic Engineers to extract all that are useful and dispense off the scrap by incineration. We need only a photograph or mere memories of a person to carry on with the religious rituals. Modern Man must accept Science as an integral part of all religions and wholeheartedly agree for incorporation of scientific elements in all aspects of our lives. In return, Science must accede the entire space of spiritual and after-life affairs to the religious and spiritual leaders, and also stay away from provoking or poking at what is not yet known to Science.

Solving Living Problems

The relevance of Pranic Engineering will be all the more clear to everyone when we enter the age of artificial life. Days are not very far when very crude or primary forms of life will get created in various laboratories across the globe. We need systemic and systematic approaches for dealing with such situations, and only a universally accepted branch of basic engineering can further the healthy development of such a field. Like all new discoveries of tremendous potential, the possibilities of misuse are equally alive in this field as well. Ethical values of professionals in such fields are of great significance for the entire mankind. Evolution of Pranic Engineering as an established branch of Engineering is a must for development of an associated curriculum for training more and more people into this field. Only such trained professionals can control the growth of such new fields of knowledge and avoid its hijack by extremists and terrorists who have very limited and skewed agenda.

On a rough estimate the average life expectancy of a human being now is only about 25,000 days. Of this the last 5,000 days will be the difficult phase with physical ailments and psychological issues. Pranic Engineering can do quite a lot in reducing the difficulties of human beings in this phase by development of tools, equipments and techniques that can alleviate pain and misery. It is not that there are no efforts now. But a focused engineering effort can produce more focused and effective solutions to the current problems and future ones. Well qualified and trained Pranic Engineers forming an integral part of the medical fraternity can deliver much more effective remedies to ailments, both physical and mental. Very effective tools and techniques that are available in the unorganized and off-mainstream communities & cultures can be adopted and developed for common use as part of a modern scientific medical system. No life must be lost for want of timely remedy must be the motto of Pranic Engineers.

Modern medicine which is often wrongly referred to as Allopathic has really come of age and is constantly under evolution. Newer and newer techniques and medicines for treatment are added everyday, but so also the types of ailments and diseases. Designating a basic field of engineering to work along with medical experts to provide cost-effective and easily available solutions to human pain will highlight this vital gap. More focused and dedicated efforts are required to bring in discoveries and inventions in the field of Pranic Engineering to make our lives painless and more fruitful. The role of Pranic Engineers in the coming centuries would become more and more crucial because injuries to human bodies inflicted by the twin evil of fundamentalism and terrorism are also on the increase world-wide. Acceptability of Pranic Engineering as the fourth field of basic engineering is our immediate necessity now.