Monday, 28 December 2015

IIT Bombay tech fest

The first day of IIT-Bombay Tech Fest was kicked off by none other than former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the man behind the missions such as Chandrayaan and Mars Orbiter Mission, Dr K Radhakrishan.

The annual science and technology festival, Asia's largest of its kind, will go on till December 28. Youths from across the country were present at the inaugural ceremony presided over by dean of students affairs Soumyo Mukherjee and director professor Devang Khakkar.

Apart from Radhakrishan, the other eminent lecturers included Ajit Narayanan, inventor of Avaz, India's first Augmentative and Alternative Communication device for children with disabilities, Google's Robert J Mical and developer of first Internet in Asia, Kilman Chon. They spoke about their experiences and the love for technology.

'Mamma look a UFO!' screamed a child while walking through IIT Bombay today. Families and kids stormed the gates of IITB to visit the Tech Fest 2015 - the 3 day annual festival targeting geeks from other colleges. While walking in from the main gate towards the academic building, visitors get a view of the galactic world and superhuman creatures. The pathway has been decorated with caricatures of Superman, Batman, Boba Fett and aliens, and with flying banners of the Big Bang Theory and Star Wars. Some visitors while walking towards the convocation hall got the feeling that the event was themed in lieu of the release of the new Star Wars movie on Friday. No doubt, someone must have strolled around looking for a Darth Vader caricature. But what many students got to see through the day was a fun fair for family and kids.

The release of the new Star Wars movie and the decor of the IITB pathways with space objects, had students expecting an event on a different tangent. Besides, many events in the fest were given a name after sci-fi movie legends like the Martian, Quidditch, Robowars, etc. But what did the visitors get when they actually visited these events? While the Quidditch game was rescheduled due to lack of registrations to play, the Martian event was a presentation competition about the possibility of life on Mars. Now that may interest some science geeks, if only participants did not present hilarious ideas like introducing a Martian currency called Marta and installing television for entertainment of martians. Frankly, don't we have more pressing issues to solve about Mars habitation than the entertainment of martians? Like decomposing carbon-dioxide into oxygen for better survival chances? And for those who were excited about the Robowar, were left to see a monotonous cockfight between human operated robots. Speaking about the events that lured families with kids and grandmas into the campus. An entire section of the campus was deployed to organise around 15 events for the entertainment of children. These events included bungee jumping, sumo wrestling, paint ball, etc. The startling point was to see teenagers indulge in juvenile competitions like 'rotate 15 times in one place and then walk on a straight line, or a balancing act on one leg for a minute.' A piece of advice, 'do not participate when you're drunk.'

What was tragic was that in a fest dedicated to technology, some of the intelligent summits like water harvesting and cloud computing, received minimal audience or appreciation. The only stand out of the day was the exhibitions where students from different countries like Hungary, Netherlands, Zurich, Israel, USA, Bangladesh, Germany, had displayed their innovations. Majority of the student crowd at the fest was standing in an infinite queue to enter these exhibitions. One of the bright ideas at the exhibition was; the invention of a Smart Marine Black Box, which uses wireless technology to immediately transfer ship signals to the cloud. The idea was devised by a group of Bangladeshi students as a solution to the issues faced in locating signals of missing planes like the Malaysian flight MH370. Apart from this, a lot other countries, bound by internet restrictions, couldn't portray a demo of their inventions and had to work around with power point presentations of their devices. It was embarrassing to see that one of the premier engineering institutes in India couldn't provide WiFi to its guest counterparts at an international event.

Scientists shine at IIT-B Techfest

The first day of Tech Fest had a misplaced target audience where the prominent events lured families like in a fun fair while the more intellectual summits had a negligible crowd. The second day of IIT-B's Techfest 2015-16, held in association with the Times of India, served as a stage for some of the greatest revolutionists in the fields of science and technology.

The highlights for the day were lectures and talks by author and astrophysist Jayant Narlikar, Noble laureate Serge Haroche, inventor Dr Gurtej Sandhu and co-creator of spreadsheets Bob Frankston.

Sandhu spoke about various flash technologies and their continuous advancement since the past. He also talked about the cause to invent and innovate to solve problems, create wealth and express creativity. Frankston explained to the students the internet as a concept and it's evolution over the years. He described it as a part of a larger picture of opportunity.

Haroche, the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics, gave the audience an insight into the history of light and the determination of whether it was a wave or a particle.Another attraction was a "fast car" developed by the IIT Bombay Racing team, which has 74 students from 10 disciplines.

The annual science and technology festival, Asia's largest of its kind, will go on till December 28. Youths from across the country were present at the inaugural ceremony presided over by dean of students affairs Soumyo Mukherjee and director professor Devang Khakkar.


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Government collected over Rs 4500 crore revenue from 348 toll plazas in FY16

The government has generated more than Rs 4,595 crore as revenue from 348 toll plazas across the country till November 15 of the current fiscal, Parliament was informed on Monday.Fee is levied and collected on small stretches of national highways (NHs), Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways P Radhakrishnan said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

The Minister also informed the House that toll could not be collected at three plazas in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala due to public resistance.As per the data presented by Radhakrishnan in the House, the government collected Rs 4,595.20 crore as revenue through toll plazas till November 15, 2015. In the previous financial year, ended March 2015, revenue collection stood at Rs 5,926.33 crore, whereas in 2013-14, it was Rs 5,245.54 crore, the data showed. The government has set up tolls at 348 stretches across the country, as of November 30, 2015, to collect fees.

In a separate query on status of the six-laning of the Gurgaon-Jaipur national highway, he said the construction has already started with effect from April 4, 2009.It is likely to be completed by June 30, 2016 as per supplementary agreement, Radhakrishnan added.The scheduled completion date of the project was October 2, 2011 and as on date, the physical progress is about 91%.On reasons behind the delay, the Minister said there was lag in land acquisition due to postponement is disbursement of land compensation.

Other reasons behind the delay include removal/re-location of government and religious structures, handling of forest and irrigation land by Haryana and slow financial progress of work by the concessionaire due to financial crunch, he added.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Organizing National Level Convention by QCFI at SRM University

Organizing National Level Convention by QCFI at SRM University, Kattankulathur , Chennai  from 18th to 20th  December 2015.
Quality Circle forum of India (QCFI), a National nonprofit   Registered Society, established in the year 1982 is engaged in  propagation and implementation of  philosophy and practice of “Quality Concepts”  across the country including North-East States of the nation  along with its 22 chapters, 5 Sub Chapters and 2 Centers.  To adopt Quality Concepts in most of the industries and service organizations both in public and private sector ,QCFI  organizes  through education, training programmes, workshops and  QC conventions at Chapter, National and International level

QCFI so far conducted 28 National conventions in different parts of our country and provided  platform for the grass root level employees mainly from manufacturing industries to share their best case studies related to productivity and quality improvement ,cost reduction and overall improvement in customer satisfaction areas.  The convention also provides ample opportunity of cross learning from each other in application of improvement   tools and techniques.

The 29th National Convention is scheduled to be conducted during 18th -21st December 2015 at SRM University, Kattankulathur, Chennai.  In this convention around 6500 delegates have registered to participate and share their performance of excellence through case studies.

The day wise performance details are given below.

18.12.2015  -  Registration of delegates and inauguration of the Convention

19.12.2015 Presentation of Case studies in class rooms

20.12.2015 Distribution of prizes and valedictory function

21.12.2015   Industrial visit.


Monday, 30 November 2015

Ingestible sensor can measure heart and breathing rates

Using technology invented at MIT, doctors may one day be able to monitor patients’ vital signs by having them swallow an ingestible electronic device that measures heart rate and breathing rate from within the gastrointestinal tract.
This type of sensor could make it easier to assess trauma patients, monitor soldiers in battle, perform long-term evaluation of patients with chronic illnesses, or improve training for professional and amateur athletes, the researchers say.
The new sensor calculates heart and breathing rates from the distinctive sound waves produced by the beating of the heart and the inhalation and exhalation of the lungs.
“Through characterization of the acoustic wave, recorded from different parts of the GI tract, we found that we could measure both heart rate and respiratory rate with good accuracy,” says Giovanni Traverso, a research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and one of the lead authors of a paper describing the device in the Nov. 18 issue of the journal PLOS One.
The paper’s other lead author is Gregory Ciccarelli, an associate staff member at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. Senior authors are Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT and a member of the Koch Institute, and Albert Swiston, a technical staff member at Lincoln Laboratory. Sensing from within
Doctors currently measure vital signs such as heart and respiratory rate using techniques including electrocardiograms (ECG) and pulse oximetry, which require contact with the patient’s skin. These vital signs can also be measured with wearable monitors, but those are often uncomfortable to wear.
Inspired by existing ingestible devices that can measure body temperature, and others that take internal digestive-tract images, the researchers set out to design a sensor that would measure heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature, from inside the digestive tract.
The simplest way to achieve this, they decided, would be to listen to the body using a small microphone. Listening to the sounds of the chest is one of the oldest medical diagnostic techniques, practiced by Hippocrates in ancient Greece. Since the 1800s, doctors have used stethoscopes to listen to these sounds.
The researchers essentially created “an extremely tiny stethoscope that you can swallow,” Swiston says. “Using the same sensor, we can collect both your heart sounds and your lung sounds. That’s one of the advantages of our approach — we can use one sensor to get two pieces of information.”
To translate these acoustic data into heart and breathing rates, the researchers had to devise signal processing systems that distinguish the sounds produced by the heart and lungs from each other, as well as from background noise produced by the digestive tract and other parts of the body.
The entire sensor is about the size of a multivitamin pill and consists of a tiny microphone packaged in a silicone capsule, along with electronics that process the sound and wirelessly send radio signals to an external receiver, with a range of about 3 meters.
In tests along the GI tract of pigs, the researchers found that the device could accurately pick up heart rate and respiratory rate, even when conditions such as the amount of food being digested were varied.
“The authors introduce some interesting and radically different approaches to wearable physiological status monitors, in which the devices are not worn on the skin or on clothing, but instead reside, in a transient fashion, inside the gastrointestinal tract. The resulting capabilities provide a powerful complement to those found in wearable technologies as traditionally conceived,” says John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois who was not part of the research team.
Better diagnosis
The researchers expect that the device would remain in the digestive tract for only a day or two, so for longer-term monitoring, patients would swallow new capsules as needed.
For the military, this kind of ingestible device could be useful for monitoring soldiers for fatigue, dehydration, tachycardia, or shock, the researchers say. When combined with a temperature sensor, it could also detect hypothermia, hyperthermia, or fever from infections.
In the future, the researchers plan to design sensors that could diagnose heart conditions such as abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or breathing problems including emphysema or asthma. Currently doctors require patients to wear a harness (Holter) monitor for up to a week to detect such problems, but these often fail to produce a diagnosis because patients are uncomfortable wearing them 24 hours a day.
“If you could ingest a device that would listen for those pathological sounds, rather than wearing an electrical monitor, that would improve patient compliance,” Swiston says.
The researchers also hope to create sensors that would not only diagnose a problem but also deliver a drug to treat it.
“We hope that one day we’re able to detect certain molecules or a pathogen and then deliver an antibiotic, for example,” Traverso says. “This development provides the foundation for that kind of system down the line.”

Carbon Nanotube for "unconventional" Computing

Currently silicon-based transistor is the fundamental building block of electronic devices.
As we approach the miniaturization limits of conventional electronics, now researchers are exploring alternatives to silicon-based transistors.
Inspired by the way living organisms have evolved in nature to perform complex tasks with remarkable ease, a group of researchers is exploring similar "evolutionary" methods to create information processing devices.
In the Journal of Applied Physics, ( the group describes using single-walled carbon nanotube composites (SWCNTs) as a material in "unconventional" computing. By studying the mechanical and electrical properties of the materials, they discovered a correlation between carbon nanotube concentration/viscosity/conductivity and the computational capability of the composite.
Instead of creating circuits from arrays of discrete components like transistors, their work takes a random disordered material and then 'trains' the material to produce a desired output.
This emerging field of research is known as "evolution-in-materio". An interdisciplinary field blends together materials science, engineering and computer science. Although still in its early stages, the concept has already shown that by using an approach similar to natural evolution, materials can be trained to mimic electronic circuits -- without needing to design the material structure in a specific way.
The material used by the researchers, is a mixture of carbon nanotubes and polymer, which creates a complex electrical structure.
When voltages are applied at points of the material, its electrical properties change. When the correct signals are applied to the material, it can be trained or 'evolved' to perform a useful function.
While the research group doesn't expect to see their method compete with high-speed silicon computers, it could turn out to be a complementary technology. With more research, it could lead to new techniques for making electronics devices.
Credit: Mark Massey/Durham University

Thursday, 26 November 2015

29th National Convention on quality Concepts to be held at SRM,Chennai from 18th to 20th December 2015

Quality Circle Forum of India has great pleasure in inviting all the members and member organisations for the 29th National Convention on Quality Concepts scheduled to be held at Chennai from 18th to 21st December 2015 at SRM University, Kattankulathur, Chennai.
More Details Click Here

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Young people with ‘old eyes’

Growing numbers of people in their 20s and 30s are reporting vision trouble. The cause is spending too much time staring at small screens. Staring too much at tiny details in the confined space of a small screen results in a condition known as presbyopia, a term derived from Greek words meaning “old eye.” The condition may soon need a new colloquial name, perhaps “smartphone eyes. Eye clinics around Tokyo report an increase of young people suffering from such symptoms as difficulty focusing on nearby objects and switching focus on objects at different distances. A survey by the eyeglass industry found that the number of young people reporting such symptoms of presbyopia increased from 0.5 percent in 2012 to 6.7 percent in 2013.

Japanese smartphone ownership increased roughly from 40 percent to 60 percent during the same period. In a report from South Korea, people in their 30s with presbyopia more than doubled over the past five years, as smartphones, tablet and laptop computers, electronic books and car navigation systems proliferated, just as they have in Japan. Though an exact causal connection has not been proven, concentrating on a smartphone screen can cause the ciliary muscles that focus the crystalline lens to lose function.
It is too simplistic to say smartphones directly cause presbyopia. However, doctors and clinics have found that the onset of such symptoms, which generally used to be in the mid-40s, is now starting much earlier. Other reports have found that other eye troubles, such as dry eye, fatigue and pseudomyopia (temporary nearsightedness), have also increased. As more young people acquire smartphones, and use them for longer periods, such symptoms are likely to increase. Overusing them in variable or poor lighting can make the effects even worse.

UK teenage girl becomes 1st to be prosecuted for…fighting AGAINST Islamic State

A British 18-year-old girl has become the first person to be convicted for attempting to join the campaign against ISIS in Syria. She is set to spend 21 months behind bars.
Silhan Özçelik from north London fled her home and took a train to Brussels, leaving a 25-minute farewell video address for her family. In the video, she said she was eager to join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) women’s military forces and fight against Islamic State (previously ISIS/ISIL).

She also left a written note to her family, which said: “I have been thinking about this for many years. I have been wanting to join for many years. Furthermore I am leaving my diary, and it is written in my diary … I wrote, every minute, how much I wanted to become a militant, how much I wanted to become a guerrilla, are all written in those pages.”

The girl added that she was “passionately engaged” with the PKK’s ideas, wanted to become a “bride of the mountains” and was drawn by the fact that women played an active role in the party.

The jury listening to her case in the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court were told that the teenager had wanted to join the PKK for five years, since she watched a film called “Comrade Beritan” about a PKK female guerrilla fighter, who killed herself jumping off a cliff, preferring death to being captured.

Also, posters and collages showing PKK slogans and female guerrillas were discovered in the girl’s bedroom.

In court, however, Özçelik claimed she had fabricated the PKK story, as she wanted to run away with a 28-year-old man and avoid shame for her traditional Kurdish family.

The girl told the court that she believed making the video was “cool,” and if things didn’t work out with the man in Belgium, she would be welcomed back by her friends and family.

The Chinese government is shutting down the mobile service of residents in Xinjiang

HONG KONG: The Chinese government is shutting down the mobile service of residents in Xinjiang who use software that lets them circumvent internet filters, escalating an already aggressive electronic surveillance strategy in the country's fractious western territory. Starting last week, shortly after terrorist attacks in Paris, the local police began cutting the service of people who had downloaded foreign messaging services and other software, according to five people affected.
The people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity over concerns about retaliation from local security forces for speaking to foreign media, all said their telecommunications provider had told them to go to a local police station to have service restored.
"Due to police notice, we will shut down your cellphone number within the next two hours in accordance with the law," read a text message received by one of the people, who lives in the regional capital of Urumqi. "If you have any questions, please consult the cyberpolice affiliated with the police station in your vicinity as soon as possible." The person said that when she called the police, she was told that the service suspensions were aimed at people who had not linked their identification to their account; used virtual private networks, or VPNs, to evade China's system of internet filters, known as the Great Firewall; or downloaded foreign messaging software, like WhatsApp or Telegram.
With debates continuing in Europe and the United States about how heavily to encrypt communications sent through smartphone messaging applications that could mask terrorist plots from law enforcement, the move in China underlines Beijing's determination to control and monitor information online. The debate in the West also has influence in China, said Nicholas Bequelin, the East Asia director for Amnesty International in Hong Kong.
"With the West generally going backward in terms of protecting privacy and freedom of expression, China is comforted in its long-standing position that it is the arbiter of what can be said or not," he said.It's unclear how many of Xinjiang's roughly 20 million people have been affected. One of the residents whose service was shut down said that when he went to the Urumqi police station, there was a line of about 20 people, including several foreigners, waiting to ask the police to restore their mobile phone accounts.
He said he used a virtual private network to get access to Instagram, and that at the police station, an officer "took away my ID card and cellphone for a few minutes and then gave them back to me." He added, "They told me the reason for my suspension is that I 'used software to jump the Great Firewall.'"
He said he was told that his phone service would be suspended for three days, and that he would no longer use virtual private networks. "It is too troublesome," he said. "I just have to give up my Instagram from now on."
Others said it was less clear when their phone numbers might be restored. A man who lives in the town of Yining said the police there first checked his social media postings to see whether he had written anything delicate, then said they would report his case "for further examination."

IIT boy from Pune lands Rs 2-crore dream job in Google

PUNE: City youth Abishek Pant, a final-year computer science student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, has bagged a job with a whopping Rs 2-crore annual package, including stock option, at Google Inc.
The 22-year-old, who finished a three-month internship at Google California earlier this year, went through another rigorous round of interviews before being absorbed into the design solutions cell.
A city topper in the CBSE Std X exams, Pant was born and brought up in the US before his family shifted to Pune in 2006. He will now return to the US to pursue his career.
When the family moved to Pune, his parents were quite worried about how he would adapt to the Indian education system. Their main challenge was to convince Pant about the need to sit through three-hour exams. Pant, however, responded well to his parents' efforts and focused on his studies. The result was evident when he secured 97.6% marks in Std X to make his parents and his teachers at Delhi Public School proud.
Pant said, "The journey from Pune to Kharagpur and Kharagpur to Google Mount View in California has been quite exciting. I had a great experience working there as an intern. A job offer is the icing on the cake."
He had to initially clear two rounds of technical interviews over the phone for the internship. "As part of the process, I had to do coding in a Google document. I was further interviewed by the project manager. I cleared the third interview as well, and my internship began in May."
At the end of the internship, Pant was offered the job, for which he had to go through another set of interviews. He will join the company in September next year.
He has not been assigned any project as yet, but will work with the design solutions team on the best way to solve problems raised by users. "I am looking forward to working on new and interesting engineering challenges, and to working with a smart and talented team," he said. Besides work, Pant is also looking forward to the great variety of food on offer on the company's premises. He said, "Google offers employees tasty, healthy and free breakfast, lunch and dinner from a wide variety of cuisines such as American, Mexican, South American, Japanese and Italian. They even have a dedicated Indian cafeteria. One of my activities during the internship was to try out all of these cuisines."

Supreme Court allows killing of irretrievably ill or mortally wounded stray dogs

Allowing the municipal authorities in the country to eliminate stray dogs which are irretrievably ill or mortally wounded, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said, "Such dogs can be eliminated in a humane manner as prescribed under the Central law – Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act."
Observing that "Life of a dog is not more important than a life of a human being," a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said that at the same time the "balance between compassion for animals and human lives" has to be drawn.
The court accepted the Animal Welfare Board's submission that the stray dogs can't be killed randomly by the civic authorities under the garb of municipal laws as the Central law has specified the killing of stray dogs.
"There can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner, but indubitably the lives of the human beings are to be saved and one should not suffer due to dog bite because of administrative lapse," the court said.
All the state municipal corporations, municipal committees, district boards and local bodies shall be guided by the Act (PCA) and the rules and it is the duty and obligation of the Animal Welfare Board to see that they are followed with all seriousness... a balance between compassion to dogs and the lives of human being, which is appositely called a glorious gift of nature, may harmoniously co-exist," the court said in its interim order.
The bench will take a final decision in the matter later but for the time being the interim order to prevail.
The board argued that the central law mandates birth control of street dogs through strict implementation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and that should be followed.
The court also asked chief secretaries of states and union territories to provide data on cases of dog bites and "removal/ destruction" of stray dogs, as per the rules.
The bench is hearing a bunch of pleas including Animal Welfare Board of India's petition to decide the issue of primacy of laws framed by Centre and state governments in this regard.
one of the pleas was filed against Kerala High Court decision approving the decision to cull stray dogs by the Thiruvananthapuram civic body on a PIL by an advocate.
The court, in its order, referred to various provisions of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rule and asked civic authorities to act as per them.
The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules provide that stray dogs can only be sterilised and immunised and then returned to the very location from where they were picked up from, once they recover after the animal birth control surgery.
Maharashtra government is also seeking lifting of stay granted by the apex court on the Bombay High Court's verdict. The high court had allowed civic bodies in the state to cull stray dogs which are creating nuisance for public order and common persons' health.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Indo-Israel methods of growing vegetables increase yield manifold

The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables at Reddiyarchatram in Dindigul has achieved a milestone by increasing the yield manifold under open cultivation with plastic mulching and fertigation technology.

“This is the first yield from the centre and it has fetched a profit of Rs. 9 lakh. The crops in the centre would have yielded only 50 per cent profit if cultivated under normal conditions,” said a senior officer of the horticulture department. Tomato, chilli, brinjal, okra, ash-gourd and water melon were cultivated under mulching and fertigation (injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system) technology, which came from Israel.

On Friday, Dov Segev-Steinberg, Israel’s Acting Consul General in Bengaluru, visited the centre and appreciated the success achieved by Tamil Nadu scientists in a short span of time.

The centre was set up at a cost of Rs 10.18 crore by the State government in 2013.

Fully operational from January

It will be fully operational from January and train farmers in mulching, Net House and Poly House technology for cultivation.

While Poly House method is suitable for the hilly areas, Net House and mulching methods are ideal for plains.

“Farmers have already reaped the benefit of Poly House. They are able to produce 80 tonnes of cucumber from one acre,” said another official. Explaining how the high yield was achieved, he said the duration of tomato crop was increased from 135 days to 180 days under Mulching and Fertigation method.

“Net House will substantially reduce the use of pesticides. But the technology is useful only for self-pollinated plants,” he added.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Doha Metro Delight For Qatar World Cup Football 2022 Tourists

Eyeing on the 2022 World Cup soccer to be held in the tiny Gulf State Qatar, a rampant development has been preceded. Recently the Qatar Rail has announced the four design and build contracts worth approximately $8.2 billion for phase one of the Doha metro. The project will include four rail lines and an underground section in the centre of the capital Doha and will link stadiums for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.
The Red Line North project was given to a corsortium led by constructionfirm Impregilo S.P.A and SK Engineering & Construction Co. and Qatar's Galfar al-Misnad Engineering and Contracting.
Doha Metro delight for Qatar World Cup Football 2022 Tourists
The Red Line South project was given to a consortium led by QDVC, a joint venture between Qatari Diar and France's Vinci Construction Grands Projets, and including South Korea's GS Engineering and Construction Corp and Qatar's Al-Darwish Engineering.
The Green Line project was awarded to a consortium led by PORR Bau GmbH and including Saudi Binladin Group and Qatar's Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Co.

The all-important stations will be designed by a consortium led by South Korean construction firm Samsung C&T Corp and including Spain's Obrascon Huarte Lain S.A. (OHL) and Qatar Building Company. Qatar Rail did not present values for each individual contract that were awarded. The

work will commence in 2019 where at least 20,000 workers would chance to get a job.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Kerala Police's cyber crimes unit has busted a gang engaged in online commercial sex soliciting and taken a dozen people into custody

The gang operated by placing ads on the internet that showed pictures of children, especially girls.
Inspector General of Police S. Sreejith told reporters on Wednesday that the gang of 12 was taken into custody in Kochi on Tuesday night during the police operation code-named 'Big Daddy'.
"This includes two sisters who hail from Karnataka and who were bought from there by a Kerala woman. Two women, identified by us, however, escaped after their vehicle knocked down a police official in Kochi yesterday (Tuesday)," said Sreejith.
"We have also arrested a couple -- Rahul Pasupalan and his wife Reshmi. We found out that the couple were engaged in this racket for the past one year.
"All digital evidence to nail the arrested are with us. All of them will be produced before a magistrate soon," the police officer said.
The couple had come into the limelight last year when they launched the 'kiss of love' event in Kochi to protest the increasing instances of moral policing in the state.
Their supporters tried to protest by kissing in public, but police foiled their attempt and took many protesters into custody.
Sreejith said online commercial sex has caught on very fast in Kerala.
"While we were investigating another online commercial sex case, we came across this 12-member gang. Our officials acted as decoys and got in touch with the gang leader named Akbar, who has around eight online commercial sites that trade in sex," he said.
Four people, including two women, were on the run, said Sreejith.
 He said there was no need for statements or confessions from the accused as police had all the digital evidence of what they were involved in.
He also praised officials of social network Facebook for cooperating with authorities

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Microsoft celebrate the opening of the first international flagship store at Sydney

Microsoft recently opened the doors of its first flagship store in New York City. The grand opening of their newest store on 5th Avenue was followed with a lot of fanfare, including a concert at Rockefeller Center featuring Pitbull. But that isn’t their only flagship store set to open this fall. The technology company is also launching its first international flagship store in Sydney, Australia on November 12th. The two story and 6,000 square foot store is located in the Westfield shopping centre in the Pitt Street Mall and comes with all the familiar aspects of a Microsoft Store. There will plenty of opportunities to try out Microsoft devices, PCs from other OEMs, and a Microsoft Answer Desk to help with PC repair and troubleshooting.

To celebrate the opening of the Sydney store, Microsoft is giving away 750 tickets to the first in line for the grand opening to see Jessie J in concert with opening act Ellie Drennan. There are also other events taking place at the store to commemorate the grand opening, including demonstrations of the Surface Pro 4, Halo 5 photo opp with Master Chief and Spartan Locke, and a fitness workshop with the Microsoft Band 2.
The new store, which is the first of its kind outside of North America, is set to officially open on Thursday afternoon.
A Microsoft spokeswoman told 'hundreds' of people had lined up ahead of the opening, with the first fan arriving on Wednesday night about 6pm after catching a bus from Canberra.

 The spokeswoman also said the environment had been 'very positive' throughout the day, and fans were 'excited' to be at the official opening. They also said 'about 2000' people attended the opening, and people were still queuing up into the afternoon. 

Post graduate degree At 15. Young Sushma Verma Is India’s Upcoming Science Wizard

A fifteen year old girl living in the outskirts of Lucknow passed her exams with flying colours. But Sushma Verma is not a school student. She studies MSc (Microbiology) at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University (BBAU). Her brilliant scorecard shows Semester Grade Point Average (SGPAs) of 8, 8.25 with first rank in first, second and fourth semesters.

In a country where more than 35 per cent of girls are discouraged from studying and going to school, young prodigy Sushma Verma from Lucknow has a different story to tell! At age 7 when most of us were barely able to dedicate 30 minutes to studying, Sushma had already completed her 10th. At the young age of 13, she had enrolled herself in college and was getting her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Lucknow University.
And now, at the age of 15, she has achieved yet another milestone by becoming the youngest Indian to have been enrolled as a PhD student at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow—a course where her classmates are probably eight to nine years older than her, at least!

  • Sushma Verma also got place in the Limca Book of Records for her achievements.
  • University Research Entrance Test to study environmental microbiology was conducted by the University and Verma secured the seventh rank. Keeping in mind the special effort she did, the university will be providing her with the special privilege like a scholarship and hostel seat.

Her 51-year-old father Tej Bahadur was in fact a daily wage worker (sanitation) at the  same university.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Bayonne Bridge completion date pushed back 2 years

The completion of the $1.3 billion Bayonne Bridge “Raise the Roadway” project has been pushed back two years, with the renovated bridge now expected to be complete in 2019.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced October 1 that the delay in construction would mean the larger “post-Panamax” ships won’t be able to navigate into Newark Bay until 2017. The delay was blamed on a rough 2014-2015 winter, modifications to make sure the bridge could safely allow traffic during construction, complicated steel reinforcement activities and changes in the project plans in order to reduce overnight construction impact and to address some concerns from the community. The project to raise the Bayonne Bridge began back in 2013 in order to raise the clearance to 215 feet, allowing larger modern ships to pass through the expanded Panama Canal. The project, a joint venture with Skanska Koch/Kiewit Infrastructure, is set to also make a safer roadway with 12-foot lanes, new shoulders, a median divider and a new 12-foot bicycle and pedestrian walkway.
“We are confident that we will complete the Bayonne Bridge’s ‘Raise the Roadway’ project within the revised timetable,” Skanska president and CEO Michael Cobelli said. “This has been a challenging project, but we have committed the resources to complete it successfully, with full awareness of how vitally important it is for the regional economy.”

The Port Authority said the project is about 50 percent complete and $380 million worth of construction is already in place, but some local officials in Bayonne aren’t happy with the announcement.
The Jersey Journal reported that City Councilors Tommy Cotter and Sharon Nadrowski said the Port Authority hasn’t kept their word to the people of Bayonne. Mayor Jimmy Davis echoed their complaints.

“This project was sold to the residents as a benefit for the City by the prior administration. Instead, it has been an ongoing struggle with the Port Authority to try and protect the residents of Bayonne,” Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said. “Today’s announcement is just the latest chapter of the saga we have endured.


SRM University Student Acquires MITACS (Canada) Scholarship

Subhashini.K, a final year B. Tech. student of Department ofBiotechnology, SRM University, Kattankulathur is offered MITACS Globalink Research Scholarship from Canada. This scholarship ($5000) is offered to the top students from Universities across 9 countries which includeAustralia, Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Vietnam. MITACS is a not-for profit organization which aims at providing opportunities to students to explore Canada and experience the lifestyle.
In India, this scholarship is usually offered to the undergraduate students from IITs, NIITs, Central government institutes and Anna University. The students in their pre-final years are offered this scholarship to get hands-on experience and gain cultural experience.
Subhashini. K, gained research experience in the “Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory” under the guidance of Dr.V.Vinoth Kumar, Assistant professor, Department of Biotechnology. Based on her research experience, she was offered the prestigious MITACS scholarship and worked under the guidance of  Dr. Jerald Lalman, Associate professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She spent three months during the summer of 2015 in Canada working in the field of “Bioenergy Production”. She worked on anaerobic digestion of algae for the production of alternate energy – Methane and Hydrogen with the focus on increasing the yield using long chain fatty acids.  This research work is expected to translate into a peer-reviewed publication for her. 
Further information can be obtained from the University of Windsor webpage:

Friday, 23 October 2015

With 200-MPH Winds, Hurricane Patricia Closes In On Mexico

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific will make a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico Friday, the National Weather Service says. Hurricane Patricia is bringing winds that now top 200 mph; it's expected to strike Friday afternoon or evening.
"This is the equivalent of a giant EF5 tornado spinning over the Pacific Ocean," says meteorologist Travis Herzog of ABC-13 TV in Houston. "If Patricia maintains anything near this intensity at landfall in Mexico today, it will be unimaginably catastrophic."
The Category 5 storm has forced evacuations in Puerto Vallarta and other areas along Mexico's coast. Forecasters say that in addition to destructive winds, Patricia could bring dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. The storm is currently projecting hurricane-force winds up to 30 miles from its center. A hurricane warning is in effect from San Blas, a town nearly 100 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, to Punta San Telmo, more than 300 miles to the south. The storm was moving at 12 mph, according to the latest data from the National Hurricane Center.
Patricia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches," the National Hurricane Center says, "over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero through Saturday." The center adds that the storm will also bring "an extremely dangerous storm surge" to its landfall site.
As it makes landfall, forecasters believe Patricia will be on a north-northeast track — sending it over Mexico and into southern Texas, where it could bring dangerous amounts of rain in a short period of time over the weekend

As Migrants Pour In, Germany Launches Online University For Them

In May, 21-year-old Kashif Kazmi fled his hometown of Parachinar in northwest Pakistan. As part of the country's Shiite minority, Kazmi was targeted by the Pakistani Taliban. The rest of his family are still there.
"I really miss my family, my friends who are there," Kazmi says. "Because my sisters, my father is old-aged and he cannot cope with the situation, I had no other option. And I'm so homesick."
Kazmi wants to give his sisters a better life. He hopes one day to bring them to Germany. For him, this means pursuing higher education, something he says he was denied back home: "They don't want us to be educated. They want us to be ignorant."

Kazmi arrived in Berlin at the end of July and is already speaking some German. Having traveled through nine countries to get here, he has overcome many barriers. But as an asylum-seeker, he is not permitted to attend a local university because he doesn't have the requisite paperwork and status.
Markus Kressler pulls up a virtual seminar on mechanical engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, on his laptop. The 25-year-old is a co-founder of Kiron University, a Berlin-based program for refugees that taps into open-source online lectures from other universities.

Kiron University students take courses online for the first two years, working toward a bachelor's degree while they apply for asylum and acquire the paperwork and qualifications needed to enter a partner university, local to where they are, to complete the degree."Basically, everyone can already log into these courses," Kressler says. "What we do is we just take these courses, bundle them into degree programs and make cooperation with real universities so that they also recognize these courses in order to really get a degree in the end."

Partner Universities
Kressler says Kiron is already partnering with 30 universities throughout Europe and in Africa, and currently is in talks with U.S. Ivy League institutions. He says the partnership is attractive to established universities."Every kind of university has about 30 to 50 percent free seats in the third year because so many students quit," he says. In Europe, it's customary to earn a bachelor's in three years. Kiron students simply fill these empty seats.The program may also benefit the German economy. Currently, Kiron offers degrees in fields including computer science, engineering, business and architecture — all areas in which there is a skills shortage in the German labor market.

The university is starting its pilot semester this month with 1,000 students. The interest is far greater, but Kiron requires investment."As a start-up, you always need to create the proof of concept to show everyone that it really works," Kressler says. "If you start an online university for refugees, it takes three or four years in order to see if the students can actually go into the job market."

Kiron University says each student will cost it $400 a year, which it hopes to finance with crowdfunding and sponsorship.Kazmi is among the first group of students starting at Kiron this week. He's excited, he says, "because Nelson Mandela [said] that education is the real weapon to change the world. So I believe in education, because it's a journey from darkness into light."
He has signed up for a degree in business. It's not science, his first love.

"It's my zeal and zest," he says of science. But for now, Kiron doesn't offer science degrees. Kazmi does find inspiration in his heroes Isaac Newton, who survived the English Civil War and narrowly escaped the Great Plague, and Albert Einstein, who fled Nazi Germany.

But he's pragmatic and says the business course will give him the skills to help others.

He'd like to work in humanitarian aid. "Today I am a refugee," Kazmi says, "but tomorrow, I hope so, I will be in the position to be able to support others."

No Miroslav Klose return for Germany despite 'several calls' over comeback

Lazio forward Miroslav Klose has revealed he has been called back to the Germany national team "several times" since retiring after the World Cup, but insists he will not go back on his decision.

Klose, 37, brought an end to his international career after helping Germany to glory in Brazil last summer, as well as breaking Gerd Muller's goal record to become his nation's all-time leading scorer with 71 strikes.

Germany appeared to lack a player of his predatory instincts as they laboured through their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016, but Klose insists there is no way back.

"They've called me several times, but anybody who knows me knows that when I have made up my mind, I don't change it," he said at a news conference in Rome. "I'm proud of my last game in a Germany shirt. Lifting the World Cup on July 13, 2014, was the most beautiful moment of my life.

Germany becomes the first nation to ban 'chick shredding'

Millions of tiny male chicks are ground up alive or suffocated every year because they don't lay eggs. Such is the harsh reality of commercial egg production which views male chicks as waste product.
Since these chicks are not 'commercially viable' to be raised they are brutally killed off after hatching.
Keeping this in mind, scientists and animal rights campaigners have teamed up in Germany to come up with an alternative option to the mass-slaughter of the 45 million male chicks born into the country's egg industry each year.
This new technology looks set to determine the sex of each fertilised egg before the chick inside develops-enabling the removal of all male-identified eggs from the hatchery, and leaving only the female eggs to hatch.
Germany's Agriculture Minister, Christian Schmidt, has advised that 'chick shredding' could be a thing of the past in Germany by 2017-making it the first country in the world to stop the practice.
Well, let's hope this progressive step inspires other countries to follow suit.

London weather forecast: torrential downpours predicted

London is in for a soaking this weekend with wind and rain set to sweep the capital.
Temperatures are predicted to plunge to a chilly six degrees as the first real rain of the Autumn arrives.
Saturday is due to see the worst of the weather, with conditions improving slightly on Sunday, before temperatures drop again next week when parts of the UK have been warned to expect gale force winds.
A Met Office spokesperson said: "After a bright start in places, outbreaks of rain will spread from the west. The rain will become heavier and more persistent during the afternoon before it finally clears. "
The spokesperson said Sunday was due to be "dry and breezy with some sunshine at times on Sunday", but warned that by Tuesday the weather would become unsettled again, with more rain on the way.

Estero High’s cross country teams left the District 3A-12 championships

Estero High’s cross country teams left the District 3A-12 championships at Palmetto Ridge on Wednesday with more than a few successes. The girls won their first district title since realigning out of 3A-11, the boys finished third and each qualified for the Region 3A-3 meet in Holloway Park in Lakeland on Oct. 30.

“Overall, it wasn’t pretty but we got the job done,” Estero head coach Ben Pignatone said. “As a coach, you’re never satisfied. I’m happy and I’m proud of them for the effort.”
Junior Arye Beck captured his first district championship by leading the boys field in 16:37, a personal record by 10 seconds. It was also his first win since 2013 and arguably the biggest of his career. Senior Jake Dorn was seventh overall in 17:17.
“That’s huge for his momentum going into the region,” Pignatone said. “He’s been having some great workouts and he’s a big team player. Hopefully he’ll get even faster.”
In the girls race, senior Daley Cline clinched her first district title, too, stepping over the finish in 19:37, just one second off her personal best in 2015.
It came after a second-place performance in 2014 and a third-place outing in 2013. She was followed by teammate Megan Giovanniello, who timed in at 19:47. Freshman Alayna Goll was seventh in 21:04.
“I’m really proud of all of our girls,” Pignatone said. “Our fourth girl (Abigail Barroso) PR’ed by a lot. That will all help in the future when everyone gets to regions and states. I’m hoping these girls roll on and get faster.”

SRM University has won India’s first National Concrete Canoe competition

SRM University has won India’s first National Concrete Canoe competition in association with the Indian Concrete Institute held at IIT Madras. IIT Madras conceptualized the competition in resemblance with the ASCE Concrete Canoe competition in USA.
The competition was a unique opportunity for the students of Civil, Architecture and Ocean Engineering. Adithya Eswaran and Vishruth Krishnan, along with 12 other students of department of Civil Engineering conceived the idea under the guidance of Assistant Professor, Mr. S. Pradeep.
The team systematically worked for the development of canoe design. The first challenge was to come up with the proper concrete mix. This was done by the mix design team (Adithya Eswaran, Vishruth Krishnan, Shriya Kumari, Jinesh R Sanghvi, Sayana Sherif, Siddhart Satish & Namrata Solanki). The structural design team (Sai Sabarish M, Abrar Bashir Malla, Muhammad Essa Abu Bakar) took charge of the stability analysis. Around 150 structural concepts were revised for this. Peerzada Abdul Basit, student of M.Tech, Structural Engineering also helped the team for the race. Over 20 mix designs were experimented and tested to get the final concrete mix. The canoe was cast on July 12, 2015 in six hours.
Total 35 teams from six states had registered for the competition. 19 canoes were descended upon the third round in IIT Madras including IIT Bombay, NIT Trichy, VIT Vellore, SRM Easwari Engineering College and SRM University, Kattankulathur. SRM University rower team, Abrar Bashir Malla and Muhammad Essa Abu Bakar set a record of 52 seconds (Boy-Boy) to complete 50m in Concrete Canoe Racing. 10 teams were qualified for the final race including RMK College of Engineering (Two teams), Amrita College of Engineering (two teams) Coimbatore, Prathyusha College of Engineering, Poornima Group of Institutions ,Jaipur, NIRMA University, Ahmadabad, SRM Easwari College of Engineering, SRM University Kattankulathur, and IIT Bombay.
SRM University team had the fastest lap in 32 seconds (Boy-Boy). In the boy-girl race SRM had another record of 42 seconds by rowers Muhammad Essa Abu Bakar & Sayana Sherif.
The girl-girl race of the SRM University team at the competition finished with 60 seconds by the rowers; Shriya Kumari & Sayana Sherif.
The competition allotted 30% of the points to canoe racing and 70% was given to technical aspects such as report submissions, poster presentation, adequate design, research and aesthetic beauty of the canoe. Based on the overall points SRM University stood ahead of the other institutions.

SRM University graduate secures scholarship to MIT Media Labs

Manisha Mohan, who has recently completed her graduation in Automobile Engineering from SRM University, is on cloud nine. She has gained entry into the prestigious MIT Media Lab in the U.S. She has also secured a research assistantship, covering full tuition and health insurance, with a stipend of $2,566. “My passion is innovation and I believe that the conducive environment at MIT Media Lab will provide a channel for the creative ideas I have,” she said. Manisha landed the coveted position after several gruelling interviews on Skype. She has invented a device that protects women from rape, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Christened Society Harnessing Equipment, or SHE, the device combines the disciplines of micro-processing, control, electronics and communications. When a woman wearing the device is attacked, it gives out a 3800kv electric shock capable of causing severe burns, and simultaneously sends out a message to the police with the location details through an embedded GPRS system. The device is being patented. Manisha attributes her success to her passion for chasing her dreams and actualising them. Her advice to young innovators is to dream big and work hard.