Archive for March 29th, 2016

Bengaluru’s drying lakes and continuous decline…

March 29, 2016

Another article on Banagalore’s shocking decline.

It is a pity that most people still talk of the city in terms of youth , silicon valley, start-ups and  so on. There is hardly any discussion over such decline of a city which is responsible for changing India’s image. The city has paid a huge price  for this change of India image:

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The wisdom of Indic Town Planning: lessons for upcoming smart cities….

March 29, 2016

Brilliant piece by Aravindan Neelakandan of Swarajya. Another case of we forgetting lessons from our own past. 

He draws insights from Prof Patrick Geddes, who had praised urban planning in temple towns of Madurai and Kanchipuram.

Though well aware of the grandeur and civilizational intelligence embedded in the traditional town planning of Indian temple-cities, Geddes was also for democratizing the spaces in harmony with ancient design. Thus in the context of Srirangam he observed that the old city should consciously enter a new phase of development which should be “in continuity and in keeping with the plan of its admirable historic development.” Thus he envisioned the temple-towers to become the seats of learning of ancient languages – Tamil, Sanskrit and Pali and also physical and social sciences. At the same time the harmonious development should “also let the poor, the humble castes and even the casteless be provided for well.” He considered that the development of cities in harmony with their original historic plans would halt “the worst of all India’s modern plagues – that of slumdom.”

As India moved towards building futuristic cities it becomes important that we remember the works of Patrick Geddes on ancient Indian town planning and their relevance to today’s human socio-cultural ecology. The Indian temple-city planning contains in it principles that can be used in building sustainable futuristic cities which take into consideration not just the economic and political dimensions of humanity but its biological, psychological, ecological and spiritual dimensions.

Fascinating to learn all this. Thanks Mr Neelakandan for these insights…

 

How India pledged gold during the 1991 crisis- an insider account..

March 29, 2016

Dr C Rangarajan, the deputy governor of Indian central Bank during 1991 was pretty much behind the whole episode.

He narrates the tale. This bit on logistics is typical drama from a Bollywood movie:

The entire episode was not without its drama. For example, when any commodity is sent out of the country, the nature of the commodity has to be declared. I spoke with the commissioner of customs and a special authorisation from the finance ministry was obtained to send the gold without such a declaration. As one of the consignments had an intermediate stopover, a sudden doubt arose whether this was covered by insurance. On a Sunday, I had the office opened to check the policy and was relieved to find that it had a “Vault to Vault” insurance cover. Finally, when the gold was moved from the vault of the Bombay office to the airport, the movement along the road was closely monitored. In the case of one large consignment, the bullion van had to stop because of a suspected tyre burst in one of the cars in the convoy. Fortunately, before much commotion could happen, the convoy resumed.

🙂

Nice bit from history..

Why savers have stayed away from stocks for two decades

March 29, 2016

Sucheta Dalal has been the perennial activist (and perhaps a lone one as well) for transparency in stock markets and increase participation of retail investor.

In this piece she laments that despite surge in middle class population, the small investor base has remained unchanged since 20 years.

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