Why was the Planning Commission of India created and why does the Indian Prime Minister Modi want to scrap it?

Answer by A Quora admin:

"You don't know me. You don't own me. You don't control me," pleaded the little kid as she was dragged into the shady office.
"I'm doing this for you. And for all of us. You are becoming too independent."
"I promise, I won't do it again. I will follow all your orders."
"No, child. This is in your best interest. You must take this shot."

A violent cry filled the whole room. Then silence.
A little scribbling outside the office read, Yojana Bhawan.

67 years ago, the old school down the street got a new headmaster. While he was a good man, he didn't really believe in the capabilities of the children. He saw a few errant boys breaking furniture and wanted to clamp down the whole student body. Thus, he created a new committee drawn from some old employees of the school. Some of those members harbored a deep suspicion and hatred for the boys.

At first, this body determined what subjects to teach, who will teach and what the school's timing would be. Students found this reasonable and thought this new office is going to benefit them by doing things in a "planned" way.

Slowly, the committee acquired more powers and started controlling the whole life of the student. They meticulously planned the life of each student. They determined when you will eat, how much you will eat and what you will eat. They determined what study will work best for you. They controlled every minute of your day and every activity of your life.

By the time the students realized what they were facing, they were already locked up. They were not allowed to get out, nor were they allowed to take outside help. The students revolted. The headmaster brought heavy sticks. It was a bloodbath.

Many students didn't survive these harsh conditions.  Some needed more food than what the committee rationed them. They slept hungry & slowly died. A few others didn't like what they were doing and slept their nights crying.

The following headmasters were also good at heart, but were misguided by the committee. Seeing the students don't perform to their best abilities, they instituted even tougher discipline.  Most students gave up.

A few decades passed. A new headmaster had come and was horrified by the pitiable conditions. . He was appalled and made amends. He took out the lock & let students both go out and have outside help come. A following headmaster allowed the students to study whatever they wanted.

Later a headmaster came and finally asked the question, "what's the committee still doing? Why are they not fired yet?"

Nehru's horror house

This horror story is what happened to our economy since 1947. Like the little kids, our businesses were chained, punished and were clipped off their wings. Their creativity was brutally stamped and they were made to live in constant fear. Their investment intake & production mechanisms were deeply controlled by Licence Raj, leaving many hungry & dead.

Planning Commission is a relic of an outdated concept called the Planned economy. It is the heart of Communist economies. It relied on a fallacy that some bureaucrat knows much better about these businesses than the businesses themselves. This group of bureaucrats who have never ever run a business or sold a damn thing in their life, were telling the entrepreneurs how to do business. Just as every kid has an ambition & the strength of her own, every business has the capabilities of its own. They are all not the same.

It was formally created in 1950 at the height of a Communist movement worldwide. Nehru was enamored by the Soviet Union's ideals and thought such a centralized planning made sense for an economy as complicated as ours. He feared that the businesses doing mischief needed to be taught a lesson and need to be tightly controlled.

We know how stupid the concept is when it came to the horror school, but blindly accept those ideas as sacrosanct. Who are those bureaucrats to plan the economy? What kind of a silly notion is it to meticulously plan an economy of 1.25 billion people?

The horror created by the planning commission can be seen in the chart since 1950. South Korea, wartorn Sri Lanka and even Pakistan went ahead of India in percapita incomes. Only since 1990s we have started regaining our strength, by weakening the Planning commission.

What's a better way to do?

The successful countries around the world didn't have a planning commission. US didn't. Switzerland didn't. Neither did Sweden & various other successful countries.

Of course, they all had their headmasters who made some rules. The school created a wall and made sure the students don't escape without their notice. They also guided the students on what thing to study & provided that help. But, it was up to the students to exhibit the creativity. The school didn't force them to study, nor dictated how much time they should spend on each thing. With that increased responsibility, the students rose to flying colors.

Just as the students exhibit their creativity under enough freedom [although bounded by a few rules], people flourish under the Market economy that works by the same principle. Both in school and in the broader economy, we are increasingly coming to realize how important creativity and independence are. Thus, we are moving away from many of the chains of the past.

So long Planning Commission. Don't ever come back.

Why was the Planning Commission of India created and why does the Indian Prime Minister Modi want to scrap it?


What is something electrical engineers know that others don’t?

Answer by Komal Charan:

Ever wondered why a crow sitting  on an electrical transmission line doesn't experience shock?

​It is because,the movement of electrons i.e current is the ultimate thing which causes shock. It is the electric current that burns tissue, freezes muscles, and fibrillates hearts. Here, the current doesn't pass through the crow.
To know why, you have to understand these things:
1.Elecric current flows through the path only when there is a potential difference between the starting and ending points of the path. Electric current doesn't occur by itself. We need Voltage(Potential Difference) across a path. It is just similar to two buckets of water connected by a small pipe. The flow of water is anological to the flow of electrons i.e Current. It requires difference in potential for the flow.

​2. Electric Current flows only when there is a closed path. But here is a closed path. It's crow's left leg,crow's body,crow's right leg and the wire makes it a closed path.

3.How to calculate the Voltage drop? The formula for the voltage drop is v=iR. where, i is the current and R is the resistance of the conductor. Generally, the resistance of the transmission line between crow's legs is very negligible. Very close to zero. So, if the voltage at crow's letf leg is 11,000 volts, then the voltage at crow's right leg is also 11,000 volts as there is no voltage drop in the line.
 So, the potential difference v across the crow's legs=o(11,000-11,000), which makes  the current not to pass through the crow.

Now lets leave that fucking crow. Let us come to humans.
For Electrical engineers, those transmission lines always appear in colours like those that appear in the image.
What happens when you are hanging like this:

​You wont get shock,because it requires closed path for the current to flow through you.
What happens when you are hanging like this:

​Even though there is a closed path,you wont experience shock because the resistance of the wire between your hands is nearly zero and so as potential difference. Same case like crow.

What happens when this is the case:

​You wouldn't be laughing like that troll face. You will get fucked badly. Because the ground is considered having zero potential. So there is a potential difference between your hand and leg and it is equal to 11,000 Volts (11,000 -0).

What happens when this is the case:

​Here also you will get fucked badly. The crow concept doesn't works here.
You are wrong if you think that both lines will be carrying 11,000 volts and the potential difference between your left hand and right hand is 0 as 11,000-11000=0. It's not like that. You are right if those two lines are of DC. But the transmission lines are of AC.Those three are differed by 120 degrees in phase. At any instant, the voltages of the three lines are not equal. If the Red line is having 11,000 volts at one instant, the Yellow line will be carrying some 2000 volts and the Blue line will be carrying some 8,000 volts etc.  So at this instant you will be fucked badly as the voltage difference is 11,000v-2000v= 9,000volts.
For your reference:
The voltages will be varying in those three transmission lines like this with respect to time.

​I updated this answer with above information. Previously this was my answer:
In general, parallel lines never meet. But in Electrical technology, we cannot say two components  are connected in parallel unless they meet each other in their starting and ending points.

What is something electrical engineers know that others don't?

Why is water transparent?

Answer by Sam Sinai:

I think water is transparent because eyes first evolved in water. The range of the EM spectrum we detect corresponds to the spectrum for which water is transparent (absorbs the least). Had we evolved in mercury we would think mercury is transparent and detect EM waves that pass through mercury.

Now why is it so? because being able to detect EM waves that pass through water can greatly help us survive, through detecting the source of energy (sun) and avoiding predators(or finding prey/food). Why can't we detect higher energy wavelengths that pass through more dense material? well first, some creatures do (e.g. Mantis shrimp). Second, not much of the higher spectrum radiation makes it's way all the way to the earth surface. Third, high energy beams are difficult to handle by the receptor, they destroy you if you interact with them, and therefore the receptors (eyes) that detect them are expensive to make.

For more see Pritesh Desai's great (more detailed and complementary) answer.
[I decided to update this answer as many more people read it than I expected, there was some handwaving in my original answer that I tried to get rid of, while not changing too much]

Why is water transparent?

My 8-year-old daughter asks: If we pour water on the sun with a bucket as big as the sun, will the sun be extinguished?

Answer by Steve Harris:

A really good question. Maybe too hard to answer for anybody but an astronomer with some very special software, as nothing like this happens in nature. In nature, a star makes a lot of carbon before it makes any oxygen, and here the oxygen is supplied first.

The probable answer is "no." The Sun involves a special type of fire that is able to "burn" water, and so it will just get hotter, and six times brighter.

Water is 89% oxygen BY MASS. And the Sun's overall density is 1.4 times that of water. So if you have a volume of water the VOLUME of the Sun, it will have 1/1.4 = 0.71 times the mass of the Sun, and this mass will be .71*.89 = 63% of a solar mass of oxygen and 8% of a solar mass of hydrogen. The Sun itself is 0.74 solar masses of hydrogen and 0.24 solar masses of helium.

So you end up with a 1.7 solar mass star with composition 48% hydrogen, 37% oxygen, and 14% helium (with 1% heavier elements).

Now, will such a star burn? Yes, but not with the type of proton-proton fusion the Sun uses. A star 1.7 times the mass of the Sun will heat up and burn almost entirely by the CNO fusion cycle, after making some carbon and nitrogen to go along with all the oxygen you've started with. So with CNO fusion  and that mass you get a type F0 star with about 1.3 times the radius and 6 times the luminosity of the present Sun, and a temperature somewhat hotter than the Sun (7200 K vs. the Sun's 5800 K). It will be bluish-white, with more UV. That, along with that 6 times heat input, will cause the Earth's biosphere to be fried, and oceans to probably boil.

Incidentally, these F0 stars get their oomph because the CNO cycle gives luminosity at the 17th power of the temperature, rather than just the 4th power of p-p stars like the Sun. So that little bit of extra temperature from the extra mass here, which pushes us almost entirely into CNO territory, translates into a LOT of extra "star power."

Such a star will sit on the main sequence until it burns most of that 48% hydrogen, then expand to become a red giant, and finally shrink to being a white dwarf, just like our Sun will. I can see no way for it to become a supernova– all these stars put together this way with no white dwarf to start, must be 8 times the Sun's mass, or more. This is only 1.7 times.

Addendum on what happens immediately if you do this, and how fast:
Since this is a popular answer, I thought I’d go ahead and answer the natural next question of whether a "bucket" of water the size of the Sun would EVEN "bank" the Sun a little, so its light output went down for a time. And the answer to that is also NO. The tremendous gravitational energy of water falling on the Sun would heat the water to at least the temperature of the Sun’s core. So, by the time the water (oxygen and hydrogen plasma) reached the core of the Sun (about half an hour after pouring it in), the water itself would be plasma at a temperature if 33 million K. At least.
Here’s the math, very much simplified, as we only want the answer to order of magnitude.
The escape energy per kg from the Sun’s “surface” (photosphere) is given by the quantity GM/R, where G is Newton’s constant (6.67e-11), M is the solar mass (2e30 kg), and R is the solar radius (7e8 m). This works out to about 2e11 J/kg, or 200 billion joules per kilo.  Or course, going the other direction, this is also the energy a kg of water (think of a one-liter water bottle) obtains if it fell from the outer solar system to the Sun’s surface. The original question didn’t specify if we pour our water from way out in space or at rest, from a point suspended above the Sun’s surface. You lose 2e11 J/kg if you pour it from a standing start at the surface, vs. letting it fall in from far outer space.
This quantity is also on the same order of magnitude as the gravitational potential energy for a kg falling into the Sun, starting at the surface. This is harder to calculate, since the Sun has a complicated density structure and I’m not about to do it numerically. However, to get an estimate, we can calculate what energy we’d get if we had an object free fall to the Solar core at radius 20%, which holds 1/3rd of the Sun’s mass. That’s still GM/R, but now the M is 1/3rd, and the R is 1/5th, so you get 5/3 times the potential at the solar surface, or 3e11 J/kg.

We didn’t count the energy from accelerating through the outer 2/3rds of the Sun’s mass, so this is an underestimate. And as we add another 70% to the Sun’s mass, the extra will increasing binding energy of the mass that goes later, so that’s underestimating, too. But the real answer is not likely to be an order of magnitude more than 3e11 J/kg, so let’s see what this amount of energy, which is a minimum, does to a kg of water:
First of all, the water is turned to steam and them plasma. The ionization energy of water is almost entirely due to the oxygen, and the ionization energy of oxygen to bare nuclei and electrons is 197 kJ/mole (look it up) and since a mole is 16 grams, that’s 1.2e7 J/kg oxygen. This is roughly the same as for water, which is mostly oxygen by weight, and where all the ionization energy is taken up by ionizing the oxygen (oxygen is fully ionized above about 10 million K). So we have more energy than we need for ionization, by 20,000 times. Ionizing the water costs us 1/20,000th of our energy budget, and we can totally neglect it. The rest goes into heating the plasma that is the product.
The heat capacity of plasma (constant volume) is about 3/2 R per mole of particles. For water, we have 3 atoms ionized to 3 nuclei and 10 electrons, or 13 particles. There are 1000/18 = 55.6 moles of water in a kg. So a kg of water has 55.6 x 13 = 722 moles of particles. Its heat capacity as plasma is about 3/2 * R * 722, and since R is 8.3 J/K/mole, we get 9,000 J/kg/K.  Of course the process is not constant volume, and we’ll get some heat as the kg is squeezed by a factor of 150 from the density of liquid water to the solar core, but let’s ignore that. This compression only helps us and adds to our underestimate of final temperature.
What’s our temperature? We take our energy budget of 3e11 J/kg (from gravity) and divide by our heat capacity of 9,000 J/kg/K and we get 33.3 million K. That’s more than enough to completely ionize oxygen, and hotter than the core is now (15.7 million K). So even with all the approximations in favor of a lower temperature, we get a higher temperature than the Sun, and there’s no way this water can do anything but heat up, from the first moment it falls, it we only allow it to fall in from the Solar “surface.”
How long does this take, incidentally? Since it takes an object about 2.8 hours to orbit the Sun at the surface, we can take a very rough guess that the time to fall through near vacuum into the Sun’s core, is on the order of the orbit time divided by the square root of 32– about half an hour. Even with a thick layer of water that is 70% of the Sun’s mass, poured from its surface, the time involved for coalescence, will be something as quick as half as an hour before this falling gas/steam/oxygen plasma reaches regions dense enough to slow and heat it.

Or course half an hour is the vacuum fall number. The real time will be delayed due to terminal velocity reached from friction of infalling gas hitting gas already there. In fact this friction is what generates the high heat and temperature from the gravitational potential, as with meteors and reentering spacecraft. So this actual time number is very hard to pin down. We might guess hours or days. And the heat generated might take much longer– as it takes hundreds of thousands of years for heat to diffuse from the center of our Sun already. These long heat diffusion times are all that save the Earth from being fried immediately.
The energy involved makes us wonder what the temperature of a kg of *hydrogen* (as opposed to water) would be, if we subjected it to 3e11 joules of friction. Since we have 2000 moles of protons and electrons in a kilo of hydrogen, we get a temperature number what is less than for water by a ratio (722 moles)/(2000 moles), or 12 million K. That is remarkably close the Sun’s core temperature (again, this is thought to be 15.7 million K, in the Bahcall standard model), and suggests that stability of the Sun arises in part due to this “adiabatic lapse” where the gravitational energy of heating a falling package of gas results in the temperature at the depth where it is located. This is much like the temperature structure of Earth’s  lower atmosphere. If this weren’t approximately true, the Sun would be very unstable toward expansion or collapse.

My 8-year-old daughter asks: If we pour water on the sun with a bucket as big as the sun, will the sun be extinguished?

What is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen a dog do?

Answer by Esther Yeh:

This isn't my dog, so if the owner (Jessica Shyba) sees this and wants to be the original owner of the post, I will gladly delete mine and defer to her. 🙂 I just thought this was way too cute not to share!!!

I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed and immediately subscribed to Jessica's Instagram feed (mommasgonecity on Instagram). You can also read the whole story is here: Wishes Granted: Theo and Beau

Summary: This family got a puppy from an animal shelter, and while they were trying to teach him to sleep in his crate, they couldn't bear to hear his crying through the night. On the 3rd day, Theo (the puppy) fell asleep on Beau (the baby boy in the family) during his afternoon nap, and it was unbearably cute:

Thereafter, Theo always met up with his human brother for the naptime ritual, "and so began what I can only describe as the most organic and beautiful friendship I have ever witnessed." – See more at: Page on Mommasgonecity

What is the cutest thing you've ever seen a dog do?

If a fruit is sour, does that mean that its juice is acidic?

Answer by Joshua Engel:

All fruits are acidic. So yes, the juice will be acidic, whether it tastes sour or not.

If you're asking "Are fruits that taste more sour also more acidic", the answer is "not necessarily". A lot of different things affect the perception of sourness. Sugar is one prominent one: sweeter foods will seem less sour, even at the same level of acidity. (That's why it's commonly added to tomato sauces; it doesn't actually cut the acidity in itself but it does alter the perception.) Different types of acids will have different pHs. So the short answer is "no, you can't necessarily tell how acidic something is just with your tongue."

If a fruit is sour, does that mean that its juice is acidic?

If the earth’s rotation was different than 24 hours, would the human body and sleep cycle have evolved differently?

Answer by Robert Frost:

Yes.  Circadian rhythms are often referred to as our body’s clock.  A circadian rhythm is an organic process that has an oscillation or cycle equal to the length of a day (24 hours for us).  They have been part of our evolution since we were extremely simple organisms, in which the tendency of cells to replicate at night avoided DNA damage from ultraviolet daylight.

Circadian rhythms can be found in organisms from bacteria to plants to aardvarks to humans.

If the day/night cycle of the Earth had been different, let’s say 12 hours for the purposes of illustration, mutations that provided benefit in the environment of a 12 hour day would have prospered while the mutations that would have prospered under a 24 hour day would have not done so well.  Over millions of generations, life would have adapted to that shorter day and today our bodies would show signs of that heritage.

There is possibly a range of time for which this is possible.  If the day were significantly long, say a year in length, simple organisms that can be born, mature, and reproduce within that time frame might not evolve to adapt to the timeline.  If the day were significantly short, say an hour, the effects might be too severe for mutations to provide benefit and life may have been extinguished or never even developed.

If the earth's rotation was different than 24 hours, would the human body and sleep cycle have evolved differently?

Is the IAS Exam as easy as I think?

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

If you think it is easy then it is very likely that you are kidding yourself. Smart people pay sufficient respect to the hurdles they come across. And a smart person would have easily found the past question papers, attempted to answer them and based on the results objectively conclude their easiness/hardness. Over the years I have learned to understand that the people who think of things as easy without trying are not to be taken too seriously.

I have never prepared/taken the exam myself, but have seen plenty of very smart people who tried quite hard and never were able to get in. Out of 12 lakh smart people who prepare for the exams every year only 100 are selected for the IAS cadre. If you think you are better than all of them, without having any past achievement to speak for, you might be deluding yourself.

Civil Services Examination Statistics – UPSC Civil Services Exam

In short, cut out the attitude and start trying to answer the questions. I have a few past papers for you: 

  1. Page on upsc.gov.in
  2. Previous Years Papers for IAS Mains General Studies Optional- Examrace

See if you can easily walk over those papers and get them evaluated by some friend who is also an aspirant. Very likely you will not find them easy. If you are quite committed and willing to drop the attitude, then start reading the free books for preparing: NCERT Books for IAS. Spend a few months of hardwork finishing all the free books and see if you are still interested. If yes, join local UPSC prep groups and they might be providing you more resources to think of.

Is the IAS Exam as easy as I think?

How do you know if your startup idea already exists?

Answer by Carlos Del Carpio:

The founder of Dropbox was pitching in front of an investor one day, and the investor asked him: "there are similar companies out there doing the same as dropbox, why should I invest in just another similar company?"

His reply: "Yes. There are similar companies out there doing the same as dropbox. But do you use any of them?"



"Because they are bad."

"Ok. That's what Dropbox wants to solve."

So bottomline: Ask your potential customers.

Any business idea is a solution to someone's problem out there. Ask them if they are solving it, how they are solving it, and if they would be willing to pay to have it solved.

It doesn't matter if it already exists if it can be done better.

How do you know if your startup idea already exists?

Why do planets orbit stars?

Answer by Robert Frost:

Planets orbit stars because they are not traveling fast enough to escape the star's gravity well but are traveling fast enough to not fall into the star.

Stars are massive.  That mass causes spacetime to curve.  The curvature of spacetime is gravity.  A gravity well is often illustrated like this:

But you must imagine that it is 3-dimensional.  So, a gravity well is like a funnel.  The planet is in the funnel and must travel around it to not fall further into it.  Here's a photo of a penny funnel, like those often found at a shopping mall:

The coin can't escape because it would need an added force to accelerate it.  In the case of this funnel, friction slows the coin down, so it does eventually fall in to the center.

Remember Newton's First Law of Motion:

An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

The forces are balanced for a planet, so it just keeps on doing what it was doing.

For an explanation of the velocity needed to be in a stable orbit, look here: Robert Frost's answer to If the Sun's gravity is constantly pulling planets toward it, why hasn't the Earth been pulled into the Sun?

Why do planets orbit stars?