Raj News

Raj News

Archive for February 2013

Indian Air Force : Jet crash again!

leave a comment »

iaf

You may recall that on the 12th February an Indian Air Force Jet had crashed and the pilot had ejected safely, I wrote a news report about the incident and here is the link from the article titled Indian Fighter Jet crashes.

Here are a few excerpts from the latter:

“The Fighter Jet was a MiG – 27 part of the Indian Air Force and the crash took place on Tueday 12/02/2013, the fighter jet was being piloted by Wing Commander Nishikant Singh who after ejecting was rushed to the Jodhpur’s Military Hospital. Pilot Singh’s condition was said to be stable and that he was in no danger.”

“Eye witnesses have reported that a young boy sustained injuries, although minor, which was inflicted through the debris which was sent in all directions, a house near the air base was also damaged.”

Well now another aircraft has crashed, in the same state, Rajasthan, in a different district, Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district, and the incident happened on 19/2/2013 a Tuesday. The Jet was an Indian Air Force Sukhoi 30, which is of Russian origin, both pilots managed to eject safely and there was no damage to anyone or anything as a defence spokesman summarised.

As for some stats:

This is the second crash involving IAF aircraft since January this year and the fifth since April last year. Since their induction into IAF in the late 1990s, this is the fourth crash involving an SU-30 fighter plane.

IndiaAirforce

The Sukhoi 30 had planned to participate in IAF’s day-night exercise ‘Iron Fist’ on February 22 the defence spokesman mentioned. The crash more specifically took place in Jaisalmer, Chandan firing range (Pokhran).

The Iron Fist will be the biggest air power demonstration in the history of the Indian Air Force and will begin on 15th February 2013. The display will be a nine-day exercise with fighter planes and helicopters, which will be firing missiles and dropping bombs on dummy targets.

Nearly about 100 fighter planes and helicopters will be taking part in this huge event that will certainly be a spectacle to watch. India’s Prime-Minister Manmohan Singh will be there to watch this powerful display on the first day as will Prime-minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence minister AK Antony.

“The mammoth fire power exercise will witness the debut of indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ and light combat helicopter (LCH) ‘Rudra’.”Source : (Economic Times.)

I know I will be watching this mass scale exhibition of Indian Aerial might, where there will be fly-by’s and the latest in Indian Air Force technology on display! IRON FIST will certainly be a historic point in India and the exhibition if all goes well will be marked as a celebration of the Indian Air Force.

IAF SUKHOI 30

Flying High! Largest Airline Merger worth $11billion!

with one comment

usairwaysandamericanairlines

US Airways and American Airlines are merging to create the biggest airline in the world. The deal is worth $11 billion!

The initial talks between the two airlines had begun in August 2012 and the merging of the two airline companies was confirmed on the 15/02/2013; the merger will see the airline market become more competitive and close the gap between competitors such as  Delta airlines. The company will be operating under American Airlines whose creditors will hold 72% of the merged company, although the Chief executive of the company will be US Airways boss Doug Parker.

Mr Parker said of the merger “Our combined network will provide a significantly more attractive offering to customers, ensuring that we are always able to take them where they want to go”, the merger will see savings of $1 billion a year for the two companies, he also said: “The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.”

For the public this merger should be good, as ticket prices should drop with the airlines being able to afford dropping their prices in return for more members of the public flying with the merged company and this is certainly likely due to more consistency being provided in flight times and availability which there will be much more of as the merged company will together have a total of 900 planes and operating more than 3,000 flights with over 100,000 employees and will be aiming to increase on all the numbers stated.

American Airlines has seen bankruptcy in the past whereas US airways has seen profits in the past few years, the US airways boss Mr Parker also seems positive on the revenue for the future saying that the “Combined airline will compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.”

The new merger will be offering more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.

Although the two companies would like to see the merger happen, they are still to be subjected to the competition regulators of the US and the US bankruptcy court and their approval.

The BBC report on the merger and quote the Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller and his concern about the two airlines joining forces: “Industry consolidation has created stronger and more financially viable airlines, which are necessary for our country’s long-term economic growth, but it has also resulted in fewer choices for consumers, higher air fares, and reduced air service to small-and-medium sized communities.”

This is the argument on the other side about airline mergers and although they may be positive for the airline and the public, it will mean more power to the airlines and whether they choose to misuse this power by hiking up airline prices is something everyone will be watching carefully.

Other mergers in the airline industry that have taken place are Delta airlines with Northwest airlines and Continental airlines with United airlines.

Flying_High

General Motors: Pontiac G6’s Stop Short with Bad Brakes to Blame!

leave a comment »

2009pontiac-g6

550,000 Pontiac G6’s are to be investigated for an apparent problem of faulty brake lights and the way in which they are working. The investigation takes place amid reports from members of the public that the brake lights are not working when the brake pad is depressed and often on when the brake pads are not depressed, with this malfunctioning taking place, there is a danger of an accident taking place, which is why US Safety regulators have stepped in.

There was a recall for these cars several years ago when 8,106 G6’s were recalled and now it seems the problem has cropped up again. Mainly in models from 2005 to 2009. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are in charge of the investigations. Another problem that has been filed with the NHTSA is that the cruise control function on the G6’s do not function properly and disengage when the driver has not disengaged it.

Pontiac was a former brand of GM Motors when the G6 was produced and it is GM who have agreed to co-operate with the investigations of the NHTSA.

GM of course was the company that was bailed out by the US government from the verge of bankruptcy, the other companies that were bailed out were Chrysler and Ford. There has recently been reporting of GM’s year on year losses in the European and Asian markets although a slight profit in the US.

The latest from GM is the Corvette Stingray, GM says of the dashing vehicle “The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm). It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.”

The Corvette Stingray, is another article however, for another day, and the brakes are sure to work on this speed monster… let’s hope!

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Rock N Rolls with Ministry of Defence Nuclear Submarine deal worth $1.3 billion

leave a comment »

Computer generated image of the new Astute Class Submarine, due to enter service in 2007.

Rolls Royce Limited have agreed to a submarine nuclear contract with the Ministry of Defence (UK) worth $1.3 billion.

The nuclear submarine contract is a ten year one and will help greatly with the Ministry of Defence department, as it will be sustaining up to 2000 jobs in the UK and the department will be saving up to 200 million pounds as this agreement is a consolidated cost long term agreement with Rolls-Royce of which 800 million has been awarded to Rolls-Royce and it focuses on efficiency and sustainability through all of Rolls-Royce’s business operations.

And with a thorough restructuring of the UK nuclear submarine industry the MoD are looking to save 900 million pounds. The choice of Rolls-Royce will also assist the UK economy as they are a UK originated company and “Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.”Source: Rolls-Royce website.

The MoD website states their target to save under Submarine enterprise performance programme (SEPP) they say: “This contract goes a long way towards meeting the government’s commitment to SEPP, as announced in the 2010 Strategic defence and security review, to make at least £900 million of savings by restructuring the UK’s nuclear submarine industry.”

On the MoD website it has been stated that: “The MoD has awarded an £800 million contract to Rolls-Royce to deliver and maintain the UK’s nuclear propulsion capability for submarines.”

Submarine

Jason Smith, Rolls-Royce President Submarines and Chief Operating Officer – Nuclear said: “I am pleased that we have agreed this enabling contract with the MOD which delivers significant savings to them over the next ten years and provides us with the stability to deliver these activities efficiently. It further reinforces the commitment to the submarine programme.”

Rolls-Royce are producers of the finest luxury cars, yet they also specialise in being a world leader in the departments of power systems in the use of air, land, sea, and nuclear technology. Focusing on the Marine aspect they have been leading in vessel design, the use of complex systems and power and propulsion equipment.
There website states: “Our marine business serves more than 4,000 customers and has equipment installed on over 30,000 vessels, including those of 70 navies.”

The maintenance spoken of will be of the Royal Navy’s Astute Class submarines and the contract extends further to the future successor submarines which will be acting as deterrent submarines.

Mr Dunne Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said of the agreement: “Rolls-Royce’s work in the production of submarine propulsion systems is an important national strategic capability. It is necessary in order to meet the present and future defence and security needs of the UK and this contract ensures the MOD can continue to benefit from this unique capability on the best possible business terms.”

The MoD have constantly backed their nuclear deterrent policy for their submarines attack and deterrent subs, operation trident has been a matter of controversy as many have said it costs too much and also that it is out-dated in today’s world.  Operation trident is the UK’s nuclear weapons development, procurement and operation of current generation weapons and the ability to use them in extreme cases.

A quote from Trident is “the minimum effective nuclear deterrent as the ultimate means to deter the most extreme threat”.

The legality of having nuclear weapons has also been questioned internationally by many Non-governmental organisations and the questioning has arisen in relation to Human Rights Law and International Customary Law.

On 25 January 2007, Des Browne, UK Defence Minister, defended the use of Trident:

“I do not believe it makes sense to say that nuclear weapons are inherently evil. In certain circumstances, they can play a positive role – as they have in the past. But clearly they have a power to do great harm,” he said. “Are we prepared to tolerate a world in which countries which care about morality lay down their nuclear weapons, leaving others to threaten the rest of the world or hold it to ransom?”

Despite opposition to Trident, the MoD will go ahead with this contract with Rolls-Royce and it is certain that over the next 10 years UK submarines will be at the forefront of deterring a nuclear threat.

submarine2

Indian Fighter Jet Crashes

with 2 comments

mig-crash2013

Rajasthan’s Barmer district was where the jet fighter went down, the pilot managed to eject safely before the crash which left debris over a radius of 300 metres.

The Fighter Jet was a MiG – 27 part of the Indian Air Force and the crash took place on Tueday 12/02/2013, the fighter jet was being piloted by Wing Commander Nishikant Singh who after ejecting was rushed to the Jodhpur’s Military Hospital. Pilot Singh’s condition was said to be stable and that he was in no danger.

The pilot was on a standard Indian Air Force operational flight and an inquiry is to take place as to what caused the crash of the plane which is from a Russian origin and now with the Indian Air Force. The flight was not long lived and lasted two minutes, the MiG-27 took off at 3.55pm from Uttarlai air base and by 3,57pm it had crashed 3km from the base. “The aircraft was on a routine sortie when it crashed near a hamlet, Allawani- Ki- Dhani, 30 km from Barmer, in the Western sector”, said defence spokesman Colonel S D Goswami.

Eye witnesses have reported that a young boy sustained injuries, although minor, which was inflicted through the debris which was sent in all directions, a house near the air base was also damaged. The appropriate authorities were informed by villagers when they saw the MiG-27 losing altitude and looking as if about to crash, due to the speedy reporting of the imminent danger, the fire brigade were able to reach the pilot and the crash site quickly and put out the fire.

The MiG-27 Jet Fighters have been controversial, as the Russian sourced air-crafts have seen quite a few crashes above twelve crashes since 2001.

It has been built by Hindustan Aeronautics after obtaining the license to produce the ground attack air-craft. The Indian Air Force refer to the MiG-27 as Bahadur (Valiant). The Air-craft is to be retired in 2017.

20130213133724

iaf

Himalayan Lake Bursting: Risk Very High!

leave a comment »

South Lhonak Glacier

A scientific study reveals that a lake may fall from the sky, well … from a very serious height … about 7,000 metres from the top of the Himalayan mountains, this lake poses a serious and dangerous threat.

The location of the Lake is The South Lhonak Glacier on the Himalaya’s, which drains east from Lhonak Peak into Sikkim from the Nepal-Sikkim border.

This lake will cause a lot of destruction if it bursts and flooding will be inevitable on the ground. The risk of this happening has been put at highly likely. The Lake has formed at the top of a mountain through melted water from the ice which is atop of the mountain in Sikkim. This is said to be evidence of global climate change and the rising temperatures around the world which is also happening in India causing ice to melt in the Himalaya’s at what is said to be an alarming rate.

“The rate of growth of the lake indicates possible developments of the hazard situation” the study report says and this may come as a surprise when places like Jammu and Kashmir have seen record levels of snowfall and India in places such as Delhi has become chilled and foggy at times; it would seem that the world is certainly bringing about some spectacular changes such as dust storms in Australia and frozen over landscapes in Europe due to rising temperatures, sea levels, and wind.

The study has been conducted by The National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad and researchers say in a report published in the journal Current Science that the glacial lake is approximately 630 meters wide and 20 meters deep. It covers an area of 98.7 hectares and is filled with 19.7 billion liters of water. It is said that a sudden outburst “can create devastating floods downstream”.

Although the researchers have given warning of a highly likely outburst of water, further studies are to be conducted via the same method of using satellite technology. It has been discovered also that in the past century the glaciers on the North Side of Mount Everest have lost 100 metres of height due to the disappearance of the glaciers which have been melting (also said to be quickened by soot particles); where there used to be a lot of snow topped covered mountains in the Himalaya’s there is now rock and dirt.

soot_particles_in_brown_cloud_-_himalayan_glaciers_melting_small

“Experts worry that climate change is at work here and could, eventually, reduce freshwater supplies for billions of people who use the Ganges, the Yangtze, the Indus and other rivers fed by the glaciers.” Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-sherpas-view-of-melting-himalayan-glaciers

It is feared by many that the Sacred Himalaya’s believed by Hindu’s to be a residence of Lord Shiva and by Buddhists to be the God of all females will soon be without snow all together. If the glaciers disappear there will inevitably be an effect on the eco-system and people who go to the rivers will not be able to have access to freshwater supplies as they do now. Based on the study the scientists according to estimates knew that the Lhonak glacier had receded 1.9 km between 1962 and 2008.

ganktoksikkimearthquake

Sikkim where this Lake waiting to burst is situated, was where an Earthquake (6.9 magnitude) took place in 2011 and affected India, Nepal and Tibet killing more than 90 people through landslides and huge boulders falling from the mountains. The Himalayas have over the past few years been subjected to earthquakes, however it was the latter one that caused most damage, it is believed that if more earthquakes are to occur they could cause lakes to burst and thus cause flooding, this is a situation which is being looked at closely by scientists, especially as the lake is only bound by loose soil and debris and is expanding all the time due to the glacier melt.

GlaciallakeHimalaya

Eye on the Tiger!

with one comment

WWF work towards Saving Tiger Numbers

in the Terai Arc with the

help of India and Nepal

wwf_tigers-logo2

India has revered the Royal Bengal Tiger for a long time and the tiger is affectionately referred to as the Indian Tiger. The Royal Bengal Tiger’s scientific name is Panthera tigris tigris.

The conservation of Tigers in the wild has been a difficult fight and a constant struggle for Conservation groups like the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Indian government. The fight is not off as yet though, as India and Nepal backed by the WWF keep their eyes on the tiger! The trio are planning on a census to document the amount of Royal Bengal Tigers within India and Nepal through the use of planted trap cameras in both India and Nepal. The Royal Bengal tiger’s numbers have said to be dwindling and therefore they have been given the status of an endangered species since 2010 which was the year of the tiger in the Chinese horoscope, the next year of the tiger is 2022 and WWF’s gobal tiger campaign aims to have doubled the number of Tigers by then, the global campaign is being led by Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio.

tigercameratrap

The WWF, India and Nepal are all set to meet their objectives of putting a number on the tigers and also helping in a conservationist aspect through many objectives such as:

  • Protect, restore and manage corridors to ensure connectivity between tiger habitats while ensuring that human-tiger conflicts are reduced.
  • Reduce pressures on tiger habitats by promoting alternative livelihoods for local communities.
  • Create incentives for local communities as well as state and regional government and opinion-makers to support tiger conservation.
  • Enhance capacities of the Forest Department to control poaching of tigers and prey species.
  • Promote the political will as well as popular support within all sectors of society for tiger conservation.

illegaltigertrade

Source : WWF

WWF began in 1960 and in 2010 they had been around for 50 years, they are a prestigious organisation and global in their efforts being present in 100 countries where they have offices working at a local level to ensure conservation for the countries’ species.

India’s Project Tiger was launched in 1972 by WWF, and saw a six-year national tiger conservation plan and 15 new tiger reserves. The county’s tiger population increased by 30% in just seven years.

Although due to poaching and encroachment upon the tigers habitat by man, tiger conservation is important as ever as numbers are said to be low and the Indian Tiger an endangered species. The following video is WWF’s Indian Save the Tiger campaign video:

WWF’s mission statement on the joint partnership between India and Nepal for Tigers is:

“WWF-India’s goal is to restore and maintain tiger habitats, protect the tiger and its prey base in important tiger landscapes in India.”

WWF have been working to conserve the tiger since on a large scale since 1972 and throughout their campaigns they have always sought to raise awareness of the danger of the Royal Bengal tiger becoming an extinct species. The following is a poster by WWF highlighting the danger of extinction to the tiger in the countries listed below (where they can be found), extinction is a possibility that is very real if tigers do not stop being hunted and their habitat being continually destroyed by Humankind:

wwfpostertiger

The announcement for the joint tiger survey was made on the 8th January at the 6th Indo-Nepal consultative meeting organized between the two governments, India started work on the project in November 2012 and Nepal are working on the project between January 2013 to March 2013. The project will cover 15 areas within the Terai Arc located between the two countries and at the bottom of the Himalaya’s.

The names of the Protected Areas in India in the Terai Arc are as follows:

Sonanadi Wild Life Sanctuary, Corbett National Park, Kishanpur WLS, Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat WLS, Sohagibarwa WLS, Valmiki National Park and Valmiki Sanctuary, those are a few of the main tiger territories. The Survey will also look at the availability of prey for the tigers, which will also be captured by motion sensitive camera’s of which there will be many hundreds in both India and Nepal. There will be a more accurate census for the tigers as the teams working alongside WWF will ensure that no tiger is counted twice as this will be confirmed by photographs on both sides. India is said to have the most densest of Royal Bengal Tigers with the number at around 500.

The names of the Protected Areas in Nepal in the Terai Arc are:

Three national parks (Chitwan, Bardiya, Banke) and two wild life reserves (Shuklaphanta and Parsa).

TERAIARCINDIAANDNEPAL 

Source: Report by : The Terai Arc Landscape in India:  Rajeev L. Semwal

In India the Terai Arc Landscape is an 810-km stretch that extends from the river Bhagmati in the east in the state of Bihar to river Yamuna in the west near India’s Capital Delhi.

After the consultation meeting between India and Nepal took place Dr S. P. Yadav, Deputy Inspector General of the Government of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority said of the strengthening partnership to save the tiger that the – “bilateral meetings between India and Nepal have resulted in positive outcomes for wildlife conservation. Our governments need to continue strengthening trans-boundary ties for protecting tigers and enabling their free movement between India and Nepal.”

The number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild has been put at approximately a minimum of 1,576 to a maximum of 1,875, this number comes from The National Tiger Authority and included numbers of tigers within 17 states within India from 41 tiger reserves. India has the largest population of the Indian Tiger and as for the estimated remaining population within the World that number is at a meagre 3,000, when 100 years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild.

The problems that have caused tiger numbers to decline are due to many reasons and those that have mainly been responsible are those who have in the past culled tigers, and consumers of tiger products, there is also the problem of poachers/criminal networks who deal in selling tiger products to places like China where tiger parts are highly prized. Another few key responsible parties are tiger farm operators who breed tigers and sell their parts, which leads to a higher demand for tiger products, also Governments that are not working hard enough to protect tigers from poachers and their habitat and they’re not upholding the laws against illegal trafficking. Even the everyday person is responsible as people who waste paper are often responsible for the loss of the tigers forest habitat where trees are cut down for the demand of paper, of course this responsibility also lies with large corporations who are not considerate of the tigers habitat and cause deforestation on a mass scale.

The ones that are responsible are up against the non-stop global scale tiger campaign to preserve the tiger with the help of pro-active governments and organisations such as WWF who are working to bring about solutions to the problems posed (mentioned above).

The solutions to these problems are simple although require action to solve the problem there needs to be an end to the tiger killing for their skins and other parts and countries like China are where these products are often in high demand for traditional believed to be healing medicinal reasons and as status symbols of power, these are some reasons as to why some tigers have been driven to extinction and numbers have fell. Poaching is a major part of the problem which needs to be met head on and stopped governments like India and China are looking at ways to stop this with options such as armed tiger personnel, tigers should be monitored more closely and effectively in the wild and in captivity. There needs to be a continuity in maintaining tiger reserves and new ones should be established to ensure successful flourishing of tiger numbers. Sustainable living is another solution which will save the trees and thus the tiger habitats and it is not just individuals who need to do this but also corporations. Educating people about tigers and their dire situation is an essential part to the tigers success, an increase in political campaigning and will and funding is as always ever needed.

A good reason to protect the tigers is that their environment is just as essential to us as it is to them and if there were no tigers that would it is suggested more than likely lead to deforestation and the loss of the important features of the forest such as cleaner air and countering climate change and fresh clean water. Tiger tourism can benefit poor communities by providing a source of income through local tourism consumerism.

SOURCE:  http://www.savetigersnow.org/problem

tigerdeclinegraph

The following is a map of where the tigers can be found roaming, it has been produced by the Wildlife Protection Society of India:

maplatesttiger

The compilation of the results is said to take up to about 4 months and then an accurate census on tiger numbers should be available. WWF India says:

“The shared monitoring results between India and Nepal will enable the development of a comprehensive management approach for tigers across the TAL for the first time.”

As for both governments this initiative for the tiger will continue to be focused on the aim to double tiger numbers by 2022. Mr. Bishwo Nath Oli, head of the Nepal delegation and Joint Secretary of the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation said “The survey results will play an important role in shaping strategies to get us to our ultimate goal of Tx2, doubling the number of wild tigers, which was set during the historic Tiger summit in 2010.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

India spends about US$75 million a year to provide protection for its tigers.

The Bengal can live as long as 15 years in the wild.

The five surviving subspecies are:
1. Bengal Tiger – Panthera tigris tigris
2. Siberian (Amurian) Tiger – Panthera tigris altaica
3. Sumatran Tiger – Panthera tigris sumatrae
4. Indo-Chinese Tiger – Panthera tigris corbetti
5. South China Tiger – Panthera tigris amoyensis

The three extinct subspecies are:
1. Javan Tiger – Panthera tigris sondaica – extinct since early 1980’s
2. Bali Tiger – Panthera tigris balica – extinct since the 1940’s
3. Caspian Tiger – Panthera tigris virgata – extinct since the early 1970’s

Source: http://www.wpsi-india.org/tiger/tiger_facts.php

%d bloggers like this: