Monday, December 27, 2010

Rapes committed in Indian States/Cities

The recent increase in the rapes have made me just do a survey on the performance of various states/cities about the crimes committed in them. A comparison of Rapes that have happened in various states in 2008 is tabulated below.

The summary of the table is:
a)    MP has the dubisous record of highest number of rapes committed
b)    AP is the worst performer in the Southern states which on an overall basis seem to be secure places for women
c)    Mizoram has the highest per capita rapes i.e. the number of rapes per million women population. Many North Eastern States have fared bad.
d)    Delhi, has more rapes than the states which have almost 4 times its population.

Before I jump to any conclusion on the best place to reside, rather the worst place to reside, I thought it would be fair to judge the performance of various cities and then get an overall idea. Here is the performance of various cities

The summary of the table is:
a)    Delhi & Mumbai have the most number of rapes but Delhi has more than double the per capita crimes as Mumbai has. Infact Mumbai has one of the least per capita rapes.
b)    Dhanbad grabs the rank of having the highest number of per capita rapes. It can probably be accrued to the heavy mining that happens there and hence the heavy influence of contractors/owners on the labourers.
c)    Chennai seems to be the best place to reside in terms of rapes.

The numbers actually give a different image from the apparent reality. It was thought that Northern States would top the list of number of rapes committed. But the data doesn’t concur with that opinion. Yes, UP does appear in the top. But the rest of states like Haryana & Punjab do not come under the worst performing states.
Since the total no. of rapes doesn’t alone give the true picture, Total no. of rapes per million women population was calculated.
Mizoram tops the list on this parameter. Infact most of the North Eastern States seem to be faring high on the total no. of rapes per million women population. Hence, these states are no less secure than their counterparts.

I wanted to check if there are any macro variables that actually lead to more rapes. The ones that I considered are: total population, sex ratio and Density of Population. When I did a correlation with these three variables and the total number of rapes, then the values are:

Population      0.75
Sex Ratio       0.14
Density         -0.11

Hence sex ratio and density of population are not the main criterion for increased rapes.

I was wondering what might be the reason for such high rates in North Eastern States, J&K etc. I guess it has to do with the continuous military rule in these states and also the human rights violations. The same reason is applicable to Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa & MP where there is a huge naxal movement, and in order to suppress the same huge para military forces are deployed who in-turn are prone to commit crimes on the civilian population.

It would be interesting to check if rapes and other crimes have increased due to prolonged military/police presence in a state. If that is true, there is a justification for the very high rapes in North Eastern, Eastern and J&K.

The other variables which may give a better picture are literacy rate, unemployment rate, % of immigrants, per capita income.

Also, the other most important factor would be the percentage of rapes that are reported. If a lot of crimes are committed, but are not reported like in the case of Pakistan, one may never be able to get the true picture.
Gujarat seems to be the most safe place for women.

Except Andhra Pradesh, other Southern states have fared better.
North Eastern & Eastern States seem to be carrying a very bad reputation
The performance of Northern States/cities is in-conclusive at best. But Delhi certainly do not seem to be a safe place to reside.

What can one derive out of money!!

I was just trying to understand the various numbers that came around in news. So, I put some of them in descending order, and the results are in the table below:
Amount (Rs)
USA Fiscal deficit (FY10)
China's reserves (FY10)
US bail out package (FY08)
2G Spectrum scam (FY10)
India's defence expenditure (FY10)
Compensation paid to BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico - Till Date
Mukesh Ambani's home (FY10)
Compensation paid to Bhopal Gas Tragedy (FY01)
Loss due to power procured from dabhol power plant (FY01)
Profit of Reddy brothers per day (FY11)
Bonus to a typical i-banker in Wall Street (FY11)
Daily Collections in Tirupathi Temple (FY10)
Average MP take home salary (FY11)
Monthly electricity bill of Mukesh Ambani (FY11)
Salary that Iam seeking from my new company (FY12)
Total cost of the MBA course for my juniors (FY11)
Total Cost of the same MBA course when I passed out (FY09)
Donations to Nursery admission (FY11)
Annual income of a landless farmer in AP (FY11)
Money that Govt. is not willing to pay for farmer who lost his crop (FY11)
MSP of Grain per Tonne (FY11)
Money paid to carry coal on the back from a depth of 300 mts (FY11)
Money, the lack of which made weaver commit suicide (FY06)
Daily income of 300 Million people in India (FY10)
Average money given to Gurkha per home per month (FY11)
Price of 1Kg Rice on subsidized rates (FY10)
At the end of it, I did wonder about the disparity!!

Some facts about Natural Gas

Do you know that prior to Reliance KG basin gas discovery, ONGC has once declared that India has no more potential for gas?
After the Reliance KG basin discovery there is a new found enthusiasm about India having huge gas reserves, and hence the justified hype about gas.

But do you know the following:
  1. Similar to electricity, gas is not stored and has to be consumed right away. If only there is consumption, gas is produced otherwise it is shut
  2. If one has to store gas, permission needs to be taken from Petroleum & Explosives Safety organization (PESO)
  3. No gas based power plant in india can be a viable option at the existing electricity prices?
  4. City Gas Distribution (CGD) Schemes, where each household would be connected through gas pipelines will not be successful at the existing LPG prices?
  5. And if CGD gets deployed, do you know that whenver you move your stove you will have to take the permission from local authorities?
  6. Gas pipelines in India are ~12,000 Kms, while Pakistan has pipelines for about ~50,000 kms
  7. Govt. decides which industrial consumers can purchase gas, and even if some one is willing he will not get gas at whatever be the prices?

Each of this is a big study and involves lot of research, but the zist of the above is mentioned below:

Gas is not stored and has to be consumed right away. If only there is consumption, gas is produced otherwise it is shut
Gas is produced from a rig which is typically off shore i.e. in the sea and is transported all the way to the shore where it is consumed. Typical consumers for gas are power plants, Fertilizers, industrial consumers etc. What is the problem in storing gas? Requires huge huge space. Infact Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or in another form Liquified Petroleum gas (LPG) is famous because one compresses natural gas and hence it requires less amount of space. So, typically gas is converted to liqid nature to Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) for ease of transport and then later decompressed back to its natural state as Natural Gas. Now because of the huge space required, it is preferred that gas is consumed rather than stored. Hence the whole transportation & distribution of gas is linked to the production of gas thereby ensuring that gas is consumed immediately.
Hence, any rig/production facility of gas has a forecast of the total demand for gas and accordingly they plan their production schedule. If there is very minimal demand they will simply shut their facility.
This is precisely the reason the reliance KG basin rig doesn't produce the gas at its maximum capacity.

If one has to store gas, permission needs to be taken from Petroleum & Explosives Safety organization (PESO)
Gas is explosive in nature. Gas explosions in storage tanks cause huge loss to the owner and neighbourhoods and hence the need for very tight regulation. So, if any industry intends to store gas by setting up storage tanks at its site, it has to take permission from PESO( which is a Govt. organization that oversees the security of the storage tanks held at various sites. Instead many developers prefer having their storage tanks located at a site mentioned by Govt. and not on their own sites. This will provide them with lesser restrictions on safety. 

No gas based power plant in india can be a viable option at the existing electricity prices?
This is the kind of study that I typically do, checking the commercial viability of various plants. After the KG basin gas discovery there was huge euphoria about enough fuel becoming available for all power plants and hence a drastic reduction in overall power deficit of nation. Hence there was a mad rush in declaring gas based power plants. But slowly it started sinking into people that gas based power plants are not going to solve the issue. In-fact gas power plants are going to be a major burden to the society. 
Every one knows about the status of Dabhol Power plant. This power plant was intended to solve the major power problem in maharashtra, but it actually became a waterloo for Maharashtra. At one point of time unable to bear the cost at which the power plant operates Mahrashtra State Electricity board was almost came to the verge of bankruptcy.
The cost of power procured from gas based power plants varies anywhere from Rs4.50/kWh to Rs8.00/kWh. Compare it with domestic coal based power plants which can sell power at Rs2.00/kWh to Rs4.00/kWh depending on various factors. With India getting almost 60-70% of its power from coal based power plants, how can a gas based power plant be viable. 
The only positive sign is if it is compared with imported coal based power plants which sell at around Rs5.00-6.00/kWh and that too in special cases. 
With these high electricity prices, gas based power plants cannot be viable.
Any power plant is obliged to consume a minim amount of fuel every day, which is a contractual obligaiton between the power developer and the fuel provider. But in case of gas which is not viable, even if the power plant doesn't run, the power plant owner is forced to pay for the fuel. This makes it even more troublesome for any one to develop a gas based power plant
PS: Get back to me if you need more details about this.

City Gas Distribution (CGD) Schemes, will not be successful at the existing LPG prices?
After the recent gas discoveries, Govt. of India invited tenders to come up with CGD across 250 cities in India. There are already couple of cities in India which have CGD in place fully/partially. Surat, Delhi, Mumbai etc. When a CGD is implemented in a city, the circulation of LPG cylinders will be halted or the subsidy removed. 
If one observes, govt. pays a subsidy of ~Rs 150-200 for every LPG cylinder. Hence the price of a LPG cylinder coverts to ~Rs0.6/unit heat value whereas it would have been ~Rs0.8-0/9/unit without subsidy, the unit being a benchmark used in the industry. Natural Gas through CGD will cost ~Rs0.6-0.8/unit depending on various factors. 
Which consumer will feel comfortable shifting to CGD driven network if the basic commercials do not work out. Hence the debate about how to effectively minimize the impact on consumer.
Though the subsidy is gradually being phased out, with the existing political setup and the deregulated oil prices, the impact on common citizen is going to be much more. 
So Govt. is treading a very careful path and the path of reforms hence is uncertain, so CGD is going to be costlier than existing LPG.

And if CGD gets deployed, do you know that whenver you move your stove you will have to take the permission from local authorities?
This is an obvious phenomenon. With a gas pipeline in place, no one would want to fiddle with it and hence if any one wants to move around their gas stove inside the home, they will have to take a permission from the local authorities so that the pipeline inside the home can be modified accordingly. Hence if anyone wants to design their home, especially the kitchen area one has to pay more just to get the design approved. 
In places like Delhi, the impact is going to be heavier. If some one is going to use natural gas for heating purpose then any changes in the design of home will require stringent approvals from the local authorities and hence the scope for more corruption:)

Gas pipelines in India are ~12,000 Kms, while Pakistan has pipelines for about ~50,000 kms
Pakistan is way ahead than India in terms of gas infrastructure. Infact it has higher per capita gas pipeline than USA.
The reason being its proximity to Afhanistan, Iran/iraq, Turkmenistan from whom it has assured supplies of gas and lesser hurdles.
Whereas India on the other hand has huge problems in accessing gas reserves from other countries and hence the gas network is not well deployed in India. Moreover gas was a monopoly in India  till the entry of Reliance and in parts Cairn. ONGC, GAIL effectively had a monopoly over gas based activities in India and hence the drive to pursue R&D or implement it effectively was always missing.
Hopefully India will catch up soon, if it is able to get access to more reserves of gas.

Govt. decides which industrial consumers can purchase gas, and even if some one is willing he will not get gas at whatever be the prices?
Since Gas is a rare and sought after commodity, Govt. defines who gets what. Hence, if you remember the debate about pricing and allocaiton between Ambani brothers and NTPC. Given a choice, there are so many consumers who are willing to pay hefty prices to get access to gas. But since Govt. has to cater to the needs to many sectors it decided to play the role of a broker. So, Govt. decided some sectors as priority sectors and others on a secondary priority etc. through which it has directed the gas producers and consumers for sale/purchase of gas. City Gas distribution for example is not a highly profitable business. But since implementing CGD is for the better cause of the nation, Govt. has allocated a certain share of the total gas available to CGD thereby ensuring that more people are interested in implementing the same.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Novel way to fight corruption!!

Did you know that AP government has infact implemented a scheme where individuals can audit the government schemes?
This audit is termed as Social Audit.
Individuals, are trained on how to audit and monitor the progress and execution of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). Bureaucrats and contractors are supposed to explain the deviations, if any in the schemes being executed. 
So far ~5000 cases of fraud have been identified and works to the tune of ~Rs 60 cr have been given back by the fraudsters. Though the size is not huge, it certainly is a fresh beginning to the fight against corruption. 
I came to know about this from
Infact to ensure that even these social audits themselves do not become a major expenditure, Government of AP has passed an act to ensure a cap on the amount of expenditure per audit conducted, this includes a max. cap on the expenses to be bourne by the auditors, the share of equipment that they can use etc.(Source:
This kind of grass level movement is the only way to fight against the corruption.
It is only people like us, the white collared MBA holders who are adding nothing to the social cause and just trying to add our pockets. 
Let’s get novel and apply the so called best brains for the better cause of the society. Amen!!

Way to go!! Deficit Reduction in USA

Do you know the deficit of USA. It is ~$ 5 Trillion.
Just so, one understand what that figure means, India's budget is around $1.3 Trillion and USA's defence budget is almost  as big our own GDP.
There is a desperate need for USA to cut down its deficit. Diplomats have been trying vehemently to implement policies that will ensure reduction in this. But, as usual the Republicans oppose any of these policies...Guess, what they are seriously contemplating putting Sarah palin in the forefront for Presidency in 2012 elections.
Getting back to the topic; Republicans are proving now and again that they represent the Rich and the media which is strong supportive of Republicans is strongly supporting their ideas. The tax benefits to the rich which are expected to expire this month are most likely to be continued, owing to the pressure of Republicans.
So, what are the measures taken by Obama to cut the deficit??
Freeze the salaries of Federal !! This freeze will save ~ $ 5 billion. Imagine that's the only measure suggested by Obama to save USA from its burgeoning deficit. 
Seems like the Pareto Rule of 80:20 is not applicable here :). 
Time is running out for USA to pull its socks up. 
Stop worrying about Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea. The axis of Evil is not lying outside USA, it is within USA. 
Its time to introspect, as is the case for everyone.
PS: I just wonder that our cities of New Delhi/Mumbai also think like USA. They think that they have the supremacy over other cities, but can't see the cities like Coimbatore and Surat eating into their pie. Way to go!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

For once 5 lac crore investment halted for Right reasons!! Hail the Minister

This is the amount of investment halted due to the strict norms imposed by our Existing Environmental Minister Mr. Jairam Ramesh. 
Rs2 lac crore wasted by Mr. Raja and all that he does is get back and sleep at peace in his own constituency.
Now here is one minister who is working day in and day out to ensure that the environmental laws are adhered to but he is being booed all around. In-fact Wall Street Journal lambasted him for concentrating too much on environment than on development.
All that Mr. Ramesh is asking for is to ensure that the laws are followed. Being in the industry, I know that many corporates do not follow much of the environmental laws. It is only under the reign of Mr. Ramesh that people started worrying about environment.
Earlier the biggest threat for the completion of a power plant was fuel, land availability etc. Now the biggest concern is getting Environment Clearance. Companies used to get the clearance quite easily, but now when the voices of the local residents are being heard by the environmental minister and he is taking some stringent action the industry is getting against him.
Of all the people even Mr. Sharad Pawar, one of the most tainted men in politics is also questioning the credibility of Mr. Ramesh.
I just hope he doesn't end up as Shashi Tharoor who had to quit for reasons which are not worth this blog.
Mr. Ramesh is not giving clearances for any power plant because of the rehabilitation issues which only the persons who lost the land can understand. It is easier for all of us sitting in the shade of concrete roof to question the intention of the minister for not permitting the industry, but the GDP growth that India is securing is coming at a huge cost of the environment which none of us is able to foresee.
China is already facing the wrath, but is keeping everything under closed wraps. 
Ever thought about the benefits of actions taken by Mr. Ramesh...Land of Lord Jagannath temple in Puri is saved due to his indirect action, Avatar in making was averted in Nyamgiri Hills, Much of North East is saved from a landscape devastation and industry & common men have become much more aware about environment.
I might have lost some of my potential income due to Mr. Ramesh, but he has proved that at times short term gains have to be sacrificed for the bigger benefits. 
Hail the Minister!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lizard theory...

Did you know that in Hindu tradition there is a belief that the touch of lizard is an indication of something.

Infact there is a famous temple in Varadaraja Swamy temple in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu (The temple has awesome architecture and is a very sacred and historic temple) where there are two lizard idols engraved in Gold and Silver. Makeshift ladders permit devotees to touch the lizard. Here is an image of the same.

 Devotees believe that touching the lizard in this sanctified chamber absolves them from the sin of previously hurting lizards; it also protects them from future harm by lizards. People from various places throng to this temple to touch these two lizard idols.

You want to know what happens if any one touches a lizard in real life. Here are some of the indications.

Place on the body  where Lizard falls
 Be ready for death news from your friends or relatives
Both lips
 You are going to face difficulties
 You will be happy
 You will earn jewellery
 There is a danger to your life
 You will win friends
Left eye
 Your husband loves you
Left Hand
 You are mentally disturbed
Lower lip
 You will buy new items
 Someone will fight with you
 You lose money
Right Cheek
 You are blessed with a male baby
Right ear
 You will earn a lucky prize
Right eye
 You are mentally tense
Right Hand
 You will gain money
Right Leg
 Destroy your enemies
 You are blessed with a male baby 
Upper lip
 Enemity with someone
Both lips
 Be ready for death news from your friends 
 Your friends will visit you
 Difficult time ahead
 Someone will fight with you
Left ear
 You will win a lucky prize
Left eye
 You have a good news
Left shoulder
 You may face an insult
Lower lip
 You will win prize money
 Difficult time ahead
 You will lose money
Right Cheek
 You have a bad news
Right eye
 You will be defeated
Right shoulder
 Difficult time ahead
Upper lip
 Enemity with someone
Now, you know the reason why  people throng to the temple to touch the lizard idols.
May be it is time for you too? J