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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

5 initiatives which could change India's image in 2015

Infra spending
There are innumerable projects stuck for one reason or the other that need to be revived.While a lot has been done, it needs to be undertaken on a war footing. One should remember the benefits of the Golden Quadrilateral projects which were initiated 13-14 years ago

The Goods and Services Tax has been hanging fire for over four years, but it's never been as close to implementation as today. The Bill must be cleared as soon as possible. The introduction of this Act will have two major benefits- it would increase GDP by about 1.5-2 %, besides bringing stricter tax compliance and making the unorganised sector accountable

Make In India
This pet project of the PM is neither just three words, nor a replacement for made in India. It goes much beyond that and has serious implications for India and its masses. Manufacturing can only happen if you have the infrastructure, necessary manpower and facilities like railway, roads and port to move the raw material and finished goods. Currently, we need to do a lot in each of these activities

Banking system
The banking system seems to be creaking and cracking. The nonperforming assets (NPA) of banks have reached proportions which their profits cannot sustain.
RBI governor Raghuram Rajan needs to be appreciated for the proactive steps being taken to identify and punish wilful defaulters and uncooperative borrowers. A handful of borrowers have virtually held the banking system to ransom

DivestmentThe government needs to get over this bogey once and for all. It is not the job of the government to be running businesses, but to be a catalyst. Divestment is undoubtedly crucial from the fiscal deficit point of view, but it is even more crucial that the right message-that the government does not plan to run business- would bring money in the form of FDI by truckloads. The lingering divestment of the government's residual stake in Hindustan Zinc and BALCO is now more than a decade-old. This government needs to wrap up all at the earliest

Team India attends afternoon tea session with Australian PM Tony Abbott Thursday Jan 01,2015

The touring Indian cricketers and their home team counterparts were on Thursday hosted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for an afternoon tea at his official residence on the New Year’s Day in Sydney on Thursday Jan 01,2015
This picture posted by BCCI in their twitter handle shows team India being hosted by the Australian PM Tony Abbott for afternoon tea at Kirribilli House.

This picture posted by BCCI in their twitter handle shows team India being hosted by the Australian PM Tony Abbott for afternoon tea at Kirribilli House.
View image on Twitter 
View image on Twitter

Scotland's First Gay Wedding Dec 31,2014

Two couples have tied the knot on the stroke of midnight in Scotland's first same-sex weddings.

 Malcolm Brown and Joe Schofield , both 42, and

 Susan Douglas-Scott(54) and Gerrie Douglas-Scott,(59)

are the first of 17 couples to marry on Hogmanay.

MSPs passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in February, making Scotland the 17th country in the world to legalise same-sex ceremonies

More than 250 couples have converted their civil partnerships to marriage since the law came into effect on December 16,2014

But New Year's Eve is the first day after the usual 15-day notice period for marriages that same-sex weddings can take place.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Green MSP Patrick Harvie acted as witnesses at the marriage of the Douglas-Scotts while Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and local government and community empowerment minister Marco Biagi acted as witnesses for Mr Schofield and Mr Brown.

10 things never heard of until 2014

Plane disappears
On March 8, 2014, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing. The plane made its last contact when it crossed the Malay Peninsula. Search is still on for the plane, its crew and 227 persons on board.
Death by a bouncer
When Australian players Sean Abbott and Phil Hughes played the game on November 25, 2014, noone would have imagined a bouncer can take life. Australia Test batsman Phil Hughes, who got hit by Abbott’s bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and NSW, succumbed to injuries two days later.
Pepper spray in Parliament
The Indian parliament has witnessed terror attack some years back. But pepper spray attack is probably new to every parliament in the world. The Lok Sabha witnessed an unprecedented low on February 13, 2014 when Congress MP from Vijayawada L. Rajagopal used a can of pepper spray to protest against the tabling of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.
A year of social challenges
The year saw a new way of social interaction that too for a cause. It all began with Ice Bucket Challenge, a novel way to raise awareness on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder. A person pours a bucket of ice water poured on his/her head and nominates others. Following the success, rice bucket challenge, My Tree Challenge, mud bucket challenge followed. Even our Prime Minister got inspired by the idea and launched Swachch Bharat Abhiyan on the same lines.
Landing on a comet
On November 12, this year, the European Space Agency successfully landed a spacecraft on a speeding comet for the first time in history.
On September 27, 2014, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa earned the dubious distinction of the first-ever sitting chief minister to be convicted in a disproportionate assets case. As the judge sentenced her to four years imprisonment, ending the 18-year-old trial, she is now barred from contesting from elections for a period of 10 years.
Photobomb, selfies
These two terms, now added to dictionaries, is in use for sometime now. But a Queen photobombing a player’s selfie, is definitely new.
Mineral gets name
American geologists named the earth’s most abundant mineral as Bridgmanite. It had hitherto remained nameless as a large enough sample of the mineral, found in the earth’s lower mantle, had not been recovered.
Phones do bend
In September, when Apple loyalists, who bought the newly-launched iPhone 6, realised their phone bends when kept in their pockets. This was not a latest innovation from Apple’s stable, but a design flaw.
Monkey doctor
Do you know how to save a person using cardiac massage? Well, this monkey seems to know it. A monkey gave life to another one that fell unconscious after apparently touching the high-tension wires at Kanpur railway station. 

Beji Caid Essebsi sworn in as Tunisia president Wednesday Dec 31,2014

Beji Caid Essebsi(88)was sworn in as Tunisia's first freely elected president at a ceremony in parliament on Wednesday Dec 31,2014

The election of Essebsi, a veteran of previous regimes, is seen as a landmark for the birthplace of the Arab Spring, where longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled four years ago.

Beji Caid Essebsi's victory over outgoing president Moncef Marzouki capped Tunisia's sometimes troubled transition to democracy and has won praise from Western leaders.

Beji Caid Essebsi told parliament he would be "the president of all Tunisians" and "the guarantor of national unity".
"There is no future for Tunisia without consensus among political parties and members of civil society," he said. "There is no future for Tunisia without national reconciliation."

Beji Caid Essebsi's opponents have accused him of seeking a return to the era of Ben Ali, who clung to power for 23 years, combining authoritarian rule with a degree of prosperity and stability for his people.

Following independence from France in 1956, he became an adviser to the country's founding father and first president, Habib Bourguiba, holding a number of key jobs under him and then Ben Ali.

Beji Caid Essebsi's Nidaa Tounes movement, which won landmark parliamentary elections in October, includes many members of Ben Ali's old ruling party.

Israel PM Netanyahu easily wins party leadership vote

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu easily won a primary vote to remain leader of the ruling rightwing Likud party ahead of a snap election on March 17,2015

With nearly 60 % of the ballots counted, Benjamin Netanyahu took 80 % of the vote and Danny Danon (his only rival) 20 %

Land Acquisition Ordinance Gets Presidential Assent Wednesday Dec 31,2014

The ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing on Wednesday Dec 31,2014  received Presidential assent.

The ordinance was cleared by Union Cabinet on Monday December 29,2014 and sent to the President for his clearance and when asked, President's Press Secretary Venu Rajamony said "the President has signed it."

The ordinance makes significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas -- industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

Under the amended Act, 13 legislations, including those relating to defence and national security, to provide higher compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to farmers whose land is being acquired have been brought under the Centre's purview.

Under the amended law, the mandatory "consent" clause and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) will not be applicable if the land is acquired for five purposes.

These include,national security, defence, rural infrastructure including electrification, industrial corridors and building social infrastructure including Public Private Partnership (PPP) where ownership of land continues to be vested with the government.

Planning Commission Renamed 'Niti Aayog' Thursday Jan 01,2015

Following up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day announcement that the Planning Commission would be replaced, the government, Thursday Jan 01,2015, renamed the plan panel as 'Niti Aayog'.

The renaming of the Planning Commission is being seen as the first step towards replacing it with a new-age institution.

The Prime Minister had called meeting of all chief ministers recently to deliberate on the structure of the new body which would replace the Commission.


The Planning Commission was set up by a simple government resolution in March 1950

The first Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 with total outlay of little over Rs 2,000 crore and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965, when there was a break because of the Indo-Pakistan Conflict.
Two successive years of drought, devaluation of currency, a general rise in prices and erosion of resources disrupted the planning process and after three Annual Plans between 1966 and 1969, the fourth Five-year plan was started in 1969.

The plan panel has commissioned 12 five-year plans and six annual plans involving fund outlays of over Rs 200 lakh crore in its 65-year-history.

Sachin Tendulkar's Biggest Cricket Reget

Sachin Tendulkar considers the early exit of the Indian team from 2007 cricket World Cup as one of the worst moments of his illustrious career and says the disappointment in the West Indies served as a boost to prove critics wrong four years later.
"The most forgettable ICC Cricket World Cup for me has to be 2007 edition in the West Indies. The early exit from the tournament ranks among the worst moments of my cricketing career," Tendulkar said in a column he wrote for the ICC in the run up to the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

LPG Consumers Across India to Get Cash Subsidy in Bank Accounts From January 01,2015

LPG consumers across India will from January 01,2015  get cash subsidy directly into their bank accounts so that they buy the cooking fuel at market price.

Domestic LPG users will get Rs. 568 in the bank account the moment they join the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG, which has now been renamed PAHAL. They will have to use this money to buy 14.2-kg refill at the market price.

Currently, the subsidised LPG costs Rs. 417 per 14.2-kg cylinder while a market-priced refill costs Rs. 752 in Delhi. It will be priced higher in other cities depending on local taxes.

The ambitious plan, launched by the previous UPA government in June 2013 but abruptly stopped earlier this year following court orders, has been modified to exclude the requirement of unique identification number (Aadhaar) for availing the cash subsidy

PAHAL or 'Pratyaksh Hanstantarit Labh' was rolled out in 54 districts from November 15 and will extend to rest of the country from January01,2015

Under the scheme, LPG consumers will get cash subsidy to buy twelve 14.2-kg cylinders or 34 five-kg refills.

Currently, over 6.5 crore consumers (43 %) have already joined the scheme and will receive subsidy in their bank accounts.

LPG consumers who do not wish to avail the subsidy can simply choose to opt out of it. Over 12,000 citizens have already voluntarily given up subsidy

New Year's Eve Stampede kills 35 people in Shanghai,China Dec 31,2014

At least 35 people were killed and 43 injured in a stampede during New Year's Eve celebrations in Shanghai,China

The deaths occurred in the eastern Chinese city's famous Bund, the riverside area where tens of thousands of people had gathered.

The stampede began after 11:35 p.m. local time in Chen Yi Square and the exact cause was unclear, but some local news media reported that the release of fliers resembling cash from a nearby building set off a crush of people

About 11:50 p.m., people in a nearby building began dropping green pieces of paper that looked like U.S. 100-dollar bills, which set off a rush, quoted

Images posted online showed huge crowds filling the pedestrian areas along the Huangpu River for a midnight light show

Sydney Cricket Ground(SCG)to Unveil Phillip Hughes Bronze Plaque featuring a small bust of Phillip Hughes

As Australian cricketers return to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the first time since the death of Phillip Hughes, the life of their fallen teammate will be commemorated with a bronze plaque to be unveiled at the ground at which he burst onto the scene and then met his tragic fate.

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust is preparing to have a plaque featuring a small bust of Hughes placed on the front wall of the members' pavilion outside the home dressing room 

Sixty-three bats, individually etched with images from Hughes' career, will also be affixed to the outside upper tier of the members' stand, having lined the way out to the pitch when more than 4,000 people visited the ground on the day of his funeral in Macksville. The number represents the score, 63 not out, that he was on when his life was cruelly cut short.

Crowds observe 63 bats featuring images from Phillip Hughes' career
Tribute: Crowds observe 63 bats featuring images from Phillip Hughes' career prior to the memorial service for the former NSW and Test batsman.

There also will be a small exhibition in the SCG Museum featuring some of the tributes the public made to Hughes.

The plaque above the players' race will include details of Hughes' career at the SCG, where he made his first-class debut for NSW in 2007 and played his first Test on Australian soil, against Pakistan in 2010.

Bronze plaque put in place at SCG in honour Phillip Hughes ahead of 4th test

Workmen carry a bronze plaque commemorating the life and career of cricketer Phillip Hughes to its permanent place on the Members Pavilion
Workmen carry a bronze plaque commemorating the life and career of cricketer Phillip Hughes to its permanent place on the Members Pavilion
A poignant moment caught on camera by Peter Siddle. The Australian cricketer uses his phone to capture an image of the bronze plaque commemorating the life and career of former team-mate Phillip Hughes 
The plaque to honour his memory has been unveiled on the wall outside the home dressing room.


Macksville-born Phillip Hughes became the youngest man to score a century in a Sheffield Shield final when he posted 116 at the SCG during NSW’s win against Victoria in 2007-08.
The dashing and unorthodox left-hand batsman had earned his first NSW cap earlier that season, aged just 18.
Hughes made three more first-class centuries at the SCG, having quickly become a crowd favourite.
The Boy from Macksville also became a hugely popular member of the world’s cricketing elite, forging friendships at home and abroad as fast as he accumulated runs.
Hughes scored 9023 first-class runs at 46.51, compiling 26 hundreds from 114 matches.
He became Australia’s 408th Test player during the 2008-09 tour of South Africa – a series in which he also became the youngest player to post centuries in both innings of a Test, and this, in only his second ever Test match.
He played three Tests at the SCG, narrowly missing a century in the 2012-13 summer when dismissed for 87 against Sri Lanka.
Hughes faced his last ball on 25 November 2014, playing for South Australia against NSW at the SCG.
His death two days later united the sporting world in grief, with Cricket Australia declaring him 63 not out forever – his final score at the SCG. His funeral in his home town was attended by thousands, with many more watching from the SCG.
The plaque to honour his memory has been

The plaque features highlights from Hughes' career at the famous ground, where he made his first-class debut for the Blues in 2007 and played his first home Test against Pakistan in 2010.

Similar plaques of the likes of Sir Donald Bradman and Monty Noble adorn the SCG.

Sixty-three bats, each recording a moment in Hughes' career, will be temporarily fixed to the outside upper deck of the Members Pavilion for the duration of the Test.

The bats were first unveiled at his funeral in Macksville.

The SCG Museum will also feature a small exhibition with some of the public tributes made to Phil Hughes.

 It is 5 weeks since November 25, 2014 the cricket world was rocked by the passing of the 25-year-old batsman who was struck on the helmet by a short-pitched delivery while batting for South Australia against his former team New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match in Sydney

Haiti deal reached to avert crisis over delayed polls

Haitian President Michel Martelly has reached a deal with the senate and the chamber of deputies to avert a political crisis over long-delayed elections which sparked mass protests

Lawmakers will now have to sign off on the deal.If it is not passed, Haiti could be left without a functioning government once the mandates expire on January 12,2015

Under the agreement, Haiti's deputies would be extended in their posts until April  24,2015 and senators until September 09,2015
The deal comes just over two weeks after Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigned in the wake of violent protest at the delayed elections

Manchester City Extends Frank Lampard's Contract Dec 31,2014

Manchester City have extended the contract of midfielder Frank Lampard(36) until the end of the 2014-15 season.

Frank Lampard's deal from New York City was due to expire at midnight on 31 December but he will now stay until the summer and miss the start of the MLS season.

Frank Lampard is available to face Sunderland in the Premier League on Thursday Jan 01,2015

Frank Lampard has scored 6 goals in 17 appearances for City this 2014-15 season

Palestinians Sign Up to Join International Criminal Court Wednesday Dec 31,2014

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday Dec 31,2014 has signed the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty, at a Ramallah meetingto join the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Membership could see the Palestinians pursue Israel on war crimes charges, and the move was quickly condemned by Israel's prime minister.

It follows the rejection of a UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by late 2017

Eight members of the 15-strong Security Council voted for that resolution, while the US and Australia voted against

Less than 24 hours after the Palestinian Authority failed to bring about a UN vote to end the Israeli occupation, President Mahmoud Abbas has made good on his promise of a different approach: joining the International Criminal Court, and threatening Israel with charges of war crimes. 

The resolution, condemned by Israel as a "gimmick", needed the support of at least nine members in order to pass

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded quickly, saying Israel would take "steps in response and defend Israel's soldiers".
Israel, which is not a member of the ICC and does not recognise its jurisdiction, says joining the court would expose the Palestinians to prosecution.
"It is the Palestinian Authority - which is in a unity government with Hamas, an avowed terrorist organisation that, like ISIS, perpetrates war crimes - that needs to be concerned about the International Criminal Court in the Hague,"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said

FC Barcelona transfer ban appeal rejected

FC Barcelona will not be allowed to sign any players in 2015 after their appeal against a transfer ban was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport(CAS)

FC Barcelona was handed a 14-month ban in April 2014 1after being found guilty of breaching Fifa's rules on the transfer of players aged under 18.

FIFA rejected an appeal in August 2014 but the pending appeal to Cas allowed Barca to sign players including Luis Suarez 

FC Barcelona has expressed its "utter nonconformity with the resolution".

CAS said: "The panel found in particular that FC Barcelona had breached the rules regarding the protection of minors and the registration of minors attending football academies.
"Accordingly, the Fifa decision is confirmed in full and the sanction remains in force.
"In view of the need to issue a decision before the opening of the next transfer window, the panel has issued its decision without the grounds. The full arbitral award, with the reasons for the panel's decision, will be issued as soon as possible."

A Barcelona statement added: "The errors that the club might have committed, and which have been recognised and argued before the corresponding authorities, are, in all cases, of an administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the Fifa regulations and Spanish legislation, along with the club's conviction that it was acting correctly.
"Therefore, FC Barcelona considers the sanction to be completely disproportionate as it supposes an excessive punishment for the club, when considering its trajectory and the circumstances of this specific case."

FC Barcelona went on a summer spending spree this year while the suspension went on hold during the appeals process, splashing out more than 150m euros (£117.5m) on Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu and Alen Halilovic

Five Guantanamo Bay inmates 'resettled' in Kazakhstan Wednesday Dec 31,2014

5 men held at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for more than a decade have been sent to Kazakhstan for resettlement, the Pentagon says.

The 3 Yemenis and 2 Tunisians had been captured in Pakistan as suspected militants with ties to al-Qaeda.
  • Asim Thabit Abdullah Al-Khalaqi, 46, Yemeni
  • Muhammad Ali Husayn Khanayna, 36, Yemeni
  • Sabri Mohammad al Qurash, 44, Yemeni
  • Adel Al-Hakeemy, 49, Tunisian
  • Abdallah Bin Ali al Lufti, 48, Tunisian

US officials say the men, who were never charged, no longer pose a threat.

Officials say 28 inmates have been released from the facility this year, the largest number since US President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

It comes as part of the president's push to close the controversial prison, which was opened in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the US.

Earlier this month, 4 Afghan detainees were repatriated while another 6 prisoners were flown to Uruguay.

2015 New Year Celebrations Across the World

Auckland in New Zealand was the first major city to welcome in 2015 with a huge firework display and music blasting from its iconic Sky Tower
 Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on 1 January 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. 
Sydney's Harbour Bridge in Australia was the centrepiece of the city's new year fireworks
New Year fireworks in Sydney, 31 December 2014 

Shinto priests conduct an end of year ritual ahead of the new year at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Over the coming days, more than 3m people are expected to visit the shrine to pray for health and prosperity in 2015  
Shinto priests walk through a wooden tore gate after concluding an yearend ritual in preparation for the New Year at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, 31 December 2014.  

Students at China's Shenyang Agriculture University found their own way of marking the start of 2015
Students form "2015" standing on snow to welcome the upcoming New Year at Shenyang Agriculture University in Shenyang, Liaoning province, 31 December 2014.   

2015 is the "Year of the Sheep" in China, as illustrated by this student in eastern Shandong province
A college student with paintings of a sheep on their hands to welcome the new year, and to mark the coming "Year of the Sheep", in Liaocheng, in eastern China's Shandong province on 30 December 2014  

Students in Ahmadabad, India 
Indian students form numbers representing the year 2015 during a function to welcome the New Year at a school in Ahmadabad, India, on 31 December 2014 
Moscow's skyline lit up as fireworks flared over the Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral
Fireworks in Moscow 
Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour was lit up by fireworks as the clock hit midnight
Fireworks explode over the Victoria Harbour to celebrate the 2015 new year in Hong Kong, Wednesday 1 January 2015 

Virat Kohli assumes India Test helm

Virat Kohli is taking over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the fourth and final Test in Sydney to be played between Jan 06 -10,2015

Virat Kohli is likely to instill a new aggression in the Indian team as he assumes the captaincy of a Test side that last won a Test series away from home back in 2011 against the West Indies

Virat Kohli has emerged as India's leading batsman following the recent retirements of a string of greats including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
From 32 Tests so far, Virat Kohli has aggregated 2,354 runs at an average of 44.41 with nine hundreds and 10 half-centuries.

2014-15 Australia Vs India Third Test Match @ MCG -Virat Kohli's Milestone

Virat Kohli is ideally poised to lead India in Test cricket and is unlikely to show the negativity of Dhoni 

Virat Kohli scored the 3rd Test Match Ton against Australia@ MCG in this series
  • Third Test @ MCG -169 and 54
  • Second Test @ Brisbane -19 and 01
  • First Test @ Adelaide - 115and 141

Third Test Match @ MCG Dec 26-30,2014 Scorecard

Australia 530 and 318 for 9 draw with India 465 and 174 for 6 at the MCG 

Steven Smith declared at lunch on the 5th day setting India an improbable target of 384

Shikhar Dhawan was out lbw for a duck off Ryan Harris in the second over and Lokesh Rahul, surprisingly sent in at number three, was caught in the next over for one by Shane Watson who bolted back from the slips when the nervous debutant sent a top edge high from a poor pull shot. 

Murali Vijay was dismissed lbw for 11, somewhat harshly by umpire Kumar Dharmasena, off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood before Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane steadied to take the tourists to 104-3 at tea

With Australia needing 7 wickets from the final session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, their bowlers could only manage three as Dhoni and Ashwin survived a nervous final hour to push India to safety.

India were 174 for six when Australia captain Steven Smith conceded the draw with four overs remaining, with M S Dhoni  on 24* and Ashwin on 8*

MOM - Ryan Harris for hisall-round performance 4/26 and 2/30 and 74 and 21 Runs
Ryan Harris (centre) celebrates taking the wicket of in-form India batsman Virat Kohli (right)

Match Result - Draw
Series Result - Australia lead the 4-Match Series 2-0
2014-15 Australia Vs India Border - Gavaskar Trophy

First Test @ Adelaide Dec 09-13,2014
Australia 517/7decl and 290/5decl
India 444 and 315 (87.1 ov, target: 364)
Match Result -Australia won by 48 Runs
MOM -Nathan Lyon for 5/134(36)and 7/152(34.1 Overs)
Second Test @ Brisbane Dec 17-20,2014
India 408 and 224
Australia 505 and 130/6(Target 128)
Match Result -Australia won by 4 wickets
MOM - Steven Smith for 133 and 28

Third Test @ MCG Dec 26-30,2014
Australia 530 and 318/9 decl
India 465 and 174/6 (Target: 384)
Match Result - Draw 
MOM - Ryan Harris for 4/70(26) and 2/30(16) and 74 and 21 Runs

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tamil Nadu Transport Unions Strike Called-Off Wednesday Dec 31,2014

 MTC bus strike at Perambur. Photo: V. Ganesan
The 4- day long strike by unions of State Transport Corporations' (STC) employees has been called off.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Transport Minister V. Senthil Balaji and leaders of the unions at Secretariat on Wednesday. The meeting lasted nearly 45 minutes.
The government has agreed to constitute a committee to hold negotiations on wage revision with representatives of the unions. The talks would be held in the presence of the Transport Minister. The panel would include managing directors of all the eight STCs.
The unions' leaders said their demand for the withdrawal of cases against some employees had also been conceded while a government official said the demand would be considered.
Twelve unions took part in the meeting and Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), CITU and the Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai (ATP) were among them.

Nuclear Power Plants(NPP) in India


Nuclear power has played an important role in the power development in all the developed countries and it forms over 17% of the total installed power capacity in the world.

About 30-40% of the power development in the Asia-Pacific region is of nuclear type.

To meet the long term energy needs of India, a 3-stage nuclear power programme was formulated in 1954. The programme aimed at using natural resources of uranium and thorium available in the country for power generation as below:
Stage I: 10,000 MW through natural uranium fuelled pressured heavy water reactors;
Stage II: Fast breeder reactors with plutonium as fuel and thorium as blanket for breeding U-233; and
Stage III: Breeder reactors using U-233 as fuel aid thorium as blanket

Nuclear power production began in India with the commissioning in 1969, of the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS 420 MW) at Tarapur in Maharashtra. 

This station had two boiling water reactors (BWRs) and it was set up with US help on a turnkey basis. The US discontinued its cooperation in 1974. The Nuclear Power Board with the support of Indian industries successfully developed the required technology and the plant is operating successfully.

Tarapur Power Station:
For putting up India’s first power stations, the Tarapur site, near Mumbai in western India was chosen in 1958 after a comprehensive survey of a number of possible sites all over the country. Two boiling water reactors (BWR) of 200 MW each were purchased from USA in 1964 as a turn key project, but with maximum participation of Indian personnel in all stages of design, construction, testing and training operations.
The station went into commercial operation in late 1969

Kalpakkam Power Station:
The third power station near Chennai consists of two units of 235 MW each. Though these reactors are similar to the Rajasthan units, several design modifications have been introduced for reasons of economy and due to special conditions at the site.
Some of the modified features include pre-stressed concrete reactor containment building, stainless steel end shields, submarine tunnel for drawing cooling water from the sea and an indoor switchyard. The Madras station marks the coming of age of the Indian atomic energy programme, as full responsibility for the execution of the project, including design, construction, commissioning the operation rests with Indian engineers and scientists.

Narora Power Station:
The Fourth is the 2×235 MW reactors at Narora in Uttar Pradesh. The first unit of the country’s fifth twin unit PHWR station set up at Kakrapar has just attained critically.

Kaiga Power Station:
Work has been initiated recently by the newly formed Nuclear Power Corporation at a new site, Kaiga in Karnataka. The plant has been in operation since 2000 and is operated by Nuclear Power Corporation of India. It has four units with one still under construction. All of the four are small sized CANDU plants of 220 MW.

Kakrapar Atomic Power Station:
It has in Gujarat near Surat and consists of two 220 MW pressurized water reactors with heavy water as Moderator (PHWR). KAPS went critical as 3 September 1992 and began commercial electricity production in September 1985. In Jan. 2003, the CANDU Owners Group (COG) distinguished KAPS -1 as the world-wide best PHWR of its class.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India was established in 1989 to realise the target of generating 9000 MW of electricity