Stars of Belgaum - Sudhir Kulkarni CTO and Vice President of Engineering at SellPoint Inc.

10:21 AM Posted by ukmad


Sudhir Kulkarni is another Star of Belgaum who has made Belgaumites proud and put Belgaum on the world map. It gives me great pleasure to write about him here.

Sudhir was born in Belgaum and resided in Kali Ambrai (behind Rex Theatre). He attended three schools in Belgaum: Public School No. 29, Sardar’s High School and Beynon Smith High-School. During his schools years he was a brilliant student and won many awards in extra-curricular activities including Geeta chanting, Quiz competitions and drawing. Sudhir earned his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Regional Engineering College in Warangal and Master's Degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai. He has also obtained Executive Business training from Harward University and Stanford University.

In a successful career spanning over 20 years, Mr. Kulkarni has held challenging positions with increasing responsibilities in renowned companies like Oracle and Informatica. He is experienced in evangelizing and delivering state-of-the-art software solutions in diverse disciplines such as internet applications, middleware, and system management tools.

Currently Mr. Kulkarni works as CTO and VP of Engineering for SellPoint Inc.  He oversees all technical activities including SellPoint's patented Active Product Tour[TM] technology, on-demand application deployment and network infrastructure.

"We are fortunate to have Sudhir as the head of our engineering team," said Rick Martin, President and CEO of SellPoint. "His track record in designing and delivering state-of-the-art technology solutions will further solidify the breadth and depth of our technology platform."

"I love working for small companies because they're always on the cutting edge," Mr. Kulkarni said.

Sudhir, his wife Sujata and two children Sheila and Sameer currently live in California where he enjoys biking, swimming and spending time with his family. He also takes keen interest in Yoga, holistic medicine and wellness, which he enjoys sharing with others.

A few questions for you Sir.

1.            When did you leave Belgaum (Year)?

I left Belgaum in the year 1979.

2.           Some background of your family in Belgaum (as to your parent’s professions etc)?

My father late Sri. Chandrakant Kulkarni was renowned lawyer and mother late Smt. Sindhu Kulkarni (Naik) was a housewife. My sister Padmaja works in Karnataka Bank and resides in Pune.

3.           When was the last time you visited Belgaum? Or how often do you come to Belgaum? Is anyone from your family still in Belgaum?

I visited Belgaum in November of 2008, I usually visit every year. My aunt and many of cousins still live in Belgaum.

4.          Any plans to come back to Belgaum and start something here?

No concrete plans yet, I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

5.           At your time Belgaum did not have the best of engineering colleges, but now we have the VTU (Vishveshwaraya Technological University) and two well known engineering colleges. What to do you want to tell the youngsters passing out from there?

I am extremely happy to note that world-class education is now available in Belgaum.

For the passing graduates I would use the quote from Mark Twain "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

6.          You love working in small companies because they are always on the cutting edge, why haven’t you started one of your own.

I had started a couple of companies in the past but, I certainly plan to start a successful one in the future.

7.      A few words of encouragement on what the youngsters should do in this time of recession.

I like to use a quote from President John F. Kennedy:  “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word "crisis". One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity.”

To the youngsters, I would say, Aim high, follow your dreams. Good luck and Godspeed ahead!

8.      What do you remember about Belgaum? Or what is that you miss a lot.

I have many fond memories of Belgaum including the heavy monsoon rains, early morning visits to temples and mouth-watering delicacies like Kunda, Maande and Misal. 

9.      What do you think about this website?

This is an outstanding effort which provides encouragement for youngsters and a way for people to keep in touch with Belgaum. The website has a great potential, I encourage you to actively promote it.  

Exploitation children during elections

10:05 AM Posted by ukmad


Exploitation children during elections

A school going boy is seen serving drinking water to the people attending Bharatiya Janata Party’s election meeting in Khasbag in Belgaum on Tuesday April 14.

Similar instances have happened all over India, here is one more instance from Congress Party Using Children in Election Campaign at Hebbali Village Dharawad Taluk.

One should have a nose to smell the news- Vijaykumar Patil Principal Correspondent THE HINDU- They get u news

7:29 AM Posted by ukmad


They get u news: A new series of interviews of news reporters from Belgaum.
The first one in this series is Mr. Vijaykumar Patil Principal Correspondent of THE HINDU.
“You can make a story on whatever you see, listen and smell; one should only have a nose to smell the news. Never be part of yellow journalism as it is the greatest sin not only against the profession but also the society.” Vijaykumar Patil said.
A native of Bidar, Vijaykumar is a Bachelor of Engineering with Specialisation in Electronics & Communication. Born in 1960 both his parents are in the field of journalism. His father, Vishwanath Baburao Patil is a noted journalist & served The Hindu for a long time. His mother, Amrit served as a Managing Editor of the Hindi daily newspaper “DAMAN” from Bidar.

He was the Principal of R.R.K. Samithi’s Industrial Training Institute, Aurad Bidar from June 1, 1984 – August 31, 1985. He then served as EDITOR for INDEPENDENT SPIRIT and English Daily from 1988 to 1992 at Bidar at the same time he also worked as a STRINGER for PRESS TRUST OF INDIA & INDIAN EXPRESS. From 1992 to 2004 he served as a part time correspondent for Times of India, Gulburga.

Vijaykumar was the first journalist interview with R.Venkataraman, Former President of India for THE HINDU on June 29, 1999. He has been an invitee delegate at All India Fact Finding Committee on Godhra-Gujrat Violence, UNESCO sponsored Conference on ‘Alternative Schooling’, National Level Indian Classical Music Competitions, National Conference on “Role of Media in Restoring Values in Society”, State Level Workshop for Hindustani Classical Music Review Writers.

He also regularly contributes articles on Educational/Career issues, Reviews on Hindustani Classical/Light Music, Drama, occasionally on books in THE HINDU.
He has won Karnataka State Government’s “Cash Reward” for investigative stories on “Anti-Veerappan (Forest brigand) Operations” & ‘Best Journalist Award’ for the Year 1989-90 presented by Lions Club of Bidar.

He is interested in Political and Electoral analysis; Development, Panchayat Raj, Environment, Human Rights, Child and Women Rights/Labour, Education, Health, Reviews on Hindustani classical music and Theatre. A multifaceted personality with wide range of interests and good command over English has made him mark for himself a great place amongst the crowd. He knows Gujarati, English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi and Telugu.
He has a daughter who is software professional and his son is Commercial pilot in USA.

Some excerpts of the interview with Mr.Vijaykumar Patil:

1.       What made you join this field of news reporting?

V Patil:     I chose journalism as career even though I am a graduate in Electronics & Communication Engineering. I hail from a journalist family. My father Sri Vishwanath Baburao Patil is a seasoned journalist and served THE HINDU for long, besides being first in Karnataka to successfully run and edit a Hindi daily newspaper “DAMAN” published from Bidar. He was conferred Karnataka Press Academy Award, Karnataka Rajyotsava Award and TSR Award (Development Journalism) in recognition of his significant and valuable contribution in the field of journalism. My mother is also in the profession as Managing Editor of the daily. My graduation in engineering course is in fulfillment of my parent's desire. But, the instinct for journalism was developing in me since my early days, matured along with my age leading me to opt for journalism as a career. But, the main reason to embrace journalism was out of social anger, which is widely visible among all youth who refuse to accept social evils such as corruption, nepotism, negligence, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, castism, unemployment, exploitation and other issues resulting in social unrest.

 

2.      You work for an English paper of repute does it put pressure on you when you collect news.

V Patil :   Working for nationally reputed newspaper like THE HINDU is a matter of honor and pride. I have never felt ‘under pressure’ even though I (all journalists) work under the threat of a deadline. A journalist has a great responsibility to pass on factual and authentic information/news to the readers every day. Any analytical story or feature must be well substantiated instead of cooking up stories. Therefore, it is a matter of responsibility, no matter even if a journalist works for a small newspaper. There should not be any compromise on the element of responsibility.

 

3.      All ask me this Question; and I want to ask you this, how do you collect news?

V Patil:  Normally, a newspaper/correspondent is informed about events such as press conferences, functions, seminars, etc. organised by government and private organisations/institutions in advance. However, one has to be alert round the clock on various incidents happening in different fields, including crime, social, political and cultural. One has to develop a network of “sources”, which are reliable and trustworthy. There are some ‘trade secrets’ as well! But, what makes a difference between a Reporter and a Journalist, as I understand, the former communicates an event/information/news while the latter ‘reads between the lines’ thereby, he not only extracts a good news but also a thought-provoking story. Yet, without a nose for news, it is difficult to run the show.

 

4.      Working for an English paper in Belgaum, not much glamour there is not it.

 

V Patil:  Many enter the field of journalism because of glamour and easy access to power centers. It does not bother me whether a place is glamorous or not. If you look at issues and people’s problems, glamour will become irrelevant and vice-versa. Nevertheless, I am pained at the ‘intellectual vacuum’ and people’s indifferent attitude towards their own problems and issues, and leaving everything to self-serving politicians. There are few exceptions but of any significant consequence or impact. An intellectual atmosphere is complementary to the growth of journalism in a given geographical area.

 

5.      A notable event that has happened in your life while reporting?

V Patil: Many events in the life of a journalist are notable. When our reports/stories make an impact and evoke positive response from the concerned, like any other journalist, I too feel to have served the purpose to some extent. To be specific, the Karnataka Police announced cash award for my report in THE HINDU, which I was given understand that it influenced the then J.H. Patel government to change its mind on recommending presidential pardon for forest brigand Veerappan to the Centre. I take this opportunity to thank the present ADGP M.K. Srivastava who had enlightened me on certain legal argument, which formed strong basis for the report. During my initial years of service in THE HINDU at Mysore, I was lucky to get an opportunity to interview former President late R. Venkataraman, which was facilitated by Mr.Prasad, Sri Ganapathi Sachidhand Ashram, Mysore. I was told that it was his first ever interview to any national newspaper. I was thrilled when Lions Club of Bidar honoured me with ‘Best Journalist Award’ in my maiden year of journalistic career, which gave me a moral boost in those initial days of my career.

 

6.      You are not a localite from Belgaum, so does it make any difference in the way of collecting of news?

V Patil:  No. If you do not take sides, people will trust you. Newsgathering is also an art. I am happy that there are many in Belgaum who share information and their concerns with me for professional reasons, academic or topical discussion.

 

7.      What do you want to tell the upcoming youngsters who want to join this field?

V Patil:  There is much more to learn for myself. Sky is the limit in the field of journalism and one can come out with a good story on everything a journalist comes across under the sky. You can make a story on whatever you see, listen and smell; one should only have a nose to smell the news. One request, never be part of yellow journalism as it is the greatest sin not only against the profession but also the society. The field is challenging and thrilling, but with honour and reward come great responsibility, which must be exercised without bias and in a constructive way. Journalism would not have been termed as “fourth estate”, otherwise.

 

8.      Your son is a commercial pilot, was he never interested in joining you or your field?

V Patil:   No. To be a pilot has been his childhood ambition and as a father. I do not believe in imposing parents’ wish on children, rather allow them to explore out their own life. I have only tried to help him realize his dream with the blessings of my parents and support of brothers and sister; my wife, her mother, father, two brothers, my co-brother, “three” best friends, a national bank, which granted educational loan and the God almighty.

 

9.      What is that you like most about Belgaum?

V Patil:  Cosmopolitan nature of the local society, broadmindedness, hospitality.

 

10.   English papers are not widely read in Belgaum does that hamper the way you work

V Patil: Not much. Any difficulty in carrying out work is due to known professional constraints and not otherwise.


11.    The media always takes a bias stand towards one, it is said, your view on this.

V Patil:  I do not deny this in Toto. Any bias cannot be justified, as it only renders injustice to the section or an organisation or an individual against which it holds bias. Newspapers are here to present facts without any bias and prejudice in an objective way. The market pressures, questions on survival, personal desires to make quick money and win honours by hook or crook and other evils have sneaked into this profession as well. Unfortunately, unlike in the recent past when a newspaper was regarded as an intellectual organ and a catalyst of change, it is being treated as a ‘product’. However, there are newspapers, which remain committed to professional ethics largely. One should always look at the best in the profession instead of being carried away by evil influence of yellow journalism for the simple reason that no field in the society is free from corruption.

 

 12.   Your thoughts on what Belgaum needs so that it will be developed?

V Patil: One of the best aspects of Belgaum is that the developments and progress, whatsoever so far, is mainly due to local initiatives and visionary leaderships of few individuals. But, the society has been allowed to remain politically divided on linguistic issues by politicians, who seem to have exploited sentiments to serve their own cause more than anything else. Had they made a common cause, the city would have achieved much more progress than what we see today. The rich natural resources, educated and skilled work force, relatively better environmental conditions (although worsening due to urban expansion) comes to it great advantage but not properly utilised. Better late than never, it is high time that people and leaders come together to work for the progress of Belgaum to develop it into a second capital of Karnataka, virtually. There are a few success stories where good leadership motivated people to join hands and changed faces of their villages (eg.Jafferwadi and Hulikavi in Belgaum taluk); they are like oasis and shining examples of development, worthy of emulating.

To be specific, given the agrarian economy and rich natural resources in and around and congenial climatic conditions, there is good scope for agro-based industries, which will generate direct and indirect employment opportunities both in rural and urban centres in large number, and boost local economy. This will also prevent brain drain and migration-temporary or otherwise.

 But, I feel disappointed when I come across people with lethargic attitude and tendency to postpone ‘action’, which plays an invisible bottle-neck in the way of progress. No city or town can keep pace with progress if its citizens are lethargic.

 

 13.  Is journalism from corrupt practices?

A.   No. However, not all journalists are corrupt. However, like in other fields, there are best of the journalists, both professionally and character wise who remain committed to professional ethics. If the newspaper organisations/owners are strict, the menace of yellow journalism could be reduced to a considerable extent.

14. Are their any benefits or welfare programmes from Government?

A.  Railway Travel Coupons at 50% discount and once-in-a-year Rs.1000/- free coupons to travel in KSRTC buses, only.

15. Should journalists or journalism be brought under the purview of Lokayukta? Why the Income Tax department doesn’t take up investigations into assets of those journalists who have made quick riches?

V Patil:  Yes, after all, they are also part of the same system. If there is any case against a journalist being directly or indirectly involved in corrupt practice or has hand-in-glove with a government official or those holding public office, the law must treat him equally. The IT department is free to take up investigations to check unaccounted assets of journalists too.

 

16. Your thoughts on this website and how it could improve?

V Patil: First, I would like to congratulate you for your blog and your efforts to provide ‘All About Belgaum’ to people across the world. I have been watching your dedication involved in developing your website since beginning and there is always scope for further development. See for yourself, let our eyes browse the pages you have posted and you will know what more could be done to develop it. But, “authenticity” of any information displayed on website must be the highest priority, even while trying to be ‘first’ to inform about events and happenings.

Make your money grow- personal finance

11:45 AM Posted by ukmad

From today I am beginning with a new series on Personal Finance and here is the 1st one on investments in Mutual Funds by Bankim Bhagwat.

If anyone has some specific questions he could ask Bankim about it at bhagwatbankim@gmail.com.
I believe that the present economic scenario caused by a worldwide slow down and upheavals in the Indian Money Market are only of temporary nature. Based on the economic forecasts released by Central Statistical Organization the Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.00 per cent in the current fiscal despite the global economic crisis. Thus, the future prospects appear to be positive and present you with an investment opportunity now.

Keeping the above scenario in mind one can create an investment portfolio to one’s risk appetite and return expectations. It may be advisable to allocate some portion of your investments to equities as an asset class and thereby partake and participate, to benefit from our growing economy.

I will highlight some of the Investment Options available with UTI which has enabled many investors structure a financial plan for their financial goals and could therefore be a part of your investment portfolio.

As you are aware, UTI has transformed itself into one of the best Asset Managers of the country. UTI Mutual Fund has a highly qualified and professional fund management team to take care of the investor’s investments. UTI Asset Management Company Ltd. has been awarded the “Best Equity Fund House of the Year” by ICRA* and as the “Best Debt Fund House” by Outlook Money and NDTV Profit* recently for its best Fund Performance. This is a reflection of the commitment to provide investors with the best possible wealth creation solutions. These awards from independent and renowned agencies in the Indian Financial scenario also recognizes UTI as being one of the most competent Fund Managers of the country on various parameters by these experts. However, past performance is no guarantee of future results


1. UTI DIVIDEND YIELD FUND

UTI DIVIDENT YIELD FUND is positioned as a conservatively managed equity fund. The fund portfolio will primarily comprise of stocks which are high dividend yielding (on historical basis) or potential high dividend yielding stocks. The fund will have a good mix of companies across various sectors. The fund is well suited for investors with medium to low risk profile and with a long term investment horizon. The fund aims to distribute regular dividends to its investors. Investors have an advantage of lower expense ratio as UTI Dividend Yield Fund is the largest fund in the dividend yield funds category in the industry. The Fund has a fair amount of retail participation. This helps in mitigating the volatility risks that may arise out of movement into and out of the Fund by large investors.

2. UTI OPPORTUNITIES FUND

UTI OPPORTUNITIES FUND is an open ended equity oriented scheme. This scheme seeks to generate capital appreciation and / or income distribution by investing the funds of the scheme in equity shares and equity related instruments. The main focus of this scheme is to capitalize on opportunities arising in the market by responding to the dynamically changing Indian economy by moving its investments amongst different sectors as prevailing trends change, for investors looking to supplement their core equity portfolio with a dynamically managed portfolio.


3. UTI WEALTH BUILDER FUND SERIES II

First of its kind to offer an asset allocation combining financial asset allocation combining financial assets as well as physical asset. By providing exposure to alternative asset class the fund offers common investor a strategy traditionally reserved for HNI’s / Institutional clients. Alternative assets aid to portfolio diversification even in down markets due to their less / low correlation to traditional asset class like equity. Convenience of investing through SIP / STRIP in a fund that will have exposure to
Gold ETF’s, leading to a portfolio built over various market phases and economic conditions. Alternative market levels provide opportunities to clock higher growth over the market starts moving upward.

4. UTI MASTERSHARE FUND

UTI MASTERSHARE is an open ended equity fund aiming to provide benefit of capital appreciation by investing the funds of the scheme in equity shares, equity related instruments and fully convertible bonds / debentures of the company. Investment may also be made in issued of partly convertible debentures / bonds including those issued on rights basis subject to the condition that as far as possible the non convertible portion of the debentures / bonds so acquired or subscribed shall be disinvested within a period of twelve months from the date of acquisition.

5. UTI BOND FUND.

The Bond fund is positioned as an aggressively managed pure debt fund with a high quality portfolio mix of G-Sec and PSU Bonds to capture both the duration movements as well as the spread compression & gets the best of both the worlds without compromising
on credit quality . Ideal for an investor who invests with a long term horizon & wants a higher return at a moderate right level.

6. UTI EQUITY TAX SAVINGS FUND
EQUITY LINKED SAVINGS SCHEME is similar to the normal equity diversified schemes but what differentiates it from an open-ended equity diversified scheme is tax saving benefit and a lock-in period of three years. Flexibility to fund manager to focus on long term opportunities. E L S S has potential to counter inflation and notch up healthy inflation adjusted returns.

Author: Bhagwat Bankim
E Mail: bhagwatbankim@gmail.com
098452 73406

Mallya to brew beer from Sambra Belgaum

8:19 AM Posted by ukmad


Liquor barren Vijay Mallya will set up a distillery unit on the Sambra Muchandi Road in 300 acres of land. This could be a good start once this distillery unit commences production.

 

The land prices along the Sambra, Halga have reached new heights due to these kind land acquisitions.

 

Hundreds of acres of fertile land have already been acquired for Airport expansion many other acquisitions plans have been made in the same area.

 

Source: Tarun Bharat

Poll expenditure Congress spends more

1:21 PM Posted by ukmad

The official poll expenditure of candidates has started trickling in. In Belgaum Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP candidate Suresh Angadi spent more than Rs 17 lakh compared to Rs 17.8 lakh spent by Congress rival Amarsinh Patil but both well within the Rs 25 lakh election commission cap.

Summer special Hubli-Solapur via Belgaum

10:44 AM Posted by ukmad


Indian railways will run bi-weekly express special trains on Hubli-Pune-Solapur (via Belgaum, Miraj and Daund) route starting from April 29 to June 28.

The Hubli-Pune-Solapur Bi-Weekly Express Special (No. 0783) will depart Hubli at 9.25 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays (from April 29) and will reach Belgaum at 11.52 pm on the same day.

In the return direction, Solapur-Pune-Hubli Special (No. 0784) will depart Solapur at 5 pm on Thursdays and Sundays (from April 30) and will reach Belgaum at 7.50 am on Friday & Monday. Its last service from Solapur is on June 28.

Identify the place in the photo at Belgaum

7:02 PM Posted by ukmad


Identify the place in the photo at Belgaum?

Not such a good photo but still, it is good as you are not easily allowed to take photos there. Ram Mallaya had been trying to get this photo for over a month and he got this somehow.

Not a great click to his standards but, can you name the place?

Clue: see at the Yellow spot in the centre.

GIT becomes a strong room for the EVMs

4:19 PM Posted by ukmad


The Gogte institute of Technology in Udyambag has been converted into a strong room where all the EVM’s have been stored.

The college has been closed to common public from the past week. Till 16 may it will be the strong room in which the fate of the candidates is been stored. The college has been sealed from all sides and there is heavy police presence at the venue.
All the candidates are making use of this time to relax themselves after the hectic campaigning for over 20 days. All will be waiting for 16 of May when they will come to know their fate.

Sab Soye Re- overall 52% voting in Belgaum

9:58 AM Posted by ukmad

After all the hula & hype of many NGO’s asking the people to come out and vote, not many came out yesterday. 

There are 13,71,428 voters in Belgaum Parliamentary constituency in which there 6,93,709 males and 6,77,719 females voters.

Out of it 7,53,533 exercised their franchise, 4,05,516 were males and  3,48,017  were females.

Belgaum north Assembly constituency recorded the least voting of 45.67%.  Belgaum south Assembly constituency recorded polling of 46.54%.  Belgaum rural Assembly constituency recorded 54.89% voting.  

 The polling passed of peacefully.

  The low voter turnout should give sleepless nights to BJP candidate.

Only 49% voters come out to vote: All time lowest

7:06 PM Posted by ukmad

The Voters decided not to vote this time for reasons unknown.  The total voters who cast their votes were 49 %.  This is not a final figure and there could be some variance in it. This is the all time lowest previous was 52.29% in 1991.

 In most northern parts of the country which went to polls had very low voter turnout due to the heat wave, but in Belgaum the temperature hovered around the 32 to 35 deg Celsius mark? Now voters were not happy with the candidates in fray or were it that they just decided to be far from this is the question.

 In 2004 66% voters had come out and voted for their candidates, that enthusiasm was not seen today. In 1999 voter turnout was 67%, in 1998-61% and in 1991-52%.

 The Average voter turnout until last election has been 60%. Highest voter turnout was in 1999 which was 66.97% & lowest in 1991 of 52.29%.

 Due to less voting Belgaum could see surprise winner.

 

Time- Up to

% voting

11am

18.1%

12 noon

25%

2 pm

27%

3pm

34%

4 pm

43.5%

5pm

49%

27% polling in Belgaum till 2 pm

2:47 PM Posted by ukmad

27% polling is reported in Belgaum till 2 pm.

Mr.& Mrs.Suresh angadi casting their Vote, Hope he voted for BJP
Mr.& Mrs.Suresh angadi casting their Vote, Hope he voted for BJP

votingbgm2votingbgm4votingbgm

Polling very slow 18.10% till 11 am

12:36 PM Posted by ukmad

The polling in Belgaum constituency till 11 am was 18.10%. While in Chikodi it was 22.5%.

The voter turnout is also not so good as of now. Hopefully the turn out should increase by evening.

I was first voter in my booth

10:54 AM Posted by ukmad


Today is the day where we as citizens of democratic country have to vote and fulfill their duty in a democracy.

I was there at the polling booth at 6.57am and at 7 am I entered the polling booth to cast my vote but to my surprise as the Polling agents (agents of candidates) had not yet come and the EVM had yet to be sealed.
The polling officer there said that he would seal the EVM in my presence and I could vote later. During this time the polling agents came in and then the process of sealing was done and I could vote at 7.25am to be precise.

Till 7.25 am only one other person was there who had come for voting. Normally at the beginning only senior citizens is seen voting, but this time the picture was bit different as I could not see many people there. Although by 8.15 am 26 persons had voted in my booth of about 793 voters.

So I did my but by voting did you do your duty in democracy? If not get up and go; Vote and come back.

Voting should pick up by noon and we should be able to reach the 60% average mark by 5pm. One notable factor this time is the lack of interest in voting in the elderly. I had asked a few elderly yesterday as when will they go to vote and they had said, we won’t vote this time. But a few of them did come out to vote as I am writing this.

Last night is normally a ‘Kattal raat’ where money change hands not in lakhs but in crores. Inputs from papers suggest that crores of rupees have changed hands last night, that’s another side of democracy.

Still 23 days more for us to know who our MP will be till then keep counting...

Whom did you vote for? Exit Poll

7:00 AM Posted by ukmad

This is the very first exit poll for Belgaum being done the internet. As per EC rules I cannot publish the results immediately, hence they would be published as when we are permitted to do so.

This particular exit poll may not be full proof as many who are participating in the poll might not have voted, HENCE I REQUEST YOU TO ONLY VOTE HERE IF YOU HAVE VOTED IN REAL.


Many would ask why this poll then? It’s just a start on a small blog which with time could become big (if you all support) and at that time there could be a 100% real exit poll done.

If you cant see the form below click this link 
http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=cFVlSHNfR3RvNkVvVkhiQ0N5OGdPWEE6MA.. 

Till then whom did you Vote For?



My site designer featured on Rediff.com: Aadil- Entrepreneurship runs in my blood

10:26 PM Posted by ukmad


My site designer featured on Rediff.com: Aadil- Entrepreneurship runs in my blood

Meet 26-year-old entrepreneur Aadil Bandukwala. At the age of 26, he is the CEO and owner of not one, but two companies -- a web consultancy firm called Leading Minds and the quirkily named recruitment agency Talent Onions.

Aadil some how came across my site while googling and he immediately mailed me and asked me whether I would give him an opportunity to re design my blog. I readily agreed as I was in search of a designer who had to be from Belgaum as my site is for Belgaum. The deal clicked and what you are now all seeing is the design made by Aadil’s design team at Leading Minds. In 4 days, the whole site was re laid and many of you have acclaimed that the design of the blog is next Gen design. I am Proud to be associated with Aadil. This story published in Rediff just 3 days after he lost his Bachelors degree; I wish him all the best in his new life and in his career.

Some excerpts from the interview on Rediff.com:
After school, he took the CAT exam and received admission to the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (Pune), where he chose to study entrepreneurship. Three months into the academic year, however, all of us who had elected for the subject were still to attend a single lecture -- the institute was simply not holding the class! We decided to approach the Dean and were told that there were no faculty members to teach entrepreneurship and that the college would be happy to transfer us to another course." Dissatisfied with this option, Aadil did take a transfer -- to the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in Ahmedabad. There he was a model student, topping his classes and winning the Student of the Year award.

He took a loan from his father to start up Leading Minds --a venture that started as an HR firm, then took up education consultancy and finally wound up as a web agency. Dad wanted him to join the family business, but he asked him for five years' time to try my hand at something new. Atique, his younger brother who has always been interested in the family firm, so I wanted him to join my father instead.
Leading Minds started as niche area of coaching students for MBA programmes. However, money was there in the building websites and web development, so he went up there.

In 2007, one of Aadil's professors from the EDI, assistant vice-president of BPO Genpact got in touch with him, requesting him to help the company hire people. Aadil launch his second company -- recruitment agency Talent Onions. He was only 22 then, so most people just did not believe I had it in me. Then we landed Ambuja Cement as a client and Siemens followed soon after. Today he has 13 clients.

“I will always be based out of Belgaum. I love the small town life -- being able to come home for lunch everyday, deciding when I want to work and when I do not. Entrepreneurship is a definite boon when it comes to your personal life -- now I have taken 25 days off to get married and work hasn't stopped, my employees have all pitched in. Moreover, my friends are all in Belgaum and I want to give back to this city as well. And if all this isn't reason enough, my mom can't bear it when I'm away -- it was very difficult for her when I was studying in Ahmedabad” Aadil said.

Read complete story here. The whole story is worth reading.
Aadil You made us proud.

Bats world near Govaves

2:06 PM Posted by ukmad







Its no new shop or park it’s hundreds of BATS hanging on the trees exact opposite Mangal Metals near Govaves Circle on Khanapur Road.

All the trees after the Fire station have hundreds of Bats hanging and making noises.

Symbol of Maratha pride saffron flag make people see red

10:04 AM Posted by ukmad

Continuing with the media coverage for the elections here is a story from the DNA.

The crux of the whole story is it wont be a cakewalk for Angadi this time as it was last time. I have also said the same thing on this blog. This election will be won based on Caste & language rather than on issues of development.

The month of May will not only see a new government at the Centre, but also the 'rightful owner' of the colour saffron in Belgaum.
One of the northernmost districts of Karnataka, Belgaum, has over two lakh Marathis. The Marathi population has been defiantly hoisting a saffron flag on the district municipal building since the 1950s.
The flag, they say, is a symbol of Maratha pride. Now the saffron colour and its symbolic connotations have become a major campaign issue. A fight is on between the Hindutva brigade and the Marathis over who 'owns' the colour.
Things turned awry on March 17 this year when the Marathis were not allowed to hoist the flag at the new municipal corporation building as a PIL had been filed in a local court against the practice. Matters became complicated when BJP MP Suresh Angadi decided to intervene. Swearing on Kannada pride, he fought with Marathi leaders and hoisted the flag.
This resulted in a clash between Angadi's men and Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists, who accused the BJP MP of being anti-Kannada for letting the Marathis usurp the saffron colour.
In the melee, it dawned on Angadi that Maratha pride was all very well, but it would scupper his chances with the rest of the populace, including the 4.7 lakh Kannada-speaking lingayats in the area who traditionally supported the BJP due to chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.
With opponents like Amar Singh Patil of the Congress and AB Patil of the Janata Dal (S), both lingyats, Angadi realised that the general elections would not be a cakewalk.
To make matters worse, the Akhil Bharatiya Veera Shaiva Mahasabha (ABVSM), which decides on lingayat support to candidates, has not given its blessings to any party. When DNA spoke to Angadi, he appeared upset at suggestions that he had taken a partisan stand on the flag issue. "The colour saffron stands for Hindu pride. Hindu warriors have fought under the saffron flag for centuries. What Varun Gandhi has done for Hindus in the north, I have done for Hindus in Belgaum," he said. When asked if that meant he was not interested in votes from Marathi-speaking residents of the district, he hastened to add, "Marathi and Kannada are like my two eyes. In Belgaum, one cannot see without both of them."
When AB Patil was asked to comment on the war over saffron ownership, he preferred to remain quiet. Saffron, it seems, has managed to make people in Belgaum see red.
Source: DNA

Campaigning ends tomorrow

5:01 PM Posted by ukmad



It’s almost here; the voting day just a couple of days ahead & the candidates and their party workers are making their final efforts to woo the voters.

Tomorrow is the last day for campaigning and all candidates are trying to reach that part of the constituency that they have not yet covered. It’s not only candidates but their others half’s also that are taking keen interest in the canvassing.

As the doom day comes closer now all the activities after tomorrow will be different and as it is said the night before voting day is very crucial and loads of money change hands (I haven’t seen this but just heard).
Now all depends on Thursday 23rd how many people come out and vote & once that is done then it’s almost a month long wait to know who our MP is? The counting this time is GIT I guess and the college has been closed since all the necessary arrangements have to be made. The college will be closed from 23 and sealed as all the EVM will be kept there.

These 15 odd days have been troublesome for the common man, the first month of the year normally businessmen need new bond papers and during these 15 days the State bank of Mysore the sole distributor of stamp papers has stopped it due to lack of staff as the staff is on election duty. The same prevails in some nationalized banks as well.

Even commuters have not been left behind as almost 300 buses of the NWKRTC have been put on election duty and another 200 more would be put on duty from Wednesday to Friday. Hence many bus routes have less number of busses plying which is causing hardships to the commuters. The police also are very busy with the ‘Bandobast’ for the elections and forces from Kerala have been called in to support the local police to ensure safe polling.

In all it’s a wait now for that moment in Democracy where each one should come out and vote.

Ghar mein Baithne se, Chillane se Kuch nahi Hoga, Bahar Aa ke Vote do.

Kerala Police in Belgaum on election duty

6:38 PM Posted by ukmad




The police today did a flag march on the major roads of the city and also sensitive areas. The major notable factor was the presence of Kerala Police. About 5 vans of Kerala police were seen.


58 years same issues and similar candidates- we need a change

4:43 PM Posted by ukmad

The election campaigning is at its peak with just two days remaining for the canvassing all the candidates are trying to lure the voters. But the voters are still non committal or undecided.
Vilas, a salesman in a cloth shop says “what difference will it make if BJP come or Congress. Nothing is cheap and surviving has become a hard task. He said I will vote for someone, but that someone is not decided and not thought of also.”

It is this time, when the politicians come and fall at your feet once in 5 years and now they will hear to you, but will they hear after they get elected is a question. All the parties make themselves appear as to they are the most people friendly and they are the only one who can develop the nation (all political parties think they can develop the nation but the NATION does not think so). Independents are free birds as they did not get any ticket from a party or they just defected from one promise that as no party could keep up their promises they should vote for them.

The voter is not new to all this but he will have to give a verdict in the coming week.
Issues since the last 58 years have been the same. We will provide food, water, employment, price rise, community welfare, corruption etc etc. So what did you do in the last 58 years if you still have to provide the people with basic amenities of food, water and employment? Two new additions to that list ‘Stability’ & ‘terrorism’ has been added to this.

The Hindu has mentioned this which is worth reading and to the context:
Political observers point out at six types of voters, irrespective of socio-political issues before them.
First, there are committed voters for every political party. It is because of this reason that a party, even with very little or poor prospects of getting elected also polls good number of votes. The second is loyalty to the leader belonging to his or her religion/caste. The third type of voter compares both candidate and party and tries to arrive at a fair judgment under the given circumstances. However, the strength of this category of voters is not much too radically influence the verdict.
The fourth type of voter is the one who waits for the candidate to lure him to the polling booth. This is one area where candidates see potential to exploit by way of distributing benefits, including money, liquor (or both) and gifts. The seizures of large sums of money, stocks of liquor and gift articles during election stand in evidence to the observation.
There are a large number of first-time voters — the fifth type — young and enthusiastic, eager to exercise their voting right.
In view of their young age, inadequate understanding about socio-cultural and political nature of the country and the nature of contemporary politics, every political party tries to exploit them emotionally by raking up issues such as terrorism and religious fundamentalism as such issues make greater and instant impact as against issues such as price rise, corruption and welfare of the poor which are equally important in the development and progress of the country.
The sixth type constitutes the section which goes by the trend or waive in favour of a party as he wants to draw satisfaction of having cast his vote to the “winner”. But, in the current election, this section of the voter appears to be the most confused as any wave, either in favour or against a party is yet to emerge?
Above all, the last type of voter appears to be sitting most comfortable in all elections. They belong to all sections of society, they seriously discuss current affairs, condemn corruption and falling standards of political life, eager to see change and so on but refrain from voting. They form 20 to 30 per cent of the voters.

You may fall into any category of voters but the worst part is we have no choice. In this election also there is a lack of choice says, Nitin who is a manager in a Co-op bank. He said we will be forced to vote for a party in Belgaum rather than seeing the performance of a candidate. If we don’t vote it’s our mistake but this election we don’t have an appropriate pick, he added.
Harshad, a businessman told this blog that this time it would be better to go on a holiday on voting day instead of voting for someone we don’t like.
In Belgaum this time caste & language will decide our MP, so all be geared in the next general elections you will have the same problems and promises and from similar persons.


Barack Obama said “I’ M ASKING YOU TO BELIEVE. Not just in my ability to bring about real change, I ‘M asking you to believe in yours”
Change we need.

Rakaskop lifeline for Belgaum

10:34 AM Posted by ukmad

rakaskop

16 Kms from Belgaum literally means a hamlet of a Rakkasa (Giant), who is stated to have lived on a hillrock near the village. A cavern in laterite on the hillrock resembling a huge seated human figure is shown by the people to remind his past existance. Here is a Dam across the river Markandeya, supplying drinking water to Belgaum.

 

The Rakaskop reservoir is on the verge of getting dry as there has been very less rain in this month. Still there is about 5 feet of water after which it will come to its lowest level. If there is no rain in the coming days city could be in for some more water cuts.

 
I found this photo on Flickr uploaded by alextherattil.rakaskop1

  Wild ducks on a rainy day at Rakaskop, Belgaum

 

rakaskop2

Wikimapia