The more time NDTV’s journalists spend on social media, the more they end up exposing themselves for being hilariously ill-informed.
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal today tweeted that the government was producing oxygen at 110% of capacity. “GoI, with all stakeholders, is ensuring maximum oxygen production in India. We are currently producing 110% of Oxygen generating capacity and diverting all available Oxygen from industrial use to medical use,” he said.
This would’ve made perfect sense to anyone who’s received a basic education, but NDTV journalist Gargi Rawat wasn’t convinced. “When people use phrases like ‘110%’ it’s immediately concerning,” she snarkily tweeted.
Gargi Rawat seemed to be hinting that it wasn’t possible for oxygen to be produced at more than 100% capacity. This, of course is completely untrue, and something anyone who has set foot in a factory — or read a business newspaper — would immediately attest. Rawat soon began being trolled for her ignorance.
“When you have zero knowledge of anything 110% usage w.r.t capacity is surprising. No worries. We understand this coz you are from NDTV,” wrote a Twitter user.
“You can actually run a chemical process unit above 100% of its production/utilisation capacity In most cases these process units are designed to handle up to 25% over-capacity. Nothing concerning at all Stop spreading negativity,” wrote another Twitter user.
“If Indian journalists are ignorant, that can’t be helped… Anyone who has ever worked in production will tell you that it is very normal to achieve more than 100% of the installed capacity especially during emergency… It is not like marks where you can’t get 101 out of 100,” wrote another.
These comments were completely justified. For instance,CNBC had recently published a report from yarn supplier Sumeet Industries, saying it was working at 120% of capacity utilization.
And it’s not just factories — as shown in this report by the Hindu, even airports can run at more than 100% capacity. “These four airports handle more than half of air passenger traffic in India and currently operate at over 130% of capacity utilisation,” the report says.
And it’s not only in India — here is a Reuters report of a Swedish firm producing ventilators at 160% of capacity.
Manufacturing plants are often structured in such a way that “capacity” can be rejigged by moving around processes, or changing parameters, especially in times of an emergency, or when it’s necessary to optimize for a particular product as opposed to another. A petroleum refining plant that produces kerosene, LPG and diesel can be modified to produce more kerosene if there’s a sudden spurt in the demand for kerosene, thus enabling it to produce kerosene at more than 100% of previous capacity. This, of course, is something that most schoolkids understand, but as Gargi Rawat’s tweet showed, is clearly something that’s too much to expect from a journalist who’s worked at NDTV for more than two decades.