Thursday, June 29, 2017

Goods & Service Tax System in India...

The Goods and Services Tax or GST is scheduled to be launched on the 1st of July, and it is set to revolutionize the way we do our taxes. GST is an indirect taxation wherein most of the existing taxes will be merged into a single taxation system. It will be the biggest tax reform since Independence. The major flaws in the current tax system such as cascading of taxes,multiplicity of law and taxes, non-fungibility of credits between goods and services and various distortions existing may be removed by this destination based tax system.
GST in India is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax that will be levied on every value addition. The introduction of GST is part of the Government's tax reform programmed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing taxation system. GST is proposed to replace the current consumption tax i.e. the present principle of origin based taxation. Under this , there will be tax only on value addition at each stage, with the producer/seller at every stage able to set off his taxes against the central/state GST paid on his purchases. The end-consumer will bear only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain, with set-off benefits at all the previous stages.
The current multi-staged tax structure has charges from the State and Union governments separately, leading to cascading effect of taxes. GST brings in uniform tax laws across all the states spanning across diverse industries. The central taxes that would now be replaced by GST are; service tax, special additional duties of customs (SAD), Additional Duties of Excise (goods of special importance), Central Excise Duty, Additional Duties of Customs (commonly known as CVD), Duties of Excise (medicinal and toilet preparations), Additional Duties of Excise (textiles and textile products) and Cesses and surcharges in so far as they relate to supply of goods or services. On the state level that taxes that GST will subsume include: State cesses and surcharges, luxury tax, state VAT, purchase tax, central sales tax, taxes on advertisements, entertainment tax (not levied by local bodies), entry tax (all forms) and taxes on lotteries, betting and gambling.
GST rates on goods and services have been broadly classified into four tax rates: 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. Some goods and services would be exempt. Precious metals like gold will attract a separate tax rate of 3 per cent. A cess will be levied over the peak rate of 28 per cent on specified luxury and sin goods. Under GST, businesses are required to file returns each month. But the government has let companies file late returns for the first two months so that they can adapt to a new online filing system. Petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel have been kept out of GST as of now. The GST Council will take a decision on it at a later date. Alcohol has also been kept out of GST.
GST will basically have three kinds of taxes namely Central, State and integrated GST . The GST to be levied by the Centre would be called Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the States (including Union territories with legislature) would be called State GST (SGST). An Integrated GST (IGST) would be levied on inter-State supply (including stock transfers) of goods or services. This would be collected by the Centre. Import of goods would be treated as inter-State supplies and would be subject to IGST in addition to the applicable customs duties. Exports will be treated as zero-rated supplies which means no tax will be payable on exports of goods or services. However, exporters can claim input tax credit.
GST is a better and more efficient method of revenue collection for the government. More funds can be channeled into nation-building projects for progress towards achieving a high income nation. GST will ensure a complete, comprehensive and continuous mechanism of tax credits.
GST is proven to be a better tax system as it is more effective, corruption-free tax administration, efficient, transparent and business friendly and could spur economic growth as well as increase competitiveness in the global market. I think GST will be a game changer which will turn India as a unified market to business owners and brings a lot of black money back into the mainstream economy. Being a consumption based tax, tax collection will go to the states in which the goods are consumed, and not where they are manufactured. Hope that GST will disincentivise tax evasion,that means, if you don’t pay tax on what you sell, you don’t get credit for taxes on your inputs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hydrodynamic Levitation...!!!

I recently watched a video of Veritasium where balls are juggled in water jet. I was personally so impressed that I wanted to share with u all. Its like noting you have seen before, its an invention that seems out right magical.

First of all ,we may get it confused with Bernoulli effect. But the mechanism is not the Bernoulli effect… Its something different called "Hydrodynamic Levitation" which provide these balls ablility to levitate on an upward stream of water. Hydrodynamic Levitation is a physical property which provides the ability to levitate a lightweight ball or disc atop a jet of water. The trick involves getting the water to flow along one side, runs up and over the object, creating a state of equilibrium which allows it to spin.

The standard Bernoulli effect relies on the object being completely immersed in the upward-flowing fluid. Here, the water seems to form a single stream around the object and it’s deflected away and down from the stream. By Newton’s third law, the force on the water by the ball is equal and opposite to the force of the water back on the ball, pushing it up into the stream. There is a stable equilibrium position because if the ball moves into the stream, it “cuts off” the water going over the ball so it drifts out. If it drifts out too far, then lots of water passes over the ball, pushing it back into the stream.

Watch the video, try it yourself at home and get mesmerised...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Food of the Future: Aquaponics....

Have anyone heard of aquaponics??? Aquaponics is gaining attention around the country as the future of farming. What does aquaponics stands for?? Combine fish raising (aqua-culture) and water gardening (hydro-ponics), you will get "AquaPonics". It is a self sustaining cycle where Fish supply nutrients to the plants and the plants clean the fish water.  
Lets look how much water it saves. Comparing to soil agriculture, plants can only take up water through the tips of their roots, so you need to soak the top layer of soil in order for the water to get down to where the plant can actually use it. So, that top layer of topsoil, all that water just evaporates. They don't have to use as much water, they don't need as much land, and they can still produce as much food. The water requirement is almost 90% less than that required in conventional farming. 
What makes aquaponics so valuable and so workable at the same time.? One species’ trash is another species’ treasure. Fish is the key factor, zero chemicals and very little water is the added advantages..The process is organic since the waste from the fish-growing water turns into a fertilizer for the vegetable plants even as the water gets purified after running through the vegetable field. Vegetables can be harvested throughout the period of fish farming cycle. With an ever growing global population, there is an increasing demand for organic and good quality produce not only from general consumers but also restaurants and hotels that often require unusual, out-of-season and non-native ingredients. I must say its a revolutionary concept that thrives on a symbiotic relationship between fish and plants.The benefits of aquaponics are:
  • the efficient use of water, 
  • limited waste, 
  • organic-like management, 
  • colocation for producing two agricultural products (i.e., edible fish and plants),
  • increased density of crop production,
  • it addresses a growing interest in locally grown food.
Despite its appeal, aquaponics is almost a fantasy. You need to have some homework before you start. It's capital-intensive and risky. Soil is cheap and sun is free, but production of protein and greens is not at the same pace or scale.  It's highly technical. The pH levels of fish waste and plant nutrients must match. The levels of nitrogen and ammonium in the system must be diligently balanced. Those challenges if fulfilled,  you’ve got the match made in Heaven. 
Aquaponics save us from nature's biggest challenge : Seasonality. It is independent on weather or growing seasons but depends only on on controlling variables such as temperature and water quality, it can avoid agricultural hazards such as tornadoes, storms, flooding and droughts. It looks the same in winter as it does in summer. Also crops grow more quickly, requiring only 3 to 5 percent of the water needed in a traditional farming system.  Aquaponics could provide consistent products regularly and year-round. 
While the setup cost of aquaponic farm might be higher than conventional farms, but the operational cost is much less. The yield from aquaponics is two times higher than that of conventional farming, also one restriction being that fruits and vegetables which grow underground cannot be grown using aquaponics. Poor soil quality( due to overdose of chemical fertilisers) and climatic changes such as droughts, hurricanes wont get affected as aquaponics is a soilless growing system. When designed effectively, the success would encourage more people to take up the organic process so that safe fish and vegetables would be available to people. 
I think this is the future of farming as it can be done anywhere. You can do them indoors, outdoors, in warehouses, on rooftops, empty alleyways, empty parking lots. So all the space that’s being underutilized in urban areas could be transformed easily into an aquaponics system. And then you’re providing really clean, healthy produce for the local community and mostly for yourself..

Friday, June 9, 2017

KalamSat: World's Lightest & Smallest Satellite

NASA scientists have been unable to create the smallest satellite ever until now.. Indians once again made history by designing and building world's smallest and lightest satellite on behalf of 'Space Kidz India’, a Research Organization based on Chennai for children. Kalamsat is the brainchild of Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old boy, from Tamil Nadu’s Pallapatti town, India.  Others on the team include Tanishq Dwivedi (flight engineer), Vinay S Bhardwaj (design engineer), Yagna Sai (lead technician), Mohammed Abdul Kashif (lead engineer) and Gobi Nath (biologist). For the past four years, these young minds have been working on rocket and space technology under the mentorship of Chennai-based Srimathy Kesan, the founder and chief executive officer of Space Kidz India
When the US’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) launches the world's smallest and lightest satellite KalamSat on June 21, 2017, it will be the first time ever that it would be piloting an experiment by an Indian student. Kalamsat is the only Indian payload in the mission. The weight of the probe is only 64 grams and it is fitted in a 3.8 centimeters cube. It is the first satellite to be manufactured via 3D printing. The device is made from 3D printed carbon fibre, and was the winning entry in Cubes in Space, a design contest for young inventors organised by education company idoodle, with backing from Nasa and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.
Rifath has named his creation KalamSat, after former Indian president and nuclear scientist Abdul Kalam. It will be launched from Nasa's Wallops Island facility in the US next month, entering into a four-hour sub-orbital flight i.e. it will not be placed into orbit. For 12 minutes of the flight it will be operating in a micro-gravity environment. The mission will last for 240 minutes. It took more than two-years for Rifath and his team to design the experimental satellite using the 3-D printing technology at a cost of just ₹1 lakh.
Sharook says the purpose of his experiment is to see how 3D printed carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) performs in the microgravity of outer space. It owes its lightness to its reinforced carbon fibre polymer frame,  a material that has a super-high strength-to-weight ratio, and is used in everything from aerospace engineering to fishing line. Kalamsat contains a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors such as temperature and humidity sensor, a barometric pressure sensor and a Nano Geiger Muller counter to capture and record temperature, radiation level, rotation buckling, magnetosphere of earth and others before landing in the ocean. It has strain gauges which will be used to study the structural performance of the 3D printed parts by measuring the deformations. Information received through the satellite will help us in building better spacecraft. It can be used for back-up communications in disasters.
Though there are no specific advantages for this satellite. It can be used as a test bed to evaluate the 3D printed materials and can be used as a kit to teach the satellite construction and operation in future... Its surely another moment of pride and joy for all indians...