Monday, November 21, 2016

Defence Minister Parrikar commissions new warship INS Chennai

INS ‘Chennai’, an indigenously designed and constructed, Kolkata-class guided missile destroyer was commissioned into Indian Navy, in the presence of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Mazgaon Docks in Mumbai this morning. He called this a historic step.
‘Chief Admiral’ of the Indian Navy, Chief of the Naval Staff Sunil Lanba and Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra were also present on the occasion. In his address, talking about the situation along the Line of Control, Mr Parrikar said India is not taking initiative to fire upon, unless fired on. About the Army jawan Chandu Chauhan, who inadvertently crossed LoC, he said standard procedures are being followed. India has been assured he is alive and safe.
The ship, among the largest indigenous destroyers with a length overall of 164 meters and displacement of over 7,500 tons, has been built by Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. Following the commissioning, INS Chennai will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. After completion of some more trials on sea for testing of the ship-borne systems, the guided destroyer will be assigned to the Western Fleet and would be based in Mumbai. This is the third destroyer of the class to the commissioned to the Naval fleet, earlier two being INS Kolkata the first ship of the class was commissioned on 16 August 2014 while INS Kochi the second ship of the class was commissioned last year on 30 September 2015.

India successfully conducts twin trial of Prithvi-11 missile

India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile twice in quick succession as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha.
In salvo mode, the two surface-to-surface missiles which have a strike range of 350 km and are capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads were successfully test-fired in quick succession from mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at around 9.35 AM, defence sources said. A similar twin trial had been conducted on October 12, 2009 from the same base where both tests were successful.
Inducted into Indian armed forces in 2003, the nine-metre-tall, single-stage liquid-fuelled Prithvi-II is the first missile to be developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, defence sources said.

Vizag Test: India beat England by 246 runs

India today won the second Test at Visakhapatnam by 246 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the 5-match series. England, who were chasing a victory target of 405, were skittled out by Team India for 158 on the fifth and final day of the game.
The visitors had resumed their second innings at the overnight score of 87 for 2. Indian bowlers, then, turned the game on its head this morning taking five wickets in the opening session and three post lunch.
Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant Jayant Yadav bagged 3 wickets each in the second innings, while Mohammad Shami and Ravinder Jadeja took two apiece. Ashwin had scalped 5 wickets in the first innings. Yesterday, the hosts were bundled out for 204 which gave England a 405-run target.
The first Test had ended in a draw. The third match of the series will be played in Mohali from Saturday.

Event Inauguration of “SLOVENINDIA – Slovenian Contemporary Art”

NVITATION FOR COVERAGE
Dear Sir/Madam,
                You are requested to cover the following event:-
EventInauguration of “SLOVENINDIA – Slovenian Contemporary Art” under the auspices of Cultural Exchange Programme between the Republic of India and the Republic of Slovenia by Smt. Shefali Shah, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture & H.E. Jozef Drofenik, Ambassador, Republic of Slovenia.
The exhibition project SLOVENINDIA, beginning from 22nd November 2016 to 22nd December 2016, results from an enthusiastic wish, to establish more ties between two cultural spaces, Slovenia and India. The purpose of the project is to provide Slovenian artists an opportunity to showcase their works of art to the Indian audience, and eventually to acquire the possibilities of exchange on unexplored creative avenues. The curators of this exhibition are Breda Sturm M.A.and Brina Torkar M.A.
Date22nd  November, 2016( Tuesday)
Time6.00 PM

VenueNational Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Jaipur House, India Gate, New Delhi.

India becomes Associate Member of CERN, Geneva

India and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) signed an agreement today making India an Associate Member State of CERN. This follows CERN Council’s adoption of the resolution to this effect on September 15, 2016. The agreement was signed by Dr. Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and CERN Director General Dr. Fabiola Gianotti in Mumbai today.
CERN is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory, where scientists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe by using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems. CERN is based in Geneva on the French-Swiss border. Presently CERN has 22 member states, four associate member states, and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organizations.
Participation in CERN programmes is a success story of scientific collaborations and cooperation where researchers from large number of national Institutes and Universities from India work together in forming active collaborations in the pursuit of fundamental knowledge, achieving scientific and engineering breakthrough as well as training the next generation of scientists. In fact, the participation of Indian scientists dates back to early 1960s, which has become much stronger and closer for the last quarter of a century with the support of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST). In 1991, DAE had signed a formal agreement with CERN, which continues till today. In recognition of most significant contributions, in 2003, India was awarded the Observer status of CERN, and subsequently invited to join CERN as an Associate Member. Last year, the Indian Cabinet gave its approval following which the CERN Council has accepted India as an Associate member.
In recent years, Indian scientists have been involved in all pioneering activities at CERN. India has made significant contributions to the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator components/systems and its commissioning and software development and deployment in the machine. India is one of the leading partners in the ALICE experiment, which is on a quest to unearth the physics of quark-gluon plasma (QGP) and to get a glimpse of how matter behaved within a few microseconds after the birth of our Universe. The discovery of the Higgs Boson at the LHC is the most talked about scientific discovery in recent memory. Indian scientists have played a significant role in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiments, which is one of the two large experiments that have led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Indian scientists have been named as part of this historic discovery. This helps India in participating in the high end technology related to high energy accelerators. It is noteworthy to mention the involvement of Indian scientists in high-tech particle detectors and electronics research, ISOLDE and n-TOF experiments, and various application oriented programmes including medical imaging. In the field of large-scale computing, India has made major contributions in terms of designing, developing and deploying software for the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Grid (WLCG). It is worth mentioning that the grid Tier2 centers established at Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Kolkata and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai have provided the pledged resources and are operating with 96% uptime, thereby facilitating running of computational jobs by various CERN collaborations.
As an Associate Member of CERN, India will be a part of the huge scientific and technological endeavor. The India-CERN association as a whole is interdisciplinary in nature and the involvement of physicists, electronics hardware and software engineers will pave the path for overall knowledge development in the best possible way. India has been putting efforts to design, develop and utilize various types of electron and proton accelerators for scientific, industrial and societal use. Becoming Associate Member of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects and bring back knowledge for deployment in the domestic programmes. It will also open opportunities for Indian industries to participate directly in the CERN project. Through the Teachers programme, teachers teaching in the higher secondary schools would also be able to participate in the programme and pass on the knowledge and quest for high-end science to their students, thereby encouraging large number of students to pursue their career in science.

Quake of 6.4 magnitude hit western Argentina

Quake of 6.4 magnitude hit western Argentina : Further details of the tremor are awaited.
A strong quake hit western Argentina, shaking buildings as far away as Santiago, the capital of neighboring Chile, which the US Geological Survey said, was a magnitude 6.4 though there were no reports of damage to people, infrastructure or basic services. Chile’s Navy has ruled out a tsunami after the quake. Both Chilean and Argentine authorities said, there were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake’s epicenter was 24 km southwest of the Argentine town of San Juan. The tremor was initially reported as a magnitude 6.7 but was later downgraded.

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Equal Rating Innovation Challenge helps to catalyze innovation needed to bring more people of India online: Mozilla

New Delhi, November 21, 2016Bringing all of the Internet to all people, especially the poor, is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and future innovations to connect the unconnected must adhere to the tenets of Equal Rating, said Jochai Ben-Avie, Senior Global Policy Manager at Mozilla at a panel discussion here last week.

“While TRAI has recognized that some business models are too harmful to competition and users to be allowed in the market, the very real challenge of bringing all of the Internet to all people remains. To advance this goal, Mozilla’s ‘Equal Rating Innovation Challenge’ is designed to catalyze new thinking and innovation in providing affordable access and cultivating digital literacy,” Ben-Avie said.

The expert panel discussion was organized by Mozilla in partnership with SFLC.in and followed the organization’s recent Equal Rating Innovation Challenge launch announcement.

"The debate around Internet openness and access has been playing out in India like nowhere else, and Equal Rating models can help to bring the Internet to all in line with TRAI’s regulation. Building on Mozilla’s strong commitment to net neutrality, the central tenet of Equal Rating models is that they treat all content equally, and that users are able to choose the content they want to see based on the quality of that content and not the commercial relationships of a given provider,” Ben-Avie added. 

Calling Mozilla’s challenge a real “game changer” which can help bring the next 300 million Indians online, Mahesh Murthy, Founder of Pinstorm, co-Founder at Seedfund and one of the panelists said, “I was part of the team that helped fight Free Basics – because it simply gave too much power to one company. But I was always cognizant of the need for the less privileged to get free Internet access. We want companies to come up with solutions that offer free net access, without the restrictions – and with the freedom for a user to visit any site she chooses. I’m glad to see that Equal Rating offers exactly that: plan to offer a certain amount of free and unfettered Internet access to all users, without restrictions or bias.”

Mishi Choudhary, Executive Director at SFLC.in and a panelist said, “Connecting the unconnected while propagating the values of an open Internet is what we all must work for. Mozilla’s challenge is the correct way to solve the problem of access. I hope for more such initiatives to be rolled out and we can address the challenge innovatively to educate every being on earth through an open Internet.”

“India has shown the world that it can protect the openness of Internet in the TRAI ruling earlier this year,” Smriti Parsheera, Consultant at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and a panelist said. “The global community has taken note of India as a country where even before any reference framework on net neutrality existed, the regulator took a view on ‘zero rating practices’ and ‘discriminatory pricing practices’, leading to a roll back of Free Basics,” Parsheera added.

The Equal Rating Innovation Challenge will support promising solutions through expert mentorship and funding of US$250,000 in prize monies split into three categories - Best Overall (based on scalability), Best Overall Runner-up and Most Novel Solution (based on experiment with a potential high reward). Submissions are now open through January 6, more information is available at www.equalrating.com
___________________________________

About Mozilla: 
Mozilla is a pioneer and advocate for the Open Web for more than 15 years. We create and promote open standards that enable innovation and advance the Web as a platform for all. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Mozilla Firefox to experience the Web on computers, tablets and mobile devices. For more information, visitwww.mozilla.org.

About SFLC.In:
SFLC.IN is a donor supported legal services organisation that brings together lawyers, policy analysts, technologists, and students to protect freedom in the digital world. SFLC.INpromotes innovation and open access to knowledge by helping developers make great Free and Open Source Software, protect privacy and civil liberties for citizens in the digital world by educating and providing free legal advice and help policy makers make informed and just decisions with the use and adoption of technology. SFLC.IN is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, operating all over India.

Contact person:
Vidhu Goyal
CNC India Pvt. Ltd. (on behalf of Mozilla)

Union MoS Agri, Sudarshan Bhagat address on Rice IR8

IR8, world’s first high-yielding rice, turns 50

20161117 ir8 50th
LOS BAÑOS, Philippines – November 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of IR8; the world’s first high-yielding rice variety and the first rice variety released by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
IR8 sparked the Green Revolution in Asia—a phenomenon that saved the region from famine in the 1960s and 70s. This scientific innovation was soon followed by other high-yielding varieties that each offered increasing vigor and resistance to pests and disease—the major scourges of that period. These varieties were also adaptable where they were most urgently needed: the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar (then Burma), Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the biggest of them all—India.
A series of global events will take place in New Delhi on November 21 and at IRRI headquarters in the Philippines on November 29 to commemorate this milestone in food security.

“Miracle Rice”

In the 1950s, Asia was on the brink of famine and millions of people were in danger of starving. In 1960, IRRI was established with one pressing mission: to develop high-yielding rice varieties.
Thus began intensive research and breeding work that sought ultimately to enable the production of more—much, much more—rice than previously possible in order to stave off predicted mass food shortages across the continent.
IR8 is the first offspring of these efforts. It is a semidwarf rice and was the result of a cross between Peta, a tall vigorous variety from Indonesia, and Dee-geo-woo-gen, a dwarf variety from Taiwan.
In the 1960s, average yield in the Philippines was at about a ton per hectare. In initial tests at the IRRI fields in Los Baños, IR8 produced an average of 9.4 tons per hectare.
In the business of growing food, this breakthrough is no small deal. The Philippine press dubbed the grain a befitting “Miracle Rice.”

IR8 and ‘Jaya’ in India

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a seven-point strategy that aims to double rice farmers’ income and reduce rural poverty by 2022 through innovations in food and farming.
This strategy will propel India’s vibrant rice sector onto another promising trajectory, made possible by a rich history in plant breeding innovation.
In the late 1960s, IR8 was introduced in India at about the same time another variety, ‘Jaya,’ was released. Quick field evaluations and rapid promotion of the two varieties by the Indian government, with the help of some pioneering Indian farmers, started the country’s own Green Revolution in rice.
Jaya, bred from an IRRI-introduced variety and an indica variety, is a high-yielding semidwarf rice that produces long, bold grains—preferred qualities of the Indian palate. It was a product of intensive breeding under the All-India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP), a collaboration between India and IRRI launched by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) in 1965.
The event on November 21 will celebrate this rich history and features a panel of global experts to speak on the future of the rice industry.

Back where it all started

In the Philippines, where IR8 and succeeding high-yielding rice types had their first real-world tests, the 50th year celebrations will be held in a Farmers’ and Partners’ Dayat the IRRI headquarters in Los Baños on November 29.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol will be presenting the Philippine government’s rice program in a session. The Philippine Department of Agriculture is a staunch partner of IRRI in its mission and in the IR8 commemoration.
Peter Jennings, who led the breeding team that developed IR8, will be coming to speak about IR8 and the revolution it catalyzed.

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