Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kill the industry


Kill the  market


The general RoE for the power sector itself is around 15-25%. Not a great sign!!
Rupee depreciation by almost 15% ... a big blow to the industry!!
On top of that the huge interest rates... Heartbreak to the industry!!
Now GOvt. plans for tripling the custom's duty .. Thats it, industry is dead!! .. 
Guess its time to run to fixed deposits

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

100 cents or 55 cents or 64 cents

If only we were honest, to ensure sanity we should have stuck to 100 cents. Most of the socialist states, have tried to tweak the 100 cents barrier by re-defining their own benchmarks to a lesser number of 55 cents or another value.
Confused!!! I am referring to the definition of Poverty line. While the 100 cents itself isn't accurate, but it probably provides some consistency across the world. 
But to ensure that the government in power boasts about the economic growth, most countries have come up with their own version of Poverty line.
With the divide between rich and poor increasing by the day, it was obvious that the poverty line had to be increased to ensure that people who are not reaping the benefits can actually get access to the welfare schemes. But instead countries like India, rather political parties like Congress have re-defined the poverty line to 64 cents, thereby trying to ensure that the welfare schemes are addressed only to the "Real Poor", but not 'Poor".
Now, with all the clamour surrounding this definition, finally India has decided to stick to the original definition of $1. Now, I am sure the ministers would have received a double whammy with the fact that dollar appreciate by almost 15% which would mean that technically the number of people below poverty line would have at-least increased by 5% which is a staggering 60 million people :O
Our country isn't doing justice to its own people by doing any of these kind of activities. Why doesn't the government accept the fact that there are so many poor. 
Look at China! For a change China has become real about some of its problems. It has increased its BPL from  55 cents to $1. It has agreed that there are so many poor and that its welfare schemes should indeed address so many of its own folks. 
By reducing the BPL from $1 to 64 cents, Mr. Home minister you may be bringing more Kishanji's to the fore and not address the core issue at all.
Let us be honest and agree that the reality is not the 64 cents and it is atleast $1. Let's face it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You want numbers...here they are!!

This is one of the blogs that I wrote just after completing my MBA and never published it..Another example of how so much numbers make any article un-interesting..here is the one about my favorite topic..Power sector in India. The numbers are very interesting for any one concerned about the sector!


Power sector reforms started off in 1991. But during the eighth 5 year plan the target for the power sector is scaled down from 48000 MW to 20,729 MW on the ground of resource constraints. And the actual became only 16,422 MW.


The amendments are done to the existing Acts and Rules to woo the private and foreign companies to invest in this sector. The private companies are provided a 16% assured rate of return on their equity and a 0.7 % additional return for every 1% increase in the plant load factor over the 68.5% level. Foreign equity return will be in foreign currency and will be completely protected against foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Other concessions include an enhanced rate of depreciation at 7.5% and a tax holiday.


The installed capacity of generation at the time of independence is 1370 MW and it is 97,846 MW by 31 marr 2000. The percentage shares of different sources of energy:
Hydro power - 24%, Thermal power - 72%, , Nuclear power - 3%, wind power - 1%.


The two major problems associated with Thermal power plants were:
1) Low level of capacity utilization
2) High transmission and distribution laws between 21-26%.


Though the statutory obligation says that the SEBs are required to earn a minimum eturn of not less than 3% on their fixed assets after fully meeting the fixed and operating costs, intereste and tax liabilities no governments seem to bother about it.


The center for Monitoring of Indian Economy has estimated that 12-15% T&;D losses are acceptable. The eighth five year plan targeted to bring down T&D losses by 5%. In some states the T&D losses are around 30-50%


To have an assessment of the financialloss caused by power theft, an illustrative example will be quite illuminating. For the year 1999-2000, it has been estimated that gross energy generation by the utilites was 480.7 billion units. Taking the planning commission's estimates of auziliary confumption as 10.15%, energy available for sale was 431.89 billion units, and estimated T&D losses 22 %. As has been stated, in Indian conditions T&D losses should not be more than 15%.. A reduction in the loss by 7% would have saved 30.23 billion units sold at Rs 2.076 per unit and this would have generated Rs 6,726 crore in the year which would have been enough to install about 2000 MW of additional generating capacity.


Most of the detailed mentioned here are correct. The sector right now has more problems than it every had. I can continue to write a small book on the power sector woes,and probably a few paragraphs on potential solutions. I hope you had enough of the numbers! Will probably look at different topic to speak about numbers the next time :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cultural Begging!!

I didn't know how to coin the term for this...you can help me with the right term after reading the blog


During my childhood when high rise apartments weren't the norm and urbanization wasn't in vogue, lot of people would come across your street, perform and ask for alms..more than alms I'd say they were seeking money for the appreciation of their art.
Some one would play a shehnai, some one would make a bull perform dance (referred to as gangireddu melam) or there would be small drama etc.. At the end of all these acts people would contribute what ever amount they can, and the performers in turn would bless whoever has turned up. 
In many cases, these performers themselves were considered divine and hence people would throng to see and give whatever they can. This helped many of these artists to survive and flourish in a few instances. They also brought the culture and folklore into limelight and ensured that traditional music thrived.
But of late, how many times have we seen people performing these arts on the streets. And how many times have you seen them being allowed to perform. Nowadays we want our privacy in our apartments, scared of security issues, these small artists are not even allowed to perform. So, they are forced to perform within the rural areas, where due to lack of demand, slowly the art itself is losing its charm.
Many arts like this have lost their shine and have almost become extinct (Tholubommalaata is an art form which is almost extinct. It is also termed as puppetry). Especially during festivals many of these arts and performances would be the limelight of the celebrations. 
Can you imagine seeing any of these guys across our streets during normal days or during festivals. You can probably find some of these artists as a separate event in some cultural festival, or by some great performer in some art theater.
None of the smaller and unknown artists have a place to showcase their art and earn income even a pettance!
No wonder most of these artists have given up on their art and are becoming labor in major metros. 
With exposure to internet and global connectivity we have access to entertainment across the world, and hence these small artists do not matter to us. And let me not get going about cultural alienation!
I have no answers about how to solve this issue..probably more shows, more melas or more whatever..just to ensure that these artists retain their skills and also earn decent income.
I do not have statistics to speak about the number of artists who have left their skills. Atleast in case of puppetry I know that there are no longer any of those shows happening in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India where earlier there used to be hundreds of artists relying on the same.
The only traditions which seem to still gather lot of attention of masses are the ones which have migrated towards soft porn or vulgarity. For example theatre in Rural Andhra pradesh or in rural Uttar Pradesh flourishes more as a show of nudity!!
All that I can say is, the next time any of these artists appear, lets atleast listen/watch their performances for few minutes and appreciate them with whatever we can. May be that will encourage to perform the arts at-least as a part time activity!!


PS: If you can tell me the right name for this article, Iam more than willing to change the title.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Badness of roadology!!

Did you know that there is a term called as roadology, which means the study of the impact of roads on the areas through which it passes!!
Anyways, the article is about "what should be the optimum amount of badness of the road to have a better impact on the society"
Did you ever wonder, what is the good thing about Indian roads. They are bad and filled with pot holes in most cases, and hence what good they can offer.
On the contrary, I'd say the roads are good because they are bad!!
While I understand how a good road helps in commercial transformation of the society, I somehow think that bad roads will do more justice to India than good roads.
I am actually referring to the interior roads and not the highways. The potential benefits to be accrued due to bad roads are:

  • A bad road would mean that the vehicles travelling on that road will get depreciated faster, making people purchase a car earlier. 
  • Because of bad road, the traffic slows leading to the potential for street vendors to do some small business ( Idea of my friend)
  • Bad roads will actually increase my health problems, thereby more business for the hospitals. You may say that the productivity of the candidate is hampered (we anyways are under utilizing our potential, so it would not create a major decrease in productivity of the person)
  • Bad roads will ask for more investment on insurance leading to more insurance companies coming in.
  • More time spent on the roads will make sure that people are listening to radio leading to more advertisement options.
  • Due to bad roads people will prefer public transport leading to increase in overall efficiency and energy optimization.
All the above factors directly contribute to the GDP growth rate.
Hence bad roads actually help GDP growth. I am not suggesting then that all the roads should be dug out and made worse. Good roads obviously will be appreciated and worse roads hated. Hence an optimum amount of badness is always good for the society.

Keeping all these in mind, I actually suggest the usage of a metric (roadofactor), which is the optimum badness that a roadness can retain in order to ensure benefit to GDP. It can be the function of the no. of potholes in an unit area of the road, depth of those pot holes and the frequency of re-occurrence of those potholes. 

From next time onwards, the roadofactor should become a metric for awarding road contracts. Anyways the contractors are making bad roads. Why not dis-incentivize them by saying that, we want bad roads and hence you will not be able to get any money out of it.

The best practices of Indian contractors in developing bad roads can be extended to the likes of China who is developing express highways in a frenzy. Lets tell me how to ensure bad roads in the fastest time!!


Saturday, October 08, 2011

I'd rather prefer Sarah Palin run my nation.

I was going through the Europe debt crisis and came across the topic that "investors are scared" so many times and then I wondered who are these investors and how many are these investors who seem to determine the fate of the world economy. Effectively these select group of people are determining the fate of 6 billion people.
If Gini index were to be made for the influence of people, then I am sure it would be almost close to zero...


But, for dumb heads like me, who are these investors whose opinion seem to fluctuate every day. One day the sensex rises on the hope that the Greece debt bail out talks are holding up, and the second day they are scared to the extent that they dump all their shares. Is it so simple that the world economy takes a U-turn every second day?


If I look back, the topic of recession appears because either the Dowzone index crashed or a group of investors think that something tragic is going to happen the very next moment. So, I was trying to identify these people who influence our major livelihood. Also how good are these investors? If their investments are prone to sentiments than fundamentals (yeah, see even I start using the financial geeky terms like fundamentals ..), then what good are these professionally qualified investors?


Why should some one change their whole perception towards something every alternate day. Why can't we continue to remain bullish or bearish for some time. Let us say , Germany has delayed the decision by a day whether to extend the loan to Greece. How would this decision change the whole paradigm about Greece in a single day. 


These few thousands people from the nukkads and gallis of the wall with an MBA and a stat degree have decided the fate of the earth as a whole. So these bunch of people who are depressed due to the constant pressure of trying to make money every second seemingly decide how should a country be run. 


Considering the might and the weakness in their ever fluctuating thought process patterns, I'd rather prefer Sarah Palin to run my nation, than these people deciding how I should behave. While they think that the Obama's and the Putin's of the world are ill qualified to do their job I believe these folks are worse than the Gaddafi's and the Assad's.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

daanamma jeevitham!!

The title literally means "what a pitiable life". I wrote this in anguish about the rampant corruption. I could express it better in my native language telugu, and hence the blog below..(The translation is at the end of the blog)

ఎంత తింటారు రా. విసుగు రాలేదా? జనాలని దోచుకుని దోచుకుని...చచ్చిపోతున్నారు రా జనాలు అక్కడ...ఏమి సాధించారు రా.. ఒక కోటి, పది కోట్లు, వంద కోట్లు, వెయ్యి కోట్లు సరిపోలేదా.. లక్షల కోట్లు కావాలా.. అది కూడా కష్టపడి సంపాదించడం కాదు.. పక్క వాడి డబ్బులని దోచుకోవడం...ఎందుకు రా ఈ బతుకులు 

తప్పు చేసాను అని అనిపించదా? సిగ్గు, మానం మర్యాద చచ్చిపోయాయా మీలో? 

ఏం చేసుకుంటారు రా అన్ని డబ్బులు...వున్నాయి అని బయటపెట్టుకోలేరు..కాబట్టి ఆనందించలేరు... మరి ఆ డబ్బులు ఉంది ఏం లాభం రా.. అలాంటప్పుడు ఎందుకు రా అంత దోచుకోవడం.. 
ఎవరో అన్నారు...ఒక కోటి తరువాత ఎన్ని కోట్లు సంపాదించినా ఒకటే అని... మరి ఆ ముక్క మీకు అర్ధం కాదా? 

ఇంత డబ్బులు తిని మీకు ఇంకా నిద్ర ఎలా పడుతోంది రా. మీ బుర్ర కూడా చచ్చిపోయిందా..పాపం పుణ్యం అనే వ్యత్యాసం అర్ధం కావట్లేదా?

ఎందుకు రా మీ బతుకులు... నా పెళ్ళాం, నా పిల్లలు...ఇదేనా జీవితం అంటే...పక్క వాడు చచ్చిపోతున్నాకూడా మన వాళ్ల చంక నాకుతూ కూర్చోవడమేనా?.. పది మంది కోసం ఒక్కడికి భాద కలిగినా పరవాలేదు అంటారు కదా...మరి మీ ఒక్కళ్ళ కోసం ఎందుకు రా ఇంత మంది జీవితాలని పొట్టన పెట్టుకుంటున్నారు???

దీనమ్మ.. ఎందుకు రా జీవితం మీది..

మీరు ఇంత తింటున్నా కూడా ఏమి పట్టించుకోకుండా ఉంటున్నాము చూడు...ముందు మమ్మల్ని మేము తిట్టుకోవాలి రా.. ఎందుకు రా మా జీవితం అని..

దీనమ్మ జీవితం!

The translation is...
How much will you eat...dont you get frustrated from looting people...people are dying there..what did you acheive..one crore, ten crores, 1000 crores..isn't it enough..do u still need lacs of crores..and that too without working hard for it..why do you just want other's money..what kind of lives do you have?
Dont you feel guilty? Have shame, dignity died in you?
What will you do with all that money??? you cant even show that you have so much of money..and hence cant enjoy them...then why do you still want to have it..and for the same why do you want to exploit some one.
How do you get sleep..is your brain and heart dead..Did you forget the difference between good and bad?
What kind of life do you have..my wife, my kids..is that your life..even if a person is dying in front of you, how can you just sit and keep licking some one else's feet?...One person's anguish for the welfare of ten is justified..but why is it that you have shattered so many lives for the sake of one person??
Why the hell do you need that kind of a life...
Inspite of such rampant corruption, it is the people like us who should be blamed for sitting life..it is our life which is worthless..
What a pitiable life!!

Hum do aur hamaare kitne??

The title of the blog is inspited by the famous caption "ham do, hamaare do" (We two, ours two), thereby asking people to have only two kids.


But who determines how many kids should a couple have. While there are lot of factors that influence the decision, it is primarily the couple which has the last laugh in it. But what if the state interefers in the decision making process.


What if the state tells me how many kids should I have? Instead of encouraging me to have less number of kids, if the state legalizes or dictates the number of kids that a couple can have, isn't it a gross violation of the privacy and the way a couple behave?


Why am I having this discussion?


Because of the proposed new bill in Kerala state proposing to impose a punishment on a person opting for more than 2 children. While the intention to control population growth is correct, a legal punishment doesn't seem to be the right choice.


The next time, the state may also dictate that it is illegal to have sex without contraception...(how can the state keep a track of that is a different question altogether ;) ). Or probably it is illegal to have sex during certain time or in certain position..(who cares!!). The point of contention being, the state cannot determine the number of kids that one has, rather it should take measures to dis-incentivise any action which is not good for the better lot of the society, in this case increased population. 


So, the next time another bill with an extreme opinions, may actually circumsize a person completely after he had two kids. I am exaggerating the repercussions, because the thought process behind the law seems to bea subdued version similar to nazi's execution of Jews or the Gujarat riots where the intention is to eliminate or suppress the growth rate of certain section of the population.


I am not proposing an alternate solution as yet, because we've failed in execution of every decision. While this may still be a step in the right direction, I condemn any action done by the state directing my private and personal choices.


What if a person had two kids with one marriage, would he be entitled to marry and have kids with another woman who already has a kid? (Yeah yeah...I know the man is really working hard... :) )


So, will the state even penalize me the next time if I comment about sex..
I give a damn, as long as I am allowed to do it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WTF

While I composed this article long back and never published..the blasts again have reminded of this.
WTF...this is the first thought that comes across, when I see any sensitive news issue. My blood boils, I feel like doing something, and then again another WTF. In the midst of all these WTFs all that I end up is boil over and over again.
The frustration of the inability to do anything, my laziness everything drves me mad to the extent of doing something crazy...which is NOT doing anything...another WTF.
All of us..almost the 600 million Indians end up doing one thing..saying WTF..and doing nothing about it.
So many things..information overload or basic information we end up doing nothing about any event.
People die, rivers get polluted, women raped, more blasts...and all that we end up doing is give an exasperated WTF.
The only action that we do is give a pause to the total situation, say WTF..and then move on..sleep, wake up to go to the brothel, and if things go well join another brothel...WTF
Blasts..WTF...more blasts..WTF...Love failure..WTF..Manager fires you...WTF...people force you to get married...WTF..Thats what I do...
The first time I heard cranberries, from the best buddy of my life so far..I was amazed at the expressions in the audio..I was amazed...I thought I could do something better, in action...but WTF..I end up doing nothing..
The least that I could do is, share my condolences...and then what??? I remember the condolences when another event happens...Is that it??? WTF

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Salwa Judum is Illegal..A respite???

While I have my opinion about it being good or bad, Supreme court in its latest decree has ordered that Salwa Judum is illegal. Infact in 2009 itself Supreme court gave its verdict of usage of arms in Salwa Judum is illegal. But it apparently has not stopped the state from supporting the cause.
How many of us really came across this news about this latest Supreme court order, which was given couple of days ago. Hardly any news channel covered it (Except Hindu). Even NDTV, one of the most read online Indian news portal  mentioned that the verdict may hamper any anit-maoist efforts.
Don't we understand the impact of this judgement. For the past 5 years Salwa Judum has been proclaimed as the first line of defence against the "ill-willed" Maoists. It has been stated as an initiative by the tribals against the oppression of maoist. Highly surprising, when the biggest oppressor has been the state and not the non-state elements.
This first line of defence has been a major deterrent to the movement of maoists, for unknown reasons (Iam not qualifed to comment). But understandably since the tribals are to fight between themselves, that in itself would have acted as a natural deterrent for any forceful action.
During these years, while the human right violations have been immense, Salwa Judum has earned the benefits from the corporates and the politicans herding them. Thousands of hardly educated tribals have been given arms in the pretext of protection against the extermists. These people were getting paid a decent monthly salary and were given a gun, to monitor and protect the civilians!! Imagine a child being given a gun and being asked to ensure that the civilians are protected and that he shall not use force for his personal benefit. What a joke!!!
Now, with the Supreme court order, they would be forced to surrender their arms and would be left with no monthly source of income. Would any sane mind surrender his/her arms when the assured monthly salary is taken away?
Hence the impact of Salwa Judum is going to be felt much more in the lives of the Salwa Judum participants. They would be forced to live under the threat from Maoists and also not have any livelihood. Hence the only option left with them would be either to succcumb to maoists or leave their village to get into towns working as a labour. Or the better option would be to run amock with the arms and loot the people and brand it as an action by the extremists. That seems to be the logical route. This would mean another force for the state to reckon with.
The whole situation is similar to that of Pakistan. It is now having to deal with the militants that it probably has trained to fight against India.
While I do not carry any personal grudge against Mr. Chidambaram, if we try and understand who are the major benefactors from this...the answer is, probably the likes of Mr. P. Chidambaram or the politicians. Neither the corporates nor the tribals would have got any leg piece from the total endeavor.
While Mr. Chidambaram with his white shawl and a good will messenger kind of image continues to deal with press conferences with utmost diplomacy, the likes of his will continue to wage their war against the tribals and the real benefactors..
Guess, if you ever ask him what is Vedaantha saaram i.e. what is the essence of the vedas...his answer would be "Vedanta" "chidambaram" which means Vedanta is Chidambaram and Chidambaram is Vedanta.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Water management and crisis in China

While we are pondering about how to manage our floods within city, China is setting up/set up various projects across the Yellow River and digitally monitoring the flood level, pollution, sedimentation and other aspects across the total river and ensuring that the flow of water is uniform or atleast as per the expectation.
The level of automation and digitization has apparently allowed better flow through the Yellow River, and nowadays the Yellow River is called as the digital River!!
But, China in its ambition to control vast resources and in due course control nature may yield results un fathomed ever. Through its South-North water transmission corridor, it is planning to tap into the precious waters of the Tibetan Peninsula (In 2008, I wrote a blog stating China's ambition to Tibet's waters..!!!). The scale of the project leaves too many questions un-answered.
I was just wondering about the planning that has to go into executing projects of this scale.
a) As I mentioned earlier, Three Gorges is having to deal with huge sedimentation, and it may have to eventually incur huge costs similar to Sanmenxia Dam, whose potential is drastically reduced due to sedimentation.
b) As every one knows, the Himalayas are the most earth quake prone regions in the world. Hence, the river bed that originates from these regions. In an earthquake during the early parts of previous century, a huge earthquake in Assam lead to the increase of the Brahmaputra basin by as high as 22 cms. This has led to major devastation across the region.
Remember the Kosi river in Bihar, which changed its course as recently as 2008-09. While this is not due to earth quakes, but the inherent nature of rivers in the Himalayan and Tibetan regions make them highly prone to changes.
China, recently saw two major earthquakes, one in Sichuan region which moved a total mountain and the other in the same proximity leading to major flash floods and killing scores of people. Now, the planned corridor SOuth-North water diversion project goes through the Sichuan region.
Imagine $65 bn are spent on trying to divert water from rivers, and the earth quake leads to the change in course of the rivers. The total effort is drained and at the same time, the impact in itself becomes un-measurable. Since it is China, things may be kept under closed wraps and the impact would be shown as minimal, as is the case with the recent droughts across the Central Provinces. 
While, it is good and appreciable to plan for great engineering marvels, the ecological and the environmental impact remain un-certain.
During the previous century big hydro dams were considered to be the virtues of development. Not any more. For all the big projects planned, since the damage is calculated within the area of impact, the damage is quantified. But if the ecological damage is perceived from a macro perspective, the damage done by many of these projects render them un-viable and dangerous.
The solution, probably lies in better planning of the demand centers. Ensure development happens surrounding the river beds as used to be the case in earlier civilizations. Also, a group of small hydro projects are more capable of handling the situation better than a single large project. There by even the environmental impact is minimized. Hopefully!!

Monday, June 06, 2011

$24 bn project brings worst drought in 50 years..what would a $65 bn project bring???

An engineering marvel is created. Well thought about, well planned, well designed, well executed...well??? It cost $24 bn to build the World’s largest Hydro power project - The Three Gorges Dam by China. It was completed well before the schedule. It provides 18400 MW of electricity which is unfathomable by many other Hydro power projects. Its back waters created a reservoir of water which is as big as UK in length.

Now, the flip side..It displaced half a million population and thounsads of towns. The weight of the water stored in the reservoir is only adding to the woes of the land slides, tremors in and around the area. The river is getting more and more polluted since the 1.3 mile long concrete barrier diverted the migration of fish which otherwise would have preserved the sanctity of water in the river. Topping the charts are the facts that Central China, where the project is located is reeling under 50 year drought and that two of Southern China’s largest lakes have almost dried up.

China for the first time has accepted the fact that the dam is creating more problems than the ones that were envisaged.

If these were not enough, China is planning for a $64 bn cross country water transportation programme which would transport water through various canals, projects, tunnels to the thirsty Northern China where all the major cities like Beijing are located. Even before the dynamics of a single project of Three Gorges are well understood, this project worth $64 bn named as South-North Diversion project would certainly have such great impact on the economy that I can’t even think about.

This is the way most of us are headed towards. The development is happening only at the cost of nature and ecology. We are reveling about the engineering marvels that are being created and demonising the traditional methods of living. But we seem to forget that we cannot overcome nature and that the only way forward is to go along with the nature. Iam not sure how would the world look like, if the pace of growth in this format continues.

The only thing that I can think about is, as Dr. Malcolm in ‘Lost World’ says “Nature will Finds its ways”...

I can just pray that humans are considered in the grand plan of nature while it finds its ways!!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

ayn rand vs Keyne vs Karlmarx vs John Nash

Was reading the book "Anthem"...Ayn Rand's first novel and her first narration of her philosophy of Objectivism. While Objectivism as a philosophy sounds really great and I would want to emulate it, the execution of the same across the society may not prove effective in the present situation. It sounds very utopian.

Her novels have been more than an inspration to me. But at the same time I like the various ideologies in Communism and that of Regulated Capitalism.

Did you ever wonder which ideology suits the present world? Hence I thought of comparing various philosophies proposed by certain great personnel.



Name

Duration

Profession

Pre-dominant Philosophy

Karl Marx

1818-1883

Philosopher

Communism

Keyne

1883-1946

Economist

Regulated Capitalism

Ayn Rand

1905-1982

Author

Objectivism

John Nash

1928-Present

Mathematician

Game Theory

The three people mentioned here apart from Ayn Rand had a profound impact on modern society. I included Ayn Rand though more because of her Objectivism philosophy.

If we just see, what all the four philosophies stand for:
Philosophy
Who need to spend the Effort?
Who will reap the benefits?
When are optimum Results achieved?
Who Regulates the outcome?
Communism
Individual
State
Working for state's cause
Highly Regulated by State
Regulated Capitalism
Individual
Individual
Working for Individual's cause
Regulated by State
Objectivism
Individual
Individual
Working for Individual's cause
No Regulation
Game Theory
Individual
Individual
Working for Group's cause
Minimum Regulation
While Game theory per say doesn't state in explicit terms about the Group's cause..it simply states that the best results are acheived when individuals work for a Group's best outcome than for individual's best outcome.

Now...when we compare these philosphies don't know which can be rated better than the other..I guess that's quite a subjective thing...
Each philosophy has its Pro's and con's...while communism has had its days of glory it is the Regulated capitalism which is ruling the world.
While I'd love Objectivism to flourish, because it offers dignity of labour and also the individual stands to best benefits out of it..it may beneft a lot only amongst the elite who are highly talented. What about the destitute and others who need the help of thers. Objectivism says not to wory about the society and only to worry about "I" and "I" alone. While this appears un-morale if every one of us believes in it., nothing better than objectivism.
Communism is losing the sheen, more because of its execution. While the theory of communism states that every one should benefit, only the people in the communist party seem to have benefitted.
Amongst all, Keynesian economics with regulations from state looks like the only best fit for the the existing conditions. Even this is having trouble with skewed regulations. It is probably because we are having semi communst-capitalist mind sets.
Even our own constituion says that we are socialist republic, but are we really socialistic in nature?
I guess we are still not an ideal world to follow on particular idelology..and may be multiple ideologies are the need of the hour.
Till that time, it is Keynes who may be declared the winner.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who benefits..monkey or one of the cats?

In this particular blog, I do not know what stand should I take. The industry (first cat) or the normal junta in the society (second cat).
While at one hand there is salwa judem which more or less is intended at the demise of the tribal culture and their rights, on the other hand we have industrialists who are forced to shell out so much money and are still not guaranteed of the benefits that they can reap.
Let me start on a pro-capitalistic tone.
Power plant developers have seen their worst nightmares come true in the last year. While they are banging their heads about how to overcome the fuel crisis to run the power plants, Govt. is running amuck with the licenses given to them. Billions of dollars worth of investments are lying idle or the progress is halted becuase Govt. has taken back the licenses that are earier given to the developers. On top of that Govt. wants 10% of the energy generated from power plants at free of cost to Govt. What nonsense!! If this is not sufficient, Govt. wants the power developers to give 30% of the energy generated at variable cost to Govt. Which means that the power developers are left with only 60% of their production to get the returns from their plant. On top of all this, the power developers have to acquire the land at the rates determined by the individual land owner and are also forced to give 25% of their profits to the land owneres from which they have acquired the land. Farmer protests against land acquisition have created more ruccus to the whole drama. Along with this, they have to await the power transmission lines to be laid, which is at the mercy of the Govt. itself. On an overall basis, the power developers are in a state of huge dilemma whether to even setup the plants.
Now getting back to Socialism!
Take an example of Vedanta group, which has epitomized the corporate anathema towards the under privileged. They perhaps belong to a class of people who believe in turning their dreams into reality, while depreciating the other's dreams completely. Alas, they don't understand that the dreams cannot be depreciated and on the contrary, as was the case with tribals in Niyamgiri hills, only get appreciated.
So, is it the case of each trying to bring the other person down, or is it that the middle man alone is profiting while keeping both the parties at bay? Looks like the case!!
In all the cases it is the Govt. rather the political body which is acting as the intermediary between the corporates and the junta. While the corporate-political nexus is undeniable, it is the nexus between the ruling and the opposition parties which hasn't come into limelight.
If a power plant has to be setup, the ruling party will have to be pleased. At this point the opposition politicians go and instigate the villagers to protest against the plant. When the ruling and the opposition parties change, they also swap their roles. Thereby, the political parties have ensured that their benefits are completely addressed.
In this case political parties range from the local sarpanch to the MLA to 10 janpath or the equivalent. Each and every person in that huge supply chain of politicians have ensured that their benefits are addressed, while the cats have been fighting out each other.
So, no wonder the monkey is still runling the cats!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It is simple silly!!

I was travelling across some areas of Telangana region to assess the energy demand and the propensity of the consumers to switch to gas...I actually took this journey to get an idea on how is the situaion beyond the city limits..


I was happy to know that atleast till a stretch of almost 100 kms away from the main city, things are actually not that bad...there are very good roads, power lines are laid out to the interiors and no where did my mobile stop receiving signals...these are acheivements that I was surprised and indeed felt happy...


and now the critic in me is back to the fora..


In an area which is some 50 kms from the city, there were lot of autos plying back and forth between two small towns...we wanted to check how many autos were there and that would be they be interested to convert to CNG based systems...


I inquired with some autowallas about the same and I was shocked to know that within a distance of 30 kms, there are close to 1000 autos plying every day...!!! and that in the coming few years there would be atleast 1000 more expected..


I was shocked, and asked them the reason...the answer was simple silly.


"maaku udyogaalu levu"!! "We don't have jobs".


"What do we do? Most of us are graduates, but have no other jobs, so in order to ensure our livelihood we take up autors which are giving us atleast 150/- a day. "


I had no answers..While it feels good to speak about the countr's energy deficit and lot more things that Iam generally interested about..I had no answer about how to solve these small issues.


Is it that tough to address these issues? I had no clue. For once all my enthusiasm and my ability to transform things hit a road block..what do I do to address these issues? It mustn't be complicated..


But I have no answer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where should one setup a power plant

One person killed in Jaitapur case...and so the total count of people killed in police firing protesting against the power plants has reached 4 in the last one year..and the number of protests huge..
Though the apparent reasons from each place, the protests hang on the same principle that no one wants a power plant in their premises..
If no one wants to have a power plant near their premises, then where should a plant be kept...
Recently another power plant's public hearing got disturbed because people complained that a 240 MW imported coal based power plant will cause cancer to them and hence they do not want the power plant.
Why don't people say that we do not want power and energy. Because that alone can stop the crisis..
Moreover, I was wondering what is the role of the police in these power plants and why are the firing upon citizens whom they are supposed to protect...and even the police are as ignorant and as intelligent as the normal public is...so, don't they have any apprehensions towards the power plants..and why is it that they are always supporting the government measures than supporting the protestors.
Things have gone from bad to worse for thermal power plants. No one wants to put a thermal power plant in AP because of the riots...and same may be the case even in Maharashtra. Gujarat, apparently is the only state in India where there are hardly any protests for power plants. Is it because that they are not concerned about their health or is it because they are absolutely ignorant about a power plant?
The other aspect is...in all the places where the protests are happening, the protesters are primarily the un-educated and ignorant labourer or some similar person who has no clue about the power sector, leave alone the differences between nuclear and coal based power plants. Hence can I draw a conclusion that there are probably some ulterior motives drawing these protestors than the actual cause of the pollution being created by these power plants.
I just hope there would be chances for some one to setup a power plant in the near future.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reforms, Reforms and More Reforms???

Everywhere we see, we come across this word "reforms".

Manmohan singh is going slow on Reforms
China has revamped its reforms
Wisconsin state cut down the perks to Govt. employees as a process of reforms.
Pakistan is against reforms
Greece has re-invented its reforms strategy.

Economies both well-developed, developing and under-developed are going ahead with reforms.

What exactly is Reform? What is the end goal...?

Is it to encourage capitalism? Or is it to encourage freedom? Or is it to just change the status quo? Or does it simply mean implementing free market where every one is allowed to act for self benefit with no concern about others? Or is it to reduce the flab of Govt.?

Many reforms as I have seen encourage capitalism...take any example, that seems to be the case.

So, can I assume that reforms intend only capitalism? If that were to be the case, then much of the societies will crumble in these reforms...because stand alone capitalism will not ensure the benefit of every one..

so, what exactly does Govt. intend to do by coming up with reforms? I still have only questions and no answers.

As is the case with this blog, reforms seem to be present everywhere but are going no where!!

Murder the Media.

why does a state with 8 crores population require 15 linguistic news channels over and above the hindi and english news channels..
it is only causing furore and not helping any purpose...
Meida place a very responsible role...but the channels in AP are the ones who are creating all the ruccus...
we have more than 15 news channels in Telugu...individual parties, castes and people have individual news channels conveying messages which cause more harm than any justice..
there is no regulatory body for any of this..
I don't understand why are they not being curbed...
if I hit a  person, the channel owned by me justifies my act and the other channel creates agitation...
what society are we living in...
mass communications which is such a potent weapon is mishandled to the fullest in Andhra Pradesh.
no curbs on internet is required in India yet, since it is a communication channel which people choose to use, unlike news channels in television which have huge impact...
there have to be immediate regulations and also curbs on the way media is troubling the administration