Friday, March 9, 2018

Temporal Analysis of Cape Town Drought

Cape Town is running out of water. After three years of intense drought, South Africa’s second-largest city is just a few months away from “Day Zero,” the day when the city government will shut off water taps for most homes and businesses.
The impacts of such a shutdown will be devastating. Citizens will have to wait in long lines at state-managed distribution points to receive a mere 25 liters of water per day, less than half the water needed for one average shower. Experts are already warning of public health concerns like poor sanitation leading to faster spreading of dangerous diseases, especially for the city’s poorest residents, and forecasting that pipes may crack from dry conditions, endangering future water distribution if and when the drought ends. The Western Cape Premier has warned that “normal policing will be entirely inadequate” to manage the chaos that could ensue.   
Although this instance is one of the most extreme, Cape Town is not the only city to suffer from intense water scarcity in recent years. From São Paulo to Los Angeles, cities around the world have made headlines due to severe droughts intensified by climate change and exacerbated by poor water management.

The loss of water can be seen most clearly with Cape Town’s biggest dam, Theewaterskloof. The reservoir now holds only 12 percent of its original capacity.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ISRO launched a record 104 satellites using a single rocket.

The satellites from seven countries were carried by the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on its 38th consecutive successful flight.
The mission reinforces India’s emerging reputation as a reliable and cost-effective option for launching satellites. In 2014, ISRO put a satellite into the orbit of Mars, becoming the first Asian country to reach the red planet at fraction of the cost of a similar launch in U.S. and Europe.
It first released its main cargo, ISRO’s 714 kilogram Cartosat-2 series satellite, which will be used for earth observation. It then released two smaller ISRO satellites, followed by the remaining 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and 96 from the U.S. As many as 88 of the nano satellites belonged to U.S.-based company Planet Inc.
ISRO said the satellites went into orbit 506 kilometers from earth, inclined at an angle of 97.46 degrees to the equator–very close to the intended orbit–after a flight of nearly 17 minutes. In the subsequent 12 minutes, all 104 satellites were successfully separated from the rocket in sequence, it said.
After separation, the two solar panels of ISRO’s Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed and the space agency’s command center in Bangalore took control. In the coming days, the satellite will begin to provide start sending back black and white, and color pictures, ISRO said.
ISRO has now put 226 satellites into orbit, including 180 from foreign nations. The global space industry was estimated to be worth $323 billion in 2015, the latest year for which data are available, according to the Space Foundation, a U.S.-based research group. Commercial space business comprised as much as 76% of the industry.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Revenues from Geospatial Analytics industry to top $72.21 Billion in 2020

According to a new market research report  published by Marketsandmarketsthe Geospatial Analytics Market is expected to grow from USD 27.42 billion in 2015 to USD 72.21 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 21.4% from 2015 to 2020. 
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GIS technology to play a key role in the geospatial analytics market
GIS technology has given a significant boost to the geospatial analytics market due to developments in several trends, such as increase in the amount of geospatial information gathered through smartphones, GPS devices, and social media, among others. An increase in the accuracy of data gathered; advancements in hardware technologies, are additional factors influencing the demand of GIS technology.
Business vertical holds the largest share in the Geospatial Analytics Market
The business vertical holds the largest market share among all the verticals. This large share is attributed to the increasing deployment of geospatial technologies in verticals, such as retail, manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, and so on. In retail, GIS technology is used to discover the best possible site for the location of a new shopping mall.
Europe emerged as the leading region in terms of adoption and implementation of geospatial services
Europe accounted for the largest share in the global geospatial analytics market in 2015. This high market share is mainly attributed to huge investments made in the field of geospatial analytics by key players in European countries.
Major players of the geospatial analytics market covered in the report include Trimble Navigation, Ltd., Hexagon AB, General Electric, RMSI, Bentley Systems, Inc., ESRI, MDA Corporation, Fugro N.V., Harris Corporation, and WS Atkins Plc. Some of the other players are TomTom, Digital Globe, Critigen, AAM, and Nokia.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Restructuring loan without Discoms Business Process Re-engineering is a doomed Idea

With a three-year government rescue package coming to a close, the highly indebted state of Rajasthan is getting tough - it's demanding farmers start paying for their electricity.

In a country where rural communities have become used to free power, the state that is home to some 70 million is tasking private firms with running power distribution in its big cities as it tries to recoup what it's owed.

Restructured power distribution debts alone amount to a quarter of Indian banks' problematic loans, and Rajasthan's state-run utilities owe about Rs 61,000 crore, with some Rs 3,000 crore due by end-March. While Rajasthan dropped an earlier plan to actually raise existing tariffs after opposition from farmers.

With these debt levels echoed across the country, Indian states have little choice but to find ways, extreme or otherwise, to face up to a long-ignored problem. Bad debts aren't just threatening banks - with electricity utilities central to the problem, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's electoral promise of power for all could be jeopardised.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) warned in June that the risk of states failing to repay loans on time was "very high", as a three-year rescue package launched in 2012 comes to an end - the source of Rajasthan's urgency on collecting fees for electricity. And the central government has identified the power utility sector as critical to solving banks' bad debt problems.

States who cannot pay banks what they owe over the next few years could be forced to turn to the central government for help, putting pressure on India's consolidated fiscal deficit. The centre has ruled out a rescue package along the lines of the 2012 scheme launched under the previous government.

The responsibility under the federal system for reform lies with states - all with different appetites for change, and for pursuing villagers who fail to pay.

Decades of mismanagement and political meddling have left utilities selling electricity below cost and turning a blind eye to rampant theft. The result is state distributors are sitting on $66 billion (nearly Rs 4.38 lakh crore) worth of debt, according to rating agency CRISIL, double the level four years ago.

Rajasthan's drive to collect payments from farmers and call in private firms to help run power distribution replicates reforms made a decade ago in PM Modi's home state of Gujarat. Distributors there are now largely profitable, and power is reliably available across most of the state.

But reform has proved tough and not all states are willing to take difficult steps. In largely agricultural Uttar Pradesh, farmers pay a fixed fee for unlimited power, equating to about one rupee per unit of electricity, a sixth of the generation cost. The state power company's finance director says it has no plans to raise prices to close that gap.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will be soon launching Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS).He would launch the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), a flagship project of his government which aims at strengthening sub transmission and distribution network in the city along with 100 per cent metering facility. 

The IPDS is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Power and will be at the core attempt to ensure 24x7 power for all. The Scheme, announced in the Union Budget 2014-15, aims at strengthening of sub-transmission network, Metering, IT application, Customer Care Services, provisioning of solar panels and the completion of the ongoing works of the Part -A of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and completion of the Reforms Programme (R-APDRP). R-APDRP has now been subsumed in IPDS and the program would be extending to smaller towns as well. The focus of IPDS is strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network, metering of distribution transformers /feeders /consumers and IT-enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network in the urban areas.
Government of India will provide budgetary support of Rs. 45,800 crore over the entire implementation period of IPDS. Out of the total amount Rs 1,067 crore has been sanctioned for Uttar Pradesh including Rs 572 crore for Varanasi. The Project envisages converting area overhead lines into underground cabling in the areas around the temples and ghats in the Varanasi city. The Scheme includes upgradation of the electrical assets at Sub – centers, lines and distribution transformers, capacity enhancement and renewal of the old sub – stations and installation of roof-top solar panel in government buildings. IPDS will help in reduction in AT&C losses; establishment of IT enabled energy accounting / auditing system, improvement in billed energy based on metered consumption and improvement in collection efficiency.
The Scheme is being launched from Varanasi for which Rs 574 crore has been allocated. The sector’s key financier Power Finance Corporation would prepare the detailed project report (DPR). The state government would then either bid the project or nominate agencies to execute the same as per the DPR.
The following are major differences between IPDS and earlier schemes for urban distribution sector:
a. Unlike earlier distribution scheme for distribution strengthening like R-APDRP which was limited to towns with 30000 or more population (10000 or more for special category states) as per Census 2001 IPDS covers the complete urban area of distribution utilities.
b. Unlike R-APDRP scheme , where conversion of loan into grant was extended upto 50% maximum and 90% max (for spl cat states) subject to reduction in AT&C loss , IPDS provides 75% max ( 90% max for spl category states) (incl 60% upfront ( 85% for spl cat states) with additional grant linked to achievement of milestones prescribed under the scheme.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book Review: Recovery from Indian Ocean Tsunami: A 10 year journey

10 years back in 2004, 26th of December, the Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated several countries in Asia, and the impacts also reached to East Africa. Over last 10 years, lots of innovations were made in different aspects of disaster risk reduction. The book has 31 chapters, drawing lessons from four countries: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. There are five sections: Overview (10 chapters), Indonesia (8 chapters), India (6 chapters), Sri Lanka (5 chapters), and Thailand (2 chapters).
One of the chapter that deals with the role of IT & GI Services in Emergency Response Management is authored by me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

India Wants To Build Massive Digital Infrastructure To Cover 800 Million Rural Citizens by 2019

A $17-billion government program to build a national optical fiber network that will connect India’s gram panchayats, or village-level governments, aims to cover the entire country in three years and could be a game changer, an Indian minister told Forbes.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of communications and IT, and the head of the advisory group which supervises the implementation of the Digital India program, as it is called, said the program was approved by the Indian cabinet last month, and aims to cover 50,000 gram panchayats this year, 100,000 next year and the remaining 100,000 the following year. India’s 600,000 villages where over 800 million live, are administered by these local self-governments. “The entire country will be covered by broadband within three years and the internet will reach the remotest villages,” Prasad said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who steered the Digital India policy, is personally overseeing the project to ensure deadlines are met, he said. 

The program would rapidly drive internet usage in India and boost the economy. “India is sitting at the cusp of a huge digital revolution,” said Prasad.

“Something big is unfolding,” said Hemant Joshi, partner at advisory firm, Deloitte Haskins & Sells. But the Digital India program is not without challenges, experts said. Finding the financial resources and meeting program deadlines could be foremost among those. India’s structure where governments ruling the country and the states are sometimes led by different political parties could throw up additional complications, Joshi said. There is also the matter of ‘right of way’ when laying thousands of miles of fiber optic cable.
The government plans to hire at least 10 CIOs to oversee the Digital India program in key ministries, and create four other senior positions for dealing with adoption of standards and security aspects.

The government will create an enabling platform that will aid in delivering government services to citizens as well as services in education, healthcare, entertainment and e-commerce. “Public services like land records and caste certificates will be made available online on demand online,” Prasad said. In conjunction with state governments, 20-hour e-literacy training programs in local languages will be conducted in 200,000 community service centers across the country.