Wednesday, April 18, 2012

India to test-fire Agni-V

India to test-fire Agni-V

on April 18, 2012 India to test fire Agni-V,the 5000-KM version of nuclear capable missile of India is in final phase of testing and is likely to be tested within 24 Hours. India join the league of nations like US, Russia, UK, France and China having ICBMs. The first test of the indigenously designed Agni-5 by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will take place at Wheeler Island in Balasore, Odisha between 9 and 10 am, sources said.DRDO plans to conduct more tests of the missile over the next one year after studying and analysing the parameters achieved in each subsequent trial before its induction into the Armed Forces. Agni 5 missile is 17-metre-long and is a three-stage, solid fuel-powered weapon system with latest navigation systems to accurately hit the target. India already has Agni-3 and Agni-4 intermediate ballistic missile which are capable of hitting a target at more than 3,500 km.
Agni-V, touted as India’s most ambitious strategic missile, will follow last year’s test of the country’s most advanced surface-to-surface missile — Agni-IV.The three-stage Agni-V and the two-stage Agni-IV are poised to add credible deterrence against countries having long-range missiles, Media report said.
Agni-V will feature Multiple Independently-Targeted Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) with each missile being capable of carrying 3-10 separate warheads.India has  Rs 20,000 crore worth production orders for Akash missile.By 2020, India will be among the leading countries in the missile development,reports experts.
Media  official said that DRDO was trying to set up an independent Centre for Directed High Energy Weapons System which would focus on the use of lasers in weapons system.On ‘Prahar’, he said the 150-km range guided missile was being put into weaponised mode.”It is the most cost-effective missile in its class. Army has shown good interest and we are sure it will get inducted,” the official said.

Shinde is on a visit to the USA and Turkey

Power Minister Calls for increasing US investment in Indian Power Sector Union Minister of Power Shri Sushilkumar Shinde has called upon the US industry to explore emerging investment opportunities in the Indian power sector and consolidate existing partnerships and projects between the two countries. He was addressing the US India Business Council in Washington.
Giving an outline of the growth of Indian power sector, Shri Shinde said that the present installed generation capacity of India is about 200 GW of which 55 GW has been added during the11th Plan (2007-12).He underlined that this addition is about 2.5 times of the10th Plan and more than the combined capacity generation during the 8th, 9th and 10th Plans. Stating that the share of the private sector in the capacity expansion has gone up substantially from 10% during the 10th Plan to 33% during the 11th Plan, Shri Shinde added that 50% of the capacity in the 12th Plan will come from the private sector. He said that a total investment in generation segment in the 12th Plan would be about 120 Billion USD (Rs. 6 lakh Crore).
On ¡§one nation one grid¡¨, the Minister observed that by the end of 12th Plan, inter-regional transmission capacity would be more than 38 GW. He also shared that the highest voltage level in the world, 1200kV UHVAC Test Station has been test charged at Bina in Madhya Pradesh while the world¡¦s longest „b800kV HVDC multi-terminal bi-pole link of 2000 kmsfrom Biswanath Chariali in the NE region to Agra in the northern region is under implementation.He added that the transmission sector has also been opened for private sector which is expected to have an investment of 36 Billion USD (Rs. 1.8 lakh Crore) in the 12th Plan.
Addressing concerns of the investors, Shri Shinde said that the Government is taking various steps to facilitate reforms in the power sector.He said the Electricity Act 2003 allows the sector to align itself with market dynamics and facilitate greater participation by the private sector. He made a special mention of the budget proposals of 2012 which are expected to stimulate investments in the power sector.He said the rate of withholding tax on interest payment on External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) is proposed to be reduced from 20% to 5% for 3 years. The Minister added that the ECB has also been allowed to partly finance Rupee debt of existing power projects. He informed that the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill is also being considered by the Parliament.
Shri Shinde shared with the delegates that as far as fuel is concerned, Coal India Limited is to sign fuel supply agreements with power plants having long term PPAs with distribution companies and getting commissioned on or before 31st March 2015. Another challenge he talked about was the health of discoms. He assured that the Government is taking steps to ensure that the distribution companies recover their cost input and tariff revisions are taken up timely and adequately. He observed that the priority was to reduce the Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses in the distribution sector. He said the Government is also implementing Restructured- Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APRDP) and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) for the development of distribution sector. He added that the Power Ministry is in the process of finalizing 8 Smart Grid pilots worth USD 100 Million (Rs. 500 Crore).Shri Shinde said the total investment estimated in distribution sector in the 12th Plan is 60 Billion USD (Rs. 3 lakh Crore)
ShriShinde appreciated the growing use of environmentally clean renewable, hydro and nuclear energy in the 12th Plan. He discussed the Low carbon Growth Strategy to ensure sustainable development of the power sector.He said that the use of super critical technology is sought to be increased in the 13th Plan while initiatives on energy conservation are also being encouraged.
ShriShinde is on a visit to the USA and Turkey to enhance India¡¦s international cooperation in power sector. He is scheduled to address the World Energy Leaders¡¦ Summit in Istanbul on 20th April, 2012.

World IT Forum 2012 Opens in New Delhi

E-Governance Empowers Common Man, Promotes Government Accountability, Says Kapil Sibal The Union Minister of Communications & IT and HRD, Shri Kapil Sibal today said that e-Governance not only brings the delivery of a large number of services to the people but also has an empowering effect on the common man. Inaugurating the 5th World IT Forum (WITFOR) 2012 in New Delhi, Shri Sibal said that e-Governance promotes transparency and openness which helps in keeping the people better informed resulting in a higher government accountability. The Minister said if we want to achieve the goal of sustainable development, we need to create an enabling eco-system and address the issue of content, connectivity and accessibility in a holistic and integrated manner.
The Minister of State for Communications and IT , Shri Sachin Pilot said the Government faces the challenge of increasing IT and broadband penetrations and a key obstacle here is the high cost of IT hardware and connectivity. He said this challenge can be overcome by encouraging domestic IT manufacturing. Shri Pilot said that Parliament is considering a bill that will mandate provisioning of all public services compulsorily through electronic means to ensure transparency, efficiency, accessibility and reliability in delivery of such services.
In his address Mr. Janis Karklins, Assistant Director General, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO said that technology is offering tremendous opportunities towards sharing knowledge and information. He said education brings sustainability to development, and technology can be a powerful education multiplier.
The two-day WITFOR 2012 is deliberating the role of ICT in agriculture, education, health and e-Governance, within the overall theme of ICT for sustainable human development. Representatives from over 30 countries are attending WITFOR 2012 to share their knowledge, views and best practices in the use of IT for governance and delivery of key public services brought together on a common platform, allowing them to showcase successful working models of the use of ICT for development.
Some of the themes which were discussed on the 1st day include open government, IT revolution in agriculture, vocational training and skill upgradation, e-governance issues, institutionalising ICT for better health care, State Data Banks and issues of privacy etc.
The forum will discuss tomorrow various issues like: administrative reform and cyber-security, NextGen Farming, Future of technology in Agriculture, Learning and Distance Education, and Mobile Technologies with a focus on ‘financial inclusion’ etc.

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