Research on increasing Rainfall.


For the third consecutive year, certain parts of the country had below normal rainfall. But in certain parts, the rainfall was more than normal. Not only this. Sometimes there is heavy rainfall in one place, but in a place just half a kilometer away from this place, there is no sign of rainfall at all. Sometimes there are clouds in the sky everyday but the rain does not fall. These entire phenomenon should be studied and research should be undertaken to increase rainfall. There is a procedure of cloud seeding  with salt by aircrafts to condense water in the clouds and induce rainfall. This procedure should be undertaken wherever and whenever there is need. Each district should have a few aircrafts for cloud seeding.

But cloud seeding is not sufficient.  Sometimes, there may not be clouds at all. Now research should be undertaken on how the clouds are formed and on how cloud formation can be made artificially. Three- fourths of the area of the earth is oceans and there is continuous evaporation. With the earth getting warmer-if this is true- there should be more evaporation and more clouds and consequently more rainfall. Now there should be research on dispersing the clouds to the places where there are no clouds. India should perhaps take the initiative to set up an international research institute on rainfall, first to understand  how the rainfall takes place and then to study the ways and means of increasing the rainfall.



Excerpts from “Simple Alternate Development Strategy”

. A large amount of foreign and international aid is received in India. The aid comes in the form of foreign exchange (cash) in most cases ( only in a few cases it comes in kind) and equivalent Indian currency is released in circulation in the country (or is used to import things). This means that the currency in circulation increases to this extent. India receives financial assistance from World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, foreign governments , their agencies like the Swedish International Development Authority(SIDA), , Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), European Economic Community Overseas Development Agency, UN Fund for Population activities (UNFPA), UNDP, UNICEF, FAO etc. All this means increase in money circulation in the country. According to the authentic statistics published in newspapers, from February 94 to February 95, money in circulation increased by about Rs. 80000/- crores or by about 18% from Rs. 426,000 crores to Rs. 504,000 crores. The inflation was stated to be only 10% – 11%. The inflation would have been nil or much less, if production has increased correspondingly. Foreign aid is also received also for works which could be carried out without foreign assistance. For example buildings are built with foreign aid. Transport vehicles are financed from foreign aid. As stated, foreign aid in cash in effect, means increase in circulation of rupees in India. Inflation will be there whether currency notes are printed for conversion of foreign currency or for meeting developmental needs. But when increase in circulation of money leads to higher production, the inflation will come down to the extent of increase in production. If the value of production is more than the currency printed, there would be deflation i.e. prices would come down.

The foreign currency would be useful to facilitate imports, but why
should there be imports ? In the recent past, it is noticed that because of comfortable foreign exchange position, non-essential and luxury goods have been allowed to be imported. .(There are suggestions for liberalising imports of capital goods and other goods just to liquidate the foreign currency accumulations.) This has not in any way contributed to the country’s development. On the other hand, unrestricted imports of certain items have damaged the local industry, though for argument sake, it can be said that the imports provide competition to local producers to improve their performance. The competition could be provided by setting up more factories in the country. This may take some time but in the country’s life, one has to think of longer term strategies. If an industry’s performance has not been good for 40 years, or 50 years, it can remain so for another 2 or 3 years or 5 years, till new factories are set up in the country itself. The large scale imports recently of granite industry machinery prevented the development of local granite machinery industry in the country. India now has quite a large granite industry, but does not have technology for making machinery. By the large scale import of granite machinery, India has only helped Italy and other granite machinery exporting countries to not only increasing their production but also improving the technology. The same is the case, to a lesser extent of leather industry machinery.
78. In early 1995 about Rs. 70,000 crores in foreign exchange reserves were there. For part of this money, currency notes have been printed. For instance, when a foreign company participates in the equity capital of a local company with cash contribution, or when Indian companies raise loans in foreign countries, the equivalent of the foreign currency is to be paid to the Indian company by the banks/ Reserve Bank of India. This definitely increases money in circulation.

An amount of over Rs.200,000 crore (Rs.2000 billion) is said to be unaccounted ( black) money with the people i.e. the money on the earning of which tax has not been paid. Only a negligible part of this money is in circulation. There is a suggestion for bringing this money into circulation after the owners of the money have paid tax. If the entire money comes into circulation, will it not lead to inflation ? The effect would be the same as printing this much of money and bringing the same into circulation. There cannot be anything different. ( There can however be a marginal variation in that , already a very small part of this money is in circulation but then lot of unproductive work is involved in calculating and collecting tax.)

It is quite clear thus, that bringing foreign money into the country or black money in circulation in India has the same effect as printing currency notes.

Some people may argue that for printing currency notes, we should have adequate gold reserves. There is absolutely no need for this. Gold is one of the several metals. It is valuable now, because people give importance to it. It sells between US$ 300- 400/- per ounce. Tomorrow, if people of India decide not to wear jewels, and do not buy gold, the price of gold will come down to less than US$ 300 per ounce. If the people of other countries like China , Pakistan, Bangaladesh etc. also decide not to buy gold, the price of the same will come down to less than even US$ 50/- per ounce. It is therefore clear that printing of currency notes should have no relation to the gold reserve.

Irrigated land in India and the world


Excerpt from “Simple Alternate Development Strategy”


In 1990, out of 1350 million ha of arable land in the world, irrigation was provided to 237 million ha i.e. 17.56% of the arable land was irrigated. China had provided irrigation to 48 million ha which formed 51.61% of the total arable land, while India had provided irrigation to only 43 million ha which accounts for only 26.06% of the total arable land. Former USSR, USA, Brazil, Australia and Canada had provided irrigation to 21 million ha (9.33%) , 19 million ha ( 10.10 % ), 2.7 million ha (4.5%) 1.9 million ha (3.87%) and 0.9 million ha( 1.96%) of land respectively. While India appears to have done well in providing irrigation compared to countries like former USSR, USA, Canada etc. these are the countries with large areas and comparatively low population and except Brazil, those which receive lesser rainfall than India. On the contrary , many countries like Pakistan, Japan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, South Korea, North Korea and Vietnam had provided irrigation to a larger proportion of their arable land. The area under irrigation in these countries is: Pakistan 16.5 million ha of 20.3 million ha (81.28%), Japan 2.8 million ha out of 4.6 million ha (60.86%) , Indonesia 7.6 million ha out of 16.0 million ha (47.5%), Iran 5.8 million ha out of 14.1 million ha (41.13%), Iraq 2.6 million ha out of 5.3 million ha (49.05%), South Korea 1.4 million ha out of 2.0 million ha (70.0%), North Korea 1.4 million ha out of 1.7 million ha (83.52%) and Vietnam 1.8 million ha out of 5.7 million ha (31.5%). These figures show that land irrigated in India is far below the potential. This is reflected in the lower yield and production, as will be clear from the succeeding paragraphs.

Agriculture- Bangladesh performs better than India


According to FAO, India has arable land of 157 million hectares(ha). It has a population of about 1250 million people. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 8 persons.

Bangladesh has arable land of 7.7.million ha and a population of about 155 million. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 20 persons i.e. about 2.5times that of India.

Bangladesh annually produces about 51 million MT of food grains, mostly paddy(not rice).i.e. about 330kg per head per year while India annually produces about 280 million MT(paddy taken into account- not rice)i.e. only about 225kg per head per year. It is strange that even with low per capita production India occasionally exports food grains while Bangladesh imports food grains.

Bangladesh receives rainfall of about 265 cm annually while India receives only about 110 cm of rainfall. But low production of grains in India is not due to shortage of water,It is due to under utilization of water as can be seen from the very large quantity of river water joining the sea in various parts of India.There shold be more lakes and dams in India and river and rain water should be drained in these lakes and dams .

Bangladesh takes two/three crops in a years on larger proportion of land than India. Average paddy yield in Bangladesh is also high at around 4.3 MT/ha while in India it is about 3.5 MT/ha. Thus while on an ha of arable land Bangladesh produces about 6.5 MT of food grains, India produces only about 1.8 MT(India produces coarse grains on rain fed areas where the yield is very low and this brings down annual production on an ha of land.

India needs to spend more time and energy on finding ways for better utilization of rain/river water -by linking rivers with rivers, rivers with lakes, recharging ground water etc.

India- Land and Density of Population


Excerptfrom “Simple Alternate Development Strategy” 1997

“Land and Density of Population

While in population India is the second largest, according to FAO statistics, in total area of land it is only the 7th largest… …However….. in 1991’…..India had 77% more ARABLE LAND than China, the most populous country…..It is seen from the above table that while density per hectare of arable land in India at 5.27 is higher than the world averge of 3.99 by about 32%, it is less than the Asian average of 7.51 by about 30%. Compared to more populous China,whose density is 12.39 per ha of arable land India’s density is just 32% of China.. In less poulated countries of Egypt Bangladesh,, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia Pakistan, former West Germany, UK, Italy and Netherlands, density per ha of arable land is higher than in India.Thus it is apparent that India’s density per ha of arable land is not at all high and hence reduction in population growth should not be a high priority issue for the planners at the moment. The high priority concern should be to provide employment to all able bodied ersons… However, as the land available for cultivation is limited, at some stage or the other the populaton growth has to be curtailed-if the growth continues at the present rate.But that stage will come not in 5 years or 10 years but in 50 years or 100 years i.e. when the population doubles/trebles but then, it is possible that new methods would have been evolved to increase the yield of foodgrains by 100% oe 200% or even higher…

As of now it is clear from the foregoing that India is not over populated …..If China with 93 mllion ha of arable land can feed 1.15 billion people, India with an arable land of 165 million ha should be able to feed 2.00 billion people, but the present population is less than one billion.

India should not treat the population as a liability. It is an asset which should be fully utilized. The casualness with which the authorities treat deaths due to disasters like floods, diseases, accidents can ultimately be traced to the attitude that lives of human beings are not very important……”

Though the figures have changed since 1991, the conclusion that India is not overpopulated remains correct. In fact it is supported by omythe fact that almost every sector of the economy faces shortage of labour. Of course, this is not due only to expansion of the economy but also to the fact that a sizable section of the population manage to live with working for 5-10 days a month with the free things they are getting from govenment.

China’s economic develoment


China’s economic development in the past 30 years has been phenomenal. It has overtaken several countries including Germany and Japan to become the world’s 2nd largest economy(GDP US$5.7 trillion). It has become the largest exporter in the world. There is discussion already,on when China would overtake USA(GDP US$ 14.6 trillion) to become the largest economy. However, it appears that China may not overtake USA in GDP, in the near future, as its development is based on weak foundation:

a. unlike in countries like India, in China, the contribution of foreign invested companies to the GDP is very high- about 40%. Foreign direct investment in China is nearly US$ 1 trillion.

b. contribution of foreign invested firms to china’s foreign trade is over 50%

c. if foreign firms withdraw, China would lose its position as the 2nd largest economy and the largest exporter. GDP growth rate would also fall substantially from the present
level of around 10%

d.China’s investment in research and development is low- about 1.5% of its GDP, compared to 3% in USA. It depends on foreign countries for technology.

e.arable land in China is limited-only about 140 million hectare(just about 15% of total area) for its population of 1350 million. USA has about 175 million hectares for a population of about 300 million.

f.agricultural land is over exploited with high input of fertilizers. Soil degradation is likely to lead to drop in agricultural production.( China has however done a good thing in leasing large areas of agricultural land in Africa.)

g. natural and man-made calamities take place more often in China than in many countries.

While the achievement of China in the last 30 years is adorable, it may also have to be noted that this has been possible because of foreign assistance, which means foreign developed countries also have contributed to the progress. Of course, the foreign countries have benefited enormously from their investments.

What is good governance?


In all the recent bye-elections to the state legislative assembly in Tamilnadu, the ruling party or the member of its alliance won. The ruling party sought and obtained the votes on its performance, mainly  of giving to the people (who are also voters) free of cost, colour televisions, cooking gas connection and stove, 2 acres of arable land (to several landless people), house sits, houses, clothes(dhotis and sarees), marriage grant, child allowance,. mid-day meals, bus-passes, bicycles, books, uniforms, etc. to the school children as well as supplying rice at Re.1/a kilogram against its market price of  Rs.10 to Rs.15. The ruling party credits its victories to the aforesaid welfare schemes of the government.

Other political parties in the state, ADMK, Communist parties, PMK. MDMK, DMDK, VCK .etc have no objection to the ruling DMK party’s above mentioned welfare schemes

Not only in Tamilnadu, but in all other states also, all or most of the political parties are for such welfare schemes as above.

Now, the question that arises, is whether good governance means, taking care of the basic and entertainment and other needs of the people from government funds, directly

 or using the government funds judicially

to control crime,

to provide infrastructure for delivering quality education and medical treatment,

to provide good roads,

to keep the roads and streets clean,

to provide clean drinking water, 

to ensure uninterrupted electric supply,

to encourage higher agricultural and industrial production,

and thereby create jobs for all

Mahatma Gandhi said that no one should give to a healthy person, things free, but should instead provide him work which would make him work and enable him to buy his requirements.

 There is a need for a debate on what is good governance.

Globalization of Agriculture in Africa


Africa is the country where the arable land utilized for cultivation is very low- less than 10%. This is much less than the land utilized in Asia and Europe. Similarly, the irrigation potential of all the rivers including Congo, Nile and Zambezi rivers are much less exploited compared to the rivers in other continents. Consequently, a large number of African countries are in severe food crisis not only now, but for a long time. Now out of a total of 31 countries n the world in severe shortage of food, 20 countries (Ethiopia, D.R.Congo, Uganda etc) are in Africa having a population of nearly 400 million. Theoretically it is definitely possible and also desirable for African countries to attain self-sufficiency/surplus in food grain production without involving foreigners. But after over 40-50 years of independence, most of the countries in Africa continue be deficit in food. The international community and the international organizations have been feeding a large number of people in these countries for a long period. During times of lower world production, international community would find it difficult to find food grains and buy at high rates. Therefore, urgent action has to be taken to increase food grain production in these countries. Like globalization of economy, the agriculture also may need globalization to realize food self-sufficiency. The following could perhaps be tried in most of the countries.

i. To Built, Own, Operate and Transfer(BOOT) Irrigation projects: The governments could allow the river and ground water available in the country to be tapped by the private sector, including the foreign companies. The private sector would set up projects at their cost and recover the same over a period by charging fee from farmers for the use of water. After the agreed period, the projects could be transferred to the local governments.

ii. The private sector may also be allowed to generate hydro-electric power and sell to the government or the consumers directly, after paying honorarium to the government.

iii. Unutilized arable land could leased for certain period- may be 20 or 30 years and if found necessary extended- to corporates, including foreign corporates with the condition that food grains should be produced and the same should be sold in the domestic market first and only surplus grain should be exported. The developed land when returned to the government after the lease period could be sold or freely distributed to the local farmers.

Copenhagen Meeting on Climate Change


By 2025, India will be the largest country in the world ahead of China. Every fifth person in the world will be an Indian. More than 4 out of 5 persons in the world will be from the present developing countries. This should be kept in mind in the negotiations between the developed and developing countries.

While the developed countries should be requested to transfer technologies to reduce carbon and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere by the developing countries, the developing countries should not make their commitments to reduce emissions on the developed countries making financial and technological contributions. There is no doubt that the lifestyle of people in developed countries contribute to large scale emissions. But sadly developing countries, imitate the life style in developed countries. India for example could do with much less than the present number of vehicles, two wheelers as well as four wheelers. India could introduce two wheeler taxis as in Vietnam and Thailand which would save huge quantity of petroleum products. India should find ways for avoiding feeding of the chicken and cows with grains as in developed countries

India however, is contributing to the cleaner atmosphere, by not consuming as much meat as in developed and other developing countries. It is estimated that if people give up non-vegetarian food, the arable land required in the world would be just one third of the present area. Of course, it is not suggested that non-vegetarians should become vegetarians. Instead, people should invent technologies to increase the yield of food grains.

There is a lot of talk on planting trees. There should also be emphasis on deepening existing lakes and digging new lakes- water reservoirs-to conserve water. Trees need water to grow.