Archive for July, 2013

వెలలేని సంపద – Invaluable legacy

July 29, 2013

మా తండ్రిగారు వదిలి వెళ్ళిన వెలకట్టలేని సంపద.

1. అమూల్యమైన మా తాతగారి పుస్తకాలు

2. మా నాన్నగారు సేకరించిన పుస్తకాలు

3. అనుభూతి పూర్వకాలైన లేఖలు

 

4. స్వదస్తూరిలో వ్రాసుకున్న వేదాంత విషయాలు

— ఆషాఢ బహుళ ఆష్టమి (మా తండ్రి గారి ఆబ్ధికం) సందర్భంగా

akshapaTalam – Records and Audit office

July 28, 2013

Having dealt with revenue – http://sastra-artha.blogspot.in/2013/07/activity-of-revenue-administrator.html cANakya goes on to explain the importance of audit of the records.

The records and audit office should be established facing east or north. Depending on the importance the officers of three kinds the best ones for most important, middle for the middle range and low for the low end projects should be appointed. Every work year is 354 days. All the records should reach the akshapaTalam by AshaDha shukla pUrNima.

Along with the details of accounts, the status of the works undertaken etc., should be reviewed and audited.

The loss could happen due to the 1. ignorance (ajnAna) of procedures 2. lack of endurance (uthAnaklEsa) 3. due to lazyness (Alasya) 4. due to mistakes / overlook (pramAda) 5. fear of uproar from the subjects (sankrOSa bhIti) 6. due to favouritism (anugraha) 7. due to pride (darpa) and 8. due to greed (lobha) of the officer.

Each deviation should be identified and root cause need to be ascertained. In the growing order of magnitude the fines should be given for the loss incurred due to the 8 cases above. (1 lowest and 8 highest scale)

King should not appoint close relatives as officers due to the punishment involved for the non-compliance to the procedures. (Wife’s brother and daughter’s husband etc., should not be appointed as officers!)

If the officers are not ready with the accounts by Ashadha pUrnima, they can be given at the maximum of one month time to furnish the details. Beyond that the fines apply.

It is important to ascertain the root cause of non-compliance and remedied the root cause. The fines and punishment is to fix the root causes.

For small errors/mistakes King should forgive the officers. Even the income is very little King should be happy (if the process is working fine). For those who strictly adhere to the procedures and help establish the order should be respected and honored.

This is the seventh chapter of second book of artha SAstra.

My Notes: It is very interesting to see the modern project management reviews, various certification audits, excellence models do not have the essential part of identifying the root-cause. Non compliance is raised and closed. We need to think of auditors identifying the root cause of non-compliance and suggest the solution as suggested by artha SAstra even in the modern day audits.

హంస మంత్రం

July 27, 2013

గమాగమస్థం గమనాది శూన్యం
                   చిద్రూపదీపం తిమిరాపహారం |
పశ్యామి తే సర్వజనాంతరస్థం
                   నమామి హంసం పరమాత్మ రూపం ||

— యోగశిఖోపనిషత్ నుంచి  (హంస గాయత్రి ధ్యాన శ్లోకం)

gamAgamasthaM gamanAdi SUnyaM
                  cidrUpadIpaM timirApahAraM |
paSyAmi tE sarvajanAntarasthaM
                  namAmi haMsaM paramAtma rUpam ||

(THAT) Is established in exit (niHSvAsa i.e., exhalation)  and entry (utSvAsa i.e, inhalation)  but devoid of any movement
              Is of the form of light of consciousness (cit) which removes the darkness (timira i.e ignorance)
I see THOU established in all the (living) beings
              I bow down, “haM sa”  The SOUL ultimate of all beings!

Every human being recites (silently performs a japa of) this mantra 21,600 times daily! which keeps the being alive. Only due to THAT soul’s presence all the movements of mental, emotional and physical layears are expressed and impressed!

Activity of Revenue administrator

July 20, 2013

Having addressed the saMnidhAta in the last post, cANakya moves on to describing the activity of setting up the ledger of income and expenditure by the revenue administrator.

Seven ‘Income’ accounts are:
1. durgam – Income from fortified city: Custom duties, fines, duty on liquor, gambling, market yards, service taxes from sculptors, actors, singers, fees for passports and other export and import duties at the gates form the income from the CITY.

2. rAshTram – Income from the land (or territory): Sixth portion of agriculture produce, water cess, taxes on traders dealing across the territory, transport based on water ways, catching of thieves constitute the income from territory.

3. Gold, Silver, Gemstones and everything that is derived by digging the land is called khani – Income from mines.

4. sEtu – Income from gardens / irrigation constituted by flower and fruit gardens, roots etc.,

5. vanaM – income from forests – Income from beasts, deers, elephants etc.,

6. vRjaM – Income from herds – constitutes cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep, donkeys and camels, horses and mules etc.,

7. vaNikpathaM – toll from land and water transport systems.

Above seven are the limbs of the Aya i.e income. Income is generated by selling the product/service for a price (mUlam), sharing, manufacturing charges, fixed tax, surcharge and other taxes.

Expenditure:

1. Worship of devas (God) and pitRs (manes), for dAna (charity), gifts for sAnti and pushTi vachanas (elders/well-wishers)
2. Maintenance of anthapura – household and kitchen
for dUtas,
3. expenditure of kOsTAgara (stores mentioned in last post)
4. maintenance of AyudhAgAra (weapons / military equipment)
5. maintenance of market yard, maintenance of forest produce storage
6. maintenance of agriculture
7. salaries to the servants, soldiers
8. maintenance of horses, chariots, elephants and acquiring new ones of these
9. costs of cows, goats etc., and growing them
10. maintenance of zoo with wild animals and birds
11. expenditure on fuel
12. expenditure on fodder

All the above are primary expenditure accounts called vi+Aya or vyava.

It is very important to log the “time” while carrying out accounting. The year, month, tithi (day), weekday, details of the party (person or unit) involved in the transaction along with the amount involved in the transaction.

karaNiyam – the expected income from each village, sthAnIyam etc (budgeted income)
siddham – which has been in the King’s kOSa, what King has promised to give to someone either by written SAsana or word of mouth etc.,
SEsham – that which requires too much effort to recover, even after recovery it is not worth (in modern language we may say this as non-performing-assets)
Aya and vyava are income and expenditure explained above and
nIvi – the balance brought forward or taken forward

An “accountant” or revenue administrator should have a good view of the six types of amounts for any given period. (probably the OLAP of slicing and dicing has been done from all dimensions at the time of cANakya!)

Further to this the Aya is of three types – vartamAna (of present period), paryushita (of a past period recovered in this period) and anyajAta (unexpected income by fines or other means) and the vyaya is of four types – nitya (regular operational expenditure) nityOtpAdika ( op ex overrun which is recognized at the end of the period) lAbha (salaries that need to be given at the end of the month or a fortnight etc) lAbhOtpAdika ( additional money like bonuses etc)

एवं कुर्यात्समुदयं वृद्धिं चायस्य दर्शयेत् ।
ह्रासं व्ययस्य च प्राज्ञः साधयेच्च विपर्ययम् ॥

Thus the wise (samAharta) should fix the revenue and show an increase in income (vRddhim ca Ayasya darSayEt) , decrease in expenditure (hrsvam vyayasya ca) and should remedy the opposite! (sAdhayEt ca viparyayaM)

With this 28th post on this blog, we reach the end of sixth chapter of second book of artha SAstra…..

Models of Innovation diffusion in social networks

July 12, 2013

 

Having seen the trust modeling, centrality in social network, this post is the third and last of the series on social network analysis.

Innovation diffusion, influence propagation or ‘viral marketing’ is one of the most researched subject of contemporary era.


Some theory:

Compartmental models studying the spread of epidemics, which have susceptible (S), infected (I) and recovered (R) ‘SIR states’ are used to study the influence propagation in the electronic social networks as well. Initially these are descriptive models to describe a specific behavior of nodes when exposed to new innovation or information each node has an initial probability to adapt to that innovation. As each node adapts to the new innovation it has a specific amount of influence on the nodes connected to it.

Primarily two basic models are used to study the spread in a social network. An initial set of ‘active’ nodes at time t0 exert influence on the connected nodes and at t1 some of the connected nodes will become ‘active’ with a probability p(i). Each individual node has a threshold θi and when the influence from the neighbors is more than this threshold it becomes active. This model is called ‘Linear Threshold’ model. At each step, the set of nodes till the step – 1 remain active and influence their neighbors with a weightage. In independent cascade model each node is given only one chance to influence its neighbor.


Based on the above two diffusion models, the maximization problem is to determine the best set of initial ‘active’ nodes in a network to arrive at a best propagation by maximizing influence for ‘viral marketing’ campaign.

It is a NP-hard problem and this paper – http://pdf.aminer.org/000/472/900/maximizing_the_spread_of_influence_through_a_social_network.pdf discusses some interesting approximation algorithm with a general cascade, threshold and triggering models.

Have a good weekend reading!

Appointing chief custodian of goods or items

July 7, 2013

संनिधात – is the director of stores. cANakya starts his 23rd topic of artha SAstra with the first officer to be appointed who looks after the valuable items.

saMnidhAta should establish:
1. a kOSa gRha (underground safe locker for storing valuables)
2. paNya gRha (A place where the trading items are stored)
3. kOshTAgara (a place where agricultural produce can be stored)
4. kupya gRha (A place where produce from forest can be stored)
5. AyudhAgAram (A place where the weapons can be stored with bunkers) and
6. a bandhanAgAram (A jail where people can be confined!)

There is a good description and guidelines for building each of the above places is given. kOSa gRha should have a secret underground chamber. Underground bunkers should be accessible from the AyudhAgAram. cANakya gives a tip here regarding the secret constructions. Those who are sentenced with a death penalty due to any crime can be utilized as labourers of secret constructions. After the construction, the punishment is given thereby the secret paths will not be revealed to anyone else by the labourers.

Jail should be different for those who have been sentenced for civil crimes and for those who were jailed from war (captured soldiers and other military officers committed crimes) Also, the jail should be different for male and female inmates.

Each of the item which gets into these different storage of King should be verified for its purity. All the gem stones are certified by a gemologist, gold and silver are certified by a qualified gold smith. All the agriculture produce is cleaned, graded and stored in proper method. Anyone trying to bring in fake things should be punished accordingly.

बाह्यमभ्यन्तरंचायं विद्याद्वर्षशतादपि ।
यथा पृष्ठो न सज्जेत व्ययशेषम् च दर्शयेत् ॥

The account of the items deposited into these different stores from within the kingdom as well as arrived from outside of the kingdom should be maintained by the saMnidhAta and he should be able to reconcile it even for past 100 years!

This is something like the modern “Program Management Office” and the chief PMO should know where everything is!!