A threat from flu viruses in birds, pigs - The Hindu

A threat from flu viruses in birds, pigs - The Hindu

LinkedIn now has 20 million users in India - The Hindu

LinkedIn now has 20 million users in India - The Hindu

Green energy from blue sea

File photo of Donghai Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, Shangai, China. Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites in Kerala.
Offshore wind farms to produce power for Kerala

A few years from now, wind farms located at sea could be churning out clean energy to feed the starved power grid in Kerala.

The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is preparing to take up a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites. The project is to be launched with the assistance of the Dutch government.

The Netherlands has made significant progress in harnessing wind as a renewable energy source. The country has set a target to build 6,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020, mostly from the North Sea. During a recent discussion held with officials in Kerala, representatives of the Dutch government offered to collaborate in developing offshore wind farms.

ANERT director M. Jayaraju told The Hindu that the study would be followed by a pilot project, subject to a policy decision by the government. The project, he said, would be launched with the necessary safeguards to ensure that the offshore platforms did not interfere with fishing activities. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has identified the Kerala-Konkan coast as one of the potential sites for offshore wind farms in India.

Offshore wind farms are preferred because of the non-availability of land in densely populated coastal areas with high wind potential. The added efficiency of offshore wind power is another advantage over onshore wind turbines.

ANERT is also preparing to take up a wind-monitoring study to assess the potential for land-based wind farms in the coastal regions of the State. The study would be carried out at four locations with the help of the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET), a Chennai-based autonomous research and development institution under MNRE.

C.K. Chandrabose, Joint Technical Director, Wind Energy project, ANERT, said the year-long studies would generate real-time, on-site data on the wind potential of offshore and coastal regions in Kerala. The base data would be a crucial factor in attracting independent power producers to set up wind farms, he said.

ANERT is also gearing up to update the available wind monitoring data at potential sites on land. The total technically-feasible onshore wind potential of the State is estimated to be around 800 MW, limited to 17 locations in Palakkad, Idukki, and Thiruvananthapuram, where the wind speed is above 15 km/hr.

The main windy areas in the State are the eastern mountainous regions of Idukki district bordering Tamil Nadu and the elevated areas in the Palakkad gap. Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram is another potential site.

Mr. Chandrabose said monitoring stations equipped to generate wind data at a height of 80 metres had been installed at Kanjikode in Palakkad, Chelamala in Malappuram, and Pullikanam, Vandiperiyar and Kulathumedu in Idukki.

Meanwhile, two new wind farms, slated to come up soon at Kanjikode and Ramakkalmedu in Idukki will augment the State’s total installed capacity of wind energy. While the farm at the Kinfra Park in Kanjikode will add 22 MW, the one at Ramakkalmedu being set up by NTPC will add another 20 MW to the current installed capacity of 34 MW generated by KSEB at Kanjikode and independent power producers at Attappady and Ramakkalmedu.

Source - The Hindu

Revision of Income Criterion to exclude Socially Advanced Persons/ Sections (Creamy Layer) from list of other Backward Classes (OBCs)

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for increase in the present income criterion of Rs. 4.5 lakh per annum for applying the Creamy Layer restriction throughout the country, for excluding Socially Advanced Persons/Sections (Creamy Layer) from the purview of reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). 

The new income criterion will be Rs. 6 lakh per annum. The increase in the income limit to exclude the Creamy Layer is in keeping with the increase in the Consumer Price Index and would enable more persons to take advantage of reservation benefits extended to OBCs in government services and admission to central educational institutions. 

This would bring about equity and greater inclusiveness in society. The Department of Personnel and Training and the Ministry of Human Resource Development would issue necessary orders to this effect. 

Source - PIB - Release ID :96044

Growth in demand for gold in India higher than China

NEW DELHI: Gold consumption reflected a strong revival over last year as Indian households flocked retail outlets to purchase gold jewellery owing to a fall in price of the yellow metal. As against a decline of 13% in global demand for gold, India reported a 27% increase in Q1 2013, surpassing China's demand growth of 20%.

While demand for jewellery increased by 15% to 159.5 tonnes as compared to Q1 2012, investment demand witnessed a significant rise of 52% at 97 tonnes in the January to March period this year, said a recent report released by the World Gold Council (WGC). The government on Thursday also slashed the import tariff value of gold to $466 per 10 grams from $472 per 10 grams. 

"Demand growth was largely driven by rural households whose incomes benefited from a good late harvest," the report said. A 4% decline in local gold prices over the quarter further prompted jewellery purchase during the wedding season. Gold prices fell by Rs 500 to a one-month low of Rs 26,800 per 10 grams in the capital on Thursday. While domestic prices fell by over 3% during Q1, in April alone, gold prices fell by nearly 18% due to global factors.
"Price fluctuations in gold recently have only served to reinforce Indian consumers' appetite for purchasing physical gold. Gold is a time-tested asset class...with the ongoing wedding and festive season; we believe demand for gold will continue to remain robust. Restrictions on the supply side will not hamper demand," said WGC India managing director Somasundaram PR. 

In a bid to address the issue of a widening current account deficit, the government had increased the import duty on the precious metal from 4% to 6% earlier this year. The central bank too has decided to restrict the import of gold on consignment basis by banks, only to meet the genuine needs of exporters of gold jewellery. 

"An increase in import duties in January has failed to take the wind out of the market's sails. The Indian market was well prepared and stock building during Q4 ensured a decent level of trade inventories heading into the first quarter," the report said. 

According to the WGC, gold import in India is likely to be in the higher range of 865-965 tonnes this year as against an import of 860 tonnes in 2012. Despite an increase in consumption demand, gold imports reported a 6% decline in Q1 2013. While globally, demand for both jewellery and bars and coins reflected an increase, ETFs reported a net outflow of 177 tonnes during the quarter.
Source - timesofindia

No arrest for website posting without sr cops' nod: SC

New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court today said that no person should be arrested for posting objectionable comments on social networking sites without taking prior permission from senior police officials.

Source - PT


Keep cool with summer fruits

A vendor displays coconut kernel, ready for consumption.Summer months may be harsh on people in Vijayawada, but it is the best time ever to savour some of the best fruits available. Most colourful and in different flavours is the King of fruits – Mango. Whether raw or ripe, mango leaves a lingering taste in the mouth. Another colourful fruit is the watermelon with a green outer skin and red inside with a lots of watery sweet juice to keep you really cool even in the hottest summer day like Friday, when the temperature touched 44 Degrees Celsius. Another cool customer is palmera fruit for which people wait for a year to swallow the cool spongy jelly filled with water as soon as the toddy taper cuts the top. Yellowish Cashew fruit again with an unique taste and sometime sticky, is a big hit in the dry upland rural areas and have flooded the Vijayawada market. How can we forget the most sought-after tender coconut with a large reservoir of sweet water and occasionally a jelly-like kernel inside? Coconut flowers are yet another attraction.

Source - THE HINDU

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