Remember in 2014, when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked, “The climate has not changed. We have changed.” He explained that God creates this world, and it will find a way to “balance on its own.” A Prime Minister making such an absurd remark splays open his take on power cuts in rural India, lack of sanitation, the plight of migrant workers, and among scores of others, the current Covid-19 crisis that has got the poorest country to donate to us.
Anyway, here’s what PM Narendra Modi, as a scientist, actually meant; climate change is real. As per the Global Climate Risk Index 2021, India stands in the seventh position in the top 10 most affected countries by climate change in 2019. In India, the monsoon season lasted a month longer than usual in 2019. Between June and the end of September 2019, the long-period average was 110 percent. Flooding due to excessive rain killed 1,800 people and forced 1.8 million residents to evacuate across 14 states.
India is a land of humble beginnings, and leaders of the country have hoarded it all! PM Narendra Modi as a scientist is an elusive idea for a citizen with very little cerebral capacity. But here you are- On World Biofuel Day (2018), Modi at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, narrated a story explaining how ‘simple technology’ can convert sewage water into cooking gas. Now let’s look at this gutter-gas theory from a scientific point of view. While it is possible to convert gutter water into combustible cooking gas, it is a complicated affair.
Akhilesh Verma, Chemistry Professor at Delhi University, told India Today the technical process of creating biofuel with sewage water. He explained that lighting a stove over a combustible gas repository causes a massive and hazardous explosion. Sewer lines can accumulate concentrated quantities of flammable gases due to the biological decomposition of waste, frayed wires, and leaks in underground gas pipes. But Verma’s erudition did not enlighten the Buddha, who cannot overcome his Malgudi days.
Indian Air Force jets crossed into Pakistani territory in February 2019 to attack a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training center in Balakot. The airstrike took place just days after a suicide bomber from the Jaish killed over 40 soldiers in Pulwama. While this happened, BJP’s official Twitter account tweeted, “the weather was not good on the day of airstrikes. There was a thought that crept in the minds of the experts that day of the strike should be changed. However, I suggested that the clouds can actually help our planes escape the radars.”
Indians suffered for days trying to understand the complex scientific explanation awaiting the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to inject some sense. But PM Narendra Modi as a scientist, possibly meant how the radar technology uses radio waves to track objects hidden by fog. So the clouds over the Balakot would not have helped Indian Air Force with their mission. Later, when the media made it viral, PM Modi’s innocuous admittance of leveraging ‘raw wisdom’ nailed him as a darling to watch in technology thought leadership.
In Oct 2020, PM Narendra Modi proposed that wind turbines generate electricity, oxygen, and clean drinking water. According to him, “if there are advances in science,” the turbine will be able to “suck out moisture” from the air and condense it into vapor, as well as “separate” oxygen from the air. The air in the earth’s atmosphere is a composition of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and in smaller amounts, carbon dioxide, neon, and hydrogen. Fractional distillation can surely separate oxygen from nitrogen, but no known successful projects document how turbines aid the extraction.
Amit Rambhia, Managing Director of Panache DigiLife Limited, told The Quint that it’s a good idea to extract oxygen from the air. However, leveraging wind turbines as a technology for this extraction is impractical since they are installed in various terrains. Most wind turbines are possibly located away from cities which is a logistical nightmare. Since our PM is always learning, he actually copied the idea from a now-defunct French business, Eole Water, that designed a prototype of a traditional wind turbine for manufacturing drinking water from humid air. We don’t deny the ingenuity of our PM.
PM Narendra Modi as a scientist may be the world’s best technologist, hands down, but the truth is he is not because he is not, not at least in this life. Refer to Orwell’s 1984, and you’ll know the dystopian setting of our daily life where “War is Peace; Freedom is slavery; and Ignorance is Strength.” Much like in the book, we are in the state of doublethink- “a process of indoctrination whereby the subject is expected to simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in contravention to one’s memories or sense of reality. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy.” Wikipedia.
India’s PM Narendra Modi as a scientist is a man of breakthrough innovative ideas & humility. On National Technology Day 2021, we salute him! Could this be the reason why Bill Gates doubts our manufacturing technology?