Cars of Tomorrow: Electric Or Fuel Cell

Tesla and Electric Vehicles
It was Puchchu (Anand) who first introduced me to Tesla Motors and its founder Elon Musk. I never knew that it was Elon Musk who had bought the famous NUMMI plant producing GM and Toyota cars. I had visited the plant in 2008, when in US.

Anand had bought some shares of Tesla Motors, and he is one of those rare technocrat shareholders who keeps very close watch on the product and performance of the companies in which they invest.

Tesla S is the choicest vehicle for the auto enthusiasts and environmentalists too. The EV, unlike the internal combustion engine with hundreds of moving pieces, has only one moving piece: the rotor. Acceleration is instantaneous going to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 secs. Tesla S has been a great success.

Next models are X and E. Model X to come soon in production, will be more exhilarating.

Fast enough recharging of the vehicles is the technical hurdle for the users of the cars. Tesla Motors has already started establishing superchargers in large numbers to ease recharging in US and other countries that will have the prospective customers of Tesla Motors. These Superchargers provide half a charge in as little as 20 minutes.

As per the latest quarterly report in early August, ‘Tesla delivered 7,579 Model S vehicles in the last quarter, a bit above its forecast of 7,500. But Tesla has lowered its forecast for revenue and deliveries for the third quarter to 7,800 vehicles from 9,500, because it had to shut down its factory in Fremont, Calif., to install equipment in July. Tesla expects to ramp up production in the final three months of 2014 to reach its sales goal of 35,000.’

And further, ‘Tesla Motors and Panasonic signed an agreement to work together on building Tesla’s Gigafactory, which would be the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer when completed. The Gigafactory would also add about 6,500 jobs by 2020. The Gigafactory would cost as much as $5 billion to build. Panasonic is expected to initially invest 20 billion to 30 billion yen, or $194 to $291 million in Tesla Motors and invest the full $5 billion.Tesla X is already in plan of production. Earlier this month, chief executive Elon Musk confirmed the automaker’s next model, the Model 3. Priced at $35,000, the Model 3 is Tesla’s cheapest electric car and the company’s first attempt to cater to a wider range of customers.’

Tesla Motors aims to produce 1,00,000 cars a year by 2020.

Is EV going to be the ultimate in driving auto technology replacing the gasoline vehicles, as Élan Musk bets on?

I wanted to find out what other major car manufacturers think. Interestingly, I came across an equally prospective technology of fuel cell.

Toyota and Fuel Cell Mirai

Toyota Motors, the maker of the most popular Prius hybrid bets on fuel-cell cars over pure-electric vehicles, pushed by Tesla Motors Inc. and other like GM and Nissan. Toyota plans a hydrogen fuel cell car with sticker price of about 7 million yen ($69,000) for its first model based on the technology, Mirai which go on sale in Japan before April 2015.

Toyota has also been working hard to convince governments to offer massive purchase incentives to anyone willing to buy one. So far in its home market of Japan, Toyota has managed to convince the Japanese government to offer a massive ¥2 million ($20,000) to each and every customer who buys a Mirai, with certain prefectures pledging to add another ¥1 million of incentives on top of that. As reported, the Japanese government may be going one step further by underwriting the entire cost of early adopters’ cars. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is prepared to do whatever it takes to help Japan lead what he believes will be a hydrogen revolution.

Quoting Japan’s Nihon Keizai newspaper, Automotive News says a governmental panel is currently considering pushing that further, doing whatever it takes to help make hydrogen fuel cell cars a success. Among them, the Nihon Keizai claims, are free fuel for hydrogen fuel cell cars, exemptions from highway tolls and most noticeably, free cars.

The primary advantage hydrogen-powered vehicles have over EVs is that they are able to refuel in about the same time as a conventional gasoline-burning vehicle. However, there are currently only 12 station in the U.S., of which 10 are in California.

As reported, Toyota and Honda are gearing up to launch new hydrogen-powered vehicles in California and Hyundai began delivering its hydrogen-powered Tucson last month.

Toyota Mirai, named after the Japanese word for “future”, has so far only been known as the Toyota FCV (or “Fuel-Cell Vehicle”).Toyota is claiming around 300 miles of driving on a single tank of hydrogen. Toyota sees fuel-cell technology could be the next big technology to disrupt the classic combustion engine that propels most cars today.

But why is Toyota making such an aggressive move toward this technology and away from battery-electric cars? Simply put, Toyota thinks that current battery technology isn’t good enough, and there are no promising breakthroughs on the horizon.

Toyota’s research team has moved aggressively toward cars with fuel cells — so aggressively, that it has delayed the next-generation Prius in order to focus on the Mirai’s development.

So when Tesla Motors is betting on a pure battery car, giant Toyota has chosen another path, despite the success (so far) of upstart Tesla Motors.

One will have to wait to know who’s right?

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Powering India: Go Solar

Cary, NC, USA, July 1: One more home in Harmony community has gone solar, 24 modules of solar plates on the slanting roof matches with the original roof. I saw it happening in my morning walk. In US, there is hardly any power outage. Dependence on electricity is very high. Big refrigerator, washing/drying machine, air conditioning system, big ovens- all consume a lot of power. Electricity bills are high. Any saving on that is a major saving. The system will save anything between 60-100 percent of household energy requirement. The utility firm that supplies electricity will buy solar power generated. It will reduce or eliminate the bill for the home owner beside raising the sale value of the home. And American home owners are installing these rooftop solar system in big number in the states where the tariff is very high.

In California, the commercial businesses, from almond orchards in the Central Valley to hotels in San Francisco, are installing energy storage for backup power and to avoid costly charges for electricity during peak usage hours.

Palo Alto-based Tesla, best known for its all-electric Model S sedan, besides offering the residential energy storage units to customers through SolarCity, where Tesla CEO Elon Musk serves as chairman, Tesla is making much larger-scale energy storage systems for commercial businesses at its Fremont factory. With the lithium-ion battery technology, which powers Tesla’s cars, it aims at revolutionising both the electric vehicle and energy storage markets. And next to come is the Tesla’s “gigafactory”for battery production that is expected to produce more batteries than currently are being made globally. The batteries will not just be for Tesla’s cars but also for stationary storage.The customers including homeowners installing the system ultimately will get the storage systems fully connected to the electric grid of their local utility.

For a country like India that has acute shortage of power and too with unbearable climatic condition, the popularisation of roof top solar will be big saviour. New Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, and the urban region of the whole of North India will be the best place to go for the revolution with clean energy through solar power.

However, the electricity supplying companies will have to cooperate in the project with a missionary zeal. Only genuine and strong solar energy providers with good accreditation must enter the sector, otherwise the users may find themselves cheated with false promises of advantages and poor quality of installations. The project will need a lot of education and marketing too.

As per the media reports, many states and cities in India are having the plan to go solar in phases. But it has still not reached the required momentum. And million of prospective clients in urban and rural areas are eagerly waiting to see solar helping them.

India can sort out its energy problem with solar route.The PM has called for a “saffron” revolution, or rather a shift away from the current fossil fuel based energy system towards one that is based on non-fossil fuels and in particular, solar energy.

Jaitley’s budget has hardly any mention on household rooftop solar installations. He perhaps skipped it as it would have meant further pressure of subsidy load of the government. But his power minister must discuss about the various problems in bringing about this energy revolution to cut down the grid load during peak hours, particularly in satellite towns such those in NCR that suffer most in summer.

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Budget and fast implementation

Many welcome news are coming from various ministers. Smriti Irani, while getting critical views from the leftist historian Romila Thapar, has appealed to all the directors of IITs to mentor some engineering colleges in the vicinity. If executed with concern, it will have multiplier effect on the quality of output of engineers graduating from those colleges. I wish she also pronounces the progress made. Gadkari is moving fast to restart the many road projects worth more than a lakh that are held up, soon. Gadkari further has promised to speed up the road construction to 30 kms per day. And that will mean 27,000 kms of highways by this government even if he considers 300 days in a year for just three years.

After all the announcements in various documents of different platforms, all the executive machinery must focus on fast implementation.

1. All the ministries must cut its flab of expenditures even without waiting for the report of the Expenditure Management Commission (EMC) that is to submit an interim report by year end to help in subsidy rationalisation and enhance the efficacy of public outlays. For a real change to come, the ministers must discuss cost-cutting, productivity and operational efficiencies. It is never late to learn. I wonder if the ministers and implementing bureaucrats get the assistance from the best brains on the subject even if it meant its import from private sector or abroad. They must appreciate the cost of poorly designed projects and that of inordinate delays.

2. The common people like me and many were expecting the government to identify and list out some visible acts and projects that will make the people to perceive the government working hard and efficiently to develop the country . By the end of 100 days, the new government must let the nation know at least 100 priority projects with its target and what percentage of the same will be completed by the end of first, second, third and fourth year. The country men will like to see the progress on ground. A special website will be the requirement.

I wish the government sees the reason behind this, as that will differentiate this government from the previous ones. All Indians are hankering for seeing the progress on projects such as bullet trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad or dedicated freight corridors, or for that matters the improving cleanliness all over India and clean Ganga. Indians will judge the government on basis of bringing the promised IITs, IIMs, and AIIMS in operation before the next election in 2019. Indians will not wait for five years to see the progress on promised actions of improvements, so they must be constantly informed.

3. As reported, if the government succeeds in getting amended various contentious labour legislations as initiated by Rajasthan, and strikes at the much-dreaded inspector raj successfully, it will certainly improve the poor perception about India as destination for operating an enterprise and doing the business.

4. The ministries will have to be proactive. The announcement of 49 percent FDI in defence production or lifting of the need of licences for manufacturing many defence equipment may also require special efforts from the concerned ministries to persuade the prospective investors to come and establish the manufacturing facilities. Perhaps foreign affairs ministry through embassies and consulates will have to work for marketing the potential of India. Perhaps, Modi will have to discuss with the heads of Wipro, HCL, or Airtel why could not they expand the manufacturing of hard wares that they were already manufacturing and why did they abandoned manufacturing or hived off the business. Manufacturing will require something more than just policies to become competitive. Modi may have to motivate all the manufacturing PSUs such as BHEL, BEL, or BMEL to become world class giants in its fields, may have to encourage them for developing products of world class quality and to target exporting at least 30 percent.

5. Ministers such as those in Telecom, Aviation, or Heavy Industry must stop providing budgetary support to PSUs instead they must a clear signal to perform or perish. PSUs must not be supported year after year to live on their inefficiencies. Why should not BSNL or MTNL take up the task of reaching the target of connecting all cities, small towns and rural India with high speed broad band? Can’t India tap the potential of IT sector and its talent by providing the world class digital connectivity? Indians, particularly the young users, will certainly expect India to have world class infrastructure in this field from tech- savvy Modi. Why should not Modi government fast track the national optic fibre network (NOFN) ?

Let the government perform with a missionary zeal.. Implementation……Implementation …….. Implementation…

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Powering India- Solar way

“Q: What are your plans for promoting solar power?
A:We want to wait and see what happens to the commerce ministry’s decision to impose anti dumping duty on import of equipment.
We have requested for the review. However, we have a limited capacity to manufacture equipments for solar power and cannot look at expanding solar mission. We should make a road map for making equipment for solar power.
Also, the earlier government has left us saddled with pending disbursements of subsidies. We are trying to get some funds to reduce this burden.”

-From one interview of Piyush Goyal, the new power minister, that appeared in Economic Times.

It is disgusting, shocking. I hope Goyal changes his mindset of his former assignment as spokesperson of BJP. He is now one of the ‘bhagyabidhatas’ of India and a billion plus Indians.

While in morning walk some weeks ago, I was surprised to see a billboard ‘we are going solar’ in front yard of a house in the community Harmony in Cary, North Carolina, where we are staying with Anand for more than a month now. I told Anand and Shannon about it. They were in knowledge about the company as some other neighbour had got its rooftop solar installed and circulated a note about his experience. Shannon and Anand also had decided to explore its viability. Anand is really excited about the potential of solar power in domestic application.

Interestingly, a representative of Southern Energy, the company that has provided the solar energy system in the community, visited us just after few days. I had the opportunity to learn from him about the increasing use of solar energy in US for domestic purposes. One gets the reduction of electricity bill. The generated solar electricity gets transferred to the grid. The US federal and state governments are providing subsidy up to 75 percent of the investment. As per the representative, Anand house can have solar instalment that can meet the full load of about 1500 KwHr per month, but normally 40 to 70 percent coverage is good enough for a good return on investment. For covering the full load, the actual investment of about US $ 18,000-20,000 will be required after accounting for the discount.

There is also one other business model provided by another solar power provider company, ‘Solar City’. The company does not charge anything for the installation of the system. The user pays every month the company a fixed amount calculated on basis of his present average consumption.

As reported, the Solar City is growing almost at the rate of about 100percent. SolarCity installed about 270 MW for all of 2013. The management predicted 475 MW to 525 MW of installations for 2014, up to 89% growth over 2013.

As reported,’Solar energy production in the United States is doubling every 2 years. The cost of installation has come down and the spread of a decentralized solar energy network is becoming more threatening to the energy industry each quarter.’

In the houses in my village in India, the solar energy has been providing basic minimum electricity for years for lighting and some other essential gadgets, when we didn’t have grid connection. Even after the grid connection, the power outages are extensive, and those solar installations provide some relief.It is not that India is not moving forward with the solar energy installations. While the current solar power capacity of India is 2,600 MW, government hopes to cross 20,000 MW by 2022. However, India is to speed up.

As reported, in Financial Express,’Tata Power Delhi Distribution, plans to launch a unique rooftop solar initiative that will allow residents of north Delhi to produce solar power and even sell it to the discom at a profit if they have a surplus or do not wish to use it…A 1 kw of solar PV installation roughly costs between Rs 70,000 to 80,000 and generates 4 to 5 units a day. Such installations take up roof space of about 10 to 12 square metres…A 1 kw of solar PV installation roughly costs between Rs 70,000 to 80,000 and generates 4 to 5 units a day. Such installations take up roof space of about 10 to 12 square metres.’

With the stories of recent severe power outages in this summer of Delhi and NCR, rather of the whole of North India and their inconveniences, the rooftop solar system can certainly be the best solution. As much as I know, a huge number of households own houses costing more than even Rs 10 million. Many have got installed diesel generators polluting the atmosphere. They can certainly afford and get installed a clean rooftop solar power system, even if the governments do not provide the subsidy.

As one report goes, ‘Narendra Modi is working on a plan to meet a significant portion of power demands of major cities through solar by 2019. All the power-starved states are to emulate the Gandhinagar, where solar developers rented the terraces of residential and public buildings for setting up solar panels. It now accounts for 2 MW of the total generated in the state annually. The developers pay the house-owners Rs. 3 per unit generated from the latter’s roofs while the state government buys the power generated for the grid.’ Rooftop generation is catching on in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka too. The states are pushing for a do-it-yourself model for house-owners, encouraging them to set up solar arrays on the roofs and derive a part or all of their power needs from these and sell the surplus to the government.’

Some data below may enthuse the governments and the Indian households to go solar:
1. Global solar PVR power capacity grew from about 2.2 GW in 2002 to 100 GW in 2012.
2. Approximately 66% of installed world solar PVR power capacity has been installed in the past two and a half years. And total installed capacity is projected to double in the coming two and a half years.
3. Germany accounted for nearly one third of global(22%) solar PVR capacity at the end of 2012, with Italy at 16%, US at 7.2%, and China at 7.0%. India is not in the list of top 10 countries.
4. The price of solar PV panels has dropped about 80% since 2008 in 2012.

The solar power can contribute significantly to solve the major power problem and to cut down the pollution associated with the traditional power generation. And so,

1. The government must encourage householders, and the power providing companies to solve the acute power problem that causes extreme inconvenience in our hot country for the most part of the year with rooftop solar installations with suitable business models. This is what even the developed nations are doing.
2. The domestic companies such as Tata Power, Reliance Power, or other power providing companies must get involved in promoting solar power, as the solar power will have to be fed in power grid.
3. The government and private companies must induce and incentivise the national laboratories of CSIR, DRDO, and IITs to focus on the R&D part of the commercial application of solar power, in developing the technologies of storage battery, solar cells or hydrogen fuel cell.
4. MNCs such as LG, Panasonic, or Sun Power present in the country are to be encouraged to bring in the manufacturing of the solar cells with the best possible efficiency and its R&D activities in the country.

Let us not only pray the Sun god, let us take the services of Sun god as his boon to solve our acute problem. All the householders can help themselves in solving power problem once some good utility providing companies come forward with their business models for roof top solar power installations.

PS: And on June 20, Graham Alexander, Southern Energy Management, sent his proposal with the data below:
System: 27 LG solar cells panels, with SMA inverter e Gauge monitoring system roof mount installation (inclusive of racking,wire and conduit, permits, interconnection applications and filings. System is a direct grid-tied with no battery backup, and is interconnected through Progress Energy(SunSense) on a Net-Metered schedule
System size: 7.29 kw DC, First year energy production 8,844 kWh
Current Energy cost $ 0.099 /kWh
Lifetime cost of energy with no solar $ 0.166/kWh
Lifetime cost of energy with solar $ 0.055/kWh
First year solar savings $ 1220
Average annual solar savings $ 1459
First year rate of return 9.8%( increasing to 15.9% in 25th year)
Project Price
Total Turnkey Price $ 33, 785
-Upfront utility rebates $ 2,971
-30%federal Tax credit $ 9,983
-35%NC State Tax credit $ 10,500
+Federal Tax on State credit $2 ,625
Net installed cost $ 12,449
The solar installation add value to the home of about $ 21,888 approx.
Environmental benefits will be equivalent to 317,299 miles not driven for a car and 3558 tree saplings planted

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An open letter to the ministers and MPs from Bihar

An open letter to the ministers and MPs from Bihar

Nitish Kumar lost the track that he promised to develop Bihar after he broke the marriage with BJP. There is none in the state who can create hope in the aspiring youngsters. Will you do something positive to make Bihar proud of you? I have just few suggestions:

1. Help the long-stalled proposed Madhepura rail locomotive factory and the Rs 1,200-crore diesel locomotive factory in Marhowrah operative and running through your persistent interventions with the concerned ministries at the centre and at state level. It can bring Bihar on the map of industrialised states of the country, if the project chiefs are given autonomy and the companies are allowed to grow on sound management principles. Both the companies can a attract a large numbers of small companies around the factory sites as part suppliers, as a huge number of parts will be required by it. Both the places can develop as the clusters of industrial activities with a potential for a large employment.

2. As a basic initial requirement, please intervene with and facilitate the skill development ministry to get few ITIs established in or near the townships. Both the factories will require a good number of skilled persons.

3. Please use your clout in Delhi to facilitate the fast progress of the prestigious central government projects such as Nalanda International University and the two central universities.

4. Your help can also get World Heritage status for Vikramshila And Sasaram for its unique historical past.

5. And a foundation of all growth and development can be laid with establishment of maximum number of schools- Kendriya, Navodaya and Kasturba in rural Bihar.

6. Meet and Encourage the well known young entrepreneurs from IITs, IIMs or other institutions who are working already in Bihar in scaling up their operations.

The whole of Bihar is looking for a brighter future for Bihar and you can get them all. That will only ensure your winning spree in next challenges.

(For Union ministers — law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state for rural development Upendra Kushwaha Radha Mohan Singh, minister of agriculture and MPs such as Rajiv Ruddy and a whole lot of them)
Sincerely, Indra R Sharma
(Presently in Cary, North Carolina, USA)

PS: If rightly handled, these companies may become one day one like GE, EMD of the US or China’s CSR and CNR. If the new government and its railway ministry so dream and incorporate a global standard R&D facility with the factories, it can beside meeting the domestic requirements can also be a big exporter. The facilities must be planned, manned and monitored with a high objective and all these can be realised.

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Educating India- Some Good and Some Shocking Aspects

I would have loved if Smriti Irani would have gone to establish one of the three types (Kendriya, Navodaya, and Kasturba) of schools in every block of the countryside instead of talking about ‘One IIT and IIM in every state‘.

It will be better if all the new IITs, IIMs and other institutes of higher learning and research already initiated earlier are put in full operation along with the prestigious Nalanda International University and all central universities.

However, there seems to be some interesting reasons for me to back Irani’s project. With a craze for getting these alumni of IITs and IIMs engaged in the activities such as election campaign of political parties and most of the engineers joining financial institutes or starting e-based businesses, perhaps the need of getting larger number of these graduates is imperative.

I wish the new government could also think of the ways to retain the engineers from these institutes in engineering engagements, endeavours and enterprises.

And IIMs must make experience of at least five years as one of the basic requirements for admission. Perhaps, it will then discourage IIT engineers from entering IIMs. It would have benefited engineering companies. Indian manufacturing companies could have produced some really globally accepted products. I really feel shocked after hearing that one of my acquaintances from electronics or electrical branch joined IIMs and then a bank. The companies in engineering sector must become attractive enough for the meritorious engineers too.

It was heartening to hear from the IITJEE topper of the year about his wish for a career in research. However, I don’t know if he shall be able to keep that mission in place after four years at any of the IIT campus. And I also felt bad after knowing that he had also gone to Kota and sought coaching.

Anand Kumar of Super 30 of Patna continues with his success rate. But he would have made it at least a Super100 with increased number of IITs.

But the most shocking news related to higher education comes from MP. As reported, “MBBS students from neighbouring states (called “scorers”) would be engaged as impersonators for weak students from MP. Seating arrangements inside the hall would be adjusted to ensure that the “scorer” sat next to the student who copied the answers. Another way involved leaving the OMR sheets partially blank so that they could be filled later at MPPEB headquarters.”

Why should such misdemeanours be not treated as criminal and all the accused placed under life imprisonment beside making all the examinees barred from practising medical profession life long.

Education must get attention from every side of the society. Will Indians be good enough to keep this sector at least a corruption-free one?

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Mother Language and my Views

As reported, ‘Modi talks to foreign leaders in Hindi even though he is reasonably comfortable in English. Apparently, he uses translators for Hindi-English or Hindi-Russian language conversions, but if he gets replies in English he needs no reverse translation.’ In stead of taking a national pride in it, some vested interest of media are trying to give a negative twist. I somehow smelt the same after watching a debate on NDTV 24×7 in ‘The Big Fight’ anchored by Vikram Chandra. Why should such issue get a priority that may be divisive? Please watch and let me have your views

Very soon, I shall be starting my ‘sanyas ashram’, but before that I can certainly talk and write on some subject with my emotional ferment. In late 40s and early 50s, I started my high school education in Birlapur living with my grandfather. My grandfather in those days used to write his dairy- one page every day- in English, as he had all his education in English. Because of our nationalist views imprinted in us by our teacher in village, Ganga Dyal Pandey, whom we respected blindly, We insisted with my dadaji to change his dairy language to Hindi. I got education up to School Final of West Bengal Board with Hindi as medium of writing while my teachers in class taught only in Bangla. I learnt a little bit of Bangla, particularly the conversational. Starting from Presidency College from where I did my Intermediate in Science examination of Calcutta University to IIT, Kharagpur, English was the medium of teaching. It was inconvenient all the way, but today I do not consider the language as cause of much concern ever. During my professional career of almost forty years in West Bengal, I got benefited with my working knowledge of Bangla.

When my Yamuna joined me, she also picked up Bangla. My kids didn’t get much exposure of Bhojpuri, but they learnt to understand that because of the frequent visitors from the region. Anand is best with Bhojpuri because he had spent a lot of time with my father when he came to live with us while Anand was in school. Between Yamuna and myself, we had decided to use Hindi pretty early. We hardly spoke with our kids in English at home, though they studied in English medium. They picked up Bangla too. All the Hindi, Bhojpuri and Bangla around the at home never caused any problem for them in picking up English well. All of them are today in US. Unfortunately, over the years they have lost the touch and will hardly be comfortable with the reading and writing in Hindi. My grand children will hardly ever be in position where they will be using Hindi conveniently in any manner. It is troublesome for Yamuna, but she manages and we have accepted the situation. Interestingly, here in US schools, the grand children have picked up Spanish. Sometimes, I heard Mandarin also from Zach, the youngest of Anand.

US companies are integrating the people coming from different countries in the world with all sort of accent of English, but working together with no trouble. US schools encourage the additional learning of other languages of the world. The trend is becoming popular even in India. The private schools of metros and cities are providing the facilities for learning a number of foreign languages. Even at very early age, the kids on their own or sometimes facilitated by the enlightened parents go for other languages.

It is only the community in politics that are questioning the use of English as medium or sometimes opposes the teaching of Hindi as it was apparent in the debate on the TV channel that I referred above. But another news report from Chennai coming from Tamil Nadu from the same channel was astonishing and surprisingly pleasant too: “In the 1960s, Tamil Nadu saw violent protests against the compulsory learning of Hindi. Now, in a turnaround, many parents and schools in the state have launched a battle against the monopoly of Tamil and say they want Hindi.”

Months ago, I had read another news report also from Chennai that talked of the election campaign in Hindi in the residential pockets of Hindi immigrants. Hindi cinemas also have enhanced the popularity of Hindi among younger generation besides the possibility of transfer to Northern region for better job opportunity or the same for zeroing on the life partner from North India during college days.

The schooling up to class VI, say till a child is around 12 years of age must focus on just two subjects-language and math. The teaching of the language must include the vernacular nearest to the mother language along with English. The knowledge of all other subjects must be imparted through the curricula of the languages. At the end of class VI, the child must be proficient in reading and understanding the subject referred as well as in conversing fluently. He must be able to write too. The thrust should be on building good vocabulary and on encouraging reading. Unfortunately, the present schooling does not meet these requirements that are necessary as social necessity today to succeed in life through different phases.

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