Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Next step in Manjunath's battle

Posting an appeal I got today in email. Please help out. Previously discussed here and here


Feb 23rd is the birthday of Manjunath Shanmugam - an IIM L (2003) alumnus who lost his life for his fight against corruption. He died on November 19th, 2005.

As a Sales Manager with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), Manju turned down bribes and ignored threats, to do his job – check rampant adulteration of petrol. He was shot dead in Lakhimpur Kheri by a petrol pump owner and his gang.

To most of us, though we never met him, Manju is extremely familiar and is, in part, within every one of us. This is one cause we CANNOT turn away from. We have no excuse. We must ensure that his death does not go in vain.

The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust is now a legal entity with 2 trustees - Anjali Mullatti (IIML '93) and H. Jaishankar (IIMB '91).

The immediate and urgent focus of the trust is to take up the legal battle and ensure quick justice for the murder case. The murderers must not go free.

The broader objectives of the trust are

a . To establish and maintain an award for individuals/institutions working to uphold the values of truth and honesty in the face of danger to themselves.

b. To provide aid to individuals fighting a legal battle to uphold the values of truth, honesty or justice in the Indian corporate, government or public matters.

For updates on what we have done to date and our next steps, please visit the trust website:

How can you help?

Firstly – funds are needed to pay lawyers' fees, case costs, build an award corpus.. this will be a long and tedious battle. Please donate just one day's salary for the cause.
Our first donors: Rs. 44,500 ($ 1000) from Sanjay Khanduri, Wharton Class of 2006, and Rs. 30,000 from Akhil Krishna, IIML 2003.

Secondly, if you can commit time and effort, please write in and be part of the team.

Thirdly, if you have close contacts in media, police, legal, judiciary who can help, please let us know.

It is heartwarming that so many people have already reacted immediately and generously – across the spectrum of media, legal, police and the IIM fraternity. Be part of that group.

How do you donate?

1. Write a cheque favouring 'The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust' , and courier it to:
2909/1, Raghavapriya, 3rd Main, V.V. Mohalla, Mysore 570 002, India

2. Write a cheque favouring 'The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust' , and deposit it in any HDFC bank drop box, with a deposit slip, account number 0651000091870.

3. Do an online money transfer , to the HDFC Bank a/c , from your ICICI /HDFC/Citibank a/c. Account number 0651000091870.

Currently FCRA regulations prohibit us from accepting foreign remittances - we're working on getting special permission. For now, please route all overseas donations via your regular Indian rupee accounts.

We have also applied for income tax exemption for donors under Section 80 (G).

Please contact me for any further clarifications -


Anjali Mullatti - IIML class of '93
Catalyst Consulting
Dir: +91.821.4288688
Cell: +91.98801 91323

Engineering Auction Videos

This is super cool..

Check out the videos here!

This is a sample of what coolness happens when you allow an open mindset for your engineering students.... wish we had things like this in ITBHU :-).

And now to look for the female who will find a engineering PhD student attractive (now _that_ will be a surprise :-) ) ...

P.S. yeah, posting after a long time, super busy in work.. but great videos!

P.P.S. Thanks to Kimish for the link

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Idea #5 online - What should Google videos do next!

Yes, I finally posted my new idea.
Go here to find out my views on improving google videos.. and the life of the rest of us :D.

As usual, comments welcome.

And now, back to work!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What would Muhammad do?

Hi all,
I have been super busy writing that addendum to my proposal.. so I shall keep it short..

Go and read this article in the LA times about the recent protests by muslims over the "offensive" cartoon of prophet Mohd. It is written by a muslim gentleman who is a professor at Cal State LA.

From the article:

The khateeb (the person delivering the sermon) stated that it was not right that Islam was the target of abuse. He said some will go out of their way to disrespect Islam. He said the Muslim community demands an apology, and (thankfully) he called on Muslims to be peaceful and forgiving.


Some Muslims may say that public opinion does not matter when it comes to Islam. Yet if one examines the life of the prophet Muhammad, one would conclude that he carefully considered public opinion. When he negotiated a treaty with Arabs who were at war with him, he did not insist that his title as "prophet" be placed in the document (this act horrified his companions, to the point where they thought it was sacrilege). Instead, he had his name written as simply Muhammad, the son of Abdulla. This placated his enemy and was essential to successfully concluding the treaty, which gave the Muslims an extended period of peace that allowed them to publicize Islam. In fact, the opportunity the treaty created may be responsible for Islam's existence.

Interesting.. read the whole article for more... I would specially love some of my muslim readers to comment.

Love and Luck,

Friday, February 03, 2006

Appeal to Support the cause of new IITs

Dear Readers,
Some of you are from ITBHU, some from the IITs, some from the 7 institutes that are in the new-IIT race, and some from others. It is my strong request to all of you to read through the following, for my sake, and support the new IIT petition.

The petition is here, for those who want to open it in a new window/tab while reading the following.

The story so far...
As we all know, some months ago, the Indian government decided to create some new IITs. Since then, a lot of deliberation has gone in this and a committee consisting of leading academicians shortlisted 7 institutes for possible conversion to IITs.

The committee then visited all the institutes and has prepared a report-card of all the institues and will be submitting it to the MHRD soon. The idea is NOT to convert ALL institutes to IIT (if that was so, then this process of evaluation was not necessary!). Instead, depending on the worthiness of the institute, it will be either be converted to an IIT or be put on an IIT-track whereby its progress will be evaluated after some more time to re-evaluate its worthiness of being an IIT.

Why is it important to sign?
Well, there are various reasons.
1. We need more IITians. Read the paragraph in the petition where the Chinese premier talks about how China will have 100 IIT-like institutions in the next few years.
2. Only the institutes that pass the test should be converted, and they should be converted for sure. This will encourage the others to come up to speed and improve their infrastructure with the grants given.
3. Many deserving institutes that were not considered in this round will see the open-ness of the government to convert deserving institutes as an opportunity to strengthen their case and fight their case strongly, thus giving us better engineering colleges.
4. Last but not the least, the decision will be taken by the goverment in the coming week, and this is the time to act!

So dear friends, thanks for reading till here. I strongly suggest you to sign the petition, and ask all your friends to do so.

I am open to discussion, and can be reached at

Love and Luck,

Disclaimer: I am an alumnus of ITBHU, one of the 7 institues proposed to be converted to IIT.

Interesting reads: (Dataquest Ranking of Engg Schools) (IAS Assessment of Research Output) (The New IIT Process) (IT-BHU's Turn?)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Saraswati Puja

Today is Vasant Panchami, the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha. It is important to me in many ways.

Firstly, it is Saraswati Puja, when Hindus pray to the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. More about that here and here.

Interesting facts:
However, the most significant aspect of this day is that children are taught their first words on this day, for it is considered an auspicious day to begin how to read and write.

I still remember writing the first character on the thaali full of rice grains :-).

Surprisingly, Vasant Panchami is the second most important festival in the Pakistani city of Lahore. Despite being a Hindu festival, it is still celebrated in Lahore with the same enthusiasm that was evident in the pre-partition times.

Interesting, very interesting... can someone confirm this?

Secondly, this is the day when Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya laid the foundation of my beloved Banaras Hindu University, home of ITBHU.

I wish you all a very wisdom-filled Vasant Panchami/Saraswati Puja.

And now, back to work...
Love and Luck,

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

[Nearly] There

The quals presentation went fine, but there is more to be done.
The professors were not very clear about the details of my work... so I have one week to prepare a 5-page document explaining in details my assumptions, inputs, outputs and problem statement, and formally describe my early results... and that is when I will be done completely.

That's it for now.. back to work.

And yes, thanks for all the good wishes.