Friday, April 21, 2017

Fwd: Mobiles May Make Banks Extinct

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vaidyanathan R

Mobiles May Make Banks Extinct

April 17, 2017                                                                                          Prof Vaidyanathan


The mobile phone is now being used for small-time financial activities, such as information on prices, billing settlements, etc. We have service providers like Air Tel/Jio providing internet based TV channels which will provide competition to Dish TV /Tata sky etc. Over period of time satellite based TV channels might be extinct if the number of TV towers serves well to offer hundreds of channels.

This is one major disruption .But more important is the service provider replacing banks.

Service provider as banker

Already Jio is tied up with, SBI and Air Tel with Kotak bank etc. This is to act as payment banks.

One step more is required to make mobile revolution complete in the Banking services. The important development that service providers and bankers should work towards is to make it drive a retail credit revolution. One observes that in the boat markets of Bangkok, one can either pay by baht, the local currency or get charge cards from the service providers and pay through them.

The service providers initially provide an overdraft or revolving credit facility to the retail trader, which is adjusted on a daily basis by crediting the retailer for every debit incurred by the buyer. The payments made by customers are used to bring down credit given in the morning. This is one of the interesting possibilities, wherein the retail trade network is provided a credit facility and which reduces their cost of borrowing. It requires one mobile instrument with them and periodic crediting of their account based on received calls, which are mostly available free.

The share of trade, [around 10 per cent of the national income] is at Rs 17 L crore. The trade sector would have needed Rs. 14 lakh crore as credit requirements (since, in trade, the major portion of capital is working capital). The combined financing to trade by all banking sources was around Rs 5 lakh crore. This implies that around 30 per cent of credit requirement is met by banking channels and the remaining by non-banking ones including money lenders. So, the potential available for mobile phone service providers is a market of the order of Rs9 lakh crore for digital-based lending.

Even assuming only Rs 1 lakh crore of this is tapped in the next, say, five years, at an interest cost of 20 percent (retail credit today in the `open' market is around 48 to 60 per cent) the sum to be earned is Rs 20,000 crore. We can call this digi-financing.

Instead of permanently singing the WalMart kirtan, we should think of innovative ways in which technology can facilitate the vast base of self-employed groups. The millions of entrepreneurs involved in the retail trade, instead of being dismissed as "unorganized," can be made more effective by the credit enhancement and price discovery process simply by using mobile telephony.

It is not required for WalMart to come here and squeeze our farmers and small manufacturers and sell their produce/products to consumers at "lower prices". We can think of leveraging on telecommunications to make all factor markets more efficient and lower consumer prices.

The most important thing about the mobile phones is that — unlike computers — even people who are not literate can use them. The only requirement is ability to speak and/or hear. We need not worry about language or massive software development. This small communication device provides phenomenal power unthinkable by economists or financial experts some ten years ago.

Hence the interesting question is if the service provider will swallow the banks or other way. Here the technology savvy service provider can give banking services easily compared to banks becoming tech savvy. So banks may become endangered species to be shown on animal planet or National Geography channelsJ

The appropriate thing to consider is to make the mobile sets—more so the "smart" ones- free goods for the poorer, self-employed groups. This can be done even through SHGs, wherever they are active, as they may be better able to identify the right beneficiaries. The Central and State governments, as well as various aid organizations, can give the handset free to many in these segments.

It must be seen as a process of asset creation and making markets work and should not be condemned, by the metropolitan experts, as a populist scheme. Most of the time, these beneficiaries need to receive calls rather than make them. If we have a market of 800-1000 million smart sets, the unit cost can be brought down to even less than 000rs. But the Government seems to think that the service sector is the economy's milch-cow, rather than the engine of India's growth. It may now be taxed at 18 per cent, and the argument is that their share is more than 50 per cent in our GDP and, hence, they should contribute more.

The impact of telecommunications on the self-employed and more particularly among the poorer groups has not been fully understood or appreciated. Mobile phones have created a sort of tsunami among lower level entrepreneurial groups like plumbers, carpenters, masons, small time construction contractors, painters, cooks, repair mechanics, winders, welders, water suppliers, tea suppliers, vegetable vendors, retail traders, flower vendors, auto drivers, priests, astrologers, etc. Actually, more than three hundred categories of self-employed entrepreneurs.

Since the growth in the economy is not due to the Government but in spite of it, the least it can do is to allow million of these entrepreneurs to flourish for a vibrant and sustained growth process.


Prof R. Vaidyanathan; Cho. S Ramaswamy Visiting Chair Professor of Public Policy SASTRA University; Professor IIMB[Rtd]



               Prof. R.VAIDYANATHAN                                               



sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

maybe i am giving #trump far too much credit, but see what he's accomplished

just a few measly tomahawk missiles, and you have:

a) entire MSM wagging their tails, sitting up and begging
b) putin monkey entirely off your back, nobody's talking about it at all
c) humiliated the chinese strongman

in return for all this, what did trump do?

1. tossed brannon under the bus (the guy is butt-ugly and crazy to boot)
2. created stories about dissent in his ranks
3. told the syrians about the tomahawks so they moved their planes out

if i am reading this right, HUGE political win for trump, and HE has tamed the #deepstate.

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Thursday, April 20, 2017

China's Blackmail of US Over North Korea

US President Trump is now openly acknowledging that his posture on trade relations with China is linked to China's actions on the North Korean threat. This really amounts to just letting the cat out of the bag and finally calling a spade a spade. China has reaped great extortion benefits from the US through this nuclear blackmail game involving North Korea.

China knows its game with the US involving North Korea is now reaching its limits, so China is trying to create other similar games involving Iran, etc:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

ISRO to Use Private Sector to Build & Fly PSLV Rockets

ISRO will enlist private sector partners to manufacture its workhorse PSLV launch vehicles:

“We are limited by capacity though this (PSLV) is a very good launch vehicle. We want them (industries) to form a consortium to build PSLV and launch satellites. Our target is to have 12 PSLV flights in a year first, then scale it up 18 and even 24 in a year,” A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO, told Deccan Chronicle.

It's good that ISRO isn't wasting time on this. Now that the new era of the GSLV-Mk3 rocket is being ushered in, the veteran PSLV rocket will be spun off to the private sector for manufacturing and launch operations. This will allow ISRO to focus on GSLV-Mk3, as well as development of newer vehicles. Now India can get a head start on building a private sector ecosystem in space launch technology. Let's also see if the private sector pups can show older dog ISRO some new tricks.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Quick notes: AI in medicine, Fairness creams..

Pak Army Using Jadav As Card Against Nawaz

A not too shabby piece from Barkha:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Uber Wants to Conquer India

Uber, the ride app which is disrupting the personal transportation market, wants to conquer India:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Team Wins Competition for Portable Diagnostic Device

A winner has been announced for an X-Prize competition to build the best portable medical diagnostic device:

Just as cellphones have done great things for personal communication in India, likewise devices like this could have a major impact on health and disease.

Bannon May Be On Way Out

Atlanticists and other establishment forces are eager to see nationalist Steve Bannon tossed out of the Whitehouse, and are making dire predictions about his departure:

He's the other guy besides General Michael Flynn who could have tilted the playing field against jihadism. The ouster of both from the Whitehouse could mean a return to the same old establishment geopolitical alignments in Washington.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fwd: [Manushi] Non Bailable Arrest Warrants by Kashmir Court against Madhu Kishwar

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Madhu Kishwar <>
Date: Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 9:32 PM
Subject: [Manushi] Non Bailable Arrest Warrants by Kashmir Court against Madhu Kishwar
To: Manushi-india <>

Patently Illegal Non Bailable Arrest Warrants Issued by Chief Judicial Magistrate against Madhu Kishwar in response to criminal defamation suit filed by Shujaat Bukhari, Editor Rising Kashmir

Background: In response to reports of politically engineered violent anti India protests in Kashmir I expressed my distress at the high decibel, pro-secessionist, anti-India propaganda launched by leading journalists and newspapers in Kashmir who seemed to be providing very provocative and lop sided coverage which romanticized those attacking the army and indulging in terrorist strikes and stone pelting

I made special mention of Shujaat Bukhari owner-cum editor Rising Kashmir not because his paper is theonlyexample of pro Pak journalism but because he is a favorite of leftists and he pretends to be defender of human rights- though only of terrorists!Prior to setting up his own paper, Rising Kashmir, Bukhari used to be Bureau-Chief of The Hindu for Kashmir.

The sum and substance of my tweets was that even though Bukhari takes money from government agencies—both state & central government, yet he parrots the Pakistani script.The Rising Kashmir coverage of the Pakistan engineered unrest in the Valley is very pro-secessionist. Incidentally Shujaat's brother Basharat Bukhari is a senior cabinet minister in PDP government and the family is part of the power establishment of Kashmir. But like many other politicians and journalists Shujaat's paper gives a pro-Pak tilt to the coverage of events in Kashmir.
In response to my tweets, Shujaat Bukhari filed a criminal defamation suit against me in December 2016

Facts of Defamation Case:

  • On December 3, 2016, Bukhari's criminal defamation case against me was listed for first hearing in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar. On the very first day itself, the CJM, Ms Masarat Shaheen, examined the complaint as well as two witnesses cited by Shujaat Bukhari both of who give their evidence in Urdu. Normally, such procedures take months & years in our legal system.
  • That very day on 3rd December, CJM issued bailable warrants against me. This alacrity on behalf of CJM itself indicates active bias in favor of Shujaat. 
  • My offence, if any, did not merit a warrant. As per Indian Penal Code as well as Ranbir penal Code operative in Kashmir, as a first step in such cases, the court should at best issue summons. Only when the accused refuses to appear or has committed some heinous crime, warrants are to be issued. Three four tweets saying Shujaat supports secessionist groups is hardly a heinous crime, especially considering that Shujaat has not thought it fit to deny the charge in his petition before CJM. 
  • However, he denies that he takes money from Indian agencies. Even if under the table payments cannot be "proved", he cannot deny that he has been seeking and getting ads from state government as well as DAVP. So his paper runs with government money. 
  • As per Kashmir paper reports, I was expected to appear before CJM Srinagar on December 2, 2016. But the bailable warrant was served to me much after 24th. Therefore, I did not feel obliged to appear merely on the basis of report in Rising Kashmir. 
  • The issuance of bailable warrants instead of summons was an irregularity particularly when the accused in the case is a woman living outside the State. What is glaring is the fact that the CJM while deviating from the "procedure established by law" as contained in section 90 assigned no reason for issuing warrants at the very first instance. 
  • The warrants were finally served/executed on me on 24.01.2017 and sought my appearance before the court on 28.01.2017—a very short notice considering I am based in Delhi & case was in Srinagar. 
  • Even so, my lawyer, Ravi Sharma flew from Delhi to appear on 28 January 2017 with an application seeking exemption from personal appearance in CJM court in Srinagar citing the Supreme Court guidelines for such cases in Bhaskar Industries Ltd. Vs. Bhivani Denim and Apparels Ltd.In my application, I assured the Court that my lawyer would not miss any hearing or seek adjournments in terms of the above-cited SC order. 
  • In the above order the SC clearly lays down that personal appearance can be exempted when the 'accused" is a woman and/or living far away in another city or stateand/or is a senior citizen and/or is in poor health. I qualified on all counts and had been advised by my doctors to take rest for some weeks after a major surgery on 4th January 2017 at Medanta Hospital.  I had submitted a medical certificate to this effect from the Medanta doctor who conducted my surgery. 
  • Another important consideration for seeking exemption from personal hearing is the continuing surcharged atmosphere in the Valley, especially in Srinagar where my safety and security would be in serious jeopardy. This is especially so because Shujaat Bukhari is well connected with secessionist groups. 
  • The CJM heard the case that day but gave an orderon 20 March, 2017 disposing off my application seeking permanent exemption filed and directed me to appear before the court on 3rd April, 2017 or else face arrest warrants. I decided not to obey the order since it was premised on deliberate erroneous interpretation of the above-mentioned SC judgment. 
  • The nature of news reports and editorial comments in Rising Kashmir over a period of time clearly show that he is a sympathizer and supporter of separatists and militants (a euphemism for terrorists). Under these circumstances, especially given his political clout and close links with militant groups, it is reasonable for me to apprehend that forcing me to go to Srinagar is to put my life and limb at risk. For the record, the Bar Association of Kashmir has been open in its support of militants & Pakistan backed secessionist movement. 
  • Since my lawyer and I were convinced that the order of the CJM dated 20 March, 2017 was borne out of misreading/misinterpretation of the Apex Court's judgment in Bhaskar Industries Ltd case, I decided not to appear personally on 3rd April. However, my lawyer Ravi Sharma appeared on the scheduled date before the CJM and submitted an Application seeking modification of her order of 20 March and also sought exemption from personal appearance for 3rdApril, 2017. 
  • In the alternative, I requested the CJM to grant "reasonable time" for me to seek clarification from the Supreme Court whether or not her order insisting on my personal appearance & issuing warrants was legally sound.
  • Unfortunately, CJM sahiba issued NON BAILABLE WARRANTS against me without paying attention to the averments and submissions made in my application and without giving my counsel proper hearing. 
  • Thus CJM Masarat Shaheen has passed three consecutive orders that indicate prejudice and bias against me.
Options before me: Petition the High Court of J&K for stay order on the arrest warrant, apply for transfer of case from Srinagar because my appearance in Srinagar court poses serious risk to my life and does not promise me a fair trial. I also intend to challenge CJM's orders in defiance of Supreme Court guidelines at an appropriate level.

I am ready for the prolonged legal and political battle this involves, no matter what it takes. 

It is noteworthy that Shujaat Bukhari does not deny my charge that his paper is pro-separatist and follows the Pak agenda. The only charge he has denied is that he takes money from Indian agencies. Is he willing to reveal where he got the funds to set up his paper? Who pays for his many trips to Pakistan, Dubai and other countries? Knowledgeable people close to him allege that Shujaat cultivates and curries favour with Indian intelligence agencies and Military Intelligence as a cover for his ISI links!

Shujaat should be willing to reveal where the money came from for his setting up three papers--two in Urdu apart from Rising Kashmir in English as well as a printing press. Is he willing to reveal how he  bought several prime properties in Srinagar? All this when the print edition of Rising Kashmir and the two Urdu papers he set up subsequently all have a minuscule circulation in the Valley! They are meant only to make money through government ads and other forms of patronage. He inflates the circulation figures to corner more ads and subsidised news print. Its only on the Net that Rising Kashmir gets some traction.

I have a right to ask him to reveal information about his financial affairs because in the interest of transparency, MANUSHI posts on its website accurate information regarding every rupee that it gets by way of donations or sale of its publications as well as audited accounts of how the money is spent. Is Shujaat Bukhari ready to be as transparent about the finances of his newspapers?

Even if we don't  take into account undercover payments made to separatist leaders and journalists in Kashmir by ISI, can Shujaat deny that he seeks and gets advertisements from the state government as well as DAVP--which releases central government ads?  

The big question I want answered: Why is the J&K government and central government patronising separatist newspapers?

The deafening silence of the champions of "freedom of expression"Please note the deafening silence regarding this case in the "liberal" mainstream media. Compare it to the national and international media fury unleashed when a defamation case was filed against Ashis Nandy by an Ahmedabad based NGO for Nandy's baseless  and outrageous defamatory statements published in The Times of India against Modi and Gujarati Hindus. He was projected by the entire media as a victim of "fascist" wrath. Top Congress party lawyers rose to his defence and argued his case up to the Supreme Court--all free of charge. But it didn't make big news when Nandy ended up offering an unconditional apology for his defamatory article when the Supreme Court was on the verge of indicting him!

Or compare the media outrage over Teesta Setalvad being booked on proven charges of brazen corruption and siphoning off money collected in the name of riot victims being spent on personal luxuries and aiyyashi!

But in this case, there is total silence in the mainstream media and by the leaders of the Award Wapsi Brigade! I bet in their worldview, it's not I who am the victim of lawless orders emanating from a Srinagar court in favour of an influential separatist newspaper. Instead, Shujaat Bukhari is likely to be seen as a victim of my 'intolerance" against his freedom to help Pakistan break up India one more time.

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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Govt to Dictate Food Portion Sizes at Hotels

Modi's minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, is going to tell hotels what portion sizes of food they should serve:

I take it nobody in India has ever heard of a 'doggie bag'? I've eaten at buffet restaurants where they'll charge you extra if you don't clean off your plate. But why should the govt poke its nose into how much a person wants to eat?

The solution to food wastage should perhaps be disposal fees, along with options to take home unused portions of food orders. Developed countries simply allow the market to naturally mediate supply & demand, having long left shortages behind - but for some reason BJP's backward leaders don't seem to know any better.

Likewise, I notice Yogi Adityanath's govt focusing more on Romeos and cow-squads again, when they could be finding more ways to keep development and clean governance in the headlines. Perhaps it's jarring to talk of Hindutva as a "brand", but when voters desperate for development are flocking to BJP for that purpose, then it's best to keep focus in that direction, or face the peril of being thrown out in the next election. Just as it's not good to see food being wasted, likewise the opportunity given by the people from their political mandate should also not be squandered.

Caspian Report Reviews "Asia's Cauldron" by Robert Kaplan

Caspian Report gives its review of Robert Kaplan's book, "Asia's Cauldron"

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Western Nuclear Suppliers Going Bust

Western nuclear suppliers like Westinghouse and Areva are going bankrupt, thus letting India off the hook from becoming their reluctant customer:

Book - ISRO: A Personal History

The book "ISRO: A Personal History" by Mr & Mrs Aravamudan describes the hard-earned progress of India's space program, from its inception to its current state:

Russia Reconsidering Reusable Rockets

After seeing the latest success stories from US companies SpaceX and Blue Origin in flying reusable rockets, Russia's veteran space program is also beginning to take a fresh look at trying to come up with their own reusable rocket designs:

The blue-shaded section at the rocket's base is the recoverable portion of the vehicle that is supposed to return back for landing and re-use, since it contains the engines which are the most expensive component that needs to be saved. With ISRO also trying to begin development on reusable launch vehicles, they also need to look seriously at the vertical landing concepts like the Rossiyanka concept design above, instead of just winged landing designs. Wings add a lot of weight and drag on the way up, relative to the aerodynamic benefit they provide on the way down.

When considering a vertical-landing reusable rocket, ISRO should give serious thought to designs like this Russian one, with an eye to landing them in the Andaman Islands after launching from Sriharikota. Note the wider cross-section and squatter aspect-ratio of the reusable bottom section, which might afford a better cross-range glide capability to make it to the Andamans for landing. Space launches are always in an easterly direction, and hardly any countries have the convenience of a less-populated easterly island wing at a distance from their mainland like India does, to serve as a landing point for a recoverable vehicle. Advantages like this can help rockets save fuel mass, which could give India an unbeatable advantage.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

ISRO Approached for Its Lithium-Ion Battery Tech

ISRO has recently developed lithium-ion battery manufacturing technology which has proven to be good for use in electric vehicles. They are now being approached by various industry players along with Indian govt, who want to see this technology used in the transportation sector:

Rather than Tata discontinuing their Nano vehicle line, they should try to create a lower-cost Electric Nano to bring electric cars within the reach of more Indians. Lithium-ion batteries could then be mass-produced for such vehicles at a lower price point, leveraging economies of scale.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

ISRO Spinning Off Satellite Production to Private Sector

ISRO is spinning off production of even more sophisticated satellites to the private sector:

This move also shows ISRO's interest in supporting private companies in its mission of creating a robust space industry. In other news, the body has lined up a space park where every small component will be manufactured under one roof, making it one of the first in the entire world.

Monday, April 03, 2017

70% of H-1B Visas Go to Indians

Indians are the prime recipients of H-1B visas, far more than other nationalities. As such, they are disproportionately facing risk from the Trump admin's re-evaluation of the visa policy:

Quick notes: Project Everest, Jammu targeted...

Sunday, April 02, 2017

'south indian' is now a separate ethnic group!

i do believe they meant 'south asian'. this is from the san jose mercury news. an article on why people are leaving the bay area.

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity