Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Indian Geography E-Book


Disaster Management India


Monday, November 28, 2011

Multiple-planet solar system discovered

Planetary scientists have discovered what they claim is an unusual multiple-planet solar system containing a ‘super-Earth’ and two Neptune-sized planets orbiting in resonance with each other. A team led by Bill Cochran of The University of Texas at Austin, used NASA’s Kepler spacecraft to discover the multi -planet system.

The planets have been designated b, c, and d. All three planets orbit much closer to Kepler-18 , a star similar to the sun , say the scientists.

Planet b weighs in at about 6.9 times the mass of Earth, and is twice Earth’s size and considered a super-Earth with a 3.5-day period; planet c has a mass of about 17 Earths, is about 5.5 times Earth’s size and orbits Kepler-18 in 7.6 days. Planet d weighs in at 16 Earths, at 7 times Earth’s size, and has a 14.9-day orbit.

New planet found with water and ice

Astronomers have discovered a mysterious little dwarf planet which they believe is covered in ice and may sport the wispy remnants of an atmosphere. The planet, nicknamed “Snow White”, lies outside Neptune and is orbiting the Sun as part of the Kuiper belt—the ring of icy bodies that orbit the sun beyond Neptune.

Officially known as 2007 OR10, it is actually red, half of its surface is covered by water ice that probably spewed from ancient cryo-volcanoes, researchers said.

It’s believed that the dwarf planet’s reddish hue likely comes from a thin layer of methane, the last gasps of an atmosphere that has been bleeding off into space for eons.

Asia’s largest solar farm commissioned

Moser Baer energy Limited (MBCEL) has successfully commissioned the 30 MW solar farm at Gunthawada, District Banaskantha, Gujarat. It is the largest solar energy farm of Asia, built on 305 acres of land, using 2,36,000 thin film modules. The project will generate 52 million KWh energy per year, and will help save about 50,000 tonnes of carbon emission annually.

Major Himalayan Rail Projects

The Planning Commission is considering the early execution of five major railway projects in the Himalayan region, as it has directed the railway ministry to prepare a blueprint of the estimate on funds, technical inputs and prospective time for their completion. The commission plans to allocate funds for the projects in the 12th Five Year Plan that starts from April 2012.

The railway projects include the 125-km Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line involving a project cost of Rs 4,295 crore, the 154-km Rs 2,791-crore Tanakpur-Bageshwar line (both in Uttarakhand), the Rs 13,631-crore Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch railway link covering 233 km in Jammu and Kashmir, the 498-km Bilaspur-Mandi railway link in Himachal Pradesh and the 110-km Rupai-Parasuramkund railway link in Arunachal Pradesh.

These five main railway projects are part of the 14 such Himalayan-region projects that have been hanging fire for long because of strategic issues.

World’s Highest Webcam Installed on Everest

The world’s highest webcam has been installed in the Nepalese Himalayas, beaming live images of Mount Everest back to scientists studying the effects of climate change on the planet’s tallest peak.

The solar-powered camera, set at 5,675 metres on Kala Patthar, a smaller mountain facing Everest, will withstand temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius and operates during daylight hours.

The device, developed by German surveillance firm Mobotix, is more than a kilometre higher than the previous record for a high-altitude webcam set by a 4,389-metre-altitude camera at the base camp of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.

The image is updated every five minutes, allowing climatologists to track the movement of the clouds around the mountain’s summit.

The camera uses a wireless connection to transmit images to the Ev-K2-CNR Pyramid Laboratory, located at an altitude of 5,050 metres. The footage is then analysed by scientists in Italy who hope to learn more about climate change and global warming using the images in conjunction with meteorological data gathered from Everest.

The exact height of the world’s tallest peak is also being re-measured in a separate Nepali project attempting to end confusion on the issue.

Sanskriti Awards, 2011

Vinayak Lohani, a graduate from IIT Kharagpur and an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, is the recipient of Sanskriti Award for social achievement. Inspired by the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, Lohani had set up an organisation in 2003 to take care of destitute and street children.

Murad Ali, a sixth generation Sarangi player from Moradabad, hailed as one of the most promising Sarangi players in the country, has been chosen for the award in the category of performing arts.

Bangalore-based Abhishek Hazra (Art), an assistant editor with the periodical ‘Tehelka’, Rana Ayyub (Journalism) and a Kashmiri poetess and short story writer Shahida Shabnum (Literature) are the other recipients of the award.

Sanskriti Awards are given to people in the 25-35 years age group, in the fields of literature, journalism, art, performing arts and social achievement.

Nobel Prizes, 2011

For Peace: Declaring women’s rights vital for world peace, the Nobel Committee awarded its annual Peace Prize to three indomitable campaigners against war and oppression. Africa’s first freely elected female head of State Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf shares the prize with compatriot Leymah Gbowee, who led a “sex strike” among her efforts against Liberia’s civil war and Arab activist Tawakul Karman, who hailed the award as a victory for democracy in Yemen.

For Literature: Tomas Transtromer, a Swedish poet whose surrealistic works about the mysteries of the human mind won him acclaim as one of the most important Scandinavian writers since World War II. His works have been translated into more than 50 languages and influenced poets around the globe, particularly in North America. Born in Stockholm in 1931, Transtromer started writing poetry while studying at the Sodra Latin school in Stockholm.

For Medicine: American Bruce Beutler and French biologist Jules Hoffmann, who studied the first stages of immune responses to attack, share the award with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman, whose discovery of dendritic cells in the 1970s is key to understanding the body’s next line of defence against disease. Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases

However, Steinman was not lucky enough to taste the fruit of his success. He won the Nobel for medicine for work on fighting cancer, but died of the disease himself just three days before he could be told of his award.

For Physics: American Saul Perlmutter shares the award with US-Australian Brian Schmidt and US scientist Adam Riess, for their studies of exploding stars that revealed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Working in two separate research teams during the 1990s, Perlmutter in one and Schmidt and Riess in the other, the scientists raced to map the universe’s expansion by analysing a particular type of supernovas, or exploding stars. They found that the light emitted by more than 50 distant supernovas was weaker than expected, a sign that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate.

For Chemistry: Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman, for his discovery of quasicrystals, a mosaic-like chemical structure that researchers previously thought was impossible. Shechtman’s discovery in 1982 fundamentally changed the way chemists look at solid matter. Contrary to the previous belief that atoms were packed inside crystals in symmetrical patterns, Shechtman showed that the atoms in a crystal could be packed in a pattern that could not be repeated. Since then, quasicrystals have been produced in laboratories and a Swedish company found them in one of the most durable kinds of steel, which is now used in products such as razor blades and thin needles made specifically for eye surgery.

For Literature: Americans Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims share the prize for work that helps governments and central banks weigh up responses to crises, though it offers no immediate answer to current global problems.

For Economics: Americans Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims shared the Nobel prize in economics, for work that helps governments and central banks weigh up responses to crises, though it offers no immediate answer to current global problems.

The economics prize is the only one of the six Nobels that was not originally included in the 1895 will of the creator of the prize, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel. It was created by the Swedish central bank, the Riksbank, in 1968, to commemorate its tercentenary and was first handed out in the year 1969.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vivek Express is the longest running train in India

Vivek Express is the longest running train in India, and 8th longest in the world. This weekly train runs a total distance of 4,286 km from Dibrugarh in upper Assam, to Kanyakumari at the southern tip of Tamil Nadu, that will be covered in 82:30 hours. There are 52 halts spanning across a total of 615 intermediate railway stations Himsagar Express was previously the longest running train in India.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Manmohan discusses civil nuclear deal with Barack Obama

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has declared that there were “no irritants” in Indo-US ties as he met the US President, Mr Barack Obama, here and discussed the ways to implement the civil nuclear deal.
Dr Singh, who met Mr Obama for the first time after latter’s trip to India last November, also talked about strengthening the bonds of strategic ties put in place during the historic visit of the US President to India in November last year.
“I am very happy to report to you that today there are no irritants whatsoever in our working together in multiplicity of areas both bilaterally and on global issues,” he said in his opening remarks.
Emerging after their over an hour-long meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits, Dr Singh said that he explained to Mr Obama the law of the land on liability issue regarding the civil nuclear deal.
“I explained to him that we have a law in place. Rules have been formulated. These rules will lie before our Parliament for 30 days. Therefore, we have gone some way to respond to the concerns of American companies and within the four corners of the law of the land, we are ready to address any specific grievances,” the Prime Minister said.
He also said India was ready to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.
“I also told him (Obama) that we’ll ratify the Supplementary Convention... that’s where the matter stands,” he said.
Recalling the “historic visit” of Mr Obama to India during the same time last year, Dr Singh said: “In the last one year, we have made progress in every direction, strengthening our bilateral cooperation in investment, trade, higher education, clean energy and defence.”
The Prime Minister noted “we have strengthened in many ways the path set out during the historic visit, whether it’s civil nuclear cooperation, whether it’s humanitarian relief, in disaster management, or maritime security, all the issues which unite us in our quest for a world free from war.”
In his opening remarks, Mr Obama referred to his “extraordinary” trip to India during which the two sides strengthened the bonds of friendship, commercial links and security cooperation.
“We continue to make progress on a wide range of issues. The bonds between our two countries are not just at the leadership level but also at personal levels,” he said.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together not only on bilateral front but also at multilateral level,” Mr Obama said, identifying some of the issues as maritime security, non-proliferation and terrorism.
The two leaders exchanged pleasantries while expressing immense happiness on meeting each other once again.
Ahead of the meeting, India asserted that its domestic laws with regard to nuclear liability and compensation will have to prevail and any contention otherwise would not be realistic after the Fukushima incident.
The sources said the rules should address concerns that any foreign company could have as these make it clear that liability cannot be unlimited or unending.

G Ramaswamy, President, ICAI Elected as IFAC Board Member

G Ramaswamy, President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has been elected as the Board Member of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) at the IFAC Council Meeting held at Berlin, Germany yesterday ( 17th November 2011). IFAC is a global organization for the accountancy profession, dedicated in serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 167 members and associates in 127 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament viz., The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 in the year 1949 for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountants in the country. The main functions of the Institute are prescribing qualifications for membership, holding examination and arranging practical training of candidates, enrolment of members, publication and maintenance of register of members qualified to practice the profession, carrying on activities for development of the profession and regulation and maintenance of status and standard of professional qualification of the members. The Institute, which functions under the administrative control of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, has 5 Regional Councils and 126 branches covering the length and breadth of the country. In addition, it has also set up 21 chapters outside India.

India re-elected to U.N.’s International Law Commission

India was today re-elected to the International Law Commission for a five year term beginning January 1, 2012.
U.N. General Assembly re-elected India’s Narinder Singh as a member of the Commission.
A member of the ILC since 2007, Singh is currently legal adviser and Head of the Legal and Treaties Division of Ministry of External Affairs.
He has served as coordinator of the meeting of legal advisers of foreign offices of the U.N. member states since 2002.
Over the past two decades, Singh has represented India in a number of key conferences on international law and has been a regular participant in the work of the Sixth Committee of the U.N. General Assembly that deals with legal affairs.
ILC consists of 34 members who must be experts on international law. They are elected by the General Assembly from a list of candidates nominated by governments of member states in the U.N.
The other candidates elected from the Asia-Pacific Group come from Japan, China, Jordan, Korea, Indonesia, Qatar and Thailand.
The Commission was established by the General Assembly in 1948 for the “promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification.”

Central Advisory Committee Meeting on PMAGY

The first Central Advisory Committee (CAC ) on Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)) met here today under the Chairpersonship of Shri Mukul Wasnik ,Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment to review the functioning of the PMAGY. The meeting was Co-chaired by Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister Rural Development and was attended by the Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes Shri P.L Punia, Shri Badri Ram Jakhar, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha and the Ministers in-charge of SC Development from the States of Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. Representative of various central Ministries were also present in the meeting.

The Minister, SJ&E while reviewing the implementation of the Scheme urged upon the States to accelerate the pace of implementation in the States and the gap between the socio –economic parameters of SCs and others should be bridged within the stipulated time period . The Minister, Rural Development said that the selected villages must fulfill the ‘Nirmal Gram Puruskar’ under the Total Sanitation Campaign.

The Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech, 2009-10, delivered on 6.7.2009, announced launching of a new Scheme, namely “Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana”, on pilot basis, to cover 1000 villages with more than 50% SC population.

In pursuance of above, Government of India have, in March, 2010, approved a pilot Centrally Sponsored Scheme called, "Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)" for integrated development of 1,000 SC-majority villages. The Scheme is presently being implemented in five states viz. Assam (100 villages), Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu (225 villages each).

The Scheme intends to achieve these objectives primarily through convergent implementation of existing schemes of Central and State Governments in the selected villages, and by providing Gap-filling funds from PMAGY in which Central Government’s contribution will be at the average rate of Rs. 20.0 lakh per village (revised recently from the earlier Rs. 10 lakh per village), with State Government making a suitable, preferably matching, contribution, for meeting specifically identified developmental requirements of the selected villages which cannot be met under the existing schemes of the Central and State Governments.

The Scheme also has a provision for financial support for strengthening of administrative machinery for its planning and implementation, capability building of key personnel, developing a proper management information system etc.

Full admissible Central assistance of Rs. 101 crore, under the Scheme, was released to the 5 States till last year. The central component for the ‘gap-filling’ has been recently revised upwardly to Rs. 20 per village. The Ministry has already released the additional amount to the PMAGY States, except Assam, to which Rs. 3.00 crore out of Rs. 10.00 crore has already been released.

The CAC, for PMAGY was constituted on 23.8.2011 with the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment and Minister Rural Development as Chairman and Co-chair of the Committee.

India and British Columbia to Extend Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy

Ms. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, Canada met Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy in New Delhi and held detailed discussions on Cooperation between India and British Columbia in the field of Renewable Energy. Both the Ministers were accompanied by High Level Delegations.

Dr. Farooq Abdullah gave an overview of the progress made by India in different fields of Renewable Energy. It was observed that India has already signed an Umbrella Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada in the field of Energy including Renewable Energy and it was agreed the two sides would explore Cooperation between Institutions of repute of India and British Columbia in identified fields. Fuel Cells, Storage batteries, Bio-Energy and Small Hydro Programs were identified as possible areas of Cooperation.

British Columbia side informed that they are holding a Global Conference in Energy on 12-15 March, 2012 and requested India to depute a delegation to this Conference where Renewable Energy will be one of the focus areas of Cooperation. India agreed to explore the possibility of sending a business delegation to the Conference on receipt of invitation.

Scheme for Anti-Erosion Measures Approved

The Planning commission has given investment clearance for “Anti Erosion measures to protect Moisa and Belguri village from erosion of River Gangadhar”, Assam, with an estimated cost of Rs.14.97 Crore The project will be completed by the financial year 2012-13 and Plan account would be closed by 31st March 2013. Project may accordingly be executed as per the approved outlays in the State Annual Plans.

The project proposes to provide 600 m long revetment and RCC porcupine screens along the bank as well as across the bank at various locations. The project area consisting of thickly populated village of Moisa, Belguri, Agomoni, Pub-Kaldoba, Bhangaduli, Maragadadhar are situated at the right bank of river Gangadhar at a distance of about 48 km from district headquarter town of Dhubri and 300 km from Guwahati. The scheme will benefit an area of 2267 ha comprising of cultivated and homestead land.

Eurasian Union emerging to integrate Soviet era economies

Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have agreed to create a Eurasian Union, an economic body designed to reintegrate the former Soviet economies.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Kazakhstan and Belarus counterparts, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alexander Lukashenko, signed a package of agreements to promote Eurasian economic integration at a summit in Moscow on November 18.
The three countries set up a customs union last year that will pave the way for a “single economic space,” a closer-knit union, next year. The Eurasian Union, which would have its own executive body, would mark a further step in economic integration on the lines of the Brussels-based European Union.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin first formulated the idea of a Eurasian Union to act as a bridge between Europe and Asia in a newspaper article published shortly after he announced plans to return to the Kremlin as President in the 2012 elections.
Mr. Medvedev said at the signing ceremony that Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will build a new economy as the countries that share common history and similar development patterns. He said the new union would be open to other countries to join, but only on the basis of “a roadmap that may take a year, two years or 15 years to cover” to qualify for membership.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have already applied to join the customs union, and Ukraine is mulling the option.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Agni - IV successfully test fired

Giving a boost to India's strategic defence preparedness, missile technologists successfully test-fired the 3,000 km plus nuclear weapons capable ballistic missile, Agni 2 prime, which has now been renamed as Agni-IV, from Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast on November 15.
The advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missile fired from a road mobile launcher zeroed in on to the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal with a high degree of accuracy after a flight duration of about 20 minutes.
Designed to increase the kill efficiency of the vehicle with a higher range performance, the missile was equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, including indigenously developed ring laser gryo and composite rocket motor.
The missile's payload was reduced from 1,000 kg to 800 kg to give the missile better range.
The two stage surface-to-surface missile is 20 meters-tall and weighs 17 tonnes.
All the radars, telemetry and electro-optical instruments tracked the entire flight of the missile until its splash down.
Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister V.K.Saraswat, Chief Controller, Defence Research and Development Organisation (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander and Advanced Systems Laboratory Director Sekharan were among those present.
Dr. Saraswat told The Hindu that it was a 'copybook' launch, which met all the mission objectives. He said the launch demonstrated the complete maturity of India in surface-to-surface missile technoogy. It also confirmed the capability of the country in strategic defence, he added.
Mr. Chander described the launch as a breakthrough in the missile capability of India.

Saturday, November 12, 2011



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011