Monthly Archives: October 2014

A programmer’s null and a philosopher’s nihilism

null_nihilBeing software engineers, we use null as a value that is unavailable, unassigned, unknown, or inapplicable. It is neither a zero nor a blank space. A database designer uses a null to indicate a data value that does not exist in the database. A programmer uses a null pointer for an uninitialized, undefined, empty or meaningless value. It is believed that a null reference is probably the worst mistake made in programming. I will argue otherwise. Continue reading

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Does NREGA make workers lazy?

a-worker-relaxingNREGA is a social security measure that aims to ensure livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Started in 2006, for many years, the annual budget allocated to the scheme was frozen around Rs 33,000 crore. States projected an estimated 278 crore person-days of work for this year, which would amount to an estimated cost of Rs 66,000 crore. Even as the Ministry of Rural Development accepted this figure, the budget allocation was increased to Rs 34,000 crore for this financial year. Continue reading

Who is Dr Swamy?

swamyDr Subramanian Swamy is probably the only Indian politician who has more Twitter followers than voters. Every major Indian political event since the emergency has his name written on it. Here’s an analysis on why this dangerous and controversial person must be avoided. Read full article on the NRI magazine