Wednesday, May 30, 2012

INDIAN CHANCE TO BECOME AN ECONOMIC SUPERPOWER

India   is  at  the  thresh  hold  of  a  huge  step forward to become one of the economic super powers of  21st century and the opportunity is there for the taking  if and only if the country's rulers and planners put their best foot forward rather than  moaning and groaning  about  the financial problems faced by world  in  general and the developed economies in particular. In fact if there were no problems in the developed economies of this globe this much talked about opportunity  window   would  not   have been available to India in spite of huge technical and management  human  resource,  an  awesome demography  advantage   coupled   with   an enormous demand for all kind of consumer goods, infrastructure, housing and healthcare needs even if one talks about extending  the benefits of development to a level of reasonably good living as per the European standards to the 1 billion plus population of the country. Add to this the need and inner desire on the part of all nations to shift over to renewable energy sources for energy security because of global environmental concerns and finite nature of all fuel based energy.
The Indian polity and planners must understand that prosperity and global leadership is something that they have to strive for and no other country of this globe will help them achieve this by jeopardising their own global leadership status.After all it is not wrong to presume that leaders of western economies shall work in the best interest of their own countries and economies and leaders of countries like India who are looking up to them for their salvation will end up with crumbs only.
Let Indian polity not wait for the improvements in global economic scene and work single-mindedly on problems that are dragging Indian growth. The two main present problems of Indian economy i.e. the inflation and rupee depreciation are both interlinked and require stringent and harsh measures on many fronts and cannot be sorted out with patchy controls by Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This has been seen in the case of efforts to rein in inflation through rate increases by RBI and the results are there for every one to see. The inflation menace has resurfaced after a small time correction and the negative effect on growth as surfaced with a big bang. Similarly, the efforts to control rupee depreciation has not lasted beyond a couple of days even. The real answer to both these problems lies in a path guided by good economics, governance and increase in productivity with politics taking a back seat for some time. If the fiscal deficit and current account deficit are managed well through austerity measures, control on imports, wise pruning of the Indian budget, corruption mitigation and management of energy resources through governance, ( India calling for nationalistic polity) the retrograde effects of policy paralysis could take the back seat.
Let the country understand that big dreams are realised through hard work,dedication and sincerity of purpose and not through mere wishful thinking and vote catching rhetoric as is being done by Indian polity at large. Otherwise the Indian dream and chance to become world leaders will end up in fiasco.It is now or never. Let us not waste this God sent opportunity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

INDIAN POLITICAL REALITIES

With no reforms on administrative, judicial, electoral as well as economic front in sight and no will to have an effective Lok Pal in the country all political parties have shown their priorities and policies of taking Indian masses for a ride. The Indian polity on the whole is collectively playing with the sentiments of people and fooling them. All parties are concerned only with not keeping the ball in their court. No body nails anyone in this game of collusion wherein they will take refuge behind political or economic agenda of their party so much so that corruption mitigation and war on corruption also has emerged as something that clashes with the political agenda of parties, religion and caste. All of them seem to be waiting only for 2014 general elections when they can manipulate maximum gain for themselves by extracting prized portfolios in cabinet, huge economic favour for their states etc. etc..
The only concern of UPA II seems to be as to how to manage the present government for another two years upto the next elections. The country and the economy can go to dogs who cares? After all it has been given a mandate to rule this country till 2014 and it is more inclined to live happily at the expense of public money without doing anything concrete or worthwhile to alleviate the miseries of the common man of the country. To stick to power it resorts to all kinds of political manipulations, succumbing to political blackmails and denying the country even the semblance of governance.
The only agenda of the government is to find out some slogan or some action that will be good enough to fool the poor hapless voter of the country to give them another term in power and to loot the country with their meaningless rhetoric, malafide intentions and governance motivated by corruption and corruption alone. In 2009 elections congress rode on the planks of  economic empowerment and inclusive growth knowing fully well that these programmes give corruption a big chance to thrive on. All those who matter in congress today have been witness to the notorious community development programme (now rechristened as inclusive growth) of  fifties , sixties and seventies of last century wherein some of their own leaders were candid enough to admit that 75% of the money designated for community development gets lost in corruption at various stages. When with about 50 years of rule in centre and various states, Congress party could not tackle the corruption and graft problem when 2 million employees and a couple of thousands of legislators then why go in for economic empowerment plank. The reason is simple enough to understand in the underlined message that we empower you to partake in national loot and you give us power to provide you with more and more of such wonderful opportunities. This time for 2014 elections UPA bosses have pinned their hopes on food security bill with no mention of any time limit or provisions of revision list of needy. It will be implemented in the same shoddy manner like old ration cards where many millionaires find their names for use of subsidies.As far as reforms are concerned which can transform the economy and condition of masses, a carrot has been shown to Indian masses through the mouthpiece of the government by saying that reforms will pick up only after 2014 when they are returned to power to enjoy life at the cost of public money.
Let the polity of the country understand that with least sincerity and willingness to do anything worthwhile for the country, country's voter is going to give fractured verdicts for national parties because it has realised that to squeeze the maximum out of union government for benefit of the states, blackmail is the only thing that works.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More hydro power to boost energy security: Report


NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of coal shortages impacting the power sector, increasing hydro powergeneration capacity would help in strengthening India's energy security, says a report. Many hydro power projects are grappling with delays and cost overruns, mainly due to geological as well as geopolitical obstacles.
"Given India's tight domestic coal supply and increasing reliance on imported coal, hydro capacity provides the country with greater energy security...," HSBC Global Research, part of banking giant HSBC, said in a recent report on the Indian hydro power sector.
Going by estimates, hydro power makes up for little over 20% of the country's total installed capacity of more than 1,90,000 MW.
The hydro capacity addition was revised to about 8,200 MW from earlier target of 15,600 MW in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12). However, the actual capacity added during that period is estimated to be around 5,400 MW.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

NUCLEAR ENERGY SAFETY- A FALSE PROMISE

The developed world polity , nuclear energy cartels and technocrats' lobbies have a big motivation to fool the world because they want to earn from their huge investments in nuclear power and technology researches, nuclear power plant manufacturing techniques, nuclear fuel facilities and lastly to retain their blackmailing right to deny the fuel or spares at any time they feel like.There is no nation on this globe which does not have one or more viable alternate available for its energy security. Everyday the polity and experts of nuclear power technology sellers as well as buyers come out with statements regarding the safety of nuclear plants by killing their conscience and conveniently ignoring all facts
Ever since the  nuclear energy route for energy security has been professed and taken up, a large no of accidents have occurred in these plants but the ten major ones require special mention and deliberations. From the first day of the first nuclear power plant way back in 1956 at Windscale, England, the polity and technocrats kept on assuring the whole world that everything has been taken care of for ensuring 100% safety of nuclear power plants particularly when the extent of holocaust which could be wrought on humanity by nuclear fission were fresh in public minds after Nagasaki and Hiroshima atom bomb attacks. 

The risks of catastrophic accidents at Nuclear Power Plants

Potential Accident Consequences

The potential harmful consequences of a reactor plant eruption are truly catastrophic in magnitude. From a near full release of fission products and plutonium from just one reactor, about 200,000 square kilometers of land could have to be abandoned, due to high Gamma-radiation levels from the ground fallout, according to my analysis. (The size of West Germany is about 250,000 square kilometers, and Spain, 490,000 sq. kilometers. A like size area could have to be abandoned due alone to man-made plutonium fallout dust (Alpha-radiation) - a lung cancer hazard - following a PWR or BWR eruption, and up to one million square kilometers in the case of a nuclear explosion accident in a plutonium-fuelled fast breeder reactor, which contains much more plutonium. Several hundred thousand square kilometers could be ruined agriculturally for food growing due to long-lasting Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 fallout. There are many other forms of radiation exposure, such as radiation damage to the thyroid gland (cancer) from radioactive Iodine, and exposure of the skin to Beta-radiation, and inhalation of radioactive fission products besides plutonium dust. The combined effects are incalculable in terms of injury and impaired health to humans (and animals). The possibility of fifty million or more cancer deaths cannot be excluded.



The Irony of 100% safety
  • How hollow and wrong were these claims on safety, came to light after the Three Mile Island, USA, 1979 accident and once again every body was assured of 100% safety with new revised stringent controls
  • The same wrong full  assertions were repeated after The Chernobyl Disaster, USSR, 1986 and once again the humanity was fooled into believing that 100 % safety has been assured now with new , revised and stringent controls at all stages of manufacture and plant functioning.
  • Nature once again reminded these touts of nuclear energy of the inadequacies in their knowledge and understanding of complex behaviour through Tsunami and earthquake damage to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan 2012.
In spite of all such warnings why the polity, technocrats and industrial cartels are refusing to accept the simplest of the reality that human knowledge of science and technology is a follower of natural phenomenon. In safety engineering, human knowledge follows calamities,  complex behaviour of material response, component failure and accident occurrences. New chinks in our knowledge of plant safety, design criterion and failure analysis will keep on emerging with each new accident which will again be plugged with revised stringent measures. This process of evolution of safety concepts is acceptable in all walks of life and in all technologies but no body or no nation on this globe has the right to make large populations sit on a catastrophic bomb for their lure of power, money and looking after the interests of cartel they represent.

The Irony of Probability

Many a times general public is fed on probability figures of a catastrophic accident in a nuclear power plant.The accidental release of radioactivity as a result of reactor accident, terrorist attack or as a consequence of some natural disaster can be catastrophic. The scientists and technocrats would like to say that chances of such an occurrence are 1 in a billion or a trillion but can they deny that such an occurrence could as well be the 1st one and the balance of (1 trillion - 1) occurrences can be catastrophe free. 

Some glowing examples of this probability meaning out of known occurrences are given below.

  • The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003. When the flight was Okayed the probability of accident was similar to one described above but the accident and occurrence is there before the world.
  • Heard from one of the top nuclear engineering expert of India that the probability of a full blown nuclear accident is as low as somebody getting killed in a road accident.
Such accidents involve one or a few persons at a time whereas nuclear blow out is affecting millions of people, land areas as big as mid sized countries are destroyed for ever as brought out in  Potential Accident Consequences above.
Those selling and buying nuclear energy should understand that their criminal motivation shall not be pardoned by future generations.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

GLOBAL ENERGY SECURITY:TERRA WATTS Of SOLAR And WIND ENERGY

"The amount of sunshine energy that hits the surface of the Earth every minute is greater than the total amount of energy that the world's human population consumes in a year!"(Home Power Magazine)

solar energy



















                                  "Comparing finite and renewable planetary energy reserves (Terawatt‐years). Total recoverable reserves are shown for the finite resources. Yearly potential is shown for the renewables." (source: Perez & Perez, 2009a)

With such  huge potential  and wide distribution of renewable energy, so much so that it is almost impossible to find a nation or a place on this globe whose  requirements cannot be met by these sources, it is surprising that human minds are still looking in different directions for their energy needs and energy security. What is their compulsion to wait for the day when all finite energy resources will dry out particularly when wisdom desires that we must save on Carbon as it is precious and must be saved for future generations. The opinion of Edison on the nature's inexhaustible sources has been reproduced  to put the discussion on renewable vs finite energy sources in the right perspective.
thomas edison clean energy

Some of the reasons for renewable energy  not being given its rightful place are

  • Of no use as a weapon of war  
  • Any change from the long established practices and technologies are resisted by cartels of nations,industries and even the technocrat lobbies for reasons of self interest and fear of losing on their monopolies and importance. The nuclear energy nations and their oil and nuclear industry cartels will like to delay the solar and wind energy technologies to keep milking their huge investments in oilfields, technologies and industrial base.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

INDIAN ECONOMY- On The THRESHOLD Of BREAKTHROUGH Or BREAKDOWN

Indian GDP growth has certainly slowed down to sub 7% from the highs of 8.5 plus achieved during the last couple of years. The country is bogged down by high inflation, high current account deficit, high fiscal deficit, policy paralysis, rampant corruption, and gross mismanagement / bad governance. The result is that the country is on the cross roads and the question " Is Indian economy on the threshold of  break through or breakdown ?" is paramount on the minds of all those who are well wishers of the country.
Indian government appears to be in a bind over all reforms whether economic, financial, judicial or administrative either because of political compulsions of coalition rule ( The ruling polity will like the country to believe that ) or lack of will, sincerity and motivation. The fiscal health of the country has been left totally to the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI ) and the matters related to correct administration to the judiciary.The ruling polity in the states and centre is unabashedly involved in bleeding the country to slow death through actions either to score brownie points over each other or raising catchy slogans to fool the public at large for garnering votes and creating vote banks for themselves. None of the actions of these rulers is going to have any significant effect on the economic growth or towards ending the miseries and sufferings of common man of India.
Granted for a moment that administrative reforms and economic reforms are being sacrificed on the altar of coalition politics. The ruling polity has to get out of the rut of thinking that  RBI actions are the sole answer to controlling inflation, for the only action available with the RBI i.e. controlling various banking rates is contradictory to achieving higher growth.The government has to strive hard to take small out of the box measures to improve the fiscal health of the country by reducing current account deficit and fiscal account deficit which will be value additive to RBI efforts. Nation's priority should hinge on :
  • Measures to increase the production and availability of all food articles.
  • Highest priority to road infrastructure in terms of new additions and timely high quality maintenance  and repair which can make a multi faceted contribution to fiscal health of the country in a very big way.Smooth passage of traffic in all towns, cities and metros and national and state highways can be a real game changer for the fiscal health of the country.
    1. Reduction of about 30%  in oil consumption thus saving Rs1.5 lakh crores annually out of a total oil import bill of about Rs5.0 lakh crores.
    2. Reduction of  Rs30000 crores in the annual oil subsidy bill of about 1.0 lakh crore.
    3. Savings on repair and maintenance roads and government vehicles about 90 % of the budgetary allocations.
  • Austerity measures on the government spending
  • Power Generation and management : Out of a total installed capacity of 2,00,000 MW about 80000 MW are being produced currently and 57000 MW are available to the consumers. Electricity distribution network in India is inefficient compared to other networks in the world. India's network losses exceeded 32% in 2010, compared to world average of less than 15%. Loss reduction technologies, if adopted in India, can add about 30000 MW of electrical power, while simultaneously reducing electricity cost and carbon footprint pollution. The total equivalent revenue  loss for 40000 MW ( 20000 MW of distribution network inefficiency + 20000 MW of Generation inefficiency ) is of the order of Rs 1,44000 lakh crore @ Rs 4/kwh assuming 24 hrs availability of this additional power component. Imagine what it can do to the fiscal health of the country,its contribution to production and improving general life not withstanding.
In the light of this an all out attack on what has been highlighted above is not asking for moon from the ruling polity of India particularly when their weak spots like corruption, subsidies, doles, freebies etc have been left untouched in this route to ensure that Indian economy is on the threshold of breakthrough rather than breakdown. Hopefully Indian government will
  • Ensure that no power generation facility lies idle for want of coal or transmission grid.
  • Ensure to realise compounded potential of power generation efficiency and power transmission and distribution efficiency in making India prosperous which is tremendous and cannot be allowed to fizzle out because of the insincerity, mismanagement, inefficiency and technical incompetence of polity, executive and engineering community of the country.