five years of the competition commission

the competition commission is one of the more interesting institutions to come up in india. it has a complex remit — to ensure fairplay in diverse markets. in a story out today, i take a look at its performance so far.

as can be expected, this aspect of the CCI’s functioning brings in a lot of criticism. lawyers find its non-codified approach befuddling, for instance. in this story, i argue that such an approach is desirable. and that the criticism for the CCI should lie elsewhere — in its lack of proactive action to take on the monopolies budding in sector after sector.

a small update on jan dhan yojana

a quick and dirty story on jan dhan yojana.

The aggregate numbers are designed to impress — 6.99 crore accounts have already been opened since PM Narendra Modi launched Jan Dhan Yojana on Independence Day, according to pmjdy.gov.in, a government website. But several concerns lie hidden beneath those numbers.

Coalgate. Part Two.

one more reform measure of the NDA promises a lot but, ultimately, looks like it will change nothing.

a mess created by speculation, not environmental laws

i reported for this story by my colleagues ravi teja sharma and avinash celestine on why real estate is in doldrums in and around delhi.

On India’s air monitoring during Diwali

An updated version of the air quality story

today’s et carries an updated version of the air quality story published yesterday — the story got reworked once i got the cpcb’s answers. as things stand, its answers resolved some of the questions in the previous avatar of the story and triggered newer ones. do take a look. and, here, the q&a with the cpcb on the air quality index.

all this is a followup to a story that appeared about ten days ago — on why india’s air quality data is garbage. you must see that.

On the proposed Air Quality Index (and flaws therein)

About six days ago, India released a draft Air Quality Index. The idea is unexceptionable. The Index seeks to make air quality more easily comprehensible by reporting air quality not as dry numbers of raw concentrations but as colour-coded assessments of health impacts — good, moderate, poor, very poor, hazardous, etc. In this story out today, I argue, however, that for the index to be useful, fundamental problems in air quality assessments need to be fixed first.

This story, as things stand, is a followup to another story on air quality published about ten days ago. You need to, if you haven’t already, read the first one. Its PDF and, here, a link.

ps: Yesterday was diwali. And, while surfing to see how air quality was faring, I saw some eye-popping numbers. See these.

numbers from the civil lines air quality station, run by the delhi pollution control committee, as of 2215 hrs, yesterday. pm10 at 1000 (safety limit: 100). pm 2.5 at 995 (safety limit: 60). shortly afterwards, pm 2.5 climbed close to 1000 as well, reaching 999.85.

numbers from the civil lines air quality station, run by the delhi pollution control committee, as of 2215 hrs, yesterday. pm10 at 1000 (safety limit: 100). pm 2.5 at 995 (safety limit: 60). shortly afterwards, pm 2.5 climbed close to 1000 as well, reaching 999.85.

look at this chart. the way pm10 levels max out at 1000 suggests that the sensor might be set up to capture levels only till 1000 micrograms/cu m (understandably, given the safe limit is 60). i wonder what was the real extent of particulate pollution yesterday.

look at this chart. the way pm10 levels max out at 1000 suggests that the sensor might be set up to capture levels only till 1000 micrograms/cu m (understandably, given the safe limit is 60). i wonder what was the real extent of particulate pollution yesterday.

i have a fairly high degree of comfort with dpcc data. less so with the cpcb and spcbs. the cpcb, last night, was ridiculous. its sites were presenting allegedly realtime data for 2013 for parts of delhi. as for the spcbs, most of them were well below delhi. but one number from ahmedabad really made me sit up. look at pm2.5.

i have a fairly high degree of comfort with dpcc data. less so with the cpcb and spcbs. the cpcb, last night, was ridiculous. its sites were presenting allegedly realtime data for 2013 for parts of delhi. as for the spcbs, most of them were well below delhi. but one number from ahmedabad really made me sit up. look at pm2.5.

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