Saturday, February 26, 2011

Railway Budget 2011: Ignoring North East once again!

When Mamata Banerjee became Railway Minister of the country, it raised some hope among the people of east India (specially North East India) where the railway sector is least developed. But as couple of years have passed, it has become clear that she is no better than the former railway minister Lalu Yadav, or may be even worse. Lalu's budgets were Bihar centric and Mamata's budget nowadays are Bengal centric. She has crossed all limits probably this year, ahead of Bengal assembly elections. Sacrificing the national interests she is mainly trying to woo the voters in Bengal. The budget 2011 has brought 56 new express trains in India and like it has happened many times before, none of these new express trains connect North East to the rest of India. Earlier Mamata Banerjee introduced a special class of trains called "Duronto" (with no official stoppage between upto the final destination) which became very popular due to their efficiency. But she did not think of sending one such train to North East (seven states). This time she has given a consolation to the North East people saying that out of these 56 new trains, one train will be running between Guwahati and Dimapur. But is it enough? In fact, we would have been happy even if this train was not introduced. There are other trains between these two stations and people often travel by bus also. What North Eastern people need more is couple of good trains to places like Bombay, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai where there are large number of students, workers from North East are living. To Delhi at least we have a good train called Rajdhani Express. She is also proposing that Manipur capital Imphal will be connected by railway network very soon..let's see how soon it happens. Such budgets which are being proposed with an eye to grab some votes in state assembly elections(Bihar, Bengal or whatever) will never be able to satisfy the needs of the country and North East will always be ignored like before.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My last SERC school :)

The days I spent in Delhi during the SERC school 2011 were simply amazing and they were pretty much same as my BSc days there. I never thought I will be commuting everyday from North Delhi to Jamia to attend the lectures which starts at 9:15 am and that was the very reason I sent couple of requests to some of the people in CTP, Jamia I know, to provide me an accommodation. And I am very thankful to them for making my accommodation ready after 3-4 days of my arrival in Delhi. But once I started staying with my ccousins/friends in North Campus, it became really difficult to shift to Jamia. As a result I continued to travel everyday back and forth. My everyday journey used to start at 7:30 am, I took metro from GTB Nagar to Nehru Place and then took bus to Jamia and somehow managed to reach the classroom on time. Although my plan was to attend only the LHC course, I could not stop myself from attending the other two lectures, namely Black Hole thermodynamics and Inflation. Although I was not following the black hole lectures towards the end, yet it was always pleasant to attend lectures by a speaker like Prof Ashoke Sen. The inflation course was a bit fast specially for those who had not studied it earlier. But to me this course was very much kind of informative in the sense that I got to know the usual path which one should follow to build his/her own inflationary model. The LHC course part II was as good as the first one. Both Gautam and Sreerup did a great job.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

26th SERC in Delhi-25

I am in Delhi currently attending the SERC school at CTP, Jamia. I reached last Sunday and I must mention that Indian Railways did a much better job this time, I reached Delhi half an hour before the scheduled arrival time ( 20 hours delay last time I came to Delhi). Half an hour vs twenty hours seemed fair enough to me as far as Indian Railways is concerned. Anyway, Delhi was quite cold few days back, but now its becoming hotter and hotter. The school is going pretty good with Prof Ashoke Sen and Prof Gautam Bhattacharyya doing an awesome job with their courses on Black Hole Thermodynamics and New Physics at LHC respectively. The Black hole course started with basics of General Relativity followed by specific examples of Schwarzschild, Kerr and Reissner-Nordstrom solutions and then going into the thermodynamic aspects. There are still four more lectures to go and Prof Sen will talk about the quantum aspects of Black Hole thermodynamics in the remaining lectures. The New Physics at LHC course started with basics of gauge theory, spontaneous symmetry breaking, introduction to standard model, the LEP results etc. Currently the course is dealing with the experimental constraints on various parameters in the theory and how we can constrain new physics beyond standard model based on LEP II results. There is not much QCD happening since the discussions so far is about LEP only and that probably makes the lectures easier to follow. He might discuss these things from LHC perspective as well and that will be slightly harder due to various QCD effects which were not there in case of LEP. This course seems much more interesting than the course "Top and Higgs Physics at LHC" in last year SERC school. That's primarily because the Professor has started with very basics and gradually moving into harder stuffs giving most of the students a feeling of what is going on. Usually it happens that in any SERC school, students do not follow both the lectures running during the first half, but this time most of us are following both the courses. Looking forward to an equally interesting second half of the school as well :)