Friday, 24 November 2017

Dassault Falcon and Rafale components to be manufactured at Aerospace SEZ in Maharashtra

Dassault Falcon and Rafale components to be manufactured at Aerospace SEZ MIHAN in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Components for business class jet Falcon 2000 and Rafale fighter jet will be made at MIHAN SEZ in Nagpur. A deal was signed by Reliance Group with Dassault Aviation for building an aerospace manufacturing facility.

The Dassault-Reliance manufacturing facility Dhirubhai Ambani Technology Park is located in the Mihan SEZ adjoining Nagpur International Airport. Under this Joint Venture (51% Reliance Infrastructure and 49% Dassault Aviation) the facility will manufacture several components of the offset obligation connected to the purchase of 36 Rafale Fighters from France, signed between the two Governments in September 2016.

Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd. (DRAL) will manufacture components for the Legacy Falcon 2000 Series of Civil Jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation and thus will become part of its Global Supply Chain. These first steps are expected to achieve in the coming years the possible setting up of final assembly of Rafale and Falcon Aircraft.

The Joint Venture also represents an unequaled Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by Dassault Aviation of over 100 Million Euros, the largest such Defence FDI in one location in India.
The DRAL facility will train thousands of skilled workers in aviation assembly and integration and lead to huge employment generation in Nagpur and its surrounding areas. It will also attract and house an organic ecosystem of over 200 MSME’s to secure the component and avionics manufacturing needs of Rafale and Falcon Jets.

Eric Trappier, the CEO of Dassault Aviation, said, "Apart from supplying the aircraft to IAF, the company is also keen to offer the 57 planes needed by Indian Navy. Assembling of the Rafale aircraft at the Nagpur unit would depend on the additional orders it gets.”

The Reliance Dassault partnership will bring high levels of Technology Transfer. It will make India a major supplier into the global aviation supply chain. It will be the endeavor of both Dassault and Reliance to fully support Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” and “Skill India” policies and to accelerate India’s pursuit of self-sufficiency in the aerospace sector.” – Anil Ambani, MD, Reliance Group.

DRAL expects that the first Make-In-India Falcon aircraft will take off from MIHAN factory by 2022.

Source – Dassault Aviation.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

India’s government bond ratings upgrade is a result of key economic reforms.

India's rating upgrade Moody's

Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the Government of India's local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive. Moody’s is amongst the respected sovereign credit rating agency. India’s sovereign credit rating was last upgraded in January 2004 to Baa3 (from Ba1). In sovereign ratings rationale scale, AAA is considered to be highest rating and C is among the lowest. To put it in simpler terms, here’s a comparative lists of rating scale of few economies from high to low : USA - AAA, France – Aa2, China – A1, Malaysia – A3, Thailand – Baa1, India – Baa2, Russia – BA1, Brazil – BA2, Sri Lank – B1, Cambodia – B2, Pakistan – B3, Iraq – Caa1, Ukraine – Caa2, Venezuela – Caa3, Puerto Rico – C. As per popular rating scale opinion, grade of AAA to Baa3 is considered as investment grade, Ba1 to Caa3 as speculative grade and under that would be considered as default.

India’s rating has been upgraded after a period of 13 years. As per press release issued by Moody’s, the decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India's high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term. In the meantime, while India's high debt burden remains a constraint on the country's credit profile, Moody's believes that the reforms put in place have reduced the risk of a sharp increase in debt, even in potential downside scenarios.

Moody's has also raised India's long-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Baa1 from Baa2, and the long-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling to Baa2 from Baa3. The short-term foreign-currency bond ceiling remains unchanged at P-2, and the short-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling has been raised to P-2 from P-3. The long-term local currency deposit and bond ceilings remain unchanged at A1.

India’s government bonds rating upgrade is a result of key economic reforms taken by PM Modi’s government. After three years of the NDA government, the government is mid-way through the wide of economic and institutional reforms. Moody’s has hailed recent economic reforms as they aim to bring in transparency and improve the business climate. World Bank CEO at a summit in New Delhi rightly said that no other country as the size of India has jumped 30 places in Ease of Doing Business in the economic history of this world. While many important reforms remain at the design phase, Moody's believes that those implemented to date will advance the government's objective of improving the business climate, enhancing productivity, stimulating foreign and domestic investment, and ultimately fostering strong and sustainable growth. The reform program will thus complement the existing shock-absorbance capacity provided by India's strong growth potential and improving global competitiveness.

Political analysts in India are busy taking a dig at PM Modi for a fall in GDP due to GST implementation and demonetisation. Major rating agencies think otherwise and has given a thumbs-up to Modi’s economic policy and decision making as they think a short-term fall in India’s GDP is a result of policy implementation, not policy paralysis. As per Moody’s, key elements of the reform program include the recently-introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will, among other things, promote productivity by removing barriers to interstate trade; improvements to the monetary policy framework; measures to address the overhang of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking system; and measures such as demonetization, the Aadhaar system of biometric accounts and targeted delivery of benefits through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system intended to reduce informality in the economy.

Most of these measures will take time for their impact to be seen on the GDP growth such as the GST and demonetization. As a result of policy implementation, growth has been undermined in near term. Moody's expects real GDP growth to moderate to 6.7% in the fiscal year ending in March 2018. However, as disruption fades, assisted by recent government measures to support SMEs and exporters with GST compliance, real GDP growth will rise to 7.5% in FY2018, with similarly robust levels of growth from FY2019 onward. Longer term, India's growth potential is significantly higher than most other Baa-rated sovereigns. Economists are bullish on India and they expect GDP growth of more than 8% in next few years.

India will spend more than Rs 50 lakh crores on highway developments, ports, metro rail, bullet trains and rural connectivity in five years. India’s debt to GDP ratio stood at 66% but Moody’s has affirmed a stable outlook on India’s spendings. Moody's expects India's debt-to-GDP ratio to rise by about 1 percentage point this fiscal year, to 69%, as nominal GDP growth has slowed following demonetization and the implementation of GST. The debt burden will likely remain broadly stable in the next few years, before falling gradually as nominal GDP growth continues and revenue-broadening and expenditure efficiency-enhancing measures take effect.

Much remains to be done. Challenges with the implementation of the GST, ongoing weakness of private sector investment, slow progress with a resolution of banking sector asset quality issues, and lack of progress with land and labor reforms at the national level highlight still material government effectiveness issues. However, Moody's expects that over time at least some of these issues will be addressed, resulting in a steady further improvement in India's government effectiveness and overall institutional framework.

A rating upgrade for India comes at a time when rating agencies Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s have cut China’s sovereign rating. Moody’s cut China’s long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3 on 24 May on concerns that the country’s financial strength would erode in the coming years. S&P followed by cutting China’s long-term sovereign credit ratings one notch to A+ from AA- on 21 September, holding that its prolonged period of strong credit growth had increased economic and financial risks.

India would need to improve its land and labour reforms significantly to move to next notch. In infrastructure sector alone, companies failed to repay back loans due to stuck land acquisitions. Industries like steel, metal, infra etc are yet to recover from the financial horror of global economic slowdown. Things are improving quickly in India than any other country. This is India’s opportunity to rise back.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni (,, )

Source –

4 times oversubscribed, government raises Rs. 14,500 crores from Bharat 22 ETF

Bharat 22 ETF

Financial geeks like us have seen CPSEs ETF been oversubscribed several times in markets before. The Bharat 22 ETF, which broke all past records of oversubscription raised Rs 14,500 crore from the anchor and non-anchor investors in mid-November. The Bharat 22 is the result of promise in Budget 2016-17 given by the Finance Minister It is the second ETF to be launched after CPSE ETF, which was launched in 2014.

The Bharat22 ETF is well diversified among 6 sectors with high-returning Ratnas of Indian corporate sector. This New Fund Offer was open until November 17, 2017. The Units of the Scheme will be allotted 25% to each category of investors. In this ETF, the Retirement Fund has been made a separate category of Investors. In case of spill-over, an additional portion will be allocated giving preference to retail and retirement funds. There is a 3% discount across the board.

The strength of this ETF lies in the specially created Index S&P BSE BHARAT-22 INDEX. This Index is a unique blend of shares of key CPSEs, Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and also the Government-owned shares in blue-chip private companies like Larsen & Tubro (L&T), Axis Bank and ITC. The shares of the Government companies represent 6 core sectors of the economy - Finance, Industry, Energy, Utilities, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Basic Materials. This combination makes the Index broad-based and diversified. The Sector and Stock exposure limits help in risk management and reduction of concentration, providing stability to the Index. The strength of the Index has been demonstrated in its performance from the time of its launch in August 2017 wherein it has out-performed the NIFTY-50 and Sensex.

The Index constituents include leading Maharatanas and Navratanas such as Coal India, GAIL, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Bharat Petroleum, and National Aluminum Company (NALCO), three Public Sector Banks such as SBI, Bank of Baroda apart from the 3 private sector companies mentioned earlier.

The government of India under the leadership of PM Modi have undertaken key economic reforms like demonetisation, GST implementation, infrastructure spending, bank recapitalisation. The recent dip in GDP was a cause of policy implementations, not policy paralysis. Moody upgraded India’s rating from positive to stable after 13 years. The stock market has not seen correction and it continues to close on a new-highs. Analysts see an oversubscription of Bharat 22 ETF as a sign of investor optimism.

“We have decided to retain ₹14,500 crore of the total subscription that has come in for Bharat-22 ETF,” Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Neeraj Gupta said. The ETF saw bids of nearly ₹32,000 crores coming in, with FIIs bidding for one-third of the money. The portion reserved for retail investors was subscribed 1.45 times; retirement funds —1.50 times and NIIs and QIBs — 7 times. With this, the Centre has raised ₹52,500 crores through disinvestment in the current fiscal.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Coastal Economic Zones will bring port-led prosperity along with high pay jobs.


India wants to shift gears from a service based economy to a manufacturing one. To promote local manufacturing, the government of India rebooted the Make in India scheme. It’s brand ambassadors, the lion and PM Modi were seen worldwide meeting investors and entrepreneurs aiming to improve India’s manufacturing GDP ratio. Processes were simplified and red carpet was laid instead of red tape, pushing India’s Ease Of Doing Business rank by 30 points. No other large country like India has seen such a large jump and with GST, India may soon match with the rank of China.

China’s leap into being ‘the factory of the world’ could be accomplished with its near-coast economic zones. Out of top 10 mega-ports in the world, China has 8 of them and mostly on the east side of the country. Economists say that nearly 75% of China’s GDP growth comes from Eastern cities and economic zones. With economic zones near ports, China could reach out to global markets sooner. Within two decades, China created more than 20 brand new cities with more than 5 million population on China’s east coast. With megacities, came high paying industrial jobs and small medium enterprises.

According to a 2009 Asian Development Bank study, only 10.5% of manufacturing workforce in India was employed in firms larger than 200 workers compared to China’s 51.8% in 2005. At the other extreme, 84% of India’s manufacturing workforce was in firms with less than 50 workers compared to China’s 24.8%. These differences translate into substantially lower average labour productivity and wages in India than China.

Unfortunately, large firms are missing in India in precisely the sectors in which they are needed the most: employment-intensive sectors such as apparel, footwear, electronic and electrical products and host of other light manufactures. These are products in which China has done well thereby generating a large volume of good jobs for its workers. In 2014, the country exported $56 billion worth of footwear compared with $3 billion by India and $782 billion worth of electrical and electronic goods compared with $9 billion by India.

Shenzhen, one of the early coastal economic zones of China is today world’s largest electronic manufacturing hubs. Almost 90% of mobiles which we use today here in India are made in Shenzhen. Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Foxconn (Apple & LYF mobile), Samsung have huge manufacturing plants in Shenzhen. The market of mobile parts in so spread that it is almost impossible to make a truly Make In India smartphone. Today, Shenzhen has a population of 11 million and it boasts of gross city product of $265 billion. With an aging population and growing wages, Multinational companies are looking elsewhere in Malaysia, Vietnam or India. Coastal Economic Zones conceptualised under Sagarmala by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Shipping could be India’s greatest turnaround opportunity.
Special Economic Zones nearby Gujarat and Mumbai account to 60% of India’s export. With an aim to provide impetus to Make in India, 14 Coastal Economic Zones are conceptualised under the National Perspective Plan of Sagarmala. The CEZs have been conceptualized as a spatial-economic region which could extend along 300-500 km of coastline and around 200-300 km inland from the coastline. Each CEZ will be an agglomeration of coastal districts within a State.

Leveraging the port eco-system these CEZs will provide the geographical boundary within which port led industrialization will be developed. The CEZs have been envisaged to tap synergies with the planned industrial corridors like Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. There is immense scope for logistic cost reduction under Sagarmala and CEZ is an effort to reduce cost by locating the manufacturing centres closer to the ports thereby making Indian trade competitive in the global market.

India’s first coastal economic zone will come up near JNPT Port in Navi Mumbai, a satellite town of a mega-city Mumbai. JNPT CEZ has added the advantage of having two major ports (JNPT Port and Dighi Port) in its vicinity, where JNPT Port could be exclusively used for export the product due to its depth and Dighi Port could be used for the local supply of goods. Another added advantage would be upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai Transharbour Sea Link. As per the plan, JNPT CEZ will focus on electronic, telecom, automobile and IT goods manufacturing.

As reported in Economic Times, about 45 companies across telecom, auto and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in the zone. JNPT CEZ will provide 1.5 lakh jobs to people staying in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and affected villagers. iPhone maker Foxconn is looking to invest in 13-acre land in JNPT CEZ. Major automobile giants are in talks with the ministry to set up a plant. The entire land distribution will be done under e-tendering process. It’s proximity to Mumbai could also mean realty bonanza on outskirts on JNPT CEZ.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni (

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Capital-starved public sector banks get recapitalisation push worth Rs 2,11,000 crores

Bank Recapitalisation

The cabinet push from Govt of India has given a sigh of relief for capital-starved public sector banks. India’s Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley announced an allocation of Rs 2,11,000 crore over the period of two years for the recapitalisation of public sector banks. The decision is believed to be in favour of India’s economic interests such as creating jobs and credit creation of Small Scale businesses.

This entails mobilization of capital, with maximum allocation in the current year, to the tune of about Rs. 2,11,000 crores over the next two years, through budgetary provisions of Rs. 18,139 crores, recapitalisation bonds to the tune of Rs. 1,35,000 crore, and the balance through raising of capital by banks from the market while diluting government equity (estimated potential Rs. 58,000 crores). By recapitalising banks through a mix of bonds and cash infusions, the government hopes to avoid breaching its fiscal deficit targets.

After the fall of the economy during 2010 to 2014, Indian banks touched a record NPAs of Rs 8,00,000 crores. Businesses owned by industrialists like Sahara and Mallyas doomed, some even escaping the territory of India to avoid jail time. In addition, Indian banks need to raise capital through Basel III norms up to 11.5% by March 2019. Jaitley’s plan of infusing Rs 70,000 crore was seen as inadequate by banking experts.

With recapitalisation of public sector banks, the intent of the government is pretty clear, to boost MSME lending with industry-specific MUDRA Yojana schemes. There will be a strong push for enabling growth of MSMEs through enhanced access to financing and markets, and a drive to finance MSMEs in 50 clusters. While Ministries concerned will spearhead and provide momentum, banks will undertake speedy processing of loan applications in a hassle-free manner. Fintech companies will be roped in to cut down the appraisal process and generate quality loan applications. MSMEs will be handheld by extending support through:
  • Compulsory TReDS (Trade Receivables electronic Discount System) registration by major.
  • PSUs within next 90 days, for shortening the cash cycle.
  • Sector-specific Mudra financial products, such as Mudra Leather, Mudra Textiles, etc.
  • Bank-approved MSME project templates for speedier credit.
  • portal, so that banks compete for financing MSME projects.
  • For registering MSMEs on the GeM (Government electronic Marketplace) portal and e-commerce platforms.

The Rs 2.11 lakh crore is adequate to cover for Basel 3 requirements and support credit offtake after that. There is a good possibility of growth and credit demand in the future. - Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India.

The capital of Rs 2,11,000 crore accounts to almost 80% of recapitalisation requirements. While the government has not detailed the manner in which capital will be allocated within banks, some banks need capital more urgently than others.

Major credit rating agencies considered the bank recapitalisation move as positive. Although, continuous banking reforms are required along with the use of fintech to avoid such bad loan situations in future.

    - Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source – PIB.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Govt of India likely to procure 30,000 electric vehicles by 2019

Tata Motors EESL tender

As the world adores the concept of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S, the government of India has gone ahead with the procurement of Made-In-India electric vehicles. India is likely to adopt an electric vehicle policy by December 2017. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Roads and Surface Transport has ambitiously said, India will only run electric vehicles by 2030. Analyst suggests the move is in line with India’s commitment towards Paris Climate Deal.
In the first phase of electric vehicle funding, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India, will procure 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors Limited. The company was selected through an international competitive bidding aimed at increased participation. Tata Motors won the tender and will now supply the Electric Vehicles (EVs) in two phases – first 500 e-cars will be supplied to EESL in November 2017 and the rest 9,500 EVs will be delivered in the second phase. Tata Motors will supply its Tigor EV model to EESL by the end of 2018.
The tender floated by EESL is the world’s largest single electric vehicle procurement. Three leading manufacturers – Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Nissan participated in the tender and the bids for TATA Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra were opened.
EESL is driven by the objective of facilitating faster adoption of disruptive technology solutions while balancing economic development and environmental sustainability. With this specific initiative, EESL seeks to create the market for electric vehicles, a technology which is poised to boost e-mobility in the country; through its unique business model of aggregation of demand and bulk procurement. EESL is seeking to leverage the immense potential of replacement of existing vehicles in the government departments for initial demand aggregation.
Tata Motor Limited quoted the lowest price of ₹10.16 Lakh exclusive of GST in the competitive bidding. The vehicle will be provided to EESL for ₹11.2 Lakh which will be inclusive of GST and comprehensive 5 year warranty which is 25 % below the current retail price of a similar electric vehicle with 3 year warranty.
Anand Mahindra was quick to congratulate Tata Motors for bagging world’s largest electric vehicle tender. Mahindra & Mahindra also bagged the contract from EESL after they agreed to match the price of their sedan e-Verito with Tata’s bid.
India is a net importer of petrol and diesel. A push towards alternative fuels like methanol or electricity will reduce the fiscal deficit of the country. Indian cities are largely a victim of pollution. On 7thNovember 2017, PM 10 material at New Delhi’s Karol Bagh area reached 999, almost 10 times higher than permissive levels. A move towards electric mode of transport would not just be eco-friendly but indigenous. The government of India is likely to replace all its 6 lakh vehicles with an EV by 2022.
EESL plans to call tenders for the second phase of procuring 20,000 electric vehicles by Q1 2018. Tender cost is likely to above ₹2,000 crore. Nitin Gadkari at Pravaas India Expo 2017 said that Indian government wants to build healthy competition in EV space. This will ensure that the price of the battery will come down. Within few years, the general public will opt for EV than conventional diesel guzzling car as it will be 10 times cheaper to run. The same revolution will take place in public transport buses. In a move, Ola cabs have introduced 200 e-taxi in Nagpur.
The move to electrical vehicle is sceptical as India is yet not 100% power surplus and load shedding is common seen in rural areas. India aims to generate 175GW electricity by renewable means by 2022. As per white paper published by NITI Aayog, making India’s passenger mobility shared, electric, and connected can cut its energy demand by 64% and carbon emissions by 37% in 2030. This would result in a reduction of 156 Mtoe in diesel and petrol consumption for that year & at USD 52/bbl of crude, this would imply a net savings of roughly ₹3.9 lakh crore in 2030.
– Chaitanya Kulkarni
Originally published on | Tech that transforms life.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Indian airlines may procure amphibious aircrafts to improve last mile connectivity.

Beriev 50 seater amphibious aircraft

As the disposable income of India’s middle class rises, ambitions of first-time travelers are reaching sky heights. In 2016, India was the third largest aviation in the world with more than 100 million flyers. Flight tickets to Tier 1 cities in India are among the cheapest in the world. With the right market search, one could fly long distances in India at less cost than 3AC Indian Railways. Chennai – Mumbai flights can be booked at Rs. 1700 whereas the 24-hour journey in luxurious Humsafar Express costs Rs 1800.

With Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik scheme, travel to small cities by flights has now been capped at Rs 2,500. Indian airports are now unable to cope with the flying density. Mumbai Airstrip is one of the busiest in the world with a flight landing in every 50 seconds. Low-cost airlines are now eyeing to procure amphibious planes to improve last mile connectivity. With amphibious planes, major rivers and big dams can be converted into an airport. India’s all 640 districts and its small cities and tourist places may benefit with the move.

Low-cost airline Spice jet is in talks with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings to procure more than 100 Kodiak amphibious aircrafts. An amphibious aircraft can land on water, gravel or India’s national highways. Russian firm Beriev has made a similar offer to supply 50 seater amphibious aircrafts which are awaiting government clearance.

The manufacturers have also proposed adopting the 'Make in India' route to locally manufacture the seaplanes in collaboration with Indian manufacturers if the contract value allows them to do so. Meanwhile, India has agreed to a trial of a Japanese seaplane. The trial is scheduled to begin in Nagpur. Nagpur has grabbed international attention after Reliance – Dassault manufacturing facility with 100 million Euro in MIHAN aerospace manufacturing SEZ.

The list price of each aircraft stands around $4 million, which means the fleet of around 100 aircraft will cost around $400 million. SpiceJet is exploring to seek low-interest loans from Japan. Mehair was the industry first to start seaplane service in India. There were plans to run planes from Girgaon or Juhu, in Mumbai to the tourist hub of Lonavala. The plan never took off due to bureaucratic delays by government authorities in adopting new technologies. Kochi-based Sea Bird Seaplane Pvt Ltd that recently received the no-objection certificate (NOC) from DGCA, also plans to start operations with its two aircraft.

"We want to encourage seaplanes. A small nation like the Maldives has a fleet of 47 seaplanes but India, despite vast potential has none. I urge industrialists in the area to come to India. Here there is potential," Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping and Surface Transport. 

India’s aviation market is expected to get 500 million frequent flyers by the year 2025. To meet excessive demands, India needs more than 200 smaller size airplanes in next 10 years. Not just UDAN subsidised passengers, amphibious airplanes may mean a big opportunity for luxury resorts.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Satoshi Nakamoto: An anonymous man who is valued at Rs. 40,000 crores

Within just 9 years, every single person who is keen on investing knows what bitcoin is. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash which allows online payment to be sent from one person to another without going through a financial institution. The Bitcoin had a tremendous run this year and it made fortunes for millions of its users. Cryptocurrency expert claim that more than transaction worth $3 billion are traded every day in Bitcoin market. Bitcoin recorded a growth of more than 600% in 2017. As a result, this cryptocurrency’s largest holder, the one who founded Bitcoin is estimated to be sitting at whopping 40,000 crores.

Global financial institutions are raising a red flag with Bitcoin’s stupendous rise. Major financial crimes including ransomware attacks, economic funding to terror, gambling are suspected to carry out operations by using bitcoin. In the age of PR where creators and innovators look to amplify their success to gain money, why does the founder of bitcoin choose to be anonymous?

Ransomware attack payment screen demanding Bitcoins

On 31st October 2008, a white paper named Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system was released by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudo name so it can either be a person or a group. Satoshi was an active contributor to the development of bitcoin. He/They were active on the forum solving keys issues related to development and launching. He/They replied to emails and worked closely with other developers to improve the program. The system works on a technology which now we know as blockchain. The blockchain is advanced third-party ledger widely used by governments, financial systems, big data scientists etc.

Satoshi Nakamoto himself/themselves failed to explain the complex bitcoin concept to general audiences. There is nothing to relate it to. When Bitcoin was released into the wild in January of 2009, the decentralized network slowly started transforming the way society perceives money and the entire financial system in general. Bitcoin started with just a few adopters, like Hal Finney who received 10 BTC completing the very first bitcoin transaction. Now the protocol is used by millions of people from every corner of the world, giving individuals a better the bank, while also moving their funds without permission from so-called rulers (financial institutions).

Satoshi and one of the early bitcoin develop Martti Malmi (who I think is an introvert person) started a website to promote the use of bitcoins in public. But suddenly, as bitcoin gathered steam in exchanges, Satoshi Nakamoto, the largest holder of BTC suddenly disappeared from public space. Cryptocurrency experts say Satoshi holds 5% of total Bitcoins available in the exchange. Bitcoin is a limited P2P currency, only 21 million BTC can be issued. Out of 21 million BTC, Satoshi holds on 9,80,000 Bitcoins.

Not a single Bitcoin investor in this world has seen who Satoshi is. Some even claim the person/group stays in US, not Japan. The reason why Satoshi left Bitcoin forum and his/their decision to remain anonymous is still unknown. There are two hypotheses – A good Satoshi hypothesis and a bad Satoshi hypothesis. Good Satoshi hypothesis suggests he/they have left to let Bitcoin to grow by itself by giving autonomy to developers. The other hypothesis suggests that Satoshi saw bitcoin taking off and wanted to maintain privacy to able sell off his/their assets when overvalued. But as hard as we may try, it's very possible that we never find out who Nakamoto really is. Anonymity is, after all, a core concept of Bitcoin.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni (Twitter - @chai2kul/@digicookies)

Source –,, CNBC.

Originally published on | Tech that transforms life.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

China launches world’s first hydrogen-powered tram in Hebei province.

China hydrogen tram Tangshan Heibei

In the last few decades, China has become a global leader in innovative mass transportations systems. Not just they are known for 20,000km of bullet trains, it’s small cities are developing innovative models for themselves and the world. Changchun city was the first to develop a tram or light rail system. Today, China has more than 15 Trams and light rails systems in the world.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered tram began its commercial operations in Tangshan, one of China's oldest industrial cities not far from the capital, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. It was developed by the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Tangshan Co. Ltd in 2015. This is Made-In-China product is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which is a superior eco-friendly measure.

With water being its only emission, the tram emits no pollutants. No nitrogen oxides will be produced as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius. The distance between carriage floor of the tram and the rail is only 35 cm thanks to the latest low-floor technology, which can remove station platforms and thus make boarding easy for passengers.

China hydrogen powered tram

This modern tram has three carriages with 66 seats and can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour consuming 12 kilograms of hydrogen. It can be refueled in just 15 minutes. The four-station line includes a 100kg-capacity hydrogen refilling station.

The launch of hydrogen-powered tram marks a huge step and commitment towards eco-friendly public transportation. The city of Foshan in Guangzhou province have also decided to deploy 8 hydrogen fuel cell powered trams.

Trams are a highly successful and cheap mode of transport across the globe, especially in developed European countries. In comparison, India has currently only 1 tramway operational in Kolkata (operational since 1873). As India urbanises rapidly, at least 100 small cities will require light rail systems in next few decades.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source – China Daily, Global Times.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Bangladesh signs long-term gasoil import deal with India.

Bangladesh India GasOil import deal

After solving the historic India – Bangladesh border conclave deal, ties and trade between India and Bangladesh are improving at rapid pace. Bangladesh is one of the largest importer of India’s high-quality goods and services. Recently, Bangladesh signed a gasoil long term import deal with India in energy space. Bangladesh signed a long-term sales and purchase agreement with an Indian refiner to import gasoil to meet the country's energy demand, officials said.

The deal between Bangladesh Petroleum Corp (BPC) and Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) was signed in presence of India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who arrived in Dhaka on Sunday on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral issues. Her visit comes as Bangladesh is struggling to cope with an influx of almost 600,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees.

Gasoil will be imported from Numaligah Refinery in India’s Assam state via pipeline. The cost of the pipeline construction will be borne by India. It can be noted that only 5 kilometres of pipeline runs in Indian territory while the rest is situated in Bangladesh. Department of Energy and Mineral Resources and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation sources has said that, Bangladesh is likely to import 2.5 lac metric tons to 4 lac metric tons of diesel from India using this pipeline.

The pipeline will connect to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation’s Parbatipur fuel depot in Dinajpur, North Bangladesh. Bangladesh traditionally receives most of the fuel requirement at Chittagong port near the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh spends USD 6.6 per barrel in logistics to supply fuel from Chittagong Port to North Bangladesh. NRL under Bharat Petroleum has agreed to supply fuel at USD 5.5 premium rate on import rate. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation will import around 250,000 million tonnes/year of gasoil in the initial three years, and the volume will be raised to around 300,000 mt/year during the fourth to sixth years, 350,000 mt/year during the seventh to 10th years and 400,000 mt/year from the 11th to 15th years. The Indo-Bangla friendship gasoil pipeline is expected to be completed in three years.

With growing cooperation in trade and development, India’s exports to Bangladesh reported a robust growth in 2016-17. The growth is attributed to a significant rise in export of equipment and high-value machinery for project implementation in Bangladesh. According to the Commerce Ministry, exports to Bangladesh touched $6.8 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2017, recording 13 per cent growth. Total bilateral trade had hit an all-time high of $7.5 billion, up 11 per cent. Bangladesh is the ninth largest importer of Indian goods.

As a part of its Act East Policy, India is keen on developing new railway lines, highways and upgrading port infrastructure. In order to reach its North-eastern states faster, development of transportation in Bangladesh is must.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni