Sunday, 31 March 2013

L&T wins Rs 5,689 crore EPC contract

Engineering and construction giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Monday said that it had secured Rs 5,689 crore order from Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam for setting up two units of 660 MW thermal power project on Engineering Procurement & Construction (EPC) basis.

This is the country’s first complete EPC order for two 660 MW super-critical units placed by a state utility to the private sector. The contract was won following international competitive bidding, involving several bidders. The project has a stringent completion schedule of 42 months for Unit 1 and 45 months for Unit 2.

“The order involves design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection and commissioning of two coal-fired thermal units with supercritical parameters at Chhabra in Baran district of Rajasthan,” said the company in statement.

The order comes as L&T enters the advanced execution phase of several large super-critical thermal power projects. These include complete projects being built on an EPC basis as well as boiler-turbine-generator units and Balance-of-Plant packages.

With this contract, L&T now has orders for supply and installation of 26 supercritical steam generators and steam turbine generators of 660 MW, 700 MW and 800MW.

L&T’s advanced manufacturing plants in Hazira, Surat are among the world’s largest integrated facilities for power plant equipment. The company has joint ventures with global leader Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan for making of super-critical boilers and turbines.

In addition, the facilities at Hazira also manufactures critical equipment and components including high pressure piping, coal pulverizers, fans, heaters, condensers, electro static precipitators and heavy forgings.

YouTube announces shutdown in April Fool's prank

In an elaborate April Fool's prank, YouTube announced it was going dark for a decade, and that the site was merely an eight-year contest to find the best video.

"It's finally time to pick the winner," YouTube representatives announced in a 3:32 minute video posted on its homepage yesterday.

The message was simple: the world's most popular video-sharing website would close at the end of the day to review all the video submissions it has received over the

years, and would announce the best one in 2023.

"We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it is finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner," said Tim Liston, named as "competition director."

YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar said that "we started YouTube in 2005 as a contest with a simple goal: to find the best video in the world."

Users have uploaded more than 70 hours every minute to the site, YouTube estimated.

"I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight," said Antoine Dodson, who became an Internet sensation when a musical version of his 2010 TV interview about a house intrusion was posted on YouTube.

"Distinguished" film critics, YouTube celebrities and some of the site's "most prolific" commentators are on the judges' panel, according to Liston.

The Google-owned online video sharing venue said less than two weeks ago that more than a billion people now use YouTube each month, with viewing on smartphones helping drive growth.

The YouTube team noted that nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits the website, which has grown into a global hit since its launch.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for USD 1.65 billion and has yet to disclose whether the service has turned a profit.

YouTube has gradually added professional content, such as full-length television shows and movies to its vast trove of amateur video offerings in a bid to attract advertisers.

Nepal clamps down on schools teaching Indian subjects

In a move that will affect nearly 6,000 students, Nepal has ordered five private schools that teach Indian studies and subjects, to stop taking new admissions.

The Ministry of Education has asked five schools conducting examinations under India's Central Board of Secondary Education, not to admit new students for the new academic year, official daily Gorkhapatra reported quoting District Education Officer Baikuntha Aryal.

Those violating the government's instruction will be penalised, warned Mr Aryal.

The schools running under Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) system are Modern Indian School, Rai School, Alok Vidyashra, Rupy's International School and Chadbagh School, according to the government daily.

The education ministry said it has already sent a letter to the concerned schools in this regard saying that they cannot function with CBSE system as they were not given permission to do so.

Indian Embassy officials were not available for comment in this regard as the embassy remained closed today.

The decision of the education ministry will affect nearly 6,000 students who are enrolled in these schools.

There are around 14 schools which are running under the Indian educational system.

Indian government grants scholarships to more than 2,000 Nepalese students studying various subjects annually. Recently, the DAV Sushil Kedia Higher Secondary School, which is also run under CBSE, has been targeted with violent attacks by students' and teachers' unions affiliated to the CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the Unified CPN-Maoist, apparently for teaching Indian subjects.

Last year, CPN-Maoist had also forcibly banned the screening of Indian movies and entry of vehicles with Indian number plates into Nepal.

The organisations have claimed that using the Indian educational system is against the national interest of Nepal. However, there are many private schools using American and British Education System in Nepal.

UPSC drops mandatory English paper

Following a nationwide controversy over the changes it had suggested in the civil services mains examination, the Union Public Service Commission on Thursday dropped the requirement of mandatory English language paper.

The UPSC, whose move to give added weightage to English language, led to uproar within and outside Parliament and forced the government to keep it in abeyance, has issued a corrigendum, restoring the earlier practice of candidates sitting for two qualifying papers in any Indian language and English, the marks obtained in which will not be counted for ranking.
“The papers on Indian languages and English will be of matriculation or equivalent standard and will only be of a qualifying nature.” The aim is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express their ideas clearly and correctly, says the corrigendum.
There will be a separate paper on “ethics, integrity and aptitude” and an “essay” carrying 250 marks in the mains examination.
The paper on ethics, integrity and aptitude will test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues of integrity, probity in public life, and problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by them in dealing with society.

Okinawa Churaumi is the world’s second largest aquarium

Okinawa Churaumi is the world’s second largest aquarium 
The Okinawa Churaumi is the world’s second largest aquarium and part of the Ocean Aquarium Expo Park located in Motobu, Okinawa, Japan.The main tank holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water. The aquarium has three theme zones:

1) The giant, warm Black Current (“Kuroshio”)
2) Living coral reefs
3) The two deep sea areas located on each side of the Ryukyu Islands.
Entering from the 4rth floor entrance, visitors discover the sea of corals. The Kuroshio (the Japan Current) zone has the world’s largest acrylic panoramic window (60cm or 23.62in. thick/8.2m or 26.9ft. high/22.5m or 73.81ft. long) of the sea tank, enclosing 7,500 tons of water.
This magnificent aquarium is not only awesome in size. There is also the deep-sea world zone with its luminescent living creatures. A total underwater experience while staying on the ground!
The aquarium is a part of the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park located in Motobu, Okinawa. The aquarium is made up of four floors, with tanks containing deep sea creatures, sharks, coral and tropical fish. The aquarium is set on 19,000 m² of land, with a total of 77 tanks containing 10,000 m³ of water. Water for the saltwater exhibits is pumped into the aquarium from a source 350m offshore, 24 hours a day.
The main tank, called the Kuroshio Sea, holds 7,500 cubic metres (1,981,000 US gal) of water and features an acrylic glass panel measuring 8.2 by 22.5 metres (27 by 74 ft) with a thickness of 60 centimetres (24 in),the largest such panel in the world when the aquarium was opened. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept alongside many other fish species in the main tank. The first manta ray birth at the aquarium was in 2007.As of July 2010, there have been a total of four manta rays born in the aquarium.
The aquarium holds 80 species of coral. It is one of only a few aquariums that keeps whale sharks in captivity, and is currently trying to breed them.