Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Friday, 30 September 2016

What would Drivers do ?


50 years ago , Companies ( - and even entire Industries ) used to get obsolete in 50 years

20 years ago , that obsolescence started happening  in 20 years
Nowadays , that is happening in 10 years !


Hence , it is possible that by 2026 , all cars coming out of factories , are AUTONOMOUS ( no need for a driver )

If all cars were to become AUTONOMOUS ( not needing someone to drive ) , then what would drivers do ?

Obviously , they will need to acquire new / different skills , in order to survive



In USA , average car runs for only 4 % of the time and has average of 1.5 person occupancy.

In India , utilization could be 10% and occupancy could be 3 persons
 It is possible that the DRIVERLESS cars used as Ride-Sharing taxies , run 100 % of the time ( round the clock )



That would enormously increase their " Maintenance " needs , which, besides routine mechanical maintenance , would need maintenance of altogether NEW onboard devices such as , Cameras / Radars / Lidars / GPS systems / Controllers / Collision Avoidance Gear /  Wi-Fi / Data Processors and a host of other electronics



So , today's drivers would need to learn new skills of maintaining such devices
Some of them may even learn the skills required to " manufacture " such devices , in factories

Except that there will be much fewer cars on the roads !

If there is one lesson to be learned from advances of technologies , it is that many current jobs will disappear and get taken over by " Robots " ( driverless cars will be driven by an invisible robot ! )



Over the past 50 years , I have noticed gradual disappearance ( in India ), of :

#   Craftsmen who roamed the streets , sharpening knives , ginning cotton in old mattresses , tinning brass

     utensils, re-denting flour-grinders made of stones , welding plastic buckets, darning worn-out clothes etc

#   Salesmen who went from house-to-house , selling fabric

#   Tailors who brought their sewing machine to your house to sew your dresses

#   Women who walked the streets , bartering utensils for old clothes

#   Fellow who ran from one light pole to another , turning on gas lever to light-up the street lamps ( was common
     sight in Mumbai in 1944 )

#   Vendors who ran inside a Cinema Hall during intervals to sell tea / cigarettes

#   Street advertisers who distributed cinema pamphlets , riding in a horse-buggy

#   Artists who painted ( manually ) , cinema posters on roadsides

#   Night Criers ( Albel-walla ), who urged people to stay alert ( Jagte Raho )


May be , during their own life-time , they did or did not find alternate jobs but I think their children never followed in the footsteps of their parents  !


As per Kevin Kelly ( writing in his book " Inevitable " ) :


*  By 2050 , all trucks on USA highways will be driven built-in ROBOT drivers

*  By 2100 , 70 % of ALL jobs in USA ( manual or mental ) will get replaced by ROBOTS



India's Policy Makers will do well to realize that a ROBOT in a USA factory or office , will do the job cheaper than a human in India who is getting ONE-TENTH the wages of a US worker ! And do it more precisely without demanding a salary rise or going on a strike !



This is the reason behind manufacturers in today's DEVELOPED / HIGH WAGE countries rushing into automation and Artificial Intelligence ( AI )


So , a lower Wage / Salary in India , will cease to be our advantage , before long

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01  Oct  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs





  

Thursday, 29 September 2016

United we Succeed : Divided we Fail


Times of India ( 29 Sept 2016 ) carries a news report titled :
" CCEA clears Rs 2,256 cr project for CBEC's GST integration "
Details are :
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CCEA today cleared a Rs 2,256 crore IT project Saksham of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, which will help integrate CBEC's system with the GST network before the rollout in April next year.

The implementation strategy for the project will be to ensure readiness of CBEC's IT framework by April, 1, 2017, when GST is to be introduced, an official statement read.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Project Saksham, a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of CBEC.

Project Saksham will help in implementation of goods and services tax (GST), extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) and other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and Ease of Doing Business of CBEC.

"All taxpayers/importers/exporters/dealers under various indirect tax laws administered by CBEC -- presently about 36 lakh -- are likely to go up to over 65 lakh after introduction of GST," the statement added.

CBEC's IT structure needs to integrate with the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent to CBEC as well as act as a front-end for other modules like audit, appeal and investigation.

There is no overlap in the GST-related systems of CBEC and GSTN, the statement said.

"This IT infrastructure is also urgently required for continuation of CBEC's e-services in Customs, central excise and service tax, implementation of taxpayer services such as scanned document upload facility, extension of Indian Customs SWIFT initiative and integration with government initiatives such as e-nivesh, e-taal and e-sign," the statement added.

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Indeed a very good beginning at integrating Government Departments / Databases / Processes

I hope , someday soon , NDA government will take the next step described below ( and sent to all Ministers as email ) :

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Thursday, 3 April 2014


E - Governance ?



Can e-Governance help eliminate corruption  ?


Most certainly


Look at the following , partial list of Central and State Agencies set up to fight fraud , money-laundering , corruption , tax-evasion , economic crimes etc :



>  Public Accounts Committee           (  PAC  )


>  Central Vigilance Commission        (  CVC  )


>  Central Information Commission     (  CIC  )


>  Research and Analysis Wing           (  RAW  )


>  Serious Fraud Investigation Office   (  SFIO  )


>  Information Bureau                        (  IB   )


>  Economic Offence Wing                   (  EOW  )


>  Central Bureau of Investigation        (  CBI  )


>  Department of Revenue Intelligence (  DIR  )


>  Comptroller and Auditor General       (  CAG  )


>  Anti Corruption Bureaus ( States ).... (  ACB  )


>  Enforcement Directorate                    (  ED   )


>  Lok  Ayukts    (  States   )


>  Lok Pal           ( Central  )




Despite such an army of Agencies , how do corrupt manage to get away  ?


Or , in case caught , manage to delay delivery of punishment for years  ?


No doubt , there must be several reasons , including , inter - agency rivalry to get credit - something difficult to eliminate altogether


But , I believe , the most important reason is :



Lack of a COMMON  / COMPUTERIZED database of all offences / cases / persons being investigated

And , which is readily " Accessible " to all of these Agencies , all over the country ( 24 * 365 )



Already , every Agency compiles huge dossiers on " Suspects " in its own 
" Departmental Database " , which is never shared with other Agencies ,
leading to ,


>   Huge amount of duplication of efforts / information


>   Fractured / scattered profiles of " Suspects "


>   Enormous waste of time / resources



What will help  ?



>  Dismantling of individual departmental databases


>  Merging of all Agency-wise databases into a SINGLE / UNIQUE database


>  All Agencies to enter their findings / data / info into this COMMON
     database , with nothing preserved on local computers


>  All data-entry FORMS to be ONLINE . No paper forms at all


>  All local computers connected to ultra-secure Network ( Encrypted )


>  " Access Rights " to individuals , based on Biometric Identification




Will BJP want to make this , a prominent promise in their Poll-Manifesto , likely to be released on 7th April  ?  ( Congress /  AAP missed this boat  ! )


It is high time political parties stop talking of motherhood in vague terms and start telling the voters ,


" If you vote us to power , this is precisely what we will do , to bring about E-GOVERNANCE  - and do it within 6 months of assuming power "


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30  Sept  2016

www.hemenparekh.in


  



Revenge of the AI ?



Hindustan Times ( 30 Sept 2016 ) carries following news report :

Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft on one AI platform

In a major boost to artificial intelligence (AI) research, five top-notch tech

 companies -- Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft -- have joined

 hands to announce a historic partnership on AI and machine learning.



It means that these companies will discuss advancements and conduct research

 in AI and how to develop best products and services powered by machine

 learning, Tech Crunch reported on Thursday.



Initial financial help will come from these companies and as other stakeholders

 join the group, the finances are expected to increase.



“We want to involve people impacted by AI as well,” Mustafa Suleyman, co-

founder and head of applied AI at DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet (parent 

company of Google), was quoted as saying.



According to the report, the organisational structure has been designed to allow

 non-corporate groups to have equal leadership side-by-side with large tech

 companies.



“The power of AI is in the enterprise sector. For society at-large to get the

 benefits of AI, we first have to trust it,” Francesca Rossi, AI ethics researcher at

 IBM Research, told Tech Crunch.



AI-powered bots will become the next interface, shaping our interactions with

 the applications and devices we rely on and Microsoft’s latest solutions are set

 to change the way HP interacts with its customers and partners, Microsoft’s

 Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said recently.



At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in August, Nadella had said that AI-

powered chatbots will “fundamentally revolutionise how computing is 

experienced by everybody.”



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By " burying " this news on page 17 , in 10 CC ( column centimeter ), it was

 as if the HT Editor was saying :


"  Ignore this - it is of little consequence ! "

Now , fast forward to year 2026

In HT's office , you won't find ,

*  Watchman / Receptionist / Reporters / Journalists / Composers / Graphic

 Designers / Editors / Operators etc



All will be replaced by AI Robots , embedded into Computers / Cameras /

 Printing Machines / Delivery Drones  !



And those AI Robots would select / print news such as this , in large , bold 

headlines on the Front Page !


I only hope , AI of 2026 remains devoid of human frailties of jealousy / anger 

/ revenge !

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30  Sept  2016

www.hemenparekh.in  




Tuesday, 27 September 2016

One Car per Family ?


Hindustan Times ( 28 Sept 2016 ) carries a news report titled :

Traffic Menace :  HC says restrict cars per family "

The report goes on to read :

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" Considering Mumbai’s nightmarish traffic congestion, it is perhaps time for the state to restrict “the number of cars per family” and moving some of the traffic off the road, to “water”.



The bench asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the state Urban Development Ministry and the traffic police department to sit together and come up with a holistic policy to decongest the city’s roads.



Every household now has more than one vehicle. We are told around 1,000 to 1,300 new vehicles get registered by the RTO each day. A large number of private vehicles enter the city every morning and leave in the evenings, but these have no space for parking through the day. The government cannot sit on the problem anymore,” the bench said. "


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Noble intentions indeed  !



But the questions that arise are :



#   What about millions of families who already have more than one car today ? Can a law force them to sell off
     those extra cars ? Can they be allowed to buy a new car to replace an old / polluting one with an Electric car ?



#   If law cannot force 4 car families to dispose off 3 cars, then would it be fair to deny a NIL car family to buy 2 ?



#   Even if such a law gets passed , is it possible / practical to monitor its compliance in case of some
     2.8 million new cars being manufactured / sold , each year ?  Does the government have the necessary
     administrative machinery to enforce it ?



#   What is the definition of a " family " ? Who is considered a member of a " family " ?



#   What to do in case a person owning a car marries another person , also owning a car ? Or adopts one ?



You see , this gets very messy !



I believe , that ROAD TRANSPORT POLICY , requested by the High Court , should comprise of following elements :



#   GOAL


     To reduce no of vehicles on the roads , in order to speed up travel and reduce pollution



#   POLICY  INSTRUMENTS


     *  Discouragement to manufacture / sale of Petrol / Diesel vehicles



     *  Discouragement for owning of Petrol / Diesel vehicles



     *  Discouragement for " Owning " any vehicle at all



     *  Encouragement for manufacture of Electric Vehicles



     *  Encouragement for " owning " of Electric Vehicles



     *   Encouragement for using " Public Transport " / " Ride Sharing Taxies "




 #    HOW  ?


    Heavy taxation on manufacturers of Petrol / Diesel vehicles ( 50 % Corporate Income Tax  ? )



      *  Heavy " Annual Road Tax " on owners of Petrol / Diesel vehicles ( Rs 5

 lakh/ year , ala SINGAPORE  model )



      *  Heavy taxation when a person buys a Petrol / Diesel vehicle  ( 30 % GST

 ? ), raising " Cost of Owning "



      *  ZERO Corporate Income Tax for manufacturers of Electric Vehicles ( for

 10 years )



      *  Only 5 % GST on sale of Electric Vehicles ( 0 % if vehicle is DRIVER-LESS ? )



      *  No GST ( total exemption ) for purchase of Electric Vehicles by Public

 Transport Companies ( including " Ride

          Sharing Taxies )



      *  Total exemption from Road Tax for Electrically driven , Ride Sharing

 Taxies / Public Transport Buses ,

          enabling them to offer rides at Rs 1 per km ( 2 days back , OLA reduced

 it to Rs 3 per km ! )



     *   Carbon Credit ( thru DBT ? ) of Rs 1 per Km , for both the rider and the 

owner of an Electric Vehicle bases


          Public Transport ( including Ride Sharing Taxies ) , as explained in my

 earlier emails to Shri Nitin Gadkariji :



         *   PUBLIC TRANSPORT AS A SOLUTION ?

               {  http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/02/public-transport-as-solution.html  }

 

         *    Retiring Old Vehicles - Gadkari Style ?

             {  http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/05/retiring-old-vehicles-gadkari-style.html  }

 

        *    Tablets in Taxies ?

            {   http://myblogepage.blogspot.in/2016/05/tablets-in-taxies.html  }

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28  Sept  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs