Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dr. C G Krishnadas Nair

Some where I read that Dr C G Krishna Das Nair is the present Chairman of the board of governors of REC NIT Calicut. I was pleased to note that a distinguished person of his stature has an over all say in matters concerned with NIT.

Dr. Nair is largely credited with the turnaround of HAL which was in doldrums not so long ago and now is a public sector unit on the right tracks. I had met Mr. Nair at the faculty hall of IISc during a lecture session and noted that he belongs to the first batch of IIT Madras.

Definitely his guidance would make a lot of difference to the overall trajectory of NIT Calicut and may be Aeronautical Engineering would find a place in the various branches provided by NIT.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My association with All India Radio AIR Calicut

I had some long drawn association with All India Radio Calicut whilst being a student and it happened in an unexpected way. One afternoon while walking through thru E Hostel met ChandraShekar or Chandra as he was known.( Chandra had done his Masters degree from IISc and left for the US in 1986.The last I heard about him was from Kallol Roy in Mumbai in 1999.) Chandra told me that AIR Calicut was badly looking for some people to contribute to their "Calling the Youth" program  and if he could recommend my name. Before long I got a letter from AIR to talk on some topic for ten minutes. I don't know or remember what the topic was now but made some quick preparations and was at the AIR office on Beach road. I was taken to the station manager Mr. Ravindran to whom I showed the script and before long was led to the recording studio where I narrated what I had to and it came out very well. It was nice to listen to my voice on the radio when it was broadcast some time later. Few days down the line I got some remuneration for this work

Few months down the line I was even more intensely  associated with this program and the AIR Kozhikode - getting a half an hour slot to conduct a JAM session. I was the moderator. Those of you who do not know what a JAM session means ...participants would be given one minute to speak on some weird topic with some rules. The literary and debating club of REC would regularly conduct such events of which I was a participant and had some first hand experience. This program is something to remember as many of my batch mates were involved some six of them ..I remember Raghuvaran was there , Sarah was one of the lady participants and for full half an hour the recording studio of AIR Calicut /Kozhikode was all ours. We happened to listen to this broadcast sitting in the C hostel.

The last time I met Mr. Ravindram the station manager of AIR Calicut was in 1985 on an unscheduled drive with the nephew of my father Dr. Janardhanan  from Cannanore to Calicut and he had some work at the AIR office for a brief while. Ravindran almost instantly acknowledged my presence and we spent some time during this sojourn.

I still believe I can do some program like a talk show or the like for AIR Kozhikode just to replicate and enliven those few years where I had some association with this place and also noting with candor that the first remuneration in a formal sense for some work I did came from none other than the Honorable Govt of India through the ALL INDIA RADIO CALICUT.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Cherupuzha (Chaliyar river tributary) near REC NIT - Calicut:CALICUTCITY

Few  kilometers behind the REC NIT Calicut is a river. This must be one of the many rivers that flow into the Arabian sea from the western ghats. (I did a full fledged course on Environmental Law at NLSIU  by which my very awareness about the environment stands increased and compounded.). I understand now that the water supply of many cities in the world is undertaken from the rivers that flow by and there will be no rivers in the absence of mountain ranges. How ever technically brilliant one might become mankind is always subservient to nature for his fundamental needs. The Romans appear to me were one of the first in this class to build aqua ducts that brought water from rivers into cities and it continues to this day.

The river that flows nerar REC NIT _Calicut is the source of water for the campus. I have written elsewhere that water is pumped from this river to a water treatment plant near the D hostel gate from where it is pumped into over head tanks. I  think the name of this river is Chaliyar and a bridge over this river can be seen  at Chathamangalam .

Many students who play Holi visit the banks of this river for cleaning up their colored countenance. They move in large numbers during the afternoon of this day and take the approach road adjacent to the E - hostel. Even I was drawn into the Holi melee though inadvertently and dumped into large cans of colored water. My room mate Binod Anand Mishra did this to me once and I have not forgotten his grin seeing me half immersed in color.

I fondly remember this river for other reasons. Many times few of us would take a stroll to this river and sit on its banks for tew hours..the errie silence with the noise of the river rustling beside and the thick vegetation around and the sands reflecting the evening sun light made a perfect setting . We used to take the approach road adjacent to co-operative society and largely a winding and hilly terrain and it must be around three kilometers from our campus and stopping for tea at some road side stall.

I dont know what this place looks like now. Things must have changed and transformed by the pressures of time. Somewhere I read that a bridge has come up over this river linking Koduvally with Kettangal. Incidentally Kettangal is the hamlet or a cross-road adjacent to our campus and must have made travelling time lesser between these points and also changing the environmental equations of this place.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I had an English man friend for some time...James Randall. Somewhere in 1991    I had been to Mysore for an SSB interview and in the hotel happened to meet this well behaved and suave Englishman who was a tourist.He was sitting almost opposite to me and we began to speak. I had given him my residential phone number and had forgotten about him. But when he reached Bangalore James Randall thought it befitting to give me a call and note that we were not in the era of mobile phones and I met him without difficulty at  the Central Railway station and spent a day walking through Bangalore. He did give me his residential address and happened to correspond few times and to my dismay I lost his address of his home in England.

I did search for him on several search engines and there were too many people with this name around the world .If James Randall were to ever see this write-up get in touch with me and this time around possibly he might walk me through London.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The PEENYA Industrial Area

There are many industrial areas or estates in Bangalore. They form a very important component of economic activity in the city and deal with various kinds of complex technologies. There are competent entrepreneurs who are at the helm of these enterprises and are a hub of dynamism and activity. I have visited many of these industrial areas for professional reasons and have returned amused at the organized way in which they perform and produce various kinds of products and services and in a competent way.

The many industrial estates of Bangalore are  Electronic city; Peenya industrial area; Koramangala Industrial area; rajajinagar indusrial area; Mahadevapura Industrial area; Mysore road Industrial area; the Anekal Industrial area  and tucked between these areas are smaller industrial communities and townships.I have visited the Baikampady industrial area in Mangalore and the Sadaramangala industrial area in Tumkur and Sriperumbadur industrial estate in chennai..

The striking aspect of these industrial communities is the complex technologies around which they work. From electroplating to CNC machines to ceramics to information technology they have them all. I don't know if there is any other city in the world to my knowlege that houses such a large congregation of industrial outfits..I guess not ..tucked under the salubrious climate of this city these outfits must be performing at the height of their abilities and potential .  In the absence of such sectors the larger industrial houses of a country will feel handicapped and act as feeders to larger industrial establishments. What spurred the growth of these units and to a large extent it appears to me is the many public sector units around the city who demanded various forms of industrial services.

The center of the city to my mind is M G Road....from this point one can get access to all the arterial roads that form the life line of the city. The major roads that exit from the city are the Old Madras Road ; the Hosur road; the Bellary and Tumkur roads and the Mysore road. If we were to traverse in a concentric way the Mysore road leads to the Tumkur road then to the Bellary road then to the Old Madras road and then to the hosur road and back to the Mysore road. Roads like Bannerghatta road and Kanakapura roads are some kind of  sub arteries to the above set of main lines. Why have I outlined these roads..there is a reason..for most of these industrial estates what I talked about must be at a distance of some 20 kms from M G Road and spread into territory between these arterial lifelines of the city.

The major or the largest if one may call of the industrial estates of the city is the Peenya Industrial area and is adjacent to the Tumkur road and possibly extends upto the fringes of the Mysore road..a large area and chunk of territory inhabited by a wide variety of industrial sectors..mammoth in its disposition and complesx and intriguing in its appearance. My earlist assosiation with this estate was for a conference held by the NPC  national productivity council as a sponsored canditate from BPL and almost at the same time had some fixtures fabricated at Amba metal works for the BPL factory. Little did I know that at a later point in time would have a very steady and long drawn association with this township largely interacting or associating on a more intense scale the many entrepreneurs at this place and coming to know largely first hand their trials and challenges and impediments. 

Peenya Indutrial Area has four phases and two stages. This is my analysis and i have found these nominations confusing. The demarcating lines between the peenya industrial area and the yeshwantpur industrial area is confusing...however the Peenya indutrial area starts  somewhere from the Wipro Fluid Power factory on the tumkur road. This is the first stage and first phase it appears. Behind the Wipro Fluid Power factory are a cluster of manufacturing enterprises like TVS Electronics...Karmobiles...Welcast Steels..Triveni Engineering...Gemini dyeing and spinning mills..ITC to name a few. When you come down the main road there is the Dasarahalli circle and to the left one enters the main estate and possibly the second phase. The second phase possibly ends somewhere at NTTF and gives way to the second stage which houses the third and fourth phases. Note that my demarcation may not be perfectly right but it would suffice to appraise the first time evaluator of this place the enormity of the place and its constituents. The industrial outfits that compose the estate have made a formal association called the PIA peenya industrial association and has its office adjacent to the main road that enters the main estate. I had conducted a conference here on ISO 9000 in the auditorium of this office.

Let me see if I can recollect the names of few people I knew at this place...Prithviraj of a cardboard casing company; Jayaram of  Fluostart; Ajmani of Fluolite; Prathapan of TAP; Uthamman of Glastronix; Iyer of Electronics and Controls; Sudarshan of Devaki Engineering; Howard Martindale of Krone Communications and a German lad Tellar in one of the organizations. ABB and Kirloskar too have their endeavors here.

I believe small scale sector has two problems . ONE  the needs for managerial training for the perpetrator and skill upliftment for the worker..TWO the need to control economics of the business and more than anything so the outstanding  collections. To solve the first problem some kind of mandatory training must be provided through some institutions dedicated for this purpose. To solve the second problem some kind of special courts could be set up to provide relief for an entrepreneur from some one who willfully defaults on outstanding payments.