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India test-fires BrahMos cruise missile

SHOW OF STRENGTH: Indian Army officers look on at Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi.

Indian Army officers look on at Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi.

India test-fired BrahMos cruise missile successfully on Jan 20, 2009  at the Pokhran test range of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

BrahMos, developed jointly with Russia, is a supersonic cruise missile and can be launched from submarine, ship, aircraft and land based Mobile Autonomous Launchers (MAL).

The missile was to be test-fired for the third time in desert conditions on January 18, 2009  but it was postponed to January 20, 2009  due to heavy fog and rain in the area.

BrahMos has been named after two rivers – the Brahmaputra of India and the Moscow of Russia.

The first test-firing of the BrahMos was conducted on June 12, 2001 at the Interim Test Range Chandipur-On-Sea in Balasore (Orissa).

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January 20, 2009 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Top Ten Cities for Outsourcing in India

India has 35 major cities. Not all of them are good offshore outsourcing hubs.

In the recent past, several studies have been carried out to identify the best or most attractive cities in India. Gartner Inc, National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and KPMG, neoIT, Mercer, A T Kearney, Merrill Lynch and several others have carried out city studies for a wide range of objectives.

Important parameters that were considered when developing the rankings in these studies include:

  • Availability of Infrastructure (Power, Transport, Telecommunication, Housing)
  • Cost of Living
  • Real Estate Costs
  • Availability of Skilled Manpower
  • Attrition Rates
  • Quality of Living
  • Political Climate
  • Educational Institutions

Urban infrastructure in India is not the best in the world. Indian cities are facing overpopulation, indiscriminate growth and shortage of urban services like public transportation, water supply and sanitation. It is important to point out that the 2006 World-wide Quality of Living Survey by Mercer for 350 global cities has the top Indian cities Mumbai and Delhi ranked at 150th place. Not impressive at all. On the networking front, India ranks 40th out of 115 countries with the network readiness index of 0.23.

Despite the constrains imposed by the infrastructure or lack thereof, availability of skilled manpower and the low cost advantage continues to drive investment into urban India.

An analysis of city rankings by different surveys and study of recent outsourcing trends reveals that the top 10 outsourcing destinations in India are:

1. Chennai was the poor cousin of Bangalore and Hyderabad during the initial years of the IT boom in India. Today it is the lead outsourcing destination due to the low cost advantage, improving infrastructure, international connectivity, availability of land, skilled manpower and lower attrition rates compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad.

2. Hyderabad continues to woo investors by focusing on improving its urban infrastructure. The Governments, both past and present, have been very clear in their focus and support to the IT industry. The city has been among the most favored destinations due to the infrastructural improvements and the planned growth phased in by the governments in the twin cities.

3. Bangalore is the technology hub of India. It is increasingly becoming a global melting pot of cultures. The original garden and pub city of India has a comfortable climate compared to the other Indian cities that are happening in terms of outsourcing. However, the city’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet the demands of the exploding population. There is a growing feeling that other cities will overtake Bangalore if it continues to suffer due to political bickering, skyrocketing real estate prices and poor urban planning. According to a recent survey, it still ranks as the top city for living, earning and investing.

4. National Capital Region (NCR) includes Delhi and its surrounding suburbs. Delhi is expensive and not as popular for outsourcing. It is the suburbs, Gurgaon and Noida that have become important outsourcing destinations due to their proximity to the capital. They continue to be a major draw due to improving transport connectivity with Delhi, good international linkage and availability of skilled manpower.

5. Pune is Maharastra’s response to Bangalore. Its proximity to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and availability of trained manpower has led to the development of a thriving hi-tech outsourcing industry in this erstwhile retirement and education haven. Apart from other infrastructure components, the city is focusing on township projects to improve housing facilities.

6. Chandigarh and Mohali are twin cities. Chandigarh is one of the few planned and good cities of India. Mohali is its twin. Together, they have the space as well as the intellectual and financial capability to become India’s best outsourcing destinations. It does not yet have an international airport, but is well connected to New Delhi by road and rail.

7. Kolkata, the capital city of the state of West Bengal is high in intellect and has an advantage in terms of low costs. However, the city is famous for its traffic snarls and trade union shut downs. The current state government under chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is making the right noises to encourage investors. Early indications are that it may actually emerge as a good outsourcing destination.

8. Mysore is one of India’s smaller cities, which have joined the outsourcing bandwagon. Its proximity to Bangalore and presence of companies like Infosys and Wipro has helped the cause. It is emerging as a preferred choice over Bangalore as India’s silicon city is now congested, expensive and has higher than average attrition rates.

9. Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is well known for some of the leading science & technology research organizations in India. The city has the infrastructure and skilled workforce to attract IT investments. It is early days yet and remains to be seen whether Thiruvananthapuram can woo investors away from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

10. Coimbatore is the emerging engineering outsourcing hub located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The government of Tamil Nadu is keen on developing Coimbatore as a major IT destination in the state. Coimbatore’s strength is its rich engineering tradition and young graduating engineers to meet the manpower demands of the growing industry.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, IT, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chandrayaan-1’s temperature rises, ISRO worried

ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair says Chandrayaan-1 is hotter by 10 degree Celsius.

FACING THE HEAT: ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair says Chandrayaan-1 is hotter by 10 degree Celsius.

India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-1 is facing the heat, literally. A month after its launch, an unexplained rise in temperature is causing concern for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair says Chandrayaan-1 is now hotter by 10 degree Celsius which is hot enough to affect its instruments.

Volcanoes have erupted on the moon in the past. And temperatures on the surface often reach 100 degree Celsius.

While it isn’t clear yet what’s triggered the rise in temperature, scientists say a thermal blanket around the satellite could be used to keep temperatures down.

Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission, was launched on October 22, 2008 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota by PSLV-C11.

The Moon Impact Probe (MIP), with the Indian Tricolour pasted on its outer surface, was ejected on November 14 from Chandrayaan-1 and landed on the lunar surface.

December 3, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Flag in moon, Chandrayaan-1 probe sends first signal

Ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam and ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair hold a model of the moon.

CONQUERING MOON: Ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam and ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair hold a model of the moon.

The moon is 3,84,400 km away from earth and on Nov 14, 2008, India became the fourth nation to have its flag flying on the moon’s surface when Chandrayaan-1’s Moon Impact Probe (MIP), with the Tricolour painted on it, touched down.

The 35-kg payload crash-landed on the lunar surface at around 2030 hrs IST. The MIP has started sending its first signals to Chandrayaan-1.

It also contains equipment which will help scientists design a lunar land rover for the upcoming Chandrayaan-2 mission.

The MIP is slightly smaller than an average TV cabinet. Inside the MIP there is a device to constantly check it’s height as it falls. Another device checks what the air on the moon is made of. There is even a video camera to photograph the moon from close range.

The photographs taken by the MIP will help Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) decide where to land India’s first moon rover, a few years from now.

The MIP also has the Indian flag painted on it’s sides and a Sanskrit verse which means “

The MIP disconnected from Chandrayaan-1 100 km above the moon. As it fell, it kept sending information back to the satellite.

Closer to the surface, rockets were fired, to slow down it’s speed and soften the impact on landing.

After half an hour of free fall, the MIP crash-landed on the south pole of moon.

The idea to send a MIP was first mooted by former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

If it weren’t for him, Chandrayaan-1 would only have orbited the moon.

November 15, 2008 Posted by | General, India Related, Science, Technology, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India’s 40 Richest Persons – 2008

Source: Forbes.com

Rank

Name

Net Worth ($mil)

Age

City

1

Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Industries Limited)

20,800

51

Mumbai

2

Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal Steel Company Ltd.)

20,500

58

London

3

Anil Ambani (Reliance Communications, Reliance Energy)

12,500

49

Mumbai

4

Sunil Mittal (Bharti Airtel Group)

7,900

51

Delhi

5

Kushal Pal Singh (DLF Limited)

7,800

77

Delhi

6

Shashi & Ravi Ruia (Essar Group)

7,600

64

Mumbai

7

Azim Premji (Wipro Technologies)

7,000

63

Bangalore

8

Kumar Birla (Aditya Birla Group)

5,000

41

Mumbai

9

Adi Godrej (Godrej Group)

4,000

66

Mumbai

10

Gautam Adani (Adani Enterprises Group)

3,900

46

Ahmedabad

11

Dilip Shanghvi (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries)

3,100

53

Mumbai

12

Savitri Jindal (O.P. Jindal Group)

2,900

59

Delhi & Hisar

13

Malvinder & Shivinder Singh (Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited)

2,800

36

Delhi

14

Anil Agarwal (Vedanta Resources Corporation)

2,400

55

London

15

Shiv Nadar (HCL Group)

2,200

63

Delhi

16

Micky Jagtiani (Landmark Group)

2,000

57

Dubai

17

Indu Jain (Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.,)

1,800

72

Delhi

18

Cyrus Poonawalla (Poonawalla Group, Serum Institute of India)

1,600

67

Pune

19

Uday Kotak (Kotak Mahindra Bank)

1,550

49

Mumbai

20

Chandru Raheja (K. Raheja Corp.)

1,500

68

Mumbai

21

G.M. Rao (GMR Infrastructure Group)

1,470

58

Bangalore

22

Vivek Burman (Dabur India Limited)

1,300

71

Delhi

23

Anurag Dikshit (PartyGaming)

1,250

36

Gibraltar

24

Kalanithi Maran (Sun TV Network)

1,200

43

Chennai

25

Venugopal Dhoot (Videocon India)

1,100

57

Mumbai

26

Yusuf Hamied (Cipla Pharmaceutical Laboratories)

1,060

72

London & Mumbai

27

Ramesh Chandra (Unitech Group)

1,000

69

Delhi

28

Subhash Chandra (Zee TV Entertainment)

970

58

Mumbai

29

N.R. Narayana Murthy (Infosys Technologies Limited)

965

62

Bangalore

30

Rajan Raheja (Rajan Raheja Group)

950

54

Mumbai

31

Brijmohan Lall Munjal (Hero Honda Motors Limited)

940

85

Delhi

32

Baba Kalyani (Bharat Forge)

935

59

Pune

33

Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon Energy)

930

50

Pune

34

Jaiprakash Gaur (Jaypee Group)

890

77

Delhi

35

Niranjan Hiranandani (Niranjan Hiranandani Group)

885

58

Mumbai

36

Murali Divi (Divis Laboratories)

870

57

Hyderabad

37

Hemant Shah (Akruti City Limited)

830

55

Mumbai

38

Gracias Saldanha (Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.)

825

70

Mumbai

39

Anand Jain (Jai Corporation Ltd.)

810

51

Mumbai

40

Rahul Bajaj (Bajaj Auto Ltd.)

760

70

Pune

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Business, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Superstar Rajnikanth to join BJP?

Tamil Nadu superstar Rajnikanth

He is South India’s biggest super star and for almost two decades now his entry into politics has been speculated. And, with the general elections around the corner once again there is strong buzz of Rajnikanth taking the plunge.

BJP prime ministerial candidate LK Advani’s visit to Rajnikanth’s house in Chennai has sent tongues wagging. Sources said that Advani wants Rajni to hop onboard and campaign for the BJP in the upcoming elections.

However, when both were quizzed about the same, they were tight lipped. Advani said, ” I had an invitation from him to visit his house for a long time and I used the opportunity since I was here in Chennai.”

“Rajnikanth had been pressing me for a long time to visit his place. Today I accepted the invitation. We discussed many things, including his latest film. It was a happy meeting with him and his family,” the BJP leader said.

Advani said that it was long standing desire of Rajanikanth and himself for a meeting. “It was fulfilled today,” he said.

Advani was in Chennai yesteday in connection with the release of the Tamil version of his autobiography.

Advani welcomed Rajnikant’s statement that he would come to politics if god asked him to do so.
“I had appreciated his decision that he will come to politics when god wills,” Advani said.

Following the meet, Rajnikanth also kept mum and said, “It was just a casual visit.”

And, with superstar Chiranjeevi having launched a political party recently, several Rajni fans want to see their favourite star do the same. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the demand by Rajnikant’s fans asking him to enter politics.

However, he had been resisting such demands but recently announced that he would undertake a tour of the state to meet his fans. He had also promised that he would be frequently meeting them.

Rajnikanth is not averse to the idea expect he says that he’s wating for a sign from the Gods to make the plunge. He had said, “No one can compel me. What has to happen will surely happen. God’s sign has to come. If God’s sign comes, I can even start a party tomorrow.”

During the run up to the 2004 elections Rajnikanth had declared that he will vote for the BJP, but stopped short of asking his fans also to support the party. The saffron party is hoping that this time too Rajni will indicate his support, even if he does not make a political plunge.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Elections, General, India Related, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ganguly: I see a lot of myself in Dhoni

Arguably the most successful Indian skipper ever, Sourav Ganguly says he sees a lot of himself in Dhoni

Arguably the most successful Indian skipper ever, Sourav Ganguly says he sees a lot of himself in
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and reckons that the charismatic new captain will go on to better his record and further enhance India’s stature in international cricket.

“He has done fantastically well. Captaincy is a task, it’s not just about being a good player. He will be tested when India plays abroad and if the boys do well under him then it will be great. I am sure he will take Indian cricket forward,” said Ganguly, whose last Test saw India clinching the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by winning the fourth and final match.

“I did what I felt was right. I’m a captain who did not believe in the drawing board but react to what happens on the field of play. I see a lot of myself in Dhoni. He also doesn’t like meetings. In fact he sees things better than me. He has also had a bit of luck that a captain needs,” he added.

Ganguly said a captain is only as good as his team but he did have a huge role to play in enhancing India’s reputation. “Most important thing is that a captain is as good as a player. Raising India’s image in world cricket especially as a touring side is my legacy in Indian cricket. We, at present, are a formidable side both home and away,” he said.

Ganguly said he would not be missing the Indian dressing room as he was leaving with happy memories of being part of a team that beat the world’s best side 2-0 in the series. “I don’t think I would miss the dressing room. I have had a good innings and it’s time to leave. I am leaving with happy memories that it ended with a win for India. A 2-0 win over the world’s best team was the best that could have happened after all the doubts arising after the Sri Lanka series (where India lost)”, Ganguly said.

“I have played well and the team has played outstandingly well. To win the series 2-0 was very satisfying. We had dominated (the proceedings) after the first Test (at Bangalore),” said the former captain. Ganguly, who was asked to lead the team on the field for a brief while when India was close to winning the fourth and final Test against Australia before being chaired off the ground after India’s 172-run win, said he would forever cherish the moments that he lived today.

“In terms of team performance the way this Test has finished was one of the best ever. I want to cherish it for long. Everyone has chipped in throughout the series. Somehow we manage to pick up when we play against Australia,” said the veteran of 113 Tests. “I enjoyed my last few days and the last few hours. I was
asked to lead for five overs, did it for three overs and then told Dhoni that it was not my job,” he said.

The stylish left-hander side-stepped queries on past controversies like his public spat with former coach Greg Chappell. “Let’s keep the controversies aside. It’s a happy day for Indian cricket. The past is past, let’s not talk about it,” he said.

Ganguly said the first-ball duck in the second innings didn’t disappoint him as much as missing a hundred by 15 runs in the first innings. “I am not disappointed with the first-ball duck, getting out on 85 in the first innings was more disappointing as I was so close to a hundred. I don’t think the last duck has made it (my career) any more dramatic, it’s been dramatic anyway,” he put it succinctly.

Ganguly said he rated the 100 on debut at Lord’s against England in 1996 as his most cherished innings. He said the blazing century he made against Australia as captain in the 2004 series at Brisbane was also close to his heart. “The first Test hundred at Lord’s is always special to me. The 2001 series against Australia here and the 2004 series against them in Australia are my best series. We have won in Pakistan and England but to win against Australia is always special,” he said.

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sourav Ganguly misses century; Five for Jason Krejza

Ask any purist and he would tell you what a sight it is when Sourav Ganguly dances down the track to loft a spinner over his head. The frequency of those humongous sixes has diminished over time, but in his final Test match, the southpaw put the sublime on display as he moved to 80 not out in perhaps his penultimate innings in Test cricket. Not just did he dance down the pitch but threaded the offside with the timing people now associate him with his retirement.

The Indians had made their intentions clear on the opening day of the final Test itself, and Ganguly kept it going as Jason Krejza was dismissed over long-on for a six, and then repeated the act for a boundary after completing his half-century. India saw off the first session to be 404-5 at lunch on a day when Australia’s bowlers not only looked flat but pedestrian. Along with Dhoni, the sixth wicket stood on an unbeaten 101 runs.

Australia started the second day with Jason Krejza despite operating with the second new ball. Brett Lee took the ball from the other end, but it was more than a tactical error. Mitchell Johnson, the pick of Australian bowlers this series, has been off-colour in the final Test, often spraying wide of off-stump and far too full.

India’s first day total of 311-5 was more or less identical to that of Mohali, where the hosts established a 1-0 series lead with a 320-run victory. The turn of events were also similar, with a mini-collapse followed by a resolute stand before losing Sachin Tendulkar towards the end of day’s play.

Even the start to the second day was similar, with Ganguly and Dhoni putting on 56 in the first hour of play. The only difference was the role reversal between the batsmen, with Ganguly taking the attack to the bowlers while Dhoni’s knock was comparatively reserved to his whirlwind 92 in Mohali.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tendulkar ton, poor fielding deny Aussies the edge

There couldn’t have been more perfect a beginning to international cricket at the VCA Jamtha Stadium here. Sourav Ganguly’s farewell and VVS Laxman’s 100th Test had already built up the stakes, before Sachin Tendulkar made it consummate with a magnificent 40th Test hundred.

India closed the opening day of the fourth and final Test against Australia on 311-5 with the retiring Sourav Ganguly batting on 27 and captain MS Dhoni four not out, after Dhoni’s decision to bat first on a batting paradise nearly backfired. But Laxman’s calm 64 and Tendulkar’s classy 109 steadied India with their 146-run fifth wicket stand before both fell in the final session of play.

A freak two-wicket burst from debutant Jason Krejza before lunch after being hammered around the park was not enough to slow down Tendulkar, whose latest milestone became his 10th century against the Australians.

The Australians have a reputation of giving it back to their opponents on the field. Michael Clarke was helped on to his century in the previous Test in Delhi by three dropped chances. Australia returned the favour to Tendulkar through Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee, who grassed sitters when the batsman was on 85 and 96 respectively.

Australia seemed to have lost the initiative as getting rid of Tendulkar on the back of Laxman’s wicket would have put on added pressure. However, Johnson’s strike towards the end of day’s play still keeps the game intriguingly poised.

It could have been worse for the Australians had a belligerent Virender Sehwag not thrown away his wicket for 66. The opener tore into Lee and Johnson, who went for five runs an over in their respective opening spells, which also gave a significant boost to debutant Murali Vijay at the other end.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gambhir ban upheld by ICC, will miss Nagpur Test

Gautam Gambhir walks back to the pavilion as the Australian team celebrates the fall of his wicket.

WALKING OFF: Gautam Gambhir walks back to the pavilion as the Australian team celebrates the fall of his wicket.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected the appeal of Gautam Gambhir and upheld the one-Test match ban imposed by match referee Chis Broad.

Justice Albie Sachs, who was appointed to hear the appeal, upheld the ban, which means Gambhir will miss the fourth and final Test match against Australia starting from November 6.

Justice Sachs, Cricket South Africa’s appointment on the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, was appointed to hear the appeal in accordance with ICC Code of Conduct processes.

Tamil Nadu opener M Vijay has been named as Gambhir’s replacement for Nagpur Test.

Gambhir was charged under Level 2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for pushing out his elbow that hit Australian all-rounder Shane Watson during the first day’s play in the third Test match in New Delhi.

While handing out the one-Test ban on Gambhir, Broad said that he also considered an incident that happened almost a year ago when Gambhir went face to face with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi in during an ODI Kanpur.

“The ICC has repeatedly told the players that deliberate physical contact between players will not be tolerated. I have also taken into account the previous offences of Gambhir and therefore, I am satisfied that the penalty imposed is an appropriate outcome in the circumstances of this matter,” Broad had said.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment