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

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Of Electoral Bondage ?




I like to call the Electoral Bonds , a biography of “ Voter Bondage


Reason ?

Like W. Somerset Maugham’s 1915 novel , “ Of Human Bondage “ , electoral bonds too are “ pure invention



Context :

Of Human Bondage , Wikipedia writes :

“ It is generally agreed to be his masterpiece and to be strongly autobiographical in nature, although Maugham
  stated,


 "This is a novel, not an autobiography, though much in it is autobiographical, more is pure invention."[1] 



=======================================


Supreme Court is hearing petitions filed by Association for Demographic Reforms ( ADR )  and Communist Party of India ( CPI-M )



These petitioners are saying :

#   These bonds pose a serious repercussions on the transparency of electoral process

#   These could allow foreign funding of political parties

#   Anonymity of these bonds  encouraged black money and money laundering




The government said :

#  The Scheme notified last year would remain anonymous to maintain the privacy of its buyers

#   Donor identity can be disclosed to the competent court or upon registration of a criminal case by any law




When SC asked the Election Commission to take an unequivocal stand on this matter, EC said :

#   We had conveyed to the government, our apprehension over the electoral bonds , way back in 2017

#   We had recommended doing away with the anonymity clause for donations of less than Rs 20,000

#   We had raised our reservations as part of 22 step “ Reform Package “ and another 47 step proposal
    we had sent to the government



====================================================================


I have no idea whether that proposal contained an alternate / transparent method of funding of elections
May be it did , if the Election Commissioners found time to read my following email :


[  I even requested to “ Make  Me  a  Party    ]


=====================================================

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Transparency in Political Funding ?


Economic Times ( 06 July ) carries a report titled :


“ Political Funding Next on Radar : FM “



As per this report , Shri Jaitley said :


================================


“ We are looking at some major steps to be announced by which we want to cleanse the entire political funding in India


For the last 70 years, the world’s largest democracy has survived on funding which really brings no credit to the democracy and I think it has been the prime minister’s insistence that this has to be one of the subjects that the government has to take up now as a top priority “




We are aware of some modest reforms ( electoral bonds / cap on cash payments ) that Shri Jaitley introduced in the last budget


But no one believes that these reforms go far enough ( - including CEC ! )


Millions of Indians ( but no political party ) want ALL donations , irrespective of the amount involved , to be by official / transparent channels ( cheque / Online Payment etc ) , and want mandatory filing of INCOME / EXPENSE statements with CEC !


I request Shri Jaitleyji to consider following suggestion :




STRUCTURE


·         No direct donations ( even Rs 5 ) by anyone to any Political Party or to any Political Leader ( even as birth-day gift ! )


·         Creation of a CENTRAL ELECTION FUND CEF ) , controlled / administered by the Central Election Commission


·         Donations can only be given to CEF – and only by cheque / online etc , quoting Aadhar number



·         Donations will get tax exemption as CSR


·         CEC will publish , on its web site , a continuous / dynamic / daily ACCOUNT of amounts received ( with Aadhar No of each donor ) and amounts spent / disbursed by CEC to Political Parties / Candidates ( with full details of each )


·         From CEF , Election Commission will distribute FUNDS to political parties for fighting elections / other expenses , on predetermined ‘ Occasions 



PROCESS

·         Funding of Political Parties by CEC ( from CEF ) , can be made as per following two alternatives :


[ A ]    AFTER  THE  ELECTION ( CANDIDATE – based Reimbursements ) :


#  After each Election ( Central / State / Municipal ) , ALL candidates contesting the election ( including independent candidates ) , shall submit to CEC , a STATEMENT of EXPENSES incurred in fighting the election.


Even if a group of parties have come together to fight the election ( MahaGathBandhan ), each candidate will get linked to ONE party only



#  Statement will be as per format decided by CEC , giving category-wise expense details ( all payments listed in the statement , must be through legal / official channels , such as Cheque / Electronic Bank Transfer / Mobile Wallets etc )



#  There will be UPPER LIMITS of REIMBURSEMENT for each category of expense and an overall limit



#  The statement will also show the “ Sources of Funds “ ( with full details such as OWN or borrowed from CLOSE RELATIVEs , with names )



#  Actual amount to be reimbursed to each candidate , will be computed based on a number of factors , main factor being the “ percentage of popular votes polled “ by that candidate ( no reimbursement for those candidates who get less than 5 % of popular vote )



#  Actual re-imbursements made by CEC , shall not be counted as INCOME of that candidate , for Income Tax purpose




[ B ]   BEFORE  THE  ELECTION ( PARTY – wise ADVANCES ) :


# Before each election , All recognized Political Parties will get ADVANCES from CEF , computed using aTRANSPARENT , mathematical formula , based on following factors :


# FACTORS with POSITIVE WEIGHTAGE :

·         In all the elections since independence ( Central + States + Municipal ) , percentage of popular votes polled by each party in those elections along with the percentage of seats won by each party


·         Number of years for which the party has been recognized by CEC


·         Cumulative number of “ Days “ ( not months or years ) , each party was in power ( Centre + States + Municipality ) since independence


·         No ( or percentage ) of seats “ won “ in each election



     #   FACTORS with NEGATIVE WEIGHTAGE :


·         No of MPs / MLAs having criminal cases pending against them


·         No of times candidates / parties were “ warned “ by CEC ( for any reason )


·         No of years for which Annual Return NOT filed with EC


·         No of candidates / Legislators convicted by a Court



DEAR SHRI JAITLEYJI :



Above mentioned suggestion , is by no means , comprehensive


You may want to consider a HYBRID MODEL which is a combination of the alternatives listed above


It is important that all the figures / data used in the FORMULA , are supplied only by the Election Commission and theSpeakers of various legislatures – and made public


Since there is no way political parties will reach a consensus on my suggestion , best way would be to publish an onlineSURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE and ask citizens to vote / rate , against each item of suggestion and then publish theFINDINGS ( on ALL government web sites ) , on a continuous basis


It would be too much to expect the Political Parties to accept this reform without building up pressure from 800 + million voters .


You may even consider a REFERENDUM !

===============================================================


Dear CJI , Hon Shri Gogoiji,


Supreme Court may have constitutional limitations  ( interfering in governmental affairs ? ) in “ ordering “ the government to implement my suggestion ,but you would be within your rights – and your moral responsibility to the citizens of India – to , at least “ direct “ the government to tell you ( an affidavit ? ) , what, if any , are its objections to my suggestion

====================================================================
31  March  2019

Rsvp :  hcp@RecruitGuru.com      


Friday, 29 March 2019

Water above our heads




As per one estimate, there is 50,000 cubic kilometers of water contained in the atmosphere


And all of this, is safe / potable / drinking water ( - we have all heard of Chatak bird drinking rain drops even before  they fall to the ground ! )


This “ water in air “ is everywhere –  even in arid , semi-arid and desert areas


And , unlike water tables going deeper and deeper on the earth , “ water in air “ stays accessible , all the time – and right above our heads


Only problem is :

Finding a cheap method to extract it , without use of electric power ( as in sea water desalination )



Around the world, several scientists are working on this problem – with varying success


Latest to succeed is :


Guihua Yu  of the University of Texas


His research is reported at

Here is how Indian Express reports :

Highlights :

#   The technology relies on hydrogels, gel-polymer hybrid materials designed to be “super
     sponges” that can retain large amounts of water
    
#   This new system could tap into those reserves and potentially lead to small, inexpensive
    and portable filtration Systems
#   “We have developed a completely passive system where all you need to do is leave the
      hydrogel outside and it will collect water,” said Fei Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher on
      Yu’s team.


     “The collected water will remain stored in the hydrogel until you expose it to sunlight.
     After about five minutes under natural sunlight, the water releases,” Zhao said in a
     statement.


    
#   “ The new material is designed to both harvest moisture from the air and produce clean
      water under sunlight, avoiding intensive energy consumption,” said Yu, an associate
      professor of materials science and mechanical engineering.

      

 

#    Technology requires only solar power, is compact and can still produce enough water to
      meet the daily needs of an average household, researchers said

===========================


       Some few months back, PM Shri Modiji has constitutes a “ Science , Technology and
       Innovation Advisory Committee [ PM - STIAC ] “

PM-STIAC  has identified following missions :

Natural Language Translation... 
Quantum Frontier... 
Artificial Intelligence... 
National Biodiversity Mission... 
Electric Vehicles
BioScience for Human Health... 
Waste To Wealth... 
Deep Ocean Exploration... 
Agnii... 

==================================
Considering that most metro cities of India are likely to run out of water in next 2 / 3 years and rural women all over India have to walk 10 Km, in 40*C temperature under blazing sun for a bucket of brackish water , I urge PM – STIAC to add

 WATER  HARVESTING from AIR  
-      as a mission , with highest priority


In this regards, Committee members may want to go through following blogs where I have listed similar water harvesting innovations :
===============================================

 Water Water Everywhere ? Even in Latur ?     ……………………………….  15  April  2017


==========================================================

#WaterWars #WorldWaterDay    ……………………………………………………….  23  March  2018


===========================================================

#WorldWaterDay #Water    …………………………………………………………………. 24  March  2018

 

====================================================

Clean Drinking Water    …………………………………………………………………………  05  May  2018


==============================================================

#Water #Famine #Drought #Kaveri   ………………………………………………     08  May  2018


===============================================================

Water Wars Are Looming !   …………………………………………………………………   09 June 2018


===============================================================

#WaterCrisis #Famine #Drought   ………………………………………………………… 17  June  2018


==============================================================

Making Water from Air ?  ……………………………………………………………………….  26  Oct 2018


===============================================================


I urge NITI Aayog to launch an initiative called  SAVE ( - along the lines of FAME for EVs ), under following broad categories :



[ A ]  Finding / implementing , new sources of water ( Creation  )

·         Harvesting water from Air ( - as listed above )
·         Desalination ( which uses Solar Power and not electricity )
·         Someday, even towing Icebergs ?



[ B ]  Finding / implementing, methods of water conservation ( including recycling )

·         Interlinking of rivers
·         Digging water ponds in villages
·         Recycling domestic water usage ( like Food Chain, establishing a Water Chain )

      #   Drinking Water  ( Municipal supply )

      #   Washing Water ( Bath / Utensils / Clothes / Hands ) [ Rain Water harvesting ]

      #   Flushing Water  ( Recycled washing water after filtration )

·         Establishing “ water usage quota / rationing of water “ – per person in household

·         Gradual introduction of “ pre-paid “ smart water meters which cuts off supply when quota used up



[ C ]   Incentivize companies manufacturing devices / equipment for [A] and [B] above

         Eg : MM Industrial Controls , which manufactures Bio-Digester


         This is just one example . There are hundreds of companies in this field


          This could be in the form of GST waiver / nil Corporate Income Tax for 10 years



  
[ D ]   For urgent completion of the above, consider following POLICY FRAME- WORK

          ( as outlined in : Water  Wars  ? ……………………. 08  April 2016  )


          #  At the level of Central Government

     *   Make " Water Conservation / Usage " , a  CENTRAL SUBJECT  in our

          Constitution . Remove it from the list of STATE SUBJECTS

*   Declare all existing sources of water ( Rivers and Lakes ) , as National
    Resources belonging to entire Nation and not to the particular State
     where these are  located


*   Make it Center's responsibility to decide which State shall use how
     much of each of these resource ( allocation / rationing )


*   Center will also be responsible for developing of future resources by
     digging lakes & ponds / building dams / interlinking rivers & lakes etc
     Use MNREGA funds for creating such assets


*   Center will not need permission of any State to implement such projects


*   Center will implement " River Interlinking " Project by 2025 , and for this,
     it will not require permission of any State


     As repeatedly lobbied by me , please find a way to divert BLACK MONEY
     to this Infrastructure SPV ( Tax haven or local - which is 100 times ! )


*   Mercilessly , shut down all factories dumping polluting effluents in rivers


#   At the level of State Governments

*   Make following mandatory for ALL buildings ( existing or future )

    +  Rain water harvesting system ( this tank to supply toilets / sinks etc )

    +  Recycling of water from Kitchen / Shower / Wash Basins, for use in
        toilets , by installing a simple sand filtering tank in society compounds

    +  Installation of water flow restricting devices in all taps

    +  Mechanism which stops water flow when hands are removed under tap

    +  Water Supply Cut of 25 % , round the year

         Do not raise Water Charges . The higher the charges , more ways will
         be found to evade ( as in case of Personal Income Tax ! )

         Water meters will get tempered or by-passed !

=========================================================

30  March  2019  /  World  Water  Day


Rsvp :  hcp@RecruitGuru.com


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

PS (  15  Aug  2019  ) :

I just came across Jawwad Patel's invention of DEWDROP , at :

https://www.jawwadpatel.com/patents/dew-drop/   

/  contact@jawwadpatel.com


Congratulations , Jawwad for this breakthrough !

I hope Governments ( both Central and States ) take notice of your innovation and , if convinced about its practicality, go all out to support / commercialize your patented device

And , if they do , I am sure, you will not allow monetary gains to come in the way of its mass production and FREE distribution among villages located in semi-arid areas

It was only today morning that PM Shri Modiji spoke ( in his Independence Day speech )to take piped water to 80 % of our population

If implemented , your device can , not only save thousands of crores of rupees but enable implementation within months, instead of years !

On my own , I am forwarding this blog ( addendum ) to  all the Cabinet Ministers, hoping that the concerned Minister will contact you immediately