Sorry folks, I have not been able post here for quite some time. The reason is my new work assignment which kept me quite tied up. I have just completed my first work anniversary at Times Group. I joined here last year November as Editor of the Economic Times -Auto. I cover automotive industry for the newspaper as well as take care of the digital ETAuto.com.

Just have a glimpse of what I have been doing all this while and do give me your comment.  



Why should automakers focus on clean technology?

Troubled with increasing level of CO2 emissions and rising consumption of energy, the biggest challenge being faced for a sustainable future is to conserve, reproduce energy and reduce CO2 emission. In 2010, road transport emitted 204 millions tones of CO2 and is expected to reach 500 million tons by 2020 in India.

According to A.T. Kearney & CII joint study "India, the third-largest contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inthe world, is already starting to witness the effects of global warming as seen by the 1.5ºC increasein average annual temperature over the past 50 years. The transportation sector accounts for 10-12%of the total GHG emissions in India and has seen a rising trend over the years. Of the various transport modes employed in in the country, road transport is responsible for the dominant share (~85 percent) of GHG emissions. Passenger transportation accounts for 45 percent of the total GHG emissions and the movement of goods the remaining 55 percent."

The on-road vehicle population is expected to reach at 300 million by 2020 globally. Currently, India has a vehicle population of around 68 million which is expected to grow at the rate of 6- 7% to reach about 120 million in the next 10 years.
It is certainly a different world now compared to what we had three decades ago. And mobility solutions have walked many steps beyond being a necessity. This highlights the opportunity for Indian automotive manufacturer as well the challenge to develop competitive edge over its counterparts abroad.

The significant environmental implications of vehicles cannot be denied. Rightfully, the need to reduce vehicular pollution has led to emission control through regulations in conjunction with increasingly environment-friendly technologies.

The customers have become environment conscious and choosy in terms of quality and features of vehicles at the same time the government is steadfastly formulating stringent norms for cutting carbon emission.
Inthis direction it is expected that there will be approximately 20 million electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020 globally. While in India EVs and Hybrid population will go up with the help of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan of the government of India, which would aim at adding green mobility within India.
Unfortunately, India till now doesn’t have many indigenous manufacturers in this domain. The situation at the component makers is even more worrisome. Almost all electric vehicle parts are imported from China and other markets.

However, EV being a sustainable and clean technology remains debatable subject. As some argue that the pollution caused in production of batteries and generation of electricity almost equals the pollution cause in case of burning of fuels in traditional vehicle.
There is no denying that Indian automotive industry is quite young and it was only in 1991 that the first stage emission norms came into force for petrol vehicles and in 1992 for diesel vehicles. But now it’s time to pace up in terms of building engineering and technological capability to remain competitive.
The government has been planning to make it mandatory for car makers to improve per kilometre mileage by at least 20 percent by 2020 from the current average of 16.6km per litre of fuel. The government previously announced that it wants to increase it to 18.1km/litre by 2015 and 20.79km/litre by 2020.
In a latest announcement on January 30, 2014 the power ministry notified new energy consumption standards for passenger vehicles running on petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. This means automakers have to conform to carbon dioxide emissions of 129.8 g/km for vehicles manufactured from 2016 and 113 g/km from 2022 onwards.
Under the new norms finalised by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), automakers would have to comply with the new standards from 2016 rather than 2017 as supposed to have been previously agreed.
Fuel efficiency standards BEE, will be measured in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Earlier it was also announced that on the basis of their fuel efficiency, BEE, which comes under the power ministry, will give a one star rating for the least fuel efficient vehicles and five stars for the most efficient in their respective weight class.
The mega trends globally, in this direction, have been toward weight reduction by using lighter component. A lot of heavy metals have been replaced with lighter substitutes such as engineering plastic and aluminum for the gasoline and diesel engine vehicles. At the same time a newer fuel options such as Hydrogen, high ethanol have been adopted.
Some of the Indian component manufacturers have been successful in developing lighter alternatives but with support from their foreign collaborators. Plastic fuel tray, hollow piston rod struts, light weight door, metal-free and reproducible filters, and thinner bumper has been produced in India. But unfortunately, very few of these technological developments are indigenous.
The Indian companies still lack far behind from its global counterpart in terms of investment in research and development. Global average investment in R&D is between 2-5% of therevenue where as in India this is below 1%.

However, the most popular adaptation for reducing carbon footprint has been hybrid and EV which is a costly affair and India is still not prepared for this. Yet micro hybrid technology and innovations on such as start-stop option, advanced fuel injection, downsizing and turbocharging, automated manual transmission, selective catalytic reduction, variable valve control cylinder deactivation, engine friction reduction tire resistance reduction etc can be of great help.
According to a report by Auto Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) nearly 30 to 40 percent of engines in India are less 1200cc so technologies to further downsize engines, along with suitable turbocharging, will be needed to drive fuel efficiency.
The manufacturers and value engineering to meet India’s requirements could drive down costs of green technology. Key technology and component where this will be crucial include electronic control units (ECUs) and actuators needed in automated manual transmission systems, small gasoline and advanced diesel (VGT and Variable-nozzle turbines) turbocharing, high pressure direct injectionsystems, small electric parts, and lithium-ion battery.
While internal combustion engines (ICE) and its components are becoming more efficient and will constitute main part of the vehicle population over the next eight to ten years and adaptation of such technologies may result in cutting down CO2 emission by 5 to 10 percent.
From component industry, the response towards EV and hybrid technology has been very cold and the reason goes to the egg and the chicken story. They see bleak hope in terms of demand and availability of infrastructure to go to the next level.
The manufacturers should look at strengthening its capabilities toward developing/innovating these technologies which will ensue in future. The biggest challenge for the industry in achieving thiscould be the cost factor for which the government should take some encouraging actions such as incentives to customers and automotive industry players can lower the net cost tothe vehicle owners.
Capability gapswill also need to be addressed to develop and implement certain technologies. Although this will required a substantial investment but total size of the component could reach $15 to $17 billion in new revenue by 2020. While creating a conducive environment for localised manufacturing of green vehicle technologies can substantially lower costs.
Domestic technology will improve local supplier’s abilities with the unique requirement. The government must extend support in terms of R &D. The government should also consider fixing the age limit and scrapage policy across the country.
Containing of CO2 emission doesn’t end with the vehicles on the road, but also on the process of manufacturing adopted by the component makers and the OEMs. The manufacturing unit should equally go green with reduced consumption of energy and pollution. The process should be continuously improved to increase efficiency and reduce wastage.


Focus on effective law enforcement

Civil society and government agencies need to be in sync

By Nabeel A Khan

Insensitivity, vandalism and oppression in a democracy are the worst scourges. Unfortunately we, the Indians have become used to it. The most vital reason for this is the lack of fine balance between the rights and duties. It is correct that protest is pride of democracy and oppression, restriction is a blot on the form of people’s governance.  Last week, we have seen restriction and oppression by the government as well as protests from the civil society transcending its civilized limitations.

The government should respect its duty of allowing its people- right to protest, while at the same time citizen need to understand their responsibilities and not turn the protest into vandalism and hooliganism.  A wrong cannot be right through a wrong act or means.

The idea is not meant to preach but a gist of an ideal situation which is nothing less than a euphoric thought in the current situation. However, we must congratulate ourselves for the peace and patience we maintained in the majority part of the protest. Emotional issues like this, at many instances, weakens our intelligence and we tend to succumbed to some malicious, conceited and politically motivated forces.

This happens because of a preconceived notion, The moment we take up a cause to the street, we treat government and its agencies, as our enemies, we need to remember that, the system has not been imposed by a third party or foreign land but -we have made it, and we are part of it. So the fight is with us only.  

It is imperative that the core essence of the movement/protest should not only be emotional but a logical. The demand should be under well chocked out plan, precise and efficacious. But, unfortunately our logic and intelligence is most often overpowered by the blow of emotional outburst and we tend to lose the focus.

We most often ask for a new legislation aftermath of any mishap.  This could be the most convenient thing to do for any government in situations where public go berserk. We demanded for new legislation against corruption - the Lokpal bill, Mumbai attack (terror attack) and now for the  brutal rape case in the national capital.

But we should note that it’s not that we don’t have legislation/law or agency to punish/investigate/prevent rape, corruption, and  terrorism. We have well established agencies and law but what we don't have is effective enforcement of the law. Death penalty for rape is being demanded, but what is the guarantee that this will completely prevent the incidence of rape. Rape accused are not being punished the under the existing law then what is the guarantee that they will be convicted or punished under the new law. Experts of legal affair feel that this may further aggravate the situation, as the rapist might kill the victim, to protect himself, however in current situation also there have been many instances, where the victims have been murdered after being raped. The other debate could be – Is India, which is respected as a civilized nation in the world can accommodate death penalty?

Enforce Law
We don’t lack law. What we lack is the implementation, and execution of law. There are lakhs of rape cases pending in the country, but they are just there for years to pass by. And at the end of the day what is the result? We see almost negligible percentage of conviction.  The depressing factor behind this is that when these cases go on for long, the witnesses tend to become cold. Victims also get disappointed and loses hope. At many cases victims/accused/witnesses die but the cases do not closed.

The other major issue is that, the victim is also treated almost like an accused in current scenario. The society has a very cruel treatment towards the victim and she is forced to live with a social stigma. We need to make the judicial procedure more victims' friendly.

The low rate of conviction is one of the main reasons for inciting crime. So the right idea would be to demand for something which could bring immediate change. Something that is easily doable to prevent the crime. And in this case the government should give an assurance about its strategy and road map it is going to embrace for effective and efficient implementation of law.  Even new legislation will not help in reducing or preventing of these crimes until we have foolproof arrangement for implementation.

Since ages we have seen huge numbers of cases  pending due to lack of the size of judicial machinery in the country. Why can’t the government think of expanding it to match the growing population of the country. It may also look for alternatives such as distributing the responsibilities. The panchayati system (Sarpanch) may be made more effective for specific kinds of cases such as civil suits. 


The cops might be putting blame on maintaining VIP security as an excuse for their lack of effectiveness. But the police also seem to have lost their way in terms of understanding its nature of work. We immediately need to coach them of their responsibilities and job profile.

They need to act more than a thug in a look out to fleece bribes. For the cops, their most important job profile currently, is to find -if a chana wala, andawala, or any other small roadside vendors are paying the monthly bribe on time or not. Even the parking guys pay a fixed amount to these cops and a strategic identification sign is made to protect the vehicles parked at unauthorized location/roads. If the actual crime is reported, police will first try to scare those who come with complain, and then ignore and most often will not lodge FIR. They want to remain in the safe heaven and focus on the earning part.

If some pressure comes aftermath of a serious crime then many a time they will nab/arrest an easy pray and implicate them under fabricated charges. The same Delhi Police which is not able to prevent rape, robbery, murder, do not allow a single tempo wala, and petty vendors to run business without paying bribe.

They have become expert in smelling the petty crimes where they can easily fill their pockets. But now its high time they should take serious step towards curbing the real crimes. We urgently need to train the cops and make them understand actual KRA or Job responsibilities.

Be Civilized Society
Be the civilized society and not merely civil society. The civil society very quickly draws a divide between them and the government. Finger is raised against government which is quite valid and natural. But in democracy, how can we totally ignore the fact that the government is formed by us but none.

We make hue and cry - that MPs, MLAs are criminals –but who voted for them. The society also needs to wake up and understand its responsibility; we should not wait to put off the fire till it reaches our house.  Let me confront the bitter truth, we have crores of people shouting slogans after a crime is committed, but why the same society acts as mere spectator when the crime is being committed. No one comes to help the victims leave about intervening. People simply ignore. 'Why should I bother about it, it is not impacting me'. But we should know that we can be the next in place of the victim. We need to be sensitive and nip the crime in its bud stage.  The society need to build an environment where women’s stature and respect is restored as mother, sister and not treated as mere commodity. The women themselves should adopt a zero tolerance against any such advancement. Should never ignore even a small inappropriate move. The society should also collectively take action against the wrong doers so the stigma of doing wrong pinches criminal every minute and not the victim.


Did Anna rely on guile soldiers? (Part-1)

Nabeel A. Khan
Team Anna disbands. It was a headline foretold for me, just worth noting an action in the chronicles of the event, which was foreseen weeks after the first spell of the movement –had started in April 2011.  Innumerable doubts over the success and effectiveness of the movement had begun to haunt. The very first step of formation of the so called –Team Anna Core Committee was emitting sparks of contentious agenda embraced by the quite a few members, if not all, going by their history.

Hence, a team was formed without any teamliness apparent. They had to rather elaborate and convince about the strength and unity of the entourage. In the beginning, the smell of a strategic ploy was evident in the selection of people which was strictly based on needs such as to pull crowed, grab headlines and video footage.

Anna Hazare, was made to be the show-stopper for his previous track record as the grand protester. Hazare, a man who single handedly changed the landscape of his village and made many governments in western state of India –Mharashtra touch the dust over the issues of corruption did succeed in first instance. As the politicians did have certain degree of respect or rather fear for him. But Charisma did not sustain till the second innings because ridding high on temporary heroic depiction and perception the team took fatal steps in between specially going political from the apolitical stand.

Thus Anna, the champion for decades lost his virtue at the India Against Corruption, alias Janlokpal movement most probably because he failed to understand the people around him. He seemed to have understood himself as patriarch and just came to help the team for a good cause. But in no time, he was neither a leader nor had a follower. Many of the members of Team Anna (or civil society…the term probably best suited to control population, as it reduced a population of billions into a couple of thousand) –took the “Mai Anna Hoon” (I am Anna) quite literally.  

The septuagenarian, with his usual verve and enthusiasm was on the venue for sit-in protest in Indian capital city New Delhi, probably holding the first protest outside his home state. The venue was indeed a very appropriate one as it was the centre of media including for the mushrooming satellite TV channels.

Cool & Jazzy Team

However, the movement (envisaged to uproot corruption) was real reflection and mirror of the changing India. It clearly said that now demonstration and protest can also be filled with cool quotient. It was no less a gala event than one organised by the political parties often to woo numbers while lacking a majority or a college fest or the page three events. It had a poet, cartoonist, rock stars, IT experts, media & branding specialist and sanyasi burning midnight oil to make it a super-hit event. What was lacking was only understanding of the real situation and understanding of the country’s politics. In a guile and mendacity they tried to blow air in the balloon without knowing the limit.

Staging up

Let’s see the chronicle of the events as it unfolded. Anna Hazare starts his indefinite strike on 5 April 2011 with a strong statement “I will fast until Jan Lokpal Bill is passed.” The start was full of emotional rhetoric and cached imagination of a large number of population. The middle class, which often keeps a commentator status came forward and participated which was a major change in the history of any movement in India. A day, the movement claimed the ejection of senior politician and a old foe of Hazare- Sharad Pawar from the empowered group of minister.  

The further trump of the team came as the government accepted their demand on 8 April and the next day government issued a history breaking notification in the Gazette of India on formation of a joint committee with a politician and non-politician co-chairing it.

This ensued the end of the 98-hour hunger strike with an announcement of 15 August as deadline for the bill to be passed. However, the people desperate to escape the scourge of corruption brought almost the country under siege thus forcing the government to take unprecedented steps to tone down the agitation.

Then the round of meetings held which reflected lack of agreement between the two parties. Despite, certain objections on 28 July 2011 the union cabinet approved a draft of the Lokpal Bill, keeping the Prime Minister, judiciary and lower bureaucracy out of the Lokpal’s ambit. Naturally, Anna Hazare rejected the draft, and threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike from 16 August 2011 if a strong Janlokpal Bill was not presented in Parliament.

It was then UPA government suffered another PR disaster after arresting Anna Hazare on 16 August while he was to begin his fast. This further demonized the already embroiled Congress-led government. Within four hours of the arrest public turned outrageous and the government had to release him on 20 August with permission to fast at the Ramlila grounds.

Now, Anna received a grand welcome, supporters’ choking the streets of the national capital. This was probably the zenith of his popularity. He vowed to fast till his last breath if the strong Janlokpal Bill was not passed in the ongoing Parliament session which was to conclude on 8 September.

The protest became highly impressive and makes an impact across the country as the TV and other media started devouring on it. Many channels almost started airing live telecast of the entire agitation. Following which was joined by people from all walks- films and the commoners started swarming near the cameras making reporters even life tougher. On 27 August both the Houses of the Parliament passed a resolution proposed by Pranab Mukherjee ‘conveying the sense of the House’ on the Lokpal Bill.

Hence, this accelerated the image of the Team Anna into the top gear the entire media heaped praise on him. However, the public frenzy plummeted as the Bill was not passed in the monsoon session despite unusual extended debate and Hazare called off his hunger strike sighting poor health conditions. … WAIT FOR PART-II


Pawan Goenka

Mahindra &Mahindra, President (Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors), Pawan Goenka getting candid about the company’s merger and acquisition policy, said that any firm which passes a three-point test is eligible to be acquired.  When Nabeel A. Khan steered his attention towards the proposedEUFTA, stepping up ante, he asserted that the agreement gives unfair advantage to one set of companies while many manufacturers from other countries have invested in India. If the advantage is being given to car makers from EU then other should also be give same opportunity.


Jate jate bhi tum keya sabak de gaye
jan gaye ham jee ke marna keya hai


Na jane tum ye kaise hunar de gaye 
maut ki khwahish, zindagi se dar de gaye


Kisi ek se tut kar na jane kis- kis se jud gaye
dard, shiskiya kahe hai dost, lachari bole hamdam


tu lautega kabhi soch kar darvaja khula rakha
it it lut gayee par teri kabar bhi na aayi
Top of Form


ai aasmaan tujhse mujhe keya kaam
mera aftab, mera mahtab naheen wahan


nabeel tera gorub-e aftab va sahar hai keya
unka palkein jhapakna, palkein uthana


TaAzub hai ke mere apne mere hayat ki dua karte hain
aur meri din raat abhi kat rahi hai zindagi ki talaash mein


Mera Man

har shaakh,, shaakh pe ghumta hai mera chidya man
na jane kis dal pe banayega ghosla ye mera man

Kabhi phool ki lali to kabhi patte ki hariyali
kahan kahan na bhataka hai mera man

kabhi tahniyon ki uchai, to kabhi falon ki mithas
 har pal badlta hai mashooq ye be iman man

Fatur ka bana hamsafar, fitne se yaari kar
mujhse hi kar raha gaddari ye mera man



Fareb ke pakvaan banaakar jab thak jaye tu

Apne dil se pooch lena haqiqat keya hai teri

zuban se bhale hi koi raag gati ho tu

par tere dil mein meri hi dhun goonjti hogi 

 jism ko jism se door kar liya tune

aatma ko aatma se door kaise karegi

Ye raste, baagiche, vo makan chhor degi 

par yadon, ehasason ko kaise mitayegi 

Jise tu mitane chali hai vo koi gair naheen

main main naheen, mujhmein bhi tu hi tu hai



When you get tired of faking

seek the truth from your heart 

you might sing to a different tune

but your heart yet rhymes to my strings

you might separate two bodies 

how will you de-attach souls 

you might go away from the streets, lanes

how will you erase the memories, and feelings

the one you want to end, is no other than you

because I am also you, you and only you..