Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 23, 2020

Civvl is Uber for evicting people

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:16 AM

In the latest attempt by bottom feeders to capitalize on the current pandemic, we have a company called ‘civvl’ which calls itself, the Uber of Evictions. Basically this is a company which is coming in and saying, I’m gonna pay you money to go kick out people from their own houses. To rub more salt on the wound, they actually advertise that “this is a best time to get involved” and “it’s the fastest growing money making gig due to the COVID-19 pandemic” “Literally thousands of process servers are needed in the coming months due courts being backed up in judgements that needs to be served to defendants.” They use a standard language for gig works like flexible hours, be your own boss etc etc.

But imagine how heartless you have to be to literally start a company that will make money by kicking people out from their houses and capitalizing on the fact that the current pandemic will increase the number of people who will have to be evicted. When I initially read about the company I thought that it was a dark joke but unfortunately the company appears to be real and there are people who are signing up for it. I don’t blame them because you need to feed your family and you gotta do what you gotta do… But but coming up with this whole idea, I don’t have words to express myself right now. You need a special type of person to think of something like this and then implement it.

The company is based in the US and is live. I am not going to link to them because they don’t deserve any traffic and the owners need to seriously think about their life choices.

Source: Vice: Gig Economy Company Launches Uber, But for Evicting People

– Suramya

September 22, 2020

Thoughts on a AmItheAsshole forum post and the racism it implies

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:15 AM

There is an interesting Subreddit, called r/AmItheAsshole (AITA) where people who are not sure if they behaved correctly in a given scenario can post the details of their experience/behavior and ask the Internet for a ruling on whether they behaved correctly or not. The questions can range from “AITA for not cutting my hair for my Sister’s wedding” to “AITA for burning my wife’s Ex-Boyfriend’s pics”. I don’t subscribe to the channel but there are folks I follow on Twitter who do follow and every once in a while they post links to specific posts which are usually way out there (the picture burning I referenced earlier is from one such post). Today I ran across a post where the poster was trying to justify his actions/behavior where he accused his GF’s Indian friend of cheating because she beat him in Scrabble and he couldn’t accept the defeat without assuming that she cheated. The whole post is below for reference:

So my (M23) GF (F23) has this Indian friend (F18) called “Priya”. Priya came to my English speaking country (relevant later) a year back to study. My girlfriend absolutely adores her and Priya soon became my GFs “best friend”. I’m doing English literature and she’s in science (also relevant).

Recently, she invited my GF and I to her place (fluid restrictions here), and had made a bunch of Indian food for us, got some wine. I ate well, the food was good and was having a good time. My GF had apparently bought Priya a scrabble set because Priya had mentioned she loved the game, so GF suggested we all played scrabble.

I was really excited because I knew I’d decimate them both easily. We play, and as the game progresses, it wasn’t me who was leading but Priya. She was making these huge words like “maladies” and “ostensibly”. I was pretty sure she was cheating.

She got up mid game to go to the bathroom and spent about 3 minutes there. I’m pretty sure she was googling words in there. So when she came out, I jokingly told her I knew she was cheating and she asked me what I was talking about.

I told her I know that she’s cheating, and that it’s impossible for someone who’s literally lived only in India all the time to be so good at Scrabble and to have such an extensive English vocabulary.

She didn’t say anything to defend herself but just laughed and told me she wasn’t cheating and we eventually finished the game and went home.

My GF however was extremely upset with me and told me I embarrassed her. When I told her I was being honest, and that there’s no way Priya could’ve beaten me without cheating, She told me I’m a racist and that she’s reconsidering her relationship with me.


The verdict of a majority of the commenters on the post is that ‘YTA’ (You’re The Asshole) and racist to boot. This is a problem I have seen many times when I was in the US and have actually had a person tell me in my Freshmen year (1st year of college) that I couldn’t possibly be from India because I spoke good English and people from India can’t talk in English. To which my answer was that I have been studying in English for the major part of my life and most schools in India teach in English so that the kids are prepared to enter the professional world once they complete their education.

Another instance was when a professor decided that I must have copied my homework paper from somewhere because it was too good to be written by an Indian kid in his freshman class. Luckily for me we had to write another in-class essay on a given topic before the homework was graded and returned. When he graded my inclass paper he realized that I had written both of them and he actually told me that he was going to give me a D on the homework assignment initially because he thought I had cheated but changed his mind after he saw my in-class paper.

There are many such examples, but they mostly have one common denominator: it is usually a White Guy who is offended by the fact that a non-white person beat them in something that they perceive is their forte. I loved the expression on their faces when they realize that they are not the best and it was especially fun in college because after the first year I was writing for the college newspaper & had published articles as well in recognized magazines, so when they found out about my articles it was always a priceless expression.

Have you faced similar issues in your life?

– Suramya

September 20, 2020

Its Doctor Who’s 57th Anniversary

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:07 PM

57 Years ago on 19th Sept 1963, we first met the Doctor and the TARDIS. The adventures of the ‘Madman in a Box‘ have kept generations of viewers entertained. I read my first Doctor Who book in 1991/1992 (I think) and have been a fan ever since. I spent a lot of money and effort to find the old Target releases and even managed to get a complete collection of most of the available Doctor Who TV episodes. My personal favorites are: 10th Doctor, 4th Doctor/13th Doctor & the 9th Doctor. The 11th Doctor was a bit too hyper for my tastes and never managed to like the 12th Doctor much. I really love the 13th Doctor as she has some great stories and amazing acting. However the 10th is a clear winner thanks to David Tennant who set the bar so high with his amazing acting and portrayal of the Doctor that he replaced the 4th Doctor as my favorite doctor right from the start of his regeneration.

The TARDIS in its first Television appearance

Doctor Who is one of the longest running shows on television, and there are a lot of amazing quotes that have come from it. Some of my favorite quotes from the show are below:

The Tenth Doctor : Look at these people, these human beings. Consider their potential! From the day they arrive on the planet, blinking, step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than – no, hold on. Sorry, that’s The Lion King… – The 10th Doctor

This is just a funny absolutely non-relevant quote from the 10th Doctor and I just loved it. The cherry on top was that this was said during the Doctor trying to stop the enslavement of Humanity, which is what most other series would treat as a really serious topic.

“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil (1977)

This is so true. People always try to change the facts to suit their personal views and that never ends well…

“You know that in 900 years in time and space I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important before. – The 11th Doctor “

Everyone is important and that’s the lesson the 11th Doctor is trying to reinforce for us.

“We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff. – The 10th Doctor”

There are a ton more quotes that are awesome but I don’t have the space to duplicate them all over here. So you can check them out: here & here & some more here.

Well this is all for now. Will write more later.

– Suramya

September 19, 2020

How to Toonify yourself

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:57 AM

While surfing the web I came across ‘Toonify Yourself!‘ that allows you to upload a photo and see what you’d look like in an animated movie. It uses deep learning and is based on distillation of a blended StyleGAN models into a pix2pixHD image to image translation network.

It sounded interesting, so I tried it out with one of my pictures and got the following results:

Original image

Toonified Image

I quite like the result and am thinking of using it as my avatar going forward. What do you think?
Thanks to Hacker News for the link

– Suramya

September 18, 2020

Hackers – 25th Anniversary thoughts

Filed under: My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:01 AM

15 September 2020, was the 25th anniversary of one of my favorite movies which also happens to be one of the most iconic movies about hacking ever released: Hackers. I first saw the movie in late 1999. I was introduced to it by Jerome who was my RA in college at the time and it has been one of the most fun and phenomenal movies on hacking that I’ve seen.

Yes, the video depictions of hacking are corny since there are no 3d file systems that we have to navigate and when we open a file it doesn’t give a 3D psychedelic video with equations floating around, but the overall concept and the whole mindset of what hacking actually means is very accurately depicted in the movie. For example, a lot of hacking involves social engineering and right in the beginning of the movie Dade/Crash Override social engineers a security guard to get access to the computer systems for the TV Network he is trying to take over. There are tons of quotes in the movie that cover/reference the core of the Hacker identity in the 90’s. Some of my favorites are:

We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons.

[- Razor & Blade. While demoing Phone Phreaking]

We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. “My crime is that of curiosity.” I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto.

[From the Hackers Manifesto]

“Hackers of the world unite!”

“Hack the planet!”

These are all things that we grew up with, and refer to core hacker identity/mindset in 90’s. It actually surprised me to find that the original hacker manifesto was no longer easily available and had to resort to visiting the Internet Archive to pull up a copy of it. The movie gives you a good idea of what the original definition of hacking was: learning for the sake of learning & curiosity. It encouraged/inspired a whole generation of folks to go into computers & hacking. I remember this quote from one of the kids I watched a movie with in college, and he basically said, “watching this movie makes you want to go learn computers so you can do cool stuff like this instead of the boring ass programming crap we have been doing.”.

I saw the news of the movie’s 25th Anniversary on my twitter feed 2 days ago and since I was feeling nostalgic I watched the movie again yesterday night. And I’m happy to report, I still love the movie. Yes, there are parts of the movie that feel dated e.g. where they are all running around with floppy disks & CRT monitors and the phone couplers! and it’s corny to see everyone being on skateboards/rollerblading all the time. But overall the movie itself doesn’t feel dated in fact even the graphics from the movie have aged quite well.

The movie got a lot of flack on it’s release for being “dubious,” “unrealistic,” and “implausible.” A lot of the visualization was just plain silly (but really visually awesome) like the super cool looking 3d visual file systems that the protagonists have to navigate or the really cool looking 3D visualization with floating equations that come up when they try to view the ‘garbage file’.

Yes the movie is not accurate, but what movie is? I mean, it is at the end of the day a fictional story to tell people, have a great visual and audio extravaganza. All of that is not meant to be an accurate representation of the hacking process because honestly speaking, watching people type for three hours will probably be one of the most boring movies that I could think of and interestingly even with this visual extravaganza the movie was a comercial failure when it came out and it’s only over the years it’s become a cult favorite. There are other movies like ‘the Net’ or Sneakers that also covered Hacking/hackers but none of them had the lasting impact Hackers did.

Always remember: “This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. “


– Suramya

September 16, 2020

Potential signs of life found on Venus: Are we no longer alone in the universe?

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 11:15 AM

If you have been watching the Astronomy chatter the past two days, you would have seen the headlines screaming about the possibility of life being found on Venus. Other less reputable sources are claiming that we have found definite proof of alien life. Both are inaccurate as even though we have found something that is easily explained by assuming the possibility of extra-terrestrial life there are other potential explanations that could cause the anomaly. So what is this discovery, you might ask which is causing people worldwide to start freaking out?

During analysis of spectrometer readings of Venus, scientists made a startling discovery high in its atmosphere; they found traces of phosphine (PH3) gas in Venus’s atmosphere, where any phosphorus should be in oxidized forms at a concentration (~20 parts per billion) that is hard to explain. It is unlikely that the gas is produced by abiotic production routes in Venus’s atmosphere, clouds, surface and subsurface, or from lightning, volcanic or meteoritic delivery (See the explanation below), hence the worldwide freak out. Basically the only way we know that this gas could be produced in the quantity measured is if there are anaerobic life (microbial organisms that don’t require or use oxygen) producing the gas on Venus. Obviously this doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways that we haven’t thought about yet that could be generating this gas. But the discovery is causing a big stir and will cause various space programs to start refocusing their efforts on Venus. India’s ISRO already has a mission planned to study the surface and atmosphere of Venus called ‘Shukrayaan-1‘ set to launch late 2020’s after the Mars Orbiter Mission 2 launches and you can be sure that they will be attempting to validate these findings when we get there.

The only way to conclusively prove life exists on Venus would be to go there and collect samples containing extra-terrestrial microbes. Since it’s impossible to prove a negative this will be the only concrete proof that we can trust. Anything else will still leave the door open for other potential explanations for the gas generation.

Here’s a link to the press briefing on the possible Venus biosignature announcement from @RoyalAstroSoc featuring comment from several of the scientists involved.

The recent candidate detection of ppb amounts of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus is a highly unexpected discovery. Millimetre-waveband spectra of Venus from both ALMA and the JCMT telescopes at 266.9445 GHz show a PH3 absorption-line profile against the thermal background from deeper, hotter layers of the atmosphere indicating ~20 ppb abundance. Uncertainties arise primarily from uncertainties in pressure-broadening coefficients and noise in the JCMT signal. Throughout this paper we will describe the predicted abundance as ~20 ppb unless otherwise stated. The thermal emission has a peak emission at 56 km with the FWHM spans approximately 53 to 61 km (Greaves et al. 2020). Phosphine is therefore present above ~55 km: whether it is present below this altitude is not determined by these observations. The upper limit on phosphine occurrence is not defined by the observations, but is set by the half-life of phosphine at <80 km, as discussed below.

Phosphine is a reduced, reactive gaseous phosphorus species, which is not expected to be present in the oxidized, hydrogen-poor Venusian atmosphere, surface, or interior. Phosphine is detected in the atmospheres of three other solar system planets: Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth. Phosphine is present in the giant planet atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, as identified by ground-based telescope observations at submillimeter and infrared wavelengths (Bregman et al. 1975; Larson et al. 1977; Tarrago et al. 1992; Weisstein and Serabyn 1996). In giant planets, PH3 is expected to contain the entirety of the atmospheres’ phosphorus in the deep
atmosphere layers (Visscher et al. 2006), where the pressure, temperature and the concentration of H2 are sufficiently high for PH3 formation to be thermodynamically favored. In the upper atmosphere, phosphine is present at concentrations several orders of magnitude higher than predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium (Fletcher et al. 2009). Phosphine in the upper layers is dredged up by convection after its formation deeper in the atmosphere, at depths greater than 600 km (Noll and Marley 1997).

An analogous process of forming phosphine under high H2 pressure and high temperature followed by dredge-up to the observable atmosphere cannot happen on worlds like Venus or Earth for two reasons. First, hydrogen is a trace species in rocky planet atmospheres, so the formation of phosphine is not favored as it is in the deep atmospheres of the H2-dominated giant planets. On Earth H2 reaches 0.55 ppm levels (Novelli et al. 1999), on Venus it is much lower at ~4 ppb (Gruchola et al. 2019; Krasnopolsky 2010). Second, rocky planet atmospheres do not extend to a depth where, even if their atmosphere were composed primarily of hydrogen, phosphine formation would be favored (the possibility that phosphine can be formed below the surface and then being erupted out of volcanoes is addressed separately in Section 3.2.2 and Section 3.2.3, but is also highly unlikely).

Despite such unfavorable conditions for phosphine production, Earth is known to have PH3 in its atmosphere at ppq to ppt levels (see e.g. (Gassmann et al. 1996; Glindemann et al. 2003; Pasek et al. 2014) and reviewed in (Sousa-Silva et al. 2020)) PH3’s persistence in the Earth atmosphere is a result of the presence of microbial life on the Earth’s surface (as discussed in Section 1.1.2 below), and of human industrial activity. Neither the deep formation of phosphine and subsequent dredging to the surface nor its biological synthesis has hitherto been considered a plausible process to occur on Venus.

More details of the finding are explained in the following two papers published by the scientists:

Whatever the reason for the gas maybe, its a great finding as it has reenergized the search for Extra-Terrestrial life and as we all know: “The Truth is out there…”.

– Suramya

September 15, 2020

Neuroscience is starting to figure out why people feel lonely

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:10 PM

Loneliness is a social epidemic which has been amplified by the current Pandemic as humans have an inbuilt desire to be social and interact with each other. The lockdown and isolation due to Covid-19 is not helping things much in this sense. The amount of cases of clinical depression are going up world wide and psychologists world wide are concerned about the impact of this in the near future.

Humans have been talking about social isolation/loneliness for centuries but till date we haven’t really analyzed it from a neurological point of view; to say what does really happen when we are lonely? Does the desire for companionship light up a section of our brain similar to what happens when we are hungry and are craving food? Till recently there wasn’t much research done on the topic, infact till Kay Tye decided to do research on the the neuroscience of loneliness in 2016 there were no published papers that talked about loneliness & contained references to ‘cells’, ‘neurons’, or ‘brain’. So while working at the Stanford University lab of Karl Deisseroth, Tye decided to spend some time trying to isolate the neurons in rodent brains responsible for the need for social interaction. In addition to identifying the region in rodents she has also managed to manipulate the need by directly stimulating the neurons which is a fantastic break through.

Deisseroth had pioneered optogenetics, a technique in which genetically engineered, light-sensitive proteins are implanted into brain cells; researchers can then turn individual neurons on or off simply by shining lights on them though fiber-optic cables. Though the technique is far too invasive to use in people—as well as an injection into the brain to deliver the proteins, it requires threading the fiber-optic cable through the skull and directly into the brain—it allows researchers to tweak neurons in live, freely moving rodents and then observe their behavior.

Tye began using optogenetics in rodents to trace the neural circuits involved in emotion, motivation, and social behaviors. She found that by activating a neuron and then identifying the other parts of the brain that responded to the signal the neuron gave out, she could trace the discrete circuits of cells that work together to perform specific functions. Tye meticulously traced the connections out of the amygdala, an almond-shaped set of neurons thought to be the seat of fear and anxiety both in rodents and in humans.

One of the first things Tye and Matthews noticed was that when they stimulated these neurons, the animals were more likely to seek social interaction with other mice. In a later experiment, they showed that animals, when given the choice, actively avoided areas of their cages that, when entered, triggered the activation of the neurons. This suggested that their quest for social interaction was driven more by a desire to avoid pain than to generate pleasure—an experience that mimicked the “aversive” experience of loneliness.

In a follow-up experiment, the researchers put some of the mice in solitary confinement for 24 hours and then reintroduced them to social groups. As one would expect, the animals sought out and spent an unusual amount of time interacting with other animals, as if they’d been “lonely.” Then Tye and Matthews isolated the same mice again, this time using optogenetics to silence the DRN neurons after the period in solitary. This time, the animals lost the desire for social contact. It was as if the social isolation had not been registered in their brains.

Since the experiment worked on Mice, the next step involved replicating the same thing with humans. Unfortunately they couldn’t use the same method to study the human behavior as no one sane would opt to have fiber-optic cable wired through their head just to participate in a study. So they fell back to a more imprecise method of using fMRI’s to scan the brains of the volunteers and she was able to identify a voxel (discrete population of several thousand neurons) that respond to the desire of wanting something like food/company. In fact they even managed to separate the two area’s responsible for desiring food and desiring company.

This is a fantastic first step because we have managed to identify the first part of the circuit that makes us social animals, obviously a lot more study is needed before this will have practical applications but we have taken the first steps towards the goal. It’s not hard to imagine a future where we have the ability to help suicidal people by simulating the area of their brain that enables them to extract joy from social connections. Or suppress the same in people who have to spend long duration’s of time alone, for example astronauts in interplanetary travel or deep sea researchers etc. The possibilities are endless.

Source: Why do you feel lonely? Neuroscience is starting to find answers.

– Suramya

September 8, 2020

Should our ‘WHY’ change based on what we’re doing & where we are?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:00 AM

I was watching this video shared to me by Manisha, where Simon Sinek is basically talking about how our ‘why’ doesn’t change based on what we are doing and where we are. As per him “You only have one why there is no such thing as a personal why and a professional why. You are who you are. And the reason your friends love you is the exact same reason your colleagues and your customers and your clients love you. It’s because of you. And if you’re acting differently in one of those two places than in one of those two places, you’re lying.”. The Full transcript of his video is below (transcribed by

You only have one why there is no such thing as a personal why and a professional, why you are who you are. And the reason your friends love you is the exact same reason your colleagues and your customers and your clients love you. It’s because of you. And if you’re acting differently in one of those two places than in one of those two places, you’re lying. There’s only one wine, the opportunities to bring your wife to life personally. Remember, it’s not about what you do. So my Y is to inspire people. So how do I show up as a friend, to inspire people? How do I show up as a, as a as a colleague, to inspire people I’m going to say different things. But ultimately, I have to bring my wife to life in different products, those products are friend, buy those products or leader those products or colleague, those products are brother and son and uncle and all of these places. These are different products. These are different things that I do that I have to bring my wife to life. So you only have one y and your y never changes your whole life. Regardless of The role you play, the opportunity your life affords you is is to bring your is is all the choices you can make to bring your wife to life. So the question is, is what you’re doing and why you’re doing it consistent? Because only when, why how and what are in perfect balance? Do we know who you are? People that people tell me all that for years people I forgot the who know I didn’t? Who is the sum total of why, how and what when you know what you believe? And you follow your values and what you do reflects what you believe in your values, then we know who you are, if those things are out of order, or they are you violate those things people say it’s like I don’t know who you are anymore. You have one why your why never changes just like a company, our personal why’s an origin story. It’s where we come from. It’s who we are. It’s how we were raised and the rest of our lives, opportunities to live in balance or not.

This transcript was generated by

I don’t agree 100% with Simon on this as how I behave and act is dependent on who I am with. Basically, when I go and meet friends, the persona I’m showing is a subset of my actual behavior/personality. For example, when I’m at work cracking inappropriate/risque jokes is something that is not advisable and what is called a bad idea. But when you are with close friends its a completely different story, you would crack jokes & make fun of each other and that’s completely accepable. Does that mean that I am not ‘true to my why’? Ofcourse not! Its a different part of my personality. However, as per Simon one of these behaviors is a lie because I am acting differently in both places.

Saying that you are not showing your true self because you’re only showing subsets of your personality is not really accurate, I call it being true in context. I’ll give another example. There are certain things/activities/actions that you will share with very close friends but would not share/do in front of casual acquaintances/co-workers. If you don’t believe me, look at how you behave with your school friends versus how you behave with your college friends versus coworkers. How your tone, your body language, your vocabulary use etc changes is based on who you are with. This is basic communication skills you learn as a kid where you are told to ‘know your audience‘. What you talk about & how you talk about it completely depends on the people you are communicating with.

All that being said, obviously your core personality and your core ethics etc will not (and should not) change depending on the circumstances but what subset of myself is shared is something that I decide based on the scenario and the audience.

What do you think?

– Suramya

September 7, 2020

Bigotry is not something kids are born with, they learn it from the people around them

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 5:41 PM

Some of you might have noticed that I didn’t post anything yesterday. (Or atleast I hope you did) As basically because I had a bunch of stuff I needed to take care of and it was a Sunday so I was too busy relaxing and didn’t feel like writing up a post. Which is unfortunate because I broke my 20+ day streak of posting new blog posts every day on the website. So to make up for it, you get to read two blog post’s today. 🙂

Below is a comic that I stumbled across while browsing the web earlier today by, ‘Sohmer & Lar‘. I love this comic because it clearly shows how bigotry or hate is not something kids are born with. It’s something they learn from the people around them.

Least I could Do: Beginnings

I don’t get why people believe that they have the right and the authority to tell others that ‘This love is correct’, but ‘that other one is an abomination and you’ll go to hell for it’. In my opinion, hate & being a bigot is the worst thing you can do. If you hate someone for loving someone then it really says a lot more about you than the other person. If you feel that you are morally obliged to dictate to me (or anyone else) who someone should be allowed to love and generally acting like a moral police then I don’t think I want to associate with you. It was not nice knowing you, please take a hike.

Anyway, just wanted to share this comic with you all.

– Suramya

Govt mulls mandating EV charging kiosks at all 69,000 petrol pumps in India

Filed under: Emerging Tech,My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 12:36 PM

The Indian Government is doing an extensive push for promoting renewable energy and the increased push for Electric Vehicles are part of the effort. Earlier this month I talked about how they are trying to make EV’s cheaper by allowing consumers to purchase without a battery. Now they are looking at mandating the installation of EV Charging kiosks on all petrol pumps in India (~69,000). This move will resolve one of the biggest concerns (after cost) of operating an EV – namely how/where can we charge it during travel.

We had a similar problem when CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) was mandated for all Auto’s & buses (at least in Delhi). There was a lot of resistance to the move because there were only 2-3 CNG fuel pumps in Delhi at the time, then a lot of new pumps were built and existing pumps also added CNG option which made CNG an attractive & feasible solution. I am hoping that the same will be the case with EV Charging points once the new rule is implemented.

In a review meeting on EV charging infrastructure, Power Minister R K Singh suggested oil ministry top officials that “they may issue an order for their oil marketing companies (OMCs) under their administrative control for setting up charging kiosks at all COCO petrol pumps”, a source said.

Other franchisee petrol pump operators may also be advised to have at least one charging kiosk at their fuel stations, the source said adding this will help achieve “EV charging facility at all petrol pumps in the country”.

Under the new guidelines of the oil ministry, new petrol pumps must have an option of one alternative fuel.

“Most of the new petrol pumps are opting for electric vehicle charging facility under alternative fuel option. But it will make huge difference when the existing petrol pumps would also install EV charging kiosks,” the source said.

Source: Hindustan Times

– Suramya

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