Sunday, June 30, 2013

Uttarakhand Floods & Tourist Management - Few Suggestions

The Uttarakhand Floods opened up a pandora's box when it comes to the mismanagement by local civic bodies and the State Government. It highlights the lack of preparedness to deal with the disaster.  The entire set of reports and the focus was on the rescue operations for the tourists and in the overall case, the residents of the area seems to have been neglected by the media.  Now that the rescue operations have almost completed, the focus seems to be shifting towards the locals with 744+ villages reported to be cut off from the rest of the world.  But here, does someone has the number of villages that have been Washed off completely?  The tales as being aired or reported are all from the rescue and tourists, but none had been talking about the rehabilitation until last couple of days and there is NO focus on the Washed of villages where almost entire population has been missing and feared dead!!!!

Anyhow, that is something to be addressed by the Government Machinery and for the media to bring the facts to us.  What my aim from this article is to get few of the Suggestions that would help ensure that the mismanagement that was highlighted by this tragedy is addressed and that there is more control in the tourism and on the number of people visiting the Char Dhams at any given point in time.  Another aspect that I would suggest to be corrected would be around industrialization in Uttarakhand.

Starting with the regularization of Char Dham Visitors and the other tourists, I feel following steps need to be implemented with immediate effect (though many would avert their own decisions for 2 to 3 years as that is the time that would require to rebuild the Infrastructure connecting these locations) - 
  1. An Authority must be appointed at the Center Level to oversee the overall flow towards the Char Dham locations
  2. All the Visitors to the Char Dham locations must be required to register with the central Authority and get tokens
  3. All the service providers including Tour Operators, Horse Suppliers, Taxi Operators and others must be registered with the central authority and they must report the Tourists and Char Dham "Yatris" to the central Authority.
  4. Central Authority needs to then divide the Registered Applicants in batches and define the time frames for each batch to visit the Shrines in stipulated time frame. 
  5. Check posts may be established to monitor the movement of the Pilgrims and once the previous Batch has returned, the next batch should be permitted to proceed. This would ensure that there is no rush in the locals to host the pilgrims and that the areas do not see the same set of Rapid unorganized development again. This would help sanitize the Eco-Sensitive Zone from Mushroom growth of infrastructure
  6. Locals and the Local Civic Bodies must be sensitized to not rush to re-build everything again and caution must be taken to ensure that whatever is built is built to sustain the future hazards
Many may voice against the points mentioned above, but then they need to note that Registration and Approval is a must for Amarnath Yatra and there adequate measures are taken to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrims.  If the measures are successful there, why can't they be replicated for Char Dham?

Coming to the point of Industrialization, the Government needs to learn that the Geography of Uttarakhand is not such that it could be considered safe heaven for Industries (from Geographic Stand point).  The state government needs to learn from the catastrophe and needs to ensure that they do not invite heavy industrialization as that would impact the nature adversely due to deforestation "Major Cause of Soil Erosion and silt formation".  Also, with deforestation the upper crust would become weak to hold the heavy rocks and boulders that would then result in Land-slide and in many cases may destroy the underlying infrastructure.  Additionally, Industrialization would lead to population moving closure to the Industrial Area and then another round of Habitat getting developed at whatever piece of land is available, thus again another impact on nature's course and another invitation for disaster that we have already witnessed now.

The strength of Uttarakhand would lie in the Tourism Industry and if they focus there with development around Tourism facilities they would do better.  It would be good for them to ensure that the tourists reaching Uttarakhand are registered to provide them with the required information, provide them with the contact points to connect to in case of distress situation, educate them about the weather forecast in the region and where to head in disastrous situation and foremost train the teams at various levels to ensure safety and security of the tourists.  It would also be good for the Uttarakhand Government to apply checks and balances to ensure that evacuation drills get more focus to safeguard the locals rather than trying to rescue and rehabilitate.  

Proactive Approach might seem to be expensive, but proves to be Cost & more importantly Life Saving 

Man Made Disaster- Result of Greedy Civils and Napping Government - Wake Up Time

Uttarakhand Rain Disaster as I have already written is the Man Made Disaster caused by the Greed of the Civilians and the Lack of Proactive Approach by the Government Machinery. Sounds harsh and if someone thinks that I am criticizing the government too much, then please read on the following bullets - 

  • To develop the tourism industry (Greed for Money) the Government didn't check the development in and around the Alaknanda in Kedar Valley.  Too much of Development in that area including the Water Catchment was an invite to such destruction!! 
  • The reports from the various authorities that had clearly marked the development area where the government should have let development happen (around the Kedar Helipad) was ignored and the development covered the River Banks, the disaster was invited!!
  • Approximately or as reported 400 odd sthey mall or medium sized dams either under construction or fully constructed on Alaknanda, Bhaghirathi and Mandakini were washed out completely and the water accumulated by these dams rushed with the already overflowing river water.  Another invitation to the disaster by not following the warnings and still going ahead with building the dams. The dams as is were not meeting the seismic requirements either, they would have cause another catastrophe if not rains, earthquake would have hit!!
  • Another big time invitation to calamity is the Tehri Dam that survived this time, but is not constructed to last higher intensity Earthquakes, common in that region due to the collision of the tectonic plates.  Also the Dam is tipped to age only 61 years, so say in another few years owing to the earthquakes and incessant rains it could make way for yet another disaster that would impact even Haridwar and Dehradoon!! Invitation is already despatched!!
  • MET department had sent a Warning Notes to the State Government Officials as well as the Indian Meteorological Department at Center, but the warning notes were clearly found to be "IGNORED" with the officials making a statement as "these are regular notes and the intensity of the rains were not mentioned" (Ref: Put off yatra, evacuate pilgrims, Met said, but govt sat on warning) My question here is - What do they mean by intensity of rains? Do they want MET department to go ahead and forecast the amount of rain? When the MET departments "Warning Note" read it clearly to keep the tourists off the Char Dham area and to evacuate the locals, then what else is required? Inactive and Napping Government Functionary invited the Disaster!!  As is acting on Intel received from other departments seems to be hurting the ego of Officials, we have seen the intel failure in other cases including the Mumbai Attack, Parliament Attack, Godhra Carnage etc. 
Ain't it Tragic that the Civil Administrative Bodies and the Current as well as Previous State Governments have done nothing to control the pace and width of the Development.  Additionally they SLEPT on the Warning Note by MET.  If they would have acted in time, the overall impact would have been contained to majorly the damaged infrastructure and not the extensive loss of human life.  If the Government machinery would have acted Proactively, the cost of evacuation would have been far less than the rescue operations....But would they learn?  Nopes they would not!!! 

What needs to be done with immediate effect?  Seems to be a pretty good question and would be debated by the Political Parties and the various corridors for long, but nothing concrete would come out. Why, because they would be more busy in luring their vote banks (e.g Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi - Both Played politics on the disaster Ref: #whereispappu and 15K Gujarati pilgrims rescued? Tales of survivors magnify the absurd claim). 

However, the things that need to be done to ensure that the disaster of similar nature do not strike again are - 
  1. Control the Rapid Development in the Uttarakhand by ensuring the Eco Sensitive Zones do not see any concrete Jungle.  All the Tourist Rest Stops, Motels, Hotels need to be built in safe and secure locations and must be meeting the Seismic requirements too
  2. Cordon off the Kedar Valley for any permanent Construction for now and for ever.  The River Alaknanda though flows from the other side of the temple, decades ago its main course was not that and this time, it came back to its old course.  We should have learned that from the Bihar Floods few years back when River Kosi had changed its course to original one from what it had acquired over the period of time.  The point here is, leave the River Banks Clear of any permanent structure and banned for human habitat.
  3. Develop a Disaster Management System for the State that would ensure that the teams are ready to move proactively to undertake evacuation operations and when required reactively to undertake rescue operations.
  4. Train the Government officials for ensuring that they react to the MET warnings and ensure that proactive steps are taken to save human life
  5. Seek Volunteers from the Citizen Bodies to ensure that they are trained to coorperate and lead the fellow citizens during the situation of disaster. These volunteers should also be trained in the evacuation as well as rescue operations.  These volunteers can then ensure that they educate the youth in their neighbor. This would help mass reach of the Disaster Management Program and when the actual Disaster would strike, people would be more ready as well as more equipped to cope with them.  They would certainly listen to the authorities and evacuate in time.
The above are few basic steps to be taken for Disaster Avoidance and Preparedness.  Infact not just Uttarakhand, but other states also are supposed to take these steps to ensure that they can proactively take steps to reduce the collateral damage.  

Another thing that I would suggest to the Uttarakhand Government is to change the erring Officials and also step down from the Office by handing over the reins of rehabilitation to the Central Government. The State Government has majorly failed even in launching the rescue operations.  Without the Army, ITBP, IAF and Marcos, the rescue operations would not have been as much success as they are said to be.  The reason I am suggesting them to step down is, they had been making tall claims about rescue and trying to gain political mileage, they would do the same for rehabilitation steps too.  Better that the Center Manages the Rehabilitation with help of Border Roads, Army and other Para Military Organizations rather than Private Parties.  This way we would see quality outcome and less politics. And yeah the Work would also happen in defined timelines withing identified Cost.
As I am writing this, the news of Floods in Assam are already pouring in, but many would say, that is an annual ritual and the people there are used to the floods. But then the Assam Government also need proactive steps to evacuate people living in the Danger Zones....And save the Human Life..

Update: Article on TOI referring MET Note to Chief Secretary and others referred 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis - Will Haunt in Elections 2014

On June 23 we all heard about of read the news that highlighted Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis. Though I had reserved my comments then, a friend shared that news with me on email and that opened up a long email discussion that is reproduced for the readers as below - 

My reply to that mail was - "The story highlights his Rambo act but again the act was only for "Gujaratis". I applaud his efforts, but they have not been to the level of a Politician who would target PM position in next election. This news right now may be doing rounds to earn him laurels, but in 2014 election it would hurt him the most.

It is like short term Marketing gimmick to me. Please recall the Pepsi's slogan "Nothing Official About it" and that surrogate marketing was targeted at gaining mileage against Coke, but had harmed Pepsi by instigating consumers to lookout for the official Sponsor "Coke" and the sales of Coke had gone up sharply... 

So, with the news headline "Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis "it is certainly be praise in Gujarat, but people would then start thinking "Why didn't he save others" when there were more..." 

I got an interesting reply from my friend - Somehow I have a slightly different opinion here. I see this as a great step. As far as rescuing only Gujaratis is concerned, as a state CM he is first responsible for them, which he proved. No other state did such major thing for their state people. So, given a change to head the country, he will do similar for the countrymen, which the existing government has failed majorly.

Also, another way to look at it is that by rescuing few thousand people, he has reduced the load of Uttarakhand government. In a way, it’s a contribution in itself.

Secondly, he has also given some offers to rebuilt the temple etc.

So, I don’t think what he did was wrong. He is doing for whom he is responsible for.

The above is also the viewpoint from all the Modi Supporters, but then is it so? But now what you have to do is to flip the coin and look at the other side of the aspect. Because there is other side too. Below points are based on your points in the order they are mentioned above - 

  1. No other CM - Rajasthan as well as Punjab CM were in Uttarakhand. But why did Media not write a news about them? Incidentally they have a passing reference in the article as NAMO also discussed with X & Y. Isn't this a news that media is cashing on because NAMO is PM candidate? 
  2. He did for Gujarat for which he is responsible for. Agree, bur disagree. A Politician and a PM candidate is responsible for the entire nation and not just a region or a sect. 
  3. No other state did it - Gujarat has that sort of money to drive it. It is a rich state. Other states from where pilgrims mostly were stranded are - UP, Rajasthan, Punjab, Bihar, MP etc. And well let me state that except Punjab, other states are not that well to do and interestingly only Rajasthan has Congress government. 
  4. If he did for Gujarat when he is CM for that state, he would do it for the country given a chance. Wrong notion, because he rescued, eh sorry, because he got 15000 Gujaratis transported from Uttarakhand. But weren't these the ones who were already rescued by the Army? Weren't these the one who were already at places from where they could easily be transported? Or do you want to actually believe that there were only 15000 Gujaratis in the whole load of tourists in Uttarakhand? 
  5. By rescuing 15000 he reduced the load. Eh yeah let's find out how much??? Not even 5%. Do the simple calculation 15000 out of total number of tourists and Localites stranded. And what about the time that was wasted during his aerial survey. 4 hrs of rescue work was impacted. 
  6. He has offered some help to rebuild the temple. Please, am surprised at the height of biased opinion. Please also check the news that Gujarat offered only 2 crore as the aide for these victims. Center offered 1000 crores, UP 25 crores, MP 5 crores, Bihar 5 crores and incidentally Shattrughna Sinha alone 50 lakhs. So wouldn't you see that Gujarat offered 2 crores only!!! 
So looking at the above points "from a critic" and NOT as pro congress, you should re-analyse the whole case. By doing what NAMO did, he indeed created an image, but this would haunt him. 

Positive side of looking at it - at least he did something and was not celebrating #whereispappu with his set of jokers in some distant land. 

Before concluding, I would like to state that the point as mentioned above have had been later reflected in the Editorial of "Saamna - The Shivsena Mouthpiece" by none other than Udhav Thackery. This can be accessed at - "Shiv Sena hits out at Modi for rescuing 'only Gujaratis' from Uttarakhand"

I know there would be a lot of lashing on this article and many would disagree with the viewpoint as expressed above, but then those who are political observers and are following the development clearly would tend to agree with the above points. Clearly a time to do some damage control here..... 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

If Ragpicker can Donate - Why can't You?

I had thought that I would write on the Gujarat Chief Minister's act, but that has taken a back seat as the story that I just read set a precedence of community service. Please read for yourself - 

The story highlights the way those street children came out of all the odds and went ahead to donate Rs. 20000 to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. A really heart felt story of the brave decision. These 10 odd thousand street children have created a network where they donate Rs 5 per day so that anyone in need may get that to use. No greed, no expectations and not a second thought to hit their corpus. Khudos to them. 

And to my surprise one of the reader commented "Ragpickers reach out to flood victims or for their personal benefits to get valuable things of Pilgrimist from the debris of ruins???????????" how insane of that person to have commented like that without reading the article. On one side those street children are saving and donating for a good cause and that insane person is just opening his mouth like that. 

On the other side I read comments from readers who have not themselves done anything and they comment for politicians, corporate houses and other organizations. Why do they forget that they can for themselves start the charity at home, but then they wouldn't..... 

Yeah some of the reader there is thinking what have I done to raise this point, then I have a clear update for such case that I have already donate online directly to PM National Relief Fund . If this makes sense to you, then please take a step forward and Donate...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Uttarakhand Floods and Aerial Survey Images

Though I don't write much on the political scenario of the Country and do not write posts supporting or criticizing any specific political organization.  This time I was compelled with the way the facts were strewed by the various political outfits to create controversies around the aerial survey of Uttarakhand's flood impacted regions by PM Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.  my angst is not against the news being publicized and PM as well as Sonia Gandhi being criticized.  My angst is against the way political parties, organizations and politicians are using a news to create controversy against the specific aerial survey.

All right, it is well understood that they made an aerial survey and impacted the relief operations, but that doesn't mean you use any means to defame them and use the Devastation case to raise public angst against them.  They might be wrong in doing what they did, but using distorted facts is not the way to gain public support.  The Media and the Social platforms is where this all started.  Specifically on the Facebook where a morphed picture is making rounds to present the distorted fact about things.  the pic on the right is being shared on FB referring to Dr Subramanian Swany's official Page

The pic on the Left is the pic that is also making rounds on FB and is the Hindi version of the pic shared above.  How interesting it is that the people are using these pics to create a controversy that is not required at this moment and is not required specifically to gain political mileage.

When I looked at these pictures that apparently showed up on my wall and rather than believing in them upfront, I conducted my own research to arrive at the picture on right that I compiled from the sources mentioned below them.  I was astonished at the creativity of the various set of people and specifically at the media. It was pretty interesting to note the Color of the Saree that Sonia Gandhi is wearing in all the three pictures in which she is shown as making the aerial survey.

Now isn't is a specific case of falsification of facts and trying to represent something that is incorrect.  Its time to behave responsible on Social Media as well as by the Media and not create sensational news to benefit someone specific. We have larger picture to look at and support the victims of the Natural Calamity...lets not waste time around criticizing one or other person, rather its time to get together and serve the nation by supporting the cause....Its time to support the relief fund rather than circulating such strewed images.... 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rain Havoc in Northern India - Natural or Man Made

The recent incessant rains and the cloud burst resulted in a havoc in the northern India. Hundreds or say thousands of lost their life, thousands are stranded and property worth millions have been lost in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.  But is it only the cloud burst and incessant rains that can be held responsible for this?  Though most of the readers would say Yes and flag the entire happening to the Natural Calamity.  I differ though as I carry a different opinion.

The devastation in these two states was in waiting. Why? Please look at the following facts - 
  1. Government in the two states never were prepared to tackle such calamities
  2. Eco Sensitive zones were breached and the Ruling Political Parties were responsible for that
  3. Construction near or around the banks of rivers like Ganga and Alaknanda left little space and the catchment areas of the river were found to be shrinking.  This is somewhere similar to the way Mumbai has seen Govt bucking under the pressure and reclaiming the marsh land to let them build residential and commercial complexes.  Lessons were not learned from Mumbai which sees flooding every season in specifically such areas that have been reclaimed!!!!
  4. The NDRF, supposedly well equipped to run rescue operations is not at all equipped with its own fleet or there is little or no coordination with the fleet management organization...Huge gap in the communication and cooperation between the two organizations....As if we didn't take any lessons from 26/11 where 12 hrs worth efforts were stretched for more than 3 days resulting in loss of many lives
  5. Lack of adequate provisions at both state and national levels to be ready in time to run the rescue operations
  6. The inhabitants who lived in and around those areas are equally responsible to have not taken precautionary steps to evacuate in time and waiting till the last moment
The above stated points mainly are the ones that turned the natural disaster in one of the worst to have hit northern India resulting in loss of life as well as infrastructure. 

I have heard many horror stories from various quarters and news channels including one from my closest family. They were on their trip to Kedarnath shrine and due to rains and landslide were stuck on their way.  There was no sight of Govt. help, whatever damage control was done was done by a group of youngsters who patched the roads to have paved way for vehicular traffic.  They put themselves at risk to help others.  The family somehow managed to reach Rudra Prayag and was awake all night for the River Alaknanda flowing besides their hotel was at full swing and the sound scared them more than the red alert warning sounded by local administrative body.  The youngest kid in that family narrated to me what he saw and mentioned the way he witnessed the houses, hotels and humans as were swept by the water.  Though the way a 7 or 8 year old kid would narrate might sound sweet to some, but it might on the contrary have devastating impact on the young mind in long run....

So, looking at the state of affairs and the small narration from the family that suffered as they were stranded without Food "without administrative aide", one can just look at the inept administrative teams and wonder how could they be so inept.  People seem to claim that the NDRF has highly trained resources, but then even they were stuck in Haridwar for major part waiting to be airlifted to run the rescue operations.....

My point is why can't govt and administration have adequate steps taken well in advance? Why can't one heed to the Met department's forecast? Why can't we build effective communication and cooperation strategies? Why can't NDRF be fully equipped to run operations single handedly?  Why should we wait till last minute for Disaster to happen? Why can't we run a mock drill before the season starts and have the required resources tested and take away learning from these test to solidify our mechanism?

If we would wait for the disaster to happen, they would certainly be more devastating as we would not actually be prepared to face them.  We might have best of the teams and best of the devices to carry out after disaster operations, but the success is to be able to contain the impact and not let disaster make a clean sweep!!!!!!
June 22, 2013 - Added the Pic as found similarities between my article and the Graphics
Pic Courtesy - Sunil Singh, I downloaded the pic from Facebook where it was shared.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fluctuating Indian Stock Market and Banking Scrips

With the recent fluctuation in the market and the high volatility associated due to global market trends has given rise to quite a few speculations. Various factors including the improvement in US Economy, prolonged Euro Zone Crisis and the most recent FIIs pulling out of Bonds market with the remarks of US Fed chief to slow down the Bond Purchase in US and  slow down the stimulus to the US Economy, all played important roles in the volatility associated with the Stock Market in India.  Domestically also, slowdown in the Domestic Industrial Output again pulled down the Stock Market.  The other factors that seems to be impacting are the fall in the Gold prices and the talk of the Country going under Mild Recession.  All these factors as if were not good enough that now we have an issue of Depreciating Re against major currencies of the world like Dollar, Pound and Euro. This is pegged to touch the highs of 63/dollar and that would mean increased Import Bills and Increased Fuel Prices.  What does that mean - Impending Inflation.  So how is market supposed to behave?

Market are expected to ride a choppy and turbulent wave of highs and lows due to the above mentioned reasons. Since RBI is not intervening at present to control the Depreciating Re we need to look at investing in market only from a long term perspective.  Specifically those looking at the Banking Sector need to be really cautious.  The Banking Scrips are already in negative to some extent and with the further depreciation in Re I would expect the Scrips to lose the Shine further.  Reason being the impact they will have on their Business and Profit Margins. Unless RBI revises the Repo Rate and CRR, Banks would not perform as they are expected by the investors and certainly that would bring down the confidence vested in them resulting in Sell, and Sell mostly by the Institutional Investors. This would result in the downward price trend of the Banking Scrips.

Some Safe Bets in this could be the Banks with Low NPAs like HDFC, BOI, IDBI or similar ones in the rank. However, please do not read this as my recommendation or even suggestion to invest in them.  I am simply talking on the probabilistic terms that these Could be safer scrips than the others.  But again, the selection of Banking Scrips to invest in needs to be done with utmost care and with a mid or long term perspective and with a target hold of minimum 1 year.  I would not suggest a Short term hold on the Banking Scrips and also not at all if you would be afraid of the high volatility that may be associated with the Share market and the Banking
Note- Had to update as Rupee Symbol was not showing up
Update - Re has already touched 60/dollar at the time i revised this article

Indian Education System - Needs to be Overhauled

Indian Education System, a much talked about education system that generates probably one of the largest set of Graduates in various disciplines in various streams is a flawed education system.  Yes the system that generates Engineers, Doctors, Business Management Professional is indeed a flawed one.  A recent article by Ramendra Singh on Times of India highlights that India Lacks Research Based Education System.

"The highlight of the article is the Non-research based Education as imparted by the Indian Institutes and Colleges. It states - "The absence of research-based education in the country has put Indian education way behind other universities across the world, senior associate dean of Yale School of Management, USA, Anjani Jain told TOI."
Article by Ramendra Singh 
  • Citing the example of universities in USA, he said, "The US was also not much known in the field of education in early 20th century. But they concentrated on the research work in 1930-40. The result is there for all to see. That country now has some of the leading universities of the world."
Article by Ramendra Singh 
While reading the article, I recalled many debates that I had been party to on this perspective have always ended with a note "Indian Education System Produces Babus and Clerks".  The various opinions that I received from various quarters include - 
  • Our Education System is still carrying the legacy of the British Raj. They developed an education system that they wanted to produce clerks and babus. The current Education System is no good to produce quality
  • Our Education System is designed to clear exams and get marks.  Higher the percentage higher is the recognition.  Cram up the books and you are done.  Write the Bookish answers that teachers want to read in the language they like and you are done
  • Engineers that we produce do not have practical outlook to work and they have to be trained for at least 12 to 18 months before they can give productive output.
  • Doctors that we produce are so lethargic that they forget their instruments inside the Human body when operating the patient
  • Every occupation that we see is so highly maligned with the set of expensive donation schools that they end up spending their fortune to get educated and when they finally come in the job market their expectations are too high as compared to the prevailing Job market. Yeah somewhere when these people get in the government job, they try to cover up for their cost of education and for their children - and we end up dealing with corrupt officials
So, coming to the square one - the education system that is prevailing in our country is - 
  • Old & Stale
  • Expensive
  • Inefficient and Ineffective
Though we produce large bunch of Job aspirants, but they are least effective.  That means we need to Overhaul our Education System.  As pointed out in the Article sited, the Indian Colleges, Universities and Professional Institutes need to drive their efforts on Research Based Education.  They need to support more and more initiatives by the students and need to promote such efforts.  However, I feel it is important and critical that research based education is rooted in the education system to tap the young mind that would help them develop better. Efforts need to driven from the elementary level itself when the traces of curiosities are observed in the kids.  Rather than suppressing their queries, they need to be instigated with leading answers and pointers that would make them do some of research on their own.With the ever increasing penetration of Internet and new age technology, this would certainly aide the quizzing minds and help them do more of research.

Education Institutes for that matter need to encourage students to do some "Assignments" on various topics that may range from History to Botany and make them develop papers that they would require to present to the School / College authorities.  The topics should be published and students be suggested to pick their own  topics on which they would like to work and develop their papers.  Mentors should be appointed for the topics and the mentors should guide students with periodic review of their work.  This certainly would lead to  the case where some student, if not all would lead their ambitions and will try to live their ambition in newer research, they would develop ideas and the only thing that would need to be done then would be to nourish their ideas and help them carry out their research.

Though the above para highlights some of the initiatives that need to be taken, there certainly is a need to do more than as highlighted above.  If you as the reader have thoughts around this, I would invite you to write them as comments as who knows our efforts may lead to a better scenario on this side.
Special Thanks to Ramendra Singh to have instigated me to work on this Post through his Thought Provoking Story.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Axis Bank - Fraud

The twist and turns around the Banking industry are not coming to an end. Now the Hot news is from India - the latest in Banking industry is the fraud with the 37 odd Axis Bank Customers from Mumbai including 13 cops.  The incident never came in the news until it was identified that 13 from the various ranks in Mumbai Police have been impacted.  

Few questions that come to me and that need to be answered - 

  1. Without an insider's help how can skimming device be installed at the ATM?
  2. Were the ATM location camera's not being monitored for any suspicious activity?
  3. Where was the Security Guard and didn't he observe any suspicious activity?
  4. What were Bank Officials doing at the time these transactions were being made in Greece, didn't they look at their reports for any suspicious activity?
  5. Why Banks issue "International Debit Cards" to their customers by default??
Interesting point here is the identification of a skimming device that was used for cloning the cards and that raised the questions that I have listed above.  It is imperative that there would have been an insider job in this case as without an insider's help it would be highly tough work to carry out suspicious activity without being noticed.

There is another question - Is Bank going to refund all its customers or just the cops?? as the news came to light highlighting the cops more than the other impacted customers of the Bank.

Before closing - Media is calling it has Hack...well call it Fraud!!!