Delhi's per capita income

With a per capita annual income of Rs 1,75,812, the capital again finished second behind Goa, which had a per capita annual income of Rs 1,92,652. However, it was the richest among the major states and union territories with crore-plus populations (Goa’s population is only 14.6 lakh). Haryana, with Rs 1,09,227 per capita finished third, while the country overall touched the Rs 60,972 per person income level. In 2010-11, Delhi’s per capita income at current prices was Rs 1,50,653. Even at constant prices (after factoring in inflation), the city’s per capita income was Rs 1,19,032 in 2011-12, a leap of Rs 10,156 from Rs 1,08,876 a year ago. It was also three times the national average estimated at Rs 38,005. 
On a political note, officials pointed out that Delhi’s per capita income had increased 3.39 times during the 13 years of Congress rule — from Rs 40,060 in
1998-99 to Rs 1,75,812 in 2011-12. The report pegs economic growth in Delhi at 11.43% during 2011-12, compared to the all-India figure of 8.4%.The services sector had 82% share in the gross state domestic product of Delhi, followed by the secondary sector at 17% and the primary sector at 0.87%. Manufacturing accounted for 5% share, construction 9.6%, and hotels and restaurants 19%. Among specific trades, financial services, insurance, real estate and business services had the lion’s share at 39%.

Somewhere in the Tadoba Tiger Reserve....

A subadult tiger was killed and a full-grown one was seriously injured after being caught in poachers’ traps in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) on Thursday. The injured tiger was rescued early Friday morning and shifted to Nagpur for emergency treatment. Forest officers have concluded that Bawariya type jaw traps were used to poach tigers in the Palasgaon range of TATR’s buffer zone. This type of trap is used by Bawariya poachers who hail from Haryana. Anti-poaching experts said though the traps were of Bawariya type, it is likely they were installed by Baheliya poachers, who come from the Katni area of Madhya Pradesh. 


We are Partly Free

Of the Economy & trade

Of Fixed Income & Equity returns

Contradictory information, something to ponder about.....

India's food grain production

World Population snapshot

Preparing for Mumbai 2030

Odisha Tourism

S&P negative on India

A hassled government has just come under more pressure. Along with bad press, angry corporates and disillusioned foreign investors, it has to now deal with a ‘negative outlook’ tossed by the world’s largest credit rating agency, Standard & Poor's (S&P). The saving grace is that an hour before the S&P announcement, rival rating agency Moody’s said the Indian economy is “growing solidly, but below potential”. 
The divergence of views between the two 
agencies is a reminder of the US downgrade last August when Moody’s had countered Standard & Poor’s to say America was still a triple-A economy. On Tuesday morning, S&P, while retaining India’s ‘investment grade’ rating, revised its outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ due to worsening fiscal numbers. It’s a veiled threat that the sovereign rating may be downgraded from BBB-, which is the lowest-rung investment grade, to speculative grade if New Delhi fails to pull up its socks. But, the finely-timed Moody’s statement helped allay fears that a downgrade was imminent. 

UP Power project gets approval

The Union Cabinet has cleared the decks for a 1,980 mw coal-based power plant in Ghatampur tehsil of Kanpur Dehat. Central government’s Mini Ratna, Nayveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLCL) will set 
up the power plant at an investment of Rs 11,088 crore. To be implemented in joint venture with the state the UP Power Corporation Limited, bulk of the power produced will be consumed 
within the state. In 2008, the Mayawati government had invited NLCL to set up the coal-based power project. Identifying the site, however, took over two years with the state government finally allotting over 2,000 hectares of barren, ravine land in Ghatampur, in March 2010. Under the original agreement signed between NLCL, had offered to give 75% of the power produced to the UP government. It will be at least a few more years before UP begins to reap the benefits of the power plant. 


Somewhere in Mumbai....

On Monday, at 8pm, Bandra resident Benedict Suarez noticed a blood-stained carcass of a dolphin at the Bandstand promenade.  Suarez, who is a member of the citizen’s group Eagle Brigade, informed local corporator Asif Zakaria who, in turn, alerted the civic officials about the dead dolphin. This is the eighth case of a big mammal being washed ashore along the state’s coast since March.“The carcass was partially decomposed and bloated. There were no cuts on it,” said a civic official. As it was dark, the civic officials decided to recover the carcass the next morning.The dead dolphin was sent to the Deonar dumping ground without any post-mortem being conducted on it.
Two weeks ago, an eight-ft-long dolphin was washed ashore the Elephanta coast. Though the carcass had deep cuts, the officials disposed it of without a post-mortem. The Versova-based National Institute of Oceanography is expected to conduct a detailed investigation into the increasing number of big mammals being washed ashore the coast.
On April 18, a whale shark was found beached at Badhwar Park in south Mumbai.
On April 4, a humpback whale was washed ashore at the Diveagar coast in Raigad district. This came after one whale each, of the same species, was found beached at Uran and off Priyadarshini Park at Napean Sea Road on March 29 and March 31 respectively.

Kudankulam update

After nearly a year’s delay due to anti-nuclear protests, the first unit of the Rs 15,000 crore Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu will begin commercial production in 40 days, minister of state in prime minister’s office V Narayanaswamy said. The atomic energy regulatory board (AERB) official were at the project site and will complete the safety inspections within a week.
Thereafter uranium fuel for starting power generation will be loaded. After trial run for 20 days, the plant would be begin commercial power generation, he added. The second 1000 mw unit, which is also almost ready, will begin commercial power generation two months thereafter.
The work on the plant was suspended in October last year soon after the hotrun, which is a process to test the reactor systems and pipelines using dummy fuel following the agitation and hunger strike by the anti-nuclear protestors.
Kudankulam nuclear power project is first of the civil nuclear plants to be built in the country after the signing of the Indo-US nuclear agreement. The project being build with Russian assistance will have six 1000 mw nuclear units. The negotiations for the second phase of the project is almost complete. Under second phase, two more 1000 mw nuclear units are to be built.Third phase will add two more.
The government has selected five more sites for such mega nuclear power plants with 6000-10,000 mw capacity in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka.
The next site where work is expected to begin is Jaitapur in Maharashtra where six 1650 mw nuclear units are to set up with French collaboration. The project too has been delayed due to anti nuclear protests there.
The Jaitapur plant is to be built by French company Areva. That apart Indian government has planned to set by several indigenously built nuclear plants with 700 mw generation capacity.
Several sites have been identified for these plants in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Nissan to make India exports hub

Japan’s second-largest carmaker Nissan Motor wants to make India its largest export hub and emerge as the largest car exporter from India. Nissan is the fastest growing exporter of cars from India, the world’s largest exporter of compact cars, in a country where South Korean Hyundai Motor and Maruti Suzuki India are now the leading car exporters. In a short duration, Nissan exports have doubled to 1,00,909 cars in the past fiscal, driven by strong demand for compact cars from Europe and Latin American markets. 
Nissan began to export cars in 2010 from Chennai and currently ships 85% of its production to overseas markets. It exports fully-built cars such as Micra from Chennai, its strategic production hub, to Africa, Europe and other Western markets and the has now started export of completely knocked-down 
unit of its Sunny sedan to Egypt. This means it will export the car as completely knocked down kits from India, which would be assembled by the local Nissan subsidiary in overseas destinations. 
Its wholly-owned Indian subsidi
ary Nissan Motor India (NMIPL) has now started shipping its sedan model Nissan Sunny after the huge success of its ‘made in India’ Micra hatchback that is now sold in over 100 countries. The company aims to increase its production to four-lakh cars later this year from the current 3-lakh units under the Renault-Nissan global alliance joint plant in Chennai. A large chunk of production, about 85%, is aimed to be exported to Europe, Asia and Africa. It eventually aims to take over South Korea’s Hyundai as the largest exporter from India, which has shipped 2.37 lakh in the last fiscal. 
Analysts say that many car companies in India have great potential to tap overseas markets for exports.  
Nissan is also planning to make India a major hub for its entry-level, low-cost Datsun brand. It is currently developing a small car in the price band of Rs. 2-4 lakh to take on models like Maruti Suzuki’s Alto and Hyundai’s Eon. Its current Oragadam manufacturing plant at Chennai would be major destination for
manufacturing Datsun cars in India and other markets, even as the company is considering a new factory for manufacturing, especially for the new low-cost brand. Datsun is expected to be a high-volume product targeting emerging economies is expected to roll out by mid-2014. 

Telecom tangle

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to conduct 2G spectrum auctions and grant licences by August 31, rejecting the Centre’s plea that it required 400 days to complete the process but creating fresh ambiguity about the modalities of the sale.The court allowed the nine mobile companies whose licences were cancelled earlier this year to continue operations till September 7, extending its earlier deadline of June 2. 
The apex court’s decision comes a day after the telecom regulator, Trai, said at the most only one incumbent and one of these nine companies will be able to get spectrum in the auctions that will be held this year. 
The SC directive has created some confusion about whether the government is obliged to invite bids for all the cancelled airwaves in the 1800 MHz band used by the operators whose licences have been cancelled or whether it should follow the 
regulator’s recommendation of a limited price discovery auction this year followed by a fullblown auction next year. A telecom department official said the final decision will be taken by the Pranab Mukherjee-headed empowered group of ministers on spectrum. 

Attitude Daksha

At a time when the country is eagerly waiting for a better tablet PC, Telmoco, a Technopark start-up company in Thiruvananthapuram has unveiled an indigenous 7-inch tablet variant, touted as the most powerful tablet variant of its kind available in budget rate. “It’s not a low-cost Tablet PC. But a robust one that can outsmart the Union government supported Akash 2 Tablet PC variant. Of course our prime target is student community and professionals in the country. The devise would be ready for delivery on booking in a couple of months. It’ll hit the retail shops across the country after a year,” Telmoco development labs chairman and executive director Nijesh C R said. 
 Attitude Daksha, is the first product by Telmoco that had been working on the same at the Tehcnopark Technology Business Incubator for the last one a half years. According to the company representatives, the Tablet will be available at a cost of Rs 5399. “Daksha features Capacitive 5 point touch screen with 1.2 GHz and 512 MB RAM. It has a HDMI port, Micro SD slot. It has interactive and flash Apps with quality video streaming options. With WiFi on, Tablet Daksha offers uninterrupted battery backup of over 6 hours. The equipment comes with a 1.5 years warranty,” Nijesh said. 

 Telmoco, set up by a group of young professionals has already roped in a good number of educational content providers for providing various inbuilt educational Apps through the Tablet PC. The company has outsourced a Taiwan company for commercial production of Attitude Dakha. “Telmoco Attitude Daksha is named and derived from Sanskrit word Daksha, which means able, competent and skilled one. The word attitude means ‘state of mind’. So Telmoco Attitude Daksha invariably means competent and able mind from telmoco Development labs,” said Aadith Bose, executive director (product development and strategy), Telmoco.


RISAT-1 launch

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s first radar imaging satellite, RISAT-1, is scheduled to be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on Thursday. A launch authorization board on April 21 cleared the mission for which a 71-hour countdown began at 6.47am on Monday. The microwave remote sensing satellite is carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).An Isro release said the satellite can capture aerial pictures of the earth in any weather — rainy, sunny, cloudy, foggy or cyclonic. 
To be launched by PSLVC19(XL), the 1,850 kg RISAT-1, the heaviest remote sensing satellite built by ISRO, has been in the making for 10 years. It will first be put in orbit at an altitude of 480 km at an inclination of 97.552 deg before settling in its final orbital configuration at an altitude of 536 km. Propellant-filling operations of the liquid Propellant Second stage (PS2) and fourth stage (PS4) are being carried out. “Mandatory checks on the launch vehicle, including charging batteries and pressurizing propellant tanks, are being carried out. The readiness of various ground systems such as tracking radar systems and communication networks will also be checked,” said an official release.

India develops new malaria drug

India has developed a powerful new malaria drug — an alternative to the global drug of choice Artemisinin — that promises to be a major boost to India’s pharmaceutical research.  What is most exciting about this new drug is that its raw material is synthetic (derived chemically in the lab) as against Artemisinin, which is derived from a plant.
Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ranbaxy will unveil India’s first new chemical entity (NCE) against the P falciparum malaria on Wednesday to commemorate the World Malaria Day. Dr Neena Valecha from the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) said this new once-a-day therapy for three days contains Arterolane and Piperaquine. 
Artemisinin is the only high-volume drug that continues to be produced from a plant-based source. China and Vietnam provide 70% and East Africa 20% of the raw material. Seedlings are grown in nurseries and then transplanted into fields. It takes about eight months for them to attain full size. The plants are harvested, leaves dried and sent to facilities where artemisinin is extracted. The market price for artemisinin has fluctuated widely, between $120 and $1,200 per kg from 2005 to 2008. Arterolane in combination with long acting piperaquine has been studied in phase II and III clinical trials in India, Bangladesh and Thailand. Most malaria parasites have become resistant to anti-malarial drugs.India records 1.5 million cases of malaria every year, 50% of which are caused by the falciparum malaria. Officially, an estimated 18,000 die of malaria in the country. 


Pranabda on the PM

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee challenged the perception that economic reforms have stalled, maintaining that liberalization is an ongoing process and reeling off a slew of pending legislation aimed at opening up the economy. The Congress veteran also dismissed criticism from US business circles that there was a leadership crisis in New Delhi, saying “There is no vacuum…there is avery powerful, strong, acceptable prime minister,” thus endorsing Manmohan Singh’s credentials as a reformer. 
 “Reforms are a continuing process; it not that you can stop and go,” Mukherjee said, with chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu beside him. “One set of reforms demand another set of reforms.” He then cited several landmarks passed on the reforms route several more upcoming bills in Parliament to counter the view that reforms would be on hold till after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Such a view – about reforms stalling ahead of elections -- was attributed to economic guru Basu based on remarks he made at a Washington DC think-tank midweek, but he subsequently said he was reported out of context. 
 On Sunday, both appeared to be on the 
same page as they flew out of Washington DC after four days of engagements during which, at least in the domestic context, India was on the backfoot for dawdling on reforms, including spooking foreign corporations by proposing a retroactive tax legislation. But Mukherjee clarified that the so-called retroactive tax proposals which has raised hackles among foreign corporations had been over-interpreted and apprehensions that a large number of tax cases relating to foreign investment in India will be reopened is “totally unfounded.”  The legislation under consideration is a “clarificatory amendment” rather than a substantive amendment, he maintained, suggesting that current incometax laws under which cases beyond six years cannot be reopened will continue to prevail. Moreover, assessment process which has been completed as of April 1, 2012 will not be reopened, he added. 
 Mukherjee also contested the suggestion from some quarters that the ruling party was reluctant to push forward briskly with reforms because there was no appetite for it in the electorate. The Congress party, he said, had gone up in strength from 140 seats to more than 200 on the platform of reforms, and as the pioneer of reforms, there was no reasons it should continue on the same lines. 
 Legislation pertaining to insurance, pension, and banking were under consideration by parliamentary committees and he would try and get it piloted through the current parliamentary session, Mukherjee said, while not detailing any major new proposals.

Somewhere in Mumbai....

17 hours after it entered the basement of a school in Mumbai, this leopard was caught when it bit the bait—a chicken kept inside a cage trap.

Ahmedabad BRTS expansion

With the third phase completed in the next two and half years, BRTS in Ahmedabad will span 129-kilometre in the city — the largest BRTS network in the country. Tenders pertaining to three of the nine stretches planned for the third phase are being brought out shortly. The BRTS project once completed in the next three years will provide a major impetus to upcoming projects like GIFT city, industrial hubs like Sanand and the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor (DMIC) stretch. 
 The first part of the third phase will include stretches of Sola-Science city, Juhapura APMC-Shivaranjini, Jashodanagar-Hathijan and government litho press-Prem darwaza. The other stretches include routes from Narol to Aslali ring road, Khokhara-New Cloth Market, Khokhra-Rakhial-Dafnala-Acher, New C G Road- Visat Junction-Vishwakarma college and Akhbarnagar-Gota. The 37-km stretch of BRTS proposed for the third phase will also see Thaltej connected to the BRTS network at Helmet crossroads. There are at least four other stretches proposed for the BRTS that will connect the S P ring road. As much as Rs 150 crore has been allotted in current year budget for the BRTS.  The BRTS network will connect major institutional, educational, public transport hubs and industrial areas in the city.
“The 129 km stretch will cover essential part of city and will help commuters travel from their homes to surrounding growth centres. GIFT, Sanand and DMIC are emerging growth centres for Ahmedabad city,” adds an AJL official. 
ISSUES THAT ARE BEING DEBATED Should BRTS and Metrorail compete for passengers along a certain length on Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar highway 
Whether people who work at GIFT city should have a choice of an alternative and cheap transport like the BRTS 
The new bridge across Sabarmati river near PDPU university will require a nod from Union ministry of forests and environment 
Should a new special purpose vehicle (SPV) be formed for Chandkheda-GIFT city BRTS project

Somewhere in Gujarat....

Workers give finishing touches to India’s first 1MW canal-top solar power plant at Chandrasan village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district on World Earth Day. The power plant, on a 750-metre stretch of the Sanand branch canal of the Sardar Sarovar Project, will generate about 1.6 million units of clean electricity per year and will also prevent evaporation of 90 lakh litres of water per year from the canal. The project will be inaugurated by CM Narendra Modi on Tuesday.


Rapid rail to run underground in Delhi

The rapid rail network to be laid as long-distance Metro trains connecting Delhi with its major suburbs with limited stops will go underground in the capital. There will be three hubs — Sarai Kale Khan for the Delhi-Meerut corridor, Kashmere Gate for the Panipat stretch and Dhaula Kuan for trains plying between Delhi and Alwar. These three lines totalling over 350km have been taken up as priority by the Union urban development ministry. Though originally there was a plan to converge all three routes at the centre of Delhi, later modifications were made to have different hubs for different stretches for better traffic distribution. But at a meeting held recently under the chairmanship of Delhi lieutenant governor Tejendra Khanna, questions were raised whether having different hubs without adequate connectivity to the other terminus would serve any purpose. So, now there is a modified plan, according to which the Alwar-Dhaula Kuan line will get extended up to Kashmere Gate. All stations in Delhi would be underground. The Dhaula Kuan-Sarai Kale Khan-Kashmere Gate stretch will run close to the alignment of Ring Road. 
 Sources said that according to the plan prepared by the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB), there would be limited stops on these corridors for faster mobility. For example, the Meerut-Kale Khan corridor would have only two stops in Delhi —
Anand Vihar and Kale Khan. The two stations would be at a distance of 10 kilometers.However, there could be one or two stations between Dhaula Kuan and Sarai Kale Khan as this line would pass close to AIIMS. Thousands of patients from all parts of NCR visit the medical institute every day. 
 Officials privy to the regional rapid regional rapid 
transit system (RRTS) project said timely take-off of the work would ensure that DMRC was not overburdened with work to extend its network in NCR.  The RRTS project was conceived after an NCRPB study showed how Bulandshahr, Alwar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Sonipat, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Rohtak have been some of the key districts from where the capital gets maximum number of migrants. 

Agni Putri

Tessy Thomas, the project director for Agni IV and a senior scientist behind the launch of Agni V, is already back at work preparing for the Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles of Agni V that will make a second strike possible.R K Gupta was the project director for the Agni V just like Tessy was for Agni IV. Tessy also played a crucial role as project director (mission) for Agni V. When Agni V was test fired on April 19 at the Wheeler Island in Odisha, excited scientists lifted the top brass on their shoulders to celebrate the big event, though Tessy was left out.She may not have got that special treatment for Agni V, but when Agni IV was test fired successfully last year Tessy got her due.
For Agni V, Tessy had to look after the mission design, guidance, control, navigation and hardware. While missiles are what Tessy always has in mind, strange as it may sound, her parents had named her after Mother Teresa. Interestingly, Tessy hardly 
finds any difference in what Mother Teresa, whom she adores, did and her own work. Tessy joined the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a faculty member in guided missiles in 1987 with an ME degree in guided missiles. She became a part of the Inertial Navigation Group as a scientist in 1988 in Hyderabad. 
The missile woman, who is now referred to as ‘Agni putri’, has been a part of every Agni programme from the time developmental flights were being carried out 25 years ago. She designed the guidance schemes for long range missile system meant for Agni missiles. A lot of personal recognition has come Tessy Thomas’ way but the missile woman prefers to describe herself as an ordinary citizen.

Reds abduct district collector in Chhattisgarh

Maoists pulled off an audacious kidnapping of the district collector of Sukma in southern Chhattisgarh on Saturday, killing two of his bodyguards when they tried to stop them. The collector, Alex Paul Menon, was in a meeting with a group of villagers for a government outreach programme. A 2006 batch IAS officer, Menon 
was tracked by the Maoists as he reached Manjipara village in tribal Bastar region on Saturday afternoon, according to the police. Around 90 Maoists reached the spot and shot dead two personal security officers of the collector before taking him into the nearby forest,” said 
additional director general of police Ram Niwas. The rebels, he said, spared the sub-divisional magistrate S K Vaidya who was present in Manjipara village. 

Didi puts Centre on notice

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has put the Centre on notice again, this time on fiscal sops for her debt-burdened state. The Trinamool Congress chief on Saturday gave the UPA 15 days to announce a moratorium on repayment of loans her government has inherited from the Left Front regime. Though the CM didn’t specify what the consequences would be if her “genuine demand” went unheeded, she said her patience was wearing thin by the repeated assurances not being translated into action. 
Accusing the media of not highlighting her good work, Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said her government would launch a TV channel and a newspaper. Her fresh salvo comes days after she had thanked the Planning Commission for hiking Bengal’s Plan size by 16%. Besides, the Trinamool chief is eyeing to leverage her numbers in the Lok Sabha ahead of the voting on the Finance Bill on May 7 as well as in the presidential polls. 
Banerjee has consistently 
raised the state’s poor fiscal health since coming to power, citing that she had inherited an empty coffer from the Left Front.However,the Centre has been lukewarm to her rants so far. Other states, particularly Punjab and Kerala, are also facing similar financial stress and any relief to Bengal may spark similar demands from elsewhere. With the Centre’s own fiscal position hardly comfortable, it would like to avoid taking fresh burden. 


Rupee @ a 3 - month low

The rupee slid to its weakest level in more than three months on Thursday, putting traders on alert for possible intervention from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as the outlook on the currency stays bleak. The widening current account deficit — caused in large part by rising oil prices, slowing growth, and fears of a spillover from the festering Eurozone debt crisis — are seen looming large for the rupee.The reduced expectations for further interest rate cuts from the RBI due to inflationary risks are also weighing on the rupee, traders said. The central bank cut the repo rate by an aggressive 50 basis points this week. The rupee closed at 52.15 to the dollar, close to the intraday low of 52.165, a level last seen January 10. 

Koyna gears up for second lake tapping

An additional 4.5 km tunnel will be excavated under the Koyna reservoir as part of the second lake tapping exercise, which will be conducted on Wednesday. The project will facilitate greater generation of power from the hydro-electric project at Koyna. Lake tapping is a method of blasting an intake from a body of water from below the natural water surface. Lake taps are done by first excavating a tunnel almost to the water/rock contact, and then blasting out the final protective rock plug to allow water to suddenly flow into the tunnel from the lake. 
The first lake tap at Koyna was done under the supervision of Norwegian experts on March 13, 1999. It was a first-of-its-kind project in Asia and added nearly 1,000 MW of power generation then The second lake tapping will enable the phase IV of the Koyna hydro-electric project to generate power during summer. “The existing system prohibits power generation in the event of the Koyna water level going below 630-metre mark,” Deepak Modak, chief engineer of Koyna irrigation project, told reporters “With the new tunnel, power can be generated till water level touches 618 metre,” he added. 

 Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, deputy chief minister and power minister Ajit Pawar and water resources minister (Krishna Valley Development Corporation Ltd) Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar will attend the second lake tapping exercise at Koyna. The Koyna dam is located 193 km southwest of Pune. Primarily built for power generation, the dam water is also used for irrigation. After the water distribution tribunal set up in late 1990s, some 25 TMC water from the dam is to be given to Tembhu, Takari and Mhaisal lift irrigation projects, which are expected to benefit the drought-prone areas of Satara and Sangli districts. 

 Modak said, “The minimum water level of the dam was 630 m for phase IV. After the decision of the tribunal to supply water for Tembhu, Takari and Mhaisal lift irrigation, we decided to excavate another tunnel under the reservoir, which would be deeper than the existing one. The new tunnel is called 4-B. It is to be excavated at a deeper level and can carry water with sufficient pressure in summer also. The reversible turbines are used for power generation, which are also known for their higher efficiency.” 
 The total storage capacity of the dam is 105.25 TMC and since 1962, the dam water level had not gone down below 618 metre. 

The cumulative power generation from the first three phases of Koyna project is 960 MW. The fourth phase would generate 1,000 MW power. Construction of the dam started in 1956, with the first two phases costing Rs 65.29 crore, followed by Rs 61.70 crore for the third phase. The fourth phase, the existing tunnel and its power plant cost Rs 1,526 crore, whereas the 4-B phase is expected to have a total investment of Rs 600 crore. So far, Rs 582 crore has been spent.

Kolkata Riverfront

Piles of garbage have given way to ornamented glasshour shaped pillars, broken boundary walls replaced by colourful terracotta designer tiles, dark stretches lit up by trident lights…the 2-km stretch of the Hooghly riverfront has been metamorphosed to give you a London-like feel, something that chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her government had promised after coming to power in last May. The stretch from Prinsep Ghat to Baje Kadamtala Ghat has turned into a swanky riverside promenade. To add to it, the government has taken good care to put security in place to avoid any untoward incident. 
According to mayor Sovon Chatterjee, work is on in full swing and the project is likely to be completed within a 
month. Interestingly, about half a kilometre of this stretch — between the Man of War Jetty and Prinsep Ghat — is reclaimed land that was lost to unkempt growth and rubble that used to hide it from public view. Earlier, only less than 1 km — from the Man of War jetty till the Sea Farers’ Institute — of the riverfront was accessible. Thereafter, you could reach the restored Prinsep Ghat monument by taking the Strand Road and completely avoiding the riverfront. But things have changed for the better. Now you will be able to walk by the water all along, save for the 50-metre odd stretch that belongs to Army. Work is on in the reclaimed stretch, the rest of the promenade is complete, save for the manicured lawns and ornamental plants that will have to be planted. Well-designed planters have been constructed and shady yet ornamental plants like the Kerala Dwarf have been planted. Also, retro-looking wrought iron benches have been installed throughout the promenade for people to sit and relax. These benches are extremely spacious and Victorian in design, complete with the famous lion head on the hand rests. 
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is restoring the Gwalior Monument, a heritage structure, and the viewing gallery has also been brought back into use. In some parts like the Meenmangal Ghat, where the promenade juts out into the water, the feel of a spacious terrace has been created, with step-like sitting arrangements. Though security is tight in the now-swanky place, the erstwhile tea, bhelpuri and puchka sellers have not been evicted. 

 The 2-km riverfront is just a part of the KMC’s mammoth project. The civic body has plans to beautify the entire stretch up to Baranagar.

The Himalayan Expressway

Shimla-bound tourists can now avoid congested Kalka and Pinjore towns and save at least an hour on their road trips with the opening of a 10km express bypass from Zirakpur to Parwanoo on Thursday. The bypass, cutting through the Shivaliks, is part of the 27.5km expressway project between the two towns on NH-5. Road transport and highways minister C P Joshi opened the four-lane Himalayan Expressway that will bring huge relief to commuters, who often face long snarls at Kalka and Pinjore. Though the stretch will reduce the distance between Zirakpur and Parwanoo by only three kilometres, NHAI officials said the bypass would save time and fuel in a big way. Rough estimates suggest that tourists driving down from Delhi would now take seven hours to reach Shimla instead of eight. 
 To further improve connectivity to the Himachal Pradesh capital, Joshi announced that the highways authority would undertake four-laning of the 80km stretch from Parwanoo to Shimla. NHAI officials said this improvement 
work would be completed in three years.Commuters need to pay Rs 23 as toll for each trip on this stretch. 
 The Himalayan Expressway, built by the Jaypee group, passes through three states — Punjab, Haryana 

and Himachal. The road runs two kilometres in Punjab, 21km in Haryana and 4.6km in Himachal. The small stretch has 32 structures including a rail overbridge, two flyovers and 11 bridges.
 For better monitoring of mishaps, the developer has adopted video incident detection system (VIDS). Eight cameras have been installed on the hilly stretch which allows them instant input of any accident from these spots.Moreover, the 14-lane toll plaza at Zirakpur became the first plaza with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology where all the toll gates have RFID tag readers. In the next few months, all the toll plazas on Delhi-Parwanoo stretch would get this facility. Highways minister C P Joshi said all toll plazas on NHs would be brought under this this technology in the next two years. Commuters can pass through all e-toll plazas using a single RFID tag. Vehicles fitted with the RFID tags won’t have to wait in queues as the boom barrier would automatically lift as soon as the vehicle approaches. The devices installed at each toll gate can read the RFID tag from a distance. Jaypee officials said the tag used on Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretch can also be used on their already completed Yamuna expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra. An RFID tag is like a band aid, which can be attached to the windscreen of a vehicle. The maximum price of such devices is only Rs 100.

Somewhere in Chennai....

The new domestic terminal at Chennai airport glitters after the lights were switched on as part of equipment tests, which are currently on. The renovation work at the domestic and international terminals are expected to be completed in two months.

Agni V

After the mischief played by weather gods a day earlier, the god of fire or “Agni’’ came into his own on Thursday morning to hurl a potent fireball more than halfway across the Indian Ocean at over 20 times the speed of sound. India heralded a new era in its “credible” strategic deterrence capability by testing its most ambitious nuclear missile—the over 5,000-km range Agni-V — that brings all of China and much more within its strike envelope. With the launch of the 50-tonne missile from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast at 8.07 am, and its 20-minute flight to an “impact point towards western Australia’’, India also yanked open the door to the super-exclusive ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) club that counts only the US, Russia, China, France and the UK as its members. India can, however, can sit at this high table only when Agni-V becomes fully operational after “four to five repeatable tests’’ and user-trials. It will be around 2015 that the threestage, solid-fuelled missile will be ready for deployment by the tri-service strategic forces command. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and defence minister A K Antony congratulated the scientists for “doing us proud”. 
India, with a declared “no first-use’’ nuclear doctrine, could have gone in for a much higher range ICBM, say top officials. But Agni-V, with its “very short reaction time as well as very high mobility for requisite operational flexibility’’, takes care of “current threat perceptions.”

After testing the over 5,000km Agni V missile, which went up to 600km into space during its parabolic trajectory, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) now feels it can fashion deadly anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons in doublequick time. The ASAT weapon would include marrying Agni V’s propulsion system with the “kill vehicle” of the under-development twotier BMD (ballistic missile defence) system that has been tested a few times to track and destroy hostile missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth’s atmosphere. 
China’s strategic experts and official media on Friday said the Agni V missile has a longer range than India admits, and the nuclear-capable projectile can hit cities in Europe.“The Indian missile has a range of 8,000km and not 5,000km as claimed by India,” said an expert Du Wenlong, adding that the Indian government had deliberately downplayed the missile’s capability to avoid causing concern to other countries. Wenlong, an expert at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, was not alone. Zhang Zhaozhang, professor with PLA National Defence University, too, was quoted by the paper, Global Times, as saying, “According to China’s standard, an ICBM should have a range of at least 8,000km. The Agni-V’s range could be further enhanced to become an ICBM.” There were also signs that China will try to pressure the US and Russia into not selling their missile guidance systems to India.


FM Radio

In a move that will increase the number of FM radio channels in the country, content variety and business viability, Trai has recommended that the minimum channel spacing between FM radio frequencies can be halved to 400 KHz within a licence service area.When implemented, it will immediately double the number of FM channels in each major market in the country and naturally the variety of content. With more channels available for auctions, the government will also be in a position to make more licence fees through auctions.    In its recommendations, Trai has stated that FM channels operating with channel spacing of 400 KHz should be radiated from effectively colocated sites and transmitted with equal power. The co-location of transmitters had already been previously recommended by Trai. It stated that reducing the minimum channel spacing would lead to “the efficient utilization of the scarce resource of spectrum” apart from generating additional revenue for the government, buttressing its point by the fact that a minimum channel spacing of 400 KHz (or even less in some cases) is the benchmark in many countries including the UK, Singapore, US, etc. Industry sources said the recommendation ought to be implemented in Phase III policy rollout — which plans to extend FM radio’s reach to 294 cities, thereby meeting the government’s target of covering 85% of the country — so as to enable its success. The move is especially necessary to enable the release of more frequencies in A+ and A category cities, they added. 
 Radio operators had told Trai that unless more channels are allowed by way of reduction in channel spacing, the auction for channels in Phase III would not be rational and would likely result in unrealistically very high 
channel prices. Since highest price in the auction/bidding process is generally taken as the reference price for future auctions, this will have a perpetual aberration effect. The operators had added that this was all the more necessary, because in the new Phase III policy, a single entity could have more than one channel in a licence area and the cost of making an incremental channel operational being substantially low, the 
viability of additional channels would be much better. Moreover, this would significantly help content plurality as the introduction of more channels in the “A+” and “A” cities would allow operators to offer a variety of content which will not only be popular with listeners, but would also increase the penetration of FM radio in different markets and thereby advertisement revenue — the only source of revenue for the FM industry.  In fact, more channels might lead to market fragmentation, but more importantly, expanded market size, Trai stated, adding that the “experience of the radio industry in India as well as abroad suggests that the radio sector has grown when the channels in a licence area have been increased”. 
Radio operators had also pointed out to Trai that reducing channel spacing was long 
overdue because significant technological developments had taken place since 2008 when the current 800 KHz norm was made. With more than 100% mobile phone penetration in the urban markets, it is technologically possible to receive FM stations separated by just 400 Khz. Cities like Singapore, London, NY and even Colombo have more than 25-40 stations operating. Hopefully soon, Mumbai, Delhi and other metros will also be able to boast of the same number of stations. 


India's Solar Capital

Retail Inflation

National Dairy Plan

Purchasing power parity

Its economy may be in the grips of a slowdown, its polity paralysed and markets morose, but all this hasn’t prevented India from overtaking Japan to become the world’s third-largest economy in purchasing power terms. Data just released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that India’s gross domestic product in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms stood at $4.46 trillion in 2011, marginally higher than Japan’s $4.44 trillion, making it the third-biggest economy after the United States and China. India’s share in world GDP in terms of PPP, a measure of relative consumer prices across countries, stood at 5.65% in 2011 against Japan’s 5.63%, with the gap expected to widen significantly by 2017. In five years, the IMF estimates the share of India’s GDP in PPP terms would grow to 8.09% compared with 4.8% for Japan. Economists said India’s move up the league table was a reminder of the boundless potential the country offered, despite the prevailing mood of pessimism. The PPP system allows GDP comparisons to be made by asking how much money would be needed to purchase the same goods and services in two countries and using that to calculate an implicit foreign exchange rate. Under this method, a dollar should be able to buy the same amount of goods anywhere in the world and exchange rates should adjust accordingly. It also strips away distortions that come with market exchange rates, which are often volatile, affected by political and financial factors that do not lead to immediate changes in income and tend to understate the standard of living in poor countries. The Economist magazine’s proprietary Big Mac Index, which takes the price of a McDonald burger across 120 countries to calculate the ‘real’ price of their currencies, is another crude way to measure PPP. India was included in the index recently. It showed that the Indian rupee was undervalued by 62% against the US dollar in January. PPP methods help adjust income to prices for a meaningful comparison on quality of life in countries with widely different prices and incomes. India, according to the IMF’s calculations, was able to overtake Japan in 2011 because its economy grew 7.24% whereas in the case of Japan, it shrank 0.75%,hit by a tsunami that ravaged the country and exacerbated the adverse impact of global economic slowdown. While India may have beaten Japan under this particular system of calculation, under more conventional methods of measurement, it has to travel a long distance to catch up. Under the regular method of GDP calculation, India’s economy is well behind Japan. Even assuming an average economic growth rate of 7.5% over the next five years, the Indian economy will be only $2.9 trillion compared with Japan’s $6.69 trillion. For the fiscal year to end-March 2013, official forecasts are for GDP growth of around 7%, slightly higher than the 6.9% expected in the previous year and much lower than 8.4% the year before. Economists reckon that India will continue to lag behind when it comes to matching living standards of its population with more developed western and Asian economies. Yet, with its demographic advantage and prospects of sustainable high growth over the next five years, the country is expected to consistently improve its global economic standing.

Lucknow - Agra Expressway

The Uttar Pradesh government gave its approval to an Information Technology city in Lucknow. The proposed city will be built on about 100 acres of government land at Gajaria farms on Sultanpur Road in Lucknow. A nod has also been given to a proposal for an eight-lane Lucknow-Agra highway. The access-controlled greenfield Expressway from Agra to Lucknow will be developed on a public-private-partnership model and reduce travel time between Greater Noida and Lucknow via Agra . At present, it takes around 9-10 hours to reach Greater Noida from Lucknow. The travelling between Agra and Lucknow will also get faster. The 365 km distance between the two cities would be reduced to under four hours. The government has appointed UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) as the nodal agency for the proposed project. “Both the projects have received an in-principal approval of the government,” said Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner, Anil Kumar Gupta. “For the IT city project, a concept note with inputs from the departments of tourism, IT and Electronics and animal husbandry, which owns the land, will be prepared. We expect to receive the final cabinet sanction for the IT city in six weeks. Cabinet approval for the Lucknow-Agra Expressway is expected by year-end.’’ The IT city will come up on 100 acre land near Gajaria farm on the city’s outskirts It will have offices, residences, hotels and also recreation areas .The govt has hired the services of a consultancy firm to revamp the existing IT policy .The proposed eight-lane highway to reduce travel time between Lucknow and Greater Noida to just five hours . The proposal for the greenfield expressway will see a heavy plantation drive, water bodies connecting the nearest canal for facilitating ground water recharge and eco-friendly parks to neutralise air and noise pollution. On Thursday, the IIDC will decide the terms of reference for the preparation of the project’s concept note. “The concept note will be prepared in three months. Then, a consultant will undertake a feasibility report. After conducting the physical survey of the 300 km stretch and obtaining environmental clearances, the proposal will go for cabinet approval. Then construction work can start,’’ Gupta said. The work on the project start rolling before the year-end, reveal sources.The IT city, apart from being directly connected with the Shaheed Path and the airport, the project will also have dedicated power supply to boost. The government also ordered a revamp of UP’s existing IT policy and has hired the services of management consultancy firm KPMG for drafting the state’s new IT Policy. The first draft is expected by April end. Before giving the policy a final shape, the government will also meet all stakeholders. The government expecting no hiccups on the land acquisition because the Gajariya farm lands – nearly 400 acres – belong to the department of animal husbandry.