29 March 2012

3 Thursday Readings - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Every week at least twice I publish lists of interesting reads under the title,
 The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas.  

Today, I am sharing just three articles; I am sure they will make for some really interesting readings.

At CIA, a convert to Islam leads the terrorism hunt
Colleagues describe Roger as a collection of contradictions. A chain-smoker who spends countless hours on a treadmill. Notoriously surly yet able to win over enough support from subordinates and bosses to hold on to his job. He presides over a campaign that has killed thousands of Islamist militants and angered millions of Muslims, but he is himself a convert to Islam. Read the complete article on the Washington Post Web site

Global warming close to becoming irreversible
The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned... As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests. Read the complete article on the Scientific American Web site.

Want to know your history of activity on Google products?
Google has announced an interesting feature called Account Activity recently. It sums up what you have been doing with Google products each month, including whom you have mailed most or which places you have visited etc. Check out how to find out your Google activity on the NDTV Gadget site.

Deve Gowda is in news, for all the wrong reasons, like always. When I was in college (yes, I did go to college!), I once participated in a 'Sell This To' contest. I was asked to sell 'sleeping pills to Deve Gowda'. How tough it is? Well, selling a refrigerator to an Eskimo is easier. Check out this twitpic which I found here. 

25 March 2012

Sunday Readings - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Good reads for your Sunday!

  • Google has always claimed to put the interests of the user first. It's worth questioning whether or not that's still the case. Has Google reached a point where it must be evil? The case against Google. (Gizmodo)
  • American students struggle to repay their loans, as their debts top U.S.$1 trillion. (Bloomberg)
  • Fresh-water shortages and more droughts and floods will increase the likelihood that water will be used as a weapon between states or to further terrorist aims in key strategic areas, including the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, a U.S. intelligence assessment says. (Washington Post)
  • Six big lies about Israel runs the United States. (Foreign Policy)
  • Is India back to the rickshaw rate of growth? (The Economist)
  • Security analysts have been asking whether French intelligence missed vital clues about Mohamed Merah that might have prevented his attacks or stopped him earlier. (BBC)
  • Sachin Tendulkar and the burden of the 100th Century. (Cricinfo)

Sunday Bonus

  • The Year's Best Military Photography. (FP
  • B-School students are opting for internship with BJP, CPM, and other parties. (ET)
The cartoon below from Sudhir Tailang shows the chicanery behind the UPA government's claim of having reducing poverty numbers substantially.

23 March 2012

World's Biggest Military Spenders

Recently China announced a hike in its defence budget by 11.2 per cent for 2012. The increase will bring official outlays on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to U.S.$110 billion for 2012, after a 12.7 per cent increase last year and a near-unbroken string of double-digit rises across two decades.

Beijing’s budget is widely thought to understate (and undercount) its real spending on military modernization. It is believed that it spends nearly twice the publicly stated outlay. 

On the other hand, the profligate U.S. is trimming its defence budget; for 2013, Washington's approved defence outlay is U.S.$525.4 billion, about U.S.$5.1 billion less than the 2012 outlay. However, it often shoots up by a couple of hundred of billion dollars, mainly to fund its war efforts in Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror.

In the third week of March, India announced its defence budget for 2012-13 at U.S.$41 billion (Rs 1.93 lakh crore), a 17% increase over the previous year figure of U.S.$36 billion (Rs1.64 lakh crore)The increase in allocation reflects the sense of urgency in New Delhi to upgrade its military infrastructure in the wake of the twin threats from China and Pakistan. 

In fact, India has recently emerged as the world's largest importer of arms, displacing China from the top position. It is not that China is buying less; rather China is enhancing domestic production capability by producing much-needed defence equipment at home. 

In this regard, check out this awesome infographic from The International Institute for Strategic Studies on global defence outlays: in short, who is spending the most in absolute terms and in 'as percentage of GDP' terms.  

18 March 2012

The Explainer: The Syrian Crisis - Part II

In The Explainer: The Syrian Crisis - Part I, published in this space on March 6, I focused on the presidency of Hafez al-Assad and the demographics of Syria. 

In this second and final part, I will focus on the presidency of Bashar al-Assad and the rebel movement that is raging across Syria against his dictatorship. 

Enter Bashar al-Assad

Bashar al-Assad, an Ophthalmologist, is the current president and youngest son of Hafez al-Assad. He was not the chosen heir to his father's presidency; it was his older brother, Bassel al-Assad, who was groomed to succeed Hafez. However, Bassel died in a car accident when he rammed his Mercedes at high speed into a roundabout.

At the time of his father's death, Bashar was 34; however, the Syrian constitution stipulated that the president must be 40 years of age. To overcome this constitutional hurdle, 
the Syrian parliament amended the constitution within 48 hours of the death of Hafez al-Assad, to lower the minimum age for the president from 40 to 34. This way Bashar became the president of Syria. 

This can be looked at in another way: Bashar forced the parliament, populated by his father's lackeys, to change the eligibility for president's office by tweaking the constitution. You do not expect a person who becomes president through force and manipulation to respect the will of the people of his nation. 

The Paranoid Dictator

All dictators are paranoid by nature. Bashar al-Assad is no exception. With the help of the secret police, he crushed all political opposition, denied basic freedoms to his people, while repression, nepotism and economic corruption became the order of the day. Thousands of opposition political activists were sent to jail without trial. 

In fact, Bashar would always romp home with more than 98 per cent of the vote, like in the 2007 presidential election. It is nobody’s guess that the elections were a one-sided affair, with all legitimate opposition leaders either disqualified or put in jail. 
In short, Bashar continued his father's policy of subverting the system to perpetuate his rule.  

The Demographic Bomb

While the political and military elite are enjoying the fruits of Bashar's dictatorship, life is nothing less than a living hell for the ordinary Syrian. About 50 per cent of the total population of 23 million is below 30 years of age, a feature that demographers call the 'youth bulge'. 

As the population expands while the economy stagnates because of official apathy, unemployment numbers are rising by the day. 
With an overall unemployment rate of over 20 per cent and youth unemployment rate at over 40 per cent, the Syrian youth are frustrated at lack of economic opportunity, social security, and employment. Today it is the youth who are taking to the street, calling for political and economic reform.  

To summarise, a high degree of youth unemployment, widespread corruption, lack of basic freedoms, discrimination against certain groups of people (like Sunnis) and the all-pervasive shadow of a totalitarian state have all come together to explode in the face of Bashar. 

Current situation

Inspired by the success of the popular movements against dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, the marginalised and frustrated people of Syria took to the streets, first peacefully and later violently, demanding that Bashar al-Assad step down from the presidency.  

As Syrians came out in thousands to hold protests in major towns (like Damascus and Homs), Bashar’s response was on predictable lines: shoot at sight, arbitrary detention without trial, and charge the arrested protesters with draconian provisions like treason, all aimed at crushing any form of dissent against his regime. 

The situation in Syria is slowly veering toward civil war. 
Security forces, loyal to Bashar's regime, have killed more than 8000 protesters. However, even in the face of an unrelenting onslaught by troops loyal to Bashar, the rebels are not giving up. 

Regional impact

As is the case with most conflicts today, what happens in one country does not stay there. This is especially true in the case of Syria. The al-Assad regime is close to Iran, Iraq, and the Hezbollah, the terror outfit-cum-political party in neighbouring Lebanon. What connects the four is their common sectarian identity: Shia Islam. (As mentioned in The Explainer: The Syrian Crisis - Part I, the Assads belong to the Alawi branch of Shia Islam.) 

There has been growing condemnation from the international community against Bashar's atrocities against the rebels. Efforts by the Unites States, EU and Israel to impose punishing sanctions against Bashar's regime have been stymied by Russia and China.

Recently, Saudi Arabia sent arms to the rebels to fight the regime in Damascus; the irony of the situation would not be missed on anyone who knows the autocratic and despotic royal house in Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia muffles any voice that rises against the royal house, it is 'helping' the rebels in Syria. 


Because Saudi Arabia is Sunni, the Syrian rebels are Sunni, while Bashar al-Assad is an Alawi Shia. Now bring in the larger regional picture: Bashar is backed by Shia Iran, a sectarian and ideological rival of Saudi Arabia. In a simple sense, great power politics is underpinned by regional, ideological and sectarian power struggles.

What if Bashar goes? 

There is great anxiety in the United States, EU, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Lebanon about the outcome of this massive rebel movement in Syria. Will Bashar al-Assad end up like Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen? If yes, what will be the impact of the outcome?

If Bashar al-Assad is booted out of power, then we should look at its impact on:

  • Syrian domestic politics, which has no credible opposition except for an umbrella rebel body which is beset with infighting among its various constituent parties;
  • neighbours like Iran, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq;
  • dictators in the wider Arab World (like King Hamad of Bahrain);
  • global economy, which might witness revival problems because of energy supply disruption and spike in oil prices in case the conflict takes on a regional shape;
  • rise of Islamists, like the radical Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the moderate Ennahda party in Tunisia, and 
  • strategic realignment, especially with regard to the role of the United States in the wider Arab World and Middle East.
However, not withstanding these scenarios, Bashar al-Assad may yet survive to live another day, a day that may come to signify the triumph of sheer brute power over people power.

16 March 2012

The Life & Times of Joseph Kony

In the last few days, I have observed some frenzied activity on Facebook about Joseph Kony, the founder leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The FB activity relates to a video titled 'Invisible Children', which has gone viral. 

The LRA is a terror organisation, active in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Incidentally for the last seven years, I have been talking about the LRA and its terror activities as part of my talks on global terrorism; in fact, the last such talk took place on January 29 this year. But then it takes social media tools like FB to make Joseph Kony infamous. 

Motivated by extreme Christian evangelism, 
Joseph Kony wants to set up a Christian State, i.e. turn Uganda into a theocracy, based on the Ten Commandments. In this manic pursuit, he and his cronies in the LRA have killed thousands of people and abducted hundreds of children who are used either as sex slaves or bonded labour or both.

The Hague Justice Portal has the following to say about Kony:

The LRA has been directing attacks against both the authorities and against civilian populations. It is alleged that in 2002 Joseph Kony ordered LRA forces to begin a campaign of attacks against civilians in Uganda. The LRA has since engaged in a cycle of violence and established a pattern of “brutalization of civilians” by acts including murder, abduction, sexual enslavement, mutilation, as well as mass burnings of houses and the looting of camp settlements. 
An arrest warrant for Joseph Kony was issued by the International Criminal Court on 7 July 2005 and amended on 27 September 2005. Joseph Kony has been charged on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility with 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes. He remains at large.
Here is an interesting infographic from the Reuters blog on the history of the LRA. 

15 March 2012

7 Thursday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Check out these interesting reads and views. 
  • The real reasons why SP won in Uttar Pradesh. Read this excerpt from Francois Gautier's DNA article.
The truth is that the Muslim population keeps growing and thus its electoral clout keeps increasing. Look at the statistics in UP: there are around 140 constituencies where Muslims are around 30% of the population. While in 73 assembly seats the community is between 20-29% of the population, its population is over 30% in 67 constituencies. This is why the SP won in 72 constituencies with a Muslim majority. 
India needs courageous politicians who will ask everybody to vote Indian in the interest of the larger Indian nation, and will tell the Muslim community that their first afflation is to their country India, which gives them freedom and equal opportunity, which Hindus neither get in Pakistan, Bangladesh or the Gulf countries. (End of excerpt)
  • A marketer's tribute to the soda can. (BusinessWeek)
  • Goldman Sachs director in London quits 'toxic bank'. (Reuters)
  • India is a nation of tinkerers and not innovators. (Live Mint)
  • Interview with Sir Jonathan Ive, the iMan & Chief Designer at Apple. (Evening Standard)
  • Audio & photo slideshow of journeys through Sudan and South Sudan. (BBC)
  • Can Income Tax be abolished? (Economic Times)
Rail Minister Dinesh Trivedi, a Trinamool MP, raised rail fares, which earned him a serious rap from his leader, Mamata Banerjee. In fact, she has demanded his resignation! Here is India Today's Narsim's take on the plight of being Mamata's party man.

13 March 2012

The Moral Bankruptcy of Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi is missing in action. He has not been in news ever since the Congress party received a massive drubbing in recently held elections to the UP Assembly. In his post-UP election guest appearance before the media, the 'PM-in-Waiting', as his sycophant, Digvijay Singh designates his master, delivered a two-minute terse rehearsed speech, owning up responsibility for his party's disastrous performance. 

Rahul went around the state for several months before the elections. During this time, he made highly publicised visits to Dalit households. His army of myrmidons blared from the rooftops about the great sacrifices made by their 'Rahulji', like eating from earthenware owned by the host Dalits and sleeping on the floor. 

Forget about winning an absolute majority, as claimed by Rahul's I-am-your-biggest-follower, Diggy Raja, the party finished fourth, with just 28 seats (a mere six more than its 2007 tally). As if the misery was not complete, the party could win only two out of ten constituencies in the Gandhi family's pocket-boroughs of 
Amethi and Rae Bareli.

In fact, in Sonia Gandhi's Rae Bareli, Congress did not win any seat out of five assembly constituencies. These two Lok Sabha constituencies saw high decibel campaigns by the entire Gandhi clan: Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka, and Robert Vadra (Priyanka's husband). Even if one looks at these results dispassionately, they represent a resounding slap on the face of the Gandhi family. 

Even when we look at Rahul's performance in the Parliament, he has failed as an MP too. He rarely has spoken forth on any matter of public importance; all he does is parrot a few lines from prepared text (drafted by his band of loyalists), like the time he delivered an emotional talk on the sufferings of the widows of Vidharbha, a backward region in the Congress-NCP ruled state of Maharashtra. Remember Kalavathi? 

The Congress' 'youth icon' rambled in the Lok Sabha on how his government will wipe the tears away from the eyes of widows, like Kalavathi. After several months and a plethora of promises of help later, poor and deprived women like Kalavathi are still struggling. Even today Kalavathi and her kind are struggling to make ends meet to feed her family and herself. fos great performance. I suggest you read this
India Today story on the sorry plight of the widows of Vidharbha.

So much for the youth icon's concern for the poor of this nation. 

When Rahul accused the Elephant in Lucknow (read Mayawati) of massive corruption, he looked sorry for he forgot how his Congress-led UPA coalition is widely seen as the fountainhead of some of the biggest scams in independent India: CWG scam, masterminded by Congress MP, Suresh Kalmadi, and the Rs1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam, just to mention two.

If he is so distressed with the plight of the poor and marginalised, then what is he doing about the impoverished weavers in Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh and the indebted farmers in Maharashtra? Where was he when the land and drug mafia were gobbling up in Congress-ruled Goa? Where was he when YSR and his son YS Jagan were amassing hundreds of crores in ill-gotten wealth? 
It does not take a genius to figure out why corruption cases have been slapped NOW against Jagan; after all YS Jagan has floated a rival party, which poses a strategic threat to the Congress' electoral chances.

India's Outlook magazine has recently published
25 Questions for Rahul Gandhi. Here is a selection of three pertinent questions from the list.
  1. Mr Gandhi, while taking token responsibility for the Congress party’s performance in the Uttar Pradesh elections, you said "organisationally we are not where we should be” and that the party’s “fundamentals” are weak. After two years touring the heartland, whose responsibility is that?
  2. On what grounds should we consider you a “leader of the future” when despite having a free hand to run the Congress, an all-India party with considerable pedigree, you can’t get it in shape to make a mark (forget winning) even in one state election?
  3. How do you explain the fact that 34 per cent (154 out of a total of 354) of the candidates nominated by your party in UP had criminal antecedents? How do you justify rewarding corrupt and criminal former MLAs and ministers who had been denied tickets by even their erstwhile parties?
Rahul Gandhi is shallow, vain, and unfortunately surrounded by people who are happy to keep him in his make-believe world. Given the Ostrich-like attitude of the Congress leadership, it is unlikely that the dynastic-oriented party will ever learn from its mistakes; today it has nothing to offer to the country except for the moral bankruptcy of its leadership. 

12 March 2012

7 Monday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Begin your week with this shortlist of interesting readings and a slideshow. 
  • China's parliament enlivened by brands and beauties. (BBC)
  • Rahul Dravid - India's genius who could see way beyond the boundary. (Guardian)
  • Pakistan's middle class is conservative and latent radical. (The Friday Times)
  • Slideshow: Photos of the Week (March 2-9) from TIME. The photograph below shows Indian Hindu transvestites dance together in the Radha Rani Temple during Lathmar Holi in Barsana, India.

09 March 2012

Dark Humour from North Korea

In a society where starvation and deprivation define life, humour is a distant idea. 

orth Korea is one of the most repressive and closed societies on this planet. However, even in a morbid place like North Korea, humour helps people get through their darkest moments. 

Here's one for you:

Which is the greatest economic system?

Professor: “Comrade students, how many economic-political systems are there in the world?”
Student: “There are three such systems: The capitalist economic-political system, the North Korean socialist economic system, and the Chinese eclectic system.”
Professor: “Then, among these three systems, which one is the greatest?”
Student: “Well, it might be rather difficult to answer that question.”
Professor: “What kind of an answer is that? There is only one clear answer! Our style of socialist economic-political system is the greatest, as this is the system that’s destined to conquer the entire world and spur eternal economic development!”
Student: “Professor, that is great, indeed… But if our system takes over the world and all of the other countries and economic-political systems, then whom are we going to ask for food aid?”
Find more North Korean dark humour on the Radio Free Asia

7 Friday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Here's an interesting list for your Friday reading and viewing.

  • What they don't teach you at Indian b-schools. (The Hindu)
  • Massive Solar Storm passes without incident. (BBC); also check out this Q&A on Solar Storms. (BBC)
  • Eight Surprising beneficiaries of China's huge military buildup. (Foreign Policy)
  • Over half of Greek youth are unemployed. (Reuters)
  • A quest for truth: An inquiry into the last days of Osama bin Laden. (NY Times)

The Hindu Business Line has a comparative graphic on the iPad2 and the 'New iPad'.

08 March 2012

15 Grammar Mistakes That Make You Look Silly

At school I had a dread of learning English Grammar. In fact, I have never found learning English Grammar an interesting exercise. But then there are certain things you can not afford to ignore; English Grammar is one such thing. Check out this informative infographic on 15 Common Grammar Mistakes from Copyblogger

06 March 2012

The Explainer: The Syrian Crisis - Part I

Since December 2010, the Arab World has been witnessing massive political upheaval. Most Arab nations have seen massive protests by people against their entrenched political masters.  

The Jasmine Revolution dethroned Tunisian dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, after 24 years in power while the Egyptian Revolution (or the Facebook Revolution, as it is also called) ousted Hosni Mubarak after three decades of close-fisted rule. 

Today, Syria is also witnessing widespread public protests against the regime of president Bashar al-Assad. In fact, public demonstrations against the dictatorial rule of Bashar have been raging across the Syrian nation since February 2011, which makes it the longest running people’s movement in the so-called Arab Spring. 

In the first of the two-part Explainer on Syria, I will focus on some important facts about Syria: demographics and the rule of Hafez al-Assad, father of the current president, Bashar al-Assad.


Syria is located in the Middle East, or West Asia as some call the region. It is bordered by Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon. It gained independence from France in April 1946. In 1958, it merged with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic, only to break the union three years later. Since 1971, the Assad family has come to rule Syria, like a family fiefdom.

Who are the Assads?

The Assads belong to the Alawi group, which is a branch of Shia Islam. Alawis make up only 12% of Syria’s population while their bĂȘte noir Sunni Muslims make up nearly 70% of the total population. Under a new constitution drafted in 1973, Syria was declared to be a secular, socialist country with Islam as the major religion. 

The divisive rule of the Assads has, over the years, shaped Syrian polity and society, which are riven with sectarian strife. There is a great deal of mistrust and animosity between the Sunnis and Shias on the one hand and the Muslims and the minority groups (like Druze) on the other.

Hafez al-Assad’s presidency

For close to two decades after it gained independence from France, Syria experienced political instability, the result of a series of military coups. The ascendance of Hafez al-Assad (pictured on the right) to the presidency in 1971 brought in much-needed political stability. As is the case with most military-polity establishments, this stability came at the altar of essential freedoms, including the denial of fundamental rights to citizens. 

While Hafez ruled in a democratic polity, in practice he abandoned all democratic practices; highly intolerant of dissent, he imprisoned thousands of political activists. In fact, anyone who dared to oppose him was detained arbitrarily and tortured. 

Once Hafez took power, he filled the security agencies, including the intelligence bodies, with loyalists from his Alawi sect. In order to perpetuate his rule, Hafez created one of the most brutal, secretive, and repressive dictatorships in the world. 

The Sunnis, who were marginalised and discriminated against in matters of employment and denied access to resources, did not take kindly to the ascendance to power of the minority Shia sect. The Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni militant group, rebelled against Hafez but the insurrection was suppressed through use of massive force. 

The 1982 Hama Massacre will give you an idea of the brutality of Hafez’s regime. When the Sunni population of Hama town rose in revolt, in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, against the discriminatory attitude of the Shia-dominated regime of Hafez, the dictator hit back with great force, massacring 20,000 people in a brutal crackdown (estimates of the Hama Massacre vary widely – 12,000 to 80,000 deaths). 

The Hama massacre is just one incident; during the three decades of his iron-fisted rule, he is said to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Syrians.

Let me also mention the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which was launched by Hafez, in alliance with Egypt, to decimate Israel and retake the Golan Heights, which was captured by the Jewish state in the 1967 Six Day War. Unfortunately for Hafez, he could not succeed and had to face defeat at the hands of Israelis.

Hafez died in June 2000. He was succeeded by his ophthalmologist son, Bashar al-Assad. 

Click here for the second and final part in The Explainer on Syria will focus on the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the latest political situation in Syria. 

(Read The Explainer: The Syrian Crisis - Part II)

7 Tuesday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Today's reading and viewing list.

  • Why the Bible ends the way it ends. (New Yorker)
  • Photos from the Turkana Basin, said to be the cradle of human civilization. (FP
  • In Israeli military, a growing orthodoxy. (Reuters)
  • Get to know China's next gen leaders. (BBC)
  • Unseen Iran: A collection of photographs. (Rediff)

Informative infographic from Reuters Blog on the current rates of unemployment across Europe.

05 March 2012

7 Monday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

A list of seven articles I read late last night and early this morning. 

  • China's military budget tops U.S.$100 billion. (BBC & Times of IndiaThe above picture is sourced from the BBC. 
  • Google's new privacy policy: Five ways to protect yourself. (TIME)
  • Russian strongman Vladimir Putin wins presidential election. (Guardian). Also read this interesting piece on how 'rigging' is a delicate art. (Guardian)
  • The PM of India has alleged that certain Christian NGOs are receiving funds from abroad to fund their anti-nuclear protests, like in the case of the Koodankulam nuke energy plant. The Economic Times has an interesting debate on whether funds to NGOs should be regulated. 

04 March 2012

7 Sunday Reads - The Best of Politics, Economics, & Ideas

Here's my Sunday reading list for you!

  • Memory is not a recording device: how technology shaped our metaphors for remembering. (Brain Pickings)
  • Where is India's black money going? What's the driving the illegal flow of money to safe havens? (GFI Integrity)
  • Why 2012 will be a critical year of change. (BBC)
  • The GST Imbroglio: States seek more exemptions. (Business Line)
  • Lessons from mythology: Swarga can't guarantee us peace. (ET)

Here's an interesting way to end the week; sourced from The Hindu

02 March 2012

Is Your Job Killing You?

In the course of my work as a teacher, I often meet students who are also employees. Most of these student-employees are workers in India's Information Technology sector. A common refrain I hear from these guys is that the work is stressful, boring, and devoid of any creativity.

If you belong to this category, then you should check out the below infographic from humanresourcesmba,net. To your surprise, you would find that the job of a software engineer and computer programmer are among the least stressful! 
Also check out what tools HR managers use to reduce stress among employees.

I suggest you also check out this Web site for loads of other HR-related info, including on MBA in HR programs.