IIT profs attack Free Basics:

Over 50 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) faculty members have released a joint statement highlighting major flaws in Facebook’s controversial Free Basics program that offers people without the Internet free access to a handful of websites through mobile phones. Facebook has unleashed an advertising blitzkreig to garner support for Free Basics as the last date to post comments on a paper floated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is drawing close. Opponents to Facebook’s move say that Free Basics goes against the principle of net neutrality. Net neutrality implies that equal treatment be accorded to all Internet traffic and no priority be given to an entity or company based on payment to content or service providers such as telecom companies, which is seen as discriminatory. Many technology experts have spoken out against Free Basics and now a number of IIT and IISc faculty members have issued a joint statement refuting Facebook’s claims in support of Free Basics and the social media giant’s contentions. The statement says that Facebook’s Free Basics is a lethal combination that will lead to total lack of freedom on how Indians can use their own public utility, the Internet. Full text of the statement follows: Joint statement rejecting Facebook’s misleading and flawed ‘Free Basics’ proposal Allowing a private entity – to define for Indian Internet users what is ‘basic’, – to control what content costs how much, and – to have access to the personal content created and used by millions of Indians is a lethal combination which will lead to total lack of freedom on how Indians can use their own public utility, the Internet. Facebook’s ‘free basics’ proposal is such a lethal combination, having several deep flaws, beneath the veil of altruism wrapped around it in TV and other media advertisements, as detailed below. Flaw 1: Facebook defines what is ‘basic’. The first obvious flaw in the proposal is that Facebook assumes control of defining what a ‘basic’ service is. They have in fact set up an interface for services to ‘submit’ themselves to Facebook for approval to be a ‘basic’ service. This means: what are the ‘basic’ digital services Indians will access using their own air waves will be decided by a private corporation, and that too one based on foreign soil. The sheer absurdity of this is too obvious to point out. To draw an analogy, suppose a chocolate company wishes to provide ‘free basic food’ for all Indians, but retains control of what constitutes ‘basic’ food – this would clearly be absurd. Further, if the same company defines its own brand of ‘toffee’ as a ‘basic’ food, it would be doubly absurd and its motives highly questionable. While the Internet is not as essential as food, that the Internet is a public utility touching the lives of rich and poor alike cannot be denied. What Facebook is proposing to do with this public utility is no different from the hypothetical chocolate company. In fact, it has defined itself to be the first ‘basic’ service, as evident from Reliance’s ads on Free Facebook. Now, it will require quite a stretch of imagination to classify Facebook as ‘basic’. This is why Facebook’s own ad script writers have prompted Mr. Zuckerberg to instead make emotional appeals of education and healthcare for the poor Indian masses; these appeals are misleading, to say the least. Flaw 2: Facebook will have access to all your apps’ contents. The second major flaw in the model, is that Facebook would be able to decrypt the contents of the ‘basic’ apps on its servers. This flaw is not visible to the lay person as it’s a technical detail, but it has deep and disturbing implications. Since Facebook can access un-encrypted contents of users’ ‘basic’ services, either we get to consider health apps to be not basic, or risk revealing health records of all Indians to Facebook. Either we get to consider our banking apps to be not ‘basic’, or risk exposing the financial information of all Indians to Facebook. And so on. This is mind boggling even under normal circumstances, and even more so considering the recent internal and international snooping activities by the NSA in the US. Flaw 3: It’s not free. The third flaw is that the term ‘free’ in ‘free basics’ is a marketing gimmick. If you see an ad which says ‘buy a bottle of hair oil, get a comb free’, you know that the cost of the comb is added somewhere. If something comes for free, its cost has to appear somewhere else. Telecom operators will have to recover the cost of ‘free basic’ apps from the non-free services (otherwise, why not make everything free?). So effectively, whatever Facebook does not consider ‘basic’ will cost more. If Facebook gets to decide what costs how much, in effect Indians will be surrendering their digital freedom, and freedom in the digital economy, to Facebook. So this is not an issue of elite Indians able to pay for the Internet versus poor Indians, as Facebook is trying to portray. It is an issue of whether all Indians want to surrender their digital freedom to Facebook. That the ‘Free Basics’ proposal is flawed as above is alarming but not surprising, for it violates one of the core architectural principles of Internet design: net neutrality. Compromising net neutrality, an important design principle of the Internet, would invariably lead to deep consequences on people’s freedom to access and use information. We therefore urge that the TRAI should support net neutrality in its strongest form, and thoroughly reject Facebook’s ‘free basics’ proposal. Signed by: Krithi Ramamritham, Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Bhaskaran Raman, Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Siddhartha Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Ashwin Gumaste, Associate Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Kameswari Chebrolu, Associate Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Uday Khedker, Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Madhu N. Belur, Professor, EE, IIT Bombay Mukul Chandorkar, Professor, EE, IIT Bombay Amitabha Bagchi, Associate Professor, CS&E, IIT Delhi Vinay Ribeiro, Associate Professor, CS&E, IIT Delhi Niloy Ganguly, Professor, CS&E, IIT Kharagpur Animesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, EE, IIT Bombay Animesh Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, CSE, IIT Kharagpur Subhashis Banerjee, Professor, CSE, IIT Delhi Shivaram Kalyanakrishnan, Assistant Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Saswat Chakrabarti, Professor, GSSST, IIT Kharagpur H.Narayanan, Professor, EE, I.I.T Bombay Vinayak Naik, Associate Professor, CSE, IIIT-Delhi Aurobinda Routray, Professor, EE, IIT Kharagpur Naveen Garg, Professor, IIT Delhi Amarjeet Singh, Assistant Professor, CSE, IIIT-Delhi Purushottam Kulkarni, Associate Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Supratik Chakraborty, Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Kavi Arya, Associate Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay S. Akshay, Assistant Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Jyoti Sinha, Visiting Faculty, Robotics, IIIT Delhi Joydeep Chandra, Assistant Professor, CSE, IIT Patna Parag Chaudhuri, Associate Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay Rajiv Raman, Assistant Professor, IIIT-Delhi Mayank Vatsa, Associate Professor, IIIT-Delhi Anirban Mukherjee, Associate Professor, EE, IIT Kharagpur Pushpendra Singh, Associate Professor, IIIT-Delhi Partha Pratim Das, Professor, CSE, IIT Kharagpur Dheeraj Sanghi, Professor, IIIT Delhi Karabi Biswas, Associate Professor, EE, IIT Kharagpur Bikash Kumar Dey, Professor, EE, IIT Bombay Mohammad Hashmi, Assistant Professor, ECE, IIIT Delhi Venu Madhav Govindu, Assistant Professor, EE, IISc Bengaluru Murali Krishna Ramanathan, Assistant Professor, CSA, IISc Bangalore Sridhar Iyer, Professor, IIT Bombay Sujay Deb, Assistant Professor, ECE, IIIT Delhi Virendra Sule, Professor, EE, IIT Bombay Om Damani, Associate Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay V Rajbabu, Assistant Professor, EE, IIT Bombay Hema Murthy, Professor, CSE, IIT Madras Anupam Basu, Professor, CSE, IIT Kharagpur Sriram Srinivasan, Adjunct Professor, CSE, IIT Bombay K.V.S. Hari, Professor, ECE, IISc, Bengaluru Ashish Mishra, CSA IISc , Bangalore Shalabh Gupta, EE, IIT Bombay Suman Kumar Maji, EE, IIT Patna

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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Uncategorized



Online insurance is the focus area for the future: K S Gopalakrishnan, AEGON Religare Life Insurance

The life insurance industry has experienced immense changes in the past few years and the challenges are expected to intensify in the coming years, says K S Gopalakrishnan, MD & CEO, AEGON Religare Life Insurance.

In an interview with Sanjeev Sinha, Gopalakrishnan talks about the latest trends in the Indian insurance industry and also shares his growth expectations and business outlook. Excerpts:

What are the latest trends in the Indian insurance sector, particularly in the life insurance segment?

The life insurance industry has experienced immense changes in the past few years and the challenges are expected to intensify in the coming years. Insurers are expected to focus on customer centricity, reducing costs and improving service standards.

The latest trends seen in the insurance industry are as follows:

1. Online insurance

Over the last few years, the shift to online insurance has brought to the customer a large number of protection and savings solutions that were not available earlier. Connectivity and the shift to mobile e-commerce will soon play a significant role in the sector. Increasing use of mobiles and mobile apps is impacting how companies conduct business and interact with stakeholders. This is also why online insurance is the focus area for the future.

2. Big data and analytics

Big data and analytics provide valuable and actionable insights. Big data plays an important role in risk management, enabling companies to analyze risk characteristics and claims statistics. Big data helps companies monitor brand reputation by analyzing comments in social media. By doing so, companies can immediately address issues that may damage their reputation or brand.

3. Training insurance agents

Agents are one of the trusted channels for selling insurance products. Insurers are increasingly investing in training and education of agents in order to enable them to deliver better service to customers.

4. Social media and collaboration

Social media is about helping people connect. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, are frequently used in marketing to drive brand awareness and connect with customers. These platforms can also be used to improve collaboration, decision-making and processes both within the company and in interacting with distributors.

5. Distribution channel management

In a multi-channel world, existing distribution channels remain as new channels emerge, complicating channel management. Today they are managed as discrete distribution channels unable to integrate for seamless interactions. Different elements of insurers’ communications are shifting at different speeds and older channels are not going away. This increases the burden and confusion for insurers, who are required to invest in supporting new channels without being able to shutter older channels.

Experts suggest that insurance should be bought only for protection. Do you agree?

Insurance is bought to secure oneself against life’s uncertainties. Insurance can have different purposes such as to ensure a regular income in case of loss of a bread earner, to secure a child’s future, to ensure that one is financially equipped to face a critical illness etc. The meaning of buying insurance i.e. protection might be the same, but the purpose may differ depending on a person’s requirements.

Insurance companies have been, for some time now, predominantly shifting their product mix away from ULIPs. What are the reasons for this?

For us, the product mix of Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) and traditional products has been 40:60. At AEGON Religare Life Insurance, our philosophy is to design products and solutions which address specific consumer needs, whether it is an ULIP or a traditional plan. We train our distribution channels to offer solutions only after understanding consumer needs and doing a thorough risk assessment of customer profiles. Sale of ULIPs also depends upon the customers’ sentiments about the stock market. It is usually seen that when the stock market rises, the sale of ULIPs also goes up and vice versa. Insurance being a long-term financial tool, we try to educate customers about the need to stay invested in a product like ULIP for a longer period of time to get the best returns.

These days insurers in India are not only aggressively promoting their products but also adopting multi-channel distribution strategies. What is the need for this and what is your strategy in this regard?

While traditional channels like agency and third-party distribution have been contributing around 80 per cent to 90 per cent to the business, we have observed that online distribution is evolving as the preferred mode of purchasing insurance. A typical online customer is well aware of his needs and has been taking informed decisions. We have observed that an online customer is more consistent and understands that life insurance is a long-term purchase and serves the purpose for which it is bought. With the e-commerce revolution, the Indian consumer is becoming more and more comfortable transacting online. This has led to Indian insurers realizing the potential of online distribution.

The increase in internet and mobile usage can be major influencers in shaping customer preferences and research of products online. While Indian consumers still believe that getting advice from an agent is an important part of purchasing life insurance, we have also observed that online research on life insurance has shown an increasing trend. We have been a pioneer in online product offerings and at present have an exhaustive suite of products addressing various consumer needs.

Currently every insurance company seems keen on growing their online presence. Do you think their thrust on this channel will continue going forward?

With a population of around 1.3 billion, India is the second most populous country in the world. What is more, a large percentage of its population is youth population. Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. However, they can transform the future only if they have skills, health and information to enable decision-making and real choices in life. Internet usage is growing rapidly mainly because of young users and technological innovations. Mobile e-commerce in India is growing rapidly with mobile platforms accounting for 41% of total e-commerce sales in 2014. We expect sales through this channel to grow further in the coming years. Consequently all insurers are expected to go online to push sales of their products.

Are you also looking at entering any new segment or launching any new product?

We are pioneers in online insurance and our aim is to strengthen the online platform by designing and introducing simple, need-based protection products. We have recently launched three online plans – iSpouse, iCancer and iIncome – and will continue to innovate in this space. There is a huge untapped market in India which can be catered to through innovative online plans. iSpouse is a joint life term assurance plan aimed at working couples and iCancer is an insurance product covering all stages of cancer. iIncome is a non-linked, non-participating term assurance plan designed to protect the household’s income stream for a fixed term in the event of the unfortunate demise of the bread-winner who would be the insured.

What are your company’s growth expectations for the next 5 years?

As a company our strategic planning would always focus on the customer. Data analysis indicates that Indians have started accepting the internet as a medium of both communication and transaction. Revenue from online insurance sales in India has grown 22% year-on-year. This trend is poised to grow stronger with increase in smart phone usage and in internet penetration. We see this as an important opportunity. Further, we intend to create a clear differentiation in terms of customer experience and value proposition in the next 5 years.

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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


A new solar system beckons

A new solar system beckons – The Hindu

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Solar rays are penetrating deeper into our lives. Solar energy is making its presence felt in homes, appliances, transport services and the construction sector. Solar lanterns, heaters, street lights and cookers are passé. They were first-generation applications. Now the frontiers have extended beyond heating and lighting.

Innovators are looking at taking the green and inexhaustible source of energy to areas undreamt of in the past. The energy generated from photovoltaic cells and films is now powering pumps, farm operations and crematoriums, guarding critical data stores and helping distillation and effluent plants.

While Karnataka proposes to install solar power units to the tune of 200 MW by 2015-16, a number of technology companies are already into the arena with equipment and gizmos running on solar power that kick off dependence on the erratic grid power, guzzling fossil fuels.

For all sites

The latest product to pop up on the solar scene is Solarator, a solar alternative to the mobile generator. Manufactured by HHV Solar, Dobbespet, near Bangalore, Solarators could light up campsites, disaster sites or even construction sites with 2KWh output and 600 watt input. The trailer-mounted Solarators were launched at the recently held Solarcon India 2012 in Bangalore.

According to H.R. Vasuki, General Manager-Operations, HHV Solar, it can be carried or airlifted to disaster sites and is a green source of power which can last for six hours. The photo-voltaic panels mounted on the trailer convert sunlight into electricity without causing noise or air pollution. A fully sealed water-proof compartment at the bottom of the trailer houses all electronic and electrical components to prevent a short circuit.

The generator’s two solar modules use mono crystalline silicon cells to generate 300 watt power each by converting sunlight into electricity. The Solarator is compactly foldable while being moved and blossoms out with its solar panels catching sunlight at the site. It could even be a boon for relief and rescue operations, and for fire-fighting personnel as it could be connected to lights, pumps, surgery equipment or lifting machines. At Rs. 4 lakh a unit, the company which has invested Rs. 50 crore in the venture expects large orders from big farms in the West.

For the farm sector

Solar water pumps have made a huge splash in agricultural fields. Several manufacturers have begun producing such pumps with onsite solar power production facility with the help of PV cells. Thejaswi Bhat, who heads Grundfos Pumps, says the company has already sold nearly 2,500 such pumps in the Indian market since it began its operation in 2006. The pumps allow water to be drawn from 200 metres below the ground and could also be integrated with wind turbine if the wind conditions are conducive.

The company produces the pumps in technical collaboration with a Danish company BJerrings at its facility in Chennai.

Arraytech Technologies does the same job in a more environment-friendly manner. It has inducted second-generation PV cells where more polluting cadmium has been replaced by thin PV films made of an alloy of copper, indium and selenium. Prabhuraj from the company says the pumps can work at even low sunshine level and can be in the range of six to 12 HP.

Enertech, a company from Pune, takes care of solar power production for all such areas in big installations which are critical in terms of safety, security and emergency. For instance, the company has installed a 60KW solar plant at the Tulja Bhavani temple in Maharashtra where stampedes are feared during festivals held at nights. The power load is shifted to the solar facility in the event of outages in the grid connection.

For data security

The company has installed a 20KW plant at the Bombay Stock Exchange where data security is of key importance and power failure even for a second can result in losses in terms of millions of rupees while trading is on. Vijay Deshpande, Managing Director, Enertech, told this scribe that the company can now produce solar power producers up to 100 KW capacity.

While the installation at the Tulja Bhavani temple had been the largest so far, the company has installed plants of lesser capacity at the Jama Masjid in Srinagar where the public address system is run on solar power. Similarly, Jalgaon airport, Mineral Energy Company in Nagpur and a thermal power station have connected themselves to solar power producing equipment from Enertech. According to Deshpande, lighting in passageways in certain facilities, CCTVs in airports or servers in IT industries or police control rooms are of critical importance. Huge installations which need security lights shift power loads to solar backups which provide 10 to 20 hours of uninterrupted power supply.

Home appliances

While several companies and the solar enthusiast from Hubli, Mahesh V.S. of Sunray Solar Systems, have been producing solar lanterns at an affordable price of around Rs. 2,500, Arun Kulkarni’s Motion Controls from Pune has made inroads into solar ceiling and pedestal fans.

His ceiling fans can operate with six-volt inbuilt solar powered batteries. Exposed to five hours of sunshine, they can run for five hours. He has sold over 2,000 fans in the last four years.

For labourers

Mahesh has come up with a solar cap with a minuscule fan fitted under the shade of the cap, powered by a PV cell film mounted on the upper side. Mahesh says the cap can be used by batsmen in cricket matches or construction labourers working under the torrid sun. It is ideal for trekkers, walkers and joggers too.

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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Solar-powered home in Kannur

Solar energy has provided the perfect solution to rising power costs, says K. Rajesh. a Life Insurance Corporation of India employee who switched to solar energy to run his “concept house” at Thalap, near here, almost five years ago.

“The idea was not well received initially, but the results proved otherwise, he says. Mr. Rajesh, with assistance from his supporters, bought four solar panels of 100 watts each from a private firm in Thiruvananthapuram, four batteries of 150 AH (two are sufficient, he says), a dual inverter and a solar charge controller unit from Pune. The equipment cost Rs.1 lakh, one-time investment that brought down electricity consumption to 204 units from the previous 450 units. The batteries have to be charged for eight hours in the daytime, providing for a back-up of more than two hour power.

As proof of his claim, Mr. Rajesh shows the meter reading from the day the unit started functioning in his house in July. Minor alterations such as LED bulbs and a single-door refrigerator brought down power consumption.

It is the message which needs promotion, not a singular achievement, he says.

Mr. Rajesh now plans to install four additional panels in his house that would facilitate charging for longer duration and perhaps the functioning of ACs and cooking oven for short periods. He says such practices can allay worries about spiralling power bills.


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Goat Farming

Goat farming is not a new enterprise. Rearing goats is a profitable business. Goat has been rearing since the time immemorial. Generally goat farming means rearing goats for the purpose of harvesting milk, meat and fiber. At present, goat farming has become a profitable business and it requires a very low investment because of its multi-functional utility. Commercial goat farming business is contributing greatly to the economy and nutrition of a country. Goats are multi-functional animal. You can produce a wide variety of products from goats, such as milk, meat, fiber, manure etc. Goat’s milk is used for producing full cream goat powder, skimmed goat milk powder, goat butter, goat milk cream, fresh goat milk etc. Goat meat is a great source of consumable meat which is very testy, nutritious and healthy. And goat’s wool is being used in many purposes and skin of goat plays a vital role in leather industry. However, here we are describing more about the advantages of goat farming business and the required steps for starting a lucrative business.
Advantages of Goat Farming
There are many advantages of goat farming business. You can also raise goats along with your other livestock animals. Goats have been considered as poor man’s cow (mini cow) for the poor people because of it’s immense contribution in rural economy and national income. Goat products like milk and meat is not only nutritious and easily digestible food but also a great source of regular income for the poor, landless and marginal farmers. As goats are small sized animal , so they are easily maintained. Even they are easily maintained and cared by women and children. For successful goat farming business, you need to do some common tasks such as feeding, milking and caring. These simple tasks do not require much equipment, capital, labor or hard work. The main advantages of starting goat farming business are described below.
• Starting a goat farming business requires low initial investment or capital.
• Goats don’t require huge area for housing because their body size is comparatively smaller than other livestock animals.
• Usually goats are very friendly in nature and very lovable.
• Goats are good breeders and they reach sexual maturity within their 7-12 months of age and give birth of kids within a short time. And some goat breed produce numerous kids per kidding.
• Risks are less for goat farming (even in drought prone areas) than any other livestock farming business.
• Both male and female goats have almost equal value/price in the market.
• No religious taboo against goat farming and meat consumption.
• Goat meat and milk are cholesterol free and easily digestible.
• Goat milk is used for making various types of foods and it’s very easy to digest than milk of cows.
• Commercial goat farming business has created a potential way of employment for unemployed people.
• Goats are multi purpose animal. They can produce milk, meat, skin, fiber and manure at the same time.
• There is no need of a high end housing system for goats. Even they can easily share their living place with their owners or his/her other livestock animals.
• Goats are very suitable for mixed farming with other domestic animals.
• Diseases are less in goats than other domestic animals.
• Goats are easily available, comparatively cheaper in price, easy to maintain and always have a friendly disposition.
• They are capable of adopting themselves with almost all types of agro climatic environments or conditions. They can tolerate high and low temperature throughout the world and live happily. They also can tolerate hot climate more than other animals.
• According to the investment per unit they produce more than other domestic animals. And the ROI (return of investment) ratio is very good.
• Goats are generally smaller in size but reach slaughter age faster.
• Goats are called the “foster mother of human”. Because their milk is considered as the best milk for human consumption than any other species of livestock animal’s milk. And their milk is low cost, nutritious, wholesome and easily digestible. All aged people from child to old one can easily digest goat’s milk. Goat milk also has lesser allergic problems. And used as an Ayurvedic medicine for the people who are ailing with diabetes, asthma, cough etc.
• Goat milk is suitable for preparing various types of milk products. And goat meat has a huge demand and high price in the local and international markets. Even you can consider exporting your products to the foreign countries for more profits.
• Goats can be milked as often as required. This also prevent refrigeration costs and milk storage problems.
• You can use the goat’s manure as a high quality natural fertilizer in crop field. This will directly help to maximize crop production.
• As goat farming business is very profitable, so many govt. and non govt. banks are providing loans for starting this business.
• This business require less labor and you can easily use your family labor for raising goats.
• Commercial goat farming business is a great source of employment and income. So unemployed educated people can easily create a great employment and income source through raising goats commercially.
• Along with the above advantages, there are also many advantages of raising goats commercially.
Steps For Starting Goat Farming Business
For starting and maintaining a profitable and successful business, you must have to make a proper and effective goat farming business plan and go according to the plan. Here we are shortly describing the necessary steps for starting goat farming business.
Selecting Farm Area
Always try to select a suitable farm land/area for your business that has all required facilities for successful goat farming business. The necessary facilities for goat farming business includes the followings.
1. Great source of fresh and clean water supply.
2. Availability of all types of equipment.
3. Easily available food source.
4. Fertile field for crop, grasses and other green plant production. Feeding green food keeps the animal healthy, productive and reduces feeding costs.
5. Availability of full time labor.
6. Good transportation and veterinary service.
7. A market near the farm land so that you can sell your products easily and buy necessary commodities.
Goat Breeds
There are different types of goat breeds available around the world for rearing in the goat farm like Pygmy goats, Dwarf goats of Nigeria, Cashmere goats, Black Bengal goat, Mountain goats, Boer goats etc. Some of the available goat breeds are famous for tasty and nutritious meat and some breeds are famous for milk production. Some Indian goats are also highly meat and milk productive. Pygmy goats originated in Africa. They are good as pets and mainly used in the program and goat show. A lot of people rear them as pet instead of meat and milk production. Nigerian dwarf goats and pygmy goats are of the same origin. Dwarf goats are of different colors like black, chocolate, gold, color, etc. Wide variety of colors is a major factor that makes them so popular. Dairy goats are raised mainly for commercial milk production or for family milk consumption. They can also be displayed at trade shows. According to the association of dairy goats Nubians, Lamanchas, Alper, Oberhasli, Saanen and Togenburgs are the world famous dairy goat breed. Cashmere goats are popular for wool production. Mountain goats are blunt, square looking covered with soft white, woolly, dense undercoat. Boer goats originated in South Africa and suitable for highly meat production. Some studies say that Boer goats are very expensive and demand exceeds supply which attracts investors. However, choosing the right breeds for commercial goat farming will ensure high profit. Choose proper breed according to your desired production and geographical location. You can also visit some of your nearest goat farm or livestock training center to learn more about the suitable goat breeds in your area.
Housing is an important factor for profitable goat farming business. Small scale farmer generally keep their goats with their other livestock animals. But for commercial production, a good quality goat housing system is highly recommended for better production. A good house not only give shelter and protects the goats from predators but also prevent them from various types of goat diseases. Always keep the house neat, clean and dry. Make proper ventilation and drainage system inside the house. Also ensure the availability of sufficient fresh air and light inside the house. Housing and goat farm design are of various types according to the production type and breed.
Well goat feed management is also very essential for commercial goat farming business. Goats are not carnivorous animal. They don’t eat other animals. Usually goats prefer to eat grasses, plants, shrubs, weeds and herbs. Besides those feeds, goat also need energy, portion, vitamins, fiber and water for proper growth and for making better profits from this business. It will be better if you have sufficient knowledge about what to feed goats.
Care & Management
Always try to take good care of your goats. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water. Keep their house as much neat and clean as possible. And clean their house on a regular basis. For commercial production, keep kids, bucks and does separated for each other. Take extra care to the breeding bucks, kids and pregnant does. Keep the kids with their mother for several weeks after their birth. Avoid using same buck for mating with numerous does at same day. Artificial insemination is also a great way for breeding your does. Vaccinate them timely, for keeping them free from all types of diseases and health problems. If possible, stock some necessary vaccines and medicines and keep good relation with a veterinary doctor.
Various types of viral diseases like PPR, goat pox, foot and mouth diseases and bacterial diseases like anthrax, brucelosis etc. are very harmful for goats. So, proper vaccination is a must to prevent this types of diseases. The does which was not vaccinated PPR, goat pox, brucellosis vaccines previously, vaccinate them at the fifth month of gestation period. Vaccinate the kids PPR vaccine when they reach 5 months of age. Always take good care of your animals and vaccinate them timely to prevent unwanted health hazard and diseases. See the chart below.
Goat Vaccination
Vaccine Name Applying Rate Applying Method
PPR 1 ml Injection Under Skin
Foot & Mouth Disease 2 ml Injection Under Skin
Anthrax 1 ml Injection Under Skin
Marketing is the most important but easiest step of goat farming business. Goat products like meat and milk has a huge local and global demand and popularity. Almost all types of people like goat milk and meat. So, a good market is already available in almost every place of the world. You can easily sell your products in your nearest market. Commercial producers can target the international market and export the products in foreign countries.
Total Expenditure & Profit
Total expenditure and profit from goat farming business depends on the farming system, location, breeds, feeding cost and some other factors. By good planing and proper management you can easily make goat farming business profitable. Small scale farming require less investment and profit can contribute your regular income. Large scale or commercial production require high investment and some other additional costs. See goat farming project report for some idea about the total expenditure and profit from goat farming business.
Some Essential Tips For Raising Goats
For getting desired production and profit from goat farming business, you have to know properly how to raise goats. Here are some tips for raising goats and making maximum profit.
• Always try to keep your goat healthy and strong.
• Always choose the right and high productive goat breeds for your business.
• Try to learn more about goat farming business from the nearest livestock training center or expert producers in your area.
• Ensure a big area so that your goats can roam freely, because they like to live in groups.
• Make sure the availability of all equipment which are essential for goat farms.
• To produce better milk, meat and to keep the goat free from diseases, make sure a well bred conduct.
• Provide them sufficient clean water, food and fresh grasses according to their daily demand.
• Be more careful about goat feeding. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water.
• Take some extra care to the pregnant doe, breeding buck and kids.
• Feed the buck some extra nutritious food during the period of mating.
• To improve your goat’s health contact with a veterinarian regularly (if possible).
• Give salt and mineral with a lot of water during the summer season.
• Keep your goats away from cold and rain to avoid mass death.
In short, goat farming is a traditional, profitable, risk-less and very easy business because of its multi utility and fast growing rate. Goats also can be used as a tool for poverty reduction and play an important role in the economic growth of a country. Although some risks go with every business. Proper care and good management can ensure better production and high profit. Wish your success!


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In a few years, 80 will be the new 40′

In a few years, 80 will be the new 40′

Terry Grossman is one of the new-age gurus of longevity. He shot into fame after penning a book on how `to live forever’ with Ray Kurzweil, futurist and chief engineer at Google. They are confident that science is going to end death -people will live for centuries if not indefinitely, and that this is not some dream of the distant future but a certainty by the middle of this century. Grossman has been practising what he preaches at his clinic in Denver, US, and claims he feels youthful at 68. He was full of zing talking to Subodh Varma
Why do you say that we have reached a point after which lives will be longer and healthier?
In the year 1900, life expectancy was 47 years.By 2000, it had jumped to 72 years. In 2015, in some places like Japan, people’s average life is 82 years. On an average four-five months are being added to life every year. Very soon, one year will be added for every year that passes. We are poised at a point when life expectancy will grow exponentially . Aubrey de Gray , the Cambridge biomedical and aging scientist, calls it the “longevity escape velocity“ when life will be extended by periods larger than the time passed. This has happened because medical science is increas ingly merging with information technology , which grows exponentially . By focusing new medical research on stopping the aging process, human life will be extended to centuries -and this will happen within decades.

But do we want to live for, say, 200 years in an old, diseased condition? That’s not desirable!

The concept of `old age’ keeps changing. A few decades back, 65-70 years was thought of as `old’. Now it is considered `young old’ as compared to 85 years, which is `old old’.What is going to happen in the coming years is that youthful life will be extended. Eighty years will become the new 40. `Old’ people will have such healthy bodies that they will be able to go surfing or mountain climbing or do other activities associated with youth.I believe that in the next 10-12 years these dramatic changes will become more visible.

So, what do you prescribe for extending a healthy life?

In my book TRANSCEND -Nine Steps To Living Forever, written with Ray Kurzweil in 2009, we describe the whole system.TRANSCEND stands for: Talk with your doctor, Relaxation, Assessment, Nutrition, Supplements, Calorie reduction, Exercise, New Technologies, Detoxification. The book explains how people can take full advantage of the available information to help eliminate their chances of disease and to drastically slow down the aging process.Note that when I say “Talk with your doctor“, I mean consult an anti-aging special ist. That’s because most doctors are trained to detect and treat diseases, not prevent them. Also, while doing an “assessment“ by getting various tests like cholesterol or liver function done, I don’t go by just `good’.I want to see best or optimal numbers. New research is constantly coming out and technologies are constantly improving. These changes also need to be taken on board.

Do you keep updating the programme as new research comes in?

Yes, here are some examples. I now recommend interval training rather than continuous training. Instead of, say, jogging at a constant pace for five minutes, it has been found that a minute of slow jogging followed by a minute of fast and so on gives better results. Various testing parameters also change as new research results come in. New drug properties are found. I have myself started taking metformin, which is a well-known antidiabetic drug. But I am taking it because it has an effect on a master enzyme called AMKP which, in turn, helps reduce calories and lessen the risk of cancer. Stem-cell therapy , which was projected in the future in the book, is already being used at my clinic. We are also using nanotechnology-based products for better delivery of supplements. I am also using a cranial electro-stimulator which has the same effect as meditation -it calms and relaxes the brain.

All this sounds very expensive. Will people be able to afford it, especially in the Third World?

Everything is expensive when it is first introduced. An LCD TV or monitor was beyond reach earlier but now everybody has it.After a time lag, products become accessible.The same thing will happen with life extension technologies. Testing prices will come down, devices will become cheap. Already ,I can download apps on my smartphone that can test blood sugar, hypertension or even take an ultrasound. Self-monitoring will become the norm. Meanwhile some other new expensive product will enter the market, but over time that too will get cheap. In the long run, the whole of humanity will benefit.

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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Hyderoponics fodder for animals

Article:  Dairy Farms in India Experiment with Sprouts // 3?i.delegate(e,n,t,u):g>2?”string”==typeof e?i.delegate(e,n,t):i.bind(n,e,t):i.bind(n,e)},,e,t){var u=this,i=arguments.length;return”string”==typeof e?i>2?u.undelegate(e,n,t):i>1?u.undelegate(e,n):u.undelegate():i>1?(t=e,u.unbind(n,t)):i>0?u.unbind(n):u.unbind()})}(this.jQuery);
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While we aren’t too keen on dairy farms, we do believe the study below is powerful research about the benefits of sprouts to both humans and dairy cattle. This experiment was conducted by the Govind Dairy in India. The study was made available by the International Sprout Growers Association, of which we are members. The summary of the study follows:

Test Summary
Govind dairy is always looking for ways to lower the cost of milk production by reducing expenses. Our respected Dr. Ganpatrao Dhumal has studied the health benefits of sprouts and the effects of natural foods on humans, and has begun adding sprouted seeds and grains to his regular diet. He experienced excellent results by adding sprouts in his diet and so shared the same with his colleagues, they also started sprouting and they experienced similar health benefits.

As cattle feed cost are a major challenge and an expensive part of the milk business, milk prices necessarily go up along with the increasing cost of feed. Dr. Dhumal considered that if sprouts provided him a benefit, why not cattle? He asked our field staff to conduct a sprouts trial at the farm of Mr. Dhanaji Jadhav Adarki. The farm has six cows of which two were taken for experiment and four were kept as control. For the two cows fed sprouted grains and seeds, we found that the cost of cattle feed is reduced and milk yield and quality improved significantly, as did the health of the animals. After this initial trial we shared our findings with other local producers.

What we can use for sprouts and its importance:
We used sprouted soybeans, lentils, green peas, black eyed peas, cow peas, chick pea (garbanzos), pigeon peas, wheat, oats & corn. Generally the sprouted legumes have 2.5 times weight after sprouting due to the adsorption of water and the single seeded grains about double in weight.

  • Minerals: In sprouts the grains regular mineral get converted into the chelated form which got good absorption in body.
  • Proteins: Sprouts are a great source of proteins due to availability and increased percentage of amino acids. These important factors are easily absorbed in body.
  • Vitamins: Sprouts have many vitamins, mainly vitamins A, B and K are increased to 200 – 600% vs. the non-sprouted seed.
  • Enzymes & antioxidants: Sprouts have many types of enzymes which help the digestion process. Antioxidants react with the toxins produced during the digestion and deactivate them.

Sprouted cereals/legumes with incremental availability of nutrients:

Nutrient % proportion
Proteins 30 % more
Calcium 34 % more
Potassium 80 % more
Sodium 690 % more
Iron 40 % more
Phosphorus 56 % more
Vitamin A 285 % more
Vitamin B 1 208 % more
Vitamin B 2 515 % more
Vitamin B 3 256 % more
Vitamin K much more

Use of sprouts as cattle feed provided the following benefits:

  • Cattle feed expenses: Cattle feed expenses have been reduced by 30 to 50%. Sprouted grains gives 2 to 2.5 times increased weight, thus the animals gets a good return in less quantity.
  • Milk Yield: The animal are getting chelated minerals, required proteins and enzymes from sprouts, which has produced an increased milk yield of 10-15%. The increased yield began on about the 2nd or 3rd day of sprout feeding.
  • Milk Quality: Milk Fat and SNF (solids not fats) increased effectively. Amino acids help to boost the fat % whereas the chelated minerals in sprouts contribute to SNF rise.
  • Animal Health: Cattle exhibited improved glaze to hide and the animals look healthier. Sprouts have had positive effects on fertility with percent conception rate increase. Acidity is one of the major factors which decrease the profitability of milk production. The cow dung show healthy symptoms of digestion. As animals are fed more concentrate & less fibers acidity tends to increase. To control acidity, sprouts act very effectively. Many enzymes , minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids etc. all are useful to maintain the normal digestion environment in animal body. Thus after feeding sprouts the dung which was loose became thick.

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We have received the following feedback from other producers:

  • Dhanaji Jyotiram Jadhav – Adarki: I had started the sprouts feeding as directed; it has reduced my expenses cattle feed. Earlier I was using Rs.66 cattle feed is replaced by sprouts of cost Rs. 34 Thus there is saving of Rs.32 straight. Also the milk yield is increased by 1.5 lit. costs me benefit of Rs. 24. The fat is increased by two points has additional benefit of Rs.7 @ 0.20 per point of fat for total milk. Thus I received gain of Rs.63 net per cow after feeding the sprouts. Initially I done experiment on two cows only but after getting positive results I started for whole and finding good results as well.
  • Vivek Shinde – Thakurki: I had started sprouts to two cows out six cows, earlier the feeding of cattle feed was Rs. 45 per cow whereas the sprouts costs us Rs. 35. It has resulted incremental milk 1.75 lit of Rs.32 additional. Two points fat is increased adds Rs. 5 thus I received Rs. 46 additional per cow and the health has improved. Eight day later my farm is affected with FMD but it’s strange to find that only the cows with sprout feeding are found fit and are not affected with FMD.
  • Anil Keshavrao Nimbalkar – Vinchurni: I received information regarding sprouts feeding to cow from Govind Dairy so I started feeding the same on my farm to the two cows. Earlier I was spending Rs. 52 for them which now come down to Rs.33. And I received incremental 2 lit milk per cow giving additional Rs.36 whereas the fat is increased by 3 point adds my payment Rs.6 per cow. Thus I am earning additional Rs. 61 and feel effective difference in routine.
  • Prakash Dhaygude – Kolaki: Feeding cattle feed cost me Rs. 18 in which I made changes and started sprouts of Rs.10 as feed to animal. It has reduced my feeding cost and also added glazing to the animal skin now looks fresh. My farm heifer was infected with FMD but due sprout feeding the animals come on track and now FMD is under control and animal started eating grass as well.

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