05 May, 2013

AWESOME: Cancer at One Rupee

AWESOME: Cancer at One Rupee: The Union Cabinet today approved the revised Food Security Bill   which proposes   food handouts   of 5 kg for every entitled person, or ...

10 April, 2013

Yamaha to Develop Cheapest Bike in India

Yamaha, the Japanese two-wheeler company on 9 April 2013 announced that it will soon roll out the cheapest motorcycle (more than 100cc) of the world in India. The price of this bike would be around 500 US dollar or 27000 Rupees approximately. The fifth global research and development centre for this will be established in Greater Noida, India. 

08 April, 2013

Wikileaks published More US Diplomatic Records

Wikileaks published more  US diplomatic and intelligence reports from the 1970s. Wikileaks stated that it was releasing the documents in searchable form. Most of the work has been done by the website's founder Julian Assange while he has been taking shelter at the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Assange took refuge in the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted in his involvement for sexually assaulting two female ex-Wikileaks supporters in 2010. He denied the allegations and stated that they are politically motivated and done with the objective of depopularising him and his whistle-blowing website.

Rajasthan Government launched Free Essential Diagnostic Tests Scheme

Rajasthan Government on the occasion of World Health Day on 7 April 2013 introduced the scheme of free essential diagnostic tests in government hospitals across the state. Under the launched scheme the medical investigations include 14 different tests of ECG, X-ray, clinical pathology, blood sugar, blood urea, Hb, complete urine test and others. 

The scheme is planned to be executed in three different phases and the second phase of the same scheme will be introduced on 1 July 2013, Doctor’s Day. The scheme in its second phase will also cover the community health centers and will offer facilities of free services for 28 different types of tests. 

The third phase is planned to be implemented from Independence Day, 15 August 2013 under the third phase 15 types of tests will be made free at Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and dispensaries.

06 April, 2013

Round the world in 80 days

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee with the Lt. Cdr. Abhilash Tomy of Indian Navy at the Ceremonial reception upon completion of solo, non-stop, voyage round the world, in Mumbai on April 06, 2013.

Indian Navy's Lt. Cdr.AbhilashTomy on Saturday became the first Indian to circumnavigate the earth in a sailboat - solo, non-stop and unassisted.

Tomy, a maritime reconnaissance pilot, arrived at the historic Gateway of India, to a rousing reception by school children and was a accorded a ceremonial welcome by President Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the supreme commander of Indian armed forces. 

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi, and Western Naval Command chief, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha were also present to receive Tomy. 

Tomy had set sail out of Mumbai on Nov 1, 2012 in the sail boat INSV Mhadei to undertake a voyage no Indian had attempted before. 

He said his voyage was a fulfilment of a 14-year-old dream and four years of hard preparation. He thanked his mentors Vice Admiral (retd.) MP Awati and Cdr. Dilip Donde and also the builders of INSV Mhadei - Ratnakar Dandekar of Goa. 

In 2009, Donde had also set to voyage around the earth in the same sailboat and had finished his circumnavigation in 276 days, but with four stops. Tomy's voyage had no stops. 

Congratulating Tomy on his achievement, Mukherjee said it will be a source of inspiration for future generations of young seafarers. 

"His epic voyage has placed our nation into the ranks of few select countries, whose citizens have been successful in braving such arduous voyage," he said. 

"Battling wave heights of 9-10 metres and wind speeds in excess of 100 kmph can be an extreme test of endurance. The solitude factor alone is such that being thousands of kms away from the nearest land, with very little chance of help coming by if something went wrong, requires courage, determination and grit of the highest order," he added. 

Tomy's voyage under the aegis of "Sagar Parikrima II" was of approx 22,000 nautical miles, crossing the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans by using sails and the power of the wind, without touching any port and without any outside assistance.

Sugar reform

The Government giving farmers and sugar mills the freedom to do what they want with their cane is the next logical step.

The Government has, finally, summoned up the courage to decontrol sugar, with mills being formally freed of the obligation to surrender a tenth of their output as ‘levy' for the public distribution system (PDS). Since this sugar was being impounded at about Rs 19 a kg, against average open market realisations of Rs 30, the levy abolition will generate additional revenues of Rs 2,700 crore, which until now mills were foregoing. The burden of subsidising PDS consumers will, henceforth, be wholly borne by the Government. Significantly, the Government has dropped the idea of imposing an additional excise duty to make up for the loss of levy sugar. Instead, States have been given the choice to procure their PDS sugar requirements from the market and sell through ration shops at the going rate of Rs 13.50 a kg. The Government will foot the entire price difference, assuming the States have the systems in place for procuring and distributing the sugar. Since most of them don't, the additional subsidy outgo may not work out all that much.
Apart from levy, the Government has also dispensed with the ‘release mechanism', under which it decides even how much of the balance 90 per cent non-levy sugar each mill can offload every month in the open market. By doing away with both levy and regulated releases, it has given mills the freedom to do what they want with their sugar – which is how it should be for any industry. So long as sugar is freely importable – the Government should resist any demand to raise customs duties – nobody can really object to the latest actions. On the contrary, the logical next step must be to allow mills as well as farmers to do what they want with their sugarcane. Mills presently are permitted to make alcohol only from molasses, which itself is subject to levy and movement controls to benefit the powerful country liquor lobby. Admittedly, it is the States that hold the key here. Nitish Kumar's Government in Bihar can probably take the lead in granting mills the flexibility to use the juice from their cane, whether for crystallising into sugar or fermenting into alcohol depending on relative price realisations. In doing so, he can turn Bihar into India's next sugar capital, even if it means sacrificing revenues from liquor in the short run.
The same goes for the powers of States in deciding which factory, and at what price, farmers in any particular area have to sell their cane to. This, too, should give place to a system where farmers can enter into contractual supply arrangements with mills of their choice. The very necessity for mills to secure assured cane supplies, and a similar desire among growers for reasonable price certainty while planting a one-year crop, will lead to mutually beneficial contracts. The States should, at best, have a role in overseeing and ensuring enforcement of these contracts.

Facebook HOME for Android Phones

Facebook on 4 April 2013 released the software called Home, which puts the feeds from Facebook on Android phones’ home screen. Software would become the wrapper for Android operating system. It will become the primary way of handling the phone. 

The images, messages as well as the notifications will be visible on the main screen of Android phones. Earlier, these were accessible through the downloadable application. 

The Home software of Facebook will conceal all other applications and will pipe the entire content as well as the chat performed through Facebook, on the home screen. The software will also alter the technique in which the messages and content is being swapped. By making use of the Home Software, the users will be able to respond to these messages or content by tapping the pop-up images (called chat heads), instead of opening the apps and searching through the menus. 

Home software will be available through Google's Play Store. It can be downloaded easily and will only be operational on the phones which run on Android 4.0 or higher versions. Facebook’s Home will be accessible from 12 April 2013 onwards on six devices, three of which are from HTC and three from Samsung. But as of now, only four devices are available. Rest of the two will be launched along with Facebook Home software. 

Initially, Home will only be available for the phones, but later it will also be developed for the tablets. Facebook figures suggested that the users spent around 25 percent time on handsets for looking at the feeds or chatting with their friends on Facebook. The fourth quarter earnings of Facebook also showcased that around 23 percent of revenue which came from advertising was available through the advertisements shown to the mobile users.

SOI filed compliant of violating the IPC of Mapping against Google

Delhi Police on 4 April 2013 launched an inquiry against the Internet Giant Google over its contest Mapathon 2013, following a complaint received by the Survey of India. The Mapathon contest was conducted by Google in February-March 2013.

As per the compliant from Survey of India (SOI), the activity of Mapathon 2013 violated the National Map Policy and likely jeopardizes the national security interest. The participants of the contest, being unaware of the law of the land would have violated the law.

A letter was also written to Google India’s Office by the Additional Surveyor-General of India R.C. Padhi asking the internet giant to stop its activity of map uploading, as the activity is against the Indian Policy Guidelines. Survey of India is the only body that has been provided, the power of mapping and surveying the nation.

The Preamble of the National Map Policy, 2005 states that, the responsibility for producing, maintaining and disseminating the topographic map database of the whole country, which is the foundation of all spatial data vests with the Survey of India.

Mapathon 2013 Contest

Mapathon 2013 was a contest created by Google in which it asked the Indian Citizens to map their neighbourhood and send the same to Google for being uploaded on the search engines. Rewards to the 1000 best entries were also announced by Google. The contest was conducted from 12 February to 25 March 2013.
Terms and Conditions Mentioned in the Mapathon 2013 Contest

The Mapathon 2013 clearly mentioned in its terms and conditions that the individuals themselves were responsible for their submissions and consequences that may arise after the maps and content provided by them were posted on the search engines.

This exercise of the individuals directly lands the individuals into trouble for violating the law of the land, unknowingly – if they map some restricted areas that may hamper the security of the nation.

02 April, 2013

Aruna Shanbaug EUTHANASIA case

Aruna Shanbaug  is a former nurse at KEM Hospital (mumbai). In 1973, while working as a junior nurse at KEM Hospital,Parel (MUMBAI), she was sexually assaulted by a ward boy, and has been in a vegetative state since the assault. On 24 January 2011, after she had been in this status for 37 years, the Supreme cort of india responded to the plea for euthanasia filed by Aruna's friend, by setting up a medical panel to examine her. The court turned down the mercy killing petition on 7 March 2011. However in its landmark judgment, it allowed passive euthanasia in India.

Attack and trial

Aruna was planning to get married to a medic in the hospital.

On the night of 27 November 1973, Shanbaug was sexually assaulted by a sweeper on contract at the King Edward Memorial Hospital. He attacked her and choked her with a dog chain and sodomized her. The asphyxiation cut off oxygen supply to her brain, resulting in brain stem contusion injury and cervical cord injury apart from leaving her cortically blind.

The police case was registered as a case of robbery and attempted murder on account of the concealment of anal rape by the doctors under the instructions of the Dean of KEM, perhaps to avoid the social rejection of the victim,and her impending marriage.

Nurses' strike

Following the attack, nurses in Mumbai went on strike demanding improved conditions for Shanbaug and better working conditions for themselves.In the 1980s the BMC made two attempts to move Shanbaug outside the KEM Hospital to free the bed she has been occupying for seven years. KEM nurses launched a protest, and the BMC abandoned the plan.

Supreme Court case

Since the assault in 1973, she has been in a vegetative state.

On December 17, 2010, Supreme Court while admitting the plea to end the life made by Aruna's friend , sought a report on Shanbaug's medical condition from the hospital in Mumbai and the government of Maharashtra. On 24 January 2011, the Supreme Court of India responded to the plea for euthanasia filed by Aruna's friend, by setting up a medical panel to examine her.The three-member medical committee subsequently set up under the Supreme Court's directive, checked upon Aruna and concluded that she met "most of the criteria of being in a permanent vegetative state".

However, it turned down the mercy killing petition on 7 March 2011. The court, in its landmark judgement, however allowed passive euthanasia in India.

While rejecting Aruna's friend plea for Aruna Shanbaug's euthanasia, the court laid out guidelines for passive euthanasia. According to these guidelines, passive euthanasia involves the withdrawing of treatment or food that would allow the patient to live.


Following the Supreme Court judgment rejecting the plea, her colleagues, the nursing staff at the hospital, who had opposed the petition, and who had been looking after her since she had lapsed into coma, distributed sweets and cut a cake to celebrate what they termed her "rebirth". A senior nurse at the hospital later said, "We have to tend to her just like a small child at home. She only keeps aging like any of us, does not create any problems for us. We take turns looking after her and we love to care for her. How can anybody think of taking her life?"

Aruna's friends lawyer ruled out filing an appeal stating "the two-judge ruling was final till the SC decided to constitute a larger bench to re-examine the issue". Aruna's friend herself stated, "Because of this woman who has never received justice, no other person in a similar position will have to suffer for more than three and a half-decades"

Wi-Fi on Howrah Rajdhani Express

The Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal launched Wi-Fi- facility as a pilot project on Howrah Rajdhani Express (train no. 12302), here today. To introduce internet access in moving train was a technological challenge considering that the train passes through all type of terrain and continuous internet access in all weather is to be provided. After due deliberations on various options for providing internet access, Indian Railways decided for satellite communication link to the train and Wi-Fi connectivity to different coaches. After successful technical trails, today Indian Railways is launching the pilot project on Howrah Rajdhani express in both the directions simultaneously i.e. 12301/12302 at Howrah and New Delhi respectively. 

Presently this facility is being extended free of cost to the travelling passengers. The facility is being introduced for the first time on Indian Railways through state-of-the-art Technology at a total cost of Rs. 6.30 crore covering all the three rakes of Howrah Rajdhani Express. The satellite communication link is arranged through satellite hub facility, set up by Indian Railways. Initially, 4 Mbps download bandwidth and 512 Kbps upload bandwidth is earmarked for internet facility in moving train. The satellite antenna is placed in one of the two Power Cars of the rake. This is linked through Wi-Fi radios provided outside of each coach. This is further distributed inside the coaches through indoor access point. This will help passengers of the Rajdhani Express train to access internet during their journey. 

For accessing the internet facility, the bona-fide passengers will have to access Indian Railway Wi-Fi network. The passengers will be able to register by providing the PNR and other details like mobile number etc. On validation of the data entered by the passengers, as per extant DOT guidelines, the Login ID and Password will be sent through SMS to the registered mobile number. The Login ID and Password will remain valid for entire journey. 

Indian Railways intend to extend this service on other Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto express trains progressively based on customer feedback and acceptance.