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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 07:22

Negotiating the oceans

A sector which has in last few years acquired significant escalation of governmental attention for reasons ranging from development to defense is the ‘ocean’. Like everything else this process has its good, the bad and the ugly.The good thing about the attention to the oceans is that as a resource, over the years in India, it has been underworked and developed with erratic inconsistency. Even intellectual attention has been paid to it in an erratic manner. As far back as 1995 the DPR of IIM Kojikhode talked of ‘The Indian Ocean Rim’ as a strategic thrust area of the Institute-in-the-offing. When matters stated rolling the then Chairman deemed it ‘premature’. That however, is another story.That there is now the scope of turning things around, this is a good thing. Consistent erratic approach is dangerous, inconsistent erraticism gives a potential and a window for intervention. The intervention between erratic actions requires sober contemplation on how the potential can be harnessed. This applies to ocean resources, also. From deep sea mining and coral preservation to analyzing life at the shallow levels of the sea, there is so much work to do. The filed is literally deep and dramatically wide. The limits are…
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 06:12

A world being reborn

Dr. Vinayshil Gautam FRAS (London) The world is supposed to be in a turmoil it may or may not be an accurate representation of reality. The truth of the matter is this planet is under transition in an un-presented manner, climate is changing in a basics search for equilibrium. It has reached a state where even art is beginning to replicate this transition. There is a world being reborn. The scientists and politicians were locked in wrestling in Paris with complexities of climate change. The New York Times reported in its feature on art which said that in Miami, and artist, Lars Jan, is inviting people to view climate change in a way that he say makes people “feel climate change in their guts rather than just understand it”. Miami seemed the fit city to spotlight the delicate equilibrium between climate change, water and everyday life. For those who tuned in late, it may be worth mentioning that Miami Beach across the cause-way is more vulnerable to sea level rise then almost any other place in USA.When it happens road must be raised, water pump updated, homes built high of the ground, sewage plant safe guarded and estuaries be made…
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 21:11

From the oceans

Vinayshil Gautam The times are ripe for re-examining the national script of social discourse. Unquestionably ‘secularism’ as a theme, has been a front runner in the last 7 decades of Indian evolution. This is understandable even though a dubious commentary on what stimulates emotional energy, in India. There, also, has been talk on ‘development’, in various other, shapes and sizes. There have been periods of emphasis from the glorification of the soviet model to that of the capitalistic market economy. On July 7, a noble laureate of Indian origin was reported to be pleading for a market oriented economy with a socially oriented service sector! Irrespective of these permutations and combinations there is, an almost universal discontent with the results of such developments. The media, whether print or electronic still displays a high degree of emphasis on that which sensationalizes. Murder, rape, embezzlement and wrong doings of those seen as powerful invite large readership and viewership. It is another matter that when action is required, few have appetite to do anything about it. It is the ritualization of such aberrations which has dulled the sensitivity. The present government rode to power on hope. While receding, hope has still not faded.…
Few academic institutions and consultancy firms have any expertise in the Indian Ocean region. This needs to change Delhi University had set up a Department for Africa studies several decades ago. Periodically, whenever coastal tornadoes strike, we are reminded of the significance of ocean studies. Goa has a well-established institute dealing with oceanography. Visakhapatnam has an institute for ocean studies as well. The examples can be multiplied in those cases wherein the Union or State Government has provided funds for such study. However, it takes the visit of a Prime Minister to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka to put the Indian Ocean on the map of thought leaders in this country. As chairman of the consulting team that was preparing a detailed project report for the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, this writer had visualised the institution as a center for Indian Ocean studies. Unfortunately, the first chairman of the IIM(K) assured me that the institute would not “waste” time on such studies. IIM(K) had to be another outlet of the IIM franchise, and that’s about all that mattered. The message is simple: Various efforts have been made with reference to oceans over a century. The list can be extended.…
Full marks to the Modi Government for remembering India’s naval prowess, which has been ignored in the modern age There comes a time in the life of a nation, when it wants to reach out for a new paradigm, a new leader and a new set of tools. Some do it by going back to the heritage basket to re-invent and customise what has been practised over millennia to suit the current requirement, or re-craft the ongoing to look to the future, or else to draw upon parallel experience and experiments around the world to see what works for a particular context. Other options are also available. This does not necessarily mean a change in leadership, persona or the fundamentals, though clearly, all this may follow or, indeed, if it happens, may even help. India is passing through such a stage. There has been a drastic change in the composition of national leadership, even though some of the messages are mixed. It’s difficult to figure out how the changes will ultimately shape up. Commenting on the possibilities of Indian independence in the 1930s of the last century, British political leader George Lansbury had said that India was running a real…
Vinayshil Gautam Ph D; FRAS (London) (Founder Director; IIM-K; First Head, Management Dept , IIT-D; Sr Adviser, KPMG) Chairman, DK International Foundation During From the last quarter of the eighteenth century through the nineteenth century, for much of West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, and Far East in particular and for the world trade in general, London was the metropolises of the whole complex of ports globally. Britain controlled – Bay of Biscay, Gibraltar, Port Saeed, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Rangoon, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The griddle of control was total. This helped Britain in several ways. London became the entrepo port of sorts. This was not only for minerals and metals in general but for commercial items of value to Europe also. The mercantilistprinciple of trade which UK pursued, underwent dramatic change after the American declaration of independence 1776. Interestingly American ships towards the end of 18thcentury were playing a significant roleacross the Atlantic rim. However, after acquiring independence, United states as an entity noted that European states were pursuing an exclusive policy of commerce so far as American ships and the European colonies was concerned. It was natural, therefore, for American shippers to look for new and different…
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 22:04

Towards Integrated Ocean Development

Vinayshil Gautam Delhi University had setup a Department of African studies several decades ago. Periodically whenever coastal tornado strikes we are reminded of the significance of Ocean studies. Goa has a well-established institute dealing with oceanography. Vishakhapatnam has its institute of Ocean studies. The examples can be multiplied in many cases the central/ state government have provided the funds. However it takes the visit of a Prime Minister to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka to put Indian Ocean on the map of Indian thought leaders. I recall, as Chairman of the consulting team for doing the DPR of IIM Khojikode , I had visualized IIMK ,also growing as a center for Indian Ocean Rim studies. The first Chairman of the institute insured that IIMK did not “waste” time on any such things. IIMK had to be another IIM and that’s about all! The message is simple: various efforts have been made with reference to oceans over a century. The list can be extended .The efforts of ICAR through its fisheries studies, is case in point. The notable institutions spawned by ICAR in this regard would be CMRFI and CEFI Kochi and the fisheries related University in Mumbai. Over a decade…
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 21:47

Towards the oceans

Vinayshil Gautam There comes a time in the lifes of nations when they reach out for a new paradigm, a new leadership and a new set of tools. Some of them require going back to the heritage basket to reinvent and customize what has been practiced over millennia, to suit the current requirements or to re-craft the on going to look to the future or else to draw upon parallel experience and experiments around the world to see what works for a particular context. Other options are available. This does not necessarily mean a change in leadership, persona or the fundamentals, though clearly all this may follow or indeed if it happens, may even help. India is passing through such a stage. There has been a drastic change in the composition of national leadership even though some of the massages are mixed. It’s difficult to figure out how the changes will ultimately shape up. Commenting on the possibilities of Indian independence in the thirties of the last century Lansbury had said that India was running a real danger of simply replacing the gora-sahibs with the brown-sahibs. He was anticipating nearly sixty years of post-independence future of India. If one looks…
Monday, 16 March 2015 23:23

Across the Ocean

From the Desk of the Honorary Editor The recent visit of the Prime Minister across the Indian Ocean islands is a game changer for Business, International Relationships and Resource Management. The occasion has to be seized for its full impact and the leadership has to be with research institutions, brain trusts and consultancy firms. Here is an opportunity which has few equals for India’s neighborhood relations. Some would recall how another Prime Minister – Rajiv Gandhi in the 80s renamed the Union department of education as Department of Human Resources Development and almost overnight in the corporate sector, the departments of personnel repainted themselves as Departments of Human Resources Development! The change was symbolic but in the long run proved seminal. India remains a country of political elites. The academic elite, artistic elite, literary elite and more, matter only when the political elite smiles at it. Any, Prime Minister, unless, he is a silent one, symbolizes the general will of the people. The thinkers, the academics, the consultants have the responsibility of lending their paraphrase to his policy initiatives, on merit. The business opportunities and the economic growth would then follow. A growth theory is incomplete if it does not…