“Can India reach new heights in space research with the successful launch of Chandrayaan 2?”

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 Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

——————————————————————————————————————————

On 56th Independence Day, August 15 2003, our Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced that “Our country is now ready to fly high in the field of science. I am pleased to announce that India will send her own spacecraft to the moon by 2008. It is being named Chandrayaan-1”.

Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization in October 2008, and was operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. The mission was a success and made India to stand along with the top advanced countries in space research like US, Russia etc.

Now India wanted to explore its potential further by launching Chandrayaan 2. The Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. It consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover configuration. The Orbiter carries the combined stack up to moon till the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI). The combined stack is then inserted into a lunar orbit of 100 km x 100 km. The Lander is separated from the Orbiter in this orbit.

The Orbiter with scientific payloads will orbit around the moon. The Lander will soft land on the Moon at a specified site and deploy the Rover. The scientific payloads on board the Orbiter, Lander and Rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.

During 2010, it was agreed that Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS would be responsible for lunar Lander and ISRO will be responsible for Orbiter and Rover as well as Launch by GSLV. Later, due to a shift in the programmatic alignment of this mission, it was decided that the Lunar Lander development would be done by ISRO and Chandrayaan-2 will be totally an Indian mission taking a little help from the NASA.

We can expect that if the Chandrayaan 2 is a success then India will be above par in comparison with the other countries in relation to space research and can achieve new heights in the near future.

Advertisements

“Can chatbots replace apps in future?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

The Apps era has led to a massive change in the usage of smartphone. Many Smartphone Users feel that the apps have made their life easier to live. But there has been a change in the way we perceive things and Facebook had brought this change by launching chatbots in the messenger.

The bot era has officially begun. Facebook had announced tools for developers to build bots inside Facebook Messenger, bringing a range of new functions to the popular communication app. Facebook believes Messenger can become a primary channel for businesses to interact with their customers, replacing 1-800 numbers with a mix of artificial intelligence and human intervention. If it really works then bots could represent a major new channel for commerce, customer support, and possibly even media and also can be expected to replace apps in future.

The Facebook had already started using the bots with a few partners like Uber, Lyft and KLM, but the latest announcement means that a lot more businesses are about to join the party. One might expect that the bots developed are for customer support or tracking online orders although it can certainly be used for that too but these chatbots are targeted to offer services that range from delivering top news stories to the local weather. The two of its launch partners are a CNN news bot and Poncho, a weather bot that masquerades as a friendly cat.

The question now arises is how to find them. First, you have to download the latest version of Messenger — it should be available on both Android and iOS. Once you launch the app, you’ll find that there’s now a persistent search bar at the top. Tap it and you can start searching for your bot of choice. Once you select a bot, you’ll see a splash page along with a description of what the bot does. Underneath is a “Get started” button. Hit that and the bot will start talking to you.

The tools announced at the company’s F8 developer conference include an API that allows developers to build chat bots for Messenger and chat widgets for the web. Facebook is not the first company to release a bot store for its messaging app. There is a bot store on Telegram and on Kik, which opened its store just last week before this conference. What mainly distinguishes the Facebook’s Store is the amount of scale i.e., more than 900 million people use Messenger every month, dwarfing most of its competitors. For millions of people, Messenger could be the first place they ever encounter a chat bot. And if people embrace bots in large numbers, it could trigger the biggest gold rush in software development since Apple opened the App Store.

Microsoft is already making a substantial move on bots. It had announced its own bot platform during its Build developer conference. Over $80 million has been allocated to spur the development of bots and other utilities that run inside the service.

This shows that in the future the bots play a crucial role in our life similar to the apps playing now in our life. Thanks to the development in technology, we can expect that the chatbots will replace the apps in a smartphone in future because of their comfort in use.

“Augmented Reality – a real life experience in digital world: Can it be our future?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

It can be said that the augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. Augmented reality blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. Augmented reality is a bit closer to the real world and adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists.

Augmented reality apps are written in special 3-Dimensional programs that allow the developer to tie animation or contextual digital information in the computer program to an augmented reality “marker” in the real world. When a computing device’s Augmented Reality app or browser plug-in receives digital information from a known marker, it begins to execute the marker’s code and layer the correct image or images. Augmented Reality applications for smartphones typically include global positioning system (GPS) to pinpoint the user’s location and its compass to detect device orientation. Sophisticated Augmented Reality programs used by the military for training may include machine vision, object recognition and gesture recognition technologies.

The latest usage of the augmented reality is the SixthSense augmented reality system which allows you to project a phone pad onto your hand and phone a friend without removing the phone from your pocket. The Google glass can also be considered as an aspect of implementing augmented reality where the Google glass is a wearable computer that responds to your touch and voice commands.

Recently, in the 10 year laid out plan of Facebook, even CEO Mark Zuckerberg is concentrating on the implementation of the Augmented Reality where he mentioned that today to show Facebook photos to friends, we whip out our tiny phones but in the future he mentioned that we can simply unfurl a digital screen of unlimited size.

Once implementation of the augmented reality is a success then the future can be expected to be bright because of the thrilling experience and its vast uses in many fields. Hence, we can look forward that the augmented reality can be our future where users can feel the real life experience in the digital world.

“Can the low cost Electric Car be the best car for Masses?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

———————————————————————————————————————————

After 10 years of waiting, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk has revealed the Model 3 which he hopes will take the electric car to the masses. Even the CEO has confirmed that the base car will do 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and the car will deliver at least 215 miles up on single charge, but Teals hopes to exceed those numbers in the final car. It can be observed that the Model 3 also supports Tesla’s high-speed Supercharging network which enables it to charge instantly. It can be seen that the Autopilot hardware is standard, and all safety features will be active automatically. Considering the seating arrangement, it can accommodate five adults to fit in comfortably.

The two current Tesla vehicles, the Model S and Model X, are both extremely expensive. Even with tax incentives, both cars easily cost up to $100,000 which cannot be purchased by the normal people apart from a niche market. So in order for Tesla to sell ten times as many cars as it does now, it came up with a much cheaper automobile, the Model 3 which costs around $35,000. It can be considered as the future of the company since it is targeting a large number of people.

The Tesla Motors Co. had secured about 180,000 reservations during the first day of ordering for the Model 3 but the car would be available on sale at the end of next year i.e., 2017. Even the Chief Executive Elon Musk referred this small electric car as the capstone of a “secret master plan” that was crafted years ago to popularize electric cars.

Tesla’s new car will hit the market as its bigger rivals begin to launch cars that could more directly compete. General Motors Co. aims to launch an electric small car, Chevy Bolt later this year, capable of 200 miles on a charge and a price, after tax incentives, of around $30,000 and Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand is planning an electric sport utility which can capture the market targeted by the Tesla People. This shows that the market for the electric cars can be estimated to increase in the future and these electric cars can be the future of the automobile industry and can be the best suited car for many people.

“Can Solar panels in a smartphone screen be a solution for battery crisis?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Today’s world cannot be imagined without smartphones in our lives. The smartphone supports vast applications which decreases its battery life as we use it and we need to charge the mobile daily which is very cumbersome. There are many companies who are trying hard to find innovative solutions to this battery crises and some have also developed the solar cell phone charger which uses solar panels to charge cell phone batteries, but this did not address the issue completely.

At the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Kyocera Group had showed a prototype which provides a solution for the battery life problem by incorporating solar power technology into the smartphone touchscreen. According to a Smithsonian magazine report, Kyocera had developed this technology in partnership with SunPartner Technologies where they have installed this on a Torque smartphone prototype, which was mainly designed for the outdoor use. The smartphone prototype features a display with a Wysips Crystal layer for harnessing power from the sun’s rays.

The Component that captures sunlight called Wysips Crystal is a power generating display layer which is connected to a chip that manages and converts solar energy into power that can be stored in the device’s battery. This component can be installed below the touchscreen panel of the smartphone, so that it does not affect the user experience. This technology presently may not be strong enough to replace the plug-and-charge smartphone battery, but the users can access apps and information on their phones for at least a brief period after the battery has completely died which is very crucial during emergency situations.

While today’s high-powered smartphones won’t likely be able to be self-sufficient on solar power alone but lower power devices like e-readers and more basic phones could go charger free with this king of technology. The Wysips Crystal technology can currently generate up to 2.5 milliwatts of power per square centimeters in “typical sunlight conditions”. According to the company report, it had been observed that 10 minutes of exposure to sunlight could generate 100 minutes of standby use and about two minutes of talk time to a smartphone’s battery.

The best selling point for those who use rugged phones in the field is that the solar power layer can essentially offset the battery drain caused by searching for a network in more remote areas and allow for a reserve of power for emergency calls.

“Can 100% FDI in multi-brand processed food retailing help farmers in India?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Food processing industry in India has gained prominence in the recent years and is poised to attain greater heights. This sector serves as a vital link between the agriculture and industrial segments of the economy, which needs to be strengthened in the future in order prevent the wastage of valuable resources.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an international financial flow with the intention of controlling or participating in the management of an enterprise in a foreign country. FDI in the food retail sector can expand markets by reducing transaction and transformation costs of business through adoption of advanced supply chain and benefit consumers and suppliers i.e. the farmers. India being the second most populated country in the world, has immense scope for retail expansion as along with time, urbanization and consumerism has also been increasing.

The likely changes in the food industry are Technology transfers, Harmonization, Mergers and Acquisitions, Public-Private Partnerships, Expansion into other segments like food packaging industry, storage industry and transportation industry etc., Employment generation and Training and Development.

As our Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed in his budget speech that “Hundred per cent FDI will be allowed through FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India.”

The 100% FDI in food retailing can help farmers to get remunerative prices for their products, transfer of technology and modern agricultural practices required for producing agricultural produce on a large scale to meet the requirements of organized marketing. Also, 100% FDI can contribute to bring in higher efficiency in food processing industry and trade, which can make our food products more competitive in the international markets.

Many states will also benefit from this initiative. Consider for example, Kerala is a significant producer of pineapple, banana and jack fruit but majority of it are now going unprocessed. It is because the market is dominated by the non-brand players and with the implementation of this initiative many international brands like Lays can purchase fruits from these farmers and use them for launching new products which will affect the local players but is good for the economy in the long run.

The international players like Walmart can have big advantage as they are currently operating wholesale stores in India. The president and chief executive of Walmart India has pointed out that the move is “very progressive and will help in reducing wastage, helping farm diversification and encourage industry to produce locally within the country.”

This initiative can have a minor disadvantage of neglecting the local players but can cater to a huge advantage of increasing the productivity and contributing to the economic development of the farmers which outweighs the disadvantages and can be a huge success.

“Can Eagle-360 be a break through for the Autonomous Cars?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

An autonomous car which is also known as a driver-less car or self-driving car or robotic car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Autonomous vehicles detect surroundings using radar, lidar, GPS, Odometry, and computer vision. With the development of technology, the growth of automobile industry has been constantly rising which has led to the development of autonomous cars from automobiles.

At the 86th Geneva International Motor show, Goodyear tire and rubber company introduced two concept tires designed for the autonomous cars of tomorrow which includes a spherical tire that allows cars to drive sideways and one that can sense road conditions and adapt according to them. The ‘Eagle-360’ concept was designed with key features of maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry for autonomous mobility. Together with ‘Intelligrip’ which features advanced sensors and checking of wear and tear of the tires, Goodyear believes that this concept will be adopted soon into autonomous driving vehicles.

The spherical tire is linked to the car through magnetic levitation rather than axles which allows it to rotate on any axis in any direction. The multi-orientation of the spherical-shaped tire contributes to the safety of the passengers, as well as checking with the space limitations in the urban environments where parking is tight. The embedded sensors of the ‘eagle-360’ further increase safety by communicating road and weather conditions to the vehicle’s control system and other nearby cars. It would also monitor tread and tire pressure to evenly regulate damage of the 360 degree tire to extend serviceability.

The tread of the tires is designed with a 3D-printed biomimetic design which imitates the pattern of brain coral. The Goodyear tells that this allows the tread to act like a natural sponge, so it stiffens in dry conditions and softens in the wet to reduce aquaplaning and improve handling.

From the words of Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technical officer “By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road,” we can say that the tires are very important for future autonomous cars.

Goodyear’s concept tires play a dual role in the future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and as test beds for next-generation technologies. Once this concept has been successfully implemented this would completely change the automobile industry paving a new direction towards the autonomous cars in the future.

“Is failure really a step towards success? – it’s true proved by Google’s research and development lab X?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

——————————————————————————————————————–

At the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver the head of Google’s research and development lab X, Astro Teller had spoken about the projects that have failed.

The technology giant has considered building air cargo ships and vast vertical farms but later rejected them. Mr. Teller has revealed that at X, dreams were big but failure was a key part of any project. X which has been described as the Google’s “moon shot” factory, which has launched many successful projects including Google’s driverless car program and Project Loon which is an attempt to use balloons to deliver internet to places that have been traditionally cut off from access.

He revealed that the formula for deciding which projects to pursue was a simple one as he described that they will concentrate on a huge problem that affects millions of people, propose a radical solution and look for a breakthrough technology that can solve it.

Vertical farms

Projects that were left on the cutting room floor have included plans to build vertical farms. Hydroponic farming, in which crops are grown indoors in boxes stacked on top of each other with no need for soil, is seen as a solution for an increasingly urban world population living in crowded cities with little space for land.

We made progress on many of the issues like automated harvesting and efficient lighting but in the end we couldn’t get staple crops like grains and rice to grow this way, so we killed the project.

Others are ploughing ahead with vertical farming. Chicago-based FarmedHere plans to open a $23m (£16m) vertical farm in West Louisville while Japanese firm Fujitsu sells the produce it makes to hospitals, supermarkets and hotels.

Cargo airships

The second project that Mr. Teller revealed that had been ditched later was a plan to build lighter-than-air cargo ships. That was dropped when the team working on it decided that it would cost too much to build a prototype. He said that “You can’t spend $200 million on the first data point of a project”.

Mr. Teller told that the Project Loon is perhaps one of the X’s most outlandish ideas but has been a steep learning curve as he mentioned that “We made round, silvery balloons, we made pillow balloons. We basically burst a lot of balloons”. But, he added Project Loon now appears as a viable solution to the digital divide. He predicted that balloon-based net services along with other technologies would connect the rest of the world in the “next five to ten years”. He also added that this will change the world in ways that we can’t imagine.

Mr. Teller told the audience that Failure is hugely important at X.  He added that “The only way to get people to work on big, risky things – audacious ideas – is to make it safe to fail”.

We can conclude that from Mr. Teller’s words that Failure is indeed a Step towards Success.

“What is happening with the Whole Sale Price Index?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

———————————————————–

The Wholesale Price Index is an index that measures and tracks the changes in price of goods in the stages before the retail level. Wholesale price indexes (WPIs) report monthly to show the average price changes of goods sold in bulk, and they are a group of the indicators that follow growth in the economy. The Wholesale Price Index is an easy and convenient method to calculate inflation. Inflation rate is the difference between Wholesale Price Index calculated at the beginning and the end of a year. The percentage increase in Wholesale Price Index over a year gives the rate of inflation for that year.

The wholesale price index- based inflation rate has been rising for the last four months but now it had contracted to – 0.9 per cent in January on account of lower prices of food articles, especially vegetables and pulses. The wholesale price index inflation rate has been negative for a straight fifteenth month. Wholesale inflation rate was -0.73 per cent in December and -0.95 per cent in January last year. The November wholesale price index inflation has been revised to -2.04 per cent from the provisional estimate of – 1.99 per cent. Food inflation eased to 6.02 per cent in January from 8.17 per cent in December, with vegetables inflation at 12.52 per cent in January against 20.56 per cent a month ago.

As explained by Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (ICRA)’s senior economist Aditi Nayar “The January 2016 Wholesale Price Index inflation is in line with our expectations. We anticipate that Wholesale Price Index inflation will print a tad below zero in February 2016 barring a sizable uptick in crude oil prices in the rest of this month”.

When the Inflation is negative the industry had expressed hope that the prolonged period of benign inflation would induce the Reserve Bank of India to chip in with further easing of the monetary policy to revive growth but the Reserve Bank of India will use the consumer price inflation for consideration which surprisingly surged up to 5.69 per cent in January.

This divergence in consumer price inflation and wholesale price inflation was largely driven by the prices for pulses shooting up in January which have the inflation moderated to 44.91 per cent in January from 55.64 per cent a month ago.

 

Sources: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/wpi-inflation-remains-in-negative-zone-for-the-15th-straight-month-in-january/

“Can new initiatives create more jobs in India?”

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.

N Adarsh Varma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

—————————————————————————————

The Prime Minister of India, Sri. Narendra Modi has taken initiatives to boost India’s Economic Growth by building Smart Cities, by reducing travel time between cities by proposing Bullet Trains, by transforming India into the World’s manufacturing Hub. The initiatives like Make in India and Smart Cities are expected to contribute to this development of the nation by creating an employment opportunity of 5 lakh new jobs in FY17.
This increase in the demand for the new employees can increase the salaries up to Rs 1 crore plus for the leadership roles and this has also been confirmed by Manpower Group India, Kelly Services and Team Lease Services. It can be expected that the salaries for the top level and mid-level employees can increase by around 30%.
It is expected that 16 lakh jobs are created by 2020 in order to complete the new initiative projects across all the sectors. It is expected that nearly 9 million new project management roles would be needed by 2020 for the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor development project.For the projects like e-governance, smart cities, and digitization, the government is engaging many consulting firms which is creating a pressure on these firms to recruit young talent employees at all levels.
Rachna Mukherjee, the chief HR at Schneider Electric India, who is hiring project managers in power, oil and gas, renewable energy, industry automation, buildings, residential and energy management has mentioned that “Make in India campaign is definitely a trigger for creating additional avenues for project execution and project managers”.
From the above observations we can expect that the new initiatives like Make in India and Start up India are likely to create huge employment opportunities in the near future.