Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Gauri Lankesh’s death should not go in vain – time to show the might of the pen

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Killing dissent?

News of Gauri Lankesh’s murder scares budding journalists like me (“Gauri Lankesh (1962-2017): Journalist who raged like a fire as she championed just causes”). But her death should not go in vain. Time has come for even the youngest journalists to wield their pen and stand up against Right wing fanaticism. These are dark times but keeping quiet will only worsen the situation. It is time we rise, break the shackles and show the power of the pen.

And hats off to the entire Scroll.in team for standing up at a time when many media houses are worried about their revenue generation and are thus shying away from any critique of Right- wing fanaticism. – Utsav Basu

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What follows every such dastardly act is, some hype, heated debates on news channels, followed by a deathly silence and collective amnesia! A new story surfaces soon after, with similar exasperating responses and so on and so forth...the common man shrugs and gets back to earning his daily bread.

Where’s the sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic that was India? Or is it time to rewrite the Constitution to say we’re a Sanghi–dictator-retrograde nation? – Anita Robbins

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It is really deplorable that a respected journalist was done to death for her radical views. But there may be more to it than meets the eye. Gauri Lankesh was being tried in a defamation case and this went against her. Perhaps she created enemies by trying to unearth some misdeeds by influential people. So before we get to the truth, let us not speculate that she was killed for her far Left ideas. May her soul rest in peace. – R Krishnamoorthy

NEET imposition

As a doctor from a poor socioeconomic background, I believe the NEET issue is dangerous for a majority of students in medicine (“NEET aims to reward merit, curb corruption. Did it end up driving 17-year-old Anitha to suicide?”). State government should have their own system of admitting students to government as well as private colleges. NEET another imposition like demonetisation. A post-graduate degree should be made mandatory for politicians, especially those who are allotted portfolios like education and finance. – Papa Dasari

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There are some drawbacks to NEET, but that does not imply that the entire idea is ridiculous and fruitless. The country needs one system and implementing it can run into hurdles, because of the many diversities in India, but in case of higher secondary education in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, why shouldn’t the entire country follow the same curriculum? There is no question of if Hindi or non-Hindi. Once we all accept the syllabus n start working on it, the problems will start decreasing.

NEET is a good initiative to counter the money-oriented admission system. Having one platform for all students all over the India will help people to compete for all the seats in all over the country.

Yes there are problems for students who are new to the syllabus. But they can be helped. – Dhananjay Patil

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The entire process involving NEET and central counselling is self-defeating. Medical institutes are made keeping in mind the ecosystem where they exist. Students should be aware of the health situation prevailing in that community and it would be better if they belong to that region. The centralised process brings unknowing prospective students to places where they may not fit into and this can become counterproductive for the maintenance of public health. With respect to private institutions. governments should not interfere in their functioning, But that could happen in the future with NEET. – Karthik G

Since the country’s blood-soaked birth in 1947, at least three generations of Pakistanis have been fed two grossly exaggerated myths. The first is that one Pakistani soldier is equal to 10 Indian solders and second, that all Muslims of the sub-continent are one great family, distinct from their neighbours of other religious denominations.

In 1971, both myths were blown to pieces. A Pakistan that effectively became half of what it was at birth, still dreams that one day its flag would fly on the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi. For that unattainable goal, ordinary Pakistanis will give up their everything. And it suits their army very well. – GSK Sarma

Big changes

The only thing exciting the media about Nirmala Sitharaman’s elevation is the breaking of the glass ceiling, which shows the average attitude towards women. Nirmala Sitaraman’s USP is her professionalism, her approach to a problem-solving (“A JNU free thinker in the Defence Ministry: Looking back at Nirmala Sitharaman’s career”). Politicians including Arun Jaitley and others before him did not have have the same problem-solving skills and were often guided by bureaucrats as advisers. The defence ministry needs someone who can to break up a problem into its various aspects, evaluate it correctly and then solve it. Her selection is not an example of political expediency but a collective decision taken purely on merit. If she can evolve a well-established system on tendering and decision-making on all aspects within a time frame, it will be easier for foreign suppliers to deal directly instead of using agents. Her other strength is her very measured and articulate replies to questions posed to her. Modi has realised that he needs such a professional approach in areas where results can be visible. For this, Sitharaman and \former bureaucrats with an established record of honesty and efficiency were needed rather than someone who just ideologically aligns with the BJP or the RSS. – SN Iyer

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She may have been a free thinker in her student days but her abrasive defence of her party on TV as a spokesman firmly places her in the apparatchik, with blessings from Nagpur. People change. – Srinivasan

No direction home

The citizenship amendment act has been proposed to provide shelter to persecuted Hindus, Jains, Sikhs,etc (“The Daily Fix: Persecuted Pakistani Hindus are allowed refuge in India, so why not Rohingyas?”). This is because a) these religions originated in India and b) Hindus,Sikhs and Jains are only present in India in significant numbers.There is no voice for these communities outside India so if this country won’t protect them, who will? Muslims are not included in this bill simply because there are more than 50 Muslim-majority nations that can lend them support at any time, and there are two Muslim-majority right next to India. – Rahul Gupta

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I agree with the government. Whether its Rohingya Muslims or members of any other religion, the refugees to be deported back to their country. They are a security risk and a financial burden for the country. – Anil Kakad

Money mayhem

Around 99% of the hard cash that was with the public came back into banking system, which is making people claim that demonetisation was a flop (“Demonetisation: The chronicle of a failure foretold”). But at least 50% of this wealth was unaccounted for. Since this amount has been deposited into banks, it will be easy for the IT department to pursue with the depositors for the source and take appropriate action against the culprits who have either avoided payment of taxes or earned these amounts through objectionable means. This was the target behind demonetisation and success is on the way. We should have patience to see the results. Blaming the decision at this stage is premature and prejudiced. – AV Nagaraju

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Why is Raghuram Rajan commenting on demonetisation so late in the day (“Did Raghuram Rajan know that monetisation was coming? Here’s his answer”)? And what, in his opinion, was the alternative to it, for tackling black money? – A Bhatia

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It is laudable that Raghuram Rajan has broken his silence after giving his successor some time to settle into his role as RBI governor, which happened to be a breathless period for Urjjit Patel.

India needed to see the plain truth of demonetisation from Rajan to expose the insane action of Modi and Jaitley as well as to make the people aware of the economic catastrophe the country has been forcefully led into. – Joseph Dost

Parodying Trump

This is utterly mean. Get a life and deal with the real issues (“Watch: This parody of ‘Ivanka Trump’ singing about her father is priceless”)! Most people care about food on their tables, having a car to get to work in, an education for their kids, a home that is not under five feet of water and not being taken out by Korea.

Why are you people spreading hate? It helps no one. You are only showing your small-mindedness. Do you think those of us who love and believe in this country care about these parodies? Stop bashing our President. You don’t have to like him but you should pay attention to how he already ISis Making America Great Again and respect him because he is the President, elected by the majority of the people. You only show your ignorance with pieces such as this. – Bernadette Jackel

The North Korea question

Although Trump spoke vehemently about responding to North Korea with “fire and fury”, there are limits to the US’ jurisdiction (“North Korea says it successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test”). It is quite clear that the sanctions imposed (from Resolution 1718 to Resolution 2371) on North Korea are ineffective as the state still continues carrying out missile tests. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has proven that it can dodge these sanctions. Besides, the UN cannot force compliance to the resolutions on any member state. To elucidate, confirmation on compliance with resolution 2321 was given only by 77 member states, according to the UN.

Many reports over the decade have shown that North Korea has many shell companies and other fronts in place to ensure that despite all the sanctions, its economy can retain stability. Diplomatic talks in the past have also failed. Former President Barack Obama’s attempt to cut a deal with North Korea in order to impose a moratorium on nuclear missile tests clearly failed. The only way to ameliorate this situation is ending the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong Un and hoping for a better, more sensible and less peevish successor. – Akanksh Sharma

Flood fury

The government in Bihar is perceived to be headed by an honest person but has never been so (“Bihar floods: With 28 more deaths, toll rises to 440”). It is a deeply corrupt regime. There is a politician -bureaucrat-engineer-contractor nexus and the recent floods were caused because the flood protection embankment had been breached. An independent inquiry will reveal the truth. I hail from the worst affected area and learnt of this when I visited my village.

The recent contract amount assigned to plug the breaches may also be the evidence of sarkari loot when evaluated on spot. taking into consideration the length and width of the breach. Who cares for the poor and affected lot in Bihar? It’s a state of scams: past, present and future. – Dharnidhar Jha

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The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

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This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.

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The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.