Vile Parle’s pride “Parle-G”- A brief history.

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Parle-G is a known brand to millions now in India as its factory is established in the suburb of Mumbai since 1929. The founder of this Parle factory are Chauhan family and factory headquarters is in Vile Parle (east), Mumbai, Maharashtra (the factory has been closed recently due to increased costs of transportation). They started manufacturing biscuits from 1939. People were unable to buy British biscuits because of its high cost, then Parle factory came into market with its low price Glucose biscuit. According to top writer Nikhil Patel, earlier the biscuits were wrapped in wax paper unlike today’s plastic paper. After India gained independence in 1947, parle company started campaigning Parle biscuits in competition to the British biscuit called  Jacob’s biscuit from UK in 1929. Parle G biscuit stands out from other products of Parle also because of its friendly prising.

How parle-G name came into existence?

Founder coming from Gujarat community, Parle-G’s name first came from founder’s family. They started calling the biscuits as Parle, as Parle means suburb in Gujarati language. As the biscuit had sweet taste of Glucose in it, people started calling biscuits as Parle Gluco. After seeing the success rate of Parle biscuits, other biscuit companies in the market started coping Parle companies idea. To avoid confusion in the market, Parle owners changed its product’s name to Parle-G from Parle Gluco.

Parle-G gaining popularity

According to a recent report by Nielsen, article by Sagar Malviya on 24th june 2015; Parle-G topped the sales chart among other food companies in India during 2014-15, where, Britannia and Mondelez shared the second spot with Rs. 6,800 crores of revenue. Parle G’s sales had exceeded Rs. 8,300 crores according to the report. Parel G had hit the success rate wit 29% shares in the biscuit category plus sates going up by 5000 crores during that period. Under non-food category, HUL was doing great with sales of Rs. 25,400 crore nearly thrice compared to their rival company, P&G, who registered their sales with Rs. 8,600 crore.

In food category Parle company topped with growth of 3.1% (with revenue of 8,300 crore)  and least was Frito-lay India with growth of 1.7%.

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Sustainability of Parle G in the current scnerio

One of the old and trusted brand has grown successfully since 1929. Parle had strong hold in terms of revenue with two rivals; Britannia and Mondelez. At present, consumers have choice in the market with other glucose biscuits like, Oats, ragi cookies, digestive and milky biscuits in the market. Executive director of Parle Products, Ajay Chauhan, is aware of this situation. So, does Mr. Chauhan can still maintain the dominant position in the market?

Industry estimates the biscuit market share worth Rs. 15000 crore till September 2012 with glucose accounting for 30% of this segment. Glucose category has not launched much products compared to other cream or cookies category. Parle G had launched Parle G- Gold in May 2012, a premium glucose biscuit which was much heavier than the original one.

Preeti Chamikutty mentions few Parle G facts in her article published on Jan 16,2013. According to her;

400 million Parle G biscuits are produced daily, 1 billion packes of Parle-G are produced monthly, Parle G are sold in more than 500 retail stores, 4,551 Parle-G biscuits are consumed per second, if all Parle G biscuits consumed annually are put end-to-end; they would cover the earth’s circumference 192 times, Parle G sells more biscuits compared to China biscuit market, Parle G’s pricing remained unchanged even in 2000’s.

Basic question at present is, will the present youth from the population still go for Parle-G biscuit even today? In my opinion, if somebody is price sensitive, they will still stick on to Rs.5 Parle-G, which is filling and of course Mumbaikars should not give up on them for a reason :).

Africans (Siddi community) in India: The Unknown population!

Siddi community, Olympics, sports, Arab and Portuguese, rights, social status.

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The Siddi communities also known as Sheedi or Habshi are a small and shy community who migrated from Bantu people, Southeast Asia, 300 years back.  This community has an estimated population of 50,000-60,000 in India. They are mostly confined to North Karnataka as well as Karvar and Sirsi in Karnataka and parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra pradesh. Siddis maximum population stays in Gujarat, tribes are settled down in Karnataka and AP. In Mumbai, there are only 8-10 families who are settled down. Few percentage of population has settled in Pakistan, Sindh and Balochistan. They speak in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, kannada and konkani. Mostly Siddis are Sufi Muslims, where some are Hindus and rest are Roman Catholic Christians.

Many people from this community don’t know their proper origin. They only know that their ancestors were in India in 7th century due to which the present generation is staying in India. Siddis are mistaken as Africans by other citizens of the country because of their dark skin, curlicues of hair, snub nose and thick lips. In Mumbai, people were not renting out house to Siddis as they look like Africans and they faced lot of racism. Because of this they don’t feel united or comfortable. Sometimes they are even compared to chimpanzees.

Gir is home to the last remaining unknown-tribes, Siddi. Siddis landed on the shores of India as slaves of Arab and Portuguese merchants. Small number of population arrived as merchants and sailors. The Siddis in Gir were slaves to the Nawab of Junagadh who received them as gifts from the Portuguese. Eventually, Siddis were settled in village called Sirwan, which was gifted by the Nawab. They keep their culture alive by music and dance.Image result for Siddi players

The sports authority of India had launched a pro-gram in 1980’s to tap the  potential players so that they can participate in the 1984 Olympics. They travelled without slipper. They started getting trained. The siddi kids routinely started gettinuy g medals at the district, state and national levels.

Players like Kamala Babu Siddi (15), is a national record holder in the junior girl’s pentathlon. Kamala said showing her Olympics blazer (South Asian Federation Games, 1993)- ” This is from my first international meet, I didn’t really know about the specifics of the kit given by the government but I just knew that I wanted to wear the Indian color. Many people asked for it but it’s not something that you part with even after you die.”  Philip Anthony Siddi, took part in 800M at Nehru Stadium in Delhi. Carl Lewis was the first player among Siddis to represent nation abroad. This pro gramme improved financial status of Philip as he could buy 2-acre plot and without sports he would have been nobody. In 1993, suddenly all players were given letter and asked to go back to their respective countries in spite of performing well. No body knew the reason as why the pro gramme got cancelled? Few people cried and went back and few stayed back in India.

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Because they are know through sports, Siddis who stayed back in India spoke to government to restart SAG program. They started with few number of athletes. When ever Olympics gets telecasts on television; Kenyans, Tanzanians, Ethiopians or Somalians ( From East Africa) are seen so energetic that despite any resources they come right on top in the medal tally. That gap has to be reduced when it comes to the comparison of Siddis and East African players.

At present Dandeli has full fledged special area game center for young Siddi talent. The first batch of athletes are being groomed at the Loyola school in Mundgod (Uttara Karnataka) for 2024 Olympics.

In my opinion, like other communities in India, Siddi community should also get their right and be included in the backward community list atleast, to get recognition and for lifting the nations flag high by participating in Olympics. Siddi community should also get a social status where people leave their stigma and give equal job opportunity as well apart from sports. The situation is always going to be tricky when we try to differentiate between Africans and Siddis.

Long story short, they should get Indian citizenship plus all the equal rights that constitute has provided to the rest of the Indian community.




Rise of “cricket” in India since 1901

Pre and post independence, castism, first dalit, Religious conflicts, compensation, confidence and understanding, sportsmanship, equality, team spirit.

Britishers ruled in India.  There are numbers in terms of how many years did Britishers rule in India? 89 years ( 1858-1947) ? 182 years (British control from initial direct administration of Bengal by the East India Company from 1765) ? 98 years (Control of the whole of India beginning with the East India Company dated from 1849) ?

But they had upper hand till Sardar patel, V K Menon, and J L Nehru worked tremendously and made India united. India gained independence in the year 1947 where Britishers had 60% of land with them which was divided between India and Pakistan.

Nevertheless, British rule had many good things which helped Indians to grow. However overall British rule is considered, it was evil for India.

As India was coming out of the clutches of British rule, there was one common thing between two nations- CRICKET. Right from pre independence cricket existed in India. We can even say that the sports was introduced by Britishers in India and it has its own importance in the heart of each Indian now. Right from Maharaja Ranjitsinh ji , an Indian, who played for England from 1895-1902 till the master blaster, post independence, Sachin Tendulkar. India has seen lots of changes since 1901. Legends like Pataudi, Kapil dev, Beshen Singh Bedi and Lala Amarnat have contributed to Indian cricket because of whose efforts we can see all kinds of matches played today at domestic, national and international level.

Image result for Ranjit singh cricketer Maharaja Ranjitsinh ji – Represented England ( 1895-1902). He is arguably and unofficially India’s first ever cricket player who represented England in the year 1895. Known as Ranji, he made waves in the cricketing world by his unorthodox stance and stroke-play. Getting into cricket at the age of 10 was difficult as he belonged to maharaja community. Urgently he enrolled himself to Bombay Presidency and took up British way of teaching and studying. His first preference was tennis though. Ranji started late because of prejudice. He couldn’t play for Cambridge team because he was an Indian. Future England captain- Stanley Jackson refused to take Ranji. Ranji was out from the team till one of the injured England player gave him a chance to play. Ranji played beautifully averaging 44 with bat. Ranji and mentor Daniel Hayward came up with an idea of back-foot stroke play as many cricketers were leaning forward to play each ball because of which they were unable to play short pitch deliveries. This led to a popularization of new shot called the leg glance. Ranji was among best fielders as well with 233 catches in his kitty in this first class carrier.

He later played for Sussex with international legends and accumulated massive scores in county cricket. Played for London County and domestic cricket. His test début was on 16th July 1896 v/s Australia and last test was on 24th July 1902 v/s Australia. 

Image result for Palwankar baloo Palwankar Baloo – Career (1905- 1921) Represented Hindus (India). Baloo belongs to Dharwad, Karnataka and first dalit player to make it to the Indian cricket team. He was India’s finest cricketers but because of his social status he was never allowed to captain the team. There were objections from the team mates who were from so called higher communities, brahmins, they didn’t want Baloo to play in the team. But due to Baloo’s skill selectors were forced to make a place for him in the team. He bowled beautifully and took lots of wickets for the team and came out victorious, even then he was kept separately in the team. The ball was rolled on the ground and passed to the other person by kicking by foot because the ball was touched by Baloo. Baloo used to sit separately during lunch, drinks or tea break. This untouchable act continued till Baloo’s brother Palwankar Vithal was made captain of Hindus team by Hindu Gymkhana Club which was seen as an impact of changing social situations in India.

The Revolutionist – Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi

     Image result for Pataudi Indian team was sought of ready now after gaining independence. There was equality in the team and players started relating themselves to one another and stood up as INDIA in the game of cricket because of Pataudi. He captained Indian cricket team at the age of 21 years even though there were other Senior and experienced players in the team.

Bishan Singh Bedi

Image result for bishen singh bedi Bishan Singh Bedi is a former cricket cricket, played for India from 1966-1979. He was known for slow orthodox bolling and right hand batting. He also stood out for the whole team when it came to proper remuneration/ salary to the players. He slammed the BCCI (Board) and questioned them for irregular or less payment. According to him when a test match is meant to be played for 5 days, sometimes the match used to get wrapped up in 4 days. In such case where the salary should be given for 5 days, players were paid for only 4 days. Today we don’t see such problem in 21st century, but if there are minute problems that are taken care of by the board.

Cricket took its time to stand as one of the popular game in the country. As the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar joined cricket at the age of 16, all citizens of India started worshiping this game. Then came Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble, Srinath, Lakshman to take cricket to different level.

Today we should not forget people like Bishan Singh Bedi, Pataudi etc. If they had not taken the charge at that time and made the board think the way they were working, do you think the Indian team would have been the same like today?


AFSPA: A boon or bane for Kashmir

It is going to be almost 3 decades now AFSPA has been enforced at Kashmir and till date its very difficult to understand its role in Kashmir.

Ever since the creation of India and Pakistan as independent states took place in August 1947, Kashmir has been a contentious issue. Since Kashmir was a small, princely state to the North of India, under the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh when India and Pakistan got their independence, Kashmir had the option of acceding its territory with either Pakistan or India. But due to the attacks at Kashmir by Pakistani forces and revolutionaries in 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh decided to accede with India to protect his territory. This marked the beginning of a series of clashes between India and Pakistan, which includes four major wars. Kashmir became the primary subject of the conflicts between the two states. Pakistan demanded Kashmir with the fact that most of the Kashmiri population were Muslims. On the other hand, India claimed this territory based on the fact that Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the document to accession with it.
Several battles have fought over and within Kashmir which led to the enactment of the Armed Forces (Special Forces) Act by the Indian Government in 1990. This act granted special powers of the army in “disturbed area.” Such powers allows the army to use force which can result to death, enter suspicious premises, arrest suspicious individuals without any warrant, and also this act provides legal immunity to army officials for their actions.

However, AFSPA has been majorly criticized by many human rights activists. The act fails to describe “disturbed areas.” Then it leads to a huge military crowds in and around Kashmir region. The appearance of so much military personnel hampers the “normalcy” of the region. Most of the time, due to clashes between the Kashmiris and the military the region remains under curfew. Regular curfews created negative externalizes on the population there. Children cant go to school and colleges regularly which leads to illiteracy. Only children from the richer section who can afford to move out of the region can afford to get quality education. Working people cant go to their workplace, local businessmen cant afford to run there businesses properly. All these causes huge economical and social loss for the entire Jammu and Kashmir region. Thousands of young children have grown up, and continue to grow up seeing military personnel all around them. This creates a negative image in their mind. They would feel that they have been cages within some boundaries and they are not and never will be allowed to move out of that line. As a result, organisations like Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front have demanded the freedom of Kashmir from India.afspa2

The biggest criticism of AFSPA, however, has been the Human Rights violations it has led to in Kashmir valley. Numerous concerned people from the Human Right divisions have opposed the state politically, by questioning the militarization of the region and the existence of AFSPA. According to survey reports, 322 people were reportedly detained under the AFSPA between January and October,2010. Human Rights watch alleged that thousands cases of disappearances since 1989. Human Rights Watch also claims that the torture by AFSPA is immense in every part of Jammu and Kashmir. Uncountable numbers of rape cases and molestation have been found. Although hardly a few of these cases were reported because of obvious reasons. It has also been found that militants are frequently executed by the security forces without trials just because they pose a security threat. Case like children of 8 to 12 years were shot dead while playing cricket boils the blood of any Kashmiri to get away with the draconian AFSPA. The Justice Verma committee, in January 2013, stated that AFSPA needs to be revised regarding the protection of women and children in conflict areas.afspa 2

During his six- years tenure of former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah constantly demanded for gradual  withdrawal of AFSPA from peaceful areas of Jammu and Kashmir. But the Indian Army denied his proposals. They even denied to remove AFSPA from places like Srinigar, Budgam and Jammu which can be easily tackled only by the Jammu and Kashmir police. It has been noticed that regarding the AFSPA, the union doesn’t open their mouth much and leave the decision to be taken by the security forces. On the other hand, if we critically think, then is it not quite obvious that the defense would never want AFSPA to be removed form Jammu and Kashmir because due to this draconian law, the defence gets all the control over the region and do whatever they feel like. Since AFSPA has the highest authority, it is understood that they would never want to leave Jammu and Kashmir.

As per my understanding, AFSPA should only be at the Line Of Control region in order to protect the security of the state. The places like Srinagar and others where Kashmiris live should be controlled by J&K police only. This would help India to get back Kashmiris. Indian Government seems to be more bothered about the geographical regions of Jammu and Kashmir while with this draconian law of AFSPA they are losing the people of Kashmir. Lot of Kashmiri don’t believe them to be a part of India and believes in Kashmiri Nationalism. This is the negative externalities of having AFSPA.

Its high time now for the Government to do away with AFSPA and get back the Kashmiris to have all the people of the geographical territory under the same umbrella of Indian nationalism.
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My take on Friedrich Hayek’s scholarly article The Use of Knowledge in Society

Friedrich Hayek is a famous economist and philosopher. He is widely known for his defense of classical liberalism. The Use of Knowledge In Society is one of his best scholarly article which deals with why should we support decentralization of knowledge to run the economy.

This article was first published in the September 1945 issue of The American Economic Review. This article is one of a kind. It ensures to give out the most important learning materials to understand economics. It explains the economic problem as clearly as possible. It emphasizes on the superiority of market economies.

Hayek was highly against establishing a Central Pricing Board. The price fluctuations in the market make it a very dynamic entity. He strongly takes the side of an open economy. He feels open economy is highly efficient. Centrally planned economy will be much lower in terms of efficiency because what one single agent will know will be only a fraction of the knowledge held by the rest of the society. A dispersed society will thus allow the flow of knowledge in the society. Proper allocation of scarce resources can only be done when knowledge is dispersing among many people because no individual or a group of experts is capable of acquiring it all.

Knowledge needs to be decentralized because each one of us has our own personal knowledge which depends upon time and place. Access to planning and control over resources should be given to everyone so that as per situational needs everyone can use it in their way. Unfortunately, major decentralization of powers may lead to imbalance in the social coordination but with the help of economic policies we can sort out this problem.

Simultaneously we can see misconception of economic policies as well because we tend to wrongly interpret economic problem of the society. The planning (allocation of resources) takes place in lack of knowledge and information asymmetry. How do we know that who will possess the best possible knowledge? How do we decide whom to recognize as experts? We tend to give away all the responsibilities in the hands of some specific individuals (whom we like to call as experts) who may not know all the information which can help to solve all the economic problems of the society. As we know every individual has their own needs thus, how can we just predict that one individual or a group of individuals (experts) can sort out everyone’s problems?

We tend to overestimate some peoples’ levels of knowledge where as on the other hand we underestimate the knowledge of most of the people from the society. This creates the misunderstandings of economic problems which further creates misunderstanding in economic policies.

Hayek correctly points out the problem of economic planning. “Planners” tend to come up with long term plans and nobody cares about the short term problems which may arise in various points during the long term planning period. Since the smaller problems remain unnoticed thus it takes big shape which becomes impossible to eradicate from the root at a later stage. With the improvement of technologies the need of economic decisions has decreased but we can never do away with economic decisions. At some or the other point we do need to form and reform our economic policies in order to help the market run at its optimal level.

Therefore I would like to conclude by saying that planning is not a good option to run the economy. Since everyone has knowledge based on time and place thus, decentralization of knowledge is very much necessary to run the economy. The need for the extra knowledge that all individual needs to acquire get reflected in price.

The never ending Israel-Palestine conflict

The victory of Donald Trump, the 45th President of America, has opened doors for Israel’s expansion in the West Bank through the new Jewish settlement blocs.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has a history embroiled in religion, identity and territory and the recent announcement by Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu on the construction of 2,500 settlements is another approach to outclass the Arabs in West Bank.

To recap:

Jews have always believed in what they call a national homeland i.e. an independent Jewish state. This belief became a reality with the birth of Israel that began with the British handing over the disputed territory to the United Nations for peaceful negotiation between Jews and Arabs.

But the negotiations and the clear demarcated areas of Israel within Palestine did not sit well with the anti-British and anti-West Arab nations.

In the illusion of Arab rule in Palestine in 1948 (six-day) War, the Israelis having won the war found themselves in an advantageous position to further their borders till what came to be known as West Bank. A ceasefire line aka Green line divided the Jews in Israel and Palestinians in West Bank (under the control of Jordon- an Arab state) and Gaza Strip until the 1967 war. The war again gave Israelis the upper hand and allowed them to annex the West Bank.

Today, The plight of the 2.5 million Palestinians is their land in the West Bank.

The Oslo II Accord Agreement after the war separated the West Bank and Gaza Strip into three areas under:

  1. Complete Palestinian authority (80% of West Bank)
  2. Palestinians with limited autonomy (22% of the West Bank)
  3. Israelis settlements under Israel authority (60% of the West Bank)

source: Political Geography Now

                                                      Image source: Political Geography Now

The general view in the international circle is support for the notion of two-state resolution as a solution the Israel-Palestine Conflict and condemnation of the increasing population of Israeli settlements.

However, citing the biblical history of the Jews, Israelis claim the two religious towns Judea and Samaria as the reason for their strategic settling in the West Bank.

With Trump administration leading the White House, there are two points to look forward to:

First, what kind of foreign policy would initialize towards Israel.

Considering the pro-Israel stance of Donald Trump, the Israeli Prime Minister had enough push to declare the new settlement project in East Jerusalem of West Bank. Moreover, the new ambassador to Israel, David Friedman is not only against the two-state resolution but also actively involved in a settlement fundraising organization.

Second, there have been indirect hints of shifting the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital of Israel, Jerusalem. This can be a change from the earlier predisposition of the US government. The Embassy was established in Tel Aviv as an apparent defiance of the Israeli expansion in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, resented the Obama administration for their anti-settlement approach in the UN resolution. However, with the support of Trump, Israel can gain an unchecked position to the extent that can signify its regional power against neighboring Arab nations.

Along the tussle between Israel’s demand for greater autonomy in West Bank and slumping hope for Palestinian officials to build a developed state, the major obstacle is for both the settlers and Palestinians.

Most of the settlements are fully formed towns with well-structure houses and facilities of schools and universities. The policy of two-state cannot be completely achieved, as the existing settlements and their lifestyle is difficult to uproot. On the other hand, the Palestinians’ animosity could lead to mass protests and demonstrations and attract greater intervention from the neighboring Arab countries. Moreover, the Islamic elements already prominent in the Middle East could find it a winning opportunity to expand their conservative Islamic ideologies.

The delicate issue of Israel and Palestinians should be reflected cautiously especially from America’s point of view. Though Israelis claim religion aspect to justify their activities, it is necessary to maintain the international law and UN resolutions for peaceful governance.


The Hole in The Plot

The Yettinahole Diversion Project is a disaster in the making and the Karnataka government doesn’t seem to care.

The ever-burgeoning need for water, both for domestic and industrial purposes have led to a drying out of local rivers and lakes. The Karnataka government has now turned to diverting the west-flowing rivers to the drier eastern belts of Karnataka. The Yettinahole Diversion Project plans to divert head waters of the Gundia River (a tributary of the Kumardhara, which is a tributary of the Netravathi) in the west and transfer this water to the other end of the state, in the east.

The ambitious and dangerously erroneous project is all set to cost the taxpayer Rs.13000 crores to divert nearly 24 TMC (or 672 billion litres) of water from the head-waters of the Netravathi river towards the water-scarce districts of Kolar, Ramanagara, parts of Hassan, Tumkur, Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru Rural and Devanahalli Industrial Area.


But where is this 24 TMC to divert?

Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) of Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), which is under The Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India has published a report in April 2015 titled: Environmental Flow Assessment in Yettinaholé Where is 24 TMC to divert? The entire catchment yield is just 9.55 TMC according to the study! This stands to be 60% less than the estimated yield by KNNL – Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd. The estimation being faulty comes as no surprise, when one looks at the methods deployed to measure the riverine flow. Instead of measuring each diverted stream, just measurement of one stream was taken in a nearby catchment. As per IISc study, the water demand in the catchment is 5.84 TMC & water required for maintaining environmental flow is 2.84 TMC

The entire project falls in an ecologically sensitive area, according to the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (Kasturirangan report). Deforestation, loss of riverine fauna, impaired nutrient flow in rivers, are all lined up in the near future. But KNNL has denied the need for an ecological assessment saying that drinking water projects are exempt from the purview of the Environment Protection Act. But the catch in this statement is that only 60% of the diverted water is going to be utilized for drinking purposes while the rest 40% is going to be stored in minor irrigation tanks and used for other purposes.

Prof. S.G. Mayya, Department of Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics, National Institute of Technology, Suratkhal has major issues with the name of the project itself, which he says is grossly misleading—“First of all, it is not Yettinahole diversion, it is Netravathi Diversion. It would have been Yettinahole Diversion if water only from Yettinahole catchment and its sub-catchments was diverted, but here 90% of water being diverted is from the downstream of Yettinahole catchment, actually from the Netravathi catchment. So calling it Yettinahole Diversion is misleading and fraudulent. I don’t know why the government continues calling it Yettinahole Diversion.”

Why do such glaring gaps exist, between the facts used by the government and those unearthed by the independent experts? Why was there no inclusion of the communities living downstream of the Yettinahole, who would be affected by the diversion? Why has the KNNL put up no figures to indicate the displacement of people in such communities? Regarding the rampant deforestation that is due, no concrete numbers regarding how many trees would be cleared out, for the project has been given out? The economic value of the region is higher (> 200 Billion Rs.)than the diversion project and therefore emphasis should be given on the need for conservation of the livelihood of dependent population and the green cover.

Reports that the Karnataka government had already allocated Rs 2,800 crores and had assigned contracts worth Rs. 1,000 crore even before the environmental assessments were done and clearances sanctioned, are terrifying.

The 2015 study by IISc, meanwhile had given some suggestions on how to tackle water scarcity in the eastern belts of Karnataka instead of proceeding with the project. Some of the solutions were- decentralized water harvesting, restoring existing lakes and ponds, improving native vegetation in catchments, soil and water conservation through micro-watershed approaches.

The Yettinahole Diversion is the government’s faulty band-aid solution for political gains which will lead to large scale repercussions, if not mended in time.

Swati Sudhakaran is currently pursuing Masters in Public Policy at Mount Carmel college in collaboration with the Takshashila Institution.

Case of the Missing Apartheid Billions

South Africa’s struggle to get out of the net of corruption and recover what it is owed.


Swati Sudhakaran is pursuing Masters in Public Policy at Mount Carmel college in collaboration with the Takshashila Institution

Washing the footprints?

Technological advancements helping industries reduce their carbon footprint.

The Paris Agreement made the 194 countries make a promise to themselves and the world- shifting to cleaner fuels and reducing carbon footprints. But on the other hand, countries like India with a huge coal-dependent energy consumption and expenditure needed a method to use fossil fuels while also simultaneously letting off them and not releasing the same levels of CO2 as before.

Amidst major apprehensions on how to proceed,a small plant at the industrial port of Tuticorin is showing the way by capturing CO2 from its own coal-powered boiler and using it to make baking soda.

Crucially, the technology is running without subsidy, which is a major advance for carbon capture technology as for decades it has languished under high costs and lukewarm government support.

The technology gaining traction from all corners of the world, is the brainchild of CarbonClean Solutions, a startup by 2 students of IIT Kharagpur- Aniruddha Sharma and Prateek Bumb. They reversed the mechanics of how to go about CCS- Carbon Capture and Storage in which release of CO2 into the atmosphere is controlled by various means.

Typically, this is achieved by first treating the combustion exhaust gases from the coal plant to remove the small amounts of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (which can cause undesirable reactions in the next step). Then the remaining mixture, containing mostly nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water, is passed through a chemical called monoethanolamine (MEA). This chemical reacts selectively with only CO2, and the rest of the gaseous mixture is safely released into the atmosphere. Later, the MEA-CO2 mixture is heated, which releases nearly pure carbon dioxide to be used as a raw material.

Carbon Clean Solutions has synthesized a new chemical, called CDR-Max, that does the job better than MEA. Max is less corrosive too than MEA which protects the steel chambers in which purification is done

Debate over carbon capture has mostly focused until now on carbon capture and storage (CCS), in which emissions are forced into underground rocks at great cost and no economic benefit.

Carbon Storage methods are numerous:

  1. Can be absorbed by coal beds. Also enhances methane recovery.
  2. Can be injected into depleted oil and gas reserves below 2600ft
  3. Dissolved into the sea below 3300 ft via a fixed pipeline or ship
  4. Released via offshore platform to form ‘lake’ in the ocean bed.


There is already a global market for CO2 as a chemical raw material. It comes mainly from industries such as brewing where it is cheap and easy to capture. Many new startups,along the lines of CarbonClean like Carbon8 have started tapping into this potential market.


Swati Sudhakaran is currently pursuing MA Public Policy at Mount Carmel College in collaboration with the Takshashila Institution.