HOME | ABOUT US | Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | www.CenterforPluralism.com | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com You can send an email to: MikeGhouseforIndia@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

India leads in Auto technology - Car run by Air power

TThere is an old saying in India not to build castles in the air... meaning too much hot air in your talk, that myth is about to be busted. India is building cars that run on air power; compressed air. 

This is one small step for mankind, but a giant leap for independence from fossil fuels. I am sure, air impact studies will be done, environmental effects will be considered, but we are moving forward.
Hopefully we will manage our planet responsibly.

In my weekly article at Dallas Morning News, I wrote, "If Senator Mulla Santorum had attended science classes; he would have known how fertile lands become deserts, or how irresponsible management of waste can cause our water to be destructive to health, and how the soil erosion (alluvial) can rob the food productivity. If we don't take care of mother Earth, she would deprive us of her fruits. It is a mutually respectful relationship with Earth, and not a Bam, slam, thank you maam kind of relationship."

We are all a part of one interconnected and interdependent system. Keeping its equilibrium is our responsibility for our own survival as a part of the whole.

Hope you are as excited about the innovation as I am. 

This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true. We'll see in August. 2012

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. All his work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net 
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The following is an excerpt from Tata Motor company.

News of Tata's air-powered "Mini CAT" car first surfaced way back in 2008, and even now it remains one of the most contentious articles on the TMR website.

Now, the Indian owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, and producer of one of the world's most affordable cars - the Nano - has confirmed that the Mini CAT will hit showrooms in August.

The Mini CAT is made mostly from fibreglass, with a bonded (glued) tubular chassis rather than welded. And power, of course, is provided entirely by compressed air.
Fuelling the car costs only as much the electricity needed to power the compressor - around $2, Tata says.
After a 'fill', which takes around three to four hours at home or only a few minutes at a suitably equipped service station, the Mini CAT is supposedly good for around 300 kilometres.
Developed jointly with ex-F1 engineer Guy Negre and his outfit Motor Development International, the Mini CAT will be priced from around $8000, or around four times the price of the Nano city car.
What will the Oil Companies do to stop it?

It is an auto engine that runs on air. That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric but just the air around us. Take a look.[cid:_2_09DF50AC09DF4B70000A4D62CA25791F]

Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets by August 2012

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go. The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air. A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car. One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car. Which are not many. The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100 KM, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas. It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists. The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors. A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.

This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor. Itwill take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep. Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.

This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true. We'll see in August. 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Israel Palestine commitment, part 2

Israel's security and justice to the Palestinians are directly proportional to each other. Hundred percent security for Israel comes with 100 percent justice to the Palestinians. A majority of people in the conflict understand this, but the leadership runs aground with short sighted false perceptions.

Huffington post on Israel Palestine solutions : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/commitment-to-israelpales_b_1263793.html

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Mike Ghouse is a writer, thinker and a speaker on pluralism, politics, Islam, peace and building a cohesive America, links to details at www.MikeGhouse.net.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Indians chart New World waters

Feb 17, 2012
Indians chart New World waters
By Raja Murthy

NEW DELHI - Christopher Columbus, who thought he had discovered India when he ran into North America sailing for a new spice route, might be even more convinced these days, with Indians set to become the largest segment of foreign workers and second-largest number of students seeking visas for the United States.

In a year in which immigration polices are stormily featuring in the debate for the November elections, United States President Barack Obama appears singing a different visa tune from when assumed office four years ago. India had the highest American visa rejection rates in the world in 2009, a year after Obama became president, according to a US immigration report this month. Visa rejections for Indians rocketed up eight-fold to 22.5% of applications from 2.8% the previous year.

On January 19, Obama ordered a streamlining of the visa process to increase travel to the US from countries like China, India and

Brazil, in what might well be the largest peacetime movement of people in human history, between the world's two largest democracies and the world's most populated country.

"The number of travelers from emerging economies with growing middle classes - such as China, Brazil, and India - is projected to grow by 135%, 274%, and 50% respectively by 2016 when compared to 2010," James W Herman, the Minister-Counselor for US Consular Affairs in New Delhi, informed Asia Times Online. Visa applications from India are projected to increase at 14% year-on-year until 2020, he said.

Herman said India has the highest number of business visas to the US issues worldwide, and is placed second for student visas. He expects that each year until 2020, US consulates in India will process 2.1 million visa applications - over twice the population of a small country like Bhutan.

Whatever the distant past, the present widening of doors has raised the hackles of Republicans. The US Congress is scheduled this month to investigate allegations that immigration officers are being pressurized to speed-up visa applications without due regard for fraud and security.

The probe follows the US Department of Homeland Security issuing a 40-page report, later leaked to the public, alleging that 25% of immigration officers said they had been urged to approve dubious visa cases. One officer was even demoted for rejecting too many applications. But a spokesperson for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service denied any such goings-on.

Visa quotas are blistering the presidential election year - a legacy that could perhaps be blamed on the Iranians. A certain Persian king Artaxerxes I (464-425 BC) of Achaemenis dynasty is said to have issued the world's first ever visa or passport, circa 450 BC. He gave a letter to a court official granting him safe passage to lands "beyond the river". He thus started the history of visa woes and American immigration headaches - and perhaps gifted habitual Iran-bashers in the US some more ammunition.

The Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said Obama's presidential executive order on visas encourages "terrorism and visa overstays". Relaxed visa norms threaten "the integrity of [the American] immigration system", blasted Lamar Smith, US congressman from Texas who chairs the House Committee on the Judiciary. "It's outrageous that administration officials would compromise national security for their own political agenda and gain."

More trouble erupted with allegedly increasing H-1B visa fraud, with the Eastern District Court of Texas issuing a subpoena to leading Indian software firm Infosys last May for alleged misuse of work visas. In 2011, nearly 700,000 US visa applications were processed in India and a record 67,105 H-1B work visas were issued, mostly to software professionals.

India accounts for nearly 65% of the H-1B visa applications US embassies receive worldwide, but Indian trade associations complain that is not enough. The US embassy in New Delhi has even set up a special department to deal with H-1B visa woes.

But while H-1B visa workers are suspected of stealing American jobs, other travelers from India, China and Brazil are welcomed as job creators. The US State Department estimates that every additional 65 visitors leads to one more tourism-related job in the US. Doubling arrivals from China, India and Brazil would support over 200,000 jobs, according to the Washington-based US Travel Association.

Popular US Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana endeared herself even more with the US travel fraternity in 2011 when she ardently pushed for conducting tourist visa interviews through secure, remote video-conferencing technology.

Regular consular access itself can be a nightmare in vast countries such as India, China and Brazil. Entire families and tour groups have to sometimes travel thousands of kilometers to the nearest US consulate just to apply for a visa.

China, with over 450 cities each with over 1.5 million people, has only five cities - in Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu - with a US consulate offering tour group visa interviews. India has four US consulates - in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The video conferencing move if implemented to could increase millions more visitors from India, China and Brazil.

Currently, Japan, South Korea and Singapore are the only three Asian countries among 36 nations whose citizens do not need a paper visa to stay in the US for a period of 90 days. But given the desperation of some folks in this part of the world to get to the US, it's not quite likely that Indian and Chinese travelers can in the near future land at New York's JFK airport without the US visa stamp. Even a simple tourist visa may not always appear straightforward, according to some interview experiences [1].

China saw an even bigger demand to travel to the US, with over one million visa applications in 2011, a 34% increase over 2010. Nearly 260,000 visas were processed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, compared to 175,000 visas in 2011. Visa interview waiting times in China have shrunk to just two days at the five US visa-processing consulates.

Expanding infrastructure to cope with the visa rush can brew a controversy or two, as when the US consulate in Mumbai shifted address last November. Its longtime premises Lincoln House in Breach Candy, South Mumbai, was palace of Maharaja Wankaner Pratapsinhji, king of Wankaner, a small Western Indian princely state until 1947.

The palace occupying 8,345 square meters of prime Mumbai real estate was given on a 999-year lease to the US government for 1.8 million rupees (US$36,000) in 1957. A political ruckus may erupt if the US government tries selling it - and possibly violates Indian laws of property ownership for foreigners.

The US consulate had not much choice but to move address in Mumbai. If Maharaja Pratapsinhji applied for a US visa circa 2011, he might be playing mobile phone games all day and night outside the US consulate in queues sometimes over 3,000 people. Local residents complained.

The Maharaja's descendants, having no surviving lease documents, say they will not challenge any American sale of their ancestral property. "I look at it as one of the biggest donations an Indian citizen may have made to the world's richest nation," a descendant Digvijaysinh Jhal resignedly told the Indian Express last November. The "donation" is worth about 18 billion rupees (US$361 million) in current real estate prices. The US though has still a bit of time to decide Lincoln House's future - until the year 2956.

The less royal, more spacious new American consulate in suburban Mumbai has 44 visa counters and two large waiting halls to seat 2,000 visa applicants at a time. US Embassy staffing overall across India has in fact increased by whopping 60% in 2011. But it still may not be enough to cope with Asia's rush to America, and consequent chain of events.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Indians among world's happiest people: Poll

 (Reuters) - Despite economic woes, wars, conflicts and natural disasters the world is a happier place today than it was four years ago and Indonesians, Indians and Mexicans seem to be the most contented people on the planet.

More than three-quarters of people around the globe who were questioned in an international poll said they were happy with their lives and nearly a quarter described themselves as very happy.

"The world is a happier place today and we can actually measure it because we have been tracking it," said John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos Global, which has surveyed the happiness of more than 18,000 people in 24 countries since 2007.
But he added that expectations of why people are happy should be carefully weighed.
"It is not just about the economy and their well being. It is about a whole series of other factors that make them who they are today."

Brazil and Turkey rounded out the top five happiest nations, while Hungary, South Korea, Russia, Spain and Italy had the fewest number of happy people.

Perhaps proving that money can't buy happiness, residents of some of the world biggest economic powers, including the United States, Canada and Britain, fell in the middle of the happiness scale.

"There is a pattern that suggests that there are many other factors beyond the economy that make people happy, so it does provide one element but it is not the whole story," said Wright.

"Sometimes the greatest happiness is a cooked meal or a roof over your head," he explained. "Relationships remain the No. 1 reason around the world where people say they have invested happiness and maybe in those cultures family has a much greater degree of impact."

Regionally Latin America had the highest number of happy people, followed by North America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. Only 15 percent of Europeans said they were very happy.

On a more personal note married couples tended to be happier than singles but men seemed to be as content as women. Education and age also had an impact with more people under 35 saying they are very happy than 25-49 year olds. Higher education also equated with higher happiness.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney,; editing by Jill Serjeant)