Friday, February 8, 2019

Twitter and WhatsApp- need for monitoring

I have a twitter account since 2009. Seldom I used it but for announcing  my new blogs whenever I posted one. I did not take active interest as it looked a very murky world ( even now it is) and limited space to express anything useful.

We can interact with anyone and everyone, known or unknown, a celebrity or common man we may get instant response.Though I was aware of it, I could not pay attention as I had better things to do earlier.

But now that I have lesser things to do my attention turned to twitter and social media. I felt these were better than noisy meaningless TV debates  fighting for TRP rating

My experience in the last four or five months did not alter my earlier views. It is still a murky place lot more than what I had imagined. If you try to follow the threads you get lost like in the bylanes of a metro city.

The amount of misinformation or rumour and the speed with which it can spread is much much faster than TV media or Print media. Many people retweet  without thinking or verifying the facts. Then there is hashtag (#)  to classify or categorize your message. There is lot more to know...

Meanwhile the Parliamentary Committee has called for a discussion with Twitter Official to  control and prevent wrong usage of the twitter handle. This scheduled for Feb 11th 2019.  I have sent my suggestions through a tweet.

  In case WhatsApp the  problem is different.  There in the name of protecting privacy of individuals  they claim everything is encrypted. They cannot dig information to report origin of the news or how the message got spread. In short there is no traceability. This will make the investigation process very difficult in case of any legal cases arise based on Whatsaap ( click on the figure to read the news item and the suggestion)

As these social media platforms are still evolving it should not be difficult  to incorporate necessary change.

It is very important that false messages and provoking or instigating messages should be  made punishable, both in Twitter and WhatAapp.  The netizens must learn to use them as fire. Negligence or lack of vigil may create a law & order problem  anywhere in the country any time

Monday, November 12, 2018

De licensing Charging stations for EV

The latest news is that individuals can set up EV charging stations and no license is required.  This is from the ET Energy News.  Click the figure to see enlarged figure.

What is not clear is how one is going to figure out the business potential. Though it is not a matter of concern for the government it does not  give any direction to the overall concept to move ahead. It needs volume of vehicles  to seek the charging stations. Why anyone would come forward to put up a charging station where electric vehicles are not around ?

In essence it allows the grid power to be tapped for charging with a tariff cap of 15% over the average cost of supply. This opens up lot of questions.  Assume average  cost of power is Rs 7 per kwh. 15%  is Rs 1.05 ie  the charging station can  charge the EV owner at the rate of Rs 8.05 /kwh if my understanding is right.
 I expect the possibility of  more electric scooters than electric cars  in the near future which may stand to benefit from this scheme and hence restrict this discussion for two wheeler charging needs.

A two wheeler even after 6 to 8 hours of charging consumes only 1 to 1.2 kwh as battery size is between 21 Ah to 33 Ah with a charging current of 1.2 Amps.

In other words even after allowing for 6 hours a person earns only Rs 8 per terminal !! Is there any attraction in terms of revenue ?

A  seeker of alm  outside any big temple or Church would earn more than that in that period !! ( just in a lighter vein)

What is the cost of installing a charging station and the return on investment (ROI) apart from the investor's margin ? These questions certainly does not get any answer with this kind of press release or reporting.

Best way is to insist on solar based charging stations as a stand alone  ( with a back up from power grid for nights) and use net metering for  connecting to the grid.

Thus even when there are no vehicles to charge, the generated power gets exported to the grid and gets some income for investment  for the entrepreneur. Here charging station with two or three terminal is just an add-on to the solar power generation unit from investment point of view. This will also help to identify the Charging stations dedicated for the specific purpose of EV charging.

The revenue model for such stations is already discussed in  the  embedded slide share in my previous  post.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Inching towards EV infrastructure Policy

Today's news item confirms that some thinking is going on with the government machinery about installing charging stations for electric vehicles.

Almost two years back we had pointed out in our slide presentation that how the charging stations can be installed in all parking lots of colleges, rail and bus stations, malls etc.

It was also pointed out that with the smart apps and prepaid charging systems one can develop real time billing for the power consumed by the charging duration. Be it half an hour or three hours the appropriate amount is calculated and deducted from one's subscription.

Those who have not viewed the full presentation can view it here.

Solar Charging Stations from Kabeeranban

In this blog we keep reiterating unless the petrol based two wheelers  are replaced ( in big cities) neither pollution will go down nor the burden on exchequer will reduce.

The petrol based two wheelers are causing more harm whichever way  one looks at for country's economy and environment.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Electric vehicle Policy - Is the Govt serious?

Addressing  the industrial executives at the Global Summit organised by Niti Ayog the PM said today:

"  ....India will do whatever it takes to usher in electric mobility in a big way as it holds immense promise for economic growth and ease of living "

We have been listening to this for almost four years ever since this BJP came to power. Except opening some Charging Stations here and there or ordering 10000 Electric cars with Tatas and Mahindras  nothing truly has happened to call a big policy break through
Is it lack of technology ?  CERTAINLY NO .
Charging station infrastructure can be created in no time with solar grids. People will come forward to invest as the surplus power can be sold Power corporations  whenever vehicles are not charging. Hence that cannot be an excuse.
Range anxiety of vehicles can be easily overcome if charging stations facility are made available at colleges, hospitals, Malls and all parking lots. Therefore that cannot be a reason. 
The present Lead acid battery is good enough for  30 to 40 KM and 4 to 5 years of life for all two wheelers. Thus improvement  in  battery technology is not a constraint 

What is lacking is the will to implement. 
May be some powerful lobby of  petrol vehicle manufacturers do not want EVs  to increase in number as their business is at stake.  
Some of the key positions  of EV  Association  are held by big heads of  petrol vehicle manufacturers. It is but natural they can create stumbling blocks for electric two wheelers as the main business would get affected. 

If the government  or Niti Ayog is serious about bringing out a useful policy they can do the following.
1) Bring " age restriction" to drive petrol two wheeler vehicles -particularly in all major towns and cities . That is, all those above 18 and below 25 should ride only electric vehicles. This, to a great extent reduce the present reckless driving by youngsters and anxiety of  their parents at home. 
Implementation of this will create a boom in the market though sales of petrol vehicles may get affected. Rather this will force the present manufacturers to seriously get in to EV business instead of giving lip service.
2) Electric vehicles with less than 25 Km speed capability need not require a driving licence to drive. This will encourage more persons to buy EVs. This speed is  more than adequate for commuting in big cities.
3) Allow more entrepreneurs to manufacture electric scooters and cycles as most of the parts are available  in open market (including the DC motor drive ) and it is only a question of assembling them. [ Delhi's electric rikshaws are good example]. Such assemblers should be certified by RTO or Automobile Association of India to maintain quality and road worthiness.
It is very important to note that what  is costing exchequer 67 % of  petrol  payments  is to meet the demand by two wheelers.   See my slide show below.

Unless a firm policy to put a cap on petrol two wheelers  popularisation of electric vehicles only be a distant dream.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Reduce elections- save public money

Indian media are possessed with  three things Cricket, Cinema and Corruption. Wherever money comes in to play  corruption is bound to be there.

Corruption in systems can be addressed through legal course of action. But when the very basis of  governance is entrenched with corruption, the remedy is difficult through legal course.

One way is to modify the system so that scope for corruption becomes less and and less.

Fathers of our Indian constitution had good confidence in the citizens who were expected to be patriots. Probably they least expected that the very representatives of people would stoop to the level of ' horse trading'.

Once again we see it in Karnataka, a hung Assembly after the recent elections. The Party with highest elected members is unable to form a government because it falls short of absolute majority.

The opposition is bent upon preventing it to form the government.They are ready to form 'unholy' alliances. Politicians who were slinging mud on each other a few days before  the election are ready to become 'friends' after the results came.

Everyone knows that this kind of opportunistic friendship won't last. Soon 'President's Rule' will come in effect, a question of few month's time. This means bureaucrats will run the administration.

Attitude of these politicians reflect least respect for people's mandate.  The president of a party -which lost deposit in nearly 140 constituents- aspires and manipulates the system to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Satish Acharya's todays cartoon in Star of Mysore aptly reflects the ground reality.

This is not the first time nor going to be the end of this problem. Public money is squandered in conducting elections because of absence of commitment by the representatives.

 It is going to recur again again at both state level and National level.  The logical remedy for this is, all elected members accept the People's mandate and allow a minority government to run its course while the opposition gives issue based support.

That is not going to happen, for seat of Power is for tapping the source of money, NOT  working for Public Welfare

In that case a remedy has to be worked out through constitutional amendment which  strikes off this 'number game' but reflects the spirit of people mandate.

What kind of amendment is required ?

1) Always the political party with highest representatives will form the government.

2) If they do not enjoy absolute majority they have to seek referendum To continue or Not to continue at the end of half term. 

3) All public servants  like IAS, IPS IFS  Senior officers and  Heads of Departments of different government departments ( in short all gazetted officials)  will participate in an online electronic voting to decide the fate of the minority government.  It is an inexpensive way of seeking opinion from citizens in responsible positions without any election expenses. Similar to Corporates seeking  online-consent   from share holders  for Board Resolutions during AGM 

4) The minority government will be able to implement all programs subject to certain restrictions  with regard to launching mega projects ( like bullet train ).

At national level, the elected members of all state assembly will give their choice (continue or not to continue) for the Central Government to function in addition to public servants.

In other words, the first two and half years no party can  move a 'no confidence motion'  against the ruling party.

If the mandate of referendum  is in favour  of the  government  then for one more year no party can move a ' No Confidence Motion'.  That means a fair opportunity is given to the largest party for a period of two and half to three and half years to demonstrate their  efficacy of governance 

If the referendum goes against the ruling party, then the Governor will request the ruling party to demonstrate the confidence of the Assembly for continuation of their governance.

This will reduce the election expenses on the exchequer and unruly behavior of vested groups of different political wings.

But, who is to bell the cat,  I mean the politicians ?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

No licence for Charging Stations. What about GST ?

Two years back I wrote in this blog regarding technical as well commercial feasibility of  Solar Charging Stations.

Good news is that now the government has come out with clarification that such Charging Stations do not require any licence.

Ordering 10000 EV cars do not promote usage of electric vehicles.

As pointed out in the presentation, the government should concentrate on promoting  EV two wheelers  with easy charging facility.  It is the two wheeler population causing maximum drain on the petroleum exchequer.

It is not going to be easy to surmount the lobby of present two wheeler manufacturers as well as Oil companies  who stand to lose their business. 

How long will it take ?  Do not know;  we can go on creating confusion statutory requirements like 
safety of installation,  GST for selling electricity etc giving a long rope for the lobbying segments to give excuses for delaying the implementation.

Do not be surprised if it takes another five years with the speed with which Govt works :))

The sad part is our industrialists are not adapting to  technological changes owing to the fear  of unfavourable ROI ( return on investment).

Hence a plan for smooth transition should be worked out. Otherwise, one day a disruptive strategy will be put forth by somebody -like Jio 4G- others would fall in line.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hoysala Pillars-mystery solved

A solution is outlined in this post for the Hoysala Temple Pillar mystery.

The mystery is, how 900 years back, the builders could employ machining technology to carve out stone pillars having more than 10 to 12 feet high, weighing several tonnes.

For more details watch this video.   

The solution is not that difficult to figure out  once we realize that our ancestors were very resourceful in using animal power like oxen, horses and not to forget elephants for various purposes. Traditionally  oxen and horses were used in agriculture and drawing carts  while elephants were used to shift heavy logs and boulders in various construction activities undertaken by the kings or temples.

The kind of stones in Hoysala Culture belt is known as soft stones or soap stone. It is easy to work with chisel and hammer and not as hard as granite rocks.
If you are familiar with village ghani -used for oil extraction -you will understand that what I have figured out is nothing but an extension of that.  In the oil extractor the animal tied to the grinding -wooden-mortar goes around the expeller unit squeezing the oil seed between bowl and mortar.

What the engineers of ancient times have done is  to attach solid chisels to a frame that rotates around the stone pillar. The frame is rotated using animal power like elephants because to cut a stone needs lot of power.  As already elephants should have been there to move around the pillars or rocks during temple construction, it is logical to think that most probably they must of utilized elephants as source of power in carving out the delicate machining of the pillars.

( click on the figure to enlarge to view and read the details) 

Imagine what a grand sight it would have been, tens or hundreds of elephants simultaneously working in the complex and the amount of food for them being arranged !! 

What a magnificent scale the operations should have been ! This  kind of creativity could not have been possible but for peace prevailing in the kingdom. Essentially the civilization was at its peak in every respect, be it arts, literature or engineering.