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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

The long-pending joint venture between India and Russia to manufacture 200 Kamov-226T light-utility helicopters for around $1 billion (over Rs 6,500 crore) is now finally set to kick off. The JV is between defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics and Russian companies. Overall, the armed forces urgently need 484 light choppers to replace their obsolete single-engine Cheetah Chetak fleets. Under the agreement, the first 60 choppers will come from Russia, while the rest will be manufactured in India over nine years. The twin-engine Kamov-226Ts are multi-role helicopters. It can undertake reconnaissance, patrol and disaster relief opera... Read More...

  Jul 20, 2017   General Category

Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been solid for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they have the potential to release ancient viruses and bacteria that may be capable of springing back to life. The most recent discovery of an ancient virus came when French and Russian scientists investigated a 30,000-year-old piece of Siberian permafrost. Pithovirus In a paper published in 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists had discovered a new “giant virus” that they named Pithovirus sibericum. Giant viruses are so-called because they are much larger than traditional vir... Read More...

  Jul 19, 2017   General Category

The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has successfully tested lithium-ion batteries developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre for use in two- and three-wheelers, a development that is expected to provide a fillip to India’s electric vehicles (EV) push. Electric Vehicles (EV) programme The government is now planning to transfer the technology to companies for commercial production of these batteries, and will also set up a central agency to lead the country’s EV programme. India’s initiatives on solar ene... Read More...

  Jul 18, 2017   General Category

Despite a deep political and diplomatic partnership for decades, the Indo-Russian relationship is beginning to show early signs of stiffening. Ties between the two countries are overwhelmingly dependent on the sale and, in recent years, joint production of weapons systems. The only other area of cooperation that has reflected the “special and privileged” nature of the relationship is nuclear energy. Beyond this, the trade and investment relationship is virtually non-existent. Even in natural gas and oil, where flourishing trade should have existed given Russia’s abundant supply and India’s growing demand, very lit... Read More...

  Jul 16, 2017   General Category

  The rupee touched its highest level against the US dollar in 17 months recently. The Indian currency has rallied against the greenback since the beginning of this year. So have many other emerging market currencies despite the increases in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve. India has also in recent months seen strong capital inflows that have been in excess of what it required to fund a modest current account deficit. These capital inflows have pushed up the value of the domesti... Read More...

  Jul 15, 2017   General Category

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is one of the most prestigious services in the country and only a few people get a chance to enter it. Those who desire to be a part of this service and become a career diplomat needs to clear the Civil Services Examination (CSE) first. Why? After selection, candidates go through a gruelling training period during which they are taught various aspects of diplomacy. This process has been going on for decades, but it needs to change now. The reason being that diplomacy is not the job of a ‘generalist’, which anyone can try their hands at. It needs specialisation. A diplomat is ... Read More...

  Jul 14, 2017   General Category

The moisture, that is necessary for the sustenance of a crop or a vegetation species, can be best derived from knowledge of the moisture adequacy index. The moisture adequacy index is a true representative of moisture effectivity, thus, can be used in correlative studies of vegetation in relation to climate. The information on spatial and temporal availability of moisture adequacy index could be helpful for the optimum utilization of water resources. The MAI is prime factor for crop planning especially in tropics and varies both in time and space. MAI is worked out on the basis of average monthly rainfall. Droughts af... Read More...

  Jul 13, 2017   General Category

Operation Clean Money is to detect the generation of black money after demonetisation. Operation Clean Money, CBDT said, is being conducted by the tax department through the use of advanced data analytics allowing "optimisation of government resources and causing minimum inconvenience to the taxpayers. 2nd Phase The income-tax department has identified more than 60,000 persons, some of them described as "high-risk”, under the second phase of Operation Clean Money. Entities that will undergo "detailed investigations” as part of the next phase of the operation include businesses claiming cash sales as ... Read More...

  Jul 12, 2017   General Category

As the law enforcement agency of the government and the first point of contact in the criminal justice system, the police is critical for sound law and order, and a good quality of life. There is perceptible dissatisfaction with policing in India today. It is often argued that poor resourcing is part of the problem, and that the police require a higher quantum of budgetary allocations. Budgeting While the police need to be well-resourced, higher allocations by themselves are not enough. The structure of budgetary allocations can have a dis... Read More...

  Jul 11, 2017   General Category

The high volatility in fuel prices in the recent past and the resulting turbulence in energy markets has compelled many countries to look for alternate sources of energy, for both economic and environmental reasons. With growing public awareness about sanitation, and with increasing pressure on the government and urban local bodies to manage waste more efficiently, the Indian waste to energy sector is poised to grow at a rapid pace in the years to come. The dual pressing needs of waste management and reliable renewable energy source are creating attractive opportunities for investors and project developers in the waste to energy sector. ... Read More...

  Jul 09, 2017   General Category

  It is surprising to note that our Constitution is eerily silent on the manner of appointment of chief ministers by the governor when there is no clear majority by any of the contesting political parties. Equally overwhelming is its silence on the conduct of floor tests in assembly/Parliament. These deafening silences give the governors unyielding powers, the reasons for which can be found in the troubled history of colonial India, a flawed Constituent Assembly and the quasi-federal nature of the Indian Constitution.... Read More...

  Jul 08, 2017   General Category

The long-pending joint venture between India and Russia to manufacture 200 Kamov-226T light-utility helicopters for around $1 billion (over Rs 6,500 crore) is now finally set to kick off. The JV is between defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics and Russian companies. Overall, the armed forces urgently need 484 light choppers to replace their obsolete single-engine Cheetah Chetak fleets. Under the agreement, the first 60 choppers will come from Russia, while the rest will be manufactured in India over nine years. The twin-engine Kamov-226Ts are multi-role helicopters. It can undertake reconnaissance, patrol and disaster relief opera... Read More...

  Jul 07, 2017   General Category

The Wild Life Crime Control Bureau has been created under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.  The mandate includes collection, collation of intelligence and its dissemination, establishment of a centralized Wild Life crime databank , coordination of the actions of various enforcement authorities towards the implementation of the provisions of the Act, implementation of the international Conventions, capacity building for scientific and professional investigation, assistance to authorities in other countries for a coordinated universal action towards control of Wild Life crime and to advise the government on various policy and legal requirements. Read More...

  Jul 06, 2017   General Category

  A river in New Zealand has become the first in the world to be recognised as a living entity with the legal status of a person after a 170-year battle by the local Maori people. The nation’s parliament passed a bill to allow Whanganui River –known by the Maoris as Te Awa Tupua - to represent its own interests and advocate on its own behalf. The third-largest river in New Zealand, the Whanganui runs approximately 321 km from the interior mountains in the Hawkes Bay region of northern New Zealand, south until it me... Read More...

  Jul 05, 2017   General Category

The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is a simple graphical indicator that can be used to assess whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not. In an effort to monitor major fluctuations in vegetation and understand how they affect the environment, 35 years ago Earth scientists began using satellite remote sensors to measure and map the density of green vegetation over the Earth.  By carefully measuring the wavelengths and intensity of visible and near-infrared light reflected by the land surface back up into space, scientists use an algorithm called a "Vegetation Index" to quantify the concentrations of gr... Read More...

  Jul 04, 2017   General Category

Government has enlarged the definition of what constitutes a startup to a venture that's as much as seven years old from five now, relaxed the norms for tax benefits and included employment generation potential to give a big push to job creation and entrepreneurship. That's to account for the longer gestation period for companies in the sector. These changes are an effort to ensure ease of starting up new businesses to promote the startup ecosystem and build a nation of job creators instead of job seekers. The Startup India initiative launched in January 2016 offered incentives to such ventures to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. ... Read More...

  Jul 02, 2017   General Category

A chemical commonly found in hard plastics, currency bills and paper receipts, may increase the aggressiveness of breast cancer. Bisphenol S (BPS) may increase the aggressiveness of breast cancer as it is an endocrine-disrupting chemical, researchers say. Most breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive and, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, 55 to 65 % of women who inherit a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 gene will develop breast cancer. Read More...

  Jul 01, 2017   General Category

The GST will greatly improve a fractured tax system and help create an integrated Indian market. But to make the most of this bold innovation, the government has a lot more work to do. Current tax system Under the current tax system, different states impose separate levies as goods move across the country. Truckers spend hours idling at internal borders, filling out forms and awaiting inspection. Small and medium-sized companies prefer not to grow rather than have to deal with the administrative bur... Read More...

  Jun 30, 2017   General Category

India's "minimum credible nuclear deterrence" doctrine and "no first use" policy are based on the concept of deterrence by denial, rather than deterrence by punishment. Should deterrence ever break down, India will have to pay an enormous price for a nuclear first strike by an adversary before launching massive punitive retaliation. Nuclear doctrine has to be ultimately tested in the crucible of operational reality. Across the entire spectrum of conventional conflict, the first use of nuclear weapons by India does not make sound strategic sense. The real distinguishing feature of India's nuclear d... Read More...

  Jun 29, 2017   General Category

Researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a graphene-based sieve that can filter salt out of seawater, a development that could provide drinking water to millions of people around the globe. The applications could be a game-changer in countries where access to safe, clean, drinkable water is severely limited. About Graphene -- an ultra-thin sheet of carbon atoms organized in a hexagonal lattice -- was first identified at the University of Manchester in 2002 and has since been hailed as a "wonder material," with scientists ra... Read More...

  Jun 28, 2017   General Category