Is election commission’s data on candidates of any use?

In an interesting statistical study that I did with a couple of my 4.0 friends, we set out to find whether all the data that election commission collects from each candidate has any predictive power on their chances of winning. Our stated objective was:

The election commission of India collects various data on candidates of Lok Sabha elections. This data includes such variables as age, assets, liabilities, number and nature of criminal cases registered against the candidate, educational status etc.

The authors were interested in studying the effects (or the absence thereof) of these variables on the outcome of the election.

Continue reading

We are like that only

I guess adding “only” for emphasis is part of Indian English. I think we have this emphasis adding words in all Indian languages. Hence it probably is part of the way we think.

Are you coming to the class?
Yeah! I am going there only!

Where do you get this biscuit?
In the same shop only!

Is there any other way to express the same emphasis in English? Or is it like this only?

Busy-ness

Came across this wonderful passage recently when I was reading about Gandhiji.

Gandhi was sworn to punctuality, and his life was governed by the watch to an unusual degree; though it should at once be added that despite keeping to a meticulous schedule for much of his life, Gandhi’s conception of time was never such that it did not allow him to make time for anyone, howsoever high or lowly, who should choose to enter into his life or make demands upon him. That pernicious word ‘busy’, with which we all excuse ourselves from the common obligations of humanity, and the onerous company of unwanted relatives, acquaintances, and others who seek to intrude uponour time, was surely no part of Gandhi’s lexicon.

I guess there is a logical reason for this, notwithstanding the humanitarian one. It is that if you live by your plan, you close your mind to new experiences and in a way to life.

Continue reading

The stupidity of India’s carbon policy

India recently re-affirmed it’s stance on climate change when external affairs minister S M Krishna addressed a round table at the climate change summit organized by the UN. The minister said that India’s carbon emissions will never exceed that of the developed countries in per-capita terms. He also slammed the west for leading “unsustainable lifestyles” that caused the problem.

In simple terms, India’s stance is “climate change? Ain’t my problem!”.

Continue reading

Is Telecom Infrastructure?

How do you make money in power, transport and other such “infrastructure” industries? Most likely, by doing what you have to do most efficiently (i.e., at lowest cost).

The case I am interested in is that of telecom industry. Telecom industry is seeing commoditization of its services. Broadband connections, for example, compete on price per bytes moved. Only the most efficient bit-movers would win such a game. Voice operators compete on price per minute. While this seems a little more flexible than the price per byte owing to the fact that bytes required to carry a minute of voice may vary on quality of service and compression, it seems unlikely that operators aren’t already on efficient horizon in these technical aspects. Only mobile-VAS services seem to escape this price-per-unit of bandwidth paradigm. Mobile VAS in India has so far been a small percentage of operators’ revenues.

Continue reading

Fiction and me

I am no big fan of fiction, let me correct that – I was no big fan of fiction. I have been converted by podcasts – escape pod and podcastle. Escape pod is a science fiction story podcast and podcastle is a fantasy story podcast.

I really liked stories such as Exhalation, which is a truly amazing story – an alien “on the origin of species”; Article of faith, which talks about a religious robot; N-words, which deals with racism of a very different sort etc. On the fantasy side stories such as Dragon Hunt and Komodo were very entertaining. Do give them a try sometime.