Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Where India stands in corruption vis-a-vis the world? Corruption Perception Index, 2013

In India in the last few years, national debate has revolved round corruption. While some vehemently demand a corruption-free India, some others believe that the issue is hyped out of proportion…

Just to set things in perspective, here is the comparison provided by Transparency International among countries in terms of Corruption Perception Index (i.e. related to perception of corruption in public sector)

Among 177 countries, India stands at the 94th position (1 being the best and 177 being the worst). While Denmark, New Zealand and Finland are the top clean countries, Afghanistan,  North Korea and Somalia are the bottom three.

India is better than Russia (127/177), however, it fares worse than the other BRICS countries. Brazil has a rank of 72, China 80 and South Africa again 72.

USA, UK, Australia, UAE, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan and most European countries occupy the top positions….

On the other hand, violence-hit, poverty hit countries of Asia, Africa and Middle East are among the worst performers…

Clearly, countries with lower corruption are high up on development…We can also say that developed countries are better able to tackle corruption at public sector level, at least…

Going by this logic, India needs to tackle corruption to pace up its development; AND  also need to use its development to better tackle corruption, along the way to the top…!

If we WANT, we CAN!

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Austrian Memories – June 2014

Innsbruck, Austria (visited in June, 2014):

It is a beautiful city, worth a visit!

Greenery around, with mountains and brooks…

Our hotel was opposite Olympia World…

Room on the 10th floor, which was the top floor….

We had booked the room under the “Innsbruck package”.

Apart from the good room in a good hotel, we got the Innsbruck Card under this package.

The best part of Innsbruck stay was Nordketten Railways and Hungerburg Funicular – The ascent of 2000m above sea-level all the way to Hafelekar (and descent) was awe-inspiring. The view was spectacular and there were patches of snow as well. We had lots of walking up and down, but it was nothing as compared to the insatiable adventure spirit of bikers and hikers, who could be seen all over the mountain slopes…

Certain museums we visited were good; the open areas were all nice, especially near the Old Town.

However, the commercial entities as well as museums close by 6:00 PM and 5:00 PM respectively. (This is for the month of June.) Hence while the sun sets only by around 9 PM, the city is closed much earlier. Well, this is true for most European cities I guess, in the summer months.

Evening times, people, locals and tourists alike, flock to common areas like the Old Town, sip beer while watching the crowd and the events around.

In short, it is a wonderfully planned and managed hill city.

 

Vienna, Austria (visited in June, 2014):

Vienna is a beautiful city, but poles apart as compared to Innsbruck.

It is a city known for its awesome architecture and diverse culture. There are churches, palaces, parks, monuments and….people from several parts of the world!

Moreover, it is a city well on its track to grow…

Public transport comprises Underground metro (called U Bahn), Suburban metro (called S-Bahn), trams and buses, city airport metro (not to miss, sight-seeing coaches and trams). Every place seems to be as it should e – be it the airport, or the parks and gardens, or the malls and supermarkets.

Vienna boasts of being one of the safest cities in the world. We agree, because eerily we felt safe, even in the train platforms, which were deserted from 6 PM onwards. Later on, we found out that the hotspots remained crowded, way until mid-night.

Basically, we felt that the facilities provided were way more than the need of its existing population.

The palaces (Hofburg and Schonbrunn Palace) are beautiful.

I suggest taking the Schonbrunner Panorama train in Schonbrunn Palace – it is cost-efficient, and gives you a feel of the entire area…Do not miss the panoramic view of Vienna from the central stop of this train.

As far as Vienna card is concerned, it is reasonably priced and covers public transport which is a great convenience. It gives token discounts on most tourist attractions. However, it succeeded in adding certain tourist areas in our itinerary, which we might have otherwise missed J

Vegetarian food was not an issue here – since ‘kebaps’ and sandwiches cafeteria abound. Also supermarkets have at least some vegetarian offerings. Various types of cheese are also on offering.

This may be attributed to a greater number of residents and tourists from Indian sub-continent and Middle East, here in Vienna as compared to Munich, Germany.

In short, Vienna is a safe, clean and beautiful city which is capable of offering liberating living conditions.

One thing was common in Munich, Vienna and even Innsbruck –

People seem to have a fine work-life balance, tilted a little towards the latter J

At the end, I want to PARK this thought – How do men and women here, have so much time to relax in PARKS with friends and family?

For all women & all men who care for women in their lives…Upcoming International Women’s Day!

I saw today the first episode of ‘Satyameva Jayate – Season 2’, a show discussing different facets of problems and solutions pertaining to Indian society.

This episode talked about ‘Rape or Sexual Assault’. Something, which is so often heard through media, and scarily, also sometimes through neighbors, friends and family.

It talked about the systemic failure to respond to this torture, inflicted on women of all ages.

Police, hospitals, courts – The three places where a rape victim would turn to support and justice…However, low conviction rates, lack of appropriate staff with relevant training and/or facilities, lack of a standard approach/procedure mandated by law,general apathy towards victims etc. increase the trauma of victims manifold.

However, this is not all – the ‘make or break’ role is to be played by society.

‘Rape victims being treated as accused’ – What mentality is this?

Only when all of us, decide that the one we are up against is the criminal and not the victim, can the country move forward…!

“99% society up against 1% rapist” – That’s how it is put, in the show!

Link to the Newly Amended THE CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE, 2013 – 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=91979

Try to catch up with this episode!

Jai Hind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arvind Kejriwal – Biography Highlights – A distinguished, well-educated activist!

Arvind Kejriwal is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, where he studied Mechanical Engineering.
Kejriwal joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1995 after qualifying through the Civil Services Examination. He worked for the IRS as a Joint Commissioner in the Income Tax Department.
Kejriwal won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2006 for his contribution to the enactment of the Right to Information Act.
In 2006, after resigning from the IRS, he donated his Magsaysay award money as a corpus fund to found an NGO, Public Cause Research Foundation. is a Delhi, India-based NGO that works for just, transparent, accountable and participatory governance. (Source: Wikipedia)

Congratulations and Best wishes to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for this historic opportunity to transform Delhi (India)!

Road is tough; goal is hard to achieve, but is reachable!

Movie review – Dhoom 3

Film had three definitive ‘Dhoom’ points – Start, Intermission and End…all three belonged to Aamir Khan…He did justice to the role and took it to the next level (admit that I am a big Aamir fan )…Certain stunts were awesome…for instance, bike on a rope.
Jai and Ali were their usual self. Katrina’s dance moves are good. Music is average.
Must watch for Aamir fans & lovers of fun action!