Tuesday October 17, 2017
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Boeing mulls assembling helicopters in India

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New Delhi: Global aircraft manufacturing company Boeing on Friday said it is looking at setting up a chopper assembly line in India.

According to a top official of the company, the assembly line will either be for the Apache combat helicopter or the Chinook heavy-lift chopper.

Recently, Boeing closed a deal to sell 22 Apache combat helicopters and 15 Chinook CH-47F heavy-lift copters to India.

Boeing Chairman James McNerney said at an event here that the aircraft manufacturer was evaluating assembling one of these two helicopters in India.

Currently, the beams, or the spine, of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft are being made in a Nagpur facility.

The company said it was willing to take part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.

“We can play at the centre of ‘Make-in-India’ keeping in line with Boeing’s global product strategy. We want design and make in India for India and the world. India is now better poised to make investments for us after the new government has come in,” McNerney said.

“Boeing sees a lot of opportunity and capability in India and wants to help it scale up its economy. India will give us business and we in turn will provide technology and ‘know-how’ by collaborating with the partners in the country including the government,” McNerney said.

The chairman said the reason for doing more business in India was because the country was a natural ally.

“India is a big market and after the civil nuclear deal, governments of both countries can now decide more levels of cooperation in the fields of defence and aerospace technology,” McNerney said.

He also praised Modi’s vision in this regard.

“Under the new leadership, the country is moving towards the manufacturing dream. The efforts of changing tax regime and working towards speedy dispute resolution are some of the things that this government is working on and it is an encouraging feeling,” McNerney said.

To a question on aerospace manufacturing, McNerney said the company was looking at developing skills in India by participating in the Skills India mission.

“Manufacturing is a closer reality in India than most people think. We will be soon evaluating making aircraft parts like wings and fuselage here,” he said.

He added that the country will buy nearly 1,800 civil aircraft over the next 20 years which will call for a huge investment.

“Boeing sees this market as a civil aviation opportunity as conversion of only one percent of people travelling in trains to aviation can double the market size here. We are also looking at producing more fuel-efficient, green and longer-flying-capable planes to bring down the cost of flying to attract more customers,” McNerney said.

McNerney revealed that the company has closed more defence deals with India than the whole of the US defence industry combined in the last fifty years.

“Yes indeed! Boeing has closed more defence deals with India than whole of the US combined in the last fifty years,” McNerney said.

Asked about closing several deals with the government, McNerney said the trick was to have a team in India. “The probable reason of our success is that we anticipated these deals will come and set up a team here rather than bringing the aircraft here first and the team later.”

“Also, the Indian military is organised, capable and they know what equipment they want… hence it is easier to work with them. The series of defence deals also shows the country’s commitment to keeping its borders safe especially in wake of shaky neighbours,” McNerney said.

The chairman also said that the company had stopped production of the heavy lift transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster.

The announcement comes at a time when the Indian government required three more Globemaster planes. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster is a large military transport aircraft.

“We have only one C-17 with us. Of course, there are buying opportunities in the used market and the model will stay in the market for another 20 to 30 years,” the chairman said.

The Indian government and Boeing had entered into a purchase agreement for 10 C-17 Globemaster aircraft with an option for buying six more. The deal was estimated at $4.1 billion.

Currently, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Globemaster fleet is based out of Hindon Air Force Station near the national capital. The fleet is operated by the ‘Skylords’ squadron for strategic airlift assignments.

United States has the largest fleet of Globemaster aircraft (over 220) followed by India which has only 10 C-17s.

(IANS)

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Challenges to the Narendra Modi government before the Upcoming 2019 Elections

Modi needs to come up with an efficacious plan to tackle this fast approaching apocalypse

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Challenges to Modi Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

By Gaurav Tyagi

August 12, 2017: India would be celebrating 70 years of independence from the British rule on 15th August. The current state of affairs, in the country despite tall claims by Indian establishment is bleak. There are enormous challenges that face the Modi government in India before the 2019 elections.

‘Make in India’ scheme was launched with much fanfare in September 2014 to overhaul the out-dated policies and processes thereby, making India a global manufacturing hub.

An NDTV report reveals the ground realities.

An entrepreneur, Saurabh Ahuja tried to import a $ 600 3D printer for manufacturing drones at his workshop in Delhi. He had to shell out another extra $900 in taxes and bribes for the customs department to release his consignment and that too after a period of three months.

The aforementioned case of Mr. Ahuja discloses that ‘red tapism’ is still highly prevalent in India. Big companies donate large funds to all major political parties therefore, they have easy access to the ‘corridors of power’ but a small budding entrepreneur is made to ‘run from pillar to post’ for getting various permissions from several government departments.

India’s bureaucracy is based on the British colonial model. British officers used to be in charge of administrative affairs when India was a British Colony. To ease their workload, they used to hire Indians at the clerical level. These Indians who served the British Empire thought very highly of themselves and regarded their fellow Indians with contempt.

Indian bureaucracy thus inherited a pretentious, rigid hierarchical functioning style from its colonial masters. These bureaucrats don’t have much accountability and continue in their plum posts till retirement. Their attitude towards ruling party politicians is servile while with general public they are disdainful.

They remain contented in their comfort zone of out-dated ideas and models.
Dealing with Indian authorities is a nightmare for every common citizen. These officials create hurdles and blocks at each step and expect gratification in form of bribes.

The situation is best summarized by Rajiv Bajaj, head of Bajaj Auto, a big industrial house of India. This is what he said in a recent speech this year, “If your innovation in the country depends on government approval or the judicial process, it will not be a case of ‘made in India’ but ‘mad’ in India.”

World Bank’s recent rankings for countries regarding ‘ease of doing business’ ranks India as 130th out of 190 nations.

Jobs in the Indian Information technology (IT) sector were highly sought after.  The rapid strides made by automation coupled with a strict visa regime in the United States have now turned Indian IT upside down.

There are estimates of heavy retrenchments in the IT field.

Kris Lakshmikanth, the Chairman and CEO of ‘The Head Hunters India’ say that the year 2017-18 will serve as a ‘wakeup’ year for the IT/BPO industry. He states that there would be a ‘Tsunami’ of IT layoffs in India with approximately 200,000 IT/BPO personnel losing their jobs per year during the next 3-4 years.

Also Read: We need to take Action Against the ‘Communal Violence in the name of Cow’ : PM Narendra Modi

Therefore, Indian Prime Minister; Modi’s recent statement, wherein he said that Information Technology plus Indian Talent=India Tomorrow (IT+IT=India Tomorrow) is way ‘off the mark’.

India is poised to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2024 according to a UN report.

Modi can talk all he wants and come up with fancy slogans but the harsh truth is that a corrupt, lethargic bureaucracy, swift population growth and cutting down of jobs in the IT sector are immense challenges and cannot be tackled by mere ‘catchy phrases’.

Lack of jobs to absorb a large number of fresh graduates passing out from Indian universities every year. The predatory attitude of bureaucracy, which discourages entrepreneurship in the country, sharply point towards looming mass unemployment in India.

This would turn India’s so called demographic dividend into a huge demographic liability in the very near future. Modi needs to come up with an efficacious plan to tackle this fast approaching apocalypse.

The author is a Master Degree holder in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Netherlands and is based in China.

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A New Mark Towards Chivalry: Vistara Airline in New Delhi Starts Women Flyer Service

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Vistara
Vistara's first Airbus A320-232 at Delhi Airport. Wikimedia

 New Delhi, July 28, 2017: Vistara airline has begun offering to help women travelling solo with their bags, accompany them to and from their ground transportation, and give them favoured window and aisle seats on their flights—no middles, as a part of its Woman Flyer service. The New Delhi-based airline says between 75 and 100 women use the complimentary service each day.

Vistara is the first arline to offer Woman Flyer service. Click To Tweet

Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer, Sanjiv Kapoor said the airline started offering the women inclined services after noticing women soliciting help after their planes had landed.

He says, “Our staff is equipped to help women travelling alone with the booking of airport-authorized taxis, as well as escort them to the airport taxi stand upon their request. This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers”, as reported by Economic Times.

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), India is anticipated to grow as the world’s sixth-largest business travel market by 2019. However, it gained an averse global reputation for being unsafe for women following the heinous rape crimes incidents in the country.

The U.S. State Department addresses brazenly about the insecurities of Americans travelling to India and the danger of sexual assault: “U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India.”

Also Read: Ex Women Prison Inmates Get to Start a New Life in Hyderabad 

Australia and the UK offer similar, slightly more specific warnings for women to avoid travelling alone on Indian public transit. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises that in the case of sexual assault is India, successful prosecution is rare and that “Eve Teasing is a common sight” in India.

Vistara desires to expand its new service for women to international flights once it develops outside of India.

According to a report published by Bloomberg, this year in May, the airline which flies an all-Airbus A320 domestic fleet was seeking to recruit pilots trained on Boeing Co. aircraft—a sign the carrier is considering leasing or buying Boeing jets for longer-haul routes outside the country.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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Congress alleges center for involvement in Rs. 20,000 crore ‘Ujala’ scam; also demands independent probe.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claims that his government has distributed more than 21 crore LED bulbs, does not tell people that in the process, the government itself is making a mockery of its much-publicised 'Make in India' drive. "Crores of these LED bulbs, LED street lights, pumps and fans are made in China or in Taiwan"

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scam
Representational image, courtesy: Wikimedia commons

New Delhi, March 27, 2017: The Congress party on Monday put the responsibility at the door of ruling NDA government accusing it for corruption in the process of procurement and distribution of ‘Ujala’ LED bulbs has given birth to a Rs 20,000-crore scam.

The party charged that the incumbent government was utilizing “dubious and questionable practices” for acquirement and dispersion of LED bulbs and requested an independent probe by a retired Supreme Court judge.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claims that his government has distributed more than 21 crore LED bulbs, does not tell people that in the process, the government itself is making a mockery of its much-publicised ‘Make in India’ drive. “Crores of these LED bulbs, LED street lights, pumps and fans are made in China or in Taiwan,” said Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.

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Gohil asserted that there was no transparency in the allotment of tender and acquirement of these LED bulbs, street lights, pumps and fans, among others.

“Cost of one such LED street light is about Rs 2,000. If we take into account the irregularities and fraud in the tendering process, this turns out to be a scam of at least Rs 20,000 crore,” he said.

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“While the Vigilance Commission mandates that such procurement should be publicised for RFQ (request for quotation) on the basis of merit and should be put on a government website, the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (the procuring agency) puts it on their own private platforms for a short period, thus manipulating the entire process of tendering,” said Gohil.

“Although there are four Power Ministry PSUs involved in this entire process, the companies neither manufacture nor procure any part, not even a diode of the LED bulb. Instead, they procure from Chinese and other foreign companies,” he included in his statement.

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The Congress also pointed out that the Vigilance Commission guidelines categorically state that a third party audit has to be done after such procurement.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard