Question Everything.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Thinking

We as society, do not believe in questioning. We consider our Gods, Elders, Teachers, Public Figures as sacrosanct. Neither we are trained to question the Authority. We  follow heard mentality and do not like people in high places to be questioned about anything, considering them as Demi Gods.

Psychological survey over the years have concluded that mostly, we are less likely to consider a celebrity or authority to be indulged in some malpractice or fraud as compared to any other individual.

Every one knows about Lance Armstrong Case, and how he admitted to taking drugs to enhance the performance and yet, for years he was never caught pathologically untill he admitted on Oprah Winfrey Show. I doubt during all these years, people ever doubted him.

The journalist, Mr. David Walsh, Chief Sports Reporter, Sunday Times  was questioning the performance of Armstrong since last 13 years, and no one believed him. They were bullied, castigated all most sued by Lance Armstrong Team.

Recently, Sunday Times have come out with a 5 minutes video, highlighting the journey of  questioning the greats…Its worth watching. It also deals about a doctor who questioned the authenticity of MMR Vaccine. Its antidote to the Armstrong Case, where a so called researcher prevented thousands of kids from getting MMR vaccine by creating a false Allaram against the side effect. Though, we would generally welcome these kind of research more particularly when it deals with Children and long term effect. But in this case, the person ultimately proved to be wrong. Watch the Video…first before reading further..

Many times, in hind sight, we understand that all along, back of our mind, we knew that some thing was amiss or it was false or fraudulent, only we never had conviction or courage to ask right question. We must learn to ask right questions and should continue to believe in something, not based on what media projects or say but what we understand and believe. Though, now media controls our thoughts/perception, yet as Thinking Person, we should not accept everything fed to us.

It is equally intrigue for us, when we relate to the second case of MMR vaccine. We do not know, who to believe…Thats why we should adopt scientific thinking…Though it is equally confusing but atleast, its better to question something than to accept it blindly.

Malcom Gladwell Interview

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Idea, Interesting

If you have read books by Malcolm Gladwell, certainly you are likely to be the one, who indulges in mental gymnastic, intend to learn about how mind works. His books are both thought provoking and dishes out groundbreaking ideas. One of the most contested idea of 10000 hour rule in his book “outlier” is hotly debated. It says, you could master anything by working hard for long enough, though he never claims about genetics or inherently advantageous biological conditions found in few sportsman, its more of a rule of thumb applied in daily life. Though, new research contradicts the theory vehemently, however contradictions highlighted applies in the realm of sports/science and not to the daily life, thus, I still believe in 10000 hour rule. In fact, one of the word of wisdom of our elders : when you start your business, you have to wait for 3 years to turn profitable…it exactly the same as 10000 hour rule.

Recently a short interview published in The Guardian…Read Here.…gives snippets of Gladwellian thinking…worth reading.

Courtesy : The Guaradian

Why saving Life Is not a news…How Major Crash averted by Air India Pilot on 13th July at Newark, USA.

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Kudos! Air India pilots avert major tragedy, save over 300 lives on board

By Capt G S Bakshi
 
The writer is a retired Air India and Indian Air Force pilot with over 40 years of flight experience.
 
 
Mumbai, Jul 18: On Sunday July 13 evening, the Air India’s flight AI-144, a B-777, was ready for a routine flight from Newark to Mumbai with 300 passengers and 15 crew. The weather in New Jersey was heavy passing showers here and there.

It was a routine departure at about 5 pm (local time) for a long 15-16 hrs flight to Mumbai. The aircraft naturally was at its maximum take off weight, as it was fully loaded with the fuel required for this long transcontinental flight.
The flight circling over Newark
The take off run was a normal routine one. Immediately on lift off the worst nightmare of a pilot, the loss of an engine at maximum take off weight, happened. The left engine caught fire, and at the same time the cockpit engine fire warnings did not function. The passengers and crew sitting on the left side were horrified to see flames from the left engine. Other airplanes and air traffic control warned the pilot of the engine being on fire. The pilots till that time unaware of the engine fire, checked up and carried out the emergency drills as per the required procedures. The B-777 is a 2 engine aircraft, and loosing one engine (50% power) at the maximum a/c weight on take off is a nightmare for the best of pilots and in the best of circumstances.
In such an emergency, the pilots will first think of making the aircraft light, which is done by dumping the extra fuel. For this pilots need to climb up to a designated minimum height and dump the fuel in areas already specified by the local airport authorities. The time to reach the dumping height and area could have taken 15 to 30 minutes, because of heavy weight and loss of an engine. The actual fuel dump can take another 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the amount of fuel to be dumped out. The exercise of dumping fuel to lighten the aircraft would have taken any thing around 60 to 70 minutes, a valuable time they did not have.
The pilots had a serious emergency of an engine having been on fire at hand. This could have caused, secondary as yet unknown failures. They had to take an instant decision, which they rightfully took to land as soon as possible, rather than use up precious time to try and dump fuel.
The immediate landing back, of course had its own problems. The very high landing weight. This in turn will need the aircraft to be landed at a much higher speed. The immediate anxiety of the pilots in this case would have been three fold. First, will the airplane stop in the available runway length, landing at about 200 knots (which is 370 kms/hr), the minimum speed required at the weight. Secondly, will the landing gear take the load of landing at such a high speed and weight (85 tonnes more than the maximum design landing weight). Thirdly, they were flying only on one engine, which has its own problems of aircraft handling and control.
The pilots averted a major emergency into becoming a possible catastrophe by landing the aircraft successfully back. The handling skills and good cool airmanship displayed by the pilots was the primary reason of this emergency being converted into just an incident, which the Indian media thought was of no consequence of being reported or being commented upon. The visual media (all channels of TV) was only concerned on a non issue of why one ‘Ved Pratap Vaidik’ met a certain ‘ Hafiz Saeed’ on a visit to Pakistan. The print media was merely interested in printing and commenting some dubious statistics where the ATC controllers and pilots have erred. Regrettably the media just shut their eyes to this incidence as it made no juicy news for them. They were not interested in how a major catastrophe was averted and lives of 315 persons were saved by the good professional handling and competent decisions of Air India pilots.
My congratulations to Capt Gautam Verma and his crew (2nd Commander Capt Niranjan Singh and First Officers Capt Pankaj Wadhawan and Capt Shilpika Das) for displaying airmanship and professional competence of the highest order in handling a most difficult situation competently and successfully.
It is disappointing that the PRO of Air India has also failed in bringing the true facts of the incidence to the notice of the visual and print media and getting the competence and proficiency of their employees due national recognition. It should also be a matter of great national concern that the Indian media had nothing to say about the competent handling of this grave in flight situation and preventing it becoming a catastrophe.

Source : daijiworld.com

Highlights Union Budget – Income-tax

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Taxation

You may find normal highlights thru internet, however if you are interested in understanding the basic changes in the Tax Law, read the Memorandum Explaining the Changes in Tax laws…attached.mem1..

For others, basic need to know changes.

No change in Tax Rates.

Basic Exemption limit increased to Rs. 2,50,000/- for Senior Citizens : Rs. 3,00,000/-

You can now invest into PPF upto Rs. 1,50,000/- per year.

Basic Limit under 80-C increased to Rs.1,50,000/-

Interest on Housing Loan allowability increased to Rs. 2,00,000/-

Taxation on Debt Mutual Fund Changed. Now, it will be long term only if the period of holding is 36 months, as against 12 months previously. (Major impact on investment decision in debt fund)

Kisan Vikas Patra would be reintroduced.

For Senior Citizens : 1 Year (14th August-2014 to 14th August 2015) reintroduction of Senior Citizen Bima Yojana.

Inflation Index for Capital Gain discontinued, new mode of computation formulated.

Transaction on Commodity Derivative is not a Speculative Transaction.

Forfeiture of Advance received on cancellation of any property transaction would be taxed as other Income. (Major Tax Planning avenue, gone)

Now investment of Capital Gain on sale of House (s-54) and on investment of capital gain on sale of any other asset (S-54-F), the benefits are restricted upto only 1 house. (By far most far reaching amendment for every one)

Investment into 54EC Bond restricted to Rs. 50 lacs, can’t spread it over two years, as was allowed in the past.

Disallowance on expenditure for non deduction of TDS restricted to 30%.

There are lot of other small changes, please refer the Finance Bill.