Chief Minister Vijay Rupani wants Raksha Shakti University to be Security Studies Leader

Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat had its third annual convocation recently at the Gandhinagar Town Hall. The chief guest speaker at the event was Vijay Rupani, who is the Chief Minister of Gujarat. During his speech, he said that he was committed to making RSU the leading university for security studies. Vijay noted that in Ancient India, it was common for overseas students to come to India and visit their most prestigious universities like Takshashila and Nalanda.

Now, Vijay wants students from around the world to come to the city of Gandhinagar and enrol in security courses at RSU. Since cybersecurity is important to learn when dealing with modern-age computer crimes, Vijay wants students to become knowledgeable about it. Another honourable guest speaker at the event was Kiran Bedi, who is the Puducherry Lieutenant Governor and former officer of IPS. Other notable people at the event included RSU’s Director General Vikas Sahay; Gujarat Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja; and Director General of Police Geetha Johri.

The convocation was a big event for the 338 graduating students who were there. They were awarded their diplomas and degrees for the courses they had completed successfully. In fact, 15 of the top students received gold medals because of how well they excelled in their academics. When Bedi spoke to the audience, she suggested that RSU should make online courses available and become an open university. That way, students from anywhere can access the university’s learning resources without having to physically be there in person.

RSU is already able to conduct field training, video conferences, and initiate exchange programs. When Jadeja spoke, he doubled down on how critical it was to have police training at the university. The ability for officers to investigate and detect crimes requires them to have advanced forensic skills that only a university can offer.

MSMEs Receive Technology Transfer from DRDO

A couple of weeks ago, there was an interface of the defence-industry which was organized in Chennai. The interface lasted for 2 days and the conclusion of it had the Defence Research and Development Organization making 18 transfers of technology to private enterprises. Many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been given technical information about how to manufacture different types of defence equipment. That way, they would have the knowledge of carrying out this manufacturing on their own.

The technologies which the DRDO transferred were previously used to manufacture different pieces of defence equipment that would go to the Indian military branches: Air Force, Army, and Navy. Two private companies received technology that was used to build a mountain footbridge that is 35 meters long. Another company received some technology that would allow it to manufacture propellant for a BrahMos missile, low and high thrust motors as stated in the Times of India.

Aside from the DRDO transferring all this technology, the DRDO also conducted an exchange of interest with Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory and Goa Shipyard Limited. The purpose of this exchange was to use technologies of DRDO to create an indigenous ship. The defence ministry is eager to have private enterprises throughout India to begin manufacturing equipment for them. The ministry is already working on a list of the specific pieces of equipment that they want to be manufactured.

Over one-thousand MSMEs participated in the Chennai event. The majority of them are companies which make aluminum-based items and machinery. These aren’t just companies from Chennai, but also from Maharashtra, Trichy, and Coimbatore as well. They are, of course, interested in this transfer of technology because it gives them the opportunity to conduct more business and make more money. At the same time, it gets the defence more supplies and equipment they need to effectively defend the country.


Indian Institute Discovers Molecular Mechanism that Allows Stress-based Gastric Ulcer

The CSIR – Indian Institute of Chemical Biology has a team of researchers in Kolkata who have discovered the molecular mechanism that allows acute mental stress to have an impact on the stomach, resulting in mucosal disease or gastric ulcers that are stress-related. This is the first time that such a discovery was made.

The research team conducted an experiment on a rat by putting it under a particular type of cold stress. Uday Bandyopadhyay led the research team and used drugs on the rat which target mitochondria that exists in the stomach so that stress-based gastric ulcers can be prevented. Uday works at the institute’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology.

The theory is that when a living thing is put under stress, there is a disruption in the capacity of the mitochondrial respiratory. Once that happens, there is an increase in oxidative stress and a reduction in the production of ATP. As the stress continues to exist, the mitochondria undergo morphological transformations like a lot more fragmentation. The scientific journal entitled ‘Free Radical Biology and Medicine’ published the findings of this study in it.

The reason why scientists are so excited about this discovery is that this is the first time a connection was found between the stomach’s mitochondria and the activity in mind. Since stress is something that comes from the mind, scientists wanted to find how that creates a gastric ulcer and now they have found it.

The gastric mucosal lining contains mitochondria in it. When there is increased fragmentation or oxidative stress, the mitochondria are not able to act normally. On top of that, the production of ATP is jeopardized as well. After that happens, there is no proliferation of the cells which means the mucosal cells will die. Also, the gastric lining will become a lot thinner too.

CPCL celebrates a record 38% jump in net profits

The Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL), which is also a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), reported a 38% increase in net profit last year. The Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited saw an increase in net profit of Rs. 1,024 crore for the year, which ended on March 31, 2017, against last year’s net profits of Rs. 740 crore. The total revenue increased by a margin of 16 percent, leading to a rise of Rs. 40, 586 crores, compared to the previous year’s Rs. 34,953 crore.

The 38% percent jump in improved profits was reflective of the petroleum corporation’s capacity to derive better margins from the projects and contracts undertaken. The jump was the second highest net profit that the corporation has ever reported in a fiscal year. The previous increase of this variety was recorded in the 2007-08 fiscal year.

The board suggested a dividend of 210%, which would equal Rs. 21 per equity share as stated in a report by the Hindu Business Line. This percentage is also the highest that has ever been announced by the organization. The IOC chairman B Ashok was proud of his team, mentioning that the oil giant had been making steady improvements through the years. It was not until 2014 that the group started to notice a real change after the CPCL started regularly reporting to the Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction.

The IOC chairman credited the improved financial performance to an increase in profits as a result of increased product sales. The physical performance of the staff members and employees also helped the corporation but it was a favorable turn in price for international crude and crude oil products that really shook things up financially. The merger of CPCL with IOC also led to integration and increased the diversity of projects. The end result was a higher gross refining margin of $6.05 a barrel in the session 2016-17 against $5.27 a barrel, which was the standard price the year before.

The Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd managed to exceed the MoU target of 10.25 million tonnes, which was to be achieved in the next seven years. Furthermore, CPCL attained a throughput of 10.25 million tones despite the effects of cyclone Vardah.

To further business, the Managing Director of CPCL Gautam Roy stated that approximately Rs. 5,200 crore would be re-directed and utilized on a number of projects including the construction of a new crude oil pipeline from Chennai port to the refinery and the completion of the Resid Upgradation Project.

NDA and NA Exam 2018: UPSC to release notification soon

According to the latest notification of the Union Public Service Commission, the examination schedule for National Defense Academy and Naval Academy will be released on January 15, 2018.

As per the reports, UPSC was expected to release exam notification with respect to the National Defense Academy and Naval Academy five days earlier.

The official examination of NDA and NA is to be conducted on April 22, 2018, as reported by NDTV. Those candidates who wish to apply for NDA and NA (Paper 1) examination, 2018 are required to wait until the fresh issue of examination notification.

All the candidates are recommended to keep track of the exam notification associated with NDA and NA through the official website of Union Public Service Commission. Regular updates will be posted or uploaded to the website as and when necessary.

According to the reports submitted by the media sources, the NDA and NA examination will be conducted during the month of April 2018.

The main objective behind conducting the NDA and NA examination 2018 is to recruit highly skilled and competent candidates to fill the post of Army, Naval and Air Force (NDA) in its 141st course and the INAC in its 103rd.

According to the reports, it is stated that the examination results for NDA and NA, 2017 conducted by the UPSC were released back in the year November 2017. Few days before the declaration of NDA result, Uttarakhand government was in news for deciding to set up two centres to train youths to make them prepare for these exams, as they shift focus from the state level exams i.e. the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission to the national level i.e. the UPSC. It is estimated that there are about three hundred and seventy-one candidates who have successfully qualified to appear for the main examination.

The UPSC is a constitutional body which has the complete authority to conduct Civil Service Examination. The Indian Constitution duly recognizes the charter of UPSC. If an individual wish to apply for an examination which is conducted by the UPSC, they may browse through the official website of UPSC and obtain the exam notification details. Based on that, they may apply for exam by entering adequate personal details.

The examination results will be published either through the official website or through media sources like newspapers.

Thermal Power Plant in Uttar Pradesh Receives Loan of Rs. 11,067 Crore

There may be some more government jobs in Uttar Pradesh coming very soon after it was announced recently that a power plant there would be receiving a loan of Rs. 11,067 crore. Neyveli Lignite Corporation is the owner of a 1980 MW thermal power station in Uttar Pradesh that runs on coal. A consortium of State Bank of India, Power Finance Corporation Limited, and Rural Electrification Corporation are lending this money to pay the debt of the power plant. In return, Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Limited has awarded the consortium of these companies with a LoA.

Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Limited was established as the result of a joint venture between Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited and Neyveli Lignite Corporation. The latter has a 4301 MW installation capacity and has both wind power plants and thermal power plants in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, according to reports of The Economic Times. Their latest power plant in Ghatampur, Uttar Pradesh is going to cost around Rs. 17,237.80 crore for its development. Its funding will be based on a debt to equity ratio of 70:30.

The consortium of Power Finance Corporation Limited is paying Rs. 11,067 crore of the total Rs. 12,067 crore debt. The Bank of India is paying for the remainder of the debt. This development project is expected to begin no later than November 2021. Due to the increasing power demands of Uttar Pradesh, this new power plant is expected to produce 13,969 million energy units. This is expected to be economically beneficial to the state as it will help more people and businesses function there.

Previously, Neyveli Lignite Corporation has received sanctioned loans from Power Finance Corporation in the amount of Rs. 7,278 crore. This helped cover a variety of thermal power station projects in Tuticorin and New Neyveli.

Why is India’s economy still in a downward spiral?

India’s economy was once tagged as a global bright spot, but it is still down in the dumps since the GDP growth has fallen over six quarters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to take India’s economy to a new height when he came to power in 2014, but many reforms he has made have yet to materialize and some of the changes made are even hurting the growth.

India is still battling the two blows Modi landed on the economy – the sudden ban of 86% of India’s cash and overhaul of the tax system targeted at turning India’s 29 states into a single market.

Guruswamy said, “The ban on the cash was a big blow, just when the economy seemed at the point of inflection in 2016 and the decline had begun leveling off” as stated in the CNN.

When Modi implemented a national goods and services tax in July last year, so many people hailed the implementation as a positive step that can simplify business. But ever since the implementation, there has been a significant disruption in the country’s economy.

The government said it expected a slowdown in the growth, but it seems the sharp drop has blindsided the government.

Most of the top financial institutions have made their worries concerning the economy known and most of them believe the economy will struggle to regain its momentum. The Central Bank itself slashed its growth forecast last year from 7.3% to 6.7%. Just in September last year, the State Bank of India owned by the government was even a bit blunt as it said the slowdown is “not short-term or even transient.”

Modi is not delivering as promised

Business leaders, analyst and even the members of Modi’s party, are questioning his economic policies, not only because of the downturn his changes have caused but also his reforms that are not happening,

Aside from the priority that analysts believe Modi should place on pushing through measures to ease land acquisition laws and liberalize the labor market, which Modi looks not convinced about, there have also been calls to overhaul the banking system. The reason is that about 12% of India’s total loans have really gone bad according to India’s official data.

Hundreds of thousands of new jobs needed

Modi now faces an uphill struggle to control the ship and make it steady. Experts say the most pressing challenge is to create jobs he promised before getting to the office. About twelve million Indians join the workforce every year, but there are currently only few Government Jobs in Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country.