All posts by venkat

Always motivated by a good IT challenge, Venkat never fails to rise to the task. He is an avid Karnatic singer and Tamil poet.

Hybrid Power Plants

Anyone who has visited Tamil Nadu in the past several months would have understood what kind of living hell it is to be without power.

Most of the places in Tamil Nadu, for the past several months, go without power for as long as ten hours each day.

The TN government is aggressively going in for more Thermal Plants and Nuclear Power Plants. Hardly the sustainable answer to our problems.

The sustainable answers such as Wind, Solar have limitations and we are constantly challenging ourselves to overcome these limitations.

The hybrid power plant is one more step towards this. Will this gain wide acceptance?

Organic Farming & Sustainable Future

I recently read a very interesting article on “Organic Farming in India: Relevance, Problems and Constraints”. This is fairly dated and old about 7 years old yet most of the points mentioned in this paper are still valid and pertinent.

The document is about 95 pages long, but every bit of it is eminently readable.

Most of the “Certified” organic produce from India is exported at a very attractive price for the farmer. But a sad reflection of our Farming industry in India is that due to high input cost of Conventional farming (with Chemical fertilizer / pesticide), majority of our farmers are “By-default Organic”. However, for the only reason that they are not able to afford the certification fees, they are missing out on the bonanza they may get on the price front.  

There are various solutions to this problem and one of the solutions is a community based certification. However, since there is a big price advantage, very soon compulsions of politics, bribery and favouritism can kill the credibility of the initiative. Therefore this may be at best a limited time solution and the long term solution would be a less painful and more robust certification mechanism that is affordable / reachable by all farmers.

On a positive note, we are awakening to the fact that India was the pioneer in Sustainable farming practices. It is just a matter of time before India gets back her past pride.

Destroying the entrepreneur in you – a.k.a. killing the golden goose

In my earlier post, I had mentioned how removed we are from the original thought line the father of our nation had. Sarvodaya as the true Sustainable movement and how our economic policies have taken us in a totally diametric way.
The only way to go is to have Sustainability as a Mantra in Budget
For several years of our country’s economic was labelled as progressive and liberal. Now we seem to have hit the speed breaker suddenly. And that too while travelling at full speed.
There is a growing concern that our country’s administration has come to a standstill; economy is seeing a negative growth; people are artificially propped above poverty line by adjusting the poverty line. 
Just when you think that things cannot go any further wrong, comes this year’s budget. The Finance minister does fancy accounting. With the burgeoning expenses and keeping the Direct taxes constant, where do we go for the extra cash. Indirect taxes is the answer. 
Now the FM has gone one step ahead in his creative accounting and logic. They have started taxing on the investments. A classic case of killing the golden goose!!! 

It is a reminder to us that our fight for sustainable future is not such an easy one.

http://www.siliconindia.com/news/startups/Will-Budget-2012-Kill-Entrepreneurship-In-India-nid-109785-cid-100.html

Sarvodya – The Gandhian way of Sustainability

The word sustainability has gained currency in the past few years and is as fashionable as “Paradigm Shift” was in the last decade. We certainly need to worry that the concept of Sustainability will not share the same fate of ridicule that “Paradigm shift” suffered.
But let us not fear too much. The concept of sustainability is as old as Bharata Varsh and the vedas. It is just that we Indians have forgotten it. 
The concept of “Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu” encapsulates definition and meaning of Sustainability in four concise words. Lokah – World; Samastha – Community; Sukhino – Happiness; Bhavanthu – May there be. 
The dream of Sustainability somehow got lost in the myriad of Socialism that Independent India pursued much against the wishes and dreams of Gandhiji and other Gandhians.
Sarvodya, the Gandhian concept of sustainability, literally meant “Rising of all”. To me, Sarvodya meant providing “Dignity of living to all human beings”.
In the sixty seven years of independence, India has not been able to provide even one of the fundamental needs:
  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Education
No wonder Vinobha Bhave spewed scorn at the Planning Commission and their numerous five-yearplans. A dozen such plans later we are still struggling.
World across we have seen uprising against disparate growth. Sustainable growth has to be the answer. 
Independent India has followed Socialism in the beginning and Capitalism towards the end and both times with disastrous effect. Possibly it is time that we looked inwards for the solution. Can Sarvodya be the answer? Here is an article that does a deep-dive into the subject of Sarvodya.

mkgandhi.org/vinoba/anasakti/kantishah.htm

On the eve of this year’s Budget presentation, it is apt to publish this article. A look at what real sustainability is and what we have been missing all these years.