Chrome this wasnt expected of you.

As a very shocking development all my installed apps on chrome have been uninstalled automatically.I had about 30 of them all from different sections added up meticulously over a span of 1 year.There were many games like conveyor, angry birds , word puzzle and utility apps like screenshot , indian railway app and the magical adblockerplus.Then there was this app which gave all the open wifi sources at a particular region, another which was graph calculator…

The recently installed beatlabs and alchemy game.

Since a month or so the conveyor was asking for extra permissions which i had been denying, did it took its revenge on me?

What would happen if i wake up one day to find out all my bookmarks are gone? it would be devastating. Today i synced my chrome with my gmail account.They say it will keep them safe.

There lies a vast task at hand which i am going to procrastinate for some other day:installing new apps.

Dear apps You all are missed.

FDIing Pharma Industry : Questioning affordable generics

Cosme Farma was bought by Adcock Ingram for Rs.480 crore [4.8 billions] on 12th July 2k12 .It is first acquisition to be allowed after being assessed by FIPB.

Cosme Farma was an Indian firm, Adcock Ingram is second largest pharma firm of South Africa.

This marks a strategic shift of MNCs pharma acquisitions: they are on look out for small companies .The small company will provide good-distribution network and an entry into generic space .

Until recently there has been 100% automatic route for FDI in pharmaceuticals.But after the report of  the inter-ministerial panel in July 2011, all the investment had to be be brought under the purview of CCI (Competition Commission of India).But since the present laws do not allow for CCI to scrutinize these, it was allowed for FIPB [Foreign Investment Promotion Board] to do so for six months until amendments in Competition Acts are made.

This inter-ministerial panel was triggered due to series of brownfield  buyout since 2006 which saw major Indian Pharma firms losing Indian controls as Matrix Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Shantha Biotechnics, Dabur Pharma, Orchid Chemicals(Injectibles) , Piramal Healthcare. It was handled the task of analyzing the impact of FDI on pricing and availability of medicines in India, dependence on imports and innovation for low cost medication.It was also asked to see if checks on FDI would cause  decline in funds for drug discovery.

The panels view were not homogeneous.The panel was bifurcated over curtailing FDI.The Planning Commission member and the panel head Arun Maira was of the view that FDI should not be curbed at all as it would send signals about India taking back on liberalization policy.Others including Ministry of Commerce and Industry,Department of Pharmaceuticals,DIPP [Department of Industry Policy Promotion] wanted stiff riders on FDI in pharma sectors.The latter view prevailed but there were differences over which agency should do the gate-keeeping. Maira wanted CCI while others favored FIPB to do the scrutiny.The difference was patched as PMO put weight behind Maira. Lastly in November the responsibility was handed over to FIPB till amendment in Competition Law was done.

Lobbying is  not uncommon in bureaucracy or politics, but the extent of lobbying seen in case of FIPB is disturbing. FIPB has been accused of sitting on $500 million investment and causing unnecessary delay.A special committee was formed to fasten the process of approving the proposals but myriad differences came out and the their report is still due.

Indian pharma industry though is going through a bullish phase but experts believe that this surge is short termed.The general secretary of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance,Dilip G Shah warns that the impact measuring only through change in price levels and competition would be highly inappropriate.He also cautions that the Maira Committee and Special group both are missing the point of future of the pharma industry & poor countrymen by doing over simplistic analysis.He questions  if we should develop our own indigenous R&D and develop our own manufacturing capabilities or allow MNCs to take over the industry similar to other sector.

The present scenario reveals that the Shahs fears are not unfounded.The cost of drugs has substantially risen over a month.Life saving drugs as Haemaccel (used in case operation,severe burns,and as drug carrier #1) have been priced Rs 219 from Rs.99.02 per 10 300 ml injection. Gardenal 60 mg tablet (used for relieving anxiety and during seizures) is now priced Rs 35.36 from pre-acquistion Rs.16.0. Supradyn(Multivitamiin) is another example which has undergone about 50% price increase.

The manufacturing capacity of India is being used for exporting drugs.Matrix is focused on selling antiretrovirals[drug used for HIV/AIDS] for third world countries.Shantha biotechnics is manufacturing products for European and North American markets.Orchid(injectibles) is being used for developed country markets.

The current status is automatic 49% investment FDI is allowed till their is ownership change and anything beyond that will be routed through FIPB or CCI. The company will be asked to give an undertaking of manufacturing NLEM [348 drugs have been included in the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines),generics was considered too broad] after acquisition but technology transfer and R&D support has been dismissed on grounds of “no objective yardstick”.

The indigenous pharma industry might be sold up entirely under pressure or end up being cheap manufacturing unit for foreign investors while the government is busy deciding over which agency to assess the FDI.

While the debate for FDI in retail and other sectors are grappling the media and country, pharma sector has already been FDIed and there is not much discussion being done for this industry which affects the life(or death) of poor people too much.


This article has been compiled after taking data from numerous sources.


Privatising Water PPP mode

Khandwa is an obscure town of Madhya Pradesh. It has never been in news. There have not been any reason for that either apart form the fact that this town has produced legendary playback singers as late Kishore Kumar and Shaan. But unprecedentedly Khandwa is at centre stage this time as it is the first town about to embrace privatised water supply system. It has made to news due to this water project which in its spirit is aimed at increasing pipelined water supplies but instead is plundering ecosystem and pockets.

The Khandwa Water Supply Augmentation project has been started by Centres Urban Ministry under UIDSSMT: Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Town . Under this scheme the cost of the project is borne in following distribution:80% center 10% state 10%local body. This project is of Rs 102. 67 crore Rs 10 .2 crore of which has to borne by local civic body,Khandwa Nagar Nigam. But since most local civic bodies do not have such huge funds available,they are allowed to use PPP(Public Private Partnership) mode to generate their share of money. Vishwa Utilities Private Limited ,a Hyderabad based company has been contracted for the local bodies’ share in the project and is executing it.

Daily water requirement of Khandwa is 29 million litre of which 17 million litres is supplied from the nearby dams and borewells. there is a shortage of 12 Million Litre per day. the project aims at providing water to the town by pumping water form 52 km away Indira Sagar Dam,built on Choti Tawa River(tributory of Narmada). But the incomprehensible part of otherwise perfect project is that instead of augmenting the suppies,the project conceives of being the sole supplier by shutting down the existing successful system. This defies all logic as the arrangement accounts for 60% supply of the requirement duirng peak summer.
The existing arrangement supplies water from the Sukta dam and Nagchun Dam(both at a 5 to 10 km distance from the city) which are located at height. They effectively use gravity to supply to overhead tanks and spare the use of electric pump heavily.
The new arrangement will be a collosal wastage of electricity and other scarce resources. Electricity required will be way greater than current requirement as regular supply of water is mandatory from 52 kms away rather than 5 kms.

The terms under which Vishwa Bharati has been given contract are nothing close to being fair for the people of Khandwa. They are attrocious and against the interest of the people. The contract gives the company 23 years of complete monopoly on the water supply system as it states that ” no parallel supply system will be allowed to operate” and there will be” no provision for non-revenue generating water sources”. Before the supply begins a contract will be have to be signed by the resident after paying rs 2500 for connection which holds people accountable for -any damage of the pipeline,pilferage of the pipeline and contamination of water. People will have to pay for whole process of laying pipes(this includes road cutting and road relaying). And hold your breath for this one -people will have no right to approach any court for redressal of grievances related to water supply.
Stated plainly the clauses will mean that the poor(and i dont mean only those who are unable to manage Rs 32 daily) will now have to either pay 11.95 per kilolitre or live(rather die)thirsty as this bans all free public water sources(yes community taps,tubewells & hanpumps too)under ” non-revenue generating” dictum and charge for them too. Instead of paying the municipal corporation Rs100 per months people will have to pay over Rs 1000 for monthly water supply.
An NGO,Manthan Aadhyan Kendra’s study revealed that the project would not have been needed at all for atleast a decade if the Khandwa Nagar Nigam had repaired a few pipes and layed some new ones. The cost would have been only a couple of crore,over 100 times less than what has been is being and will be spent.
There are views that the new project would destroy natural sources of water lead to drying of water catchement areas leading to degradation of the environment lowering of groundwater level. This may give new land for commercial ventures of uber-rich but this will be incalculable loss for the local residents and the future generations to come there.
The ruckus over usage of substandard pipes and other financial irregularities created buzz and an investigating team of Ministry of Urban Development visited the site. After finding discrepancies,it had asked State government to withhold the fund but then also funds were made available,and the project executed.

It is often heard that third world war will be for water,have you ever doubted it? Well lets stop doubting,if we go on doing something as foolish as destroying water resources due to short-sighted-greed of few,we are well on road to destroying our own resources. This is a dangerous precursor of a world were potable water will be traded. In that world the warm countries like ours will be at a huge disadvantage. We will have to trade gold for water.
Well,that seems like too much in future but atleast the act of offering water to strangers or guests would be lost and we might be washing with branded water in a few decade.

People have been vexed and are against it. But if this project is implemented it will be disastrous and will provide a wrong precedent to other PPP mode project being executed. (There are 999 PPP projects under UIDSSMT and out of them 524 are water related!). Khandwa has 71% literate population. They are not against privatisation but they won’t tolerate these biased terms either. it will be interesting to see how they combat this civilisation-threating-privatisation. I will personally be happy if the contract is revoked and those who laid down the terms be prosecuted and convicted. That will be some precedent for rest of the PPP model money launderers!

Tapping Profit by Purnima S Tripathi,Frontline August 24,2012