Amit Paranjape Profile picture
Diverse interests: Software, Healthcare, Aerospace, Technology, Science, Startups, Economics & Policy, Infrastructure, History, Cricket, City of Pune
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11 Jun 20
Today is the 20th Punyatithi of Purushottam Laxman 'Pu La' Deshpande - one of the most loved personalities of the Marathi speaking world.

#PuLa was not just an author and a humorist; but also an actor, a musician, a composer, a film maker, and much more.

Recent thread (2019)⬇️
#PuLa was also an active supporter of many social initiatives, including science outreach. While not active in politics, he did make some important speeches during the 1975 Emergency.

Here is one more collection (thread) from 2018, which I had compiled.

Read 5 tweets
8 Jun 20
Finally...some data from serological population survey.

The first study has revealed that as high as 1/3rd of the population in many containment areas in hotspot cities may have already been infected by the virus and quietly recovered.… (via @samirsaran)
"@ICMRDELHI, with help from the National Centre for Disease Control, World Health Organisation's India office and the state governments had collected nearly 24,000 samples from 70 districts in the country from randomly picked individuals."
"These included ten hotspot cities Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Thane, Jaipur, Chennai and Surat that contribute nearly 70 % of India's total caseload. 500 samples each were collected from 10 randomly chosen containment areas in each of these cities."
Read 6 tweets
8 May 20
Remembering Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his 154th birth anniversary (May 9, 1866).

Gokhale was an Indian liberal political leader and a social reformer, during the Indian Independence Movement.

He was also a senior leader of the Indian National Congress.…
Gokhale was the founder of the 'Servants of India Society'. He was also a Professor at the Fergusson College in #Pune.

Through the Society as well as the Congress and other legislative bodies he served in, Gokhale campaigned for Indian self-rule and for social reforms.
Gokhale was the leader of the moderate faction of the Congress party that advocated reforms by working with existing government institutions.

Gokhale became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1889, as a protégé of social reformer Mahadev Govind Ranade.
Read 8 tweets
7 May 20
'The Battle of Peshawar' took place on May 8, 1758, between the Marathas and Durrani Empire.

The Marathas, led by Raghunathrao (younger brother of Nanasaheb Peshwa) and Malharrao Holkar were victorious in the battle, and Peshawar was captured.

(images: @wikipedia, @LiveHIndia)
This victory helped the Maratha Empire reach its peak - control now extended to the border of Afghanistan, located nearly 2,000 km away from the capital Pune.

Most of Central and Eastern India was also under their control.

The Maratha Empire extended from 'Attock to Cuttack'.
Ten days earlier, the Marathas had won 'The Battle of Attock'. The planting of the Maratha flag on the Attock fort was a key moment in the history of Maratha Empire's expansion

An expression popular to this date: 'Atkepar Zende' [ '(Maratha) Flags Beyond Attock'] was coined.
Read 9 tweets
2 May 20
Just an observation for now, of our complex local government structure of our large cities...with an example of Pune.

(I am sure all of these organizations are doing a great job in this crisis and coordinating well. Not commenting about that..just the structure).

For Pune, these are the organizations (authorities) that have a say in affecting, controlling some aspects of the city life:

1. Pune Muni Corp
2. Pune Smart City Office
3. District Collectorate
4. Div Commissioner Office

All of these are led by an IAS Officer.

Also, we have the office of the Pune Police Commissioner.

Many of these report into state admin

And then we have the people's representative - The Mayor.

None of these earlier authorities directly 'report' into the mayor. So the mayor really doesn't have direct powers.

Read 6 tweets
25 Apr 20
Today is the 100th death anniversary of the amazing mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. He passed away at a young age of 32 on April 26, 1920, at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu.…
"Though he (Ramanujan) had almost no formal training in pure mathematics, he made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems then considered unsolvable."
"Ramanujan initially developed his own mathematical research in isolation:"He tried to interest the leading professional mathematicians in his work, but failed for the most part. What he had to show them was too novel, too unfamiliar, and additionally presented in unusual ways.."
Read 13 tweets
16 Apr 20
300 years ago this day, April 17, 1720 - A young 19 year old Bajirao was appointed as Peshwa in succession to his father by Chhatrapati Shahu.

In the next twenty years, Bajirao transformed the 'Swarajya' founded by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, into a 'Samrajya'.

Bajirao shifted his base to Pune and built the Shaniwarwada.

Observing that the Mughal empire was in a decline -

"Strike, strike at the roots and whole tree will also fall down. Listen but to my counsel and I shall plant the Maratha Flag on the walls of Attock(Fort)."
Bajirao's two decade reign saw a big expansion of the Maratha power into Central India and Konkan. He confronted and successfully defeated the Nizam multiple times, and struck at the gates of Delhi.

He (and his brother) liberated North Konkan from a two century Portuguese rule.
Read 5 tweets
11 Apr 20
As the world battles #COVID19, and is desperately waiting for a vaccine...let's look back at a historic milestone on April 12, 1955.

It was on this day 65 years ago, when American virologist Dr Jonas Salk, announced his discovery of the first effective #PolioVaccine.

"The field trial set up to test the Salk vaccine was... "the most elaborate program of its kind in history, involving 20,000 physicians and public health officers, 64,000 school personnel, and 220,000 volunteers." Over 1.8 million schoolchildren took part in the trial."
"News was made public of the vaccine's success on April 12, 1955, and Salk was hailed as a "miracle worker" and the day almost became a national holiday. An immediate rush to vaccinate began around the world, with countries beginning polio immunization campaigns..."
Read 8 tweets
11 Apr 20
50 years ago this day, launch of #Apollo13.

@NASA's 3rd manned lunar landing mission, 3 days later, a freak accident damaged the service module while in the lunar orbit, 330,000 km away.

What followed was an amazing repair & recovery - from a major crisis to NASA's finest hour.
Will tweet more about this amazing mission, over the next few days.

Meanwhile, if you still haven' watch 'Apollo 13' directed by Ron Howard and starring @tomhanks!

One of my all time favorite films...must have watched it over a dozen times.…
Read 8 tweets
9 Apr 20
Today is the 192nd Janmatithi of Ganesh Vasudev Joshi (popularly known was 'Sarvajanik Kaka').

Joshi was a lawyer, social reformer, and political activist. He was a founding member of Poona Sarvajanik Sabha (precursor to Indian National Congress), along with M.G. Ranade in 1870.
"He was a social activist in #Pune when Maharashtrian revival began, and he was the elderly guiding philosopher when Tilak and Agarkar's generation gave impetus to Indian independence struggle."…
"Joshi also represented Vasudev Balwant Phadke as his lawyer in Phadke's trial.[3]

Joshi had a daughter who was married to Gopal Krishna Gokhale.[citation needed]"
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr 20
"...and just as society, just forget about shaking hands... we don't need to shake hands... we got to break that custom.

Because as a matter of fact that is really one of the major ways in which you can transmit a respiratory borne illness." - Dr. Fauci (White House Advisor)
"The leading infectious disease expert on President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force told WSJ that an end to handshaking would be good for reducing future transmissions of the novel coronavirus and would also cut the number of influenza cases."…
Say NO to 🤝


YES to 🙏

...makes sense.
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr 20
April 5, 1663 - one of the great 'special ops' raids in history. Shivaji Maharaj, along with a small team of Marathas, attacked the invading Mughal leader (Aurangzeb's uncle) Shaista Khan in #Pune's Lal Mahal.

He barely managed to escape, but not before losing three fingers.
Aurangzeb sent Shaista Khan along with a huge army to Deccan to confront the growing presence of Shivaji Raje.

Shaista Khan captured many forts and occupied #Pune and made Lal Mahal as his base.

It was impossible for Shivaji Maharaj to confront the Mughals in an open battle.
Hence, a brave plan was hatched to attack Shaista Khan directly in Pune. Shivaji Maharaj and small band of Maratha soldiers entered Pune (dressed as part of a wedding procession, to avoid getting detected) and reached Lal Mahal.

After the attack, they escaped towards Sinhagad.
Read 6 tweets
29 Mar 20
One more point - one of the oldest sites in the city, the Pataleshwar cave temple is in 'Bhambhurda' (JM Road, Shivajinagar) and dates back to the 8th century.…
People are asking about Kothrud and Aundh. To the best of my knowledge, these 'villages' were added to the Pune city limits in the 1950s. I think Yerawada as well.
Read 2 tweets
19 Mar 20
China's inaction for 3 days in January at root of pandemic

"In the days before Wuhan was locked down on Jan. 23, as many as 5 million of its 11 million citizens had already left the city, as the mayor and others have testified."… (via @ShankkarAiyar)
"The Chinese government locked down Wuhan on Jan. 23, halting all public transportation going in and out of the city. The following day an order was issued suspending group travel within China."

#COVID19 #coronavirus
"But in a blunder that would have far reaching consequences, China did not issue an order suspending group travel to foreign countries until three days later, on Jan. 27.

In retrospect, it was a painful mistake. This is what happened in those critical three days:"
Read 5 tweets
11 Mar 20
Please Note:

'Coronavirus' represents a family of viruses.

The specific one from this family that triggered the Wuhan outbreak was given a temporary name: '2019-nCoV'.

Later given a permanent name: 'SARS-CoV-2'.

'COVID 19' is the name of the disease caused by this virus.
"Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)."…
"A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans."

"COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in Dec'19."
Read 4 tweets
8 Mar 20
"Since peaking in the early 1980s at 1.8 million tons a year, Israeli citrus production has dropped almost 75%. That decline highlights Israel’s shift away from its socialist, agrarian roots and its emergence as a tech powerhouse."…
"Agriculture has fallen to 2% of goods exports, from a peak above 40% in the 1950s, as the plains and gentle hills around Tel Aviv have been bulldozed to make way for malls, apartment blocks, and office parks for growing ranks of software coders and pharmaceutical researchers."
"Just 1% of Israelis now work in agriculture, down from 18% in 1958, while the tech sector has shot up from virtually zero to 10% of jobs today, many developing software used outside the country."…
Read 3 tweets
20 Feb 20
There's activism.... and then there's Puneri activism 😉

This gentleman is apparently 'protesting' outside the 'world famous' Bedekar Misal near Laxmi Road - asking for 'Paav' instead of 'Bread Slices' (which Bedekar serves with Misal).


(photo via WhatsApp) #Pune
Okay...let's do a poll 😉

What do you prefer with your #Misal?

#MisalPaav #MisalBreadSlice
While folks debate on 'Paav' or 'Bread Slice', here's a list of #Pune #Misal old restaurants:

Vaidya Uphar Gruha, Raviwar Peth (1911)

Shrikrishna Bhuvan, Tulshibaug (1941)

Bedekar, Narayan Peth (1955)

Shri Misal, Ramnath, Bapat...1950s/60s?

Any other old ones?
Read 5 tweets
13 Feb 20
"Pale Blue Dot"

Feb 14, 1990 - 30 years ago, one of the most iconic photos of all times - a view of our blue planet, taken by the Voyager-1 spacecraft, from a distance of about 6 billion km!

The term was coined by Carl Sagan in his reflections of the photograph's significance.
@NASAJPL @NASAVoyager @NASAhistory "Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion km (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU), as part of that day's Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System."…
@NASAJPL @NASAVoyager @NASAhistory "In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight reflected by the camera."
Read 5 tweets
11 Feb 20
Today (Feb 12) is the 278th Janmatithi of Nana Phadnavis - one of the most important figures of Maratha and Indian History, in the last three decades of 18th century.

Nana (along with Mahadji Shinde) held the Maratha Empire together amidst many internal and external challenges.
Many internal challenges threatened the Maratha Empire in the late 18th century - the toughest one being the murder of Peshwa Narayanrao, and the role of his uncle Raghunathrao.

Later Raghunathrao aligned with the British and this eventually led to the 1st Anglo Maratha War.
Nana Phadnavis was able to align all the internal leaders together (incl Shindes, Holkars) to face the British.

Other external challenges included the Nizam and Hyder/Tipu.

Nana was an excellent statesman, and a strategist. He had the foresight to identity future challenges.
Read 7 tweets
3 Feb 20
Today marks the 350th anniversary of 'Battle of Sinhagad'- the near impossible mission led by Tanaji Malusare on February 4, 1670, to capture the fort of Sinhagad near Pune.

The mission was a success, but Tanaji had to make the ultimate sacrifice - today is his 350th Punyatithi.
The impregnable fort of Sinhagad was under Mughal control.

Shivaji Maharaj had entrusted the tough task of capturing it, to Tanaji Malusare.

On the night of Feb 4, 1670 (Magh Vadya Navami), Tanaji and a few hundred 'Mavles' scaled the steep cliffs of Sinhagad.
Tanaji fell during the fierce battle, but the mission was accomplished.

"Gad Aalaa, Pan Sinha Gelaa" (The Fort is captured, but the Lion is dead) - Shivaji Maharaj on learning of Tanaji's sacrifice.

Tanaji's bravery and supreme sacrifice continue to inspire many, to this day.
Read 7 tweets
19 Jan 20
Attended #RaisinaDialogue2020 last week. The content (talks and panels) was excellent. And so was the organization of the event.

Conference organization issues are some of my pet peeves (see tweet below) and hence want to highlight all the best practices at this conference. 1/n
Some of these are basics...but not often adhered to at conferences (especially in India).

Sessions started and ended, dot on time...with very few genuine exceptions.

No time was wasted in unduly long preambles or introductions of speakers (bios are available online/print).

No formalities of 'token' gifts or mementos to speakers and panelists. This takes up unnecessary amount of time at most conferences!

Only a short break (under 30 sec) for a group photo of the panel/speaker..that's it...and then we move onto the next session.

Read 9 tweets