The Newsweek Magazine's August, 2010 edition published the World's Best Countries and India  ranked at 78. Our neighboring  Pakistan was at  89 and China at comfortable 59th. Another neighbouring island nation: Sri Lanka pegged at 66th position.

The ranking is based on a broad  parameters like education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness and political environment.

The US failed to remain in the first 10 ranking countries. However, Japan managed it's slot  at 9th. Investing in Education means investing in future. South Korea ranked 2nd on the parameter of Education.  There the parents invest large sums  on test-preparation courses for their kids. It is hard to imagine any country of this intensity.   Back in the 1960 's South Korea's national wealth was on par with Afghanistan's.  But, today, it is one of the world's richest nations,  thanks to it s focus on education.  All leading electronic brands are of South Korea only, like Samsung, LG etc. 

In terms of Health Care, Japan stood first. The country of Rising Sun has one of the best health practices in the world. The Japanese have the world's longest life expectancy.

In terms of Economic Dynamism, India ranked 3rd, because our fundamentals are very strong.  

Let us hope that India would get a slot in the Top Ten in near future !


 In every discussion, we see people debating the causes of radicalism, but never have we seen people analyzing the causes of road accidents, which kill people twenty times more than the extremist violence in India.

I felt dismayed when I read a news article saying that more than one lakh people die every year in road accidents alone in India, which is 20 times more than deaths from extremist violence. Another startling statistic is that the country is loosing Rs 10,000 crores in compensation and insurance claims, one estimate says.

If we analyze the causes, it is seen that the prime cause of accidents is over-speed driving. In some cases, non-adherence to traffic rules is also a prime  reason for accidents.   In spite of spurt in accident rate, people's awareness levels are not encouraging. Still we see majority of people indulge in mindless acts like jabbering away on their cell phones while riding their vehicles feeling that they are managing time efficiently. This is seriously compromising the safety of roads and putting life behind wheels in great danger.

The death of famous cricketer Azharudin's son in a road accident is a grim reminder of how over-speed driving can take away precious life.

Alcoholism also has its slice in the cause of accidents. We all know how the film actor Salman Khan overran his jeep over some people sleeping outside a bakery on the pavement of Hill Road junction in Bandra, Mumbai in 2002 killing one and causing serious injuries to three people.  The incident involving celebrity reflects the disturbing reality of  Indian roads.

Strict surveillance and adherence to traffic rules in cities and towns, especially on highways is the need of the hour. Fast-track courts must be set up to dispose off the traffic related crimes so that the compensation to be given to the victims is not delayed.

Technology should also be used to help traffic management in cities and towns. In this regard, Bengalore's City Traffic Police is a step ahead in their efforts to achieve the stated objective. They have put into place a state of art technology in traffic management system by installing enforcement, surveillance cameras, giving live feeds on traffic and opened a traffic helpline to help the needy.

Intelligent signal system, which is already there in cities of  developed nations must be introduced at the earliest for better traffic management. Automation of traffic management would drastically reduce the manpower-intensive traffic policing. Apart from governmental efforts in the form of intelligent traffic system, people's attitude to safe driving would  prevent road accidents and thereby save precious lives.


Health is his style statement. This corporate czar finds enough time daily to sweat out that extra fat for combat fitness.

Anil Ambani, the man who took his father's advice into his veins maintains a healthy body in order to enjoy the wealth he creates. His arduous 15 km daily run from his Colaba home all along Queen's Necklace in Mumbai helps him to manage a slender waistline of 28 inches.

In India Today's Power List 2011, he stood at 10, compare to 3rd  position in 2010. The fighting spirit in Anil's persona  opened a new leaf in his life to create his own identity i.e. Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).

Anil’s secret of health lies in his daily practice of yoga. His kids want him to win a marathon. A stickler for time, he reaches work at 9:30 a.m. sharp and leaves by 9:30 p.m. He rarely changes this routine. When hockey star Dhanraj Pillai asked for his autograph, they made a deal and gave each other their respective autographs. He is proud of the fact that Pillai had heard about his interest in long distance running. When in Delhi, Anil stops at India Gate for two minutes and eats a choco-bar ice-cream from a handcart.

A vegetarian, his favourite food is baigan ka bharta and chole. And for 25 years, roadside pav bhaji is his favourite snack. Can't sleep for more than five hours, doesn't drink or smoke. At 8 a.m., he begins a round of phone calls with key employees. His favourite piece of advice; Don't hire a consultant to tell you the time from your own watch! 


We boast of women empowerment, but when it is put to reality test, no encouraging signals are seen. The census figures of 2011 epitomize the disturbing picture of Indian society, which has become heavily gender insensitive.

Governments can’t be blamed singularly for this sorry state of affairs. It is all of us, who are collectively responsible for this barbaric trend. We need to introspect and shed the old and archaic mindset.

Well before the Census figures were released, India-born writer Kishwar Desai, wife of noted economist and writer Meghnad Desai, who is the winner of  UK's Costa First Novel Award  for her novel, 'Witness by Night’, in  her column expressed  deep concern on female infanticide and foeticide unequivocally. I agree with her sentiments. She rightly said that we don't have any qualms about killing newly born baby girls. She cited a study, according to which more than 1000 female foetuses are aborted every day in India. This 'anti-girl child' attitude is also widespread among Asians living in the West.

If we analyse 2011 census figures, the child sex ratio (0-6) years) has declined to 914 girls for every 1,000 boys as compared to 927 in 2001. This dangerous trend is mostly prevalent in northern States, where people still crave for male child believing that son could only carry forward the family's legacy and surname to next generation. We have heard of cases where sons throw out the aged parents from home while daughters come to their rescue.

The Census Report further reveals that Jammu & Kashmir's child sex ratio steeply fell   to 859, making it the third worst state after Haryana and Punjab. Haryana and Punjab, the twin States remain at the bottom of the rung with child sex ratio at 830 and 846 respectively. However, North-east States fared well in child sex ratio. Kerala ranked high in girl child sex ratio with 1084 girls for 1000 boys. The country's capital Delhi  shocked with only 866 females for every 1000 males.

Though, we all know the elementary science that when a sperm cell (male) carrying an X chromosome fertilizes with the egg (female), the offspring will be female (XX); if the sperm cell carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes with the egg, the offspring will be male (XY). Inspite of this, still the woman is made scapegoat for giving birth to a girl child.

In fact, man himself is also not directly responsible as he has also no direct control of things at sub-atomic level and here the God comes into play. So the onus lies with Almighty or what you call Super Intelligence beyond human comprehension.

My simple question is: do the warring parents don't know this basic fact? Moreover, what is wrong with girl child? In what way the girl  is inferior to boy? The argument has no substance.

Women are making rapid strides in every field be it sports, medicine, or politics, to name a few. We should not forget that Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams who went into space along with male astronauts were women. The girl can take care of her parents even after marriage as financial independence facilitated such things. We see instances where the son leaves the parents and daughter fills the vacuum.

Being a proud father of two daughters, Iam not feeling disappointed. I believe that parenthood is important, irrespective of son or daughter you beget. Being influenced by old system, initially, I felt low when I begot second daughter. But after a while when I did a bit of self-introspection, I realised that there are so many celebrity fathers with only daughters. Take for instance,  the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has three daughters; Barack Obama, the US President has two daughters, former American President George W. Bush has two daughters and  India's Apollo Hospitals Chairman Dr. Pratap Reddy has four daughters.

The Western society is not infected with this kind of problem.  India, being the oldest citivization must prevail on the wisdom of ages and bring  perceptible change.   


 Man is ultimate in the evolutionary process. The ability to think put us on higher pedestal amongst animal kingdom.

In the process of educating ourselves, we evolved a system with institutional mechanism to tap our mental potential and update the information on Nature's basket. We formally call it as education.

But I am sceptical about the current educational system where there is a fundamental lacuna on the priority of things to be taught first. Tony Buzan, the father of Mind Maps concept, in his much acclaimed book ‘Use Your Head’ felt that ‘ in our worldwide educational systems we have spent so little time learning about how to learn is that we as a race have
not known the fundamental principles of the operation of that bio-computer – BRAIN’ In computer metaphor, we have not known the software for the hardware of our brains.

Myself being a product of  this current educational system felt low when I was imposed  restrictions citing that it is not my subject of specialization. At that time, I cherished a system where education is based on individual’s inherent capabilities, inclinations so that he or she can march forward in his/her desired path unhindered. But this radical approach pitiably has no taker in the market place where your testimonials matter a lot more than your self worth.

After my graduation, I started my hunt for real knowledge and in the process got an opportunity to read some of the world's greatest books. After somehow grasping the ideas of so many renowned people in the field of education, my perception of education dramatically changed. The education which is now centred on rote learning has not inspired me much.

To strengthen my concept of ideal education, I started culling the ideas great souls. Swami Vivekananda who is my ideal said that education is the manifestation of perfection already in man.

The true education, according to Jiddu Krishnamurti is “Education is not only learning from books, memorizing some facts, but also learning how to look, how to listen to what the books are saying. Education is also listening to the birds, to see the sky, to see extra-ordinary beauty of tree, shape of hills to feel them directly in touch with them.

I feel that the pinnacle of education should be, to know the Source of Life or what we call as God or Creator. I have great opportunity to read the book ‘Code Name God by Mani Bhaumik.   Bhaumik who is one of the pioneers in laser technology, acknowledged the fact that the deep mysteries of life remain unresolved.

When you look into latest research in science, you would find that still we are intrigued with questions of how the electron gets energy to revolve around the nucleus.  What you call as solid is not at all a solid but only a wave at sub-atomic level.   The latest breakthroughs in science re-affirms the fact that there is a mysterious power beyond the realm of human comprehension that is dictating our destinies.

One notable point is we can’t have direct control of even our bodily processes like heart beat, functioning of brain, how thoughts occur, etc.  You could find answers to these nagging questions only at spiritual level.

So, my aim in life is not to accumulate material possessions and go into oblivion, but raise my awareness to get a glimpse of that Supreme Intelligence.


 No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
                                                  - Bertrand Russell

A large chunk of leisure time is spent unproductive by majority of us in gossip. If two people meet, they talk less of themselves and more of the world and the people.

If you involve more in gossip, you will be more in chaos. Indulging in such unwanted and futile talk not only seep your vital energies but also negativity corrodes your system. Instead, you could use those vital energies for self-reflection so that you can tread a path to success.

My suggestion is to walk out of such futile talk to save your vocal cards for more productive purpose. You should not be a gossip mill. Socrates gives a Triple Filter Test to overcome this problem:

One day an acquaintance met Socrates and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

Hold a minute, Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything, I’d like you to pass a little test. It is called the Triple Filter Test.

Triple filter?

That is right, “Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you are going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. "

The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?

"No," the man said, “actually I just heard about it and ...."

All right, “said Socrates.” So you don't really know if it is true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?

"No, on the contrary...”

"So, Socrates continued,” you want to tell me something bad about him, but you are not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of USEFULNESS.

Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me? "

"No, not really. "

"Well, concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?

If everybody prevails on the wisdom of Socrates, we could channelize such unproductive energies for more creative pursuits.


 Listening is a key to effective communication process. If we see our sense organs, it is apparent that the Creator has given us two ears and one tongue for a reason: listen twice as you speak. But how effectively and intelligently we are using the same is a moot point.

Research reveals that people spend about 70 % of their work life in communication, and listening occupies a lion's share of 45%. Talking accounts second with 30 %, reading and writing rank third and fourth with 16 % and 9 % respectively.

A listener is always superior in his actions than a glib talker who runs
out of words as well as energies. Without paying much attention, they indulge in futile talk which may help enemy to ascertain his/ her plans. So we have to fine-tune the faculty of listening.

Listening is obvious to increase your analytical abilities and help to be more judgmental to act on your problems.  Listening skills benefit a lot in personal life, like having great number of friends and improved social networking and more importantly a high self-esteem.

The importance of listening need not be over-emphasized for professionals in marketing area whose job is to connect more with their clients. If you are a good listener, it will give a lasting impression at personal level and contribute to your personal and organizational growth.   For software professionals, this faculty are of paramount importance to know minutely the user experience for which they have to pay due attention and this could be possible only through effective listening.

In nutshell, listening gives unparalleled wisdom to know about the other person. So next time when your friend/ child or even unknown person try to say something, allow him/ her to do so, instead of interrupting in the middle. It is not only a good manner, but an intelligent way of tackling others in consonance with their emotional needs.