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What is Time?

Science and religion both have been intrigued by the question – what is time? Science is attempting to find answers through theoretical physics using mathematical models and abstractions to explain nature of universe and time. Experimental physics does not provide any signs in the near future to explain or simulate experience to travel to past or future. Theoretical physics claims feasibility of time travel according to laws of physics.

Theoretical physicists are dealing with questions like :

Why we only remember past and not future?

Why an egg can turn into omelet but not vice versa?

Why time we experience is uni-direction?

Theoretical physicists are trying to fathom and continue to make effort to provides answers. Some of the physicists are enjoying rock-star status while trying to do so. It will be time which will tell where this branch of science is going to take our understanding of time. Religion on the contrary has used two approaches to explain nature of time – ‘start with a belief’ and ‘perceptional experiments’. In the century of millennials there is increasing trend of people not subscribing to belief based religious doctrine. God created time is too simple belief for our time to accept and feel satisfied. Curiosity prevails.The second approach ‘perceptional experiments’ employs real-time experiments. It gives some promise and growing acceptance. The jury is still out. Lets look at each aspects.

 

Arrow of time

We remember the past but do not remember future. We can see an egg changes form into omelet but the reverse is impossible. What is behind irreversible direction of time. In 1927, British Astronomer, Arthur Eddington introduced concept of ‘one-way direction of time’ or ‘arrow of time’. Eddington reemphasized discovery made by Boltzmann, Austrian Physicist, in 1872,  relative to ‘Law of disorder’ or ‘Ever increasing Entropy’. According to this 2nd law of thermodynamics – ‘Entropy of an isolated system can only increase’. Eddington has tried to associate ‘Entropy – Law of disorder’ and ‘Arrow of time’. This suggests law of physics does not allow increased level of orderliness. The question remained unanswered why in the first place in the beginning always time starts with lowest level of entropy. What is the connection?

 

Multiverse

Our visible universe is estimated to be 14 billion years old. It began in the state of great order and it will be winding down to nothing. Important to notice that say a room is messier and some one cleans and makes it orderly. The orderliness has improved but as a system for just the room as additional entropy of other system is increase in the act of cleaning and making it orderly. In the multiverse theory, Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at Caltech points out to existence of a static universe in the middle from where many universes like ours are popping out and pointing to difference arrows of time. This static universe is reference universe according to Carroll and there is no arrow of time for it. There is no future with respect to past and everything is equal to each other. Nothing is happening in this universe but according to quantum mechanics suddenly booms an alpha particle, it comes out, except an alpha particle  is a new universe.

 

Big bang conditions

Knowing egg to omelet irreversible issue, lowest entropy at big bang , only remembering past not future and our experience of growing old from younger age all question condition of big bang. These conditions of low  entropy attract today’s scientist to explore rationale behind it.

 

Psychological time – Perceptional Experience

Perception comes before understanding. We all have ability to perceive using our senses and ever evolving subconscious. Scientists explain if we understand more deeply about natural mystique force like gravity on theoretical level it will not make any difference on how we experience gravity in our perception.

What this boils down to? Irrespective of how much more we know about ‘nature of time’ or ‘nature of universe’our perceived reality about how we experience time or life will not change. At the same time if we employ our entire perception building resources we can reach to new levels of perceived reality. Therefore the appeal to work done by Buddha employing all his humanly available resources – body and mind in its entirety – is invaluable and contagious. Before Buddha and after him many ‘perception scientists’ – if i may call them so – have achieved an elevated level of perception. In this heightened level of perception mind achieves ‘no thought state’ or ‘no mind state’. What does it do? Is it helpful in any way?

 

No mind – No time

The thought removal is a process to reach a level of experience where one experience no thoughts and remain an observer. This creates a phenomenal psychological state where relevance of time loosen up. This is a freedom state of the human perception. The most important seed this starts with is to develop special understanding. This special understanding is a claim : a mental state free of goals / desired – temporary or long term  -brings association to completeness of your being as is in this very moment. The moment you are content as is your mind stops to worry about what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. In modern time there are methods in yoga to work on this aspect. All Buddhist meditations are to prepare mind to become no mind. The no mind state has brought higher levels of happiness and peace withing themselves and conduct life which is more rich experimentally, like becoming children again. As Jesus once said ‘It is those who will enter the kingdom of God who are childlike’.

 

Which side have you taken 

Theoretical physics gives promise to unfold deeper understanding of time. ‘Perceptional experiments’ employs real-time experiments. It gives common man a tool to experiment with own perception and build a heightened perception. One can take a side or enjoy developments happening at both ends. What is your status – please share below.

 

 

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More than 5 million students graduating every year but 50% are unemployable – what is not working?

Last week, I was talking to a young graduate, in early 20s, from a Greater Noida private university. Chatting over various topics, it was a quick realization that he was not able to communicate well in spoken English. The medium of instruction during his engineering graduation was English. This was shocking. I rang my brother, who graduated recently too, and asked for 20 random contacts of fresh graduates he knew are recently finished university in various streams. It was a personal revelation to me that nearly 60% of them were not possessing skills i would like them to have to base my decision to hire them for my organization. Hindu, a leading daily in India, published last year that more than 50% of Indian students graduating are unemployable.

I tried to analyse what is not working. Our education systems is too focused on academics and less or hardly any focus on application part of it. Parents force their ward to just acquire a degree certificate and they themselves lack skills to provide guidance to develop relevant skills which academia is incapable to provide for through traditional institutions.

Employability skills are general skills that are needed to get most jobs, but they also help you to stay in a job and work your way to the top. While there will always be some job-specific skills that an employer is looking for, most employers will also want you to have some general skills. This contains two areas one being the job-specific skills and the second general skills. First one, job specific skills, typically is easy one for employer to offer immediately on the job. Second one, general skills, is real challenge to acquire.

Now let’s have a look at general skills. What are they? The skills employers want

Communication – Both written as well as oral

Teamwork – Good social skills

Problem solving – Logical thinking

Basic Numeracy – Numerical ability

Leadership – Go get together attitude

Adaptability – For new ideas, situations, technology

Creativity –Out of the box thinking

IT- general proficiency in MS office and computer hardware/software

These skills are not taught as a special curriculum in our academic years. They need to be acquired. Here most of our graduate students fail. Now a days in colleges and by various soft skills or job-ready skills institutions these skills are taught. The graduate students are almost around 20 years of age. If they are not good enough in any of the above or all of the above general skills at this stage how they are going to fit in the job world?

Acquiring suck skills is an ongoing process and if one starts early, definitely he will have an edge over others. Parents needs to be more vigilant in finding right opportunities to groom their child based upon this self knowledge. Parents can start building upon it, no matter in what stream their wards have their degree, and become employable. The good news is that there are institutions coming up who are offering relevant help. In addition to that Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Modi, has recently revamped the NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) organization. Their role statement is quite impressive “Develop ultra low cost, high-quality, innovative business models”. This statement seems they want promote a sustainable model. I wish success to both private and government efforts to bring skill level up among Indian youth. This area will help India become economic superpower in the years to come considering 50% population in India is below 25 years of age, which is whopping 600 million people. I wish a great success to these efforts.

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Why no company could ever optimize MRO purchase in India?

*MRO – Maintain Repair Operate

Mr. Khan is head of purchase for a multinational with 3 manufacturing sites operating in different parts of India. Over a freewheeling conversation, he shared that in his two decade old experience he only saw brief dialogue over MRO spend optimization during goal setting annual meetings between purchase teams and top management. After the annual summits no real effort. It was worth scratching heads over this problem as some large organization spends millions of dollars annually yet not deploying resources to optimize this kind of purchase.

Lets look at some facts which can increase insights on what is going on. The annual revenue at one of three India plants at Bawal in Mr. Khan’s organization is $30 million. The total purchase is $21 million while the MRO purchase is $1 million. Interestingly being less than 5% of total purchase there were 3000 SKUs to be dealt with from 1700 suppliers. This data indicates to a fundamental management issue which is causing poor attention to MRO spend. Management work by 80:20 principle when it comes to prioritization. By the nature of low value in overall purchase pie MRO purchase gets lower resources to mange it and thus low attention.

One key issue is too many suppliers to deal with due to unorganized market in India said Mr. Narula purchase leader from leading auto component JV company based out of Faridabad. Once a product flows in supply network after being manufactured in India or imported there are many channels and on retail side there are many small dealers. Most MRO items are not required regularly on predictable frequency. Individual purchase order carries low volumes. This causes purchase resources in organization to do shallow research before finalizing a supplier.

The other issue is there are many non power brands (less known low cost brands) available in the market shared a large distributor of Bosch products at Chawdi Bazaar New Delhi. These small brands are winning on price point and remain extremely regional. There is absence of clear visibility on national level about what is available at what price. E-commerce platforms can come to rescue in such situation. W.W. Grainger is a success story in the US market. There are starups in India like http://www.supplyMr.com and others who are trying to increase transparency by providing national platform to these brands.

Another issue highlighted by Mr. Jagadeesh from a large auto major based out of Chennai is predictability of delivery with small suppliers acting as retail partner to MRO items. One of the key reason is that these are family run small businesses with poor access to capital to manage reasonable cash flow.

Considering above issues, MRO items purchase can be a place to use E-commerce innovations recently discovered and established by B2C retail players like Flipkar and Amazon. According to WW Grainger fact book 2016, India size of MRO business is $ 16 billion. Supplier consolidation, transparency of pricing and predictable delivery time can add tremendous value to Indian manufacturing and non manufacturing sectors. One of such exciting startup focused on these values is http://www.supplyMr.com

Watch out this space for more on this subject. Add your comments below to develop the article.