September 25, 2010

CWG- Pride or Embarrasement?

Hi Guys,

It has been a long time since I wrote my last post. Recently one thing has been in the news so frequently, the CWG scandal. What should have made us pride has been leading us down, because of our officials. Well, in this post let me point out my views on this issue.

Well, how to begin with and where to begin with? It seems that the issue has started well before India got its vote. Today morning I read that during the venue selection meeting, there was stiff competition between Delhi and Montreal (Canada) and Delhi beat Montreal 46-22. It is said that in the backdrop India gave money to all the member nations in the name of some development scheme to get the vote in our favour.

So, somehow India got the chance and when the news came I was so happy that our country is going to host the second biggest sporting event in the world, the first being the Olympics. Last CWG was in Melbourne (2006). At the closing ceremony India got the flag and many of our stars performed in the stage marking the arrival of games in India.

The preparations started well before and everything was supposed to be over before many months. But as usual like every other Indian event our organizers were sluggish and everything was beyond schedule. Stadiums were not finished before deadline and CWG committee had to warn our officials to finish off things quickly. Things were appearing to be fine. Stadiums were finished and their inaugurations took place. Each of the stadium looked world class. I thought our officials had finally reacted.

Then before a month, media began to dig deep and find all the scandals possibly related with CWG. Each day you can find news portraying one official or minister being accused of mishandling money and power. There were many resignations, accuses and things and they reduced slowly and people became annoyed and directly asked the media to support the games instead of damaging them.

So, everything was going well. With a fortnight left to the games, it was not from within the country, but from outside the country. Athletes from other countries were aggravated of the poor quality of games village. It was completely true and was covered by one of the most reputed news channel. They were dog’s marks on the bed, water leakage in the restroom, etc. Our officials replied that the recent rains in Delhi had delayed the work and things will be finished soon.
Roof that collapsed a few days ago
In good time our government got in. They appointed more workers, made lot of efforts and what a magic! In just 2 days time, other countrymen say the conditions are much better and are fit for living. They could have done it much earlier.

Today morning in The Hindu I read Peter Roebuck’s column on how India would pull all things just at the end. He says he expect a decent CWG. I also expect the same. I hope our officials would pull up things and make a superb appearance at the end.

Now the recent news is that Mr. Suresh Kalmadi has accepted responsibility for all the affairs. I don’t think this is fair as he is not the only person behind all these things. There are lot of reasons and I think our government has asked him to agree in order to pacify the media and other countrymen.

Rather than focussing on these issues, we can focus on the games and support Indian athletes at the games.

Happy Reading!!!

September 15, 2010

My Trip Diary -2

Hi Guys,

Welcome back to the trip diary. I left with me relaxing in the hostel room in the early morning of 3-9-10 (Friday). Let me continue with the diary.

3-9-2010 (Friday)

8 am

After a bit of sleep, we refreshed ourselves and thought of finishing the registration (for Bala Kumar), before having our Breakfast. We started from the room by 7.45 am and went to the registration arena by 7.55 am. We were awestruck. There was a huge crowd standing there. Wait, let me explain you the construction of the arena.

Registration Arena from outside
Tables were arranged in circular manner and some 10-12 computers were kept there. Each computer was marked a counter, so there were approximately 10 counters in all. Apart from that printers were kept in the centre of the circle and each printer was connected with 2 or 3 systems. So as soon as the participants gave their individual ID number (which we were informed earlier), a document conveying all their info will be printed out and this document was named Receipt. It was one of the vital documents that the participants have to keep until their stay.

Also a bar coded label is available for the particular ID Number. After registration, they will give a temporary ID card with the bar code attached to it. This bar code will be scanned at all places, like reception of the workshop, mess building, etc. I got the ID card by 5 am itself, but Bala Kumar’s bar code was missing and hence we had to come back.

As I said there was a huge crowd standing and it was even difficult to get inside. I waited outside and he after lot of difficulties got inside. He was trying to get information about the missing bar code and as time went by he lost his nerve and started to shout the registration team. Not just him, many other students were in the same position. It was informed that the barcode was being prepared.

It was 9 am. We had exhausted an hour there and we were hungry and thought of finishing our breakfast.

9 am

We didn’t have any idea of where the breakfast was being served. So we made an enquiry with the Help Desk and came to knew that the breakfast was in the Hostel Mess building. We were frustrated. We had to walk the whole distance again. Each of us had our own thoughts and we didn’t talk with each other making the distance appear long. We reached the mess building and there were four counters there and people were scanning the bar codes. I thought we needed to make an explanation regarding his absence of bar coded ID, but there was no problem. Many students didn’t have bar coded ID and hence one of the counters was shifted for the non bar code holders.

Students Centre which had the Mess building
A side view of the Student's Centre

We went and got the food in our plates. The breakfast was Idli, Pongal, Vada and Kesari along with Sambar and Coconut Chutney as side dishes. First I ate vada, it was quite good and hence I thought the food will be good. Next I took a bit of Idli and ate it, my ideas changed. Neither the Sambar, nor the chutney was good. So I ate the Kesari, which was sort of ok and some of the Pongal without side dishes and left. It was a forgettable breakfast.

9.30 am

Half an hour later, we were again at the registration desk. We thought of finishing the things and then attending the workshop, which was scheduled at 10 am. But, nothing happened as our plan. We had to wait, wait and wait until the inauguration function got over. Let me tell you those things in my next post.

Wish all the Engineer Readers of my blog, a very Happy Engineers day (September 15).

Happy Reading!!!

September 10, 2010

My Trip Diary -1

Hi Guys,

This post is going to be a new try from me. Last week I attended a workshop on Automation and Engine Design in a college nearby Erode and am going to write the details of the trip. Along the way, I’ll provide some photographs for your view. The photos will be of poor quality, as I took from my mobile’s VGA Camera.

2-9-10 (Wednesday)

9.00 pm

I left my home to Bus stand. It was 9.45 pm when I reached the Bus Stand and my friend Bala Kumar was already waiting there. He was accompanying me for the workshop. We got into a bus which was going to Erode. After the bus started we knew that the bus was old and terrible one. Even in the smoother four way roads, we had a bumpy ride. We had to travel for the next 260 kms in that bus. Despite the conditions we fell asleep in some time.

3-9-10 (Thursday)

2.45 am

Though the bus was poor, the driver managed to cover the 260 kms in 5 hours. We arrived at Erode by 2.45 am. The bus conductor was kind enough to guide us to Sathyamangalam where the college was said to be located. It was another 60 kms from Erode and we got into the bus by 2.50 am. It was good that we caught that bus, for the next bus was only by 4 am. This part was on the trails of Western Ghats and hence the roads were elevated and sloppy at some places. We again slept in the bus.

4.15 am

When we woke up, we found that we had reached Sathyamangalam and the time was 4.15 am. Around 20 students were already there in the bus stand and we found that they had also come for the workshop and other events that were being held in the same college. We found a stall the college had made to guide the participants. We were asked to wait until their vehicle came. It was 4.45 am and a Scorpio came. Some 8 of us got into the Scorpio and in another 15 minutes we reached the college.

5 am

A view as we reached there
It was still dark and we sensed that the college was big and had a high quality infrastructure. The registration desk was open and we thought of finishing the registration before going to the hostel. The students had an innovative idea. They allocated a separate ID for all the participants and had a Bar Coded ID card for all the participants for easy usage throughout the event. The idea was good but they fumbled as the numbers were changed and half the bar codes were missing. For instance I got my ID card, whereas Bala’s Bar code was not there and hence we were told to come later.

5.30 am

The Hostel Room
The hostel was at the other end and it was a long walk for us as we were heavy eyed. We were allocated a small room which was adequate for 2 persons to sleep in and we were also given beds. We carried the beds and reached the room. The time was 5.30 am. We unpacked our things and relaxed there, unaware of the problems we were going to face in the morning.

I’ll continue the story in the next sequel.

Happy Reading!!!

September 9, 2010

F1 and India!

Hi guys,

This week, Indian fans of F1 racing received great news. Formula 1’s governing body released next year’s racing schedule and India got a race to hold. It will be proud for us to have an Indian Grand Prix. It will be the 18th race of the season. It will be held in Noida, 32 kms away from Delhi. In this post I will be writing about India’s relationships with F1.

Before beginning the history and the current status, I must express to my blogging friend, Abhishek’s post on ‘Formula 1 is coming to India’ which induced me to write this one.

Indian Drivers in F1

The first Indian driver to participate in a F1 race was Narain Karthikeyan. He debuted for the Jordan team in 2005. He got his first points in the US Grand Prix when only three teams participated and all other teams pulled out due to problems with tyre. He finished fourth and that were the only points he got in F1. Then in 2006 and 2007 he was the test driver for Williams F1 team. Now he is associated with NASCAR race and there too he i the first Indian to qualify. No doubt he is the World’s Fastest Indian.

After Narain, Karun Chandok made his debut this year with Hispania F1 racing team. Both he and the team are inexperienced and they are facing huge problems. Let’s hope that all gets well soon.

Force India F1

The first sugary thing India got was the participation of Narain Karthikeyan in F1. Then a much sweeter surprise arrived. Vijay Mallya bought Spyker F1 Company for € 88 million and renamed as Force India F1 in October 2007. There were no points in first season and second season was also going on poorly. I thought it would be difficult for the team to survive. It was then Giancarlo Fischella finished second and created history. Then Adrian Sutil too finished fourth in the consecutive race.

Force India Drivers
This year, Force India is doing great. Both of its drivers Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi are finishing consistently in the point grabbing group. Currently Force India team is in 6th place with 58 points and Adrian Sutil is in 9th place for driver’s standings with 45 points in his bag. I hope that the team will do better in the upcoming races and seasons.

F1 in India

It has been long discussed to bring F1 into India. Many state governments raised plans to built F1 tracks. Then we had many constraints such as lack of big airports, quality hotels, huge investment, etc.

This was when Jaypee group came into the scene. Initially they requested for government funding and the government declined (read the article I wrote last year-F1-A Sports or Not? ). But this is what a private sector can do. They have allocated money themselves and have started doing the work. Now Formula 1 governing body has allocated October 30, 2011 for Indian Grand Prix.

Proposed track for Delhi Grand Prix
Though it is subject to change depending on track completion, I have hope that Jaypee group will pull off things and finish it up. They have promised to finish it by next April- May and they will do it as it has to do nothing with our Government. Also the recently opened Terminal in Delhi Airport also adds as an advantage. The current track is planned at 32 kms away from Delhi.

It would be great to see Force Indian Drivers finish in the podium in Indian Grand Prix. We need to wait for another year to see the Grand Prix in India, provided all arrangements go smoothly.

Happy Reading!!!