Moscow confused as IAF puts fifth-generation fighter on back burner to buy Rafale

Currently, the Sukhoi T-50 is powered by the NPO Saturn AL-41F1, which only is a souped-up version of the AL-31FP engine that powers the Sukhoi-30MKI

The ongoing MAKS 2015 air show in Moscow features an impressive flying display by the Sukhoi T-50, the fifth-generation prototype fighter’s first public outing in two years. But even the rousing applause fails to mask the disappointment of Russian officials at the Indian Air Force‘s (IAF’s) foot-dragging in co-developing the T-50 into a “fifth generation fighter aircraft” (FGFA) that the IAF will buy.

Well-informed sources in Moscow say the IAF vice chief has written a letter that effectively blocks the FGFA project. It criticises 27 different aspects of the FGFA, raising questions that must be answered before New Delhi and Moscow put $2.5 billion each into jointly developing the advanced fighter.

Business Standard also learns the IAF has vetoed a Russian offer to co-develop a fifth-generation engine for the FGFA. This is baffling to the Russians, given the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) long-standing attempts at joint engine development in order to end India’s expensive dependency on foreign vendors for aero engines. An internal DRDO estimation reckons that India will import aero engines worth Rs 3,50,000 crore over the next decade.

After the DRDO failed to develop the Kaveri engine to the level where it could power the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), it strived to persuade French engine-maker, Snecma, to co-develop an engine. But Snecma declined to share key technologies, especially those relating to materials that can withstand the hellish temperatures created in the engine’s combustion chamber.

Nor has Washington agreed to share these technologies, even after President Barack Obama agreed during his January visit to New Delhi that a “joint working group” would explore US-India cooperation in engine technology.

DRDO and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) officials say the Russian offer of engine co-development fits well with the FGFA project itself, since the engine will power the same fighter. Currently, the Sukhoi T-50 is powered by the NPO Saturn AL-41F1, which only is a souped-up version of the AL-31FP engine that powers the Sukhoi-30MKI. A brand new, more powerful, engine is needed to let the FGFA supercruise, or fly at supersonic speeds while cruising without an afterburner. This is considered essential for a fifth-generation fighter.

Military aerospace experts worldwide believe that, given Moscow’s economic distress, the T-50 project badly needs India’s financial partnership to move forward. So far, the Russian Air Force has ordered only one squadron of T-50s.

Sergey Chemezov, who heads Rostec, the powerful Russian high-technology agency, downplays India’s delay. “As for the involvement with India, there is a certain delay, though this is not something that we (Russia) can be responsible for.


China is going after click farms and fake online sales

The Chinese law initially took effect in 1993 as a way to protect consumers and businesses from unfair market practices

China enacted sweeping changes to a business competition law to address fraud in the e-commerce industry, which is plagued by malfeasance ranging from fake positive reviews to merchants goosing sales numbers.

The National People’s Congress adopted revisions Saturday to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law intended to address online retailers, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The changes take effect January 1 but were announced days before Alibaba Group Holding’s November 11 Singles’ Day bargain extravaganza, which dwarfs Black Friday in the US in terms of revenue.

Fake Online Sales : The Chinese law initially took effect in 1993 as a way to protect consumers and businesses from unfair market practices. At that time, none of China’s biggest online companies — including Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, Baidu and — even existed. As e-commerce developed and prospered, attendant problems grew with it.

These latest revisions stipulate that operators shouldn’t deceive consumers by faking sales or employing “click farms” to rack up positive product reviews —increasingly common practices that have drawn the ire of buyers. And the rules encompass the entire breadth of internet commerce, from online goods and movie ticketing to food delivery. “You now cannot delete bad comments or employ people to leave good comments,” said Christine Yiu, an intellectual property law expert and partner at Shanghai-based Bird & Bird. “It’s a welcome change that echoes with the whole direction that China’s trying to move in, by strengthening old protections and discouraging infringement in the market.”

Another example of such fraud in China is e-commerce sites buying up movie tickets to artificially boost a film’s box-office rankings and to drum up popularity, Yiu said. (more)

Kohli snatches ICC top spot from A B de Villiers, surpasses Sachin’s points

Kohli scored 263 runs in the series and has reached 889 points, which is the best ever by an India batsman


Indian captain Virat Kohli on Monday returned to the top of the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen after logging career-high rating points, going past the iconic Sachin Tendulkar in the process.

Kohli has moved back to the top within 10 days of losing it to South Africa batsman AB de Villiers after the rankings were updated following India’s 2-1 home series win over against New Zealand.

The 28-year-old Delhi batsman, who scored 263 runs in the series, has reached 889 points, which is the best ever by an India batsman.

“The previous highest points tally of 887 was managed by Sachin Tendulkar in 1998 and by Kohli earlier this year,” the ICC said in a statement.

India opener Rohit Sharma’s 174 runs in the series has seen him reach a career-high rating of 799 points, even though he remains in seventh position.

Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has risen one place to 11th in the latest rankings.

The list for bowlers continues to be led by Pakistan pace bowler Hasan Ali while India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has reached a career-best third after finishing with six wickets in the series against New Zealand. (more)


Heartbreak, anger in US’ Richardson after Indian girl’s death

The Richardson community in the US was mourning the death of Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old Indian girl whose foster father has claimed that she choked while drinking milk, with many people asking why he did not wake his nurse wife when the child was struggling to breathe.

Sherin, who had developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills, was confirmed dead by US police yesterday after over two weeks of investigation. She was missing since October 7.

Wesley Mathews, 37, the father of Sherin, told the police that his daughter choked while drinking milk and he removed her body from the house as he “believed she had died”.

He was re-arrested and charged with first-degree felony injury to a child due to a conflicting statement to police.

The arrest came a day after the body of a small child was found in a culvert near their home in suburban Dallas.

While the cause of her death was still being probed, the community and neighbourhoods all across Texas are shocked, heartbroken, angry and mourning her death.

Wesley’s wife Sini Mathews, who is a registered nurse and could have helped her, was reportedly sleeping in her room.

“All these lies, first punishing the girl and putting her under tree, later choking her in a garage at 3 AM for not drinking milk, does not add up. It is heartbreaking and shocking,” said a teary-eyed resident Diana.

“It will be another story soon, when police will find the actual cause of the death,” she said.

Another neighbour Barabaa Diamond Johnson asked why did not Wesley Mathews wake his nurse wife as Sherin Mathews choked to death, especially when she is a registered nurse at Children’s hospital Dallas. (more)


UPSC-2017 Invites Applications for Assistant Professor Anatomy (III)

Candidates willing to take up the post can apply for the same till August 31, 2017 (Thursday)

The Union Public Service Commission is inviting applications for the post of Specialist Grade-III to be hired by the concerned department under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Candidates willing to take up the post can apply for the same till August 31, 2017 (Thursday). The number of vacancies are eight for Unreserved Category (4), OBC (3) and ST (1) only. The qualified candidates would be offered the salary as per PB-3 i.e. Rs.15, 600-39,100 with Grade Pay Rs.6600/- plus N.P.A as admissible (Pre-Revised). The post carries probation of one year.

Eligibility Parameters:
Age: Not exceeding 40 years on the normal closing date. Not exceeding 45 years for ST and 43 years for OBC candidates on the normal closing date, in respect of posts reserved for them. (Relaxable for Govt. servants by 5 years in accordance with instructions issued by the Central Govt.)

Also Read : Tamil Nadu To Follow NEET Merit List: SC tells Tamil Nadu

Educational Qualification:

  1. A recognized MBBS degree qualification included in the First Schedule or Second Schedule or Part II of the Third Schedule (other than licentiate qualifications) to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 ( 102 of 1956). Holders of educational qualifications included in Part II of the Third Schedule should also fulfill the conditions specified in sub-section(3) of section 13 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956(102 of 1956).
  2. Post- Graduate degree in the concerned specialty or Super-speciality mentioned in Section A of Schedule VI i.e. Master of Surgery (Anatomy) or Doctor of Medicine (Anatomy) or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with Master of Science (Anatomy) or Master of Science (Medical Anatomy) with Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Anatomy) or Master of Science (Medical Anatomy) with Doctor of Science (Medical Anatomy). Read more

Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity: Study

Loneliness and isolation may actually lead to early death, researches say

Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity, according to a study which found that social isolation may put people at an increased risk of early death.

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need – crucial to both well-being and survival,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor at Brigham Young University in the US.

“Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment,” said Holt-Lunstad.

“Yet an increasing portion of the USPopulation now experiences isolation regularly,” she said.

To illustrate the influence of social isolation and loneliness on the risk for premature mortality, Holt-Lunstad presented data from two research reviews.

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The first involved 148 studies, representing more than 300,000 participants, and found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 per cent reduced risk of early death.

The second study, involving 70 studies representing more than 3.4 million individuals from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, examined the role that social isolation, loneliness or living alone might have on mortality.

Researchers found that all three had a significant and equal effect on the risk of premature death, one that was equal to or exceeded the effect of other well-accepted risk factors such as obesity.

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” said Holt-Lunstad.