Sunday, October 22, 2017

Quick notes: Popular again, Utility-scale solar...

  • Dynasty is popular again, if you believe the bots: A close analysis of this tweet showed that these 'bots' with a Russian, Kazakh or Indonesian characteristic were routinely re-tweeting the Congress VP's tweets.

  • When did we become so dependent on China? The Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore high-speed-rail corridor lies in limbo because the Chinese railways has failed to respond to the ministry's communiques.. Blacklist the Hans!

  • Greening of South Rajasthan:  A combination of a scientific approach and ancient traditional practices have brought about a green cover in hundreds of villages across the region. 

  • Game changer for India’s solar sector: Country’s first utility-scale solar plant with battery energy storage coming up in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. 

  • Madhu Kishwar: Taking the Sabarimala temple to court for restricting the entry of women of a certain age group is akin to meat-eaters suing vegetarian restaurants for discriminating against non-vegetarians by refusing to serve meat. Common sense response would be to say: “Go find a non-veg restaurant, of which there are plenty.” 

  • American Chefs Discover Mustard Oil: A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 found that Indians who ate mustard oil had lower incidences of heart disease, possibly because of its alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants. Pure mustard oil sold in the United States must bear a warning: “For external use only.” after the Food and Drug Administration banned its sale as a foodstuff. “The potential hazards are based on animal studies, and to my knowledge we don’t have real evidence of harm to humans.”

  • Meatless Burgers: When fake meat is better than the real thing

  • Diwali night:

  • Islam summed up in 1 pic

Thursday, October 19, 2017

absolutely superb article by sanjeev nayyar on the law-unto-themselves judiciary

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Economy should bounce back strongly in next few quarters by Prashant Jain, CIO of HDFC Mutual Fund in TOI

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

Shubh Deepavali and Best wishes for Vikram Samvat 2074. warmly sanjeev
Economy should bounce back strongly in next few quarters
By Prashant Jain 19/10/2017
The last few weeks have witnessed a lively debate about the prospects of Indian economy, equity markets and earnings. The reasons for this debate have been a slowdown in GDP growth in the last few quarters, weak earnings and equity markets that have continued to do well. This divergence between weak economic and earnings growth on the one hand and strong equity markets on the other has raised concerns around two issues — one, whether the economy is passing through challenging times and two, if markets are running ahead of earnings.
In my opinion, the observations on GDP and earnings growth are correct. But, the conclusion about equity markets is not. Sometimes what is visible is incorrect and what is invisible is correct. Let us deal with these issues one by one.

GDP growth has indeed slowed down in the last few quarters. However, it needs to be borne in mind, that the last one year has witnessed two important reforms — demonetisation and GST. These, while being very beneficial over the medium to long term, have adversely impacted growth in the last few quarters. The slowdown in growth is temporary and should not be extrapolated into the future. In fact, there are reasons to believe that the economy should bounce back strongly in the next few quarters. Monthly data for July, August and September for several parameters (see first table) already points in that direction.
The outlook for the economy over the medium to long term is actually very promising. The last few years have witnessed a spate of reforms that have improved the macro economic fundamentals of the country and future growth prospects, results of which should soon be visible. This view is driven by a likely acceleration in infra capex, affordable housing and a revival in private capex. According to recent news flow, there are reasons to be optimistic about revival of private capex in the not too distant future, primarily led by the metals sector.

Moving to earnings, the first thing to note is that corporate profitability in general, and specifically for some sectors, is cyclical. The earnings disappointment in the recent past has been mainly due to a sharp fall in profits of sectors like steel, engineering & capex and corporate banks. This, however, is all set to change. With the sharp recovery in steel and other metal prices, with the peaking of provisioning costs in corporate banks, and with a slow but steady improvement in infra capex, earnings recovery is under way and it should become increasingly evident with each passing quarter.
Last quarter's results are already pointing in that direction. In fact, corporate banks and metals that witnessed a fall in profits in Q1FY17 have reported decent profit growth in the Q1FY18, albeit on a low base.

One more related issue is that expectations in financial markets move much faster than in the real world. In the real world, it typically takes two years to build a house, one year to renovate it. But we expect economy growth to surge, NPAs to resolve, earnings to recover and much more in a few quarters. Unfortunately, to bring about changes in the real world — and more so in a large and complex country like India — takes longer.

That finally brings us to the most topical issue: Equity markets valuations.
It is commonly understood that over the long term, stock market indices in India are growing around the same rate as the nominal GDP (GDP growth + inflation) of the country. Also, it is well known that nominal GDP of India has been growing 12-16% per annum (4-9% real growth and 10-4% inflation) for several decades. This implies that when in any extended period of, say 10 years, indices grow less than nominal GDP, they tend to make up in the future by delivering higher returns.

The second table summarises the returns of the sensex in those 10-year periods (since its inception in 1979), when the returns were less than 7% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) — approximately half of long-term nominal GDP growth rate of 12-16% — and the returns of sensex for the next 10 years. It is interesting to note that, thus far, every 10-year period of below 7% CAGR of returns by the sensex was followed by a period in which the index delivered 14-19% CAGR over the next 10 years.
Currently, we are at one such instance again as CAGR of sensex in last 10 years is just 6.1%. Equity markets have lagged nominal GDP by 8% CAGR over the last 10 years and are consequently at an attractive market cap-to-GDP ratio. At this juncture, to ignore this significant underperformance of market over last 10 years compared to nominal GDP growth and to conclude that the market is overvalued based on a slowdown in GDP data and weak earnings over last few quarters is not reasonable. Even in price-to-earning (P/E) ratio terms, markets are trading near 17x FY19(estimated, or e) and 15x FY20(e), which are reasonable, especially given the low interest rates. This suggests that equity markets are not excessively valued with a medium- to long-term view.
Successful investing needs more patience than intelligence. The track record of a few mutual fund schemes over decades and the experience of those investors who have stayed invested in these funds for long periods amply demonstrates this. Even in the future, patience should be well rewarded, given the strong fundamentals and growth prospects of the economy.
Let me end this note with a thought attributed to Gautam Buddha: "If the direction is right, all you need to do is to keep walking." Hopefully, even the most ardent critic of economy or of stock markets, will agree that the direction is indeed right.
To read detailed report by Prashant Jain, see attached PDF.


sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: India cannot ignore military reforms in China ushered in by Xi Jinping+Trump’s latest mollycoddling of Pakistan defies logic+US says holds Myanmar military leaders accountable in Rohingya crisis

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

Shubh Deepavali and Best Wishes for Vikram Samvat 2074
1. India has upper hand over Pakistan by G Parthasarathy 19.10.17
SN – India must not trust the Trump admin blindly. Todays papers refer to U.S. Sec of State Rex T visiting India, Afghan, Pak and saying that U.S. will work together with Pak to fight terrorism and reduce tension on India Pak border. "We intent to work closely with India and Pakistan and we hope to ease tensions along their borders as well..Pakistan has two very troubled borders. We would like to help take the tensions down on both of those," Mr. Tillerson said.
3 India cannot ignore military reforms in China ushered in by Xi Jinping 19.10.17 by harsh pant
SN – India must give up its obsession with Pakistan esp policy makers and armed forces. Media and Public might not change but government has to.
4. Highlights of Xi's report to 19th CPC National Congress 19.10.17
5. India's review of relations with China overdue 19.10.17
'Turning its back against China, India will have to maintain a large army and purchase expensive and advanced weapons instead of cutting military spending in order to invest limited resources in economic development as China did in the early stages of its reform and opening-up.'
6. Harari: China will play a key role in the next global revolution 18.10.17
8. Testimony of destruction 19.10.17 Rohingyas
8. A possible link between Doklam and Pyongyang by rohit prasad 19.10.17
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
to unsubscribe write back

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Nawaz Sharif Indicted by Courts

Courts in Pakistan have indicted Nawaz Sharif for corruption, which may mean a possible prison term for him:

It looks like the courts are acting at the behest of the Pak Army, which is trying to throw Sharif out of power. Sharif had been positioning himself as a close business partner with China in the new China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. This would have not only positioned him for profit, but his coziness with Beijing would have allowed him an upper hand in dealing with the Pak Army. Since the Pak Army exists first and foremost to preserve its own power above all others, they found Sharif's growing power intolerable and have moved to stop it by ousting him through the courts.

It's against this backdrop that Pakistan and its army are now suddenly offering new coooperation to the United States, in order to buy cover for themselves during this backroom coup maneuver. Until and unless the United States sees through Pakistan's games, and learns to recognize Pak Army as the source of regional instability and not its solution, then the US will continue to suckered by Pakistan.

Minorities Who Are Trans-Nationalists

Regarding the piece Rajeev posted from Sanjeev Nayyar about India's courts, and just some of my broader thoughts on courts and minorityism - I wanted to note the following:

Courts/judiciaries want to protect minorities from oppression by the majority. Given the history of smaller groups being at a disadvantage to be crushed by larger majorities, there's reason to want some protections to exist. But there's also another history - a history of imperialism whereby larger/powerful groupings show up in a locality to subjugate it from outside. Laws regarding treatment of minorities have been framed without giving adequate consideration to the special type of minority who are trans-nationalists - ie. having an affinity to similar people living outside the country. In that case, the so-called "minority" is really just the tip of a larger iceberg - part of a larger whole, like the camel which has poked its nose inside a tent. Courts/judiciaries only see the nose, and think that's all there is to see. They don't see the larger camel attached to that nose, and its presence/effect.

There are genuine minorities who have no attachments outside of national borders - they are true minorities, in the truest sense of that word. But trans-nationalists who identify with a larger whole really aren't minorities at all. They continue to maintain and pursue their attachments with their larger whole, and it's the locals who aren't part of that who are at a relative disadvantage to that. It's for this reason that the minorities are able to dominate the narrative and portray local nationalists as a "big, bad majoritarians". The rise of trans-nationalism has continued to further this game.

Nationalists of different countries likewise then need to be able to reach out and coordinate with each other, in order to seize back the narrative and fend off the expansionist tendencies of trans-nationalist groups.

Quebec Bans Face Coverings for Public Services

Canada's province of Quebec has passed a law which bans those with face coverings from giving or receiving public services:

Critics are accusing the law of having been passed to target Muslims in particular.

TIllerson Calls for Ties with India to Counter China

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called for closer ties with India in order to counter China:

The United States has announces that it will provide its electromagnetic catapult technology to India for its aircraft carriers:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quick notes: Fasting craze, INS Kiltan...

Monday, October 16, 2017

morgan stanley optimistic about india

superb piece by sanjeev nayyar

judges are like marie antoinette or the queen of hearts. off with their heads! they cry. 

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nikki Haley Scuttling Iran Deal?

A report says that Nikki Haley is behind the move by the Trump Whitehouse to decertify the US deal with Iran:

Haley may also be in line to take over Rex Tillerson's job as Secretary of State down the road.

Reports Claim New Chinese Activity on Doklam Plateau

There are fresh reports of new Chinese activity on the Doklam plateau, which was the recent site of a military standoff between Indian and Chinese forces:

Pak Civil-Military Relations Fraying

There are increasing frictions between Pakistan's military rulers and the elected govt of Nawaz Sharif:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Quick notes: Missile story, Cycle sharing...

  • India's Missile Story: In autumn 1982, Kalam presented his findings to the defence minister at that time, R Venkataraman. If Kalam was a hard-driving visionary, so too was Venkataraman. Dismissing all talk of a "phased programme", he ordered all programmes to be taken up simultaneously. The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme was formally sanctioned in July 1983, and funds were pre-allocated for a 12-year period up to 1995.

    Those were heady days for the DRDO's idealistic young scientists, buoyed by the 1971 victory over Pakistan and the "peaceful nuclear experiment" of 1974. In 1972, two young IIT graduates, VK Saraswat and Avinash Chander joined the DRDO just ten days apart. They were amongst more than a hundred young scientists who joined the DRDO's missile complex after graduating from premier institutions like the IITs, and Jadhavpur University. Within three years, Saraswat was heading propulsion development, while Chander spearheaded the development of navigation and guidance systems.

    "Wherever we have worked without the option of import - be it on strategic missiles, nuclear weapons, atomic energy or the space programme - we have achieved self-reliance. In the super-secret world of electronic warfare, where import is not an option, we have built world-class systems. We should ourselves ban imports, and we will indigenise. Necessity is the mother of invention."

  • Debájit Sarkar explains: How good is LCA Tejas compared with other fighter jets in its category?

  • Urban mobility: Zoomcar launches PEDL, India's first technology enabled cycle sharing service 

  • Hydrogen is right choice as fuel for automobiles: G Madhavan Nair, former chairman of ISRO: "Lithium, you cannot throw it around. That becomes the most polluting thing. There has to be an adequate mechanism for collection and reprocessing. The availability of lithium is scarce and that's why the cost of LiBs is high. That's why I say for the long-run, one should look for (Hydrogen) fuel cell "

  • Nerdy and proud of it: The smartest Americans are heading west

  • Foreign languages not to be part of 3-language formula: Students who are keen on learning foreign languages should opt for the subject as fourth or fifth language 

  • Better to learn to code than learn English as a second language: Programming encourages students of all disciplines to be inventive and experimental: “It’s not just for the computer scientists. Creativity is in the front seat; technology is in the backseat.”

Rivals Attack Modi Over Economy

Political rivals continue to snipe at Modi over India's lack-luster economic growth data:

What I feel Modi's govt should have done is to devolve powers over key economic policies - like labor policies, minimum wage, land reform, etc - to the state and local district govts. Doing this would have allowed those state and local govts who are more boldly inclined to proceed more aggressively in reforms and thus boost national economic growth, while the state and local govts with less inclination would have been able to lag according to their preferences. This would have entailed no political backlash cost for Modi directly, as the ensuing reform decisions by various state and local govts would be on their own heads and not Modi's. It would have been a way to jump-start reforms and spur competition between various parts of India in reforming themselves faster in order to reap opportunities faster. I don't understand the purpose of keep all authority over economic policies so tightly in the hands of the Centre. When there's no political cost to doing so, and when there's plenty of benefit to be gained, then I don't see why Modi's govt hasn't proceeded in this direction.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Fwd: The "Spiritual But Not Religious" Movement: A Hindu conversation

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajiv Malhotra



The "Spiritual But Not Religious" Movement: A Hindu Conversation



Rajiv Malhotra discusses this rapidly expanding movement in the West with the head of the Himalayan Academy, a Hindu organization based in Hawaii.

They share perspectives on:


  1. What this SBNR identity means
  2. Why so many Westerners leave Judeo-Christian identities to classify themselves as SBNR.
  3. How SBNR relates to Hindu dharma
  4. Why these SNBR Westerners do not wish to call themselves Hindus.
  5. What would be a better approach to secure Westerners who like many aspects of Hinduism but do not call themselves Hindus
  6. The responsibility of Hindu teachers in this regard.
  7. The opportunities and threats Hinduism faces from the SBNR movement.​




On YouTube: CLICK


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Please watch and post your comments on Facebook/YouTube.


To help us continue this innovative and provocative alternative to mainstream media please donate to our tax-exempt foundation in USA or in India: DONATE




Rajiv Malhotra
Infinity Foundation
174 Nassau Street #400
Princeton, NJ 08542

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Fwd: IndiaFacts Weekly Newsletter IndiaFacts for 10/07/2017

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: IndiaFacts

View this email in your browser

Weekly Newsletter


In the 10/07/2017 edition:

Monthly Hindu Persecution Digest: June- August 2017

By IndiaFacts Staff on Oct 07, 2017 10:00 am

Published by IndiaFacts

Monthly digest from IndiaFacts documenting news of Hindu persecution during June to August 2017

This article Monthly Hindu Persecution Digest: June- August 2017 appeared first on IndiaFacts.

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Time is Ripe for Deeper Look at Indian Knowledge Systems

By Smrithi Adinarayanan and Varalakshmi Lakshminarayanan on Oct 05, 2017 10:15 am

Published by IndiaFacts

It is time to call for interdisciplinary explorative research across Indian knowledge systems like yoga, ayurveda and jyotisha, the benefits of which can reach a larger section of the society.

This article Time is Ripe for Deeper Look at Indian Knowledge Systems appeared first on IndiaFacts.

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What the Nobel Prize for Medicine Means for Ayurvedic Research

By G L Krishna on Oct 04, 2017 10:14 am

Published by IndiaFacts

We have a veritable treasure of sound medical observations waiting to get their biology unravelled. This unravelling would enhance both ayurveda and biology.

This article What the Nobel Prize for Medicine Means for Ayurvedic Research appeared first on IndiaFacts.

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Book Review: Aadhaar, A Biometric History of India's 12-Digit Revolution

By Abhinav Agarwal on Oct 03, 2017 10:11 am

Published by IndiaFacts

Shankkar's book is the one place to go for people wanting to understand the history of Aadhaar, and its progression from an idea, to its launch, its being sidelined, resuscitation in 2013, and its eventual adoption by the BJP in 2014.

This article Book Review: Aadhaar, A Biometric History of India's 12-Digit Revolution appeared first on IndiaFacts.

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Happy Birthday Mr Gandhi!

By Ankur Jayawant on Oct 02, 2017 09:51 am

Published by IndiaFacts

No Mr Gandhi, I cannot call you a Mahatma even by the wildest stretch of imagination. You could never go beyond pious platitudes. India is an eternal land, not formed by a mandate or signature on a piece of paper. Why then should you be called as its father?

This article Happy Birthday Mr Gandhi! appeared first on IndiaFacts.

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Quick notes: Amrita University, Fighter pilots...

  • The spiritual guru who is pushing innovation: Mata Amritanandamayi's hospital has developed protein nanomedicines for drug-resistant leukemia and nano-structured wafers to prevent recurrence of brain tumours. Amrita University developed “Amrita OceanNet” to communicate with and track fishing vessels in real time 60 km into the sea. Amrita’s researchers have also developed their own 3D printer to test printing of blood-vessels.

  • Sweeping the armed forces away: The ‘Swachh Bharat’ project has been a much-needed initiative. But surely, there can be nothing more thoughtless than an attempt to use the military as one vast force of safai karamcharis. That truly verges on the demented, to say the least. The military is motivated to make sacrifices primarily as a matter of honour, for defending one’s own or the units’ izzat, and not cleaning somebody else’s muck.

  • Country’s first three female fighter pilots: Flight Cadet Mohana Singh, resident of Khetpura village of Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, Avni Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh and Bhawna Kanth will take the responsibility as fighter pilots after couple of months.

  • Exploring on wheels: Bengaluru is soon going to see a welcome change with a system of ‘bicycles-on-rent’ in Cubbon Park.

  • Tamil culture has strong Vedic connections:

  • Yeh hai Bengal meri jaan:

  • Done deal for Swedish firm Saab? IAF planes flying Gripen formation sparks speculation..

    Reader Kautilya comments: If the Gripen is indeed selected, the IAF will earn itself the dubious distinction of not supporting an indigenous aircraft (HAL Marut) for lack of indigenous jet engines but selecting an aircraft from a foreign vendor who cannot provide jet engines.

  • Making in India already, say telecom gear makers: Nokia manufactures all the radio equipment for local customer requirements in India. Similarly, Swedish telecom giant Ericsson said it was the first to start manufacturing telecom equipment in India in 1994.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Fwd: China diverts 10 billion cubic meters of water from south to the north+Can India protect Rohingyas asks SC+ Naval Chief Lamba visit to Vietnam

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

Did you know that Fali Nariman is a refugee from British Burma. Can a Parsi be compared to Rohingyas? What is the population of Paris in India today? About 75k. The number of Rohingyas surely exceeds 40k, could perhaps be closet to 50k now.
3. Put three heads together by G Parthasarathy 5.10.17
The animosity of the army, which dominates national life in Myanmar, toward the Rohingya has increased ever since sections of Rohingya formed armed groups to wage an ill-advised armed struggle after indoctrination in Pakistan. The Myanmar army has continuously battled 22 ethnic insurgencies in the country on its borders with China and Thailand. But seldom, if ever, has the army undertaken the sort of scorched earth policy it has adopted against the Rohingya. And never has the Buddhist clergy reacted so strongly, as in what has transpired in Rakhine, after recent coordinated cross-border attacks on police posts and the army by the Rohingya Solidarity Army.'
Myanmar has a crucial role in supplementing our efforts to deal with insurgencies backed by Pakistan and China in our landlocked Northeastern states, notably Manipur and Nagaland. India is currently building the Kaladan corridor, linking Northeastern states across the Rakhine state with the Bay of Bengal, through the deep-water Sittwe Port in Myanmar. New Delhi has just completed the construction of the port. India has also pledged resources for the development of Rakhine, in an effort that will be helpful in addressing Rohingya grievances. These are crucial projects strategically as they are located alongside a massive Chinese transportation/energy corridor, linking China's Yunnan province with Myanmar's Bay of Bengal Port of Kyaukpyu
4. $ 1 billion for nuke power plant in Bangladesh 5.10.17
Q What is the value of Line of Credit extended by India to Myanmar in the last 5 years and how does it compare with Bangladesh?
5.  China diverts 10 billion cubic meters of water from south to the north 4.10.17
6. FICV Tangle – needs early resolution 5.10.17 by lt gen prakash katoch
7. Gathering clouds over West Asia 5.10.17 by shashank joshi
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
to unsubscribe write back

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