Govt to allow IISc Rs 3,000 crore to produce nano material

The Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been allowed preliminary permission by the union government in setting up a Rs 3,000 crore metalwork according to the Indian Express. 

This will manufacture gallium nitride (GaN), which is a nanomaterial. These are semiconductors which are considered the most effective in the field of ‘strategic technology’. Examples of such technology are radars and communication systems. 

The IISc’s Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE) will serve as the base for the foundry. Headed by associate professor Srinivasan Raghavan, the CeNSE was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. 

They are in the process of creating electronics which would use GaN, which is already being sold around the country. This would also help in the creation of a new industry in the due course of time. 

Scientifically speaking, the material is said to have ‘unique’ electronic properties. It is also tough and can work at high temperatures which is much better than silica. 

According to Prof Raghavan, in every device, whether it is a laptop, AC or an automobile there are electronic circuits that have to handle very high power and voltages. These are the circuits that are involved in power electronics. 

Recently in its engineering courses, IISc has seen an increase in research alliances with various industry players. They have partnered with telecom, automobile and aviation giants for the same. 

Sources: The Indian Express and Financial times 

Apple to start manufacturing in India

Wistron Corp, Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner is setting up an assembly in Bengaluru with sole motive of assembling iPhones.

A source, who asked not to be named, said the Indian government and Apple were still discussing “the repatriation of long-term profits from local sales and exports.”

Karnataka government welcomed Apple’s proposal to begin initial manufacturing operations in Bengaluru which is the tech hub of Karnataka, hinting it is moving forward with its plans to assemble iPhones in India.

“Apple’s intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster a cutting edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally,” stated the Karnataka government.

Priyank Kharge, IT Minister of Karnataka told Reuters that he believes Apple will most probably begin the manufacturing in the state by the end of April, or beginning of May.

Another source, that also requested Reuters not to state his name, said that no memorandum of understanding or agreement has so far been finalised with the Karnataka government.

Wistron’s spokesperson, Joyce Chou revealed that the final production of smart phones from the Bengaluru plant is expected sometime in the first half of 2017. She refused to comment on whether it would be a captive iPhone assembly site.

California-based Apple company, Cupertino, is eager to assemble its phones in India which considered to be one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.

Sources: NDTV, Indian Express

Image source: Financial Express

Snapdeal to offer Cash Delivery service

Snapdeal, an online marketing hub of India has recently started an service called Cash@Home. This service allows people to order cash and have it delivered at their doorsteps. According to Snapdeal, this service has been launched as a gesture by them in order to allow their users to access cash easily without having to stand in long queues at banks or ATMs, which is a result of the demonisation.

Cash@Home now provides service only to some parts of Bengaluru, Gurugram, Hyderabad and Surat, but the service will soon come into effect in the other major cities as per the feedback from the users and the availability of the notes.

An amount of Rs 2000 can be requested per day. The consumers will be provided with a PoS machine to swipe  their ATM card and will receive their cash by Snapdeal courier partners at the time of delivery.  ATM cards of all banks will be accepted.

“The launch of the cash on demand service is intended to further help our consumers tide over any cash crunch that they might face in addressing their daily needs,” said Rohit Bansal, Co-founder, Snapdeal, as reported by NDTV.

The request for Cash@Home service can be placed through the Snapdeal app. Cash will be delivered one day after requesting for the service. A nominal amount of one rupee will be charged as a convenience fee, which the users will have to pay through FreeCharge or debit card. The e-commerce will operate this service with the cash they receive through Cash on Delivery.

 

Sources : NDTV, The Hindu, Scroll

EC to purchase new EVMs for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

The Election Commission of India has been granted  Rs 1009 crore to purchase new Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). This step has been taken to update the old machines before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The purchase will take place through Bharat Electronic Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), Hyderabad.

According to the  Saturday’s approval,the election body has been assigned to buy 4,10,000 Ballot Units (BUs) and 3,14,000 Control Units (CUs) during 2017-18 and 4,35,306 Ballot Units and 71,716 control units during 2018-19. It will be a conjectural unit cost of Rs 7,700,and Rs 9,300 respectively. The approximate cost  will be will be Rs 1,009.6 crore.

On Wednesday, The Union Cabinet has also  given the poll body the authority to choose and to decide the amount to be ordered on BEL and ECIL as well. The decision should be based on their production capacity,and past performance in supply of machines. This will help Commission to manage everything. The Law Ministry stated to The Indian Express, “This would facilitate phasing out of obsolete electronic voting machines procured during 2000-2005. It will enable the Commission to replenish the stock with a view to meet the requirement of conducting General Elections to Lok Sabha and some of the state assemblies due in 2019”.

On July 20, the Union Cabinet had approved a similar proposal out by Election Commission to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs, the first tranche at a cost of Rs 9,200 crore during 2016-17 as well.

SOURCES: The Indian Express, TOI

IMAGE SOURCES: Representation Picture

Cauvery Issue: Understanding why Bengaluru was burnt

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was formed twenty-six years ago to settle the water dispute tussle between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Seventeen years after its formation, in 2007, the Tribunal came out with its final verdict. It pronounced that Tamil Nadu would be entitled to 12 km³ of water from the Cauvery river, while Karnataka should legally receive 7.6 km³ of water from the river. At that point in time, Karnataka was releasing only 5.6 km³ of water to the feuding neighbor.

Protests erupted in the state of Karnataka, with a state-wise bandh called by the Kannada Rakshana Vedike, a self-confessed pro-Kannadiga group, supported by 30-odd powerful trade unions. The bandh steeped into sectarian violence, with every social entity,  from corner kiosks to million-dollar information technology enterprises, being shut down. Air and train services were disrupted, buses were burnt, bringing the state to a standstill. While the political games continued, monsoon came to the rescue of Tamil Nadu, putting an interim break to public agitation over the issue.

Nine years have passed and the stalemate continues, with both the states refusing to budge or give in. After reassuming power for the second consecutive time, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa filed a petition on behalf of the state in August this year with the Supreme Court, urging Karnataka to release water as per mandate. The Supreme Court (SC) in response to the petition ordered that Karnataka release water and said that the Karnataka government should “live and let live.” Karnataka, though dissatisfied, complied with the order and started releasing water, but on the other hand, pressure from the political circles and the public mounted.

The Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah filed a petition with the SC to stay the order. While the SC refused to stay the order, it reduced water to be released from 15,000 cusecs to 12,000 cusecs. This leads to a repeat of 2007.

Mobs attacked businesses with Tamil Names in Bengaluru. Over 30 busses of the private bus operator KPN were burnt down. Violence also erupted on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway.

“The first incident of arson was reported from NICE road, Electronics City around 11.30am when miscreants set a goods truck of Tamil Nadu registraion on fire. Four more trucks, all from Tamil Nadu, were set ablaze in Nayandanahalli Junction and a mob attacked policemen who tried to stop them,” read a Times of India report. In retaliation, the police opened fire, and two people have reportedly lost their lives in the violence that ensued.

The Central government sent around 1,000 anti-riot personnel and around 10 companies of Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetian border police to both the states. While Siddharamaiah and his counterpart J.Jayalalithaa wrote angry letters to each other, Section 144 was imposed in Bengaluru city, Mandya, Mysuru, Srirangapatna and near four dams in the Cauvery basin.

On the other side of the border, people from Karnataka were mobbed, businesses operated by people from the state vandalized. Memes and posts against Sandalwood actors went viral, and petrol bombs were hurled at a popular restaurant under the Udupi banner in Chennai.

Over the years, nature of monsoon alone has given the people from both the states a break from continuing the violence. Important questions arise from this socio-political issue that has created an “uneasy disposition” in both the states. History traces those incidents of mob violence as uncontrollable only when it has been planned by institutions of authority. Are the parties in power refusing to sit down to settle the stalemate, in a bid to gain political sympathy?

PARALYMPICS MEDALIST, ADITYA MEHTA MORTIFIED AT AIRPORTS

The Paralympics’ silver medal winner Aditya Mehta was humiliated at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. On his arrival, he was asked by the security personnel to remove his clothes and prosthetic. The medallist was taking his flight for the home in Hyderabad from Delhi. Mehta was totally embarrassed in front of everyone.

Earlier this week, on Sunday he was treated in a similar manner at the Bengaluru airport. He was allowed to board the flight only after he passed all his belongings and the prosthetic through the scanner.He chose the social media to share his experiences.

“…Is this the kind of treatment given to physically-challenged persons? He said in a post addressed to civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju.I am usually not perturbed by such behaviour, but the attitude with which I was forced to remove my limb put me down terribly. Airports are supposed to have full body scanners so that we are not forced to remove our prosthesis,’’ said Mehta to Times of India. He urged the airport authorities to be sensitive towards disabled people.

The process of security check was carried out according to the guidelines of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India (BCAS).Further, a Directorate General of Civil Aviation official told The Times of India that “The rules do not exempt the screening of prosthesis so we have no choice but to check them.”

Source- TOI, Sportswallah

Karnataka facing the brunt of the all-India ‘bandh’

As the nation prepares itself for Fridays’ big strike announced by the trade union, concerns are rising among the common people due to the unavailability of public transport. The strike largely affects the office goers who will be unable to report at their workplaces. With the Auto and Cab drivers complying with the strike, people are losing out on alternate transportation options.

Karnataka is joining the states which are supporting the strike called by the union traders. Friday’s strike will mark to fifth such incident in the past couple of months which saw a halt in the public transportation. Earlier, such strikes were a rare phenomenon, but lately, with the growing number if such incidents, Karnataka seems to be following the likes of West Bengal (Bengal) and Kerala in the frequency of trade union strikes. Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka is one of the fastest growing cities in the country in the recent past. With the IT boom, Bangalore has managed to get the country’s GDP growing at a very fast pace but with the recent instances of strikes, Bangalore also seems to be facing a severe beating.

Various firms which need employees to be working during the nationwide strike are now making arrangements for the commute of the essential staff to the workspace. HRs of firms are now drawing lists in order to figure out the indispensable employees which have to report to the office. Many offices have extended the option of working from for the employees, keeping in mind the inconvenience and safety issues.

Bangalore was a booming industrial city in Karnataka because it did not get affected by the various political conflicts and the tiff with the union. With the growing cases of strikes in the state, Karnataka is losing out on capital and industrialists and IT firms might soon retreat from the state just like in the case of the communist dominant states of Kerala and Bengal. Contrarily, The West Bengal Chief Minister has refrained from complying with the Friday strike.

The union members do have a fair right to call a strike to meet their demands and negotiating with the government but the incidents of violence during this period is the biggest cause of concern. In many cities across the nation, cabs and other vehicles on the road have been destructed.  These incidents also expose the lack of adequate policing and that a handful of people are trying to exploit the situation in their favour.

With the shutting down of the country, huge losses will be incurred by the economy. According to industry experts, the city is set to lose hundreds of crores if it comes to a standstill and a day-long strike will zero out on a day’s revenue which otherwise ranges from Rs120-140 crore. Bangalore primarily is a service based industrial city and the bandh will not be of any gain as it is mainly associated with those who are in the manufacturing sector.

Strikes are one of the major reason due to which the country has failed to establish a strong industrial hold and now due to the trade union’s efforts to show power and disrupt hierarchy, the city is suffering a great deal. Brand Bangalore is now at stake due to the blackmailing tactics used by the trade union members and the support of counterproductive measures by the state government for political gains. In this situation, the city is facing adversities and bleeds of its revenues.

Source: TOI  Navbharat Times