Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brands that I dislike

This is my personal view. And its completely based on my experience with these brands.
All these brands have been huge disappointments and I have vowed not to use them again in my life. These are not rankings as all have been equally disappointing
1.Nokia-Anyone who has been to a Nokia Service Centre will vouch for the pathetic service meted out. Now, I had a problem with my keypad. Even though the product was under warranty, they charged me INR 600 for the change of keypad invoking the "conditions apply" clause. I was fine with it. However, I realised something was amiss when I was not given the part which was replaced. Many emails to Nokia and many visits to the service centre didnt help.A year after this incident, I planned to buy a mobile.This was in April 2010.Around the same time, Nokia unveiled its smartphone E5.The launch date was May 2010.But delays at Nokia, which led to the ouster of many senior managers at the firm led to the E5 hitting the market in September. By then I had shelled out an extra 3k more than what I would have had for a E5 and bought a BB. And I am a BB convert. So no more Nokias for me!
2.Acer-My brother recommended and bought a Acer laptop for me. Two weeks later I had a white screem problem which persisted even after it had been to the service centre twice in one year. It still persists. But now, I dont trust the service nor the product. Most of acer products on my campus have problems related to battery charge or DVD drives.So Its goodbye to Acer!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mumbai under construction....

....is what I tweeted when I realised that getting from the east of Andheri to the West will take me more than an hour due to the many "under construction" projects in that area. Coupled with the fact that rickshaw and bus fares have increased by more than 20% since June,travelling in Mumbai has become a nightmare.
One has to brave the Metro construction, the skywalk, the two flyovers over the Andheri bridge while travelling from Andheri East to Andheri West.The fact that none of these projects get over on time adds to the woes.
We seriously need to time these projects and also ensure that this infrastructure is sufficient for a decade or more to prevent further upgrades. If not we will be left thinking that our government took Keynes suggestion of "digging holes and filling them again" a bit too seriously.

A hypothesis about migrants in Mumbai

The issue of migrants in general and those from the north in Mumbai specifically has been a burning one for many years. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Shiv Sena have been at the forefront of attacking North Indian migrants who engage in different occupations in Mumbai.
Most of the north Indian migrants engage themselves in providing a host of services;from plying rickshaws and taxis to selling groceries,etc. Most of the security guards in the private sector are also from the northern states.
I like chatting up with these people whenever I get the opportunity to do so. The usual belief is that rural to urban migration happens due to non-availability of jobs in rural areas, stagnant agriculture due to a host of reasons, etc. However the people that I have spoken to come from districts that have abundant water supply and they also owned large tracts of arable land. So these guys who ply autorickshaws and sell groceries are not really deprived of water and land in their hometowns. In other words, it is not "distress migration"
The problem I believe is that agriculture is not seen as lucrative occupation. It is also not, I conjecture, seen as a "good enough" occupation.Its also not just about livelihoods. Lack of access to good quality education can also lead to people who are earning a decent income uproot their families and base themselves in urban ghettos.
If this is indeed the case, then we need to get the manufacturing sector on a high growth path. Jobs in cities are in the service sector and this sector cannot absorb the surplus labour currently in agriculture. Factories and consequent jobs on the shop floor are needed immediately.
If not, we will see overburdened cities crumbling against rising number of migrants.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back to IRMA

After being away from my abode for 7 weeks, I am back at h34! My final internship is over and just one term remains before I become part of the alumni.
What kept me away from blogging was the constant travel, no internet connection and sheer laziness! But I have loads to write about and that I shall in the coming days!