Fedal: A battle of old war horses

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Saurabh Kumar Jha, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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Fedal popularly known as Roger federer and Rafael Nadal. Roger is called as the greatest Tennis player of all time whereas Rafael Nadal is known as greatest clay court player of all time. Together they have won 32 grand slam titles. As far as their rivalry is concerned they have played 35 matches and 19 of the games have decided big finals. This was a highly anticipated grand slam final as Aus open title was on line and history was about to welcome the modern tennis greats.

Everybody knew that Roger was destined to break the all time record of Pete Sampras. Eventually the results were in favour of Roger and he was able to defeat Rafa but the game reach the anticipated height. The well fought battle between the two legends with many nerve wrecking moments lately swung in favour of Roger with score line 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

But everything is not about result, it is not about Tennis: it is about the game as a whole. It is about Two old war horses with mutual admiration for each other and their class trying to better each other on many occasions in past. It is not about supporting one guy over the other. This is all about supporting a player. Despite Federer turning 36 this year and Nadal 31, and as both took several months off last year to recover from injury, fans may see few more clash between the sport’s greatest and most popular male players.

Startup India Initiative: Stringent Eligibility Norms

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Akanksha Shrivastava, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Startup India Initiative launched by the government last year which intended to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and Startups in the country leading to sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities. Under this initiative, a startup can do self-registration through a mobile app, get exempted from environment and labour laws inspections, get their patents examined fast at 80% reduction in the patent registration fee, also the most attractive benefit is getting income tax exemption for 3 years. Another added advantage of having tax breaks is that it increases the attractiveness of a company for investors.

For a startup to avail these benefits it has to fulfill eligibility criteria such as being a private limited partnership or firm, and should not be more than 5 years of age with turnover not exceeding Rs. 25 Crore. Startups have to qualify as innovative for which they have to furnish letters of recommendation from government-approved startup incubators or furnish patents granted by the Indian Patent and Trademark Office. Therefore a startup with an undifferentiated product or service or one that is not a significant improvement over existing ones in the market will not qualify.

According to research firm Tracxn, only 522 out of about 1425 companies that sought certification under Startup India Initiative have been approved. Most of the rejections were because the companies were unable to secure certifications declaring them to be innovative businesses. Some companies are not able to find the incubator that specialises in the technology they are working in to get the certification. Such issues should be addressed immediately by the government and it should work towards making eligibility criteria more flexible without compromising on the authenticity as the sole motive of this initiative is to help in fostering the growth of startups and allowing them to focus on their core business without worrying about regulatory burden.

 

Train Derailment: Negligence of Indian Railways

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Akanksha Shrivastava, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The sheer negligence on the part of Indian Railways continues as we hear the news of train derailment third time in the last two months, the latest being the Hirakhand Express derailment. The reason for the recent derailment is not known which will unveil as the investigation progresses, however in the case of Indore-Patna Express and Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailments rail fracture has been suspected as a cause. Factors responsible for rail fracture are poor track maintenance including lack of proper fittings and ballast on the railway lines.

In most of the derailments cases, casualties are high due to an absence of modern Linke Holfmann Bush (LHB) coaches in the train. These coaches can reduce damage as they have more in-built safety features which enable to absorb shock and impact of derailment more effectively. The lack of infrastructure for the safety of the people and evident failure in maintaining the safety standards of the track points makes it imperative to revisit current operations of Indian railways before dreaming of running bullet trains. A committee should be set up to analyse these derailment cases and ensure that staffs which showed laxity towards maintaining the tracks are penalised so that such rail disaster leading to loss of lives are not repeated.

Such accidents have also brought into question the money spent on asset maintenance, including track renewal and if the railways don’t scrutinise its functioning then the investment of $137 billion pledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over five years to modernise the crumbling railways may not yield expected results.

Roger Federer – peRFection personified!

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Himanshi Choudhary, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


 

Fairy tales are for real!

For someone who isn’t even too much into sports, it was an incredible moment, which transcended common logic and belief. On the evening of 29th January, a 35 year-young Roger Federer had just won his 18th Grand Slam at Melbourne, beating his biggest nemesis Rafael Nadal in a thrilling 5-setter. This was an awe-inspiring achievement especially in an individual sport like tennis, where players often reach their twilight years as they touch the age of 30.

For 5 years, millions of his fans have waited with bated breath for No.18 over 5 semi-finals and 3 final Grand Slam appearances. His shot making coupled with magical elegance always gave us that hope even though it seemed irrational. The grace and finesse in his movement on the court have always made us believe that God fabricated him with utmost prudence. Federer spells magic with his Wilson wand every time he’s on the tennis court. No wonder he’s the brand ambassador for brands like Rolex, which positions itself as a luxurious, classy and perfect timekeeper or a Nike which picks out the best athletes in the world of sport. His off-court exploits aren’t few as well. He has his own Roger Federer foundation to help disadvantaged children and to promote their access to education and sports. He was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2006. For a figure, so popular, larger than life, his humility and modesty (a rarity in modern day sport) is a testimony to the kind of human being he is. His peers have voted him Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for a record 12 years.

As with any other player, Federer boasts of a cool, supportive entourage. Outside the sport even, he’s so cool that he has produced 2 sets of adorable identical twins with Mirka, his wife. He is the perfect definition of “perfect”!

“The more you love, the harder you play”

The love for the sport has made him what he is now. It is difficult to imagine the sport without him. It is difficult to stop fangirling over him. It will be difficult to get over him.

Roger Federer is unquestionably the undisputed G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time).

Art Attack: Bhansali Edition

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Saad Khwaja, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Alas! Times are not good for any figure of speech or expression – be it humour, satire, or art. People have dumbed themselves down to a point where they only understand polarization and the game of binaries oscillating between two ideological extremes. You are either a patriot or a traitor; “sickular” or a “bhakt”; with us or against us. There is almost no scope of meaningful conversation where ideas can earnestly be exchanged, no patience to hear the other side out.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a National Award winning filmmaker who has made a sizeable contribution to modern Indian cinema with movies such as Devdas and Black, was attacked by members of the Karni Sena, a local political outfit that claims to protect the interests of the Rajputs. Alleging that there were objectionable scenes between two of the characters in the movie being shot, the group stormed the set and proceeded to rough up Bhansali and the crew, and vandalise the film equipment. The spokesperson of Karni Sena refused to apologise, justifying the attack stating that they would not tolerate distortion of history.

Such groups of miscreants, self-proclaimed moral enforcers, have had their share of attention – taking the law into their own hands and handing out their definition of justice to the “wrongdoers”. It is understandable that some such groups do not understand the intricacies of art and difference of opinion, but what is disturbing is the reaction of a large proportion of the educated masses to this. Without even having knowledge of the script or the end product, a majority of people on various media platforms have sided with the Karni Sena, claiming that Bhansali deserved it because his movie might offend their cultural and communal sensibilities. The Home Minister of the state condemned the violence, but at the same time mentioned that the Sena’s anger was natural.

Such incidents need to be dealt with more objectively, both by the authorities and the public. It is when people lose empathy, refuse to let go of their myopic vision and lose objectivity in their arguments and actions, that we as a people truly lose out.

Google Lunar XPRIZE – Team Indus Making India Proud

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Subhajit Sengupta, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) is a space competition being by XPRIZE with tech-giant Google being its principal sponsor. The challenge invites privately funded spaceflight teams to achieve the goal of becoming the first to land a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the Moon. After landing, the craft should travel 500 meters, and transmit back high-definition video and images. The winner can bag a purse of USD 20 million.

Recently, the organizers have announced the names of five finalists which includes Team Indus from India. SpaceIL from Israel, Moon Express based in the United States, International Synergy Moon and Japan-based Hakuto complete the line-up of the finalists. The teams will be aiming to launch their missions by the end of 2017. Participation of private players and corporate is a big boost for space technology. Multiple independent research and development projects are being carried out worldwide resulting in lesser reliance on organizations like NASA for space exploration projects. Promoting a healthy competition is also essential in improvement of space technologies and funding from various corporate giants are ensuring that there are no hurdles in the path of technological advancements.

Inclusion of Team Indus from India among the finalists is a matter of pride for all Indians. The team is based in Bangalore and will be using PSLV-XL launch vehicle of ISRO to launch their craft. The success of this team can be an immense boost to Indian space exploration interests and can encourage more Indian companies to take initiatives. Moreover, it can inspire a generation of Indians to consider careers in science and technology. Thus, success of Team Indus is indeed very much essential for India.

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