Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
According to the Cenovis Chill Pill Survey released on Monday, 63 percent of respondents agreed that social media is contributing to stress levels.
About 37 percent of these people feel under pressure to be in constant contact, and 35 percent said there is an expectation to respond quickly to messages.
Thirteen percent of stressed users said they feel pressure to be humorous in writing status updates on social media, such as Facebook."
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
India becomes the 6th country in the world to have 20 Operational Nuclear Reactors. India’s 20th nuclear power plant today became operational here taking the total installed atomic power capacity in the country to 4780 MW.
The indigenously-developed 220 MW capacity Unit 4 of the Kaiga Atomic Power Station attained criticality at 8.07.22 a.m. making India the sixth country in the world to have 20 or more nuclear power plants in operation.
A nuclear reactor is said to have attained criticality when it is ready to maintain stability of the chain reaction indicating that the unit is has achieved a steady output of power.
The Kaiga-4 was built a few years ago but was unable to start power production for want of fuel.
India’s exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group guidelines in 2008 that facilitated its return to global nuclear trade made the access to fuel possible.
The announcement of Kaiga-4 attaining criticality was made by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee in the presence of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) Chairman—cum—Managing Director Shreyans Kumar Jain and a number of senior officials at the plant site.
“I announce that Unit 4 has attained criticality,” said Mr. Banerjee. He said that it would be the endeavour of the department to ensure that the new unit is connected with the grid as early as possible which could be followed by commercial production of power.
The Kaiga Unit 4 will now undergo a series of checks from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) before being synchronised with the grid. The commercial production will begin thereafter.
The entire processes -- from criticality to commercial production takes -- about two months.
Three units of 220 MW each are already generating electricity at the Kaiga nuclear station at about 60 per cent of their capacity.
Kaiga is NPCIL’s sixth nuclear power plant site.
The third unit at Kaiga attained criticality in February 2007 in less than five years of first pouring of concrete.
Kaiga 1 and 2 had attained criticality in 2000.
Kaiga 4 has raised the installed capacity at the power station here to 880 MW, the third largest site of NPCIL after Tarapur and Rawatbhata.
Presently, India produces 568 billion units of electricity and of that 23 per cent is from hydro—power, 64 per cent from thermal power, 10 per cent by non-conventional methods and only three per cent by the nuclear power.
An advanced communication satellite HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite) built by ISRO on a commercial basis in partnership with EADS-Astrium of Europe, was successfully launched today, November 27, 2010 at 00.09 hours Indian Standard Time (IST) by the European Ariane-5 V198 launch vehicle. The launch took place from the Guyana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guyana.
35 minutes after its lift-off, HYLAS separated from Ariane-5 launch vehicle after reaching its intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka successfully received radio signals transmitted by HYLAS and the satellite's health is normal.
HYLAS satellite developed for Avanti Communications, UK consists of ten high power transponders that use eight in Ka and two in Ku band frequencies. The satellite is designed to deliver high-speed broadband services through its spot beams over Europe. The satellite is expected to be operated from 33.5 deg. W longitude for European coverage.
The contract for building of satellite was won in the year 2006 after competing along other leading manufacturers of USA and Europe through the strategic alliance worked out between Antrix/ISRO and M/s. EADS Astrium of France. The alliance was formed to jointly develop communication satellites with ISRO platforms and Astrium payloads and market them internationally.
Astrium had the responsibility for overall program management and delivery of the communications payload and Antrix/ISRO provided the satellite bus and also performed the satellite integration and testing at ISRO's facility in Bangalore. HYLAS satellite weighing 2541 kg at lift-off is the heaviest satellite built by ISRO for I-2K bus capable of operating for over 15 years mission life as demanded by the customer. The satellite's solar panels generate a maximum of about 3200 Watts of power.
Antrix/ISRO is also responsible for the post launch operations of HYLAS, which are being conducted from the Master Control Facility, Hassan. The operations include firing of the satellite's Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in three phases to place the satellite in geostationary orbit. The first firing of LAM is scheduled for the early hours of November 28, 2010.
The only magic I’ve found in designing compelling social products that have the best shot at breaking through the noise and capturing people’s time and money is in being extremely clear on how your social product meets a few key design principles."
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
41st International Film Festival begins at Goa, National Film Bazaar Opens on the Sidelines of IFFI, 2010
The ten day 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) shall commence on 22nd Nov. 2010 at Goa. This year’s festival shall feature important changes. The Competition Section has been made open to all feature films from across the world. Earlier, this section was restricted to feature films from Asia, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. 18 films (15 foreign and 3 Indian) feature films have been short listed for participation.
Another key change in this year’s festival is the introduction of new awards viz., Best Actor and Best Actress under Competition Section. The Best Film would be awarded Golden Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.40 lakh, the Best Director would be awarded Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.15 lakh, Best Actor would be given a Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.10 lakh, Best Actress would be given a Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.10 lakh, Special Jury Award given a Silver Peacock and given a Prize money of Rs.15 lakh.
The Indian panorama shall feature 26 feature films, these include Achin Paakhi, Abohomaan, Maner Manush, Ami Aadu (Bengali), Three Idiots, Wake-up-Sid, Paa (Hindi), Kaal Chilambu (Malayalam), Ravanan (Tamil), Me Sindhuthai Sapkal (Marathi) which is the opening film of the Panorama, Shabari (Kannada), Swamyamsiddha (Odiya). There will be 21 Non-Feature Films showcased in the Indian Panorama. “Leaving Home” will be the opening film for the Non feature film category.
Another key aspect of the festival will be the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Film & Television Institute of India. Five non feature films curated by the institute will be screened. As part of the celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee of Odiya Cinema, five Odiya films will be screened during the festival. There will also be screening of two films associated with the work of the ‘Dada Saheb Phalke Awardees’ namely Shri V.K. Murti and Shri D. Ramanaidu. Apart from the above, birth centenary of luminaries of Indian Cinema which include Shri Ashok Kumar shall be observed with the screening of their films.
As part of the festival, a special screening of India’s Oscar entry ‘Peepli Live’ in the presence of important cast and crew members is also scheduled. A key highlight of the festival pertains to the foreign section participation during the festival. There will be a Cannes Kaledioscope 2010, a comprehensive package of films that made into Cannes this year. The films include ‘Film Socialism’ by Jean Lun Godard. There will also be a package of ten Iranian films with high aesthetic content to be represented by respective film makers, cast and crew members. Amongst the retrospectives scheduled for prominent film makers, the list includes Jan Jakub Kolski Retrospective, Jim Jarmusch Restrospective, Michael Cacoyannis Retrospective and Mira Nair Retrospective.
The country focus during the festival shall be Sri Lanka, Taiwaenese New Wave Cinema and a section on Australian Indigenous Fiction Films. IFFI would also pay homage to the Iconic French film maker, Eric Rohmer, who passed away this year. Six of his films would be screened.
The ten day festival shall be inaugurated by Union Railway Minister Ms. Mamta Banerjee and the Chief Guest of the function will be the renowned film Producer and Director Shri Yash Chopra.
The 4th edition of Film Bazaar India 2010 of the National Film Development Corporation Ltd. (NFDC) was inaugurated here today on the sidelines of IFFI, 2010. The annual film market is designed to address the current needs of filmmakers and focuses on creating business opportunities for production studios and independent producers/film makers. The idea behind Film Bazaar is to provide a proficient stage for prospective buyers & sellers of film rights from India & abroad. The 4-day Film Bazaar India’ 10 will be held from 23rd to 26th November at Goa Marriott Resort.
This year for the 1st time Film Bazaar will organize industry screenings for film makers to show case their films to potential producers, distributors, agents, buyers and representatives of international film festivals. The state-of-the-art screening facility will have multiple screens of 12-seater theatres and will be have Digital and 3D compatible projection to portray their work in its complete essence. This will also help the international buyers to make informed & quick decisions on the various projects they are interested in. The theatres have been set-up in collaboration with UFO Moviez.
With an aim to continue the age old tradition of improving trade relations between the SAARC nations, NFDC has invited projects from these countries this year. The objective behind this is to present a window for film makers from these countries to various buyers and sellers from all around the world. For the very first time film projects from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka will be part of Film Bazaar 2010.
The other highlights at the Bazaar this time include Masterclass with acclaimed Turkish – German filmmaker Fatih Akin (Introduction by Anurag Kashyap) and also a Screenwriters Lab where a 2 part screenwriters’ workshop for writing and selling original Indian screenplays will be held. The Co-production Market will offer selected filmmakers the opportunity to present their feature film projects to co-producers, bankers, sales agents, and other potential financiers from India and abroad. The Prime Exchange will initiate market exchange between India and Europe in the field of Film and TV Production. The Bazaar will also see Work in Progress Lab which is held for feature films at a rough cut stage, whose makers are seeking feedback from experienced film professionals to better understand how their work will be received by the international market and maximize the potential of these in film festivals and international markets and
In the Knowledge Series, NFDC presents case studies and presentations by industry experts. Leading Indian & international producers, distributors, buyers attending this year’s Film Bazaar include prominent international buyers and sales agents such as Farabi Foundation (Iran), Cinetic Rights Management (USA), Fortissimo Films (UK), The Yellow Affair (Finland), Rapid Eye Movies (Germany), Wide Management (France), Railto, (Netherland), Hanway Films (UK) and Wild Bunch (France).
Festival Directors & representatives from the leading international film festivals like Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival & Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles will interact with the attendees of Film Bazaar.
Film Bazaar has grown and gained wide popularity since its inception in 2007. Last year, over 350 delegates from 22 countries had attended Film Bazaar.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A New Milestone for Aadhaar: Lakshmamma Becomes the 100,000th Resident to Receive the Aadhaar Number
Today, Lakshmamma from Tumkur, Karnataka has made history by receiving the 100,000th Aadhaar number. “Crossing one lakh enrolments in this short span of time is a welcome milestone for us,” Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the UIDAI, said. “And the credit for this goes far beyond the UIDAI team. A lot of people – state government officials, the enrolling agencies, as well as the UIDAI team, its TDU (Technology Development Unit) , PMU (Project Management Unit), sabbatical resources and volunteers are working together, and put in substantial effort towards getting the enrolments done.”
On September 29th, 2010, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued the first Aadhaar number to Ms. Ranjna Sadashiv Sonwane, a tribal woman from Tembhali village in Nandurbar, Maharashtra by Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh. The issue of Aadhaar numbers to the residents of Tembhali marked the launch of the initiative, and the beginning of an ambitious operation to issue 600 million Aadhaar numbers in the next four years to Indians across the country.
Over these last six weeks, the UIDAI has rapidly ramped up enrolments for the Aadhaar number across seven states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Life Insurance Corporation of India and Indira Gandhi National Open University have also come on board as registrars for Aadhaar numbers, and have started enrolments. More registrars are expected to begin Aadhaar enrolments in the next few weeks.
Shri Nilekani said, “The emphasis in Aadhaar enrolment continues to be India’s poorest and marginalized residents.” Accordingly, Aadhaar enrolments have begun in rural areas across the seven states, and with the homeless in Delhi.
PM's address at the Inauguration of 150 years celebrations of the Institution of CAG of India, stresses on role of CAG in PPP
“I am very happy to participate in this inaugural function of the 150th year celebrations of the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General of India. This institution has served our country very well as an independent, competent and credible audit institution. I congratulate all those who have been associated with this institution for their solid achievements.
These are times of rapid change. In our country, a sustained period of high growth has brought about transformations as never before. It has also resulted in rising aspirations of our people. The additional resources that have become available because of higher growth have enabled our government to fund massive programmes in the social sectors in pursuit of our goal of inclusive growth. In Education, in Health, in Rural Development, outlays have been increased enormously in the last five years. All these factors place tremendous demands on our systems of governance and service delivery, which must need to change quickly to meet the new requirements of the situation. Traditional, time tested ways of doing things which lend credibility to an institution in the public eye, may prove inadequate in the face of rising aspirations and mounting pressure for quick and efficient delivery of public services. While those in government grapple with different and better ways of doing things, audit, with its vast experience and deep insight, can contribute significantly to revamping systems and procedures in government to meet the challenges of this 21st century. We look forward to the institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General for such advice and guidance in the years that lie ahead.
The importance of credible and effective accountability and oversight institutions cannot be over-emphasized. The global economic crisis that erupted in 2008 has served as a reminder to all of us of the need for such institutions. Let me take this opportunity to re-affirm our government’s commitment to strengthen the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General of India, as part of our broader efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the work of our Government. I am aware of the concerns regarding the inadequate and delayed response to the reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General. The Ministry of Finance has taken a number of initiatives which I hope will lead to an improvement in this area.
As I said earlier, in the last few years our government has allocated huge resources to bring about improvements in the delivery of basic services to our citizens, particularly those who are disadvantaged and underprivileged. But, merely expanding the outreach of programmes for employment generation, for education and for health is not enough. We must do better than in the past in implementing our schemes if we are to make a real dent in the problems of persistent poverty, ignorance and disease that still afflict millions of our countrymen. To be effective, the new or expanded schemes that are being implemented need to be carefully designed, monitored and evaluated. We therefore need a shift away from the emphasis on allocation and utilization of financial resources, which our processes of budgeting and accounting have come to reflect over the years. In the last few years we have made efforts to measure outcomes to judge the effectiveness of our development schemes. But we need to do much more in this area. The emphasis on outcomes need to become pervasive in our system. I am sure this would be receiving adequate attention in the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General.
Over the years, there has also been a feeling that we might benefit more if the focus of audit is not so much on minute, individual transactions but on big ticket items on which large sums of public money are expended. While the benefits of detailed, propriety audit cannot be under-estimated, perhaps, there is a case for allocating limited time and resources in a manner that big and systemic issues get due attention and we get much greater value for money spent. It might also be time to re-orient our approach so that auditors do not rest with pointing out deficiencies. Suggesting methods of doing things better and differently should be an integral part of the evolving process of audit. Audit being a continuous process, such suggestions would become, over time, an important and continuous source of effecting improvements.
I would also like to mention two developments which have altered the patterns of spending public money phenomena. The first is the progressive devolution of powers and resources to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. Though progress in this area can not be said to be satisfactory, we hope that in the years ahead the Panchayati Raj Institutions will be empowered much more with finances, functions and functionaries. The institutions of accountability therefore will have to realign their processes to reflect this new emerging reality. The other development is the increasing number of Public Private Partnership projects both in the Centre and in the States. The Central as well as many State governments have used this route successfully for impressive investments in the infrastructure projects. With time, Public Private Partnership will be increasingly used in diverse areas. There is, therefore, a need to improve the structure of Public Private Partnership arrangements to ensure that they are transparent, ensure adequate competitiveness and adequately safeguard the public interest. I expect that the Comptroller & Auditor General will play a leading role in ensuring that these new initiatives deliver as intended.
I believe that the Comptroller & Auditor General is an active member of the international community of public auditors and also the auditor of several United Nations agencies. These roles give the institution access to global best practices in governance, delivery of public services and accountability. Since the jurisdiction of the Comptroller & Auditor General extends to all the States of our Union, the institution also has an opportunity to get an insight into the reasons which make a programme more successful in some States than in others. Therefore, the organization is well positioned to act as an exchange house of solid good practices. I would urge that a system be developed so that this wealth of information and experience is shared on an institutionalized basis.
The reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General are taken very seriously by the media, by the public, by the government and by our Parliament. This casts a huge responsibility on the institution to ensure that its reports are accurate, balanced and fair. Very often, there is a very thin line between fair criticism and fault finding, between hazarding a guess and making a reasonable estimate, between a bonafide genuine error and a deliberate mistake. As an important watchdog in our democracy, it falls upon this institution to sift the wheat from the chaff, to distinguish between wrong-doing and genuine errors, to appreciate the context and circumstances of decision making processes. This requires a very high degree of professional skill and competence. The institution of Comptroller & Auditor General has acquitted itself very credibly in the past 150 years. However, times are changing and so are our needs. The institution will have therefore to further enhance its capabilities and its skills and re-orient itself to deliver results that our nation expects of it in the years that lie ahead.
In conclusion, I would once again like to acknowledge the immense contribution made by the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General and the Indian Audit & Accounts Service in ensuring accountability in the processes of government. I have great faith in this institution and I expect it to pay its rightful role in our efforts towards a prosperous and equitable future for our people. With these words, I wish the institution of Comptroller & Auditor General and its staff all the very best in the years to come. You have served our country with great distinction but I venture to suggest that the best is yet to come. With these words, I thank you all for listening to me patiently.”
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Newsunlimited.in launched on 10.10.10
We in the news media sometimes do okay in reporting on crises after they happen, but we make a lousy early-warning system. A story cautioning that something might happen just never gets traction. But I was just at an IRC press briefing on Sudan, and it was packed. It's great to see the news media looking ahead and hopefully sounding alarms as we approach the referendum and the risk of renewed war there.
The new tiger reserves include Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve, which used to be a hideout of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan. Talking about the efforts to conserve the endangered species, at a function in New Delhi, Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said that he hopes the tiger census will be released in two weeks. Claiming that he didn't have inside information about the tiger census, the Minister said good news about the tiger population is expected from the tiger reserves, including Kaziranga in Assam and Parambikkulam bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The other new reserves include B.R. Hills in Karnataka, two in Maharashtra, two tiger reserves in UP, including Pilibhit tiger reserve, and one each in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Ministry of Defence has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a detailed probe into the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam and fix responsibility for any lapses. Among other things, CBI has been asked to look into the circumstances under which No Objection Certificate (NOC) was issued and possession of the land in question was relinquished even though there was a deficiency of land for Army purposes in Mumbai. The CBI will also probe the extent to which the commitments for welfare of war widows/service personnel were complied with.
The Congress High Command on Tuesday moved in to cut any further loss of face by removing Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Suresh Kalmadi as secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the wake of embarrassing scams allegedly involving them.
Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi announced that Mr. Chavan has been asked by party chief Sonia Gandhi to step down.“Pending enquiry, his (Chavan’s) offer of resignation has been accepted. He has been asked to tender his resignation to Governor (K Sankaranarayanan),” he said in a statement.
Mr. Dwivedi also announced that the resignation of Mr. Kalmadi, who is in the eye of a storm following allegations of corruption in the Commonwealth Games, as Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party has been accepted with immediate effect.(PTI)
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
On the day before her phone interview with The Vancouver Sun, Dr. Christiane Northrup backed her car out of the construction zone that her Maine home had become and crashed into her contractor's vehicle, destroying both the contractor's bumper and her own and losing the use of her car for two weeks.The timing couldn't have been worse. She had a full day booked with a video crew and she had no time to spare. While many people would react with curses and a surge of adrenalin that would ruin their day, Northrup -- bestselling author, radio host, Oprah guest and physician for women -- interpreted the moment as a reminder to take a breath, slow down, and then be grateful she had mangled her bumper and not her leg, or worse."The car is symbolic of our mobility," she says. "So this was kind of a spiritual flat tire. Slow down; you don't have to do it all at once."This is classic Northrup, a Dartmouth-educated obstetrician/gynecologist who switched gears mid-life to promote women's health."The female body is not a lemon," she says. "The processes of the female body, the menstrual cycle, labour, breastfeeding, sexual response and menopause, are all imbued with wisdom that we can use to guide our lives."
more at vancouversun
It was unusually long introduction.Members of Girls’ Generation, Korea’s most popular girl group (at the moment), introduced themselves in four languages – Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese – at a news conference for foreign reporters to announce an international strategy. And with eight of the group’s nine members present, it took awhile to get started.“We are really focusing on languages these days because we want to be able to connect with our foreign fans and audience,” said Tiffany, a Korean-American. Continue reading at Korea Real Time.
more at wsj