Li-Wi -The Future of Data Transfer

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Piyush Sharma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Wi-Fi was accidentally invented by an Australian radio astronomer in 1992. Since then Wi-Fi has revolutionized digital communication. Without it our current mobile way of life would be somewhat different. Wi-Fi currently makes up around 60% of global internet traffic. Wi-Fi has some issues also, it can be unreliable sometimes because of varying signals and since it uses radio waves to transmit data at low frequency, it can be hacked easily. The solution for all these problems is Li-Fi. It uses Light (Radio Waves) as a medium to transfer data at very high frequency. Its intensity can be modulated. Light also has a higher bandwidth means they can more capacity to transmit data. It can transmit data up to 1GBPS which is 10 times faster than Wi-Fi highest speed.

It uses light (LED or other electronic bulbs) to flicker to transmit thousands of series of data bits simultaneously and a receiver at the bottom will pick only the fluctuations to determine the possible action. In this way each light source can be used as a data junction to transfer the data at a very high speed. We don’t require any extra infrastructure for this, we already have the infrastructure in the form of lighting in our houses.

We could see very cheap light powered internet or Li-Fi everywhere in near future. This could easily lead to the Internet of Things becoming reality, a situation where all the electronic devices can communicate with each other from the mobile phone to fridge to cars etc. If Li-Fi becomes a reality, then transfer of information will no longer be an obstacle for an average user.

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Water Ration in Myusur, a far fetched dream

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The water levels in Mysuru have been at a significantly low level over a considerable period of time. The administration has the option to subsidize water and provide it as ration in view of the depleting water resources. However, the administration doesn’t plan on doing so.

The administartion was of the view that the much-talked-about scarcity and depletion were just superficial claims. After properly analysing the major reservoirs – Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini reservoir, suffcient amount of water was available to satisfy the population’s needs. The available water could meet the demand for potable water. However, the supply for irrigation canals was suspended. The decision to stop water supply for irrigation was taken after a team comprising of the Regional commisioner and Deputy commissioner of Mysuru and Mandya had properly accessed the water availability there.

Officials from the Irrigation Deptartment pointed out that there won’t be any threat to drinking water availability as there was ample water available in the dam to take care of the potable water needs till June-July. However, the need of the hour is to use water judiciously and sparingly and prevent any execessive wastage.

Mysuru’s major drinking water supply comes from the Cauvery via KRS. The river is still the primary source of water for nearly 50 per cent of the city, but a couple of years ago, parts of the city started receiving water from the Kabini dam. Mysuru had faced a severe water crisis in the summer of 2013, as the KRS water level dropped to almost nill. Even places such as Bengaluru, Mandya and Ramanagaram faced a water crisis. When the water level dropped to such a huge extent, water was pumped from the riverbed using four heavy-duty emergency pumps to ensure supply.

The problem of water availability is not limited to Mysuru. Karnataka, Mumbai, Delhi and other highly populated states of India have begun to face similar problems. Water is a scarce resource and it should be carefully utilized. Due to dense habitation of these states, the scarcity has amplified. The sources of water and the availability of usable water cannot exceed a certain level. The authorities need to be proactive in spreading awareness and ensuring proper usage of the resource. This is just the beginning of a catastrophe that can occour if things are not taken under control soon enough.

An Ocean full of Opportunities

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


“The maritime agenda will complement the ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is going on in parallel”, said the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi at the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai on 14th April 2016.

India has always been slow and ad hoc in developing infrastructure for the various seaboards it naturally has and thereby losing out on related economic opportunity they provide. Having been Chief Minister of Gujarat – a State that stands out in port development, Mr. Modi has an unmatched sense of this untapped potential. He pointed out that India’s maritime potential lies in its strategic location as it is a part of all major shipping highways.

The emphasis on maritime infrastructure has increased in the recent years and the Modi government has provided impetus to it. The ambitious Sagarmala programme intends to promote port development, improve coastal economy, modernize the ports, integrate ports with existing SEZs, and create port-based smart cities, industrial parks, and transport corridors. India has also started to collaborate with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar in establishing waterways and port infrastructure. This is inevitable as infrastructure provides the necessary push to take forward strategic ventures.

India should strengthen its maritime and costal strategy. At the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam in February, Mr. Modi had observed that the ability to reap economic benefits from the water bodies and the country’s capacity to respond to the opportnities and challenges in the maritime sector. The Indian Navy plays a pivotal role in containing piracy on the seas and is positioning itself as the security provider in the broader context of economic exchanges. The emphasis on oceanic trade is two-sided — first, securing energy and trade routes to sustain economic growth, and second, keeping a check on increasing foray by other countries into Indian waters. Indian strategic interests in the larger Indian Ocean are converging with the U.S. India, who has traditionally been defensive, is also indicative of a change in its posturing.

All in all, the future of maritime domain is infused with endless possibilities whose benefits can be repaed if expolited properly.

Election in Assam and Future of the state

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post

Sukalyan Talukdar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Out of the four states and a union territory, Assam is the only state in the Indian subcontinent where BJP has a chance to form the Government. The state is currently ruled by Congress under Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Congress is also trying their best to keep the state. They have been winning the state elections three times in row till now.

BJP has won 7 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 general elections. BJP has also won in 2015 Municipal elections by a spectacular margin.

Both the parties have formed their alliances with some of the regional parties. The BJP has forged an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodo People’s front (BPF). On the other hand, the ruling Congress may form an alliance with All India United Front (AIUDF).

The major issues in Assam right now is unemployment, floods and land erosion, lack of development, dipping agricultural production, corruption, insurgency etc. and most importantly, the sensitive issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

Banking on the particular issue of immigration itself, AGP had formed Government is Assam in 1985. Since most of the immigrants are Muslims, almost all the political parties have been playing the same card for a long time. People in Assam are also divided on this issue, while issues like unemployment and lack of investments are plaguing the state. GDP of Assam is $19520 Million which is one of the lowest in the country. Investors are not interested to invest in the state because of problems like insurgency, lack of skilled workforce and infrastructure.

But people are still divided on the issue of immigration, outsider versus the son of the soil, Hindu population versus illegal Muslim migrants. No political party is actually interested in solving this issue of immigration in the fear of losing Muslim votes.

Congress has its support base among tea garden voters, tribal groups and minorities. But Congress has failed to form a pre-poll alliance with the Muslim-dominated AIUDF, led by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal. AIUDF had managed to win three seats during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal is the Minister of State of Youth Affairs and Sports in the Modi Government. He has started his political career with All Assam Student Union. But people are saying the major battle is between Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Will we see effects of Modi wave again? For that, we will have to wait till 19th May, 2016.

Panama Papers Leak and Ethics of Tax Havens

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post

Sukalyan Talukdar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The 2.6 TB of the Panama Papers is the largest amount of leaked data till date. Around 143 politicians, their families and close associates including 12 national leaders from around the world are among the people whose names have appeared in the leaked papers.  The Russian president Vladimir Putin’s best friend – a cellist called Sergei Roldugin; Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister; Ayad Allawi, ex-interim prime minister and former vice-president of Iraq; Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine; Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt’s former president; and the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson are among national leaders with offshore wealth. Famous film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to corporates including DLF owner K P Singh and nine members of his family, and the promoters of Apollo Tyres and Indiabulls to Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, politicians like Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal, the former chief of the Delhi unit of Loksatta Party are among over 500 Indians who appeared on the leaked documents. The first news stories based on the Panama Papers were published on 3 April 2016, along with 149 of the documents themselves. The data concerned the operations and workings of some 214,000 shell companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, including the identities of shareholders and directors of the companies.

An anonymous source using the pseudonym “John Doe” made the documents available in batches to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung beginning in early 2015. The information from documents’ transactions are as far back as the 1970s. Given the scale of the leak, the newspaper enlisted the help of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which distributed the documents for investigation and analysis to some 400 journalists at 107 media organizations in 76 countries. The ICIJ promises to publish a full list of companies involved in early May 2016.

Law firms generally play a central role in offshore financial operations. Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm whose work product was leaked in the Panama papers affair, is one of the biggest in the business. Its services to its clients include incorporating and operating shell companies in friendly jurisdictions on their behalf. They can include creating “complex shell company structures” that, while legal, also allow the firm’s clients “to operate behind an often impenetrable wall of secrecy”. The leaked papers detail some of their intricate, multi-level and multi-national corporate structures.

The Republic of Panama is considered one of the most well-established pure tax havens in the Caribbean due to extensive legislation that strictly regulates the country’s offshore jurisdiction and financial services.

Offshore companies incorporated in Panama, and the owners of the companies, are exempted from any corporate taxes, withholding taxes, income tax, capital gains tax, local taxes, and estate or inheritance taxes, including gift taxes. Panama offers an additional benefit not available in many offshore tax havens: being able to conduct business within the offshore jurisdiction. However, any business conducted within the jurisdiction is subject to local taxes.

There are extensive laws in Panama to protect corporate and individual financial privacy. The names of corporate shareholders are not required to be publicly registered. Panama also has very strict banking secrecy laws. Panamanian banks are prohibited from sharing any information about offshore bank accounts or account holders. The only exception is a specific Panamanian court order in conjunction with a criminal investigation.

Panama has no tax treaties with other countries, further protecting the financial privacy of offshore banking clients who are citizens of other nations. Panama also offers the benefit of having no exchange controls. This means that for individual clients of Panama’s offshore banking, as well as for offshore business entities incorporated in Panama, there are no limits or reporting requirements on money transfers into or out of the country.

But there’s a big difference between tax evasion — illegally refusing to pay taxes, and then taking advantage of secret accounts to try to hide the money and get away with it — and tax avoidance, which is hiring clever people to find and exploit legal loopholes to minimize your tax bill. For instance, the name of Ian Cameron, the late father of British Prime Minister David Cameron, shows up in the Panama Papers. Mossack Fonseca helped him set up his investment company Blairmore Holdings (named after his family’s ancestral country estate) in the British Virgin Islands, where, marketing material assured investors, the company “will not be subject to United Kingdom corporation tax or income tax on its profits.”

This particular kind of move is perfectly legal and doesn’t even involve any secrecy. Since investment companies like Blairmore Holdings don’t own much in the way of physical assets, they can be officially located anywhere in the world and naturally choose to locate in jurisdictions where they won’t need to pay taxes.

The issue is when people uses Tax havens for money laundering by corrupt politicians of developing nations, drug lords of Latin America etc.

This leak has again raised questions over malpractices in International Tax Havens and Business ethics related to them.

100% FDI in online marketplaces:

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Debarghya Poddar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

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The government has permitted 100 per cent FDI in the marketplace format of e-commerce retailing with a view to attract more foreign investments. As per the guidelines issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on FDI in e-commerce, foreign direct investment (FDI) has not been allowed in inventory-based model of e-commerce.
At present, global e-tailer giants like Amazon and Ebay are operating online marketplaces in India while homegrown players like Flipkart and Snapdeal have foreign investments even as there were no clear FDI guidelines on various online retail models. To bring clarity, the DIPP has also come out with the definition of e-commerceinventory-based model and marketplace model. Marketplace model of e-commerce means providing of an IT platform by an e-commerce entity on a digital and electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller.

The inventory-based model of e-commerce means an e-commerce activity where inventory of goods and services is owned by e-commerce entity and is sold to consumers directly, according to the guidelines. A marketplace entity will be permitted to enter into transactions with sellers registered on its platform on business-to-business basis, DIPP said. An e-commerce firm, however, will not be permitted to sell more than 25 per cent of the sales affected through its marketplace from one vendor or their group companies. These new rules could potentially end the discount wars, much to the disappointment of consumers. This is because the rules now prohibit marketplaces from offering discounts and capping total sales originating from a group company or one vendor at 25%. This could, however, level the playing field with offline stores, which have witnessed a slump in footfalls corresponding to the increase in e-commerce.

 

 

Reference :-

http://www.thehindu.com/

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

 

Top management reshuffling at Flipkart

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Palash Sinha, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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After Mukesh Bansal’s departure from Myntra, Flipkart has also lost its mojo through the departure of the high profile Chief Product Officer Punit Soni. It comes at a time when Flipkart has seen a management overhaul following several top-level exits, including that of commerce platform head Mukesh Bansal. Since then, Flipkart’s new CEO Binny Bansal has reassigned roles of top executives across functions like engineering and supply chain.
Punit Soni was formerly Product Management Executive at Google. With an expertise in mobile technology, he was the most high-profile recruitment made by the Bengaluru-based company. He helped build products such as Ping, a chat application on the mobile app, and re-launch its mobile website, Flipkart Lite. Along with Soni, his chief of staff Niket Desai who also joined the etailer from Google has quit as well. Besides Mukesh Bansal and Soni, other executives who have quit Flipkart this year include chief business officer Ankit Nagori and Manish Maheshwari who was head of its seller marketplace and ecosystem.

With departure of these executives, Binny Bansal has assigned leadership responsibilities among several executives. Ranjan, is now head of the engineering unit across units like commerce, supply chain and advertising. Saikiran Krishnamurthy, who was hired as chief operating officer (COO). Sachin now plays a more strategic role, and Binny focuses on running the company that is in a Mexican standoff with Amazon and Snapdeal. With the recent valuation markdown by Morgan Stanley, it is no surprise that Flipkart is picky about its performers. It will definitely be interesting to watch how Flipkart shapes its business after the new management.
 

 

Reference:

http://yourstory.com/2016/04/punit-soni-leaves-flipkart/

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/flipkarts-chief-product-officer-punit-soni-a-high-profile-catch-from-silicon-valley-quits/articleshow/51809823.cms

Odd-even rule V2.0

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Palash Sinha, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government’s ‘Odd-even’ rule is back in its second innings. The odd-even rule will be applicable from today i.e. April 15 and will last till April 30. Under this scheme vehicles are allowed to run across the city based on their registration numbers. For example, if a vehicle’s registration number ends with an odd digit, it will be allowed on the road on April 15, while those ending with an even number can be driven on April 16, and so on. This odd-even concept is adopted from Beijing which employed this system in 2008 just before the summer Olympics.

Though there are several restrictions school children in uniform will be exempted from the ‘Odd-even rule’ in this second phase. Arvind Kejriwal-led govt. has exempted women from the odd-even rule in its first phase that continues to be the same this time too.

Studies say that the total amount of pollutants produced by the transport sector is less than 30 per cent and of that cars are less than 20 per cent. So, if you do the calculation, it turns out that particulate matters produced by cars may be around 7 per cent. Even if the scheme is 100 per cent successful, which is unlikely, the quantum of reduction of pollution will be roughly 2-3 per centThough the previous edition was not that successful to curb pollution to great extent, the second version will definitely try to control pollution as well as less traffic will be a respite for the Delhiites.

 

Reference:

http://www.financialexpress.com/

 

Practice Faith with Rationality

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Aditya Bhola ,MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The horrific disaster at the Puttingal Devi temple in Kerala’s Kollam district has extracted a terrible toll – some 120 dead at last count, and over 350 people injured, many in critical condition. Despite widespread speculation as to the causes of the tragedy, we don’t really know what happened, with some claiming it was a simple accident. Although it seems that the Hindu religion is more of a private affair but over a period of time they started to compete with other religions in demonstration of their piety. Almost everywhere now, temples blare out high-decibel music in the forms of bhajans, shlokas and lectures, very often at highly unsocial hours, as if one is somehow rendered holier by waking to the raucous screech of devotional songs at the crack of dawn or even earlier. Where most Hindus went to the temple to be alone with their favourite deity, today attendance is highest when the temple is the site of some public spectacle, ranging from assorted processions and rituals to the fireworks display that ignited the tragedy at the Puttingal Devi temple. Is this really necessary? I have never been a great fan of fireworks because of the dangerous way in which ordinary people handle them, and the wide array of burns, singes and unintended explosions that seem to occur every time they are used, even at Diwali. But I am utterly puzzled by their role in temples. What on earth does a sparkler or a rocket have to do with a human being’s worship of her Maker? If temples feel they have to dazzle the faithful by fireworks to retain their belief in God, then our religion has indeed come to a sorry pass. By all means Fireworks on specific occasions in an organized manner is acceptable but the kind of fireworks at Kollam is nothing but a means to satisfy self ego which is against the very principle of Hinduism.