Thursday, February 22, 2007

First-target cells of HIV identified

Scientist at University of Washington have identifies which are HIV’s very first –target cells .HIV-1 rapidly targets Langerhans cells (LC) and CD4+ T cells

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Incredible India or an Overheating India

Tata’s Corus takeover, Infosys getting listed on the NASDAQ, the roar from Delhi is echoing across not only Asia but across the globe. An economy once famous for the “Hindu growth rate” of 3% in the 1960-80’s, has since been replaced by one growing at 9.2% (real GDP), just a few points behind China’s 10.4%. When it comes to PPP India will soon overtake Japan and become the third largest economy behind America and China.

However the economy is displaying alarming symptoms of overheating (Demand is outpacing supply resulting in an unsustainable pace of growth) Capacity utilization is higher than at any time in the past decade. This coupled with a severe skill and employability shortage amongst the labor force is leading the wages going sky high. Real estate and property prices look bubbly. The stock market is one of the most expensive in the emerging world with PE’s of more than 20. Over the past couple of years interest rates have risen by less than the rate of inflation (6-7%) which has actually led to them falling in real terms.

From a surplus of 4% in the current account deficit in FY 04, India’s deficit has actually widened by 3%. If we exclude remittances, India’s deficit further widens to 5% of GDP which incidentally is larger then the equivalent deficit during India’s balance of payment crisis of early 1990’s.

The cushion of $180 billion foreign exchange reserves (equivalent to 11 moths of exports) and a small external debt does provide some solace but the main culprit is India’s overdependence on short term portfolio capital inflows rather than FDI. This makes India venerable to rising interest rates triggered by a reversal in risk appetite in the international market.

A quick solution to prevent overheating would be either to curd demand or to increase supply. Cooling demand could be detrimental to India's rapid growth to create jobs and reduce poverty. Boosting supply is however feasible by spending more on infrastructure, public services and improving the educational system of the country. However these are big ticket items requiring deep pockets to fulfill. India’s fiscal finances are far from healthy. Oil and power subsidies amount to 1.8% of GDP putting the deficit for state and central govts close to 8% as compared to the IMF forecast of 6.2%. India also has the highest public debt to GDP ratio of 80%.

India’s favorable young demography may be a bane if we cannot nurture it with proper jobs and provide it proper civic amenities such as water and ‘employable’ education. Indians are eager for our economy to sprint like a tiger rather than amble along like an elephant. Yet few animals have an elephant’s stamina or travel as far in a day – provided its path is not blocked

ref: The Economist feb 3rd 2007

Friday, February 2, 2007

How to find LPG cylinder's expiry date?

Very important information.

Most of us do not know this.

Do you know that there is an expiry date (physical life) for LPG cylinders?

Expired Cylinders are not safe for use and may cause accidents. In this
please be cautious at the time of accepting any LPG cylinder from the

Here is how we can check the expiry of LPG cylinders:
On one of three side stems of the cylinder, the expiry date is coded alpha
numerically as follows A or B or C or D and some two digit number following
e.g. D06.

The alphabets stand for quarters -
A for March (First Qtr)
B for June (Second Qtr)
C for Sept (Third Qtr)
D for December (Fourth Qtr)

The digits stand for the year till it is valid.
Hence D06 would mean December qtr of 2006.

India as a superpower - are we there yet ??

President Kalam: "The nation can use its core competence in IT, natural resources and human resources to become a knowledge superpower by 2020...In the 21st century, knowledge is the primary production resource instead of capital or labour. There will be a shift from the molecule-centric agricultural era to the electron-centric knowledge era. The efficient utilisation of knowledge alone can create comprehensive wealth for the nation in the form of better health, education, infrastructure and other social indicators. The ability to create and maintain the knowledge infrastructure, develop knowledge workers and enhance their productivity through creation, and nurturing and exploitation of new knowledge will be the key factors in a nation becoming a knowledge superpower...As the world transforms into a knowledge society, India has the tremendous advantage due to it! s core competence in certain technologies including IT, vast natural resources and above all, 300 million ignited youth. This strength must be harnessed fully for the transformation of society. This will be a beautiful India, prosperous India and happy India."

Past Experience of having Powerful states- The Maurya, Gupta, Mughal, Vijayanagara and Chola empires provide the necessary confidence that a powerful state can be established despite having diversity.

In the 3rd millennium BC, the Indus-Saraswati civilization was the world leader in science and technology as well as in trade and philosophy.

India, the 7th largest nation by area,
India also has 25% of the world's thorium resources. FBRs at kalpakkam will ensure that these resources are used for nuclear power.


Vast influence over neighbors in the Indian subcontinent especially the asean nations
varied and rich history and culture.


india has maintained the British legacy of democracy and relative freedom and tolerance, which, combined with the recent loosening of state controls on the economy, makes India more likely to foster innovation and change.

India is the world's largest democratic republic, more than three times bigger than the next largest (U.S.). The fact that India is a democracy has improved its relations with other democratic nations and significantly improved its ties with the majority of the nations in the developed world. [
Candidate for Security Council - India has been pressing for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (as part of the G4 nations[35]) but without veto ability.[36]
Foreign relations - It has significantly boosted its image among western nations and signed a civilian nuclear deal with the United States in March 2006.
Role in international politics –
India was one of the founding members of Non-Aligned Movement
It played regional roles in South Asian affairs, e.g. its use of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in the Bangladesh Liberation War and in Sri Lanka.
India is an active member of the Commonwealth and the WTO.
India's political moves are being influenced by economic imperatives. New Delhi is also being observed to slowly, cautiously, and often hesitantly, step into the unchartered role of becoming one of the two major seats of political power in Asia, the other being at Beijing.
Economic Growth - India's current economic growth (as the world's second-fastest growing major economy) has improved its standing on the world's political stage, even though it is still a developing country, but one that is showing strong development.

Demographic factors
second largest population
Due to its high birth rate India has a young population compared to most aging nations. It has approximately 60% of its population below the age of 30.
In the coming decades, while some of the powerful nations witness a decrease in workforce, India is expected to have an increase. For example while Europe is well past its demographic window, the U.S. entered its in 1970 (lasting until 2015), China entered its in 1990 (will last until 2025), India won't enter its window until 2010 (lasting until 2050).
Global Diaspora –
More than 35 million Indians live across the globe.
India has the world's second largest English speaking/understanding population.


world's third largest military
second largest army,
fourth largest air force,
fifth largest naval force which has "blue water" capabilities.
It also has a budding space program
We are a nuclear weapons state. strength respects strength. We are surrounded by hostile nuclear powers. All round the world there were other nuclear powers. We cannot remain silent. But as the Prime Minister has explained, India is committed to the No-first-Use doctrine. If some uses the nuclear power, we will use ours, which I think is acceptable.
Arms Imports - India is currently one of the world's largest arms importers, spending an estimated US$16.97 billion in 2004. India has made military technology deals with the Russian Federation, the U.S., Israel and the EU. [119]


Economic growth will force better governance, and better governance will feed more economic growth

India is currently the world's fourth largest economy in terms of real GDP (PPP) after the USA, the People's Republic of China and Japan
Interestingly, estimates by the IMF shows that by 2007 India will be the third largest economy in the world, overtaking the Japanese economy. The current growth rate is at 9.2%
tenth largest economy in terms of nominal GDP (market exchange rates)
second fastest growing major economy after China.
seen by global investors as a stable long term growth story.
growing industries and skilled workforce (in the service sector especially in IT industry and increasingly other hi-tech sectors like chemical, bio-tech, automobile, and pharmaceutical industries)
India is going to be the biggest economy in the world

Primary Sector - India, growing at 8% per year, is the world's second largest producer of food next to China. Food processing accounts for USD 69.4 billion as gross income.[61]

Secondary Sector - India is still relatively a small player in manufacturing when compared to many world leaders. Some new trends suggest an improvement in future, since the manufacturing sector is growing at 11-12%.

Tertiary and Quaternary Sector - India currently has an expanding IT industry which is considered one of the best in the world. Some have begun to describe India as a technology superpower. [68][69] It is considered the World's back Office and is leading in the Services Industry.

Science/Tech –
A typical example of India's rising scientific endeavours is that it was the 3rd nation to found a National Space Agency called ISRO, after the USSR and the U.S.
It was the third Asian nation to send satellites into space after China and Japan in 1970, starting with Aryabhata in 1975.[77] [78]
In January 2007, India became the fourth nation to complete atmospheric reentry[79]
By 2008 it plans to send an unmanned mission to the Moon. chandrayan
India is among the world leaders in remote sensing,[84] catosat
Energy - India joined China to launch a vigorous campaign to acquire oil fields around the world and now has stake in several oil fields (in the Middle East and Russia).

India vs china
Notice what kinds of work have been subcontracted to the two countries: China is best known for its industrial production; India for its software writing and technical support. Which country is more likely to become an economic leader: One which produces commodities or one which produces creative work?

India's Freedom struggle

Written on the eve of our republic day, Here is a breif history of our freedom struggle

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 or The First War of Independence
A century of accumulated grievances erupted in the Indian mutiny of sepoys in the British army, in 1857. This was the signal for a spontaneous conflagration, in which the princely rulers, landed aristocarcy and peasantry rallied against the British around the person of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah.

The rebellion also saw the end of the East India Company's rule in India. Power was transferred to the British Crown in 1858 by an Act of British Parliament. The Crown's viceroy in India was to be the chief executive.

"Nadir Shah looted the country only once. But the British loot us every day. Every year wealth to the tune of 4.5 million dollar is being drained out, sucking our very blood. Britain should immediately quit India.'' That's what the Sindh Times wrote on May 20, 1884, a year before the Indian National Congress was born and 58 years before the ''Quit India'' movement of 1942 was launched.

The Freedom Struggle

Ideas of democracy, individual freedom and equality were the antithesis of the empire and led to the genesis of the freedom movement among thinkers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Bankim Chandra and Vidyasagar.

formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

launching of the Swadeshi movement by leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo Ghose.

The partition of Bengal along communal lines in 1905 by the British (''Vanga Bhanga'') triggered a nation-wide Swadeshi movement, giving a great fillip to the freedom movement throughout the country.

The first Indian political organization to call for complete independence from British rule was the Ghadar (or Gadar) Party, organized in 1913 by Indian immigrants in California.

on 13 April 1919, in the Amritsar Massacre (also known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre) in Amritsar, Punjab. The British military commander, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, ordered his soldiers to fire into an unarmed and unsuspecting crowd of some 10,000 people. They had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, a walled garden, to celebrate Baisakhi, a Sikh festival, without prior knowledge of the imposition of martial law. A total of 1,650 rounds were fired, killing 379 people and wounding 1,137 in the episode, which dispelled wartime hopes of home rule and goodwill in a frenzy of post-war reaction.

Non Cooperation Movement of 1920 -1922 and the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. --Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

In 1921, there was seething anger against the high taxes imposed by the British. Delegations from numerous districts approached Gandhi to lead a No-Tax campaign. In Guntur, the no-tax campaign began without the permission of the national leadership, but Gandhi responded by calling for all taxes to be paid by the due date. However, he agreed to lead a No-Tax campaign in the single district of Bardoli, but even that was withdrawn when he heard news of a peasant rebellion in Chauri Chaura village in UP. Gandhi's Bardoli decision created deep consternation in Congress circles. Subhas Chandra Bose wrote: "To sound the order of retreat just when public enthusiasm was reaching the boiling point was nothing short of a national calamity. The principal lieutenants of the Mahatma, Deshbandhu Das, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Lala Lajpat Rai, who were all in prison, shared the popular resentment. I was with the Deshbandu at the time, and I could see that he was beside himself with anger and sorrow." (quoted from The Indian Struggle, p.90)

The Naujawan Bharat Sabha (1925) was initiated by Shaheed Bhagat Singh who also coined the widely popular slogan 'Inquilab Zindabad' (Long Live The Revolution). Also in 1925, Ghadar supporters established a Workers and Peasant Party (Kirti Kisan Party) in the Punjab.
In 1939 and 1940, strikes and peasant uprisings reached a fever pitch. In 1941, the Indian National Army (INA) was launched by General Mohan Singh in Malaya with the help of the Japanese.

August 1942, the Quit India movement
"I want freedom immediately, this very night before dawn if it can be had.'.. we shall free India or die in the attempt, we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery", declared the Mahatma, as the British resorted to brutal repression against non-violent satyagrahis.

At the end of the Second World War, they saw the writing on the wall, and initiated a number of constitutional moves to effect the transfer of power to the sovereign State of India. For the first and perhaps the only time in history, the power of a mighty global empire 'on which the sun never set', had been challenged and overcome by the moral might of a people armed only with ideals and courage.
The RIN Mutiny (also called the Bombay Mutiny) encompasses a total strike and subsequent mutiny by the Indian sailors of the Royal Indian Navy on board ship and shore establishments at Bombay (Mumbai) harbour on 18 February 1946. From the initial flashpoint in Bombay, the mutiny spread and found support through India, from Karachi to Calcutta and ultimately came to involve 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors.


India achieved independence on August 15,1947. Giving voice to the sentiments of the nation, the country's first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, "Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance .... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again."

Independence, 1947 to 1950
Lord Mountbatten to continue as Governor General of India. He was replaced in June 1948 by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
The Constituent Assembly completed the work of drafting the constitution on 26 November 1949; on 26 January 1950 the Republic of India was officially proclaimed. The Constituent Assembly elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the first President of India, taking over from Governor General Rajgopalachari. Subsequently, a free and sovereign India absorbed two other territories: Goa (from Portuguese control in 1961) and Pondicherry (which the French ceded in 1953–1954). In 1952, India held its first general elections, with a voter turnout exceeding 62%; this made it the world’s largest democracy.


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