Friday, July 30, 2010

Why This Monsoon Is Not Normal

Indian Met Office has gleefully declared that the 2010 rainfall is normal and published the map in its website to justify its claim. Current rainfall deficit is at -5%. The tolerance for average rainfall remains very high +/- 19%. I would like to draw your attention towards the heterogeneity of Terrain and Climatic conditions of India. Please remember the food security of 1/6th and economic existence of1/10th of global human population depends on truthful projection of Indian Monsoon by Indian Met Office. Monsoon Watch gives a daily briefing of Monsoonal conditions. Here's the map depicting rainfall from 1st June to 28th July 2010 released after weekly briefing.

The lack of red color in the map and the presence of blue color might make it soothing for the eyes. But they hide the fact and at least 5 meteorological divisions had just missed the red color by a whisker. IMD does not provide tabular data, so we had to create one for ourselves.

Met. ZoneTerrainNormal RainfallActual RainfallChange Noted
Coastal KarnatakaCoastal Plain1990.41746-12.28
Konkan and GoaCoastal Plain16431911.916.37
KeralaCoastal Plain1383.91199.2-13.35
OrissaCoastal Plain519.5442.3-14.86
Saurashtra, kautch, DiuCoastal Plain262.7470.579.10
Coastal A.P.Coastal Plain              243.5385.458.27
Tamil Nadu and Pondi.Coastal Plain10716554.20
Coastal Plain Total61506320.32.76
Gangetic W.B.Grain bowl531.9366.7-31.06
Bihar Grain bowl474.4378.1-20.30
East UPGrain bowl381.8260.8-31.69
West UPGrain bowl309.8252.8-18.39
PunjabGrain bowl207.1235.913.90
Har., Chd and DelhiGrain bowl198.2184.5-6.91
Grain bowl Total2103.21678.8-20.18
Assam and MeghalayaH.Plains and plateau1121.8795.7-29.07
H.Plains and plateau Total1121.8795.7-29.07
Sikkim Him. WBHimalayan1027118515.38
Arunachal PradeshHimalayan949.9747.2-21.34
Jammu and KashmirHimalayan226.8298.631.66
Himalayan Total38483808-1.04
A + N IslandsIslands818.7926.813.20
Islands Total1406.81529.68.73
E. RajasthanLow rainfall268.5213.9-20.34
N. I. KarnatakaLow rainfall210.7271.829.00
RayalaseemaLow rainfall141.2221.957.15
W. RajasthanLow rainfall119.6174.545.90
Low rainfall Total740.0882.119.20
ChattisgarhPlateau and Plains546.7453.1-17.12
JharkhandPlateau and  Plains488264.5-45.80
VidarbhaPlateau and Plains467.1510.89.36
East MPPlateau and  Plains476.8391.7-17.85
Inner Gujarat and DamanPlateau and Plains435394.1-9.40
Madhya MaharashtraPlateau and Plains350.7416.518.76
West MPPlateau and  Plains381.6282.9-25.86
S. I. KarnatakaPlateau and  Plains347.6313.4-9.84
TelanganaPlateau and Plains348.6418.620.08
MarathwadaPlateau and Plains315.4408.629.55
Plateau and Plains Total4157.53854.2-7.30
Grand  Total19527.318868.7

So we can see there are actually more areas in red. Lets check out where it has rained most,

  • The traditionally low rainfall areas like west Gujarat, west Rajasthan great surplus of rain.  
  • The West coast and the state of Maharashtra along with Andhra Pradesh and Surprisingly Tamil Nadu.  
  • Western Himalayan States and Punjab. Here the no of rainy days has decreased but when it rained, it poured.
  • Sikkim & North Bengal 
There has been incidents of flash floods too. Neither floods nor Drought is good for the vast rural population of India.Many would like to discard the monsoon anomalies, as they have seen pictures of floods in Punjab and Hariyana on TV. But remember last year there were far more devastating floods in Orissa and Saurashtra, still the National consensus was 2009 was a drought year.

The major crop of monsoon has been predominantly rice and sugarcane. Rice being the staple food for majority of Indians in the states facing rainfall shortage. The rainfall is still not good enough for sowing the rice paddy, although it is great for city folks who face water-logging in their neighborhood.  

Lets sign off with the latest satellite image which clearly shows weak monsoon clouds, with two blobs of cloud in the west coast and in the north.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Protest song against corporate greed brewing at the top

Dear Dave,

Perhaps you have heard about the Bhopal Gas Disaster in 1984, where around 3-5 thousand people died immediately after the gas leak. Till today more than 25000 have died. For 26 years, we were told judicial action,that is, a court case against the guilty is ongoing and due process is taking the time. After 26 years and 25000 dead, hundreds of thousands sick with chemical poisoning and dying, 7 of 8 accused got 2 years jail and currently are appealing in higher court and are out on bail. In normal course, this case will take another 10-15 years by which all of the accused would have died their natural death after living their normal life (As it happened in the case of the 8th accused)

Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, is currently living in New York, He had jumped bail and has been declared a fugitive by the Indian court. Surprising after or maybe before the bail, he was flown out of Bhopal by that state's Chief Minister. Request for his extradition was never taken up seriously by Indian Government and all politicians are backing the corrupt corporation. Union Carbide does not exist now, both internationally and in India, Globally it has been purchased by Dow Chemicals and In India, all of its assets were allowed to be sold in Eveready.

All the lawyer-turned-cronies are claiming the top management and the new companies/owners carry no liability, Primary or Vicarious. Like many others, I am protesting in all the ways possible. I feel there is no east-west or north-south divide in this. The People of United States are feeling the same about BP oil-spill. Tomorrow if a similar Oil-spill or Industrial disaster happens in Europe, people will suffer the same way. Our common friend (Although my acquaintance is through twitter only) Mr. Shekhar Kapoor also feels justice has not been done in Bhopal case. 

I have written a protest song (More of rhyme actually), which is given below. I'm no poet or songwriter or musician, but a protest song will help in awareness. My forte is numerical analysis and software programming and my last position in 2 decade long career was Vice President (Technical). So please feel free to comment on my writing, which might be "no good" at all.

But I'm sure, you can make something out of it.

I’m just a chairman with no responsibility,
In the name of torts, I carry no liability.
I got golden parachutes,
I can bail out, when I want to,
If you tax me more,
I can “get the hell out o town” too.
I’m just a chairman with no responsibility,
In the name of torts, I carry no liability.

Be it Bhopal, be it Gulf,
My greed can ruin any habitat.
Maybe people die, people starve,
But look at the GDP’s upward curve.
I’m just a chairman with no responsibility,
In the name of torts, I carry no liability.

[Mr Chairman, People are dying in Bhopal.]
I’m just a chairman with no responsibility
[Mr Chairman, People are crying in Bhopal]
I’m just a chairman, I'm the chairman.
[Mr Chairman, Mr Chairman livelihoods are lost]

I’m just a chairman with no responsibility,
In the name of torts, I carry no liability.

I'm the new King, I'm powerful
I can choke your voice.
I'm the gonna break your toys.
I'm gonna get you killed,
If you ever any more noise.
Dont you know....

I’m just a chairman with no responsibility,
In the name of torts, I carry no liability.

I’m just a chairman with no responsibility,
In the name of torts, I carry no liability.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The unnamed cyclone, Let call it 92B

Please find above the infra-red picture of system 92B its going to big cyclone. I don't know if Met office or administration would be surprised by this cyclone. Its an annual feature like cyclone Nargis or cyclone aila. this picture was taken at 1800 hrs GMT or 2330 IST

The picture below shows 92B at 12hrs GMT, The intensification of the system is obvious.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cyclone forming over Bay of Bengal

It's the month of May once again. Last year it was #Aila, a tropical depression capable of becoming a big time cyclone is gaining strength. It is currently named 92B. Indian, Bangladeshi & Myanmar government should start doing their drills and start activating their watch now. Preparedness is better than lament.

Thats at 0000 hrs GMT

At 600 hrs GMT Cyclone still a strong possibility

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tagore's View on Social oppression

Rabindranath Tagore, Who gave Independent India its National Anthem (Jana gana mana) and Gave music to its National Song (Bande Mataram) can hardly be called Anti-national by any stretch of Imagination. He also gave "The Father of the Nation" Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi the name or the title of "Mahatma". I guess no body on Modern Indian Soil can dare say that, Tagore was an anti-national.

No folks, Today is not his birthday! I have had read him from my school days and I am yet to finish all his works (Such volumes he have created). I wanted to get a translation of "Durvaga Desh" (The misfortune of the Nation) .
The Bengali Version can be found in the link above or the image, I am forced to try an English translation on my own:

The Misfortune Of The Nation

Oh My unfortunate Nation; Those whom you humiliated,
One day you would be forced in your insult, to be their equal.
Those whom you deprived
of the rights of being a human.
You would be forced in your humiliation, to be their equal.

Those whom you trod and trample, will pull you down.
Those whom you leave behind, will tug you back.
Those you cover with ignorance,
shroud with indifference,
You would be forced in your humiliation, to be their equal.

Now would NSA, HM, PM, Journos dare to call Tagore Anti-Indian!
Please comment.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My trouble with political spin: The Facade of Right to Education in India

Lets bust few bubbles in this govt. balloon.

1) This is not Dr. Singh or Mr. Sibal or Mrs. Gandhi's Idea.

Let me quote from my favorite book "The Constitution of India", Article 45 states:

"45. Provision for free and compulsory education for children.

—The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years."

So a law like this supposed to be made by 1950+10=1960.

2)Obviously why it took 50 years more? Surely a 13 page(that how much space it took in The Gazette of India, dated 27th August,2010) bare act could have been written earlier also?

Again I refer back to the great book, article 41 (where D. Ambedkar and his team gave a guideline on these type of silly, populist, headline-seeking, unimplementable acts).

"41. Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.

—The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want."

Note the phrases "within the limits of its economic capacity and development" and "make effective provision", the excuse of previous government was that this was beyond its economic limits.

My problem is that this bill (well its been passed and It's an act now)is neither within economic capacity nor does it make effective provision for education.

3) Why is the the Act not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir? (Section 1, Subsection 2)

4) My problem with RTE act (Section 2, Subsection c) The attempt to define child, why 6-14 age group?

5) My problem with RTE act 2, n) The attempt to define school, uses the word school itself.Improper definition. Many lawyers and private schools will be able skirt around the definition.

6)My problem with RTE act 3, (2) "No child will be liable to pay any kind of fee.." Guardian is not mentioned. Deliberate loopholes for lawyers.

Almost all sections are worthless, Section 11, Pre-school to all (In fact many school would use it as a shield to not to admit under privileged children). Section 6, Availability of schools.

Responsibility is scattered between State Governments, Local Authority (like panchayet, municipality) and guardians. No punitive measured against the authorities or incentive given to poor in this Act.

The number of students who are presently would be at least 200 million. Neither do we have the classrooms nor do we have the army of willing teachers who can leave the city to teach them.

This is not implementable (despite the good rhetoric churned out) and that the way government and bureaucracy likes it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What is so populist about it, Dr. Singh?

Does our beloved Prime Minister Know that the country is touching 1.2 billion in population and the most populist idea is a decent life for all of them?

I heard the answer on the aircraft (through TV). I am shocked and appalled by the PM's ignorance of the letters of the budget. Nowhere (you can download and read it too) in the budget has it been said the oil subsidies would be removed.

The 2 things introduces are:
1. Duty of imported crude (Yes, in-spite of big ticket Private entries in Oil exploration, we still import crude).
2. Excise duty on Petrol and diesel.

None of these taxes would go to Oil subsidy pool. Subsidy remains as it is.

If he is so pro-market forces, why no open the oil market for foreign players as well. He is not pro-market or pro-investment (just pro-buddies).

I am not sure if I have convinced you or not. Lets try a simple illustration: Assume Mr. X is Indian oil company and he imports crude. Since historically (Thanks Mrs. Gandhi) oil companies were for-ex starved and they were nationalized, Govt. of India gave subsidies to allow "fuel for all Indian", they get half the money from the GOI as subsides.
For these transactions, Mr. X has to pay the duty for importing. Imagine, Its like taking a rupee back from a beggar from a sum of 10 rupees.
Now poor Mr. X takes the crude to refinery and makes finished product. Even the production is subsidized and the different products attract different Excise duty. Finally there is a OTC sales tax.
So actually, you would these 2 duties does not reduce the burden the subsidy pool. Let me remind you that Dr. Singh & his buddies don't pay for the subsidy but you and I do (And the debt we leave behind for future generations).
No other country in the developed world has a GDP higher than India; if we can't give subsidies for the poor now, then when?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thanks James Gosling, Sun & Java

Dear James,

My last 13 years of interest in serious computing in java notwithstanding, lets talk economics for a while.

Sun has been single handed biggest generator of jobs (not 4 the brain dead) through its patronage of java and its servers, which basically expedited the reach of internet as many of newbies know it. But the fact remained, Wall street never loved Sun Microsystems. After all, the world belongs to Wall Street.

Strangely, nobody talks about Consumer Interest or Job losses when it comes to mergers & acquisitions by super-heavyweights (Bob Dylan would have said, "You never ask questions with God on your side"). Oracle was a good database company, nothing more. For last 3 years, they were buying rivals as if they have some obligation to use up spouse credit card, before filing 4 a divorce. And no one complained.

Tennessee Williams would have said, "Careful Larry, your claws are showing".

No wonder California will have double digit unemployment (it will take half an hour to prove that, not trying here and now).I see Oracle being broken up in 3-5 years (after the depression that is) to create 3 different companies. Look at GM now, they were doing the same act in 2000-2005. They are selling SAAB now.

Being Big is not the answer, Being great is. So hang it tight.

Although what Java and Sun has done for me can not be explained in few words, but let me sum up saying:
"We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
were just seasons out of time."

Shuvankar Mukherjee
Founder Member of JUG,
Java Magic On Calcutta (1999 - 2002)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Asia fails to cheer, West grins

Dr. Do-little Barnanke got the investor community bubbling up, all over again. Markets started bouncing back since the European morning. It seems the great trade cycle revolves twice everyday.
Although Dow-Jones did not react to the re-appointment of Dr. Do-little (The principal architect of Recession & subsequent bailout), stock markets picked-up from 10am GMT. Great coordination by speculators across continents.
Nobody cares about rising unemployment across the globe.

Obaba speech loses shine; stocks tumble

Obama Speech Effect has been shrugged off by world market. It lasted a total of 4-5 hours in the world. Then stocks plunged worldwide.

Since Speculative Securities trade is the most cherished and weighed profession, January results will be a dampener for growth of global economy (if any such thing exists). As the hawks of Davos are contemplating, whether there will be a double dip in the recession, the economies all across the globe are heading towards the second dip of the great recession ( We will wait till 2011 for the Depression coinage). This July at least 7 out of G-20s will be back in recession (based on Q2 GDP) and another 8 will plunge by Q3 results.

Bad news, indeed; But if we continue to re-select Dr. Dangerous Bernanke over and over again, what else would you expect. One who never stopped the easy credit for stupid housing, bailed out his super buddy banks and insurance companies and yes; Gave us the “Too big to fail” connotation to big business.

There would be a barrage of JVs launched by Davos-returnee crooks, beware and stay out of it. There would be a spate of Merger & acquisitions by Davos-returnees as well, mostly across distant geographies. It is the task of the governments to ensure that both local consumer interest and local workforce interests are given primary importance. Governments must discourage further job-losses and place punitive strictures in place to prevent such efforts by big business.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama speech review

Obama has got it wrong in the President’s speech. The state of the nation speech has been a stage the Presidents are supposed to be populist and they had even lied outright, Remember George W. Bush.

Obama simply toed the line. Let’s bust his theories one by one:

Theory No 1:

China is not waiting for USA to grow.

To tell you the fact based on GDP figures China had never in recession. China had a double digit GDP growth under super low interest rates. Commonsense economics says if it is not sustainable on a long run, then interest rates must go up to prevent the overheating of the economy. But so far China has only hinted an interest rate hike and not tightened it.

So how can China grow at this rate even at this rate? It has a single window for clearing projects, addressing concerns and disputes when it comes to “Modernization & Industrialization”. Without being concerned about health hazard, labor problems and destruction of environment, American investors go hunky dory on investing in China and dump Detroit by the sideline.

China need not depend on USA as US$ is freely available to the Chinese government through Wall Street investment bankers. Besides they have worlds biggest US$ reserves as well.

Theory No 2:

Germany is not waiting for USA to grow.

In fact German exports to USA are completely on shaky grounds, as the consumer base in USA shrinks, so does German need to produce more. Germany never had a local. Economic problem, this was all USA’s fault.

Theory No 3:

India is not waiting for USA.

Man! Please buy Obama a TV with lots of good channels preloaded.

Ever since Obama’s angry speech after Brown’s speech; Indian stock markets has lost 9% of its value. Ever since Obama has spoken and declared “Worst of the storm has passed”, nearly 3% of market capital revived; by day end it should reclaim 6%; by week end it might be even more than 10% as American banks put their money back in so called “Emerging markets”.

Obama wanted to halt the tumbling dominos of major stock markets and by the look of it, he has been successful. So what’s in it for ordinary Americans besides the consolation that trading is still done in USD.