Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label Post

Timeless Adventures: Reimagining History Through Immersive Amusement Parks

I was in Mussoorie last month, this was my third visit to the hill town, my first being about 20 years ago. The small town has gotten more crowded, commercial and almost un-touristy over the years. And then I visited Nainital two days later, which wasn't as un-touristy, thanks to the 'vehicle curfew' imposed between 10:00am and 6:00pm by the local administration. But it was still crowded with tourists, and most disappointing was that tourists were busy enjoying the same things - sugar candy, ice-cream, pizza and burgers which they could enjoy at any 'fair' in their own cities and towns. No one seemed to be genuinely interested in the old-world-charm of Nainital . As I sat on a bench, across this now shut-down library, turned bookshop turned billiards play room on the Mall road, I could sense a pall of sadness that original residents of Nanital must be under. Most tourists wanted the same things over and over again whether they were in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mussoorie,

Dense Forests and Taller Cities: A Vision of the Future

I've written earlier [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] about my musings on contrasting futures that the world faces between cities and suburbs, and my conclusion that ecologically sustainable living is possible only with cluster based human settlement – large metropolises or cities with shared infrastructure which reduces the ecological cost of human lifestyle. But there is one more statistic that keeps veering me towards favouring suburban lifestyle - the potential reverse of human population. India has overtaken China as the world's most populous country in 2023, but India's population growth will come to an end: the number of children has already peaked more than a decade ago and is now falling. [ 4 ] Rapid population growth is a temporary phenomenon in human history - since the 1800s we have added 7x of human population - this has also been possible due to falling death rates, but this was then followed by falling fertility rates sequentially across world regions, which has lead us to

India's Political Disconnect: Prioritizing Youth-Centric Agendas for a Brighter Future

Photo by Chelsea Aaron on Unsplash Elections are currently underway in India, the world's largest democracy. However, the political discourse appears to be disconnected from the pressing issues faced by its populace, particularly the youth. Instead of addressing the genuine concerns of the electorate, candidates from both the ruling and opposition parties seem preoccupied with religious polarization on one side or empty dole-out promises on the other. India boasts the world's largest young population, yet even the political rhetoric, leave alone the political action, fails to resonate ideas for the young and productive generation. Rather than offering relevant agendas, the electorate is inundated with divisive narratives and superficial pledges. For a young population, the most critical area that urgently requires attention is education. India's education system poses the most significant challenge for a country with the largest base of young population.  India's publi

Redefining Work Culture: Moving Beyond Labour Day

Today is 1st May, also traditionally celebrated as Labor Day and has long been a symbol of workers' rights and the achievements of the labor movement. However, in today's rapidly evolving work landscape, characterized by a shift towards knowledge-based professions and remote work culture, I find it to be an anachronistic, a relic of an industrial past which we have left behind at least 30 years ago. The traditional concept of "labor" as associated with manual work on assembly lines is increasingly outdated in today's economy. A significant portion of the workforce now comprises knowledge workers, whose value lies not in the hours they put in, but in the expertise and unique skills they bring to their roles. Unlike interchangeable factory workers, professionals are irreplaceable assets, requiring specialized recruitment strategies to attract and retain top talent [1]. In fact, the term "knowledge worker " may no longer accurately capture the essence of t

Immigration and Regional rights

  Image Credit: YouTube grab of Futuristic Inter-galactic spaceport terminal from Men In Black International I am right now at the Dubai airport watching the eclectic mix of humanity - travellers, visitors and residents - at this ‘meeting point of civilizations and races’ that Dubai has now become. In the last 10 years, Dubai has transformed from an Oil rich destination where people would come to earn bags of money (even if they had to live destitute), to a bustling metropolis where people come to enjoy a good life. Not only has lifestyle transformed in Dubai for the better, but its population has burgeoned from a mere 62000 in 1970 to 3.05 million in 2024 with immigrants powering almost the entire rise in numbers. Notably, Emiratis currently constitute 7 odd percentage of the total population, and in the next 10 years Dubai is planning to double its population plunging the percentage of natives to 3 and half percent only! However, immigrants are not allowed to gain citizenship of the

Debunking Gender Stereotypes: Examining Work-Life Balance for Professionals

Photo by  Sandy Millar  on  Unsplash In recent Whatsapp discussions about work-life balance with a few college friends, an interesting claim was made, suggesting that women professionals are most productive after the age of 45. The indirect point being made was that, women usually remain busy with 'family responsibilities' aka child rearing until 45, after which they become more productive at work. I found this very objectionable stereotyping of both women, but also men. This statement was also tacitly claiming that men did not have 'family responsibilities' in their lives, and that men did not get busy with the birth of children. I do not deny that our societies are still far from being gender egalitarian - patriarchy is rampant and implicit even in modern society. However, that does not mean that the stereotype of an alpha-male who 'earns the bread' and beta-female who prioritizes 'child-rearing' needs to be perpetuated! There are enough men and women

The Parking, Recycling, Scrap revolution for India is overdue

  Photo by Documerica on Unsplash They built a new 4-lane road near my house - a spanking new concretized stretch now exists in place of a dusty swamp which the locals negotiated on foot until recently. But its state is more like the Hindi idiom - गाँव बसा नहीं, लुटेरे आ गए (meaning: Robbery committed even before the Village could set up). Buses, trucks, and tempos park on one side, making it a single lane road. Most of these vehicles are parked all day - not just during the day or during the night. Why do these vehicles park on new roads all the time? For some, like taxis waiting time is much higher than driving time - certain cabbies can make enough in one trip across the city to earn a day's living (and they are often lazy not to make more!). Few other cars belong to residents who use public transport for daily commute, but need a car for occasional usage, and while they can afford to buy a car, they don't have parking space in their building. Further, India is far behind o

The political fallacy of choosing winners

These two headlines caught my attention in this morning's newspaper. Juxtaposed next to each other, both of them make the patriotic Indian in me jump with joy - these are the kinds of news headlines we longed for since adolescence. Albeit, while the adolescent me would have jumped with joy on reading these, the older mature me is circumspect, even borderline skeptical of the effect these will have on the Indian economy in general, and well being of Indians in specific. My skepticism follows from a series of policy news that has been emanating from the South Block off late. On 3rd August, Government of India (GOI) banned the import of laptops and other electronics used heavily in India's booming IT sector. Prior to that, as a post pandemic stimulus measure for Make In India, the Modi administration had announced several PLI Schemes ( Production Linked Incentive ) for various sectors. These schemes claim to incentivize setting up of industries in strategic sectors or expedite the

India's DPDPA - a citizen friendly bill with an eye on future

Image generated by Microsoft AI Designer Few weeks ago I commented that the India-US collaboration is missing the key subject of Data Protection law. The Data Protection Bill was still in 'draft' stage then, and now that its been passed by the parliament, I got reading it.  While my misgivings about Data privacy not being featured in India-US discussions as well as my reservations about the Bill excluding governments and regulators from its purview, continue; I must say that the the law itself has come out as a nicely drafted piece of legislation, and a departure from the legalese of other countries' laws such as EU's GDPR and CCPA/CCPR in California, United States. Firstly , the language of the bill is quite lucid and easy to understand - for people like me who are not lawyers, the language was quite easy to understand and digest. Not just simple language, but the Act includes Illustrations within its text to clarify the meaning and intention of different clauses - wh