Connecting Music

Connecting Music HD Videos

Thursday, April 26, 2012

India launches Risat-1 spy satellite

SRIHARIKOTA : On an early Thursday morning, an Indian rocket successfully launched into orbit a microwave Radar Imaging Satellite (Risat-1) from the spaceport here in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from Chennai. The indigenous Risat-1, with a life span of five years, would be used for disaster prediction and agriculture forestry and the high resolution pictures and microwave imaging could also be used for defence purposes as it can look through the clouds and fog. At exactly 5.47 a.m., the rocket - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C19 (PSLV-C19) - standing 44.5 metres tall and weighing 321 tons and with a one-way ticket, hurtled towards the skies ferrying the 1,858 kg Risat-1 after unshackling itself from launch pad No.1. With a rich orange flame at its tail and a plume of white smoke, the rocket ascended towards the blue sky amidst the resounding cheers of ISRO scientists and media team assembled at the launch centre. People perched atop nearby buildings too happily clapped as PSLV-C19 went up. Space scientists at the new rocket mission control room of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth's gravitational pull. The ISRO-made Risat-1 is the heaviest luggage so far ferried by a PSLV since 1993. At around 17 minutes into the flight, PSLV-C19 delivered Risat-1 into a polar circular orbit at an altitude of 480 km and an orbital inclination of 97.552 degrees. ISRO, with its network of ground stations, monitored its health. 'PSLV-C19 mission is a grand success. This is the 20th successive successful flight of PSLV. India's (indigenously built) first radar imaging satellite was injected precisely into orbit,' ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said after the launch. For ISRO, this is the first launch this fiscal as well as in the calendar year. Remote sensing satellites send back pictures and other data for use. India has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites in the world providing imagery in a variety of spatial resolutions, from more than a metre ranging up to 500 metres, and is a major player in vending such data in the global market. With 11 remote sensing/earth observation satellites orbiting in the space, India is a world leader in the remote sensing data market. The 11 satellites are TES, Resourcesat-1, Cartosat-1, 2, 2A and 2B, IMS-1, Risat-2, Oceansat-2, Resourcesat-2 and Megha-Tropiques. Risat-1's synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can acquire data in C-band and would orbit the earth 14 times a day. In 2009, ISRO had launched 300 kg Risat-2 with an Israeli built SAR enabling earth observation in all weather, day and night conditions. With Thursday's launch the PSLV rocket has launched successfully 53 satellites out of 54 it carried - majorly remote sensing/earth observation satellites both Indian and foreign - and has been a major revenue earner for ISRO. The one failure happened in 1993 when the satellite was not able reach the orbit. The rocket that delivered Risat-1 in the space is ISRO's four stage PSLV's upgraded variant called PSLV-XL. The letters XL stand for extra large as the six strap-on motors hugging the rocket at the bottom can carry 12 tonnes of solid fuel as against the base version that has a fuel capacity of nine tonnes. The PSLV's four stages are fuelled with solid and liquid propellants. The first and third stages are fuelled by solid fuel while the second and fourth stages are powered by liquid fuel. ISRO had used the PSLV-XL variant for its Chandrayaan-1 moon mission in 2008 and for launching the GSAT-12 communications satellite in 2011. IANS

Thursday, April 19, 2012

India surpasses $300 bn exports target

New Delhi: India's exports surpassed the $300 billion target in 2011-12 despite a slowdown in demand in major markets like the United States and Europe, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said Thursday. Exports surged by 21 per cent to $303.7 billion in 2011-12, led by healthy growth in petroleum, pharmaceuticals, and engineering products, Khullar told reporters here while releasing the provisional data.

The government had set a target of $300 billion exports for the financial year ended March 31.

India managed to exceed the export target helped by product and market diversification strategy.

However, imports surged by 32.1 per cent to $488.6 billion, leaving the highest ever trade deficit of $184.9 billion. The government had set a target of $150 billion trade deficit.

"This is the highest ever trade deficit and is a serious concern," Khullar said.

Engineering exports grew by 16.9 per cent to $58.2 billion. Exports of petroleum and oil products surged by 38.5 per cent to $57.5 billion and gems and Jewellery exports increased to $45.9 billion, which is 13.3 per cent higher than the exports registered in the previous year.

Other sectors which showed healthy performance include: drugs and pharmaceuticals, up 21.9 per cent at $13.1 billion; leather, up 22.5 per cent at $4.2 billion; electronics, up 9.2 per cent at $9 billion; cotton yarn and fabric made-up, up 17.4 per cent at $7.2 billion, readymade garments yarns and fabrics, up 18 per cent at $13.7 billion and marine products up 31.4 per cent at $3.4 billion.

Imports of petroleum, oil and lubricants surged by 46.9 per cent to $155.6 billion largely due to increase in prices in international markets. This has also been the main reason for widening deficit.

Gold and silver imports jumped by 44.4 per cent to $61.5 billion. Imports of coal surged by 80.3 per cent to $17.6 billion and imports of machinery increased by 27.7 per cent to $35.4 billion.

Imports of electronics goods grew by 23 per cent to $32.7 billion; iron and steel imports increased by 15 per cent to $11.9 billion; vegetable oil imports grew by 47.5 per cent to $9.7 billion; and fertilizer imports surged by 59 per cent to $11 billion.

However, imports of gems and jewellery fell by 0.6 per cent to $31 billion.

Foreign firms keen to manufacture Aakash 2 in India

New Delhi:India Communications Minister Tuesday said many foreign companies have shown interest in manufacturing the second version of the low-cost tablet Aakash 2 in India.

'We have invited companies from across the world for manufacturing and many are ready to manufacture it here,' Sibal told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of World IT Forum 2012.

'Currently we are looking at the design and other parameters. After we freeze the design and technology, manufacturing will take place. The second version of Aakash will be launched in May,' he added.

The announcement comes even as Canadian firm Datawind, which has been manufacturing Aakash, got into a spat with the Hyderabad-based assembler of the tablet, Quad Electronics, in the last few months.

Quad has reportedly alleged that it has not got its payments for the initial order of assembling 20,000 tablets.

Datawind on the other hand said that Quad breached Datawind's intellectual property, circumvented their relationship with IIT-Rajasthan, signed an agreement with them and then sold off their inventory in the open market.

Aakash 2 is expected to have three times more powerful processor and the resistive touch screen of the older version will be changed to capacitive touch screen. The device which was earlier expected to be launched in April will also become expensive compared to the earlier version which was priced at $35.

Talking about empowering the masses with 3G and 4G services, Sibal said these services would have limited access to the masses unless the government ensures that the cost of these devices go down.

'We must develop manufacturing in India,' he said while inaugurating the two day forum which will focus on use of ICT in agriculture, education, health and e-Governance, within the overall theme of 'ICT for Sustainable Human Development'.

The forum will discuss the role of IT interventions in bringing about greater transparency in governance, issues of privacy and security while dealing with public databases, financial inclusion and ways of leveraging wireless technologies.

Agni-V, INS Chakra give India a deadly punch -IBN Reports

New Delhi: Agni-V, the 5000-km range surface-to-surface Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, has catapulted India into an extremely select club of countries possessing such a deadly weapons platform. Agni-V gives India the much-needed muscle and a strong deterrence against its nuclear-armed adversaries as the missile can not only target every city of China, but is also capable of reaching Australia, Eastern Europe, North Eastern and Eastern Africa.

Coupled with the induction of the first operational nuclear attack submarine the Akula II class Nerpa rechristened INS Chakra into the Indian Navy on April 4, Agni-V gives India the power to deliver the knock out punch to the enemy in the event of hostilities breaking out. Only five other countries - China, Russia, France, the United States and the United Kingdom - have such long distance missiles.

Agni-V and INS Chakra are the biggest and the most deadly symbol of India’s military might and while Army Chief General VK Singh's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the war preparedness, lack and obsolescence of vital weapons systems and ammunition made a lot of news in the last few weeks, what went unnoticed is that the defence forces have been slowly adding muscle to counter the threat of a two-front war. In the past few months the government and the defence forces have taken several steps to plug in the gaps in India’s defence, particularly in relation with China.

Along with the earlier missiles of the Agni series - Agni-I (range: 700 km), Agni-II (2,000 km), Agni-III and IV (3,000 plus km) range - the ICBM gives India a wide array of potent weapons platform to take on the enemy. The 17 m long, 2 m wide and 50 tonne Agni-V is a generation ahead of the other surface-to-surface missiles in India's inventory and what makes the missile extremely effective and deadly is that it can carry Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MITRV) capable of delivering multiple warheads at different targets at long distances.

Such missiles when fired in large numbers can penetrate a ballistic missile shield and devastate the intended target or targets. After the missile is inducted into the strategic forces by 2014-2015, India will acquire a strong deterrent capacity against China as the entire country would come under its range.

Although Agni-V will need to undergo several more trials before it can be formally inducted into India's arsenal, the test-firing has sent out a strong statement to the world, particularly to the country’s adversaries.

The induction of INS Chakra, the impending sea trials of the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant that will be armed with torpedoes and the 700-km range nuclear K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the shortlisting of the Rafale for Indian Air Force’s (IAF) 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), induction of two squadrons of the front-line Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets in the North East at the Tezpur and the Chabua air bases are just some of the moves the government and defence forces have taken to counter the Chinese threat.

India will have an assured second strike capability once Agni-V and INS Arihant become operational as the country has already a declared policy of no first use of nuclear weapons. INS Arihant will complete the crucial third leg of nuclear triad as a nuclear-powered submarine can stay underwater for a very long duration, remain undetected and file a submarine launched nuclear missile.

The Indian Navy is gearing up to operate five nuclear submarines by the end of this decade, including two leased from Russia and three Arihant Class underwater warships built indigenously.

With six Scorpene submarines being constructed at Mazagon Dockyards in Mumbai in collaboration with French DCNS and six more planned to be built under the Project-75 India, the Navy is also getting ready for the induction of the 44,500-tonne INS Vikramaditya or the refitted Admiral Gorshkov from Russia in early-2013. INS Vikramaditya will have MiG-29Ks, the first-ever naval supersonic fighters, on board giving the carrier battle group a lethal edge. The Navy will operate 45 MiG-29K fighters out of which 16 will be based on INS Vikramaditya.

India is also getting ready to induct the 40,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), being constructed at Cochin Shipyard. The carrier is slated to be battle-ready by 2015 and will give a big boost to the Navy's plans of operating three carrier battle groups with one on in the Arabian Sea and the other in the Bay of Bengal and the third in reserve. Both the INS Vikramaditya and the IAC will also carry India's indigenously designed naval version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.

According to Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma the second indigenous aircraft carrier called IAC-II will be a much bigger warship than the IAC, displacing 50,000 tons. If the Cochin Shipyard adheres to the schedule then the Navy will operate three operational carrier battle groups by 2020.

The fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50/ PAK FA, which is being developed in collaboration with Russia, will also give India a potent fighter in the sky. The fighter jet is undergoing tests and is expected to enter into service with the IAF by 2017. The IAF is planning to induct 250 Sukhoi T-50/ PAK FA.

Even the Army, in the news for having an arsenal of obsolete weapons, is moving fast to match up to the Chinese threat on the Eastern front. China has been modernising and building the infrastructure and is now capable of outnumbering the Indian forces by almost 3:1 by moving almost 30 divisions with over 15,000 soldiers each to the disputed 4,057km long Line of Actual Control.

The Army is already raising a new mountain strike corps comprising of almost 70,000 soldiers along with two mountain infantry divisions with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers to be based in the North East. Equipped with M-777 ultra-light howitzers, 145 of which are being procured from the US, the mountain strike corps will give the Army the boots on the grounds.

With the new regiment of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile (the Block-III version that can scale mountainous terrain and then dive steeply) already deployed in the North East, the Army has plugged a major hole in India's defence.

Taken together these measures reveal that India is indeed taking the threat from both the Eastern and the Western fronts seriously and taking measures to counter it. All the three wings of the military – the Army, Navy and IAF – are not only adding the latest weapons platforms in their arsenal, but also upgrading their existing arsenal to thwart any misadventure by the nuclear armed adversaries.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Army chief calls coup report 'absolutely stupid'

Kathmandu: Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh Thursday dismissed as 'absolutely stupid' a report that suggested a coup bid on the basis of movement of two key army units towards the capital'.

The comments come a day after the Indian government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the defence minister thrashed the report as alarmist as well as baseless.

Singh, here on a two-day visit to attend a seminar hosted by the Nepalese army, said the report was 'deplorable' and that some people were trying to throw muck at the government and the army.

'This is absolutely stupid,' was his reply when asked to comment on the Indian Express report of Wednesday claiming the Raisina Hills, the seat of the Indian government, was 'spooked' Jan 16 after the troop movement.

'Whosoever is trying to make stories against the army chief is deplorable. What it shows is that people are unnecessarily trying to throw muck at both the government and the army. Such people should be taken to task,' he said.

The Express said the Hisar-based Mechanised Infantry unit and elements from the airborne 50 Para Brigade in Agra moved towards the capital on the night of Jan 16, without following the standard operating procedure of informing the defence ministry in advance.

The report said since this happened when Gen. Singh was waging a judicial battle against the government over his age row, it created unease and suspicion in Delhi. But the paper left it short of calling it a coup bid.

'It (the report) seems like somebody's mischief,' Singh said, adding that he 'can't keep guessing' who was playing mischief or why it was being played.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

PM, Antony dismiss report on troop movement

New Delhi/Visakhapatnam:Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony today rubbished a news report on 'unusual' troop movement towards Delhi in the middle of January as 'alarmist' and 'absolutely baseless'. 'These are alarmist reports. They should not be taken at face value,' the Prime Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan. To a question on the stand off between government and the Army Chief, he said, 'the Army Chief's office is an exalted office. All of us have an obligation to do nothing that would lower its dignity.'The Prime Minister was reacting to a report in the 'Indian Express' which said that on the night of January 16-17 an entire mechanised infantry unit based in Hisar (Haryana) with its fighting vehicles began moving towards Delhi, the day Army Chief Gen V K Singh approached the Supreme Court on the age issue.

A sizeable section of the Agra-based 50 Para Brigade also moved to near Palam. Both were stopped and ordered to be moved back, the report said, virtually suggesting a possible coup attempt. Defence Minister Antony described as 'absolutely
baseless' fears of coup by the armed forces and expressed confidence that they will not do anything to undermine democracy.
'Absolutely baseless. Army has already explained this. It is usual, natural activities. Nothing unusual. We are absolutely confident of the patriotism of the armed forces. Don't question their patriotism. They will not do anything to undermine Indian democracy,' he told a press conference in Visakhapatnam after commissioning 'INS Chakra', a nuclear power submarine.

Antony was replying to a question on the 'Indian Express' report. The questioner told him that the report raised considerable alarm and fears of a coup and whether the government was afraid of such a possibility and what did it do. Would he rule out the possibility of a coup. Antony said the armed forces personnel were 'true patriots' and 'don't question the patriotism of the soldiers who are dying in the frontiers of the country.' 'I am proud of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard,' he said. He also urged the media not to lower the dignity of the armed forces on issues of national security. In a statement, Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said, 'the points raised in the report have already been clarified by the Army...such exercises are conducted by the Army from time to time.' He also dubbed the report as 'baseless and incorrect'.

Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the report was 'highly irresponsible and anti-national'. PTI