August 2006


‘I won’t have anything to do with the Nobel Prize… it’s a pain in the… I don’t like honours. I appreciate it, and I know there’s a lot of physicists who use my work, I don’t need anything else, I don’t think there’s any sense to anything else. I don’t think that it makes any point that someone in the Swedish Academy decides that this work is noble enough to receive a prize – I’ve already got the prize. The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it (my work) – those are the real things, the honours are unreal to me. I don’t believe in honours, it bothers me, honours bother, honours is epaulettes, honours is uniforms. My papa bought me up this way.’

                                           — Richard Feynman

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From Business Week

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India’s talent shortages started appearing last year in technology and outsourcing, and attrition rates in those businesses today top 25% annually. Pay for qualified managers in tech has shot up as much as 30%, and now everyone, including big foreign companies, is scrambling. Even Genpact, India’s largest outsourcing shop and 40% owned by GE, has had to be innovative. It has set up a half-dozen storefronts in six cities to recruit workers for entry-level outsourcing jobs. The skill shortage “is the biggest challenge for our industry,” says Pramod Bhasin, chief executive of Genpact. So far, Genpact has hired 650 new staffers from the centers, but its turnover is still 30% a year.

As India’s domestic economy expands, the shortfalls are spreading beyond tech. Wages for semi-skilled workers in the textile factories of Coimbatore, for example, are up 10% this year, while supervisors’ salaries have risen by 20%. Pay in the banking industry is up 25% in the past year and has more than doubled in hot areas such as private equity. Airline pilots have seen wages rise 25%. Overall, Indian salaries will rise by 12.8%, compared with inflation of 5.5%, according to human resources consultancy Mercer, which warns that continued increases could hurt India’s economic revival.

While many industries are having trouble finding the right workers, they have so far muddled through by hiring less-skilled employees and training them. Private firms are starting to offer courses for everyone from flight attendants to engineers. More private colleges are springing up, and some 450,000 new students are enrolled in engineering schools this year, up from just 250,000 last year. “India has a huge educated workforce,” says Dominic Price, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM ) chief in India. “As it gets equipped with new specialized skills, it will temper the current level of wage inflation.”

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My view is this : Yes, we have talent shortage now. Supply (of skilled labour) is not meeting the demand. Its a supply side problem now.

However, the DEMAND WILL EASE. US economy is slowing down and capital spending will go down which will lead to demand for workers to go down too, atlease in IT services.

From LA Time

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The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday proposed banning over-the-counter sales of skin-lightening products, triggering a four-month comment period likely to provoke strong protests from dermatologists and other skin experts.

Publishing the proposed rule in the Federal Register, the FDA said that the creams contained hydroquinone, a drug that, according to studies on rodents, showed “some evidence” of possibly causing cancer.
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Indian women are sure not going to be aware of this news and will continue to apply all sorts of cosmetics to make them look like “westerners” 😉

I would ask my
grandmother, “why does Ganesh ride
a rat?” For in most of the pictures in our
prayer room, the deity is shown on this
unusual mount. At the simplest level the
sight of an elephantine god on a tiny mouse
visually equates the importance of the
greatest and smallest of God’s creatures.

There are some unimaginable housing numbers from US today

 32.6% of new mortgages and home-equity loans in 2005 were interest only, up from 0.6% in 2000;
 
43% of first-time home buyers in 2005 put no money down;
 
15.2% of 2005 buyers owe at least 10% more than their home is worth (negative equity);
 
10% of all home owners with mortgages have no equity in their homes (zero equity);
 

Today is full of discussion about China.

Stephen Roach at Morgan Stanley made us understand the impact of China on global Economy. At one point he said “I have never seen/dreamt of anything like this”

Top news from India on Sunday

Durga and Shiva taking milk in temples?

Reports of idols drinking milk in UP, Haryana

Top news on Saturday

 

Mahim ‘miracle’: Seawater turns sweet!

Thousands drink from reeking creek

Magic water will cure my child

Sweet water miracle in Gujarat too

People defy health warning, continue to taste ‘sweetwater

A UK based paper sums it nicely : Thousands fall for sewage ‘miracle’

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