Search This Blog


Sunday, June 4, 2017

mudslide in Sri Lanka kills people ~ what is AOG ?

Many of us do not really appreciate the good things in life ~ and would understand the calamities, only when we see them for real ~ worser still, if one were to face them !!

In Insurance parlance, one would often come across ‘Act of God’ [what will it be for atheists ?]  ~ it could be defined as natural disaster outside human control, such as an earthquake, flood, cyclone  or tsunami, for which persons are not  responsible.  An Act of God may amount to an exception or  an "insured peril" in an insurance policy.  This phrase would generally ring an alarm bell, making one think of natural disasters like :   hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hail, or floods. However,  what it can include  can be fuzzier than most people realize.  A fire arising out of lightning would fall under this .. ..

In hilly areas and in US, landslides  occur  and can be caused by a variety of factors including earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, fire and by human modification of land. Landslides can occur quickly, often with little notice and the best way to prepare is to stay informed about changes in and around your home that could signal that a landslide is likely to occur.

In a landslide, masses of rock, earth or debris move down a slope. Debris and mud flows are rivers of rock, earth, and other debris saturated with water. They develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground, during heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt, changing the earth into a flowing river of mud or “slurry.” They can flow rapidly, striking with little or no warning at avalanche speeds. They also can travel several miles from their source, growing in size as they pick up trees, boulders, cars and other materials.  Landslide problems can be caused by land mismanagement too, particularly in mountain, canyon and coastal regions. In areas burned by forest and brush fires, a lower threshold of precipitation may initiate landslides.

What we have not experienced and not much read is ‘mud slide’ – a  mudflow   is a form of mass wasting involving "very rapid to extremely rapid surging flow" of debris that has become partially or fully liquified by the addition of significant amounts of water to the source material.  Mudflows contain a significant proportion of clay, which makes them more fluid than debris flows; thus, they are able to travel farther and across lower slope angles.  Mudflows are often called mudslides, a term applied indiscriminately by the mass media to a variety of mass wasting events. We are not talking of the mudflows arising from outbursts of volcanoes.

In neighbouring Srilanka, mudflow is wreaking havoc.  Sri Lanka has appealed for outside help as the death toll from floods and mudslides on Saturday rose to 100 with 99 others missing. The Disaster Management Center states that  more than 2,900 people have been displaced.  reports that  military used large armored vehicles and boats to transport people to safety. But some remained trapped in interior villages where boats have been unable to reach. At an intersection close to Agalawatte, 98 kilometers (60 miles) south of Colombo, the capital, some deaths were reported, awaiting boats to be taken to a temple where displaced people have taken refuge.

Residents of Wehangalla village near Agalawatte were marooned as floodwaters swamped most of the buildings up to the roof. They had fled to higher terrain but four people among them died in a mudslide and three others are missing. They complained that government aid still had not reached the area and they were surviving on food provided by those in nearby villagers.

The Sri Lankan government appealed to the United Nations as well as other countries for help with rescue and relief measures. Mudslides have become common during the monsoon season in the tropical Indian Ocean island as land has been heavily deforested to grow export crops such as tea and rubber. Last May, a massive landslide killed more than 100 people in central Sri Lanka.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th May 2017.

Super Cop KPS Gill is no more !! - Tributes ..

Every year the Republic Day Parade attracts people for sure .. .. .. do you know your local Police Inspector ?  For sure, in rotation you could see a young brave Officer in uniform, and if you are following, you might see him land up in higher posts, achieving something for the State.

This classic image of a fearless Indian soldier imbued with the almost holy duty of love and sacrifice for his motherland has long been celebrated in our popular culture.  ~ and if you are attach a Name and image to that – it could easily be – KPS Gill [the one whom I admire most is Mr K Vijayakumar IPS] - One living figure that fits this picture, many would say, has to be KPS Gill. Towering at 6 feet, armed with a thick Maharaja moustache, a piercing pair of eyes and a mug that rarely breaks into a smile while in uniform can be an ideal image of a hero for many. And with a body of work that articulates valour, leadership and awe from his subordinates, it is all the more a model.  IN the early 1970s, as crowds spilled out of Guwahati soccer matches, fans would often be greeted by the sight of an imposing, 6-foot Sikh officer, his lathi in hand, the star and Ashok Chakra on his epaulette identifying him as the city’s Superintendent of Police. If brawls broke out, the officer’s escort would round on the first man at hand, and a fearsome screaming would follow. “The first man at hand”, recalls one of Gill’s colleagues. 

Kanwar Pal Singh Gill is no more !!   The Super Cop, served twice as Director General of Police (DGP) for the state of Punjab, India, where he is credited with having brought the Punjab insurgency under control.  Gill was an author, editor, speaker, consultant on counter-terrorism, president of the Institute for Conflict Management and president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). He received a Padma Shri award, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in 1989 for his work in the civil service. [ if you search the list you will see many actors / actresses in the list of Padma award – how they share the award with acclaimed men like Gill and Scientists is no mystery !!]

Apart from keeping militancy at bay, Gill had successfully handled two hijacking incidents at the same tarmac in Amritsar in 1993.  A Delhi-Srinagar Indian Airlines flight 427  was hijacked by Hizbul Mujahedeen hijacker Syed Jalaluddin, who  held a marathon six-hour negotiation; meantime, six helicopters ferried NSG team that surrounded the plane. Gill’s men used silent pistol to silence the militant armed with revolver and grenades  and he was the only one killed, all passengers safe.   
Kunwar Pal Singh Gill, who passed away at 82 on Friday morning in New Delhi after battling kidney and heart disease for several years, earned a national reputation for stamping out the Khalistan insurgency at a time when many had given up Punjab as lost. His colleagues in the Indian Police Service, recalled an officer with an exceptional talent for leadership during crisis, and a willingness to experiment with radical new strategies to fight terrorism.

“He was honest to core where money was concerned, and a man of immense courage, the courage of a lion,” recalled E N Rammohan, former Director General of the Border Security Force who served under Gill for the first time in 1969.  Gill’s major successes included commanding Operation Black Thunder in 1988 — an operation which demonstrated terrorists could have been flushed out of the Golden Temple in 1984 without massive loss of life, and its devastating political fallout.

Gill was, however, removed by Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar Singh’s government, in a bid to facilitate negotiations with Khalistan groups.  He had brought in fresh ideas including armoured vehicles of a different kind.  Faced with terrorists hiding in high sugarcane fields, which made locating them dangerous business, Gill’s in-house research unit invented the armoured tractor, a crude but effective armoured vehicle that could drive into the slushy fields. Forensic tools and jammers were built from scrap. Exceptional leadership, contemporaries say, was Gill’s most important skill. Gill’s real contribution, was, experts believe, to break one of the most hallowed principles of Indian counter-insurgency — that military-led operations, involving large-force saturation of the countryside was the best way to address challenges to the state. Instead, he pioneered a new doctrine, which involved light-footprint offensive operations, based on intelligence-led developed by local police stations.

A book on him by Rahul Chandran titled ‘KPS Gill : The Paramount Cop’ hit the stands.  Its intro reads :  In 1860, when the civil war was going on in USA, General Ulysses S. Grant under the President Abraham Lincoln, played a major role in preserving the Union, the United States of America. Americans elected Grant as President of America. In 1990s, The Paramount Cop, KPS Gill, played a similar role in preserving the Union of India. He is the Ulysses S. Grant of India. Do we Indians remember him? Gill is epitome of extreme honesty, unwavering courage, unbeatable intelligence and uncompromising patriotism.

Long live Gill, Gill is no more !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th May 2017.

Pic and news credit : New Indian Express.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

the all new (or is it vintage) Hindu Primary School ~ Triplicane

School days are pleasant days – the days when we were young and unbiased in thoughts.

The name  * Thiru Allikkeni * (meaning the sacred pond of lily)   pronounced Thiruvallikkeni  by natural laws of linguistics, was crudely rolled and twisted out of shape by the English tongue as Triplicane.  It is a place where religion, nationalistic fervour, patriotism, sports, education and the individual dignity have interspersed for the benefit of the State and the larger interests of the Nation.  A peep in to the past – history is imperative to understand the pristine glory of this puranic place.    Triplicane houses some best historic educational institutions driving home the point of scholastic excellence for decades.  There is Presidency College (probably one of the first colleges in the province);  Hindu High School, Kellet High School, NK Thirumalachariar school for Boys & Girls, Lady Willington School to name a few.

Those who have been in and have  seen Triplicane,  would  never miss that imposing [Red / Saffron] structure at 149 Big Street, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005.

                      A landmark by itself – an imposing structure - bricks and saffron coloured walls with Indo-sarsenic architecture has inspired many and created many worthy students.  Hindu High School founded as Dravida Patasala for Tamil boys which later amalgamated with The Hindu Andhra Balura Patasala for Telegu boys that were in existence in 1852. In 1860 they were amalgamated as The Triplicane Andhra Dravida Balura Patasala and in 1898 renamed “ The Hindu High School”.  It has been a great learning  centre producing eminent personalities and transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people into responsible citizens for the cause of nature building.   The school was for long, considered as one of the best schools in the Madras Presidency and was once the feeder school to Presidency College, another institute of formidable repute of yore.

Triplicane has long been a centre of culture and learning and pioneer in cooperation and social work. It is no wonder, therefore,that the residents of the locality in the forties and fifties of the last century took to starting two small school, one for Tamil boys and the other for Telugu boys.  Reportedly the Tamil school had a strength of 18 boys at the start and the subjects taught were Kural, naidatham, Nanool Kandigai and Nigandoo; History, Geography and Arithmetic were also taught. English also was taught to those who desired it. Sri: . Valliumbalavathiar; Krishnaswamy lyengar;  P.Arunachala Naicker; Venkateseshiah &  R.Newton were the first 5 Headmasters of this great institution.

It is my  good fortune that I studied in this glorious edifice.  I studied there from 6th  standard till 12th  Standard (the maximum span then) – that is now set to change ! The academic year 1979-80 was the Second batch of +2.  As you would recall, earlier the school curriculum was that students would study upto 11 Standards in Schools.  The Secondary School Leaving Examination (popularly known as SSLC) – a Government examination conducted commonly for all schools would be taken up  on 11th  standard.  Those who were successful went to Colleges for joining what was known as PUC and then Graduation.  In 1978-79 – the system underwent a major change – it became 10 + 2.  The Public examination was to be conducted for the X Standard and then students would study specified streams : Science, Commerce and Vocational for 2 years before joining college for Under Graudation.  Thus those of us who passed out SSCL (X) in 1979 were the second batch. 

To our new +2,  we proudly went to classes wearing a full khaki pant and white shirt.  The next year -  it became White and white and rest is history. 

The magnificent edifice of the School in that ‘Brick Red’ is imposing ! – there is the Main building, one opposite to the building that housed the Lab and +2 those days and then the yellow building abutting the Stage ground.  The year 2017 is another watershed year, as it might turn out to be !!

From this year (Academic 2017 – 18), the Hindu High School Management has decided to start a Primary School [L Kg to 5th Standard] under the same management.  This would function in the new building opposite to that great landmark building.   Passing by that great building, one stopped to read the board again, and continue walking with hopes that many young children would by initiated to good education and becoming future great citizens.

Wishing our School all success and glory.

~ ever loving  (ex)student – S. Sampathkumar

26th May 2017.

Mumbai CST - Karmali Tejas Superfast train to be inaugurated tomorrow

Karmali, also known as Carambolim, is one of the prominent villages of Goa situated in the Tiswadi taluk of North Goa District. The village has a rich history and is renowned for its wet lands and churches. Panaji, the state capital, is 13 km west of Karmali.

This place is in news – being connected to Mumbai by Train - Mumbai CST - Karmali Tejas Express. The train has 5 halts, though there are  76 intermediate Stations between Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Karmali. Indian Railways is introducing  high speed, air-conditioned Tejas Express (Train No 22119/22120) between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai and Karmali for the first time. Tejas Express is a state of the art train capable of running at the speed of 200 kmph with ultra modern amenities run between Mumbai and Karmali (5 days a week during Non-monsoon period and 3 days a week during monsoon period).

Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Railway Minister  will flag-off Train No. 22119 Mumbai CST-Karmali Tejas Superfast as Inaugural Special 02119 from Mumbai CST on 22/05/2017 (Monday) at 15.25 hrs via Video conferencing from Swami Narayan Sabhagruh, Dadar. The train will reach Karmali at 00:35 hrs on next day.  Karmali railway station is the third station (after Pernem and Tivim) within Goa, when entering from the north, under the jurisdiction of Konkan Railway. Karmali railway station is closest railway station to the State capital Panjim or Panaji, which is the administrative capital of Goa, and is located in the central part of Goa.

Mr. Prabhu had earlier inspected the rake in Delhi. During his Budget speech in 2016, he had said Tejas would "showcase the future of travelling by trains in India." The Tejas Express is quipped with  “Lazy Boy” type recliners, USB charging ports, LED TVs at the back of the seats, coffee vending machines, CCTV cameras and GPS-based information displays.  According to the fare chart released by the railways on Saturday, passengers will  pay almost three times more than what they pay for normal trains to reach Karmali in the first air-conditioned compartment and chair-car of Tejas Express. The high-speed rake is capable of running at the speed of 200 kmph but due to track constraints will run at 160 kmph.

Some reports state that a  day before Tejas Express will embark on its maiden journey from Mumbai to Goa, unidentified persons damaged the windows of the Indian Railways' premium train. The windows, made of glass, were found cracked after the train arrived in Mumbai from Delhi, news agency ANI reported on Sunday.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st May 2017.

Pro Kabbadi league 2017 ~ auction is on !!

Nitin Tomar who played for Puneri Paltan is under hammer now !  ~ and is bought for 93 lakhs !!

Professionals get more money ! ..  in this age of commercialism, everyone tries to maximize their revenues, things are outsourced and experts command a premium ! ~ but do they pay for their mistakes or somebody else does !!!! To come under the hammer’ or ‘fall under the hammer’ are phrases which refers to something being auctioned.  The word "auction" is derived from the Latin augeō which means "I increase" or "I augment".   I had posted more than a couple of times on ‘Richard Madley’  .. the man conducting IPL player auction.  Richard Madley, who lives in Biddestone and works for Dreweatts in Bristol,  did it in 2008 for Indian Premier League, when 8 teams spent over $40 million in eight hours to ‘own’ 75 best cricket players in the world;  he was back in 2011; 2012 and now again in Feb 2014 at Bangalore.   Crores exchanged and some went for astronomical prices.  

In some ways,  it is easy for Richard Madley  - unlike many other auctions, he need not justify the base price or speak on the merit of what was on sale.  It is not the intrinsic value but the demand for the property on sale that determines the price in Auction.  There are various ways in this modern World – the IPL player auction occurs in a plush atmosphere but in somewhat antiquated fashion. The buyers –  representatives of IPL franchisees sit in round tables and raise a paddle indicating their bid… the amount goes incremental, until there is a single buyer…. Simple !!

Heard of Bid & Hammer - established in 2007 by Maher Dadha (industrialist, art collector and also publisher of the book ‘Views of India – Art of the British Raj’) and his sons Ankush Dadha & Apoorva Dadha along with Charu Sharma  &many  others, Bid & Hammer is an auction house.   Its web claims that  when the burgeoning Indian auction market was synonymous with Indian paintings, Bid & Hammer started with the objective of developing the Indian art and auction market beyond paintings by introducing the concept of generalist as well as specialist auctions.

They, represented by Bob Hayton is on media now.  Bob Hayton is a professionally qualified Auctioneer and Valuer with more than 30 years standing, well known for his work in the field of Fine Arts and Chattels within the UK.

Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) (officially known as the Vivo Pro Kabaddi for sponsorship reasons) is the  professional kabaddi league in India, based on the format of the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament.  It is an initiative of Mashal Sports.Pro Kabbadi has a solid band of viewership.   VIVO Pro Kabaddi has become India’s biggest sports league with the inclusion of four new teams that will participate in the league from Season 5 onwards due to be played in July – October this year. The announcement of the four new team owners was made by Mashal Sports, organizer and administrator of the league and its parent organization STAR India.

The four new franchises announced by Mashal Sports represent some of the leading corporate institutions in India, including prominent owners of teams in the ongoing Indian Premier League as well as the I-League. The new geographies for VIVO Pro Kabaddi Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have been primarily chosen for their high affinity towards Kabaddi with massive fan bases, significant on-ground presence of the sport, and potential commercial value to sponsors and advertisers.

Pro Kabaddi League enters its fifth edition when it begins in July 2017 and the first step towards it will be the Auction. Part of the pool for the Auction are 131 new young players, after seven players were retained by the teams. The auction for the fifth edition of PKL 2017  is now on at  New Delhi with over 400 players set to participate in the fifth season. Each franchise will be allowed to buy 18-25 players to form a team and will consist of 2 to 4 overseas players. 60+ international players from 16 countries will go under the hammer.

Sachin Tendulkar it seems is on an entrepreneurship drive as he has now invested in the sport of kabaddi too. The cricket maestro is among the new owners of four new franchises of the hugely popular Pro Kabaddi League, which will hold its fifth season from July to October. Tendulkar will jointly own the yet-to-be named Tamil Nadu franchise along with serial entrepreneur N. Prasad. The yet-to-be named new franchises would operate under Iquest Enterprises Pvt Ltd (Consortium) for Tamil Nadu.   

Now in the auction : Nitin Tomar sold to team UP for Rs 93 lakh
CPO Surjeet Singh sold to team Haryana for Rs 42.5 lakh
Shabeer Bappu sold to U-Mumba for Rs 45 lakh
Ajay sold to Bengaluru Bulls for Rs 48.5 lakh
Rajesh Mondal sold to Puneri Paltan for Rs 42 lakh
Kashiling Adake sold to U-Mumba for Rs 48 lakh
Monu Goyat sold to Patna Pirates for Rs 44.5 lakh
Jasvir Singh sold to Jaipur Pink Panthers for Rs 51 lakh
Amit Hooda sold to team Tamil Nadu for Rs 63 lakh
Surjeet Singh sold to Bengal Warriors for Rs 73 lakh
Sachin Shingade sold to Patna Pirates for Rs 42.5 lakh
Rakesh Kumar sold to Telugu Titans for Rs 45 lakh
Ran Singh sold to Bengaluru Bulls for Rs 47.5 lakh.

The auction is now continuing !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd May 2017.

MI wins IPL 2017 ~ Elina Svitolina wins Italy open

Much was to happen at Rajiv Gandhi International stadium at Uppal, Hyderabad on 21st May 2017 – IPL 10 finals – on that fateful day when the former PM was assassinated cruelly 26 years ago !

A half-controlled square-cut from Dhoni sped between backward point and short third man, and two balls later Smith reverse-swiped Krunal for six. Fourteen came off that over, and Rising Pune seemed to be back on track.  A small target of 130 against an attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya,  Karn Sharma, ageing Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson, only 3 wickets lost in 19 overs – a last ball finish, not exactly the ingredients to glory.    It’s not about how you start things, but how you finish it, said  –  Mahela Jayawardene, MI Coach. 

Away, the Italian Open (also known by its sponsored name Internazionali BNL d'Italia) is an annual tennis tournament held in Rome, Italy. It is one of the most prestigious red clay tennis tournaments in the world after the French Open.  World number two Novak Djokovic said Andre Agassi will be his new coach after the Serb lost in the Italian Open final to Alexander Zverev. The 12-time Grand Slam winner parted company with his entire coaching team earlier in May. The news was confirmed after German Zverev, 20, stunned Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to win in Rome.

Djokovic had said the "shock therapy" of splitting with his backroom team, including Marian Vajda - who has been with him through almost all of his career - would help achieve better results. Boris Becker, a six-time Grand Slam winner, left in December after three years as the 29-year-old's main coach. Now he has brought in American Agassi, who retired in 2006 after a career which yielded eight Grand Slam titles wins.

Elina Svitolina fought back from a set down to stun Simona Halep 46 76 61 and win her first Internazionali BNL d’Italia title at the Foro Italico on Sunday. In a compelling final which was full of twists and turns, it was Svitolina who was able to put a slow start behind her and get across the finish line first, eventually prevailing in two hours and seven minutes to win her fourth title of the year.  Legendary tennis player, Rod Laver was in attendance at the Foro Italico on Sunday to receive the ‘Golden Racket’, a prestigious award which is presented annually at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia to a male and female great of the game. This year the award was presented to Laver and Flavia Pennetta, who was unable to be there due to the birth of her son, Federico, on Friday. Australia’s Laver, who won 11 Grand Slam titles, was the champion at the Italian Open in 1962 and 1971. He was presented with the award by Nicola Pietrangeli before the men’s singles final on Sunday.

I never imagined that it will be a last ball finish, seeing the way MI crumbled.  They started too cautiously   with only seven coming off the first two overs, against Jaydev Unadkat's back-of-a-length cutters and Washington Sundar's flat, stump-to-stump offspin. Then Unadkat dismissed both openers in the third over - a short ball cramping Parthiv Patel's attempt to pull, a slower ball clipping Simmons' leading edge and popping back for a diving return catch. Mumbai never really recovered from there, despite Rohit Sharma smacking Lockie Ferguson for four fours in the sixth over. Adam Zampa removed Rohit and Kieron Pollard in the 11th over, and Mumbai were 65 for 5.  From there they crawled to 129 – seemingly low score.

Man of the finals, Krunal Pandya was Mumbai's hero with the bat, his 38-ball 47 dragging them from 79 for 7 to an eventual 129 for 8, a total that would enable their bowlers to scrap all the way. Then, helped along by Pune's ODI-style top-order approach, those scrapping bowlers managed to make the required rate creep steadily upwards - with five overs to go, Pune were only two down but needed 47 from 30.  With 33 required of 24, Bumrah bowled an excellent over, removing Dhoni and conceding only 3.  It boiled down to 13 off the last over by Mitchell Johnson with Manoj Tiwary at the crease and Aussie Capt Steve Smith who played 50 balls in all as non-striker.   Tiwary was undone by the slower ball, only managing to drag it round to long-on. Then Smith, having crossed over, timed an inside-out slice perfectly, but straight to sweeper cover.

With three balls left, Pune needed seven, with two new batsmen at the crease. Washington Sundar brought Christian on strike off the fourth ball, failing to make contact with a wide-ish yorker but managing to scamper a bye. Then Christian, slogging at another full slower one, was dropped by Hardik running forward from deep midwicket - he sprinted a second, and Pune needed four from the last ball.  Bowling from around the wicket, Johnson went full and straight. Christian whipped it away to the left of deep square leg. J Suchith, the substitute fielder, fumbled at the boundary, allowing a second run. That wouldn't do for Pune. They needed four to win, and three to tie. The batsmen chased a desperate third with Suchith's throw almost already in Parthiv Patel's gloves. Once Parthiv collected it safely, only one result was possible. Mumbai Indians, playing their fourth final, wrapped up their third title, winning by one run.

The last ball of Rising Pune Supergiant's two years in the IPL wouldn't be the last ball they wanted.  Now we will wait for an year for Team CSK to be back in the arena and matches being played at Chepauk.  Namma Ooru Chennaikku periya visil adinga !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd May 2017.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Kudos to Harish Salve and Govt for appointing him ~ why did UPA use Pak lawyer in ICJ ?

It certainly was a time of happiness and great relief when the  UN's top court on Thursday announced its ruling on an urgent bid by India to stop Pakistan from executing a death sentence for Kulbushan Jadhav, one of its nationals convicted of spying and subversive activities in Pakistan. Rejecting Pakistan's argument that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, the court reasoned it could hear the case because it involved, on the face of it, an alleged violation of one of the clauses of the Vienna Convention, which both Pakistan and India ascribe to and whose interpretation falls under its purview.

"[Meanwhile] Pakistan should take all measures to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed till the final decision of this court," the court said. The court also said Pakistan should inform it of all measures taken in implementation of the order. The president of the court, Ronny Abraham, read out the decision.

Good planning and secrecy - that's what Harish Salve said gave India the edge over Pakistan at the International Court of Justice. Two days after the former Solicitor General's masterful presentation of the case at The Hague, the world court ruled in India's favour, asking Pakistan to hold off the execution of Mr Jadhav till it reached its final verdict. Mr Salve, who is being congratulated since by everyone, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to netizens on Twitter, told NDTV that it was a "huge decision" for the government to move the International Court, in which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj "led from the front". "If we had made a false start, we would have been where Pakistan is today," Mr Salve said. Talking of the secrecy with which everything was planned, he said, "No emails were sent, everything was kept quiet, that's how we had a little advantage when we moved the court".

                           Pakistani media reports in the afternath of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence case have focussed on Pakistan government’s underpreparedness and the court’s jurisdiction. There is an overwhelming unanimity that Pakistan shouldn’t have gone to the ICJ in the first place.  Many media reports state that they regret they way the case was mishandled. 

Is that an ordinary thing ? – though legal luminaries would know it better, it sounds atrocious for the commoner .. .. .. that this Pak  lawyer had been preferred to defend Indian interest during UPA regime.  In a shocking revelation, WION News has found that UPA government had hired Pak-origin UK lawyer Khawar Qureshi in 2004. He was reportedly recommended by law firm Fox Mandal for the Dabhol case.

Qureshi recently argued against India at the ICJ where he called India’s claims about Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘far-fetched’.  The report states that the  Congress-led UPA government had hired Khawar to represent India in the Dabhol power project case. In that particular case, Enron had made a US $ 6 billion dollar (5 billion pounds) claim against the government of India, the case went to arbitration. In 2004, when Congress-led UPA came to power, they changed the entire legal team and appointed Khawar Qureshi to appear on behalf of the Indian government. The  other side was represented by New York law firm Simpson Thacher and Barlett.
 The UPA government had hired Qureshi in Dabhol case overlooking Indian lawyers. Defending the decision, Congress national spokesperson Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi said today that Qureshi is an independent barrister and Indian lawyers are also engaged by Pakistan. Singhvi said that the entire matter is a non-issue.
In the present case, according to a Geo News report, Khawar Qureshi, the lawyer representing Pakistan at the International Court of Justice (ICJ),  blamed the Indian government for the 'baseless propaganda' surrounding the case fee he charged, something that became a rallying point for many on the social media to poke fun at him. What exacerbated his misery was the obvious comparison with Harish Salve, the Indian counsel in the case, who took just Re 1 as his court fee, a symbolism of his commitment to his motherland. The lawyer, who has been blamed by many experts and politicians in Pakistan for not preparing well for the case and leaving many loopholes in his arguments, told Geo News that "references to his fees were complete lies fabricated by Indian Twitterati and Indian nationals behind such baseless propaganda may have government backing".

The ICJ decision yesterday, staying execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan till the case was underway in the UN court, saw a rush of tweets on how a highly paid but ill-prepared Pak lawyer could not stand the legal wisdom of Harish Salve who charged just Re 1. The speculation on Twitter about his fees was largely based on media reports from Pakistan that quoted his fees for the case at around 5,00,000 British Pound, i.e., a whopping 7 crore in Pak currency and around 4.25 crore in Indian currency.  So, even if Qureshi says that "his fees were not even 10 per cent of what the Indian propaganda suggests" and even if he justifies the amount he charged by saying he "cancelled another professional commitment with another government to travel to Pakistan urgently", he would always find it difficult to justify even this reduced gap, i.e., at 10 per cent of the claims being made, between Harish Salve's Re 1 winning gesture to his Rs. 42.5 lakh case fee, especially when he wasted 40 minutes of the 90 minutes given to his team to present its side of the arguments. To add to Qureshi's misery, Indian team under the leadership of Salve used its full 90 minutes.

But whether he is justified in the fees charged or not, is not our botheration – but why was he used for defending our interests certainly is ..  Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over its accusations at the Congress replacing former solicitor general of India Harish Salve with Pakistani counsel Khawar Qureshi in the 2004 Dabhol Power Corporation matter, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala defended Khawar Qureshi. He told ANI: "Khawar Qureshi, who is being portrayed as a terrorist, has been a part of the Queen's Counsel (QC) since 1990. He is an additional high court judge in the United Kingdom, and also a professor at the Cambridge University. He was appointed by the Indian government when two investors from Enron filed a case against India at the International Court of Arbitration in 2004.”

There have  been occasions when Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Mani Shankar Aiyar  allegedly spoke  in support of Pakistan; but this entrustment of case, takes the cake. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th May 2017.

Elivis Presley's last owned Private Jet to be auctioned ~ though without engines.

Lockheed Vega is an American six-passenger high-wing monoplane airliner built by the Lockheed Corporation starting in 1927. It became famous for its use by a number of record-breaking pilots who were attracted to the rugged and very long-range design.   In between, if you are to buy something in a Shop or auction, what will be the prime consideration – its value, its usability, or the pleasure of owning it ???

Even modern technology,  ships  do not last for more than 30 years and sometimes much lesser depending on its usage and purpose – they are then broken.  An aircraft's lifespan is measured not in years but in pressurization cycles. Each time an aircraft is pressurized during flight, its fuselage and wings are stressed.  Technical experts say that it  is usually based on takeoff and landing cycles. The fuselage is most susceptible to fatigue, but the wings are too, especially on short hauls where an aircraft goes through pressurization cycles every day.  There are 747s out there that are 25 or 30 years old," says Petrakis in airspacemag.

I am so fond of Sujatha, the great intellectual writer, who raised the level of Tamil novels to hitherto untouched echelons.  His brainchild Ganesh-Vasanth lawyers, possessed the best brain, but perhaps owned a Premier Padmini car !  ~ in English fiction,  things are far different.   Have read a couple of English novels; by John Grisham.  In ‘the Summons’,  Ray Atlee, is a law professor with a good salary at the University of Virginia. He has a brother, Forrest, and a father, known to many as Judge Reuben V. Atlee. Ray is sent to his father's house in Clanton, Mississippi, to discuss issues regarding the old man's will and estate.   In ‘The King of Torts’   which on publication in 2003 debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list, remaining in the top 15 for over twenty weeks.  The hero - Clay Carter is a poorly-paid lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender. He dreams of one day joining a big law firm. Reluctantly, he takes on the case of Tequila Watson, a man accused of a random street killing.  Soon it develops to be one of a pharmaceutical conspiracy.  In such stories, heroes would upon realizing a good earning would by a Ferrari, a Private Jet, a red Lockheed at that. 

The news is - Elvis Presley's last privately-owned jet will be auctioned on May 27, after sitting for more than 30 years on the tarmac in Roswell, New Mexico. The 1962 red Lockheed JetStarOne, which has been referred to as the 'lost' jet, is expected to fetch between $2million and $3.5million, according to, which is the site handling the bidding. The aircraft is one of three jets owned by the King of Rock and Roll throughout his lifetime, and was particularly special to him as he owned it with his father, Vernon Presley.

The cockpit, along with the rest of the jet, has never been restored; the plane has no engines; Presley customized the interior of the plane completely, 'down to the the gold-tone, woodwork, inlay and red velvet seats and red shag carpet- and the  jet is currently owned by a private collector, who has not been named. The owner has kept the collectors' item its original condition all this time.

This rare airplane is one of only 204 aircraft manufactured between 1957 and 1978 in a private collaboration between Jetstar and Lockheed. The bidding has already started with a $10,000 offer, despite the fact that the plane currently does not have any engines. It is part of a larger celebrity memorabilia sell-off, including 315 lots in total. The auction is being run by GWS Auctions, Inc out of Agoura Hills, California.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th May 2017.

Indian women beat SA in Quadrangular ~ Deepti Sharma's record ..

You may be engrossed in watching the finals of IPL 2017~elsewhere lot happened !

The Voortrekkers (literally "fore-pullers") were Boer pastoralists from the frontiers of the Cape Colony who migrated eastwards during the Great Trek. The Voortrekkers, who  descended from the Dutch East India Company's original settlers at the Cape, undertook the Great Trek in several parties, under several different leaders, due to grievances with the then-British colonial administration.

A few days earlier, they created rather broke records; yet, it is stated that neither Deepti Sharma nor Punam Raut were aware of all the records they had set until nearly two hours after the match, when they checked the India women's team's WhatsApp group that was flooded with congratulatory messages and links to news articles hailing their achievements. Their 320-run opening partnership against Ireland in Potchefstroom was the first 300-run stand by any pair in women's cricket and it also bettered the highest opening partnership in men's ODIs - 286 between Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya in 2006. Deepti, who was eight at the time of the Tharanga-Jayasuriya stand, smashed 188 off 160 balls.

Would not have heard of this place, but for the Quadrangular tournament.  Potchefstroom is an academic city in the North West Province of South Africa. It hosts the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. It is situated on the banks of the Mooirivier (Afrikaans for "pretty (or beautiful) river"), roughly 120 km (75 mi) west-southwest of Johannesburg.  The town, founded in 1838 by the Voortrekkers, is the second oldest settlement of people of European descent in the then Transvaal.  In October 1840, it was decided that Potchefstroom would unite with "Pieter Mouriets Burg" (Pietermaritzburg).

We are reading of this place, as veterans Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj combined to help India women clinch the quadrangular series by beating South Africa by eight wickets in the final in Potchefstroom.

Goswami, the record holder for most wickets in women's ODIs, and Poonam Yadav, the legspinner, picked up three wickets apiece as South Africa were shot out for 156 in 40.2 overs after being put in to bat. Raj then struck her sixth successive fifty, the joint most along with Lindsay Reeler, Charlotte Edwards and Ellyse Perry in women's ODIs, as India knocked off the runs in 33 overs.  While Goswami and Raj played stellar roles, Punam Raut continued to present her case for a berth in the first-choice XI ahead of the World Cup next month. Raut, who returned for the series after more than a year on the fringes, struck an unbeaten, 92-ball 70 to steer the chase after Deepti Sharma and Mona Meshram fell in quick succession.  Raj walked in with India 33 for 2 in the 12th over. She added an unbeaten 137 with Raut as India, who were denied a record 17th consecutive ODI win by South Africa four days ago, continued to enjoy a successful run in tournament finals this year. In February, India had beaten South Africa in the final of the Women's World Cup qualifier in Colombo.

Good luck to Indian team and we hope that they would win the World cup too.

On 15th May 2017 at Potchefstroom,  Indian openers Deepti Sharma and Raut had a 320 run partnership before PG Raut retired hurt.  India scored a mammoth 358 for 2 against Ireland.  Ireland were all out for 109 – Rajeswari Gaykwad taking 4 wickets and Shika  Pandey 3.  Statistically, the highest partnership for any wicket is 372 of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels against Zimbabwe in 2015.  This and 331 between Sachin and Dravid against NZ in 1999 are higher than this. 

Deepti came tantalizingly closer to scoring a double ton in ODI, would have joined Sachin, Sehwag, Rohit, Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill.  Many may not know, that the 1st double centurion in ODI is a woman, Belinda Clarka, who on Dec 16, 1997 smashed double ton against a hapless Denmark attack at Mumbai in the World Cup.  She made 229 n.o off just 155 balls – Aussies scoring 412/3. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st May 2017

Deepti Photo source :

Insuring Wind turbines ~ windmill blades in transit

Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies.  The phrase is sometimes used to describe confrontations where adversaries are incorrectly perceived, or courses of action that are based on misinterpreted or misapplied heroic, romantic, or idealistic justifications. It may also connote an importune, unfounded, and vain effort against confabulated adversaries for a vain goal.  The phrase derives from an episode in the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, wherein protagonist Don Quixote fights windmills    that he imagines to be giants.

Wind energy is the kinetic energy that is present in moving air. Electricity generation is the process of generating electric energy from other forms of energy. Besides the conventional source of electric generation, there is renewable source of energy – the Wind mills. Tamilnadu has hundreds of windmills nearer Nagercoil and near Coimbatore. Windmill  also Wind Energy Generator [WEG] is a machine that converts the wind energy into electric energy.  Denmark is known to possess the maximum of Windmills.

One important component of WEG is its blades generally made of wood, canvass, fibre. The blades have to be low weight or density to reduce gravitational forces and have high strength to withstand strong loading of wind and gravitational force of the blade itself; they also should withstand  environmental impacts such as lightning strikes, humidity, and temperature.  Wood and canvas sails were used on early windmills due to their low price, availability, and ease of manufacture. Smaller blades can be made from light metals such as aluminium. These materials, however, require frequent maintenance.   They have 2 portion – one attached to the hub otherwise nozzle, on the tower – at the other end is the tip attached to the blade through a Carbon Axle Shaft fixed on a Guide Tube through Guide Pin arrangement and Steel Wire which is actuated by a Hydraulic cylinder mounted on the Blade.   The modern day blades are fibre and are  built as self supporting structure comprising of two skin halves mounted around the Main spar.

Understanding its dynamics and insuring windmills is a challenge ! -  there are possibilities of transit damages too and then breakdown during operation including probable lightning damages.  A decade or so ago, 1650 KW windmills were considered huge – NEG Micon was one pioneering installation in various parts.  The turbine hub was 78 metres high and the blade had a dia of 82 meters.  There were many other installations of 750KW and 950 KW too.  Before installation, the terrain was surveyed and wind speeds studied for at least an year; data recorded to get average wind speeds and more.  When installed the 1650 KW turbine was projected to generate upto 55 lakhs units per year against 20-22 lakhs of the 750 KW turbine. 

There was one problem for the owners, transporters and  Insurers; -  the blade of the windmill would protrude outside the lorry, exposing itself and increasing the probability of road accident.  In fact, in one  instance, the lorry driver had entered a road side petrol bunk for fuelling, unmindful of the fact that part of the vehicle [part of the windmill] was on the road, a driver who could notice the windmill only when nearer, lost control, hit the truck, damaging the windmill and causing a loss of around 45 lakhs + for the Insurer.

With this background, read more of the transit of longest windmill blade that occurred in 2013. [credit :].  LM Windpower is a leading company in the manufacture of windmill blades ~ LM 88.4 P dwarves all its predecessors. There is no other blade like it. Powering an 8 megawatt wind turbine – the rotor is the ‘motor’ for one of the largest mechanical structures on earth. It has been designed and manufactured with sufficient quality and reliability to withstand 25 years of life offshore, in the harshest weather conditions and roughest seas.

One set, of three blades, is capable of powering around 10,000 homes – that’s a whole town – lit up by a single wind turbine. Ten will power a city.  There were challenges, especially when it was moved by truck and it successfully completed the much acclaimed voyage on Danish roads.   Travelers on Denmark’s highway E45 witnessed an impressive sight on the night of June 30, 2013  as the world’s longest blade hit the road for the first time. The blade left LM Wind Power’s factory in Lunderskov at 9:45 p.m. and ended its 218-kilometer trip at 3:30 a.m. in Aalborg

For the crowd watching the blade pull away from the factory, this was the beginning of its journey. But for Koos van der Zee, Blade Transportation Senior Manager, this moment represented nine months of meticulous planning and coordination, culminating in this successful transport.  Though LM Wind Power has decades of experience in preparing big blades for transport, the LM 88.4 P presented unique challenges due to its unprecedented scale. The entire route was carefully mapped out in advance, and specialists were ready to temporarily dismantle guardrails and sign posts where necessary. The full cargo measured just under 100 meters long, with a loaded height of 4.47 meters at its highest point – allowing for only 3 centimeters of extra space when passing under bridges!

Successfully transporting the world’s longest blade was a proud moment for employees and the local community in Lunderskov, and entire families came to the factory to watch and wave flags.  LM Wind Power has a long history in Lunderskov – founded in 1940 as Lunderskov Møbelfabrik.  The company produced its first wind turbine blades in the 1970s, measuring less than 10 meters long at the time.

Interesting ! – challenging for the transporters and Marine Insurers

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st May 2017.