Boosting solar usage in India

Today one of the TV programs was highlighting the importance of Solar Power in India. Meerwada, a small village in Madhya Pradesh is one of first villages to completely operate with Solar Power for their household activities. The power is round the clock. This is a motivating factor to rest of India to use solar power. What made it more inspiring is that the monthly electricity bill for each household is Rs. 75/- that was equal to the Kerosene consumption for the lighting lamps before. A point to note is that the electricity bill is also not subsidized.  A California-based solar power service company has chosen 150 villages to light them up with Solar power.

Solar plant

 

(image copied from treehugger)

At the same time, many places in Gujarat and Rajasthan are also successful in implementing these solar powered models. A small solar plant and the own people of Village manage it.

PM’s decision of spending 1500 crores two days back is quite a good one to cherish. 40% of India’s population has no access to reliable electricity. This should be of great good for those people. The amount will boost the use of solar power, building ultra-modern solar power plants. Also this helps in powering farm irrigation pumps, and to lay solar panels across the banks of canals. Based on the technology used, a typical 1MW power plant that can cater the needs of nearly 1000 homes, needs 5-6 Acers of land and the plant has life time is 25 years.

Also the decision to double the tax on Coal producers is an indication to incline the investments towards renewable energies.

How far Bullet Train is feasible in India

Though, the high-speed train proposition has been initiated by Mr. Lalu Prasad in 2008, the then Railway minister, it seems that current government looks anxious in completing the project. Lalu has proposed Mumbai Ahmedabad as one of the high-speed rail corridor with 160-200KMPH. But Modi’s govt is making it a full speed corridor with the speed of 300KMPH in line with Japan’s bullet trains.

BulletTrain

 

(image taken from hdnux website)

Bullet train is obviously a sign of growth for Railways. Well, with most of benefits like less travelling time and high-end infrastructure and other amenities like Wifi etc, there comes lot of questions and risks involved in building the project.

  • Reaching the common man: With the commercials mentioned below, it is evident that the travel in bullet train is not for common man. With the recent hike in railway charges, and reducing passenger subsidies even to the poor, it may not be wise to set up a bullet train where fares have to be subsidised.
  • Feasibility of the project commercials: Critics question the creation of 60,000 crore project when Railways are short of money. The Rs.60,000 crore project has to earn a minimum surplus of 6,000 Crore, annually to service debts and the capital.  To generate profit of 6,000 Crore annually, with an estimate of 10 lakh passengers (no. as per Railway info) travelling in the corridor, the annual servicing cost of the investment would have to be Rs. 60,000 per journey. Experts feel this math is nearly impossible.
  • Land acquisition: A huge amount of land should be acquired and it may take up to 5 years as per experts. The cost of project will be increased for every passing day. The bullet train runs in a populated line where land acquisition rate will be high.
  • One more point to note is with respect to bullet trains in China: except the Beijing and Shanghai line, rest all bullet train facilities are operating in losses for years. We should be cautious and learn not to repeat the mistakes they did.

Having said, all these, government would have considered all these challenges and hence let us wish and wait to see how our government will overcome these.

Overcome immediate hurdles in IT industry

With the new economic activities in US, there has been a growth in jobs in US, at the same time more work offshored to India. Also the positive sentiment is shown in Britain and Europe that in turn helps India in getting more work. A global economic recovery is good news for those who are relying on the IT budgets. Even the Software product development companies are also benefited with this trend. These all looks like a positive trend in the IT industry.

IT-industry-bcbay

(image taken from trackworks website)

But, there are two main reasons that are having a negative impact on the growth of IT industry in a short term. It is majorly on the decreased margins or the increased costs with relatively less increase in topline.

  • The annual pay raise to its employees
  • Higher visa costs for the employees in the customer locations

Solution: The way the margins can be increased is by:

  • Automation of routine tasks, so that increases in staff productivity will stay ahead of costs
  • Indian IT companies should gain confidence of the clients’ core activities such as research and development areas so that those core activities can also be offshored, increasing the work that can be offshored.

There is a very possibility that Indian IT companies can cope up with the margins, but as mentioned, it may be difficult to have it done in the first quarter.