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Thursday December 18th 2014
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3 Idiot’s Drone catches the eye at India Engineering Sourcing Show in Mumbai

Mumbai : The 4th Edition of the India Engineering Sourcing Show in Mumbai, that began on Tuesday with participation of over 400 engineering companies, has been attracting a large number of visitors.  While there are innumerable engineering products on display at the Expo, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Drone built by Navi Mumbai based Idea Forge Technologies catches the attention.  Its claim to fame is that it played a cameo in Amir Khan’s super hit film  ‘3 Idiots’ detecting the tragic suicide of Joy Lobo.  Mumbaikars also had a brush with the drones when earlier this year, Fancesco Pizzeria in Mumbai made waves when it put up the video of their successful pilot of a  pizza delivery using an UAV.

Idea Forge’s UAV, which is called NETRA is into some serious business though.  Developed in collaboration with the Defence Research & Development Organization, DRDO, NETRA has been used extensively by the armed forces, paramilitary forces and other security agencies.  It partnered with the National Disaster Response Force and played a crucial role in identifying survivors and assessing damage during the Uttarakhand floods last year. It was also deployed by the Gujarat government during the 2013 Bhuj floods.  Their other clients include the National Security Guard, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Delhi Police among others.

NETRA is a completely autonomus UAV, which can be launched from a small clearing by the road side and made to fly over the area of interest upto 400 meters.  Fitted with GPS and powerful sensors, it can fly on its own and return to the home base after completing the mission. It boasts of having the smallest auto-pilot in the world.  During its flight, the UAV sends continuous real time video of every movement on the ground.  Its Vertical Take Off & Landing, VTOL mechanism makes it extremely user friendly.

Idea Forge was started by 5 IIT-Bombay graduates way back in 2008. Ankit Mehta, Vipul Joshi,  Ashish Bhat, Amardeep Singh and Rahul Singh belonged to different batches but were driven by one passion – robotics.  Idea Forge got a $ 1 million funding from the Technology Development Board of India, and an angel investor later pumped in another $ 100,000.

Though, high on ideas, the IIT technocrats are conservative in their marketing approach.  Idea Forge works mainly with government, which makes its operations simpler, as required permissions are usually taken care of. “We are still some distance away from commercial usage of drones, although, pizza delivery etc, serve as great marketing gimmicks” says one of the partners.  They are also tight lipped about the price, citing confidentiality clauses, even as market estimates put the cost of UAVs at Rs 25 lakhs upwards.

Drones have multi-faceted applications.  Besides surveillance, they can be effectively used for aerial cinematography replacing costly helicopter shooting, crowd management during festivals and fairs, aerial photography of high rise buildings,  event supervision and lately even in wildlife management.

Even thought the opportunity looks attractive, it is not easy doing the business.  Image resolution is still not as sharp as one would like them to be. Funding continues to be a perennial problem as most of the investors have no clue about the benefits of drones, other than publicity stunts pulled off by the likes of Amazon or Fancesco Pizzeria.

There are 900 drone manufacturers in China and over 200 in the USA.  Low end Chinese drones can be bought for less than Rs 1 lakhs, which can be used for aerial photography of a wedding procession.  In comparison India has only 6-7 manufacturers of Drone, most of which are technology start-ups. Developing relevant products and facing up the international competition will be the biggest challenge.
[PIB Mumbai]

PM condemns terror attack in Peshawar

New Delhi : ​The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has condemned the terror attack at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. ​
“Strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar. It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings – young children in their school. My heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain and offer our deepest condolences,” the Prime Minister said. ​


Ten Crore Aadhaars Linked to Bank Accounts

New Delhi :  A major milestone has been crossed with ten (10) crore Aadhaar numbers having been linked to bank accounts of Aadhaar holders so far a part of Government’s Digital India mission. This would enable these individuals to digitally receive government welfare subsidies and other payments directly into their bank accounts, in a hassle-free manner.

Establishing a link between an Aadhaar number and a bank account makes it easy for the government to identify genuine beneficiaries and route welfare payments and subsidies directly into their bank accounts. The individual can benefit from this system as it is portable across any bank in the country and he/she can access these subsidies even if the person moves to another part of the country, making the whole process hassle-free. Till date, 333 banks are live on this platform.

To link Aadhaar number to their bank account, residents need to provide a copy of their Aadhaar letter or their e-Aadhaar to the bank branch in which he/she holds the account. Once the account is seeded, the account will be used by Government departments to transfer subsidies directly into this bank account.

Residents can check status of the Aadhaar-Bank account linkage by dialling *99*99# on their mobile phone. This facility is provided by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) at a cost of Rs.1.50 per enquiry.

The Aadhaar identity platform is the largest biometric database in the world and serves users ranging from LPG consumers, MNREGA workers, PDS, remittance and scholarship beneficiaries, etc. – all using their Aadhaar number to avail benefits.

Till 9th December 2014, about eight crore transactions have been made through the Aadhaar Payment Bridge for various Government welfare programs such as Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, Tribal welfare schemes, Pensions, amounting to Rs.5,151.51crore.

Issuance of Aadhaars crossed the 72 crore-mark as on Dec 12, 2014. In the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, over 10 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated. These four states with a combined population of about 34 crore, were allocated to UIDAI earlier this year for issuance of Aadhaars.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has received national and international acclaim for the Aadhaar project. Recently, the Data Security Council of India declared UIDAI as the best agency for “Security in e-Governance”.

For any further information or clarifications please contact: ADG (Media), UIDAI at 011-23466831


Indian Railways to Undertake Plantation of 75 Lakh Saplings during 2014-15

New Delhi : For the year 2014-15, a target of plantation of 75 lakh saplings has been fixed by the Indian Railways and till October 2014, about 45 lakh saplings have been planted on approximately 1548 hectares of Railway land.

In pursuance of Railways commitment towards environmental improvement through afforestation and also with a view to safeguard Railway land against unauthorized occupation, Railways undertake tree plantation on a programmed basis in a manner so as to not affect the visibility of track and safe operations of trains. Vacant Railway land is generally in the form of thin strips along the track. About 44000 hectares of land was under afforestation as on 31.03.2014.


E-Commerce Portal of NSIC

New Delhi : To boost the business of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in retail sector, the National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC), the Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of MSME has launched e-commerce portal, viz. on 31st July, 2014. The salient features of this portal includes online registration, web store management, online buying and selling, multiple payment options, popular products section, multi product cart, customer support through Call Centre, attractive range of products, payment gateway for membership subscription and enhanced security features. As reported, there are 253 registered suppliers having 2473 products in 103 categories and 279 orders have so far been placed after launching of this portal.

To promote its usages, several steps have been taken viz., awareness programmes in MSME clusters, search engine optimization, participation in exhibitions, road shows and seminars to sensitize MSMEs, email marketing, institutional networking, advertisement in industrial association’s journals, advertisements in print media and national dailies, press releases, radio advertisements (Pan India) and television advertisements.


मुंबईचा नावलौकीक वाढविणार – मुख्यमंत्री

मुंबई : मुंबई देशाची आर्थिक राजधानी आहे. मुंबईला शांघाय किंवा वॉशिग्टन न बनविता मुंबईला ‘मुंबईच’ बनवून शहराचा नावलौकीक वाढविणारCMmumbai असल्याचे मुख्यमंत्री देवेंद्र फडणवीस यांनी सांगितले.

झी बिझनेस या वृत्तवाहिनीच्या 5 व्या बिझनेस अवॉर्ड 2014 या कार्यक्रमात मुख्यमंत्र्यांबरोबर वाहिनीचे संपादक अमिष देवगुण यांनी चर्चा केली. त्यावेळी ते बोलत होते.यावेळी केंद्रीय रेल्वे मंत्री सुरेश प्रभू, उर्जा मंत्री पियुष गोयल, विज्ञान व तंत्रज्ञान मंत्री डॉ. हर्षवर्धन, भारतीय जनता पक्षाचे अध्यक्ष अमित शाह, उद्योग व वित्त क्षेत्रातील मान्यवर आणि झी वाहिनीचे पदाधिकारी उपस्थित होते.

श्री.फडणवीस म्हणाले, पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांच्या ‘मेक इन इंडिया’ या घोषणेच्या धर्तीवर ‘मेक इन महाराष्ट्र’ हा विचार मी मांडला आहे. कारण देशाची प्रगती होण्यासाठी महाराष्ट्राची किंवा देशातील अन्य राज्याची प्रगती होणे गरजेचे आहे. ‘मेक इन महाराष्ट्र’ यशस्वी होण्यासाठी योजना आखायला आणि राबवायला आम्ही सुरूवात केली आहे. मुंबईतील दळणवळणाच्या समस्या सोडविण्यासाठी नुकतेच 72 कि. मी. मेट्रो रेल्वे मार्गाला मान्यता देण्यात आली आहे. कोस्टल रोड आणि हार्बरचे प्रस्ताव केंद्र सरकारला मान्यतेसाठी पाठविण्यात आले आहेत. केंद्रीय पर्यावरण मंत्रालयाकडून या प्रस्तावांना लवकरात लवकर मान्यता मिळेल. यापुढे मुंबईत गृहनिर्माण क्षेत्रावर लक्ष केंद्रीत करण्यात येणार आहे. राज्यात उद्योगाला अनुकुल वातावरण निर्माण केले जात आहे. उद्योग सुरू करण्यासाठी लागणाऱ्या प्रस्तावास सुलभता आणली असून परवान्यांची संख्या 25 टक्के कमी करण्यात आली आहे. सर्व व्यवहार ऑनलाईन करून पारदर्शकता आणली आहे. तसेच उद्योग सुरू करण्यासाठी लागणारी परवानगी देण्यासाठीचा कालावधी 3 महिन्यावर आणला आहे. गुड गव्हर्नससाठीच्या सगळ्या उपाययोजनांचा आम्ही अवलंब करीत असून येत्या वर्षभरात संपूर्ण देशासाठी महाराष्ट्र गुड गव्हर्नसचे रोल मॉडेल बनेल.

कृषी क्षेत्रात प्रगती झाल्याशिवाय आणि सिंचन व्यवस्थेत सुधारणा केल्याशिवाय राज्याची प्रगती होणार नाही. बदलत्या वातावरणाचा कृषी क्षेत्रावर होणारा अनिष्ट परिणाम लक्षात घेऊन एका वर्षात पाच हजार गावे दुष्काळमुक्त करण्याचा निर्धार युती शासनाने केला आहे. प्रत्येक कुटुंबाला स्वत:चे घर मिळवून देण्याचे पंतप्रधानांचे स्वप्न साकार करण्यास शासन कटीबद्ध आहे. देशाला आर्थिक दृष्ट्या सूपर पॉवर करण्याचे पंतप्रधानांचे प्रयत्न आम्हां सर्व मुख्‍यमंत्र्यांना प्रेरणा देणारे आहे. पंतप्रधानांना साथ देण्यास महाराष्ट्र सदैव तत्पर राहील आणि पारदर्शक व भ्रष्टाचारमुक्त राज्य बनविण्याचा प्रयत्न मी करेन. भ्रष्टाचार आणि गैरव्यवहाराचे पुरावे आढळल्यास व्यक्ती किंवा पक्ष याची निरपेक्ष चौकशी केली जाईल, असेही श्री.फडणवीस यांनी स्पष्ट केले.

झी बिझनेस या वृत्त वाहिनीने 10 वर्ष यशस्वीरित्या पूर्ण केल्याबद्दल त्यांनी वाहिनीचे अभिनंदन केले. मुख्यमंत्री म्हणाले सामान्य माणसाला समजेल अशा भाषेत कार्पोरेट सेक्टर, शेयर मार्केट, आर्थिक घडामोडी आदी विषयी माहिती उपलब्ध करून देऊन या वाहिनीने मोठे योगदान दिले आहे. भविष्यातही वाहिनीची वाटचाल अशीच सुरू रहावी.

लोकांच्या मनात काय चालले आहे, हे ओळखणे जितके कठीण आहे तितकेच मार्केट मधील घडामोडींचे विश्लेषण करणे कठीण आहे. इंग्रजी भाषा अवगत असलेल्यामध्ये मर्यादित असलेले उद्योग, वित्त आणि गुंतवणूक हे विषय झी बिझनेस वाहिनीने हिंदी मध्ये आणून सर्व सामान्यांपर्यत पोहोचविले आहे, अशी भावना श्री. प्रभू यांनी व्यक्त केली.

आर्थिक सुबत्तेचा फायदा देशातून शेवटच्या माणसांपर्यंत पोहोचविण्याचे काम झी बिझनेस वाहिनीने केले आहे, असे पियुष गोयल यांनी सांगून वाहिनींचे व पारितोषिक विजेत्यांचे अभिनंदन केले.

श्री. शाह म्हणाले, पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांच्या आर्थिक सुधारणा करण्याच्या योजनांमुळे जगाला भारताची दखल घ्यावी लागली आहे. प्रशासनात अधिकाधिक लोकाभिमुखता आणण्याचा आणि प्रगतीचा फायदा देशातील सर्व सामान्य जनतेपर्यंत पोहोचविण्याचा पंतप्रधनांचा प्रयत्न आहे. जन धन योजना आणि स्वच्छ भारत अभियान योजनेचे फलित निश्चितच पहायला मिळेल. या योजनेची घोषणा 15 ऑगस्ट रोजी करण्यात आली आणि सप्टेंबरमध्ये या योजना कार्यान्वितही झाल्या यावरून सरकारची गतिमानता दिसून येते.

हॉटेल ललीत येथे पार पाडलेल्या या कार्यक्रमात आर्थिक घडामोडींची माहिती देणाऱ्या, समिक्षा करणाऱ्या उत्कृष्ट संस्थांना पारितोषिके देऊन मान्यवरांच्या हस्ते सन्मानचिन्ह देऊन सत्कार करण्यात आले.


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