Wednesday, December 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


Trivialising SAARC
n a none-too-ingenious move, Pakistan has indefinitely deferred the 12th SAARC summit and has at the same time tried to put all the blame at India’s door. This is not the first time that Islamabad has done so. The summit was earlier delayed by as long as 26 months thanks to the military coup of Gen Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999. 

Disinvestment hiccups
he noisy Opposition protest, as also by some of the NDA government partners, against the government decision on disinvestment in HPCL and BPCL on Monday indicates that there is no political “consensus” yet on the issue as claimed by I &B Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Nobel Prize for Carter
ook at the irony. US President George W. Bush is under mounting pressure from the global community not to attack Iraq, particularly after it has met the deadline for coming clean on its weapons programme.


Spiritual crisis in Haryana society
Need to probe historical connections
D.R. Chaudhry
aryana society is in the grip of a deep and all-embracing spiritual crisis. The spiritual atrophy, moral decline and social disorientation that one notices in every walk of Haryana society is not a sudden development.





Factors behind Dulina killings
Rajbir Parashar
he brutal killing of five Dalits at Dulina in Jhajjar district of Haryana on October 15 was not a simple act of misdirected suspicion. Neither was it just another manifestation of the centuries old “primordial” caste system which still exists with an inhuman face. 


CSIO on high-growth track
Reeta Sharma
he Central Scientific Instruments Organisation was founded in October, 1959, in pursuance to the recommendation of a committee set up by the Planning Commission to formulate a scheme for the development of scientific instruments industry in India. Initially located in New Delhi, it was shifted to Chandigarh. Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated it in 1962. 


If you snore heavily, consult doctor
eople with a long history of snoring need to consult their physician as they are at a greater risk of developing the sleep apnoea syndrome.

  • Singapore deemed ‘boring’ 




Trivialising SAARC

In a none-too-ingenious move, Pakistan has indefinitely deferred the 12th SAARC summit and has at the same time tried to put all the blame at India’s door. This is not the first time that Islamabad has done so. The summit was earlier delayed by as long as 26 months thanks to the military coup of Gen Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999. Till the other day, Pakistan was making a barbed allegation that India would make up its mind about attending the summit only after December 12, the reference being to the Gujarat elections, but it chickened out before it had to eat its words. The postponement has more to do with the domestic problems of the General than the Indian insistence that Pakistan must come clean on the terrorism issue and also allow some progress on the key question of free trade. Another apprehension weighing on the General’s mind must be the security situation in his country. Knowing the opposition to him and the upper hand that the terrorists have, he was hardly in a position to host a conference of this level. India’s no-nonsense attitude was only used a convenient stick to trivialise SAARC. In the past, Islamabad has never missed an opportunity to raise bilateral issues at SAARC summits despite the fact that this was specifically prohibited. This time too, it has thought nothing of overshadowing the summit through a bilateral trick.

A summit is not held to complete a formality. Nor is it meant for sightseeing. The purpose is to further the agreed-upon agenda. That, unfortunately, has not been happening for long. The stumbling block that Pakistani leaders never forget to carry with them whenever they do the packing for the trip has made sure that things are at a virtual standstill. Leaders of various countries have expressed their disappointment and even anger at this tendency, but the unseemly show goes on regardless. The biggest sufferer is India. For instance, Pakistan has never given it the MFN status that it is duty bound to provide. And yet, it blames India for pushing for the economic agenda in the summit. Isn’t the forum meant precisely for that? There are many such question marks which have to be removed before SAARC can have any practical utility. Perhaps it has become inevitable to concentrate on sub-groups which can sidestep the difficulties created by a difficult member. If that does not happen there is a real possibility of the USA playing a more active role in the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation. China is also said to be keen to initiate sub-regional cooperation with the eastern part of the subcontinent. 


Disinvestment hiccups

The noisy Opposition protest, as also by some of the NDA government partners, against the government decision on disinvestment in HPCL and BPCL on Monday indicates that there is no political “consensus” yet on the issue as claimed by I &B Minister Sushma Swaraj. Various lobbies were at work and they managed to extract a government climbdown from its previous stand of offloading the government stakes in both PSUs to strategic buyers. Now the government equity in BPCL will be offered to the public, while that in HPCL will go to the highest bidder. Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie’s two-page statement in Parliament did not specify how much equity would be offloaded. It also gave no time-frame for completing the disinvestment process in the two PSUs. Then the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Dr Manmohan Singh, raised a possible legal hurdle. He wanted to know whether the government could sell off its shares in the two oil PSUs without repealing the two Acts passed in 1974 and 1976 enabling the nationalisation of such companies. Though Mr Shourie cited the case of Maruti disinvestment, the Opposition wanted a specific answer or legal opinion from the Attorney General of India. These loopholes that Mr Shourie’s statement left uncovered have once again raised doubts about the timely conclusion of the disinvestment programme. If the two Acts have to be repealed, then the government would require support of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha where the NDA coalition is in minority. Since the Congress is opposed to the disinvestment in profit-making PSUs and Dr Manmohan Singh has been insisting on a White Paper on the subject, the government plans may get delayed, if not derailed. It is the realisation of these anomalies perhaps that led to the stock markets’ slide on Monday as against the thumping welcome given to the government move last Friday.

There are some important issues emerging from the clash of the pro- and anti-disinvestment lobbies. The critics of the government move to reduce its presence in the crucial petroleum sector seem to have toned down their opposition. The Disinvestment Minister gave a categorical assurance that no private monopolies would be allowed. Although government firms have been allowed to bid for HPCL, a PSU grabbing the oil sector undertaking would defeat the purpose of disinvestment. To pacify the opponents, the government has decided to set up a disinvestment fund to generate employment, undertake fresh investment and retire the public debt. The sale proceeds will not be used to reduce the fiscal deficit as was widely feared. This is welcome. The anti-disinvestment lobbies have succeeded in enforcing the sale of government equity in BPCL through the public issue route, while conceding a strategic sale in the other oil. This may fetch a high price for HPCL, being the sole oil giant on offer, but the public issue of BPCL will bring in lower returns. Only a section of the public— the PSU employees and public issue participants — will stand to benefit. The three months’ delay in pursuing the disinvestment goal may have calmed the opposition to the programme, but fresh bottlenecks have emerged. The government needs to do its homework better to iron out all differences to carry the Opposition and public opinion with it.


Nobel Prize for Carter

Look at the irony. US President George W. Bush is under mounting pressure from the global community not to attack Iraq, particularly after it has met the deadline for coming clean on its weapons programme. But the same community on Tuesday gave a standing ovation to former President Jimmy Carter for his remarkable contribution to reducing global tension. It may not be wrong to say that the difference in approach between President Bush and former President Carter is the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats in setting the country’s international agenda. Who can forget the untiring effort of Mr Bill Clinton, another democrat, in hammering out a final solution to the West Asian conflict involving Israel and the Palestinians. With a bit of luck, history may have remembered him as the first-lame duck President to have given as parting gift the hope of lasting peace to the global community. Mr Carter was not as flamboyant or half as charismatic as Mr Clinton, but there was a striking similarity in what they thought should be the agenda for peace. Both recognised the role that India as a stable democracy and an emerging economy could play in helping the global community fashion a just and fair order. That is the reason why they both found time from their crowded engagements to make personal visits to the land of Buddha, Nanak, Kabir and Gandhi.

Of course, the Clinton yatra was more high profile because of the advent of television channels that magnified even small gestures into momentous events. But the Carter yatra to India was no less significant. In fact, while Mr Clinton came, saw and left behind a fund of goodwill, his democratic colleague who beat him to it, to use an endearing American expression, left behind a village in Haryana that to this day continues to celebrate his achievements as the ambassador of world peace. That was the reason why Carterpuri erupted with boundless joy on hearing about the Nobel Peace Prize to the former President. Indeed, his achievements are worth celebrating. His support for peace and protection of human rights saw him make several visits to Central America for selling to it the importance of a democratic order. He was instrumental in restoring peace in Haiti and the installation of the duly elected leader as its President. His peace efforts took him to troubled Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Korea and Sudan. Yes, indeed the gala function in Oslo on Tuesday where Mr Carter received the Peace Prize for 2002 was a red letter day for the 4,000 residents of Daulatpur-Naseerabad, later renamed as Carterpuri. And in a broader sense for India and the peaceniks across the globe. The Peace Prize’s importance would increase if only President Bush were to realise the importance of being Carter in a world torn by avoidable conflicts and tensions.


Spiritual crisis in Haryana society
Need to probe historical connections
D.R. Chaudhry

Haryana society is in the grip of a deep and all-embracing spiritual crisis. The spiritual atrophy, moral decline and social disorientation that one notices in every walk of Haryana society is not a sudden development. It has historical connections that need to be probed. The recent peasant movement in Jind district and the lynching of five Dalits in Jhajjar district are the latest instances that speak volumes of the malaise.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has been quite vocal in raising the demands of Haryana peasantry during the last several years. The prefix “Bharatiya” is highly misleading. There is nothing pan-Indian about this organisation. It is a badly splintered body with numerous factions in Punjab, Haryana and Western UP with no interconnection among them. One such faction launched an agitation in some villages of Jind and Rohtak districts recently on the issue of free electricity supply to farmers. The demand related not to free power supply for agricultural operations but for domestic consumption. The police fired at agitators in Gulkani village of Jind district and there were nine casualties.

There has been a number of localised peasant agitations in Haryana during the last one decade or so. The police resorted to firing and lathi charge at a number of places — Marhiali and Kadma in Bhiwani district, Nissing in Karnal, Tohana in Hissar and Gulkani in Jind district. About two dozen lives have been lost in the police action. With every round of killing, the tempo of the movement has gone down. The latest killing at Gulkani seems to have taken wind out of the sails of the BKU.

The BKU and other peasant leaders have never seriously taken up the issue of police high-handedness while dealing with the agitators. The emphasis has been on the monetary compensation to the bereaved families. At Gulkani, for instance, there is no evidence of any policeman having been injured in mob violence. Yet, the trigger-happy police of Haryana fired 400 rounds, injuring 40 farmers, nine of them fatally. Shockingly enough, there has been no agitation by any political party or some other organisation for punishing the guilty in the police after a high-level probe.

The main opposition party paid Rs 1 lakh to the nine bereaved families and the ruling party doled out Rs 5 lakh to six — the remaining three families were deprived on the ground that the cause of death in three cases had not been ascertained properly.

The only issue being raised by the BKU is about the compensation to these three families. The grouse of the BKU leadership at the moment seems to be that three corpses “did not fetch any price” and had to be consigned to the flames gratis. A leader of the main opposition party proclaimed that if his party came to power, they would pay Rs 10 lakh for each slain peasant. He seems to be saying. “The present government is inefficient and there is a slump in the market of the dead. The day we are in power, the market would pick up and the dead would command a higher price”. Financial aid to a family that has lost a bread-earner makes sense, but it should not become a substitute for human life which is the case now.

The scene is being replicated in the case of lynching of five Dalits. An amount of Rs 1 lakh has been paid by the main opposition party and Rs 5 lakh by the ruling dispensation for every slain Dalit. The matter should end here so far as the establishment is concerned. The demand for a high-level judicial or CBI probe has not been conceded. Every attempt is being made to save the police, the administration and the communal elements responsible for the carnage. The Haryana Government blocked the discussion on Dalit killings in the last Haryana Assembly session, and The Tribune rightly characterised it as “a day of state shame” (Oct 31).

The civilised nature or otherwise of any government is to be judged by the manner it treats its opponents, critics and dissidents. There was a prolonged student revolt in France in 1968 which was joined by workers and peasants as well, necessitating the takeover of the government by General Charles de Gaull, a hero of World War II. However, there was not a single casualty at the hands of the police in this countrywide turmoil. In India, the police kills at the slightest provocation. The situation is much worse in Haryana which has become a killing field and the police a killing squad.

The really worrying factor in Haryana is that the brutal face of the state power leaves the people cold. No stirring of conscience. No sign of any public ire. To quote a loaded phrase from Soren Kierkegaard, Haryanvis are living in a state of “tele-logical suspension” — a state of existence with no end or purpose in life. The sensibility has grown too coarse and crude. The people of Haryana seems to have proceeded on long leave from the realm of sensibility and are hibernating in the twilight zone of ethical emancipation. Do they constitute a comity of thinking individuals striving for the betterment of life or a throng of zombies in a state of trance? The question cries for answer. This necessitates a glance at the past.

The battle of Mahabharta, so valorised in our country, was essentially fought on the division of property in the plains of Kurukshetra in Haryana between two branches of a royal household. The reigning monarch of the time, Dhritrashtra, was blind both physically and metaphorically. He could see nothing but the interests of his progeny very distinctly. Women started losing in social status in this age. Yudhistra, the most virtuous of the Pandava brothers, staked Draupadi, the consert of five brothers, in the game of dice, treating her as an article of property. When an attempt was being made to unrobe her in the royal court, all the great warriors Bhishmapitamah, Dronacharya, Kripacharya and others — were mute spectators. It has been rightly characterised as a dark era by Dharam Vir Bharati in his play “Andha Yug,” an allegory on the futility of war.

Later on, when Shravan Kumar, a symbol of filial devotion in Indian mythology, reached Kurukshetra after taking his aged parents to many other pilgrimage centres in the country, he faced a sudden change of heart. His parents looked to be an encumbrance and he decided to discard them. It did not take much time for the realisation to sink in his mind that it was the jinxed and blighted land of Kurukshetra that was responsible for the evil brainwave and he resumed his journey. The process of moral decline and spiritual degeneration has been on since then.

In medieval times the institution of the state played an important role in the promotion of arts and culture. The Haryana region remained deprived of this. The impact of the Bhakti movement, a powerful liberating current in many parts of India, was quite weak in this region. The Indian renaissance, howsoever half-baked it was, barely touched this belt. The Arya Samaj was the only reform movement that influenced this region. Its positive contents like the crusade against untouchability, rituals and superstition fostered by the Brahminical priesthood and such other things have taken a back seat. As a consequence, a section of the Arya Samajists in Haryana today are as fanatical as some Hindu communal organisations in Muslim baiting. Haryana has grown in the shadow of Delhi and as such its growth has remained stunted. Examples can be multiplied to explain the moral depravity and cultural cretinism in Haryana society today.

The typical historical growth of Haryana has spawned a stratum at the top that is notorious for its crudity, aggressiveness and arrogance. Arrogance is in direct proportion to ignorance in Haryana. Things are taken for granted with a closed mind that leaves no scope for debate. In the self-seeking, self-serving and family-centric politics of Haryana, the state is laden with several modern Dhritrashtras who cannot see beyond their progeny. They treat the state as their personal fiefdom. Haryana has yet to see the growth of democratic culture and ethos. This is not possible unless the state passes through a phase of cultural renaissance. This makes it obligatory for Haryanvis to have a critical look at the past, evaluate it with ruthless objectivity and draw correct lessons, rising above caste taboos and totems. Only then can some meaningful social and political change be expected. This is a long haul. However, there are no short-cuts in history.

The writer is a keen observer of Haryana affairs.


Factors behind Dulina killings
Rajbir Parashar

The brutal killing of five Dalits at Dulina in Jhajjar district of Haryana on October 15 was not a simple act of misdirected suspicion. Neither was it just another manifestation of the centuries old “primordial” caste system which still exists with an inhuman face. The way official machinery and the communally charged crowd of fanatics actually collaborated there to eliminate imaginary “heretics” is inexpressible in human language. Truly, it was a naked exhibition of “Unbelievable Savagery”. To avoid such occurrences in the future, the mystery of actual events need to be unearthed in unequivocal terms.

Given the wide socio-cultural ramifications of the incident, it is a matter of a high-level enquiry, much more boldly constituted and credible than what the state government has done. Sensing the mood and initial stance of the ruling INLD, there are apprehensions among opposition parties and other organisations that whatever the commission’s findings, its discovery of the truth is unlikely to deviate from the official version of the incident or offend what the Chief Minister has already been saying in the whole context.

But any obsessive concern with how different political parties and the state government are responding to the happening is likely to divert our attention from the causes of the horrific tragedy, which was not wholly consummated in the killing of five persons at Dulina. The reason is that even after the Dulina incident there were reports from Rewari and Panipat districts of people having been beaten on similar grounds. And there are disturbing voices which proudly defend the “spirit” of such cruel acts without lamenting their consequences. The silence of the state government on the existent legal provisions on alleged cow-slaughter or the skinning of a dead cow or calf has worsened the situation and added to the plight of the minorities and the Dalits being constantly targeted on the issue.

In fact, the Dulina killings, if correlated in retrospect to the violence against the Muslim community in March at Kaithal, Kalayat and Loharu, seem to provide a rare moment of introspection to all the political parties, social and cultural organisations seeking “democratic space” within the crises-ridden social fabric of Haryana. Viewed in the overall cultural scenario of the region, these incidents reveal a highly regressive chain of attitudinal formations and reaction mechanisms lurking at the surface of the collective mind, at least of a significant section of the urban and rural masses.

However, one cannot afford to overlook the fact that these psychic structures are by and large rooted in the communal politics of pre-Independence days and are presently manipulated by the fanatic appeal of religio-cultural issues as handled by the RSS and its various outfits. The naked display of lawlessness, termination of civil rights and the unrepentant arrogance of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the Sarv Khap Mahapanchayat points to a deeper erosion of human sensitivity and constitutional order in the state. It carries a threatening jolt to the very foundations of a civilised and democratic society.

It is now an established fact that such forces, bent upon erasing the achieved impact of progressive modernity and the liberal value system in Haryana, are manifesting themselves in the state in as crude forms as the retrograde “fatwas” of the Khap Panchayats in private and public matters, violence against religious minorities and a callous attitude towards the Dalits as reflected in the Dulina killings. The ruling elite, self-reflexively indulgent in the naked game of power, appears to celebrate the rise of Khaps as well as Hindu communalism as the real self-awareness of the region’s cultural identity. But this ruling elite and the neo-rich higher middle class are structurally patriarchal, anti-Dalit and anti-minorities. The configuration of such forces cannot be relied upon for visualising or practising a humane treatment to these sections. It is in this whole background that the inhuman victimisation of five Dalits at Dulina needs to be related with the cultural politics of the “cow protection movement” in the state. Moreover, the emergence of the “Goraksha Abhiyan” in Haryana partially emanates from the failure of the efforts to use “Ram Mandir” as a symbol in the rural areas. It is beyond doubt that the issue of Ayodhya temple had, in fact, not yielded substantial dividends to the RSS and its outfits except in the urban locale. The rural masses, especially the agricultural labour and other workers, till recently perceived these organisations as predominantly representing the business class interests. But it is in the last five or seven years that the fanatics seem to have marked a major breakthrough in the popularisation of the communal agenda in rural Haryana. The alliance of the BJP with the HVP and the INLD has not been as inconsequential to the growth of the RSS as the dominant partners have generally posed to be and remained contended with.

The loss of lives in the Kargil war and the intermittent sacrifices of Haryana jawans on the border or in terrorist encounters in Jammu and Kashmir have helped the communal tilt in society. The “cow protection movement” as propagated in RSS and VHP programmes and activities has heightened the anti-Muslim feelings in the rural psyche.

It may be pertinent to mention that another way of maligning the Muslims in the state and causing a rift between the two communities is the RSS-VHP propaganda about Mewat which is generally projected as “mini-UP” and “the biggest slaughter house” in North India. It is a contentious issue about which, along with the Dulina episode, the state government should come out with a White Paper so that the authentic and factual position may be established and any further bloodshed of innocent people is avoided.

In any case, no one should defend the “cannibalism” displayed in the case of the Dulina killings on any pretext. To the sensitive souls, these are moments in Indian history when the stakes of a civil and democratic society become the very stakes of humanity itself. It is up to the ruling elite in Haryana or elsewhere to evolve a mode of governance and political behaviour that the foundations of our society as a democratic one remain intact. So intact and vibrant that citizens, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion can unhesitantly pride themselves in its uniqueness.

The writer teaches English at R.K.S.D. College, Kaithal.



CSIO on high-growth track
Reeta Sharma

Dr R.P. BajpaiThe Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) was founded in October, 1959, in pursuance to the recommendation of a committee set up by the Planning Commission to formulate a scheme for the development of scientific instruments industry in India. Initially located in New Delhi, it was shifted to Chandigarh. Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated it in 1962. The humble beginning at Chandigarh was with a three-year diploma under its wing, the Indo-Swiss Training Centre (ISTC).

The CSIO is one of the 38 laboratories under the umbrella of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Its basic aim is to research, design and develop scientific instruments. The growth of the CSIO in 40 years has been phenomenal. From a mere ISTC, today it has as many as 14 R and D disciplines and four service and maintenance centres. No wonder from the fifth ranking from the bottom, the CSIO has today moved to among the first five of the national laboratories of the CSIR. Spread over 120 acres, the CSIO has carved a place on the international map.

Meanwhile, the ISTC has grown from one diploma of three years to an additional four-year diploma in mechatronics and yet another four-year diploma in “dye and mould” making. The ISTC has earned an enviable reputation by ensuring fair admission to the cream of the country. Every year 25,000 to 30,000 matriculate students apply for 70 seats that get distributed into three of its prestigious diplomas. For the first time after 38 years of the existence of the ISTC, the present Director of the CSIO, Dr R.P. Bajpai, consciously opened the door of this male domain to girls as well. In the very first year, he got two toppers to join the ISTC. All who pass out with these diplomas are hired in advance of the completion of their courses.

CSIO students today either occupy high positions in related industries or have turned into successful entrepreneurs or are reigning supreme in Australia, Canada, the USA and the UK.

The CSIO began turning a new leaf in the early eighties itself. It began focusing on research and development selectively and extensively. Right from micro-electronic instrumentation to medical electronic instrumentation, geo-scientific instrumentation, agri-electronic instruments, process control instrumentation, it also worked on coherent optics, applied physics and built service and maintenance centres. Among the other significant achievements, the CSIO successfully developed many hi-tech instruments, which were the monopoly of the West. The indigenous developing of these instruments was not only economical but also comparable with international standards.

Equipment like molecular beam epitaxy, reactive ion beam-based silicon etching and deposition, lithographic equipment, circuit testing technology, signal processing, gold analyser, designing of a 16-bit snow data acquisition system interfaced with laptop PC, energy management systems, energy audit and caliberation, high-voltage engineering technology etc have been successfully brought into the market by the CSIO. These efforts were further modernised to take bio- molecular and nano-electronics, which undoubtedly is the future technology of the world in this millennium. The entire credit for the focused growth of the CSIO goes to its present Director, Dr R.P. Bajpai, and his dedicated team.

An unassuming man next door, Dr Bajpai’s humility and humbleness forced him not to supply his bio-data. However, information gathered revealed that he had done his Ph.D from the IIT, Delhi, in 1970, which was followed by D.Sc from Hokkaido University of Japan. He was then invited by the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation for research. Three years later, he had moved to the USA as a senior scientist. Later, he was Professor at Swiss Technical Institute in Switzerland.

However, he chose to join the CSIO in 1978. Since then, research and development work at the CSIO remains his sole passion.

Apparently, the CSIO never diluted its aim and continued with perseverance to keep pace with international research and development. No wonder, the latest feather in the CSIO’s cap is nano-technology. This is used for designing, fabricating and employing molecular scale devices by manipulation and placement of individual atoms and molecules with precision on the atomic scale. In the lay man’s language, nano is the tiniest of the tiny.

“In nano-technology, modernised optics fabricated in nano dimension is being worked by the CSIO alone. It has already successfully developed a “Head up Display” light for the combat aircraft. This device is for the pilots, who can now learn about their actual position without moving their head. A similar device will also be mounted on Jaguars, MiG series and trainer aircraft. It can in future be installed even on helmets. Besides, we are also in the process of developing bio-micro electro mechanical system, which will enable us to diagnose TB, Hepatitis-B, malaria and even AIDS in a matter of few minutes and with 100 per cent accuracy. This can be made available in disposable kits at a nominal cost of Rs 15 or Rs 20. By July next year, these should be in the market”, reveals Dr Bajpai.

For this unique invention of “Head up Display”, Dr Bajpai was recently honoured by the Prime Minister with the highest National Technology Award at a glittering ceremony in Delhi.

The CSIO has also successfully worked on earthquake engineering. Seismograph instruments have been supplied in various parts of the country, while the CSIO is the central observatory. These instruments collect data from all parts of the country which the CSIO analyses and provides information to the government. A snow and avalanche monitoring system has also been developed. Credit goes to the CSIO for the spread of optics related industry in Ambala and Roorkee. Fibre optics are something like modern sensors, which are used for national security.

Under the Jay Vigyan Programme of the Prime Minister, the CSIO has been asked to modernise cancer therapy. Incidentally, the CSIO had already developed four million electron voltages “Linear Accelerator” in the 80s, which was made available to the PGI as well as certain institutions in Bihar and Kolkata.

Dr Bajpai and Dr Lalit Bhardwaj, Head of Bio-molecular Electronics, have developed software that can convert any text or image format into a DNA sequence. With this technical transformation, the CSIO has ventured into the cryptic domain of nano-technology. What is nano-technology? “It is a well-known fact that we already have devices which are 100 to 150 times smaller than the diameter of a hair. Under nano-technology, the size of these devices will get reduced by 10,000 times. This is a path-breaking technology in itself. In fact, nano-technology is bound to be the next technological revolution. A bio-molecular laboratory is being set up here to achieve total capability in physically manipulating DNA”, comments Dr Bhardwaj. To enable the CSIO step up research on DNA computing, a grant of Rs 2 crore has been given by the Department of Science and Technology and the CSIR.


If you snore heavily, consult doctor

People with a long history of snoring need to consult their physician as they are at a greater risk of developing the sleep apnoea syndrome. Zhong Nanshan, a Professor at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has said people with a long history of heavy snoring, especially aged from 30 to 60, should consult a doctor as early as possible since they were at greater risk of developing the sleep apnoea syndrome, a disease believed to damage lungs, heart and brain and cause hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

The sleep apnoea syndrome is defined as having more than 30 pauses in breathing over a seven-hour period of sleep or five incidents of a breathing disorder per hour.

People suffering from the sleep apnoea syndrome usually snore and sleep unsoundly and are sometimes afflicted with “reduced” memory. PTI

Singapore deemed ‘boring’ 

Singapore is high on quality of life but boring, lacking the “buzz” marking other global cities, a committee of corporate honchos has said in a report.

Hong Kong’s spirit lies in its people’s entrepreneurial and “anything goes” attitude and New York’s in its “can do,” “In your face” gumption, said the Singapore Overseas Network (SON) in Hong Kong in its report to the Economic Review Committee (ERC).

The Hong Kong SON and similar networks in Boston and San Francisco were set up by the ERC to collect feedback from overseas Singaporeans.

The city-state lacks the indefinable feeling of cultural and entrepreneurial activity, creativity and chaos that cities with “buzz” poses, said the Hong Kong SON.

It recommended an individualistic, adventurous and “dare-to-fail” spirit in people here.

Singapore needs a new set of five “Cs” — chaos, creativity, culture, concentration and connectivity. DPA


In Christianity, the Kundalini Shakti is called the Holy Spirit, and it is understood to be the power of God. The Holy Spirit is the creative energy in the universe and also in the human being....

In the New Testament, the descent of the Holy Spirit occurs at Pentacost, when the spirit is said to have rested on the heads of the disciples in the form of tongues of fire. Baptism in the Holy Spirit was originally intended to awaken Kundalini, and it is sometimes accomplished by the laying on of hands.

—Swami Kripananda, The Sacred Power.


Are we fools?

We are God’s captivity.

Are we wise?

We are His promenade.

Are we sleeping?

We are drunk with God.

Are we waking?

Then we are His heralds.

Are we weeping?

Then his clouds of wrath.

Are we laughing?

Flashes of His love.

—Jalalu ‘din Rumi, Masnawi


Our Allah:

Bestow on us endurance,

make our foothold sure,

and give us help against the disbelieving folk.

—The Quran, 2:250


My Allah!

I seek refuge in Thee from the suggestions

of the evil ones

and I seek refuge in thee, my Lord!

Lest they be present with me.

—The Quran, 23:97,98


Our Allah!

Avert from us the doom of hell:

Lo! the doom thereof is anguish.

Lo! it is wretched as abode and station.

—The Quran, 25:65,66

Compiled by Satish K. Kapoor

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