Narasimha Jayanti Special: Introducing Our New Lakshmi Narasimha T-Shirt

Anmol Jain

May 21, 2024, 09:09 PM | Updated 09:09 PM IST

Narasimha Jayanti Special: Introducing Our New Lakshmi Narasimha T-Shirt

Image from Swarajya store.
Image from Swarajya store.

Dear Readers,

Today is Narasimha Jayanti. And to celebrate the occasion, we've launched a special new t-shirt in our store, ICYMI yesterday. It features a stunning print of Lakshmi Narasimha, inspired by the famous statue in Hampi.

  • This launch kicks off The REVIVE Series, a collection of merch celebrating the revival and rejuvenation of our rich cultural heritage.

  • This one's the first piece in this series. Watch out, because we plan to bring out one new T-shirt every month in this series, throughout the year.

We've added simple, clear graphics of the missing parts – Lakshmi, the Shankh, and Chakra.

  • The statue, though broken, stands tall and proud. It reminds us of hard times and the need to revive our heritage.

  • This brand new shirt is limited edition. Get it here now!

  • It comes in three colors, five sizes, and for both men and women.

  • Stay tuned for more in The REVIVE Series as we celebrate our cultural icons all year.

Moving on, today's newsletter has a primer on the Phase 5 elections and a moot point that India mustn't give up fundamental innovation in AI.

Read on!

AI in India isn't a zero-sum game, the dilemma is more in our minds

When OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman (aka Sama) was in India, he was posed a question by Rajan Anandan, MD at the venture capital firm Peak XV Partners.

  • He asked, "If you want to build foundational models, how should we think about that? Whether a team from India, you know, three super-smart engineers with not a 100 million but let’s say 10 million, could build something truly substantial?"

  • Sama did not mince his words — "we’re going to tell you it's totally hopeless to compete with us on training foundational models, you shouldn’t try."

  • "AND," here comes the crucial part, "it’s your job to try anyway, and I believe both of those things."

  • Many in India took the former part home while completely ignoring the latter.

My colleague Karan Kamble moots and counters this second-guessing in his pieceIndia must seize the opportunity across the entire AI ecosystem.

Anandan & Nandan's recent statements: reflected this self-doubt (or evasion, if you want to call it that).

  • "I am much more interested in asking Nandan (Nilekani) how do we go 10x faster in making India the AI use-case capital of the world," Anandan said to a journo.

  • He was referencing Nilekani's earlier statement that "Indian path in AI is different; we are not in the arms race to build the next LLM".

  • Let people with capital, who want to pedal chips do all that stuff.

  • India must aim to make a difference and give this technology in the hands of people.

Reflecting on Nandan's vision, Anandan said: “I think India’s game is really in the application layer."

  • The primary focus of San Francisco's AI is to achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI).

  • But as an ecosystem in India… we want to uplevel humans, we don’t want to build machines.

  • India would leverage technology from whoever builds it to devise solutions that better the lives of 1.4 billion Indians.

Karan, in his piece, argues that India's large population reflects its potential to deliver original and path-breaking research, not just a need for solutions.

  • As if pushing Indians to focus on the latter part of his answer to Anandan, Sama had posted on X — "The right question is what a startup can do that’s never been done before."

  • "I have no doubt Indian startups can and will do that! and no one but the builders can answer that question."

  • That India lacks capacity and talent to build foundational AI models from the ground up, is a common lament.

  • Karan cites Pune's Prafulla Dhariwal, whose central role in developing OpenAI’s latest GPT-4o was acknowledged by Sama himself.

This isn’t a zero-sum game for Indiaeither build AI foundational models or build applications using existing models. Both are up for grabs at the moment!

Here's the case for it in full detail.

60 percent voter turnout, 49 seats, 6 states, 2 UTs — what Phase 5 looked like!

Phase 5 of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was held on May 20 in 49 constituencies in 6 states and 2 UTs.

Voting was conducted in Bihar (5), Jharkhand (3), Maharashtra (13), Odisha (5), UP (14), West Bengal (7), Jammu & Kashmir (1), and Ladakh (1).

  • In Odisha, voting was also held on 35 assembly seats.

  • Bengal witnessed the highest voter turnout at 75.9%, whereas at 54.3% Maharashtra registered the lowest.

  • Elsewhere: Odisha (72.8%), Ladakh (70.5%), Jharkhand (63.1%), Uttar Pradesh (57.8%), Jammu and Kashmir (58.2%), and Bihar (54.9%).

  • J&K's Baramulla recorded all-time high voter turnout of 59 per cent.

  • EC will release the final turnout figure by Friday (May 25).

Prominent candidates and seats in contest:

  • Sitting Amethi MP and Union minister Smriti Irani against KL Sharma, a Gandhi family loyalist.

  • Rahul Gandhi who left Amethi to replace his mother from Raebareli against BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh.

  • Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is looking at a fourth term from Lucknow Central.

  • BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Lalu Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya in Saran, Bihar.

  • High-profile ccandidates in Bengal — Kalyan Banerjee, Arjun Singh, Locket Chatterjee, Partha Bhowmick, and Rachna Banerjee.

Other prominent candidates (seats) — Union minister Piyush Goyal (Mumbai North, Maharashtra), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur, UP), LJP's Chirag Paswan (Hajipur, Bihar), Shiv Sena’s Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan, Maharashtra), former Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah (Baramulla), Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, and Lallu Singh (Ayodhya, UP).

That's all for today. Until tomorrow,

Anmol N Jain

Get Swarajya in your inbox.