Saturday, 30 July 2016

World War I & II: Long Story Short

History. His-story. The story of others. 
We have learnt it in our own school days.
From Homo sapiens to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & Mughals, World Wars to Indian Freedom Struggle, etc.
With 'yaad karo kurbani' by GOI, you will remember the sacrifices made by Freedom Fighters for the India's Freedom.
Let us refresh ourselves here on the history of both the World Wars.


Nature of war?
War between countries for acquiring colonies, territory and resources.

Between 1914 and 1918.

The majority of the fighting took place in Europe along two fronts: the western front and the eastern front.
The western front was a long line of trenches that ran from the coast of Belgium to Switzerland.
A lot of the fighting along this front took place in France and Belgium.
The eastern front was between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria on one side and Russia and Romania on the other.

Who fought?
Allied Powers and the Central Powers.
The main members of the Allied Powers were France, Russia, and Britain. United States (after 1917).
The main members of the Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, and Bulgaria.

How did it start? 
Although there were a number of causes for the war, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the main catalyst for starting the war.
The terrorist group responsible for assassinating Archduke Ferdinand was called the Black Hand.
After the assassination, Austria declared war on Serbia.
Then Russia prepared to defend its ally Serbia.
Next, Germany declared war on Russia to protect Austria.
This caused France to declare war on Germany to protect its ally Russia.
Germany invaded Belgium to get to France which caused Britain to declare war on Germany.

How did it end? 
Allied victory.
The fighting ended on November 11, 1918 when a general armistice was agreed to by both sides.
The war officially ended between Germany and the Allies with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
End of the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires,
Formation of new countries in Europe and the Middle East,
Transfer of German colonies and regions of the former Ottoman Empire to other powers,
Establishment of the League of Nations, and so on.


Nature of war?
War of ideologies, such as Fascism, Nazism and Communism.

Between 1939 to 1945

World War II started in Europe, but spread throughout the world.
Much of the fighting took place in Europe and in Southeast Asia (Pacific).

Who fought? 
World War II was fought between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) and the Allied Powers (Britain, United States, Soviet Union, France).
Most of the countries in the world were involved in some way.
It was the deadliest war in all of human history with around 70 million people killed.

How did it start? 
World War II started in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.
Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany.
Among the causes of World War II were Italian fascism in the 1920s by Benito Mussolini, Japanese militarism and invasions of China in the 1930s, and especially the political takeover in 1933 of Germany by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party and its aggressive foreign policy.

How did it end? 
Allied victory.
The war in Europe ended with Germany's surrender on May 7, 1945.
The war in the Pacific ended when Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945.
Collapse of Nazi Germany,
Fall of Japanese and Italian Empires,
Creation of the United Nations,
Emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as superpowers,
Beginning of the Cold War, and so on.

"All war represents a failure of diplomacy."
- Tony Benn, speech, February 28, 1991

Sunday, 17 July 2016

India ka report card

We all demand to know the use of every rupee we pay as tax.
We all demand a transparent government.
Just talking without the knowledge of facts is irrelevant.
So, let us have a look at the 'Central Government ka Pai Pai ka Hisab' in a brief way.

We have paid Rs. 19,57,440.32 crores by way of taxes and non-taxes to the central government for the FY 2015-16.

[All numbers below are approximate and out of Total Revenue of Rs. 19,57,440.32 crores]

What comprises the CG's Total Revenue:
a. Income tax by corporates: 23.14%
b. Income tax by non-corporates: 14.90%
c. Securities Transaction tax: 0.38%
d. Custom duties: 10.70%
e. Excise duties: 14.48%
f. Service tax: 10.73%
g. Other Commodity Taxes: 0.05%
i. Taxes of Union Territories without legislature: 0.20%
I. Gross tax revenue [sum of a to i]: 74.58%
II. Gross non-tax revenue (i.e. receipts of interest, dividends, profits, fiscal services, economic services, defence services, social & community services, grants-in-aid & contributions and other general services): 25.42%

The disbursements of the Total Revenue:
Organs of State (i.e. Parliament, Ministers, Audit, Justice, Elections, etc.) : 0.40%
Tax Collection Services: 0.54%
Other Fiscal Services: 0.01%
Administrative Services: 3.32%
Pensions and
Miscellaneous General
Services: 5.68%
Defence Services: 7.66%
Social Services (i.e. Education, Art & Culture, Medical & Public Health, Family Welfare, Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation, Labour and Employment, Social Security, Relief on account of Natural Calamities, etc.): 4.30%
Economic Services (i.e. Agriculture & allied activities, Rural Employment, Special Area Programmes, Irrigation and Food Control, Energy, Industry & Minerals, Transport, Communications, Science, Technology & Development, Tourism, Foreign trade promotion, Civil Supplies, General Economic Services, etc.): 30.22%
Interest Payment and
Servicing of Debt: 23.37%
Grants-in-aid & contribution: 15.71%
Disbursements to Union Territories without legislature: 0.42%
States' Share: 25.86%
Excess of disbursements over revenue (i.e. revenue deficit): -17.49%

Major points to be noted:
1. A fair amount of total revenue i.e. 30.22% goes into the economic development of the country.
2. Grants-in-aid & contribution accounts for 15.71% of the total revenue but how much reaches the needy is still a question of fact.
3. 4.30% is towards social services which seems still low to correct the social picture of India.
4. Pensions and Miscellaneous General
Services accounts for 5.68%. A good proportion goes to the alive but leakages exist in the uncollected accounts and dead accounts (i.e. money taken out by babus, agents, scamsters, etc. in the name of ill/dead as alive)
5. 25.86% goes to the States i.e. 1/4th of the pie of the CG which I presume that it somewhat goes towards correcting the states' deficit leaving the CG in deficit.


The below analysis is restricted to the Cental Government's performance to the Consolidated Fund of India on revenue account.
For the below analysis for the FY 2015-16, revised figures of FY 2015-16 from the published 'Annual Financial Statement of Central Government for FY 2016-17' is taken into consideration and is assumed to be fair and complete.

The analysis and views are personal.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Playing with numbers!

My love for numbers has made me write this one. MS Excel and the phenomena of reconciliation of anything and everything has increased my liking for numbers very much.
Still I admit I'm not the master of it and hence this blog post to get a understanding of it by you and me.

Riddle: Three Guys at A Hotel

Three guys rent a hotel room for the night. When they get to the hotel they pay the INR 3000 fee, then go up to their room. Soon the bellhop brings up their bags and gives the guys back INR 500 because the hotel was having a special discount that weekend. So the three guys decide to each keep INR 100 of the INR 500 and to give the bellhop a INR 200 tip. However, when they sat down to tally up their expenses for the weekend they could not explain the following details:

Each one of them had originally paid INR 1000 (towards the initial INR 3000), then each got back INR 100 which meant that they each paid INR 900. Then they gave the bellhop a INR 200 tip. However, 3 * 900 + 200 = INR 2900.

The guys couldn't figure out what happened to the other INR 100. After all, the three paid out INR 3000 but could only account for INR 2900.

Can you determine what happened?


It all boils down to the fact that their math is incorrect.

They did NOT spend INR 900 * 3 + 200.

If the guys get INR 300 back and each takes INR 100. Then they spent exactly INR 2700. INR 2500 for the room and INR 200 for the tip. Remember they got exactly INR 300 in total back.

Number types:

Numbers can be classified according to how they are represented or according to the properties that they have.

Main types:

Natural numbers:
The counting numbers {1, 2, 3, …}, are called natural numbers.

Whole numbers:
The numbers {0, 1, 2, 3, …}.

Positive and negative counting numbers, as well as zero:{…, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2,…}.

Rational numbers:
Numbers that can be expressed as a ratio of an integer to a non-zero integer. All integers are rational, but the converse is not true.

Real numbers:
Numbers that have decimal representations that have a finite or infinite sequence of digits to the right of the decimal point. They can be positive, negative, or zero. All rational numbers are real, but the converse is not true.

Irrational numbers:
Real numbers that are not rational.

Imaginary numbers:
Numbers that equal the product of a real number and the square root of –1. The number 0 is both real and imaginary.

Complex numbers:
Includes real numbers, imaginary numbers, and sums and differences of real and imaginary numbers.

Hypercomplex numbers include various number-system extensions: quaternions, octonions, sedenions, tessarines, coquaternions, and biquaternions.

Number representations:

The standard Hindu–Arabic numeral system using base ten.

The base-two numeral system used by computers.

Roman numerals:
The numeral system of ancient Rome, still occasionally used today.

A representation of a non-integer as a ratio of two integers. These include improper fractions as well as mixed numbers.

Scientific notation:
A method for writing very small and very large numbers using powers of 10. When used in science, such a number also conveys the precision of measurement using significant figures.

Knuth's up-arrow notation and Conway chained arrow notation:
Notations that allow the concise representation of extremely large integers such as Graham's number.

Types of integer:

Even and odd numbers:
An integer is even if it is a multiple of two, and is odd otherwise.

Prime number:
An integer with exactly two positive divisors: itself and 1. The primes form an infinite sequence 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, ….

Composite number:
A number that can be factored into a product of smaller integers. Every integer greater than one is either prime or composite.

Polygonal numbers:
These are numbers that can be represented as dots that are arranged in the shape of a regular polygon, including:
Triangular numbers, Square numbers, Pentagonal numbers, Hexagonal numbers, Heptagonal numbers, Octagonal numbers, Nonagonal numbers, Decagonal numbers, and Dodecagonal numbers.

There are many other famous integer sequences, such as the sequence of Fibonacci numbers, the sequence of factorials, the sequence of perfect numbers, and so forth.

Refer for more: