Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maze Puran - The Memoirs of Anandibai Karve

Maze Puran - The Memoirs of Anandibai Karve

Memories of my College Life - Those Glorious Days at ITBHU

Memories of my College Life - Those Glorious Days at ITBHU

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Memories of my College Life - Those Glorious Days at ITBHU

Memories of my College Life - Those Glorious Days at ITBHU

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MAHARSHI KARVE A Legend in his Lifetime, a Social Reformer who transformed the destiny of women in India

MAHARSHI KARVE A Legend in his Lifetime, a Social Reformer who transformed the destiny of women in India

Why I am going to Boarding School - A Small Girls Tale

Why I am going to Boarding School - A Small Girls Tale

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LAST POST - OBITUARY P D JOSHI ( 6th March 1932 - 22nd September 2008)


[A Repost of my heartfelt tribute to my Father-in-Law who left for his heavenly abode exactly one year ago on 22nd September 2008]


In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.

Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.

A product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy [or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it], Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustached high-falutin Colonel Blimp type of Officer.

He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion. Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.

Forever young at heart, Pratap Joshi did not suffer from the Auld Lang Syne Complex. After retirement he did not live in the past, languishing, melancholic and brooding about the “good old days”, but moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new passions and loves – music and social work.

Starting from the scratch, he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar. Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost, making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.

Travelling extensively, and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil, to rural and far flung regions, he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust. He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.

Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs. He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray. It was distressing to see his pet dog Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever. We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our Doberman girl, when she was a baby.

He had a genuine zest for living, and enjoyed every moment of his life, indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music – anything he liked, he did it! He laughed, and made others laugh.

I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982 and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since. He was my father-in-law, more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advice and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity, and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him.

My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye. It was a pity he couldn’t be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he was sailing on the high seas. Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.

We will miss you dearly “Daddy”.

You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart. We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode.

You were a noble, virtuous and morally upright man who always wished well and did good to everyone you met and wherever you went. May your Soul Rest in Peace. RIP.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Software Defined Radio


[Here is an article on SDR compiled by my students Shijesh, Sibil, Shyju and John by browsing the internet, books and journals]

The rapid growth of technology and changing trends in the Communication techniques has paved way for the introduction of many telecommunication devices, many of which are not feasible to modify cost effectively due to lack of flexibility in their implementation. Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology mitigates this problem by providing the flexibility through software.

Software-Defined Radio (SDR) is a rapidly evolving technology that is receiving enormous recognition and generating widespread interest in the telecommunication industry. Over the last few years, analog radio systems are being replaced by digital radio systems and programmable hardware modules are increasingly being used in digital radio systems at different functional levels. SDR technology aims to take advantage of these programmable hardware modules to build open-architecture based radio system software.

An SDR system is a radio communication system where components that have typically been implemented in hardware are instead implemented using software on embedded computing devices. In other words SDR is a Radio in which some or all of the physical layer functions are software defined.

A Radio is any kind of device that wirelessly transmits or receives signals in the radio frequency (RF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum to facilitate the transfer of information.

In today's world, radios exist in a multitude of items such as cell phones, computers, car door openers, vehicles, and televisions.

While the concept of SDR is not new, the rapidly evolving capabilities of digital electronics are practical enabling many processes that were once only theoretically possible.

In the past, radio systems were designed to communicate using one or two waveforms [waveform here refers to any specific standard like Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) or it can be as simple as Frequency or Amplitude Modulation (FM or AM)].

As a result, two groups of people with different types of traditional radio were not able to communicate due to incompatibility problems. The need to communicate with people using different types of equipment can only be solved using software programmable radios because of its flexible architecture.

Traditional hardware based radio devices limit cross-functionality and can only be modified through physical intervention. This results in higher production costs and minimal flexibility in supporting multiple waveform standards. By contrast, software defined radio technology provides an efficient and comparatively inexpensive solution to this problem, allowing multi-mode, multi-band and/or multi-functional wireless devices that can be enhanced using software upgrades

The primary goal of SDR is to replace as many analog components and hardwired digital VLSI devices of the transceiver (radio) as possible with programmable devices.

Some of the advantages of SDR are:

  1. Multifunctionality. The same piece of hardware i.e. the radio set can be used to transmit, receive and process different communication signals that adhere to different air interface standards. This can be done simply by reconfiguring the software.
  2. Global Mobility. The same piece of hardware i.e. the radio set can be used in different parts of the world that endorse different air interface standards. This can again be done simply by reconfiguring the software.
  3. Compactness and power efficient design. Unlike traditional non-SDR systems, which require multiple hardware sets for multi-functional communication, the same piece of SDR hardware can be reduced for such a purpose. This results in compact and power –efficient design, especially as the number of systems increases.
  4. Ease of manufacture. A SDR comprises of fewer hardware parts than a traditional radio since most processing is done in software within a general-purpose microprocessors or special purpose microprocessors like the DSP, or in reconfigurable hardware including FPGAs. This eases the production cycle for the manufacturer with lesser parts to standardize and produce.
  5. Ease of upgrades. Any service upgrade can be easily introduced through the release of new software versions without the expense of recalling or replacing the hardware units. A user can simply download the software off the internet and load it into the SDR.

The most significant asset of SDR is versatility. Wireless systems employ protocols that vary from one service to another. Even in the same type of service, for example wireless fax, the protocol often differs from country to country. A single SDR set with an all-inclusive software repertoire can be used in any mode, anywhere in the world. Changing the service type, the mode, and/or the modulation protocol involves simply selecting and launching the requisite program, and making sure the batteries are adequately charged if portable operation is contemplated.

The ultimate goal of SDR engineers is to provide a single radio transceiver capable of playing the roles of GSM phone, CDMA phone, Wimax terminal, wireless fax, wireless Web browser, Global Positioning System (GPS) unit, and other functions still in the realm of science fiction.


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Monday, January 26, 2009






[An essay on the Art of Eating – one of my earliest foodie blog posts on Sulekha which appears in my book APPETITE FOR A STROLL
along with my other foodie writings]


Are you in the habit of “grabbing a bite”?
Do you ever eat in the office while continuing to work or just skip meals altogether?
Do you multitask while eating?
Do you have power breakfasts, working lunches and business dinners?
Do you eat fast and hurriedly, finish meals well ahead of everyone else and eat in bigger bites without savoring the taste of food?
Can you vividly recall the taste of all the dishes you ate for dinner yesterday night?
Do you want to master the Art of Eating and enjoy your food?
Remember, there is no love greater than the love of eating – so read on, learn and try to master the Art of Eating!
Good food must be savored delicately; slowly, attentively and respectfully; in a befitting manner, with finesse and technique, with relish and appreciation and you will experience true gustatory delight.
That’s essence of the Art of Eating.
It is sacrilege to eat in a ravenous and rapacious manner.
Never eat when tired, angry, worried, tense, hurried, and at mealtimes refuse to think or talk about unpleasant subjects.
It is best to eat alone, mindfully, with yourself, in glorious solitude, in a calm, serene, conducive and unhurried environment.
If you must have company, you must always eat with friendly, relaxed and tranquil people who love food and whose company you enjoy; never eat with “toxic”, “harried” or “stressed-out” people or in a tense or hurried atmosphere.
If you want to do full justice to good food, you must build up an appetite for it – merely being hungry is not enough.
And the first step towards building up an appetite for good food is to think about it – simulated imaginative gustatory visualization to stimulate and prepare yourself for the sumptuous indulgence.
An important thing we were taught at boarding school was to read the menu and prepare for the meal by beginning to imagine relishing each and every dish, from soup to pudding, in our mind’s eye.
Remember: First plan your “eat” and then eat your “plan”.
It’s true. I eat my food twice.
First in my mind’s eye – imagining, visualizing, “vicariously tasting”, fantasizing, strategizing on how I am going to savor and relish the dish to my utmost pleasure and satisfaction till my mouth waters and I desperately yearn to eat it.
And then I do the honours – actually go ahead and physically eat it and enjoy the delightful experience.
Eating is not a gustatory experience alone; it is visual and olfactory as well.
Food must look good, smell good, taste good and, most importantly, make you feel good.
The Art of Eating – a Holistic, Multidimensional experience, encompassing all domains of your inner being.
Eat in silence. Mindfully. With full awareness.
Savour the aroma, delicately place the food on your tongue, chew slowly and experience the variety of flavours as the permeate your taste buds, fully aware and sense the nourishment as the food dissolves and sinks deep within you.
Chew your food to a pulp or milky liquid until it practically swallows itself.
Never mix food and drink – alcohol dulls the taste buds, and olfactory sensation, and encumbers the unmitigated enjoyment of good food.
You must always close your eyes during the process of eating.
When you eat, you must eat; nothing else, no seeing, no hearing, no talking. No multitasking. That’s right – never multi-task while eating.
Just eat! Focus all your senses on your food, eat mindfully, meditatively, and you will attain a state of delightful bliss and happiness.
It’s simple. Create a positive eating atmosphere, honour your taste buds, respect your food and eat it in a proper state of mind, with love, zest, awareness and genuine appreciation and it will transport you to a state of bliss and happiness.
Remember: There is no love greater than the love of eating!
In a nutshell, this is the "Art of Eating".


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Thursday, January 01, 2009





I wrote a dissertation to earn my Masters Degree in Technology [M.Tech.] from IIT Delhi in 1983, and one more for my Post Graduation in Management in 1985. Since then I have supervised and guided dissertations, more than 40, maybe 50, chiefly for Masters Degrees in Engineering and Technology [ME / M. Tech.]. Some students of mine, who I am guiding at the moment, thought it apt than I pen down a few tips on the art of dissertation, so here are I am, writing a few lines, on The Art of Dissertation.

In a nutshell, the Art of Dissertation comprises the following simple steps:

1. Select a dissertation topic in a subject that you are knowledgeable about.

2. Compose a thesis statement that only asks a single question.

3. Employ a research methodology process that is compatible with your dissertation study.

4. Present your data evaluation, analysis and interpretation in an accurate, succinct, logical, well-reasoned and lucid manner and write your dissertation report in a simple, coherent manner conforming to the prescribed style.

5. Conclude your dissertation by answering the thesis statement and, if pertinent, mention corollaries and consequences and possibilities and scope for future research work on the subject.

6. Impart the finishing touches to your dissertation report – definitions, references, bibliography, abstract, summary, acknowledgement, certificate, contents and title pages.


A thesis is a hypothesis or conjecture. The word "thesis" is coined from the Greek derivative of the word meaning "position", and refers to an intellectual proposition. A thesis may be an unproved statement, a hypothetical proposition, put forward as a premise.

A dissertation is a lengthy, formal document that argues in defence of a particular thesis. The term "Dissertation" is derived from the Latin word dissertātiō, meaning "discourse" and is a document that presents the author's research and findings and, in most cases, is submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification. The research performed to support a thesis must be original and substantial. The dissertation must illustrate this aspect and highlight original contributions.

Your dissertation is your research which demonstrates your understanding of the subject in a clear manner. Therefore, it is imperative you find a topic that gives a clear picture of what you should write. Always ignore ambiguous and vague ideas. And, most importantly, choose an apt title – in fact, the title of your dissertation must fascinate you and entice your audience.


Dissertations are of two types - Empirical and Analytical.

Empirical dissertations make propositions resulting from experiments, involving laboratory or field research.

Analytical dissertations reflect propositions resulting from meticulous, pioneering and innovative analysis of previously published work.


A dissertation report may comprise the following main chapters:

1. Introduction- An overview of the problem; why it is important; a summary of extant work and, most important, the thesis statement.

2. Literature Review-the chapter that summarizes another work related to your topic.

3. Methodology-the part of the paper that introduces the procedures utilized for the research study and the conceptual model.

4. Data Presentation, Evaluation, Analysis and Interpretation -the chapter involves the presentation of computation values using statistical tools to support the claim.

5. Conclusion-the complete summary of the research findings.

Of course, you must include suitable pages for definitions, illustrations and graphs, footnotes and references, bibliography, abstract, summary, acknowledgement, certificates, contents and title pages.


Dissertation writing chiefly involves the introduction, literature review, methodology and analysis chapters, and the others mentioned above. Having selected your dissertation topic, before you begin your dissertation you need to establish your thesis statement first.

A thesis statement is simply a single sentence that provides the main intention of the research. The thesis statement will epitomize the scope of your study, give you an idea of what you want to prove and will pilot your research.

A good thesis statement must satisfy the following four criteria:

1. The thesis statement must state your position.

2. The thesis statement must be able to support a discussion.

3. The thesis statement must be specific about its position.

4. The thesis statement should only have one single idea of discussion.

You must ponder over the following points while writing the introduction to your dissertation:

Is there any need to this dissertation study?
Why do it now? Why here? Why me?
Is the dissertation topic in my “comfort zone” and am I thirsty for knowledge and passionate about it?
Is there a problem? What is it? Why does it need to be solved? Should I approach it empirically or analytically?
What is my hypothesis? Is it original, novel, new, innovative?
Who will benefit from my dissertation work? In what sense will they benefit?
How will my contribution add to “commons”?
What is going to be my methodology? [modalities of data collection, evaluation, analysis, interpretation]
Are there any constraints or limitations in conduct of my proposed dissertation studies and research?

Dear Reader, I am feeling tired now, and will end this first part of my article here, but before I sign off, here is an interesting quote I read somewhere:

“The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but the transference of bones from one graveyard to another.” – Frank J. Dobie.

[to be continued]


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.