National ID card to all by 2011

The proposed unique multi-purpose national id cards would be issued to all citizens by 2010-2011, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in Chennai on Monday.

In the first phase this year, 1.2 crore people in about 3,331 coastal villages and cities would receive the national id cards, he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Chennai.

National-id

The national id card will be given to 110 crore people by 2010-2011.  Government has set up a Unique Identification Authority of India to implement the project aimed at obviating the need for multiple proofs of identity for citizens while availing any government service or for personal needs like opening bank accounts or seeking telephone connections.

According to Wikipedia

AADHAAR is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India to all residents of India on a voluntary basis. The number can be used to get social benefits from both the Central and State Governments called Direct Benefit Transfer. UIDAI launched AADHAAR program in the tribal village, Tembhli, in Shahada, Nandurbar, Maharashtra on 29 September 2010. The program was inaugurated by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The first resident to receive an AADHAAR was Ranjana Sonawane of Tembhli village.

Above news source: Indian Express

Picture source here

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INS Kochi launched

India’s latest addition to the Navy – warship INS Kochi, a Delhi-class destroyer, was inaugurated on Friday. This is the second warship of ‘Project 15-A’, built by Mazgaon Dock Limited.

ins kochi

Naval Chief Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma on Friday said a serious relook at the inefficiencies of Navy is required and an indigenous warship building system needs to be conceptualised.

Verma said, “Fluctuating funding in the past has compelled the Navy to resort to (warship) building in abroad, but now there is an urgent need to emulate worldwide trends in warship building (in the country).”

The 6,500-tonne INS Kochi, launched by Verma’s wife Madulika, is the second warship in the ‘Project 15-A’ under which three guided-missile destroyers with stealth and multi-role features will be built.

“The destroyer has been launched using pontoon-assisted technique, employed for the first time in the history of indigenous warship building. The technique helps in overcoming slipway constraints which hinder heavier vessel movement into deeper waters for fitting its superstructures such as decks,” chairman and managing director of Mazgaon Dock H S Malhi said.

INS Kochi has advanced stealth features that make it less vulnerable to detection by enemy radar. Its weapons system include nuclear capable supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface missile.

News source: Indian Express

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India – Mongolia ink nuclear deal

Other countries are taking benefits of all the hardwork done by the Bush government in signing the nuclear deal with India.  After US, France, Russia, Kazhakstan, Namibia, its the turn of Mongolia to sign the nuclear deal with India.

More deals with countries would mean that India wouldnt need to depend on a select group of countries for its demand of uranium to power its energy sector.

India on Monday signed a civil nuclear pact with uranium-rich Mongolia that will help it source uranium for its power plants.

According to a joint declaration signed by the two countries, participation of Indian companies through joint ventures and investments in the mining sector in Mongolia is on the cards. “A delegation from India has been invited to Mongolia to discuss the prospects for such a cooperation,” the declaration said.

Mongolia is the sixth country with which India signed the civil nuclear pact after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers’ Group lifted a 34-year-old ban that had prevented it from trade in the field with the international community. India has earlier signed such agreements with US, France, Russia, Kazakhstan and Namibia.

nuclear-power-plant-9igh

The agreement — a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of peaceful use of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy — was signed between officials of Department of Atomic energy from both sides in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj at Hyderabad House.

Four other agreements that were signed between the two countries dealt with loan assistance, health and medical science, cultural exchange programme and cooperation statistical matters.

“We have decided to update our bilateral ties to the level of a ‘Comprehensive Partnership’,” Singh said.

India has also agreed to provide Mongolia a soft loan of $ 25 million to help it stabilise its economy in the wake of the financial crisis. In the area of human resource development and capacity building, India will double the number of annual slots for Mongolia under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme from 60 to 120.

“I have assured the President of our readiness to assist Mongolia in the field of education, particularly in the teaching of English language, and information technology. We will assist Mongolia in the establishment of an Information Technology Centre,” the PM said. While describing the conversations with the Mongolian President as “extremely productive”, the PM said relations with Mongolia are an important pillar of our policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

The declaration also said that development of defence exchanges and cooperation on the basis of the Agreement on Cooperation in Defence Matters signed in 2001 will continue. “The fifth joint military exercise will be held in Mongolia later this month. The third meeting of the Joint Working Group on Defence Cooperation will be held in Ulaanbaatar at a mutually convenient time in 2010,” it said.

Picture source: EFTrends

News source: IndianExpress

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US clears sale of E-2D Hawkeye for India

The US government cleared yet another high technology system for India, the ‘‘futuristic’’ shipboard Hawkeye E-2D aircraft for Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and battle management.

e2 hawkeye

The clearance has been described by diplomatic sources as a fallout of the ‘‘successful’’ visit of secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the signing of the End User Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) of military equipment being supplied or sold by the US to India. Like the Boeing P 8I Maritime Multi-mission Aircraft (MMA), of which the Indian Navy has already ordered eight aircraft, the Hawkeye E-2D is the very latest and is yet to be delivered to the US Navy.

India is the second country, after the UAE, to be cleared by the US state and defence departments for sale of this sophisticated system. The US navy has sanctioned $432 million for trials of the aircraft, currently underway at the naval air station Patuxent River in Maryland. The naval systems command based there provides engineering and testing support for new naval systems and weapons.

The Hawkeye E-2D has been under the US government’s consideration for India for some time. In fact, in 2007, Pentagon sources in Washington indicated the aircraft was being cleared, but apparently the previous version, Hawkeye E-2C, was eventually offered to which the Indian navy said ‘‘no’’ in informal discussions.

More here

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RIP YSR

ap

The picture in today’s Deccan Chronicle says it all.  Not many urban city slickers might want to admit, but the truth is that Andhra Pradesh has lost one of its most loved Chief Minister.

ysr

Though i do have a grouse against him naming each and every project in Andhra Pradesh after the Nehru/Gandhi family, one cant discount the amount of work he did among the rural folk in AP.  From cheap loans for womenfolk to healthcare benefits to millions of poor people, to free power for farmers, to massive irrigation schemes to the tune of 1 lakh crore,  to building a state of the art airport in Hyderabad to building the 160 km Outer Ring Road to decongest the city, there was a reason why more than 40 people died of either shock or committed suicide on hearing YSR’s death.

The only person not only to survive the NTR storm in the 80s and still manage to keep his seat, but also to singlehandedly survive the onslaught of a combined opposition of TDP, Communists, Chiranjeevi, BJP, Telengana crowd in the 2009 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and still come out victorious is no easy task.

Rest in Peace, YSR.  You will be missed for sure.  Not only by your loved ones, but also by your rivals who in the back of their minds always looked up to you as a rival worth fighting against.

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Fisichella grabs first points for Force India

Mallya would have gone crazy dancing after Giancarlo Fisichella not only grabbed the pole position in the Belgian race, but also finished second in the actual race.  With this Force India has finally opened its account since its debut in the Formula 1 racing almost a year and a half ago.

giancarlo fisichella

Fisichella scored a surprise pole position Saturday, in the first pole for the team owned by the Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, who owns the Kingfisher beverage and airline companies. And had Raikkonen not passed him near the start of the race after the Finn profited from a felicitous off-track excursion and then a safety car period after a pileup that took out some other contenders, Fisichella would have won the race.

news link

Above picture source: Dandystyle

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WTF: Jinnah is a hate figure – RSS

…and what the eff is RSS?   An organisation that has perfected the art of propagating hate against people of other religion?  Its a perfect case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece Organiser has slammed Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah calling him a hate figure.

The Organiser editorial said that Jinnah was a frustrated, piqued and egoist person and added that he cruelly and constantly insulted Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other Congress leaders for their correct and nationalist stand of not accepting Muslim League as the sole representative body of the Muslims.

It also said Jinnah was a hate figure like Mohammad Ghori, Mohammad Ghaznavi, Babar and Aurangzeb but is disliked more because his actions are fresh in memory, and millions of victims of his hate campaign are still alive.

article link

A good article in the Open magazine on why the BJP loves Jinnah so much.

Apart from their senility, I can only think of one explanation; they envy him his achievement. He has created a nation in their image, a nation based on the faith of the majority with no room for diversity. In Pakistan, the BJP finds its ideal.

The truth contrary to what Jaswant Singh says is that Jinnah has not been demonised enough. There is a strange complicity between men such as Jaswant Singh and a certain stream of liberal Indian thought that continues to argue that Nehru should have accommodated Jinnah’s ambition and prevented the Partition. It is a strange and baffling argument given all we know about Jinnah. By the perverse logic of that argument, we should reach out to Narendra Modi and offer him the post of PM to end the divisiveness that plagues us today. The BJP’s real problem is that they cannot lay claim to the Freedom Movement, nor are Gandhi and Nehru figures they can come to terms with. Under the circumstances, the best they can do is to devalue them. And what better way to achieve this than to compare them unfavourably with Jinnah?

The author exactly nails the point.  No matter what BJP says, its never believed in the secular fabric of India.  It simply cannot reconcile to the fact that Indians believe in different religions yet they are proud to be Indians.  The fact that our founding fathers believed in the right of every religion to be followed.  BJP  loves Jinnah so much simply because they see in Jinnah a person who managed to get a country all for himself based on Islam.  But inspite of their hate politics, the Indian public doesnt fall for their tactics.

There is nothing more comical than seeing the chaddi gang pressing the self-destruct button.  Fearing the worst that Arun Shourie might spill some more beans of the fakeness of the fake iron man of India, LK Advani,  the BJP has just asked Shourie to explain what he meant in his outburst the other day.

The BJP was full of morons was already known.  The fact that they dont understand english has just been confirmed.  Jaswant Singh has been daily dropping one bomb after another on how Advani knew of the terrorist exchange in Kandahar, but lied in his book that he was kept in the dark.  How he kept quiet when the butcher of Gujarat, Narendra Modi let his dogs free on innocent civilians and more.

Am waiting to read more fun from the stables of the chaddi gang in time to come.

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I Wonder Why – Fighter Aircraft vs Missiles

There are questions in the back of everyone’s minds.  Things that we might find trivial and are afraid of asking someone lest they might think that we are stupid.  Maybe people are simply jealous that they never thought of it before.  Or maybe people being people are so happy living a conformist life that they don’t like to question and are happy following the herd.

Everyone’s got questions.  I got mine too.  One of which is the wisdom of buying a costly fighter plane over spending a fraction of that amount buying a missile.

Every country spends billions of dollars buying up fighter planes to shore up their air force capabilities.  India is no stranger.  They have already sent out RFQ for buying upto 126 such planes.

FA-18_Hornet

A F-18 fighter plane costs approximately $54 million. A fighter plane can  home on to many targets at the same time, carry a nuclear bomb, can enter an enemy’s territory and bomb the hell out of the place, can do reconnaissance and lot lot more.

So, is buying another fighter plane the only solution for a rival?  A missile, E.g  A patriot missile (used by the US ) costs approx $2 million per unit.  The job of this missile is to shoot down an incoming missile.  Am sure the same missile can then probably even shoot down an incoming enemy fighter plane.  Or else with proper modifications, it can do the job.

In that case why should someone spend $54 million for a F-18 when they can buy 27 patriot missiles for the same amount?  Assuming the worst kill ratio of 1:5 (i.e firing off 5 missiles to blow away one fighter plane), its still a cheaper deal than buying a fighter.  The above mentioned cost of a plane probably doesn’t cover the cost of maintenance, upgrades and repairs. All that added up over the whole lifetime of the aircraft could add up to a significant amount.

Patriot_missile_launch

If one can shoot down the aircraft with the first missile itself, that means a significant boost when it comes to the hit ratio.  A cost of $2 million versus $54 million.  Which is a better bet?

Of course the aircraft can dodge a missile as most of the missiles today work on heat seeking technology. Am sure the scientists could work on some other methods by which the missile can lock down on the aircraft and really chase it down no matter what the pilot does to shake off the chasing missile.

Maybe there are things that Iam not aware of.  That’s because Iam not a professional nor have I done any studies in aircraft, missiles or anything related to arms and ammunition.  Or maybe people who have the power or the mandate to do the purchase do have knowledge but dont want to take the risk.  What if the gut feeling comes off wrong?  What if in the case of a war, the country becomes a sitting duck to the rival’s aircraft?

But I do believe that my point of thought also has its own merits.  If that is so, why dont we see any country follow such a strategy? Is it because they are too much impressed by the glossy brochures and marketing talk of the aircraft companies?  Or are they also infected with the same disease that every IT professional suffers from i.e to spend his / her whole lifetime cribbing about the bad security in Microsoft products and yet stick to them all their life?

PS: All prices mentioned above are approximate pricing and that i found by googling the net.

Above pictures source: Wikipedia & Tcappsbct

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Wipro's Green Gamble

40 years after he took over his family’s vegetable oil company and turned it into a $5 billion company selling IT services, computers, consumer care, lighting and medical equipments, Azim Premji is on the lookout for his next billions.  He sees them coming from renewable sources of energy.  Water and Eco-energy are the two areas of focus for Wipro and that is where they believe the next billions will come for the company.

azim premji

For those who know Premji, it is not uncommon to see the fifth richest Indian on the Forbes List and the 63-year-old chairman of Wipro switching off the lights before leaving office. It is this commitment to avoid waste that has turned Premji’s attention to ecology and sustainability.

In October 2008, even as it warned of slowing growth in its main software outsourcing business in the backdrop of a global financial crisis, Wipro released a recruitment ad for two new businesses, Wipro Water and Wipro EcoEnergy. The company has spent the previous two years preparing for this diversification, which may turn out to be the company’s third big change. The first was when a 21-year-old Premji took charge at Wipro after his father’s sudden death; the next was when the vanaspati and soap maker transformed itself into a multi-billion dollar information technology giant in the 80s and 90s.

wipro-logo

Chief Financial Officer Suresh Senapathy says green services and solutions will bring in up to one out of every four dollars of the company’s revenue, three years from now. In the financial year ending March 2009, Wipro had revenue of more than Rs. 25,000 crore. Even if the revenue were to stagnate, a fourth of it — Rs. 6,250 crore — from ecology is no small amount. The plan also aligns well with Premji’s desire to ease down IT’s profit contribution from 93 percent currently to 70 percent in the next few years.

The new idea was first thought up by the 41-year-old head of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), Anurag Behar. The two new ecology businesses will be housed under WIN. In January 2007, Behar made the first formal presentation about the ecology business to Wipro’s board of directors. The board reacted positively but also advised caution: Ecology was a nascent field with rapidly evolving technology and Wipro should not get locked in a technology that ran the risk of becoming obsolete soon.

Wipro has turned its 50-acre campus at Electronic City in Bangalore into a test bed. While 25,000 software engineers write code for Fortune 500 corporations, waste food from the cafeteria turns into methane for lighting burners, harvested rainwater is used to cool air-conditioning towers, a paper pulping plant recycles waste paper into writing pads and a micro windmill lights bulbs along the perimeter of the campus. Wipro’s Sarjapur campus a few kilometres away has India’s largest LED installations — all compact fluorescent lamps have been replaced with LED lights, helping save 75 percent in electricity consumption. Since 2003, Wipro has cut water usage in its offices across India by nearly two-thirds.

Read the full article here

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