Friday, March 13, 2009

Robots smile in classrooms

"Unlike more mechanical-looking robots like Honda’s Asimo, the robot teacher, called Saya, can express six basic emotions — surprise, fear, disgust, anger, happiness, sadness — because its rubber skin is being pulled from the back with motors and wiring around the eyes and the mouth. ...."

"Japan and other nations hope robotics will provide a solution for their growing labour shortage problem as populations age. But scientists express concern about using a machine to take care of children and the elderly....." Read on...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Reflections on the global economic crisis

Markandey Katju' s perspective includes reflections on global crisis, Indian economy and role of tax.

"The central problem is not how to increase production, but how to increase the purchasing power of the masses in a grossly iniquitous economy. This is the time for all serious thinkers to address the challenge. "

The problem is also not how to increase demand. The demand is there but people do not have the money to purchase goods. In India, for instance, 70 per cent of the people live on incomes of Rs. 20 a day. This is not sufficient even to buy necessities such as food or medicines, not to speak of durable goods.

The solution to the economic crisis lies in raising the purchasing power of the masses. How this is to be done requires a great deal of thinking and discussion, and all serious thinkers must address this problem facing India, and the world.....Read on...
(The author is a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. This article is based on his speech, ‘Global Economic Scenario – Role of Tax Professionals,’ given at the National Tax Conference at Varanasi on March 7, 2009.)