Thursday, April 30, 2015

Waiting for a Disaster ....

It was a scary experience! The sight of the damage created by the earthquake in Nepal, as seen through our Television Channels was a pointer to our helplessness against the natural disasters. Immediately one wonders what if such a disaster strikes the city of Delhi ?According to a report by Times of India dated 27th April 2015 ( ) , eighty percent of the Delhi buildings will not be able to withstand the tremors if a high magnitude earthquake will strike Delhi. Yet Delhi has not addresses the issue of preparedness for disaster adequately. One of the recent measure by the government is a pointer to this approach. A city that is already short of the amenities for the existing households has been given the mandate for further expansion. The Ministry of Urban Development has hiked floor area ratio (FAR) norms for residential plots in the Capital. Delhi is known for its dense population and the quality of most structures is not good, making it highly vulnerable to disaster like earthquake. As per the 2002 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) map, Delhi fall in seismic zone 4, which means that if an earthquake with intensity measuring 6 or more than 6 on Richter scale strikes the city, it will not be able to withstand the tremors and there is a possibility of a large scale destruction of property and loss of life. 
How can the government ignore the hazard that it is prone to . Look at some of these pictures ...... 

Irrespective of the Party affiliation, all leaders chose to ignore disasters. Their only concern is the Votes. They are not concerned about long term safety and sustainability of cities.It is high time we stop any further expansion.Can any party dare to say that they do not support the mushrooming of illegal colonies in Delhi because it may lead to a disaster situation. Rescue vehicles and relief Team can not move inside the streets of such clusters.Who will save them ? They are filled with illegal electrical lines. Buildings will crumble and it will be so difficult to offer any help. Increase in FAR would again mean higher density of population. We do not even know if the existing buildings were designed to be earthquake resistant or not.Retrofitting is not an expensive solution but are the builders ready for it ? As per the Delhi government data, around one lakh fire incidents have been reported since 2007 and 93 structures collapsed in 2013 alone . I do not know if it is mandatory to have the structural safety  certificate for all buildings in Delhi .It is indeed a difficult situation and unfortunately no agency or government seems willing to take tough measures for the safety and sustenance of our cities.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A research on RESEARCH

Suddenly focus in teaching profession has shifted towards research. AICTE and UGC have incorporated a model of performance management for faculty that rewards scholarly research in their area of expertise or interest. So far so good. But it is time to reflect what are we promoting in the name of academic research.In social sciences including management a new breed of professionals have come up who specialize in creating relationship even when none exists, proving universally known and accepted facts null,generating principles of management bases on perceptual survey without referring to the organizational processes and results.Statistical modelling is named as research.There are research syndicates that can offer to collect data about anything from anywhere.So there is every possibility that we end up with a new piece of wisdom that proves that pricing decision is a critical factor for commercial success of a product, after a survey of a sample of 1000 respondents spread over 200 towns of India comprising of 500 males and 500 females representing 4 age group i.e. between 18 to 28 , 28 to 38, 38 to 48 and 48 to 58 that can read and write any of the Indian languages.We can also test the hypotheses that father's age is more than that of the son by taking up another such representative sample.

I do not wish to say that research should not be encouraged. However overemphasis on a set of methods and tools is what is undesirable. Tables and graphs that researcher draws using computer packages add to the volume of knowledge no doubt but what about the depth of knowledge ? Whose concern is this? How about mounting cases of plagiarism ? Does it have anything to do with the kind of rat race that we are promoting in the name of research ? I believe we need to investigate these issues. Oh ,my God, that calls for literature review on the subject to begin with........??