[Non-JNU Academic] On Demonetization

Do you think:

  1. Demonetization is simply pain for poor and wont solve anything?
  2. The rich with black money wont get affected?
  3. Feel the queue in bank is too much of a pain?

Then please read this blog:

Everyone in India want to get rid of corruption but when the government asked for people’s help in demonetization a certain section of leaders were quick to politicize the issue. As soon as the issue got politicised the followers of those leaders quickly stopped supporting a genuinely good step by the government, which is aptly called a surgical strike against black money. In fact I have even seen people initially supporting the measure but when the leaders politicised it they are now saying it is a useless exercise which only adds to the pain of “Aam aadmi” without solving the issue. So let’s look at some numbers and history of this government’s planned and structured war against corruption.

India’s total tangible wealth is of around 280 lakh crores[1]. World bank estimates at least a quarter of this is black[2]. That means 70 lakh crores. It is possible that 10% of it is in cash, with the rest in real estate and gold. That is 7 lakh crores of black cash that is lying around. Maybe 80% of it will turn white and even with that Rs 1.4 lakh crores of black will be gone. That is big.(Balaji Vishwanathan in Quora).

This figure is comparable with 2G scam(2lakh crore). And remember it was a very conservative estimate(assumptions of 80% and 10%).

There are followers of Lutyen’s mumbo-jumbo who will quickly rise the question that this money wont be recovered, it will simply be removed from the people who hold it. Then ask about how much money government had to spend for this clean up and how much the “poor” people had to suffer to exchange their hard-earned money. Here is my research on amount that was spent.

From a critical source [3] the amount that government will have to spend for printing new notes is 11,900 crore(assuming we replace all 500 and 1000 with 100 which we are not doing). Let’s be very critical and say it costs another 10,000 crore in shipping etc. so we are spending 22 thousand crore to remove over 1.4 lakh crore black money. Here also we have taken huge margins for calculation.

Of course the Lutyen’s intellectuals wont like spending 22 thousand crore to remove 1.4 Lakh crore black money. They only like making video tapes of Rs100 bribe you gave to policeman on road. Since I have better memory than the left-liberals I recall that Modi government had a scheme to disclose black money and pay 45% tax on it. In that scheme over 65 thousand  crore was disclosed[4]. So the central government had already raised 30 thousand crore tax. Even if the it spends 22 thousand crore on demonetization, our central government will still have 8 thousand crore left.

These are all tangible and measurable benefits. I can think of at least three more intangible or hard to quantify benefits:

  1. Every note that is burnt or deemed useless(in this case 1.4 lakh crore) and is not converted into usable asset, is going to improve the value of the total usable money. Because people who do have genuine money got their money value improved. You will shortly see houses becoming more affordable.
  2. generates fear among black money holders
  3. Forces people to use more plastic money

I should also remind some of the steps taken by this government against black money because public memory is poor.

  1. SIT against corruption was the Modi cabinet’s first decision[5]
  2. Jan dhan yojna so that everyone has bank account and can do all legal transactions
  3. emphasis on Aadhar so that they can use it to exchange money today
  4. Making swiss bank account holders name public [6]
  5. GST so that direct taxes are streamlined. Payment of tax becomes easier and also trackable
  6. Scheme to disclose black money and rising 65 thousand crore
  7. and now demonetization without giving any time for black money people to hide their money

It is indeed a planned and structured fight against corruption by Modi sarkar. The government has right intentions, it has right plan and it is doing its best for execution. When it asks for little help from citizens isn’t it our duty to support the war against corruption that we so badly want to be removed from our society?

Now tell me, shouldn’t we all as Indians support this surgical strike against black money? Or is Modi the leader we need but not the leader we deserve? Are we fit only for blindly following the venom spewed by the JNU intellectuals?

[1]  gives this number at 3447B USD which is approximately 280 lakh crore INR

[2] It gives the number as 25% of GDP. Balaji vishwanathan can probably give you a better source as % of tangible wealth. I am not full-time researcher on these 🙂

[Hopefully more posts will follow under Non-JNU academic tag. This is an attempt to shift the center of power out of the Lutyen’s intellectuals and journalists]

Introspection by a young Indian

I’m sure most Indians would have heard two contradicting views about India. Firstly, the arguments claiming India to be a prosperous and well developed region (cluster of provinces) before colonization and claims to have proof for their argument. Secondly, the argument (especially foreigners) considering Indians as people who are boastful of their past arguable achievements, without having any present day significance. This contradiction made me think. Initially like everyone else I tried to find which one is the truth but soon realized that I’m missing something bigger and more important.  I started so discover a certain degree of agreement in the contradictory views. So, the soul of this post is to find the implicit fact agreed by both the proponents.

In the former argument there is a call for the Indians to not forget their roots which were apparently glorious and says that latter argument is developed by westerners (in particular by the British) to destroy our self-esteem. The latter argument just points out at our present day reality and asks for our recent contribution to the world development. If we get into verification of authenticity of either of the arguments we will be lost. We can’t deny the second argument but at the same time we can’t fall prey to it since we were indeed a slave nation under the British and we do see lack of self-esteem among Indians, who are willing to accept anything from the west and don’t like to appreciate the east. So let’s move on and check if there is any common ground in these two arguments.

Being a person who likes to define rules of the game before playing one, I want to define what is progress? Here is the way I look at it: Anything which makes us understand our universe better is progress. The only way to understand the universe better is through science. Thus my yardstick of progress is scientific progress. When we contribute to scientific progress it gives a sense of right to enjoy the modern day technological facilities or else metaphorically speaking, if we don’t contribute to science and enjoy its benefits then it is like living on other’s income by theft or robbery. Being a man with moral conscience scientific progress is the epitome of all kinds of progress which will make me proud in front of foreigners. It is the last frontier of a nation’s developmental challenge.

Now coming back to the two opposing views, one fact is accepted in both perspectives i.e., Indian contribution to scientific development (synonymous with development) in modern times is very less if not nil (thanks to CV Raman, Ramanujan, JC Bose). Major chunk of scientific work happens in America after WW2 (though CERN and some European universities continue to hold on) and before WW2 it was Europe which was the knowledge bowl of the world. So in past 400-500 years we are constantly lagging in the quest for knowledge. Whoever claims for Indian contribution inevitably goes before this period and in case they come up with some examples they will be exceptional people with a foreign institute affiliation. So where did we fail? I am forced to accept that we failed, but where?

Scientific progress asks for economic prosperity since the quest for satisfying the knowledge hunger comes only after satisfying the real hunger. India certainly had all the resources for economic development. Any simple study will reveal the reason behind huge population in India as abundance of natural resources here, apart from petroleum. Hence economic progress with men and material power must not have been a problem. But, both scientific and economic progress asks for one key factor which was completely missing in India and it is often neglected around the world. That key factor is political stability. The political instability and lack of governance not just derailed our scientific progress but also our economic and every other forms of progress. This is where our ancestors failed us. They couldn’t give political stability and protection because of lack of foresight, will, interest and presence of selfishness.

Now that I have arrived at some sort of conclusion what is more worrying for me is that we continue to commit the same mistake as that of our ancestors’. We continue our apathy and indifference towards politics. Majority of those who indeed show interest does it for personal gains or to pessimistically ridicule the developments. Politics is something which everyone must know. Irrespective of a person studying science or arts or economics, he must know politics and its implications. He must have a political ideology of his own. He must be able see through the political developments and actively participate in it. Hopefully we will realize this before it is too late.

Chaos before the Chaos theory

Engineering is not an exact science and approximation theory lies at the very heart of it. We assume and approximate a lot, and a whole branch of mathematics called numerical analysis caters to our need. For instance, in analog electronics many parameters are inter-dependent non-linearly but we approximate and bring all that down to a neat Linear model (Remember this “Linearity …..Obvious?“). Avoiding the jargon, the output current depends on various powers of the input current in a transistor but the complexity is reduced by assuming the output current to be linearly proportional to the input (Approximating, like a Boss 🙂 ). Yeah, you can do that because the error is insignificant but, what about a system where even a small deviation can result in a chaotic ending. An analogy would be better, imagine a guy standing on the hilltop as shown. If he starts at a slightly different point, he would end up below but if he is exactly at the tip, then he stays there. So even a small variation can give rise to drastically different results. This is the premise of the big subject of 20th century, Chaos theory. Understanding Chaos theory explains how butterfly’s wings might cause tiny changes in the atmosphere which can ultimately cause a tornado on the other side of the globe. An interesting story is behind the accidental discovery of this new branch of mathematics and I am going to continue with that.

un1The year was 1885, King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway declared a prize of 2500 crowns  to anyone who can once and for all establish, mathematically, if the solar system will keep working as it does today or will it suddenly shatter apart. The problem is as simple as it sounds?  No Way.  Even the great Newton, who had earlier showed that 2 bodies in space will have stable orbits, had tried and failed. The problem can be reduced to 3-body (sun, moon and the earth) but even that is a tough one; one has to deal with eighteen variables i.e. the position and velocity of each body in each of the three dimensions. The hero, also the poster boy of french mathematics then, Henri Poincaré took this challenge upon himself and started working towards this mammoth task. He invented new techniques to simplify the problem, making successive approximations to the orbits which he felt won’t affect the final outcome significantly. Eventually he couldn’t solve the problem in its entirety but he was still awarded the prize for his techniques (To all teachers and graders, do you see this? The final answer doesn’t matter, the path traversed does)

When the paper was almost ready, one of the editors realized that there was a problem. Contrary to Poincaré  assumption, even a small deviation in the initial conditions can end up in completely different and unstable orbits. This observation came as a nightmare to Poincaré who had already sent a few copies of this paper out. The silver lining though was the new subject of Chaos theory which was very important and everybody soon realized its implications.  In the end Poincaré became the key proponent of Chaos theory and even the short turmoil was eclipsed by the magnitude of this discovery. Maybe, Poincaré started with some good initial conditions 😉

The Great Indian Coalition Politics

For a country as vast and diverse as India with multi-party system is bound to have coalition politics. Everyone in India understands that only an alliance can form a government at the centre. Here I want to express my concern not at the idea of coalition politics itself but regarding the way in which alliances are being formed.

Though the need for coalition arises because of practical reasons, the need for separate parties itself is because of the fact that one party ideology differs from that of others (at least in theory). But look at the parties which have done the following deeds

  1. Aligning with National Democratic Alliance- NDA in one term and United Progressive Alliance- UPA in the next (eg. Trinmool Congress- TMC, Dravida munnetra kazhagam- DMK)
  2. Two rival parties at state level supporting same alliance at the centre (eg. Bahujan Samajwadi Party- BSP and Samajwadi Party- SP supporting UPA)
  3. Principal opposition party (eg. Janatal Das(secular)-JDS in karnataka, Nationalist Congress Part- NCP in Arunachal Pradesh) for Congress supporting them at times both at centre and state

Observing these kind of frequent changes in the stands of political parties involved in the great Indian coalition politics (similarity of this phrase with “the great Indian comedy show” is intentional), one can easily notice the reason behind these developments i.e., multi-party system of India giving way to establishment of numerous regional parties. These regional parties getting just 20-30% of votes in just one of the Indian states have started to feel that they can control the central and the state governments. DMK interference with Indian foreign affairs (https://prismoflife.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/srilankan-tamil-issue/) was probably the peak of audacity shown by a regional party.  I seriously doubt if these regional parties have any ideology and stand on various issues that is required of a political party or they are just behind power and personal gains.

You probably missed these on youtube!

When I clicked on a Youtube video shared by my friend on Facebook I didn’t know I was about to discover a whole new world on Youtube.

In case you didn’t know.. There are something called channels on Youtube (basically Youtube pages which are created by people to post their videos) and here I share 4 of my favourite channels which are excellent. Just click on these links and you will probably forget that you started here!

I never knew the ordinary numbers can be so much fun! I am sure you will fall in love with queen of mathematics number theory after watching this channel. PS: I no more consider numbers as ordinary

If you thought physics is nerdy and complicated stuff.. Here is a channel which will explain most advance physics in minutes!

If you always wondered the difference between England and Britain check this out.. All sorts of misconceptions debunked here!

Just like us you cant put Vsauce channel into a category.. He uploads videos on several scientific topics and they are simply too awesome 🙂