Citizens' Issues
Parag Parikh, promoter of PPFAS Mutual Fund, dies in a crash
Parag Parikh, well known investment expert and founder of PPFAS died on Sunday in a two-vehicle crash at Omaha the US while on a visit to hear investment guru Warren Buffet
 
Parag Parikh, well known investment expert and founder of Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services (PPFAS) and PPFAS Mutual Fund, died in a two-vehicle crash on Sunday in midtown Omaha.
 
According to media reports from the US, the 60-year Parikh died at the Nebraska Medical Centre, while his wife Geeta is in a critical condition with head and chest injuries.
 
The Parikhs were believed to be travelling along with two other employees of the group Rajeev Thakkar and Raunak Onkar. Report suggest that the Volkswagen Jetta they were driving collided with a Chevrolet pickup before 7am on Sunday where they were on their way to the airport. All four were in Omaha to attend Berkshire's shareholder meeting, an annual pilgrimage that many value investors around the world like to undertake.
 
Last year, Mr Parikh, one of the foremost behavioural investment gurus in India, surrendered his broking licence for starting his asset management company (AMC) and morphed PPFAS into PPFAS AMC.
 
Even with PPFAS, Mr Parikh always challenged the mutual fund industry with his transparency and accountability. Last year in November, PPFAS MF held its first unit holders meet in Mumbai, a first in the mutual fund industry. During the meet, after presenting their investment philosophy, both Mr Parikh and Mr Thakkar, Chief Investment Officer, Associate Director and Equity Fund Manager at PPFAS Mutual Funds, replied to all queries from unit holders and distributors, explaining rationale behind selecting various scrips for the portfolio.
 
PPFAS had instilled some amount of trust by providing accountability to their investors. In Moneylife's analysis of portfolio management schemes (PMS), Mr Parikh's PMS was among the best. Unfortunately, their mutual fund scheme, PPFAS Long Term Value, had not been among the best in comparison with other schemes. Many stocks were not the best in their class and hence were valued available cheap. Returns from them are unlikely to be high, especially since these stocks have not been able to prove themselves over multiple business and market cycles. However, this scheme was designed for the long-term and it would be too early to comment on the performance. In fact, Mr Thakkar mentioned that they were not looking to be among the best, their only aim is to provide investors a decent return over the long-term.
 
Mr Parikh has written two books, "Stocks to Riches - Insights on Investor Behaviour" published by Tata McGraw-Hill in 2006 and "Value Investing and Behavioural Finance - Insights into Indian Stock Market Realities" in 2009.
 
Mr Parikh has also been a strong supporter of Moneylife Foundation's financial literacy work and has also attended talks organised by it.

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COMMENTS

SUBRAMANIAM GANESAN

2 years ago

Really a Sad News!! Not a desired end for a person like Mr Parikh bhai.. May his soul rest in peace..

Pushpesh Kumar Sharma

2 years ago

Very Sad news. Really Mr Parag Parikh was a genius. though i had never invested with him, i referred to his notes on behavioural finance. he had contributed for some to the outlookmoney also.
As is customary, i would also wish that May! He rest in Eternal Peace, but actually i feel that this is not the end a person like Mr Parag Parikh deserved.
Pushpesh Kumar, Bathinda

Kiran Aggarwal

2 years ago

Sorry to know !!
RIP
It a big vacuum to fill as PPFAS was doing some good work in MF schemes and holding Unit holders meeting .

Here's a low-cost water purifier for villages
The unique low-cost solar water purifier (SWP) does not require electricity and can be produced by village craftsmen, claim its developers at the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), an NGO working at Phaltan in rural Maharashtra
 
A discarded sari, a few glass pipes and freely available sunlight are the only requirements for an innovative system that can provide safe drinking water to a rural household.
 
The unique low-cost solar water purifier (SWP) does not require electricity and can be produced by village craftsmen, claim its developers at the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), an NGO working at Phaltan in rural Maharashtra.
 
Also, unlike commercially available water purifiers, the SWP does not suffer from problems like filter clogging or wastage of water, NARI director Anil Rajvanshi told IANS.
 
Boiling the water is a recommended method to kill any disease-causing bacteria that may be present. But to boil the water, one requires electricity or other fuel.
 
NARI's purification strategy exploits the fact that one need not have to really boil the water to make it germ-free. Low temperatures are sufficient for sterilising the water provided the temperatures are maintained sufficiently longer.
 
"Our earlier studies have shown that water heated to only 50 degrees Celsius and maintained at that temperature for one hour, or heated to 45 degrees and maintained for three hours, becomes completely free of coliform bacteria," Rajvanshi said. 
 
The presence of coliform is an indication that pathogens (disease causing germs) are present. The bacterial colony count was done in the institute's microbiology lab according to international protocols, he said.
 
Thus a simple strategy for sterilization, he said, is to filter the water (drawn from a well or a stream) to remove particulate matter, then raise the temperature to about 45 degrees and maintain that for at least three hours, he said.
 
This was accomplished by NARI in a cost-effective way in two steps.
 
For the filter, Rajvanshi's team used a piece of cotton cloth (typically from a sari) folded four times. According to NARI's earlier research published in the journal "Current Science," the four-layered cotton cloth acts as an excellent water filter. For the next step, to sterilize the filtered water to make it germ-free, the team turned to solar energy.
 
In essence, NARI's purifier system consists of four slanting tubular solar water heaters attached to a manifold with a receptacle at the top to receive the sari-filtered water. The water entering the tubes, each with a three-litre capacity, get heated by sunlight. "The tubes, made of toughened glass are basically long thermos flasks," Rajvanshi explained. "Once the water gets hot, the tubes maintain the temperature long enough to sterilize it."
 
"Tests done by NARI on this water purifier for the last one year have shown that even on a completely cloudy and rainy day, water is heated to high-enough temperatures to make it potable," Rajvanshi said.
 
Thus a simple solar water purifier for a rural household can deliver 15 litres of drinking water daily, he said.
 
The cotton cloth is the only consumable in the whole system, said Rajvanshi. "We have tried to use the cloth from the cheapest cotton sari available locally. It is washed every day after filtration and is holding good for the last one year. After a couple of years the sari will wear out and so it has to be replaced."
 
According to Rajvanshi, the system costs Rs. 1,500. "NARI has not patented this technology since it feels that it should be made available freely for the rural population," he said, adding: "Any small rural workshop can fabricate it."
 
For the last one year, two such systems at NARI are producing around 30 litres of potable water for all its staff members, Rajvanshi said.
 
NARI is now exploring the possibility of scaling up this technology for village level application so that 30,000-40,000 litres of potable water can be delivered." 

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COMMENTS

Janakiraman Rajalakshmi

2 years ago

This is good news.

While cooking also Ramana Bhagavan always advocated simmering on low flame & covering the food tight with a lid.

India tops list of drone-importing nations
India's first UAV delivery came from Israel in 1998. The UK, on the other hand, imported its first UAV in 1972 from Canada. But Japan was the first country in the world to import a UAV, it got one from the US in 1968
 
The decision by India's National Disaster Response Force to use drones to help Nepal map the scale of devastation caused by last month's earthquake indicates how India has enthusiastically taken to these pilot-less aircraft -- the so-called eyes in the sky.
 
With 22.5 percent the world's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imports, between 1985 and 2014, India ranks first among drone-importing nations, followed by United Kingdom and France. UAVs, or drones as they are commonly known, are pilotless aerial vehicles used for reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence gathering and aerial combat missions.
 
The advantage of UAVs is that they come at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft with no risk to human lives. The data here relate to drone/UAV transfers (imports/exports) between countries. There are also drones that have been indigenously developed, so the actual number of UAVs possessed by each nation may be different.
 
A total of 1,574 UAV transfers have taken place across the world between 1985 and 2014. Of these, 16 are armed UAVs, according to data provided by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent global conflict-research institute.
 
UAV trade recorded an increase of 137 percent between 1985 and 2014. The period between 1985 and 1990 saw sales of 185 UAVs globally, which increased to 439 between 2010 and 2014. Egypt and Italy are among the other large importers. The last decade also registered sales of 16 armed UAVs.
 
India's first UAV delivery came from Israel in 1998. The UK, on the other hand, imported its first UAV in 1972 from Canada. But Japan was the first country in the world to import a UAV, it got one from the US in 1968.
 
India's UAV imports, have almost all been from Israel, according to SIPRI data. Of 176 UAVs, 108 are Searcher UAVs and 68 are Heron UAVs. Israel is the leading exporter of drones, accounting for 60.7 percent 1985 and 2014.
 
The US, with a 23.9 percent of UAV exports, ranks second, followed by Canada with 6.4 percent. Israel shipped has shipped 783 drones since 1980.
 
Some of India's eyes in the sky:
 
Netra: An autonomous UAV developed jointly by ideaForge Technologies and Defence Research and Development Organisation. Can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. It can also fly and return to base on its own. Currently used by Indian armed and paramilitary forces.
 
The National Disaster Response Force used the Netra drone during the 2013 Uttarakhand floods to identify survivors and assess damage. It was also deployed during the Bhuj floods in 2013 by the Gujarat government.
 
Nishant: Used for day/night reconnaissance, target tracking and extraction of target coordinates, artillery fire correction and damage assessment. Nishant is being inducted into the Indian army, with 4 UAV units.
 
Panchi: Wheeled-version of Nishant. Capable of taking-off and landing from small airstrips. First flight in December 2014.
 
Rustom I: All-weather, medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV. It will operate at medium-to-long ranges and gather near real-time high-quality imagery and radio signals. It will perform a range of military missions.
 
Rustom II: Being designed to operate at up to 30,000 feet for 24 hours at a stretch.
 
Aura: A combat drone capable of flying at 30,000 feet and launching missiles, bombs and guided missiles.
 
Lakshya: Remotely operated and used as a target to train gun and missile crew and air-defence pilots for the three services.
 
Armed UAVs were exported for the first time in 2007, when US delivered two MQ-9 Reapers to the UK. The MQ-9 was used by the UK forces in Afghanistan. China became the second-largest exporter of armed UAVs in 2014, when it delivered five drones to Nigeria, which deployed UAVs against Boko Haram, a terrorist outfit.
 
Drone attacks have been criticised around the world for accidentally killing civilians while hunting suspected terrorists. More than 2,400 people (273 civilians) have been killed in 390 drone attacks in 5 years (2009-14) under the Obama administration, according to a report by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
 
The use of drones/UAVs in India is mainly confined to surveillance and reconnaissance, unlike the US, which uses armed drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, according to Sameer Patil, associate fellow on national security, ethnic and terrorism studies at Gateway House and former assistant director at the National Security Council Secretariat in the Prime Minister's Office.
 
Drones used along the India-Pakistan border are simpler than the ones used on the Chinese border in Ladakh, where they require long endurance and high-altitude capability, Patil said.
 
UAV squadrons in India mainly operate with Herons and Searcher MK IIs from Israel. However, there are also some UAVs/drones that have been indigenously developed or are under development. As use grows, more drones are coming, also the armed ones.

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