Sunday, January 27, 2013


K - 15 Launch 27th Jan, 2013
Video of the launch:


Solar energy is destined to play a very major role in the quest of energy security for all nations on this globe.For the man to harness this energy for the energy security, the most important thing is that our technologists and planners  have to get rid of mental block put on them by the classical concepts of energy production, transmission and  distribution. Solar is simple, keep it simple to retain its edge.
First of all, let us understand that solar energy is an inexhaustible source of energy , coupled with the advantage of resource being free of cost, available with all nations and at the sites where energy is needed.    Wind is the other natural resource with the same pedigree. Solar and wind should therefore form the very basis of energy security of all nations of this globe, India being no exception. Solar has added advantages over all other Renewable clean energy sources also because of
  • Can be employed directly for heating requirements which incidentally have a huge demand. Or alternately it could be converted into electricity for household and industry uses.
  • All the world over, a vast majority of population and households are scattered remotely and can be served very well by the unique adaptability of solar energy technology to stand alone uses, micro and mini grid requirements without in any way compromising the economics of production. For irrigation purpose where the watering can be done during daytime or nighttime without jeopardizing anything, the solar energy is all the more cost effective.
  • Photo voltaic solar which should be the answer for all standalone uses as well as for micro and mini grid applications coupled with simple battery storage has a few unique advantages
  1.  very low maintenance, down times because power production technology has no moving parts and
  2. Low transmission and distribution losses and insignificant capital  investments in transmission infrastructure.

  • To a country like India where a massive power generation capacity is needed, total reliance and super thrust on renewable energy is a must for its becoming a global leader.  If we analyse the future demand of electricity in India, more than 50% of the total additions of 8,00,000 mw in the next decade or so will be used for covering the basic needs and providing a comfortable life to its billion plus citizenry mostly in villages and small towns. Recently the Indian government has rolled out a policy initiative on sun kissed settlements with a renewable energy addition of 30000 mw in the next 5 years. A lot more is desired and at a much faster pace and that will come only if we understand that ' Solar is simple and has to be kept simple to retain its edge'.
The Hindu : News / National : India successfully test-fires underwater missile

India on Sunday successfully test-fired the underwater ballistic missile, K-15 (code-named B05), off the Visakhapatnam coast, marking en end to a series of developmental trials.
In its twelfth flight trial, the 10-metre tall Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) lifted off from a pontoon, rose to an altitude of 20 km and reached a distance of about 700 km as it splashed down in the waters of the Bay of Bengal near the pre-designated target point.
According to scientific advisor to the Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat, the missile was tested for its full range of 700 km and the mission met all its objectives. He said the impact accuracy of the medium range strategic missile was in single digit.
With the completion of developmental trials, the process of integrating K-15 missile with INS Arihant, the indigenously-built nuclear submarine, will begin soon. As many as 12 nuclear-tipped missiles, each weighing six tonnes will be integrated with Arihant, which will be powered by an 80 MWt (thermal) reactor that uses enriched uranium as fuel and light water as coolant and moderator.
India is only the fifth country to have such a missile -- the other four are the United States, Russia, France and China.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

INDIA CALLING OR CRYING: INDIAN POLITY AND THE HAPLESS CITIZENRY: After the latest expose of siphoning off huge amounts of tax payer's money during the waiver of loans to the farmers one is convinced abou...

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Infrastructure sector is no doubt the next gen growth engine of Indian economy and it is recognised by planners, polity, government and all the well meaning citizens of the country. But precious little is happening or is being done to realize this goal. We just hear its importance to the Indian growth story off and on by all classes of Indian citizenry mentioned above but when it comes to the actual ground reality no worthwhile progress can be seen.
First of all the country has a very limited and distorted picture of as to what constitutes infrastructure. Strangely enough the water resource management and utilisation and control of river waters in the best possible manner is not a major postulate of our policies though it affects the lives of about 70% of Indians. In the transportation sector, both for men and material, the country's approach is lopsided and the major stress has been laid on road sector which is far less efficient than the railway system and will always be a big drag on economy because of dependence on the oil sector imports, in the light of continuously increasing world demand and drying up of world resources.
Coming to the two much talked about sectors i.e. road infrastructure and power production infrastructure, Indian government, the so called facilitator has miserably failed because of little coordination between the different agencies. Firstly, the procedures for allotting a project are cumbersome, tedious and many a times even murky. After allotment of the project, getting hold of the land is even a much more difficult process so much so that many contracting firms have started surrendering these projects. Power sector seems to be in a bigger mess because of lack of planning and coordination between different government agencies. Companies have been made to spend billions of rupees for creating a big power generation capacity but no thought was given to ensuring adequate and timely fuel supplies or creating matching transmission and distribution infrastructure.With this kind of a disturbing picture one is forced to think if India is on the path of global leadership or self destruction.
In comparison, when the Chinese economy slowed down to 8% plus growth, Chinese president said that infrastructure development is the key to recovery and followed it up by unveiling of $ 157 billion of such projects. But there will be no impediments or loose ends in the carrying out these projects. Let Indian government draw a leaf out of Chinese successful growth story and that leaf is nothing but a whole hearted, sincere and honest approach for the good of the nation without  motivated interests of any kind.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Alleviation of poverty has been the biggest concern and vote catching slogan in one form or the other right from the day India became independent and embraced democracy. With all the planning for growth, it could manage to achieve some success towards industrialization in all sectors but the demon of poverty has stayed on for a vast majority of Indian masses. So much so that even the elementary basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, drinking water, medical care, education etc. have eluded our masses after 65 years of independence and planning of economy.It is definite that Indian governments and planners have gone wrong somewhere.
A cursory analysis of ground realities points out to

  • Inflation and rupee devaluation as the main culprit whereby the wages/earnings have not grown in the real terms. In fact gold prices have risen more than 600 times, car prices have risen more than 120 times, majority of food items prices have risen by more than 100 times, petrol prices have risen by more than 100 times and the prices of a house or shelter may have risen by a whopping 1000 times. In comparison the salaries have risen by 50 to 60 times even in the best of the organized sector. In fact in India about 90% of the workforce is in the unorganized sector and their wages have risen by only about 35-40 times.So in India every worker is getting poorer day by day and the only class that is gaining is the people who thrive on corruption, tax evasion and black money.
The only way forward is to rein in inflation, rupee devaluation  and corruption,tax evasion and black money if poverty alleviation has to be the main plank of our development model.But who is going to bell the cat? The big guzzlers and creators of corruption and black money and corruption and black money centres are known to every one and more to the people who are seen on the media channels day in and day out scoring brownie points over each other. Incidentally all these guys who are the spokesperson of one political party or the other are mostly from the legal profession and belong to business hubs of metropolitan cities and there cannot be anyone better than them to know about the centres of corruption and black money. But for some strange reason known only to them they either choose to keep quite over this matter of great importance to the country or engage each other in shadow boxing without aiming to produce some meaningful results.
Next to reining in inflation and black money Indian politicians must exhibit some far sight and vision to be in the reckoning for the next global economic superpower and not miss this god sent opportunity which is unfolding as the world realizes the need to shift from twentieth century energy sources. The country needs some out of the box solution to its transport needs, power needs. The solutions have to be found in anything other than all fuel based technologies. In a big and vast country like India, electricity has to be provided to remote dwellings, villages small and remote and industry if country sincerely wants to alleviate poverty at an early date. Let wisdom and national interest prevail on Indian politicians and nuclear technocrat lobby so that India does not fall prey to US and French interests and in the bargain lose its chance of leading the world in the transition to renewable energy solutions. Let India make best use of our being backward in per capita consumption of energy. It is a fact that US, Europe and China will not add or replace 8,00,000 MW which India is planning to add during the next decade and a half. It has the opportunity of fine tuning wind and solar energy technologies and cut down their costs through development of large scale manufacturing facilities without having to bother about its earlier investments in any energy field becoming redundant and superfluous (excerpts from ).


INDIA CALLING OR CRYING: INDIA CRYING FOR QUICK JUSTICE: Courts in India will take 320 years to clear backlog cases  . This estimate comes from Justice Rao, an esteemed judge of Andhra High Court...


During the last about ten days the Indian government had a single point agenda of increasing diesel prices in the name of reducing the subsidy burden on the Indian budget. Diesel subsidy? What a misnomer? First of all the oil and petroleum fuels are taxed heavily and their taxes contribute something like Rs 2.00 Lakh crores to the government kitty out of which about Rs 90000 crores are used for the so called subsidy burden. And subsidy for whom? In fact about 50% of the diesel is consumed by government itself, mainly by defence, para military forces, railways and road transport etc..Then we have diesel driven private vehicles comprising of sedans and SUV's in luxury and super luxury class and rich individuals, business and corporate houses  along with  government bureaucrats, legislatures who all make merry with the subsidized diesel. If the government decides to do away with total subsidy in these sectors alone and introduces a 10% cut on the quantity of diesel consumed by government, there will be an immediate decrease of about Rs 5000 crores per month to the fiscal deficit. Leaving the goods transportation, agriculture, industrial and power sectors to become subsidy free in a time span of about three years will mitigate all fears of inflationary pressures.
Oil and petroleum minister was heard saying that oil companies will close down if subsidy not removed. It appears that government will close down if it does not make use of such subsidies for its functioning. Why should a common man suffer for the inefficiency and living beyond means culture of the government. Let the government look into the hardships being faced by a common man because of inflation on every front. Let it not be penny wise pound foolish, for what ever amount a small increase in diesel price will give to the government kitty, a large part will go as the expense towards Dearness allowance hike of all central and state government employees and pensioners.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


There is a lot of noise regarding diesel price hike in the light of Kelkar report.The finance minister of India, Mr Chidambaram is on course to deregulate diesel prices and is likely to unveil a blueprint for abolishing subsidy in the coming budget. A small increase in the price of diesel, kerosene and LPG ( cooking gas ) will make a small dent on the overall subsidy bill of  about Rs. 1.5 lakh crores. If the subsidy is totally removed, imagine what havoc it will play with inflation, which as it is at 7.5%, much beyond the comfortable level of about 5% as per Indian planners. Along with being a major contributor to fiscal deficit, the oil imports are a major contributor to current account deficit also.Now consider the Indian scenario after a decade or so. The oil prices are likely to skyrocket as the global reserves keep on going down year after year. The Indian demand will keep on growing as India progresses and more and more of its citizens will be able to afford personal vehicles and travels for holidaying. In this context is Indian oil economics an eternal bane of Indian economy and its growth story ? Indian nation has to find some out of the box solution  to get out of this catch 22 situation apart from some austerity measures on the part the government and its citizenry.

Friday, January 4, 2013


I was more than surprised when the Indian prime minister said, "India needs enlightenment on nuclear power. " Enlightenment at what cost and for what for. First of all it is not understood why a nation so richly bestowed with solar, wind and hydro power potential should look towards nuclear technology, a technology which has to be bought at sellers terms and conditions, a fuel which has to be imported, a power plant which will always be a potential ticking catastrophic bomb and a technology where no solutions have emerged for the dismantling of old plants and disposal of spent fuel, for its energy security. Apart from all this when a holistic view is taken of all the technologies in the race, India will lose a god sent opportunity to fulfill its dream of emerging as a global leader in power engineering and subsequently an economic superpower with in a short period of time if it does not join the race of developing nascent renewal energy technologies and where the nation will be self reliant from the very beginning.

What is required is sincerity and honesty of purpose and doing away with concepts of the classical power engineering i.e. producing electricity in mega and ultra mega power plants and incurring huge costs on transmission infrastructure as well as huge losses during transmission. Standalone applications, micro and mini grids should be the order of the day. Use onsite energy source ie solar and wind and on site consumption of power for may be 90% of the requirements and strengthen energy storage  to tide over the intermittency problem associated with these sources.This should be the way forward for a nation which has to have an additional power capacity of about 0.7 million mega watts in the next decade or so to fulfill the aspirations of its citizens