21 Oct 2020

War Games with COVID19

The vaccine to end all vaccines, or something like that, could start rolling out for the public-at-large in just a matter of months. This could be seen to bring relief ... fingers-crossed …  from becoming an inadvertent host to this coronavirus. 

Yet, it will be more appropriate if the vaccine is not perceived as a personal condom to safeguard selected individuals from COVID19, but is seen as the mainstay of a program to eradicate the virus.

There is a fine distinction between a personal prophylactic against disease and achieving population scale immunity to stop the spread of a disease. Enmasse, entire populations or around 65 to 75 per cent as the scientists tell, must be inoculated (and in quick-time) to rid us of COVID19. 

14 Apr 2020

Start-up Rural India, after Covid19

Most of rural India witnessed an unseasonal reverse migration of its able bodied manpower, who had to return perforce fearing prolonged economic duress. In the backdrop of the Covid19 pandemic, this movement from urban centres to home villages, was undertaken in defiance of a nationwide curfew. 

As this virus spreads its reach, it is quite evident that the risk of disease is heightened in localities with a high population density. When working in cities, these workers (termed migrants), tolerated crowded and squalid living conditions, usually in illegally built building blocks and slum areas that do not even pretend to have basic norms. Typically employing themselves in blue collar jobs and semi-skilled tasks, often as informal labourers, this workforce by now would understand that they are safer in the more open expanses of rural India.

8 Apr 2020

Computing a Graded Exit from Covid19 Lockdown

The Covid-19 lockdown required a cessation of all non-essential physical interaction, so as to minimise the transmission of the novel coronavirus between humans. 

Governments all over, want to curtail the rampant spread and recurrence of the virus that mainly transfers via respiratory droplets, needing physical proximity between its victims. Indirect transmission, by way of fomites, is not fully documented but any community spread would mean as much. A graded ending of the lockdown is needed.

6 Apr 2020

Covid19 Safety for Agri-markets in India

Life can only be sustained with food, and food supply is dependent on agricultural trade, which is routed through wholesale markets (mandis).

Typically, the operations in mandis involves crowds and close quarters working practices. This, in the age of COVID-19 raises some concerns. Yet, the mandis must function to maintain supply of agri-produce.

To keep the agri-markets safe, a few basic suggestions are listed. If readers have other ideas, please feel free to add in comments.

5 Apr 2020

What Next, after India's Lockdown Ends!

India’s country-wide lockdown is to end in 10 days. There are some who prefer to err on the safer side and suggest the special curfew be extended, while others hope the inconvenience be ended once and for all.

The 21-day lockdown period (from March 25) is a week longer than the recommended 14 days for isolating infected individuals; presumably, the government had taken cognisance of the possibility that the first week would see non-compliance and disruptions before the larger population would settle down and observe the restrictions in the subsequent two weeks.

27 Mar 2020

Lessons from Coronavirus could help Reform Humankind

The COVID-19 virus is a tough story to wrap your head around and so many questions are asked. Where and why did it originate, how did it turn pandemic, are we over-reacting, why is it so much more dangerous than tuberculosis, which is an ongoing pandemic and still kills 1.5 million each year.

The one clear take is that this new virus and the panic-demic, has spread like wildfire thanks to a dense and interconnected world. Budget airlines hastened its reach, and modern day social & electronic media were prompt in spreading its infamy. And our human world is still shaking, hard !

19 Mar 2020

Prepare to Spread the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 virus is showing all indications of disrupting every individual’s life habits. While social isolation is largely voluntary so far, the fear of the disease is also coercing some to ostracise others who may show related symptoms. The helplessness factor has also initiated a blame-game of sorts, with a few even allocating this corona virus a nationality. Some people are seen to discover religion anew, and many others have displayed acts of kindness, reported from around the world.

This raging pandemic has left everyone focusing on one hope, to ‘dampen the curve’ of the infected. The idea is, to buy time, so that local healthcare networks can ably cope with the numbers expected. Sadly, that means that a lot of pain also abounds, and it is most unfortunate doctors are had to resort to triage – selective treatment of the ill – due to high load on the medical system in a few regions.

13 Mar 2020

The Farm is Humankind's first Solar Powered Factory

Agriculture is most commonly correlated with the act of cultivation (and herding, catching, harvesting) and a few other field activities, carried out by agricultural serfs. It is also mostly linked with food security concerns. However, farming is the heart of the agricultural value system, a value system that not only ensures that humankind and their livestock gets fed (food & fodder), but has also evolved to provide feedstock to industries.

Agriculture has a unique place in the primary economic sector, as its output can be directly consumed (as in milk, meats, fruits & vegetables) and also service the demand of industries (as in cotton, leather, medicinals, chemicals, processed foods, and more). The other main primary sector is mining, where the harvest of natural resources (eg. ore, crude, coal, etc.) has to necessarily undergo transformative processes before it can come into gainful end-use. Like how cotton cannot be worn unless converted into cloth, and oilseeds have to be processed for oil before it is consumable.

10 Mar 2020

FACE2FACE - Partnerships 'tween private & public sectors can drive excellence

Answers - Capt Pawanexh Kohli, former CEO of NCCD & Chief Advisor to DAC&FW. He was knowledge partner & member of the Committee on Doubling Farmers Income and is conferred the title of Professor (Post-harvest Logistics) by the University of Birmingham.

Questions - Ramesh Kumar, veteran business journalist and author of Naked Banana, 10000 Km on Indian Highways and more. His penmanship is also held at the US Library of Congress and he is a well-known evangelist of India’s logistics & supply chain operators. 

Excerpts from an extended dialogue between Ramesh Kumar and Pawanexh Kohli – about recent developments in cool logistics, his exit from NCCD and more...