Saturday, July 12, 2008

Social Sector Banking: Proper treasury services could create the accountability for treasury replenishment goals. ?

Treasury services include different types, of financial instruments not limited to treasury management, foreign exchange, short-term credit facilities, trade finance, and global liquidity management. The most important part of the services is treasury planning. Bank of America with GTS (Global Treasury Services) provides a robust technology based planning for businesses and institution with integration of supply chain finance technology and supplier outreach service with further enhancing its trade-discounting program. This enables them to reduce working capital requirements, finance cost through their supply chain, strengthen operating margins, and develop stronger supplier relationship.

Replenishment program for the future days is the key parameter for treasury service planning in social sector banking. For example, International Development Agency (IDA), which is an arm of World Bank, gives credit to the poorest-of-poor countries. After every 3 years, this body goes through a replenishment program where it asks for more funds, from its donor countries. Only proper Treasury services could create the accountability to realize the Treasury replenishment goals for social sector banking.

Bloggers made Institution, weaker than individual ?

Individual has been always weaker compare to institution. Bigger the institutional framework, lesser is the power of individual. However, in the information highway of internet, the rule seems to change, quite a lot. This is where the individual, can have more power then institutions. Just by use of opinions on different subjects, the web surfer can instrument positive transformation in every dimension of society. In the world of media, this is a radical change. Globalization has made this change possible, where communities are formed, across the world that will play an activist role, in number of issues. One of the most common platforms, which have witnessed this rise of individual power over institution, is weblog. .Blogs, earlier known as weblog, has played a pivotal role on helping every individual, to express their thinking and sharing it with other people. There are other instruments also which includes community site like where all the Brands and Institution , are reviewed and commented by Individuals . The problems with the trouble make institution, are brought to public notice instantly, which makes some of the organization, to take pre-emptive steps to satisfy their customer. Faisal Farooqui the CEO of recently wrote to me about a story how an individual using mouth shut, force an institution to make righteous behavior . An Excerpt from the mail .

“Pradeep Chopra is an IIT Delhi Graduate who co-founded OmLogic. I am also privileged to count him as a friend. Pradeep shared the following in an email (certain portions underlined for emphasis): Recently, I had a terrible experience with Apple MacBook and Apple India. I posted a review at your community and only then Apple listened and actually gave me a new laptop. Thanks to your community and its power...Fortunately, around 6000 people are reading the review and people have been writing to me whether they should buy Apple MacBook.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oligarchic Democracy – The Journey from Ancient Rome to Modern US

The concept of an "oligarchic democracy" is one, which some scholars attribute to Ancient Rome and the United States. It conveys a truth about U.S. politics every bit as telling as its application to ancient Rome. It is no accident that the Founding Fathers of the U.S. Republic looked to Roman models for inspiration. Like Ancient Rome, Americans today still have a representative body called the Senate. The Roman eagle still watched their republic. Faced with the distasteful specter of democracy, they sought ways to redefine that unpalatable concept to accommodate aristocratic rule, producing a hybrid, "representative democracy," which was clearly meant to achieve an effect similar to the ancient Roman idea of the "mixed constitution," in fact, an "oligarchic 'democracy."' However, the constitution and state laws have been modified, with the removal of the original property requirements for voting, as well as giving the vote to women and blacks.
In May, 2008 a Malaysian blogger has been convicted on the charge of sedition. Raja Petra was the voice of modern Malaysian politics and society. There is interesting trend, now, to put sedition charges on every kind of blogger. However, Journalist facing sedition charges is nothing new. Even Bal Gangadhar Tilak faced it during the repressive British regime. As the editor of 'Kesari', Tilak on May 12, 1908, titled his editorial 'The misfortune of the country', castigating the ruthless bureaucracy. British Government arrested him on May 25, 1908. They convicted him, by jury trial on July 17, 1908. This lead to a sentence of six years' imprisonment in the case for Tilak . The case is popularly known as 'Second Sedition .

Sedition, as Section 124-A reads, has to be an act - doing something diabolic against the ''government established by law". The trend of bloggers facing sedition charges is something new. In Article 19 of Universal declaration of human rights it was mentioned that “Everyone has right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek receive and impart information and idea through any media and regardless of frontiers “. Are people practicing the freedom of right to express? Reality seems to give a negative answer Following are the links, which informs about arrest and prosecution of bloggers in different parts of world.

According to a new report by the World Information Access Project, 64 independent bloggers are arrested since 2003, suggesting governments around the world are growing more aware of blogs and more likely to act to silence .

Are they silencing bloggers through seditious trail or the right of every human being to have the freedom of his speech?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Violation of Enviromental Justice ?

The principle of environmental justice as originally conceived states that regardless of race, culture or income, all people should enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards. This idea emerged from the thinking of grassroots activists and academics in the United States in the 1970s, in response to increasing evidence that minorities and the poor in the United States were disproportionately affected by certain types of environmental harms. It was later adopted by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a principle to guide domestic environmental regulation.

As global trade and investment has risen dramatically over the past two decades, the concept of environmental justice has taken on international significance as well, for with the growth of trade overseas has come the transfer of polluting industries, wastes, and ecologically destructive practices from developed countries to the less developed world. In these cases, the potential violation of justice is even greater because those who receive disproportionately large shares of environmental harms have even less financial ability to benefit from the processes that cause these harms.

In recent G8 summit , it was asked for the developing countries to make effort , on aligning themselves on Global climate concerns . Yes , the developing countries should be aligned to it . But they are the victims of the enviromental injustice done by developed countries .

Is it an just system, to ask the victim, to pay for the evils which is done by the violators ? Obviously , if the word justice is put out from this context , it could be somewhat better !!

Should Adultery law must be applied equally to men and women ?

Some years back Justice Malimath Committee suggested a radical change in the law on adultery. The legal reform, has been recommended on amendments to provisions of the Indian Penal Code that disallow prosecution of women for the offence.

"The object of this section (Section 497 of the IPC) is to preserve the sanctity of marriage. Society abhors marital infidelity. Therefore, there is no reason for not meting out similar treatment to the wife who has sexual intercourse with a man (other than her husband)," the Committee said in its report submitted to the Centre.

It therefore suggested that "section 497 be suitably amended to the effect that whosoever has sexual intercourse with the spouse of any other person is guilty of adultery."

The Fifth Law Commission had in 1971 recommended similar changes, though it was never implemented.

The IPC, when in took form in 1860, was silent on the punishment for adultery with Lord Macaulay observing, "There are some peculiarities in the state of society in this country which may well lead a humane man to pause before he determines to punish the infidelity of wives."
The circumstances he referred to included child marriage and polygamy. Macaulay, hence, advised that it would be enough to treat it as a civil injury.

Will that tradition continue or will we have the end of discrimination with adultery laws being applied equally to men and women?

Behind the Frontline : The Rear Enemy

The front line enemy of the global financial crisis is obviously the burst of housing bubble . However , there is a more powerful rear enemy , yet to come with its full force in the front line.

The shift of production of food grains by replacing, it with the bio-diesel related production in the hope of reaching Crude (Oil) heaven could be referred as the rear enemy , who is yet to come in the front line with his full force . Still , it has been responsible for the much damage , which it caused with its silent impact, on the household expenses . The supply of food grains has been reduced in the global market , which has lead to inflation of the necessary commodities in the common household cost structure . The effect was drastic in the countries of middle-east and far east Asia. In normal cases , the 1/3 of the household budget goes for debt servicing . However with the rising food prices and related commodities , that 1/3 budget has to be cut off, into smaller budget and at the end no-budget , due to priorities of recurring expenses, related to essential commodities much higher, than the debt servicing budget . The end product is the bursting of the housing bubble which lead to global financial crisis.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Will 'torture to Death' penalty be abolished ?

Human right activist all over the world believes on abloishing the Capital punishment . However there are some of nations still continues with the death penalty . In 2003, according to Amnesty International, speaking to the UN Commission on Human Rights, 28 of those States executed 1,146 prisoners and some 2,756 persons were sentenced to death in 64 countries, and the true numbers were likely higher.

The first attempt by the international community at abolishing the death penalty, or simply minimizing its use, was in 1948 with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It defines in detail the rights and freedoms of individuals, whereas the UN Charter had discussed human rights only in general terms.

The United Nations was created after the Second World War to prevent unnecessary death, according to its Charter, while the Universal Declaration further clarifies that goal in its article 3, stating that “everyone has the right to life”.

In reality, you can find , things are different after looking at the following stunning cases of Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Nigeria apply the death penalty even for homosexuality, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

Nuetrality and Non-Alignement - Are they same ?

India had a pivotal role in the International circuit , way back in 1955 , with Nehru building the founding principles of Non-Alignement m0vement . What are those founding principles ?
Called as Panchseek (five restraints), these principles would serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were:

Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
Mutual non-aggression
Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
Equality and mutual benefit
Peaceful co-existence

J.L Nehrus concept of nonalignment brought India considerable international prestige among newly independent states that shared India's concerns about the military confrontation between the superpowers and the influence of the former colonial powers. New Delhi used nonalignment to establish a significant role for itself as a leader of the Third World - the developing countries world.

Is Non-Alignement= Nuetrality ?

There are some who believed, it is not . Though the NAM countries was suppose to be taking no particular stance , in the later part of the movement they where seen, becoming close to some of the superpowers . The movement lost momentum ,with the lack of nuetrality . In 1990 , after a drive on global change with the abolishment of Soviet Union , Indian Foriegn policy depending much in its mediating status in NAM, got into a vaccum . However , Nature doesn't permit vaccum for long time. There was lot of change on Indian Foriegn policy thereafter . Suddenly from that vaccum, to raise the Nation,one has to think creatively .

We see from 1991 there were reforms in all directions . From Economic policy to foriegn policy India took different routes , then it had taken on the last 44 years . Today we see some of the results of new movement.

The results which has helped India to emerge as an economic superpower and build new relationship with USA which was the basis of present Civil Nuclear Deal.

Now , India is in a true sense a nuetral, and non-aligned country. It has re-written the scripture of popular perception that , you can gain the power , by waging war . India has shown the world , it can become powerful , with staying Nuetral . Isn't that a great innovation on Foriegn Policy , which should be patented ? Though no single goverment can claim the patent of it . All of them , has done thier bit .

Now you see , I am also practising my bit of Nuetrality :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Global Governance - Right time for trying this option ?

The emergence of Global corporation has made it important , that the regulation, which has national restriction should have wider scope. The need of regulation ,which meets the global benchmark, is also growing. The sweeping credit crisis of 2008, is again raising the question, that much responsibilities has been shrugged of by the regulators, due to the complexity of the process, on deriving a regulation involving number of countries.

The success of EU and the G7 and other formats of governance, spreaded around multiple nations are gaining momentum . To make sure that we don't fall into a global financial crisis for irresponsible actions of one particular nation, it is important to explore the options of Global governance. With the G7 being holded right now in Japan , this issue of building up a global governence, which could lead us to better management of Food crisis, Oil Crisis, Climate crisis and Credit crisis should be worked out. The solution to these crisis, would involve thinking , beyond political border , within , a standard framework of Global Governance .

Colloborative research across continents

Yesterday, I attended a half-day EU Info seminar and could not post in the blog. I was invited by Dr. Andrew Sors who was the Minister-Counsellor,Head, Science and Technological Development in the Delegation of the European Commissionto India, Bhutan, Nepal.The Delegation is organising a series of Information Seminars concerning opportunities for Indian participation in EU research actions. The Seminar Series will be held in 8 cities which are important S&T hubs in India, during the period 7 – 18 July.

Each Seminar will be half a day in duration. The Seminar programme, registration details and further information are available at

Well , European Commision is looking for stronger participation of India, in EU research activities which has thematic areas starting from ICT to Nanotechnologies , robotics,life sciences to Renewable energy . Interested research scientist and entreprenuers who are looking for further information can use the EC's portal in this space - . It has all the information regarding the Research and Technology Development (RTD) and the related grants of Framework Program (FP7) . They says as it has all the details, and that's why ,it is hard to understand . So the need of this seminars.

EU Colloborative Research brings a lot of team across two different continents which is a rare experience in terms of meeting and networking with people of different culture and values , apart of the sheer joy of creating something new. EU has fairly transperent process. However , the problem is, it takes time to know about the entire set of parametres ,which comes into working ,while creating a EU proposal and getting a EU grant . I had an experience last year on participating in the process of creating a Grant proposal for EU where 7 organisations around the world participated . There where two from India, One from Israel, one from UK ,one from Sweden , One from France ( who later didn't participate) , and two from Italy . Quite a large number of people and enormous communication excercise with deep learning experience .

Monday, July 7, 2008

The age of Supra nationality ?

Europe has learned it after second world war . They had the experience of how the focus on physical territory and religion of nationalism can destroy the entire continent . So they continously put an effort, to create a higher union, which goes beyond physical territories and the religion of nationalism . The efforts has shown fruits with the establishment of G8+5 and European Union ,where there is larger co-operation between Nations, both in a informal and a formal way. Somehow , Asia as a continent has lacked those experience what Europe has gone through . That is the reason that Asian continent has not experienced such broader colloboration in all levels of economy , society and politics.

There is still proxy wars going between the countries in Middle East and South East Asia . The latest example is the Suicide Bomd Burst in Indian Emabassy in Afghanisthan which killed 41 people. There is no idea, when the nations of this continent will understand and think beyond physical territories, and give more priority to the people living in this continent, and thier economic and social salvation. Until that understanding takes root in the minds of leaders of these part of the world , there is little possibility to fight against the social evils together which all of them are suffering from.

Fighting against corruption : The way to global economic salvation

Corruption is one of the major element, which has decreased the ability of the global economic systems to fight poverty. Looking at the Millenium Development Goals (MDG), one would wonder, how far, we are on fighting poverty, in regards to the target year of 2015. There we could see ,that, lot of efforts of building effecient systems ,to make things work for common people,on eardicating poverty, are drained away by corruption. The latest example was the 'Oil-for Food scam' , where top officials of large scale global institutions are found to be involved . This kind of scams, are eye-openers, how the money, which goes to eradicate poverty, gets routed to different channels , and, often the purpose of the benefit of common people are ignored.

Though the problem of corruption, is fundamental to human society, and it exsisted in different forms across, different civilisation at different point of time. The real solution, lies on building process which could stop degeneration of human values. Some says, that the present world with the extensive usage of large scale IT systems and processes is well equiped to solve it . It's true that , with the present generation of technology sophistication , the chances of malpractices are decreased . However the orgination of corruption is in human mind . It is created by excessive lust and greed . How can technology solve this fundamental defects of human nature ?

That's why fighting against corruption is more internal that external . Without a strong battle with corruption , it looks impossible to visualise the way to global economic salvation.