15 Andhra Pradesh MLAs disqualified

The Hindu reports:

Fifteen rebel MLAs belonging to Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Congress and main opposition Telugu Desam Party were on Saturday disqualified for voting in favour of a no-confidence motion moved by TRS against the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in March this year.

Two things:

  • What were these guys disqualified from? For how long? The article doesn’t say.

  • It’s actually illegal to vote against party lines?! Then what’s the idea behind having a number of MLAs, if their thoughts simply don’t matter? Have an election, then send everyone home and let the party top brass run the Assembly!

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How many zeros in…?

How many zeros are in Rs. 90,000 crore? (A crore equals 10 million.)

I only ask because that’s how much a certain Mr. Hassan Ali Khan owes the Indian government in tax arrears. Which apparently isn’t possible to recover:

[…] the recovery is not possible though all known immovable and move-able assets belonging to the group have been attached,” the Finance Ministry said […]

Further, it informed, the attached assets are inadequate to recover the entire dues.

Amazing.

But wait, it gets better. The total arrears are of the order of Rs. 2.48 lakh crore, most of which pertains to money laundering.

I guess the positive is that at least they caught this guy? How many others like him who haven’t been caught?

On selling ‘clean chits’

Robert Vadra recently received a clean chit for his transactions with DLF.

Faking News has more on it:

It’s not yet clear if Vadra would be selling his clean chit, but experts say that the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi would be advised to encash this opportunity.

“Till the time he is the son-in-law of the first family, getting another clean chit shouldn’t be a problem, so he may as well sell it to DLF and make quick money,” Arvind, an expert said.

Faking News is quickly becoming as great in India as The Onion is in the USA.

Also, the spate of scandals recently in Indian governance is seriously disgusting; the only hope is that public reaction reaches a tipping point and leads to something seriously groundbreaking.

Can Arvind Kejriwal make enough of a difference? He’s going to need help, once every other politician starts to come after him.

Of Indian Fighter Jets

About India buying a new generation of fighter jets:

India […] has listed two European manufacturers as the finalists for an order estimated to be worth $10 billion.

Why can India not build its own fighter jets?

It’s not that India’s needs are so negligible that building an entire industry would be a waste of money. Further, having your own program has its advantages.

  • You employ many many highly qualified individuals who would otherwise look for greener pastures (for example, the companies India ends up buying things from).
  • You build a technology repository, so to say, which grows over time. Having a technology base is a very good thing, as India itself knows with respect to its own space program. (And building planes is easier than building spacecraft.)
  • You can diversify into other areas, and become a competing player in those areas, using the knowledge gained from this industry.

Yes, I know, there’s Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL). HAL is a great step, but it seems to me that HAL is still more an aerospace manufacturing company, rather than an aerospace technology company. Most of what we make are derivatives of Russian or other aircraft. We’re great at making industrial houses, I know, but can we make great research labs?

Government of India, how about investing $10 billion towards development of new, indigenous technology at HAL over the next few years, the same amount you’re spending towards new aircraft?

And for goodness’ sake, employ some world class web designers. That much can be done, no? (Compare the HAL home page to the Boeing home page.)

Some links…

At the outset, this post is entirely thanks to The Examined Life, one of the blogs that I happen to frequent.

1. This post (I refer to the passage quoted, not the plea about signing the petition). The link mentioned in the post is broken; instead, use this link to validate the passage quoted. You’re looking for, in particular, Chapter V, the second passage in Item 40, even though the rest of the report can be a good read as well.

2. This news item.

I am not sure I agree with the judgement on Pt. Nehru in the first link, though, and neither do I question Nehru’s reasons when I know nothing, really, about the facts of world politics.

But as The Examined Life questions, One Good Turn Deserves Another? You judge!

Oh India…

Tell me, how many aircraft carriers does the Indian Navy have presently?? Any idea? No? Well, the answer is One (Yes, ONE). And how many are patrolling the Indian waters? None – INS Viraat is undergoing refitting, and will be out of operation till mid-2009, at the minimum.

And India calls itself a major global power? Is this supposed to be even funny?

And there’s more… INS Viraat is 49 years old!! 49!!

When will India learn to plan ahead a little bit? We all know of hindsight; when shall we ever learn of foresight?