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India just launched 104 satellites, but it has a long way to go to become a global space player

 

India just launched 104 satellites, but it has a long way to go to become a global space player

 

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial revenue forms only 0.6% of the global market.

On February 15, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched a rocket that put 104 satellites into orbit around the earth, breaking a world record as it did so. It was a remarkable achievement for India’s space organisation, which has now had 36 consecutively successful launches of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles since 1994.ISRO has consistently been in the headlines over the last few years for its rapid developments in space technology, including the cheapest Mars mission ever designed and its indigenously built cryogenic engine that will be the first step towards putting heavier loads including humans and large satellites into space.But how does ISRO stack up against other space organisations, both government and private?There are two ways to assess this: technological developments and commercial growth.

The Cold War era of intense rivalry between the US and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics led to a “space race” after the USSR launched Sputnik I, the world’s first satellite, in 1957. The two countries pushed each other to the limits to send ever-larger satellites and finally humans into space and to the moon.The European Union, Japan, Canada, Russia and the US jointly operate the International Space Station, a habitable artificial satellite. These countries also have the world’s premier space organisations that conduct both research and launches. While the US and Russia have scaled back on human spaceflight, China is still pursuing this technology. It sent its first astronaut into space in 2008. Neither the European Space Agency nor the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have independently sent humans into space.Along with these five, India’s is only the sixth space agency in the world to have complete launch facilities, to operate cryogenic engines and to send probes to extraterrestrial bodies.However, India still has a long way to go. Although it successfully sent an orbiter to Mars in 2013, and was the first country to achieve this on its first attempt, India is only just beginning to harness the potential of its cryogenic engine to launch Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles into space. These vehicles travel into higher orbit than PSLVs and can carry satellites weighing more than 2,000 kilogrammes.

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Musical Nights at Rose Festival 2017, Chandigarh | All 3-Day Details

Musical Nights at Rose Festival 2017, Chandigarh | All 3-Day Details

The 45th edition of Rose Festival in Chandigarh just started on 17th February 2017. Society for Tourism & Entertainment promotion in Chandigarh along with Chandigarh Tourism is also organising musical nights on each day of the 3-day Rose fest. People can enjoy Punjabi musical night on the 2 days of the Rose Fest, whereas the last day will be dedicated to the Bollywood musical night in Chandigarh. Musical night in Rose Fest 2017 will be the entertainment factor for all the visitors to chillax and just dance on the beats.
Details of Musical Night in Rose Fest, ChandigarhArtists Who’ll be Performing
Rose festival in Chandigarh will not only bloom the people with the fragrance of flower but will also be a treat for all music lovers. The 3 days musical night in the Rose Festival will be a roller coaster ride for everyone in the city. Singers like Sukshinder Shinda, Garry Sandhu and Adnan Sami will be performing live in concert during the musical night.

Punjabi musical night (Garry Sandhu) On the very first day of the musical night in 45th Rose Fest in Chandigarh, Chandigarhian will get to tap their feets with the performance of Garry Sandhu at Leisure Valley from 6:30 PM onwards.

Punjabi musical night (Sukshinder Shinda) The Second day will also be dedicated to Punjabi music with the king of Pop bhangra music ‘Sukshinder Shinda’. Groove hard on the rock beats of bhangra with desi rockstar in Chandigarh.
Bollywood musical night (Adnan Sami)

Whereas on the last day of the musical night, Chandigarhians will get a chance to listen to the mesmerising voice of Adnan Sami in Rose fest. Be it romantic or dancing number song, you will get it all to dance upon.
Grab your passes now to make your weekend memorable with the blossoms of music on the 45th Rose Festival in Chandigarh.

Rose fest offers you a blend of fun, music, competition, prizes and food all in just one place.Musical NightDate: 17th- 19th February 2017Time: 6:30 PM onwardsVenue: Leisure Valley, Sector 10, Chandigarh

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Demonetisation 100 days: Fake Rs 2000 notes entering India through Bangladesh

 

Demonetisation 100 days: Fake Rs 2000 notes entering India through Bangladesh

 

Fake Rs 2,000 bills are entering India through Bangladesh, three months after the newly minted banknote was introduced as an upshot of the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation drive to fight corruption, counterfeiting and terrorist funding.But multiple confiscations of counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes over the past three weeks have undermined the shock recall of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes last November, wiping out 86% of the money in circulation in a cash-driven economy.But multiple confiscations of counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes over the past three weeks have undermined the shock recall of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes last November, wiping out 86% of the money in circulation in a cash-driven economy.The latest attempts to restart the vicious cycle after the notes ban have set off alarm bells in the security establishment.On the night of February 14, security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle a consignment across the fence on Indo-Bangladesh border. This was the latest and biggest in a series of attempts over a short span of time.A Border Security Force (BSF) patrol seized a bundle of 100 counterfeit notes that was thrown across the fence for miscreants waiting on the Indian side. The criminals escaped, leaving behind the bundle.

“Our enemies across the border will not stop bothering us. They will continue to poison our economy … pushing fake notes is the best method to do it. It was just a matter of time that they copied the new notes,” said Arun Chaudhary, former Intelligence Bureau special director and former chief of Sashastra Seema Bal that guards the Indo-Nepal border.

The Bangladesh border is a preferred route because it is porous.

Of the 17 security features on the Rs 2,000 note printed by the Reserve Bank of India, 10 were found on the seized notes, according to intelligence sources.More details would be known once they get the forensic report in a couple of weeks.
Preliminary inquiries by the BSF revealed that counterfeiters have managed to copy six front features —including the see-through register where the numeral 2,000 can be seen when held against light; the Devanagari inscription, portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, and the Ashoka pillar emblem.

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As ISRO Attempts World Record, Government Confirms Missions To Mars, Venus

As ISRO Attempts World Record, Government Confirms Missions To Mars, Venus

 

BENGALURU: India will boldly go to Venus for the first time and re-visit the Red Planet very soon. Buried and hidden in the hundreds of pages of the new-format electronic budget documents, is the first formal acknowledgement by the government about these two new bold inter-planetary sojourns to Earth’s immediate neighbours. This uplifting news comes ahead of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) attempting to undertake its mega launch where it will place not five, ten or twenty, but a record 104 satellites in space in a single mission. No other country has ever tried to hit a century in a single mission.
If all goes according to plan, on the morning of February 15, ISRO will put 104 satellites in space using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Three satellites will be from India and a 101 other satellites of different countries.
India’s ISRO, considered a leading space organisation globally, is one of the best and most competitive in the multi-billion-dollar space launch market. It hopes to set an enviable benchmark for other nations.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made science and technology, research and space programmes as one of his government’s top priorities. To give it a boost, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has given the Department of Space a massive 23 per cent increase in this year’s budget. Under the space sciences section, the budget mentions provisions for “Mars Orbiter Mission II and Mission to Venus”.The second mission to Mars is tentatively slated for 2021-2022 and as per existing plans it might even involve putting a robot (rover) on the surface of the Red Planet. While India’s first mission to Mars undertaken in 2013 was a purely Indian mission, the French space agency has shown keenness to collaborate in making the Mars rover for the second mission.

During a visit to India this month, Michael M Watkins, Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said they would be keen to at least put a telematics module so that NASA’s rovers and the Indian satellites are able to communicate with each other.The second Indian mission to Mars will aim at exploring the planet in detail from its surface as the first mission – the Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM – is performing well from while orbiting the planet.

India’s maiden mission to Venus, the second planet in our solar system, is likely to be an orbiter mission, similar to the first mission to mars. Mr Watkins said a mission to Venus is very-very worthwhile as so little is understood about that planet and NASA would definitely be willing to partner in India’s maiden voyage to Venus. Towards that, NASA and ISRO have already initiated talks this month on trying to jointly undertake studies on using electrical propulsion for powering this mission.India’s visionary in inter-planetary exploration K Kasturirangan, who was the former chairman of ISRO, says, “India should be part of this global adventure and exploring Venus and Mars is very worthwhile.”
On February 15 India’s workhorse rocket – the PSLV – will make its 39th launch, carrying 1378 kg of satellites to be deployed in space. The first to be let off will be India’s high resolution Cartosat-2 series satellite made especially to monitor the south Asian region at a resolution of less than one metre. Though this earth imaging capability is not unusual but the rest of the satellites on board are unique. Two other small Indian satellites, each weighing less than 10 kg are forerunners of a new class of satellites called ISRO Nano Satellites which the engineers seek to master. What will follow next is a trailblazing performance by the PSLV, when, at an altitude of over 500 km above Earth, it will release 101 satellites. These include one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the UAE and a whopping 96 from the United States.
Eighty-eight of the American satellites belong to a San Francisco based start-up company Planet Inc which is sending a swarm of small satellites – 4.7 kg each, which it calls ‘Doves’. This constellation will image earth like never before and with a high repeat rate providing satellite imagery at an affordable cost. This suite of 101 small satellites, whose combined weight is 664 kg, will be released in space in a manner akin to a typical school bus which drops off children at their respective bus stops in a sequential manner.
From previous launches, ISRO has mastered the art of ensuring that no collisions take place. In less than 600 seconds all 101 satellites will be released into space each travelling at a velocity of over 27,000 km per hour or at 40 times the speed of an average passenger airliner.

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India successfully test-fires interceptor missile off Odisha coast

BALASORE: India today successfully test-fired its interceptor missile off the Odisha coast, achieving a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system.
The interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) of ITR at about 7.45 AM.This mission, termed as “PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of earth’s atmosphere”, said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official.
“Both, the PDV interceptor and the two stage target missile, were successfully engaged,” he said.The target was developed for mimicking a hostile Ballistic Missile approaching from more than 2000 km away was launched from a ship anchored in the Bay of Bengal.In an automated operation, radar based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy’s ballistic missile.

The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming Ballistic Missile.PDV that was kept fully ready, took-off once the computer system gave the necessary command for lift-off. The Interceptor guided by high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception.
Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the Target location as designated by the Mission Computer.
With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception. All events were monitored in real-time by the Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations.

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DLF seeks fresh approval from Haryana for land licence still in Robert Vadra firms name

The BJP government in Haryana is now faced with two options: terminate the licence or to renew it in the name of Skylight.

REAL ESTATE developer DLF has applied to the Haryana government for the renewal of a land development licence that a company held by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had transferred to it for Rs 58 crore. The two-year licence expired on December 14, 2016. Sources in Haryana’s Town and Country Planning Department told The Indian Express that they were examining the case to see whether the licence could be renewed. Records show that the licence to develop a commercial colony in Shikohpur village of Gurgaon is still in the name of M/s Skylight Hospitality, a company owned by Vadra.REAL ESTATE developer DLF has applied to the Haryana government for the renewal of a land development licence that a company held by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had transferred to it for Rs 58 crore. The two-year licence expired on December 14, 2016. Sources in Haryana’s Town and Country Planning Department told The Indian Express that they were examining the case to see whether the licence could be renewed. Records show that the licence to develop a commercial colony in Shikohpur village of Gurgaon is still in the name of M/s Skylight Hospitality, a company owned by Vadra.The BJP government in Haryana is now faced with two options: terminate the licence or to renew it in the name of Skylight. Asked why DLF was making payments on behalf of Skylight, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told The Indian Express: “Regarding any particular case, I am not aware of the minute details. The department’s officers must be aware of it. There are a few issues that we had handed over for CBI inquiry. There are a few issues that will be inquired into on the basis of the Dhingra Commission report. Soon, there will be an announcement…If we get any particular complaint regarding this particular case, we shall put it through the inquiry process.”The Chief Minister emphasised that in cases where anomalies are detected, licences shall be terminated. “We are not going to focus on any particular case, all cases not eligible as per rules will be terminated,” he said. When contacted, Arun Gupta, director, Town and Country Planning Department, Haryana, declined to comment.According to records, Licence No. 203 of 2008 was first allotted to M/s Skylight Hospitality on December 15, 2008 and was valid up to December 14, 2012. The licencee subsequently applied for renewal for a further period — upto December 14, 2014 — and again upto December 14, 2016.Records show that in the last eight years, DLF paid Rs 12.74 crore to the Town and Country Planning Department towards licence renewal fee and for various other charges, including land conversion, scrutiny, etc. Before coming to power in Haryana in 2014, BJP had released a document on >the Vadra-DLF land deal titled “Damad Shree”, raising questions about the transaction, including the renewal of licence by the then Congress government under Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

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India Inc speaks: Reduced capital gains tax will propel real estate business

The Budget aims to accelerate the momentum in the real estate business by reducing the term of the capital gain tax

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The most important aspect of this year’s Budget is that there is nothing majorly negative in it. It clearly demonstrates the continuance of the government’s stated policies.The Budget clearly underscores the need for government spending and the emphasis is on substantial enhancement in the capital expenditure to spur growth and help create more jobs. While the focus is on spending more on infrastructure and rural development, this Budget has been cautious on fiscal consolidation.The government has clearly understood the pain that industry has gone through for stalled projects, which not only clog the system but put the companies executing it, and banks in trouble. Now, it is coming out with legislation, means that the government has not only its ears to the ground but also acting on it to bring a superior dispute resolution mechanism.It is also a welcome move to grant infrastructure status for affordable housing industry and reduction in the long term capital gains tax (CGT) as these steps will propel more buying and selling. The steps announced in the Budget to increase the area of affordable units will bring lot more housing under its ambit. More people will be encouraged to buy and invest in affordable housing projects as the tax structure is very low.The Budget aims to accelerate the momentum in the real estate business by reducing the term of the capital gain tax. Another vital aspect of this Budget is that it aims at scaling down taxation and regulatory overreach which will spur investment and benefit the ‘Make in India’campaign.

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Modi’s defence of demonetisation in Parliament fails to resonate with Opposition

 

Modi’s defence of demonetisation in Parliament fails to resonate with Opposition.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s contention on Tuesday that the government picked the right time to carry out its demonetisation exercise has found few takers in the Opposition.The Congress termed Modi’s speech in the Lok Sabha as “arrogant”, and said he had lost a “good” opportunity to present his vision and explain what he and his party stand for. “This was quite an arrogant reply… He should have used this window of opportunity to present his vision, clarity and perspective for the country,” Congress leader Veerappa Moily told reporters after the speech.UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav responded to the Prime Minister’s speech by saying that demonetisation has “resulted in people leaving their jobs” to stand in queue before banks and ATMs — badly affecting their financial situation.West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, for her part, said the “visionless (demonetisation) drive” only made the nation lose its economic freedom. “Today, three months are over, but the restrictions and sufferings are not. Citizens have lost their economic freedom,” she tweeted.As if to prove her right on this count, an estimated one-fourth of the ATMs across the country ran dry the same day — exposing the government’s claim that the worst of the post-demonetisation cash crunch was over. Bank officials attributed this development to the withdrawal of large amounts of cash for sundry payments and purchases at the start of the month.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi found fault with Modi’s comparison of the demonetisation exercise — seen as a move to remove tax evaders and illicit wealth from the country — with a surgical operation on the human body. Underlining his claim that Modi and his ministers were not qualified to carry out such exercises, Gandhi quipped that surgery by “a quack can endanger life”.The Prime Minister’s explanation also faced criticism from the likes of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and N K Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (India).

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RBI expected to hold interest rates at Tuesday’s review

 

RBI expected to hold interest rates at Tuesday’s review

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to hold key interest rates at its monetary policy review, its second after November’s note ban, in the wake of banks being flush with funds post-demonetisation and a firming up of global oil prices.
As a result of the surge in bank deposits following the recent demonetisation of high-value currency, lending rates have fallen by up to 1 per cent.Industry chamber FICCI, has said that the RBI is likely to maintain status quo in the upcoming monetary policy and cut rates in the first half of the next fiscal beginning April 1.
Earlier in December, the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), during its second bi-monthly monetary policy review, the fifth of the fiscal, kept the repurchase rate, or the short-term lending rate it charges on borrowings by commercial banks, unchanged at 6.25 per cent.
According to the panel, its decision to keep the key lending rates unchanged was taken after considering various global and local factors, such as a likely hike in the US interest rates, which has since been effected by the US Federal Reserve.
Moreover, acting as a further constraint for the central bank, retail inflation rose for the fifth straight month in December, touching 5.61 per cent on the back of higher vegetable and cereal prices. In this connection, while state-run oil marketers failed to make the fortnightly revision in transport fuel prices due earlier this week, the Indian basket of crude oils closed trade on the last trading day on Thursday at over $55 a barrel, latest official data showed.Rising oil prices present a challenge to India’s growth, said the Economic Survey presented in Parliament earlier this week.
“Price of crude oil (Indian basket) has increased from $39.9 in April 2016 to $52.7 in December 2016. For the next financial year, the recent uptick in global commodity prices, in particular crude oil prices, pose an upside risk,” it said.

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Union Budget 2017: New Income Tax Rules On Home Loan Benefits

 

Union Budget 2017: New Income Tax Rules On Home Loan Benefits, See Details Here

As per current tax laws, for properties rented out, a borrower could deduct the entire interest paid on home loan after adjusting for the rental income.

The government has cut down tax benefits borrowers enjoyed on properties let out on rent. “In order to address the existing anomaly of interest deduction in respect of let out property vis-a-vis self-occupied property, it is proposed to restrict set off of loss from house property against income under any other head during the current year up to Rs. 2 lakh. The loss not so set off would be allowed to be carried forward for set off against house property income for eight assessment years,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget 2017-18 speech.

As per current tax laws, for properties rented out, a borrower could deduct the entire interest paid on home loan after adjusting for the rental income. On the other hand, borrowers of self-occupied properties get Rs. 2 lakh deduction on interest repayment on home loan.

However, according to the proposed change, on rented properties, the borrower can only claim deduction of up to Rs. 2 lakh per year after adjusting for the rental income. And the amount above Rs. 2 lakh can be carried forward for eight assessment years. Since the interest component of home loan repaid in initial years is higher, experts say that the borrower may not be able to fully adjust the interest paid as deduction even in subsequent years.

For example, your interest outgo on a second property is Rs. 5 lakh in a particular year. Assume that you are earning a rent of Rs. 1.5 lakh annually from the property. Such buyers, according to the earlier rule, were allowed to adjust the difference of Rs. 3.5 lakh (Rs. 5 lakh interest minus Rs. 1.5 lakh). But from the next financial year, they will be allowed deduction of just Rs. 2 lakh. The remaining amount of Rs. 1.5 lakh (Rs. 3.5 lakh minus Rs. 2 lakh) can be carried forward up to eight financial years and be adjusted later.

Experts say the move will dampen the demand for buying a second property for the purpose of earning rental income. “High net worth individuals used to buy properties on loan and were able to set off the full interest liability against the lettable value of property usually resulting in loss which would substantially bring down tax liability and consequently their borrowing costs. This avenue is now closed and loss above 2 lakh would have to be mandatorily carried forward,” said Sandeep Sehgal, director of tax and regulatory at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP.

The finance minister in Union Budget 2017-18, however, proposed a change that will attract lower tax on gains from property sale. Mr Jaitley proposed that the holding period of a property for qualifying under long-term gains will get reduced to two years, from three years currently.
As per current tax norms, if a property is sold within three years of buying, the profit from the transaction is treated as short-term capital gain and is taxed according to the slab rate applicable to him/her.