Monthly Archives: July 2012

Power failure in North India…

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission issued an order on July 30 to curb overdrawing by Northern Grid member states.

-All heads of State Power Transmission Companies of Northern Grid summoned on August 14.

-The states who have been held responsible for maximum over-drawing are Uttar Pradesh (average daily over-drawing by 26 million units), Haryana (average daily over-drawing by 13 million units), Punjab (average daily over-drawing by 5.2 million units).

– Chaos on roads in Delhi with the metro rails and the traffic lights not working.

– Additional Secretary, Power, has reached the Power Monitoring Centre.

– LNJP Hospital in Delhi says they are not facing any powercut at the moment. Other hospitals like AIIMS and Safdarjung say they have enough power back up for the time being.

– Power grid statement says all essential services will be restored in next two hours.

– Narora Atomic Power Station in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh is the only power plant that is working.

– Air services unaffected, flights on time from Delhi.

– DMRC officials have also asked government if hydel project in Bhutan can be used again today to run essential services.

– WB Power Secretary says no power likely till late night.

– Bokaro steel plant will have to be shut down if the power crisis continues.

– CPRO Northern Railways says alternative arrangements like diesel power are being considered.

– CPRO Northern Railways says about 100 trains are affected. Worst affected sections include the Ambala-Palwal and the Ghaziabad-Mugalsarai sections.

– 100 Megawatt of emergency power is being given to VVIP areas.

– Hospitals across the north and east in darkness. All government hospitals have switched to in-house power back-up. ICUs can be operated comfortably for few hours at least.

For the second time in two days, half of India plunged into darkness after the Northern and the Eastern Grids collapsed, affecting all seven states in the north and the states of Sikkim, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand in the east.The Delhi Metro Rail services ground to a complete halt, while 75 trains of the Northern Railway were affected. Nearly 125 of them are held up between the Ghaziabad and Muhgalsarai Division. Additionally, the North Western Railway and the North Central Railway are said to be affected.Entire north India had plunged into the worst power crisis in a decade on Monday throwing normal life out of gear for several hours in eight states due to collapse of the Northern Grid.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in current affairs, India


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Media fuss in Team Anna’s protest.

Team Anna on Tuesday appealed their supporters to carry protest in a non-violent way. They also asked the crowd to leave it on media whether they cover the Jantar Mantar protest or not. “Our protest should not worry about it. It is up to media how to cover and if they want to give coverage and what they want to say. Our fight is against corruption,” they said. They clarified its position on the attack on media by the Anna Hazare supporters. “We condemn attack on media. We have not come here to fight with anyone. Please refrain from any kind of misbehavior,” Team Anna member Sanjay Singh told reporters on Tuesday.

Day 3 of Anna Hazare’s fast began with his supporters at Jantar Mantar shouting anti-media slogans, even as the anti-corruption activist and his team were yet to take the stage. People shouted slogans like, “Na media se na sarkar se, desh chalta hai janta se (a country is run by its people and not the media or the government).” This came a day after mediapersons were heckled by people at Anna’s fast venue on Monday. Team Anna is coming under fire not just from the government but also for targeting the police and the media as well. Meanwhile, the Broadcast Editors’ Association has demanded an apology for reporters being heckled at Jantar Mantar. On the second day of Anna’s fast on Monday, senior Team Anna members accused media houses of bias.Within seconds, almost on cue, scores of Anna supporters at Jantar Mantar started heckling the media persons gathered there. It was clear that Team Anna is now blaming the media for their misfortunes, the same media that they had used in the past to build mass support.The Broadcast Editors’ Association has reacted sharply with a statement which says, “We strongly condemn the attack on media by Anna supporters. The BEA believes that this is an interference in the functioning of the media. The media is discharging its legitimate duty of covering the agitation in a fair manner. The BEA seeks an immediate apology from Team Anna for the misbehaviour.”

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in current affairs, India


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Chidambaram as India’s FM ? ? ?

In a Cabinet reshuffle likely this weekend, P Chidambaram will be made the Finance Minister and the current Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, is likely to take over as the new Home Minister. Shinde is also likely to be made the UPA Leader in Lok Sabha. Another major reshuffle is further expected after the monsoon session of Parliament in September.The post of the Finance Minister was left empty after Pranab Mukherjee resigned from the post ahead of the Presidential election.While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handled the office temporarily, there are predictions that Chidambaram will be made FM.

Chidambaram has held the Finance Ministry twice. Chidambaram’s appointment as the head of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on telecom is also an indication that government is willing to take on the opposition.Sources add that this is the only change being contemplated for now.Shinde is likely to become the Leader of the Lok Sabha. In the recent past, some Congress members had written to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi requesting that Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi be made the Leader of the Lok Sabha.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also indicated a Cabinet reshuffle in June when the UPA nominated Pranab Mukherjee for the President’s post, but he was silent on the timing then.



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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in current affairs, India


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Growth stimulation policies required for India: Amartya Sen

Nobel laureate and Bharat Ratna, professor Amartya Sen is a votary of the Food Security Act. However, when I asked whether he is proposing fiscal deficit to find the money for food security, he said “no”.I am not recommending that. I think we have to cut fuel subsidy. We have to cut even fertilizer subsidy. So the key thing he says is more taxes and fewer subsidies on what he thinks are moneys going to people who already have. Take that money provides food security,” he said.

 India, of course, is not alone in this drop, he highlighted. It has dropped absolutely everywhere. For example, Sen said, Brazil, which competes closely with India and had a growth rate of 0.8% last year, if you take the whole year, it’s more like 6.5%. That makes the gap between China and India much as same as it was before because Chinese (growth) has dropped too. So you have to put it on the context. There is a global slowdown and it is certainly part of the problem in India.But that’s not an adequate answer, he said. “It is an important answer, but you have to look at other things. The second point I would say that there are need for growth stimulation policies.” I don’t think one could think about growth being on an autopilot — you have to work for it and see what are the ways of: a) producing more incentives and b) providing the resources that are needed for economic growth. It is not just a question of Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) interest policy and so on. It is also question of the physical infrastructure, which is very underdeveloped in India and hurts in all kinds of ways. There is also the social infrastructure, particularly education. I am concerned primarily with its well being.

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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in current affairs, India


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“Ybrant Digital”: From e-Greetings to e-Branding!

In 1999, it(Ybrant Digital) started up and right one year down the line, in 2000 with the dotcom bust it are on the edge of a sinking industry. For the startup, the once-upon-a bright industry was all but a ruined heap with fleeing advertisers and all that was expected was a complete shutdown. The team stood to be among the last men on the row still clinging on to the domain scouting for the one opportunity to click big. Name changed, headquarters shifted, portfolio differed with new tactics for growth and recently, the company, Ybrant Digital has announced its fourth round of venture capital funding.

The founders Suresh Reddy and Vijay Kancharla saw the trend. Right before the crash, firms were quite bullish on online branding, wherein the pay was as per clicks. But soon the ad networks, who ensures varied digital marketing, shifted from pay per clicks mode to pay per leads, as the clients demanded performance driven digital branding. In return the ad networks demanded technology to monitor the various processes to understand the clicking-trend for any particular ad to ensure targeted advertisement reaches out to the right group. For instance, the ads that appear on the right in Google related to the word that you have just searched. Then they(founders of Ybrant Digital) developed the first e-marketing product, changing gears from a greeting card firm to an e-branding technology provider. This wasn’t enough to grow and the acquisitions began to be a complete digital marketing player. In fact the initial acquisitions were their own clients. Their acquisition strategy continued with each round of funding. Today, they are handy at playing in different fields whether it’s the pop up ads – the ads you can see Firefox conveniently blocking everytime you click on a website, the ads in social network or the email ads and the ads on your mobile. Ybrant Digital is on a rapid expansion phase. The recent funding will come to an aid on all its growth plans – both organic and inorganic.


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All about “”OLYMPICS””

All eyes turn to London on Friday for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, an exuberant journey from Britain’s idyllic pastures through the grime of the Industrial Revolution and ending in a contemporary world dominated by popular culture.The three-hour showcase created by Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle will be watched by a crowd of 60,000 in the main stadium and a global audience of more than a billion.Spectators will be urged to join in sing-a-longs and help create spectacular visual scenes at an event that sets the tone for the sporting extravaganza, when 16,000 athletes from 204 countries share the thrill of victory and despair of defeat with 11 million visitors.The Games will also answer the question on Britons’ lips — were seven years of planning, construction and disruptions, and a price tag of $14 billion during one of the country’s worst recessions, actually worth it?Media coverage in the last few weeks has been dominated by security firm G4S’s admission that it could not provide enough guards for Olympic venues, meaning thousands of extra soldiers had to be deployed at the last minute, despite its multi-million-dollar contract from the government.

Heavy traffic in central London and severe delays on Britain’s creaking train system have added to the grumbling.A diplomatic faux pas on Wednesday, when the flag of South Korea appeared at a women’s soccer match between North Korea and Colombia, prompted North Korea’s players to walk off the pitch and delayed kick-off by more than an hour.A series of doping scandals have also tarnished the Games’ image in the buildup, with at least 11 athletes banned so far, and Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou became the Olympics’ first “twitter victim” when she was withdrawn from the team over tweeted comments deemed racist. All of that is likely to be forgotten as attention around the globe turns to the opening ceremony.Stirring music from Britain’s past and present provides the soundtrack, which comes to the fore in the final phase, a psychedelic celebration of pop culture including songs, sitcoms and cinema classics. There are still plenty of secrets, including who will have the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron, although soccer player David Beckham and popular royal Prince William have been reported as possible torch bearers.William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth will be in the crowd, along with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and a host of dignitaries and celebrities.The first main day of sport is Saturday, when Briton Mark Cavendish is favorite to win gold in the road race in what would be the perfect start for the home nation.Britain’s hopes are high overall after a successful Games in Beijing, although the United States, China and Russia could dominate the medals table yet again.



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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in current affairs


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Strange occurrences on Greenland: NASA reports

For a few days this month, NASA’s images of the Greenland ice sheet turned red, indicating that for a while, almost the entire surface of the vast frozen island was melting.The big melt in Greenland is part of an overall picture of an unusually warm season across the Arctic, with much of the sea route from Western Europe to the Pacific as free of ice in July as it normally would be by summer’s end.On an average summer, about half of Greenland’s surface ice melts, according to NASA. This summer, satellites showed about 97% of the ice sheet thawed at some point in mid-July.On July 8, there was a big white area in the middle of the image, indicating that 40% of Greenland’s surface had thawed; by July 12, virtually the whole island was pictured as red, showing widespread defrosting.This kind of comprehensive surface melting might happen about every 150 years or so in Greenland, which would make this year unusual but not unprecedented.

However, most of the previous events were clustered around a period 7,000 years ago known as the Holocene Thermal Maximum, when variations in the sun’s tilt on its axis sent more sunshine to extreme northern latitudes, warming them up.There is no such solar tilt going on now, but the melt is occurring just the same. The NASA report, released Tuesday, followed a report last week that showed Greenland’s Petermann Glacier breaking off an iceberg almost twice the size of Manhattan, or 70 square miles (181 square kms). The sea ice across much of the Arctic is in a “sorry state” – thinning, with Swiss-cheese-like holes that can be seen in high-resolution satellite images.When Greenland’s land-based ice sheet melts, it can have an effect on sea levels. When the sea ice across the Arctic melts, it has little impact on sea levels but a powerful impact on weather in the Northern Hemisphere, leading some climatologists to call the Arctic Earth’s air conditioner.Right now, Arctic sea ice is at the extreme low end of the satellite record for this time of year, and on track to be similar to 2007, when Arctic ice shrank to its smallest size in the satellite record and probably the smallest size in hundreds of years.Satellites started monitoring the Arctic in 1979; ship and aerial observation before that provides an accurate record for the last 60 years or so. To check on ice cover before that, scientists examine ice cores and other evidence.The so-called Northwest Passage, a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific that winds through the Arctic, first opened up in 2007.However, the passage eastward from the North Atlantic to the Pacific shows open water as far north as it would normally be during September, typically the month when Arctic sea ice hits its low ebb.

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in current affairs


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