Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Demonetization - Implications

It is more than a year now and still, people discuss one of the biggest decision taken by India government in 2016 - Demonetization.

On 8 November 2016, the Indian Federal Government who controls the currencies of India through its reserve bank announced the demonetization of all 500 and  1,000  banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. Some say it is a bold move which no one would dare to take others are in the view it is one of the worst decisions ever made by any government across the world.

During the first three to four months of the exercise, people panicked. Crowds queued up in front of ATMs and banks. Queues to get new currencies as soon as possible. In the bank, queues were to exchange old currencies with new. Most of them started to hoard the cash thinking it would be difficult to get lower denomination notes. The economy was on standstill. Daily wage workers were finding it difficult to get their wages as there is a shortage of currency notes.

Those who were having a large bulk of cash reserves in old noted found it difficult to establish the source of their income. Economists predicted falling GDP and there were counter-arguments. But ultimately GDP growth fell two percent.

Any decisions made by a government has pros and cons. But those who really struggled was with undeclared incomes, especially in cooperative banks were income declaration and KYC norms are not strict. Later cooperative banks too had to make KYC mandatory and re-KYC was performed on all existing accounts.

The government realized people were floating KYC norms by having duplicate accounts and they have decided to link everything with Aadhar number which could not be duplicated. It has become another mammoth exercise and many refused to do so citing privacy concerns and lack of Aadhar number for them. It is like a never ending debate.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

All about extinct Woolly - Wiki

The woolly mammoth was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene. M. primigenius diverged from the steppe mammoth, M. trogontherii, about 200,000 years ago in eastern Asia. The closest extant relative of the species is the Asian elephant. The studies on these species were done extensively with the discovery of frozen carcasses in Siberia and Alaska. The woolly mammoth appeared to extinct soon after the evolution of modern man. There are depiction of these creatures in the prehistoric cave paintings. In 1796 Georges Cuvier identified the giant creature as extinct species.
The woolly mammoth was larger than its closest relative Asian elephant. It is almost the same size that as of a modern African elephants. Male has a height ranging from 9 to 11 feet and weighed around 6 tonnes. The female mammoths height varied from 9 to 10 feet and weighed nearly 4 tonnes. A newborn mammoth calf can weigh up to 90 kilograms.
The woolly mammoth was very well adapted to the last ice age since it is covered in long furs. The behavior of mammoths were similar to modern elephants. They use the tusk and trunk to manipulate objects. They had a vegetarian diet with grass and leaves. The life span of of these species are estimated to be 60 years.
Wooly mammoths near the Somme River, AMNH mural.
Wooly mammoths near the Somme River, AMNH mural.
Source: wikimedia
A mammoth tusk with carvings of scenes on the Yukon River, 19th century, Yukon, Alaska. On display at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.
A mammoth tusk with carvings of scenes on the Yukon River, 19th century, Yukon, Alaska. On display at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.
Source: wikimedia
The woolly mammoth coexisted with early modern humans. The species was also hunted for food by man during early days. It disappeared from its mainland range at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 years ago, most likely through a combination of climate change, consequent disappearance of its habitat, and hunting by humans, though the significance of these factors is disputed. Isolated populations survived on Wrangel Island until 4,000 years ago, and on St. Paul Island until 6,400 years ago. After its extinction, humans continued using its ivory as a raw material, and this tradition continues today. Some are in the opinion the same species can be recreated through cloning. The possibility is not yet feasible as the remaining genetic material is degraded.
In the year 1738, Johann Philipp Breyne suggested that mammoth fossils represented some kind of elephant. He was unable to prove why their fossils were found in coldest part of the continents such as Siberia. He postulated they could have carried away by the Great Flood. In 1796, Georges Cuvier was the first anatomist to identify the woolly mammoth are not remains of modern elephants which were carried away to Arctic by flood, instead it is an entirely new species which was extinct. He is the first person to postulate the species had gone extinct and no longer existed. But Cuvier's theory was not generally accepted during his time.
Following Cuvier's identification, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach gave the woolly mammoth its scientific name, Elephas primigenius, in 1799, placing it in the same genus as the Asian elephant. The meaning of the name is "the firstborn elephant". In a turnaround in 1828 Joshua Brookes recognised the species was distinct enough to warrant a new genus, and reclassified it as Mammuthus primigenius. Still the origin of the word mammoth is not clear.

Evolution of Mammoths

The earliest known proboscideans, the clade which contains elephants, existed about 55 million years ago around the Tethys Sea. The closest known relatives of the Proboscidea are the sirenians and the hyraxes. The family Elephantidae existed six million years ago in Africa and includes the modern elephants and the mammoths. Among many now extinct clades, the mastodon is only a distant relative of the mammoths, and part of the separate Mammutidae family, which diverged 25 million years before the mammoths evolved. Based on hyoid characteristics asian elephants are the closest descendant of woolly mammoths.
The chromosomal DNA of woolly mammoth was mapped. During the analysis of the same, it showed that it is 98.55% to 99.4% identical to African elephants.

Humans and mammoths

Even today the relationship between the woolly mammoth and ice age humans are widely debated. Some say both humans and mammoths coexisted but there is no clear evidence for this theory. Mammoths are the third most widely painted animal in ice age cave paintings after horses and bisons.
Several mammoths fossils suggest that they were hunted down by the humans by the cuts and marks of stone weapons. It is also debated humans scavenged on the mammoths rather than hunting them. A Siberian specimen with a spearhead embedded in its shoulder blade shows that a spear had been thrown at it with great force.


Most woolly mammoth populations disappeared during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, alongside most of the Pleistocene megafauna, during the Quaternary extinction event. Scientists still debate over how mammoths got extinct. Some are in the opinion it is due to climate change, some postulates it is due to hunting. There is also another theory which states, due to shrinkage in habitat space mammoths extincted. Habitat of mammoths shrink drastically towards its extinction period and the remaining population was hunted down by humans. A study in 2010 suggest that since the extinction of the mammoths the temperature of the northern hemisphere could have slightly increased approximately to .2 degree Celsius. This is because the primary diet of mammoths were birch forests. Birch forest can absorb more sunlight than that of grasslands. Since the mammoths extinct, there is an increase in birch forest area resulting in regional warming.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Narendra Modi gave tips to the new Parliamentarians

India's Prime Minister Mr Modi gave tips to his MPs of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The meeting was mainly meant for the newly elected MPs (Member of Parliament) who are not familiar to the processes. It is an irony that Mr Modi himself is a first time MP and became the Prime Minister. This was the similar case while he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat state. Then he was first time MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) while he became the Chief Minister.
The seminar focused on good governance and on how to interact with the people. He emphasised on development of own constituencies and strictly warned against involvement in corrupt practices.

Prime Minister Mr Modi on Saturday gave tips to the newly-elected MPs of BJP on how to maintain standards in public life and take the message of good governance to the people. After the inauguration of a two day workshop for over 150 newly elected MPs of BJP, Modi guided them on how to nurture their respective constituencies and make use of the media, especially the social network in spreading the message of the Government.
Minister Venkaih Naidu told the media reporters that the workshop was meant for the first time MPS of the government and make them aware of the BJP ideology on running the government. Mr Naidu also said Mr Modi guided the MPs on how to "maintain standards in public life, how to take the message of good governance to the people, the message of BJP and in turn of Modi to people".
 BJP leader Jagdish Mukhi, who is in charge of party affairs in Haryana, said the Prime Minister told them that their responsibilities as members of the ruling party are different and they should behave accordingly. The Prime Minister told them that they should treat the rule book on Parliament proceedings like the Bhagavad Gita and should not step out of it. He also advised them not do anything in Parliament without the permission of the chair.
 Modi arrived  at 8.30 on Saturday morning and inaugurated the workshop with home minister and BJP president Rajnath Singh. The workshop will be addressed by prominent senior leaders of the party like Sushma Swaraj, V. Naidu, Arun Jaitley.

 They also said the workshop will train them how to raise good questions in the parliament sessions.