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Postby Abhijeet » 30 Jun 2005 03:30

Weird that Bulgaria and Ukraine are also experiencing population decline - it seems generally to be a problem for rich countries, not developing ones. Russia also has the same problem, so maybe the same factors affect Bulgaria and Ukraine. I'd guess that the underlying factors causing lower fertility rates in Western Europe (generous-enough social security systems that having children is economically inefficient) are not the same as the factors that lead to the same result in Eastern European countries.

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Postby Paul » 30 Jun 2005 03:41

They are still suffering from the afterffects of WWII.

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Postby SandeepA » 30 Jun 2005 03:44

In Eastern Europe the decline is more due to the huge population loss of World War II coming to haunt them. 27 million were killed in Russia alone within a few short years.

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Postby arun » 30 Jun 2005 12:43

Jack Straws speech on the theme “India: The Next Decade” at Chatham House on June 27.

A positive speech on India, but as is normal marred by a view that ex-colonials are so dumb that an insult can be passed of as compliment.

Why should a asylum request be even looked at in the first place from, “ a country such as India, which maintains high standards of human rights and in whose legal system we trust” ?

And why should India treat it’s inclusion as a “non-suspensive appeals countries” as a signal honour when another country on that list is Bangladesh, a country which Jack Staw views as being prone to “political violence” ?


It's a real pleasure to be back here at Chatham House and with you, Natwar, to open this conference on India: the next decade.

Few things about the future are certain. But one of them is that India's next decade will be one of continuing and exciting change in India itself, with an enormous impact on India's partners around the world.

I first visited India 26 years ago, on my honeymoon. The transformation of its economy since then, and particularly since the early 1990s, has been astonishing. As now a regular visitor I am constantly struck by how much has changed since my last visit, but also by the continuity of India's timeless virtues.

The rise of India has been spectacular. And not least thanks to continuing economic reform, there is a great deal more to come – with Indian growth, according to Goldman Sachs, likely to be above 6% every year for the next two decades. While many countries face the challenges of an ageing society, India's working-age population is set to grow continually well into the 2020s. India's demand for oil by 2025 is expected to be 2½ times the level today. Airbus predicts that by 2023, India will need almost 600 new aircraft, worth $55 billion. Those examples give some idea of the scale of what is happening.

But India's economic rise is not simply down to cheaper wages or to competition in low-cost sectors. India is not racing the world to the bottom, but to the top: British and other international companies look to India not just for low-cost call centres, but for services at every level of expertise and skills. Just over a year ago I visited AstraZeneca's first medical research laboratory in an emerging country: it was in Bangalore, which says a good deal about India's position in the cutting-edge industries of the future. The hospitals of our National Health Service now look to India for overnight results on medical tests through the use of tele-medicine – images and other data sent through the Internet.

Economic growth is also changing Indian society, and the pace of change looks set to increase further. 2 million new Indian mobile phone subscribers sign up every month. India's universities are producing hundreds of thousands of top-flight graduates in science and technology. And India is one of the world's most vibrant societies, and the largest democracy on earth, with 5 ½ thousand daily newspapers and the film capital of the world in Bombay. That makes for an environment where innovation and dynamism can flourish. One of the fundamental differences between India and China is that India is a democracy and China is not. China is achieving remarkable things. But one reason I'm so confident of India's future success is the way it is governed. Democracy is a fundamental human right. But more than that, you can't in the end have a successful market in goods and services and innovation without a market in ideas – not just limited to economic ideas, but including political ones as well.

As one of India's closest partners, the United Kingdom follows its success closely – and has a lot to gain from it. The UK-India relationship over the next decade has enormous potential. Both of us have a lot at stake in making a reality of the “strategic partnership” declared by our two Prime Ministers last September.

Though today we are looking to the future, it is worth reminding ourselves of the past. For the UK's and India's shared history – some of it good, some less so – has left us with a powerful legacy on which we can build.

There are two key components to that – first, the human links between us. Over a million people in the UK are of Indian origin, and they form one of the most dynamic communities in Britain today. Through them there's a vibrant network of links between India and the UK, from business partnerships and research collaborations to the exchange of ideas. That network binds us together far more strongly than a relationship between governments could ever do.

The second legacy of our history is the strength of our shared values. We are both pluralist democracies. We have embraced secular multi-culturalism, a model focused neither on simple integration, nor on the bare requirement of tolerance, but instead on a celebration of our diversity. We both have to tackle extremism, and ensure that the energies released by our societies are able to take a productive direction. We are barely beginning to tap the full benefits of the common ground between us as we face those questions.

So let me suggest three main objectives for our relationship for the next decade.

First is to strengthen further our business partnership.

We start from a strong base. The UK is already the second-largest foreign investor in India; and India is rising fast up the list of investors here. 60% of Indian investment in Europe comes to the UK, and more Indian companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange than on the New York and NASDAQ exchanges combined.

We are well-set to build on that success. As India moves into the cutting-edge sectors of the future, we in the UK are investing record amounts in science to increase our own knowledge base. We are already one of Europe's most successful economies not least in areas such as IT and biotechnology. And we have one of Europe's most flexible and successful labour markets, and, here in London, its most important business hub.

Moreover, the UK and India can exploit a profound compatibility between our economies and the way we do business. We both speak the world's global language, English. We deeply value education and research; our pluralistic societies support innovation and the exchange of ideas. Our cultures favour entrepreneurs – many of the most successful have roots in both India and the UK. We have signed an important agreement on air services, which is seeing new routes opening up almost every week: it takes us from just 19 flights a week between the UK and India last autumn, via an interim stage of more than double that, to a truly open-skies arrangement with almost 60 flights into Heathrow alone.

The second objective which I would suggest for the next ten years is to realise the benefits of an ever-closer relationship between our governments and societies.

India matters to the United Kingdom across a growing range of our domestic policy. Many Indian doctors and nurses work in British hospitals and in general practice. 16,000 Indian students are studying at British universities; the Prime Minister and I, along with our Indian colleagues, are working to increase that number further. Thousands of Indian non-governmental organisations have links to civil society here in the UK.

Businessmen and women, students, tourists and family visitors weave the fabric of our relationship, and we are determined better to facilitate legitimate travel between our countries. Last week the British Government published our new Immigration Bill, which will inject more transparency into the question of managing migration. Our aim is both to show those who wish to settle in the UK whether and how they can do so; and to reassure British people that this is an orderly process in which they can have confidence. We are working closely with India to remove those who abuse the system, whether as illegal immigrants or as unfounded asylum seekers. I am delighted that we were recently able to add India to the list of so-called “NSA” or non-suspensive appeals countries – that is, to recognise that those Indians who seek asylum in the UK and fail must return to India before we will entertain an appeal. This is the way we should handle relations with a country such as India, which maintains high standards of human rights and in whose legal system we trust.

Earlier this year, the UK and India also broke new ground in our relationship in establishing a Joint Economic and Trade Committee, and a bilateral financial dialogue. At the London end, we have set up an important new collaboration between the private sector and government, the Asia Task Force, to promote trade and investment. We also have a lively UK/India Round Table comprising members of Civil Society and business which looks forward to the key issues in our partnership.

The third and final objective which I would set for us over the next decade is this: that we turn our relationship into a truly global collaboration on the issues which will shape the future of our world, on energy security, climate change, development and security.

I'm delighted that India's Prime Minister will be attending the G8 summit in Gleneagles in two weeks' time to join the discussion on some of these challenges. And I look forward to deepening our relationship with India on energy issues, and strengthening the Sustainable Development Dialogue which we have established.

The next decade will, I hope, be one of growing co-operation between us on development. India is the UK's largest overseas development partner; yet increasingly we are also working towards the same goals as donors in Africa and elsewhere.

And we are also building our partnership on global security. We have a close dialogue on the situation in Nepal; and both of us wish to see Bangladesh prosper with a reduction in political violence. Despite our different starting positions on nuclear matters, we share a common determination to tackle proliferation. And we are increasing our co-operation against terrorism and its networks of support. In doing that, we should not hesitate to reaffirm our values of pluralist democracy, which are the best long-term weapon we have against terrorism and extremism.

For many years now, India has played a really important role in UN peacekeeping missions, and I hope that will grow further. We are working together in the run-up to the Millennium Review Summit this September on reform of the United Nations. And as part of such reform, the UK supports India's bid for permanent membership of the Security Council – I reaffirm that support today – because we want to see India taking on global responsibilities commensurate with its size and importance.

Mr Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This autumn, the British Prime Minister will visit India, as EU President, for the EU-India summit and an extensive programme of bilateral talks. That will be a chance to deepen India's engagement with Europe; and to continue maximising the benefits to us both of India's global rise and of the UK's position as the leading dynamic European economy.

I look forward to playing my part in further strengthening our partnership. Let me thank all of you for the work which you are doing, and will do, to make the next decade a period of even greater success for India and the UK.

EAM Natwar Singh’s speech at Chatham house is here.

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Postby arun » 30 Jun 2005 12:48

Again from Chatham House, this time UK Minister for Foreign Trade, Ian Pearson, with an interesting nugget :

India now ranks as the 2nd largest source of foreign direct investment into the UK from Asia, in terms of projects and jobs generated, and ranks among the UK's top ten destinations for overseas investment


More on that nugget :

India second largest Asian investor in UK


Postby Raju » 01 Jul 2005 08:21

Philips starts 65-, 90-nm chip design in India

K.C. Krishnadas
(06/30/2005 6:47 AM EDT)
URL: ... =164904091

BANGALORE, India — European consumer electronics giant Royal Philips Electronics said Thursday (June 30) it is starting work on 65- and 90-nanometer chip design at its development center here. The work is aimed at the next-generation of consumer chips including those based on its Nexperia platforms.
"The next-generation consumer platform chip will enable new applications for our next-generation consumer platform such as high-definition motion-based enhancements and three-dimensional TVs," said Rene Penning de Vries, chief technology officer at Philips Semiconductors. The chip will include multiple MIPS and Trimedia digital signal processors and various application specific IP blocks designed using Philips' 65-nm process, he added.

Tapeout is expected next year, and designers here will work with Philips' centers in San Jose, Calif., and Philips Research in Eindhoven, Netherlands, on the new chip.

"Such work will take this center to a new, high level of design complexity," said Rajeev Mehtani, director, Philips Semiconductors, based here.

Another initiative is the design of reusable intellectual property. "We are enhancing our IP development and productizing capabilities and expanding our work in the areas of connectivity peripherals. Existing competencies in the reuse IP portfolio will be leveraged to provide SoC integrators with ready-to-use subsystems, which can be plugged to build complex SoCs," de Vries said.

Philips' relationship with STMicroelectronics and Freescale Semiconductor is to be expanded to include more high-level circuit blocks, and the center here is set to have a key role.

Philips Semiconductors has 500 staffers here, and hiring will continue.


Postby Raju » 01 Jul 2005 10:15 ... 010002.htm
Italy likely to withdraw Kashmir travel advisory

Indo-Asian News Service

Srinagar, July 1, 2005

Italy is considering the withdrawal of an advisory warning its citizens against visiting Jammu and Kashmir, the Italian envoy indicated in Srinagar on Thursday.

Italian Ambassador Antonio Armellini gave this indication during a meeting with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.

The proposed move by Italy, an official spokesman said, followed an "improvement in the situation" in Kashmir and "consistent efforts by Chief Minister Sayeed to have such advisories withdrawn".

Armellini is in the state on a five-day visit.

The spokesman said the ambassador showed keen interest in tourism and inquired about facilities and infrastructure available for travellers in the Kashmir Valley.

Armellini also sought information about the arrival of foreign tourists, especially Italians.

He is scheduled to interact on Friday with senior officials of the state tourism department, who will brief him on the tourism scenario in Kashmir, an official statement said.

Sayeed briefed the ambassador about the situation in the Kashmir Valley in the backdrop of the peace process and confidence building measures initiated by India and Pakistan.


Postby Raju » 02 Jul 2005 12:09

Switzerland lifts ban on arms exports to India

Sandeep Dikshit

Curbs have also been lifted for Pakistan, South Korea and Iraq

NEW DELHI: Switzerland has lifted the curbs on the export of military material to India that were imposed in 1998 following the nuclear tests.

Confirming this, Swiss Ambassador to India Dominique Dreyer told The Hindu that the communiqué issued by the Swiss Federal Council (Cabinet) could pave the way for the export of military equipment worth 300 million Swiss francs (about Rs. 1,000 crores).

"The Federal Council has decided that it would give up the prohibition of export of military material to India and Pakistan. The normal regime for export of arms and ammunition would be applicable," said Mr. Dreyer. The Council, in a communiqué to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, approved export applications from India for the construction of 35 mm anti-aircraft guns and spare parts worth 300 million Swiss francs over the next five years, he said.

The curbs had also been lifted for Pakistan, besides South Korea and Iraq. The curbs on Pakistan were imposed after it conducted nuclear tests.Switzerland announced the lifting of the restrictions a month after President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam visited the country. However, Mr. Dreyer said it was "difficult to say" whether the resumption of military cooperation was linked to the President's visit.

Besides allowing India to resume talks on the anti-aircraft gun, the lifting of the embargo would also enable the Army to shop for high altitude equipment and clothing.

Pakistan, it is learnt, would be able to resume talks on purchasing several hundreds of the Swiss army's surplus armoured personnel carriers for use in U.N. operations. Switzerland has also allowed its companies to open talks on similar vehicles with Saudi Arabia, which will donate the vehicles to Iraq. The Federal Council has also lifted curbs on exports of arms to South Korea.


Postby Raju » 06 Jul 2005 12:35 ... ormat=html
Satyam sends Hungarian grads to India
By Robert Smyth

Satyam Computer Services Ltd., one of India’s leading IT consulting and services firms, is initiating a training program in which its newest Hungarian recruits will be taken to India. They will later work out of Hungary or elsewhere, serving Satyam clients the world over.

“Other firms are coming to Hungary, while we’re taking Hungary to the world,” said Randhir Mishra, Satyam’s regional director for the CEE region. “We also hope to dispel the myth that Indian companies are taking all the jobs away from Europeans, when we are actually doing quite the opposite, and creating many new high-skill jobs.”

Hungarian IT graduates are seen as having strong basic knowledge on completing their university studies, and building on this, an intense three-month period of training in India equates to two to three years’ experience, explained Suresh Nandihalli, delivery head at Satyam’s “near-shore” CEE development center, which recently opened in Budapest.

“When they return they will be versed in the latest technology, our world-class process and methodology,” he stated. “Fresh grads are eager to learn, and highly flexible in terms of mobility, which we don’t see with experienced people.”

Nandihalli said that Satyam aims to pick “the best of the best,” and train them in special skills in India.

“Hungarian universities have helped us to connect to students,” he said. “Our message that we offer a career, not a job, was well received by students.”

After joining projects, the recruits go through a career path that they choose based on their interests, Nandihalli explained, with their skills continuously advanced via on-the-job coaching from the more experienced members of the team. In this way, he said, a graduate who chooses to become, say, a solution architect, will go through the technical career track and learn the intricacies of solution architecture, while being exposed to the latest developments in the field.

Certain IT skills are somewhat less easy to find in Hungary, explained Mishra, adding that Satyam follows a similar approach globally to ensure that its talent pool of skills in demand is constantly regenerated.

“For some of the special skill sets such as SAP and Siebel, there’s not many people available in Hungary, and those who are available can be very expensive,” said Nandihalli.

Furthermore, the Indian executives noted that such professionals are much less prepared to travel. This, they stressed, is an important industry requirement.

“The movement of experienced people is exaperiencing a real bottleneck,” said Nandihalli. “Our specialists need to spend time with the customers and see what their requirements are.”

He added that Satyam globally brings in 1,400 university graduates to its organization every quarter, with 70% of its overall global recruitment made up of fresh graduates.

“Graduates provide the critical link in our global delivery model, and they are the core that make or break the industry,” said Mishra.

The first batch

The initial intake of 30 Hungarian graduates will travel this Aug. 1 to Satyam’s Global Entry Level Training Center in Hyderabad, one of the key centers of Indian IT, after a two-week orientation period in Budapest. Satyam plans to send regular groups that will gradually increase to around 50-strong in number, said Nandihalli.

During the three-month training period, new recruits undergo a customized training program, Nandihalli explained. The language of instruction is English, and all aspects of the selection procedure – which he noted is the same in every country Satyam recruits from – are also carried out in English.

Several thousand students were trained in Hyderabad last year from countries such as China, Malaysia and Australia, said Nandihalli.

In the second phase of its recruitment program, depending on the response to and success of the current one, Satyam is likely to branch out across the region to recruit students from other countries in the CEE.

By stepping up its presence in Hungary, asserted Mishra, Satyam is further strengthening its commitment to European customers, some of whom have encouraged the Indian firm to get closer to Europe.

“Hungary is an important part of our global delivery model, and one project is often carried out between several countries,” he said. In Europe, Satyam also has a subsidiary in the U.K.

Nandihalli added that near-shore outsourcing is popular with customers who are reluctant to outsource projects to places as far away as India.

“Being part of Europe, it’s easy for our specialists to visit our customers, and for our customers to visit us,” he noted.

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Postby AJay » 06 Jul 2005 21:49

Raju wrote:
Satyam sends Hungarian grads to India
By Robert Smyth

This is a really innovative move by Satyam. Hungarians are very very very good in Combinatorics
and Math related to Comp. Sci. I am sure they would add value to the Stayam offerings.
I hope some of our Indian grads. who are up-to-date on technology would get cross-trained in

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Postby Singha » 06 Jul 2005 22:55

indeed the small east euro nations are a outsize power in ACM olympiads.

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Postby Umrao » 06 Jul 2005 23:03

Hungarians were the mainstay of USSR computer hardware and software designs. They were the ones who succesfully copied IBM 370 architecture.

It can be interpreted as a recognizable preparation of minds that took place in the Hungarian gymnasium, between 1890 and 1930 the best “high school” system in the world according to an article in Europhysics News[2]. Most likely Pais did not read this article by George Marx who cites Norman Macrae (former editor of The Economist and biographer of von Neumann): “The early 20th-century Hungarian education system was the most brilliant the world has seen until its close imitator in post-1945 Japan[3].” Marx explains what accounts for the legendary status of Hungarian schools, in particular the gymnasia. Notably the Minta, the Kemeny Zsigmund and the most legendary “Fasori” Lutheran Gymnasium. Their quality gave their pupils probably an enormous head start over all the school-leavers in the rest of the world. Nobel laureates George de Hevesy, George Olah (both in chemistry), John C. Harsanyi (economics), Eugene P. Wigner, Dennis Gábor (both in physics), and other world famous people like John von Neumann, Leo Szilard, Theodore von Kármán and Edward Teller (physics), Marcel Grossmann (Einstein’s co-worker in relativity), Arthur Koestler (author), Theodore Herzl (founder of Zionism), John C. Kemeny (inventor BASIC and e-mail) and George Soros (financial tycoon) all were educated at this type of school. I don’t believe that this is just a coincidence. Here we see the emergence of creativity from a cultural background that was unmatched by the intellectual environment of schools anywhere else.
The above picture is drastically reinforced by an account of Theodore von Kármán[4] in which he gives an explanation for the Hungarian production of brilliant mathematicians: “The Minta, or Model Gymnasium, became the model for all Hungarian high schools. Mathematics was taught in terms of everyday statistics. We looked up the production of wheat in Hungary, set up tables, drew graphs, learned about the “rate of change” which brought us to the edge of calculus. At no-time did we memorize rules from a book. Instead, we sought to develop them ourselves…. The Minta was the first school in Hungary to put an end to the stiff relationship between the teacher and the pupil which existed at that time. Students could talk to the teachers outside of class and could discuss matters not strictly concerning school. For the first time in Hungary a teacher might go so far as to shake hands with a pupil in the event of their meeting outside of class.
Each year the high schools awarded a national prize for excellence in mathematics. It was known as the Eötvös Prize. Selected students were kept in a closed room and given difficult mathematics problems, which demanded creative and even daring thinking. The teacher of the pupil who won the prize would gain great distinction, so the competition was keen and teachers worked hard to prepare their best students. I tried out for this prize against students of great attainments, and to my delight I managed to win. Now, I note that more than half of all the famous expatriate Hungarian scientists, and almost all the well-known ones in the US have won this prize. I think that this kind of contest is vital to our educational system, and I would like to see more such contests encouraged here in the US and in other countries.”
Once in early life, when I was still active in Analytical Chemistry we always were talking jestingly on international chromatographic congresses about a body with quite a lot of influence (Csaba Horváth, Leslie Ettre, Istvan Halasz and Albert Zlatkis) as the “Hungarian Mafia”. (In the mean time - as well as the majority of the abovementioned bunch of scientists - all naturalized as American citizens). In retrospect I understand where the brains of those chromatographic godfathers were moulded into creative minds. Probably at the same institutions where all the other famous Hungarians were educated. The number of Nobel prizes of “Hungarian-borns” is out of proportion, compared to their percentage of the world population. They got four in chemistry, three in medicine, four in physics, one in economics and one for peace.
The Hungarian school system was not intended exclusively for the education of the “happy few” from the upper ten in the Hungarian society. On the contrary, József Eötvös, the minister of culture during the beginning of the industrial revolution, introduced compulsory schooling and founded secular schools that did not show privilege to any pupil[5]. As witness a random sample recently extracted from the Internet[6] that can bear testimony to the mentioned quality of the Hungarian school system in those days. P.A. Zuckerman writes: “I was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1929. I grew up in poverty, but because of a good public school system I obtained a high level of literacy. …… My good literacy enabled me to become a printer's apprentice. I was essentially an indentured servant, receiving room and board in exchange for working six days a week for my master. But I was learning a skilled trade, and continued my education informally through reading.” Such a case is remarkable in more than one respect because it shows somebody who next to his formal training had also “learned to learn” with merely basic public school education. Broadly speaking such an effect can only be expected at a much higher level of education. The man who was appointed by Eötvös for the actual introduction of the new school system was Mór Kármán. For his pedagogical achievement he was even ennobled by emperor-king Franz Josef in 1889. Budapest demonstrated its adoration for Rátz Lásló, a famous teacher in mathematics from its Lutheran Gymnasium, by naming a street after him, as Amsterdam is cherishing its Prof. Kohnstammstraat, Montessoristraat, Pestalozzihof and inevitably its Theo Thijssenhof, but where on earth could people became nobleman because of their teaching capabilities…….?

Let us shed some light on the impact of a few of the abovementioned famous Hungarians. As the first we take Marcel Grossmann, who was appointed professor of descriptive geometry at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in 1907. Marcel Grossmann was once Albert Einstein's classmate. As a matter of course Einstein, when he sought to formulate mathematically his ideas on the general theory of relativity turned to Grossmann for assistance. Grossmann introduced Einstein to the differential calculus, started by Elwin Bruno Christoffel (1864) and fully developed at the University of Padua by Gregono Ricci Curbastro and Tullio Levi Civita (1901). The collaboration between Einstein and Grossmann resulted in their article "Entwurf einer verallgemeinerten Relativitätstheorie und einer Theorie der Gravitation" [7]. By allowing the encounter of the mathematical achievements of the Italian geometers and the profound physical insight of Einstein, Marcel Grossmann facilitated the unique synthesis of mathematical and theoretical physics reached by Albert Einstein in the most elegant and powerful field theory of physics: The General Theory of Relativity.

Harsanyi began teaching at UC Berkeley in 1964 as a visiting professor and became a full professor in 1965. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in game theory (see also von Neumann), a mathematical theory of human behavior in competitive situations that has become a dominant tool for analyzing real-life conflicts in business, management and international relations. He shared the award with two fellow game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Nash. When Harsanyi won the Nobel Prize, he expressed hope that game theory would help public and private institutions make better decisions. In the long run, he said, he hoped this would lead to a higher standard of living and to more peaceful and more cooperative political systems. Game theory uses mathematics to try to predict the outcome of games, such as chess or poker, and is increasingly being applied to political and economic conflict situations, including labor negotiations, price wars, international political conflicts, and even federal auctions, such as bandwidth auctions. Harsanyi's principal contributions to the field addressed the prediction of outcomes in games or situations in which the players lack complete information about each other or the rules of the game. In 1964, Harsanyi was asked to be one of 10 game theorists to advise the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency on its negotiations with the Soviet Union. The team found that it could not advise the U.S. negotiators effectively because neither side knew much about the other - it was a game of incomplete information. Harsanyi subsequently developed a systematic procedure to convert any incomplete-information game into an equivalent complete-information game containing random moves, thereby significantly expanding the applicability of game theory to political and economic conflicts[8].
Besides Harsanyi many other famous Hungarians were heavily involved in activities that appeared to be crucial for the shape of our present world. Over to the next giant.

John von Neumann was born in Budapest, and educated at Zurich and at the universities of Berlin and Budapest. He was a maths prodigy; as a child, he could divide two eight-digit numbers in his head, he entertained family guests by memorizing columns from phone books, then reciting names, addresses and phone numbers perfectly. Earning a doctorate at twenty-two, at twenty-three he became the youngest person to lecture at the University of Berlin. In 1930 he went to the United States to join the faculty of Princeton University and at the age of thirty, along with Albert Einstein, he was appointed one of the first professors of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, New Jersey. His contribution to the development of the electronic digital computer was so important, that almost all such machines are now referred to as von Neumann processors. Through the 1930's and early 1940's, Von Neumann worked together with Morganstern on game theory, hoping it would form the basis for a future exact science of economics. In 1937 he was accepted as a U.S. citizen and during World War II he served as a consultant on the Los Alamos atomic-bomb project. In the late 1940's, John von Neumann began to develop a theory of automata. He envisaged a systematic theory which would be mathematical and logical in form, and which would contribute in an essential way to our understanding of natural systems (natural automata) as well as to our understanding of both analogue and digital computers (artificial automata).

Staying in the computer business we turn the spotlight to John Kemeny, also born in Budapest (1926). At that time Hungary had no great industries and very few opportunities for a bright young person, so many of the best and brightest became teachers. As a result they educated a generation of students, which contained a number of world-class mathematicians and physicists all out of proportion to the population of that small nation. The Kemeny family moved to New York City in 1940, and John attended high school there, followed by a study in Princeton during World War II. During his undergraduate days, he also worked on the Manhattan project (the A bomb) in Los Alamos. As a graduate student, he worked as Einstein's mathematical assistant:
"People would ask -- did you know enough physics to help Einstein? My standard line was: Einstein did not need help in physics. But contrary to popular belief, Einstein did need help in mathematics. By which I do not mean that he wasn't good at mathematics. He was very good at it, but he was not an up-to-date research level mathematician. His assistants were mathematicians for two reasons. First of all, in just ordinary calculations, anybody makes mistakes. There were many long calculations, deriving one formula from another to solve a differential equation. They go on forever. A number of times we got the wrong answer. Sometimes one of us got the wrong answer, sometimes the other. The calculations were long enough that if you got the same answer at the end, you were confident. So he needed an assistant for that, and, frankly, I was more up-to-date in mathematics than he was."
In 1953 Kemeny joined the Mathematics Department at Dartmouth became its chairman (in 1955), a position he held until 1967. In that time he was instrumental in building it into a program nationally recognized for innovation and leadership, particularly in the use of computers in education. In 1971 he became President of Dartmouth and served in that position for 11 years. Kemeny has always been a committed teacher and even as President, he continued to teach 2 courses a year, never missing a class! He returned to full-time teaching in 1982 and remains active in mathematics, mathematics education and the uses of computers in education.
Kemeny was very worried about the consequences of nuclear war and worked with the World Federalists to educate people about the dangers. He was even offered a job as its executive director, but Einstein, who was also very concerned, talked him out of accepting it. Einstein reasoned that if you were a paid employee of such a group no one would pay attention to you. The way to be heard, he felt, is first to become first-rate at mathematics or something else -- then you will have an audience. President Carter appointed Kemeny to chair the Presidential Commission to investigate the Three Mile Island accident, and the report the Commission issued in 1979 was very critical of the nuclear power industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kemeny was also very critical of the accuracy of the reports of the accident, which appeared in the news. All too commonly, the reports had the numbers right but with the wrong units, and that substantially changed the meaning of the numbers. (Exactly the same problem wrecked one of the missions to Mars)
Kemeny is also the co-author, with Thomas Kurtz, of the computer programming language BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), the most widely used programming language in the world. In 1963, he and Kurtz wanted to make it easy for students to gain access to computing, but the only computers available cost millions of dollars and used relatively difficult-to-learn languages. First they designed the first "time sharing" system so that a single computer could simultaneously serve many users, and then they wrote BASIC to allow those users to write programs easily. The first BASIC program was run at Dartmouth at 2 am on May 4, 1964, and Dartmouth became the leader in accessible computing. In 1984 Kemeny and Kurtz wrote TrueBasic, the language they feel the original BASIC should have evolved into. It remains easy-to-learn and contains features first found in more advanced languages.

Also Leo Szilard (1898 – 1964) was a Hungarian-born physicist (and later on molecular biologist) who helped persuade President Roosevelt to launch the A-bomb project and who had a major share in it. Szilard's ideas included the linear accelerator, cyclotron, electron microscope (patent 1931), and nuclear chain reaction. He began in 1926 a 7-year collaboration with Albert Einstein on the invention of home refrigerators without moving parts. Their joint inventions would include the annular linear induction pump, or Einstein-Szilard pump, that was patented. Hired as consultant by German General Electric Company (A.E.G.) to develop the Einstein-Szilard refrigerator. A prototype refrigerator using this Einstein-Szilard pump successfully operated in the A.E.G. Research Institute.
But the development of it was abandoned due to the invention of Freon and the increasing economic depression. In 1930 he taught a theoretical physics seminar together with Erwin Schrödinger and John von Neumann. Taught seminar on nuclear physics and chemistry with Lise Meitner, the woman that discovered nuclear fission and unjustly was passed over for a Nobel Prize. Szilard fled from Germany to Britain in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution. And as the story goes, while walking through the streets of central London after reading an article about the impossibility of getting energy from atoms -- as he waited for a streetlight at the corner of Southampton Row -- Leo Szilard conceived the neutron chain reaction. He also predicted, immediately on learning of the discovery of fission, that uranium might sustain a chain reaction. In the mean time emigrated to the U.S. he began experiments at Columbia University, in collaboration with Walter Zinn, and demonstrated that neutrons were emitted in fission. But he unsuccessfully proposed that results of the fission experiments should be kept secret because of the danger of a German atomic bomb. Szilard collaborated with Enrico Fermi on an experiment testing a uranium-water system. He proposed the uranium-carbon lattice design for a nuclear reactor. But he unsuccessfully attempted to convince Fermi of the likelihood of a chain reaction and the need to continue experiments. Shortly afterwards he visited Albert Einstein with Eugene Wigner (and later with Edward Teller) to discuss methods of averting a German atomic bomb. Szilard was the man who drafted, from Einstein's dictation, the now famous letter (August 2, 1939) to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
That probably influenced General Groves, head of newly formed Manhattan Project, to declare Szilard to be detriment to the project who should be arrested and interned for the duration of war. But that had not been materialized. He advised colleagues on all aspects of reactor design. He correctly predicted that atoms should be dislocated by radiation damage ("Wigner disease") and could release their stored energy exothermically (the "Szilard complication"). (This effect caused the 1957 Windscale nuclear accident in Britain.) In 1943 Szilard was forced, by General Groves, to sell his atomic energy patent rights to the U.S. government. One year later he became increasingly concerned about the potential of breeder reactors for a post-war nuclear arms race. In 1945 he unsuccessfully sought personal meetings with President Roosevelt, then Truman. He circulated a petition among Manhattan Project scientists opposing use of the atomic bomb on moral grounds. After the end of World War II, he organized a successful opposition to the May-Johnson bill, which should have placed atomic energy under military control. In the same year he testified before U.S. Senate committee on the implications of atomic energy. In 1947 Szilard decided to leave physics for biology. And he also published his "Letter To Stalin," proposing methods for reducing US-USSR tensions, published in the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”. Consequently he publicly opposed the development of the Hydrogen bomb in 1950. Szilard began his participation in the so-called "Pugwash" conferences, established to allow eminent scientists from East and West to discuss peace and world security. Szilard got the Atoms for Peace Award. He had even a personal meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, during Khrushchev's 1960 visit to New York, to propose methods of reducing US-USSR tensions, including the Washington-Moscow "hotline". In 1962 Leo Szilard founded the Council for Abolishing War (later renamed Counsel for a Livable World). He flew even to Switzerland during the Cuban Missile Crisis (because he was one of the few people who was aware that any moment WW III could break out, and really scared) and attempted to avert World War III through personal diplomacy. An equally important subject to Szilard was personal responsibility; therefore he always insisted that scientists should accept moral responsibility for the consequences of their own work.

Another Hungarian kindred spirit was Eugene Paul Wigner (1902 – 1995): same field of expertise and the same mental orientation. During his lifetime he was a major player in the development of the atomic bomb, the design of commercial nuclear reactors, and the progress of nuclear science in general. He was also a central figure in the history of Oak Ridge National Lab (ONRL), where he directed research from 1946 to 1947 with profound influence. His activities brought him numerous accolades, including the Nobel Prize for physics in 1963 for his research on structure of atom & its nucleus. He and von Neumann were once in the same class and knew each other very well from their frequent “adolescent” scientific discussions. Wigner was also a member of the US Atomic Energy Commission and a Professor at Princeton. Co-developed the atomic bomb and is known as the father of Nuclear Engineering.
Wigner was one of a number of Hungarian scientists who came to the United States in the 1930s and made contributions that far outweighed their numbers. (A reviewer of a book on Szilard held that those who theorized that advanced space aliens landed in ancient Egypt or South America were wrong; it had obviously occurred near Budapest.)
In contrast to the occasional eccentricities and brusqueness of his compatriots, Wigner was known for his reticence and courtesy. ORNL staff members recall his waiting in the back of the cafeteria line, talking to employees, as Teller (see underneath) charged to the front. He scheduled appointments with the most humble of staff and kept them. His insights were often helpful to fellow researchers. Clifford Shull recalled in ORNL's First 50 Years that he once mentioned a vexing diffuse scattering problem to Wigner that he and Ernie Wollan had encountered with early neutron scattering experiments. Wigner calmly reflected: "Maybe there is something new here, and maybe we have to relax our notions about conservation of particles." After that succinct vote of confidence, Wollan and Shull charted progress in neutron scattering that eventually resulted in Shull's share of the Nobel last year (1994).
Fellow former ORNL Research Director Alvin Weinberg acclaims Wigner as the founder of nuclear engineering and as a great theoretical physicist who introduced group theory and symmetry principles into physics. In a 1991 talk, Weinberg recalled that Wigner did not suffer fools gladly but was polite about it. If he said something was "very interesting," it meant he thought it was wrong.
Wigner abhorred the Nazi movement. He was responsible for the Manhattan Project idea and the letter to President Roosevelt. It was Wigner who was among those who persuaded Albert Einstein to write his famous atom bomb letter to the President (See also above under Szilard). He later became devoted to civil defense efforts, briefly returning to ORNL from Princeton in 1964 to organize a project. Weinberg credited Wigner with designing the first fast neutron breeder reactor after hearing Enrico Fermi discuss the concept; with suggesting water as a superior production reactor coolant over helium; and "inventing" the high-flux reactor and the curved fuel plate.
Younger scientists in the 1940s, Weinberg recalled, weren't convinced that a chain reaction was possible; "thus, his 37 patents showed vision." Named for him are the Wigner Fellowships, two-year ORNL appointments awarded to today's exceptional young scientists. Wigner received the Fermi Award and shared the Atoms for Peace Award with fellow Hungarian Leo Szilárd.

In sharp contrast to Szilard and Wigner we introduce here their Hungarian opponent Edward Teller (1902 - ) Of all the scientists who worked on the U.S. nuclear weapons program none have led more controversial a career than Edward Teller. Described by one Nobel Prize winner in physics as "one of the most thoughtful statesmen of science," and by another Nobel Prize winner (by Isaac Rabi in 1973, also born in Hungary) as “He's a danger to all that is important. I really do think it would have been a better world without Teller", Teller was recognized by most of his colleagues as being one of the most imaginative and creative physicists alive. But at the same time, his single-minded pursuit of the hydrogen bomb, and his autocratic style alienated many of the scientists he worked with.
The man who would one day be known as the father of the hydrogen bomb in the U.S. was born into a Jewish family on January 15, 1908 in Budapest, Hungary. He grew up during a particularly turbulent time in Hungarian history. Following a short (133 days!) Bolshevik terror regime (more than 580 public executions) of Béla Kún in 1919, the country was ruled by a virulently anti-semitic fascist dictator, Nicholas Horthy. The political upheavals meant the young Teller was only too happy to leave his homeland in 1926 to study in Germany. In 1930 he got his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Leipzig. Although he accepted a research post in 1931 following his graduation, Teller realized that Hitler's rise to power meant that he should leave Germany as soon as he could.
In 1935 Teller immigrated to the United States to take up a teaching position at George Washington University. His first years in the U.S. marked a new phase of his career: His postdoctoral research had been in quantum mechanics; at George Washington University, he would begin a very productive collaboration with Russian émigré George Gamow in nuclear physics. At the outbreak of the Second World War, scientists became aware that the nucleus of a uranium atom could be split releasing enormous amounts of energy. Teller was among the first scientists recruited to work on the Manhattan Project that was working to develop such a bomb. It was Italian-born physicist Enrico Fermi who first got Teller thinking about an H-bomb. In September 1941, before the United States had even built an A-bomb, he suggested to Teller that an atomic bomb might heat a mass of deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen) sufficiently to ignite a thermonuclear reaction. In the summer of 1942, when Teller joined a group of distinguished physicists who were brainstorming about a design for the atomic bomb, he diverted much of the discussion to the feasibility of a super bomb. Teller travelled to California with his old friend Hans Bethe who remembers that even on the way out to Berkeley Teller was already thinking about the super: "Teller told me that the fission bomb [atomic bomb] was all well and good and, essentially, was now a sure thing.. He said that what we really should think about was the possibility of...the hydrogen bomb."
Shortly after Teller arrived at the newly established weapons laboratory in Los Alamos, his obsession with the H-bomb caused tensions with other scientists, particularly Bethe. Bethe remembers "he declined to take charge of the group which would perform the detailed calculation on the implosion and since the theoretical division was very shorthanded it was necessary to bring in new scientists to do the work that Teller declined to do."
Teller left Los Alamos at the end of the war, returning to the University of Chicago. But when the Soviet Union conducted its first test of an atomic device in August 1949, he did his best to drum up support for a crash program to build a hydrogen bomb. Teller argued that a super bomb was essential to the very survival of the U.S., "If the Russians demonstrate a super before we possess one, our situation will be hopeless." Truman eventually agreed, calling for a hydrogen bomb program at the end of January 1950.
During the course of 1950, Teller was frustrated with the progress of the program. When his initial concept for the bomb didn't appear to work, he insisted that the problem was caused by a shortage of theoreticians at Los Alamos and a lack of imagination. These accusations served to further distance him from the other scientists. When he and mathematician Stanislaw Ulam finally came up with an H-bomb design that would work, Teller was not chosen to head the project. He left Los Alamos and soon joined the newly established Lawrence Livermore laboratory, a rival weapons lab in California.
It was Robert Oppenheimer's security clearance hearings in 1954 that was the occasion for the final rift between Teller and many of his scientific colleagues. Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, had come under scrutiny because of his affiliation with left-leaning political organizations in the 1930s and also because of his consistent opposition to the hydrogen bomb. At Oppenheimer's hearings, Teller testified "I feel I would prefer to see the vital interests of this country in hands that I understand better and therefore trust more." The testimony enraged many in the scientific community, who felt it was a terrible betrayal of the hardworking and loyal Oppenheimer.
Teller has continued to be a tireless advocate of a strong defense policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons and continued nuclear testing. During the Vietnam War his proposals so incensed radical protestors that some of them actually labeled him a "war criminal." In the 1980s, he was a vigorous proponent of a proposed new defense system that came to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative or more popularly as “Star Wars”.

To illustrate the consequences of the different views see:

Brotherhood of the Bomb
Two flinty physicists struggle over their terrifying legacy
J. Robert Oppenheimer, shrunk to a cadaverous 115 pounds by nerves and nicotine, held on to a post to steady himself as a gong signaled that the nuclear age would begin in 10 seconds. "Nine . . . eight . . . seven . . . six . . ." His chain smoker's cough in brief abeyance, he fixed his eyes on a control panel. A voice completed the countdown: "Three . . . two . . . one . . . zero!"
Alamogordo Bombing Range, N.M., 5:30 a.m., July 16, 1945. A Niagara of white light flooded the bunker through an open back door. A few tense seconds later came a resounding, teeth-rattling roar. Oppenheimer and his colleagues emerged to gaze upon their firstborn, which rose before them: a purplish fireball sucking ionized sand and debris from the floor of the desert into a billowing cloud 40,000 feet high. A line from Hindu scripture echoed in Oppenheimer's head: "I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds." Among those watching from a more distant site was an observer as compact and fleshy as Oppenheimer was loose limbed and spectral. Edward Teller had extra protection--he had applied sun lotion to his face and hands and brought a pair of gloves. He even had sunglasses to supplement the welder's glass through which he viewed the Trinity test blast. He was impressed by what he saw. But not overwhelmed. He was sure he could make a bigger super bomb (his firstborn--arriving after eight more years of gestation--would turn out to be 500 times more powerful).
Pumping Oppenheimer's hand, test chief Kenneth Bainbridge said: "Now we're all sons of bitches." Oppenheimer and Teller, soon to be famous foes, would be called this and many other things in the years ahead. The sobriquets that would stick the longest, whether as accolade or indictment, were "father of the atomic bomb" (Oppenheimer) and "father of the hydrogen bomb" (Teller), each physicist achieving paternity in his own way.
Oppenheimer invented the A-bomb (two bombs actually, distinctly different in design) in a mere 28 months by recruiting and cannily deploying against myriad stupefying technical challenges a team that Gen. Leslie Groves called "the greatest collection of eggheads ever." Groves, a can-do engineer fresh from erecting the Pentagon, headed the Manhattan Project from Washington, parceling out work to more than a half-dozen major sites ranging from university campuses to uranium and plutonium processing plants. But the creative center of the super secret program was the Los Alamos laboratory, directed by Oppenheimer. To figure out how to produce a nuclear chain reaction in a militarily deliverable package and bring it to critical mass on command, he needed perhaps 30 scientists, Oppenheimer thought at first. By the end of World War II, his staff had grown to 5,000, crammed into lab buildings, bungalows, and barracks thrown up at a remote mountain site. Nothing rode on the effort other than civilization's future. Or so the men on the mesa felt, not being able to dismiss the worry that Hitler's Herr Professors would invent the A-bomb before they did.
"Ja, ja, ja." From an early age, Robert Oppenheimer had seemed destined to sit well above the salt in the house of intellect. A New York importer's son reared in privilege, he amused himself as a boy by reading Plato in Greek. Graduating from Harvard summa cum laude in three years, he acquired a Ph.D. in physics in Germany from the University of Göttingen, where theoretical physicists were consumed with atomic structure. For all the power of his mind, originality was less his forte than a keen ability to grasp other people's ideas rapidly, spotting any inherent problems. At the University of California--Berkeley, where he taught for a decade before the war, Oppenheimer stimulated discourse with a quirk picked up in Germany. "Ja, ja, ja," he would say encouragingly. Students found themselves parroting the habit. At the blackboard, he frenetically juggled a cigarette and a piece of chalk with dexterity, never forgetting which to write with, which to smoke.
The charisma went with him to Los Alamos. There, however, his charges were not worshipful graduate students but seasoned scholars accustomed to deference. Oppenheimer the professor had often let his arrogance show when in the company of men who fancied themselves his equals; if someone made an utterance that struck him as unforgivably banal, he'd turn up his nose, narrow his blue eyes, and skewer the offender with a little arrow of corrosive wit. Oppenheimer the lab director could not afford such indulgences. To induce such renowned scientific spark plugs as Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, Hans Bethe, John von Neumann, and Teller to work together productively, he had to reformulate his personality, moving tact and charm to front burners. The chemistry experiment continued after hours, when "Oppie" measured out gin, vermouth, and magnetism to his guests in just the right proportions.
Esprit de corps remained high at Los Alamos throughout the war, but as success drew nearer, Oppenheimer had to use his wiles to contain rising misgivings among project scientists about how the bomb would be used and how it would affect the postwar world. Nazi Germany had collapsed by the time the A-bomb was ready, leaving Japan as the only potential target. A petition was circulated calling for a "demonstration" use of the bomb to persuade Tokyo to surrender. Oppenheimer did his best to stifle that debate; he argued for targeting a city or cities. Yet after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the twinge of remorse he felt at the Trinity test began to grow. He had become world famous overnight, his string-bean frame topped with a porkpie hat splashed across every newspaper. As much as he enjoyed the stir he caused when he entered a room, he felt a trifle unclean. Meeting with Harry Truman in 1946, he exclaimed, "Mr. President, I have blood on my hands." (Truman later told Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson not to "bring that fellow around again. . . All he did was make the bomb. I'm the guy who fired it off.")
Oppenheimer's postwar misgivings about nuclear power worsened his strained relations with Edward Teller, who in due course would be remembered as his betrayer. Teller had had an even earlier role than Oppenheimer in setting the Manhattan Project in motion. When Leo Szilard visited Albert Einstein on Long Island to get his signature on a famous letter to Franklin Roosevelt that sparked the atomic program, it was Teller who drove the car. Two years later, in 1941, Teller had a fateful lunch with Enrico Fermi, his colleague at Columbia. Fermi suggested that nuclear fission would in turn make it possible to achieve on Earth nuclear fusion--the fusing of light nuclei, such as those in hydrogen, that occurs naturally in stars, releasing vast amounts of energy. Teller instantly became hooked on the challenge of building a thermonuclear bomb.
Teller was the intellectual equal of the leading luminaries of Los Alamos, a number of whom, like him, were Jewish émigrés from Hungary. But he was no team player. He was affable and obliging one moment, moody and overbearing the next. As a child in Budapest, the son of a lawyer, he frequently lost himself so deeply in thought that he would beseech family members, "Please don't talk to me. I have a problem." At Los Alamos, he was often seen taking long solitary walks, advancing with a slight limp, his arms strangely out of sync, his heavy black eyebrows rising and falling as he cogitated. At night, he was less seen than heard. It was not beyond him to discharge tension by pounding out Mozart on his Steinway at 3 a.m. Teller refused some of the chores he was given and protested that he was left too little time to work on "the Super"--the hydrogen bomb. Oppenheimer, who had angered Teller by not naming him head of the theoretical division, went to some lengths to placate him.
"Keep your shirt on." After the war, Teller decided that with the Nazis out of the way, Russia was the new threat to his adopted land. He asked Oppenheimer to support continued work on the H-bomb and got a swift rebuff: "I neither can nor will do so." The Atomic Energy Commission was created to administer nuclear policy and Oppenheimer was elected chairman of a panel of scientists advising the AEC. While Teller led the campaign for the H-bomb, Oppenheimer's advisory group in 1949 recommended that the United States set an example to the world (i.e., the U.S.S.R.) by forswearing thermonuclear research. Teller won the argument with help from Joseph Stalin. The Soviet Union tested an atomic bomb ("Joe I"), ending the West's monopoly. Would a Soviet H-bomb be next? Teller voiced alarm in a phone call to Oppenheimer, who advised: "Keep your shirt on." A chill shot through Congress and the executive branch. Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist hysteria was soon to begin. President Truman ordered a crash program to build the hydrogen bomb.
Teller felt a heady new sense of purpose. He placed an ad in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to draw talent back to Los Alamos: "The holiday is over. Hydrogen bombs will not produce themselves." Triumph soon turned to calamity. Stanislaw Ulam, a brilliant mathematician, tested Teller's 1946 model for the Super and concluded it wouldn't work. Teller, "pale with fury" in Ulam's words, attacked both Ulam's calculations and his motives. But the new ENIAC computer confirmed the findings. Teller's classical design was, as Ulam had said, "a fizzle." It would not generate enough heat to cause a thermonuclear reaction. Teller was thrown into months of worry and wheel spinning. Then, Ulam came up with the germ of a solution--using two fission bombs, the second exploded by the first, to achieve a thermonuclear reaction. Teller altered Ulam's general concept in significant ways and translated it into an elegant bomb design that gave every promise of working. Even Oppenheimer paid tribute, calling the new configuration "technically . . . sweet."
Yet Teller left Los Alamos before the first thermonuclear device could be built and tested. Denied control of the H-bomb program by lab bosses all too familiar with his mercurial nature, he departed in some bitterness and stepped up his winning crusade for creation of the Livermore Laboratory in California, a new thermonuclear research center. Come Nov. 1, 1952, when Los Alamos personnel exploded "Mike" (the first test of the Teller-Ulam H-bomb design), Teller stayed home. But he learned of the test's success before the brass at Los Alamos did. An associate heard the shot's firing signal on shortwave radio, and Teller, hovering over a seismograph in Berkeley, saw the shock wave from Eniwetok atoll. His puckish telegram to his ex-colleagues echoed proud papas through the ages: "It's a boy."
"I was an idiot." Although Oppenheimer supported the H-bomb program in a fashion after Truman's order, his misgivings kept resurfacing. He told one newsman that the hydrogen bomb was "the plague of Thebes." He wrote an article likening the United States and the Soviet Union to "two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other but only at the risk of its own life." Some critics saw his opposition to the H-bomb as proof of disloyalty. They launched a security investigation of him in 1954. Oppenheimer had in fact had ties to homegrown Communists before the war. He had a girlfriend who was a party member, his brother had been a party member, and he himself had belonged (as he told security officers in 1942) to "just about every Communist front organization on the West Coast." The probe uncovered no evidence of disloyalty--but much evidence of bad judgment. It came to light that during the war Oppenheimer had misrepresented pertinent facts about an apparent Soviet espionage attempt. His motive may have been both to protect a friend and deflect suspicion from himself. Asked at the 1954 hearings why he had lied, Oppenheimer said only: "Because I was an idiot."
A parade of Oppenheimer's former colleagues appeared as character witnesses. Edward Teller, however, was in no mood to ride to the rescue. Certain that Oppenheimer's foot dragging on the H-bomb had deprived the United States of its lead in the arms race; he would mince no words. Teller told the security panel: "I thoroughly disagreed with him in numerous issues, and his actions frankly appeared to me confused and complicated. . . . I feel I would like to see the vital interests of this country in hands which I understand better and therefore trust more." If the issue was loyalty, he said, he did "not see any reason to deny clearance." On the other hand, he added, "if it is a question of wisdom and judgment, as demonstrated by actions since 1945, then I would say one would be wiser not to grant clearance." Two months later, the Atomic Energy Commission voted 4-1 to refuse Oppenheimer a security clearance.
His days as a high-level government adviser over, Oppenheimer settled into his new role in national life--martyr to the cold war hysteria of the early 1950s. Scientists and liberal intellectuals made pilgrimages to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., where he presided as director, and came home with stories of their audiences with him. His gauntness, which increased as he aged, made him look ever more saintly. Teller, by contrast, emerged from the Oppenheimer security hearings looking ever more sinister to his former colleagues, who could not forgive him for testifying against "Oppie." Shortly thereafter, an old friend refused to shake Teller's hand during a chance meeting; Teller returned to his hotel room and cried. It was the start of many years of ostracism by liberal intellectuals that would cause him much anguish. As resilient as his ego was, Teller craved camaraderie. He forged new friendships among conservatives and military-industrial people, becoming their Oppenheimer--the steadfast servant of conscience--but a conscience that led headlong in the direction of full nuclear preparedness.
Postscript: The U.S. government officially rehabilitated Oppenheimer in 1963, President Johnson giving him the AEC's Enrico Fermi Award in a White House ceremony attended by Teller. Oppenheimer died in 1967 at age 62. Teller turned 90 in January 1998. Outliving most of his detractors, he had survived to see the West's peaceful triumph over the Soviet Union, to see nuclear weapons seemingly abolish world war. All his life he had believed science could save humanity from doom. And it had. So far.

The Diaspora of the Hungarian intellect was caused by World War I, the Habsburg decline, the economic depression, the anti-Semitic Horthy regime and the rise of Nazi-Germany, to name a few reasons. Undoubtedly this shaped their ambivalent attitude of mind, with which they on the one hand assiduously pursued the production of an atomic bomb before the anticipated disaster of the Nazi’s having one at their disposal, and on the other hand transformed themselves into opponents of further development of such terrifying destruction weapons (with the obvious exception of Teller, who was once described by Isidor Rabi as the worst product of humankind).
As for Cornelius Lanczos (a third brilliant ex-Hungarian scientist who once assisted Einstein with the mathematics for his General Relativity) applies: “A life’s work in exile”; this applies equally well to all the others that are mentioned above. Without those ex-Hungarians the world would have been different today. How different cannot de determined. Hungarians probably are not more intelligent than other nationalities but they were during the specified period much better educated. Maybe education is a national hobby in Hungary that even infected a famous composer like Béla Bártok. Every pianist has probably heard of his piano education course: “Microcosmos”. A name quite in contrast with the enormous influence that ex-Hungarian physicists had on the shape of the present day world by playing first fiddle in the development of general relativity, nuclear power, atomic bombs, balance of power, game theory and computing, all closely interweaved subjects. In short the tragedy of Hungary can be described as a country that expelled her top-talent after breeding it[9] [10] and allowed it to shape the world instead of its native soil.

This story ends here with the words from the beginning of Francis Crick's book The Life Itself:
Enrico Fermi was a man with outstanding talents; he had many interests outside his own particular field. He was credited with asking famous questions. There are long preambles to Fermi’s questions like this: – "The universe is vast, containing myriads of stars, many of them not unlike our Sun. Many of these stars are likely to have planets circling around them. A fair fraction of these planets will have liquid water on their surface and a gaseous atmosphere. The energy pouring down from a star will cause the synthesis of organic compounds, turning the ocean into a thin, warm soup. These chemicals will join each other to produce a self-reproducing system. The simplest living things will multiply, evolve by natural selection and become more complicated till eventually active, thinking creatures will emerge. Civilization, science, and technology will follow. Then, yearning for fresh worlds, they will travel to neighboring planets, and later to planets of nearby stars. Eventually they should spread out all over the Galaxy. These highly exceptional and talented people could hardly overlook such a beautiful place as our Earth. And so," – Fermi came to his overwhelming question, – "if all this has been happening, they should have arrived here by now, so WHERE ARE THEY?" – It was Leo Szilard, a man with an impish sense of humor, who supplied the perfect reply to Fermi's rhetoric: – "They are among us," - he said, – "but they call themselves Hungarians."

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Postby Singha » 06 Jul 2005 23:23

Unkil seems to have done a clean sweep and vacuumed up the europe's intellectual elite in the years predecing and following WW2 when europe was in total chaos. clever , very clever.

Someone high up must have seen the strategic utility of attracting the worlds deepest thinkers and funding large univs *long ago*.

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Postby Vick » 06 Jul 2005 23:44

Europe wasn't exactly smart about retaining its talent either. In Russia, most of the educated elite were killed off or exiled in the revolution. In Germany, the largest section of the business world and large portion of the scientific community was persecuted. Why do think Einstein and others like him left? France was recovering from the WWI and rebuilding its institutions ever so slowly, blissfully content in knowing that the Maginot Line will preserve them. The Brits were the only ones that was actually encouraging the scientific community to expand without prejudice.

After the war, it was a smorgasbord of juicy scientific pickings left over from the Nazi regime. Both the US and Russia merrily gorged themselves at that table. Russkies broke down entire factories from Germany and rebuilt them in Russia. US took the lionshare of the brains because no German in their right mind would surrender to the Russians. It sucks to be the vanquished and it's good to be the vanquisher.

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Another Hungarian - Paul Erdos

Postby AJay » 07 Jul 2005 00:45

The material posted by Umrao has missed mentioning one of the greatest and highly productive mathematicians of the twentieth century.

Here is a link to Paul Erdos' bio. ... Erdos.html

Also, see the book "The man who loved only numbers" for an expanded biography of Erdos.

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Postby AJay » 07 Jul 2005 00:49

Singha wrote:Someone high up must have seen the strategic utility of attracting the worlds deepest thinkers and funding large univs *long ago*.

But McCarthy tried to undo a lot of that strategic thinking - if it was that by GOTUS ca. late 1930s - by rasing the bogey of Communism. Almost all who were working on the Manhattan Project were subjected to all kinds of nonsense. Luckily (for US) better sense prevailed.

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Postby svinayak » 07 Jul 2005 06:40

AJay wrote:
Raju wrote:
Satyam sends Hungarian grads to India
By Robert Smyth

This is a really innovative move by Satyam. Hungarians are very very very good in Combinatorics
and Math related to Comp. Sci. I am sure they would add value to the Stayam offerings.
I hope some of our Indian grads. who are up-to-date on technology would get cross-trained in

Hungary is fasted growing market for our company. THey have received our folks from US and India gracefully.

There is tremendous Indian soft power in Hungary.


Postby Raju » 07 Jul 2005 14:20

Breaking News....Explosion heard in London's underground tube in East of London.

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Postby Manu » 07 Jul 2005 15:23

-Self Deleted-
Last edited by Manu on 07 Jul 2005 15:53, edited 1 time in total.


Postby Raju » 07 Jul 2005 15:53

At least 90 dead reports the French news LC1 on the underground.

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Postby Adi » 07 Jul 2005 16:00

[post edited after Manu's edit, intended for those who may have felt a tinge of glee before the reports of massive casualties emerged]:

However much one may resent a certain system and hold it in contempt, it is not the ordinary Peter or Jane who is responsible for it. They do not deserve this.

Britain falling to Islamism is far from being something to gloat about. The result will have repercussions on the rest of the world including India, apart from the fact that there are Indians living in the UK as well.

Meanwhile our own SureshP is likely to suffer from a severe bout of indigestion as a result of eating his own words regarding the possibility of a terrorist attack in the UK. :| Well, this is an instance no one feels like gloating about being proven right.
Last edited by Adi on 07 Jul 2005 16:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Manu » 07 Jul 2005 16:07

-Self Deleted-
Last edited by Manu on 07 Jul 2005 16:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Singha » 07 Jul 2005 16:10

I guess hungary proves that given the right conditions even a small country can produce a flood of card carrying geniuses and 'shake' the world scene severely. I envision s.korea and taiwan doing that something in the next few decades. hungry, small, cohesive....they have the fire in belly.


Postby Raju » 07 Jul 2005 16:16

If Blair is really a poodle then he will spin this to prove that Iranian terrorists somehow had a hand in it.

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Postby Adi » 07 Jul 2005 16:28

Manu: I agree. Most Indians have nothing but contempt for the British and European attitude towards India and their equal-equal policies towards the Indian subcontinent.

Just the other day, there was a TV report showing some Medicin Sans Frontieres volunteer whining that "Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis" were bickering with each other and duplicating emergency work in tsunami-hit areas of Sri Lanka. It is patently clear that the Indian team was the first to arrive on the scene and set up its tents to deliver food and medicine. Then of course, the Packees simply turned up in order to be equal-equal, followed by their Bangladeshi minions, and started aping the Indian team. However this inferior MSF volunteer just brackets the India with the rest, as if the Indian team is responsible for the fact that Packees and Bhookanangedeshis insist on aping and duplicating work that the Indians are doing!

However once again, the people who bear the brunt in such terrorist events are the ordinary Peter and Jane who most often don't even know what's going on.

It remains to be seen whether Europe as a whole will continue its trajectory towards the Islamic Emirate of Europistan or whether it will finally break its pseudo-secular shackles, identify the problem and deal with it. Europe is about as vulnerable as India in this respect.
Last edited by Adi on 07 Jul 2005 16:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Manu » 07 Jul 2005 16:31

Actually, I think Europe is not even close to being as vulnerable, you see Indians are in rarefied air, surrounded, as it were, by Beedis and Pakis. Also, do you wish to see an aggressive, expansionist and overtly Christian Europe?

Think where that will go.

I only have sympathy for my countrymen, selfsh as that sounds, but we need it. My last post on this topic.


Postby Raju » 07 Jul 2005 16:32

Adi wrote: Europe is about as vulnerable as India in this respect.

IMO It is even more vulnerable, atleast we have decades of experience in dealing with these stuff.

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Postby svinayak » 08 Jul 2005 03:26

We've to take India very seriously'
By Sanjay Kapoor in Vienna
Thursday, 07 July , 2005, 12:14

It is a bad time for politicians in Europe. Growing resentment against rising unemployment and pro-business economic policies are de-legitimising political leaderships.

France manifested it by negating the European Constitution, and Germany is in for early elections.

In an interview with Austrian President Dr Heinz Fischer at his presidential palace in Vienna a few weeks after the French and Dutch referenda, Fischer admitted that while the European Union (EU) was facing a crisis, its economic policies should prioritise the interests of individual rather than that of companies, and that the EU would emerge stronger after this crisis.

Fischer, who was in India a few months ago, expressed his support to the United Nations reforms but was cautious when it came to endorsing India's candidature for the Security Council.

He also felt that Austria could have defence cooperation with New Delhi only after the manifestation of rapprochement policies with Pakistan.

While he felt that the evolution of EU in a unipolar world was important for nations like India, he said that European societies would take some time before they would reconcile to the inflow of people from different countries. Excerpts from the interview:

In the mid-1980s, an Austrian gun was shortlisted for purchase before the contract went to Bofors. Have there been any developments in defence cooperation?

Our neutrality is connected with some restrictions -- we don't want to sell weapons or goods that create a crisis. India is a stable and democratic country which is working towards peaceful relations with China and Pakistan, and we are very happy about it. India can be a good partner now.

India has been trying very hard to become a member of the Security Council. During your visit to India, did the Indian leadership raise this issue? What is the Austrian government's perspective on this?

We want to support the Secretary General of the United Nations in his attempts to reform the UN, which is not confined to just the reform of the Security Council -- it's more than this.

The world situation has changed since the composition of the Security Council many years ago. We will try other things to reach maturity on this issue, and we want the Security Council to be representative, which means that a country like India has to be taken very seriously.

But we are not fixed yet on Model A or Model B or that model from Italy or from Mexico or whatever. We want to be constructive negotiators and support ideas that are fair and useful.

India's foreign establishment believes that because of Austria's geopolitical position in Central Europe, we could benefit tremendously in building relationships with countries that constitute an enlarged EU.

If you come to Vienna, you are at the centre of several States and economies; geographically, these places are very close and the borders don't exist inside the EU.

If I go down from my office and sit in the car and I say it's now 9:30, and I say to the President of Hungary [that] we meet at 12:00 o'clock, it will be alright because there is no problem to be with him in two and half hours by driving to Budapest.

From this standpoint, you touch something that is a big advantage for Austria.

But after the French and Dutch referendum, the EU as a concept is in a critical state. What do you think is going to happen? What is the Austrian government doing to save the EU?

I must express very clearly that this crisis will help in the process to establish a new and better European Constitution.

I was in Mexico immediately after the two referendums. There, I explained to the President of Mexico that the Constitutional crisis has to be taken seriously, but it is not a crisis of existence of the EU.

After deciding to enlarge the EU, the next step was to deepen the EU by making the decision-making process easier and strengthening the possibility for a common foreign and security policy.

Now we have to work very hard on how we can move in that direction after the negative decisions in France and Netherlands.

There will be a change necessary on the policy to a new Constitutional treaty, but the very existence of the 25-member EU, who are cooperating in a free-trade area and the freedom of the people and labour -- this is unchallenged.

There is a strong view that the people of Europe are not benefiting out of this Union. People are losing jobs in Germany, France and other areas.

It is true that European economy is in a difficult situation, and is suffering from relatively high unemployment of around 9 per cent, which is a real problem.

The hopes that the EU will be able to overcome this problem and to eliminate unemployment have been belied. I have been disappointed with what has happened, but I still believe that the EU has the answer for it.

The enlargement of the EU brings in more advantages than disadvantages for Austria. My personal conviction is that we have to try to shift from the pure economic-oriented market society to a social market.

There is a big debate in Europe about the nature of workable economic reforms. The American media seems ecstatic about the EU's misery and claims that the referendum is actually the defeat of the European way of life.

If I look at Europe, not two weeks after the referendum, but how it has developed in the past 20-30 years, I would call it a success.

We now have a Europe which is cooperating on every issue. This Europe knows about the necessity to develop an education system and to invest in science and technology.

More importantly, it's a peaceful Europe. We have learnt our lessons from the civil war in Yugoslavia. This crisis is not connected to the Constitution but to the feeling of dissatisfaction that EU has failed in fighting unemployment and in keeping social standards in a globalised world.

People in India think that the EU is important to them because it provides a European perspective to the problems of world. But the EU and other European countries do not like people coming from countries like India to work here.

I totally understand what you say, but if you do politics in Europe, you have to take care of the feelings and emotions of the people.

The Constitutional project was rejected, although it's a good project -- because of the misbehaviour of leaders, as it created bad feelings in the people: it was the people's criticism about the speed at which society was being opened, which they thought was very fast.

If you go out in Vienna, you will find Yugoslavians, Turks, Sri Lankans [and] Chinese living here. Not everybody is able to accept this.

If the number of people from other parts from the world is 2-6 per cent, things are alright, but if it becomes 10-20 per cent, you have a problem.

So don't draw wrong conclusions when we speak of an open society: you need time to educate people and this you cannot do it in one generation.

This is a reality that you are confronted with it if you are a politician who is forced to accept the judgement of the people every four years in the elections.

I think it is also an advantage for India if Europe develops in such a way that you do not have a unipolar world, one in which it is deciding everything and commanding everything.

If Europe is a factor in the world economy and world politics, it is a positive development.

The views expressed in the article are the writer's and not that of


Postby Raju » 12 Jul 2005 16:03 ... 121501.htm
France for defence pact with India
Kolkata, July 11. (PTI): India has received a proposal from France for joint production of defence equipment, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"A proposal from France for joint production of defence equipment, which both the countries will use, is currently with the Indian Government," Mukherjee said.

He was replying to a question whether India would consider signing a defence co-operation agreement with other countries similar to the one signed with the USA during his recent visit to Washington.

Asked whether India was as keen as France to sign the agreement for joint production of defence equipment, Mukherjee replied, "the Government will take a view on this when the matter for acquisition of Scorpene submarines from France will be decided."


Postby Raju » 23 Jul 2005 20:12

Certain communities silently taking over Europe.

Germans quit Berlin school, sparking migrant debate


Turkish, Arabic and Vietnamese fill the air in the playground outside the Eberhard Klein school in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, where German is a foreign language. The last four German pupils left the secondary school in the district filled with immigrants just south of the government quarter, giving it the distinction of being the only state school in the country without any German children.

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Postby TSJones » 23 Jul 2005 20:48

All genetically born German children have the right to go to school where the classrooms are at least 50% populated by genetically born German children. It's the law, man. Sieg Heil!
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Postby Singha » 23 Jul 2005 20:50

the french have the GMTI JSTARS type tech on Cougar. we ought to mount such tech on EMB145 and get yet another force multiplier for our IA, also a LDP capable of accurately pickup up a ant from 45,000ft and 100km away to permit launching of gliding munitions from well outside hostile bubbles.

TSJ - immigrants in the US have generally tended to be more willing to integrate with the locals and 100% would make every effort at the local language. these EU migrants seem to be different more virulent breed.


Postby Raju » 24 Jul 2005 13:58

Secret of Blair's healthy glow revealed

Agence France-Presse

London, July 24, 2005 ... 050003.htm

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Postby Laks » 24 Jul 2005 15:47

Things might afterall change in EUstan. This son of Hungarian immigrants, never makes his Presidential ambitions a secret, a rare pro-American and pro-free trade (in most cases) is someone to watch out for.
France’s heir apparent plots EU revolution


Postby Raju » 03 Aug 2005 19:16

Soldiers forced to shout 'bang' as the Army runs out of ammunition


Soldiers are facing the undignified prospect of being forced to shout "bang, bang" on military training exercises after an admission by the Army that it is running out of blank ammunition.

The shortage is also likely to result in a large number of important training exercises being cancelled or severely restricted.

The crisis has emerged at a time when the Army is operating at full-stretch with up to 9,000 troops deployed in Iraq and 4,000 training for a possible deployment to Afghanistan next spring.

The astonishing admission that soldiers do not have enough blank ammunition comes after disclosures of other crucial equipment shortages earlier this year - including insufficient training rounds for grenade launchers and cleaning kits for machine-guns.

Details of the fiasco emerged after a letter from the Headquarters Land Command, the organisation responsible for training the Army in Britain, was leaked to The Sunday Telegraph. ... xhome.html

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Postby Kakkaji » 15 Aug 2005 23:18

PM on thank you trip to Paris ... 115937.asp

New Delhi, Aug. 14: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will travel to France on a three-day visit next month to try and bring on board “strategic ally” Paris on the recent Indo-US nuclear deal.

France has been one of India’s closest allies and was the only Western nation not to criticise Delhi after the May 1998 nuclear tests. The French helped block many sanctions on India following Pokhran II.

Singh’s chief aim is to reassure France that India has not forgotten the role it played after the nuclear test. The growing closeness between India and the US has worried many, including the French.

Paris believes that though it has consistently backed India’s UN security Council bid, as well as its emergence as a recognised nuclear power, its contribution is fast fading from the memory of the Indian leadership.

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Postby Vivasvat » 24 Aug 2005 02:19

Blocher says tighter asylum law is paying off
Blocher said requests for asylum in Switzerland had fallen by 42 per cent since parliament decided more than a year ago to strip rejected asylum seekers of the right to claim social security benefits.

he called for a further tightening of the asylum law to encourage rejected applicants to leave Switzerland.

Switzerland seems to have found enlightenment even before the Londonistan episode. Other EU states should follow suite.

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Postby Pulikeshi » 06 Sep 2005 10:38

Lessons in chemistry

While Europe is desperate to sell nuclear reactors and advanced arms to China, it remains squeamish about genuine strategic cooperation with India. If Blair, on behalf of Brussels, recognises India’s role in shaping a new, long overdue post-Yalta international system, there will be no reason for him to “sex up” Europe in his India sojourn. If he can get Brussels to loosen its controls over high technology trade with Delhi, Blair will find it easy to turn India on.

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Postby arun » 07 Sep 2005 17:48

EU Press Release :

Brussels, 7 September 2005

The GALILEO family is further expanding: EU and India seal their agreement

After intensive exchanges held since January 2004, negotiations on India’s participation in Europe's satellite radio navigation programme finally reached approval. The agreement, initialled today in New Delhi at the occasion of the EU-India Summit in the presence of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as EU Presidency, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will ensure the availability of highest quality Galileo services in India as well as cooperation to establish regional augmentation systems based on EGNOS and GALILEO. Welcoming the outcome of the negotiations, Vice-President of the European Commission Jacques Barrot said: “This is another important step for the development of GALILEO as an international programme, but also a major milestone in the EU/India partnership”.

The agreement was initialled by Mr Francisco Da Camara Gomes, Head of the EC Delegation in India, representing the European Union, and Mr G. Madhavan Nair, Secretary, Department of Space, representing India. Considering that India has well proven capabilities in space, satellite and navigation related activities, the agreement will provide a positive impulse for India and European industrial cooperation in many high tech areas.

India is the fourth country joining the GALILEO programme, after the signature of agreements with China, Israel and Ukraine. Discussions are also under way with Argentina, Brazil, Morocco, Mexico, Norway, Chile, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and Australia.

The ever growing interest of third countries to participate in the GALILEO programme represents a big boost for the GNSS market which is indeed potentially considerable: 3 billion receivers and revenues of some €275 billion per year by 2020 worldwide, and the creation of more than 150.000 high qualified jobs in Europe alone.


GALILEO is Europe's satellite radio navigation programme. It was launched on the initiative of the European Commission and developed jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA). It heralds the advent of a technological revolution similar to the one sparked off by mobile phones. It will also make for the development of a new generation of universal services in areas such as transport, telecommunication, agriculture or fisheries. To date, this technology, which promises to be highly profitable, is only mastered by the United States’ GPS system and Russia's GLONASS system, both of which are financed and controlled by the military authorities. The GALILEO programme will be administered and controlled by civilians and offers a guarantee of quality and continuity which is essential for many sensitive applications. Its complementarity with current systems will increase the reliability and availability of navigation and positioning services worldwide.

For more information about Galileo, please visit:

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