- Meet the lady behind success of RISAT I
- Efforts to release Sukma Collector accelerated
- Tendulkar, Rekha and Anu Aga’s nomination approved for Rajya Sabha
- Twitter Users massively un-follow Sachin
- Microsoft adjudged as the best Employer inn India
- Indian companies invest over $820 million in United States
- Experts from IIMs to help small Industries directly
- Chandrayaan 2 postponed for more than a Year
- Asia gets its first Legoland in Malaysia
- Sunny Leone becomes brand Ambassador of Chaze
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 07:02 PM PDT
“It was a nice feeling. I felt very great,” Valarmathi, project director for Risat-1 project, told IANS.
Playing down the satellite’s strategic role, the woman who delivered the Indian spy in the sky for the nation, said: “Risat-1 is a unique satellite with several new technologies including Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that could take images during day and night.”
She said the satellite has high data handling systems, and high storage devices among other things.
Weighing 1,858 kg, the Risat-1, which has a life span of five years, would be used for disaster prediction and agriculture and forestry purposes while its high-resolution pictures and microwave imaging could also be used for defence purposes.
Hailing from Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur district where she had her schooling, Valarmathi is the second woman to be the satellite project director at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), but the first woman to head a remote sensing satellite project.
T.K. Anuradha, who headed the communication satellite GSAT-12 programme, is the first woman ever to have been the satellite project director at ISRO.
At the macro level, ISRO has three satellite programmes: geo-stationary, remote sensing and small/experimental satellites. The geo-stationary satellites are largely communication satellites used for telecommunications, television broadcasting, internet and other purposes, while remote sensing or earth observation satellites send back pictures and other data for use.
Holding a masters degree in engineering from the famed Anna University here, Valarmathi joined ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore in 1984.
“I joined ISRO at a time when it was immersed in several exciting projects,” she said.
Valarmathi has worked in satellite projects like Insat 2A, IRS IC, IRS ID, TES and finally Risat.
Wife of a banker G. Vasudevan and mother of two – a son and daughter, Valarmathi got involved in Risat-1 project in 2002 and worked in capacities like deputy project director and associate project director before she got elevated as the project director last August.
“The position had higher responsibility and challenges,” she said.
According to her, Risat-1 was first of its kind satellite for the ISRO and it called for additional effort in building the same.
“The project depended on deliverables from other ISRO centres. Accommodation of components for satellite needed periodical reviews and almost all the events were new,” she said while thanking her team as well as other ISRO officials for the success of launch mission.
She does not agree the project got inordinately delayed or it got speeded up after a point.
“From the beginning the project progressed at a good pace,” remarked Valarmathi who loves nature and reading books.
Queried about her next project, she said the Risat-1 work is not all over as she has to ensure the picture clarity and fine tuning the systems if needed.
“There will be several Risats working in various bands,” said Valarmathi.
With 12 remote sensing/earth observation satellites orbiting in space, India has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites in the world providing imagery in a variety of resolutions from more than a metre ranging up to 500 metres. The data makes India a major player in vending such data in the global market.
The 12 satellites are TES, Resourcesat 1, Cartosat 1, 2, 2A and 2B, IMS 1, Risat-2, Oceansat 2, Resourcesat-2, and Megha-Tropiques and Risat-1.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 04:59 PM PDT
Efforts for the release of Menon, the Sukma collector, picked up pace with the mediators appointed by the Maoists reaching Raipur to meet the government’s negotiators. Some of the tension was relieved after Left leader Manish Kunjam, who delivered the urgently needed asthma medicines to him, said he was “fine and safe”.
Menon, a 2006 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was abducted at gunpoint April 21 by rebels from a forested location, while he was interacting with tribals. The Maoists shot dead his two guards who resisted his abduction.
Returning from the hideout where Menon is being held hostage, Kunjam said he could not meet the district collector but the medicines had reached him.
Kunjam, a Communist Party of India leader who had been appointed as mediator but had turned the offer down, had also met Menon’s wife Asha at the collector’s official residence in Sukma and briefed her about his health.
The Maoists then named former Bastar collector B.D. Sharma and Hyderabad professor G. Hargopal, who are expected to meet Nirmala Buch, former Madhya Pradesh chief secretary, and S.K. Mishra, former Chhattisgarh chief secretary, appointed as mediators by the Chhattisgarh government to negotiate the way forward.
The Maoists have essentially two demands – the release of eight jailed leaders and a freeze on Operation Green Hunt against them.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 03:58 PM PDT
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will now play the new role of a parliamentarian with President Pratibha Patil Thursday approving his nomination to the Rajya Sabha, along with that of renowned actor Rekha and businesswoman Anu Aga.
“The president has approved the nomination of Sachin Tendulkar, Rekha and Anu Aga to the Rajya Sabha,” Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Archana Datta told IANS.
The nomination of the three eminent personalities was approved by the president under rules that allow the nomination of 12 members to the upper house.
Tendulkar, who turned 39 Tuesday, had last month become the first batsman in cricket history to complete 100 international centuries. He scored his much awaited 100th international century in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh in March.
Acclaimed in the cricketing world for his batting prowess, his exploits in the game have brought laurels to the country.
The approval of Tendulkar’s Rajya Sabha nomination came on a day he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence.
Congress leaders said Gandhi was keen to greet the cricketer on his feat of scoring 100 international centuries.
Tendulkar’s nomination to Rajya Sabha came as a surprise as many of his admirers have been wanting him to be given Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award.
He is the first active cricketer to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Rekha will join ranks of Bollywood actors who have been members of the upper house including Shatrughan Sinha and Hema Malini.
Jaya Bachchan, another Bollywood actor of yesteryears, is currently in the upper house as a member of Samjawadi Party.
Rekha was one of the top heroines of Hindi films and has won several national awards for sensitive and memorable portrayals in her films.
Film personalities who were nominated to the upper house in the past include Vyjayantimala, Nargis Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar and Sivaji Ganesan.
Aga, former chairperson of Thermax Industries and a member of the Sonia Gandhi led National Advisory Council, is a social worker.
She has written extensively on corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, women empowerment and valuing diversity in India.
Since her retirement, Aga has chosen to focus on education for the underprivileged.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 12:35 PM PDT
Post Sachin’s Nomination for Rajya Sabha and his meet with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, over thousand of Twitter users worldwide have expressed their unhappiness over this move. Many users complained of him getting closer to Congress while others wanted him to remain out of Politics.
A Campaign titled #unfollowsachin was trending on top worldwide with Tweeples urging to Unfollow him on Twitter.
One user Tweeted,
Some say that it just proves people hate Congress more than they Sachin.
There has been moderate comments though. Another user tweeted, Nothing wrong in
A girl named Smriti says,
Kiran Kumar tweets, Why are tweeple tweeting
This means a lot when looked holistically. The image of UPA has drowned heavily among Internet users and they could not spare all time Favorite Sachin for getting closer to Congress even for a namesake. Who remembered that he is God of Cricket?
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 06:43 AM PDT
Microsoft India has been adjudged by HR services company Randstad as the “Most attractive employer” for the second straight year.
Oracle India and Tata Consultancy Services have been ranked by the Randstad Award 2012 at close second and third positions.
The Randstad award was announced after a survey was conducted among 8,500 respondents from over 150 biggest employers in the country to find India’s most attractive employer brand. The research was conducted by the global research agency, ICMA International.
“With more and more global companies entering the Indian market, we see a healthy competition in the country not only in establishing the brand but also in attracting the best skills to work for them,” said Randstad India managing director E. Balaji.
Randstad also awarded special recognition to Volkswagen India in the auto sector and Nokia India in the consumer durables industry.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 05:47 AM PDT
Indian companies operating in 40 American states have invested over $820 million in manufacturing facilities in the US, creating thousands of jobs, according to the 2012 India Business Forum (IBF) survey.
The survey “Indian Roots, American Soil: Adding Value to US Economy and Society”, released by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at a reception on Capitol Hill Wednesday, highlights the significant economic and social impact made by Indian companies on American communities.
The reception was attended among others by the four co-chairs of the India Caucus on the Senate and House side: Senator John Cornyn, Senator Mark Warner, Congressman Joseph Crowley and Congressman Ed Royce.
“The rapidly expanding India-US trade and economic engagement provides a key underpinning to the strategic partnership between our two countries,” said Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to the US.
“Our aim, through the India Business Forum, is to highlight the range and depth of Indian investments in the United States and also to try and dispel some of the misconceptions associated with Indian companies,” said Sandhya Satwadi, director and head, CII.
* 70 percent of surveyed companies have increased the number of employees since 2005, despite the US economic downturn;
* More than 34 percent of the surveyed companies have established manufacturing facilities in the US, investing more than $820 million in those facilities;
* Since 2005, the surveyed companies have collectively conducted 72 mergers and acquisitions in the US, saving, creating and sustaining thousands of jobs;
* Their collective revenues for 2010-2011 were more than $23 billion
* Projected research and development investments of the surveyed companies are estimated to be over $190 million in 2012 alone; and
* Nearly 65 percent of companies surveyed engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives,
* These include programmes that support 27 universities, community colleges and high schools in developing curriculum, establishing training programmes and encouraging Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) education.
CII’s survey respondents, consisting of 36 Indian companies, represent sectors including education, financial services, healthcare pharmaceuticals and life sciences, information technology, manufacturing, media and telecommunications.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 05:38 AM PDT
The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) is working on a mechanism that would enable experts from top educational institutes to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) improve their managerial skills and unleash innovations.
“We are trying to work out a mechanism to enable experts from top academic institutions such as IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) help Indian MSMEs become more competitive through improvement of their managerial skills, development of better quality products and become more innovative,” said Ajay Shankar, member secretary, NMCC.
Shankar was inaugurating the Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC) which will help micro, small and medium enterprises protect their innovations, inventions and designs through patents and copyrights.
The centre has been established by the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) as part of the mandate given to it by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises under the National Competitiveness Programme.
This is the third such centre established by FISME after those already operational in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
“The IPFCs being established by FISME will not only offer the services mandated by the Ministry of MSME such as registration of patents, trademarks etc. but also a few additional services such as IP audit, IP management systems and an IP exchange in a bid to offer a complete business model for MSMEs,” said V.K. Agarwal, president, FISME.
MSMEs constitute contribute more than 50 percent of India’s manufacturing output and employ nearly 90 percent of the manufacturing workforce.
They also account for nearly 40 percent of India’s gross domestic product and 45 percent of the country’s exports.
Shankar said innovation and better IP management of MSMEs was critical for the National Manufacturing Policy to succeed leading to an increase in the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP and creation of additional jobs.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 04:44 AM PDT
India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2, slated for 2014, will have to wait till the country’s space agency flies two of its heavy rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) – successfully, a top official said Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after the successful launch of indigenously built Radar Imaging Satellite I (Risat-1) from here, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said: “We plan to fly two GSLV rockets at an interval of six months before the Chandrayaan-2 mission.”
India’s first unmanned moon mission, Chandrayaan-1, was launched in 2008. The country has planned its second moon mission along with Russia.
The one major concern for ISRO now is getting ready the GSLV rocket which failed successively in 2010, thereby setting back many of the space agency’s plans.
According to Radhakrishnan, the space agency is in the process of getting its cryogenic engine ready to power the GSLV.
The one GSLV rocket fitted with an ISRO made cryogenic engine failed in 2010 due to the failure of an engine component. He said two major ground tests of the cryogenic engine are being done.
“We are planning a GSLV launch with Indian cryogenic engine during September/October 2012,” Radhakrishnan remarked.
He said the space agency will revert to a smaller heat shield (3.4 metre) for the rocket as against the four-metre heat shield fitted in the GSLV rocket that failed in 2010.
The Russians had earlier pointed out that the bigger heat shield was the probable reason for the GSLV’s instability during its flight in December 2010.
Speaking about the status of GSLV Mark III, the upgraded variant of GSLV, Radhakrishnan said the rocket would have high power cryogenic engine. The engine’s various subsystems also have to be tested, which would take a couple of years.
He said an experimental flight of GSLV Mark III without the cryogenic engine is planned during 2012-13 to test the rocket’s other parameters.
Refuting the charge that ISRO was not fully utilizing the funds allocated to it, Radhakrishnan said the agency had spent Rs.20,000 crore during the Eleventh Plan period as against Rs.13,000 crore spent during the previous plan period.
But he agreed that ISRO had not utilized the amount it got last fiscal in full.
“A large portion the money remaining unspent was drawn for the purchase of around six to eight cryogenic engines from Russia after failure of the indigenously built cryogenic engine during a flight,” Radhakrishnan said.
On cost of Risat-1 mission, he said the rocket (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the satellite cost Rs.110 crore and Rs.378 crore respectively.
He said Indian users can now use Risat-1′s images instead of sourcing these from Canada.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 03:39 AM PDT
The 30.8-hectare theme park, located in Iskandar Malaysia, was 75 percent complete, said Siegfried Boerst, Legoland Malaysia general manager.
The contractors would begin installing the 50 million Lego bricks and models next month, he was quoted as saying.
Legoland Malaysia is the sixth Legoland theme park in the world, after those in Denmark, Britain, Germany, and Florida and California in the US.
It was scheduled to open by the end of this year, but Boerst said the theme park would be opened ahead of schedule by a couple of months, reported Xinhua.
The park, with seven special themes — Lego kingdom, imagination, land of adventure, lego technic, the beginning, lego city and miniland — is designed for families with children from two to 12 years of old. It will feature more than 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions.
Posted: 26 Apr 2012 02:35 AM PDT
She will endorse a slew of Chaze’s mobile handsets. As part of her association, Sunny recently completed her first television commercial for the brand, and shot for it in Bangkok.
“I am really impressed by their ideology of bringing out mobile technology for the masses and personally feel connected with their vision,” said the 30-year-old.
The Punjabi-origin actress, whose real name is Karen Malhotra, became popular in India after her stint on the fifth season of reality show “Bigg Boss”. During the show, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt offered her “Jism 2″, and she accepted it.
The movie, a sequel to 2003 film “Jism”, is being directed by Pooja Bhatt. It also features Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh.
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