Sunday, June 30, 2013

Confidential reports - an old-time method of bringing a hierarchy supported incompetency

The method of keeping Confidential Report of an employee to evaluate his performance has long ago been changed by the management theorists. Confidential Report was found to be not to the purpose , rather a method which was re-enforcing the 'boss is always right' culture, a culture where Justice was what the boss was saying, a culture where discussions, debates, questioning, arguments were Strictly not allowed. CR, or the confidential reports, were found to be largely serving the prejudicial feelings of the boss against an apparently 'disobedient' employee.
    The new method of evaluating the performances require the evaluating officer to do the on-the-spot evaluation of a incompetency/ignorance discovered , instead of keeping it pending till the end of term-period when the Evaluation has to be routinely prepared. This method ensure a settled well reached justice on the proposed case of incompetency when the witnesses and evidences are freshly available for cross-examination.
  Evaluation has to be done on the face, instead of 'confidentially' meaning behind the back of the person being evaluated. Confidentiality, in the new notion, is only of the privacy between the person being evaluated and the evaluating officer, instead of secrecy, where the 'boss' had all the privilege to write his chosen description on the report without even appraising the person of his notes.
   The parameters of evaluation have been striven to become objective, instead of keeping them those preachy, good-virtues ones.

Friday, June 21, 2013

the hate columns

To prepare a article which discusses the wrongs of a prevailing system, I think that the writers should mention clearly and pin-pointedly the events he has witnessed, or knows of to quite a personal level. The macro view is ,then, built using these micro-level incidents, ofcourse taking the precautions about how and where to Generalize the event. A misleading , erroneous Generalization is also loathsome. But , the complimentary (not a contradictory)truth is that- Policies which would be made are meant to affect on Generalized frames, i.e. A larger set of people without much discrimination, - not personalized or particularised frames. Hence, generalization is an act of loathsome necessity, which must be delivered with great caution.
    Those articles which fail on these standards, which commit an extreme generalization , and make extreme conclusions without discussing the proposals of substitution of what it seeks to abolish, are nearly the Hate Articles.

Colregs Rule 7 - interpretation differences owing to the Indian and the European outlooks

         Talking about the difference between the Indian mentality and the Western European mentality, one difference is observable about the way the two dispose themselves to the use of technology. Infact , one highlighting case, in my opinion , is about the way an average Indian mind reads COLREGS Rule 7.

 Rule 7 (c) reads: Assumption shall not be made on scanty information, especially scanty radar information.

 An average Indian derives from the reading that 'Assumptions are forbidden', whereas the rule simply warns us about the wrong assumptions, how a wrong assumption may happen, and the limitations of the technology. Infact in the same Colregs Rule 7(a), there is a guidance on what to assume , when it says 'when there is a doubt that a risk exist, it shall be deemed to exist'. The expression 'deemed' is an analogous expression to saying ''make an assumption''.
    Even in the cultural outlook , this difference towards assumption can be noticed. In it's own theory, Assumption is a human necessity to deal with the uncertainties. There is no country, no culture where assumptions are not made, or which has overcome the human need of making assumption in order to proceed on the work.
  The difference, classically, is about the way people from different countries, languages and thereof the large paradigm called as the Culture, make their 'Assumptions'. In India, people being generally lesser disposed to sciences and technology, like to exhilarate at the success of Sciences. They rather see sciences/technology as a Magic wand of 21st century. When there is a new product, they give the expression of amazement, as if all their sorrows will now be eradicated for ever; and when there is a technical snag, they give the expression of disappointment as if 'everything has failed, all of their hopes and their dreams of finding a redemption from sorrows and miseries'.
    The newspapers, the media, and the movies (sci-fi, or drama) will bear testimony of this attitude. People loath computers, mobile phones, internet and all that for how much pornography it has brought about. Some people talk about banning these products, which otherwise could have been about teaching human users and the society about the social values to prevent the abuse of technology.
   Against this, the Cultural outlook of the western europe is about bringing public awareness on the limitations and capacities of the new product or the new technology. European outlook goes with an assumption that people are going to embrace the new product naturally and quickly. So the newspapers, media and the laws focus on warnings, cautions, the limitations. One can compare the kind and amount of technological services which start from the europe and which are made available in the europe, with that in India. Many technology services have found business over there, but not in India because the Indians are not geared to work with them.
        The style of writing of rule 7 of Colregs confirms to the cultural outlook of the western people, while the discussion in Indian seafarer's forum on the Facebook just signal about the Indian outlook. In truth, since a Radar does not show us a photo snap of what's ahead of your ship but only gives a profile view of suspected objects , the users are required to work each with his own 'assumption' of what that profile could be.
    The european cultural logic on Assumption, the handling of the uncertainties, pervades in other walks of life as well, and the consequent difference between the two geographies shows up in the economics and diplomacy.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Anarchy is all about abolishing Hierarchy

"Anarchy is all about abolishing Hierarchy" . -- Shazia Illmi , Aam Aadmi Party

Incompetency takes refuge behind hierarchy. Hierarchy is the organisational role which emerges by itself as an organisations develops and blossoms. People settle down in their roles and the mutual relationship develops. But what happens when new people arrive to replace the aging batch ? There is a time when each new person has to 'settle down', that is to say, to know and assume his role. Here the new batch does not have to carve the role for itself, for that was already done by his predecessor. He needs to KNOW that already carved role and assume it away on himself.
There is the new issue. What happens when a person inferior competency assumes the role where a person of superior competency rests below him? That is Anarchy. Advocacy of Hierarchy is the way by which an organisation achieves another very subtle kind of peace and harmony. It is a peace of hushed-up questioning, of murmuring and whispering disgruntles. Often the assumed way of meeting an inferior-competency-at- higher-position is by way of keeping silent in wait of a rank promotion. But when the junior comes with the tag of freedom-of-expression, he becomes noisy and uncontrolled. He creates anarchy. He disturbs the hierarchy by way of intense questioning, arguments and dis-compliance. This is insubordination and disobedience in an apparent view of the state of affairs.
   One paradoxical question is that people cannot be expected to know everything. Then, in the light of this universal truth, what is Competence ? How do we judge the inferior competence and the superior competence ? Does a mere ignorance of something amount to Incompetence?
  Indeed there is no answer to this question. But what can answered and what is the most agreeable answer to this question which should be in the minimal expected to be aware, conscientiously adopted by people as they rise in their ranks is that -- There is a set process of finding the truth, which is by way of the freedom of expression. What is right and what is wrong is definitely not known. But it is the process of reaching to the rights and wrongs which is surely known. The process is expected to be by mutual discussions and debates. Hierarchy can work good for an organisation only when it is competent to the extent that it has this self-awareness about the rights and the wrongs. In the other case, hierarchy is all about suppressing voices, dis-pleasures, mistakes and building secrecy walls around own wrongs.

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  From the above discussions, it may be proposed that Incompetency is a complex behavioural situation emerging from ignorance, unawareness coupled with absence of mechanism to search the truth, suppression of free speech, and suppression of  dissent from fellow workers.

"Selection in Merchant Navy" _ the present day travesty of entrance to merchant navy

I think this entire business of "Selection in Merchant Navy" is the cause which creates an illusion of achievement among young guys who have just cleared 12th or so.
    Earlier, "selection" meant that the entire process of training and sponsorship will be given by the company, because you were selected by the Company. Today, due to the globalised job market situation, the Government of India has been forced to open the employment marker irregularly in the interest of the shipping companies to help them find indian seafarer abundantly.
      Towards this, the training "selection" is done by the IMU whereas the Sponsorship is left to the market forces (of supply and demand). Young school students have the sense of Achievement just when they are "selected" by the IMU to take-up a studies in the maritime colleges. This is the point where the Illusion begins- of deceit, betrayal and increased risks of life of young people. the training institutes are duty-bound to mention the risk on the monetary investments by the parents/self of young school students. This, they fulfill by putting the disclaimers in the college prospectus. However, by word of mouth, their own business pressures are to "entice" (the first deceit) the people to join them, while they assure them of job, or that by sermon-ing "life is struggle everywhere. Nothing venture, nothing have" to elaborate the struggle of finding the sponsorship.
      The government, in its own faith of services to the citizens, has created a system of RPSL to keep the frauds out of business; however, it has arranged to create the forces in the shipping job-market to help the frauds find more business.
       At this point, I should mention that young people refer to these frauds as "Agents", going by the Bollywood cultured understanding of who is an "Agent". Agent, agency and the Agency Laws as a business term mentioned in the Contract Law and other procedures, and as used in the elite urban circles, is most vehemently 'not known' to these young students or even their guardians. Should one expect these rural citizens of India to know of the RPSL and those things, in the light of the fact that even the common business rules, such as Principal and Agency is not known to them-- is a question to ask.
  Some students take "selection in merchant navy" at the cost of selling away their ancestral lands.
    Selection against big reputed companies, however, continues to go standard and usual as in the past. Younger unsponsered students have developed a kind of a lobby- 'versus' Sponsored and the Unsponsored- in their psyche. This psyche is created by means of changing the philosophical viewpoint of "how hard life is. Struggle (to find Sponsorers for on-board training) is the truth of life".
    Away at another platform, the new industrial attitude emerging is about the standards of training of the unemployed "selected" students. This is rather opposite of what the government of India was intending to achieve by way of opening to the private players, almost uncontrolled and mushrooming, the Maritime Training Colleges. At the same time,people from other nations, such as Phillipines,have started coming upto standards in the Training , as well as English-speaking . Further, their Cultural Attitudes are also more congenial towards businesses, multi-national living, and labour laws. Indians are/will soon be recognised for Violations of Contract, particularly those of labour laws against their own fellow citizens. "Indians don't keep harmony in the working environment where ever they are there ( on ships, or, on shore as ship superintendants)" is an frequently noted viewpoint.
     In its objective to keep the standards of training(aka studies in maritime colleges) high, the government has attempted to bring about an environment of mutual competition between them. However, given the cost and the vast infrastructural investment requirement for bringing up the training facilities, the colleges have stared collaborating , instead of Competing with each other. "For PSCRB course, my guys will go to your college, for TASCO, you send your guys to us".
   In the parallel world to all the above, the transportation-by-sea business has its own ups and down connected with the Global money markets and the geo-politics prevailing. The shipping transportation is seeing a market slump as the international trade is slowing down. The oil industry has its own bigger geo-political and the environmental issues which is brought it to stationery position now. It is not seeing growth anymore , while it is lord's mercy on seafarers that oil transportation has not slumped down atleast. With increased number of oil tanker ships, the business of oil tankers is, however, seeing hard days already. Tough chartering employment of ships has the consequence of rolling downwards as tougher times of finding employment by the seafarers. In that, there is yet a competition among the seafarers-  between nationalities; between different training qualities; between different "agent charges" paying worth; between different Cargo Endorsements, trade-types; and so many. Thus, the market forces of supply and demand are squared much in favour of the few unsponsered entrants to the merchant navy.
  However, as the larger truth goes, even the Education in India is not about creating Knowledge and thereof the Conscientiousness ; It is about creating illusion - a new type, a new place. The reality of the market forces and everything else, is made to be swallowed along with those lectures on Life at the early stage of the "selection", thereby sustaining the never-ending illusion of the Indian psyche.
 

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Questions with a preconceived answer

Recently , on the facebook group, Jobships, someone posted this puzzle . here is the copy-paste of the puzzle and the responses it received.
Below that is my analysis of what is the social impact of this puzzle on our collective consciousness.
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RT:
A Japanese ship was en route in the open sea. The Japnese captain went for a shower removing his dimond ring and Rolex watch on the table. When he returned, his valuables were missing. Captain immediately called five suspected crew members and asked each one where and what he was doing for the last 15 minutes.
        The Phillipino cook (in a heavy overcoat) : I was in fridge room getting meat for cooking.
       The Indian Engineer (with a torch in hand) I was working on generator engine.
       The Shrilankan seaman: I was on the mast correcting the flag which was upside down by mistake.
       The British Radio officer: I was messaging to company that we are reaching next port 72hrs. from now that is wednesday morning at 1000hrs.
      The British navigation officer: I am on night watch, so sleeping in my cabin.
              The captain caught the liar. So who is the thief?

here are the responses
LS : I am Not
RT : It's a Riddle, Kindly give logical answers
SI : srilankan chor saaaala,...jap flag is same upside down ..
RT :absolutely, you hit the bulls eye
VM :Japanese flag whatever way u c it's the same
MFH :dont b so racist, mentioning nationality!!! ranks would have been better option !!!    
MS:highly presumptive riddle. such riddle do more of damage than helping people improve their skills.
VN: why would u fly a flag in open sea ?? anyway 1000 is chai ka time .. so everyone lying lol except the 2nd mate !
MS :Even when the Srilankan is 'caught', nonetheless the Indian *Engineer*, and the British *Radio Officer* and British *navigating officers* were the ''suspects'' atleast. . And The Japanese think it to be so. What message will the world community receive.
KK :It's d British radio officer, bcoz he says 72 hrs from now v r reaching port at 1000 hrs on Wednesday. Prbly d lost Rolex watch ad a wrong time which matches d radio officer's timing.
PB: Cadet. Cadet sold both items n found it was American Diamond in the ring n fake Rolex- Drank n abused the Cheapo 101 times
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This question is designed with a pre-conceived answer in the mind. This design fault is causing the readers to 'jump to conclusion'. Infact that is one seductive training this kind of puzzle does to its readers -- training of 'jumping to conclusions'. In the haste to reach to a specific pre-conceived answer, the question bears tendency to make the readers cross many red signals on the way. Signals such as identity , evidencing procedures, administrative pressures, HR management, leadership, etc.
        This question mainly hinges on the observation related to symmetry of Japanese Flag about all the bisectors. But does it succeed in inspiring us to think of this observation in general on other places, and flags? Like, have we noticed anything about the Hong Kong SAR flag ? What would happen if there was an Italian ship? Italian flag is symmetrical about the horizontal line. What other observation characterstics exist about other flags ? Did we ever think about this.
      So what was the success of the question among its readers? To create a rote-learned logic , a kind of closed-mind 'smartness'. Indeed some of the haphazard answer reflect better on the people than answers from those who directly appear to be hitting the bull's eye.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Assumption - art of handling the uncertainity

Assumption is one basic method of handling the uncertainty. Ideally, person should be working along the Facts. But the truth of human existence is in the limitations of having all the Facts of this world at his disposal. Indeed, we all are composed of two sub-types - Facts and the Beliefs. That is, all the knowledge a person has is constituted of Facts and the Beliefs, combined. Beliefs vary from person to person, whereas facts can only be hidden or revealed , person to person.
      In all this comic-tragedy, assumption is one of our methods to proceed-on in our lives whenever the uncertainty arises. Assumptions have a nature of their own, complex enough to be spared a thought on what are they. In mathematics and other natural sciences we are often trained on how to make an Assumption in order to reach to the solution-finding of a the challenge before us. In Jurisprudence, Assumptions are a must to be prevented in order to reach the balance Judgement. In criminal justice, the tenet of 'presumed innocent until proven guilty' is a very well know adage.
       In navigational skills, we are taught to presume the existence of danger so to decide our course of action, if any time we are in the doubt of existence of the danger. In the Colregs, Rule 7, we are taught about remembering the limitations and the capacities of electronic equipment around us, before making any assumption. Indeed an inappropriately assumed existence of a danger can itself lead us into actual trouble while there could have been no danger if that assumption was not at all made.
       To reduce the occasions of Making Assumption so to proceed-on, it is important that we each learn the basics of Evidencing Laws, improve our self-awareness of differ between the Facts 'you' have, and the 'beliefs' you have. Most people can be seen messing up between the two, more when the larger truth emerging, by working along the Facts, is likely to go against our national, religious or cultural beliefs.
 In political science, we already have a scarcity of decisive Evidencing in order to make our choices. We are compelled to work by means of Indications, the signs and the symptoms. Assumptions are more unavoidable in here.
        In all this, the lesson about assumption is that we each have to train ourselves into the art of making the fairest assumption possible when required to do so, instead of choosing between 'No Assumption' and arbitrarily Assuming.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

'Save Water' campaigns -- an exoneration from duty, a government created impoverishment

Save Water campaigns are reminiscent of that famous scene from movie Golmaal where Amol Palekar was caught by his would-be boss , late Uttapal Dutt, for why he was wearing short length Kurta.
 Amol gives the wonderfully funny response on how his pita-ji had cultured him to wear short-length Kurta so that every 2 inches clothes saved  would help resolve the clothing crisis of so many poor countrymen of his.
         Put the 'save water' campaigns to analysis. Does 'Save Water' campaigning , has the campaigned helped bring water to so many of thirsty people of our country? Any statistical data on that?  Indeed are we , those who are being asked to do the conservation by small tricks such as closing the tap while you are just brushing the teeth, having enough water, let alone any surplus water, that you should be saving them?
     'Save Water' is a campaign often connected , and seen in sync, with 'save the environment' idea. The purpose of saving the environment is not connected with eradication of poverty. Clean drinking water resources is very limited which makes all of us to demand of our own selves to preserve the clean water resources. Compare this theme with the drought situation in central Maharashtra which, as it is, has been dubbed as another misdoings of its politicians (by diverting the small available resource to their own industrial purposes). The ambition of Economic Liberation as the route to emancipation of mankind from its miseries, is being violated by asking people of Saving Water, when we ourselves are not in good supply of this basic resource.
   Indeed the short supply of water has been worked to act as a political bait to secure votes of citizenry by promising them of water, ( often in conjunction with the promise of electricity supply, which even extends to a free state-sponsored supply). Does the government not need to explain the work of pollution board on cleaning of rivers, sever treatment plants, control of industrial effluents, so to convince the people that these measure, too, have fallen short to secure the water shortages. The quality of portable water, measure taken in that, all need be explained.
   Indeed 'save water' campaign as a solution-finding for drought is a basic preparatory step of immensely corrupt government to revert the solution-finding on to the citizenry itself which is the sufferer of it. The government of our sham democracy sees itself separated and above the people. It perhaps believe that people are not worth any investment as ''the more the government would help, the more they would open their mouth to put their demand''. It is an attitude typical of the olden times feudal lords towards the peasantry.
   And it continues to this date with this so-called democracy.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

सर्व-सम्मति का फैसला -बनाम- प्रजातांत्रिक फैसला

प्रजातान्त्रिक फैसले लिए कैसे जाते हैं ? क्या योग्यताएं और क्या सीमाएं होती है किसी भी प्रजातान्त्रिक फैसले की ? क्या यह आवश्यक है की प्रजातान्त्रिक फैसले को सभी के अनुरूप , और सभी के द्वारा मान्य करवाया जाये । यदि हाँ, तब एक सर्व-सम्मति का फैसला और एक प्रजातांत्रिक फैसला में क्या अंतर है ? और यदि नहीं , तब किसी भी प्रजातान्त्रिक फैसले में जिन लोगों की सम्मति नहीं प्राप्त हुई थी , उन लोगों का प्रजातान्त्रिक फैसले पर क्या नजरिया होना चाहिए ? क्या ऐसी किसी परिस्थिति में लिए गए फैसले पर यह आरोप लगाना उचित होगा की "बंद कमरे में लिए फैसले को प्रजातान्त्रिक जामा पहनाने की कोशिश करी जा रही है " ?
हाँ या फिर ना , जो भी , प्रश्न यह है की फैसले के "प्रजातान्त्रिक" होने के मानदंड क्या होना चाहिए ? क्या इतना मानदंड परिपूर्ण नहीं है की प्रक्रिया 'प्रजातान्त्रिक' थी । यानि फैसले में सभी के मतों को पूछा गया था । मत से पहले एक बहस हुयी थी , एक शास्त्रार्थ हुआ था , और फिर मत विभाजन । क्या यह क्रियाएं काफी नहीं है , मानदंड को पूरा करने के लिए ?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

the vicious circle of a (paid) 'good review' --> Hit movie-->more good review as the movie becomes pecuniary success.

GOPAL:
 The fate of a Friday release in Bollywood is not determined by the 'star' ratings given by critics or internet bloggers. It depends on the number of people who buy a ticket and watch the movie. If we had gone by critic ratings, Sholay and Deewar would have been flops.... Fortunately, Box Office collections and Election results are determined by the Aam Janta. Not by arm chair critics in the media!

 SHYAM;
there is a catch of vicious circle in this. The Star rating acts to propel the people to buy those tickets. Hence there is a Kind of Self-fulfilling prophesy Tactics involved in this. One way of breaking this vicious circle is writing the 'true' review of the cinema while NOT ASKING people to NOT TO BUY tickets, because until they watch those cinema whose 'True' review you would write, people would not trust your review. people will be slowly induced to accept your views provided you win their trust. SAME WAY, DO NOT ask people to not to vote for Congress, but yes, do expose the bad and illegal activites of COngress and BJP alike.

 GOPAL:
Well said Shyam. Irrespective of star power and big budgets SRK films like RaOne & Rajni films like Baba have failed. When you tell someone "Dont vote XYZ" - that's negative campaigning. Negative campaigning gathers the sound bites. But parties that indulge in positive campaigning tend to do well in the long run.