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Showing posts from June, 2014


From the famous catch phrase 'Yeh dil maange more' to epic science fiction thriller "Gravity" were some of the ingredients in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech today saluting Indian space scientists.
"We have done a lot. We provide benefits of telemedicine to Afghanistan and African countries but Yeh dil maange more (the heart wants more).
I have proposed to our scientists that they develop a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) satellite. This will help all our neighbours," he said in a speech shortly after the country's indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) blasted off today from a spaceport here carrying five foreign satellites.
Modi previously used the "Yeh dil maange more" tagline while campaigning in Palampur, the Himachal Pradesh hometown of Kargil martyr Vikram Batra, during the Lok Sabha poll campaign.
He borrowed the martyr's famous catch-phrase to ask for votes: "Yeh dil maange more!&q…


In yet another milestone in space technology, India today launched five foreign satellites on board an indigenous rocket, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask Indian scientists to develop a SAARC satellite which can be dedicated as a 'gift' to the neighbours. After a perfect lift off from the First Launch Pad in Satish Dhawan Space Centre here at 9.52 AM which was witnessed by Modi, Indian Space Research Organisation's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C23 placed all five satellites into their intended orbits, one after the other between 17 and 19 minutes of the launch, in textbook precision. Besides its primary payload of 714 kg French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7, the rocket carried and placed in orbit 14 kg AISAT of Germany, NLS7.1 (CAN-X4) and NLS7.2 (CAN-X5) of Canada, each weighing 15 kg, and the 7 kg VELOX-1 of Singapore. Modi, who witnessed the launch from ISRO's Mission Control Room here, made a pitch for satellite d…


Investigators probing the disappearance of Flight MH370 have discovered possible new evidence of tampering with the plane's cockpit equipment which experts believe could be part of an attempt by hijackers to avoid radar detection. A report released by Australian air crash investigators shows that the missing Boeing 777 suffered a mysterious power outage during the early stages of its flight, The Telegraph reported. The plane's satellite data unit made an unexpected "log-on" request to a satellite less than 90 minutes into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, according to the report. The report says the log-on request - known as a "handshake" - appears likely to have been caused by an interruption of electrical power on board the plane, which experts believe could be part of an attempt to avoid radar detection. "A log-on request in the middle of a flight is not common," the report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said. "An analysi…


The search for the missing Flight MH370 will now revert to an area hundreds of kilometers south of the first suspected crash site, an official said today, as months of fruitless scouring in the Indian Ocean has failed to crack the unprecedented aviation mystery. In a dramatic development in the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines plane, the search area in the Indian Ocean is to be moved back to a zone 1,800 kilometres west of Perth, previously dismissed in late March. The new search area, to be focused on when an underwater probe resumes in August,is not be based on fresh data but on new analysis of the plane's flight path. "All the trends of this analysis will move the search area south of where it was. Just how much south is something that we're still working on," said Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. "There was a very complex analysis and there were several different ways of looking at it. Specialists have used several di…


The captain of Flight MH370 has been identified as the prime suspect by a Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of the plane after checks cleared all other people on board, a media report said today.
The criminal inquiry does not rule out the possibility the Boeing 777-200 plane was lost due to mechanical failure or terrorism, but the police view is that if it was the result of human action, the captain was the most likely perpetrator, The Sunday Times reported.
Malaysia's special branch focused the inquiry on Captain Zaharie Shah, 53, after intelligence checks failed to substantiate any suspicions about the other people on board the jet, the report said.
The Beijing-bound Flight MH370 - carrying 239 people, including five Indians, mysteriously vanished on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The disappearance of the plane is one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
Detectives conducted more than 170 interviews. They found that Zaharie, an outgo…


"The one who did not speak a word, his silence was deafening and the other who spoke much and it was deafening," photographer Raghu Rai says of Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi as he compares their personalities by using a series of photographs in his new book. "The Tale of Two, An Outgoing and An Incoming, Prime Minister", a self-published work (AuthorsUpFront), brings together images of contrast of Singh and Modi in public and their positions in their parties. According to Rai, since a prime minister is the supreme leader of a nation, there is "no room for us to look for the detractors who might have been the cause of his failure". He says in Singh's case, his "failure to give us the kind of government we wanted might have been because of the high command's final decision or the scams caused, but the sole responsibility falls upon the prime minister of the day". Rai says similarly when Narendra Modi takes over, "his performance as…


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe broke a nearly week-long silence today and apologised for sexist taunts shouted by a party member at a young Tokyo assemblywoman, reports said. The apology, issued to the male head of the woman's opposition party, according to Jiji Press and the Asahi newspaper, came hours after he issued a blog on the importance of improving the low rate of female workplace participation in Japan. In the post, Abe called for women to "shine" but made no mention of the episode. Tokyo assemblyman Akihiro Suzuki, 51, yesterday admitted he had yelled "Why don't you get married?" at Ayaka Shiomura, 35, last week when she was speaking in the chamber during a debate on motherhood. After days of denials, Suzuki said he was responsible and apologised to Shiomura as he resigned his membership of Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Hours after the apology his office pelted with raw eggs and his Facebook page was flood…


The search for Flight MH370 is yet to target a "hotspot" most likely to be the crash site in the Indian Ocean as priority was given to investigate "pings" that has led to a dead end, a UK satellite firm claimed today. The UK satellite company Inmarsat told the BBC that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was yet to go to the area its scientists think is the plane's most likely crash site. Inmarsat's communications with the aircraft are seen as the best clues to the whereabouts of Flight MH370. The hunt for the lost jet is currently taking a short break while ships map the Indian Ocean floor. When the search resumes, the Inmarsat "hotspot" will be a key focus along with a number of areas being fed into the investigation by other groups. Inmarsat's scientists could tell from the timings and frequencies of the connection signals that the plane had to have come down in the southern Indian Ocean. An Australian naval…


A genetically engineered banana to increase the levels of vitamin A in the body and improve the lives of millions of people in Africa has been developed by Australian researchers. The banana will soon have its first human trial to test its effect on vitamin A levels, the Queensland-based researchers said today. The researchers have been able to bend the banana genome which was being tested on humans for the first time, the AAP news agency reported. The aim was to stop thousands of children in Uganda and the surrounding countries from going blind and dying from vitamin A deficiency, the report said. The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers engineered bananas grown in far north Queensland to increase the levels of beta-carotene. About 10 kilogrammess of the yellow fruit - with orange flesh - grown near Innisfail have just been shipped to Iowa State University, where the trials are being conducted. Five Ugandan PhD students were working with James Da…


The number of nuclear weapons in the world continue to decline, but at a slower pace than in previous years, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said today. "Over the past five years there has been a steady decline in the overall number of nuclear warheads in the world," the think tank said in its yearly report on world nuclear forces. "The decrease is due mainly to Russia and the US, which together still account for more than 93 per cent of all nuclear weapons." While the two main nuclear powers keep reducing their arsenals, other nuclear states including Britain and France remained stable in this year's report with 225 and 300 warheads, respectively. "China, India and Pakistan are the only nuclear weapon states that are expanding their nuclear arsenals, while Israel appears to be waiting to see how the situation in Iran develops," SIPRI said. According to the report, China held 250 warheads, India between …


India's plant and animal species, particularly in the global biodiversity hotspots of Himalayas, Western Ghats, Northeast and the Nicobar Islands, are under severe threat due to overexploitation, forest fires and climate change, says an official report. The Environment Ministry report, came out in the midst of raging debate between environmental protection and industrial growth, rings alarm bells over destruction of forest and biodiversity in the country, which is home to 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals. In a candid admission, the Ministry says that it has diverted an estimated over 1.7 million hectares of forest land for executing more than 23,000 developmental projects since the enactment of Forest Conservation Act in 1980. The report says that "a considerable area of forests in the country is under low fragmentation (49.63 per cent of the total geographic area of the country), 21.89 per cent under medium while 5.16 per cent was under…


Malaysia today vowed to hunt Flight MH370 missing for the past 100 days with "renewed vigour", even as two authors of a yet to be released book on the plane sensationally claimed that its disappearance was "deliberate" and "calculated". Prime Minister Najib Razak reiterated the government's commitment to locate the Malaysia Airlines MH370. Najib took to Twitter to assure family members of the passengers and flight crews of the Beijing-bound flight over the country's commitment. "On the hundredth day since Mh370 went missing, remembering those on board and their families. Malaysia remains committed to the search effort," he said. Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said, "It has been 100 days since MH370 went missing. More than 14 weeks have passed since the Malaysian Government first coordinated the search operations for the missing plane. This search effort is unprecedented in sheer scale and complexity …


An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, according to a new research. Researchers from the University of Adelaide suggest that obesity among Western men could be linked with exposure to substances containing the female sex hormone oestrogen - substances that are more often found in affluent societies, such as soy products and plastics. The research was conducted by University of Adelaide medical student James Grantham and co-authored by Professor Maciej Henneberg, Wood Jones Professor of Anthropological and Comparative Anatomy. Grantham compared obesity rates among men and women from around the world with measures such as Gross Domestic Product to determine the impact of affluence on obesity. He found that while it was normal for women in the developing world to have significantly greater levels of obesity than men, the developed world offers quite a different picture. "Hormonally drive…


If you think the East India Company died a natural death following India's independence, then think again. The company is not only alive and kicking but has also launched a new office in the Qatari capital of Doha in collaboration with local partner Nasser al Ansari of Octagon International. A grand launch event attended by Her Majesty's Deputy Head of Mission Cecille El Beleidi was held on Monday to mark the occasion. The company's entry into Qatar is part of its strategic regional and global expansion plans. It already runs a store in Kuwait since 2013 and is close to completion for franchises in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This is the Company's second store in the Middle East and carries a selection of fine teas and coffees; artisan sweet and biscuits; a chocolate range; and jams and marmalades. The extensive range also includes the Company's hand-crafted bone china and porcelain for tea and coffee. Each piece is painted by a master craftsmen u…


Over 10 lakh commuters travelled on the city's first Mero, which covers the 11.4 km-long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor, in the 59 hours since the commencement of its services on June 8.
"Today, till 4.30 pm, metro has crossed the one million mark of ridership that it achieved within 59 hours of operation since inception of commercial operation," a release from Mumbai Metro One, an arm of Reliance Infrastructure, said.
This is the only Metro in the country that carries an average of 1,487 commuters per km per hour, it added. "Precisely, it carries almost double the number of commuters every day as compared to Delhi Metro. This proves the overwhelming acceptance of Mumbai Metro by the people."
The company has offered a promotional fare of Rs 10 for the first 30 days irrespective of the distance travelled.


Letter writing may have dwindled substantially over the years but billions of people are participating in the written word in the electronic form as never before, says the inventor of email V A Shiva Ayyadurai. "Email has explosively supported the growth of letter writing globally. Today, unlike some decades ago, where penning letters was limited to a few who could afford education, billions are now writing letters, in electronic form, as never before - albeit, we can argue about the quality of writing - but regardless, more people, than ever before, are participating in the written word," the 50-year-old MIT systems scientist, technologist, entrepreneur and educator told PTI. In 1978, Ayyadurai invented the world's first email system at the age of 14 and was awarded the first US copyright for "email". He feels people tend to confuse email with the simple exchange of short text messages such as in texting, SMS, chat or Twitter, saying these hav…



Unconventional tourist destinations like Morocco, Bhutan and Greenland topped the list of most popular 'searched' summer holiday destinations, showed a recent survey.
Based on the destination 'searches', the survey suggested that Indians are now becoming more experimental and adventurous in exploring new places to visit.
"Indians have become more experimental when it comes to travel this summer season. In the spirit of exploration, they are looking for longer, expensive trips and are searching for newer destinations," Skyscanner India Senior Marketing Manager Kavitha Gnanamurthy said.
The north African country Morocco topped the list of most 'searched' tourist hotspot with the country witnessing a 261 per cent jump in searches compared to last year over the same period.
Bhutan, a popular but remote backpacking route located at the eastern end of the Himalayas - witnessed a staggering 244 per cent increase in overall searches.



A substance found in red wine and dark chocolate may improve memory, a new research has claimed. Researchers found that participants in a study of overweight adults who took resveratrol supplements for six months had better short-term recall than their counterparts who took a placebo. The participants who took the supplement also had more connections among brain areas involved in memory, and this parallelled improvements over the study period in their ability to break down sugar in the body, researchers found. The study is the first to show a link between the red wine compound and cognition in overweight adults, said Veronica Witte, a neuroscientist at the Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany. "From a clinical point of view, our findings suggest that regular, high-level intake of resveratrol in the elderly may convey protective effects on cognitive functions, a hypothesis that now needs to be evaluated in large-scale clinical trials," Witte told 'Live Science&…


Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air has been directed to pay compensation of 20 lakh to an Indian passenger by a District Consumer Forum here after he was denied the boarding pass at the airport here to travel to Qatar in 2008 despite having valid documents and lost his job. Terming it as a case for "punitive" compensation, New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directed the Directors of the Airline to compensate for the harassment caused to Hem Kumar who lost his job in Doha as he was not allowed to board the flight on the ground that his visa did not permit him to re-enter the country. "Opposite Party (Gulf Air), by its imperfect handling of the passengers with valid documents, have caused loss of his job directly and caused unparallel agony and harassment to complainant," the forum said, while giving Kumar the maximum monetary relief of Rs 20 lakh that a district forum can award. "In our view their casual attitude deserves condemna…


Repeated violations of traffic rules will result in cancellation of driving license once the government overhauls the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill to enforce stricter adherence to norms. "If anyone violates the road rules more than three times, his driving license will be suspended for six months and if he continues to violate after that, then the driving license will be cancelled. These are some of the considerations as part of redrafting the Motor Vehicles bill," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here. His comments come two days after Gopinath Munde, who was the Rural Development Minister, died in a road accident in the national capital. India reported 4.9 lakh road accidents in 2013 with a death toll of 1.38 lakh. As many as 5.09 lakh persons were injured in road accidents during the year. Gadkari said once the new laws are implemented, they will drastically reduce the number of road deaths. The new bill is l…


The annual Manimahesh Yatra dedicated to Lord Shiva will commence on August 15. The yatra, which takes place in the Bharmour mountainous terrain of the district in Himachal Pradesh, will conclude on September 2. The information has been provided on the official website. During the yatra, the devotees take a dip in the holy lake of Manimahesh, situated at an altitude of 4,170 metres. From the lake, the devotees can clearly see the Kailash Mount, which is considered the abode of Lord Shiva. The Kailash Mount is situated at an altitude of about 5,656 metres.


The first metro train, which was rolled out from Korea to Hyderabad recently, will be put on tracks for test and trial in next couple of days. Chief Executive and Managing Director of L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, V B Gadgil, has said. Addressing a gathering of Hoteliers Tours and Travels professionals at a SKAL International Hyderabad meeting last night, he said the three coach train which reached the city in the third week of May will be put to test trial run soon. The inauguration of first phase from Nagole to Mettuguda is slated for March, 2015 a release from the organisers said. The trial run for commercial operations will commence in couple of days and people can see the trains plying from Nagole to Mettuguda, a stretch of eight-km in the first phase, on the viaduct, Gadgil said. The total Metro Rail Project was taken with the total outlay of Rs 20,000 crore, he said, adding, the project is the largest investment of L&T ever made in any one single …